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Customer Discussions > Digital SLR forum

New to DSLR, which one is good for me?

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Showing 1-25 of 32 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 28, 2012 8:07:42 AM PST
I am new to DSLR, looking for a cam that is under $175. I will be using it for captureing a lot of differnt things, mainly wildlife and children. Any suggestions?

Posted on Nov 28, 2012 9:11:55 AM PST
S. Owens says:
Am I reading $175 correctly? Maybe someone is selling old and used DSLRs at that price but it seem the absolute minimum you'll find a new one for is something over $400. Prices will then go up quickly for quality increases.

Posted on Nov 28, 2012 10:26:28 AM PST
I am seeing some for around $200.
Canon EOS 6.3MP Digital Rebel Camera (Body Only)

Posted on Nov 28, 2012 10:42:41 AM PST
That camera is not even close to a current model. First available on Amazon 8-1/2 years ago, about 200 years in human terms. And it is a used price at $230 with a lens.

$400-500 is really cutting it close for a new camera and kit lens, nothing for $175, sorry. Look in your local Craigslist and you will find a lot of fine used cameras in your price range.

Posted on Nov 28, 2012 2:39:01 PM PST
so,without the price filter what sholud i look into?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 28, 2012 4:37:15 PM PST
Neo Lee says:
If you have some luck, you can find a refurbished Canon Rebel T1i with kit lens at Canon Store Direct for $270. It's obviously a good deal, therefore; it's out of stock most of the times.

If you have $352, you can get a refurbed Rebel T3 right now. Link:

Even then, you may have great difficulty shooting wildlife due to the fact that 18-55mm lens is a short zoom, meaning you would have to get pretty close to the animals. Consequently, either you would get eaten or the wildlife runs away. You can take photos of zoo animals though.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 29, 2012 11:35:19 AM PST
Mr. Ed says:
I am about the same as you. New to the SLR game. I used Nikon 35mm with 3 lens's Yeeeeeears ago and that was on a novice level.
I have been researching digitals on the net for about a month now trying to find the best deal and decide what camera will work best for my needs.
CONFUSION reigns supreme. There are so many cameras and features
out there from which to choose. I decided I had better crawl before I run and step down a notch. SLR's just seemed a little to expensive as a starting point so I went to the "point and shoot" group. I did feel I wanted some control over focus, speed and appiature.
I narrowed it down to 2 companies, Nikon and Canon.
For SLR's I like the Nikon D5100 and the Canon T3i. By the time I got done with all the accessories etc. they were more money than I wanted to spend. I came up with the Nikon P510. It seems to have all the features I want and I can live with the price. One thing is the "one size fits all" fixed lens. It might not meet your needs.
Good luck...........

Posted on Nov 29, 2012 11:42:22 AM PST
Mr. Ed says:
Might try this site to compare yur selections.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 30, 2012 10:48:58 AM PST
You'll be hard pressed to find a DSLR at that price. You might be able to find a very old used model but you have to remember that DSLRs have interchangable lenses and it might not include a lens. The closest I can find through Amazon is the Olympus PEN E-PL1, a mirrorless camera (not technically a DSLR) with DSLR(ish) image quality and functions. You can find the body available from Cameta Camera through Amazon for $150 WITHOUT a lens. The cheapest lens will easily set you back another $100 at a bare minimum (try Cameta's web site for the Olympus M.Zuiko 14-42mm II f/3.5-5.6 MSC Micro Zoom Lens). Note that this lens does not offer enough magnification for shooting distant wildlife.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 3, 2012 12:09:25 PM PST
I have the Nkon P510. It is a point and shoot but I am a avid photographer and I can get some better shots than some people who have the begining level DSLR cameras. I do like it because it has the wide angle and the zoom all in one lens and it takes GREAT QUALITY PICTURES for the money...

