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New lens or upgrade?


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Hello, I am a brand new photographer. I was given a used Nikon d80 with the stock lens on it.  I plan to do daytime photography outdoors, possibly indoors when the lighting allows. I want to become better at photography so I can take beautiful shots of my young children. Is this camera too outdated to use? Should I upgrade to a new camera or find a better lens? Thanks! 

Photogrpahy newbie 

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To answer your question, the best camera is the one you have in your hands. I've seen great stuff come out of a D80, though by today's technology standards the camera is "outdated." That said, since it was free...and free is free, you have no major investment, YET. Trust me, photography is not or has ever been, cheap. Nikon Acquisition Syndrome is a very real thing and is a slippery slope. LOL!! I started back in the days of film, then life intervened and then got back into photography in 2007. I bought a Nikon D40 with18-55 kit lens for $549. Today in 2017...I have A LOT more gear and have spent WELL OVER that initial amount. LMAO!! Which is why I asked "What is your budget?" in the comment above. I could blow $30,000 in 30 seconds and still not be done buying gear.

For someone who is just learning photography, and who shoots Nikon DX, this lens should be the next thing you buy. The Nikon AF-S 35mm f/1.8G DX lens is really sharp, and allows you to learn your apertures from f/1.8 to f/22. It's a lens that can be used both indoors and outdoors. It's also a prime, meaning you will have to "zoom with your feet" instead of standing in one spot; it forces you to learn how to compose. That little lens has saved my arse more than once and if you shoot Nikon DX, it's a lens that SHOULD be in your bag. Period.

In 1986 I started with a Minolta X-370 SLR and a 50mm f/1.7 lens. (Minolta didn't have a f/1.8 lens, they were weird like that...but I'm digressing here.)

Anyway, back when I first started with B&W film and a darkroom, I had a SLR camera body and 50mm lens. Today with the DX sensor that equivalent is your Nikon D80 and 35mm f/1.8G DX lens. So I would start there. Oh, while you are at it, if you don't have SD cards already, buy a couple of these Sandisk 16GB cards since they are on sale for the next few days.

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