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Thread: Good beginners DSLR help please

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    Thumbs up Good beginners DSLR help please

    Hi guys,

    I've been thinking about photography as i need a new hobby.
    I've got a Canon point and shoot camera but its old, slow, gitches and i hate the fact that it chews 4x AA batteries..

    Anyway im looking at some good entry level DSLR's. Whats good?!
    I've always loved old style house pics, trees, scenery&sunsets, lightening, up close leaves/bugs etc (so really a bit of EVERYTHING) i think i just need to get myself a decent entry level camera and have a play and then see what lenses would suit me and see what i enjoy capturing most?

    Also what specs make THE difference? I have been looking at the Nikon and Canon cameras and they seem to vary betweek 18 and 24 mega pixels..
    any info would be greatly appreciated

    TIA

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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MissNarniee View Post
    Anyway im looking at some good entry level DSLR's. Whats good?!
    They are ( with only a tiny few exceptions ) all "good".
    Some are better than others, some are priced more attractively than others.

    What is your budget?

    Quote Originally Posted by MissNarniee View Post
    i think i just need to get myself a decent entry level camera and have a play and then see what lenses would suit me and see what i enjoy capturing most?
    Have a look at buying the camera body only and then better quality lenses than the "kit" bundle offers depending on your preferred genre.

    Quote Originally Posted by MissNarniee View Post
    Also what specs make THE difference? I have been looking at the Nikon and Canon cameras and they seem to vary betweek 18 and 24 mega pixels..
    First off, forget mega pixel specifications ( to a large degree ) as they are most important when printing at large sizes. Look more at reviews and information that tell you about the durability of the brand / camera body, the availability of good lenses, both made by the camera maker and by the established 3rd party manufacturers.

    There are a lot more makers out there than just Canon and Nikon -----
    Andrew
    Nikon, Fuji, Nikkor, Sigma, Tamron, Tokina and too many other bits and pieces to list.



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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    As a beginner, any of the Canon range will suit. It just depends on how much you want to spend. Of all the Canon models on sale now, none are going to be bad. As for lenses, well that is where you need to look for the genre you like to shoot. Building etc often lend themselves to a reasonable wide angle cause you can get in reasonably close and still not miss the edges of the buildings. For leaves, bugs etc, you need to consider a macro lens.

    Your big learning curve ahead is how to use all the functions of your camera, with the right lens choice, and good composition skills to get a great shot to start with, then the editing skills come in to make that great photo a superb photo. Just getting a DSLR does not make your photos better. 80% or more of a good photo, is the photographer.

    So welcome to AP, you have a huge learning curve ahead of you.
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

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    Ausphotography Veteran MattNQ's Avatar
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    As mentioned, the entry level cameras from most brands are quite good. They all have their own 'feel' though. Go into a camera store and pick a few up and see what feels comfortable. A good store should have working ones and can step you through basic functions.
    Matt
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    Ausphotography Regular bitsnpieces's Avatar
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    Maybe possibly the Sony a6000? It's light, fully functional, and with adapters, you can use just about any other lens to their full degree, so you'll still be able to use your old lenses (adapters are separate purchases of course), or go with new lenses.

    Price isn't too bad either.
    David Tran

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    Ausphotography Regular MissionMan's Avatar
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    I think the important thing to realise is that cameras are cameras, at the current level you're at, there aren't many of the DSLR's or mirrorless cameras that will impose a restriction on your growth, but lenses will make a huge difference. I'd be inclined to say that whatever you invest in (DSLR or mirrorless), you need to consider what you will be doing long term and invest in the right lenses to make it work. You could take a base range DSLR or mirrorless, and put a decent lens on it and the photos will look incredible, but having a decent camera and putting cheap glass on it isn't going to look much better than a cheap camera. So in short, rather skimp on the camera slightly because good lenses will last 10 years.
    Fuji XT-2, Fuji X-E3, Fuji X100T, Fuji VPB-XT2, Fujinon 16-55 f/2.8, Fujinon 50-140 f/2.8, Fujinon 35 f2, Fujinon 90 f/2, Fujinon 60 f/2.4 Macro, Yongnuo YN560 IV, Yongnuo YN560 TX, Benro C3580T, Mefoto Q00
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    Thanks everyone youve been a great help!!

    I'll be doing ALOT of research and save some $$ for a few months.

    At the moment ive been looking at camera bodies in the $500 range - i need to look at lenses and have a think about the main things i want to take pics of and then see what suites - not sure how much they'll end up costing.
    I definitely want something decent and will last me a long time - and yeah lenses

    I have a lot of thinking to do haha!

