Looking for a good DSLR camera

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by nolegirl01, Jan 11, 2014.

  1. nolegirl01 macrumors regular

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    #1
    Hello all,

    I'm a graphic designer and I'm looking to get into photography as a hobby and hopefully later as a little side job. I'm obviously a beginner in photography so I'm looking for a good DSLR camera to start. I don't want the beginner beginner cameras or the super expensive professional ones (like the 5D mark III) but one in the middle. I want a good one so that I can learn all the settings and stuff. I was looking at the Canon 70d or the 60d, but not I'm not sure. That's why I turned to you guys since you guys know more than me. :) Can you guys help me and help recommend a good one? Thanks!
     
  2. Apple fanboy macrumors P6

    Apple fanboy

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    #2
    What's your budget, and what do you plan to shoot? You need to think a little more about your lens (or lenses) than your body.

    dpreview.com is a good website for reviews and stuff.

    If you have a good camera shop nearby see if you can go along and have a feel of a few to see which layouts and size you like. I bought an entry level Nikon D3200 last year and am already thinking of my next camera. D7100 is a nice camera with good features for a crop sensor.
     
  3. nolegirl01 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #3
    My budget is about $1000 but I can maybe stretch it a bit if it's a really good camera. I just don't want to go over $2000. I plan on shooting everything lol landscapes, my dog, kids, nature...basically everything lol yeah I heard the lens are what makes a big difference but I also wanted a good camera that takes high resolution with good settings so I can adjust for lighting (night and day) and able to focus well for up close shots and shots with action like for dogs and kids...
     
  4. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

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    #4
    Significant problem with your budget ($1000)....to shoot that wide range you not only need a decent camera body....you also need several lenses. If there is one place to invest...it is in lenses. Bodies come and go every 3-4 years with an upgrade or replacement. But good glass will last a lifetime. Don't get a handful of entry level lens that only have to be replaced as time goes on.

    If you are going the Canon route, you can save significant bucks by purchasing refurbished bodies and lenses from Canon. If you trade in an old Canon body (yep even an antique film body), you can get hundreds more off. You have to call Canon to do the trade in of the old body.

    http://shop.usa.canon.com/shop/en/catalog/lenses-flashes/refurbished-lenses
     
  5. nolegirl01 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #5
    Oh I didnt know Canon did trading...yeah the budget is for body only, I know lenses are more but I figured I can slowly buy lenses as the time goes by, I want to start with body first and then I'm going to take a look at lenses. If I can find a kit with lenses and camera too that would be awesome. I just need to know what camera body to start with...you guys are giving great advice, thanks!
     
  6. Chevelle macrumors regular

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    Sep 9, 2010
    #6
    I've been looking for my first camera as well. I've been debating over DSLR and mirrorless. The trend is definitely moving towards mirrorless but apparently if you shoot any kind of action stuff then DSLR is still the way to go.

    Nikon just released the D3300 at CES this week. It has an upgraded sensor over the 3200. Seems like the ultimate beginner camera. It isn't available for sale yet, but it is for pre-order.
     
  7. El Cabong macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    I'd go for a Canon 60/70D or a D7100, mainly for the extra physical controls, which translates to less time spent changing settings when shooting. In terms of features and image quality, it's hard to go wrong with any current DSLR. The D5300 is also a good option, and offers some compelling features missing in the above-mentioned cameras (built-in wifi, 1080p video at 60fps).

    Yes. Most mirrorless systems don't offer the autofocus capabilities of a DSLR when it comes to tracking focus. The Olympus E-M1 is a notable exception.
     
  8. nitromac macrumors 6502

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    #8
    If you won't be shooting video: Pentax K-5 or K-50 (if you must have new equipment). Dare to be different. And have an advantage over everyone else. ;) It's proven to be an equal if not better camera in nearly all regards over its competitors (namely canon/nikon) and you can get one for like $400 now. That leaves enough for a nice zoom or one or two very nice primes (assuming your $1000 budget). Pentax has a very highly regarded series of prime lenses (the Limited series) that are all-metal build (like zeiss or leica lenses), compact, and offer exceptional image quality. Not to mention: Pentax has shake reduction (image stabilization) in the camera body, so ALL of your lenses are stabilized.

