First time DSLR buyer: need some buying advice

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by JerTheGeek, Sep 3, 2016.

  1. JerTheGeek macrumors 68000

    JerTheGeek

    Joined:
    May 15, 2014
    #1
    Hello all!
    So I'm planning on buying my first DSLR sometime around Christmas. I'm coming from a Canon PowerShot SX510 which I've had for over two years now. This cam has been great, I've used it for shooting YouTube videos on my tech-based channel, as well as many videos for events and stuff. I've also shot many pictures with it and it has worked awesome. But I am ready to improve my overall quality of videos and get more control of focus, as well as have a better camera for photography.
    My main use for a camera is for YouTube videos, but I will also want to do some other videos with it as well as some hobby photography, will likely do more of this hobby photography since I'll have a better quality camera.
    Since I have a Canon now and it has been excellent, I'd like to stay with Canon. I've been looking at the t6i/s, and the 70D, refurbished from Canon directly. These are my options I'm considering:
    • The t6i. Around $650. It includes a 18-55mm and 55-250mm. This is the cheapest option and I think would be fine for me. However, I'm not sure about the two lens combo. My current cam goes to 129mm, but obviously being a bridge camera it is all in one. Being my first dlsr, would it be a hassle to have to switch lenses if I'm not used to it? Or should I go to the next option?
    • The t6s with a 18-135mm. This would be similar to my current focal range on my bridge cam. Around $850, at the top of my budget. For around this same price point I could do:
    • The 70D also with a 18-135mm. I've heard the dual pixel AF would be better for videos.
    So those are my options, which would anybody recommend for my situation? Could the t6i work with that two lens combo, or would it be better to get one with a 18-135 for $200+ more?
    I'd appreciate any advice.
    Thanks!
    --JerTheGeek
     
  2. The Bad Guy macrumors 6502a

    The Bad Guy

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    Australia
    #2
    I have my thoughts on this matter, but I'm gonna leave this to the experts. :D
     
  3. robgendreau macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    #3
    There are bazillions of choices, but since you have limited yourself to Canon check out their refurbs. They are often exceptional deals there, and even sometimes sales on the already discounted refurbs.

    But if your primary use is video, I dunno. DSLRs aren't maybe the best choices even among the primarily still cameras for that, especially since they are designed around optical viewfinders. I'd look at mirrorless, particularly Panasonics.
     
  4. JerTheGeek thread starter macrumors 68000

    JerTheGeek

    Joined:
    May 15, 2014
    #4
    Well while I am doing video on it, I still would prefer a dslr because I also want to do photography on it. Besides Canon are there any other options that might be good?
     
  5. JamesPDX Suspended

    JamesPDX

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2014
    Location:
    USA
    #5
    I have a lot of Canon stuff, so I would suggest getting (go to your local pro-photo-type place) a used and non-disposable fast prime lenses like the 50 f/1.2L or a a Zeiss manual focus prime. For video, you may as well go manual focus, even if you buy older fast Olympus Zuiko primes. You can buy an adapter for the Canon body, and those older lenses (if you can find them) have the aperture ring on the front of the lens and a big knurled-grip focus ring. So think of your glass as permanent and the camera bodies to be "disposable" (avoid the S-stuff because if you decide to go full-frame, they won't be compatible. Remember that you can always rent lenses. So buy one great lens, and rent as needed.

    If you want to go for an all-around camera, I'd look into these and get the one with the Canon-mount:
    https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/products

    Look toward the middle of the page. The pocket-one would require MFT lenses. The cinema camera is pretty awesome. The support page is really good with fielding questions, like "Can I shoot stills with this?" Good luck.
     
  6. JerTheGeek thread starter macrumors 68000

    JerTheGeek

    Joined:
    May 15, 2014
    #6
    So, in terms of lenses, coming from a bridge cam, do you guys think 18-55mm + 55-250mm would be a big deal to get used to? Is that a decent setup? Or would 18-135mm be better to start out?
     
