Camera Recommendations

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by stockcerts, Mar 13, 2013.

  1. stockcerts macrumors 65816

    Jun 29, 2007
    San Francisco, CA
    It's been many years since I've used an SLR. I've used a point and shoot for some time now, along with my iPhone camera. I'd like to get more into shooting as a hobby as I did when I was in the military (back then it was film).

    Right now I'm using iPhoto and once I get a new camera I'll switch to something like Aperature or Lightroom. In the mean time, I'd like to ask for some opinions on favorite cameras. I'm not looking for a real high end camera, but a good starter camera that I can be happy with for a few years, and will give me more options and better pictures than a point and shoot camera.

    I hope this is the right forum for this question. Thanks everyone!
  2. designs216 macrumors 65816


    Oct 26, 2009
    Down the rabbit hole
    I've used the Nikon D40 for a few years now and have more or less happy with it but there is a bug where the shutter release hangs and you have to wiggle the lens to get it to shoot again. It's probably been discontinued now but if you buy used you've been warned.


    "I see your Schwartz is as big as mine."
  3. fcortese macrumors demi-god


    Apr 3, 2010
    Big Sky country
    It all depends upon where you think you may go with your photography. You have the luxery of picking a camera brand since you appear not to be invested in gear and lenses. So the usual suspects pop up: Canon, Nikon, Sony, Pentax, etc. Now there's mrrrorless cameras added to the mix. My best advise is to go to multiple camera stores and actually grab and hold and play with the settings to see what feels right for you. There a many reviews on the net for all of the cameras. A good starting point is dpreview. They do fairly extensive reviews on all aspects of the camera from the hardware to the photos and then they give a rating. Finally, you can consider renting a body and kit lens and play with it live so to speak for a few days to see if it's right for you. I decided on Canon at the suggestion of my son-in-law and I also liked their menu system better than Nikon's (I had a Nikon film camera eons ago). He does web design and photo work for catalogues so he had plenty of experience. I started with a simpe rebel camera and over the years have traded up to my present gear and never looked back. All of the major brands are putting out excellent cameras. Good luck in your new adventure. I'm sure you'll find it very gratifying.
  4. Razeus, Mar 13, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2013

    Razeus macrumors 603

    Jul 11, 2008
    The Fuji X100s.

    Don't bother with these APC-S DSLR's. They're too big. If you want a big DSLR, then get a full frame camera. If I were to go back to smaller sensors, Fuji or NEX is where I'd be.
  5. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I like the micro 4/3's platform. I own an Olympus OMD EM-5 and I can say that I love this camera. Lots of lens selection, larger sense then some other M43s camera and it produces great images.
  6. dmax35 macrumors 6502

    Jun 21, 2012
    How much do you want to spend?
  7. stockcerts thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jun 29, 2007
    San Francisco, CA
    I'm hoping not more than $800- initially. I know my investment will rise as I buy lenses, and software.
  8. DrewJM, Mar 13, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2013

    DrewJM macrumors newbie

    Nov 19, 2011
    I purchased a Canon Rebel T3 about 5 months ago. Prior to that, I had only used a nice point and shoot and my iPhone camera as well.

    I must say the T3 has been really fantastic so far. I knew nothing about DSLR's and had only dabbled in changing things like shutter speed and ISO on the point and shoot. Over the last few months I've been slowly getting to know my way around this camera and I have been very very pleased with it's performance and the images I get.

    I got a really great deal on this camera and paid $400 for a new one from woot. In fact, it still pops up there every now and then. This was $150 less than it retails in stores (now it's going for $430 on amazon, still a great price). It came with the kit 18-55mm lens. The best part is, when I am ready to upgrade I can get a nicer lens first and still be confident this camera will do a fine job. Then in another year or two, I can graduate to a better body and can continue to use any lenses I've picked up.

    This is a great camera. A lot of people will scoff at it because it is Canon's entry level, but it is a no brainer, especially if you get a nice deal. Of course there are a few limitations that set it back from the next level up (T3i) like no wireless shutter control, no external mix input, a few less megapixels (still absolutely high enough at 12) and no fancy grip or texture. None of these get in the way of getting a great picture and getting experience.

    One personal gripe if you are into video. It only takes 720p and is limited to 4 gigabyte file size (it stops recording after that). This only matters if you will be making movies. However, the videos still look great.

    Hope this was of some help.
  9. mofunk macrumors 68020


    Aug 26, 2009
    If you have shot with a SLR before I would go with either a used Nikon D80 or D90 or Canon 30D or 40D.

    D80 is good camera for beginners and who wants more control with their camera. D90 is a step up with video and current Nikon menu.

    Canon 30D like the D80. Canon 40D like the D90
  10. glenthompson macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2011
    The general rule of thumb is that once you buy into a particular system you're tied to them due to the investment in lenses. Switching may require selling off everything and buying new.

    Things to consider are sensor size: APS-C, full frame, micro 4/3, or other. I personally wouldn't go for anything smaller than M4/3. In general, the larger the sensor the less noise there is and the better the image quality is.

    Format: DSLR or mirrorless. DSLR is typically larger.

    I have a NEX-7 which I love due to the compact size and excellent image quality. For my needs it's the perfect balance between size and performance. Any also offers some shooting modes which I happen to like. It's outside your price range but they have some lower priced models that are nice like the 5N or 6.

