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Old Sep 8, 2008, 7:49 PM   #1
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I want to start to pick up photography as a hobby. I've only used point and shoots before and I've been interested in the Nikon D60 and D80 for awhile now. I'm just not sure what body will let me grow more as I learn more.

Does the dust cleaning sensor in the D60 work? Is it a feature I should look for in a DLSR? Also, I know the D60 is newer, but does that mean its "better" than the D80? Do I need the D80's 11 points of focus or will the D60's 3 be fine?

I'm looking to take photos of nature (scenery), of buildings/city skylines and also just photos of friends hanging out at a BBQ.

I've been trying to educate myself on lens's and from what I've seen here it might be better for me to not get a 18mm-200mm lens as a 'all in one' type lens becuase I would have better results (with proper experience of course) if I used more specific function lenses?

So I'm trying to gague if I should get a D60 or a D80 and what kind of lens(s) to buy to start off to do what I mentioned above.

Also, Im thinking of taking a formal class - but are there any good self-help books or DVDs that I should look into to try to learn the basics and the terms better?

Thanks!

My budget is about $800 - $1400.
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Old Sep 8, 2008, 8:15 PM   #2
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The D60 is a newer model, but the new D90 will be newer still. The downside of the D60 and other entry level Nikon dSLRs is, as you mentioned, the three point autofocus system which is a handicap for sports/action/wildlife photography. But anohter problem is that the D60 doesn't have a built-in autofocus motor, so it can only autofocus lenses that have their own motor. Only about half of Nikon's own lenses fall into that category, and very few third party lenses and almost no used lenses do.

It seems that the kit lens might work fine for what you want to shoot, but for landscapes/cityscapes you may want something wider. There are some very fine lenses in that line up, starting with the Tokina 12-24mm f/4.0 for about $500, but it won't autofocus on the D60.

The manual isn't a bad place to start, plus all manufacturers (Nikon included) have online tutorials on a variety of subjects. And there's no rule against taking a tutorial on a website from someone other than the manufacturer of your camera.
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Old Sep 9, 2008, 6:48 PM   #3
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So what would be the perks to getting the D90 over the 80?

So this lens would be decent to start off with?
Nikon D90 Digital SLR Camera w/ AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Lens
How will that be for starting off... overkill? Will it be too complex of a camera for me to start off with? That kit alone (with an accidental damage protection plan I may get from "best"Buy) will me put me at my budget for now so I'd have to put a second lens on the back burner for awhile, maybe until I find a school near me that offers a class.
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Old Sep 9, 2008, 8:29 PM   #4
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Crogs wrote:
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So what would be the perks to getting the D90 over the 80?
The D90 has a 12MP image sensor, supports SDHC cards, can record movies, has a bigger, higher resolution display, supports 'Live View', and it costs $300 more.

Other than that, nothing much. :-)

There are reasons to not select the D60 over the D80, even if it is newer. $300 would put a dent in your budget, and that might be a good enough reason to not select the D90 over the D80.

Crogs wrote:
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So this lens would be decent to start off with?
Nikon D90 Digital SLR Camera w/ AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Lens.
Yes, the new 18-105 is better than the 18-55, but it's longer, and for what you said you wanted to shoot, you need to go wider. The 18-105 is a $400 lens, and that will eat into the money you couldspend on a lens for what you wantto do.

Perhaps your money could be better spent on a D80 and a Nikkor 16-85 than a D90 and an 18-105. They are about as sharp, the 16-85 suffers less from chromatic aberration but more from vignetting, and it's wider.
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Old Sep 9, 2008, 9:44 PM   #5
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Hmm. I guess it comes down to the D80 and the D90. I just read that the D90 even offers HDMI output which is pretty nice too. On http://www.dpreview.com I saw a review for the D90 lens kit, it mentioned the lens was good for capturing sceanary and good for close shots/portraits, but I guess it just doent give that wide view...

I know there are some spots in and of Boston I want to take shots of that I could benfit from having some zoom.

I'm considering getting the D90 now, learning with the lens kit and then save up for a few months to get a second lens if I really feel I need/want that wider view.

Or get both lenses with a D80 - even though I could find use for taking quick videos when I'm out with my friends, just as I do now with my Cannon SD550.

Choices are tough

Thanks for all the help and info thus far, I guess its just a mater of how much lighter I want my wallet to be :-D
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Old Sep 9, 2008, 9:52 PM   #6
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The difference between 16mm and 18mm isn't much. 18mm gives a 74° angle of view while 16mm gives an 80° angle of view. I mentioned the 16-85 because you seemed more interested in things that would use a wide angle than a telephoto. If you think you might get a wider angle lens eventually, then don't worry about the short focal length now.

Another option is to get the much cheaper 18-55 to see if you can live with the 18mm focal length. That would help you make amore informed decision between the 16-85 and the 18-105.
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