1st camera, want growing room

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1st camera, want growing room

Postby JC_Biggs on Sun Jul 10, 2011 11:11 am

Hey guys. I'm looking to get my first dslr. The droid x 8mp camera isn't cutting it anymore! Guess I should start with what I want it for.

Action shots. Mainly drag racing but higher fps is great along with phase auto focus, I think thats what it is called.
Landscape.and architecture
astro photography
General "family" use

So far I'm leaning towards a d7000. Other choices include the t3i, d5100, sony a55, and the sigma sd15. I don't mind buying a camera with a learning curve.also I've sort of ruled out the sony. Something about it not letting but 70% of the light the through. That wouldn't be very good for astro photography. but the frame would be great for motorsports. Id Like to stay under 1800usd. If that means buying slightly used that is fine too. So...anyways..any advice? Could you guys also keep in mind lens prices? I'm sure I'll need new lenses before a new body. Thanks!

Jc
Last edited by JC_Biggs on Sun Jul 10, 2011 12:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 1st camera, want growing room

Postby gstark on Sun Jul 10, 2011 11:35 am

Hi, and welcome.

First off: a little housekeeping. Could you please add a meaningful location into your profile. This can help us to help you in more ways than you can imagine.

Now, you're giving us some good information, but first of all, a bit of a warning: what you're wanting to shoot won't just happen overnight. You need to learn about the gear that you're working with, and you'll also need to learn and understand a fair few basic photography tricks.

You've already mentioned that you accept that you have a learning curve ahead of you, and that's very true, but it's important to acknowledge right from the outset that the learning curve applies to both photographic knowledge as well as to learning about your camera and lenses. I'll even go so far as to say that technique is more important than the equipment.

With that said, you're looking at a couple of Nikons, but I'm not seeing any Canon cameras in your list. While I'm a Nikon user from way back - and I think that the D7000 is probably one of the best cameras that Nikon has ever made - you should at least look at the equivalent Canons, so that you can make sure that you're getting the right camera - the right camera that will work best in your hands.

I'd not be considering an y other brand, by the way.

You're saying that you'll need new lenses before you'll need a new body, but that's a statement that can be taken a couple of different ways, and one of those ways is probably correct, but the other way is not. What I mean here is that your lenses are actually more important than the body that you buy.

If you buy good glass, then you will be investing in your photographic future, and as time progresses, keep your glass through a succession of better bodies.

But first you've got to buy that good glass, and if you buy, say, a D7000 kit, then while the kit glass is quite good, it's optically slow (relatively high f-stop number) and therefore you might be inclined to buy some good glass before you then upgrade the body.

In terms of good glass ... consider starting with, whatever system you buy into, a 50mm f/1.8 lens. You'll find that it's physically small and light in weight, optically very fast, and very inexpensive. By all means, get the kit, but buy this as well; you won't regret it.

Looking at the photography that you want to do, I'd start with the kit and the 50, and then see where you want to go next. For motorsport and astro photography you're going to be needing some seriously expensive glass, so start small, take some time to learn the gear and get the technical basics under control, and then look to expanding your horizons.
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Re: 1st camera, want growing room

Postby JC_Biggs on Sun Jul 10, 2011 12:10 pm

gstark wrote:Hi, and welcome.

First off: a little housekeeping. Could you please add a meaningful location into your profile. This can help us to help you in more ways than you can imagine.

Sorry about that i registered on my droid x using tap-a-talk and it wasnt functioning right. ive updated it. I live in NC, USA

Now, you're giving us some good information, but first of all, a bit of a warning: what you're wanting to shoot won't just happen overnight. You need to learn about the gear that you're working with, and you'll also need to learn and understand a fair few basic photography tricks.

You've already mentioned that you accept that you have a learning curve ahead of you, and that's very true, but it's important to acknowledge right from the outset that the learning curve applies to both photographic knowledge as well as to learning about your camera and lenses. I'll even go so far as to say that technique is more important than the equipment.

