Best beginner slr?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by tominated, Sep 18, 2009.

  1. tominated macrumors 68000

    tominated

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2006
    Location:
    Queensland, Australia
    #1
    Hey guys,
    looking at getting into photography and want to get a decent, easy to use dslr. I have been looking at the Nikon D60 and the Sony A380 twin lens kits and so far they seem to be the best choice. I don't want to spend over $1100 Aussie dollars and would preferably like a twin lens kit. My mum will be using it also and she wants to know what the optical zoom is for the lenses included (i don't know how to convert the focus range or whatever it's called to optical zoom). Can anybody recommend another camera for under $AU1100? if you need to price check, use shopbot.com.au. Thanks in advance, guys. Your help is greatly appreciated!
     
  2. venusian macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2008
    #2
    Olympus E-520 is about $900aud these days with a twin lens kit
    (good beginner camera with built in image stabilisation)

    Pentax KM is about $1000 too

    Srsly most of the entry level dslrs are kinda the same, but brands like olympus, sony and pentax tend to offer more bang for buck than nikon or cannon (ie oly is smaller than a regular dlsr, pentax are weather sealed, sony has a good menu system to introduce you to what all those buttons do)...I'm also pretty sure Oly, Pentax and Sony have in body stabilisation while Cannon and Nikon are in lens thus Cannon/Nikon lenses are more expensive and heavier

    If you've got a Teds near you (or Camera House) head down there and have a play with what's available for your budget - don't forget you'll need about $100 for a case and CF card
     
  3. Nicolasdec macrumors 65816

    Nicolasdec

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2006
    Location:
    São Paulo
    #3
    Im against the idea of getting a Pentax, Sony or any of these other brands. Get a Nikon or a Canon. If photography turns out to be something that you really like. Your going to have to get a proper SLR. If you got a Sony SLR, you would need to buy new body, lens.... etc.... if you do turn out to like photography.

    If you got a Canon on Nikon, you just need new body and the lens will still work (then you can upgrade them later).
     
  4. a350 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2009
    #4
    Not sure what this is supposed to mean, Sony SLR's us the same lens mount throughout there SLR's, so if it fits one it fits them all. Also all of Sony's SLR's have Image Stabilization built into the camera.

    Do not take anyones word on here as the truth, go and see the cameras for yourself and research them via a respectable source, not from people who talk out their ass. :rolleyes:
     
  5. Holgapics macrumors newbie

    Holgapics

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2008
    Location:
    North Oregon Coast
    #5
    A previous post is pretty much without merit I'm sorry to say. There are many reasons to consider the Pentax system, especially the just announced K-x camera which is being offered at US$600. with one kit lens or about US$700. for a two kit lens system and from many reports these lenses are very good.

    One advantage with Pentax is that their DSLRs will accept any lens Pentax ever made. Also they have in-body image stabilization which neither Canon or Nikon offer. I would suggest checking out the camera forums over on dpreview.com and see what fairly experienced photographers are saying about Pentax and Olympus.
     
  6. Nicolasdec macrumors 65816

    Nicolasdec

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2006
    Location:
    São Paulo
    #6
    I ment to say, Do you know any serious photographers that use a Sony camera? (I dont). If photography is something that he enjoys and he wants to pursue it further, hes going to have to get a camera for a reputable manufacturer (e.g Canon, Nikon, Leica). So you might as well learn on a system that you will be using later on. If you go with a Sony, you will never get past the hobbyist stage.
     
  7. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #7
    First of all, you should look at the entire system if you're going to choose between brands, because down the road choosing the wrong system up-front can cause you issues. That includes the ability to rent lenses, buy 3rd party flashes, etc. Sony's relatively new to the DSLR game, but like the other marginal players they offer more "features" to compete with the big two (Canon and Nikon.) If those features[1] are attractive to you, and you're sure you'll never go past the hobbyist stage, then you'll get more for your money going that route- however there is less used Minolta glass (the failing company Sony purchased its camera division from) than used Nikon glass- but that's offset by the fact that the lowest Nikon bodies can only use lenses with a focus motor built-in for autofocus- as the older ones relied on an in-body motor- so you can only use older lenses in manual focus mode- not a big issue if you're going to use the lens that came with the camera, or new lenses- but a factor if you're going to get into photography seriously in the ~3-4 years before you need to purchase the next body.

    Secondly zoom factor is useless as a measurement- a 10-20mm lens has a 2x "zoom factor" but is only an ultra-wide lens, while a 35-70mm lens has the same "zoom factor" but is useful for a completely different set of purposes. Don't worry though- the kit lenses shipped by most manufacturers are good enough for most people.

    Finally, almost all the advice you're going to get is going to be "buy the brand that I bought-" which is rather silly at this point, as you haven't even told us what sorts of things you're interested in photographing, in what conditions and from which distances.

    Paul
    [1] The value of those features may be debatable however- so you should evaluate them as well.
     
  8. poopyhead macrumors 6502a

    poopyhead

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2004
    Location:
    in the toe-jam of greatness (Fort Worth)
    #8
    get whatever camera works best for you.

