DSLR for beginner ?


iamatyc

New Member
Apr 17, 2010
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#1
Hi all,
My 17yr old daughter just join her JC's photography club. She has just started learning about DSLR. She was advised to get a camera herself. And so, her dear daddy, who has always been using a compact digital camera, now has to source a DSLR for her.
Her seniors recommended her the Nikon D90.
Based on my few days of 'crash' research here, D90 is quite new professional range. Is it suitable for a beginner?
Can anyone recommend something more suitable for her ?
Thanks.
:confused:
 

torak

New Member
Sep 4, 2009
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#2
Hello

Here's my personal opinion.

I own Sony A550, A200, and Ive been using a Nikon D90 for more than half a year, due to being the photographer for my company during events (company camera is the Nikon D90).

I find that the controls of the D90 are not as simple to use. Cant really put it into words, but just that its not as straight forward compared to my Sony DSLRs. The interface is not as easy to go through as well. The D90 is however a very capable camera, just that as a semi pro DSLR, the interface and handling is not that easy to get used to.

The Sony Alpha 550 is considered a high end entry level DSLR. It uses the same sensor as the D90 (Nikon uses Sony Sensors in their DSLRs), and the image quality of the A550 and the ISO performance is top notch. It has a guide mode, which is an interface, as its name implies, guides the user along. Basically the LCD will display how certain settings will affect the outcome, explain what function does what etc. This is very useful for a new user IMO, even my gf can understand easily when she uses my A550. The guide mode can be turned off btw.

Alternatively, if u wanna cut cost, u can consider the A230 and A330. Last checked, A230 with lens cost only $599 whereas the A330 cost $799 (from camera shops. Dont buy from Sony itself though). I read from the Sony forum here that there is a price cut by Sony, and thus the above price might be even lower (unconfirmed though, i never check). Both the above DSLRs are Sony Entry level DSLRs, very lightweight and suitable for girls. Comes with guide mode as well (I prefer the guidemode of A500 and A550 though).

All Sony DSLR purchases comes with a free DSLR beginner course, conducted by Sony. Personally I feel this is very useful for new users to learn the basics of photography and how to use their camera. Last month Sony also has a Student Promotion, whereby students who attended a DSLR and attended the free DSLR course will receive a $100 Isetan shopping voucher. Not sure if this promo is still on, u'll need to check with Sony if u r interested. Sony also gives out lens voucher during the course, so it can save u some money should u need to buy lenses in future.
 

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lomaikai

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Apr 7, 2010
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Lalaland
#3
hi there! hmmm D90 is a good camera but i felt it's too expensive to start off as a beginner dslr, given she just joined CCA not too long ago.
Alot of entry levels DSLR produce good Image Quality photos too.
Below are my recommendations :

Pentax k-x
canon 450d, 500d
sony A330
Nikon D5000

CHeers!
 

stunna88

New Member
Apr 3, 2009
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#4
I'd recommend Nikon D3000, its guide mode may come in handy. Why don't you bring your daughter to camera shop and try some of the dslr recommended above.
 

tehzeh

New Member
Aug 7, 2009
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#5
Hi all,
My 17yr old daughter just join her JC's photography club. She has just started learning about DSLR. She was advised to get a camera herself. And so, her dear daddy, who has always been using a compact digital camera, now has to source a DSLR for her.
Her seniors recommended her the Nikon D90.
Based on my few days of 'crash' research here, D90 is quite new professional range. Is it suitable for a beginner?
Can anyone recommend something more suitable for her ?
Thanks.
:confused:
1. You are a good father. :D

2. Don't bother about those seniors' comments. Most of them are either biased towards Nikon or Canon. I am a Sony user myself and this senior of mine was biased against Sony, saying things like the colours of Sony aren't as good as Nikons etc. My point here is that, a DSLR is still a DSLR. The brand does not matter.

3. She could learn using the school's camera first (they should have some old cameras).

4. D90 isn't in the professional range. It's high end entry level. Anything is suitable for a beginner.

5. I have used Canon 500D, Nikon D80 and Sony A330 before. I am pretty sure you would consider something around this range. I would say the Canon and the Sony are easier to use as compared to Nikon. Because they have some 'nicer' interface. And also, 500D has more 'novelties' which may appeal to your daughter.

6. Consider the several different brands like Nikon, Canon, Sony, Pentax etc etc.

7. I must stress once again, that you are a damn good father. I wanted the D90 so badly few months ago.... :cry:
 

justarius

Senior Member
Nov 9, 2003
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#7
Actually you may want to ask your daughter what brand of cameras her school club uses. Usually such clubs will have some bodies + lenses, and it's a good idea to go with the same system so that your daughter can use the same accessories and lenses.