    If you couldn't tell already, I shoot Pentax myself and for what you are looking for (a mid range camera) they offer the best performance for your money. Don't believe me? Take 5 seconds and google it.

    However... If you are a market follower then go with canon/nikon and follow everyone else's advice. They do have slightly better third party support but personally I've never found Pentax's lens selection to be lacking at all.

    So like I said, if you plan to be doing any video work then you should stay away from Pentax because their video functionality is pretty far behind what you'd get from a comparable Canon. However if you are purely going for photography, certainly take a look.
     
  9. pilotkid macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    I have a Nikon D7100 which I upgraded to from a D90 and I love it! It takes amazing pictures, its easy to use, and for me it feels great in the hands. Its currently about $1,150 on Amazon for the body only, so you'll have to factor in the price of a lens. I have a Nikon 16-85mm lens that I use 95% of the time, I highly recommend it. However its another $600 on amazon, which is pushing close to your $2,000 budget. If your wanting a cheaper body, I would say to check out the Nikon D5300. As you can probably tell I am a Nikon fan.
     
  10. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

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    #10
    While many brands of camera bodies and lenses can take great shots, there are two brands that are head and shoulders above the rest in terms of product portfolio of bodies and lenses, accessories, plus 3rd party hardware and software support. Yep, Canon and Nikon. Stick with one of those brands to have the most options.
     
  11. Apple fanboy macrumors P6

    Apple fanboy

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    #11
    True. Especially if the OP is going to look at second hand lenses in the future. So much choice with these popular brands.
    To be honest there arn't many bad choices the OP can make. Modern Digital cameras (especially DSLR) are all pretty good.
    Make a list of the features you want and then go and search which bodies will do what. Things to consider.
    Sensor size, full frame vs crop (and the implications for glass)
    HDR
    ISO range (if you plan to shoot in low light)
    Controls (lay out and ease of use)
    Megapixel (although this is not the be all and end all certain people would have you believe)
    Video
    Flash
    Body size and weight.

    Probably a bunch of other stuff.
     
  12. fa8362 macrumors 65816

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    #12
    True, but quite irrelevant for most users…even those who think they need that.

    ----------

    If you want to overpay and get a camera with a sensor that lacks dynamic range and is noisy, then buy a Canon. Nikon and Pentax DSLRs use sensors (Sony) that have significantly more dynamic range and the Pentax are less noisy than both Nikon and Canon.
     
  13. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

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    #13
    That will be news to all the Canon Explorers of Light like Art Wolfe and George Lepp.
     
  14. Apple fanboy macrumors P6

    Apple fanboy

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    #14
    To the OP just bear in mind some people are a little biased by their own brand. I shoot Nikon as I can get hold of second hand gear from work. Does that mean I think all other camera brands are rubbish? Of course not. fa8362 I don't believe your advice is especially helpful. Cannon make some good, average and bad camera bodies. Just like every other manufacturer.
     
  15. El Cabong macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    Not true, and quite irrelevant for most users… even those who think they need that.
     
  16. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #16
     
  17. blueroom macrumors 603

    blueroom

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    #17
    IMHO Mirrorless is another option. Lots to choose from.

    I use a NEX 6, it's the same size image sensor as any APS-C DSLR.

    If you want something right in the middle and under $1000 a Sony RX100mk2 (what my wife uses). We're both photography enthusiasts, we simply want good photos without the bulk of most DSLRs and as a bonus smaller cameras are far less conspicuous.

    Although not a DLSR but a hell of a camera the FF Sony RX1 but probably way beyond the budget of the OP.
     
