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Author Topic: DSLR Pointers?  (Read 3877 times)

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Offline StarkRavingCalm

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DSLR Pointers?
« on: September 14, 2015, 10:59:43 AM »
Looking to buy the GF a DSLR for Christmas. She took photography in college but still has a Film SLR camera.
I know very little about cameras. Can someone recommend some good ones?

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Re: DSLR Pointers?
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2015, 11:10:18 AM »
We will probably need a budget otherwise I'd suggest something like a Canon 5D Mk III ($2500 w/o lens).

IMO mirrorless should also be an option. I just picked up a Sony a6000 and like it better than my Canon DSLR.
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Offline StarkRavingCalm

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Re: DSLR Pointers?
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2015, 11:16:11 AM »
We will probably need a budget otherwise I'd suggest something like a Canon 5D Mk III ($2500 w/o lens).

IMO mirrorless should also be an option. I just picked up a Sony a6000 and like it better than my Canon DSLR.

I was thinking ~$400-~$500

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Re: DSLR Pointers?
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2015, 11:46:45 AM »
For that price range I'd consider mirrorless. You'll get a much better sensor. She can still have manual control of the camera settings with most of them.

If you can get up to $600 the Sony a6000 with the 16-50 kit lens gets great reviews. I just took mine on a 2 week trip in northern Michigan and Ontario and it was fantastic for travelling and took amazing photos.

The Sony a5000 is $500, but I don't know as much about it. From what I can see it looks like controlling both the aperture and speed at the same time might be more difficult.

If you really want to go for the full DSLR then I would suspect anything from Canon, Nikon or Sony would be about the same, but maybe someone else can chime in on $500 DSLR's.

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Offline StarkRavingCalm

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Re: DSLR Pointers?
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2015, 12:42:34 PM »
Thanks, I will look into those.
I just don't want to go too crazy on it.
She says she "would do it more if she had digital".
Not sure if the statement means the same as one of us saying "i'd tape more if I had better gear"


;   )

Offline yousef

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Re: DSLR Pointers?
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2015, 02:26:11 PM »
We bought a Sony Alpha series camera ahead of our first daughter's birth in 2009 to replace a well-worn Olympus OM-10 that I'd nabbed from my dad.

We loved it, picked up various extra lenses and even an extra body but found that as our knowledge and technique improved, the camera itself showed up its limitations. We've now (in the last month) gone for a Canon 6D - which I think is the cheapest full-frame body that Canon does - we managed to pick it up for about UK£750 secondhand, body only.

Everything (lenses, flash, accessories) is more expensive but the step up in quality is astounding. If I could go back in time, I'd buy a full-size sensor camera right from day one. But if you're just dipping your toes in the water, those Sonys are great value, flexible - and easy to use too. Although one issue we hit was that very, very few places hire out lenses for them so you might struggle to check out new glass. If you're willing to go secondhand, I bet you could get an A200 and a couple of lenses and be well within budget.

btw I'm not sure if the taping analogy holds here. When I had only film cameras, a 36-exposure roll could last me a month or more. Nowadays, I'll easily hit 200 snaps a day - at least half of which are duff/testing settings/indistinguishable from the shots either side but the number of great shots we get has gone up dramatically since the days of film.
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Offline StarkRavingCalm

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Re: DSLR Pointers?
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2015, 02:30:18 PM »
We bought a Sony Alpha series camera ahead of our first daughter's birth in 2009 to replace a well-worn Olympus OM-10 that I'd nabbed from my dad.

We loved it, picked up various extra lenses and even an extra body but found that as our knowledge and technique improved, the camera itself showed up its limitations. We've now (in the last month) gone for a Canon 6D - which I think is the cheapest full-frame body that Canon does - we managed to pick it up for about UK£750 secondhand, body only.

Everything (lenses, flash, accessories) is more expensive but the step up in quality is astounding. If I could go back in time, I'd buy a full-size sensor camera right from day one. But if you're just dipping your toes in the water, those Sonys are great value, flexible - and easy to use too. Although one issue we hit was that very, very few places hire out lenses for them so you might struggle to check out new glass. If you're willing to go secondhand, I bet you could get an A200 and a couple of lenses and be well within budget.

btw I'm not sure if the taping analogy holds here. When I had only film cameras, a 36-exposure roll could last me a month or more. Nowadays, I'll easily hit 200 snaps a day - at least half of which are duff/testing settings/indistinguishable from the shots either side but the number of great shots we get has gone up dramatically since the days of film.


Thanks!

I will look into those as well.

