Getting a Reflex Camera

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by saporiti, Jan 12, 2013.

  1. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2013
    Location:
    Portugal
    #1
    Hey everybody,

    I'm a Advertising student, also in love with music, cinema... and looking foward to dive in the world of photography.

    I have such crazy ideas, like creating a blog of snapshots of the coolest and worst advertising out there, making some weird random photo shoots with friends, etc etc etc...

    But first of all, I need to get a camera. I was thinking about a reflex.

    I have to say I'm far from rich... Really far. Had to struggle a bit to get my iPhone and my Mac, that I take care like if they were babys.

    I'll set my budget on 400€, and I'll show you guys some of the things I could get here in Portugal with that kind of money:

    Canon EOS 1100D + EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 DC III - 399€

    Sony SLT-A33L + DT 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 SAM - 399€

    Nikon D3100 + AF-S DX 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 G VR - 400€

    Canon EOS 1100D + 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Preta + Kit - 440€

    For starting in the world of photography, what would you guys recommend?
     
  2. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2011
    #2
    All good options, but you may also want to check out some mirrorless options as well. They are smaller and more discrete which might help since what you're planning would be borderline street photography. Olympus, Panasonic, and Sony have some great affordable options. That being said, if you're really set on a DSLR I'd stick with Nikon or Canon. Not that the Sony is a bad choice, but you'll probably have a friend that has one or the other, which comes in handy when learning and borrowing gear. That's why I chose Canon. A good friend of mine had Canon so I was able to learn a lot from him and now we'll lend each other lenses once in a while. Hope this helps!
     
  3. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008
    #3
    Do you plan on shooting video? From the sounds of it, some video would work well for an advertising student planning on starting a blog. For this, keep in mind that the 1100D doesn't shoot full HD, only 720p. Also the Sony should have much better auto-focus during video if you ever need that. I would also consider getting a 35mm prime. It allows you to take sharp picture, shoot in very low light and also allows for a shallow depth of field look. They are also very small which makes it much nicer to lug around.

    I'm not too familiar with the sony but it seems to have fairly limited resolution. Also, the flash hot shoe is a weird proprietary format. However, I'm surprised by the price on the 50 and 35mm prime lenses. However the translucent mirror takes some of the light and probably makes for noisier pictures. Though it allows for auto focus in video, something that might be useful.

    The nikon probably seems like the best choice of the lot. Seems a bit more modern and offers slightly better specs all around. Also Nikon has a cheap 35mm f/1.8 prime lens that could be very interesting for what you plan on doing. However, I wouldn't choose a camera on the current available models, also consider ergonomy and lens selection as once you start off with a manufacturer, it's easier to get a newer body from the same manufacturer but keep your lenses and accessories.

    Lastly, the Canon, it seems to offer the worse of the lot. I would personally try to hunt a t2i/550d. It's a much better camera and you might be able to find it at a similar price since it has been discontinued. However, Canon's 35mm prime is quite a bit more expensive than Sony or Nikon. (Though the 50mm is very cheap but it's not all that practical).

    As mentioned by kevinfulton.ca, consider looking into a mirrorless system, especially Sony's NEX system. If you care a bit less about specs and a bit more of having the camera with you to take the shot. However, in this price range, you won't get a viewfinder, which for me would be a deal breaker.
     
  4. Martie!, Jan 13, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2013

    macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2012
    #4
    Digital Cameras Don't Need Mirrors Anymore!!

    OK - your going to get a lot of differing opinions on this one and at the end of the day the decision is yours. But here is one key question that you need to ask yourself.

    Why do you think you want a DSLR?

    Historically, the reason cameras have used a reflex mechanism has been so that the user can see the same image in the viewfinder as the one that is going to be exposed onto the film. That is it! That's all! But it was an absolutely essential feature.

    This required a complex system of mirrors, shutters and prisms and resulted in the SLR design that we know today.

