Camera for the better half

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by bms, Sep 12, 2008.

  1. bms


    My wife has a renewed interest in photography - but has not expressed much enthusiasm to use my D300 or D700 due to their complexity.
    She now uses a Sony DSC-W70, which I find (printing her images) has less than stellar performance. I have been toying with the idea of
    getting her a more sophisticated P&S.
    I see that Nikon has announced the P6000 that finally has RAW capability (I am hoping for a future NX2 update), and I have toyed with
    getting that vs a Canon G9 - or a G7 which I could pick up used and VERY well preserved for $300. Or should I get her a D60 (I do not
    have many AFS lenses...)
  2. I doubt that if she is not into complicated cameras she will care about 'raw' and NX2 stuff kind of things..

    still I'd get her a D60 with a 18-70mm or 18-135mm, if you put the dial in P or A she can have some easy fun with that set up.
  3. A D40 or a D60 would produce much nicer images than a p&s.
  4. I like the D40 better than the D60, but that's just me. If she doesn't use it you can always keep it as a second body:)
  5. mjt


    Panasonic Lumix G1 ? Or DMC-FZ28, DMC-LX3 and DMC-FX37 ?
  6. bms


    thanks guys....
  7. Benjamin...For P & S, I vote for the Canon G9.
  8. The D40 is an excellent buy nowadays. Its APS-C sized sensor is many times bigger than the G9 and P6000's 1/1.7" sized
    units, and will almost certainly perform better at high ISOs. I sold my D40x to fund a lens purchase after getting the D300,
    now I miss the little camera a lot. It's actually really good (although it has the whole AF issue).
  9. Unless you can find a used Fuji F30 or F31fd at a reasonable price, your best bet is to get a small DSLR. It can still be used in full auto mode and be just as easy to use as a P/S.
  10. D40 comes with a great kit lens as does D60. Both give better image quality than any P/S for the same money.

    My advice - Find a sale on the D40... There's a reason it's still in production after the release and retirement of the D50, D80, etc...
  11. I prefer D60 than a D40, my favorite function in the D60 was raw processing that allows you to change the EV, white balance, or optimize the colors etc in the camera. Also, you can turn on active d lighting in the D60. For me, these two advantages are worth the price difference between the D40 and the D60. I wouldn't recommend a P&S, even though I haven't tried any of the recently released models, they're slow and not fun to use.
  12. Ben, Take your wife to a camera store and let her try out the D40 or D60 with a lens attached. If she likes it get one with a lens that has VR. New I would consider the 16-85VR based on the zoom range and reports on picture quality or the 18-200VR if she wants more zoom.
  13. bms


    Thanks again - I'll take your advice of Tim (and others) and have her try a D60 in the store
  14. I bought my wife a Canon G9. It's light but solidly built, and even comes with a neck strap. And darn it, she's now shooting better images than me after barely skipping through the manual. See enclosed image - she captured the moment while I was changing lenses on my D300...!
  15. Benjamin, I'm using the Canon 5D, and when my wife expressed an interest in getting into photography we settled on
    the Canon 30D, it's a 1.6 crop counterpart, with more-or-less identical controls. Even though it has full controls you
    can set it on full program autoexposure, autofocus and midlle-of-the-road ISO and shoot without a lot of hassle. To be
    honest, that's the way I mostly shoot myself. Either that or full manual exposure.

    We go for occasional outings/hikes, try out shooting exercises. I think it would be more harmonious if you both had
    cameras in the same league.
  16. Hi Benjamin,

    I see a lot of people saying get her a DSLR, I'm gonna suggest you find out what she likes about her point and shoot before you spend the money. My better half doesn't want a "big, bulky camera that takes up a lot of room." She wanted something that would fit in her purse, (she carries really small purses), not weigh much and would take decent 8X10s of family and friends should she decide to blow them up. Maybe your mate feels the same way. Best advice I think is ask her.

  17. Get her a D700 and in the very small chance that she doesn't like it, you can just take it off her hands.

    Why is everybody looking at me funny?
  18. Lionel said: "Best advice I think is ask her."

