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Thread: Which DSLR?

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2011

    Which DSLR?

    I realise this could be the start of a fairly big discussion and apologies as I am sure this is a familiar question. My daughter embarks on her second year of A-Level photography in September and I want to buy her a Digital SLR for her studies. The truth is I haven't a clue. She currently uses a Canon point and shoot which she says is perfectly adequate but I would like to upgrade it to something a bit more sexy! I have no brand allegiance although the Canon has served her well. I have 500 to spend though if I can spend less that would be good. If I am wasting my time at this price point then please let me know. She takes pictures of anything and everything from landscapes to insects so I guess that might an influence. Anyway over to you.....................

  2. #2
    Panarus biarmicus Moderator (Sports) SmartWombat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004

    Re: Which DSLR?

    Remember you're buying into a system, not just a camera, that means lenses, flashes, remote releases, all specific to that manufacturer's system.
    In the end I think you will end up spending more on lenses than on the camera !

    Most of the introductory kits are right on your budget.
    e.g. the Canon 1100D

    But there are some good bargains out there, like the Sony A390 which costs less with lens than the 1100D body-only with no lens!

    It's interesting to see that Jessops only sell the new Olympus E-5 camera in the four thirds range, same as Warehouse Express. They're only selling the highest price body (should I be surprised?) when there are many good alternatives in the 4/3 range.

    I've seen people selling entire Olympus 4/3 systems for the price of a new kit with one lens. If you want to take the risk on second hand, I would look at the Olympus UK E-System User Group

    For insects, the best and cheapest accessory you can get is extension tubes.
    They will work with any lens, though are successful with wide angle lenses.
    Lets you get closer to the victim and focuses closer than the lens normally would.
    Check this thread:Extension Tubes - Full Disclosure

    After that, invest in flashes (yes more than one) because her camera is nothing without light, and creative use of lighting is something I expect to be important in her studies.

    If you want Canon, I would recommend you check the Canon outlet on ebay* an official Canon UK outlet for refurbished and guaranteed cameras. But be aware of the online prices, sometimes people get in a bidding frenzy and it goes for more than the Warehouse Express** price!

    * I'm biased because I got my pro 1DSmkII from the outlet for 25% under the normal price.

    ** I recommend them, too. I use them for lens & accessory purchases, when I don't have time to go to my favourite pro dealer Park Cameras.

    Scroll down to the Sports Forum and post your sports pictures !

  3. #3
    Senior Member freygr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Portland, OR, USA

    Re: Which DSLR?

    Don't lock you self out of other cameras which are not DSLRs. You may be able to get a camera and extra lens if you look at the digital range finder style, like the Olympus PEN E-PL2 or Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2. The Olympus offrers an electronic view finder: Olympus VF-2 Electronic for the PEN, which gives you an SLR type of view finder.

    Also you may be able to find a good used DSLR kit with in your budget.

    Panorama Madness:

    Nikon D800, 50mm F1.4D AF, 16-35mm, 28-200mm & 70-300mm

  4. #4
    A lens is for life. Eleanor Maw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011

    Re: Which DSLR?

    A secondhand Nikon D70 with a Nikon 18-70mm you could pic up for about 200 would be a good start.
    Main Gear :
    Nikon D3s, Nikon D2xs, Nikon D7000, Nikon D90.
    Nikon AF-S 12-24mm f/4G DX IF-ED,
    Nikon 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR AF-S DX,
    Nikon AF-S VR 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF ED,
    Nikon AF-S VR 105mm f/2.8G IF ED Micro,
    Nikon AF 135mm f/2.0 D
    Nikon 16-35mm f/4G ED VR ,
    Nikon AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8G ED,
    Nikon AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8G IF-ED VR I ,
    Nikon AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II,
    Fuji X100, Canon S95, Lumix LX3.

  5. #5
    Senior Shooter Greg McCary's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Rome Ga.

    Re: Which DSLR?

    I think women like smaller cameras. I would look at the EPL-1.
    I am like Barney Fife, I have a gun but Andy makes me keep the bullet in my pocket..

    Sony a99/a7R

  6. #6
    Junior Member Master Kraftsmann's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    King George, VA, USA

    Re: Which DSLR?

    I buy a lot of my stuff used. In my opinion, if half the people out there treat their gear as well as I do, then it will be fine. I picked up a used Nikon D5000 and 18-55 kit lens for $500. So that's like a two hundred pound buffer for you I think? I mean I'm no expert. But If you're set on a dslr, then I'd pick up a rebel and an extra lens with that budget. And like freygr said, I've heard lots of good things about the PEN. :thumbsup:

  7. #7
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2011

    Re: Which DSLR?

    great advice thanks.

  8. #8
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    chicago, USA

    Re: Which DSLR?

    True. If you're a beginner, well-cared used equipment is enough. Go for Canon. The body has no shutterlife. If you buy used Nikon, you're only left with a few shots live.

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