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Old Aug 22, 2013, 04:19 PM   #1
TheBeastman13
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Camera recommendation for a novice student?

I just started my fall semester of college and for my intro to photography course I am required to have my own DSLR for class. As a visual arts student in the film division, what DSLR would you recommend for a beginner photographer like myself? Outside of shooting stills for class, I'd like to begin shooting HD video projects. Needless to say a recommendation should be above average/great at shooting video. My budget is kind of tight, but I think I can pull together $900 for obtaining a quality DSLR and base accessories.

Thanks,
B.
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Old Aug 22, 2013, 04:42 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by TheBeastman13 View Post
I just started my fall semester of college and for my intro to photography course I am required to have my own DSLR for class. As a visual arts student in the film division, what DSLR would you recommend for a beginner photographer like myself? Outside of shooting stills for class, I'd like to begin shooting HD video projects. Needless to say a recommendation should be above average/great at shooting video. My budget is kind of tight, but I think I can pull together $900 for obtaining a quality DSLR and base accessories.

Thanks,
B.
While I kind of made my way through photography back when on Nikon equipment, I might suggest you take a good look at the Canon T3i and 4i. I think that is their model reference. For Nikon, 3200 and 51/5200 might be also very good starter cameras. I mention these cameras because of your desire to do some video.

One item to pay attention to is the focusing aspect when shooting video as some cannot do continuous focus and some do it but not well.

- Go to DPreview on line and they have an excellent set of reviews of cameras there and then go to your nearest store that allows you to handle the cameras that interest you. While specs and opinions may rate a camera as a great buy, the real crux is how well you can handle that camera (ergonomics, menu systems etc.).
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Old Aug 22, 2013, 04:49 PM   #3
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Try some out in your local camera shop (as well as reading online reviews). I have the D3200 but never used the video yet. Just remember the majority of your budget could well be used up on lenses, so don't blow it all on the body. Also think about memory cards, tripods, filters and bags. It all adds up!
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Old Aug 22, 2013, 05:33 PM   #4
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If you're looking at video as well I would definitely recommend Canon.

Go for a 550d/600d/650d and keep the kit lens as a start for some variation.

Depending on what you want to shoot the obvious first option for an additional lens is the 50mm f1.8 one of the cheapest lenses in Canon's lineup and a very good lens to experiment with DOF and prime lenses.

For video do not worry about autofocusing as if you are taking it seriously you will be focusing manually. For video you would also want to consider an off-camera mic and potentially a monopod/tripod.

Be careful that you don't put all your money into a body. Spread it out so you have a budget for body, one or two lenses, monopod, mic, maybe even lights and a good bag/case to carry it all.

Too many times have I seen people blow their budget on a body and wonder why they don't get the results they expect. The body is only one part of the machine that it filmmaking!
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Old Aug 22, 2013, 06:00 PM   #5
tgi
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If you're looking at video as well I would definitely recommend Canon.

Go for a 550d/600d/650d and keep the kit lens as a start for some variation.

Depending on what you want to shoot the obvious first option for an additional lens is the 50mm f1.8 one of the cheapest lenses in Canon's lineup and a very good lens to experiment with DOF and prime lenses.

For video do not worry about autofocusing as if you are taking it seriously you will be focusing manually. For video you would also want to consider an off-camera mic and potentially a monopod/tripod.

Be careful that you don't put all your money into a body. Spread it out so you have a budget for body, one or two lenses, monopod, mic, maybe even lights and a good bag/case to carry it all.

Too many times have I seen people blow their budget on a body and wonder why they don't get the results they expect. The body is only one part of the machine that it filmmaking!
Why does the Canon Rebel T5i have 2 kits with 2 different lenses. Do you know what the pros and cons of each lense is?

Kit 1 - 18-55mm lens
Kit 2 - 18-135mm lens

Try to decide which kit would be the a better purchase.
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Old Aug 22, 2013, 10:51 PM   #6
TheBeastman13
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After looking at a video of the Nikon D5200, I can say I'm leaning towards that for video production. In the Canon realm, which model is on par (price and quality) with that of the D5200?
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Old Aug 23, 2013, 01:03 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by TheBeastman13 View Post
I just started my fall semester of college and for my intro to photography course I am required to have my own DSLR for class. As a visual arts student in the film division, what DSLR would you recommend for a beginner photographer like myself? Outside of shooting stills for class, I'd like to begin shooting HD video projects. Needless to say a recommendation should be above average/great at shooting video. My budget is kind of tight, but I think I can pull together $900 for obtaining a quality DSLR and base accessories.

Thanks,
B.
If you are serious about video $900 is not much of a budget. A simple microphone setup on a boom will cost $400 minimum. A lens can be $650 easy.

Your problem is that you want to buy your last camera first. No. You are a buying student buying your FIRST on many cameras. What you should do is plan an upgrade path. With only $900 to spend you will be buying USED equipment. IN the Nikon brand serious HD starts with s 7100 or D300 and both are over your budget.

But ANY SLR can do high quality stills. KEH.com is a very good place to buy used gear. They will sell a good Canon Rebel body for about $100 and another $100 for a basic zoom lens then $100 more for a 50mm prime. Prices are about like that for Nikon.

Then later you sell the $100 body for $80. It it cost you $20 you use the body for a year, not bad. then upgrade. After a year in school you will be the expert and know better what to get. For now buy ONLY what you need and buy 5 year old user gear so you can sell it back for 80% of what you paid.

Buying your last camera first is backwards.
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Old Aug 23, 2013, 02:18 AM   #8
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For a student, I would recommend going one level higher than the D5200. The D7000 (deals now) or it's successor D7100 gives you another command dial that you will want when shooting in manual mode, which you will learn in class.

