Need help with first DSLR

Started Jul 12, 2013 | Discussions
GillyTheKid New Member • Posts: 8
Need help with first DSLR

Hello all.

I'm new here. Have been reading many great conversations and found great advice.

I have my children that I want to photo along with some wildlife/birds.

I know the Costco Nikon bundle has been covered here on the dpreview forums ahave ave helped me to see its a decent bundle.

I found an Amazon bundle and wondering which of the two bundles here would be best:

Costco

http://t.costco.com/Nikon-D5200-DSLR-Camera-2-Lens-Bundle.product.100032348.html

Amazon

http://www.amazon.com/Nikon-55-200mm-Telephoto-Backpack-Accessory/dp/B00B3VHXO6/ref=sr_1_12?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1373609135&sr=1-12&keywords=nikon+d5200

I would appreciate your thoughts.

baloo_buc Veteran Member • Posts: 9,401
Re: Need help with first DSLR

The second bundle has a lot of garbage in it.

I would not take the twin kit lenses though. Try to find a kit with 18-105 mm VR lens and, eventually, you may buy a telephoto zoom (BTW I would look at 70-300 mm VR) if you find out that 105 mm is hindering you a lot. The 55 mm is a very awkward focal length to change (it means that you will change very often).

I guess that the 24 M and the tricky AF module will show you all your technique flaws so be sure you need 24 M resolution.

Have fun!

 baloo_buc's gear list:baloo_buc's gear list
Olympus PEN E-PL5 Nikon D7200 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Tokina AT-X Pro 12-24mm f/4 DX II Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR +14 more
jkjond
jkjond Veteran Member • Posts: 8,657
Re: Need help with first DSLR

GillyTheKid wrote:

Hello all.

I'm new here. Have been reading many great conversations and found great advice.

I have my children that I want to photo along with some wildlife/birds.

I know the Costco Nikon bundle has been covered here on the dpreview forums ahave ave helped me to see its a decent bundle.

I found an Amazon bundle and wondering which of the two bundles here would be best:

Costco

http://t.costco.com/Nikon-D5200-DSLR-Camera-2-Lens-Bundle.product.100032348.html

Amazon

http://www.amazon.com/Nikon-55-200mm-Telephoto-Backpack-Accessory/dp/B00B3VHXO6/ref=sr_1_12?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1373609135&sr=1-12&keywords=nikon+d5200

I would appreciate your thoughts.

Have you ruled out cameras like the Olly OM-D and the Fuji competition for it?

If I were buying from scratch today and had no professional commitments I'd find the smaller size and weight of these very hard to resist.

-- hide signature --

UK wedding photographer in the Lake District
http://www.johnleech-weddingphotography.co.uk
For my landscapes and fine art photography:
http://www.johnleechstudio.co.uk

Cope
Cope Veteran Member • Posts: 6,329
Re: Need help with first DSLR

Of your two choices, the first makes the most sense.  Having said that, I would buy the body and add the 16-85 and 70-300.

-- hide signature --

Never ask a man where he's from. If he is from Texas, he'll tell you. Otherwise, don't embarrass him.

 Cope's gear list:Cope's gear list
Nikon D7000 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F1.8G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR Tokina AT-X Pro 12-24mm f/4 (IF) DX +3 more
BlueJakester
BlueJakester Senior Member • Posts: 2,273
Re: Need help with first DSLR

baloo_buc wrote:

I would not take the twin kit lenses though. Try to find a kit with 18-105 mm VR lens and, eventually, you may buy a telephoto zoom (BTW I would look at 70-300 mm VR) if you find out that 105 mm is hindering you a lot.

I agree with this. I had the 18-55 and 55-200 lenses with my D3100 kit and while they were OK as starters, I was disappointed with the lack of sharpness.

If starting over with the D5200 I would buy something like the kit linked to below (it comes with a few extras like spare battery, holster bag and memory card) or just the body only and the Nikon 35mm f/1.8 lens for around $200.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/910173-REG/nikon_13216_d5200_digital_slr_camera.html

You may also wish to check out the Nikon Buy Together and Save promotion. Some good discounts to be had on quality lenses when purchased with the body:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/promotion/10386/nikon-buy-together-and-save.html

If you get into birding you'll definitely want a zoom or telephoto that reaches to at least 300mm. I'm happy with the Nikon 70-300mm VR and you'll see many fine photos taken with it posted in this forum. Check out bird pics from Rudy Pohl here.

