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Old Nov 12, 2008, 9:25 AM   #1
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I just bought the D60 and feel I made a mistake. Every port i read deters members to go to a D80 because of the autofocus lenses...

Is this a good camera for a beginner. I want to use it to take sprited pictures and pictures of my saltwater aquqrium corals, fish ,etc...


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Old Nov 12, 2008, 9:49 AM   #2
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The entry level Nikon models like your D60 tend to be well liked by their users.

On the downside, you've got to use lenses with focus motors built into them if you want Autofocus. So, that does limit your choices.

On the plus side, more and more lenses from Nikon, Sigma and Tamron are starting to include focus motors for compatibility with the D40, D40x and D60. So, you'll have more choices in new lenses as time passes.

For aquarium photos in low light, you're probably going to need a relatively bright lens (especially if the fish are moving any). So, you may want to consider something like a Sigma 30mm f/1.4 EX DC HSM for that purpose (around $439 now). That Sigma lens will Autofocus on a D60 since it's got HSM (Hypersonic Motor) focusing. If you wanted a budget prime (fixed focal length versus zoom), the 50mm f/1.8 AF lens (under $100) would be a popular choice. But, that 50mm lens will not Autofocus on a D60.


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Old Nov 12, 2008, 10:38 AM   #3
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forgot to mention it comes with the 18-55mm VR LENS. Is this a good lens to take pics of the tank?



If I need a better camera I will purchase a different one. I wished I would have found this site sooner.




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Old Nov 12, 2008, 10:45 AM   #4
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You'll have to try it to find out. I've rarely taken any photos of fish in an aquarium. I did take some at my brother-in-laws a while back, and I was using an f/2.8 zoom at ISO 3200 (which was a bit on the noisy side).

A lot would depend on the aquarium lighting (probably pretty dim from what the camera will see if it's like my brother-in-law's aquarium), and if the fish are moving any.

If they are moving much, you may need a much brighter lens compared to your kit lens to get any keepers unless the lighting is better than I've seen. I'd try it and see what you get at various ISO speed settings.


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Old Nov 12, 2008, 10:52 AM   #5
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I was thinking i made a mistake buying this camera because of thelenses doing hte autofocus and the 3 focal points.



Do you think I would be better off with a Rebel XSI setup? Just chekcing with you since I don't know much about cameras and you guys here are the gurus. Once I open it the resale value goes down ...
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Old Nov 12, 2008, 11:17 AM   #6
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Where did you buy it? Many stores allow returns (although some of them may charge a restocking fee).

Note that you can use manual focus with lenses that don't have focus motors built in if desired, and you'll get a focus confirmation in the D60's viewfinder when you're correctly focused on your target.

None of the kit lenses are going to be very bright, and the XSi you mentioned doesn't have an ISO 3200 setting like your D60 if you need to use it (and you don't want to unless you have to because of noise and/or loss of detail from noise reduction) There are pros and cons to any of these cameras.

Personally, I'd want the flexibility to use brighter primes and still have AF. Ditto for the ability to get AF with more used lenses in the market (since most are not going to have focus motors built in). But, you may or may not need a prime and given a relatively stationary setting, you may be fine with Manual focus if you do need one. Some primes are available with focus motors built in now, too (like the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 EX I mentioned, as well as an upcoming Sigma 50mm f/1.4 and new Nikon 50mm f/1.4 AF-S lens that should hit shelves in December). The budget primes like the 50mm f/1.8 won't autofocus on a D60 though.

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Old Nov 12, 2008, 11:37 AM   #7
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Jim,



So in other words this is a good beginners camera .... I am no photographer by any means. just want something to upgrade from my Casio Exilim:-).
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Old Nov 12, 2008, 12:11 PM   #8
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Yes, for someone just starting out with no special requirements (they're not trying to shoot something like indoor sports where a bright prime with AF may be desirable), it will probably be fine for most shooting.

Each user will tend to like one model more than another, depending on what they want to shoot, preferences in ergonomics, size, weight, control layout, viewfinder, lens availability, features, etc.

I'm currently using a Sony A700. So, I'd probably a bit biased and would lean towards a model like the Sony A200 in that market niche (which uses a Sony 10MP CCD Sensor, as does your D60). But, Nikon, Canon, and Pentax have models similar to it, and all of them are capable of taking great photos. Your skill level has as much to do with it as anything else (and it may take you a while to become accustomed to a new camera's behavior so you can get the best from it).

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Old Nov 13, 2008, 1:01 PM   #9
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I have the D40x which was the previous model to the D60. I am certainly no expert and not as knowledgable as Jim C but as a matter of interest I have taken aquarium shots with a 18-200 vr. For whats its worth I have been very pleased with my results. Wouldn't win any prizes in a wildife mag but plenty good enough for me.

I get up as close to the glassas possible, to cut out reflections and boost the ISO according to whether the fish is slow or fast moving so that I can get the nescessary shutter speed.

Jim C thanks for your previous help regarding RAW coversion ,I am now doing fine with it.
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Old Nov 13, 2008, 1:15 PM   #10
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Keep your camera. You'll be just fine.

Take a look on ebay for an older Nikon AI 50mm f1.8. You can get one for about $50 and the craftsmanship absolutely blows away the plastic junk of today. You will be able to use this in low light situations and will do much better than your 18-55 kit lens because you can go go much larger apertures. If I remember correctly, the 18-55 lens will only go down to f5.6.

The images you can capture with this lens are stunning. You will need to manually focus on the D60 but that alone will improve you knowledge and skill. It has helped me a lot.

I'm no expert by any means, but PM me if you want any tips I've picked up. I'm using a D40 with the 50mm F1.8. My 18-55 and 55-200VR spend most of their time in my bag now that I've got the f1.8.

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