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Author Topic: Opinions please - best entry level DSLR  (Read 27191 times)
Mike Allen
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« on: August 25, 2012, 04:19:39 AM »
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I'm trying to gauge what is the best entry level DSLR available on a budget of about 500 ($750).  I'd appreciate any pros and cons, I'm buying it for my son I dont want anything too fancy - but dont want to end up with a lemon.
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Jim Pascoe
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« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2012, 04:28:57 AM »
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Mike, I see know one has answered your question - perhaps because it is too wide ranging, and also it is in the combocam section.  You cannot buy a lemon of a camera for this money - they will all probably be able to exceed the quality your photography might ever require.  My advice would be to go into a store and handle a few.  If you find a good assistant you might be able to explain your intended use and they will be able to get you started.  A DSLR is a system camera and options for growth in that system might determine your choice.

Jim
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Les Sparks
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« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2012, 09:37:01 PM »
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I agree with Jim that most cameras in this price range will be quite good. I suggest you consider the future in making your entry level purchase. Even with an entry level camera, the user is soon going to want another lens and good lens cost as much or more as the camera. And soon a person has a collection of lens and is more or less locked into the camera line he started with. So I suggest you look at the offerings of the various companies with an idea of what might be your son's next camera (assuming he becomes more serious). Right now Canon seems to be behind in the upgrade of the entry level market. Sony and Nikon offer better sensors.
I have Canon equipment and have been very pleased with it. However, in the current market I would probably go Nikon because the upgrade from APS-C to full frame seems to favor Nikon.

Les
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deejjjaaaa
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« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2012, 09:56:36 PM »
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I'm trying to gauge what is the best entry level DSLR available on a budget of about 500 ($750).  I'd appreciate any pros and cons, I'm buying it for my son I dont want anything too fancy - but dont want to end up with a lemon.

actually you probably will be better off with a mirrorless camera instead of dSLR - at least no need to pain yourself over PDAF calibration  Cheesy ...
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RFPhotography
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« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2012, 08:33:39 AM »
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actually you probably will be better off with a mirrorless camera instead of dSLR - at least no need to pain yourself over PDAF calibration  Cheesy ...

The guy is looking for basic advice and you tell him something about PDAF calibration?   Shocked Roll Eyes  Like that's a common term for someone who's not familiar with cameras/photography and expect him to know what it means.  Hell I don't even know what it means.

Mike, there are plenty of good cameras out there that will fit your budget.  Pentax, Nikon, Canon, Sony, Panasonic, Olympus, etc. all make very fine cameras and with very similar capabilities.  The advice to go into a store and check the cameras out is good.  But if you're buying it for your son, take him along with you.  What feels good to you and what type of controls you like may not be what your son likes.  Given that many of the cameras in your price range will offer similar features and photographic quality it really comes down to comfort in the hands.  If the camera isn't comfortable and the controls aren't how your son wants them to be, he won't use the camera.
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deejjjaaaa
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« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2012, 09:52:43 AM »
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The guy is looking for basic advice and you tell him something about PDAF calibration?   Shocked Roll Eyes 

Basic advice that was indeed - get a mirrorless camera and forget about low level dslr.
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xsydx
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« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2012, 09:56:41 AM »
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If you are looking for a combo dslr then i would go with Canon T4i or T3i depending on how ridged you are with your 750 budget. Both produce good quality photos and amazing video with the right settings.
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fike
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« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2012, 10:08:27 AM »
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I would have to agree that for now you should avoid canon. For the first time in many years, canon is more than a little bit inferior (and I am a canon user).  In the past you could point to many attributes and say the overall differences in image quality were negligible.  That isn't true any more. Canon is truly behind on image quality. 

Take the mirror less options seriously.  The can be every bit as good as the traditional optical viewfinder DSLRs with less weight at a lower price.  
« Last Edit: October 25, 2012, 10:10:10 AM by fike » Logged

Fike, Trailpixie, or Marc Shaffer
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Morgan_Moore
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« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2012, 06:44:54 AM »
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I think all cameras are excellent.

Now in '89 I got my first nikon,
then in '90 a 50 1.4
then a 24,
then a 135
bla bla
Now I have bucks tied up in nikon 14, 400 2.8 whatever..

Point is a fairly snap decision, my first 100 camera ended up pushing me down a lens line for twenty years

You are in combo cams - suggest a potential interest in filming..

Does that lead one in a direction? I dunno, but I dont rate canon glass for filming or universal swapping about,
I dont rate nikon for filming cos the focus goes the other way from other stuff
I dont rate sony because its non swappable
MFT? Dunno!

So
« Last Edit: November 01, 2012, 06:47:03 AM by Morgan_Moore » Logged

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tjbates
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« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2012, 04:38:56 AM »
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By now you've no doubt gone ahead and purchased a camera.

However - some thoughts for what they are worth.
You should be able to pick up a very good intermediate level DSLR at a local (serious) camera store that sells used equipment. The point here is that if your son gets the photography bug, he'll discover the desire to use different lenses. I believe that a used camera and a good lens is a better choice for a beginner than an expensive new camera body and an poor quality kit lens.

A used Canon EOS or Nikon camera that's 4 years old has similar image quality to a more recent model. With the spare change out of your budget, a better quality lens can be acquired.
An example: A used Canon EOS 40D an EF 40mm f2.8 or EF 50mm f1.8 or f1.4.

Micro 4/3 (mirror-less) cameras are also a good choice because very good older manual film camera lenses can be bought inexpensively and used with this system.
I use my old Canon FD lenses on my Panasonic GH2 with a $30 adapter and have experienced a lot of fun and very good results.
Micro 4/3 cameras are lighter and smaller than even entry level DSLR's and are popular with those of us who have lost the desire to lug around heavy larger cameras and lenses. The GH2 can be bought new with kit lens for about 500 GBP. I mainly use the Panasonic 20mm f1.7 and the Canon FD 50mm 1.4 lens.
Remember - a 20mm lens on a m4/3 camera will present a similar field of view as a 40mm lens on a full frame body.
A 40mm lens on a APS-C (Canon EOS 40D) will present a similar field of view as 65mm on full frame.
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