Posted on Dec 19, 2012 8:15:00 AM PST
Tigerrr says:
The Panasonic GH2 body is selling for $499 on Amazon....
I say grab it, it's a super camera, especially for video!(and read the reviews of it on Amazon!)

Posted on Jan 30, 2013 6:43:56 PM PST
Pretty much a new DSLR entry level unit will cost around $450-500 on up. Used DSLR cameras can be found for less but there are many factors that may make such an option less than ideal. The most important factor would be the condition of the camera and any lens that comes with the camera. If looking at used DSLR cameras, think about checking with local photography stores that might allow you to try out or inspect the camera first. If possible, find out the number of actuation's (number of shots taken) that camera has had. A camera with a large number of actuations may have require a replacement shutter mechanism in the near future. Also look for scratches or permanent marks on the lens, viewfinder, and sensor. If looking for an online vendor that sells used DSLRs look for a solid return policy or a good reputation for selling used products such as KEH.

I also agree with others that a basic DSLR camera with a barebones kit lens will probably be a disappointment for wildlife photography.

Today there are also some intriguing mega zoom cameras with fairly good lenses for wildlife photography. I used to have a Panasonic FZ35 back in the day and it took fairly good pictures even with a small sensor. Today there are definitely some improvement models that offer slightly better image quality with extended zoom lenses. I am a little partial to the Panasonic lineup of megazoom cameras but there are many choices with their strengths and weaknesses worth looking into.

Good luck with your search!

Posted on Mar 9, 2013 3:11:51 PM PST
M. Eisenberg says:
why doesnt anyone suggest a Fuji camera, I have one that is excellent. and was much cheaper than the Canon and the Nikon.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 9, 2013 3:32:01 PM PST
When did Fuji make an SLR? The original subject of this thread is specifically asking for SLRs -- which technically means a reflex mirror feeding an optical viewfinder.

Posted on Mar 15, 2013 9:12:19 PM PDT
I am looking for a dslr camera. I am looking into taking photography classes and possibly starting a career in photography. I am stuck between nikon an canon and what model would be best. ANY advice would be great. THANKS

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 16, 2013 10:33:21 AM PDT
How "possibly" is "possibly"

In the Canon line... The EOS x0D used to be the intermediate range (but with the 60D going to polycarbonate body, I think Canon no longer has an intermediate -- the 20D to 50D had metal alloy bodies).

Professional bodies are, for the most part, the EOS xD series (single digit -- the 7D is a bit of a hybrid, using a smaller APS-C sensor, but with features optimized for sports/action photography [where the smaller sensor helps as it lets smaller lenses be used for a given field of view]).

The EOS Rebel series are all entry-level models (outside of the US market, they are EOS xx0D models: 3 digit is entry level, 2 digit is intermediate, 1 digit is high end).

For a class, the higher Rebels would be usable (the lower models probably pass too, but may be too limited for /easy/ access to some advanced techniques). The x0D series puts a lot more of the controls on dedicated buttons and add a special top LCD showing the shooting configuration.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 16, 2013 11:35:44 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 16, 2013 11:48:56 AM PDT
®ichard says:
In the Nikon line... the baby nikon are the entry level they are the D3xxx series and D5xxx series. D5100 has a flip out screen and a few more feature then the d3100. They sell older models as well with the newer models (d3100 vs 3200, d5100 vs d5200) the price increase would be a few newer options, but overall it is new sensor. They are cheaper and use only the lens motor which is the faster AF. Plastic body (polycarbonate) with no top digital screen and less external button.

