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Old Jun 11, 2013, 11:40 AM   #1
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Which camera?

I have been enjoying lots of your work on here for a while and am thinking of getting a new camera. I am looking at my first SLR as I only have a cheap crappy Samsung compact at the moment. Most pictures I take have a lot of noise in them and I really would like to be able to use a zoom on occasion! Looking online I see some good deals on the newer Bridge cameras that are like a mini SLR. Can anybody tell me if these sort of cameras are worth it, or will I just end up frustrated and trading up in a few months. Like most, this will strictly be a hobby and I am on a budget
Another option I have is buying second hand, as I work with a lot of Pro's who are always selling their gear. I will of course ask them for advice but don't want to be sold a lemon because it suits their needs. After how many uses is it worth avoiding a second hand camera? Can I make do with just one lens?
I'm mostly interested in Wildlife and landscape photography if that helps.
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Old Jun 11, 2013, 02:07 PM   #2
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I have been enjoying lots of your work on here for a while and am thinking of getting a new camera. I am looking at my first SLR.

Buy a USED SLR system. Start with the best of thr 18-55mm "kit" lenses thn add a SLR body like the Canon 350D or many the Nikon D70. Each of those bode sells for about $150 and the lenses brand new go for $200.

Later pick up a 35mm f/1.8 or the 50mm

Decide on a brand first. Nikon or Canon. Look at the used markets to decide and figure swapping brands later is expensive. So plan ahead.

On the Nikon Size the D70 is the last low cost camera body that can still use the really old Nikon lenses. All canons use all EOS lenses.

Don't worry at all about "megapixels" the more pixels the higher the noise. The D70 is 6MP and the 350D is 8MP both are good the Nikon has better controls, the 350D is smaller.

Then later upgrade the body is you need to but you'd be better off getting lenses first


With a 18-55mm VR lens and a D70 you can have a good setup fr maybe $350 or $300 if yo shop more. About same on the Canon side.


Landscape photos work well with the kit 18-55 lens. One accessory you'd wnt is a tripod. Wildlife photos are not easy to take and tend to requires big expensive lenses and LOTs of your time waiting in a blind. Kind of like deer hunting, first step is find a deer. But with photo then yu have to wait for it to do something interesting like at least look at the camera.

Those big lenses are some expensive that you might deside which brand of camera to buy based on the lens you like. For example who has the best used 300mm f/4 or f/2.8 on the market? One might be $500 cheaper.

Better to buy a nikon 35mm f/1.8 and take up street photography, wild life is why to hard and expensive

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Old Jun 11, 2013, 02:18 PM   #3
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Buy a USED SLR system. Start with the best of thr 18-55mm "kit" lenses thn add a SLR body like the Canon 350D or many the Nikon D70. Each of those bode sells for about $150 and the lenses brand new go for $200.

Later pick up a 35mm f/1.8 or the 50mm

Decide on a brand first. Nikon or Canon. Look at the used markets to decide and figure swapping brands later is expensive. So plan ahead.

On the Nikon Size the D70 is the last low cost camera body that can still use the really old Nikon lenses. All canons use all EOS lenses.

Don't worry at all about "megapixels" the more pixels the higher the noise. The D70 is 6MP and the 350D is 8MP both are good the Nikon has better controls, the 350D is smaller.

Then later upgrade the body is you need to but you'd be better off getting lenses first


With a 18-55mm VR lens and a D70 you can have a good setup fr maybe $350 or $300 if yo shop more. About same on the Canon side.
Thanks for taking the time to answer. Just to clarify if I go Nikon some of the older bodies use different lenses but all Canon's will fit any Cannon body? I was probably thinking Nikon was the way to go as I might be able to get some lenses through work in a few months. What are the pitfalls of buying second hand? I guess they either work or they don't right? I guess you can get them cleaned or serviced if needed?

This looks like a good deal? What do people think?

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Nikon-D70-...item43bcad8314
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Old Jun 11, 2013, 03:53 PM   #4
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Go in to a camera shop and handle low end Nikon and Cannon D-SLRs. Some people prefer the handling and control layout of one over the other.