Good luck, have fun!

Jake

 BlueJakester's gear list:BlueJakester's gear list
Nikon D7100 Fujifilm X-T1
jquagga Contributing Member • Posts: 616
Re: Need help with first DSLR
1

Hmm, I started out with the D5100, the 18-55 and 55-200.  Others have made suggestions for other lenses, but I think this combo is a reasonable place to start.  Yes there are better lenses, but you really don't know where you'll be shooting to start and the 18-55 and 55-200 are a very sensible reasonably sharp combo.

Ok, firstly - I won't buy either of those.  I believe they're overpriced or include things you might not want / need out of the gate.  Here's my first suggestion: Go to Amazon and add the 5200 with 18-55 and then either the 55-200 or 55-300 to your cart.  Then proceed to the final checkout screen (but don't hit buy unless you're ready too!).

There are rebates right now which don't show up until the final checkout screen.  Right now the D5200 and 55-200 costs $949 which I think to be a more reasonable price.

Of the two bundles, the Costco is probably the better deal.  However it includes things like the Wifi Adapter you might not need.  That camera bag is awful (it came free with my D5100).  For the $100 difference between the Costco kit and just buying the camera / lens at Amazon you could pick up a decent camera bag and the SD card (which you will need to save photos).

On other option I'd throw out there - if you're willing to buy refurbished and willing to consider the D5100, you can get a D5100 factory refurbished with the 18-55 for $434 at Cameta.  Then you could pick your own telephoto lens.  Or a prime / flash / etc.  I think you can get the 5100 with the 18-55 & 55-200 for about $600.  They also sell refurbished lenses so you could get the D5100, 18-55 and 70-300 for about the same price as that D5200 kit.  But all of that is up to you.  These are all good cameras and suitable starter lenses.  I'd avoid kits with 1000 of extras since most of the extra's are usually junk you don't want.  Good luck!

kcamacho11 Senior Member • Posts: 1,529
Re: Need help with first DSLR

GillyTheKid wrote:

Hello all.

I'm new here. Have been reading many great conversations and found great advice.

I have my children that I want to photo along with some wildlife/birds.

I know the Costco Nikon bundle has been covered here on the dpreview forums ahave ave helped me to see its a decent bundle.

I found an Amazon bundle and wondering which of the two bundles here would be best:

Costco

http://t.costco.com/Nikon-D5200-DSLR-Camera-2-Lens-Bundle.product.100032348.html

Amazon

http://www.amazon.com/Nikon-55-200mm-Telephoto-Backpack-Accessory/dp/B00B3VHXO6/ref=sr_1_12?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1373609135&sr=1-12&keywords=nikon+d5200

I would appreciate your thoughts.

Refurbished D5100 + Refurbished 17-55 F2.8 ($1019 at Cameta Camera) and Refurbished 70-300 $325 (Robert's).

Both excellent lenses which will give you nice results when paired with the D5100.

1 Year warranties on the lenses by the way.

Shunda77
Shunda77 Senior Member • Posts: 2,132
Re: Need help with first DSLR

GillyTheKid wrote:

Hello all.

I'm new here. Have been reading many great conversations and found great advice.

I have my children that I want to photo along with some wildlife/birds.

I know the Costco Nikon bundle has been covered here on the dpreview forums ahave ave helped me to see its a decent bundle.

I found an Amazon bundle and wondering which of the two bundles here would be best:

Costco

http://t.costco.com/Nikon-D5200-DSLR-Camera-2-Lens-Bundle.product.100032348.html

Amazon

http://www.amazon.com/Nikon-55-200mm-Telephoto-Backpack-Accessory/dp/B00B3VHXO6/ref=sr_1_12?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1373609135&sr=1-12&keywords=nikon+d5200

I would appreciate your thoughts.

Definitely the first one with the 55-300, which is a really underrated lens and performs very well in my experience. It even has a few tricks that the more expensive 70-300vr doesn't have.

I would also repeat the views of several others here and recommend you consider the D5100 and save yourself some money.

The D5100 is a fantastic first DSLR and the money you save could get you well on the way to another lens.

If you are worried about image quality, there really isn't a lot to be gained (if anything at all) by getting the D5200. While it offers a few extra features, the D5100 is still very well featured and will keep a first time DSLR user occupied for a long time.

