Answer Best answer as chosen by user benswayze
used DSLR under $200
I'd recommend the Nikon D70s to get started; you may be able to find a decent used one with a kit lens for a little over $200, but be prepared to spend extra for memory cards and/or cables that may be missing. However, $200 isn't very realistic. Good stuff, even old good stuff, will always cost a little more than you would expect.
No need to go into the specs and features here; look them up on NikonUSA.com and do you own comparison.
I purchased a demo unit six years ago for $780 USD with a 35-80 zoom, and have about 10,000 shutter releases on it (it arrived with around 300 releases). It developed a headache three years ago (bad battery contacts in the camera), and Nikon charged me $245 to restore it to good working order. Since it was a demo. it came with with the boxes, lens and body caps, manual, etc., even a 90 warranty for Adorama. If I had known about SquareTrade warranties at the time, I would have gotten one.
I got the NIkon so that I could use all of my old legacy lenses with it, even though I had to shoot in straight manual and have to mount the lens very carefully so as not to damage any contacts.
The camera will do everything you want to do at this stage; it is a great starter camera. I like having the top of camera display (many of the newer consumer models leave out the feature - the D40, etc.) It will capture both JPG and RAW files, or you can decide on one or the other. IF you don't plan on doing a lot of work with Photoshop, just leave it on JPG. The metering system is fairly accurate, as is the white balance. I've been very happy with the camera and now keep it as a backup for my D90s. It does well with fast bursts and rapid writing to the memory card.
I've added several telephoto lenses as well as brackets, plus D800 flashes, along with an accessory Quantum power supply. I am very careful with my equipment as they are not the top of the line models with titantium bodies. I always take advantage of a sale of on memory cards. I'd rather have six 4 gig cards than four 8 gig cards. Just a personal quirk, but I'd rather change cards than loose a ton of shots if a high capacity card goes belly up.
Another personal quirk: I never connect my camera directly to my computer; I always use a name brand, reliable card reader or use what is built in on the computer. If for no other reason, you don't have to put your camera out of service to transfer images. Anyone with basic knowledge can transfer images from the card reader to a hard drive while you continue to take photos.
If you buy on eBay, stick with dealers who will give you some type of warranty. They also tend to be more realistic in the description of their products. It may cost $30 more, but it will be worth it. Purchase the fastest, most expensive lenses you can afford. They are an investment and work just as well with the D70s as with Nikon's latest pro cameras. Plus, if you decide later that all of this is more than you want, you will get a higher percentage of your original investment from the expensive lenses.
I only use Photoshop on the most important photos. For everyday, run of the mill, family stuff, I use Microsoft Office Picture Manager. It is fast, easy to organize, and does everything you might need for minor to moderate touchups and cropping.
Hope this helps.
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