Camera Purchase Question

WolfeView

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I am in the process of researching and Learning about which camera would be the best for me. Im pretty sure I want a DSLR , I plan on using it to take mainly family photos and some animal/nature photos. I don't plan on making photography my job or profession by any means, but I wouldn't mind earning some extra cash on the side IF I get good enough at it,I need a camera that can get me there. I would like to keep the price tag around $800 or below, is it possible to get a good quality camera for the purpose I want for that cheap? I cannot justify spending almost 3,000 on one just yet.
Any tips, opinions, advice are more then welcome!!!
 

soufiej

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Plenty of past threads asking and answering the same question. Check the archives.

Otherwise, DPReview Gear of the Year: Canon Rebel SL1 / EOS 100D

and ...

Recommended Cameras

I know in advance several members will post their own favorite lines and cameras.

To that I would only add my opinion you will get the most for your dollar from these two old names in photography. First, both lines have menu systems which have been refined over the years for ease of access and operation. Second, the greatest number of lenses and accessories at reasonable prices. Third, the greatest access to tutorials and tips related specifically to a camera from either line.

As a student photographer, these somewhat less obvious advantages add immeasurably to the success you will enjoy as a photographer and how quickly it can be achieved.
 

astroNikon

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There's plenty of fine cameras at or below that price range both NEW and Refurbished / Used

Other than the Canon's
the Nikon 5500 (and older models 5400)
Nikon 3300
would be under your price point

You may want to go to some place like Best Buy to handle some cameras available.
 

sashbar

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Nikon d5300 + Nikkor kit 18-55 lense.
Or, if you want just a more versatile lense for most occasions - then Nikkor 16-85 f/ 3.5 - 5.6 VR.
That would be enough for casual shooting. The image quality will be excellent.
Or, if you have creative aspirations, you need to stretch a bit, and one of the interesting options is the new Nikkor 16-80 f/ 2.8 -4 ED VR
( I never tried the latter, so can not vouch for it. But it looks like a smashing new glass. As for the former two - both are good, consistent performers)
You can add some primes (50 and 35 mm) later if it proves a worthy hobby. And there are other zooms if you want to really get into it.
And forget about earning cash on the side, you will need a lot of work and dedication to do it unless you are a marketing genius.
 

Designer

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I would like to keep the price tag around $800 or below, is it possible to get a good quality camera for the purpose I want for that cheap?
The short answer is; yes, if you don't mind a gently used body and one good but used lens.

The long answer is that in order to become comfortable with that process, you're going to want to spend a lot of time learning about the various options. I mean a LOT of time spent doing research, both of a technical nature and at the price point comparisons.

So here's my suggestion: Instead of spending all that time getting so full of information that it all begins to clog up your thinking, just go for an "entry level" DSLR and stock lens. The reality is that you'll hardly notice the minor differences between that and a "good quality" (read; "prosumer") camera and mid-grade lens.

Now that you've got your entry-level camera and "kit" lens, you can start practicing and also start saving up for a flash, a tripod, a second lens, etc. etc. etc. AND you can have all that fun and experience without a lot of excess comparing.

So take your budget and go to Best Buy or some other camera retailer, and start picking them up and looking through the viewfinder. At this point it hardly matters which brand it is, they're all pretty much evenly matched. When you find a good deal (they put kits on sale once or twice a year) grab it and don't look back. Just enjoy it and take your time learning.
 

TCampbell

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Can you get a good entry-level DSLR for $800 or less... sure. Lots of companies make entry level DSLRs in that price range.

But you should skip the "earning extra cash on the side" bit... and for a few reasons.

1) Charging for photography should imply being heavily experienced. There are a lot of beginners who attempt to sell themselves off as professional photographers and, unfortunately, with very disappointing results (especially to the client.) Owning a high-end camera doesn't make you a good photographer anymore than owning a high-end musical instrument would make you a musician. There's a lot of learning and skill required to make it work.

2) There's also a bit of technical equipment involved and it's not just the camera. The photographer's skill is #1 on the list, but after that comes lighting, lighting systems, lighting modifiers, knowing how to control the light (more "skill"), followed by owning lenses appropriate for the type of shooting, and then ultimately owning a capable camera body. For $800, the camera would include a "kit" lens and this is almost always an 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 variable focal ratio zoom. It's intended to be a budget friendly lens to get you started, but it's not the sort of lens a professional photographer would use.

At the most budget friendly level, the Nikon D3xxx series (e.g. D3300) and the Canon EOS Rebel T5 (without the "i" suffix) or Canon EOS Rebel SL1.

The Nikon D5xxx are toward the high-end side of the entry range (but still "entry") and the Canon EOS Rebel bodies that have the "i" suffix (T5i and T6i ... although now there's a T6s which is slightly nicer than the T6i).

All of these are "entry" bodies... there are also mid-range and high-end bodies but those are no longer in the $800 range.

