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      10-04-2011, 02:02 PM   #1
Dvdman
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Camera around $500

Just hoping you guys might have some suggestions. The wifes Bday this weekend looking to buy a real camera. She has a cool pix camera right now. I know....its a POS . Ive seen some of the pics on here and they are incredible. I have 2 Kids and we are always taking pictures so .......what kind of camera do you recommend that I can get for around $500? If that is possible...


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      10-04-2011, 02:52 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Devestator View Post
Just hoping you guys might have some suggestions. The wifes Bday this weekend looking to buy a real camera. She has a cool pix camera right now. I know....its a POS . Ive seen some of the pics on here and they are incredible. I have 2 Kids and we are always taking pictures so .......what kind of camera do you recommend that I can get for around $500? If that is possible...


Thanks
Nikon D3100 14.2MP Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AF-S DX VR Nikkor Zoom Lens

at amazon for $530 new
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      10-04-2011, 03:12 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by panicos81 View Post
Nikon D3100 14.2MP Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AF-S DX VR Nikkor Zoom Lens

at amazon for $530 new
Decent choice!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Devestator View Post
Just hoping you guys might have some suggestions. The wifes Bday this weekend looking to buy a real camera. She has a cool pix camera right now. I know....its a POS . Ive seen some of the pics on here and they are incredible. I have 2 Kids and we are always taking pictures so .......what kind of camera do you recommend that I can get for around $500? If that is possible...


Thanks
Have you considered used or refurbished ones?
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      10-04-2011, 03:55 PM   #4
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Decent choice!



Have you considered used or refurbished ones?
thought about used ones as well but its a birthday gift he should go for a new one
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      10-05-2011, 02:56 PM   #5
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Great thanks! Ill take a look on Amazon.
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      10-05-2011, 03:43 PM   #6
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Quick question... can this camera blurr out the backround so it can focus in one specific thing?
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      10-05-2011, 03:52 PM   #7
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Quick question... can this camera blurr out the backround so it can focus in one specific thing?
this is done with the lens not with the camera
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      10-05-2011, 04:10 PM   #8
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Sorry for my ignorance ... I am assuming this lens that comes with it the 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AF-S DX VR Nikkor Zoom Lens can do it. FYI I am coming form Cool Pix...
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      10-05-2011, 04:16 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Devestator View Post
Sorry for my ignorance ... I am assuming this lens that comes with it the 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AF-S DX VR Nikkor Zoom Lens can do it. FYI I am coming form Cool Pix...
well basically it can be done with low aperture and focusing on your subject and all the rest will be out of focus.

search for "bokeh" and you will find tutorials to explain it better
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      10-06-2011, 01:00 AM   #10
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A kit lens can give you a nice bokeh...but when you get the funds, specially if you like taking portraits of your kids, get a prime. 50mm f1.8 will be a nice choice for $100.
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      10-06-2011, 08:54 AM   #11
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I really don't have $530 to spend thinking about it. Any Other Ideas? Maybe a used or refurbished might work better. Any good websites you guys know of? I know Craiglist is out of the question.
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      10-06-2011, 12:45 PM   #12
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Ok so I got it on Amazon $533. Thanks guys. My buddy told me to get a 55-200mm VR lens down the road.
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      10-06-2011, 02:20 PM   #13
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congrats and have fun with it...share some of the shots here.
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      10-06-2011, 02:56 PM   #14
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OK STOP!

Shallow depth of field is done with aperture and not lenses.

What ever you do, buy her this book to go with it so you both can understand how to use the camera and get the shots you want.

http://www.amazon.com/Understanding-.../dp/0817463003

Last edited by E90SoFlo; 10-07-2011 at 05:11 PM.
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      10-06-2011, 03:13 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by panicos81 View Post
well basically it can be done with low aperture and focusing on your subject and all the rest will be out of focus.

search for "bokeh" and you will find tutorials to explain it better
'bokeh' is a bad road. i don't know why people are so obsessed with that term.

http://www.dslrtips.com/

OP, try reading that.

when getting a DEFOCUSED background, there are quite a few factors. first, and one of the most important, is aperture of the lens (especially as it pertains to the focal length)

The term 'depth of field' comes into play here. when there is a larger aperture (counterintuitively, a larger aperture is a smaller number, so f/3.5 is a larger aperture than f/5.6), more light is allowed in through the lens, but the depth of field is narrower. this means that the plane of objects in focus decreases proportionally to the increase in the size of the aperture. So, with your kit lens, your aperture is f/3.5 at 18mm. That's not a particularly low aperture, but your ability to get a defocused background depends on how close the object is that you are taking a picture of. if you are taking a portrait of someone at 10 feet, for example, at f/3.5 and 18mm, you will almost certainly not have the 'blurred' background you're searching for. now, it will be partially defocused, but most objects will still be readily identifiable. however, a subject at 10 feet and f/3.5 with a 200mm lens WILL result in a noticeably blurred background. i don't care to type a novel here, as others have done it in several places on the web (including that site i posted), but this should give you a general idea.



