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So many DSR's on the market.... it makes your head spin :(

8 Jul 2012 5:08PM
Hello everyone Smile
Been looking into getting a DSLR for quite a while now.... and the more I read the more I get confused Sad I have a budget of around 500 and have short listed 3 cameras.
NIKON D3100 Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm Zoom Lens
NIKON D3200 Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm VR Lens
SONY SLTA37K.CE with 18-55mm Zoom Lens

Some very conflicting reviews on the net, so some honest feedback on these models would be great, or any more models and lens kits to avoid or recommend Smile


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puertouk 6 1.1k 17 United Kingdom
8 Jul 2012 5:50PM
8 Jul 2012 6:31PM


Thanks for the reply
MikeRC Plus
13 3.6k United Kingdom
8 Jul 2012 6:37PM


...yea...without doubt.
8 Jul 2012 8:03PM
From your shortlist, definitely D3200 - wouldn't mind one meself..!
edtaylor 7 104 United Kingdom
8 Jul 2012 8:28PM
I have been a Nikon owner for several years now, and would from your short list recomend the Nikon D3200.
StuartAt 13 1.1k 8 United Kingdom
8 Jul 2012 9:18PM
From the list I'd go with the D3200; access to a huge range of lenses, Nikon quality, improved version of the D3100 (so makes little sense to go with the 3100).
llareggub 7 825 United Kingdom
8 Jul 2012 11:50PM
Any particular reason to ignore the Canon offerings?

Of yor listing I would take a Nikon based upon lens availability Smile
User_Removed 14 3.3k 4 United Kingdom
9 Jul 2012 12:47AM
In that price range there's only one choice as far as I can see
ShaunsPics 7 86 United Kingdom
9 Jul 2012 8:23AM
with all this crap weather we've been having ide be looking at the pentax k30 as a future investment .....which i am..?
Steppenwolf 6 1.2k
9 Jul 2012 8:46AM

Some very conflicting reviews on the net, so some honest feedback on these models would be great, or any more models and lens kits to avoid or recommend Smile


It depends on what you want.

The first question to ask yourself is why do you want a DSLR rather than some of the other interchangeable lens cameras that are available (e.g. the Micro 4/3 range, for example Panasonic G3). The main advantage of the DSLR is that it provides faster tracking focus, so if you're interested in sports photography or wildlife (tracking birds in flight) they are the rational choice. (DSLRs use a separate AF sensor that uses phase detection. Cameras that use the main sensor for AF usually use contrast detection which is not great for tracking focus).

If you want a camera that can also double up as a video camera then the DSLR is not a great choice. Because the mirror must be locked up when videoing you lose the optical viewfinder and have to use the LCD. The AF is also compromised, so you'll end up not using it. The Micro 4/3 system cameras function like a normal dedicated video camera (because they don't have the reflex mirror) so they're a better choice if you want to do video too.

The Sony SLT (A37) is an unusual design in that it uses phase detection AF (and therefore has fast tracking focus) but it also takes video like a dedicated video camera so it's a jack of all trades. IMO the A37 is a massive bargain and is probably the best of the cameras you've listed (provided you're not one of those people who hate EVFs). It does everything anyone needs (it has a huge feature set) and is very cheap. One thing to bear in mind with the entry-level Nikons is that they tend to leave out useful features (just to differentiate it from the higher level cameras), which is something Sony tend not to do. So the D3100 and the D3200 have no in-body lens motors meaning that you have to buy the AF-S lenses (which have in-lens motors), so your lens range is restricted which is annoying if you want to buy secondhand.
mikehit 8 8.0k 13 United Kingdom
9 Jul 2012 9:17AM
Some good advice from Steppenwolf.
Almost any camera at a particular price-point will keep you happy and the thing to consider is the functions and the handling. The functions you can get from the reviews, but for handling you need to get to a camera shop and pick one up - even if they do not have the actual model you are looking at you will have chance to see the 'house style'.
And when reading reviews, remember that their job is to find differences and 'faults' so they have something to write about, and with the ever-increasing performance across the board, these differences and faults are becoming smaller and smaller. So take it all with a pinch of salt and concentrate on those bits that may be deal-breakers for yuo.
Carabosse 15 41.1k 270 England
9 Jul 2012 10:24AM
Welcome to EPZ, Natalie. Smile

Perhaps one way forward is to ask yourself.......... what is it I want that my current camera doesn't give me? (And what is your current camera, incidentally?)
User_Removed 8 4.6k 1 Scotland
9 Jul 2012 10:53AM
You have got a short-list of three.

That hardly ties in with your heading.

So many DSR's on the market.... it makes your head spin

From those three, definitely the D3200
Steppenwolf 6 1.2k
9 Jul 2012 1:49PM

From those three, definitely the D3200

It is an unusual list in that it leaves out Canon and includes a Sony SLT - you'd have expected the Canon 600D in the list and no SLT A37. But if it's "bang for buck" you're after the SLTs are pretty unbeatable IMO. I've only had my A77 for a few months but I'm totally sold on the advantages of the translucent mirror - too many to list here. The D3200 has the same 24Mp sensor as the Sony A77 (as far as I know) so its image quality is going to be great, but the A37 has the 16Mp sensor that's in the Nikon D7000 which isn't too shabby. It's a lot cheaper than the D3200 (especially if you look around) and there's no deliberate downgrading - e.g. the D3200 has no exposure bracketing. I can understand this feature being left off a camera with an EVF - because you really don't need it - but with an OVF it's pretty important. More to the point it costs nothing to provide and leaves me wondering what else has been left out. Also you need to buy the more expensive AF-S VR lenses whereas with the A37 any old Minolta/Konica Minolta lens will work and be image stabilised - this is very handy when you're buying long lenses because they cost a fortune to buy new.

But it all depends on what the camera is going to be used for. I mainly take super-telephoto shots and the accuracy of the SLT's focus is a big advantage.

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