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Old Mar 26, 2009, 12:38 AM   #1
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Ok first off I am sorry if this is the wrong place to post my question. But now to my question. I am a high school student that POSSIBLE wants to get into photography. I am going to be taking a class next year that requires at least a point and shoot camera. And like I said I MIGHT(not certain) get into photography and make it a hobby. My main concern is pay $350 and not get into it. If I was going to get a DSLR I would get the Nikon D40. So should I get the DSLR or a point and shoot camera? Thanks in advance!
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Old Mar 26, 2009, 4:06 AM   #2
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If you are not sure that photography is really for you, then why not just borrow a camera. Most of us (at least me anyway) have two or three point and shoot cameras sitting around the house and would be glad to loan one out to help someone get started in photography, I'm sure you know someone with an extra camera. If you do have to buy your own camera then a point and shoot would be a good way to go. That way you haven't put to much money out on a camera and if you don't want to continue with photography as a hobby you will still have a camera for taking pictures of family and friends. Of course if you decide to stay with photography as a hobby, you won't care how much is spent on buying new camera gear.
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Old Mar 26, 2009, 5:48 AM   #3
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Yeah. That. What he said.
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Old Mar 26, 2009, 8:52 AM   #4
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If I were you I'd check your class requirements. It's very likely that your photography class requires a camera with manual exposure controls. There aren't that many point and shoot cameras with manual exposure controls, other than the ultrazooms and a few expensive non-ultrazoom bridge cameras like the Canon G10 or Panasonic LX3.
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Old Mar 26, 2009, 7:20 PM   #5
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First off thanks everyone that has responded. Second of all if I was not to get into photography would I be able to sell it on eBay and get a good value for it? Also the class is a entry level class, its more of photoshoping.
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Old Mar 27, 2009, 6:06 AM   #6
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A cheap superzoom, e.g., Kodak Z1012, used intelligently and not just left on 'auto', will teach you quite a lot about photography, even without your school classes. That camera, and other superzooms (mostly more expensive), generally have quite a full range of manual controls.

If you turn out to like photography, a superzoom will take you quite a long way, and much later you can decide whether you can tolerate the cost, size & weight of a dSLR and lenses, for the sake of better picture quality. Even then, rather than selling the superzoom, I'd keep keep it as a backup and for when you want to travel light, and for your future travels and family photos.

There's even one feature,a live view electronic viewfinder, where some superzooms have a technical advantage for the beginner - it's 'what you see is what you'll get', rather than 'what you see is what you might get'. The viewfinder will also include lots of information on settings, and (as in my Kodaks) allow the principal adjustments to be made without taking it from your eye.

The problem with most so-called 'point and shoots' as a learning tool is that most now have no optical viewfinder. Although LCD screens have improved a lot, they're still not bright enough in some lighting conditions easily to see the subject 'as the camera sees it' (unless you put a black cloth over your head, and pretend to be a 19th century photographer).

Good luck, and I hope you have fun in your classes!
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Old Mar 27, 2009, 9:30 AM   #7
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My main concern is pay $350...
$350 is too low for a new D40 kit with lens if it's a Nikon USA warrantied camera.

There are lots of scammers around with nice looking web sites with nice logos, etc. Most are located in the Brooklyn area, where they seem to be able to get away with it.

When you see prices that are lower than you find at http://www.buydig.com or http://www.bhphotovideo.com (both reputable dealers) on Nikon gear, there is usually going to be a catch. ;-)

The scammers will call you to confirm the order. Then, you'll also find out that they'll want to sell you high priced batteries, extended warranties, stuff that normally comes with the camera anyway, want to include inflated shipping and insurance charges (sometimes unauthorized). Anything to increase their profit (since they can't sell the camera alone at the advertised prices without losing money).

If you don't buy enough of the outrageously priced extras, your camera will suddenly go to backorder status (of course, the web sites still show them in stock and your credit card has been charged). They'll often sell gray market gear, too (not intended for sale in the country you live in with a store versus manufacturers warranty).

This has been going on for years. It's a racket.

Do yourself a favor and stick with a reputable dealer.

Make sure to check out any vendor you consider using http://www.resellerratings.com
(they're a bit better about filtering out fake vendor reviews compared to most)

If they are not listed, avoid them (these guys tend to start up new web sites often under a variety of names). If they have a small number of customer reviews there, avoid them (they tend to try and get away with padding their own ratings with glowing reviews). Some even seem to have their own ratings sites now (with all of the stores listed being same old scammers, with the reviews unbelievably good).

Many Ebay vendors do the same type of thing (only they tend to put together bundles with junk accessories using gray market cameras with a store warranty versus a Nikon USA warranty). You'll often find misleading wording like USA Warranty (when they still don't mean a Nikon USA manufacturer's warranty).

If it's gray market (not intended for sale in the U.S., and Nikon USA will know by the serial number), Nikon USA will usually refuse to service it, even if you are willing to pay for the service.

Nikon Canada has the same policy (they will refuse to service a Nikon camera unless it was intended for sale in Canada and purchased through an authorized Nikon Canada dealer, even if you are willing to pay them for the service).

Suggested Reading:

How to buy a Digital Camera without being robbed

Note that I am familiar with one Ebay vendor that is a reputable vendor selling Nikon USA gear. They often have good deals on factory reconditioned cameras if budget is tight. I'd check out the listings at Cameta Cameras on Ebay for examples. A number of our members have purchased reconditioned Nikon gear from them.

Nikon listings at Cameta Camera Ebay store

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