Or the Canon equivalent, but I'm not sure about them.
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Old Aug 23, 2013, 09:15 AM   #9
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I'll say like the majority, get a D5*00 with the kit lens 18-55mm or the equivalent in canon T3i or around with the same 18-55mm. Hold them in your hand before buying and if your know a little bit about manual option, try to modify them in the camera. Choose the one that feel more confortable for you.

If you think your getting a good equipement by buying them used, go for it, but you should know what to test.

That base kit will be great for your first year. After that you can rent lens or buy used lens that you'll start to know what to look for.

don't spend more than 600$ for your camera and base 18-55 lens. You'll need the rest of the money soon. Maybe you'll want a macro lens, a telephoto one or a portrait.
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Old Aug 23, 2013, 10:09 AM   #10
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A Panasonic G6 will shoot better video under most conditions than any of the cameras being recommended to you. On the other hand, a Nikon or a Canon will shoot better stills than the Panasonic under many conditions. I don't recommend Canon at all unless you want more blown highlights, more noise, and less dynamic range than what you can get from a comparable Nikon. Canon sensor technology has fallen behind the competition.
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Old Aug 23, 2013, 02:37 PM   #11
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After looking at a video of the Nikon D5200, I can say I'm leaning towards that for video production. In the Canon realm, which model is on par (price and quality) with that of the D5200?
The T5i would probably be Canon's equivalent to the D5200. Both are excellent starter cameras. If you haven't already done so, I would definitely suggest you go to your local camera store and play around with both camera bodies to see what feels best in your hands.
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Old Aug 23, 2013, 03:12 PM   #12
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The T5i would probably be Canon's equivalent to the D5200. Both are excellent starter cameras. If you haven't already done so, I would definitely suggest you go to your local camera store and play around with both camera bodies to see what feels best in your hands.
Which kit do you recommend for the T5i.

18-55mm or 18-135mm? or just get body only and purchase lens separetely.
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Old Aug 23, 2013, 04:17 PM   #13
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Which kit do you recommend for the T5i.

18-55mm or 18-135mm? or just get body only and purchase lens separetely.
If you are just going to have the one lens then the 18-135 will give you greater versatility.

Kind of depends on your budget and what you want to shoot. I have the 18-55 lens and its almost always at the 55mm end I want more. Looking to get a 70-200 to complement it soon.
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Old Aug 23, 2013, 04:41 PM   #14
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If you are just going to have the one lens then the 18-135 will give you greater versatility.

Kind of depends on your budget and what you want to shoot. I have the 18-55 lens and its almost always at the 55mm end I want more. Looking to get a 70-200 to complement it soon.
Well of course I would prefer the cheaper route if the more expensive route is not needed. My budget preferably is ~$1,000.

The T5i kit with 18-55mm lens is $850
The T5i kit with 18-135mm lens is $1,049
T5i Body Only is $749.

I mainly want to shoot portraits and landscapes. Maybe dabble a little in night photography. For either of these lenses will I be able to take shallow DOF shots?
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Old Aug 23, 2013, 05:06 PM   #15
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I have the 18-55 lens and its almost always at the 55mm end I want more. Looking to get a 70-200 to complement it soon.
Have you used a 70-200mm lens on your D3200? I want to try it on my D7100 but I'm thinking it might be too tight of a field of view (at least for what I shoot).
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Old Aug 23, 2013, 05:08 PM   #16
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I highly recommend a refurbed Nikon D7000. You should be able to find one in your $900 budget range. It's an excellent camera, does quality video, and has the kind of versatility you can grow into as your skills progress.
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Old Aug 24, 2013, 02:31 AM   #17
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Have you used a 70-200mm lens on your D3200? I want to try it on my D7100 but I'm thinking it might be too tight of a field of view (at least for what I shoot).
No not yet. I've got to wait until October before I can buy. We have some old lenses at work they will be selling off, and I've got my eye on the 70-200. I'll be able to try before I buy though.
For now its just the kit lens, but to be honest I've still got lots to learn. Going out with a tripod for the first time this week.
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Old Aug 24, 2013, 03:11 AM   #18
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No not yet. I've got to wait until October before I can buy. We have some old lenses at work they will be selling off, and I've got my eye on the 70-200. I'll be able to try before I buy though.
For now its just the kit lens, but to be honest I've still got lots to learn. Going out with a tripod for the first time this week.
I know the 70-200 is a "go to" lens for many people, especially those who are into portraiture, weddings, and stuff like that. I've just been told that focal range is too limiting on a crop sensor body. I've also been eyeing the Sigma 50-150 f/2.8 but plan on renting it and seeing if it's something I'd want to buy.

Have fun with the tripod! I shoot with one 95% of the time.
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Old Aug 27, 2013, 11:45 AM   #19
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Which kit do you recommend for the T5i.

18-55mm or 18-135mm? or just get body only and purchase lens separetely.
Definitely the 18-135mm. It's a slightly better lens than the 18-55mm, and it give you a lot more reach than the 18-55mm as well.
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Old Aug 27, 2013, 12:00 PM   #20
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Look for a used Lumix GH2. Still a great choice for video.

Check http://www.dvxuser.com Marketplace formum for reliable people selling.
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Old Aug 27, 2013, 04:47 PM   #21
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Thanks for all the advice, everyone! I ended up getting the Nikon 7100 w/ a kit lens, and I bought a Nikkor prime 50mm 1.8. Hope I can acquire some good results and I wasn't steered in the wrong direction. Lol
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