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Old Feb 18, 2013, 01:06 PM   #1
Gator24765
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Advice Needed for DSLR Camera

I am looking to purchase a DSLR camera in the near future. I am not a professional photographer by any means so I would like find something that is price friendly and easy to use for a beginner photographer.

Also, one of the reasons I am getting this is because DSLR's take great video. I would like one that can take greta video and has an attachment for an external microphone (maybe like a rode video mic).


Budget would be around $400-$500
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 03:51 PM   #2
Chris64tx
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Here is a little advice. There only two choices (in my opinion) Nikon or Canon. I am a serious photographer for about 10 years now. When I started out I was like you asking and looking for advice. The best thing you can do is go to your local camera shop and ask to hold both nikon and canon entry level DSLR in your hand. Choose the one that feels the best in your hand. That is how I started with nikon. 10 years later I have totally brought into the nikon ecosystem. I am very happy.. once you choose a camera manufacturer, go online and do your research for about a month or two. At that point you should be ready to pulled the trigger. Good luck!!!!!!
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 03:53 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Gator24765 View Post
I am looking to purchase a DSLR camera in the near future. I am not a professional photographer by any means so I would like find something that is price friendly and easy to use for a beginner photographer.

Also, one of the reasons I am getting this is because DSLR's take great video. I would like one that can take greta video and has an attachment for an external microphone (maybe like a rode video mic).


Budget would be around $400-$500
Just bought this:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Happy with photos and videos.
Does this count as DSLR? I'm pretty ignorant when it comes to these things....
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 05:14 PM   #4
JackHobbs
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I second the advice of going to a local camera shop. Try out different cameras in your hand and see what is comfortable. Talk with the sales assistant. Read photography magazines. If you have friends with DSLRs discuss their choices and their experiences. Why did they buy their camera and whether or not they are happy with your choices. The more information you have the better. Once you buy into a system and start buying lenses you tend to stick with that system. The more lenses you buy, the less likely you are to swap. I am a Canon user and really love the DSLRs that I have used. It would take a lot for me to swap to another manufacturer. I have a lot of money invested in good glass. In the end it comes down to personal preferences and the best way to start is by handling a few cameras. Good luck with your choice.
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 08:32 PM   #5
Efrem
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Originally Posted by Mac'nCheese View Post
Just bought this:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Happy with photos and videos.
Does this count as DSLR? I'm pretty ignorant when it comes to these things....
This is a fine camera, but (a) it is not a DSLR, as among other things it does not allow the user to change the lens; and (b) it's not the latest model, since it's been replaced by the FZ200. That doesn't mean your camera is obsolete, though. The major user-visible difference between the two is that the FZ200 has a maximum aperture of f2.8 throughout its zoom range (unique in its class) while the FZ150 drops off to a maximum opening of f5.2 as you zoom out. If you got it at a good price, you should be quite happy with it.
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 10:17 PM   #6
glenthompson
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What type video do you plan to take? A GoPro-HD takes great video in action situations but isn't suitable for other types of situations. Do you want a still camera that also takes video? If video is your primary task, consider a video camera with a point and shoot for stills.

More information is needed before relevant advice can be given.
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 10:45 PM   #7
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What type video do you plan to take? A GoPro-HD takes great video in action situations but isn't suitable for other types of situations. Do you want a still camera that also takes video? If video is your primary task, consider a video camera with a point and shoot for stills.

More information is needed before relevant advice can be given.

I currently have a HD Video Camera. A Canon Vixia HF20. I have had it for years. I also have a point and shoot, Canon PowerShot 300.


I have just been impressed with the quality of video that I have seen people shoot on their DSLR cameras. Most people I see nowadays are shooting with DSLRs.



Basically what am I going to be using it for?

1). Basic photo usage (More professional looking photos)
2). Shooting product reviews for YouTube
3). Interviews
4). Eventually, minor sports photography
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 11:24 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Gator24765 View Post
I currently have a HD Video Camera. A Canon Vixia HF20. I have had it for years. I also have a point and shoot, Canon PowerShot 300.


I have just been impressed with the quality of video that I have seen people shoot on their DSLR cameras. Most people I see nowadays are shooting with DSLRs.

