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Entry level DSLR?

Discussion in 'Photography' started by hankscorpio, Feb 20, 2016.

  1. hankscorpio

    hankscorpio Moderator Staff Member

    Not a photographer, but always wanted a very decent camera.

    Was thinking of the Canon 1200 EOD or the Nikon D3200.

    I know the D3300 is newer, but the former is in my range of price.

    I don't want to overspend on my first ever camera, and would be interested in learning the basics the moving on to the 1000 or 5000 euro range cameras.

    Let me know what you think, or if there's another beginner DLSR to consider please let me know.
  2. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    As someone who does photography as a hobby my advice is to actually go and hold the camera and don't dismiss second hand stuff (with warranty/return option just in case). The reason to hold the camera is purely because some suit a different size hand better.
    I'm also going to say don't discount sony as thier camera's are actually a lot better value bang per buck in my opinion. You could get a sony alpha a58 twin lens pack for around £400 (680 euros from link) and in some cases a triple lens with a 50mm lens (this is a very good lens to have in your collection).

    What exactly are you after using it for, because you may be better getting something different to use because an dslr isn't necessarily the best option.
    Stationery Direct likes this.
  3. hankscorpio

    hankscorpio Moderator Staff Member

    Thanks dude

    Well we will be going Finland for the Northern Lights for our honeymoon. Would love awesome photos.

    I've been in love with the E05D for a number of years.

    but I'm happy with a beginner dlsr if that's what it takes. I'll buy a tripod.
  4. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    Hmm... so ideally you want something a little more portable as you're lugging it around. Have you considered a compact system camera (csc) which still has interchangeable lenses but is more compact, the actual sensors are pretty much the same size as the lower end dslr.

    You'll definitely need a tripod for the northern lights, camera shake will be a big issue with night images.
  5. hankscorpio

    hankscorpio Moderator Staff Member

    As you sound like you know what you're talking about I'm lost in the all the csc and interchangeable lenses jargon... have you any recommendations you could link to ?
    Levi likes this.
  6. scotty

    scotty Well-Known Member

    I'm thinking of getting a DSLR.
    Nothing fancy but I don't know my arse from my elbow with them so this is useful. :D
  7. hankscorpio

    hankscorpio Moderator Staff Member

    I should mention my dad was a photographer, but old school with film. He hasn't done anything photography wise in about 30 years and the digital camera is a bit beyond him.

    But I used to develop my own photos many years ago.
  8. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    At the low end of the dslr market the 3 main brands (Nikon, Sony and Canon) aren't going to set the world alight with performance but they're in no way bad camera's and in general terms you won't really go wrong with any of them.
    Each have their pro's/con's and each have their own characteristics in terms of holding the camera (hence my earlier suggestion to actually hold them).
    Pro's & Con's
    Nikon - I personally think these are the best camera maker out there for dslr if money is not an issue, although some would say Canon, however they are generally slightly more expensive for a similar product. They also have 2 types of autofocus lens (plus a manual focus too but ignore this), one with a built in motor (like canon) and one which has the motor in the body (like sony). All nikon full size slr lenses fit the dslr but some have limited features depending on the model of the camera. The newer lenses with the motor should work with all modern nikon dslr's but the older ones (think second hand market) which need the motor in the body only work with the higher end cameras (you'll see like a screw head in the lens mount). There are more of the older lens and they are generally the only way to get the pro lenses too.
    Nikon usually use Sony sensors with their own processors etc.

    Canon - I'll be honest I haven't really used these that much but some other people I know who are quite novice slr users seemed to get on with the base models pretty well. All their lenses (don't think they changed it) have a motor inside them, this does make them slightly more expensive than those that don't have the motors.

    Sony - Basically they bought out Minolta and have kept the Minolta lens mount (so good second hand market of Minolta lenses). They seem to have higher specs for the same price as nikon/canon and the lenses are often cheaper too. They do have a smaller range of lenses and less options of higher spec cameras but to be fair that actually makes life a little easier.

    Sigma/Tamron - aftermarket lens manufacturers. Not quite up to own brand lenses but don't discount them as they're usually at 90%+ the quality of the own brand at lower prices.