Cameras can be ordered in a "body only" configuration (no lens... and you will _need_ a lens) which are intended either for those who already own lenses or for those who want a lens other than the lens that the manufacturer includes in the body+lens kit. That "kit" lens is usually an 18-55mm zoom which offers modest wide-angle through a very modest telephoto (nothing dramatic.)
 

KenC

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Good advice which usually is given on all of these threads is to handle the cameras and see what feels comfortable. This is especially true of the Canon SL1, which has been mentioned a couple of times, as that is an extremely small body.
 
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WolfeView

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When I say earn cash On the side I mean a few years down the road, if things go that way. Its not something I have my heart set on. I have way to much to learn first. Aside from that, thank you for the tips I will take them all in to consideration. I dont have a best buy near me but I have some other stores that I know have some cameras, I will go and take a look at them for sure :)
 

Derrel

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sashbar said:
Nikon d5300 + Nikkor kit 18-55 lens.
Or, if you want just a more versatile lense for most occasions - then Nikkor 16-85 f/ 3.5 - 5.6 VR.
That would be enough for casual shooting. The image quality will be excellent.
Or, if you have creative aspirations, you need to stretch a bit, and one of the interesting options is the new Nikkor 16-80 f/ 2.8 -4 ED VR
( I never tried the latter, so can not vouch for it. But it looks like a smashing new glass. As for the former two - both are good, consistent performers)
You can add some primes (50 and 35 mm) later if it proves a worthy hobby. And there are other zooms if you want to really get into it.
And forget about earning cash on the side, you will need a lot of work and dedication to do it unless you are a marketing genius.

That covers a lot of ground there, really. The D5300 would be my recommendation for you as well.
 

goodguy

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sashbar said:
Nikon d5300 + Nikkor kit 18-55 lens.
Or, if you want just a more versatile lense for most occasions - then Nikkor 16-85 f/ 3.5 - 5.6 VR.
That would be enough for casual shooting. The image quality will be excellent.
Or, if you have creative aspirations, you need to stretch a bit, and one of the interesting options is the new Nikkor 16-80 f/ 2.8 -4 ED VR
( I never tried the latter, so can not vouch for it. But it looks like a smashing new glass. As for the former two - both are good, consistent performers)
You can add some primes (50 and 35 mm) later if it proves a worthy hobby. And there are other zooms if you want to really get into it.
And forget about earning cash on the side, you will need a lot of work and dedication to do it unless you are a marketing genius.

That covers a lot of ground there, really. The D5300 would be my recommendation for you as well.
Another vote for the Nikon D5300 plus its kit lens.
If you can I would also recommend adding the Nikon 50mm 1.8G for indoor shots, low light shots and portrait shots.
 
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WolfeView

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What about the cannon rebel t6i? I have had a couple recommend that one?
 

JacaRanda

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What about the cannon rebel t6i? I have had a couple recommend that one?
Have you been able to get any of these in your hands and see how they feel; push the buttons, browse the menus, etc? It could help you make a final decision if you are indecisive and have suggestion overload.
 

jcdeboever

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Not a DSLR but a good starting point if you decide to get into it heavy. Just my 2 cents.

How about a nice point and shoot Super Zoom? My neighbor just picked up a Canon SX50 HS from Adorama and it is real impressive picture quality for the price and it has a crazy length of zoom for birding, no need to buy lenses. Very reasonable price. The photos she took with it on auto were amazingly sharp and properly exposed. She could get more out of it if she read the manual.

Review link found here
Canon SX50 HS review | Cameralabs

Sample Photos on Flickr link
Canon SX50 HS

Reputable place's to buy link; the first link from Adorama is a new camera, this is where my neighbor bought hers. The second link from B & H is for a factory refurbished.
Canon SX50 HS

Used Canon POWERSHOT SX50 HS DIGITAL CAMERA 6352B023AA B&H Photo
 

soufiej

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I use a SX50 and it is quite a good camera at its close out pricing. Canon's own on line refurbished sales department often has it available for well under $199 with a one year warranty.

For close in or covering great distance it is a pretty impressive camera as anyone can see by checking a few sites. In between those points it is, IMO, a good, very flexible camera with an impressive lens but not a great lens. Its speed and light gathering abilities are OK but you can do much better with a DSLR. So I carry the SX50 as an alternative camera for those times when it best suits the shot.

It does, however, cover all the bases you would need in order to learn about photography. As will most of its direct competitors. This is what appears to be a rather growing portion of the market at the moment, the super zoom bridge camera. If you are willing to look at last year's models, most manufacturers have a refurbished sales site to check out. You can buy an entire camera for less than you might spend on a single lens for a DSLR.


How exactly are you going about this purchase if you require someone to tell you to go handle a camera? Or, maybe you didn't need that advice.

But, what are your priorities? What are you thinking in all of this?
 
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WolfeView

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After doing research I planned on going to the store to look at it, and then check amazon as well considering sometimes they are a bit cheaper, and free shipping of course. We live in a pretty remote area so that's why I was asking opinions in case they didn't have that camera at the local Walmart here.
 

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