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Old 01-19-2012, 09:23 AM
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Rezarf Rezarf is offline
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Default Entry Level DSLR recommendations?

I am thinking about stepping up out of the point and click camera and I have been looking into the world of Digital SLR's.

I don't want to spend a ton to get into something, but I'd like to have something with a full auto setting and basic learning curve for learning manual photography.

Also, is there any good places to find used gear? Online?

I have handled a Rebel, and a few others around town, but I think I would like to pursue something used to get started.

Is it impossible to have a budget of $250-300 and get into something worth trying out?
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Old 01-19-2012, 10:40 AM
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Default I'm a Nikon fan.

the entry level nikons are great as are the Canons. I say, get something that fits your hands, seems intuitive to you, etc. That being said...I'm a fan of B&H photo (www.bhphoto.com) they have a used section and have the best prices on new stuff. I think the Nikon D5000 is a GREAT camera as is the older D3000 and one of my favorites...the D40/D40x (I have the D40x). I'd search for the D40 for an inexpensive used entry level nikon.

Another important thing to look at are lenses and collective knowledge. Lenses: I think Canon has several different mounts, be sure to get a configuration that will allow you to grow into the hobby. Nikon stuff has the same mounts (to get specific, some will support Auto focus other's won't). As you get more into it, let me know what questions you have about lenses.

Collective knowledge: so...I chose Yaesu 'cuz alot of you have that brand and there's alot of knowledge. at the level of money you are spending on a camera or ham you're getting a great product. I'm a Nikon guy and bet there are an equal number of Canon guys in the club. they are both top of class.
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Old 01-19-2012, 10:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rezarf View Post
I am thinking about stepping up out of the point and click camera and I have been looking into the world of Digital SLR's.

I don't want to spend a ton to get into something, but I'd like to have something with a full auto setting and basic learning curve for learning manual photography.

Also, is there any good places to find used gear? Online?

I have handled a Rebel, and a few others around town, but I think I would like to pursue something used to get started.

Is it impossible to have a budget of $250-300 and get into something worth trying out?
KEH.com is a reputable place to get used gear online. Their rating system is very comprehensive, and they're usually pretty conservative with the ratings they give equipment. I've got a few friends that have ordered from them with great results.

$250-300 is going to be a bit tight for anything new in an entry level DSLR, unless you've already got a lens. $500-600 seems to be the starting point for a kit. At that range you'd be looking at a Canon Rebel T2i, or a Nikon D3100.

You could probably score a used Nikon D40, D50, or D70, or a Canon 20D in that range. If you're looking at 2004-2007 vintage, I'd look at the Canon stuff. They were definitely a little ahead of Nikon with their CMOS sensors in my opinion. If you're looking post 2007, either brand would be a good bet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CardinalFJ60 View Post
the entry level nikons are great as are the Canons. I say, get something that fits your hands, seems intuitive to you, etc. That being said...I'm a fan of B&H photo (www.bhphoto.com) they have a used section and have the best prices on new stuff. I think the Nikon D5000 is a GREAT camera as is the older D3000 and one of my favorites...the D40/D40x (I have the D40x). I'd search for the D40 for an inexpensive used entry level nikon.

Another important thing to look at are lenses and collective knowledge. Lenses: I think Canon has several different mounts, be sure to get a configuration that will allow you to grow into the hobby. Nikon stuff has the same mounts (to get specific, some will support Auto focus other's won't). As you get more into it, let me know what questions you have about lenses.

Collective knowledge: so...I chose Yaesu 'cuz alot of you have that brand and there's alot of knowledge. at the level of money you are spending on a camera or ham you're getting a great product. I'm a Nikon guy and bet there are an equal number of Canon guys in the club. they are both top of class.
+1 on a used D40x.
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Old 01-19-2012, 10:45 AM
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IMO, the Rebel is a good starting point. However, if it were me, and I was looking to get into a good camera, I would buy once, cry once. A low end camera is going to leave you wanting on a lot of things.

As an alternative, I got a Nikon Powershot. It is a higher end point and shoot camera that is 12 something MP and has a 30x optical zoom on it. It was just a bit higher than your price range, but not much. My dad has 6k into his Nikon DSLR, and his is only amateur quality.

The Powershot takes very good pictures, can do full manual or full auto, or anything in between. My biggest frustration with it is that the Fstop range is only 3-7, which is pretty lame.

Anyway just another option. I couldn't afford the DSLR option, and I've been pretty happy with the alternative.
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Old 01-19-2012, 11:32 AM
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There's lots of options. Canon vs. Nikon is the same argument as Apple vs. Microsoft. Buy what works for you. In general, Nikons have always had better AF capabilities while Canon was better on color rendition. I started with Canon film bodies and already had a huge investment in lenses so it was a no brainer when I went to digital. The lens mounts are all the same across all bodies.

One thing to keep in mind, whether it's film or digital, a camera body is nothing more than a light proof box. If you move up the model range, sure you might get a few more features, but the quality of the final file stays pretty constant. The one variable is the glass you put on the end. You're much better off buying a lower end body and using the savings towards a piece of better glass. Kit lenses are less than desirable.

Another option to consider, would something similar to Canon's G12. This is an awesome little camera and comes with enough manual features to keep you interested and learning. Nikon probably has something similar. Head over to dpreview and do a little digging around.

I ran my own studio for just over 5 years and I'm more than happy to offer any and all knowledge.
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Old 01-19-2012, 11:51 AM
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I only really know some of the nikon stuff but their entry level dslr d3000 for $450 with 18-55 is a nice camera. With kids though I would step up to the 3100 or the 5100 so you get movie capability. You would be happy with that or the canon equivalents even though it's more money.

I have been thinking about selling my D80 with 28-55 lens. I have everything including the box.. $450, nice and clean
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Old 01-20-2012, 11:40 AM
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Thanks guys, I have been talking with this guy over on ExPo. We are at $350 shipped to my door for the whole lot. Whatcha' think? I don't have too much time to research the model, and even then I am clueless to much of what I have read. If you guys think its worth going for, I'm going for it.

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Old 01-20-2012, 12:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rezarf View Post
Thanks guys, I have been talking with this guy over on ExPo. We are at $350 shipped to my door for the whole lot. Whatcha' think? I don't have too much time to research the model, and even then I am clueless to much of what I have read. If you guys think its worth going for, I'm going for it.

Link

Drew
Do it. That 28-135 lens is awesome. You'll be happy with that for awhile.
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Old 01-20-2012, 01:40 PM
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Looks like a deal. If you upgrade later, you'll 2/3 of your money back just selling the lens.
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Old 01-20-2012, 02:27 PM
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I think it's "ok" for a 10 year old 6.3 mp camera. I dunno. Not that great of a "deal" imho. The bags are a personal preference so I don't count them. You're basically getting a lens for that $

IMHO your better off spending $100-150 more on a new camera. warranty, nicer 3+ inch screen compared to the 1.5 on that one, etc, etc. First thing the kids do when you take a pic is want to see it on the back. Plus a couple more years and that body is only worth $50. sure you still have a lens i guess.

JMHO
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