    I'm glad he said it ... I was reading down the replies and thinking the exact same thing. I'd add to it by suggesting you take her down to the local brick-and-mortar camera shop and let her handle a few of the cameras. I never buy a camera without trying it out a little first, and have saved myself many hundreds of dollars by finding out that I can't stand an interface or that the power button is inconveniently close to the shutter (my partner found out about that one the hard way), or some other thing that would have bothered me had I bought the camera sight unseen. :)
  19. I have a G9- its mediocre at best- go for D40 D 60 route, much better images.
  20. I think you should talk to your wife and take her to a photo store several times... to determine IF she wants to
    improve her photography, IF she wants to carry around a heavier camera... some people are happy with Point and
    Shoot cameras. Some don't even mind the 2second delays after shutter press.
    It's good to listen to her in a case like this, to see if there is a need for a new camera, and what the reason
    for that is, therefore which camera will be the best solution for that.
    When Nikon F5 was the top camera, I had for almost a year, but then sold it to get the smaller, lighter F100,
    because for my hiking/travel purposes the camera was just too big and heavy to walk around with (in my hand, i
    don't like the straps), and I kept the F100 for the following 6 years.
    For some people the fun-factor can be compromised even if the image quality goes up. If SLR proves to be the
    right choice, then the 18-135mm sounds like a lot-of-variety range for a beginner (a good thing).
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  21. there are several decent P&Ses out there--the Panno LX3, the Canon G9, and Nikon P6000 among them--but if you
    plan is to slowly Nikonicize her, a Nikon DSLR is the way to go. to really get the most out of the hi-end P&S
    cameras you have to use manual controls, optimize menus, etc., so on a complexity level, there's no real benefit to
    NOT getting a DSLR, especially since you can easily walk her through any of the functions/features since you
    already have upper-echelon Nikons.

    instead of a D40/d60, though, how about a d80?

    there are several advantages to this camera -- it's a perfect 'tweener' as it has full Auto and scene modes but also
    two command dials, and wider lens compatibility, so you could use your non-AF-S lenses (you also have more
    options with used/3rd party glass). also, the learning curve on a D80 is pretty gentle. for $599 body only it's
    comparable in price to the d60--you can add an 18-55 for under $100, or a 50/1.8 for $120.

    down the line, if she ever gets serious enough to want specialized lenses, having the option to use a wider array of
    glass is worth any price differential (and that price differential with the d60 vs. d80 is really for the kit lenses, which
    you may want to avoid altogether).
  22. While I shoot with a Canon XTi most of the time, I LOVE my Canon high end G9 P & S. I had a G3 which also was superb. In fact, I still have it and it shoots fabulous pics. I love having the video capabilities of a P & S. If your wife just wants fabulous shots with minimal hassle, get her a G9.
  23. bms


    Thanks again, I really appreciate the input - it's not like I have not hinted at a D60, which I think wold be a good choice (but may be a good choice from me for me..... It may be too bulky - I am sure we'll go again...... I believe she is a bit reluctant to consider the bulk of even a small DSLR. I concur with the purse factor (although my wife's are a bit bigger, it seems). I actually think a G9/P6000 (etc) may be a good way of having something compact, but yet getting familiar with Aperture or Shutter priority etc, but then I have never really used one that had that feature. I am sure in 2 to 3 years we'll see the D45/D65/D95/D400/D800, and that maybe a better time. We'll see.... (below one of her shots with her current P&S - it seems to do fill in flash......)
  24. The G9 as well as most other P&S' biggest shortcoming is the fact that their small sensors won't allow very pleasing images (noise wise) at ISO400+. So unless a external flash is attached, you'll need to use direct on board flash when it's dark, and that would result in red eyes, a generally unpleasing look to the images, and other problems.
  25. I've always been of the position that in whatever it is, you should always get something that the other person will actually use. All the posts about about image quality and sensor size don't really have anything to do with whether or not your wife will like it, and actually use it. I agree with the post above, take your wife to the shop, and let her browse around for a camera that she likes, because then, she will actually use it. sure you can always get her a DSLR, but what good is all that image quality if the camera is never utilized?

    I always take photos with my Sony DSLR, but when I found out that my mom was interested in photography I asked her what she wanted, and ended up buying her the Panasonic with 10x optical zoom, and image stabilizer. Does it take the best photographs? NO! But it takes decent ones, and she actually uses it every week!
  26. I shoot with Canon 5D. My wife has a G9. The only problem she has with her camera is that I use it quite often when I do not want to carry heay gear or when I need a flash ;-) Karl
  27. I actually think a G9/P6000 (etc) may be a good way of having something compact, but yet getting familiar with Aperture or Shutter priority etc, ... >>
    On the small sensor compacts, depth of field is so extensive that a real 'feel' for aperture variation is difficult to demonstrate, and impossible at wide angle. Moreover, settings commonly used on slr's and dslr's (such as f/11 and smaller) are either unavailable or not recommended because diffraction sets in at even larger apertures. I very rarely go smaller than f/5.6 on small sensor cameras, and have usually regretted it when I've tried.
    I do like and use digital compacts (mine are older cameras), and one of the two models you mentioned may be a great choice for your wife for many reasons ... but not if the goal is familiarity with aperture/depth of field relationships.
  28. bms


    FWIW, if anyone is still reading, I took her to a large box store (as they are open on the weekend), had her look at D40 and D60 and I think it will be a D60 with a 18-55 kit VR lens, and she can use my only other AFS (70-300 VR), too. Thanks again.

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