Camera buying tips

Started 7 months ago | Discussions thread
jkokura Regular Member • Posts: 114
Re: Camera buying tips

pmgnut wrote:

Hi all, new here and new to the digital world altogether. Shot slide film and some medium format years ago and did a lot of it. Since then everything has changed now I'm clueless! Looking to buy a full frame Nikon camera, I've narrowed it down to the D750 after researching many models. Will primarily be shooting landscapes, fall scenes, winter scenes and eventually macro once I can afford a 105mm at a later time. So for starters here are my questions:

1}Should I be aware of the country of manufacture with the D750? I noticed they vary a bit

Not sure. The cameras are all manufactured in the same place as far as I'm aware, but they are sold in different markets (Japan, North America, Europe). At this point, with the age of the camera, worry more about getting a good camera then where it came from.

2} I see prices for bodies are all over the place. Should I stay away from refurb or used?

I've had good experiences buying and selling used and refurbed cameras. I think it's pretty common.

3}If buying used, how many shutter actuations are too many?

With the D750, I'd say I'd want one to have less than 50K, but I'd probably be okay with one that had 75 or 80K if it was a good deal. I bought my D500 with +80K actuations and I'm pretty happy with it. Lots of life left.

4} Lens selection- I think the 24-70 would suffice for now- is there a huge image quality difference between a F2.8 and an f4?

Depends if you're shooting in the dark. I would also consider the 24-120 F4 lens, which was often paired as a kit lens with the D750. I love mine. I'd take the 24-120 F4 over a 24-70 F4, simply because of how inexpensive and how good it is. I'd likely take a 24-70 2.8 if I could, but it's that much more expensive.

5} Cropping- I don't understand it much- can anyone explain it and how it affects image quality?

Cropping is essentially the process of taking a portion of a photo and enlarging it to the full resolution of the image. For example, if your typical picture is 6x4, and you took a 3x2 portion of that picture and enlarged it to 6x4, that's a cropped image. You can also crop images to other aspect ratios, like a 1x1 square image (used for online Social Media) or to 16x9 images (often used for landscapes, it's a cinematic sized image and can look really amazing printed out).

Generally, the higher your megapixel count on a body, the better able you are to crop your image. So, the D750 has ~24mp. This is plenty to be able to crop your image, however the smaller portion you crop out of a shot you take, the lower your new megapixel count will be. This becomes an issue if you print your images out in large formats. A low megapixel image when printed large (think 8x10 or larger) will look grainy. The higher the megapixel count, the more 'resolution' that's available to you.

So, if you plan to print huge, or if you plan to crop small, your D750 may limit you. The D850 would be better, or the Sony A7RIV (currently the highest megapixel camera available at the 35mm FF equivalent) would be better choices.

The D750 is plenty for most people with gentle cropping.

6} Finally- what does "shooting raw" mean??

A digital camera spits out different types of files. One of them is the raw data. It's a large file, but it's the best type of file to do editing with after you load it into your computer. If you don't do editing, you can use jPeg at the fine setting and probably be happy. If you do edit your photos using Lightroom, Luminar, Photoshop, etc. then you should be shooting raw.

Thanks so much sorry for all the newbie questions!


Happy to help Jim!

 jkokura's gear list:jkokura's gear list
Nikon D500 Nikon D5600 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-120mm F4G ED VR Nikon 85mm F1.8G Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM Art +4 more
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