The midrange models for DX (aps-c sensor is smaller tehna film 35mm) is D7xxx series (d7000 and D7100 newer) they have metal or magnesium alloy body and digital screen on top and more external buttons. They have better autofocus then the baby (but the d5200 use the same 39points as the d7000) D7100 use the same AF system as the pro body D4, D3s, D300s, D800 for under a grand.
The D600 is the lower end FX (35mm film size sensor) and built like the D7xxx series. I took away so cool features I was getting use to like 1/8000 (down to 1/4000) shutter speed and my 1/250 or 320 (to 1/200) flash sync. Means I can't go nuts and shoot wide open f1.4 on a sunny day for portrait. You get some banding when you go over 1/200 when you are strobing on cheaper trigger. But the D600 has better IQ (image quality)then the D7000 in lower light because the sensor is bigger and more detail (or pixel peeping) 24mp vs 16mp.

Pro models or body are the D4, D800 and for DX the old D300s. Overall bigger bodies.

More megapixel is more resolution or detail, the smaller mp doe better in low light but the different is small compare to sensor size. Nikon use Nikon (Renesas), Sony, Aptina, toshiba (I think is a sony partnership like in the PS3 cell fab) sensor, The sony sensor are the highest rated in ISO, DR, and color profile. May 3rd party testing sites have similar concussion (not some guys camera blogging sites) like dpreivew, DxoMArk, Chipworks (they just look at sensor architecture). Both Nikon and canon have good 3rd party lenses and accessories support.

Most hobbyist photographers just learn today by google and youtube for technical information. Manufacturer have made camera easy to use, not like the manual film camera days without a light meter. I think photography school teach you how to photoshop and shoot artsy stuff.

Posted on Mar 16, 2013 1:20:05 PM PDT
S. Owens says:
Although I know there are some who will disagree if you're questioning Canon or Nikon and you have no local influences just flip a coin. They may not match up exactly but the differences aren't so great that it should matter. If you have people around you who use one brand or the other you may want to see what they are using and if friendly perhaps coordinate so that you'd use the same type of equipment.

When it comes to the various "levels" my thought is to start with an entry level or beginner model to figure things out. They may not have all the features that the more advanced models have but thy also cost a fraction of what the others do and you can still get great pictures from them. The "benefit" of starting out with a lower end body is that you would then have more money to buy better lenses which you would then have if/when you eventually decide to upgrade your body. Good glass may not be fully appreciated with a low end body but I believe any lens that could be used on a Canon EOS 1D can also be used on a Rebel T3. It may also be my opinion but I'd rather spend $700 or so on a camera "kit" to determine how much I like the hobby and learn on then dump $3000+ into things and then decide it's not for me; maybe you'll get a bigger percentage of that $3000 back reselling but it still may cost you more overall.

When it comes to lenses you should be aware that not all lenses will work (well) with all cameras of a given brand. Some lens are made for "crop body" DSLR (Canon's EF-s series for example) and will not work on a full frame camera (say an EOS 5D) but the lenses for a full frame camera will usually work on a crop body camera. When it comes to Nikons some of their auto-focus lenses do NOT have a motor in the lens and instead require the body to do the focusing; here the higher end Nikons have that capacity while the beginner models do not but I'm not sure how many "new" lenses are made without the motor in the lens so it may not be an issue.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 29, 2013 5:37:40 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 29, 2013 5:39:28 PM PDT
D.C. says:
Between Nikon and Canon, there isn't much difference between both brands as they each have introductory, intermediate and advanced cameras. I would also suggest looking into Pentax DSLR cameras like the K-30. Reason being that Pentax has kept its K mount allowing older lenses, 15, 30 years old to be able to be mounted on these new cameras without the need for adapters (with some limitations). This advantage let's you purchase good quality lenses at great prices.

As far as what you need for a photography class, go for a Canon Rebel series (X00D outside The US) or Nikon equivalent, since for the most part, the class will probably be focusing on learning how to use the camera in manual mode (you'll have to set everything to get a good capture) and all those bells and whistles that more expensive cameras have will probably be ignored. Plus, the image quality between beginner and semi-professional cameras is negligible since for the most part they all use the same sensor, except for the full frame cameras.

Just like someone else stated below, if you aren't sure if this is your calling investing in a camera thousands of dollars wouldn't be wise if you'll end up selling it a a loss later.