    So if i got a camera that comes with just the plain starter lens - they are pretty crap?

    I like the idea of the flip out view finders

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    There is nothing wrong with starting with second hand too, plenty of people buy brand new latest model camera only to find they seldom use it so sell it hardly used after a few months, or upgrade and sell off the older one which really has nothing wrong, bodies and lenses. For the same $$$ you could get a model above what your considering but a generation older that would still last a few years more but will still met or surpass your requirements
    Regards

    David

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    Ive been looking into the Nikon D5200 - anyone have this one? I aggree with MattNQ - i need to go to the shops and have a feel of them

    - - - Updated - - -

    Oh, thats a good idea!
    Funny, my Boyfriend just purchased his first rifle and i think its either someone who has alot of money and got sick of it or from a deceased estate because its MINT condition, top of the range and hardly used - might have a look for a camera like that and save myself some money or put the money towards something else like a tripod or something

    Will definitely have a look around, thanks!

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    'starter' lenses are referred to as Kit Lenses. Whilst not crap and certainly able to capture some really nice sharp photos, they are not on par with the more expensive 'pro' level lenses. Having said that a 18-200mm lens is not a bad place to start out. You get a reasonably wide 18mm and a good 200 mm zoom. Some of these lenses are also quite ok for the occasional macro shot. I would suggest that the 18-200 is a good place to start, then once you develop your photographic experience, and know what genre you want, then you can start looking at some better lenses to suit. You can always sell the 18-200 down the track.

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    When I started Photography, I bought a used Canon 5D with EF 28-135 lens. I won a few comps with it here and there. They are good for portraits and landscapes and you can attached a cheap extension tube and shoot macro or attached a cheap extender and shoot birds. I still use this combo until now and the funny thing is a few of my friends are still willing to buy it from me for around $550, which is the price I paid 3 years ago. You can then build your arsenal around it depending on the Genre you want to pursue! Good Luck hunting!
    Last edited by Dennis Estigoy; 13-02-2015 at 6:34pm. Reason: grammar

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    I think the Nikon d5200 that i was looking at earlier came with the 18 - 55mm

    Was thinking about getting the kit, that way i can have a play with it, learn the settings and then think about what lens i would like to spend my money on. So hard because i LOVE all photography haha its going to be an expensive hobby

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    Please Google "The Lesser Photographer" - it will take some of the pressure off you over the hardware choice.
    Sony DSCR1 bridge camera; Sony Alpha SLT A57; Sony Zeiss 16-80mm f3.5-4.5 lens; Sigma 10-20mm UWA lens; converted Nikon 50mm f2.0 lens; Filters: ND4,ND8,ND1000, CP; Photoshop CS6. 82.7% of statistics are made up!




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    I'll have a look tonight after work, thanks

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    Ausphotography Veteran MattNQ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MissNarniee View Post
    I think the Nikon d5200 that i was looking at earlier came with the 18 - 55mm

    Was thinking about getting the kit, that way i can have a play with it, learn the settings and then think about what lens i would like to spend my money on. So hard because i LOVE all photography haha its going to be an expensive hobby
    The Nikon 18-55 is actually not too bad for a kit lens. It is sharp enough. It only starts falling short when you get more serious & adventurous. By that time you will have a better idea of what you want.

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    I went to the shops today and had a hold of the Nikon d5200 and felt really nice, also felt the canon 600d with a kit 18-55 lens.. They both feel pretty nice - not really sure whats better or anything yet... Its so hard to pick!! The Canon with kit lens was cheaper, they are both just what the young guy passed me to have a feel of. Wish i stayed and studied them a bit longer :/

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    FWIW: I'd avoid the 18-55 kit lenses, not because they're no good, in fact they can get you decent results.

    The reason I'd avoid them is more to do with the ability for them to allow you to find your lens types into the future, as you get more experience.

    I'd go for more of a 18-100mm or longer range.

    I don't know what Canon or other brands have, but Nikon have their 18-105mm and 18-140mm lenses which are very well priced(ie. low priced).

    Some comments have been made that you should worry about the camera body only and get better lenses with them .. this is very true(and you will find this out for yourself if you also get hooked completely into the hobby too!)

    The problem is, which lenses are the ones you want or will be comfortable to use.
    That is, you may have an interest in portrait photography, or say landscape, and while there are traditional lenses that do these genres well, this doesn't mean that using those types of lenses is what YOU are interested in!!

    as an example of what this means, taking some numbers into account:
    Say you want to do portrait photography, tradtional lenses for this are for 50mm 85mm 105mm and 135mm .. and longer if you care for large frame cameras.
    For smaller framed D5200 type APS-C, this changes to 35mm, 50/60mm, 85mm and 105mm, with 135mm and 200mm ok too, but as you get longer focal length distances become an issue.

