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Should I upgrade to a DSLR and which one???

4 Mar 2011 5:05PM
Evening all,

I would really appreciate a bit of advice.....

I currently have an SLR style, Fuji finepix S9600, and have had it for the past few years, it has been around the world with me and never let me down. I always use it on the manual setting, controlling the appeture/shutter speed/ISO and it produces good results (I have A3 size images on my wall). All in all it has been a great camera however I am at the stage that I would like a bit more capability for macro shots and a more powerful zoom for wildlife, I also particularly like low light/natural light shots and have heard that with newer DSLR's its possible to shoot at higher ISO's with less noise? (I assume this would help?)

I don't have a huge budget, I dont really want to be spending over 600 (incuding lenses), I have seen a Nikon D5000 for 350 with an 18-55 lens, does anybody have any thoughts on this camera and the additional lenses needed to take the type of photos I have mentioned above and reproduce in poster size (A3 +). There is also the Nikon d3100 which is newer but more expensive? It doesnt have to be a brand new camera, I would be just as happy with a good second hand one if it is within budget?

Any suggestions would be gratefully received!!



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jken 11 1.7k 1 United Kingdom
4 Mar 2011 5:19PM
Are you going to go to Focus next week at the NEC?

If you're after a new DSLR then that's the place to get a hands on all the manufacturers offerings, well every manufacturer except Canon.
If you're used to Fuji then the Nikon stand might be an interesting place to spend some time.

If you look through the forums there's loads of EPZ users going.

cameracat 14 8.6k 61 Norfolk Island
4 Mar 2011 5:20PM
Either of the 2 cameras you mention will give you what you want regarding decent high ISO image quality.

Personally I'd go for the D3100 its got the edge in technology & resolution, You might also consider a used D5000 or perhaps the D90.

If your not stuck on a particular brand, You might want to have a look at the Pentax K-x or K-r both every bit as good as the Nikon models, With lens to match.

Any or all of the above will give you much cleaner images ISO wise than your bridge camera.
Thincat 10 616
4 Mar 2011 6:30PM
As you don't have any investment in any system yet you needn't restrict yourself to Nikon. If you've been using the Fuji 9600 you'll be used to the EVF so maybe you should consider the Sony A55 which is an interchangeable lens camera with an APS-C sensor and an EVF. Obviously the EVF is a considerable improvement on the Fuji's and is reckoned by some to be better than the DSLR's optical VF for macro (as you can magnify it to check focus). You're right that the newer cameras have more sensitive sensors, so you can shoot at higher ISO, so it would be sensible to get the newest camera you can afford - I wouldn't go s/h. Your budget is tight so I'd tend to go for a new camera body and s/h lenses.

Even so you'll never get what you want for 600. You can get a decent macro lens (say a 100mm) for about 250 (s/h) but a decent wildlife lens is very expensive - you need a minimum of 400mm and they don't come cheap (the cheapest good lens would be a Minolta 100-400mm at about 350). You need to reckon on 1000.

I wouldn't bother with the entry-level Nikons (like the 3100) because they have no in-body focus motors for the lenses so you are restricted to a limited subset of new lenses.
weefred 7 3 Northern Ireland
4 Mar 2011 6:32PM
Hi chris.

Having just got into photography and looking for a DSLR myself I purchased a Sony A230L with 18-55 lense. Being on a tight budget
myself it came in at 299.00, having read some good reviews on it, it does the job for me being a beginer.
If your into your makes and models it may not be for you but it's worth a look at that price.
Paul Morgan 16 19.1k 6 England
4 Mar 2011 7:37PM
With a budget of 600 it might be worthwhile looking at twin lens kits, these more than likely available from most brands including Sony, Pentax, Nkon etc.

One example of many based on value.


Best to go out and handle a few combinations
5 Mar 2011 8:58PM
Thanks for all your comments, I have been around a few shops in Chester today and they seem to think that Nikon may be bringing something new out at Focus next week as they have stopped supplying the shops with the D5000, so I will watch this space...................
Bridgelayer 10 621 United Kingdom
6 Mar 2011 12:19PM
I know that Costco in Oldham have a returned Nikon D3000 in the stockroom for 220 inc VAT. There's an 18-55 lens with it, but no card or bag.
ShaunsPics 7 86 United Kingdom
6 Mar 2011 1:42PM
ive seen pitures of nikon boxes labled d5100 on some web site but cant rebember were.
15 Mar 2011 12:36AM
Plenty of photographers are brand loyal, if that's the case, that's fine.
I was loyal to my Pentax for a long time and still get some use out of it. Nowadays, I get more use from my Canon EOS and it won't let me down.
I faithfully use it with the 18 - 55mm and the 75 - 300mm sometimes with the 3xM Teleplus Pro 300.
That you are doing your research is impressive and professional.
At the end of the day you will buy what you believe is most compatible with the type of photography you specialize in. Your research will have paid off and you'll know you made the right choice.
Some say "your gut feeling will guide you", I say your research will.
Buying what you need is more important than buying what you want, if you can get both in the same camera in your price range, you've hit a home run.
There's nothing more professional than that.
jondf 11 2.7k
17 Mar 2011 12:53PM
Whichever make you decide to go for, you're right to get familiar with dslr technology. And whatever manufacturers might claim about their point and shooters - and to a lesser extent, bridge cameras - ultimate quality and control is still very much in the dslr domain.

That said, I think the future lies with hi-def video. The time will come when your camera will shoot video at such high quality that you'll be able to drop pro level stills straight off the camera into your preferred photo editor to manipulate as you wish......no doubt someone will tell me now that such a camera already exists Grin In which case I stand corrected.....but at what price?
hulland 10 9
23 Mar 2011 6:20AM
Go and read the spec of the Powershot SX30IS--I have used mine for 2 months now and am VERY impresed. The HD video can be used during taking stills and vice versa etc etc ...

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