I Need Some DSLR Advice.

Discussion in 'Aquarium Photography' started by Servillius, Mar 7, 2014.

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  1. Servillius

    Servillius Montipora Digitata

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    Okay,

    I have about $1500 to spend and I want to be able to take great aquarium pics. My wife will want to use the camera for lots of other pictures as well however. I've done a bit of research and visited my local camera shop and here's where we are.

    The camera shop pointed me in the direction of a Nikon D5300. I really want not to plug in to transfer pics to my phone and iPad, so the wireless bit is appreciated. I did feel this was a bit pricy however.

    I did some research and it looks like I can get a Nikon D3300 for $650 and a good macro lens for another $600. I'll want a filter and tripod to go with them.

    That falls nicely in my price range. Is it a good choice? Are there cons? Should I be looking elsewhere?
     
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  3. Av8Bluewater

    Av8Bluewater Giant Squid

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    It really depends on how much you will get into photography.
    These photos were taken with very old manual focus lenses that you can get for $50-2 or 3 hundred. :
    Flickr Search: canon fd macro
    Just usually need a $20 adaptor.
    If I was you I would get something cheaper to start with and if you like it enough to move up then you will know what to get.
    One thing about cameras.. They call it "digital Rot". Which means cameras lose money fairly fast. Lenses tend to keep their value for the most part. Another thing they say is when you buy into a system.. buy the lenses not the body. Bodies come and go. You're lenses will stay with you. Unless you switch systems of course.
     
  4. anpgp

    anpgp Dragon Wrasse

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    So like bluewater said, you really need to consider lens choices as well as camera body. With that being said I went with the Sony Alpha series of DSLR. Sony has image stabilization built into the camera itself unlike most other brands. This will save you easily a hundred or more off the price of a good lens since you don't have to get a lens with it built in. There are numerous other factors as well such as if you want good low light performance in which case you should be looking at each cameras ISO ratings (the higher the number the less light needed but at a cost in picture "graininess") or if you want good action shot performance then you want something with a higher frame per second (fps) rating, say 5fps or better. Also, a lot of the newer models nowadays can do HD video recording and even 3D on some models. Don't get too hung up on megapixel ratings as anything shooting between 14-24 mp will pretty much look the same to the casual observer as long as the camera has a halfway decent processor. You really need to blow the pics up to large sizes to notice a difference. If your a scuba diver and want to take it diving that's another consideration as not all camera models have underwater housings available. When getting a tripod, check its weight rating as most cheaper tripods usually can't handle the weight of a DSLR and lens. I know it's a lot to consider but DSLRs aren't a cheap investment and once you start down the path with one brand, you generally don't switch due to lack of ability to interchange lenses between brands so make sure you're going with a brand you will want to stick with.
     
  5. 2in10

    2in10 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Look into refurbished and used cameras to lower the cost of purchase. I suggest getting a 100mm macro lens or longer as it will give you more distance between you and you subject. What kind of filter are you looking for and why? What other uses do you have planned for your camera?
     
  6. 2in10

    2in10 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Make sure and buy a sturdy tripod not a plastic big box store model. Make sure it can handle the weight of your camera with lens and a speedlight. Buy a good ball head that can handle twice the weight of the camera set I mentioned. Also get a remote release for taking those macro shots.
     
  7. norg.

    norg. Kole Tang

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  9. Rhoads238

    Rhoads238 Spaghetti Worm

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    I wouldn't recommend the d3000 or 5000 series. They can be clumsy to use manually since they lack dual adjustment wheels. This means that you have to hold an additional buttons to do simple things like adjust the aperture. I would recommend that you look into a refurbished or used d7000 or d300 or d300s. Those models all have more professional features making them easier to use. Additionally I would recommend the nikkor 105mm macro which you can also get used for a decent price. The 105 macro is an fx lens and when you put it on a dx body crop factor works out to something like 135mm, giving you extra reach into the tank.

    D300 $500
    Used Nikon D300 SLR Digital Camera (Camera Body) 25432 B&H Photo

    105 macro $659
    Used Nikon AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED Lens 2160 B&H

    or

    105 macro af-D $489
    Used Nikon Telephoto AF Micro Nikkor 105mm f/2.8D Autofocus 1988

    24-120mm kit lens
    Used Nikon Zoom Wide Angle-Telephoto AF Zoom Nikkor 2145 B&H


    You should have enough left over to get a decent tripod and additionally important some kind of post processing software like lightroom.

    Hope any of this helps.
     
  10. 2in10

    2in10 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Whar Rhoads said about the 105mm being a 135mm on a dx body only goes for field of view. 105mm is 105mm focal length no matter what size the sensor. I think he has done a great job on finding you some potential equipment and the high end bodies will provide you more ability and ease of use once you learn them.
     
  11. Servillius

    Servillius Montipora Digitata

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    Thanks guys. This has been a huge help. I'm going to try talk my wife into it now. Wish me luck!
     
  12. chris adams

    chris adams Purple Tang

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    ha ha why is it the men always have to convince the wife but the wife can buy whatever the hell she wants!!