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Old Nov 12, 2013, 03:05 PM   #1
Goftrey
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350D or Bridge Camera?

Hey everyone, I'm (finally) dipping my toes into the world of photography & need something to just ease my way into the swing of things.

Long story short - I've got about £150 to spend on a camera. Now I thought to myself 'this is definitely not an off-the-shelf DSLR budget, I may as well start looking at these bridge cameras.

Some of them seem pretty decent for the money - you've got some lower down the scale that are basically average point-and-shoot cameras with a ridiculous zoom stuck on the front. And then you've some that actually give you some versatility in the form of manual controls & produce decent looking pictures.

Then - I came across this little guy, the 350D. They're going second hand on eBay with your standard 18-55mm lens for around £100. That seems to me like an incredible price for a DSLR, regardless of the age.

I then did my standard Flikr crawl, saw the photos those guys have been posting on here & was completely blown away (especially compared to the bridge cameras I was looking at).

Is it a good camera for a beginner to buy in 2013 (going on 2014) over something like a Fujifilm S4500/Nikon L820?

Cheers!

PS. I'd also like to point out that I posted this thread here as oppose to the 'Buying Tips' forum as the majority of the posts in there are 'should I buy a gold iPhone or a white iPhone'.
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Old Nov 12, 2013, 03:29 PM   #2
jdavtz
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I used to own a 350D. It was a fantastic camera, and I took some beautiful photos with it.

The one annoyance I found was that it doesn't have Auto-ISO. Which is a pain for travel photography, in and out of buildings etc.

You'll need a lens for it; personally I'd recommend a prime in the 20-35mm range (to give 35-50mm "full frame equivalent"), but I'm not sure your budget will stretch to that. You can always use the 18-55mm lens for a while and then sell it for minimal loss or possibly even a profit on eBay if/when you decide to get something different.
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Old Nov 12, 2013, 04:04 PM   #3
nitromac
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If you are interested in getting more familiar with photography get the DSLR. I had the same question 5+ years ago but went with a cheap DSLR. Super glad I did. The 350D will be more than capable for basically anything you throw at it.

Just remember that equipment does not make a photographer. Having a super expensive setup means nothing if you can't shoot for s***. Learn composition, framing, differences between focal lengths, exposure, etc. Never turn on Auto mode. I'm sure the 350D will fulfill your needs for at least a year or two until you figure out if you need a body with more features.
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Old Nov 12, 2013, 04:14 PM   #4
ChrisA
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The Canon "350" is still a good camera and will work as well today as when it was made. It will outperform any small point and shoot type camera

But think about what brand you buy. You can find a Nikon D60 for the same price. I think the D60 has better ergonomics but let's not debates Nikon vs. Canon SLRs. But if you buy the Canon then you buy a second lens for it then you are stuck buying Canon for life be cue you want the new body to get the lenses you have and vice versa. Same goes for Nikon, it is hard to swap brands later. So look at the used market and thing about where you want to be in 5 years and plan ahead.

For most people the second lens after the 18055 would by a 50mm f/1.8 or maybe the 35mm. In this space I think Nikon has the best 18-55. (It's the 18-55 VR but it sells for $200) Cnon's version is not quite as good. But on the other hand Canon has some lens that are really nice that Nikon does not have.

The Older D60 body has a top plate LCD that is nice and later Canon's like the 400 don't cost much more than the 350.


Today the small non-SLRs are being replaced with cell phone cameras. For point ands hoot shots the iPhone seems to do what most people want. It is the camera you have with you all the time.

But if you go out specifically to create images you want the SLR. The larger sensor is the biggest different then you find that for action photography it is MUCH faster with nearly zero shutter lag.
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Old Nov 12, 2013, 04:32 PM   #5
Policar
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With good lenses and light it will give you images that are as good as current APS-C dSLR, the only issues being autofocus is not as good, the finder is pretty poor, there's no live view, and the LCD is TINY. Obviously newer cameras are better in low light and have more resolution, but the image quality is great from this little camera for what it is and it has the "look" of a higher end dSLR, just not the low light performance. The ergonomics have come a long way, though. The LCD is tiny.

For the money ($300 with a great kit lens), I dig my EOS-M and it has better image quality, but not great autofocus. Not sure I'd recommend it, either.

