Advice on finding the right DSLR

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by mrsmc, Mar 29, 2016.

  1. mrsmc

    mrsmc TPF Noob!

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    I'm in the market for a new (or used) DSLR. It'll be my first and I'm having a little trouble finding some options that will work best for what I want.

    I'm not too picky on brand, but I'm looking at entry-level to mid-range. I have no intention of doing anything in a professional capacity. This camera will mainly used during horse shows and riding lessons at the barn. So, there will be natural light (sunny and cloudy days), low light (arenas), dust, action, people and horse subjects, and distance. Something easy enough for my husband and I to both use competently would be great.

    I've owned Sony, Olympus, and Canon point and shoots in the past. Currently own Canon P&S (technically, it's my husband's).

    Any ideas or thoughts on where I can start?


     
  2. SquarePeg

    SquarePeg hear me roar Staff Member Supporting Member

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    One of the regulars here shoots horses/horse shows... Is it you @KmH ?
     
  3. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I've shot many, many horse shows and made hundreds of horse portraits. In your shoes I would opt for a mirrorless system with a zoom lens that goes from slightly wide to slightly telephoto. These systems can provide outstanding image quality, are easy to use, are light and small and have interchangeable lenses. There is no question that the DSLR's have more complete systems and capabilities but I tend to think you don't need all that. Give it some thought.
     
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  4. mrsmc

    mrsmc TPF Noob!

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    I have to admit that I'm completely clueless regarding the mirrorless options. Any off-hand recommendations for where to start looking?
     
  5. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The mirrorless cameras don't have a swinging mirror and pentaprism. Instead of looking into a viewfinder you see the subject projected on a screen on the back of the camera, something like the camera in a smart phone. But they will outperform a smart phone by a bunch and have far more capabilities. Why not just go to Amazon and put mirrorless camera in the search block. You will find hundreds of them at prices ranging from around $200 to over $1500. Popular brands include Sony, Panasonic, Olympus, Fuji, Nikon etc. They aren't cheap but they are less expensive than DSLR's.
     
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  6. Ido

    Ido No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Many models have an electronic viewfinder, that gives the same display as the back screen—but still lets you put your eye right up to it, and have all the benefits of that. I use the EVF of my mirrorless Olympus OM-D E-M5 a lot, and only use the back screen when I want to shoot at odd angles (because it tilts, saving me from having to lie down on the ground) or when I have the camera mounted on a tripod.
     
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  7. cherylynne1

    cherylynne1 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I don't know anything about horses, but if you follow this advice then in the Sony system you'll probably be looking at either the a6000 or a6300 paired with the 18-105mm lens.
     
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  8. goodguy

    goodguy Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    My advise will be Nikon D7100
    Reason
    Its a camera that have an excellent AF system, its dust proof and has a huge lens collection.
    Has excellent low light performance and rugged body.
    It will tick off all that you need in your list and as I said you can get almost any Nikon lens to work on this body.
     
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  9. SquarePeg

    SquarePeg hear me roar Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I got one of these refurbished in November for under $500 and it had less than 100 clicks on the shutter count.
     
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  10. robbins.photo

    robbins.photo Yup, It's The Zoo Guy Supporting Member

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    As far as bang for your buck is concerned I'd also recommend a Nikon dslr, the d7100 would probably top my list as well

    Sent from my N9518 using Tapatalk
     
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  11. Solarflare

    Solarflare No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I can only support the D7100 in this.
     
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  12. budget cruncher

    budget cruncher TPF Noob!

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    What is your budget?

    You've got several recommendations for an excellent body. You're going to need at least one lens, which was not mentioned. A really good one is going to cost some serious cash.

    You can find good used gear at a substantial discount. Try the usual Adorama, B&H, and KEH for some used deals. Call them and ask for their recommendations. Deal only with reputable dealers for used equipment.
     
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