  18. nitromac macrumors 6502

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    #18
    The Sony sensor used in the Pentax paired with pentax's processor actually has been proven to be insanely good with dynamic range. You can do a little research if you are actually interested. Link here.

    Not to mention having good dynamic range is very useful when shooting sunsets/sunrises because you get to pull up a lot of the shadows in post processing to get a more natural looking image. Or you could shoot in bracketing/hdr... To each his own. I try to be as unbiased as possible in offering my advice because every manufacturer offers something the other doesn't. It's up to the buyer to decide what they will utilize the most and that should make their end decision -- not a bunch of brand wars.
     
  19. r.harris1 macrumors 6502a

    r.harris1

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    #19
    Really, body-wise and sensor-wise, it's hard to go wrong with nikon/canon/sony/Pentax/olympus/Fuji/etc. Most have decent lens selections, certainly at the wide/short telephoto range. And consider straight up DSLR and mirror-less too. You can create fantastic images with any of these.

    A lot of the difference will be in handling and many manufacturers have different philosophies on where they put the controls and how you get access to them. The best way to decide is to handle a selection at a local dealer, but...they are becoming more rare. Plenty of reviews online, dpreview is pretty good, but there plenty of others too.
     
  20. El Cabong macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    You missed the point. Someone stated that having lens and third party accessory options is "irrelevant" before complaining about dynamic range. As I already stated, it's hard to go wrong with any current DSLR, but to dismiss a brand based on slight variations in sensor measurements is foolish.

    Also, the Techradar test you linked is at odds with DxO Labs' own results for dynamic range. I'd trust DxO to know how to use their own software more than a third party. Anyway, here are the results (DxO = dots, Techradar = no dots).

    [​IMG]

    As you can see, the D7100 is pretty much on par with the K-5 II, according to DxO. The Techradar results go a bit off the rails past ISO 800. If these measurements were so important (hint: they aren't), than the OP would be better off buying a full frame DSLR (which Pentax doesn't offer, unfortunately).

    Lastly, here's the winner of National Geographic's 2013 photo contest:

    [​IMG]

    It was shot on a Canon 7D. Too bad he didn't use a Pentax.
     
  21. nolegirl01 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #21
    Thank you all for your input! All very good advice even though sometimes I was reading some of your posts and I understood most of what you all were talking about but some of it was just going over my head because I did not understand some of the technical terms lol Definitely need a crash course on basic photography lol but thank you all for your help. I really appreciate it!

    I was looking at the Canon 70D and kind of liked it so I was maybe interested in that one? Anyone have experience with it? What are you guys thoughts on it?
     
  22. El Cabong macrumors 6502a

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    #22
    I've used older models which have similar ergonomics. It's certainly a good camera. If you can, go down to a camera store to see how different brands feel in your hands. Again, in terms of features, it's hard to go wrong with any given brand. It's more important to use a camera you're comfortable holding and operating.
     
  23. VI™ macrumors 6502a

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    #23
    I'd look for a used 5D MKII or Nikon Equivalent for a FF DSLR for just above your $1000.
     
  24. TheDrift- macrumors 6502a

    TheDrift-

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    #24
    FWIW,

    I'd forget spending your budget and go with an entry level xxxd or nikon equivalent (maybe consider an ebay bargain) and invest a little in lessons/college course.

    If your just starting out there are just too many types/styles/preferences of shooting to second guess...

    here's what you can do with a $300/400 camera http://www.flickr.com/groups/canon_550d/

    YMMV
     
  25. MCAsan, Jan 13, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2014

    MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

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    #25
    5DII is a great body if the subject is still or slow moving. I used a 5DII for years for landscapes. But when it is time to shot wildlife in action or sports, you need a higher frame rate, higher ISO handling, and a more sophisticated AF system. 7D or 5DIII would be better choices with Canon and D7100 in Nikon.

    But glass first. Lenses see the image first and their quality can make or break a shot. Avoid getting a bag full of entry level lenses.
     

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