Looking recommendation on DSLR

dowlers44

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Hi folks.

No doubt I am repeating a very typical question here. I am completely new to photography in the sense of technical knowledge surrounding modern-day DSLRs. I have basically just got around to understanding what the term means! However, I have and am used to taking pictures using an old Fujifilm digital camera. What I want now is to develop my limited knowledge into a hobby in photography, to understand everything from lens types, sizes to shutter speed and aperture and other settings available.....which are no doubt countless!


I would love for any recommendations on how to go about learning some basic things very quickly (i.e. your direct, no-nonsense advice, links to digestible information etc).



However, most importantly, I want to get a good camera. I am interested in spending quite a bit of money. My interests are in people (indoors and out) and landscapes. I am stuck knowing which is the most recommended make (the good old Canon vs Nikon discussion amongst others) and would love to know what recommendations you can make on which settings are best for me. Let's assume a budget of no more than £300 to curtail things a bit. I also want a DSLR that can do video unless you know of a good reason not to.


I note I am a beginner but I would like a camera that will have a bit of longevity. I would prefer to have more than I need than find out I am really interested in taking up the hobby and having to upgrade quite quickly down the line.


Also, if the brands have organised their cameras into particular ranges, perhaps if someone could explain these to me it would help me to organise my thoughts. At the moment, it just feels I am reading a brand name followed by a series of letters and numbers that mean nothing to me.


Thanks a lot. I am looking forward to your replies.


Richard
 

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One tip is not to try and master everything about digital photography immediately. I would take your time and fine tune a specific aspects at a time. It may sound annoying, but in the long run I believe you will have a better understanding of each area versus just a vague general understanding of it all. For now to start learning I would use the magnifying glass at the top right corner of this screen and start searching this forum. Everything you probably want to know is in here in some form, shape or fashion. There are others on here that can provide you with better technical aspects of cameras, lenses and such. I am a Canon guy, it is what I'm used to and I like it. But despite whatever camera you get I would start with learning about aperture, shutter speed, and ISO just as a start. I feel those are three top areas to know in order to effectively shape an image. Plus if you get those under wrap, you can shoot in manual a lot easier. There are tons of other things to know though, so I am sure someone may think you should learn something else first, but this is just my opinion. If money is not an option I would buy a Canon 5D mkIII. It has full frame sensor and I have heard a lot of great testimonials from users. Of course everyone's camera opinion will differ, "to each his own". Best of luck and if there is anything I can help you with don't hesitate.
 

Solarflare

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I am interested in spending quite a bit of money.
500$ ? 5.000$ ? 50.000$ ?

Let's assume a budget of no more than £300 to curtail things a bit.
I'll assume 500$ then. Well thats the lowest level one can go with DSLR. A D3200 or D5200 Nikon and a 18-55mm or 18-105mm kitlens then.

I also want a DSLR that can do video unless you know of a good reason not to.
They all can nowadays. More or less.

I note I am a beginner but I would like a camera that will have a bit of longevity.
Not gonna happen, even less for such a low investment. Digital cameras last 5 to 10 years. After that nobody can still guarantee anything - availability of batteries, memory cards, or general repair. And the electronic circuits might break down without warning, too.

Even modern Nikon glas only hast a guaranteed time to last of 10 years, after that the electronic might have aged so much that contacts might collapse etc.

At the moment, it just feels I am reading a brand name followed by a series of letters and numbers that mean nothing to me.
Thats exactly how the market looks like. There is SOME structure (the Nikon D3200 is the successor to the D3100, and the Canon 5D Mark III is the successor to the 5D Mark II), but theres a LOT of letters and numbers and features that we can only learn by heart.

The Nikon D700 and D750 for example are very different beasts. The D700 shares build quality and interface with the D800 and D810, while the D750 kind of spawns from the D600 and D610.

Or: Canon will soon run out of numbers for their 300D to D750/D760 line. Will be interesting to see what will happen after that.

Or: Sony has started a full frame mirrorless system with the A7, with 24 Megapixels. The new A7 Mark 2 also has 24 Megapixels. The A7r is the large megapixel variant - the original A7r had 36 Megapixel, the new A7r2 has 42 Megapixel. The A7s is the low megapixel variant for best lowlight performance and best video, it has 12 Megapixels, as does the new A7s2.

Only Leica recently descided to make it easier and since they named many of their cameras with one or two letters and a running number. So the successor to the Leica M9 was simply the Leica M Type 240, the new Leica SL is a type 601 etc.




