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Kentochan
Aug 9, 2011, 08:43 PM
So I'm thinking about getting into photography more seriously, as I feel digital cameras are too limiting. And I feel that the new Sony Alpha a35 will suffice as my first DSLR camera. My dad had some A mount Sigma lenses for his old Minolta, so I can go about using those, and the camera itself has a good price point of $599.

So if anyone has experience or suggestions for Sony Alpha cameras, or any other beginner DSLRs, please leave a comment. Thank you!



ergdegdeg
Aug 9, 2011, 08:46 PM
I got the A330 pretty much exactly a year ago. I'm happy with it and it's taken some very good pictures even under difficult conditions.

I'd say go for it, especially if you have lenses you can use already.

Vudoo
Aug 9, 2011, 08:50 PM
I have a friend who has an Alpha, but he felt it was limiting so he's replacing it with a Canon or a Nikon for low light photography.

supercooled
Aug 9, 2011, 09:11 PM
I have a friend who has an Alpha, but he felt it was limiting so he's replacing it with a Canon or a Nikon for low light photography.

Shouldn't your friend invest in a better lens for low light shooting rather than abandoning the brand/system altogether? Seems a little impetuous.

For myself, I'm saving up for a t3i. I don't have any legacy lenses so I'm starting on a clean slate.

Vudoo
Aug 9, 2011, 09:15 PM
Shouldn't your friend invest in a better lens for low light shooting rather than abandoning the brand/system altogether? Seems a little impetuous.

For myself, I'm saving up for a t3i. I don't have any legacy lenses so I'm starting on a clean slate.

He wasn't happy with Sony's selection of lenses.

Laird Knox
Aug 9, 2011, 09:28 PM
And I feel that the new Sony Alpha a35 will suffice as my first DSLR camera.

Not a good place to start in my opinion. When you say your "first" DSLR it implies that it may not be the camera you really want. If you have your eye on another manufacturer's camera then you would be better off saving until you can afford it. Otherwise you end up paying for the gear twice.

On the other hand if you are happy with the Sony and where you believe both you and the brand will be in the future then go for it.

My point is - don't get locked into a brand if it isn't really where you want to be.

Hipnomac
Aug 9, 2011, 10:27 PM
He wasn't happy with Sony's selection of lenses.

I bought the T3i a few months ago, and I am very pleased with it. It is my first DSLR, and I think it's a great starting point. You can rely heavily on the auto features, and slowly branch out into more manual things. I have taken some great photos. Just bought a 50mm lens for cheap, and it's awesome.

Take your time and do your research, you will likely change bodies down the road, but lenses you can keep forever, so choose a line you like from the beginning. I suggest going to the store, and seeing how they feel in your hand. I played with a friends T3i, and I bought it the next week.

Happy shooting.

fitshaced
Aug 9, 2011, 11:15 PM
I think that if you're considering getting more serious about photography, choose a body you believe will give you a bigger learning curve than beginner models. They all have auto modes so you will be able to take pictures with any camera you get. But the more function it provides, the more there is to learn.

Vudoo
Aug 9, 2011, 11:34 PM
I bought the T3i a few months ago, and I am very pleased with it. It is my first DSLR, and I think it's a great starting point. You can rely heavily on the auto features, and slowly branch out into more manual things. I have taken some great photos. Just bought a 50mm lens for cheap, and it's awesome.


I am sure that the Sony is a fine camera, but sometimes you have to look down the road. A lot of people choose Canon because they have a larger selection of lenses especially affordable f/4 lenses. I personally went with Nikon.

gnd
Aug 10, 2011, 12:05 AM
So I'm thinking about getting into photography more seriously, as I feel digital cameras are too limiting. And I feel that the new Sony Alpha a35 will suffice as my first DSLR camera. My dad had some A mount Sigma lenses for his old Minolta, so I can about using those, and the camera itself is a good price point of $599.

So if anyone has experience or suggestions for Sony Alpha cameras, or any other beginner DSLRs, please leave a comment. Thank you!

I guess it depends on those Sigma A mount lenses. If they're decent lenses then you should go with a camera that has the same mount. If on the other hand those lenses are nothing special (mediocre Sigma "kit" lenses) then by all means, don't be limited to Sony ...
And if that is the case, may I suggest Pentax K-R as a great entry level DSLR? ;)

Kentochan
Aug 10, 2011, 12:12 AM
Thank you for all of the advice! It's great that there is a friendly community of photographers here on MacRumors :D

I'll look into other brands before buying a camera, and not be limited to choosing Sony. And being Japanese, I am also not limited to the US camera market either, as I go there to visit once every year or so. If there are benefits to purchasing cameras/lenses directly from Japan, please let me know!

