Played around with film, want to go digital. TOO MANY DSLR CHOICES!


TPF Noob!
Sep 6, 2010
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Ontario, Canada
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Let me start off by saying thanks for even looking at this post, for I know there have been trillions of posts like this (Or as Dr. Evil would say "Trillions? Why make trillions when we can make BILLIONS?!") Now let me give you a bit of back story before I ask my question.

My cousin gave me his CANON Eos Rebel G Film based SLR at the beginning of August to play around with, as I want to get into photography as a hobby. Now my mom loves the idea of me doing this as a hobby, but the thing that worries us both with Film SLR is periodic price, as in I have to buy film and pay for development. We both agree that digital is best for me as it will be easier in the long run.

So I have been looking into what DSLR is great for a beginner, and it has all been CANON REBEL XSI or NIKON D3000. Between those two, I chose Nikon for their warranty, but then I discovered it isn't cross borders. So if I bought a Nikon here in Canada, it is only valid here (no problem cause I live here... but you know.. 13% tax..) If I buy it in the US say from Adorama (who have some SICK package deals) I get the US warranty.

So now I am going to ask you guys, as I really do not know anyone that has great photography knowledge, what DSLR is great for a beginner? Now since I came to that Nikon vs Canon Warranty issue, I started looking at the other brands - Olympus, Pentex, Sony.

The type of shooting I want to do, you may ask? I am looking for an all around good DSLR, though I lean towards low light photography (however I would really enjoy a good balance, as I like to would experiment with all the many forms and types)

Price range? Under $700.

LENS! Now that is something I HAVE to ask, the whole interchangeable lens situation. I understand that you can buy mounts for certain lenses to allow them to function on different camera brands, so lens price in the future is a considering factor I know.

As you already know, anyone looking at buying a DSLR will be met with much photography jargon and such, this is why I ask you, the kind people of ThePhotoFourm (cue theme music) to help me find my top picks for a DSLR.
I love my D3000. Most of the package deal right now offer it with a bag, 18-55mm kit lens and a couple other things for $499. That would leave you plenty of room for the 35mm af-s 1.8 lens for low light if you shop around right. Or you could go the manual focus route and get the 50mm af 1.8 lens for cheaper. I think the Rebel you're looking at has around the same deal right now too, though. I have had nothing but good experience with Nikon, though.
wow alot of questions here. Do this, search the forum first. There is alot of info on here that will help you. The issue is that they all can produce a quality image, and everyone has differing opinions. I know that my Canon 50D works great and I can say that it will capture an image better than a Nikon, but I know that the Nikon can make the same quality print that my Canon can (some may argue better lol). If you have a store around you why don't you go check them out. Get a feel for them, an actual camera store usually is pretty good at helping newcomers and have many suggestions. The ones around here are anyway. Then if you have any more specific questions, feel free to ask.
Buy a camera body that feels comfortable to you, and keep in mind that you will be buying into a SYSTEM, meaning if you choose canon, you will be buying canon lenses and lenses made by third-parties. So Canon and Nikon are obvious choices because of their history.

But the lens is the most important part. Some lenses are faster than others, and better suited to low-light photography because of their wide apertures. If you don't understand that, then you shouldn't buy anything until you read and learn more.
i have the d5000 and i friggin love it... get a refurb from adorama for less than 500 and pick up a 35 1.8 lens ur right on ur budget at $700 the kit lens is good but the 1.8 will teach u more and let u take better portraits. Which ever camera u go with i highly recommend a fixed zoom lens such as the 50mm 1.8 from nikon altho this wont auto focus on d3000 and d5000 or the canon version for either cam (that one will work.) the k7 is a nice camera but there is a reason most pro's shoot with either canon or nikon, having said that you can get great results from any brand. Before u buy ur first camera u need to understand that whichever brand u get u will most likely be shooting with for a long long time. Ur not buying a camera, ur buying into a system. Over the course of a few years ur camera body will be outdated and u'll likely buy a new digital body and if u wanna save loads of dough u would buy the same brand so u can use ur old lenses and flashes. Also dont think about using adapters to use off brand lenses on ur camera, u wanna stick to the same brand for lenses and flashes the camera bodies dont make an awesome image its the lenses optics over electronics always. Also by using adapter u will most likely loose on key features like metering and autofocus, without these ur essentially shooting FULL manual, too much for a beginner.
get a t1i. Probably the best kit to be had new for under 700.
Canon & Nikon will have the largest used/aftermarket option, which will save you in the long run and both have highly regarded full frame cameras which are really the ultimate DSLRs for low light shooting (but about 4 times more than your current budget limit.).

Also, truly good lenses will generally run about $700-$2,000 per lens. That's the biggest investment, but the best investment. Glass (lenses) do not depreciate like cameras do. I bought a Canon 30D when it was new for about $1200 and sold it recently for under $400. If you buy a quality used lens, chances are you could sell it several years later for close to the same price you purchased it for.

Now, that's not to say there's some bargains out there, but generally speaking, if you're spending under $300 on a lens, it's probably nothing special and will leave you with soft photos or no real ability to shoot in low light.

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