The analogy was supposed to express the fact that frequency that I tape seems to increase along with buying new gear.
It just opens up possibilities.

Offline Phil Zone

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Re: DSLR Pointers?
« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2015, 05:06:22 PM »
If she wants something small and lightweight with great picture quality that is still a dslr check out the canon sl1.
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Offline Brian Skalinder

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Re: DSLR Pointers?
« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2015, 12:23:49 AM »
I think Pentax offers some of the best value for money in DSLRs.  Whether or not it's a good fit for her depends in part on what and how she shoots.  But I've been happy with my various Pentax bodies and lenses for years.

The TS of the Pentax world:  http://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/
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Re: DSLR Pointers?
« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2015, 09:49:37 AM »
In the $400-500 range Nikon D5200 is the current deal zone deal at B&H: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/find/dealZone.jsp

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Offline allan

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Re: DSLR Pointers?
« Reply #10 on: September 16, 2015, 09:59:41 AM »
What film camera/lenses does she have? She might be able to use her lenses on a DSLR body.

Offline StarkRavingCalm

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Re: DSLR Pointers?
« Reply #11 on: September 16, 2015, 10:45:11 AM »
I am not sure, trying to ask with arousing suspicion.


;  )

Offline guitard

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Re: DSLR Pointers?
« Reply #12 on: September 20, 2015, 12:43:04 AM »
We bought a Sony Alpha series camera ahead of our first daughter's birth in 2009 to replace a well-worn Olympus OM-10 that I'd nabbed from my dad.

We loved it, picked up various extra lenses and even an extra body but found that as our knowledge and technique improved, the camera itself showed up its limitations. We've now (in the last month) gone for a Canon 6D - which I think is the cheapest full-frame body that Canon does - we managed to pick it up for about UK£750 secondhand, body only.

Everything (lenses, flash, accessories) is more expensive but the step up in quality is astounding. If I could go back in time, I'd buy a full-size sensor camera right from day one. But if you're just dipping your toes in the water, those Sonys are great value, flexible - and easy to use too. Although one issue we hit was that very, very few places hire out lenses for them so you might struggle to check out new glass. If you're willing to go secondhand, I bet you could get an A200 and a couple of lenses and be well within budget.

btw I'm not sure if the taping analogy holds here. When I had only film cameras, a 36-exposure roll could last me a month or more. Nowadays, I'll easily hit 200 snaps a day - at least half of which are duff/testing settings/indistinguishable from the shots either side but the number of great shots we get has gone up dramatically since the days of film.

Up until a couple of years ago, I had only ever owned a point-and-shoot.  The last couple of point-and-shoot cameras I had were decent cameras considering they were of the point-and-shoot variety.  On a trip to visit our son's family (and three grand kids), I was at a store and right on the spot, I talked my wife into letting me buy a Canon 60D for around $1K USD (came with a 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS zoom lens).  I had been thinking about a DSLR for a while and knew that was a decent price.  That was one of the best purchases I've ever made.  Instead of taking 100 pictures with the point-and-shoot and ending up with a couple of real nice pics - now when I take 100 pics with the 60D, and at least 1/3 of them are keepers.

Not to be demeaning ... but I chuckle whenever I hear people talk about how great the pictures are they get with their iPhone or Droid.  I can only think ... they obviously haven't ever taken pictures with a DSLR (not even an entry-level one like a 60D).  The difference is like night and day.
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Offline willndmb

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Re: DSLR Pointers?
« Reply #13 on: September 20, 2015, 05:57:10 PM »
Thanks, I will look into those.
I just don't want to go too crazy on it.
She says she "would do it more if she had digital".
Not sure if the statement means the same as one of us saying "i'd tape more if I had better gear"


;   )
Bet ya she actually takes more pics because their is no loss by taking digital compared to film and if nothing else people see more of her pics because the "conversion time" is less
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Offline Brian Skalinder

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Re: DSLR Pointers?
« Reply #14 on: September 25, 2015, 02:00:23 PM »
What film camera/lenses does she have? She might be able to use her lenses on a DSLR body.

Allan is spot on.  I completely missed that she already has lenses.  I think the above is the best answer (even though I love Pentax):  buy the best model you can, in your budget, that is compatible with her current lenses.

