Tuesday, September 29
Please note: These are my opinions and simply that. Please research any purchase before you make it and, if shopping online, be sure you are dealing with a reputable vendor!
Camera Company: Nikon
I have used Nikon cameras all my life. I personally believe you can't beat the quality that Nikon provides.
Camera (DSLR Starter): Nikon D3000 10.2MP Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S DX VR Nikkor Zoom Lens
The D3000 is the best introductory DSLR on the market. A new D3000 with a lens typically runs $450 to 500ish. You simply can't beat it.
Camera (DSLR Pro-sumer): Nikon D5000 12.3 MP DX DSLR Camera
Camera (Compact, Cheapish): Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ35 Although I love Nikon, it's hard to beat this Panasonic for the price. This is a 12 megapixel camera that gives you a fast (for a compact) 2.8 aperture range with 30+ second long exposure. This camera will also allow you to shoot in raw format.
Camera (Compact, Expensive): Panasonic DMC-LX3S
Lens (Wide Angle, Cheap): Nikon 18mm - 55mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S DX (VR) Vibration Reduction Wide Angle Autofocus Zoom Lens, Gray Market
Lens (Wide Angle, Expensive): Nikon 10.5mm f/2.8G ED AF DX Fisheye Nikkor Lens
Lens (Macro, Cheap): Sigma 70mm F/2.8 EX DG Macro Lens for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras
I use a similar lens for virtually all of my macro lens. It is excellent and worth every penny.
Lens (Macro, Expensive): Nikon 105mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor Lens
Lens (Zoom, Cheap): Nikon 55-200mm f/4-5.6G ED IF AF-S DX VR [Vibration Reduction] Zoom Nikkor Lens
Lens (Zoom, REALLY Expensive): Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S VR Zoom Nikkor Lens for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras
Flash (Cheap): Vivitar 285HV Auto Professional Flash
Flash (Expensive): Nikon SB-900 AF Speedlight Flash for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras
Picasa - Google’s Free Photo Editor
Adobe Photoshop CS4
Adobe Photoshop Elements 7
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2
Printers: I do not recommend a printer because I find, for my money, printing services do a much better job with a lot less headache. I have had good luck with HP Photosmart printers in the past.
Printing Services (Dirt Cheap): Walmart
You simply can not beat Walmart for their prices and turn around.
Printing Services (Professional): Adorama
High quality printing service with an actual brick and mortar store in New York City.
Tripod (All Purpose): Slik Professional Universal Deluxe Tripod with 3-Way Panhead and Panoramic Photo Guide
Tripod (Heavy): Manfrotto. Excellent tripods but you get what you pay for.
Retailer (Brick and Mortar): Photo Lab in Schenectady, New York
1) B & H
3) Unique Photo
Photographic Community: DPChallenge.com
An excellent site with weekly challenges, great message boards with lots of information, and a long history. It's everything you need in an online photographic community.
Microstock Provider: iStock