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Thread: Buying first DSLR

  1. #1
    New Member EmzDad's Avatar
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    Buying first DSLR

    Hello everyone,

    First post, I have been reading through the threads here and the learning center.

    I have a 12 year old daughter who is quite art orientated, shows an interest in photography as an extension to what she likes doing now.

    I also have an interest in photography but I am time poor.

    Myself and my daughter have been practicing with our point and shoot Canon Ixus 105 (have achieved what we think are nice photos ), it has a basic manual function that allows some learning for us. But it has internal dirty patches on the lenses and the zoom is starting to play up.

    So I have spent some time over the last couple of weeks researching DSLR camera's mirror and mirrorless. Have been looking hard at Canon 5d / Nikon d750 and Sony A7 second hand, but as usual I start to wonder are these over kill for what we are doing.. and how do I really know if they are in good condition. And do I really need a FF camera?

    So I went down to ***revoved per site rules*** this morning with my daughter first to see what cameras fits in her hand comfortably, second to have a look through the menu system and see how easy it was to understand.

    After playing with the Sony A7, then onto the Nkon D750 and the canon 700d, we had a play with the cheaper Nikons, D3300, D5500 and the D7100...

    Em settled on the Nikon D5500 as being most comfortable and being used to Ipads etc the touch screen set-up she really liked, (I am old school, i still have buttons on my mobile phone).

    ***removed per site rules*** I am happy to go down the body only path and buy a better quality lenses then the kit only, as reading on here I have found you can have great camera but poor lenses = dud picture. But average camera with great lenses = good picture.

    So what I am after is what lenses should I get. We are right at the beginning... In my head with what I have read there seems to be a like for a 18-200mm set up, allowing diversity in what we do. But what is good quality for $1000 to $1500 in a Full Frame lens that I can use on the D5500 body?

    I am happy to buy a cheaper body as per above, but the accessories I am happy to put some better money into allowing for upgraded body later... better lens better tri-pod etc...

    Any guidance on a FF lens would be much appreciated.

    Thanks
    Shane

    (See Site Rule 3 in partucular here: http://www.ausphotography.net.au/for...hp?do=vsarules)
    Thread moved to General Help forum.
    Last edited by ameerat42; 28-12-2015 at 1:03pm.

  2. #2
    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Hi Shane.
    Yes, buying a camera can be fraught especially for beginners (but not only).

    If you think you've identified a likely candidate, do as much research on it as you can.
    I checked out that model on the DP Review site here, and after looking through the details, I went
    to the Conclusion section. There they list Pros and Cons. There are other review sites, and
    you could just search on "Nikon D5500 reviews" for a list.

    Things can look enticing in stores, and they are not usually worried on how you spend your money.

    Get a few replies from other members here and do some more research.

    My 2c: I don't think a DSLR is a bad choice. You have covered a lot of factors in your description,
    but I'd say do a bit more after this.

    Am.
    Last edited by ameerat42; 28-12-2015 at 1:12pm.
    CC, Image editing OK.

  3. #3
    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Any of the entry level models from the major camera brands will serve you both well. I agree that going for a D750 or equivalent is probably overkill.

    The D5500 that your daughter chose is going to offer the technical of capturing a photo. And yes, as you improve your photography a good quality lens is going to afford you better results, but to begin with, any of the entry level lenses is also going to give you good results. 80% or more of a good photo, is in the photographers skill. Frankly you will probably not even notice the differences between an entry level lens and a pro level lens at this point. Put an entry level camera and kit lens in a Pro photographers hands and I could guarantee the photos that were taken would be top notch.

    You are probably over-thinking the technical aspects of the camera at this point. Get the D5500 with an 18-200 lens and LEARN.
    "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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  4. #4
    Who let the rabble in? Lance B's Avatar
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    The Nikon D5500 has received some excellent comments and reviews, one review by a wall known reviewer, Ming Thein:
    http://blog.mingthein.com/2015/12/21...e-nikon-d5500/

  5. #5
    Still in the Circle of Confusion Cage's Avatar
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    Hi Shane,

    I'm a Nikon user but I will try to be unbiased in my remarks.

    You have made a very good start in the selection process by physically inspecting and holding the various cameras that you felt may suit your requirements. How it 'feels in the hand' is a very important consideration.

    Technically and result wise there are not huge differences between the various manufacturers entry level cameras so selecting one that you are comfortable with is a big plus and the Nikon D5500 will definitely provide you with all the bells and whistles you need to get started.

