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Asher
Hey guys, I've been wanting to get a DSLR for a while and now that I have some money coming in it's time and I figured I'd ask the experts for some advice. So my budget is about $1500 and I've done some research and come up with a few options. My use will be mostly personal, I want to have a little return on investment though, maybe do some shooting for friend's companies/websites or sell prints. I'd like to explore video a little too.

D5100 Body + NIKKOR 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G + 50mm f/1.8D for about $1450 from B&H or I could switch to the 50mm f/1.8G and make it about $1550 total, possibly worth it. Good range for about what I want to spend.
D7000 18-105 kit for $1500. I really like the D7000, love the autofocus, solid body etc. Limited focal length though.
D7000 body and buy used AF NIKKOR lenses for cheap and spend about $1400-1500 total, maybe a 35-70 and a 70-210 and get nicer lenses later. Possible questionable quality with used lenses and they'd be old.
60D 18-200 kit for $1300 from B&H if it ever comes back in stock. Maybe even throw a 50mm 1.8 or 1.4 in there. Solid camera and a great price.

That said I haven't held any of them in my hands yet which I plan to do soon so I may hate one of them but so far that's that I've come up with. Any advice?
Jacob Photo
how much experience do you have with cameras?

when I bought my first D-SLR, the camera was much more capable than I was of taking a good photo. After nearly 2 years of using it, I finally felt comfortable enough to step up to a better body and lenses due to some specific features that the Rebel didn't have (AI Servo, more accurate auto focus, better FPS) and I picked up a 20D. I used the 20D for almost 2 years before upgrading to a 1d mkII, then used the 1D for almost 3 years before stepping up to a 7D. Overall, I've spent nearly $7k on bodies, each one lasting around 2 years before becoming worth less than half of their value. In the same period of time, I've spent around $3500 on lenses (of which I've sold a few of them to make a few bucks back). I currently have 2 lenses - Canon 24-70 F2.8 (owned since '06) and Canon 70-200 F2.8 (owned since '08, replaced sigma 70-200 F2.8) which are worth more than the day I bought them.

My point? Your first camera will probably be a whole lot more camera than you will need. Buy a body you can learn with, and spend your money on good quality lenses. if you can't afford nice glass, buy a lower-end prime or two (50 F1.8, 85 F1.8, etc) and use those as much as you can until you can afford nicer glass.

Canon vs Nikon is a preference thing. I went Canon because I had friends with canon cameras who were willing to teach me and loan me lenses, and Canon's were much more affordable at the time. Looking at the lineup right now, both companies are nearly identical in all specs overall, so you really can't go wrong.

http://dealnews.com/Canon-EOS-Rebel-T3-12-...ing/481810.html

Spend extra money on 24-70 F2.8 or 50 1.4 + 85 1.2, a couple memory cards, a card reader, a good tripod, a good bag, etc.
xknowonex
Jacob pretty much summed it up pretty well more than what I would have written.

I would go with whichever system, Canon or Nikon, that most of your friends/associates are using because you are probably likely going to depend on them for lenses or misc stuff like batteries out in the field.

Camera bodies are something that I would last invest in, especially if you're new to photography, because their rate of depreciation is faster than anything else in your bag. Most of the other stuff like tripods, lens, and light stands hold their value really well.
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