    Side Note: You have two types of sensor size: APS and Full 35mm, the APS size is smaller and is on the lower end of the market, this can have an impact on the relative lens length being used as it will act like a small zoom

    Compact Interchangeable camera's are a little different.
    They do cost a little more but often don't include a viewfinder so you're relying on the lcd which has it's pro's and con's as you can imagine. They have a considerably smaller range of lenses and there's pretty much no upgrade path outside of the sony models which have the alpha 7 which costs £1400....
    They are smaller though so easier to lug around which for a holiday makes a huge difference (trust me a full size dslr with all the kit can get really heavy)

    As to suggestions I still say go and try the cameras in a store, you'll get a feel for them more by being hands on. Think of it as test driving a car, some cars have handling that isn't to your liking.
  9. scotty

    scotty Well-Known Member

    WOW! Thanks for that @Levi.

    Would you recommend petrol or diesel?
    Levi likes this.
  10. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    diesel if you do longer journeys such as cruising on motorways
    petrol if you want to thrash it around country lanes on the weekend :p
    scotty likes this.
  11. Paul Murray

    Paul Murray Moderator Staff Member

    The thing about diesel's is, they all sound like ice cream vans to me…

    Hank/Scotty, I was in your situation a while back and was going round in circles not really knowing what to buy/what I needed, etc. In the end I bought a second hand Canon EOS 500D, which I think is just a step up from the entry level camera (I paid maybe £350–450 for it, which is about the same as a brand new entry level one last time I looked). I was pretty set on a Canon simply because I prefer how they feel in my hands.

    Honestly, any entry level SLR will give you decent results if you understand what you're doing, especially if you have a good lens. The stock lenses are ok up to a point, but you'll be surprised at the difference a decent lens can make. It might be worthwhile looking out for second-hand bundles on Gumtree or somewhere, as that way you can get a decent starter set for a few hundred quid.

    Or, if you want to really take the plunge, I'd maybe consider an older DSLR body (these can be dirt cheap) and a top quality lens or two. It's the lenses that really give you the fantastic results, and a top notch lens will easily outlast the camera body. This is also why the best lenses cost far more than the camera itself.
  12. hankscorpio

    hankscorpio Moderator Staff Member

    I went for the Nikon D3300.
  13. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    did you go and try them out?
  14. hankscorpio

    hankscorpio Moderator Staff Member

    I didn't have time, I just had to buy it, I did see it in shop but never asked to hold it. It looks quite small and easy to hold. I'm sure it will be fine.

    I had to rush it as it's deal that was expiring, got it for about 100 quid cheaper than in shop.
  15. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    you shouldn't be disappointed with a nikon, like I said earlier I personally think they're the best brand. Just take notice when buying lenses, this model doesn't have the internal motor in the body, only in the lenses, so while it can use older lenses you'll have to go old school and at the very least focus manually :p
  16. hankscorpio

    hankscorpio Moderator Staff Member

    Thanks for the info! No idea what it means though lol.

    I'm enrolling myself in a beginner DLSR Photography classes to learn to use the camera properly. Should be fun!
  17. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    lol at the course... seriously you'll likely find out more watching youtube when it comes to digital slr's, I hope it's free :)

    As to the lens bit:
    Lens or lenses with your camera will have a motor in them to deal with focusing the lens and dealing with aperture etc.
    Old lenses, which all have the same 'screw' fitment will work differently because they don't have the motor in the lens, it's in the camera body. Depending on the age of the lens you could lose autofocus, auto aperture/shutter speed. You shouldn't have any issues if you make sure you get the newest models with the motors in (DX branded iirc)
  18. Vivian.Liam

    Vivian.Liam New Member

    I went for Nikon D5300. I think it's good enough but there's not as many lens for Nikon as for Canon.
  19. Simon Rayson

    Simon Rayson Member

    when you come to get more lenses Sigma lenses are good quality and well priced. They have different mounts depending on your camera so make sure you chose the correct one.
  20. scotty

    scotty Well-Known Member

    After loads of review watching I got a Nikon D3100.
    One reason being that it has a built in user guide for dSLR numpties like me. ;)

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