If money is not an option I would buy a Canon 5D mkIII.
FYI, I'm pretty sure you wanted to say "not an issue".
 
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.. which settings are best for me.
Welcome!

Settings?

Don't you mean which "kit"?

The Nikon site has their products sorted into "categories" (left-hand vertical bar with sorting options for you).

Nikon DSLR Cameras | Shop Digital Camera & Accessories

My advice is for you to purchase a "name brand" camera for which there are many optional accessories, such as lenses and the like. Remember; you will be forming a relationship with a system of photography gear, so you will hurt yourself in the long run by selecting a brand with a limited range of accessories.
 

soufiej

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Hi folks.

No doubt I am repeating a very typical question here. I am completely new to photography in the sense of technical knowledge surrounding modern-day DSLRs. I have basically just got around to understanding what the term means! However, I have and am used to taking pictures using an old Fujifilm digital camera. What I want now is to develop my limited knowledge into a hobby in photography, to understand everything from lens types, sizes to shutter speed and aperture and other settings available.....which are no doubt countless!


I would love for any recommendations on how to go about learning some basic things very quickly (i.e. your direct, no-nonsense advice, links to digestible information etc).



However, most importantly, I want to get a good camera. I am interested in spending quite a bit of money. My interests are in people (indoors and out) and landscapes. I am stuck knowing which is the most recommended make (the good old Canon vs Nikon discussion amongst others) and would love to know what recommendations you can make on which settings are best for me. Let's assume a budget of no more than £300 to curtail things a bit. I also want a DSLR that can do video unless you know of a good reason not to.


I note I am a beginner but I would like a camera that will have a bit of longevity. I would prefer to have more than I need than find out I am really interested in taking up the hobby and having to upgrade quite quickly down the line.


Also, if the brands have organised their cameras into particular ranges, perhaps if someone could explain these to me it would help me to organise my thoughts. At the moment, it just feels I am reading a brand name followed by a series of letters and numbers that mean nothing to me.


Thanks a lot. I am looking forward to your replies.


Richard




No doubt, Richard, you are asking for a very common answer. I would encourage you to read the archives of the forum. Not only will you find answers to your initial question but many of the subsequent confusions will be explained to a degree required by a student photographer.

Your statements on budget are confusing. At your "quite a bit of money" point, many will tell you to spend gloriously. At your actual cash amount, you've barely broken into DSLR territory. With any request for a recommendation comes the issue of availability. With forum members from across the globe, often a recommendation will find very little real world support for that line in your area.

The oldest and largest manufacturers are widely represented in most of the industrialized world. Fortunately, this also provides the greatest number of cameras, lenses and accessories to select from. Also, in terms of learning how to use the camera, there will be the greatest number of tips and tutorials aimed at any individual camera and lens you might select.

Therefore; DPReview Gear of the Year: Canon Rebel SL1 / EOS 100D

Recommended Cameras


There are numerous "how to buy your first DSLR" articles available on line. And many comparison articles which give you a rough idea how a camera might best serve your needs. Regard each lab test with the awareness you are not going to use the camera in a lab. You are not going to have the same lighting for each shot. You are not going to use the same settings as the test did. You are not going to mount your camera on a tripod and shoot from a set distance from each subject.

Until you replicate the lab conditions, it is you that makes the difference in any photograph.

You have again confused me by stating, "I am completely new to photography in the sense of technical knowledge surrounding modern-day DSLRs ... However, I have and am used to taking pictures using an old Fujifilm digital camera." I assume, you know what a shutter release button looks like but not much else?

If that's the case, I wouldn't suggest you get bogged down at first with all the technical jargon and specifications. Buy a camera that feels right to you and you cannot really turn out bad photos in today's camera market.

Whatever you feel you need to have taken a better photo will be on another manufacturer's camera. Unless you have the budget to buy a dozen cameras so you stand less chance not having the feature you need, learn how to use the camera you own.


In fact, learn how to disable many of the fairly worthless features included with too many of today's cameras. There are dozens of them on any model. The simpler the menu, the more capable you will be with any modern digital camera. More buttons and more geegaws only mean more to get in the way of taking a good photo.

IMO touch screens are helpful for most students simply because they lay out on the screen which controls you should be interested in. Then, rather than burying those controls in a menu, they make them accessible to you at the touch of a finger. Beyond that, any control found on a touch screen will exist in the menu of the camera so buy accordingly.

Find a course on photography which teaches by way of the manner in which you best learn. If you are primarily a visual person, find a lesson plan which concentrates on the visual aspects of the camera and its results. If you are a tactile person, use a plan which has an emphasis on how to control the camera to achieve your results. If you are an auditory personality, use a video based plan rather than a simple textbook style.

