Any photographers in here? Novice needs help please.

Jun 13, 2019
Can someone please help me out? I’ve been taking photos with my iPhone 6Plus and now want to buy my first DSLR camera. I’m completely green horn when it comes to photography gear. I was talking to a photographer I met a few weeks ago and he told me about crop sensor cameras are good for beginners. OK, what ever that means. Actually I had to Google that S#$% up. So I’m looking at a Nikon D5200. I was going to buy from Amazon, but then another friend told me about B&H photo. I did some google searches to see if this was a good company to buy from. Then I found this article: and now I’m all confused. I just want to buy a Nikon D5200 with USA warranty, no funny business.

Also while asking questions about this photography stuff I have noticed some places are selling with a kit lens. Not to ask a dumb question, but what is a kit lens?

Thank you.


Lifetime Membership
Aug 8, 2017
All the cameras from the Nikon are good. B&H is the best. I have been buying cameras from them for years. Just give them a call when placing your order and you will get exactly what you want.

A kit lens is the lens that comes with the camera in a bundle vs buying the lens separately. Typically when bought in the bundle you get a small discount.
Jul 16, 2011
Here is my feedback for what it is worth:

Start with either an entry level DSLR, or go full in with a high end model. The middle ground really doesn't buy you massive gains IMO. With the entry level, you'll still learn all of the basics of photography, the camera will not hold you back for quite a while. If you enjoy photography, you can upgrade to a high-end camera later without much regret cost of the middle of the pack camera. On the other end, if you don't end up taking a liking to it, you're not out as much. The 5000 series over the 3000 series doesn't really gain much in photo value, but does have a few nice features like the articulating screen, bracketing function, and timelapse. Up to you if these are worth the extra money. The sensor, frame right, etc. is all the same.

On the bright-side, camera gear holds its value rather well, especially compared to sleds.

I started with a Nikon D3300 (new equivalent models are D3400/D3500) with 2 kits lens both a 18-55mm and 55-200mm. This combo worked great for a couple of years. Last year I upgraded to the Nikon D850, mostly to take advantage of the much more usable upper ISO range to ensure I could get properly exposed very high shutter speeds for actions sports, as well as greatly improved auto-focus system and resolution. You'll find that the "kit" lenses have relatively small apertures which limit how much light can enter the lens, and there limits you're shutter speed requiring you to either crank up the ISO or slow down the shutter. The high iso setting will result in a grainier/more pixelated image on entry camera. Where slowing down the shutter speed may result in motion blurred images. In bright blue bird days, this won't be an issue. Shooting lower light conditions can be a different story.

I'm making an assumption that you probably don't want to go drop 3k+ plus on a first setup. For that reason, I'd recommend the entry level Nikon (or any brand for that matter, personal preference) and save a little extra to put towards a better lens than the kit lens if you like shooting. The lens will yield better benefit over upgrading from entry range, to a step up or 2 in camera body.

Happy to answer any other questions you might have, shoot me a message, or on here either way, I'll share what knowledge I've gained shooting the last few seasons.

My advice is going to differ from others but here is what i would suggest.. Find yourself a good used nikon d300/d700, buy a battery grip to boost frame rate to 8fps and start with a simple lens that is fast f2.8 or faster.. The reason i HIGHLY suggest the d300/d700 series cameras is because they are so incredibly durable (pro grade weather sealing), inexpensive and produce professional quality results. Many people get wrapped up in buying high end gear thinking it will produce better results but in the same way a novice picking up the best fender guitar cannot play like Hendrix, the best camera will yield sub par photos in the hands of a beginner.

the photo seen here was shot with a d700 and a $75 50mm f1.8.... cameras are a tool that you need to learn to use and a $400-$500 10+ year old pro grade dslr is more than capable of capturing images you can make a living off selling.


Jan 20, 2009
Northern Utah
While you're at it, do some research on mirrorless cameras. You can get a full frame or crop lens for similar price and features as dslr at a much more compact package. About the time you learn the camera, you'll get tired of packing the bohemoth DSLR gear. Mirrorless equals no moving parts as well. That can be an advantage. The only real disadvantage is battery life can be a drag. I love my Sony alpha.


Well-known member
Nov 26, 2007
I was always a canon guy, once you find a brand and learn its configuration It wouldn't be a bad idea to stay with that brand as feel, ease of use and your lenses will more likely be transferable as you upgrade! Get what you can afford and just shoot lots learning its abilities!
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