And as a follow up question, what do you guys consider good websites to read reviews on cameras/lenses, or websites to get started with DSLR photography altogether? I also have Photoshop CS5 Extended, so if you know any sites to get started with that, I'd appreciate it very much.

mackmgg
Aug 10, 2011, 09:01 AM
Thank you for all of the advice! It's great that there is a friendly community of photographers here on MacRumors :D

I'll look into other brands before buying a camera, and not be limited to choosing Sony. And being Japanese, I am also not limited to the US camera market either, as I go there to visit once every year or so. If there are benefits to purchasing cameras/lenses directly from Japan, please let me know!

And as a follow up question, what do you guys consider good websites to read reviews, or websites to get started with DSLR photography? I also have Photoshop CS5 Extended, so if you know any sites to get started with that, I'd appreciate it very much.

How urgently do you need it? If you wait until Black Friday in November, or late December around the holidays you could get a lot of cameras in that price range. Both Canon and Nikon usually have pretty big sales, as does B&H Photo.

Also, don't buy a camera based on price and features alone. Go to an actual store that sells the cameras, and try them in person. Most cameras have similar features by now, but they all have a different design/layout of buttons.

And there's no advantage to ordering in Japan. In fact, I would advise against it because then the warranty may not work in the US.

sumone
Aug 10, 2011, 09:45 AM
And as a follow up question, what do you guys consider good websites to read reviews on cameras/lenses, or websites to get started with DSLR photography altogether? I also have Photoshop CS5 Extended, so if you know any sites to get started with that, I'd appreciate it very much.

http://www.digital-photography-school.com/

I'm also a beginner and have been using this site to help me learn along the way. Hope it helps you too good luck with your photography! :)

Brenzo
Aug 10, 2011, 10:19 AM
I purchased my first DSLR, a Nikon D5100 (http://www.amazon.com/Nikon-D5100-Digital-18-55mm-3-5-5-6/dp/B004V4IWKG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1312989199&sr=8-1), when it was released this past April. I looked at the 3100, but ultimately decided I wanted the features in the 5100 and felt the extra money was worth it to have a camera that I could "grow" into. My only regret is that I was so eager to have this camera before a trip, that I bought it about four weeks before Amazon dropped the price by $100. Also, I got it with the kit lens (18-55mm), which isn't a bad lens to learn with, but I'm already plotting my next lens purchase and realize that I will use the kit lens less and less in the future. Granted, the price difference now is only $50 so you should just get the full kit. When I purchased it, however, I could have saved closed to $150, which would have been used to purchase this beauty (http://www.amazon.com/Nikon-50mm-1-8G-AF-S-NIKKOR/dp/B004Y1AYAC/ref=sr_1_2?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1312989435&sr=1-2).

Also, I would definitely recommend taking a class or two that is focused on both learning the features of your DSLR (no more shooting in Auto!) and has some tips on working with RAW files in post-production.

Another good site is Ken Rockwell (http://www.kenrockwell.com/), he really knows his stuff and in addition to lots of tutorials and tips, he has plenty of unbiased and in depth reviews of various lenses and bodies.

stevendphoto
Aug 10, 2011, 03:28 PM
Go with a Canon if you are serious about getting into photography.

You can find whatever you need used in the Fredmiranda.com Buy & Sell Forum.

HBOC
Aug 10, 2011, 04:14 PM
Go with a Canon if you are serious about getting into photography.

You can find whatever you need used in the Fredmiranda.com Buy & Sell Forum.

Why you say that? The D3 line is probably the low light king right now. The Nikon line-up I would say is probably more "updated" than Canons', and by a long shot. The D7000 has a 39pt AF system. Even the 7D only has 19.

I am by no means a Nikon guy (never have owned anything but Canon bodies dating back to film), but telling someone to just get Canon if you "want to get serious" is kinda ignorant. You might want to let everyone who is using Nikon know that they aren't serious about photography.

My suggestion is simple and honest. Go to a store that has different systems. Try them out. Any pro shop will let you take shots with the cameras. Go through the menus, see how they feel in your hand. All cameras are tools, they just have different features. Do some research. DPReview.com is a great start, as is FredMiranda.