I have been dabbling around on forums, reading books, and pretending to be a pro with my cheap cameras for years (dont tell any one ..they think i knew what i was doing :D ) I am going to be taking the next step by buying the dslr, and taking classes at the local college here. i definitely have a passion for "capturing the moment." hopefully i have a knack for it, but if not.. i can learn! beleive me, i know how much i dont know. i cant tell you how lost i have been reading issues of "advanced photographer" :shock:

With that said, you're looking at a couple of Nikons, but I'm not seeing any Canon cameras in your list. While I'm a Nikon user from way back - and I think that the D7000 is probably one of the best cameras that Nikon has ever made - you should at least look at the equivalent Canons, so that you can make sure that you're getting the right camera - the right camera that will work best in your hands.
i did include the cannon rebel t3i as its direct competitor (price wise) at the local store is the nikon d5100. both $849(us) i should go back and check however. sometimes the cell does miss some words (technology..) it seems that the overall size and shape of the t3i just didnt feel as comfortable as the d5100. they didnt have a d7000 and i dont even know where to go to check out the sigma. ill probably have to make a trip to the capitol i did however like the clearly labeled and easy access buttons on the t3i. im sure nikon had them to but i didnt get to spend that much time with it, and they werent as clearly labeled. at least to my untrained eye.

I'd not be considering an y other brand, by the way.

You're saying that you'll need new lenses before you'll need a new body, but that's a statement that can be taken a couple of different ways, and one of those ways is probably correct, but the other way is not. What I mean here is that your lenses are actually more important than the body that you buy.

If you buy good glass, then you will be investing in your photographic future, and as time progresses, keep your glass through a succession of better bodies.

But first you've got to buy that good glass, and if you buy, say, a D7000 kit, then while the kit glass is quite good, it's optically slow (relatively high f-stop number) and therefore you might be inclined to buy some good glass before you then upgrade the body.

In terms of good glass ... consider starting with, whatever system you buy into, a 50mm f/1.8 lens. You'll find that it's physically small and light in weight, optically very fast, and very inexpensive. By all means, get the kit, but buy this as well; you won't regret it.



Looking at the photography that you want to do, I'd start with the kit and the 50, and then see where you want to go next. For motorsport and astro photography you're going to be needing some seriously expensive glass, so start small, take some time to learn the gear and get the technical basics under control, and then look to expanding your horizons.

i had actually intended on buying a kit ONLY if i bought the d7000. seeing as how most of the used ones im finding come with lenses anyways. the other bodies i was not going to buy the kits just because they are cheaper and it would leave some play room in the budget for extra, and higher quality glass. (i was told by a friend to make sure that the camera had built af drive, as it would significantly extend my range of choices. and the lenses are cheaper i guess??? )i will have to do a little more research into this matter. while im certain ill end up with a range and variety of lenses, id rather not buy something that im going to replace with something better later. so ill but a high quality lens or two the first time, and as you said, i can take them with me to the next body. (which is probably a long ways off) i have heard the Nikkor lenses included with the kit, however, are quite nice. as far as astro-photography, i have a pretty nice 13 inch telescope that i would only need to a mount for to achieve great shots. maybe not magazine pro quality, but certainly enough to keep the wife entertained :lol: this type of image is why I'm, leaning towards the d7000, more pixels, and also the highest frame rate for the motorsports (excluding the a55)



thanks for the thorough reply. I'M still doing my research but a new dslr is on my list of next purchases for certain.
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Re: 1st camera, want growing room

Postby Mr Darcy on Sun Jul 10, 2011 6:33 pm

Hi and welcome.
Gary seems to have covered most points, but one I would like to stress is to concentrate on the ergonomics of the camera bodies. How does it feel in your hands. Does the positioning of the controls make sense to you. And so on.

Look not only at the cameras at the level you are planning to buy right now, but also at the level you feel you might be in five or ten years. What you are considering at this stage is what brand to go with, rather than a specific camera. Lets face it, either of the major brands will achieve what you want and do so with ease, but once you have chosen a brand, and bought some expensive glass, you are basically locked into it, so choose carefully now.

