Newbie buying a DSLR - HELP!!


TPF Noob!
Sep 1, 2010
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Quebec, Canada
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Hello! So I am a total newbie in the field. I decided I needed a hobby and chose something I really enjoy. I have no gear, right now I am using my Canon Point & Shoot Elph. It doesn't take the best pics at all....

(Grass Blades)


(Flowers in my backyard)

I've convinced my husband to buy me a DSLR for Christmas buy I'm having trouble deciding what to buy. I'm thinking of going with the Nikon D3000 10.2MP Camera With 18-55mm Lens Kit. Does anyone use this camera? Is it a good buy for an amateur? I don't want something too expensive, but decent. I'm also looking at the Sony DSLR A230 With 3 Len Kit. I'm not a fan of Sony products however. I've been reading a lot about the Canon Rebel (and I LOVE Canon products) but I think it is way too far out of my price range. Anyways - if anyone is familiar with either the Nikon or Sony that I mentioned, please (if you can) advise me as to which may be better for an amateur.

Thank you in advance!!!


What is your price range? Canon isnt that expensive. If Canon is more expensive than Nikon you wouldnt see any beginner canon users like me.
My budget is around $500 to start. In my area, the Nikon w/ Lens Kit is $449.00, the Sony w/ 3 Lens Kit is $500 and the cheapest Canon I could find around here is just over $650.
I really think you should check out local craigslist whichever brand you decide.
If you're like me and don't have a bunch of extra cash to spend on equipment, I would recommend going with a Nikon. Nikon's allow you to use Nikkor lenses going back to the 60s (or was it 50s?) Canon's are nice, don't get me wrong, but you have to use EF mount lenses which only go back to the (mid?) 1980's. So there's fewer and they're more expensive.

Someone who knows Nikon better than me will have to tell you which models, but Nikon has some camera bodies with a built in auto focus motor. I recommend getting one of those, if it's in your budget. The built in motor lets you use auto focus with the older Nikon AF lenses. If you don't have the motor, you can still use them, but you have to manually focus. Any of the AF-S lenses will still auto focus, but cost more.

The other thing you might consider is going to your local camera shop and physically holding different models of cameras. There's a big difference with the way they are laid out. Personally, I like my Canon 300D (one of those entry level Canon's ShwettyLens was talking about), but I've hear Nikon users complain that they didn't like the feel. It's a matter of personal preference. The entry level Canon's are typically smaller than a lot of other DSLRs, so that may have something to do with it.

Sorry for the book. Welcome to the forums, BTW. Hope to see you around. No need to wait for the DSLR, we're more than happy to critique and comment on P&S's too.

Speaking of which, I would have really liked your first shot if the foreground grass was in better focus. I like the composition.


From what I understand the Sony A230 can also use older Minolta lenses. Can anyone confirm that? If so, it's another route to less expensive, yet quality glass.
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The Nikon D90 has a built in motor, the d3000 doesn't. The D3000 is being replaced by the D3100, so the D3000 is going to become harder to find as the supply runs out.

I don't speak Canon or Sony so I can't help you there. I have a D90 and love it. I totally agree with LCARSx32 on the lens situation. There is a lot of old Nikkor glass out there.

Good luck and welcome.

Thank you for the feedback.

LCARSx32 - I agree with you about the grass pic, unfortunately I used a Canon SD1100 PowerShot Point & Shoot, and after playing with the settings that's the clearest I could get it. I find it rather frustrating as I really liked the concept of the picture, but could not get it as sharp and focused as I wanted it.
Have you considered buying used? I picked up an 8MP Canon Rebel XT with lens for about $300. It's a great camera and the money saved was well spent on other little accessories that you're going to need.
You could get a Canon Rebel XS, XT, XTi, or XSi for well under 500 with lens.
You could get a Canon Rebel XS, XT, XTi, or XSi for well under 500 with lens.

Exactly. I just picked up a Canon XS for $340 with lens like new off CL. MILES ahead of my old P&S.

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