Less than $500 DSLR Camera Recommendation

A number of friends have asked for a recommendation on buying a DSLR to capture images of their baby. Here are my thoughts.

My Current Recommendation

  • Look for a used Nikon D50 body at the Buy & Sell forums at FredMiranda.com or on similar forums at photo.net. Currently it looks like a used D50 body is going for ~$350. [note: you’ll need to create an account before you can search at FredMiranda.com]
  • Buy the Nikon 50mm f/1.8D AF Nikkor Lens for ~$110. You might be able to find it a bit cheaper on the above forums or at Keh.com, but not by much. This lens–even new–is a bargain.


  • Why not just get a Nikon D60 kit?
    1. The D60 (and D40 and D40x) can only take (more expensive) AF-I or AF-S lenses. [read more here; scroll down a little]
    2. The kit lens is slower (meaning you’ll need more light) and of lower quality than the Nikon 50mm f/1.8D AF Nikkor Lens.
    3. The D50 is discontinued and hence less expensive.
    4. I think the 6 mp of the D50 is fine.
    5. If you get the higher resolution cameras, you may need a more powerful computer, and you will need more storage space. (This one is minor, but something to consider. True, you get more detail with a higher mp camera, but I still think 6 mp is fine.)
  • What are some other resources?
    1. You could buy via eBay or craigslist.
    2. photo.net has a good article covering the basics of purchasing a DSLR.

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