Want to learn Photography, Which is the best DSLR for it ?

Started Feb 17, 2013 | Questions thread
Rich Rosen Senior Member • Posts: 2,505
Re: Want to learn Photography, Which is the best DSLR for it ?

MrMojo wrote:

bugzie wrote:

If you really want to learn, get a camera that forces you to learn. That's how a lot of us older folk learnt. The easier a dSLR looks, the greater the effort required to control it.

I don't think that a camera that "forces you to learn" is a very good idea, not that I think that the D200 is such a camera. I can think of no better way to discourage someone from learning photography than insisting they use a large, heavy DSLR that is designed for advanced photographers.

The D3200 does not hinder a rookie learning how to control the camera. Except for the addition of additional automatic modes, the D3200 mode selector dial is not different from the D200: manual, aperture-prority and shutter-priority modes are easily selected. The user accesses the aperture and shutter controls the same way as with a D200.

The primary advantages of a new D3200 over a used D200:

1. It's designed so a new photographer can start taking pictures right away with good results.

2. It comes with a good starter lens. Unless a used D200 comes with a comparable zoom lens a lens must be purchased separately. That requires a new photographer to grapple with another purchase decision.

3. The D3200 is brand-new and comes with a warranty. A 6+ year old D200 will likely have been used a lot so it will be more likely to need servicing sooner than later.

I think that starting out shooting using automatic modes is a fine way to get one's feet wet. When I expressed an interest in photography my best friend loaned me a Nikkormat that had an auto-exposure mode. After I had used it for a while and I had a chance to produce some decent images using the auto mode he took back the camera and gave me a Nikkormat FT2, a camera without any automatic settings. It gave me the opportunity to learn more about how camera settings affect the final image; I eventually learned how to create photos that weren't possible in situations where the automatic modes weren't up to the task.

Looking back I realized that I could have stayed with the original camera and accomplished the same thing since the camera also allowed for full manual control. I didn't need a manual camera to "force" me to learn more; I was sufficiently motivated to do so with being coerced to do so. I'm glad that I had the opportunity to become excited about making photos using a camera that was relatively user-friendly. If the camera had been harder to use and I had felt intimidated by it I may have quit before I even got started...

I've read more than a few posts by beginners who purchased more camera than they could handle and then became discouraged trying to learn how to use it. I encourage the OP to personally handle both cameras; he will know right away if the D200 or a similar DSLR is more camera than he wants to deal with right now.

You were fortunate in that your friend "spoon fed" you for free. He lent you a Nikon with automatic modes, then gave you a more advanced camera to really learn the craft. Because of your desire to learn, you learned, Not all of us are so fortunate. Fortunately, today's cameras, except for the pro models, give a new photographer, options, that can "spoon feed him at first, then allow him to begin to learn the real art of photography. What some of the entry level cameras are missing are features that an avid photographer would miss as  they become more advanced.  A for instance is that the D3200 (D3100 as an  cheap alternative), does not have the ability to bracket. The next two Nikon's up the food chain give you that option, as well as the "learning" modes, and the manual modes. Problem is that cost is a factor. When you outgrow a digital camera, a new one is a major investment. So my recommendation to the OP is to get best camera he can get. He should not exceed his budget and he should feel really comfortable with it. If that is the  D3200, fine, but if its also the D600, get the 600.


 Rich Rosen's gear list:Rich Rosen's gear list
Nikon D1X Nikon D500 Nikon Z6 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR Nikon AF-S Teleconverter TC-14E II +20 more
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