First Time DSLR: Which Brand/Camera?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by rekhyt, Apr 22, 2010.

  1. rekhyt macrumors 65816

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    #1
    Hi,
    I'm thinking about switching from a Point-and-Shoot camera to a DSLR camera due to the terrible quality issues from a PaS that I bought a year ago. One of my friends had bought a DSLR last month but I did not inquire on the brand/specific model of it.

    I have a budget constraint of $500 to absolute maximum of ~$570. What brand should I get (Nikon/Sony?) and which DSLR should I start with that is at a reasonable price?

    Thanks,
    Rekhyt
     
  2. El Cabong macrumors 6502a

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  3. Wacky Jackson macrumors member

    Wacky Jackson

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    #3
    I just got a Nikon D3000 and it's awesome. I too was debating between sony and Nikon but I figured there is going to more lenses to choose from in the future. I think is more of a wide selection of used lenses on ebay for Nikons then Sonys.
     
  4. The Mad Kiwi macrumors 6502

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    In Hell
    #4
    Don't get a Sony, they just don't have enough lenses and accessories or third party support, if you do get a bit more interested in photography then you'll feel limited in the Sony system, and their lenses are really overpriced.

    It's a choice between the big C&N.
     
  5. flosseR macrumors 6502a

    flosseR

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    the cold dark north
    #5
    Wow, can't we make a proper lens adviser based on a webform where you can enter a budget and/or brand and it tells you the options and pro's and con's of each option? it's almost like every second day the same question comes ...


    //F
     
  6. RHVC59 macrumors 6502

    RHVC59

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    May 10, 2008
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    Eugene, Oregon
    #6
    Go to a local camera store and see which one feels right in your hands.
    See what the kit lens combination is available or each body.

    And go with the nikon:)
    no just kidding...
    Get with what feels right to you, and is the best deal.
     
  7. TH3D4RKKN1GH7 macrumors 6502a

    TH3D4RKKN1GH7

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    #7
    Wow can't you just skip the thread and not come in whine and add nothing to it? :rolleyes:

    Anyway, I'd tell you to look at the Rebel line(Canon). Those cameras produce some pretty snazzy images for their price points. I've used the XSi, T1i, and T2i. All great camera, the XSi should be around 500 if not cheaper. Great little camera, especially when you put some nice glass on the front (as is the case with all cameras)
     
  8. flosseR macrumors 6502a

    flosseR

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    #8
    hehehe, no. not really. Bad day atthe office. I think I will scour through the forum data and build a "first timer DSLR" webselector...


    //F
     
  9. Dark Goob macrumors regular

    Dark Goob

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    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #9
    I highly recommend the Olympus E-620. I think you can get a new one for 579 right now at Dell. That's a steal.

    OK key things: on Olympus, all their lenses are specifically designed for the sensor that's in the E-620. That means you can buy their best lens and it will not be "cropped" when used with the E-620.

    Unfortunately, with Canon or Nikon, unless you are buying a so-called "full-frame" camera, then you cannot purchase their best lenses without cropping your lens. I.e. 50% or more of your glass is wasted.

    Also, the E-620 has a fully articulating swivel screen with excellent outdoor functionality, a very well-implemented live view feature, an excellent and fast menuing system, great Mac support, built-in stabilizer (that works even with old manual lenses, which you can put on with an adapter), wireless flash control, light metering with any lens (even old manual ones), real time white balance compensation preview, "art filters" (real time applied Photoshop-esque filters like Soft Focus and Grainy Film), multiple aspect ratio shooting, multiple exposure, and a very effective anti-dust system on the sensor. Oh yeah, and it's smaller than D5000, D3000, or Rebel series.

    Frankly, the brand-loyalty BS where people say it has to be either "Canon" or "Nikon" is total BS. That's like saying you have to buy an "HP" or "Dell." Olympus is like the Apple of the camera market... they only have a 15% market share, but meanwhile, their products lead the industry in ease of use, features, build quality, innovation, and intelligent design. They are optimized for the purpose of doing what they are made for, and they do not compromise on features even on "lower-end" models. You don't hear people say Nissan sucks and that you should only buy a Honda or Toyota. Etc.

    Now you will notice that there are websites such as DPreview, which is a much over-hyped, self-important, blow-hard blog that spends all their time taking pictures of "my collection of globes, toy robots, and Bailey's bottles in my cupboard" and pieces of paper with lines on them. They are paid by Canon and of course review all of Canon's cameras the instant they are released to market, and meanwhile, often wait a year or more to review comparable Sony or Olympus products, further perpetuating the single- or two-brand myth.

    I have shot professionally on my Olympus gear for awhile now, and I have consistently gotten comparable, if not better, results than my colleagues although my gear is smaller, lighter, and less expensive since I am not purchasing lenses made for a 35mm-sized sensor. Rather, the 4/3 sensor is exactly half the diagonal size of 35mm, and all the lenses made for it therefore can be half (!!) the size. Plus, they are optimized for digital, and Olympus uses their medical-grade ED glass (extra-low dispersion) in even the basic, included lens, which has been rated (even by the biased DPReview) as being the best of all included lenses with mid-range DSLRs.