  7. thats all folks macrumors 6502a

    thats all folks

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2013
    Location:
    Austin (supposedly in Texas)
    #7
    that you seem interested in keeping a single zoom lens on the camera removes a lot of the reason for a DSLR. there are plenty of cameras between where you are now and where you are looking to be that shoot good video and stills. and DSLRs really start to shine when your kit gets past $2K.

    this site,
    https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/2016-roundup-enthusiast-long-zoom-cameras
    is about as thorough as it gets. what I specifically linked to will give you a good starting place.
    I'd also look at this one,
    https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/panasonic-lumix-dmc-fz1000

    I know Sony keeps getting top marks which I cant understand with the horrible skin tone rendering I keep seeing from their cameras. Purple, green, orange are not the color of anyone's skin but Sony seems to always sneak some of each in.
     
  8. JamesPDX Suspended

    JamesPDX

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2014
    Location:
    USA
    #8
    For lenses, it's about the aperture "speed" -and I think you'll be kicking yourself because focusing video on a DSLR while it's running is a PITA. If your lenses aren't letting in enough light, you'll have to jack up your ISO and things will get noisy fast. Do you want a camera for stills or a video camera? If you're not shooting RAW, get an iPhone 6S (or 7?) and buy some "grip" accessories.

    OTOH: Try to get the camera body by itself. Those kit lenses seem better than they really are. Get the camera and a few really fast cards. Get the "legit" batteries and go try out some lenses at the pro store. Better yet, know that there are perfectly great full-frame bodies lying around the local pro camera stores (not Best Buy, etc.) If your shooting sports/action, go with the crop-sensor. Really, try before you buy. Those fast primes are worth it. If you're set on cheaper lenses and you're going with Canon, find a EFS-85mm f/1.8 -It's light and is a great portrait lens.

    http://prophotosupply.com/shop/used-inventory/

    etc...
     
  9. JerTheGeek thread starter macrumors 68000

    JerTheGeek

    Joined:
    May 15, 2014
    #9
    This gets me thinking, you're absolutely right. I do want the flexibility of having interchangeable lenses, so why try to get just one? I think the 18-55 + 55-250 would be fine. That means for around $650 refurb i could get the t6i which I hear is good for video, especially with the articulating touch screen that can be used for focusing, which for me is a must have for filming videos where i am talking to the camera.
     
  10. Apple fanboy macrumors P6

    Apple fanboy

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    Feb 21, 2012
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    Behind the Lens, UK
    #10
    Don't forget to budget for a tripod if your doing video.
    Lighting and off camera audio as well.
    Gets expensive fast!
     
  11. JerTheGeek thread starter macrumors 68000

    JerTheGeek

    Joined:
    May 15, 2014
    #11
    Yeah for sure, i have a basic amazon tripod that has worked great for me, as well as a Blue Snowball mic which has given me excellent audio quality for my videos. Now I just need a bit better camera quality!
     
  12. monokakata macrumors 68000

    monokakata

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    May 8, 2008
    Location:
    Hilo, Hawai'i
    #12
    I don't think that limiting yourself to Canon is a good idea here at the beginning. Yes, you had a Canon that you liked. But you have no investment in Canon glass, for example. If you did, that would be a very powerful reason to stay with Canon.

    I'm not going to recommend a brand and I'm certainly not anti-Canon. But really -- you're starting with the proverbial clean sheet of paper. So why limit yourself?

    I'd spend time reading reviews and poking around to see what's out there that might suit your needs exactly. DPReview is a good site for helping you begin your search.
     
  13. E3BK macrumors 68020

    E3BK

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #13
    Yes, exactly this. You also haven't stated what kind of photography you're interested in, OP. Is there a reason you need so much zoom?

    You haven't invested thousands of dollars in the most important part of a DSLR kit, which are the lenses, so why not keep your options open? I have both a Canon 7D and an Olympus OMD-EM5 and the Olympus is the camera i use the most. Even the pro lenses for mirrorless cameras are more affordable.

    If you really want a Canon DSLR, I'll to sell you mine. I've been considering it for quite some time. ;) I use my Olympus for just about everything these days.
     
