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Advice for future purchase of digital or maybe 35mm film camera?


20 Dec 2011 9:16AM
Hello,

This question is a bit 'pie in the sky' as I don't currently have funds available. But, hey I can dream!
I am basically looking at how I can get an affordable digital camera. I would like to get something that would give me the functions to learn. I don't think a 'point and shoot' style camera would allow this. The sort of things I am thinking of are aperture, shutter speed, viewing histograms, shooting in RAW etc.
Initially, I would be happy to just have a general purpose lens. The main thing would be that it allowed me lots of room to experiment.

Looking at the market which is confusing to say the least. I thought that maybe my best option might be the secondhand market. But, I have to admit that sites like Ebay, don't fill me with confidence.

By, the way I managed to dig out a Praktica 35mm SLR camera which I am currently using. Not that good or filled with many functions. Indeed, that crossed my mind perhaps I would be better off getting a secondhand fully featured 35mm SLR camera. Might be cost effective? Is Ebay the only option?

But perhaps there are other choices? I would be interested to hear any replies that might at least clear my confusion and help me focus on some good choices!

Thanks

Cheers for now

Gary

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pulsar69 10 1.6k 6 United Kingdom
20 Dec 2011 9:38AM
Hi Gary

Couple of pointers from me,

Dont be afraid of the Digital Age if you are experienced with 35mm SLRS the crossover is no real issue, and the beginner level SLRs allow for a smooth learning curve from point and shoot all the way.

I would probably stick with a manufacturer such as canon or nikon simply for reasons of longetivity, but you can easily pick up one of their older models with a standard lens off ebay for 100-200 , ebay is no danger if youre not sure then find someone you know and ask them to help you with the purchase , theres also the classifieds on here which may help.

I am not sure another 35mm is a great idea as its only going to get harder to get the film and developing as time goes on ...

Welcome and have fun here !

Andrew
GlennH 9 1.9k 1 France
20 Dec 2011 9:49AM
I'd go along with everything Andrew says, although if you're unable to buy anything for the moment there are plenty of people that cut their teeth on a Praktica (I kicked off with an MTL3).

The first-generation DSLRs can indeed be bought very cheaply, and will still deliver very high image quality, perhaps with a little less dynamic range, resolution, and no dust protection - but no insurmountable problems. Take advantage of the must-have nature of modern photography, which depreciates the used price of cameras rapidly, but not their worth.
darrensmithgbr 10 238 1 England
20 Dec 2011 9:51AM
i must say, I loved my praktica BC1, it taught me everything I know about using an SLR, When i moved away from that I went to a camera shop and simply played with all that they had (not digital in those days) all of the new cameras have the requirements you are looking for. Some do some things better, some do others better. just go and have a play with them. the canons have their little quirks, as do the nikons and all the rest do have similar feels and quirks. I have a breakdown of my transition on my website.
if you are looking for a dSLR, then the price difference may not be that much for a new one with a decent warrantee and a 2nd hand one, remember its coming up to the new year sales also.

you can also buy 2nd hand cameras in certain shops, I know that here in Manchester, we have a London camera exchange which sell on part exchanged camera equipment, I am sure there will be somewhere like that.
ebay does have its undesirables but its quite good most of the time. check the feedback first.

hope this helps

Darren
NEWDIGIT 3 401 United Kingdom
20 Dec 2011 9:54AM
If Santa can afford it ask him for a Nikon D3100 more than enough features to keep you learning and developping very user freindly also the kit lens is very good for the price
Boyd 11 11.2k 11 Wales
20 Dec 2011 9:59AM
There is also the ePHOTOzine classified section where you can keep your eye out for an occasional bargain.
User_Removed 4 299 4 France
20 Dec 2011 10:20AM
http://www.kenrockwell.com/
This guy makes interesting reading...some you should take with a pinch of salt but he is not sponsored by nikon so read on!

I loved my d70 nikon and if you pick up a good used one with all the discs and bits it comes with Capture control which allows you to dump images as you shoot them...great fun for home portraiture sessions if you have a lap top...used prices are a joke compared to what we paid when new.....stuart
User_Removed 5 4.6k 1 Scotland
20 Dec 2011 10:24AM
Not sure why you are doubtful about eBay. As long as you only buy from sellers with substantial positive feedback and pay by Paypal, you are as safe as houses.