Posted on Mar 29, 2013 6:48:12 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 29, 2013 6:49:31 PM PDT
JCUKNZ says:
If you want most 9of the features of the DSLR but without the price then I suggests that you go for the 'prosumer' small sensor camera or todays name is a super-zoom. At least thast would have been my suggestion a year ago but really since M4/3 is relatively well priced it is a much better long term deal
Here is the GH1 which is an excellent camera body
Along with a lens

Else this Amazon site leads you to the 14-42 lens for good prices, quite afew from $90 upwards.
Panasonic HFS014042 14-42mm Zoom lens for Micro third cameras
I found both at $172 which is above your budget but giving you a very good camera and lens with most of the features of the DSLR and IMO a better way to go for a beginner or amateur. DSLRs are for the professional who wants to thrash them. Big and clunky, especially the old ones that you are quoting ... though for starters 6Mp is fine andI have both 5 and 6Mp cameras and would happilly use them but don't because I have 10 and 16Mp cameras which are newer :-)

Posted on Mar 29, 2013 7:00:39 PM PDT
JCUKNZ says:
I am sure I will get a lot of negative ticks for that contribution but I have the advantage in having Super Zoom, MFT, and DSLRs in my stable and both Panasonic and Olympus with MFT. Fortunately when I went to digital I was saved from the DSLR by limited funds which lead me to a Nikon 'suiper-zoom' though it was only an x8 zoom lens, and it in its compact little body had most of the features of my SLR and a bag of lenses. I subsequently bought a DSLR so I could use the bellows for extreme close-ups but it rarely gets used since with the addition of a moderate close-up lens my Super-zooms have met my Close-up requirements 99.99% of the times :-) So these days I wouldn't touch a DSLR with a barge pole.

Posted on Mar 30, 2013 3:05:39 AM PDT
Les Schmader says:
Off Topic:

How are you guys finding your way into a forum lately?

They don't show up on the product sites anymore. If I didn't have an old link that stuck in a browser, I'd never find the photography forums. I thought they were discontinued. This thread is from November of 2012.

I keep getting e-mails to respond to questions about products I've bought or reviewed, but no mention of forums.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 30, 2013 9:18:38 AM PDT
In my case, I've got a cluster of 8 bookmarked -- use Firefox's "open all in tabs", and then click from the right end to the left looking for activity.

Posted on Mar 30, 2013 2:00:24 PM PDT
JCUKNZ says:
I use IE and the three sites, which for the past few months have been quite dead*, on my favourites list along with several other photo sites ... but when I was away from home and using aborrowed computer I couldn't find the sites as Amazon is veery coy about them and heavens knows where they are :-) I frequently get 'caught' by these old threads becuase I never look at the date but only the title and when used they rise to the top of the list here.
* I wondered if people were pre-occupied with the election :-)

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 30, 2013 4:19:01 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 30, 2013 4:50:22 PM PDT
You can still find the forums through a product page by scrolling down to the end of Customer Questions & Answers, clicking on "See all 45 questions" and looking in the right hand column for "Related forums" (might not be visible from mobile pages). It appears Amazon may be to be looking to replace the Forums with Customer Questions & Answers but, in my opinion, the Q&A section isn't really arranged in a manner designed to facilitate discussions or helpful to those who might be in a position to contribute answers. Quite a few of the questions appear to be about stock, shipping, returns and other merchant queries.

You can also Google "amazon photography forum" in a pinch.

By the way, I found this in the Customer Q&A FAQ:
Why did "Customer Questions & Answers" replace Customer Discussions?

Customer Questions & Answers replaces Customer Discussions when we detect that customers have questions about the product. For products with a limited number of customer questions, we still display Customer Discussions.
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Discussion in:  Digital SLR forum
Participants:  21
Total posts:  32
Initial post:  Nov 28, 2012
Latest post:  May 12, 2013

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