You can't go wrong with either brand, but you just might like the feel of one better than the other.
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Old Jun 11, 2013, 06:28 PM   #5
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Thanks for taking the time to answer. Just to clarify if I go Nikon some of the older bodies use different lenses but all Canon's will fit any Cannon body?
Nikon has been using the same mount for decades. I think what Chris was trying to say is that the consumer end of Nikon bodies won't auto focus with some lenses. The older lenses did not have a built in motor and instead the camera body had the motor used to drive focus. Cameras like the D60, D3x00 and D5x00 do not have that motor. The lenses work fine but will be manual focus only. You can get some great deals on some wonderful older glass.

I'm not up to speed on Canon's offerings. I know there have been a couple of variants used for their mounts. I don't know what this means for interchangeability.

However, I would not recommend the D70. It uses a CCD sensor and can get quite noisy if you try to push it above 400 ISO. The body is solid but I would suggest something with a CMOS sensor. Otherwise it is a wonderful camera (I own two). You can probably get a good deal on some of the newer consumer Nikons that would work much better - particularly if you are concerned about noise.

Bear makes a good point. Pick up cameras from both lines. Find out which feels better to you. Once you have a couple of lenses you won't want to switch brands so give them both a test drive. In the end you can't go wrong with either platform.
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Old Jun 12, 2013, 05:56 PM   #6
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I use a Nikon D90 with the 35mm 1.8 AF-s and 50mm 1.8. I primarily use the 35mm during a session. You can get the D90 and 35mm pretty inexpensively second hand.
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Old Jun 13, 2013, 02:21 PM   #7
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Thanks for all the feed back. Going to try and get along to a camera shop (if there are any left in the UK!) at the weekend. I'm looking at a D3100 with 18mm-55mm lens for 270 after cash back. Would this suit my needs? Anybody using one and can tell me the pro's and cons?
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Old Jun 13, 2013, 03:21 PM   #8
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Why SLR and not one of mirrorless camera's?
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Old Jun 13, 2013, 03:31 PM   #9
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I think you will be very happy with that camera. I haven't used the D3100 myself but I am familiar with Nikon's lineup (2 D70's, D60, D7000, 2 D800s).

The 3100 is a step up from the D70 mentioned above in terms of sensor capability. It is a step down in terms of controls and build. That isn't to say it is not built well, it is just a different class of camera. The increase in image quality trumps the build differences in my opinion.

It does not have a built in focusing motor so some lenses will only be manual focus. These will typically be older lenses as most of today's modern lenses have a built in motor.

Native ISO is listed as 100-3200 so I would think you can get away with 800 and push it to 1600 in a pinch and still have excellent results. It is a 14MP sensor. I have printed 20" x 30" images from my D70 (6MP) so you should have plenty of room to play.

The lens will give you an effective focal length of 27mm - 82mm. This is a pretty good general duty range. I can get a lot done with my 24-70 (full frame) and this is shifted just a bit on the longer side. If you want to add wide angle later I would suggest looking at the Tokina 11-16. It is a fantastic lens that works well with crop sensors. (I still use it sometimes on my full frame camera at 16mm.)

For $15 (Nikon, $5 Chinese) you can add an infrared remote control and take part in those group shots.

Overall I think it is a fine camera choice. Sure there is room to grow beyond the camera but it should offer years of service and be a good introduction into the money pit that is photography.
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Old Jun 13, 2013, 03:50 PM   #10
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What a rather broad question by you but understandable.

Yes, by all means go to a camera store and try out a few cameras by different makers. Don't fall into the Nikon and Canon only club. Both do make some excellent cameras but so does Pentax, Olympus and a few others.

The key is to get a decent camera that you are comfortable to work with. I tend to shoot Nikon from way back in film days but find some of their dSLR cameras to be cumbersome in use but suffer through because I like their lenses for the most part. My friend is a total Canon fan and enjoys his cameras far more than I enjoy my Nikon but loves the results I get. Then again, I know folks with Pentax, Sony and Olympus who have nothing but high praise for their cameras and have the images to reflect their ability to use those cameras along with the fine lenses available.

As for "more pixels mean more noise" - rubbish. Noise is a catch all term for challenges to image sensors that impact the output file created (your raw file or jpeg or tiff files). There are high pixel cameras with notably less noise than some cameras with low pixels that have lots of noise - especially in either very bright light or very dim light.

As another pointed out - there are mirror-less cameras out there that are very popular that might suit your needs. I prefer no matter what an eye piece style camera (slr or rangefinder) vs looking at the back of a camera but that is what works for me. You should do your own discover on what works for you.

