I basically decided on a whim (from reading this site, talking to some friends, and always admiring great photos) that I want to get into photography.
Are there disadvantages to starting out with a prosumer camera like the Nikon D7000? I know stuff will be more expensive, but will there also be greater frustration or complexity?
(I am the kind of person who tries to find reasons to justify the extra cost even when I know deep down that it's not necessary...)
On the contrary, I think these cameras are better for beginners, if your intention is really to begin — that is, to start from here and (as you say) get into photography.
The lower-priced entry-level cameras focus on fully-automatic modes, and emphasize ways of making the camera work without any thought from you. The biggest example is scene modes, which basically say "You want to take a picture of that? No problem! Turn the camera to
that mode, and I'll handle the rest." And then what they do is a black box operation, from which it's hard to learn.
On the other hand, the complexity in higher-end cameras is there to make it easier for you to tell the camera what to do. You get separate dials for aperture and shutter speed, and a quick way to set ISO. You get a top LCD screen so you can glance down to see settings without turning on the distracting, bright, badly-placed main rear LCD screen. You get an easily-accessible metering mode switch, so you can use the right metering mode for the situation. (On entry-level cameras, this is usually an option buried in the menu, making it a set-and-forget thing rather than something easily switched for every situation.) There will be more settings you can customize, and one or more "user modes" which you can define, rather than trusting the camera to guess.
So, while it's certainly not necessary to get into photography, it's definitely nice. And there's some certain threshold features that, once you're used to, you probably would never dream of living without. (The dual control dials, for example.)Tweet