    I've also used a friends Canon EOS Rebel which I liked. Very comfortable feel and easy to shoot with.
  11. El Cabong macrumors 6502a

    Dec 1, 2008
    The big question is DSLR vs. mirrorless. Both have their pros and cons. I would choose Nikon/Canon for DSLRs, and Panasonic/Olympus for mirrorless. It's hard to go wrong with any given camera body these days. Most of it has to do with what suits you and your shooting needs.
  12. blueroom macrumors 603


    Feb 15, 2009
    Toronto, Canada
    Sony NEX series are excellent mirror-less cameras or the RX100 is probably the best P&S currently on the market.
  13. blanka macrumors 68000

    Jul 30, 2012
    Try to get a camera with high D-range. Check dxomark for the d-range of the models you like. Modern ones are making a jump to 14-15 bit, and it really means a lot to the image quality. Unfortunately, the high-d-range camp is limited to sony/nikon/pentax mostly, as they are the only companies with up to date sensor technology. Canon really needs to catch up.
  14. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    As some mentioned, getting a DSLR is akin to getting married to a set of lenses. Maybe you should investigate what you want to shoot and what lenses would best fit your hobby.

    The only sage advice I can give you is to try out various cameras at a camera store. The menu systems, ease of use, and how it feels in your hands might be what draws you to one particular maker/model over another.

    I admit I love Nikon lenses but I really hate their menu system with a passion. What I do insist upon is looking through a sight on the camera whether it is a true DSLR or a rangefinder style. I find the exercise of looking at the back of a camera at those little LCDs to be just plain abysmal and stupid. It removes the intimacy of shooting.

    If Fuji ever fixes their RAW problem (various software have problem properly handling Fuji X series RAW), I'll be seriously looking at their offerings as it is closer to the old range finder in use which is great by me and the lenses are superb.

    As someone mentioned, the Olympus offering - don't over look it. It is a very nice camera with some nice lenses. Canon and Nikon are not the only makers that do well - Olympus and Pentax now have some great options and for the esoteric - Sigma cameras.

    Good luck with camera/lens hunting!
  15. dmax35 macrumors 6502

    Jun 21, 2012
    If you can afford the monthly installment payments QVC & HSN have a slew of different cameras, $600.00 plus x six installments will get you a Canon 5d Mark III setup from QVC. Go big or go home.
  16. Attonine macrumors 6502a

    Feb 15, 2006
    Kent. UK
    You need to let us know what kind of photography you are looking to get back into. This will greatly effect which camera and system to go for. Wildlife/sports, APS-C DSLR would be great. Street/reportage, the Fuji and NEX style systems. Lanscapes, portraits, anything and everything..........
  17. boch82 macrumors 6502

    Apr 14, 2008
    That seems a bit extreme for someone who just wants to do this as a hobby.

    Check out some of the kits (, I shoot at work with a Canon 7D and Nikon D90 (depending on what gear is available that day).

    I just picked up a T4-i kit from cameta a couple months ago. I think it was about $900 but came with an extra lens (75-250), bag, tripod and bunch of other accessories. Very good camera for the money.
  18. El Cabong macrumors 6502a

    Dec 1, 2008
    You ask what his budget is, he tells you, then you suggest that he spend more than 5 times that budget on a camera that may not even suit his needs. (Also, Adorama sells the same thing for $400 less.)

    Spending more money never made anyone a better or more serious photographer.
  19. stockcerts thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jun 29, 2007
    San Francisco, CA
    Thanks for the suggestions everyone! I live in San Francisco and there are countless photo opportunities here; the bay, parks, cityscape, and all the oddities San Francisco is known for.

    The cost is an issue for me, so I'm hoping not to go nuts on the initial purchase. I've done more reading through the forums and got some good insite into buying into the ecosystem of a particular manufacturer.

    Thanks again, and any other thoughts are welcome!!
  20. JoeRito macrumors 6502a


    Apr 12, 2012
    New England, USA
    Love the Canon Powershot G-series...G12, G15, etc.

    Also Pixlemator is powerpacked for the money!
  21. dmax35 macrumors 6502

    Jun 21, 2012
    Go read what I posted!!!!!!

    I gave a suggestion for him or others the opportunity to go purchase not only a 5d but a a slew of other brands that you could make installment payments on and gave the 5d as an example.
  22. El Cabong macrumors 6502a

    Dec 1, 2008
    I read it; that's why I quoted it.

    Of all the Canon cameras offered by QVC, you suggested the most expensive one. "Go big or go home" implies that people shouldn't get into photography unless they buy the most expensive gear. According to that mentality, 99% of people who enjoy photography should just quit.

    Also, it doesn't make sense to blow the majority of your budget on a body. If I were to start from scratch and had ~$600 to spend each month, it would go toward building a system: monolights/flashes/light modifiers, tripods/heads, and lenses, lenses, lenses. There are plenty of opportunities to spend money on camera gear ;)
  23. dmax35 macrumors 6502

    Jun 21, 2012
    It does't imply anything. I threw it out there for others to see as an option to get a high end camera with the option in making installment payments. THAT'S ALL. Your the one making an issue of it!!!!
  24. El Cabong macrumors 6502a

    Dec 1, 2008
    Sorry for misinterpreting. I had assumed that, just because you addressed a question to the OP, your followup post would actually answer his question, instead of dispensing random facts to whomever happens to be reading it. Whoops. At least now we all know that we can pay for things from QVC in installments. I had no idea until I read that. I've always heard that they have the best deals.

    Speaking of which, Best Buy is offering the same package as QVC for $700 less. The QVC price is probably the better option, though, because you get to pay it off in installments.
  25. ChuckSneed macrumors newbie

    Jan 9, 2012

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