    Compact cameras could have fantastic lenses and fantastic metering, but due to the limitations of film they could never match the one Unique selling point of an SLR ... They always needed a separate viewfinder and this limited their usefulness.

    Canon, Nikon, and many others went on to develop ranges of SLRs and loads of lenses for them thus making them the standard for 'serious' amateur and professional photography.

    One or two companies including Leica (see Leica M6) stuck by their guns and accepted the one major disadvantage of the compact (I.e. the viewfinder) whilst exploiting the advantage of a smaller size. They demonstrated that quality is not about "SLR" it's about "Quality".

    Now ... The point is that with the advent of digital, it is no longer necessary to have a complex and bulky system of mirrors, shutters and prisms to get the image that is seen through the lens to the user's eye! The whole SLR concept is essentially becoming redundant. People will argue against this but watch this space, within the next 10 years SLRs will have died out. There is absolutely no need for them.

    Now here's the rub ... The SLR concept meant that companies could create a range of cameras from cheap to dear, low quality to high and completely separately have a range (sometimes massive) of interchangeable lenses.

    Now many photographers have spent 20 or more years building up a range of expensive quality lenses worth thousands of £€$ and as a result have perhaps stayed with Canon or Nikon kit, upgrading the camera every few years, but always being able to use the same lenses.

    The manufacturers can't afford to upset these guys ... So they need to keep bringing out cameras that will take these lenses, so they keep bringing out DSLRs ...

    Point is, even Nikon and Canon have started moving away from DSLRs with compacts that take interchangeable lenses.

    It is no longer necessary to equate SLR with Quality or Serious Photography.

    I have a Nikon D800 DSLR with a large range of lenses which I won't go into, but I also have a Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 compact which is essentially a clone of a Leica Digital Camera.

    Which one do I use most? Which one would I take out on the street? Absolutely the Lumix!

    Which would I use when I go out for a day of Landscape Photography? The Nikon.

    Final thoughts from me (and people WILL have different views)

    The only reason to get a DSLR (unless you go for serious top of the range) is because you think they look cool OR you already have a bag full of lenses

    If you need a system with loads of lenses, you won't get it cheap! lenses are expensive!

    Compacts are smaller lighter and more discrete, the quality can be as good if not better than a DSLR for a similar price and more of them are being designed to take good interchangeable lenses now.

    Have a look at the Lumix DMC-LX7, for an option without interchangeable lenses, or the new Canon and Nikon compacts with interchangeable lenses
     
  5. macrumors member

    Mvkoe

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2008
    Location:
    Belgium
    #5
    I'm in the world of nature and event photography. And working with Nikon. So i would prefer that you bought a Nikon
     
  6. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2013
    Location:
    Portugal
    #6
    First of all, thank you guys for the amazing replies, I really appreciated.

    When it comes to the camera, and answering some questions first: yeah, I'll probably also use video shoot, it's not the main objective but certainly I'll use it at some point.
    I'm still a bit green on all of these, I just mentioned those cameras because I thought they were top quality when compared to compacts. Probably because of the form factor, which looks more professional than a little tiny compact :D

    However, I'm considering every option. And I would love to get a camera for a maximum of 400€ that let me do what I want without spending more money on lens, at least in the first year. As I said, I'm far from rich, and I rarely spend or have money to spend in such expensive gear:
     
  7. macrumors 6502

    TonyK

    Joined:
    May 24, 2009
    #7
    This is daunting, starting out in a new field or hobby.

    One thing with photography is you need good glass. Most bodies today are very good. My feeling, being a Canon person, is you look at glass.

    Not only glass you can buy but glass you can borrow. Is there anyone you know who shoots? If so, look at their gear and see what they shoot with. Ask them questions and then get the best body you can afford WHILE getting good glass.

    Regarding zooms, there are trade-offs in using zooms over prime/fixed lenses. The first is generally image quality which most people just write IQ.

