Reccomend a decent DLSR for around $400

Discussion in 'Art, Media & Photography' started by spilla, Mar 12, 2015.

  1. spilla

    spilla SS.org Regular

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    Im looking to take nicer pics of my gear/famliy/things! And my Iphone really isnt cutting it anymore.. infact is driving me slightly insane! Ive got around $400 to spend and am currently thinking about the Canon EOS 500D/Rebel T1i. The one im looking at has 18-55mm kit lens + a 55-250mm kit lens. It also comes with a few accessories. Can you recommend anything else... or warn me from my planned purchase?

    I realize ill probably be buying on the used market. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. Philligan

    Philligan The White-Knuckler Contributor

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    I have no idea about Aussie pricing, so I hope this is helpful. :lol:

    The T1i is a pretty old camera. It'll still take way better photos than your iPhone, it's great for learning on, and it'll still let you grow if you get into photography as a serious hobby. But the image quality definitely won't keep up with newer cameras, specifically in low light.

    Having said that, literally every Rebel from the T2i to now (the T5i/SL1) all use the same sensor, so they'll all have similar image quality (it gets a bit better due to the processor used, but it's a negligible difference in these cameras). So if you can find any Rebel newer than the T1i that fits your budget, you'll get a good camera.

    Have you considered Nikon? Like I said, any camera will let you take good photos, but if you can get one of the newer entry-level Nikons, like the D3200 (D3300 is probably over your budget), you'll be getting a significant jump in image quality over other entry-level cameras. Take this with a grain of salt, because it doesn't matter too much, but in general, Nikons have better image quality for photos, and Canons have better features for video. If you don't have a preference one way or the other, and don't know anyone with either brand, just get the one that feels better in your hands.

    You should definitely get one with the 18-55 lens, but what other lenses you get depends on what you want to shoot. I'm not sure how familiar you are with this stuff already, so my apologies if you already know this. But the 18-55 is a perfect all-purpose lens, that goes from a landscape wide angle to a portrait kind of angle. The 55-250 you mentioned is a portrait to wildlife/bird long zoom, so if you're not interested in doing that kind of stuff, I'd skip that kit and use the money elsewhere. If you want a long zoom like that, great.

    One lens you should definitely get as soon as you can afford it is either company's cheap prime lens (a lens that doesn't zoom). Nikon makes a $200 50mm f/1.8, and Canon's 50mm f/1.8 is about $120. Those lenses are super sharp for the money, have wide apertures that let in a lot of light so you can shoot in near darkness, and let you blur out the background for portraits. Those lenses get you great image quality for the money, and since they don't zoom you need to think about your shot more, and they really help you learn. They're a lot of fun to shoot, too.

    I don't know what tax is like, but did a quick currency conversion and that deal you posted isn't a bad one. Here in Canada, you can get a T3i with the 18-55 kit lens for around $400 new, so you're basically getting an older body and getting the 55-250 for the same price. Personally, I'd try and hold out for a T2i or newer if you can for the jump in image quality, but if you don't see many other offers, that still looks like a good deal. Definitely try out a Nikon, if you can, too. I started out on Canon, and was going to switch to Nikon because I don't shoot video, and for me personally, the image quality in the Nikons really made a difference for how I shoot. YMMV, though, and you'll be getting a great camera either way. :)
     
  3. spilla

    spilla SS.org Regular

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    That was very helpful! Thanks so much for chiming in. While i did play around with the old standard SLR's 15 odd years ago. Ive pretty much forgotten everything i knew. Now, im not very interested in taking video and im not set on any brand so ill look into Nikon to. Im also not interested in taking long distance pictures ie. widelife so i can give the 55-250 a miss . But i really like the sounds of the 50mm f/1.8 lens.

    Ill have a look around on ebay/gumtree tonight and see if anything jumps up. Unfortunately i live in a pretty small town and wont be able to try any of these before i purchase (unless i find something on Gumtree (Aus version of craigslist).

    Thanks again man!
     
  4. Philligan

    Philligan The White-Knuckler Contributor

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    No problem man!

    Luckily those entry-level Nikons are all pretty much the same, so if you're going with Nikon, there's not too much need to try one first. Look for a 3000 series - unless you can get a ridiculous deal on a 5000 series, they're not really worth it IMHO, because the 3000s are nearly as good. Get the newest model that you can comfortably afford. The D3300 is nice, but the D3200 is really similar.

    Nikon's cheap primes are a bit more expensive, but they're also a bit better in general, so you get what you pay for. The 50 1.8 is about $200 here, and tighter, like a portrait length. The 35 1.8 is about $250, and slightly more wide angle, so it's a better all-purpose lens and more versatile indoors. Canon doesn't have a cheap 35mm, so I got their 50mm, and it was still pretty much glued to my camera, so either will be an awesome choice. :yesway:
     
  5. Promit

    Promit SS.org Regular

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    I'm thinking T3i, D3200/3100, or ... if you're not dead set on a traditional DSLR, something along the lines of an NEX-6.
     
  6. mr coffee

    mr coffee SS.org Regular

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    I just got a d3200 in that price range and love it! I got an eBay package deal with a ton of accessories, mostly cheap Chinese garbage but the camera and lenses are flipping awesome. I read up on specs and reviews and it seems to be able the best in the price range.

    -m
     
  7. spilla

    spilla SS.org Regular

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    @Promit - Ill look into NEX-6 but ive got a feeling ill probably go with a DSLR. Thanks for your help though!


