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Gear / Technical Help => Photo / Video Recording => Topic started by: ycoop on June 03, 2019, 12:26:10 AM

Title: First time DSLR purchase
Post by: ycoop on June 03, 2019, 12:26:10 AM
My partner wants to start taking photos with something real, not just her phone camera. I have been tasked with finding her something to work with. Craigslist has a number of options at a range of prices. I want folks’ input as to what sort of budget is needed to get something worthwhile, as well as what sort of considerations should be taken into account.
Title: Re: First time DSLR purchase
Post by: jerryfreak on June 03, 2019, 01:48:57 AM
My partner wants to start taking photos with something real, not just her phone camera. I have been tasked with finding her something to work with. Craigslist has a number of options at a range of prices. I want folks’ input as to what sort of budget is needed to get something worthwhile, as well as what sort of considerations should be taken into account.

im not the biggest camera guy but the $300ish 2016ish eos rebel i bought use is still a screamin deal imo
Title: Re: First time DSLR purchase
Post by: beatkilla on June 03, 2019, 07:23:20 AM
You also need to consider the cost of the lens and what focal range you’ll need.

The body is much less important than the lens similar to how the mics for recording are more important than the deck.

If lowlight is part of your requirements than you’ll need a fast lens which cost money.


Title: Re: First time DSLR purchase
Post by: JimmieC on June 03, 2019, 09:09:39 AM
You also need to consider the cost of the lens and what focal range you’ll need.

The body is much less important than the lens similar to how the mics for recording are more important than the deck.

If lowlight is part of your requirements than you’ll need a fast lens which cost money.

That is what I have been reading too.  I'm still looking for the perfect lens.  When you say "fast lens" is that the smaller F value?

I like that you can get image stabilization on the lens instead of the camera.
Title: Re: First time DSLR purchase
Post by: jerryfreak on June 03, 2019, 06:58:45 PM
it also came with multiple lenses for that price. camera aficionados are jsut like us - always blowing out perfectly good modern gear for the sake of the latest and greatest

you buying a new top of the line camera to start would be like a noob buying a SD scorpio out of the gate

My partner wants to start taking photos with something real, not just her phone camera. I have been tasked with finding her something to work with. Craigslist has a number of options at a range of prices. I want folks’ input as to what sort of budget is needed to get something worthwhile, as well as what sort of considerations should be taken into account.

im not the biggest camera guy but the $300ish 2016ish eos rebel i bought use is still a screamin deal imo
Title: Re: First time DSLR purchase
Post by: noahbickart on June 03, 2019, 10:55:00 PM
I think the analogy is apt.

Buy the best lens you can afford.

What’s the subject of the pictures?
Title: Re: First time DSLR purchase
Post by: ycoop on June 04, 2019, 01:12:56 PM
Subjects would be mostly nature pictures. We live in California, where there are countless vista points with stunning views, which makes me think a wide-angle lens might be a good way to go.

If it wasn’t abundantly clear, I’m a total photography noob.
Title: Re: First time DSLR purchase
Post by: yousef on June 04, 2019, 01:26:09 PM
If you can push the budget to it, try and go for a camera with a full size sensor rather than one of the cheaper APS size ones. I promise you'll thank me in a year or so.


https://lenspire.zeiss.com/photo/en/article/making-sense-of-sensors-full-frame-vs-aps-c/
Title: Re: First time DSLR purchase
Post by: DavidPuddy on June 04, 2019, 03:25:22 PM
I bought a Canon EOS M50 a year or so ago and wish I would have gotten a camera with a plethora of used lenses available. The camera is nice and takes good photos, but I'm a gear slut and these lenses aren't cheap. Sure you can buy adapters but that's just another thing to keep track of.
Title: Re: First time DSLR purchase
Post by: beatkilla on June 06, 2019, 10:13:14 AM
My suggestion is to buy on eBay a Canon eos 5d 12.8

That’s the original version 5d it’s full frame and takes gorgeous photos.

Should be able to get one for around $250

Or get a Canon 40d it’s a crop sensor but is built like a tank.
Title: Re: First time DSLR purchase
Post by: mnm207 on June 09, 2019, 08:23:13 PM
Photography is my day job, which makes this one of the rare topics I'm actually qualified to give any advice.

For used cameras/lenses a budget of $250 - $500 will get you a decent entry level camera. For new, I'd double that.

Don't get hung up on sensor size. Your partner would do just as well with an APS-C or m4/3 camera as a "full frame". I shoot professionally for corporate clients (portraits, lifestyle and events); my cameras have APS-C sensors; no client has ever questioned or complained about image quality. I shot with a full frame system before switching to the smaller cameras so I know what I'm "missing". (And I cut my teeth shooting 4"x5", so I really know what I'm missing.)

A Canon 5D (original version) with a 50mm f1.8 lens would be a fair option, but more for its well thought out user interface and decent viewfinder rather than its sensor size. It's a beast though; at a recent corporate event my second shooter's 5d Mk3 and 70-200 lens weighed more than my entire system.

My suggestion would be to look at the newer crop of mirrorless cameras. I'm smitten by my Fuji cameras and find many of the Panasonic and Olympus m4/3 cameras interesting. In particular, look at a used Fuji X-T1 with the 18-55 f2.8-4.0 kit zoom or 35mm f2 normal lens. I think it's several steps above the entry level DSLRs from Canon or Nikon in terms of usability (control interface and viewfinder); I'd expect them to be more responsive than an original Canon 5D with better image quality. It's a nice little camera.
Title: Re: First time DSLR purchase
Post by: goodcooker on June 12, 2019, 12:03:45 AM

Not anything real special but I wanted to start shooting at some shows so I bought a nearly new Nikon 3200 kit at the local camera shop for 40% off new price and it had maybe 1000 snaps on it. Picked up a decent 50mm f1.8 for $200 at B&H and I was good. The camera has a bunch of settings for noobs or people too lazy to deal with the menus and they work just fine or you can shoot in full manual mode with access to all the settings. I also chose it because it shoots decent video and has a mic input so I can shoot some video from my recording position and take a camera output from my recording deck.

Getting a fixed focal length lens gets you much better glass for your money but they are kind of mission specific. I got my 50mm because it's a good for shooting people on stage from the front of the stage.

A zoom lens can be much more adaptable depending on the situation but is typically more expensive.

Not recommending this camera specifically but rather the approach - buy a kit with a decent body that someone traded into the shop for an upgrade and get a good lens new later.
Title: Re: First time DSLR purchase
Post by: tedyun on June 19, 2019, 07:04:52 PM
Subjects would be mostly nature pictures. We live in California, where there are countless vista points with stunning views, which makes me think a wide-angle lens might be a good way to go.

If it wasn’t abundantly clear, I’m a total photography noob.

For landscape shots, a good wide angle lens on a full frame will serve you well. You'll also want a good tripod. I'm a Canon guy, so I would suggest getting a used 5D mkII or mkIII and a 17-35 L.

The newer expensive bodies and lenses give you more versatility to shoot in more challenging conditions. So if you think you will be at all interested in portraits, night-photography, sports, birding, concerts, etc., my recommendation would be different. Or you could buy a starter set now, get used to the settings then upgrade the body and lenses when you need the capability.