The thing is... you need good lenses. The kit lens (original 18-55mm) is quite poor. The new version is good, but more expensive. The 50mm f1.8 is decent, but an awkward focal length for a prime. The flipside is that whatever lenses you buy on your first camera will likely work if you upgrade to a higher end dSLR. So spending as little as possible on your first body and more on the lenses makes sense. That makes the Canon vs. Nikon consideration more serious, because with this camera you'd be buying into a system.
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Old Nov 12, 2013, 11:09 PM   #6
Rowbear
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The 350D is a very good camera. The 18-55 may not be the best lens around, but it still does a good job. You could add the inexpensive EF 50 f/1.8 mk2 and have a wonderfull startup kit, much better than any bridge camera.

Good luck with your purchase
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Old Nov 13, 2013, 02:58 AM   #7
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The 350D was a great camera, but for your budget you can do better. My advice would be to take a look at a few of the sites that sell used cameras with a warranty, (example below). I had a 450D before I upgraded in December last year and believe me, that is a much better camera in every respect.

Good luck.

http://www.mpbphotographic.co.uk/sea...ODUCTS&used=on
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Old Nov 13, 2013, 09:58 AM   #8
Goftrey
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Thanks for the responses guys. The 350D definitely looks like the way to go.

I'm seeing 350D bodies going for around £75/£80 in good nick. Whereas a 'starter kit' with the standard kit lens would run in at about £100/£110.

If I go out & buy the body on it's own - what sort of lens would you suggest to get me off the ground? I don't need crazy zoom features or anything super funky. Just an average all-rounder that'll do a bit of this & a bit of that. Just until the time comes when I can go out & buy some slightly better ones.

Thanks again

Quote:
Originally Posted by killwilly View Post
The 350D was a great camera, but for your budget you can do better. My advice would be to take a look at a few of the sites that sell used cameras with a warranty, (example below). I had a 450D before I upgraded in December last year and believe me, that is a much better camera in every respect.
I'd love a 450D but they're £150 for the bodies alone. I'm in the range of £150 inc. lens.
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Old Nov 13, 2013, 10:37 AM   #9
Policar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goftrey View Post
Thanks for the responses guys. The 350D definitely looks like the way to go.

I'm seeing 350D bodies going for around £75/£80 in good nick. Whereas a 'starter kit' with the standard kit lens would run in at about £100/£110.

If I go out & buy the body on it's own - what sort of lens would you suggest to get me off the ground? I don't need crazy zoom features or anything super funky. Just an average all-rounder that'll do a bit of this & a bit of that. Just until the time comes when I can go out & buy some slightly better ones.

Thanks again



I'd love a 450D but they're £150 for the bodies alone. I'm in the range of £150 inc. lens.
The 18-55mm IS II is quite a good lens. The original kit lens not so much.

The issue with dSLRs is that the more specific a lens's purpose the better it is at that purpose. The Mark III with a 24-105mm f4 IS isn't that much better (but is that much bigger) than an RX100 or something, but it is versatile. The more specifically you know what you want, the better (and generally cheaper) you can get that.

What kind of photographs do you want to take? The 50mm f1.8 has the most "bang for the buck" but I find the focal length awkward. It is ok for portraits, though. The 35mm f2 is often cheap used and I like that focal length. The 85mm f1.8 is a very nice focal length on APS-C.
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Old Nov 13, 2013, 11:05 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Policar View Post
The 18-55mm IS II is quite a good lens. The original kit lens not so much.

The issue with dSLRs is that the more specific a lens's purpose the better it is at that purpose. The Mark III with a 24-105mm f4 IS isn't that much better (but is that much bigger) than an RX100 or something, but it is versatile. The more specifically you know what you want, the better (and generally cheaper) you can get that.

What kind of photographs do you want to take? The 50mm f1.8 has the most "bang for the buck" but I find the focal length awkward. It is ok for portraits, though. The 35mm f2 is often cheap used and I like that focal length. The 85mm f1.8 is a very nice focal length on APS-C.
I get where you're coming from with the multiple lenses doing one specific thing over one lens doing multiple things idea.

I guess it'll be mostly landscape shots to begin with. But I'm really interested in fiddling around with aperture & shutter speed. So I'd like to have something that can focus sharply on one object. So an 18-55mm seems to be the best lens to get off the ground with.

I was just wondering if it was economical to buy a body & then a (supposedly) better 18-55mm lens on top, over just going with the whole package.

PS. How well does the reverse lens method work? Could that be a cheap way of shooting a little bit of macro before shelling out on a serrate lens?
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Old Nov 13, 2013, 01:54 PM   #11
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I'll be the first one to vote against the 350D. First a disclaimer, if its between a bridge or 350d then get. the 350. however, the 350D takes the more expensive compactflash cards. It's also fairly limited in terms of ISO range, and has no filming capabilities. Finally, the screen is very small to review fotos.