    Ive been looking around and seems i should be able to get a Nikon D3200 + a lens for close to what i want to spend . Now, if i was to only get one lens would i be happy with just the 50 f/1.8 or should i get the 18-55? I really like the sound of the 50 1.8 I dont have the best lightning in my house so i figure that would help make up for it.

    Also from googling it seems i cant use cannon lens on nikon cameras. Is that correct? Ive read you can do it the other way around but you need an adapter. Just want to be sure.
     
  8. spilla

    spilla SS.org Regular

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    Thats good to hear, ive been checking online reviews this arvo to and it does seem to be a much praised camera for this price point. I also really like the sample pics ive seen shot from it. Now i just need to find a good deal. Id love to get the 18-55 + 50 1.8 ( or even a 35 1.8) lenses but im also trying to decide what one would be better for my needs, incase i need to go with just one lens for the time being.

    Cant believe ive waited so long to get a decent camera! Very excited! Its funny ive got 2 new guitars coming and a new bass but i think im more stoked about getting a camera!
     
  9. mr coffee

    mr coffee SS.org Regular

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    If you're interested, later today I'll post a couple of unedited sample pics I've taken just experimenting with the 18-55 lens. I've got that and a 50-200; I want a good lens for macro stuff next but I'm already super impressed. I'd only used point and click cameras previously.

    -m
     
  10. spilla

    spilla SS.org Regular

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    That would be great, thanks man. Its very much appreciated!
     
  11. mr coffee

    mr coffee SS.org Regular

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    This is the first thing I did with my D3200:
    [​IMG]
    It's an 8-second exposure of the power section in my 6505+ in an otherwise dark room.

    We got a 55-200 lens, I managed to catch my camera-shy dog:
    [​IMG]

    A little more about the package deals on ebay - the one we got had a junk tripod, I wouldn't trust it to hold anything heavier than my GoPro. There was a basic bag, which is fine, one can never have too many bags. The flash, SD reader, remote trigger, they're nothing special but nice to have. There were a couple of "lenses" which thread onto the end of your existing lens like a filter. They're cheap and flimsy, one fell apart in my hand. I'd expect photos taken with them to have artifacts or distortions. One thing that was included that I thought was really cool was a little set of filters, again probably not the best out there but one of them cuts glare when you turn it, probably some sort of polarized bit. (I'm letting my n00b show, sorry.)

    So...I don't know if I could've gotten a better deal, my wife was the one that pulled the trigger, but overall I'm pleased. I'm still learning about it, how to use it effectively and all, but right out of the box I found that I was getting better shots than I ever got with my old point and click jobs.

    -m
     
  12. spilla

    spilla SS.org Regular

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    Cool, looks good. Did you use the tripod and remote trigger on the 6505 shot+?
     
  13. mr coffee

    mr coffee SS.org Regular

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    Yeah, exactly that. I found that even with vibration reduction, anything over about 1/4 second exposures start to get motion blur without steadying or tripod mounting, and even on the tripod, button pressing was enough to move the camera, so remote trigger helps. The documentation is pretty well written and the interface is fairly intuitive once you begin to understand it. There's also some pretty good books available specific to the D3200, I'm probably going to go ahead and get one at Barnes & Noble this weekend.

    -m
     
  14. spilla

    spilla SS.org Regular

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    Thanks again for posting those and im really glad you posted the shot of the 6505. Im now leaning towards jsut getting a 18-55mm to start with and if im still having issues or want better shots with low light conditions i might then grab a 50mm f/1.8. Im also looking into macro lens. Love macro shots so that would be cool to have.

    Can anyone suggest a half decent macro lens for the D3200? Around the $100-150 mark. Used market is fine.

    EDIT: Nope, changed my mind, again! Ill be grabbing the 50mm as well as the 18-55mm. Ive just seen a few examples of its low light capabilities and im really impressed with it. That said, im still interested in finding a macro lens at some stage so any input is welcomed.
     
  15. mr coffee

    mr coffee SS.org Regular

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    Yeah, digging through books at Barnes & Noble today left me wanting a macro lens too, I need more money.

    -m
     
  16. ThePhilosopher

    ThePhilosopher Reason User Contributor

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    Just get a Nikon PK13, it'll get you into macro without spending a ton of cash - I have a macro lens and I'll still use the PK-13 or lens reversal for some macro shots.
     
  17. spilla

    spilla SS.org Regular

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    Nice one man, thats looks promising.
     
  18. mr coffee

    mr coffee SS.org Regular

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    I checked these out, since I really want to be able to do macrophotography. Turns out the PK13 doesn't work with modern Nikon DSLRs and lenses including the 3000 series. There are alternative extension tubes, the Kenko can be had for about $130.

    -m
     
  19. ThePhilosopher

    ThePhilosopher Reason User Contributor

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    What do you mean it doesn't work with modern DSLRs, I use one on my D3 without problems. I know you cannot use G-series lenses with it, and it won't meter on a D3x00 or D5x00 - but you can definitely chimp (or shoot bracketed burst).
     
  20. Promit

    Promit SS.org Regular

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    Keep in mind those low end bodies don't have an AF motor (though I don't think it much matters in this case). Also, the PK13 doesn't support any G series lenses, which would cover both the 18-55 and 50. The spec page says there's no exposure meter on the D3000, but I think it's fine with later bodies.
     

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