    I believe the smart move when building up your kit is to start with lens that will stay with you when you upgrade your camera, as camera improvements are happening at a much faster rate than with lens. To that end I'd suggest that if your budget allows it you start with a full frame compatible lens that you can use if and when you move to a FF camera.

    The 18-200mm lens you mentioned is probably a good bit of gear but bear in mind that with such a large zoom range it is not going to do as well as a prime lens or one with a smaller range.

    Unless you see yourselves starting out with long range photography such a sports or wildlife, I'd suggest something like the Tamron 24-70mm f2.8 which will give you a range of 36-105mm with the D5500's 1.5 crop factor, which will most likely cover most of your requirements in the learning phase. I use one on my D800 and can highly recommend it. It's VR is an excellent aid in getting sharp shots.

    I guess now is the time to have a serious think about what sort of photography you are interested in before you make a lens decision.

    Good luck with you pondering.
    Last edited by Cage; 28-12-2015 at 2:51pm.
    Cheers
    Kev

    D600 : D7200 and too much stuff to list

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cage View Post
    I guess now is the time to have a serious think about what sort of photography you are interested in before you make a lens decision.

    Good luck with you pondering.
    This is the part we are yet really to discover... Will we/ my daughter take on a set area, or will we enjoy a lot of different types of photography.
    Last edited by EmzDad; 28-12-2015 at 3:16pm.

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    Member Shav Bird Photography's Avatar
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    I concur with everyones comments here. I have the D5300 and there is little differences between the 2 models other than a few extra features. I learned a lot using the kit lenses for a year as I was getting used to the settings. It wasn't until I was noticing smaller nuances the kits lenses lacked over a better quality lens (which I borrowed off a friend) that I decided to make the jump in lens upgrades. It was then that my skill using the kit lenses really started to pay off with a quality lens. I still have my kits lenses and will occasionally use them for various reasons but find they wane in comparison for quality over my Sigma lenses.
    Cheers
    Shav

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    Thanks for the replies so far, I guess I am some what on the right track then... with basically needing a camera to teach us the basics and beyond, also technically advanced enough to keep the young one interested in the gear side of things and the old one confused....


    I am fairly committed though to what we buy in accessories has to be able to be used beyond this body where possible.



    Thanks
    Shane

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Lance B View Post
    The Nikon D5500 has received some excellent comments and reviews, one review by a wall known reviewer, Ming Thein:
    http://blog.mingthein.com/2015/12/21...e-nikon-d5500/
    Hi Lance, that is a very interesting review... thank you for the link..

  9. #9
    Ausphotography Regular swifty's Avatar
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    Hi Shane, I was going to point you to the same Ming Thein review but Lance beat me to it.
    The great thing about the state of photography today is that virtually every camera out there is very good. I honestly feel it is pretty difficult to find a really poor new camera in today's market.

    I'll paraphrase a well known photography guru Thom Hogan:
    1. improve the photographer
    2. improve the support
    3. improve the lens
    ....
    Improve the camera.

    So the camera is well down the list but he was talking in the context of upgraders. So you still need a camera to begin with and I think a D5500 is a good choice amongst many good choices out there. Now find a deal. Not too long ago a largish Aus dealer had 15% off Nikon products across the board.

    So you also need a lens. I'm a big believer in buying the best you can comfortably afford as I feel this ends up saving you money in the long term. But if you're dabbling and need a convenient lens to get comfortable with, then I'd suggest you try second hand. In that the losses are minimal when it comes to on-selling and purchasing the keeper.

    I understand your rationale for looking at FF lenses but I believe that for the shorter end of the focal length it is better to buy the corresponding lens for the sensor format.
    But if you're determined on FF lenses, maybe take a look at the 24-120 f4 VR.
    Reasonably fast aperture, VR and a 36-180mm equiv FOV. Not terribly wide on the wide end though.
    It is also a kit lens on some FX Nikons such as the D750 and kit prices are better than standalone prices which should be reflected in the used market too.

    Consider budgeting for a tripod. You may need a separate thread on this alone. Just warning you haha.
    Nikon FX

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    Thanks swifty, have been reading some info on tri pods... there is a bit of passion there I must say...

    I can see a budget of around $700 will get me an okay tri.... do $1000 to $1500 on lens plus tri pod Up to $1000 and a good flash $400 ish, then I suppose better not skimp on the SD card... so a D5500 for $750 (Aust purchase) is cheap compared to the rest...

