Buying an SLR

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by kolax, Jul 2, 2012.

  1. kolax macrumors G3

    Mar 20, 2007
  2. cupcakes2000 macrumors 6502

    Apr 13, 2010
    Go in to a camera shop and hold and check out each one. The thing to remember is that you're not really buying a camera, you're buying into a system.
    I did this when i started out, and I found canon an easier system for me.
    If it ever gets serious, this first purchase will be long gone, but your lenses will remain. It's important to choose the most intuitive system for you rather than look at specs on your first purchase. Go into Jessops or Jacobs, both are next to each other in the west End of Edi.
  3. Kebabselector macrumors 68030


    May 25, 2007
    Birmingham, UK
    Only Jessops now, Jacobs are in Administration and have closed all the stores (apart from Leicester HQ as that's a clearance store at the moment).
  4. r.harris1 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 20, 2012
    Denver, Colorado, USA
    Echoing cupcakes2000, definitely go look at, hold and shoot a variety of bodies in your price range. For myself, I preferred Nikon's outstanding autofocus (canon's is also good), creative lighting system, backwards compatibility with some outstanding lenses(with mid to high end bodies) and general camera menu system. But it really is a personal decision.

    The thing to remember (and it will be echoed here a lot) is that you'll change and upgrade bodies perhaps frequently but lenses are a long term investment.
  5. kolax thread starter macrumors G3

    Mar 20, 2007
    Thanks for tips - I'll go and try both the Nikon and Canon to see which feels best.

    The one advantage that stands out with the Nikon is that it does 1080p, though will it really look that much better than 720p (most compact cameras that do 1080p, it looks no better than 720p apart from image grains being more sharp). Plus at 1080p, you're limited to 10 minutes.

    I was hoping to hear anti-Canon and anti-Nikon views to help build up which is best too (e.g. lens compatibility, build quality).
  6. Laird Knox macrumors 68000

    Jun 18, 2010
    Oh, looking to incite a riot were you? ;)

    As stated many times, both systems are an excellent choice. With that said I shoot Nikon because that's what I've been shooting for years. I still use a 50mm prime that I used on a film camera.

    On the Nikon side look at the D3200 instead of the D3100. It just came out and has a superior sensor.
  7. Doylem macrumors 68040


    Dec 30, 2006
    Wherever I hang my hat...
    You're on the internet, and you reckon there aren't enough anti-Canon and anti-Nikon sentiments already? "The camera I bought is better than the camera you bought"... :p

    I have Nikon equipment. Not because it's "better" than Canon, but because I've used Nikon cameras for years (film and digital), and I'm pretty familiar with the equipment. This, IMO, is a vital part of photography (well, my photography, anyway): something that wouldn't happen if I traded my camera for a newer model, or different make, every few months.

    Also - whisper it - it simply doesn't matter... :)
  8. Fandongo macrumors 6502

    Nov 2, 2011
    For your price range, I'd consider smaller, lighter, somewhat cheaper glassed (though, not backwards compatible with dslrs) mirrorless micro 4/3rds...

    If you care about video, get the GH2.

    Nikon made some steps in the right direction offering full HDMI out (record to an external vs compressing it to a card). It's still not great. And Canon is still riding the coattails of their accidental 5dii success... The video upgrades to the 5d3 were anemic. Those are out of your price range anyway, but it shows why both of their die-hard fans should be embarrassed.

    It's like putting a "new" label on the "updated" Mac Pro. Or killing the 17". Or removing the expresscard adapter from the 15" (2009). Or only offering 8GB of ram on the fat Macbook (rather self-upgrade anyway). Or being lazy and tightlipped about the TB--Firewire adapter. Or eliminating user-upgradability from the equation. Or gimping "professional" software. Or not giving an upgrade discount to people who blew $950 on previous versions of said software.

    It's bad policy.
    Now, if only there were companies that sucked less.

    Buy a Polaroid.
  9. JackHobbs macrumors regular


    Nov 1, 2009
    If you have friends that DSLR's ask their opinion. If you are lucky they may let you play with their cameras. If you are really lucky they may be prepared to lend you lenses to use. If so and if you like their camera, buy into that system. As a Canon user I am really happy but as lots of people on this forum have said most people stick with the system that they first started with. As far as I can see you can't go much wrong with Canon or Nikon. :D
  10. mulo macrumors 68020


    Aug 22, 2010
    Behind you
  11. LostSoul80 macrumors 68020


    Jan 25, 2009
    I'd go with the Nikon. Slightly smaller, good ergonomics. As for the lenses, there are many for both of them, no winner there. Try them out if you can before buying, and enjoy photography!
  12. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Mar 25, 2009
    Folding space
    Several of the POTD regulars are very happy with their Pentax cameras. Look at everything on the market and pick the one that fits you the best.

