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 Post subject: First Time DSLR Buyer.
PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 1:55 pm 
Hi everyone!

I'm wanting to get a new camera as my compact broke and I thought it was time to upgrade. I absolutley love to travel and want to get some really great photos everytime I go away so I thought it best to upgrade to a DSLR.
The only problem is, I can only afford about £450 for a camera. Was looking at maybe getting the Nikon D3100. Do people think this would be a good choice for holidays? Obviously it's mainly going to be architectural and landscape stuff I'm taking photos of. Would this camera with the kit lense be ok? Any help or further suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 2:12 pm 
Any of the entry-level DSLRs in your price range would be a fine place to start. The D3100 is as good as any of them. With the 18-55 kit lens, you'll be better than a P&S - but expect to increase your lens stash quickly.

Of course all this is said without really understanding fully what you intend to do with a DSLR. You will find, however, that a DSLR is not near as portable as a compact is. If portability is a factor for you, you may want to look at the higher-end compacts like the Canon G series. While they don't have interchangeable lenses, but they do have fully manual modes allowing you to express yourself quite easily in a pocketable format.

In the end, make sure you get your candidate cameras in hand at a reliable camera shop with trustworthy and knowledgeable staff. I started on one angle, and ended up with my Oly based on a very good sales rep's help. He wasn't on commission (odd for a camera shop - but probably on a store-wide performance bonus) so it didn't matter what he sold me.


Last edited by jwnrw on Sat Apr 16, 2011 12:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 3:45 pm 
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Agreed with jwnrw...any entry-level DSLR will do just fine. If you like the feel, look, features, and price of the D3100, it would be a good choice - as would the equivalents from Canon, Sony, Pentax, & Oly. No worries.

I also agree that you may need to determine whether a DSLR is needed or wanted, truly, for what you intend to use it for. Not to say a DSLR cannot do anything you need it to, because it can. But it can do far MORE than you may need, and may in some cases be too many compromises to achieve a goal that could be done with something smaller (size, weight, portability, multiple lenses needed, sometimes additional processing needed to equal the peppy output from a P&S, etc).

Sort of like buying a 400HP, all-wheel drive, German executive luxury performance sedan when all you need is to commute to work and back, by yourself, at a maximum speed of 45MPH. Sure, it can do that job too - but so could a Honda Civic...and arguably the Civic could handle the 45MPH and stoplight to stoplight commuting equally as well as the German luxo sedan. The Luxo sedan has lots more features, lots more power, and can go extraordinarily fast in all conditions, but it doesn't really do 45MPH commuting any better than the Civic.

If you shoot mostly casually, mostly snapshots and memories, mostly daylight such as landscapes and outdoors, and rarely delve into manual control of camera settings, then you may only ever be using 1/10th of a DSLR's abilities, and could be shooting well within the capabilities of a good P&S camera like the afformentioned G series Canons, FZ series Panasonics, HX series Sonys, etc. And the conveniences of those systems may outweigh the advantages of a DSLR - such as price, size, portability, convenience, weight, and even the simple P&S style output that tends to be more 'pop' without as much processing.

Again, not trying to discourage you from a DSLR - if you shoot action, sports, wildlife, low light/high ISO, etc the DSLR will be by far the better tool. What I usually advise people is to consider the majority of what you think you'll be shooting, and lean towards that as the motivator for what to buy. I spent 5 years with advanced prosumers & ultrazooms and did fine, until wildlife & high ISO photography became more than 50% of my overall shooting - at that point, I knew going to a DSLR and accepting the compromises of weight and size were worth it for what I would gain in focus speed, tracking, low light, and maximum versatility in buying myriad lenses for specific types of shooting.

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Sony A6000 / 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 / 55-210mm F4-6.3 / 10-18mm F4 / 35mm F1.8 / 16mm F2.8 / via manual adapter, lots of Pentax K mount, Konica K/AR mount, and Leica M mount manual lenses

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 10:33 pm 
Thanks for your advice guys. I think I sort of left out that I was looking to get into photography as a hobby as well so maybe an entry level dslr is what I'm looking for? I like the idea of taking travel photography more seriously than just a point and shoot in front of a few famous landmarks and expressing myself in an art form as well as having the memories to go with it. I'm off to Brussels in June and Singapore and Malaysia in September so I want to get some really great shots, especially of the Petronas towers!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2011 8:38 am 
Id go into a shop and grab a hold of any Canon, Nikon, Sony etc cameras in your price range and buy the one which feels most comfortable in your hands.

On a budget too, dont forget about the used market


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2011 11:15 am 
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Don't worry about the quality, your entry level DSLR is better than what I use for commercial work. Just pick the one that feels the best to you (different people like different grips).

As far as lenses go, I'd be inclined to skip the 18-55 kitlenses, and go for something like an 18-105, or 17-85. The extra reach will come in handy when travelling. I'd vouch against the 18-200 mm lenses from other manufacturers (sigma, tamron). Those companies often make great lenses, but the 18-200's often really aren't up to par.

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Last edited by Citruspers on Sat Apr 16, 2011 6:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2011 12:13 pm 
+1 on the 18-105 VR Nikkor lens. It's by far Nikon's best walk-around lens offering with any kind of range. It's worth spending the extra $$ to have a single lens solution out of the box which will serve you well in just about any situation which you are talking about.

Again, however, do not underestimate the value of a prosumer/high end compact. My Canon G3 was a trusty and very portable companion on many trips to the UK and beyond over the 6+ years that I owned it. And then I sold it for a couple hundred dollars when I bought my e620 - so it even paid back long after I had outgrown it.

Get your candidate cameras in hand, make your decision and get shooting. :D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 2:53 am 
I f you haven't already decided, I recommend you check out the Pentax K-r.
Very compact, great in low light and the kit lens 18-55 isn't a dog like some other brands ;)
Here is a review of it.
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/pentaxkr/

cheers
Pete


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2011 10:40 pm 
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Location: UK
I am not really in favour of the telephoto lenses as a main, like what Citruspers has suggested, because it will be not as easy to hold and use, plus it will not fit into the case.

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 Post subject: Which camera.
PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 6:04 am 
When looking at which camera to buy I think it is very important that you consider what lenses are available to suit the body you buy. I started with a Pentax K20 and became a very avid bird photographer only to find that the only suitable lenses were third party, I changed ship and now have a 7D Canon with an array of lenses available to suit all pockets. You may find, like me, when you get your new camera a whole new world of exciting photography opens up before you and Glass, (Lenses) are the most important commodity you will need. I hope this helps your search.

Andy.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 6:41 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2009 10:09 am
Posts: 106
Location: Scotland
Hi,

I've got quite big hands and I got used to the D3100. The kit lens 18-55 of the D3100 is decent and by all means no slouch! I produced some good shots and for a starter yes I would take it.

Surely better glass is around but to start off with you can't go wrong. Or try and buy the D3100 body only and grab yourself a 18-105 lens which is probably the entry level lens Nikon ever offered. Price is ok. Or grab yourself a 35mm Nikkor F1.8. Price is very good. But for a starter go with a zoom lens. Bit more flexibility.

This is entirely my opinion.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 8:01 pm 
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Posts: 916
Location: UK
Yes,
I would always reccomend a kit zoom lens to start with. You will used to zooming in and out, and some of the primes are not wide enough, because they are designed for a 35mm digital sensor.

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Lenses: EFS 18-55mm IS, EF 50mm F/1.8 II

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