Quote:
Originally Posted by E90SoFlo View Post
OK STOP!

Shallow depth of field is done with aperture and not lenses.

What ever you do, buy her this book to go with it so you both can understand how to use the camera and get the shots you want.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_30PRmkOl4r...ropped-men.jpg
aperture is a function of the lens...
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      10-06-2011, 03:17 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E90SoFlo View Post
OK STOP!

Shallow depth of field is done with aperture and not lenses.

What ever you do, buy her this book to go with it so you both can understand how to use the camera and get the shots you want.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_30PRmkOl4r...ropped-men.jpg

linky is with a dude hugging a wall???
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      10-07-2011, 05:11 PM   #17
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HAHA yes that is a haircut i was getting, sorry.

Here is the book

http://www.amazon.com/Understanding-.../dp/0817463003

And aperture is adjusted through the camera, not through the lens. You can shoot F/6 at 200mm and have a shallow depth of field, just like you can shoot F/2.8 at 15mm and have the same affect .
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      10-07-2011, 07:08 PM   #18
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No need to buy it...chewy was nice enough to host the PDF copy, so if it's okay with him I can attach the link to this post...chewy?
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      10-07-2011, 08:57 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E90SoFlo View Post
HAHA yes that is a haircut i was getting, sorry.

Here is the book

http://www.amazon.com/Understanding-.../dp/0817463003

And aperture is adjusted through the camera, not through the lens. You can shoot F/6 at 200mm and have a shallow depth of field, just like you can shoot F/2.8 at 15mm and have the same affect .
errrrr....yeah, thats sort of what i was getting at in my post. never mind the fact that aperture IS a function of the lens. thanks to electronic mounts, it can be adjusted through the body on most modern cameras...but it was formerly a ring on lenses just like the focus ring.
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      10-07-2011, 09:57 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E90SoFlo View Post
HAHA yes that is a haircut i was getting, sorry.

Here is the book

http://www.amazon.com/Understanding-.../dp/0817463003

And aperture is adjusted through the camera, not through the lens. You can shoot F/6 at 200mm and have a shallow depth of field, just like you can shoot F/2.8 at 15mm and have the same affect .
well, if you want to get technical, 15mm @ f/2.8 is not going to give you shallow depth of field. but your analogy was close.
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      10-07-2011, 10:10 PM   #21
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Canon S100... Three good things.

-Same sensor and performance as the G12
-RAW output
-It's small, fact is big cameras are great, but people tend to take more photos with something that isn't a burden to bring around with them.
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      10-15-2011, 01:37 PM   #22
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While the effect of good-looking defocused backgrounds is primarily a function of large aperture setting and longer focal length, there are additional factors that come into play as well, including diaphragm configuration (e.g. a 9-blade diaphragm will generally provide smoother defocused background than fewer blades) and lens quality/design (more lens elements in the groupings generally provides better background), both coming into play when there are light sources or high contrasting shapes/colours in the background.

Since you have the D3100, may I suggest the "NIKKOR AF-S 35mm F1.8G", a very nice prime lens for a 1.5x format camera (your D3100 is a "DX-format" camera, it's sensor is 2/3 the size of a full-frame 35mm camera, so any lens you use on it will appear 1.5 (or 3/2, the inverse of the 2/3 sensor ratio) times 'larger' (longer focal length) than if you used that very same lens on a full-frame FX (35mm eqvt) camera (like a Nikon D700 or D3s).

50mm for a full frame camera is roughly equivalent to the unaided human eye -- and a 35mm on a DX body is equivalent to 52.5mm on an FX body. Every photographer should have such a prime lens like this. Yes, you have an 18-55mm lens, so you're asking yourself, "Hey, why have a single focal length lens?"

Good photographs generally need light...the more light the lens provides, the better dynamic range the sensor is going to have and the higher quality a picture will be. The 35mm DX F1.8G is what we call a 'fast' lens...it has a relatively large aperture...in fact, by definition, it's aperture is 19.4mm (35mm÷1.8) and that's fairly big. Compare that to your kit lens which has a relatively small diaphragm...between 5.1mm at 18mm focal length and 9.8mm at 55mm focal length. That fixed focal length 35mm F1.8 lens has a diaphragm between two and four times larger than that mid-range zoom you have, and will bring in a lot more light for given conditions. There are only so many situations where you want to have to use a flash to compensate for less light passing through a lens...it doesn't work well and makes the photograph unnatural (and only works when the subject is relatively close to you.)

Later on, you can worry about a zoom-telephoto lens, but for now, I would stick with the addition on that 35mm DX F1.8G lens. Your wife and you will get more out of learning to work with a moderate mid-zoom and the nice, 'fast' (read grabs lots of light) prime lens.

Enjoy!

Regards
D.
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