Good luck!

kcamacho11 Senior Member • Posts: 1,529
Re: Need help with first DSLR

Definitely the first one with the 55-300, which is a really underrated lens and performs very well in my experience. It even has a few tricks that the more expensive 70-300vr doesn't have.

The 55-300 is good value for the money, but the 70-300 is the better lens. You can get a refurbished 70-300 in perfect condition for $325.

I have owned both. The 70-300 is better built, sharper and focuses much faster, especially at the long end. It is an FX lens.

evan47
evan47 Senior Member • Posts: 1,476
Re: Need help with first DSLR

Cope wrote:

Of your two choices, the first makes the most sense. Having said that, I would buy the body and add the 16-85 and 70-300.

-- hide signature --

Never ask a man where he's from. If he is from Texas, he'll tell you. Otherwise, don't embarrass him.

yes, probably a better choice of twin lens kit, more costly though.

 evan47's gear list:evan47's gear list
Sony a6000 Nikon D7200 Nikon D500 Nikon AF-S Teleconverter TC-14E II Sigma 150mm F2.8 EX DG Macro HSM +5 more
OP GillyTheKid New Member • Posts: 8
Re: Need help with first DSLR

First, I can't thank you all enough for your helpful suggestions. I'm very impressed with the maturity of this place. I'm VERY new to all the jargons and technicalities of photography. Feels good. Thanks.

I can do refurbished. I'm open to that. I did get a chance to shoot with the 5200 and I know I'd like to make it my first. I really wish I could do the 7100 but it's just a little out of my budget.

So, the 5100 refurb IQ isn't much different than the 5200? Having seen the wisdom is alot of folks choices here, I'd rather put my money in the lenses as well. Especially if I can get the same (or better since I can get better lenses) quality from a 5100 as the 5200.

And yes, I'd love to do quite a bit of birding.

kcamacho11 Senior Member • Posts: 1,529
Re: Need help with first DSLR

GillyTheKid wrote:

First, I can't thank you all enough for your helpful suggestions. I'm very impressed with the maturity of this place. I'm VERY new to all the jargons and technicalities of photography. Feels good. Thanks.

I can do refurbished. I'm open to that. I did get a chance to shoot with the 5200 and I know I'd like to make it my first. I really wish I could do the 7100 but it's just a little out of my budget.

So, the 5100 refurb IQ isn't much different than the 5200? Having seen the wisdom is alot of folks choices here, I'd rather put my money in the lenses as well. Especially if I can get the same (or better since I can get better lenses) quality from a 5100 as the 5200.

And yes, I'd love to do quite a bit of birding.

You have a few options.

You can get a D7000 refubirshed for $729 in Adorama along with the 16-85 refurbished for $539 from Roberts and a 70-300 refurbished for $325 from National Camera Exchange.

If it were up to me (I prefer having great glass over having a great camera with decent glass) I would get a refurbished D5100 for $459, then a refurbished 17-55 F2.8 for $1019 (or you can explore the Sigma 17-50 F2.8 for $570, but lose the build quality, bit of sharpness, AF speed and accuracy), and the refurbished 70-300. I have purchased refurbished lenses before and they are excellent. You cannot tell them apart from a brand new one. They look perfect physically and optically.

With those 3 items you are looking at about $1700 total (or about $1350 if you get the Sigma) which would be a great selection to start off. You can invest in a $196 nikon 35 F1.8 later or get a refubished one for about $180.

Shunda77
Shunda77 Senior Member • Posts: 2,132
Re: Need help with first DSLR

kcamacho11 wrote:

Definitely the first one with the 55-300, which is a really underrated lens and performs very well in my experience. It even has a few tricks that the more expensive 70-300vr doesn't have.

The 55-300 is good value for the money, but the 70-300 is the better lens. You can get a refurbished 70-300 in perfect condition for $325.

I have owned both. The 70-300 is better built, sharper and focuses much faster, especially at the long end. It is an FX lens.

But the 55-300 has better bokeh and better tele macro performance which gives quite a bit of addition capability as part of a first camera kit. As far as build goes, the 55-300 is still very good with a metal mount and solid construction, it's definitely a step up form the 55-200 in this regard.

In my opinion the slight sharpness improvement at the 300mm mark of the 70-300 is marginal and remember, it is still a 'slow' lens with the same aperture range as the 55-300.

