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 Post subject: When to buy, what to buy
PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 3:52 pm 
Hi new member to the forum.

After getting frustrated with the limitations of my compact camera, I've decided to upgrade to my first SLR.

My original thinking was to go for one of the entry-level models - Nikon D3100 or Canon 1100D - and after reading many reviews was leaning slightly towards the Nikon.
Then I started to consider going to the next level - D5100 or 600D, but although the extra features might be nice on the latter two cameras, I think that basically at my level of experience and (non)expertise, I would be paying an extra 200 quid for an articulated screen - I think that for the same kind of money one of my original choices of camera plus another lens might be a more sensible way to go?

Secondly, my original idea was to wait until after Christmas before buying - mainly because I have to get Christmas presents for others before treating myself and I planned to spend my bonus from work on the camera. Also, I was hoping that prices might drop a little bit after Christmas, but I keep reading about possible stock shortages caused by the flooding in Thailand.
I've realised that this will probably prevent any large discounts in the New Year, so probably won't save anything by waiting, but what are the chances that prices will go up or even the cameras selling out and becoming unavailable altogether?
Should I buy sooner rather than later?

Sorry for the long, rambling post but any pointers on what kind of kit to buy and when to buy it would be appreciated.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 5:39 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2011 7:58 pm
Posts: 831
Location: United Kingdom
I don't think there are any certainties to say you should buy now to avoid being caught out by stock shortages and price hikes or to wait until the New Year hoping there will be discounts. I think how urgently you think you need it should be the deciding factor.

After the photographer, the lens is perhaps the most important part of taking a decent picture but that's not to say that buying entry level is always the best route for those new to DSLR since it varies from person to person.

If you don't think you're likely to make use of the features in the 600D/D5100 that are absent in the 1100D/D3100, then perhaps it may not be worth going for the former - I personally eyed up for the 550D/D5000 over the 1000D/D3000 because I could afford the 550D/D5000 and because I didn't want to outgrow the 1000D/D3000 within a year but that's not a recommendation for you to do the same since I don't know exactly what your requirements are.

The only thing I will recommend is to worry less about what others say and hold and try out all of the cameras yourself. You'll find that the feel of a DSLR is very personal and the more comfortable it is to hold and the more navigable you find its menu, the more you're likely to use the camera, thereby making the most of your investment.

DSLRs: Canon EOS 7D Mark II, Canon EOS 70D
CSC: Canon EOS M3
Lenses: Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM, EF 50mm f/1.8 II, EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM, Canon EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM, Canon EF-M 22mm f/2.0 STM

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 7:10 pm 
Thanks for the reply Rorschach.

You make a good point about outgrowing the lower-end cameras - that may happen. But the initial outlay I want to make means that if I go for the D5100 or 600D I will have to make do with the kit lens only for a few months at least, whereas with the cheaper bodies I could complement them with say, a 55-200mm from the off which means I will have much more scope to make the most of my camera straight away. Which is why I'm torn!
Maybe learning to use the camera, and photographic techniques with just the one lens then adding another later is the better way to go in the long run - I dunno?

As for timing, I'll just have to keep an eye out and if I spot stock-outages or the prices starting to rise, then I'll either have to make a quick decision or wait for stock to replenesh - which could take a long time, so probably not the best idea.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 10:23 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2006 11:08 pm
Posts: 8003
Location: Germany
Hello Jonny, and welcome to the friendly Camera Labs forum!
To enjoy your stay here please have a look at the house-rules!
The Nikon D3100 is a very competent camera and if you get the 18-105/VR kit-lens you have a set that should produce many good images with no immediate need to add other lenses. If you're ineterested in understanding what lens(es) you need if you go for a trip to say Venice, have a look at my write-up here: It's not so much you really need lens-wise. So plan to stick to your kit lens for a while!
As to prices: nobody can predict the future so the only thing I can say: be sure to get the presents for your loved ones before taking the plunge - and: good things come to those who can wait...

Thomas (beware: Nikon-fanboy and moderator!) My Lens Reviews, My Pictures, My Photography Blog
D810+assorted lenses

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 7:03 am 
Thanks thomas - that's another option - or it would be but I haven't seen it offered for sale with the 18-105 kit lens. And worse than that, about half a dozen of the most well-known UK retailers I browsed last night online already have the D3100 out of stock.
Hopefully it's a temporary shortage or I may have to strike it off my list, which is a shame because it was my preferred choice.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:54 am 
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Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 7:01 pm
Posts: 1249
Location: NW England
Jonny, I think they have the D3100 in stock here; ... meras.html & a 18-105 for £199

Image btw,He who dies with the most toys, WINS!
Nikon D800E & D700 bodies + Nikon 200-400mm F4 VR1, 50mm F1.4G, 16-35mm f/4G VR, 105 F2.8 VR macro, 70-300mm lenses. A couple of filters, Giotto tripod & ballhead. Lowepro Slingshot 302 AW

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2011 12:36 pm 
Thanks again for all the advice. I've now made up my mind to got for the 5100. Also the stories of stock shortages don't seem to have fully been realised, so I'm waiting until the end of December / beginning of January, mainly because that's when I'll be most ready to make a purchase and if any deals are around then, that will be a bonus.

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