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General Chat Thread, SLR Camera advice or a noob? in General; I've always had a interest in photography and enjoyed taking snaps of this and that with my compact Sony digital. ...
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    SLR Camera advice or a noob?

    I've always had a interest in photography and enjoyed taking snaps of this and that with my compact Sony digital.

    I'm looking into getting a "starter" SLR camera but not 100% sure on what I should be looking at and what features a good model should have? Do I need a built in flash? Do I need one with changeable lenses? What should I ensure a good SLR camera has?

    Any advice on links to recommended cameras would be good.

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    plexer's Avatar
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    An SLR by it's very nature has changable lenses, many different lenses from cheap to mega bucks but also some older lenses can be used on modern dslr bodies.

    There's also the new sony ones which aren't true slr's as they don't actually have a moving mirror.

    Ben

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    Rawns (12th October 2010)

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    Canon or Nikon.

    I use a Canon EOS 500D - see below, has the Canon EF 100mm f2.8 USM Macro Lens on as I was in taking some close ups over the weekend of snails............. what a fun time that was.

    - shame part of the shell was over exposed. The snail was only about 3cm in length.

    Last edited by mattx; 12th October 2010 at 09:48 AM.

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    Just a warning before I begin, this hobby can get very expensive very easily and quickly. That said, it's loads of fun.

    A proper DSLR will have interchangeable lenses otherwise it's just a compact camera. In my opinion you basically have two choice of makes, Nikon or Canon, the war between these two is not dissimilar to the row between windows and macs so the best bit of advice I can give is go and have a play with some and see which one you prefer in terms of look, feel and very importantly how well the menu system works. If you need to grab a shot very quickly and can't set the camera up in time then it's not worth buying.

    Most (think all) SLRs in the starter bracket will have a built in flash which is about on par with the flash on most compacts so if you are going to be doing any internal work or night time stuff where you will need extra light then try and get an external flash. Again both Nikon and Canon do some excellent equipment depending on budget.

    Try and avoid gimick features, I can not see the point in a swivel out screen, it just looks to me like it will get broken off. You want a camera that feels substantial in your hand, well made and takes a nice photo. You can improve a SLR easily with better lenses, but obviously this starts to get expensive.

    For an idea in price, I bought a Canon 40D 3 years ago for about £1000, I've since bought a 580EX11 flash gun and a 24-70f2.8 lense which has made an average camera in to a nice bit of kit. Next step is a Canon 5DMk2.

    Try out Warehouse Express for some very good pricing.

    Have fun, Rich

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    JJonas's Avatar
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    again Canon or Nikon, but Nikon lenses are more expensive. Im using a Canon 400D

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    One of the main benefits of an SLR is that you can often get away without a flash because of the larger aperture and sensor - I very rarely use my flash gun.

    In terms of Canon/Nikon/Sony/A N other whatever you buy now will influence what you buy for life, as you'll just replace the body and keep your lens collection for use with it. So it's not a case of buy cheap now and upgrade later. I like my Sony Alpha 200 btw!

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    Talk Photography™

    Is a good place to have a look.

    Both the cameras Gibbo has mentioned are a good starting point. I use a Nikon D60, which is basically half way between the D40 and the D3000 (a current model that's being phased out). Go to your local second hand camera shop, and try a few cameras and see what you feel comfortable with. I'd try to stick with Nikon or Canon. You're effectively buying into a system, Canon and Nikon offer the biggest choice of lenses (Sony are the next biggest, and can also be used with a lot of Minolta lenses). You'll also find it's easier to get advice on forums.
    Last edited by K.C.Leblanc; 12th October 2010 at 09:44 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tricky_Dicky View Post
    Just a warning before I begin, this hobby can get very expensive very easily and quickly. That said, it's loads of fun.
    yup the cost of the body is only the start im up to 4 lenses now though ive retired 1 (was a mistake to buy it) the kit lenses are usually ok but not great but are at least versatile beyond that it depends what you take pictures of as to your requirements but ive ended up with a 90-300 (this is my retired lense as without image stabilisation its not great), a 55-250 with image stabilisation probably my most used lense (i tend to do motorsports), a 50mm prime has a large f stop range and goes very low so its great for shooting in low light with shorter exposures, and the 18-55 mm kit lense

    so you will quite prossibly spend more than the camera body cost you on lenses and other assorted parafanalia

    for what its worth im using a canon eos400d but even my compacts were canon so ive just stuck there never really tried nikons

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    Oh and get a copy of Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson.

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    You dont need to go spending thousands at first, start with a basic SLR like this one.

    Sony Alpha DSLR-A290L with 18-55mm lens SLR Digital Camera Reviews and Best Price Guarantee


    Sony are fairly new to SLR market and offer very good features for the money, the A450, A500 ranges offer very good features for the money:

    Sony DSLR-A450L with 18-55mm lens SLR Digital Camera Reviews and Best Price Guarantee

    My wife has worked as a full time Photographer for two years now and she loves the Sony Range, Accessories are cheap too, Batteries FLash etc can all be purchased fairly cheap from ebay.

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    Thanks for the feedback guys. Defiantly gives me something to start with.

    Out of curiosity, I've seen one or two cameras that have fixed lenses. Do you think that it's worth maybe starting out with one of those for a beginners camera, or is it worth spending a bit more cash and going straight for one that has the changeable lenses?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rawns View Post
    Thanks for the feedback guys. Defiantly gives me something to start with.

    Out of curiosity, I've seen one or two cameras that have fixed lenses. Do you think that it's worth maybe starting out with one of those for a beginners camera, or is it worth spending a bit more cash and going straight for one that has the changeable lenses?
    no no no no no no. i did this and regretted it for years, only just got round to buying a good camera (450d), i hated the lens (lots of vignetting), also on the camera i had it had lcd eye piece and viewfinder. terible for low light.

    get a canon and a cheap 35mm 1.8 for low light, this will give you a lot of scope. tripod is also very useful!

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    Have a look at this thread:

    Link 1: Photography Course

    The website mentioned there may be of use to you?

    There is a section there about comparing Digital SLRs

    Link 2: DSLR Camera Comparison
    Last edited by DaveP; 12th October 2010 at 10:02 AM. Reason: Add detail to the post.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rawns View Post
    Thanks for the feedback guys. Defiantly gives me something to start with.

    Out of curiosity, I've seen one or two cameras that have fixed lenses. Do you think that it's worth maybe starting out with one of those for a beginners camera, or is it worth spending a bit more cash and going straight for one that has the changeable lenses?
    If it has a fixed lens it's not an SLR, simple as.

    What's the camera you're looking at. If it's got a full set of manual adjustments it might well be a good step up over your current compact.

    However bare in mind the two cameras Gibbo mentioned are availabled used (neither are current models) for around the £200 mark.

    EDIT: I'm sure someone will be able to argue my first point by sighting some obscure camera from the '60s. But really it's not relevant, if however someone knows of a current digital camera with an opticle viewfinder that works through the main lens I'd be interested to know about it (just make sure you give Rawns some advice as well, it's his thread after all).
    Last edited by K.C.Leblanc; 12th October 2010 at 10:10 AM.

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    plexer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtydogmitchell View Post
    Sony are fairly new to SLR market and offer very good features for the money, the A450, A500 ranges offer very good features for the money:
    Whilst the Sony branding on their DSLRS is I suppose a relative newcomer to the market the tech they have behind them with the minolta brand is not new and thus provides a wealth of experience and equipment.

    Ben

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