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Old Jun 15, 2008, 11:08 AM   #11
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Jim--I think that is the best advice I have received so far. I am exactly in the scenario you suggest. Here's the thing though--2 years from now, I imagine myself to be better skilled at photography and I will most likely want to purchase a newer body. If I buy the 40D now, I think it would be a better long term investment?

I guess i'm a sucker for the bigger and better...
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Old Jun 15, 2008, 11:53 AM   #12
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jang wrote:
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Jim--I think that is the best advice I have received so far. I am exactly in the scenario you suggest. Here's the thing though--2 years from now, I imagine myself to be better skilled at photography and I will most likely want to purchase a newer body. If I buy the 40D now, I think it would be a better long term investment?

I guess i'm a sucker for the bigger and better...
I think there's a lot to be said for that logic.

But consider that, for your first dSLR, you'll be up against a steeper learning curve.
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Old Jun 15, 2008, 1:01 PM   #13
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I was in about the same situation as you Jang (I bought the Nikon D40 first, though).

Since I usually write too much, I put the conclusion first - buy anything that seems fine. Don't look back! There will always be new camera bodies. The lenses are what matters. Spend your money and time on lenses, a good tripod and a flash. Any SLR, even the D40 (if you don't want bigger prints than about 20x30) will give you great pics. The camera is a tool. The photographer takes the pictures!

Ok, here is the long version. I considered buying the A300 (don't need more mp as in the A350), Canon 40D, Xsi or the Nikon D80. I actually wanted, and still want, the D300, but there was no way I could justify spending $700 extra at that moment. The 7 fps, AF fine tuning, live view, dust-cleaning system etc is so nice, but I can use $700 for a tripod instead (I am going for more expensive here - carbon fiber. The ball head is another issue...). There is always the Nikon D3 as well...

I am sure all the mentioned cameras will take great pictures. Anyway, I got the D80, even though I am knew the Canon 40D is a great deal. But it is heavier (so is the D300) and I wanted to go with Nikon. Also, the Sony's are most likely most bang for the bucks.

With that being said, the most important parts for SLRs are the lenses and accessories, the biggest reason for me choosing Nikon (good lenses with nice color rendition and the best flash systems available, what I understand). I am repeating what the others have said. For indoor shooting you either need fast lenses (as in f2.8 or better) and/or a flash. Such lenses are in general more expensive, at least the zooms (E.g check the price on Nikon 17-55 f2.8 and compare it to the 16-85 VR 3.5-5.6).

Image stabilization helps, but this is basically for non-moving things. The best use I can think of is things at a museum. To get sharp pictures of your kids running around, you need a high shutter speed, to freeze the action. Being indoors, that equals a fast lens coupled with a camera with good ISO-performance or the use of a flash.

Live view, yes, I might need it for the macro photos. On the other hand, most photographers have done excellent jobs w/o. That also goes for anti-dust systems for the sensor.

Yeah, yeah, I know the D90 might be released this year. But I have already about 4000 shutter releases on my camera, after less than a month. Not too many keepers, but I have fun learning.
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Old Jun 15, 2008, 6:00 PM   #14
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ok everyone...I did it. I know i payed more for a camera that is an overkill for me. Still, i love it!!!!

now i just need to know how to use it.
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Old Jun 15, 2008, 7:45 PM   #15
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Good luck with it!

And come back and post something!
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Old Jun 16, 2008, 12:11 PM   #16
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i've been reading in other forms, issues with camera calibration? Is this something I should take time to look at?

In the meantime, whats a good book/article to read about on the features of the camera.

For example, i have no idea what white balance is, when to use it...

Aperature--small the number, the blurrier the background?

Difference between manually changing the shutter speed versus putting the camera in sports mode?

oh boy, that learning curve is mighty steep, but im eager to climb
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Old Jun 16, 2008, 12:26 PM   #17
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The best place to start is the manual.
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Old Jun 16, 2008, 1:32 PM   #18
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I would suggest you start with a basic book on photography.

Understanding Exposure is something of a classic.

http://www.amazon.com/Understanding-...829&sr=8-1

You could also try taking a course.

There's nothing wrong with being a novice, everyone starts out knowing nothing about photography.

But if you don't know what changing the aperture does then you really don't understand anything about photography at the moment.

Learn about photography first, you have a fine camera. When you are taking great photos with your current equipment and want them to be just a little bit better then think about a new camera.
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Old Jun 16, 2008, 9:08 PM   #19
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Definitely check out a basic photography book, it can be older about film cameras as many of the principles are the same. The library is a great place to start, and it doesn't cost you anything.
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