Shunda77
Shunda77 Senior Member • Posts: 2,132
Re: Need help with first DSLR

GillyTheKid wrote:


So, the 5100 refurb IQ isn't much different than the 5200? Having seen the wisdom is alot of folks choices here, I'd rather put my money in the lenses as well. Especially if I can get the same (or better since I can get better lenses) quality from a 5100 as the 5200.

Some people actually see the D5200 as having slightly lower image quality due to shadow banding, which the D5100 doesn't have an issue with. There is no real advantage in image quality with the D5200, what it does have is more resolution and a few upgrades in functional aspects of camera design, but most of these are more of a "nice to have" than an essential 'must have' over the D5100.

Better glass will have much more effect on your photography than the new body in this instance.

OP GillyTheKid New Member • Posts: 8
Re: Need help with first DSLR

What do you think of this setup?

All refurbs

d5100 - $349 at Cameta

Nikon 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6 - $209 at Cameta

Nikon 70-300mm - $349 at Cameta (or $325 at Roberts. I haven't been to that site yet)

BlueJakester
BlueJakester Senior Member • Posts: 2,273
Re: Need help with first DSLR

GillyTheKid wrote:

What do you think of this setup?

All refurbs

d5100 - $349 at Cameta

Nikon 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6 - $209 at Cameta

Nikon 70-300mm - $349 at Cameta (or $325 at Roberts. I haven't been to that site yet)

Looks like a winner to me!

 BlueJakester's gear list:BlueJakester's gear list
Nikon D7100 Fujifilm X-T1
Nexu1 Senior Member • Posts: 2,746
Re: Need help with first DSLR
1

GillyTheKid wrote:

What do you think of this setup?

All refurbs

d5100 - $349 at Cameta

Nikon 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6 - $209 at Cameta

Nikon 70-300mm - $349 at Cameta (or $325 at Roberts. I haven't been to that site yet)

This is a very good kit, capable of very good shots.

The main thing you are missing, in my opinion, is a lens to shoot in low light, which is what people typically want/need for photographing the children. If you want to take pictures of the kids in the house (birthday parties, Christmas, random Saturday morning, etc...), you want/need either the 35mm f1.8g or 50mm f1.8g. The wide aperture will allow you to collect more light which will allow you to shoot without a flash, faster shutter speed and also with a shallow depth of field (blur the background a little bit) which will give you the "WOW" type shots you're really after.

Me personally, I'd take the 18-55, 70-300, 35mm f1.8 over the 18-105 & 70-300. If photographing the kids is a priority the 35mm is a must have.

This photo is a smidge not as sharp as possible but the f1.8 blurs out the background and it's easily printable to 5x7 or higher

Check out those settings: f2, 1/80, ISO800. Tough to get these shots with a slower aperture lens.

Again, at f1.8, 1/100 and ISO800... good luck getting that shot without flash with something like the 18-105. You'd probably be f4 or f4.5 and something like 1/20 of a second, difficult to handhold and too slow to freeze the child's motion.

 Nexu1's gear list:Nexu1's gear list
Nikon D750
OP GillyTheKid New Member • Posts: 8
Re: Need help with first DSLR

Nexu1 wrote:

GillyTheKid wrote:

What do you think of this setup?

All refurbs

d5100 - $349 at Cameta

Nikon 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6 - $209 at Cameta

Nikon 70-300mm - $349 at Cameta (or $325 at Roberts. I haven't been to that site yet)

This is a very good kit, capable of very good shots.

The main thing you are missing, in my opinion, is a lens to shoot in low light, which is what people typically want/need for photographing the children. If you want to take pictures of the kids in the house (birthday parties, Christmas, random Saturday morning, etc...), you want/need either the 35mm f1.8g or 50mm f1.8g. The wide aperture will allow you to collect more light which will allow you to shoot without a flash, faster shutter speed and also with a shallow depth of field (blur the background a little bit) which will give you the "WOW" type shots you're really after.

Me personally, I'd take the 18-55, 70-300, 35mm f1.8 over the 18-105 & 70-300. If photographing the kids is a priority the 35mm is a must have.

Wow! Stunning quality pics! Cute little guy.

I had questioned that 18-105mm choice after posting this last and decided that the 18-55mm as a better option since I'd have the 300mm option. But seeing your pics for the 35mm, I'm sold, and now want the 35mm as well.

I only hope I can take as good of shots with the 5100.

