Recommend me a camera for $400-$500?

Discussion in 'Art, Media & Photography' started by Brill, Jan 21, 2013.

  1. Brill

    Brill sweet little lolita.

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    Pretty self explanitory. Im not the most experince at photography. But im looking to get more into it.
     
  2. MetalBuddah

    MetalBuddah 0000 00 0 0 00 000

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    DSLR or point and shoot?

    If DSLR, try taking a look at the Canon Rebel series or the Nikon D3100 (or D5100 if you are willing to spend ~ $100 more).

    I recently got the D3100 and I am loving it so far. Very user-friendly and it has great features for the price. In my hands, it felt more sturdy than the equivalent Canon. I am not a pro photographer by any means but I am able to get some very nice shots out of it. The D3100 is roughly....$479. I got the $100 50mm lense with it as well and it is a hell of a lens for the price.

    Happy hunting!
     
  3. mike90t09

    mike90t09 SS.org Regular

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    The Sony Alpha series is also a great line of DSLRs. I have the alpha 33 my self and picked it up for around $500. It's a damn great camera for the price, nice and simple.
     
  4. Hollowway

    Hollowway Extended Ranger

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    You can typically pick up a Canon T3 with kit lens (and memory card, etc.) from Costco for $449. Online, too, but Costco customer service rules all.
     
  5. Furtive Glance

    Furtive Glance "Snaaaake!!!"

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    My vote goes to Canon (T3/T3i). Stupidly good cameras for the money.
     
  6. Phreeck

    Phreeck SS.org Regular

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    At this level there not much difference between the Canon and the Nikon.

    I would really recommend going to a store and holding both to see which one you prefer, it's good to choose the correct brand for you early on because swapping later, when you have invested in lenses, will be a more difficult.
     
  7. Khoi

    Khoi SS.org Regular

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    T2i was fantastic when I was starting out. For the money, you can't really go wrong.
     
  8. Bevo

    Bevo SS.org Regular

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    I just picked up a mint condition Nikon D40 and am using it with a 18-105 lens, its an amazing little camera that I paid $150 for..body only.

    I have a point and shoot for work and its a pain in the ass, on my last tour of some sites I took 630 pictures and went through countless batteries. Its also super slow like pre focus......beep...click....hold.....see pic...hold....start again... D40 focus, click.

    One of these in really good shape with a lens is a few hundred that you can resell later for the same price..
     
  9. Slinger85

    Slinger85 New Member

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    I have a Canon 5d Mk II, so I'm partial to Canon. But, I think any Canon or Nikon SLR is a good choice. They have more lenses and aftermarket support than Sony or or other brands. You can get the Canon Rebel series cameras pretty cheap with a kit lens. They're a great starting point.
     
  10. Furtive Glance

    Furtive Glance "Snaaaake!!!"

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    One thing I've seen which is cool is that all the newer pro-sumer grade Canons have a handy flash/settings guide that shows you the multitude of things you can do with F stops/Apertures/etc. I wish I had that when I got my XT way back in the ol' days of 2007 but what can you do :p

    From people I know that shoot Nikon, they suggest the Canons are actually a bit more user-friendly too, so there's that to take into account.
     
  11. TomAwesome

    TomAwesome I LIKE JUICE!!!

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    Are you wanting to get into lenses and such or just learn how everything else works? I'm a big fan of the Canon G series (I've had a G10, a G12, and a G1X). The newest version, the G15, can be had for about $500, I think. They're the size of a fat point & shoot, but they have the control and flexibility you'd expect from an SLR, plus the image quality is generally as good as or better than you'd get from an entry level DSLR in the same price range. I rarely feel the need for a different lens, and I can't justify the price of nicer DSLRs, not to mention I much prefer the form factor, so they're perfect for me.
     
  12. nowhere

    nowhere ss.org irregular

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    i am in photography, i used to own around 15 analog and digital.

    take it from me DO NOT buy a dslr. dslr cameras are really good but chances are that because of size it will stay at home. and it will not perform at its potential unless you sit down and learn some photography "theory".
    also note that at cheap prices you get really shitty cameras, that will lose their value in a year.

    go with mirrorless cameras - these have the features of a dslr but without the mirror (the reflex)
    they got the same sensors (same sized which means sharper pictures and less noise than compacts)
    but you dont see through the lens optically, but through the lens digitally from the screen at its back .

    there are a couple of brands that do these cameras
    the first bunch is Olympus and Panasonic - very nice cameras, a good set of lenses.
    their thing is that the pictures they take (and so the sensor) are of 4/3 proportions (like compacts)

    the second is Sony which makes the NEX series. these have a slightly larger sensor (which theoretically is good) because they take 3/2 proportioned pictures.
    they have some good lens range too.

    all shoot full HD video, are really small, can change lenses, work perfectly at auto, or aperture/shutter priority or full manual

    I my self have a Canon 5D and a sony Nex 5. When I take a camera with me I take the NEX (90%) , unless its for a project or something. And its pictures are very good, same quality as consumer DSLRs (less than $1500 dslrs)

    trust me on this

    * the sensor sizes (the important thing in cameras and NOT megapixels) come in a couple of kinds
    first is the full frame - at the size of film 24x36mm this are cameras that are really expensive and regarded professional eg canon 5d series (usually 1-2 models for every brand)

    APSc - all DSLR cameras with the exeption of the previous (at this category DSLR brands make tens of models of cameras at every year because they are regarded as consumer. they are good for sure, but they can range from meh to very good. ) their size is something like full frame/1,5 -- mirrorless cameras are in this category and they are usually above average in quality
    APS style sensors come in 2-3 sizes that are relevant to the maker and the picture format. olympus traditionally shoots 4/3 but most of the others do the classic 3/2 (3/2 is the proportion of a film picture) so 4/3 has a slightly smaller sensor than 3/2 - (4/3 vs 3/2 is also an aesthetic besides qualitative option)
    compact camera sensors - these are tiny sensors that tend to be really soft (opposite of sharp in photography) and produce a lot of noise at ISO setting above 400. These phenomena gradually get better in the previous categories.