Then once you've selected your plan, apply that plan and do not hop around to other plans. Build a foundation and then build upwards from that foundation one lesson by another lesson.

The most important key is to know your gear. Sit down and study your owner's manual with your camera in your hands. Know what each control does. Determine each control's use to you. Blink detection may not be very important. If not, switch the feature off so you are never left wondering why your camera will not respond to your commands.

Know how to access each control and when or when not to use it. If you are not in control of your camera, the camera is in control of you. Before you take your first shot of any session, check your camera to ensure you have it set up properly for the day's work. Do not trust that you left the camera in the settings which will serve today's photos.

Video functions of a still camera are not what the camera was designed to do. Yes, you can move a friend's sofa in a Honda but, do you really want to?

Re: Best way to learn.: Beginners Questions Forum: Digital Photography Review
 
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rudimaes

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The Nikon D3200 or D3300 are starter DSLRs. If you can raise the budget
the D5300 and D5500 are better choice.
There is also the Canon 1200D and the Pentax K-500.
Entry levels cameras can take video. They are good enough for a occasionally
filming, but other type are better in it. Like the mirrorless cameras, like f.i. the
Sony A6000 and A5100.
Rudi
 

goodguy

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Get the Nikon D3300, a good camera for beginners and intermediate.
Get it with the Nikon 18-55mm kit lens.
Learn the basics of photography and then you will be able to move forward maybe adding more lenses and more accessories as you see fit.

As for where to learn the basics on photography.
I found youtube to be an excellent source of information.

Good luck
 
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dowlers44

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One tip is not to try and master everything about digital photography immediately. I would take your time and fine tune a specific aspects at a time. It may sound annoying, but in the long run I believe you will have a better understanding of each area versus just a vague general understanding of it all. For now to start learning I would use the magnifying glass at the top right corner of this screen and start searching this forum. Everything you probably want to know is in here in some form, shape or fashion. There are others on here that can provide you with better technical aspects of cameras, lenses and such. I am a Canon guy, it is what I'm used to and I like it. But despite whatever camera you get I would start with learning about aperture, shutter speed, and ISO just as a start. I feel those are three top areas to know in order to effectively shape an image. Plus if you get those under wrap, you can shoot in manual a lot easier. There are tons of other things to know though, so I am sure someone may think you should learn something else first, but this is just my opinion. If money is not an option I would buy a Canon 5D mkIII. It has full frame sensor and I have heard a lot of great testimonials from users. Of course everyone's camera opinion will differ, "to each his own". Best of luck and if there is anything I can help you with don't hesitate.

Thanks a lot for your post. I realise people don't want to 'break' themselves writing forever in order to teach me a bit about photography. I have managed to gather that ISO, apperture and shutter are a good place to start.
I think from information I have got in 'decoding' the numbers and letters after the manufacturer name that a budget of £300 is really not that much for affording anything more than an entry level camera. However, I am also thinking that an entry level DSLR will probably give me more than I need to get me started in learning about all the main functions to create the images I want. I see you are a Canon person - is there a reason you did not choose Nikon? In honesty, is there much between them? And most importantly, is one manufacturer's entry level camera better geared for a newcomer?

Thanks for your reply.
 
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dowlers44

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Thanks for your straight-talking, no-nonsense reply. I now realise you are absolutely right. My budget really only allows for an entry level camera. But I am starting to think that this is probably enough for me to get started and keep me busy for a while and to give me the chance to start learning and build up a knowledge base.

Do you think it best to opt for Nikon or Canon as opposed to other makes of Sony, Olympus, Leica and Pentax?
 
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dowlers44

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.. which settings are best for me.
Welcome!

Settings?

Don't you mean which "kit"?

The Nikon site has their products sorted into "categories" (left-hand vertical bar with sorting options for you).

Nikon DSLR Cameras | Shop Digital Camera & Accessories

My advice is for you to purchase a "name brand" camera for which there are many optional accessories, such as lenses and the like. Remember; you will be forming a relationship with a system of photography gear, so you will hurt yourself in the long run by selecting a brand with a limited range of accessories.


Yes, "settings" on the camera, as opposed to the kit itself. I think my budget only allows for an entry level camera. What I want to work out is if the entry level camera offers enough settings for me to learn about and produce the shots I want, without limiting me too much months or a year down the line. I suppose its really a "how long is a piece of string" question....
 
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dowlers44

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Hi folks.