  14. JerTheGeek, Sep 3, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2016

    JerTheGeek thread starter macrumors 68000

    JerTheGeek

    Joined:
    May 15, 2014
    #14
    I'm pretty much interested in any sort of photography. I don't have a specific thing really. Obviously I want to shoot good quality 1080p video for my YouTube channel and other videos, but I also want to shoot good photos in general. That's why I don't want a pure video camera, and would prefer a dslr.

    Typically if I want to spend some time shooting I'll just go in the backyard, we have a lot of trees and stuff so there's plenty of interesting things to shoot. I just look for interesting shots that would look cool, sometimes animals, sometimes plants, sometimes the sky, etc. I'll also do photos of the moon, portraits, or various things on vacation, sometimes even I'll bring it to NHL games and take pics there. As you can see I like to shoot in various subjects and at various locations. The zoom is not really for anything specific, just since I've had it on my current cam and because I enjoy shooting a variety of stuff it comes in handy and lets me get creative.

    In terms of different brands, yeah I'd be totally open to looking at different models. I did look at the Panasonic G7 but I'm not sure how good it would be for my photos (would certainly be good for video but like I said I want both). I'll take a look at Nikon for comparison.

    EDIT: meant Panasonic G7 not G4
     
  15. OzBok macrumors regular

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    Mar 15, 2016
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #15
    Play around with them in store. Don't just rely on what you read in reviews. Every camera has a different feel and setup, menu systems etc. you want one that feels intuitive to what you want to do with it. Play around with ones above your budget too. For no other reason, then once you are invested in lenses, your locked into that system unless you are prepared to take a hit to switch. Good lenses last, the body you might inevitably want to upgrade, as your skills and budget increase.

    Find some good second hand glass that fits your needs, and work back from that to the body.
    Canon and Nikon both have their premiums, don't discount Pentax or Olympus. Check the compatibility of lenses and bodies, some wont have backwards compatibility. Don't discount mirror less and micro 4/3 systems either, you'll get higher quality for less money than canon and Nikon. Example dad bought an omd5 Mkii and 2 pro lenses for less than my Nikon body or one of my pricier lenses. And this is where I say try them, the feel of the camera and the menu/controls is what made my decision, not reviews and advice, that helps.. But end of the day, it's you using it, not us.
     
  16. ChrisChaval macrumors regular

    ChrisChaval

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2016
    #16
    I am a Nikon guy

    The brand really does not matter though

    One general advice : Better spend less on the body and buy a decent glass instead that suits your specific needs

    Never took my 50mm 1.8 off since I got it ..
     
  17. mofunk macrumors 68000

    mofunk

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    Location:
    Americas
    #17
    Nikon User here.

    I would go with the Canon 70D or 80D because you will have more control over the camera. If you plan to shoot for a long time and not upgrade for awhile then skip the entry level type cameras and go with the midrange DSLR. Sure the entry level will work but when you hit that wall, you would want to upgrade. The 70D from what I've seen with my buddies is an excellent choice. Not sure about the 18-135mm lens but its a covers a nice range. Remember that these DSLR cameras have a cropped sensor so you are really shooting more than 135mm because of the crop factor.

    Like OzBok said also look for a second lens. As a Nikon user I like using the prime lenses like 50mm and 85mm. idk what is the equivalent to Canon but I'm sure they have something similar. You can also rent lenses to find the ones that fit your needs. I did that for years until I decided on what lenses I wanted to own. Canon does shoot video better than Nikon however they are getting better.


    The Canon t series are small like the Nikon entry levels. If you are someone who needs the camera to feel good in your hands and if you will be shooting with a longer lens then get a bigger body (70D). You can get away with hand holding in video a lot better until you get your tripod or video rig.


    You can rent lenses from lensrental.com

    One thing I did when I upgraded was to make sure I had enough hard drive space to handle to files. I shot a 10min video and it was close to 3GB. I was shooting with 1080p, Full Frame, 23 Mpeg.. (D750).
     