Last - what you may need to check for might not immediately seem apparent when handling a camera. Read up a bit about controls and such and make yourself a list first. When you try out a camera, go through your list and see if that particular make/model has the ergonomics that work for you. Some makers have buttons that directly control certain things while others require you to go through a tedious menu to get to that feature. The latter is just one example but there are a few things to consider.

Hope you find a camera you really enjoy and get lots of use. Give DPReview a go on the Internet to find out about cameras and for a more subjective look - try Ken Rockwell's site. I don't particularly agree with him but a few points he does drive home very well.

- my history
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Old Jun 13, 2013, 04:31 PM   #11
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When buying an SLR, the best advise I have heard was: buy what your friends have.

The idea being, that if you have the same system as your friends have, you can borrow lenses and other equipment from each other, or even something as simple as a battery when yours runs out and you buddy has a spare.
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Old Jun 13, 2013, 05:43 PM   #12
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When buying an SLR, the best advise I have heard was: buy what your friends have.

The idea being, that if you have the same system as your friends have, you can borrow lenses and other equipment from each other, or even something as simple as a battery when yours runs out and you buddy has a spare.
Yes this is why I'm a little biased towards the Nikon. Where I work we have lots of Nikon users (and kit!).
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Old Jun 13, 2013, 05:56 PM   #13
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What a rather broad question by you but understandable.
Hope you find a camera you really enjoy and get lots of use. Give DPReview a go on the Internet to find out about cameras and for a more subjective look - try Ken Rockwell's site. I don't particularly agree with him but a few points he does drive home very well.
Thanks for the advice. Been checking out DPReview. Lots of useful stuff on there for a novice like me.
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Old Jun 13, 2013, 09:49 PM   #14
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You will love Nikon.
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Old Jun 14, 2013, 12:42 PM   #15
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I had a play with a friends D80 at work today. It's going to take time getting used to the size (as I'm coming from a compact background).
Also there maybe some D3 and D3000 available at work in a few months. Prices should be pretty good, although I'm not sure if I want to wait until October. Also although good kit maybe they are getting a little long in the tooth?
As ever let me know your thoughts as I'm quite new to a lot of this.
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Old Jun 14, 2013, 05:31 PM   #16
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As I stated before, I use primarily Nikon. Nikon lenses are for me the ONLY reason I use Nikon. However, given that other makers are providing lenses of similar caliber, you really do need to explore other makers' offerings.

As anyone involved in photographer for a period of time can tell you, camera bodies come and go but the investment is more in the lenses. If you start with Canon you will probably stay with Canon if you bought more than a couple of lenses for your Canon and of course, similar for any other makers' cameras and lenses.

Explore ergonomics and then the types of lenses you might want to use with your camera purchase. You may find that Nikon is okay but you kind of like the feel of a Canon or Olympus or Sony or Pentax a bit better. All of the latter have lens offerings that for the most part are similar in sharpness and contrast of Nikon lenses and of course a few 3rd party makers provide some good bang for the buck lenses - Tokina, Tamron, Sigma etc.
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Old Jun 14, 2013, 07:39 PM   #17
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I had a play with a friends D80 at work today. It's going to take time getting used to the size (as I'm coming from a compact background).
Also there maybe some D3 and D3000 available at work in a few months. Prices should be pretty good, although I'm not sure if I want to wait until October. Also although good kit maybe they are getting a little long in the tooth?
As ever let me know your thoughts as I'm quite new to a lot of this.
Don't worry so much about the SLR body. The D80 is a few years old but does just fine. Unless you are making larger than 8x10 paper prints you don't need more than 6 megapixels.

Well there is one issue with used Nikon SLRs. The older AF lenses did not have internal motors and used an in-body motor. If you want to use any of those lenses and have them auto-foci you need a body with a motor. That means either an older body like the D80 or a newer "pro" body. Or just stick with newer lenses. The D80, D70 and D50 all have motors. If you are going to use the older AF lens you need that

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Old Jun 15, 2013, 09:13 AM   #18
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Just got back from PC world. I had a little play with the D3100 & D3200. They were on tight cables though so couldn't get a good feel for them (and we kept setting the alarm off!). The cannons were behind glass (no display models to play with). I think I'll pop to a dedicated camera shop next weekend so I can do a bit more handling. They were pushing the 3200 on a special for 449 with the standard kit lens 18-55 plus 55-200. The guy described the bigger lens as ideal for pepping toms! Glad I don't live next door to him!
Exchanged my Epson XP405 cheap printer for a better quality Cannon Pixmar MG6350. Just finished setting it up but i'n covered in magenta ink! Now thats not going to wash out. It was my fault as I opened upside down.
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Old Jun 16, 2013, 05:28 PM   #19
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What do you plan on taking pictures of and when do you plan on using it? This might help you choose between an SLR and a bridge/mirorless camera. You mentioned this in your initial post but haven't gotten back to it since.