    I might add that even DPReview gave the E-620 a mark of "Highly Recommended," and it gets 4.5/5 stars at every owner-rating site I've seen (amazon, google, dpreview [which is owned by amazon], etc.).

    Now, you can't go wrong with Canon or Nikon, or even Sony for that matter, but frankly I think if you actually look at the FEATURES, IMAGE QUALITY, ERGONOMICS, SCREEN QUALITY, LENS THAT ARE NATIVE TO THE SENSOR IN THE CAMERA, and all the things that actually matter, then you will find that the E-620 and its included lens is really the best camera/lens combo under $1000.

    PS -- I should note, if you want to know who you are buying a camera from, just look at what the main other products are that their company offers. For example, here is Canon's primary business: industrial and office printers (e.g. copiers/digital printers/presses). Olympus's primary business: medical imaging equipment, (e.g. microscopes, microscopy camera systems, endoscopy systems). When you go to Kinko's that's Canon. When you go to the hospital for knee or heart surgery, though, they use Olympus. Just remember that.

    Oh and if you are going to look at Sony, well, everyone knows their primary business. Everything. LOL... they own the movie studio, they own the factories that make the movie cameras, for Hollywood, they own Hollywood, yep. Part of it anyway. They bought Minolta when it went belly up because they felt like it. It's come a long way in a few short years but once again, unless you're going "full frame" you're not getting their best stuff.
     
  10. CATinHAWAII macrumors member

    CATinHAWAII

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    #10
     
  11. venusian macrumors member

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    Mar 22, 2008
    #11
    +1 for the Olympus

    if the best camera is the one you have with you, the oly wins - everything is smaller, so its that much easier to take with you. Grab the 25mm pancake and its (coat) pocket-able

    Olympus has been the innovator of so many DSLR features - like live view and sensor cleaners that actually work.....yup Canikon fans will say their brand's have the more lenses, but how many do you actually need?
     
  12. firestarter macrumors 603

    firestarter

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    Green and pleasant land
    #12
    The Olympus SLR system is dead in the water. Olympus is likely to slowly move more R&D across to micro 4/3rds - and maintaining both lines doesn't make sense in the long term.

    So if you want to buy Olympus, get a Micro 4/3rds body. These have no mirror box in them, they're more compact than an SLR yet use the same larger sensor. They can use the SLR lenses with an adapter, but the converse is not true.
     
  13. El Cabong macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    [cue riled up Olympus user]
     
  14. TheXIIIth macrumors member

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    #14
    +1

    The on-board guidance system is great for the first time DSLR user. It has a fair amount of advanced manual settings too.

    I've enjoyed using this camera since purchase -
     
  15. Dark Goob macrumors regular

    Dark Goob

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    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #15
    You remind me of all the people who used to say (back in the late '90s), "The Macintosh is dead in the water. Apple has less than 8% of the market and they are going to declare Chapter 11 soon."

    But the fact is, Apple simply made the best product. Their existing customer base was aware of that fact, and eventually they got the right marketing plan in place and they have been quite successful.

    Micro 4/3 and 4/3 are the SAME SYSTEM. Don't you get it? 4/3 lenses are fully compatible with Micro 4/3... it's the same sensor.

    But there are a lot of things that an SLR is simply better for. I have an Olympus E-3 and also an E-P1. If I want to shoot race cars, or take my camera into a potentially rainy environment, or shoot with wireless flash set-ups using multiple strobes, etc., for studio work... then I will use the E-3. When I am going out for a night on the town and I want to take good pix, then I bring the E-P1 with the Panasonic 20mm F/1.7. But I like the fact that I can use my manual Nikon Nikkor 35mm F/2.8 lens (non-AI, circa 1972) on either Olympus body, and I get stabilization AND light metering.

    Olympus has publicly announced that they are by no means halting development of 4/3 SLRs. It's not "dead in the water" by any means. BTW, here is what *is* in the water... according to my Olympus.

    -=DG=-
     

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  16. Dark Goob macrumors regular

    Dark Goob

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    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #16
    Oh BTW. I heard Ferrari was going to stop making cars.

    I mean, they made this thing (see pictures below), but I heard it was very noisy, so drivers didn't like it.

    You can expect a Chapter 11 from Ferrari any day now, they are switching to making economy cars. You heard it here first.
     

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  17. Gold89 macrumors 6502

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    UK
    #17
    Really like that one of the girl on the beach :)
     
  18. Cheffy Dave macrumors 68030

    Cheffy Dave

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    Sunny Florida, on the Gulf Coast in Homosassa Fl
    #18
    Uh, that would be P.O.S.:rolleyes:
     
  19. Pikemann Urge macrumors 6502

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    Jan 3, 2007
    Location:
    melbourne.au
    #19
    Yep, a 4/3 camera is not a bad idea. Pentax also makes cool DSLRs which are terrific value for beginners and even pros, depending on what you're doing. Check them both out.