I would personally say to go for a more recent body, such as the 550d or 1100d. Sure you're spending some more up front, but you get so much more in return:
- iso up to 6400/12800
- bigger, clearer screen
- 720p/1080p filming modes
- sd card slot

i'd advise you to shop around a little bit more and look for another good deal. Now, lenses:

you will be spending 2-3x more money on lenses than on anything else. Unless you already know what you want/need go for a standard kit lens. 18-50mm or something like that. Cheap lenses that you will,always use from,time to time. Other good starters are a 50mm 1.8 and one of the various 70-300 tele lenses that will also do macro in some form. Dont go expecting high IQ though, in most cases you get what you pay for with lenses.
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Old Nov 13, 2013, 05:27 PM   #12
jdavtz
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If a 350D leaves a budget of £75 for a lens, there's no point listing 550D bodies as feasible options.

Various people have suggested a 50/1.8, which is the cheapest Canon prime (AFAIK) but on a crop sensor (which the 350D has) it's not a particularly practical focal length unless you spend a lot of time doing head/shoulders/chest portraits from a few feet away.

I'm not sure what a 35/2 goes for second hand; the 24/2.8 is about £200 so I think that's out of the question.

An 18-55 second hand might be worthwhile to take a few hundred/thousand photos, see which focal length(s) you use most, then sell it and buy a specific lens.

I wouldn't bother with macro to be honest; you need expensive kit to do it well and while you can reverse a 50mm lens you need to buy adaptors which will eat into your small budget.
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Old Nov 13, 2013, 05:28 PM   #13
Goftrey
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Originally Posted by geronimo789 View Post
Snip.
As much as that sounds absolutely great, I'm a complete novice & really just straight up cannot justify chucking hundreds of pounds into something I know absolutely nothing about. This is why I have been looking at these older DSLR's & bridge cameras as a 'back entry' if you like into the world of photography on an extremely tight budget. If I really enjoy it then I will most certainly go out in the future & get myself a really nice setup, but for the time being I just need an ol' banger to get me from A to B. Kind of like a first car.

And having said that I have just bought myself a 350D. It's in really good condition - comes with 2 lenses, a carry case, neck strap, a couple of UV filters & a lens hood. The first lens is a Sigma 18-50/f3.5-5.6. The general consensus is that it's still a pretty average lens but is a fair bit nicer than the standard kit lens that would've come with a 350D. The second is a Canon 50/f1.8 - which I noticed a couple of you guys mentioning as a decent starter lens.

Thanks for the thoughts and help throughout guys. Really appreciate it.
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Old Nov 13, 2013, 06:21 PM   #14
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Chiming in late - sounds a great kit you have there. If you find yourself enjoying it and wanting to spend a bit more, spend it on lenses. Good, fast lenses never go out of fashion but camera bodies depreciate horribly.

The 350D could take a world class image, particularly with that 50mm mounted. It's worth noting that, because of the distance at which the mount is from the film plane on EOS SLRs you can get inexpensive adapters and use old manual lenses from, for example, Olympus and Nikon. You have to do 'stop down metering' but if you're just experimenting you may find some interesting cheap charity shop equipment which gives you a new look to play with.
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Old Nov 14, 2013, 02:33 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goftrey View Post
As much as that sounds absolutely great, I'm a complete novice & really just straight up cannot justify chucking hundreds of pounds into something I know absolutely nothing about. This is why I have been looking at these older DSLR's & bridge cameras as a 'back entry' if you like into the world of photography on an extremely tight budget. If I really enjoy it then I will most certainly go out in the future & get myself a really nice setup, but for the time being I just need an ol' banger to get me from A to B. Kind of like a first car.

And having said that I have just bought myself a 350D. It's in really good condition - comes with 2 lenses, a carry case, neck strap, a couple of UV filters & a lens hood. The first lens is a Sigma 18-50/f3.5-5.6. The general consensus is that it's still a pretty average lens but is a fair bit nicer than the standard kit lens that would've come with a 350D. The second is a Canon 50/f1.8 - which I noticed a couple of you guys mentioning as a decent starter lens.

Thanks for the thoughts and help throughout guys. Really appreciate it.
It seems like prices in the UK are higher than in Eur. I thought my suggestions would end up costing you around 200-250 pounds(the equivalent of the eur prices).

I think you got a very good kit to try and get a feel for the camera (especially for the price !). Small word of advice; test the lenses out a little bit. Most lenses perform better regarding sharpness when 'stopped down' (eg.: using an aperture of 2.8 or 4.0 on the 50mm, or 5.6/8.0 on the zoomlens instead of the maximum 1.8 and 3.5). The effects are much more pronounced with cheaper lenses (not necesarily bad).
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