I'm a Canon Rebel shooter but I'm planning on going towards the Sony Nex system soon. I feel like the size of my camera is keeping me from bringing it with me more often. I rarely have it with me other than those days where I go out to shoot as my primary activity. Also, Canon doesn't have the lenses I want at the prices I want...

As others will tell you, the main problem with mirorless cameras is slower auto focus and lack of high quality zooms (and expensive) zooms.

For example, the Sony Nex-6 is comparable to the Canon t5i in many ways... However, if you're looking at cheaper and older models, you'll be missing the viewfinder in the mirorless world and on the low end you start lacking dedicated control buttons.

Anyhow, I thought I'd mention this as you might want to go some of the mirorless cameras a look.
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Old Jun 16, 2013, 05:50 PM   #20
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Anyhow, I thought I'd mention this as you might want to go some of the mirorless cameras a look.
Thanks for the feedback. I have read up on mirrorless on the dpreview site mentioned above mostly. Because of my price range I'm thinking the technology hasn't been around that long, so it's probably not what I want right now. I have a point and shoot (heck even the iPhone will do if it's all I have on me) so I'm not too worried about when I have a bulkier camera. I'm hoping to go out and shoot wildlife and landscapes. With the possibility of borrowing and buying cheap lenses through work I have more or less decided to go Nikon. Now I just have to decide how much to spend! Probably going to be the D3100 or D3200 as both look like they will suit my beginner status. However I don't want to be buying another body in a year because I've out grown it. The oldest semi pro photographer I know is back at work Monday, so I will sit down and have a chat with him.
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Old Jun 17, 2013, 05:48 AM   #21
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Don't be too quick to dismiss mirrorless. I don't know if you ever heard of Trey Rattcliff, but he is shooting with a NEX7 as of late, instead of his Nikon D800.
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Old Jun 17, 2013, 01:44 PM   #22
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Don't be too quick to dismiss mirrorless. I don't know if you ever heard of Trey Rattcliff, but he is shooting with a NEX7 as of late, instead of his Nikon D800.
I'm sure it's a great camera but at 800 plus its a little out of my price range. Going to try out the D3100 tomorrow if my mate remembers to bring it to work. I tried out a D300 today as we had one going for repair. I think it's a bit too much for me as a beginner.
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Old Jun 17, 2013, 09:11 PM   #23
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In a nutshell for Canon.

FD will fit Canon produced before 1990. After that, Canon went to autofocus and redesigned their entire line of lenses for electronic focus (EF).

EF will work on all electronic focus cameras, while EF-S means only works on crop sensor (tXi, rebel). The newest variation EF-M means the lenses on work on Canon mirrorless.

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I'm not up to speed on Canon's offerings. I know there have been a couple of variants used for their mounts. I don't know what this means for interchangeability.
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Old Jun 18, 2013, 12:26 PM   #24
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So had a nice long play with the D3100 today. As a novice I found the guides to be extremely useful and will help me find my way to begin with. Now I just have to decide on the right price point.

I can get the D3100 with kit lens for 299 or
D3200 with kit Lens for 399
I'm quite tempted by the D3200 with the kit lens plus the 55m-200mm Lens for 449.

http://www.pcworld.co.uk/gbuk/camera...24868-pdt.html

Will I notice a difference for the extra 100 going to the newer D3200? Also will the extra 55-200mm Lens be a worthwhile addition for an extra 50?
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Old Jun 18, 2013, 02:00 PM   #25
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Will I notice a difference for the extra 100 going to the newer D3200? Also will the extra 55-200mm Lens be a worthwhile addition for an extra 50?
Going with the easy question first. If you decide to go with the D3200, that is an excellent price for the 55-200 lens and I would recommend it.

As for the D3100 versus the D3200, I looked at a DP Review side-by-side comparison and 2 things jumped out at me. The megapixel difference and the video differences. There are some other differences as well. I would probably lean towards the D3200, especially if you plan on using it for more than a couple of years. Then again, I'm still using a Nikon D200 that is over 7 years old so I do get good use out of my camera gear.
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