    I had a nikon d40x (basically the same as a d60) and loved it. I now have an olympus e-450 (excellent, tiny, intuitive camera that can be bought for less than $400 U.S.) and love it. both cameras and most other entry level cameras will have similar excellent image quality especially if you are moving up from a point and shoot.

    go look at the cameras in person and play with the menus to see how they work and which are the most intuitive to use (with most entry level cameras you will deal with menus instead of dedicated buttons to access features) or go to dp review and read the full review especially the first few pages that go over menu options and button locations.

    ps.
    sony takes many minolta lenses made throughout the '80s and '90s as well as sony lenses.
    olympus is limited in lens selection due to their recent switch to a new mount (but adapters are available--Im using a minolta prime on my olympus body).
    Pentax probably has the best selection of and compatibility with legacy lenses and new lenses.
    cannon and nikon are easy to find and any good or crappy camera store will carry pretty much their entire line.

    a typical twin lens kit includes a 18-55 and a 50-200. together these are roughly equivalent to a 10x zoom range.
     
  9. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #9
    Actually, while Pentax has the best backwards-compatibility in terms of older lenses their selection isn't all that good compared to Canon or Nikon.

    Especially if you shoot sports, wildlife, birds or architecture. (No 300/2.8, 400/2.8, 500/4, 600/4 or tilt/shift lenses in the current line-up and not a lot of used availability in the super-telephoto category.)

    s/entire line/consumer line/ Professional bodies and lenses are available at good stores, but few crappy stores carry either company's full line due to the cost of inventory on higher-end items where the unit price is thousands of dollars and the sales volume is relatively low outside of pro dealers.
     
  10. CrackedButter macrumors 68040

    CrackedButter

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2003
    Location:
    51st State of America
    #10
    The Canon and Nikon fanboys haven't arrived in full force yet so here goes. I also speak as a Canon user btw.

    Bag yourself a cheap Olympus, they have the cheapest SLR's going so you can learn everything with them if you want, and if you want to further invest it isn't going to cost much to either upgrade within the Olympus eco-system or start again with something else like a Canon or Nikon. They are also the smallest and lightest systems in photography.

    You might not be sure an SLR is what you want, that's my interpretation

    *NOTE* SONY lenses take advantage of the whole Minolta lens range. They have a wide selection to choose from and cheap off ebay. Also going manual might be good to learn the basics of photography instead of leaving everything up to auto mode.
     
  11. SLC Flyfishing Suspended

    SLC Flyfishing

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2007
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #11
    You've got to qualify this statement now, exactly what about Pentax, Sony, Olumpus or Panasonic even will not allow someone to progress past the hobbyist stage?

    Just today I was shooting a wedding, there was another couple getting wedding photography done at the same property and their photographer had a Sony A900 and some nice glass and flash. She seemed to be doing quite well with it.

    My wife used to shoot weddings and portraits for a living with a Pentax system. We've got a Nikon system now because she wanted Full Frame, but we still keep the Pentax stuff around, it was extremely capable gear. My wife went well beyond the hobbyist stage with Pentax.

    Still, 99.9% of shooters have no desire to make photography anything more than a hobby, so I don't see the point of your post, even if it had a shred of truth in it (which it didn't).

    SLC
     
  12. tominated thread starter macrumors 68000

    tominated

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2006
    Location:
    Queensland, Australia
    #12
    wow guys, this has been more than enough information. it seems the general consensus is that if i'm only doing it as a hobby (which is true, i am a web designer) go for a pentax or the sony for the compatibility with lenses. I might go to a camera shop and check them out in person. thanks for the help!
     
  13. Grasher macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2009
    #13
    One quick tip when you do buy - prices in Australia for cameras are pretty high. For ease of warranty issue you might want to buy the body locally, but take a look online for better prices for lenses. I have a Sony A200 and the cost of a 50mm prime was about 50% higher at my local Teds than on B&H (US camera store), even including shipping. As far as I know Customs won't charge you anything as long as the goods are under AU$1,000.

    On the brand front, I won't pretend to be an expert but although I'm happy with the performance of my Sony, I do have a nagging feeling that it's always going to be more difficult to get extras for it. That said, Sony have reflected this in the price that they charge initially, and it's not like there's nothing available for it.
     
  14. tominated thread starter macrumors 68000

    tominated

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2006
    Location:
    Queensland, Australia
    #14
    I am definitely buying online - just going to mess with the cameras in person. I might try and get them to price match an online store though - my dad is very persuasive with salespeople.
     
  15. John.B macrumors 601

    John.B

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    Location:
    Holocene Epoch
    #15
    If you are going to a brick-and-mortar store to grope the cameras, they at least deserve the chance to match an online price. My 2¢.
     
  16. tominated thread starter macrumors 68000

    tominated

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2006
    Location:
    Queensland, Australia
    #16
  17. rhett7660 macrumors G4

    rhett7660

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Sunny, Southern California
    #17
    I don't think there is a "best" slr. What your best bet is to go down to your local camera store and hold some of the cameras. Ask the salesman about the different cameras. Tell them everything you want to shoot. Hold the cameras, get a feel for them. They may look the same but they don't feel the same in the hands.

    Only you will be able to make the descision on what will work and what won't.

    There is nothing wrong with investing a little in a slr to find out if you will even like doing photography.

    If you do decide to continue then you should really start doing your homework on what camera make and brand you would like to go. Go rent some cameras and a couple different lenses before you make your decision.

    I would also suggest maybe taking a photography class at your local community college or your parks.

    Good luck~!
     
  18. TheReef macrumors 68000

    TheReef

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2007
    Location:
    NSW, Australia.
    #18
    Officeworks has (or had?) the Pentax K200D for $680 AUD, it offers great value for money imo. (It has inbuilt shake reduction, weather sealing, and lens compatibility). (shopbot won't list this)

    I've also seen the Nikon D40 for five hundred and something somewhere, it doesn't offer as much but it's cheap. I've noticed The Good Guys sometimes carry older models (not always advertised), you might be able to find a good deal on something.
     

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