Yes I know you could sell all your $10,000 lenses and replace them with the ones from the opposition camp, but it is a VERY expensive thing to do
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Re: 1st camera, want growing room

Postby surenj on Mon Jul 11, 2011 12:34 am

Hi Biggs, you've got some great advice here. Just to reinforce that you should just concentrate on Canon and Nikon only. Don't bother with the other camera bodies.
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Re: 1st camera, want growing room

Postby JC_Biggs on Mon Jul 11, 2011 3:34 am

Thanks. Im gonna try to get some hands on time with the d7000. See how it feels. Then it will probably be a choice between it, the 5100 and the t3i. possibly a 60d if I can find one around town to play with

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Re: 1st camera, want growing room

Postby JC_Biggs on Mon Jul 11, 2011 4:23 am

does anyone here think that the replacement for the d7000 will have hdr?? the d 7100 :D that is the ONLY think about the d7000 i dont like.
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Re: 1st camera, want growing room

Postby Mr Darcy on Mon Jul 11, 2011 8:34 am

JC_Biggs wrote:does anyone here think that the replacement for the d7000 will have hdr?? the d 7100 :D that is the ONLY think about the d7000 i dont like.

HDR (High Dynamic Range) is best done in post processing. Different images require different treatments.
Besides the D7000 is a new camera. It will be quite a while before we see its replacement.
We are still waiting on the D4, D400 first
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Re: 1st camera, want growing room

Postby JC_Biggs on Mon Jul 11, 2011 9:22 am

Yet another subject that I will have to learn...at least I have a fast computer lol. I might go ahead and get it then. sure I can sell it if something better comes out

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Re: 1st camera, want growing room

Postby JC_Biggs on Mon Jul 11, 2011 12:56 pm

guys thanks for the answers. posted on another site asking about a replacement for the 7000...and told them what i wanted, and wanted it for, and the best some idiot could come up with was "you need to get a sony point and shoot instead of a *mystical* d7100" ...anyways, i didnt see the need for smart @$$ comments but thank you guys for giving good info without antagonizing will def reccomend this forum from now on.
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Re: 1st camera, want growing room

Postby biggerry on Mon Jul 11, 2011 10:24 pm

JC_Biggs wrote:does anyone here think that the replacement for the d7000 will have hdr?? the d 7100 :D that is the ONLY think about the d7000 i dont like.


if thats the only thing you don't like, than you will not be disappointed, really, any serious HDR work is better done in post processing.

I have the D7000 so i am a bit biased, however I reckon its a pretty good buy at the moment, as mentioned the best thing is to suss out a couple of models (both brands) within your budget, do your research and then try them out in a store, how they feel in your hands can be a significant deal breaker.

Good luck with your choice and be sure to post back some results...
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Re: 1st camera, want growing room

Postby aim54x on Mon Jul 11, 2011 10:31 pm

I am not sure what the D7100 will bring, but I can tell you that it may not break the surface for a while yet. I find that HDR is better as a post processing technique and that the cameras that do have an inbuilt HDR function often produce images that I dislike when in camera HDR is used.

Just to open this up a bit, I would consider what is available, the D7000/60D are always going to be the obvious choice, but if Pentax is readily available and supported for you (in Australia it isnt) then that may be worth having a look at the K5. As for the Sigma SD series cameras, I would be wary, they simply dont have a lot of lenses/accessories available, and you have only the choice of a Sigma lens or a Sigma lens.
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Re: 1st camera, want growing room

Postby JC_Biggs on Tue Jul 12, 2011 6:00 am

you guys know of any good books or free courses online i can start with?
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Re: 1st camera, want growing room

Postby Murray Foote on Tue Jul 12, 2011 6:11 am

On what, specifically?
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Re: 1st camera, want growing room

Postby JC_Biggs on Tue Jul 12, 2011 6:21 am

just basic photography i suppose. i mean i know what most of the "terms" mean, but i still dont know how to combine a given iso with a given apeture.. or how should i use flash with a 1/8000 shutter speed..

maybe in a few months ill ask for some more info on pp
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Re: 1st camera, want growing room

Postby Murray Foote on Tue Jul 12, 2011 6:31 am

A good place to start is probably the Tutorials Forum here.
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Re: 1st camera, want growing room

Postby Murray Foote on Tue Jul 12, 2011 7:01 am

You could also look at this page from Imaging Resource and you might find interesting things on Shutterbug. You could find and join your local camera club and you can always ask questions here.