The other clubsnappers have good recommendations on the beginner DSLRs from each major brand; wouldn't really go wrong with either of them ;)
 

#8
Since ur daughter joined the photography club, she must have some interest in photography in the 1st place. Money aside, based on my personal experience, D90 is a good choice. I started with D5000 but sold it off within 2 months. That shows how fast things grows when u have an interest in things. Get her the D90 for the following reasons:

1) D90 can use more wider range of lenses. Whoever tell u they will not need additional lens is bluffing themselves. D5000 or D3000 can only use the newer AFS lens and not the older AFD lenses.

2) Kids nowadays got peer pressure, please dun let them ended up feeling inferior (although not necessary superior) with a entry level.

3) Kids learn fast nowadays compared to our time. She will outgrow a entry level sooner than u expect. Then wat? Buy another one?

4) D90 weighs less than 100g more than D5000. My cousin-in-law (a lady) uses D90 with battery pack, SB800 Flash, 18-200mm lens also like that. When she is tired, she will put her hands down.

5) D90 function is not difficult to use. You just need to read up the manual. Since she is in a photography CCA, I am sure her peers will guide her along, exchange pointers etc. Like I said, kids learn very fast. They can beat u in a new computer game using the same amount of time for u and them to learn it.

6) Technical details, I will spare it as I believe u would know D90 compared to D5000. Can go to kenrockwell's website to read the comparison also. D90 got bigger LCD compared to D5000 and higher resolution. Yes, this is very important! I have verified with my own experience.

7) Finally, which brand? True, there's Pentax, Sony, Canon, Nikon. You brand conscious? Your daughter brand conscious? She like Ken Watanabe and Anvril something, or she like the Black Horse? Ask her instead of choosing for her as she is the one that will be slugging it to run around.

8) In a nutshell, my advise is, since she is in a club, there's potential for her to grow and improve. Do not limit what she can do with a entry level but get her a decent set till she outgrow it. Unless u wanna spend money, then thats a different story. Its like buying a musical instrument. Dun go for cheap entry level if u can afford an intermediate one. The experience will be totally different. An intermediate musical instrument sounds way much better even for the worst player.

Happy shopping! :)

Disclaimer: All the above points are totally my personal view and all bros here can totally disagree with me. Please dun flame me. Thank you.
 

Apr 7, 2010
2,560
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Southern Enclave
#9
Hi all,
My 17yr old daughter just join her JC's photography club. She has just started learning about DSLR. She was advised to get a camera herself. And so, her dear daddy, who has always been using a compact digital camera, now has to source a DSLR for her.
Her seniors recommended her the Nikon D90.
Based on my few days of 'crash' research here, D90 is quite new professional range. Is it suitable for a beginner?
Can anyone recommend something more suitable for her ?
Thanks.
:confused:
Nobody joins the photography club if he or she does not have flaming interest in the CCA (since you'll be stuck with it for at least 2 to 3 years!)... Don't forget that at 17, they are young adults already (though not officially one yet). You should know how to gauge your daughter's intelligence and interest well. Don't underestimate how fast kids learn these days. Take my 11 year old for instance - secretly learning Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator behind my back for his school projects :think: (what I use for work...). When they are keen they pick up skills VERY quickly. Heck, at his school's recent track and field, I see 10-12 year olds (probably shooting for the school mag) fielding high-end DLSRs, with Battery grip and looong lenses (Canon I think)! Only higher-end DSLRs use battery grips right? I don't know if they can take good pictures, but can we even asume they are just showing off hardware??

If her seniors recommend her the D90 it could very well mean they know quite a fair bit already - which means they could help her bring up to skills very quickly. If I don't know skoot about DSLRs would I recommend a D90 (which we jolly well know it's a damn good cam?)

I know it's a huge investment and you definitely need consider it very carefully. I'm planning to get the D90 myself and I know that my boy would definitely fix his eyes on the equipment when I take it out. And will constantly badger me to let him try at every given opportunity. I guess it won't be long that I'll have to teach him the basics soon (once I mastered most of it course). At the moment, he doesn't know how to shoot good pictures but with keen interest he will learn very quickly.

It would be even greater experience if you can share the learning path with her (both of you can learn from each other more, and at the same time you get to enjoy the DSLR experience too!) Killing two birds (no offense to the real birdies - just a figure of speech okay?) with one stone!

Anyway, good luck with the consideration bit - it won't be easy. Afterall, we all grew up with cameras don't we? Why not consider the best?
 

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tehzeh

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Aug 7, 2009
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#10
If her seniors recommend her the D90 it could very well mean they know quite a fair bit already - which means they could help her bring up to skills very quickly. If I don't know skoot about DSLRs would I recommend a D90 (which we jolly well know it's a damn good cam?)
This is true, but some of these seniors are just biased. No offense to the Nikon users here. Even the cheapest DSLR (like the sony A230 or nikon D40? don't know which one) is a damn good camera too.
 