No doubt I am repeating a very typical question here. I am completely new to photography in the sense of technical knowledge surrounding modern-day DSLRs. I have basically just got around to understanding what the term means! However, I have and am used to taking pictures using an old Fujifilm digital camera. What I want now is to develop my limited knowledge into a hobby in photography, to understand everything from lens types, sizes to shutter speed and aperture and other settings available.....which are no doubt countless!


I would love for any recommendations on how to go about learning some basic things very quickly (i.e. your direct, no-nonsense advice, links to digestible information etc).



However, most importantly, I want to get a good camera. I am interested in spending quite a bit of money. My interests are in people (indoors and out) and landscapes. I am stuck knowing which is the most recommended make (the good old Canon vs Nikon discussion amongst others) and would love to know what recommendations you can make on which settings are best for me. Let's assume a budget of no more than £300 to curtail things a bit. I also want a DSLR that can do video unless you know of a good reason not to.


I note I am a beginner but I would like a camera that will have a bit of longevity. I would prefer to have more than I need than find out I am really interested in taking up the hobby and having to upgrade quite quickly down the line.


Also, if the brands have organised their cameras into particular ranges, perhaps if someone could explain these to me it would help me to organise my thoughts. At the moment, it just feels I am reading a brand name followed by a series of letters and numbers that mean nothing to me.


Thanks a lot. I am looking forward to your replies.


Richard




No doubt, Richard, you are asking for a very common answer. I would encourage you to read the archives of the forum. Not only will you find answers to your initial question but many of the subsequent confusions will be explained to a degree required by a student photographer.

Your statements on budget are confusing. At your "quite a bit of money" point, many will tell you to spend gloriously. At your actual cash amount, you've barely broken into DSLR territory. With any request for a recommendation comes the issue of availability. With forum members from across the globe, often a recommendation will find very little real world support for that line in your area.

The oldest and largest manufacturers are widely represented in most of the industrialized world. Fortunately, this also provides the greatest number of cameras, lenses and accessories to select from. Also, in terms of learning how to use the camera, there will be the greatest number of tips and tutorials aimed at any individual camera and lens you might select.

Therefore; DPReview Gear of the Year: Canon Rebel SL1 / EOS 100D

Recommended Cameras


There are numerous "how to buy your first DSLR" articles available on line. And many comparison articles which give you a rough idea how a camera might best serve your needs. Regard each lab test with the awareness you are not going to use the camera in a lab. You are not going to have the same lighting for each shot. You are not going to use the same settings as the test did. You are not going to mount your camera on a tripod and shoot from a set distance from each subject.

Until you replicate the lab conditions, it is you that makes the difference in any photograph.

You have again confused me by stating, "I am completely new to photography in the sense of technical knowledge surrounding modern-day DSLRs ... However, I have and am used to taking pictures using an old Fujifilm digital camera." I assume, you know what a shutter release button looks like but not much else?

If that's the case, I wouldn't suggest you get bogged down at first with all the technical jargon and specifications. Buy a camera that feels right to you and you cannot really turn out bad photos in today's camera market.

Whatever you feel you need to have taken a better photo will be on another manufacturer's camera. Unless you have the budget to buy a dozen cameras so you stand less chance not having the feature you need, learn how to use the camera you own.


In fact, learn how to disable many of the fairly worthless features included with too many of today's cameras. There are dozens of them on any model. The simpler the menu, the more capable you will be with any modern digital camera. More buttons and more geegaws only mean more to get in the way of taking a good photo.

IMO touch screens are helpful for most students simply because they lay out on the screen which controls you should be interested in. Then, rather than burying those controls in a menu, they make them accessible to you at the touch of a finger. Beyond that, any control found on a touch screen will exist in the menu of the camera so buy accordingly.

Find a course on photography which teaches by way of the manner in which you best learn. If you are primarily a visual person, find a lesson plan which concentrates on the visual aspects of the camera and its results. If you are a tactile person, use a plan which has an emphasis on how to control the camera to achieve your results. If you are an auditory personality, use a video based plan rather than a simple textbook style.

Then once you've selected your plan, apply that plan and do not hop around to other plans. Build a foundation and then build upwards from that foundation one lesson by another lesson.

The most important key is to know your gear. Sit down and study your owner's manual with your camera in your hands. Know what each control does. Determine each control's use to you. Blink detection may not be very important. If not, switch the feature off so you are never left wondering why your camera will not respond to your commands.

