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Questions and Information Appreciated.

14 Jan 2013 9:03PM

Well I'm currently doing a Creative Arts "Photography and Design" Course and looking to invest into a Reasonably Priced DSLR camera I have been looking on Ebay and Amazon etc. But to be honest I don't have a great knowledge of DSLR's and what to look for as I normally use Digital Bridge Camera.

I currently use Fujifilm FinePix S4530 " Which I've used to upload most of my recent pictures " and a spare Nikon CoolPix L120.

As I am getting more in-depth into photography and design because of the course I feel I should move forward with my equiptment too, I am a student so buying a camera 1000+ is out of the question. It doesn't even have to be a recent model just something that is good, effective, well priced, durable and have the lens to fit into any project be it macro, scenery, portraits, nightshots etc.

I would really appreciated some help here.

Thank You.

Edit: If they had the ability to have wireless add-ons that would also be beneficial as the college studios have wireless activated lights etc

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scottishphototours 14 2.6k 2
14 Jan 2013 9:52PM

The big 2 are Nikon and Canon. Both have dslr's that are now both reasonably priced secondhand and are perfect for your needs.

I'll suggest Nikon as I use them. The D300 or 300s can be had for around 400, and would be ideal for someone moving up from a bridge camera. They take a variety of zoom or fixed focal length lenses. If you jnow what you need and we can help further.

User_Removed 8 4.6k 1 Scotland
15 Jan 2013 10:52AM
...or have a look at this thread. (Nikon D3100 for 199 refurbished by Nikon)


KNS 8 106 2 United Kingdom
15 Jan 2013 12:17PM
Look at London Camera Exchange website - it will give you a good overview as to what is available used, and a general price structure......
MikeRC Plus
13 3.6k United Kingdom
15 Jan 2013 12:29PM
Steppenwolf 6 1.2k
15 Jan 2013 2:24PM
Does it have to be a DSLR? I'd say there are two reasons for buying a DSLR (as opposed to a mirrorless camera): 1. You want an optical viewfinder (as opposed to an EVF) and 2. You want to photograph stuff that needs good tracking focus (like photographing birds in flight). Mirrorless cameras will obviously never have an OVF and they aren't so good at tracking focus - not yet anyway. Apart from that they have a lot of advantages over the DSLR - like being smaller, lighter and usually cheaper.

A few years ago I also used a bridge camera and the main thing that was frustrating was the inability to change lenses - the lack of versatility. I then moved onto various DSLRs and the frustrating thing about these was the inability to get accurate focus. This was solved when I got a Sony A77. I recently bought a Nikon V1 - which is very much like a bridge camera with interchangeable lenses (and a slightly larger sensor) - and have been very impressed with what it can do. Nikon are selling these run-out models for about 280 (including 10-30mm lens) and it's a real steal - have a look at the WEX specs to see what it can do. There's no macro lens (yet) but I guess you could stick a close-up filter on the kit lens.
20 Jan 2013 1:28AM
Thank you for all the comments and replies I have decided to purchase the Nikon D3100, along with the AF-S DX 18-55 mm VR Zoom Lens. Its an entry level DSLR, Reasonably priced at 329.99 with the lens.

I haven't bought it yet, but will be after my 20th Birthday on Monday Smile If anyone has used this DSLR and consider it a reasonable investment I would appreciate the input. Or Better DSLRs along with links if possible but the D3100 is in the gears for monday....

Thanks again everyone for replying.

( I know there was a D3100 mentioned cheaper, but it wasn't brand new. the link was of a refurbished one. I want my first DSLR to be brand new Smile )
KNS 8 106 2 United Kingdom
20 Jan 2013 10:44AM
We own onee - it's a good little camera....when buying lenses you must check for AF compatibility with these entry level bodies, as they don't have a focus drive built in....

Happy Birthday Smile
ste_p0270 6 74 England
20 Jan 2013 10:45AM
i had a D3100 before i could afford a D5100.

superb camera which i gave to my daughter (who also loves it!).

lenses are "relatively" cheap if bought second hand. i'd suggest the Tamron AF55-200mm which, if you shop around can be had for around 80 new. it's worth it just for the 1:2 macro facility (do get a tripod though, things get shaky beyond 180mm with small apertures Smile). tamron also do a 70-300mm 1:2 macro should you feel the need for longer reach

another excellent "cheap" lens is the AF-S 35mm 1.8/f DX which can be had for around 120 second hand... brilliant for low light and shallow DoF.

21 Jan 2013 2:47AM
Yeah, ive been looking into the D3100 quite deeply and has alot of supported lenses along with everything you would need attachment wise also supports wireless flash stations aswell very impressed highly looking forward to picking it up now.

Thanks for the birthday wishes and all the input.
Very good choice of camera for starting out. If you can afford it i would get a nikon or a sigma 50mm prime lens. Amazingly sharp and produces pro level image quality, its quite cheap secondhand on ebay too. It would be a very creative lens to use for your studies as its got very close up focusing so could be used for macro work. However it also makes a brilliant portrait/fashion lens.

My advice is not to go out and buy loads of kit and lenses. It is the limitations of our equipment that force us to be creative.

Good luck and have fun

21 Jan 2013 9:03PM
AF-S DX 18-55 mm VR Zoom Lens < is what comes with the body that I am purchasing. Unsure of its quality as I haven't tested it yet!
StrayCat 14 19.1k 3 Canada
21 Jan 2013 9:41PM
That is a very good lens Alex. Check out the minimum close focusing of it, great little lens.
21 Jan 2013 10:48PM
If you are looking for a longer lens I got a Tameron 70-300 for just under a 100 and it seems good quality to me, does what I need, and image quality seems comparable to my kit lens, my only issue is that it's bloody hard to hand hold when your a weakling like me, and with no stabilization this is a real issue.
ste_p0270 6 74 England
22 Jan 2013 7:06AM
i recently sold a tamron AF70-300. agreed, it's a great lens, but as you've found out, you really need a tripod
to get the best out of it due to the lack of image stabilisation.

the kit lens (18-55) is great. although i really liked mine, i found that i needed a little more zoom and bought the
18-105 version.

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