Another thing. You are thinking of getting a D7000. You could look at the reviews on DPReview and Imaging-Resource. They have a lot of detail with lots of pictures that makes them much easier to read than a camera manual. That may tell you things about how to use the camera as well as the specifications. It may be worthwhile doing that even if you go to a different camera. You could even check out Thom Hogan (though he will have less images, more text and may be a little more advanced)
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Re: 1st camera, want growing room

Postby Mr Darcy on Tue Jul 12, 2011 8:55 am

JC_Biggs wrote:how to combine a given iso with a given apeture

Short answer:
You have three variables:
1 iso
2. Shutter speed
3. Aperture.

They all do the same thing. That is control, the amount of light hitting the "film" (Technically the first one doesn't. It controls how sensitive the film is the the light that hits it, but the effect is the same)
But they do it in different ways Each has different side effects.
1. ISO
As you increase ISO, the sensor becomes more sensitive, but you get more noise - that is visual static. Unless you want it for a specific effect, noise is undesirable, so try to keep ISO as low as you can and still get the shot.
2. Shutter speed.
As you increase this you get less light, but the motion in the picture gets less and less blurred, so the image gets sharper. That is not always a good thing, but needs to be considered. Some of that motion comes from the camera moving around (Almost always a bad thing). Some from the objects in the image moving (can be good or bad depending on what you are after)
3. Aperture
This is the size of the hole through the middle of the lens. As this gets bigger (the number gets smaller) you get more light. But Depth Of Field (DOF) gets smaller. Books have been writtten on what this does to any given photo.

One of your jobs as a photographer is to balance these competing factors against the available light for the image YOU want to capture.

JC_Biggs wrote:how should i use flash with a 1/8000 shutter speed

Short answer: You don't. A camera has a "synch speed" that dictates the fastest shutter you can use with a flash. This depends on the camera, but is usually around 1/250s
Long answer: the short answer is not always true, but usually is. There are things called leaf shutters which do not have this restriction, but they are not available with any camera you are likely to buy. I am not even sure they are still made. And there are special techniques available to top end cameras and flashes that can get around this at the expense of flash output.

JC_Biggs wrote:maybe in a few months ill ask for some more info

Excellent idea. But in the meantime post photos you take here and elsewhere. The comments you get back are sometimes ego deflating, but always helpful in the long run. you don't have to think they are good photos. Others may disagree (educational in itself) and at the least others can suggest what you might do to improve the photo. Murray's suggestion of a camera club is a good idea here too.
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Re: 1st camera, want growing room

Postby dviv on Tue Jul 12, 2011 10:21 am

Mr Darcy wrote:Excellent idea. But in the meantime post photos you take here and elsewhere. The comments you get back are sometimes ego deflating, but always helpful in the long run. you don't have to think they are good photos. Others may disagree (educational in itself) and at the least others can suggest what you might do to improve the photo.


:agree:

You will usually learn more from the comments posted about a "less than perfect" photo than a good one.
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Re: 1st camera, want growing room

Postby Murray Foote on Tue Jul 12, 2011 3:10 pm

Mr Darcy wrote:
JC_Biggs wrote:how should i use flash with a 1/8000 shutter speed

Short answer: You don't. A camera has a "synch speed" that dictates the fastest shutter you can use with a flash. This depends on the camera, but is usually around 1/250s
Long answer: the short answer is not always true, but usually is. There are things called leaf shutters which do not have this restriction, but they are not available with any camera you are likely to buy. I am not even sure they are still made. And there are special techniques available to top end cameras and flashes that can get around this at the expense of flash output.