  13. Kebabselector macrumors 68030


    May 25, 2007
    Birmingham, UK
    Echoes my thoughts, though with the opposite equipment!
  14. lostgear macrumors member

    Nov 9, 2010
    If its not been suggested already, go check out the Talk Photography forums. Loads of advice for beginners and plenty of second hand starter kits.
  15. MaxxTraxx macrumors 6502

    Jul 2, 2008
    I would also use one them before buying one.

    I hate Canon's menu system so I went with Nikon.
  16. avro707 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 13, 2010
    Nikon is very easy to use - highly recommended. See if your local camera store will throw in a few extras for you to get you started.
  17. afroAnt macrumors regular

    Apr 18, 2011
    Videos- Canon
    Photos- Nikon

    If you want to shot low light from what I've read nikon is the best :D
  18. Prodo123 macrumors 68020


    Nov 18, 2010
    Video = Canon
    Stills = evenly matched between Nikon and Canon

    Get rid of this common misconception. With stills, both companies have nearly a century of experience in making images look good. They are equal in performance when it comes to stills. However, with the 5D Mark II, Canon has held a near-monopoly in the HDSLR market.

    Regarding nighttime performance, at least with entry level DSLRs that the OP is looking for, both companies cannot help but perform poorly. According to this comparison Nikon actually does worse than Canon at ISO 6400, although it is fair to say that both Canon and Nikon fails to provide fairly usable shots at this ISO.
  19. glittersparkles macrumors member

    Feb 29, 2012
    i have a nikon D3100. i did exactly what everyone is telling you to do - i went to jessops, and a lovely assistant was giving me advice and helping me decide which camera would benefit the way that i work. for me, it was nikon, but i still like canon, but they are incredibly different - so i'd say whatever you choose will be the company you stay with, similarly to pc vs mac; there is always one that suits someone more.

    oh, and the main benefit for an amateur photographer is that consumer nikon dlsrs now come with guide mode - it basically leads you through the steps of taking a photograph.

    good luck and enjoy whichever you choose! :)
  20. blanka macrumors 68000

    Jul 30, 2012
    Canon seriously lagging when it comes to D-range. They still have to find out to break the 12 stops barrier. Nikon is cuddling with 15 stops already. It is a huge difference, and would be my primary consideration when buying a new camera.
  21. NZed macrumors 65816


    Jan 24, 2011
    Canada, Eh?
    Go try it out. Look at the pictures and the colour tones. I like Canon's colour tone better than Nikon's, seemed more natural to me and my eyes.

    As Doylem said, it simple doesnt matter.
  22. MCAsan macrumors 601


    Jul 9, 2012
    You have selected the right two brands. Those are the two camera companies that dominate the market. Those are two who will delivery the best range or products and have the most accessories available.

    With the two companies leapfrogging each other, it comes down to more what you like in camera body layout and menu structures.
  23. Prodo123 macrumors 68020


    Nov 18, 2010
    Nikon is barely at 13 stops of dynamic range, and that's at their lowest ISOs with the D4. Canon has approximately the equal dynamic range, then exceeds Nikon at the lower ISOs with the 5D Mark III.

    I don't know where you got the 15 stops from, but it's not true.

    Older cameras, on the other hand, are a different story...
  24. monokakata macrumors 68000


    May 8, 2008
    Hilo, Hawai'i
  25. joshualee90 macrumors member

    Mar 12, 2009
    Here are the main differences if notice with entry level dslrs from both brands. I used to work in a consumer camera shops and dealt a lot with entry level models. This was a few years ago so the modest im the most familiar with are the D3000 and T2i.

    Nikon has much better build quality, both canon and nikon bodies are made of plastic but nikons just feel better. That said Canons are lighter(have to check but that is what i believe it was)

    Canons meter brighter. What Canon meters as correct is usually about a quarter stop higher than nikon. Nothing you cant change with a change of exposure compensation. I prefer the brighter metering of Canon.

    Lenses are a tough battle. Canons lenses are a safer bet as all lenses will auto focus. Nikon bodies under the entry level can only auto focus with AF-s lenses. If you ever move to full frame all your AF-s lenses cant be used. Granted with Canon EF-s cant be used but all of them will still auto focus.

    Video wise canon is still king.

    I found that Nikon bodies white balance more warm than Canons. I like how Canon white balance better but it may be different for you. Of course you can put in custom WB.

    If you arent going to buy more than the kit lens and possibly a 50mm then it doesnt really matter what family you buy into. My first camera was nikon D40 with only the kit lens so i jumped to canon with my next purchase.

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