Nexu1 Senior Member • Posts: 2,746
Re: Need help with first DSLR

GillyTheKid wrote:

Nexu1 wrote:

GillyTheKid wrote:

What do you think of this setup?

All refurbs

d5100 - $349 at Cameta

Nikon 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6 - $209 at Cameta

Nikon 70-300mm - $349 at Cameta (or $325 at Roberts. I haven't been to that site yet)

This is a very good kit, capable of very good shots.

The main thing you are missing, in my opinion, is a lens to shoot in low light, which is what people typically want/need for photographing the children. If you want to take pictures of the kids in the house (birthday parties, Christmas, random Saturday morning, etc...), you want/need either the 35mm f1.8g or 50mm f1.8g. The wide aperture will allow you to collect more light which will allow you to shoot without a flash, faster shutter speed and also with a shallow depth of field (blur the background a little bit) which will give you the "WOW" type shots you're really after.

Me personally, I'd take the 18-55, 70-300, 35mm f1.8 over the 18-105 & 70-300. If photographing the kids is a priority the 35mm is a must have.

Wow! Stunning quality pics! Cute little guy.

I had questioned that 18-105mm choice after posting this last and decided that the 18-55mm as a better option since I'd have the 300mm option. But seeing your pics for the 35mm, I'm sold, and now want the 35mm as well.

I only hope I can take as good of shots with the 5100.

Thank you for the compliments.  The 18-105 is a very good lens, the only reason I'd recommend the 18-55 over it is if it saves you enough money to buy the 35mm f1.8g.  The 18-105 would compliment the 35mm very well too (if you can afford it).  Once you start shooting indoors quite a bit you will VERY quickly realize that the light inside SUCKS!  Our eyes/brains compensate for the low light and everything might look "normal" but for the camera it's almost always relatively low light which equals flash unless you have a fast aperture lens like a 1.8 option.  Now there is nothing wrong with flash either, if you learn to do it right (the learning curve for flash photography is very steep I recommend you get "good" with the camera first and tackle that later).

In my living room right now I get 1/20 second shutter speed at f4 and ISO200.  I step outside and I get 1/800 at f4 and ISO 200.  It's crazy how quickly our brains adapt to the low light that we typically live in, indoors.  1/20 is too slow to capture anything moving.  Throw on a f1.8 lens and I'm at... 1/80 indoors (still at ISO200).

The f1.8 aperture really helps indoors.

 Nexu1's gear list:Nexu1's gear list
Nikon D750
Satik Regular Member • Posts: 253
Re: Need help with first DSLR

GillyTheKid wrote:

Nexu1 wrote:

GillyTheKid wrote:

What do you think of this setup?

All refurbs

d5100 - $349 at Cameta

Nikon 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6 - $209 at Cameta

Nikon 70-300mm - $349 at Cameta (or $325 at Roberts. I haven't been to that site yet)

This is a very good kit, capable of very good shots.

The main thing you are missing, in my opinion, is a lens to shoot in low light, which is what people typically want/need for photographing the children. If you want to take pictures of the kids in the house (birthday parties, Christmas, random Saturday morning, etc...), you want/need either the 35mm f1.8g or 50mm f1.8g. The wide aperture will allow you to collect more light which will allow you to shoot without a flash, faster shutter speed and also with a shallow depth of field (blur the background a little bit) which will give you the "WOW" type shots you're really after.

Me personally, I'd take the 18-55, 70-300, 35mm f1.8 over the 18-105 & 70-300. If photographing the kids is a priority the 35mm is a must have.

Wow! Stunning quality pics! Cute little guy.

I had questioned that 18-105mm choice after posting this last and decided that the 18-55mm as a better option since I'd have the 300mm option. But seeing your pics for the 35mm, I'm sold, and now want the 35mm as well.

I only hope I can take as good of shots with the 5100.

I would still go with 18-105, it is great lens, which covers wide range of subjects. Try shooting with that couple of months and then look which focal length you are using most. That will help you in choosing next lens. I would even wait with 70-300 mm, if you see that it is needed you can buy it later. Just remember that changing of lenses although not complicated is not something you want to do every couple of minutes. 35 mm is not that great for face portraits, you have to be too close and face is distorted. For portraits usually 85 mm is recommended. I have 90 mm macro lens which can be used for portraits and like it a lot.

Good luck.

Best,

Martin

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