  18. JerTheGeek thread starter macrumors 68000

    JerTheGeek

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    May 15, 2014
    #18
    Thanks for the tips. I have been considering the 70D, and I'm kinda torn between the 70D and t6s at the moment because both seem to be excellent cams that would meet my needs for around the same price. The 70D has the better dual pixel AF, but from what I've seen the t6s has great autofocus too, and the 70D has lower MPs and is older in general. Not sure if this would make a big difference or not.
     
  19. Apple fanboy macrumors P6

    Apple fanboy

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    Behind the Lens, UK
    #19
    Don't get caught up in the megapixel thing. You can print a decent A3 picture at 8MP. How big did you want to go?
    Yes it's better to have more if you plan to crop, but better to get it right in camera.
    As above I'd skip the entry level and get the mid range.
    Second hand bodies of the last generation can be had at a much reduced rate. Most won't have had a very hard life.
     
  20. kenoh macrumors demi-god

    kenoh

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    Glasgow, UK
    #20

    I would rethink the tripod... the weight of the DSLR and lens and extras may quickly become too much for the Amazon basics model.

    Worth investing in a good tripod as they last for a long time.
     
  21. mollyc macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2016
    #21
    I would recommend not getting any kit lenses and figure out what focal ranges you want and buy lenses accordingly. You would be better off starting with a 50mm f/1.8 lens and use it exclusively for a month or two and then see what lenses you should move into. Zoom lenses can be as good as primes, but at that level the lenses are at least $1,500 (but you get what you pay for).

    I shoot Nikon now but started with Canon and switched after 4 years (and many lenses). I had specific reasons to do so at the time, but right now the focusing systems of both are fairly comparable and consistent.

    If you think that photography is going to be something you really get into, buy the best you can afford right now. The entry level cameras max out on ISO and can be limiting shooting low light.

    You don't need all the lenses and focal lengths right off the bat. Find a decent body that will last you a few years and a 50mm lens and go from there. You may well be limited by the 50mm soon enough, but until you start shooting at a specific focal length, you won't know if you prefer wide angle, normal, or telephoto. I shoot all lengths, but for very different purposes. I just got back from a week at the beach and shot almost exclusively ultra wide angle because I wanted to capture the expanse of the beach. But tomorrow when my kids go back to school, I will pull out a longer lens for portraits.
     
  22. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

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    Location:
    Atlanta
    #22
    Two weeks ago the wife and I were at Silver Salmon Creek in Lake Clark Alaska shooting coastal brown bears. The wife and I each had two E-M1 bodes with 40-150 Pro + TC on one body and the 300 Pro on the other body. We had lots of rain and fog. The DSLR shooters around us were trying to use rain sleeves, trash bags, and ponchos to protect their equipment. They had several equipment failures from leaks. The wife and I never covered our equipment and had zero failures or problems. The shot is from my iPhone of my E-M! shooting a coastal brown bear further down the beach. Note the rain all over the body an lens. So very glad we went M43 a couple of years ago.
    Bear on Beach.jpg
     
  23. Apple fanboy macrumors P6

    Apple fanboy

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    #23
    Pretty close. I assume you had a car or building nearby if he decided to run up the beach?
    Anyway looking forward to seeing some more of your shots.

    Regarding weather proofing I've used my DSLR in torrential rain with no issues. Not very often though as I'm a fair weather photographer!
     
  24. TheDrift- macrumors 6502a

    TheDrift-

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    #24
    I would get a cheap entry level Canon or Nikon, I would go used, & invest the rest in yourself.

    Money spent on a course or two learning how to use your camera with have a far bigger impact on your pictures than anything else, plus it wont be obsolete in a few years.

    (I also really rate the 55 250, great lens for the money)
     
  25. JerTheGeek thread starter macrumors 68000

    JerTheGeek

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    May 15, 2014
    #25
    My only concern with the 70D is that I'm coming from a bridge camera. I don't know anything about manu
    Honestly I was thinking of going with the t6s instead of the 70D because it is more of an entry level cam. I'm coming from a bridge camera and don't have a ton of knowledge of photography, yet I still enjoy it and need a cam for filming YT. So for my first DSLR I would prefer it to be a bit more user friendly and a more entry level model would work better for me I think.
     

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