    (you can check that in wikipedia regarding picture/sensor formats)
     
  13. soliloquy

    soliloquy SS.org Regular

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    if its a DSLR, i'd highly recommend Pentax. let it be the K-x, K-r, K-30 or whatever other entry level dslrs they have out at the moment. they offer GREAT bang for the buck, very user friendly, and the features they put in their camera wont be found in cameras until you hit the 1000 dollar mark.

    great colors
    does 1080p video
    great filters
    and for anyone (mainly nikon and canon) bitching that pentax doesn't have compatible lenses, unlike them, pentax can use ANY and every lens made by pentax since the 50s? plus, majority of lenses made under the 'sigma' and 'tamron' and some 'minolta' brands too.
     
  14. Kwirk

    Kwirk The Wrong Advices

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    The T3 and T3i are not the same camera. Not even close. It's almost like saying the RG350 and RG3550 are the same guitar.

    Just my opinion, but this is pretty poor advice and I wouldn't really go by it. I take my DSLRs everywhere when I think there's going to be some good photo ops. Unless you're lugging around a huge telephoto lens everywhere, it's not really that much of a hassle. I used to bring my T1i everywhere. It's a relatively big camera if you're used to point and shoots, but any entry level Rebel is pretty easy to carry around. I'm now using a gripped 7D, which by itself is around 3-4 pounds, and I have no problem carrying it around.

    Also, for someone trying to get into photography, telling them that it's not going to get it's full usage because you have to 'sit down and learn photography theory' is just wrong. How should you expect anyone to learn anything if you're implying they should skip the learning part? That's like telling someone not to buy a guitar because they have to learn basic theory at SOME point. With any kind of camera, mirror or mirrorless, you're going to have to sit down and learn how to use it.

    The value part isn't really true. My T1i is just above an entry level camera and is now four years old. It still takes great pictures. Although bodies DO lose their value over time, quality lenses have always held up their value. By the time your camera is out of date, you can upgrade your camera and keep using your lenses, assuming everything works together.


    As for actual advice on what camera to get, the T2i is a much overlooked camera, but great. It's using basically the same sensor as my 7D. You get pretty low noise at high ISO, full manual movie options, and a very nice review screen. Equip yourself with that and the 50mm f/1.8 and you're probably still under $400. It's an awesome camera to get started on.
     
  15. Murmel

    Murmel SS.org Regular

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    My sister has a Sony NEX, and I think it's extremely annoying that you can only see through the back of it and not through a real "sight" or whatever it's called.
    It's really difficult to take accurate and stable photos.
     
  16. Kwirk

    Kwirk The Wrong Advices

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    Yeah, the viewfinder. When I was first getting into photography, all I knew how to do was look at the screen in the back due to being used to point and shoot cameras. Even when I got my T1i, I always used it in live view mode to take pictures. Eventually I started using the viewfinder and it makes a huge difference. Much better for composing and taking pictures, not to mention stability. Although live view/screen on the back certainly has it's advantages at times, not nearly enough to be the only way to compose your shots.
     
  17. Khoi

    Khoi SS.org Regular

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    I would take what Kwirk had to say, that's pretty much exactly what I was going to write.

    The size of my DSLR has NEVER hindered me from bringing it places. They also don't requuire photographic theory, but if you are getting into photography, shouldn't you be learning how the settings work and how the camera works anyways?
     
  18. Uncle Remus

    Uncle Remus SS.org Regular

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    Canon T3 is good. Probably would go for a Pentax of similar value if I were to buy again though. I buy mostly third party lenses as you get similar performance for a fraction of the canon equivalents. (sweeping statement but if you research this you'll see what I mean for specific types of lenses)
     
  19. nowhere

    nowhere ss.org irregular

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    i didn't try to discourage the guy, i just pointed out that that it comes with a hustle (of learning and currying)

    well I myself have a 5D with a 35mm lens (as small as it gets) and I find it extremely awkward to carry it around. if you think a 7d with a grip and a medium zoom lens (i guess) is ok, i'll say not for me.

    of course i Can carry it, but i cannot do it at all times. I am not going on photo trips, i shoot all day. So no, i wouldn't carry such a camera daily, only if I was at a bird watchers sunday club.

    If you want to embrace what you might call your art or hobby you should make your choices and live with them. I know more people that have a giant DSLR which never left the house, and a lot of people that have a compact or mirrorless and have it on them at all times - university, nightclubs-bars, strolls, wherever.

    just to know my main camera is a leica M4 with a 35mm lens too. and this is a
    great size and quality camera to carry with you wherever you go. ( i do street photography mainly)

    of course looking at a screen if you come from a DSLR or rangefinder background and used to optical VFs, will be strange. but except being relatively easy to get used to, it also lets you shoot from a lot more angles.

    my view is that a mirrorless camera is a great starting point for someone who wants to start, but doesn't know the technical stuff, and is not sure if he is going to continue this in the future. In any case it facilitates you (learning or not, making it a hobby or not)
     
  20. Razorz

    Razorz New Member

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    I bought a Nikon D3100 a couple of months ago. I don't know much about photography but I think I made the right decision of buying this camera. It's very easy to use and it was in my price range!

    Check out some pictures I took with the D3100. These are old pictures and I have gotten better at taking photos but you can look at the quality of the photos here:

    Khizer

    Good luck!
     

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