View Full Version : Best Digital SLR for a beginner?
12-16-2010, 01:12 PM
Hey guys, im a newbie here & just started the online course. I was wondering if anybody had any tips on a Digital SLR that would be a good start for me. At the moment i have a simple point and shoot camera, but after just the first lesson im pretty keen to be able to play around with all the different settings and features that my current camera doesn't allow.
I would be looking at an entry level type price point but there seem to be so many out there that its all getting a bit confusing. Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated.
12-16-2010, 04:14 PM
First off... welcome, you are going to enjoy the course and the forum immensely - there's a wealth of knowledge at your fingertips.
As far as the "best" DSLR to get, it is a very open-ended question, and will be discussed for centuries to come. Canon and Nikon are pretty much the current front-runners in the industry, but that doesn't mean they are the best for you. I ran into the same confusion when I first wanted to buy a DSLR. My final decision was based on how it felt in my hand, and how comfortable it was for ME to use.
The technologies behind them are pretty much similar if not identical - they just call them different names, and put them in different spots on your menus and dials. So don't get too terribly hung up on which name you choose, but go to the camera store that sells a variety of makes and models and actually hold them, search through the menus, play with the dials. And, depending on the store you go to, try to determine if the salesperson actually "knows" cameras, or is just reciting technical info he had to memorize to keep his job.
If they don't have cameras on display to use, make them open a box - if they don't want to do that, move on to the next store.... even if you don't buy one at a "higher end" camera store, you can test their equipment, say thank you very much, and then run to the nearest Future Shop or Best Buy and pick up the very same camera for less (that's what I did cause it was on sale at a drug store).
Don't get hung up with their sales pitches, cause they are salesmen - ultimately, the best camera to buy is the camera that you will use, not the one that will sit on display on your shelf.
As far as price, I don't know what you would consider an entry level price, but overall, I would guess around $500 (body only) is a starting point - the kits will give you a lens or two as well for a bit higher price.
That's the start of it anyway - go out and pick up, feel, test a whole bunch of cameras, and then get the one you "like" and will use.
12-16-2010, 05:32 PM
I have to agree with Daryl, Go handle the cameras and see how you like the controls. When I bought mine I liked the feel of the Nikon's better in my hand so that's what I went with and I've been extremely happy so far. Start out with a kit lens to get a good package price then slowly add better lens as you go. Also know how your going to use the camera. If your going to do a lot of low light shots you will need a camera that has less noise at higher ISO settings. If your going to do sports or wildlife you might need a good telephoto lens first. Just have some idea what you want to do with it and research on the internet before you even go to the stores so you have an idea what will fit your needs.
Good advice so far, one other thing to remember is that if you're going to take photography seriously for a long period of time, buy into a "system" not just a camera.
The first purchase is the springboard to a lifetime of joy and photos that really are the ultimate goal - to preserve a moment in time in a way that is pleasing to the viewer. Think long term about what you want to photograph, tell that to the "expert sales staff" and see how they direct you, then do your own research about their recommendations. But also expand your horizons enough at the initial stage to be able to grow into your equipment, and then let it grow with you.
ie. you buy a camera and kit lens, use them for a while, enjoy it. then you buy some better lens(es) and improve your enjoyment and product. Then you want to upgrade your body, but you've got this great glass that doesn't work with the next body you're looking for, so you consider a new lens, you can sell your old ones.......and on and on and on.
Have fun and hold onto your wallet.
12-17-2010, 12:10 PM
Thanks for the advice guys, ill have to head into a few of my local camera stores and have a good look and get a feel for the different models. Ill keep you updated on how i go.
01-26-2011, 12:00 PM
Just a quick point, decide what you require in a camera and look at the ones that have the features you require.
Picking the camera that feels right in your hand is great if it's a Canon 1Ds but no good at all if it's a Kodak instamatic.
02-07-2011, 10:59 PM
Daniel, I'm by no means an expert but thought I lend my advise as I was in a similar situation a few years ago. I went with the Nikon D40 and loved it. In my opinion that's a great entry level DSLR and let's you do a lot of cool stuff. I since "upgraded" to a D90 because I needed more options (like bracketing etc). Several of my friends with more expensive cameras still keep their D40 around if they don't want to carry the whole bag...
03-02-2011, 10:10 PM
I have just bought one for this course as well. It is a really cheap camera at about $600(Australian) and has two cheap lenses with it in the kit. The Canon EOS 1000D is what I bought.
There is no image stabalisation - but I use a tripod.
The lenses are cheap but they are Canon so the quality is good
The system takes beautiful photographs even when I get it wrong :)
It shoots in RAW(I am learning about this right now and I am impressed)
A few years ago I would have had a top of the range camera and when finances come good again I can get more expensive lenses(if I need them)
I also have a Canon S95 which is the best Point and Shoot I have ever seen. It can also shoot in RAW, has all the manual and semi-manual modes. It fits in my pocket and I never go without it. With f2.0 it is better than most SLR's
Use Google a lot before you buy.
Best of luck
04-04-2011, 01:20 PM
Some of the entry level camera you might consider are the Nikon D3100 and Canon T3. But the best thing is to go to a local store and try out these camera so you know better which suits to your hand.
04-16-2011, 06:36 PM
Took me over a year to get my Canon 60D and I love it. Once you have narrowed down your selection, my recommendation is to rent what you like and go on a day trip with each. See how they feel in the field.
11-01-2011, 09:59 AM
i'm beginner too and i'm using D3100....i love it
08-07-2012, 09:49 PM
Go for Canon's entry-level "rebel series." Or maybe something like the Canon t3.
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