My First DSLR ?

This is a discussion on My First DSLR ? within the Which DSLR should I buy? forums, part of the Digital Cameras, Lenses & Accessories category; Hello everyone, I dont know much about photography but I really want to start taking pictures. My brother had a Sony HX1 for a while ...


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Thread: My First DSLR ?

  1. #1

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    Hello everyone,
    I dont know much about photography but I really want to start taking pictures. My brother had a Sony HX1 for a while and I really liked, so I thought about buying one.. I think its actually called HX100V nowadays... it costs $449. THEN I started looking after more cameras, and I thought: if Im already going to buy a good camera, why not spending a few hundreds more and having an actual good camera... So I looked for Sony's, Nikon's and Canon's but as I dont understand much about it, I dont think I can make a good decision.
    So then maybe some of you could help me? Im thinking on spending near $800 if its worthed, and Im gonna use the camera mainly for daily photos, urban shots, portraits, and when Im travelling.
    Any opinions?
    Thanks


  • #2
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    Welcome to the forum, you are in the right place to start learning, as for the camera - hmmmm toughy, if you are intending to continue and expand in this great field of photography then you need to invest in a DSLR system which you can expand and grow as your interest and experience develops. If you are just looking to enjoy photography and want to get the best out of a camera whenever you shoot then a compact might be more appropriate.

    For the budget you need to be looking at Canon / Nikon if you want go down the DSLR path then the Canon EOS 500D or the Nikon D5000 are great starting points with the kit lenses.

    As for a compact I love the Canon G range, the latest being the G12, I still own a 4meg G2 from years back and it is still a great little camera.

  • #3
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    Camera makers "categorize" their DSLR cameras into groups... there's an "entry level" group, a "pro-sumer" group, and a "pro" group. Sometimes there's a category below "entry level".

    The "entry level" group is designed & priced to keep the camera body plus a 'kit' lens (usually an 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 lens... which gives you a modest wide-angle to a modest telephoto) comfortably under $1000. But that's for the whole category. Within that category you'll probably find a range of about $600-1000.

    Pro-sumer bodies are usually above $1000 (for just the body... add a lens and it's a bit more) and "pro" bodies are roughly $1500 and up (Canon & Nikon's "flagship" bodies are about $7000) -- you're probably not interested in any of these.

    MOST of the difference in photo quality will be based on your own skills plus the quality of the lenses you are using (the lenses will make a bigger difference than the body.) Fortunately the lenses are interchangeable and you don't need to buy them all right away. If you decide to get more lenses than the 'kit' lens, you can buy them later. The fact that you can change the lens opens up a whole world of versatility when it comes to shooting situations. Since all DSLRs have an external flash "hot shoe" on the top of the body, you can always bring your own lighting to any shooting situation as well.

    As George hinted... the Canon 500D and Nikon D5000 are great starting points ESPECIALLY from a budget perspective. Canon & Nikon might update their "pro" level camera bodies every 3-4 years, but the "entry level" bodies get refreshed pretty much every year. As they introduce the latest body, they just slide all the older bodies down a notch in the pecking order. The 500D (in north america it's marketed as the "Rebel T1i") was the top "entry level" body from Canon a few years ago... and the Nikon D5000 was the top "entry level" body from Nikon a few years ago. By not buying "this years" top body in the entry-level range you don't pay the premium price.

    The cameras George mentioned are probably about the middle of the range. You can get more basic. Nikon has a D3000 and the D3100 (the D3100 is the 'new' basic model and the D3000 was it's predecessor) and Canon has the 1000D (aka Rebel XS) and 1100D (aka Rebel T3 -- and note the "i" is missing. There's a "T3" and a "T3i" and they are totally different cameras.)

    If you've never used a DSLR or SLR camera before (or any camera capable of shooting on 'manual') then I'd also recommend you pick up a good book. I happen to like "Understanding Exposure" by Bryan Peterson. The cameras have a full "automatic" mode and effectively can be used just like any point & shoot (all you do is aim and push the button... the computer will do EVERYTHING else.) But it turns out the exposure is a balance of a few settings on the camera and you alter the mix to get a "correct exposure" (it's not under-exposed nor over-exposed) and yet control other things like freezing the action in a sports of wildlife shot, or creating a beautiful background blur (they call this "bokeh") in a portrait, etc. by understanding what influences the result. It turns out it's not very hard and full manual isn't really entirely "manual" -- it's more "manual... with advice from the computer" (the camera tells you if it thinks your settings will give you a balanced exposure.) There's even modes where you set one thing you DO want to control and the computer sets everything else. The ability to do this is where you really start to see the difference between a DSLR and a point & shoot.