....
One huge problem is going to be the audio. DSLRs simply do NOT have even half way decent microphones. Nor do they allow you an easy way to plug in a good quality professional mic. You can do it.

The other things you will need is something to hold the camera. either a triod with a fluid head or a steady cam type of setup. Next is lighting. What you find is that the "extras" cost a lot more than the basic camera.

What is wrong wit the video your current camera makes? This is a serious question. Can you list the defects?

I hate to say it but most of the time the reason the video or stills don't look "professional" has little to do with the camera. It is mostly technique and lightingand so on.
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 11:24 PM   #9
glenthompson
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Good information. One of the major factors in improved video (and still pix) with DSLRs is the sensor size. They are much larger than what is found in your video and P&S cameras.

As mentioned, Nikon and Canon are always good choices. I use a Sony Nex-7 because I wanted the small size of a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. If size isn't an issue, Canon and Nikon offer more lens and accessory choices.

You will have to decide if you want to go full frame or APS-C size on the sensor. For your described needs, APS-C should be sufficient and can save you some money. Since you're already sing Canon cameras, you may find their UI more familiar.
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Old Feb 20, 2013, 09:57 AM   #10
MrGIS
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Originally Posted by Mac'nCheese View Post
Just bought this:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Happy with photos and videos.
Does this count as DSLR? I'm pretty ignorant when it comes to these things....
Sorry, that is not a DSLR..
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Old Feb 20, 2013, 12:46 AM   #11
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Shooting video on a DSLR is not the same as a point and shoot camera. If you are buying a DSLR make sure you look at the other features besides video. Video shooting one feature and the other times you will be shooting stills. Make sure those other features fits your needs.

Some DSLR have mono audio when recording video.

Some DSLR do not have auto zoom. That's not a problem for some because you would want to manually zoom in and out.

Photography isn't cheap. If you want to get the best out of your camera, you will need better glass. $500 won't get you in the park even for a used D90.

Check around Cameralabs.com and Dpreview.com for the specs on cameras.

Find two or three models that you like. ei Canon T3i or Nikon D5000 and go to a camera shop to test them out. If you don't have a store in your area, rent the gear from lensrental.com

The other day I shot some footage on my D90 and eventhough I've had it since it came out, video capture is still tricky.
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Old Feb 20, 2013, 04:01 AM   #12
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My advice: Nikon D3200

This is Nikon's entry-level DSLR. I actually owned it for a few months before realizing that the type of photography I'm interested in would require a switch to a full-frame body (I ended up getting a Nikon D600). I knew nothing about DSLRs or photography prior to owning the D3200 and was able to learn quite a bit from it, before feeling confident enough to transition to a more expensive platform. I was very happy with the results it was giving me and would've kept it had it met my specific needs. -- For what you're describing, however, I think this is a great camera for you to start out with.

It does go for $596 on Amazon, which is a little over your budget, but if you planned on buying at a brick & mortar store, sales tax would've put you over the $500 mark anyway. Amazon doesn't charge you for shipping and doesn't collect sales tax. B&H Photo also sales it for that price and, like Amazon, they don't charge for shipping and don't collect sales tax either, plus they're currently including a free 16GB memory card and camera bag.

It will also allow you to attach a microphone, such as the RODE mic:

Thumb resize.

Last edited by Caliber26; Feb 20, 2013 at 04:26 AM.
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Old Feb 20, 2013, 04:34 AM   #13
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Some DSLR do not have auto zoom. That's not a problem for some because you would want to manually zoom in and out.

What DSLR has auto zoom? What does that even mean?
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Old Feb 24, 2013, 12:17 AM   #14
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What DSLR has auto zoom? What does that even mean?

Sorry SOme of the DLSR don't have auto zoom in video mode. But you really don't need to use that feature because it can get annoying with it auto zooming.


