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What DSLR ????

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scruffytrafford

This year I finally want to be able to progress up to a DSLR, I have been working with a Bridge Camera (Fuji fine pix SL300) for almost 2 years, I have done a course to understand the fundamentals of photography, so I know about all the different menu's and what does what so not completely novice, I take pictures because I enjoy it, not to make money, so the big question is what camera? The internet is a wash with what is the best, I have been looking at the Nikon D5100 but this is a couple of years old now, does this make a difference? So I would just like to see what you all have to say and what advice anyone can offer, thanks in advance.

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franken
franken e2 Member 112913 forum postsfranken vcard Wales4 Constructive Critique Points
2 Jan 2014 - 3:14 PM

All the main camera manufacturers make excellent DSLR's these days.

You should look at how much you intend to spend and then make a shortlist.

I would never purchase a camera without holding it first as what feels comfortable in the hands for some people may not for others.

If a camera feels good in your hands and you've looked through the viewfinder etc and you feel comfortable with it then that's one to consider.

I once made a mistake in buying a DSLR from recommendations as it felt heavy and cumbersome to use for me and yet others got on well with it.

Ken

mikehit
mikehit e2 Member 45758 forum postsmikehit vcard United Kingdom9 Constructive Critique Points
2 Jan 2014 - 3:22 PM

Hi

My first question would be 'why DSLR?'. There is a range of mirrorless (especially micro 4/3) that offer excellent alternatives with the added benefit of a more compact system.

The Nikon D5100 is an excellent camera and will likely meet your needs for a few years - the model being a couple of years old seems an age in terms of model turnaround but it is still very good with the advantage that newer models will push the price down.

scruffytrafford

Thanks Mikehit, I suppose you could say I am a traditionalist and for as long as I can remember I have always wanted a DSLR, or SLR when a kid, to me they were proper cameras and that is what I strive to get, call it a dream or wish, to be up there like everyone else and not having to make do, if you know what I mean. Thanks for your input.

JackAllTog
JackAllTog e2 Member 53469 forum postsJackAllTog vcard United Kingdom58 Constructive Critique Points
2 Jan 2014 - 4:39 PM

Hi Nikki, I was saying the same as you a few years ago and got an APS-c dSLR. Now i instead want a FF dSLR "to be up there like everyone else".
But also a fine choice is a M4/3 for portability and is very well used by people here and elsewhere that i admire.

The main trade off based on sensor size seems to be depth of field and how as you go bigger with the sensor you go shallower with the achievable Depth of field. The 2nd trade off i think is bulk and weight - I can sometime carry 7KG's in my back pack for one camera - perhaps not smart for hiking.
New camera's generally have more sensitivity for lower light use and better focusing for video (e.g. 700D from canon).
Lenses quickly become the next must have and quickly get expensive too. I've almost stopped buying Lenses as the next one up is way more than the cost of my old car.

As Franken says above - go hold one, even hire/borrow one to get a feel. Personally Canon feel more comfortable to me than Nikon. And Olympus look prettier than Sony to me.

scruffytrafford

Thanks Jack, I think a FF DSLR is still a long way off for me yet due to the price etc, unless a lotto win comes along, Yes can't wait to have a better DOF, as this is one of my loves about photography, my problem is that where I live is miles from anywhere so camera shops around here only stock compact point and shoots, specialist shops are a rarity and a trip to major town is on bus and 2 hours away so tinternet is my main source for now, this is the back water of Ireland LOL, thank you for your advice.

col.campbell
2 Jan 2014 - 5:47 PM

When I was in the same position as yourself, starting out, I was offered the same advice, to pick up and hold a few cameras to see which fits your hand. It turned out that for me, that meant Nikon.

Which brand to go for? The advice I was given on that quandary was, 'any'. The manufacturers are competing so fiercely that once you know your budget, the image quality will be comparable and the differences between one make and another will be minor.

The only thing I'd add is, don't blow your budget on the camera and skimp on lenses. That's where you need to think ahead and choose wisely. Down the line, investment in quality lenses is more likely to tie you to a brand than the camera.

martyn05
martyn05  7363 forum posts England
2 Jan 2014 - 9:39 PM

Are there any local camera clubs near you? Maybe you could go along and hold other peoples camera's to see what feels more comfortable for you. The camera only records what it captures through the lens so like what was said above, do not skimp on lenses. I brought cheap lenses to start with, got rid of them all now and only use L class. Amazing difference !

Trev_B
Trev_B e2 Member 7100 forum postsTrev_B vcard England61 Constructive Critique Points
2 Jan 2014 - 10:11 PM

What ever make of DLSR you chose will probably dictate what DLSR you purchase in the future. This is due to the lenses and accessories you acquire now would ideally fit subsequent cameras.

Just a thought, Happy New Year.

Trev

MichaelMelb_AU


Quote: This year I finally want to be able to progress up to a DSLR, I have been working with a Bridge Camera (Fuji fine pix SL300)...