Apr 7, 2010
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Southern Enclave
#11
8) In a nutshell, my advise is, since she is in a club, there's potential for her to grow and improve. Do not limit what she can do with a entry level but get her a decent set till she outgrow it. Unless u wanna spend money, then thats a different story. Its like buying a musical instrument. Dun go for cheap entry level if u can afford an intermediate one. The experience will be totally different. An intermediate musical instrument sounds way much better even for the worst player.

Happy shopping! :)

Disclaimer: All the above points are totally my personal view and all bros here can totally disagree with me. Please dun flame me. Thank you.
Haha, you beat me to the same point! My kid also started guitar lessons and loves badminton. He's already using my racket (yes, the more expensive one) and learning how to wield it well and taking care not to scratch it during his lessons. As for the guitar, I'm still hunting for a good one so that he can practice it whenever he feels the mood. I'm not well-off, but I definitely won't go really cheap on the guitar as I feel he is keen in it. As such I keep my eyes opened for a good one that will suit his level well, one that will stay with him for a long time.

I know the above are off topic, but when you know they are keen, it's really the same thing. You'll want the best for them, but of course within your means nevertheless.
 

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tehzeh

New Member
Aug 7, 2009
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#12
Haahahaha, from a jc student's point of view, not everyone who joined photography club or rather infocomm club has an interest in photography. some joined it just because it looks slack.
 

Apr 7, 2010
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Southern Enclave
#13
This is true, but some of these seniors are just biased. No offense to the Nikon users here. Even the cheapest DSLR (like the sony A230 or nikon D40? don't know which one) is a damn good camera too.
Could be true about that too. But when your peers are using the same equipment (regardless if they are biases or not) wouldn't it be an easier sharing of information? It is not about making a statement here (who knows better), but people who know the specific equipment would be able to guide you better with the complicated menus and usage?

It would be better to get your daughter to check with her CCA members about which equipment they field.
 

tehzeh

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Aug 7, 2009
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#14
Could be true about that too. But when your peers are using the same equipment (regardless if they are biases or not) wouldn't it be an easier sharing of information? It is not about making a statement here (who knows better), but people who know the specific equipment would be able to guide you better with the complicated menus and usage?

It would be better to get your daughter to check with her CCA members about which equipment they field.
I am pretty sure TS's daughter's school uses Nikon. :bsmilie::bsmilie:
 

Apr 7, 2010
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Southern Enclave
#15
Haahahaha, from a jc student's point of view, not everyone who joined photography club or rather infocomm club has an interest in photography. some joined it just because it looks slack.
Agreed. Thus I did mention that he needs to gauge his daughter's interest right? If you know she has a history of joining a particular CCA for the wrong reasons and not making any progress in it, then he should know what to do!
 

lomaikai

New Member
Apr 7, 2010
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Lalaland
#16
In short, You are really a good father! Thumbs up for you! Hope you get the camera that favours both you and her =D
 

tehzeh

New Member
Aug 7, 2009
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#17
Agreed. Thus I did mention that he needs to gauge his daughter's interest right? If you know she has a history of joining a particular CCA for the wrong reasons and not making any progress in it, then he should know what to do!
Haha, sometimes, like what eltonteo has said, peer pressure. Even if she doesn't have any interest, I am sure TS will buy a D90 for her. haha. He is a nice father.
 

May 5, 2009
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#18
the photography club should have their own cameras, why not ask your daughter try to use their cameras first? not everyone is comfortable with the weight and feel of a DSLR, then only consider buying her a DSLR.

if you are buying a camera for her, try to get the same brand as the photography club's cameras, then can share the lenses and accessories, the seniors can guide her better too, and she dun need to learn all the interface and controls all over again. by the way, all the DSLR from diff brand can produce great photos, any brand is good for a beginner.
 

Apr 7, 2010
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Southern Enclave
#19
I am pretty sure TS's daughter's school uses Nikon. :bsmilie::bsmilie:
If that's my case, I'll try my best to get what mine needs (not wants) and that is what he is recommended. Giving something lower than someone's expectation might stunt his or her enthusiasm despite the fact that the expectations might still not be for his/her best interest. Unless you can well convince him/her otherwise (not easy).
 

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tehzeh

New Member
Aug 7, 2009
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#20
If that's my case, I'll try my best to get what mine needs (not wants) that is what she is recommended. Giving something lower than someone's expectation might stunt his or her enthusiasm despite the fact that the expectations might still not be for his/her best interest. Unless you can well convince him/her otherwise (not easy).
Take note of this, TS^^^ :)
 

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