Nikon D5200
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yl0IAYPMJ_E

Nikon D700 vs Canon 7D
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9DTo-Rd8oE

Canon T4i
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pfINGg4w6XM

Nikon D3200
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3pJfmJsI054

D600 vs 6D
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jmnoabuXzy0


If you are planning to use a DSLR as a video camera remember that this is not a point & shoot type technology. If you shoot in Auto mode, the camera will guess your settings and sometimes it might not be right. Canon T4i and Nikon D7100 might be the best ones out there in a low budget. Just remember that video is one option. If you gonna shoot stills, make sure that the camera you select fit your needs. When I bought my DSLR I wanted to have options. The entry level cameras do not give you a lot of options. With Nikon entry level DSLR you get a only the G type lenses. You can't AF with any of the older lenses.. To capture the best video you would need a tripod or some type of rig to keep the camera steady.

If you want something to grow with, I would forgo any entry level camera and look at the Canon 7D or Nikon D7000. Basically, you have more options. Your budget is for P&S camera. Get a Canon G series.


http://philipbloom.net/2012/01/17/whichdslr/
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Old Feb 20, 2013, 05:01 PM   #15
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Also, one of the reasons I am getting this is because DSLR's take great video.
You are very much mistaken, DSLR's do not take great video at all. DSLR's have only one party trick compared to dedicated video cameras and that's being able to take video with a shallow depth of field. In every other measure a DSLR is inferior for video compared to even middle level consumer camcorders, both in controls & usability and in video quality.

In your price range for pure video you would be far better served with a Panasonic V700 camcorder, that takes great video, and it has a mic in jack.

If you absolutely must get a DSLR for video then make it a Sony for its translucent mirror, maybe a A57 (or the A58 announced just yerterday).

Last edited by twitch31; Feb 20, 2013 at 05:10 PM.
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Old Feb 24, 2013, 02:24 AM   #16
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You are very much mistaken, DSLR's do not take great video at all. DSLR's have only one party trick compared to dedicated video cameras and that's being able to take video with a shallow depth of field. In every other measure a DSLR is inferior for video compared to even middle level consumer camcorders, both in controls & usability and in video quality.
+1. The CMOS sensors used on most of the entry level SLRs result in quite terrible "jelly wobble" (or jello to you culinarily-challenged Americans). That is, a juddering effect resulting from the scan time of the image down the CMOS sensor. You can see the same effect on you iPhones and iPads when you pan across a straight vertical line: the straight lines aren't so straight anymore.

If video is a priority, then the wobble is controlled better in Canon SLRs, however their image quality in pure data terms tends to be lesser than the still images from the equivalent Nikons.
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Old Feb 24, 2013, 10:53 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Gator24765 View Post
I am looking to purchase a DSLR camera in the near future. I am not a professional photographer by any means so I would like find something that is price friendly and easy to use for a beginner photographer.

Also, one of the reasons I am getting this is because DSLR's take great video. I would like one that can take greta video and has an attachment for an external microphone (maybe like a rode video mic).


Budget would be around $400-$500
the #1 thing to understand is that you are not buying a "camera" you are buying a system that includes a dSLR body and a few lenses and maybe a speedlight (aka "flash") and that this system is live longer then the dSLR body which you will upgrade or replace. How the current Nikon or Canon entry-level dSLR body fits you had is a small detail.

What really maters is who makes the parts of the system you might want to buy in the future.

The good news is that it hardly matters. No one will be able to guess which brand of SLR you used when the see your photos. You can get equal results with any brand.

So just plan ahead a while. Buy a simple system then after shooting 1,000 frames (yes wait that long, at least) buy a second lens to get the shots you could not get. Then do a few thousand more and repeat as required. Sell the gear you don't use. After a few years you will have what you need.

If you shoot videos then please read a book about film making before you buy anything. NOT a book about how to fiddle with cameras but about film making. This will tell you what kinds of shots you will need and that you will want and why you need a tripod.
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Old Feb 24, 2013, 11:49 PM   #18
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In the right hands, DSLRs can make beautiful things. For the average untrained consumer it will be worse than what they could do with a similarly priced video camera.

If you're ready to do some learning and the projects you have in mind are involved enough, a DSLR might be right for you. Bonus you get a great stills camera.

I would recommend trying to find a Canon t2i/550d. It's a discontinued model but it's very similar to the t3i and the t4i (same sensor and image quality). If you can find one, it will probably be in your price range, putting it in front of the bottom of the line DSLRs that only shot 720p like the t3. It's also a much better stills camera and can use magic lantern.
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