There are quite a few alternatives in the market now. Image quality wise they all are fairly close, and I would join my voice to Trev's advice. Do not go by the camera, go by the lens. I already have two camera bodies - and use my lens with both, it's the way the things go with DSLRs. There are pro's and contras with every brand - quality and price wise. I chose Canon for one of intended purposes was astrophoto (that aspiration proved to be unaffordable expensive though). Canon has probably the widest set of lens, attachments, accessories in the industry and is able to use almost any other lens existing with appropriate adaptor - but Nikon breathes in it's neck and in many ways is already ahead. Both good. Another brand for you to look at would be Pentax. While being very humble in advertising they make excellent cameras and their interface is as close to your familiar Fujifilm bridge as it could be. The choice is yours!

Steppenwolf
3 Jan 2014 - 9:50 AM


Quote: Thanks Mikehit, I suppose you could say I am a traditionalist and for as long as I can remember I have always wanted a DSLR, or SLR when a kid, to me they were proper cameras and that is what I strive to get, call it a dream or wish, to be up there like everyone else and not having to make do, if you know what I mean. Thanks for your input.

The thing about being "a late adopter" is that you often have the opportunity to leap-frog obsolete technology. A lot of people are stuck with old camera systems because they have so many lenses it would be too expensive to change. I'm not saying that the DSLR is obsolete technology - not quite - but it's a good idea to rationalise your system choice as far as possible so that you know what you're getting. As has been mentioned, there are other options now.

The advantage of a DSLR is that, because they've been around for decades, there's a huge range of accessories - basically you can get almost any lens you like. The lens range can often be a deciding factor - there's not much point in buying a system camera and then finding that you can't get the lenses you want. However, DSLRs come with some disadvantages/features, which may or may not be of importance:
- They have an optical viewfinder (OVF) - Some people love them, but an EVF has many advantages nowadays
- They're not very good for video (partly because of the OVF being useless)
- They can suffer focus problems because the AF sensor is located remotely from the main sensor (BF/FF can be a real nuisance)
- The larger sensor has a limited DoF - which can be an advantage or a disadvantage depending on what you're doing
- They tend to have limited frames per second (FPS) performance because of the reflex mirror
- They're larger and heavier than mirrorless cameras because of the mirror and the retrofocus lenses.

Their main advantage - at the moment - is their better tracking focus performance (because of the remote PDAF sensor), but this is rapidly changing because the mirrorless cameras are adopting PDAF incorporated into the image sensor, which is the best of both worlds (e.g. NEX 6, Nikon 1). However this may not really matter to you.

As I've said before, if I were buying a new system now, I'd look at the CSCs (Compact System Cameras) first - such as the m4/3 range (Olympus, Panasonic). This can deliver the quality of the DSLR without the potential problems and in a smaller lighter package. I'd only move onto a DSLR if I found some show stopper in this range (e.g. lack of lenses).

If I were to stick with a DSLR then it'd be a choice between Nikon and Canon - and I'd go Nikon. I'd steer clear of the entry-level stuff (D3xxx,D5xxx) and go for a D7000 because it has all the features that most people need - Nikon have a nasty habit of leaving out nice features in their cheaper bodies (like in-body focus motors, so you have to buy AF-S lenses).

It's quite an interesting time to be buying a new system now because there's such a fantastic choice of great equipment at reasonable prices. But it can be a little confusing too.

Last Modified By Steppenwolf at 3 Jan 2014 - 9:53 AM
wheeliebug
3 Jan 2014 - 9:53 AM

Have a look and feel the Canon EOS 100D. It is currently the smallest DSLR on the market so it is easy to progress to it from a bridge camera.

The Canon 100D offers all that you are likely to need for a long time to come including an excellent touch screen. It feels well made as well as looking good along with all the functions it offers.

I have used SLRs and DSLRs for all levels for many years and I think the Canon 100D is just great. But that's just me. Go and feel, poke and try some yourself and take your own memory cards with you when you try them.

Richerd

Niknut
Niknut e2 Member 4386 forum postsNiknut vcard United Kingdom60 Constructive Critique Points
3 Jan 2014 - 3:34 PM


Quote:

The Canon 100D offers all that you are likely to need for a long time to come including an excellent touch screen. It feels well made as well as looking good along with all the functions it offers.


Very wise words !!......agree 100% !Smile

colin beeley
colin beeley e2 Member 111064 forum postscolin beeley vcard England10 Constructive Critique Points
3 Jan 2014 - 4:19 PM

a quick review here you could do more google searches . but i have found that if you buy a basic model give it about a year & you want to upgrade , so now i just buy the the better one . cheaper in the long run .

mikehit
mikehit e2 Member 45758 forum postsmikehit vcard United Kingdom9 Constructive Critique Points
3 Jan 2014 - 8:13 PM

One approach I would consider starts with the assumption that a CSC will give a someone upgrading from a compact/bridge camera almost everything they need, but in a smaller more portable package than a DSLR. If you decide that you want the specific properties of the DSLR so ably described by Steppenwolf then you can buy into it and keep the CSC as a second system for 'opportunist' days. As an example, my 7D is large enough that I found I couldn't be bothered to carry it 'just in case' but my MFT camera nearly always goes with me.

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