    But what if you prefer wider lenses for doing portraits .. ie. more environmental type portraits.

    Same with landscapes .. really short, ultra wide lenses are considered traditional lenses for landscapes .. While I mainly use these shorter focal length lenses myself too, my preference is for longer focal lengths.
    I like using my 70-200mm and 500mm lenses to do more landscapes, as the conditions allow. Those two lenses are not traditional lenses for doing landscapes tho.

    Doesn't matter if it's Canon/Nikon/Pentax/Sony/Olympus/etc ... it's the choice of a good cheap lens that allows a good range of focal length(to start with).
    You may find that you shoot mainly at 18mm .. no point getting an expensive 24-70mm f/2.8 lens if all you need is 18mm!
    Conversely, you may find that all your shots are made at 100mm and nothing else. No point in having a 14-24mm f/2.8 lens when it's obvious a longer lens is what you want.

    As you develop(your experience) you then have a better idea of which good lenses to get once you've understood what focal lengths work for you. 18-140mm is a very good range to start with.
    I can't imagine that you would be restricted with a lens in the 18-100 mm range being a beginner.


    I second the comment made that you should also consider the second hand option too.
    Many folks have gone through this learning experience themselves and hence you will see a lot of D5200+kit lens kits for sale on various locations on the net.

    D5200+18-105mm kit lens will be an awesome start for ya, I reckon .. or the equivalent Canon starter kit.
    If you can save yourself $200 on such a kit getting a second hand one, then this leaves you a bit of money, after having gained a bit of experience, to get at least one 'better' lens .. but only once you know what it is you refer to shoot.
    Nikon D800E, D300, D70s
    {Nikon} -> 50/1.2 : 500/8(CPU'd) : 105/2.8VR Micro : 180/2.8ais : 105mm f/1.8ais : 24mm/2ais
    {Sigma}; ->10-20/4-5.6 : 50/1.4 : 12-24/4.5-5.6II : 150-600mm|S
    {Tamron}; -> 17-50/2.8 : 28-75/2.8 : 70-200/2.8 : 300/2.8 SP MF : 24-70/2.8VC


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    Wow, thanks for that Arthur!
    I'm still not sure what would suit me more, its so hard to pick!!

    Was thinking something that would do decent portraits - landscape (18 - 105mm you mentioned sounded good) and then a macro but i think macro is really expensive?!

    I love bush walking and taking up close pics of flowers, toadstools and other little things.. Is there something that would be ok as a all rounder? I'm not sure how well a portrait type lens would focus on a small flower...


    Cant i just win lotto and buy them all???

    - - - Updated - - -

    I know my friend bought herself a nikon d3200 and the 35mm 1.8 dx lens... So far her photos are looking great!
    Last edited by MissNarniee; 15-02-2015 at 6:57pm.

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    For macro, you can get something relatively cheap like a Tamron 90mm f/2.8, or Sigma 105mm f/2.8 lens and they also do really good portraits too.

    You can get close up adapters that are cheap too, but I think they make close up shots a bit harder to do than a proper macro lens.

    D3200 is a good camera

    put a 18-105Vr lens on it and it's very versatile. 18-140VR lens is supposedly slightly better, but it cost a lot more and for not as much gain per every extra dollar spent on it.

    35/1.8Dx lens is a very good value for money lens.

    So there's a specific recommendation: second hand D3200+18-105VR(they used to be able to come in a kit, so you may find some sold in that manner) .. then look for a 35/1.8Dx .. and it should keep you very close to your $500 budget .. maybe a teeny bit over.


    ps. the only reason I give you Nikon examples is that I know them much more than I do other systems .. I'm sure Canon/Sony/Olympus/Pentax has something similar to offer too(I just don't know what they are).

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    Yeah i ment i was looking at spending $500ish on the camera body and then a nice lens but of course less $ would be nice. Maybe all together $7 to 800? inc bag and maybe a tripod.. Not really sure yet.

    Might have a better look in the shops next weekend and see whats around. I've given myself a few months to research and save - also mentioned to Mum i am looking for a camera *hint hint Muuuuummm!* B-day is in Oct haha

    You've definitely helped me with what to look for, thankyou Arthur!!
    Last edited by MissNarniee; 15-02-2015 at 7:35pm.

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