I am assuming that you don't want to pay more than about 100. This being so, then an early dSLR will be a great learning tool within your budget. Just a word of warning - I can almost guarantee that within a few weeks you will be tempted to spend more and more money. Photography is like that, I'm afraid.

So take some solace from this - an 8 year old sub-100 digital SLR will produce just as good photographs today as it did 8 years ago. Don't get caught up in the Megapixel race (at least not until you have mastered all the functions of your first dSLR). To be honest, by the time that you have mastered your craft on an early-model dSLR, you may find that a modern CSC is the more natural successor; it all depends upon the route into serious amateur photography that you find yourself being led down.

Good luck whichever way you go.

.
NaturesHaven e2
3 260 5 England
20 Dec 2011 10:24AM
Have you tried www.ffordes.com they are excellent sellers of 2nd hand photographic equipment, you may pay a bit more but you get warranties and guarantees etc. Much much better than E-Bay......

We have sold our old gear with ffordes and can highly recommend them. The thing is to shop around, there are lots of places to buy other than E-Bay IMHO..TongueTongue

Can you tell I'm not an E-Bay fanGrinGrinGrin

Hope this helps in some small way.

Cheers

Julia
User_Removed 5 4.6k 1 Scotland
20 Dec 2011 10:33AM

Quote:Have you tried www.ffordes.com they are excellent sellers of 2nd hand photographic equipment, you may pay a bit more but you get warranties and guarantees etc. Much much better than E-Bay......

We have sold our old gear with ffordes and can highly recommend them. The thing is to shop around, there are lots of places to buy other than E-Bay IMHO..TongueTongue

Can you tell I'm not an E-Bay fanGrinGrinGrin

Hope this helps in some small way.

Cheers

Julia



Just a word on what Julia said above :

If you really are scared of eBay, then secondhand retailers like the one she mentions and several similar ones do have good reputations to maintain. Which is always a safeguard.

But NEVER, NEVER, NEVER pay their asking prices. They normally add a mark-up of at least 100% to the price they bought the item for but will usually be willing to drop to half that if you haggle.

For example, if they pay 50 for a camera, they may advertise it for sale at 100 but will be willing to accept 75.
davey_griffo 5 213 165 England
20 Dec 2011 12:33PM
Some of the bigger high street stores offer second hand gear that they've taken in part-ex. Jessops stopped doing this over 5 years ago, but Jacobs still take used gear.
JackAllTog e2
5 4.0k 58 United Kingdom
20 Dec 2011 1:06PM
Hi Gary,

Don't worry too much about ebay, there are also a lot of good careful photographers who want to pass on a favourite camera to a new home so they can buy a new favourite. Also keep an eye out for equipment from manufacturers ebay outlets like canon_uk1 on ebay - http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/canon_uk1/m.html?_nkw=&_armrs=1&_from=&_ipg=&_trksid=p3686
The have today a refurbished Canon: EOS 550D + 18-55 IS (refurbished) for 380
and a
Canon: EOS 500D 18-55 IS (refurbished) for 330.

two cracking deals in my opinion.

Cheers
Stuart
JackAllTog e2
5 4.0k 58 United Kingdom
20 Dec 2011 1:09PM
For New cameras, always good reference prices are here http://www.camerapricebuster.co.uk/cat1.html , in fact i always check this site for bodies and lenses.
20 Dec 2011 6:18PM
Hello All,

Firstly, thanks for the replies so far to my post. Second, it seems as though I have come to the right place for advice as there have been plenty of options to explore!

With regards to Ebay. No particular reason for not using. I guess I don't use it with any regularity so relying on 'hearsay' which tends to negative. As suggested need to look at feedback and seller info.

I will keep all the suggestions in mind and monitor some of the websites as well as looking for some secondhand shops. I think there is a London Camera Exchange not that far from me.

Hopefully, in the not too distant future I will be able to get up and running.

Cheers for now

Gary

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