    For my needs I keep the ratio on my zoom to no more than 4 to 1. This means my 70 to 200 is closer to 3 to 1. Fewer elements, fewer moving parts and hopefully better IQ.

    If I were starting out I would look at good used camera bodies and then target a good lens. For me that was a Canon D30 but this was when the Canon D60 was brand new. :D

    The lens is going to depend on what you want. From what I read I would focus on a good quality zoom in the 24/28 to 70/75 zoom range. Get F2.8 if you can for better depth of field (DOF) control.

    Brand, at least to me, does not matter. Just know whatever brand you buy in to is most likely the one you will keep for a LONG time. Changing is costly because not only are you changing bodies but in most cases all your acquired lenses and any accessories specific to your camera/brand.

    Take care,
     
  8. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2013
    Location:
    Portugal
    #8
    I can hardly understand all those technical terms :D

    I don't actually know anyone that takes good pictures, just iPhone and Instagram lol...

    I still didn't got some ideas settled, specially about the compacts with interchangeble lens VS. Reflex cameras... What would be cheaper?
     
  9. macrumors 6502a

    deep diver

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Location:
    Solon, OH
    #9
    all of this feedback is very good. There is a lot here for you to consider. Since you are complete photography newbie, I suggest you got to a real camera store (not a large electronics store) and get some very active guidance from someone that can work with you to figure out what might be best. You will also be able to try out some equipment before committing to a purchase.
     
  10. macrumors 68030

    macs4nw

    #10
    Your post is solid advice, and absolutely hit the nail on the head, especially for a photography newbie with a limited budget.

    I believe that not too far in the future, we'll see the new compacts with Full-Frame sensors and state-of-the-art Image Processors. Personally, I was tantalized by the D800, but couldn't decide between the D800 and the D800E, and now have cold feet due to the left focus issues that surfaced last year. I've now decided to wait it out until the XQD-S cards are implemented and more commonplace, ie cheaper; as of now, only the D4 accepts those cards, but that camera is out of my range.
     
  11. macrumors 6502

    TonyK

    Joined:
    May 24, 2009
    #11
    A compact camera might do for the start yet it needs to have the ability to be manually controlled for setting aperture and shutter speed (ie, exposure) so you can learn what it takes to compose and capture what you see. Having the camera do it all, while simple, also causes issues when the camera can't make sense of what it is seeing.

    There are many fine cameras out there. Just be sure to get one with good optics and reputation. DPReview has good reviews so you could start there.
     
  12. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2013
    Location:
    Portugal
    #12
    When it comes to compacts, with interchangeble lens, what would u guys recommend?
     
  13. Ish
    macrumors 68000

    Ish

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2004
    Location:
    UK
    #13
    I'd say the Sony NEX-5n is worth a look. It's small but not tiny, takes good-quality photos, and the sensor is the same size as in the DSLRs you're looking at. As was suggested, you can read about it on DPReview.
     
  14. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2013
    Location:
    Portugal
    #14
  15. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2013
    Location:
    Portugal
    #15
    Aparentlly I'll have to set this investment on hold.. I'm going to Rome for a week in March, and just found out that I no longer have a place to stay, so I'm gonna need the money for that.

    I'll have to use my iPhone 5 meanwhile, paired with this crappy Fuji Finepix L50 that I have.

    However, I can't leave the thread without saying thank you guys, for all the feedback and all the help!
     
  16. Ish
    macrumors 68000

    Ish

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2004
    Location:
    UK
    #16
    Have a great trip! Rome is very interesting and if you go to the Colloseum, it's worth going in with one of the guides who approach people in the queue. We did and it was one of the best few €'s we spent there. We would have enjoyed our stay more if we hadn't been constantly lost!!

    By the way, the NEX-C3 has is still worth a look imo. I found the 5n in Portugal but it was 533€. By the time you start looking again there may be new cameras out so say hello again and good luck!
     
  17. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2013
    Location:
    Portugal
    #17
    Thank you so much! Will do!
     

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