Know how to access each control and when or when not to use it. If you are not in control of your camera, the camera is in control of you. Before you take your first shot of any session, check your camera to ensure you have it set up properly for the day's work. Do not trust that you left the camera in the settings which will serve today's photos.

Video functions of a still camera are not what the camera was designed to do. Yes, you can move a friend's sofa in a Honda but, do you really want to?

Re: Best way to learn.: Beginners Questions Forum: Digital Photography Review



Yes, I think its about biting the bullet. now that I have determined an entry-level DSLR is all I really wish to afford, its about deciding which entry level to go for. I'm just worried about not knowing enough about which entry level I choose and finding down the line that after buying a Nikon, I should have opted for the Canon....or vice versa.

Others have mentioned mirrorless cameras, as well as other makes such as Pentx, Olympus, Leica and Sony. I felt I should at least stick to Canon and Nikon given that they probably have the widest and most readily available kit. have you any thoughts?
 
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dowlers44

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The Nikon D3200 or D3300 are starter DSLRs. If you can raise the budget
the D5300 and D5500 are better choice.
There is also the Canon 1200D and the Pentax K-500.
Entry levels cameras can take video. They are good enough for a occasionally
filming, but other type are better in it. Like the mirrorless cameras, like f.i. the
Sony A6000 and A5100.
Rudi


Thanks Rudi.

I think I am realising that it is better to go for a camera that does one thing really well than a camera that tries to do both. For this reason, I am placing less emphasis on video and instead hoping to opt for the best entry-level camera that is most easiest to use (for newbies) and has the widest available kit. Obviously it needs to be well-tired and tested and for that reason, I was thinking it would have to be between Canon and Nikon.

Any thoughts?
 
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dowlers44

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Get the Nikon D3300, a good camera for beginners and intermediate.
Get it with the Nikon 18-55mm kit lens.
Learn the basics of photography and then you will be able to move forward maybe adding more lenses and more accessories as you see fit.

As for where to learn the basics on photography.
I found youtube to be an excellent source of information.

Good luck


Yes, I think I started to forget the old "Google" and "Youtube" searches. I think I wanted to try Forums to get direct answers to my questions.

I realise the D3300 is the newest entry-level Nikon and it comes with the 18-55mm kit.

I think from here my next step is to research what the lens reference means and the difference between VR and VR ll kits etc

I also want to know what the newest entry-level Canon is and why you have chosen to recommend the Nikon.

Thanks for your reply
 

goodguy

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Get the Nikon D3300, a good camera for beginners and intermediate.
Get it with the Nikon 18-55mm kit lens.
Learn the basics of photography and then you will be able to move forward maybe adding more lenses and more accessories as you see fit.

As for where to learn the basics on photography.
I found youtube to be an excellent source of information.

Good luck


Yes, I think I started to forget the old "Google" and "Youtube" searches. I think I wanted to try Forums to get direct answers to my questions.

I realise the D3300 is the newest entry-level Nikon and it comes with the 18-55mm kit.

I think from here my next step is to research what the lens reference means and the difference between VR and VR ll kits etc

I also want to know what the newest entry-level Canon is and why you have chosen to recommend the Nikon.

Thanks for your reply
Entry level Canon is the T3i and t5i
These cameras use a 6 years old sensor thus their dynamic range and low light performance isnt as good as the sensors you will find in current Nikons.
If Canon then the only Canon I would recommend would be the T6S which is Canons newest APS-C camera, good camera but not cheap.
Comparing it to the Nikon D5500 and you are looking at pretty close 2 cameras but Nikon still has better dynamic range.
But the D5500 and T6S are probably already out of your price range.
 

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Yes, "settings" on the camera, as opposed to the kit itself. I think my budget only allows for an entry level camera. What I want to work out is if the entry level camera offers enough settings for me to learn about and produce the shots I want, without limiting me too much months or a year down the line. I suppose its really a "how long is a piece of string" question....
Even the entry-level DSLRs have "settings", and that ranges from manual everything to "green auto".

At each proposed photograph, you will have many choices, and each situation will depend on the variables, such as light, focal length, motion, etc. You are going to have SO MUCH FUN!

It is quite literally impossible for anybody to tell you what setting to use even if we knew what the light conditions were. This is something you can learn, though it will take some time and practice, but it is enjoyable.

More to the point; when you first get your new camera, use "auto" and you'll get decent photographs. Moving on up, then you can start to experiment with "aperture priority", "shutter priority", "P" mode, adjusting the ISO, fooling around with flash, depth of field, low-light photography, etc. YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE SOOOOO MUCH FUN!
 

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