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I would like to start a Photography course soon but I don't have a camera and I don't know what specs to look for when buying one. This will be my first camera and I really don't know a lot about digital cameras and/or photography. I would like to have like an "all-rounder" camera for a beginner but good enough to take a Photography course.

Can anyone help me telling me which specs I need to look for?

Any guidance is welcome. Thanks!

  • @RichardSmith although is similar, my question is different in the fact that I'm looking for an entry level camera because I want to take a Photography course and I don't have previous experience in this. I was looking more into answers like "the camera needs to have THIS and also THAT in order to put in practice the photography lessons". Hope I'm clear enough – juanreyesv Mar 27 '14 at 6:11
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    I think you are pretty much safe with any DSLR. Your best guidance is likely to come from the lecturer. I'd imagine you will need access to manual control for the exposure triangle (aperture/shutter speed/iso), something all DSLRs I know of offer. Your lecturer may suggest you get a (cheap) fast lens (nifty fifty or similar) to make it easier to experiment with depth of field effects and fixed focal length lenses. – Richard Smith Mar 27 '14 at 6:21
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First ask the lecturer/course co-ordinator!

After that, assuming your course suggests/requires a DSLR:

I'd recommmend that you physically handle the various options and find something that feels good to you (comfortable etc.)

Don't spend too much money on a camera body and neglect the lenses, rather spend more on good lenses than the body. You may consider saving some money for lens purchases until after you have started the course and know a bit more about what you will be shooting.

I would also consider the availability of second-hand equipment where you live. Easy access to second-hand equipment for your choice of manufacturer can save you a lot of money in the long run.

It may be worth considering the "pro-sumer" lines of DSLRs rather than the entry level models because of the improved ergonomics and ease of customization/configuration. However even the current entry level DSLRs should provide plenty of functionality for a beginning photographer and last you a long time.

  • The secondhand market maybe large for those, but there's still a huge wealth of secondhand stuff for Pentax, Olympus, and Sony - I wouldn't discount those for that reason. – rfusca Mar 27 '14 at 5:57
  • Agreed, perhaps I should have worded it differently, the point is more to consider the availablilty of second-hand equipment for your system of choice. Where I live there is very little other than Canon/Nikon available second-hand. – Richard Smith Mar 27 '14 at 6:05
  • Thanks for the answer, any specs like minimum resolution you recommend? – juanreyesv Mar 27 '14 at 6:05
  • Resolution is pretty much not a concern with modern bodies. I'd personally look for something with a large bright viewfinder i.e. closer to 100% coverage and pentaprism. As well as things like the ergonomics i.e. how easy is it to change the aperture/shutter speed/iso (joystick, dial, two dials, etc.) – Richard Smith Mar 27 '14 at 6:09
  • I would suggest you not readily assume to go Nikon or Canon - there are great options with other popular brands. See this question – rfusca Mar 27 '14 at 6:18

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