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First SLR?


30 Dec 2012 3:06PM
Hi,

I'm saving up to buy a DSLR but have never owned one before. What would people recommend is best for a beginner on a budget?!

Thanks

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franken e2
12 3.3k 4 Wales
30 Dec 2012 3:19PM
A difficult question to answer really. There's a lot of people on the site with brand loyalty and as such they will recommend what they use.

There's nothing wrong with that as there's no such thing as a bad DSLR really.

I would suggest that you work out your budget and if you can find a camera shop locally go down and pick a few of them up and get the feel of them.

What feels good in the hands of some people may not in others and if you simply buy one as somebody says this brand or model is great you could end up with a camera that doesn't feel comfortable in your hands

Ken
indemnity e2
6 331
30 Dec 2012 3:22PM
Firstly one that feels comfortable in your hands, not too big and not too small, good balance right weight and easy to hold and move.

Ken beat me to post.
213hardy e2
6 643 England
30 Dec 2012 3:24PM
What they said ^^^^^SmileSmileSmile
Paul_Anthony e2
2 386 4 Wales
30 Dec 2012 4:04PM
The advise above is spot on, don't worry about brand, just go for what you like the feel of.

I would add that although you will get great results from a DSLR Kit (camera body & standard lens combo), if you can push you budget just a little further it is well worth buying a DSLR Body only and getting yourself a slightly higher spec lens than comes in the kit. It doesn't have to be a 'Pro Spec' lens but investing in a decent bit of glass will stand you in good stead for the future.

When you are ready to take the plunge, post again with your budget and requirements and I am sure you will get plenty of Body / Lens combo advice from some very experienced and knowledgeable members.

Paul
User_Removed 10 17.9k 8 Norway
30 Dec 2012 4:36PM
Why go 'SLR'?

I know several 'committed' SLR owners/users who haven't touched theirs in months because of their finding - and now using exclusively - some of the outstanding Micro 4/3rds equipment out there.

Just a thought... Wink
User_Removed 5 4.6k 1 Scotland
30 Dec 2012 5:02PM
Yep.

My standard response to this type of question used to be "Toss a coin between the entry level offerings from Nikon and Canon - and then stick with your choice of marque."

But, nowadays, I am inclined to agree with Mike (above) and suggest that the enquirer re-examines the reasons why he/she thinks an SLR is the next step to take. For many advancing hobbyists, a CSC might provide a better solution. (In which case I would probably say "Toss a coin between Olympus and Panasonic - and then stick with your choice of marque.")
Paul Morgan e2
13 16.1k 6 England
30 Dec 2012 5:11PM
All depends on how tight your budget is.

It will most certainly be worth giving micro four thirds a look, there`s something for all at all budgets and especially if you don`t need the most up to date body.

Here`s just two.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Panasonic-DMC-G3-16-1MP-Compact-System/dp/B004ZKHAWM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1356887238&sr=8-1

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Olympus-E-PL3-Compact-System-Camera/dp/B0058GI38W/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1356887411&sr=1-1
CP140 e2
2 7 Canada
30 Dec 2012 7:35PM
In addition to the usual Nikon/Canon etc., have a look at the Pentax k-30. Similar capabilities/price but weather resistant and can use the entire line of legacy K-mount lenses (albeit some restrictions with the older manual lenses). If you want to go a little smaller, have a look at the Pentax K-01.

There are also some very nice bridge cameras (e.g. Panasonic FZ200) which you may want to consider. Yes, you lose the ability to change lenses, but it has a pretty decent zoom range and enough mode options (aperture priority, manual control etc) to let you experiment.
30 Dec 2012 11:49PM
Pentax K30 is a very good shout and is at a bargain price.
31 Dec 2012 7:39AM
If your budget is low I disagree with most of the advice so far - because 4/3 is usually more expensive than an entry level DSLR.
Nikon in particular seem to have come up with the wheeze of continuing last years model at a lot less than last years price to outflank 4/3 competition.
A D3100 with kit lens is around 330, a D5100 around 420 and a Pentax K-30 around 450.
Decent 4/3 with interchangeable lenses is mainly more than twice this price level.
I do not disagree 4/3 with interchangeable lenses has a better specification than these entry-level DSLR's, but if 4/3 is above your budget it is not an option.
31 Dec 2012 8:54AM

Quote:Nikon in particular seem to have come up with the wheeze of continuing last years model at a lot less than last years price to outflank 4/3 competition.
A D3100 with kit lens is around 330, a D5100 around 420 and a Pentax K-30 around 450.



Nikon seem to be knocking down the price of the entry level camera bodies to get more people into the system, which seems sensible as most of their profits are from selling lenses and accessories I believe. I'd still go for a CSC (M4/3 being the best bet at the moment) unless there's some very good reason to get a DSLR (like needing tracking focus or a love of OVFs). It would be a pity to build up a big Nikon system and then decide it's too bulky to carry around.
Focus_Man 4 481 631 United Kingdom
31 Dec 2012 9:38AM
The Nikon D3100 maybe an old model but despite that in all comparison tests it comes out extremely well beating several much higher priced DSLRs. I would buy it with the 18-105mm lens rather than the 18-55 version as it gives greater range of focal lengths and can still be purchased at an amazing price if you shop round. a good starting point I think..
User_Removed 5 4.6k 1 Scotland
31 Dec 2012 10:15AM

Quote:If your budget is low I disagree with most of the advice so far - because 4/3 is usually more expensive than an entry level DSLR.
Nikon in particular seem to have come up with the wheeze of continuing last years model at a lot less than last years price to outflank 4/3 competition.
A D3100 with kit lens is around 330, a D5100 around 420 and a Pentax K-30 around 450.
Decent 4/3 with interchangeable lenses is mainly more than twice this price level.
I do not disagree 4/3 with interchangeable lenses has a better specification than these entry-level DSLR's, but if 4/3 is above your budget it is not an option.



What you ignore, Len, is that exactly the same applies to CSCs.

For example, the superb Olympus E-PL3 with a 14-42mm lens is currently being sold by Amazon.co.uk at 279.
ChrisV e2
8 889 26 United Kingdom
31 Dec 2012 10:19AM
A few years ago I too would have said go with Canon or Nikon - that would only hold true now if you were deciding long term that you were going to get a lot more serious and invest heavily in the future in pro spec lenses/accessories.

I've used both systems but if I were going for an inexpensive capable camera I would also agree with many who have posted recommending the Pentax K-30. More bang for buck than anything in its price range, it has a decent weather sealing [unprecedented at this price point] and the useful ergonomics of twin-dial control, which again you only tend to get at higher price points with other marques.

Newer m4/3 models are good cameras too - although personally I would steer away from any that use the older 12mp sensor which is fairly noisy at relatively modest ISOs. The 16mp one used in all newer models gives more resolution and better low-light performance. The outgoing models look like great value - they're OK if you've always got good light to deal with.

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