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Suggestions for dslr for a beginner


24 Jan 2021 2:17PM
My son in law is thinking about getting his first dslr & has asked for my advice on what to buy. I have my own thoughts but I feel Im biased towards Nikon as this is what I have. Thought it would be good to ask advice from others.
Can anybody offer some suggestions? Hes only ever used a point & shoot or his phone camera. Thanks in advance.
24 Jan 2021 2:49PM
I'm no expert, by any stretch of the imagination. But here are some of my reflections basedon my own journey...

I suppose to some extent it depends what type of photography he wants to do.

I started out about 4 years ago with a Canon EOS 1100D (Rebel T3). It was cheap and there were loads of affordable lenses for it, especially 3rd party. Often bought second hand to save cash. Went from nothing to some very respectable shots in just 2 years (well, I think so anyway 😆 ). I found it easy to use and, being cheap, I wasn't too concerned about shutter count or taking risks/ experimenting with it. I had great fun learning with it.

Only reason I upgraded... Hubby very much into landscape. I wanted to play along on holidays. But the focus ring on the lenses was right at the front. So using filters became a challenge because it tilted them when it focused. Got round it for a while using a polariser before threading on the filter holder. But not ideal. Hence my upgrade (to Nikon, as it happens).

Don't know if that helps at all. But hope you find something suitable.
GwB Plus
1 73 United Kingdom
24 Jan 2021 3:02PM
Have you considered going second hand from sites like MPB , I use these and they are good, I trade in stuff with them aswell. I think this site has done articles on buying second hand, as for camera choice depends on what style of photography he wants to get into. I have used canon, Fugi, olympus, panasonic all make excellent kit, I used a canon 100d for a while, good all rounder. DSLR wise nikon and canon have large choice of lenses. I've settled on olympus em1 for portability and weather sealing and Fugi xt10 for the bigger sensor and low light ability. Also have em10 with pancake lens that will drop into bag or pocket. Starting from scratch style of camera ie morrorless or DSLR then look at what each brand offers. You use Nikon and can vouch for their gear through experience.
24 Jan 2021 3:14PM
I would say that someone else's suggestions may not suit your son-in-law, as I believe, to be truly comfortable with a camera you really have to feel it and see how easy it is to 'fit' into your hand and into your way of working. It is something that everyone who wants to start the hobby/activity of taking photographs has to find for themselves. Physical construction of the human body plays some part in this, size of hands, eyesight, manouverability, as well as strength - can they manage heavy weights easily or is there any physical disability which may make a smaller lighter camera more usable. How quickly could they adapt the skills of a point and shoot to a complicated dslr for instance. Mirrorless cameras are very light and easily carried, but as they are a new development they do have many other new aspects which may make them not so suitable. As it is not a good time to be going into shops and trying stuff out it might be useful if he can hire a few different cameras - models, types, weights - to see what he is comfortable with, or wait until life is back to something like normality. Just my thoughts.
JackAllTog Plus
12 6.3k 58 United Kingdom
24 Jan 2021 10:33PM
If you are close to your son-in-law and likely to swap lenses then Nikon with you is a good ides. This is likely to be a very good way of him trying a few things out without too much commitment; And its the quickest way to learn from you.
Personally I'd say Canon or Sony for a potential long term system relationship.
Also does he have a specific area of interest or just a general photographic interest - what appeals to him.

The other most recommended way is to go in store and hold a few in his hands and try a few menu's - post lock down of course.
cats_123 Plus
17 5.1k 30 Northern Ireland
24 Jan 2021 10:36PM
The first question is what do you want to photograph?...if it's anything that requires distance he'll need to use longer lenses...so weight becomes an issue, as does hand size.. bridge cameras are a good stepping stone. Due to hand issues I virtually reversed my path into Nikon's and reverted to 4/3 (micro) mirrorless with Olympus...agree about mpb. I would say don't buy new until you're sure what you want
Arvorphoto Plus
11 144 6 United Kingdom
24 Jan 2021 11:13PM

Quote:I would say that someone else's suggestions may not suit your son-in-law, as I believe, to be truly comfortable with a camera you really have to feel it and see how easy it is to 'fit' into your hand and into your way of working. It is something that everyone who wants to start the hobby/activity of taking photographs has to find for themselves. Physical construction of the human body plays some part in this, size of hands, eyesight, manouverability, as well as strength - can they manage heavy weights easily or is there any physical disability which may make a smaller lighter camera more usable. How quickly could they adapt the skills of a point and shoot to a complicated dslr for instance. Mirrorless cameras are very light and easily carried, but as they are a new development they do have many other new aspects which may make them not so suitable. As it is not a good time to be going into shops and trying stuff out it might be useful if he can hire a few different cameras - models, types, weights - to see what he is comfortable with, or wait until life is back to something like normality. Just my thoughts.


Definitely how I see it.
Dare I say it, there is not a lot between the respective level cameras of the different companies, so it is most important to see what is comfortable in hand. It has to sit comfortably and be easy to use. Think thin fingers against podgy fingers.

I once helped a nephew to compare. I had a Sony but couldn't cope with the entry level version and yet the equivalent Pentax sat nicely in the hand.


pablophotographer 10 1.9k 411
25 Jan 2021 2:26AM
Pentax KP and he can use all sorts of old glass too!
mrswoolybill Plus
14 3.0k 2459 United Kingdom
25 Jan 2021 8:42AM
Susan, you use a D3100, has your son-in-law tried it out? Does he get on with it? There's a review of the latest in the range, the D3500, here. It looks like a good entry-level model, as one would expect, with the sole caveat that changing ISO is fiddly and there's no function button. Earlier models (with function button!) are available new and second hand, at very reasonable prices, if you look around. And as you will know, the kit 18-55mm lens is brilliant.

But do see if he's comfortable handling your camera first. I've just bought a second-hand D3200, almost unused. The vendor's late father-in-law was a very keen photographer and a friend of ours, son-in-law tried to get 'into' the hobby but just didn't take to the unfamiliar experience of using DSLR controls - in much the same way that I could never get on with using a compact. So have a trial run with your camera when current restrictions permit, before you spend any cash!
LenShepherd 13 4.4k United Kingdom
25 Jan 2021 8:48AM
If your son-in law-frequently comes to you for photographic advice there is merit in him considering Nikon because you are familiar with the brand.
What is the budget?
Your son-in-law might be able to afford a higher specified camera than yours or may need to buy secondhand.

chataignier Plus
8 204 10 France
25 Jan 2021 12:42PM
Why a DSLR ? The future seems to be mirrorless. Apart from that, it all depends on what he wants to photograph and why. Does he need pro or semi-pro quality for making exhibition prints 50cm or more ? If not, no need for a full frame sensor, APS will do fine.
There are lots of mirrorless hybrids with APS sensors, Fuji is well worth looking at.
25 Jan 2021 3:14PM
Can I suggest you get him to join the site and then he can read all the wonderful camera reviews and that might inspire him in the right direction?
David

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