    Cool thing about 4/3 cameras is that you can get adapters and use almost any lens, with some restrictions. Pentax is also great as there are heaps of decent, cheap PK mount lenses out there, especially good primes.
     
  20. firestarter macrumors 603

    firestarter

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    #20
    I don't agree with your analogy. Micro 4/3rds is to 4/3rds what PowerPC was to 68x00. It's the next development, and will replace it's predecessor.

    Olympus and Panasonic are spending a lot of R&D on micro 4/3rds lenses. Can you use those on your 4/3rds SLR? No!

    That's lovely... but I can't see why any of your SLR shots couldn't be done with the micro 4/3rds? Maybe the lag needs to be reduced if you want to do race car photography, but wireless flash?

    Fact is that the micro 4/3rds cameras will receive more development, and the video displays will get better. They'll be compatible with ALL Oly and Panasonic lenses, while the SLRs will only be compatible with the older SLR-specific glass.

    And you believe these marketeers? What else do you think they would say? Good luck with that!
     
  21. El Cabong macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2008
    #21
    @firestarter: Called it.

    @Riled up Olympus user: Have you had much luck mounting your Micro 4/3 lenses on your 4/3 camera(s)?
     
  22. HBOC macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    Location:
    SLC
    #22
    This is hilarious. The poor OP probably went out and bought a disposable camera now.

    No one here can tell you what camera WILL WORK FOR YOU. You need to go to a camera shop and get an "unbiased' info. I am sure there are more Nikon fans on here then anything else. You can thank Nikons' clever marketing for that...

    Kidding aside, Sony probably has more compatible lenses than Canon or Nikon. Remember, they bought Konica/Minolta several years ago, and the Alpha mount is the same as the K/Ms'. Pentax makes amazing gear, and they have a ton (A TON, literally) of lenses that will mount.

    Olympus makes good gear. I have no experience with them. Actually, I only really am familiar with Canon. I have been using them for my whole life. They have never failed me, and it does the job and i like the results.

    Remember, these are all tools. It is the person behind the lens that makes most of the difference. With practice, you should be able to step into any system and get the same magnificent result. I think that gets lost with all the fanisms. We are all guilty of it from time to time. So Person behind lens>Lens>Body. That really is how it works, in order or importance.

    Good luck. Any entry level will be a great tool to learn with. I buy used. As long as you are picky about your gear, buy from a reputable place and person (i do most of my purchases on Fred Miranda)
    you can get some really great gear at a great price. I sold my Reb XSI with 1200 clicks for $400, and included a SanDisk 4GB SDHC card, Lowepro bag..
    I bought a low click 40D for $600.
     
  23. pukifloyd macrumors 6502a

    pukifloyd

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    Scottsdale
    #23
    Sorry for hijacking the thread but i was wondering if i should buy a used rebel xti? Are used camera good? I want to buy one from adorama (will buy mack extended warranty)

    Do you people recommend used cameras? or should i go refurbished? I'll get nikon d3000 for $400 refurb...and canon rebel xti for used for the same price...which one would you recommend?

    I am just a beginner and want this camera to last atleast 2-3 years... adorama says the used one is in E+ (excellent) condition... my budget is maximum $500 (including cover and memory card and everything)

    thanks a lot people!
     
  24. jabbott macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2009
    #24
    I have a friend who swears by Adorama Canon factory refurbs (not sure about the used ones however). If you go to their website and search for "Canon Rebel refurb" you'll see a few options available. For a $500 budget it looks like you'd be able to get a Canon Rebel XSi with an 18-55 f/3.5-5.6 IS lens and an 8GB card. You'd have to improvise on a bag however, but those can usually be found at thrift stores for a couple bucks. If you decided you needed the warranty then you could switch downward in models (XS first, then XTi if needed) to match your budget. Just make sure you're getting a lens with it. :D

    When your budget increases, you can start thinking about what lenses to add to your setup. I recommend visiting The Digital Picture not only for in-depth lens reviews but for camera reviews as well. Another great site is the Used Camera Database which has an extensive Canon lens database with a record of how much they are selling for new and used.

    Note that all of my experience has been with Canon so I can't speak for other brands.
     
  25. pukifloyd macrumors 6502a

    pukifloyd

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    Jun 25, 2008
    Location:
    Scottsdale
    #25
    Thanks for the quick reply. :)

    I am thinking of getting the refurb xs with bag and memory card for around $450...or refurb xsi for $500 with accessories.
    I was wondering about the warranty of the refurb adorama products. I didn't find anywhere what warranty they offer on the refurb products. If its 3 months then there is no point as i would have to buy the extended warranty which will be stupid (IMO) as I can spend that money to buy a new one.
    Can anyone confirm about the warranty of the adorama / bhphotovideo refurb cameras?

    Thanks a lot!:)
     

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