    All DSLR cameras will offer you this same level of control. As you go up in price, the features that get added on are things like: automatic exposure bracketing for HDR shots (High Dynamic Range), high-speed flash sync mode (used when shooting with a flash at speeds above 1/200th or so), remote flash control (which you can do without the feature... but they toss it into the body for convenience), higher sensor resolution, higher sensor range (wider ISO speed range... this emulates the "sensitivity" of the sensor -- sort of like changing the type of film in a film camera), lower sensor "noise" at high ISO speeds, video modes and better video modes, metal (magnesium alloy) body vs. plastic (polycarbonate) body, weather-sealed body (but don't shoot in the rain unless you ALSO have a weather-sealed lens), lens auto-focus micro-callibration, higher-speed shooting (faster mirror & shutter and possibly dual-processors for very fast shooting speeds... used by sports photographers and wildlife-action photographers, etc.), full-frame sensors (a "full frame" sensor is one where the image sensor is as large as a single frame of 35mm film. Nearly all DSLRs use "APS-C" size sensors which are about 50-60% smaller... still larger than any point & shoot or micro four-thirds format camera, but not as big as a 35mm "full frame" camera.)

    Notice what's NOT in the list of "better features" they add in as the price tag goes up? All the basic controls and ability to shoot in full auto, program mode, aperture priority mode, shutter speed (time) priority mode, and full manual mode -- these are common to all DSLRs.

    Lynx360 likes this.
    Tim Campbell

  • #4

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    Thank you George and Tim! I guess Im looking for those entry-level cameras... None of you said anything about Sony.. are they bad cameras?

  • #5

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    Can someone please give an opinion on Sonys?

  • #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by franco.brotto View Post
    Can someone please give an opinion on Sonys?
    Minolta which made great film cameras, sold their camera division to Sony and all of their engineers and camera techs went over to Sony as well. The result is that Sony cameras tend to be both very user-friendly as well as innovative and loaded with features. Sony G lenses tend to be re-branded Minolta lenses that were and still are top quality. Zeiss (a top lens maker) also produces Sony A mount lenses.

    Some of the interesting features in the latest Sonys are in camera panorama shots, in camera HDR, GPS location of shots on the image, 12 frames per second stills, and full HD video with stereo sound. Their SLT cameras tend to shot quieter than regular SLR cameras and with less vibration. Their high resolution LCD screen allows you to zoom in superclose on any section of your image to check sharpness. You can also check the visual effect of your adjustments in real time on the hi-resolution screen.You can of course also use wi-fi to send your images to facebook or another social network or to your home computer. Almost any of the many adjustments on their cameras are customizable and can be saved as an automatic choice on the dial or in a menu. A depth of field preview button in also present on some of their cameras.

    It is a good choice for many photographers: amateur and pro alike.

    Cameron

  • #7
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    Hello,
    I would like to know which dslr is the best for making videos around 600 € and what kind of lens should i take ?
    as far as i know cannon cameras are the best for making videos but i dont now is it true?
    Thanks

  • #8
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    as far as Nikon goes, I wouldnt recommend a D3xxx or D5xxx if you plan on getting serious with your photography. you might find that you outgrow them pretty quick.
    For the same money, I would go with a used D90 or for a little more, a used D7000. those are a more serious consumer camera that
    gives you a lot of the "pro" features. you get a built in focus motor, which is great for the ability to get older AF or AF-D lenses and they will autofocus on your camera. you can get pro glass a bit cheaper instead of having to by the newer G lenses.
    they also give you flash commander, dual command wheels, top LCD.. put a vertical battery grip on it and you have your AF, shutter release and dual command wheels easier to reach in portrait mode. used D200's are pretty cheap now too. I cant speak much on the Canon counterparts, but i would look for the same features.

  • #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agalloch View Post
    Hello,
    I would like to know which dslr is the best for making videos around 600 € and what kind of lens should i take ?
    as far as i know cannon cameras are the best for making videos but i dont now is it true?
    Thanks
    There is no best for making videos, it is rather a matter of which features does the particular camera have that are either negative or positive related to what you would probably be shooting.

    Some cameras only focus manually for videos, some have a slow contrast based autofocus, and a few have a fast phase-detected autofocus.
    Frames per second determines the smoothness of the video shot and this varies with the camera as well.
    Audio quality: The audio may record camera adjustments being made during filming and wind noise may be recorded as well. A jack for an external microphone may or may not be present. Stereo sound is possible on some.
    The video length limit varies with cameras, the potential image quality available and the memory card used.
    With longer videos the chip may overheat degrading the image quality.

    Just a few of some of the issues and features that vary from camera to camera.

    Cameron

  • #10
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    They Thanks a lot, my decision fell for canon 60d, Cos of the flip out screen and manual settings for audio and i am very satisfied for now


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