Camera Purchase Question

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by WolfeView, Oct 23, 2015.

  1. WolfeView

    WolfeView TPF Noob!

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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!!!


     
  2. soufiej

    soufiej No longer a newbie, moving up!

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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.
     
  3. astroNikon

    astroNikon 'ya all Bananas I tell 'ya Supporting Member

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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.
     
  4. sashbar

    sashbar Been spending a lot of time on here!

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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.
     
  5. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    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.
     
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  6. TCampbell

    TCampbell Been spending a lot of time on here!

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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.)
     
  7. KenC

    KenC Been spending a lot of time on here!

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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.
     
  8. WolfeView

    WolfeView TPF Noob!

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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 :)
     
  9. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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

    goodguy Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    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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  11. WolfeView

    WolfeView TPF Noob!

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

    JacaRanda Hobbyist Birdographer

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    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.
     

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