One further thing about this. You can use flash either as a supplementary light source (just to soften the shadows and perhaps bounced off the ceiling) or as the primary light source. Your shutter will be open and letting in light for the duration of the flash synch speed (say 1/250 sec) but if flash is the primary light source and especially if it's dark, pretty much all the light will be coming from the flash. That means that in this case the effective shutter speed is the duration of the flash, which is likely to be much less than 1/8000 sec.
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Re: 1st camera, want growing room

Postby ATJ on Tue Jul 12, 2011 3:49 pm

Murray Foote wrote:
Mr Darcy wrote:
JC_Biggs wrote:how should i use flash with a 1/8000 shutter speed

Short answer: You don't. A camera has a "synch speed" that dictates the fastest shutter you can use with a flash. This depends on the camera, but is usually around 1/250s
Long answer: the short answer is not always true, but usually is. There are things called leaf shutters which do not have this restriction, but they are not available with any camera you are likely to buy. I am not even sure they are still made. And there are special techniques available to top end cameras and flashes that can get around this at the expense of flash output.

One further thing about this. You can use flash either as a supplementary light source (just to soften the shadows and perhaps bounced off the ceiling) or as the primary light source. Your shutter will be open and letting in light for the duration of the flash synch speed (say 1/250 sec) but if flash is the primary light source and especially if it's dark, pretty much all the light will be coming from the flash. That means that in this case the effective shutter speed is the duration of the flash, which is likely to be much less than 1/8000 sec.

Just some clarification on this. The approximate flash duration of the Nikon SB-800 on full power is 1/1050 s (according to the manual). You don't get to shorter than 1/8000s until between 1/8 and 1/16 output. Unless the subject is very close or you have a large aperture ("small" f/stop), you may not actually get 1/8 output.

It is safe to assume, though, that with an SB-800 flash as the primary light source, the effective shutter speed will be faster than 1/1000 s.
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Re: 1st camera, want growing room

Postby Murray Foote on Tue Jul 12, 2011 4:13 pm

Ah, OK, I stand corrected. After all, I don't actually own a flash. I just did a quick web search and found durations of 1/15,000 sec to 1/35,000 sec for a Canon Speedlight 580EX (whatever that might be).

JC, I might add that it's easy to abuse flash if you don't think about what you're doing. Flash mounted on the camera above the lens, pointing directly at the subject and used as a primary light source is not a likely method of good lighting.
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Re: 1st camera, want growing room

Postby ATJ on Tue Jul 12, 2011 4:28 pm

Murray Foote wrote:I just did a quick web search and found durations of 1/15,000 sec to 1/35,000 sec for a Canon Speedlight 580EX (whatever that might be).

According to that page, the 1/15,000s to 1/35,000s was for 1/16 to 1/128 power. That would make full power closer to 1/1000s.

Note that I'm not trying to start an argument but just ensuring the information is accurate.
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Re: 1st camera, want growing room

Postby Murray Foote on Tue Jul 12, 2011 5:06 pm

No argument from me. Thank you for the corrections.
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Re: 1st camera, want growing room

Postby aim54x on Tue Jul 12, 2011 11:49 pm

I can confirm that Nikon CLS will sync at 1/8000sec (even using the pop up as a commander), but once again the flash duration is longer than the shutter speed. I have shot at 1/8000 using CLS to slave a SB800 and SB600 at full power when shooting portrait/glamour on a beach in full sun and using the flashes to fill shadows....it was more to prove a point and messing around than any need though. But being able to use f/1.8-2.8 was fun!
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Re: 1st camera, want growing room

Postby Mr Darcy on Wed Jul 13, 2011 12:58 am

<greencardigan>
The way a focal plane shutter ( the type in pretty much all modern SLRs) works, the flash has to "cheat" to sync at these speeds. The raw shutter speed is the Sync speed (e.g. 1/250s). The way the camera manufacturers get more speed is to use two curtains following one another. The result of this is a narrow strip that travels across the sensor exposing it. If the shutter speed is, say, 1/8000s any one point on the sensor is exposed for that duration, but the whole sensor takes 1/250s to be exposed. No matter what the shutter speed. You will sometimes see stretched objects in a photo if they are travelling fast enough to keep up with the open strip as it moves across the sensor.