Depending on the age of the lenses, not all systems will allow you to utilize those old lenses, or use them to their full functionality.  If the lenses aren't supported at all or to the degree desired, then it's open season on any brand because you'd essentially need to build the system from the ground up:  body + lenses.  But definitely start by looking for a DSLR body that supports her current lenses.
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Re: DSLR Pointers?
« Reply #15 on: September 25, 2015, 04:20:12 PM »
Dang, I may order this bundle: http://www.bestbuy.com/site/canon-eos-rebel-t5-dslr-camera-with-18-55mm-and-75-300mm-lenses-black/1004002.p?id=1219459331617&skuId=1004002

Two lenses to get super wide -> super zoom. I'm a Nikon lens fan, but dang!
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Offline Brian Skalinder

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Re: DSLR Pointers?
« Reply #16 on: September 25, 2015, 06:22:51 PM »
Dang, I may order this bundle: http://www.bestbuy.com/site/canon-eos-rebel-t5-dslr-camera-with-18-55mm-and-75-300mm-lenses-black/1004002.p?id=1219459331617&skuId=1004002

For nearly the same bundle, you can spend less money on a better body, with in-body shake reduction and a weather resistant body + lenses.  Yeah, the Pentax package comes out 100mm shorter, but I find by the time I get out to 300mm, I typically want a better lens than a kit telezoom, anyway.

At any rate, without getting into make / model battles, it's amazing how low the prices have dropped for entry level DSLRs and kit lenses.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2015, 06:26:26 PM by Brian Skalinder »
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Re: DSLR Pointers?
« Reply #17 on: September 25, 2015, 07:14:01 PM »
Dang, I may order this bundle: http://www.bestbuy.com/site/canon-eos-rebel-t5-dslr-camera-with-18-55mm-and-75-300mm-lenses-black/1004002.p?id=1219459331617&skuId=1004002

For nearly the same bundle, you can spend less money on a better body, with in-body shake reduction and a weather resistant body + lenses.  Yeah, the Pentax package comes out 100mm shorter, but I find by the time I get out to 300mm, I typically want a better lens than a kit telezoom, anyway.

At any rate, without getting into make / model battles, it's amazing how low the prices have dropped for entry level DSLRs and kit lenses.

Wow, thanks! It is hard to believe how low the prices have gone.
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Offline 2manyrocks

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Re: DSLR Pointers?
« Reply #18 on: September 30, 2015, 02:04:53 PM »
Check the reviews on any camera before buying. 

$500 is a good start.  If your GF is super serious, you may run into a situation where she would prefer A, but you bought B. 

Another option is to consider pooling resources.  If she can come up with $500, then that's $1,000 towards her goal.   That puts a mid-range DSLR and decent lens on the table.  If others can kick in, perhaps she can get into a full frame DSLR with the Canon probably being the most affordable. 

The most expensive route is spend $500, not be satisfied, trade up, etc. 






Offline StarkRavingCalm

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Re: DSLR Pointers?
« Reply #19 on: December 21, 2015, 10:32:02 AM »
Ok, crunch time.
A few others have recommended Pentax and I am leaning that way.
Anyone have an opinion of the K series?

Are there any brands that accept a "standardized" lens?
Does such a thing exist?

Offline beatkilla

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Re: DSLR Pointers?
« Reply #20 on: December 21, 2015, 01:04:57 PM »
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1030209-REG/canon_9126b003_eos_a_rebel_t5_dslr.html

$399 About as cheap as you can go for a DSLR and kit lens.

We still dont know what lenses she has already so each camera has there own mount system,you cant attach any lens to any body.Im sure the Pentax is nice also.

Offline StarkRavingCalm

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Re: DSLR Pointers?
« Reply #21 on: December 21, 2015, 03:37:38 PM »
Well, I just pulled the trigger on this one:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1079152-REG/pentax_06424_k_s1_dslr_camera_with.html

Was never able to find out about existing lenses so I could never answer those questions when asked.
I had planned to take in a show this fall at Tyrone Farm in CT while she took pic of the grounds, but we never ended up going.
That would have been the perfect time to take in her photography without arousing suspicion.


Hopefully she loves it and her old camera will be in the YS soon.

;  )


Thanks to everyone for their input.



Offline Brian Skalinder

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Re: DSLR Pointers?
« Reply #22 on: December 26, 2015, 12:07:41 AM »
Well, I just pulled the trigger on this one:

A fine choice.  I've never used that particular Pentax model, but overall they make very high value bodies with a decent (and getting better) selection of new lenses and a deep collection of compatible legacy lenses.  Let us know how she likes it!
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Offline if_then_else

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Re: DSLR Pointers?
« Reply #23 on: December 26, 2015, 02:39:54 AM »
Probably also worth checking: Pentax/Ricoh used to have some seasonal cash-back programmes on various DSLRs and lenses. I received a 100.- EUR discount on my K5-II body a couple of years ago.

 

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