Sony is coming out with some serious stuff now. Interesting to see how the others' react.

ytk
Aug 10, 2011, 06:18 PM
When I purchased my first DSLR I had no lenses, so I wasn't committed to any one system yet. I looked around and ultimately decided on Pentax, specifically the K10D. I can't recommend Pentax highly enough. For a price point that is the same or lower than Canon or Nikon, you simply get more for your buck. The only downside is that you obviously can't use Canon or Nikon lenses, but there are plenty of great lenses made with a Pentax K-mount. That fact is also offset somewhat by the fact that the K-mount is backwards compatible with all Pentax lenses going back to the mid-70s, many of which are excellent lenses and can be had quite cheaply on the used market (albeit largely because they lack the features of modern lenses, such as autofocus and ability to set the aperture on the camera body).

While some of the very high end lenses are only made for Canon or Nikon, the vast majority of lenses on the market have a Pentax version or an equivalent version for Pentax from another manufacturer, and often cheaper as well. I've been quite happy with my camera and the lens selection, and given the current state of the market, if I were starting from scratch now I'd easily go with Pentax.

Vudoo
Aug 10, 2011, 07:21 PM
And as a follow up question, what do you guys consider good websites to read reviews on cameras/lenses, or websites to get started with DSLR photography altogether? I also have Photoshop CS5 Extended, so if you know any sites to get started with that, I'd appreciate it very much.

Kentochan,

I have found DPReview.com to be one of the best websites for digital photography especially since they have a large variety of forums that you can drill down into besides the normal reviews and comparisons.

Go with a Canon if you are serious about getting into photography.


Stevendphoto,

I guess I must not be serious about photography since I have about $10,000 worth of Nikon gear. And this Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 lens that I have, where even Canon users are salivating over, must be crap also. At least I have a point and shoot Canon SD700is which redeems me. :rolleyes:

tinman0
Aug 11, 2011, 11:03 AM
So I'm thinking about getting into photography more seriously, as I feel digital cameras are too limiting. And I feel that the new Sony Alpha a35 will suffice as my first DSLR camera. My dad had some A mount Sigma lenses for his old Minolta, so I can go about using those, and the camera itself has a good price point of $599.

So if anyone has experience or suggestions for Sony Alpha cameras, or any other beginner DSLRs, please leave a comment. Thank you!

I'd go to either Canon or Nikon if you are serious about it being a hobby. I'm still on my 'beginner' DSLR and it's been 5 years now (Canon 400D/XTi). Easier to grow into and more people have the kit.

For instance, last week I was standing at the top of one of the highest passes in Europe, and got talking to a German. He handed me his Canon 100-400L to use! If you go for a second tier manufacturer, that will never happen! (And thats not the first time I've swapped lenses with random people for a few minutes).

HBOC
Aug 11, 2011, 11:40 AM
Kentochan,

I have found DPReview.com to be one of the best websites for digital photography especially since they have a large variety of forums that you can drill down into besides the normal reviews and comparisons.



Stevendphoto,

I guess I must not be serious about photography since I have about $10,000 worth of Nikon gear. And this Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 lens that I have, where even Canon users are salivating over, must be crap also. At least I have a point and shoot Canon SD700is which redeems me. :rolleyes:

That Nikon 14-24 is such an amazing lens. Marc Adamus used it for his cover shot of the July issue of Outdoor Photographer with his 1Ds3. That will be my next lens, although the Tokina I have now is in Nikon mount!

ChrisA
Aug 11, 2011, 01:22 PM
So I'm thinking about getting into photography more seriously, as I feel digital cameras are too limiting. And I feel that the new Sony Alpha a35 will suffice as my first DSLR camera. My dad had some A mount Sigma lenses for his old Minolta, so I can go about using those, and the camera itself has a good price point of $599.

So if anyone has experience or suggestions for Sony Alpha cameras, or any other beginner DSLRs, please leave a comment. Thank you!

You are right to think about the decision to select a "mount type". o many beginners think first abot selecting an SLR body first. You ar buying a "system" and over the years the parts will be bought and sold but the mont type will not change.

The most conservative choice is to go with either Nikon or Canon. Because you know they have been about for many ears, the used market is FULL of good lenses fr these systems. Both companies are committed to the SLR and likely will remain so for decades. None of the above applies to Sony. I can't think of any technolly standard that Sony has stuck with long term, "long term" What have they ever done for 30 years or for 50? On the other hand if I bring a lens I own like my 55mm f/3.5 "micro nikor" that was built in 1964 in for service Nikon will take care of it. (that said there is nothing wrong with it and it still works fine with my Nikon dSLR.) My gues is that in 20 years Sony will not be making SLRs