As already mentioned, an electronic flash's duration is 1/1000s or less, so the light from the flash will only expose a small part of the sensor if the shutter speed is 1/8000s. The way the newer flashes get round this is to fire rapid pulses at less than full power to stretch the effective duration of the flash burst to 1/250s.

As I said originally, some camera/flash combinations can get around the flash sync limitation at the expense of power. Mostly though, high speed flash photography keeps the shutter open for 1/250s but relies on the duration of the flash burst to illuminate the subject for a much shorter time. All the significant light needs to come from the flash for this to work successfully.
</greencardigan>
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Re: 1st camera, want growing room

Postby JC_Biggs on Wed Jul 13, 2011 4:20 am

Thanks for all the comments guys. I rented a d7000 yesterday and it came with a 50mm f1.8 lens and the kit lens that I think was 35-105. I was pretty impressed. Set beside the highway and simulated the drag strip. I think 1.8 might be a little much but I am def impressed with the body. Fit well and functioned flawlessly. I obviously didn't know how to get full use out of it, but what I was able to accomplish was nice. Hopefully I'll be able to get to capital mall and pick one up soon. If not I'm sure the base can order me one..tax free..cough. Lol thanks again guys

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Re: 1st camera, want growing room

Postby JC_Biggs on Wed Jul 13, 2011 5:29 am

No one in 100 miles has them in stock... :( ..great now I'm gonna get a freshly irradiated camera from japan...

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Re: 1st camera, want growing room

Postby tommyg on Wed Jul 13, 2011 11:24 am

Least it shouldn't have any bugs then :rotfl2:

Seriously though, you should find the D7000 a very nice camera, my other half has it and hasn't missed a beat, nice low light performance, about the only thing she wished they had updated on it was the bracketing range to have at least 5 images, but everythng else very nice.
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Re: 1st camera, want growing room

Postby JC_Biggs on Wed Jul 13, 2011 11:33 am

Maybe by the time they get off back order I'll know whether i.should wait for the 7100 lol



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Re: 1st camera, want growing room

Postby JC_Biggs on Wed Jul 13, 2011 1:14 pm

ill just keep taking pictures with the droid till then.... ;)

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Re: 1st camera, want growing room

Postby aim54x on Wed Jul 13, 2011 9:59 pm

JC_Biggs wrote:No one in 100 miles has them in stock... :( ..great now I'm gonna get a freshly irradiated camera from japan...


I dont think you have to worry about a camera from Japan, the D7000 is manufactured in Thailand. But it is great to hear that you have found a camera that you like.
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Re: 1st camera, want growing room

Postby stu123 on Fri Oct 07, 2011 5:39 pm

gstark wrote:50mm f/1.8 lens.

im not sure what this means :? .
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Re: 1st camera, want growing room

Postby Murray Foote on Fri Oct 07, 2011 6:20 pm

Fixed focal length lens, focal length 50mm, wide aperture of f1.8 so usable in low light.

In the old film days, a 50mm lens would have been known as a "normal" lens. In this case, a 28mm would be a wide angle and a 100mm would be a telephoto. This still applies to a digital camera with a full-frame sensor but most DSLRs use crop sensors. In this case, a 50mm lens is equivalent to about a 75mm lens on a film camera and is a moderate telephoto.

f1.8 is the aperture, how wide the diaphram in the lens opens. Smaller numbers mean wider opening. A zoom lens at this focal length will probably have a maximum aperture of f4 to f5.6. This means it would transmit 6 to 12 times less light (2.5 to 3.5 stops or doublings) and thus be much less suitable where light levels are low.

A 50mm f1.8 lens will be quite cheap and yet have excellent image quality. If you have an entry-level DSLR it will have less light sensitivity than some more expensive ones, so a "fast" lens (such as this one) will give you extra flexibility in situations where you might otherwise be unable to get a good image. The discipline of using prime lenses is good, too, because it will force you to think more about composition.
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