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Okay, this is the first time I have posted in this section but I'm looking to buy a new digital camera. I have had a point and shoot for a while and that's what I use to photography everything I put on this forum.


I would like to buy an entry level D-SLR camera to get my feet wet. I have scoured the Internet but everything I find says something a little different.


I was looking at a Nikon D40 due to the price.


I was looking to take photographs of landscapes, flies, and just random pictures on trips.


So I was hoping to gain some advise on what to look at and if there is a chance I can find these used for reasonable amounts of money.


I am new to this aspect so and advice will be appreciated.



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Welcome to the photo section!


As an initial thought, for some reason most people getting into photography think that the camera matters. The truth is that 80% of creating a successful image is photographic composition, another 10% is knowing how to use the 5 or 6 important controls, and most of what is left over involves creativity. Somewhere in the mix the camera fits in.


Fly fishermen understand this concept. Everyone knows the guy who wants to start tying and gets a Renzetti Master, or picks up a Sage TCX for his first day on the water. Technique and experience are the real drivers of results. Talented tiers or fly casters can be effective with any tool, with the understanding that the best equipment can save time or provide an edge under certain circumstances.


Digital cameras made by all the major companies over the last 5 years are all excellent. Entry level gear today is better than what pros were shooting and paying thousands of dollars for back in 2005.


With SLRs, Nikon and Canon are the best choices simply because they have been the market leaders in film SLRs for decades and offer the largest array of lens options.


I think the Nikon D40 is the best value SLR on the market. There are professionals that use it today, including Richard Shute (2009 Motorsports Photographer of the Year).


The 18-55mm lens that comes with most D40 kits is top notch, and will be a very good portrait and landscape lens. If fly photography is high on your list of priorities, you will want to add a 60mm or 100mm macro lens to your collection.


My advice is to avoid putting too much thought into the gear choice, and focus on the skills that allow the camera to be effective. Compostion and Exposure. Photographic Composition by Grill & Scanlon and Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson are great books to start with.



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I spent many years in the photo business, using servicing and selling photo equipment. I can tell you with great confidence that you will be happiest if you choose one you like and ignore most of the opinionated writers out there. The gap between the Digital SLRs as a group and most of the rest of the digital cameras in terms of signal to noise ratio, which has a huge impact on image quality in so many images, is so great that the difference between various DSLRs is completely insignificant by comparison.


There are two primary reasons a pro would buy a better camera than you. Most pros would want features you won't care about, and most need something a lot heavier duty. As for the differences between brands, Canon and Nikon are the top two DSLR sellers, and there are good reasons they are on top. They make great cameras. You could also find great cameras from several other brands, but stick with the Nikon if you like it. It's a great choice!



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