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some basic questions and advice!

Travel Forums Travel Photography some basic questions and advice!

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11. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4834 posts) 8y

Kit-lenses are always the same brand as the camera (it's a "kit" because the manufacturer bundles the lens). (Do make certain that it's really the case here, though. Sometimes stores are sneaky and label something they put together themselves as "kit", too.)
Touch choice you're facing there. The D80 and D60 have virtually the same sensor, so pure image quality produced by them is near-identical.
Beyond that there's major difference between the two bodies: the D60 is a distinctly entry-level camera; it lacks dedicated buttons for a lot of things you might want to change once you've gotten to know the camera better (so you have to go through the menu all the time), it's not as sturdy or sealed against the elements as the D80, and it only allow automatic focusing with lenses which have an autofocus motor built in (AF-S). The D80 on the other hand is basically a paired down professional camera. It's very solidly built, has nearly all the controls you could want, and will be able to grow along with you for a very long time.

If you want to get serious with photography, the D80 is a body that will be the very last thing you upgrade. The D60 as a body, on the other hand, offers no distinguishable features that make it noticeably more useful than a D40 (it has a 10 megapixel sensor rather than a 6 megapixel one, with slightly better low-light performance, but that's really the only thing you'll know about, and that megapixel difference matters very little). What the D60 does have going for it is that it's nearly 150 gram lighter than the D80 (668g versus 522g), and is quite a bit smaller, too (about a centimeter in each direction).

The big benefit of the D60 over the D40 is that its version of the 18-55 kitlens comes with VR, while the D40s kitlens doesn't. Combined with the 55-200 VR, it makes for a great starter lens setup, which covers every focal length you might want to use. Neither lens is all that great optically, and I've often found it very annoying to swap lenses again and again (when I'm not shooting landscapes, the focal lengths I shoot at often range everywhere from 35 to 105, and only being able to shoot through half that range without changing lenses felt very limiting; you might not feel the same frustration, depending on how you'll end up photographing), but you can't beat the price.
However, I bolded VR there for a reason. If the 55-200 lens offered for those 1100 AUD is the non-VR version, I'd probably walk away from the offer. You really want VR for lens lengths above 100mm or so, or face having a lens which has very limited use, because only during the brightest sunny days will there be enough light to allow you to take photos which don't come out all blurry.

The 18-135 lens is probably the least appealing lens in Nikon's lens lineup, given that it lacks VR, while both the 18-105 and 18-200 (the two alternative lenses which come closest to the 18-135 in quality/price/focal-lengths) do come with VR. Still, it's not all bad (no worse than the 18-55 or 55-200, at the very least; probably even slightly better), and the selling point of that offer is the D80.

Both offers are pretty competitive. Looking at my usual suspects for camera stores here in the Netherlands, I see the D60+18-55 VR + 55-200 VR (note the VR) for €630, and the D80+18-135 for €675. (Although of course the euro is particularly strong at the moment, and the Australian dollar particularly weak.) An extra battery is always very useful too, and those things can be pretty expensive.

Neither option is ideal, but both should serve you just fine. I'd personally go see if you can't find a store willing to sell you a D40 or D80 bundled with the 18-105 VR (might be hard since the 18-105 VR is still very new). Beyond that the best I could recommend you would be to seriously ask yourself how much time you'll put into photography. If you think you'll mostly remain at the snapshot level, just wanting an easy lightweight camera that'll take great photos, I'd go for the D60 (provided that the 55-200 is the VR version; and probably even if it isn't (though I'd try finding a similar deal where it would be)). If you think you'll really put in time to learn what you're doing and explore the possibilities the camera will open for you, reviewing your photos and learning from them in order to get better, then the D80 would be the right one to get.

[ Edit: Edited on Nov 25, 2008, at 3:09 PM by Sander ]

12. Posted by jaxstar84 (Respected Member 415 posts) 7y

well, just to round off this thread, i ended up getting the D60 with the 2 lenses. i checked the deal and it said the 18-55 had no VR but the 55-200 did, so i just asked him about it and he threw in a VR lens instead lol

im loving it :D while changing the lenses can be a pain in the arse, im finding atm that most of the time im fine using the 18-55 lens, as im doing alot of close range shots atm. but the picture quality, even for the most basic shot, is so much better im loving finding out what the cam is capable of!

thanks heaps for all your help!! as soon as a photo comp comes along that i have pics that are relevant for, ill post some!

13. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4834 posts) 7y

Quoting jaxstar84

well, just to round off this thread, i ended up getting the D60 with the 2 lenses. i checked the deal and it said the 18-55 had no VR but the 55-200 did, so i just asked him about it and he threw in a VR lens instead lol

Nice! Good to be prepared with information on what you want, that way. :)
And a very useful combination of camera with lenses. Should see you through quite a few years of taking photos. :)

thanks heaps for all your help!! as soon as a photo comp comes along that i have pics that are relevant for, ill post some!

*will be looking forward to seeing the upcoming shots*

14. Posted by jaxstar84 (Respected Member 415 posts) 7y

yeah ive been taking loads of pics lol theyre all a bit the same really, but im just figuring it all out. im gonna post some pics in my profile anyway, so have a look and give me some tips!!

the 2 lenses ARE a bit of a pain in the arse to ahve to change all the time... but atm im really only using one of them anyway... just happy snapping away! just wondering how its gonna look when i actually know what the cam can do! it takes great pics just pressing the button!

15. Posted by Highfall (Full Member 26 posts) 7y

Congrats on your new camera!

All pics will look the same if you use the automatic mode, I'd suggest you learn the different modes (read the manual :P ) and also get used to the manual setting (if that's what it is called on Nikon). Once you get the hang of what shutter speed, iso and aperture settings to use at different situations, you'll start taking some pretty good pictures

So yeah, good luck!

[ Edit: Edited on Dec 25, 2008, at 9:16 PM by Highfall ]

16. Posted by jaxstar84 (Respected Member 415 posts) 7y

yeah im learning a few things here n there! i just posted a couple of pics on here, so feel free to give me some pointers!!

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