Dear MacRumors Photo Buffs

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by h1r0ll3r, Feb 18, 2011.

  1. h1r0ll3r macrumors 68040


    Dec 28, 2009
    I'm in the market for a DSLR but don't know where to start. I have a simple Canon point and shoot but would like to take the next step and start taking some nicer quality photographs. Not a pro by any means but looking to start this as a hobby and such :) You know, just have some fun with it. I see that lots of you on here are quite knowledgeable about DSLR's so I figured I'd ask your opinion on what's best.

    My budget is around $500-$800. I'm not looking for an entry level model but something in the mid range area, preferably 13-15MP or something like that. I see that Canon's and Nikon's are among the most popular DSLR's. Having had my Canon point and shoot, I'd like to stick with Canon unless there are some other better alternatives.

    I'm not quite at the level where I'd need several lenses and such so I'm basically looking for a nice body unit and one good all around type lens that I can use. I have NO idea about all the differences between the lenses, f stop, etc so I'm kinda going into this blindly, but with some cash in hand :D

    If it helps any, when starting something new, I'm not the type that goes in with entry level hardware, build up experience, and then upgrade later on. I prefer to buy something well above my skill set and work my way up which is why I'm looking for something in the mid-range of DSLR's. I see how much some of the top end units cost and, while they're nice and all, I don't foresee myself plunking down that least not just yet.

    So can any of you recommend any decent DSLR's within my price range? Links to suggested cameras would also be appreciated as well.

  2. andalusia macrumors 68030


    Apr 10, 2009
    Manchester, UK
    I'm thinking Canon T1i. Pretty decent low-mid range camera which would probably last you a good while. Maybe the T2i if you can really afford it.
  3. Ruahrc macrumors 65816

    Jun 9, 2009
    I would not necessarily limit yourself to Canon just because you have a Canon P&S. Once you get to the DSLR range, very little of the "feel" of the P&S cameras show through. And operating a DSLR is different enough that it wouldn't really matter what brand you migrated from/to, you'd be learning about the same amount of stuff either way.

    I would go to a camera store and handle the various bodies from the various manufacturers and see which one fits you and your operating style the best.

  4. compuwar macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2006
    Northern/Central VA
    That's not a mid-range budget- however since DSLRs don't last for 30 years like film SLRs, there's nothing wrong with getting an entry-level model. Don't get stuck on megapixels, unless you routinely shoot to print 20x30 or larger prints, anything 6MP and over in an APS-C or larger-sized sensor is going to be just fine and capable of almost anything a beginning shooter is likely to be able to throw at it. I'll still occasionally shoot for friends with their entry-level Nikon bodies and for the usage they're likely to do, such as Facebook and 8x10 prints there's nothing at all wrong with the images. Photography is about the photographer and the light more than the equipment.

    I'd advise sticking with Canon or Nikon at this point simply because they're going to be around as the two of them hold ~80% of the DSLR market and they make lots of different models giving you room to grow or find a backup body should you need one. They also have the largest current lens selections, so there's no shortage of lens options. You can get more value by going with one of the other manufacturers, who have to compete on features since they don't have large market shares, but the long-term viability of some of them may be questionable.

    I'd also advise going to a camera store if possible and trying out at least 2 and preferably 3 models from each manufacturer, so you can get a feel for how the line as a whole is, as the ergonomics are similar but not exactly the same on the different levels of bodies.

    The truth is that you really can't buy a crappy DSLR these days, there's only shades of good for particular purposes- so don't fall to analysis paralysis- there's not a bad choice to be had- but like many things there are popular and unpopular brands in different segments- the only good reason to be swayed by popularity is if you have friends or family who also shoot who will lend you lenses. One of my friends owns a Nikon DSLR and had zero lenses for the first couple of years- two of my lenses still live at their house most of the time.


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