  11. #11
    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    Since you are on the start of the journey you can get a good flash cheaper than $400 ish.
    I've found the Yongnuo 568EX-II is built well and does what I want.
    "Enjoy what you can do rather than being frustrated at what you can't." bobt
    Canon 80D, 60D, Canon 28-105, Sigma 150-600S, a speedlite, a tripod, a monopod, a remote release and a padded bag to carry things in.

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    Ausphotography Regular swifty's Avatar
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    I'm not familiar with the current tripod pricing so I'll let another forum member brief you. Whilst I subscribe to the practice of buying the best I can comfortably afford, and I do think tripod is a tool almost all photographers will eventually get, depending on the genre you end up liking you may not use tripods as often. So the budget should also be tailored to your use and right now you don't know exactly what that will be yet. So perhaps budget for it but hold off buying for the time being until you're more comfortable knowing your needs.
    I spent around $500 for my tripod and head many years ago and haven't needed to upgrade at all. But I also don't use it often although when I do, I'm glad I didn't cheap out those many years ago. But I suspect $700 is more than enough given it is more competitive these days than when I was shopping for mine.
    I feel the same goes for the flash. Something that most of us will have in our bags eventually but not everyone is into flash photography and will use it often.

    I think start with the camera and lens first. Then add as required. But improving the photographer/s all the time as you go.
    Improving support doesn't necessary mean buy a tripod. Your technique contributes a lot to how steady you support that camera or how smooth you can pan etc.
    Consider adding a fast (aperture wise) prime lens as part of the purchase in addition to the convenient zoom. It is easier to learn and see the effects of changing DOF with faster lens.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Oh btw, if you do end up going with Nikon, there's a $100 cashback on the D5500 currently until the 31st. So I'm not sure if your $750 is before or after cashback. If its after, I think you can get a better deal atm. Plus buying from Authorised reseller means 2 years warranty too.

  13. #13
    Still in the Circle of Confusion Cage's Avatar
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    Try http://www.staticice.com.au/cgi-bin/...n+D5500&spos=3 as a starting point for prices.

    They currently show Georges Cameras as having the D5500 for $618.00 after the $100.00 cashback. Make sure you buy from an authorised Aussie dealer for the local warranty.

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    Hi Cage, there is a certain deception there.. just went and looked that is then plus gst plus freight... Thanks for the link though... I can walk down to the Logan Hyper dome area and get it for $750 after cash back... I am looking around for places to buy though.

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    Still in the Circle of Confusion Cage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrolit View Post
    Hi Cage, there is a certain deception there.. just went and looked that is then plus gst plus freight... Thanks for the link though... I can walk down to the Logan Hyper dome area and get it for $750 after cash back... I am looking around for places to buy though.
    Actually on the Georges site it comes up as $718.00, less the $100.00 cash back from Nikon, making it a net $618.00, plus freight.

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    I apologize Cage, yes that is correct. $20.00 freight.

    So $640.00 delivered after cash back.
    Last edited by EmzDad; 28-12-2015 at 11:07pm.

  17. #17
    Still in the Circle of Confusion Cage's Avatar
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    You pay $738.00 up front including freight, and Nikon give you $100.00 cash back making it a net $638.00. It's the cheapest price from an authorised Nikon dealer I've seen.

    And you then join My Nikon Life and the warranty is extended to two years.

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    Thanks Cage,

    Looking through the local store's web site this morning I see they are giving $150 gift voucher as well... So $850 - $100 nikon ($750)+ $150 gift voucher, I didn't notice the gift voucher yesterday... So the $150 gift voucher should help me cover SD card (next thing to research) and a carry bag...

    I can get the Tamron lens I think I want (28/300mm F3.5-6.3 Di VC PZD) from one of our site sponsor for a very good price....

    [top]


  19. #19
    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    That Tamron lens rings a bell. I think that somewhere recently I read a bad review about it.
    Do your homework on it. -- And, it's only that lens from Tamron. (--And who knows, I cold be wrong.)

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    Ausphotography Regular MissionMan's Avatar
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    I'm going to throw a spanner in the works here and ask why you wouldn't start her on mirrorless with something like an OM-D, particularly given the smaller body size (she is 12 after all), smaller lenses and the fact that mirrorless is actually very good and probably won't limit her ability in any way or form in the short term.

    I know DSLR would seem the natural way to go, but I think if my daughter had to get into it now, I'd be consider mirrorless as the preferred option at this point in time, and I use DSLR's at the moment so there is no element of bias in this.
    Last edited by MissionMan; 29-12-2015 at 8:58am.
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