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Advice for 1st DSLR


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Hi

My wife & I are taking the kids to the US this summer, and I've Goodwood tickets booked for me & my son, plus I've promised him an airshow or 2 on top.

Thinking particularly about the holiday I've decided to take the plunge & but a Digital SLR, so hopefully we'll have some 'better' photos to look back on. I'm a complete numpty when it comes to photography, so I'm thinking about a starter DSLR, with the Nikon D3300 appearing to be the best all-round choice for a novice like me. It has more megapixels than the comparable Canon (bigger numbers must be a good thing?) and shoots more fps....?

With the Goodwood & potential air show visits in mind, I'm guessing a longer lens might be in order? I've spotted a combo deal from Jessops, which includes a Tamron 70-300mm lens in addition to the camera body and 18-55mm 'normal' lens'

I don't want to spend a fortune, as the holiday is taking every penny already! Does anyone have any advice about my potential choices?

Thanks

Edge

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Hi Edge, The Nikon is a good choice, although don't get hung up on pixels. For lenses, you might want to look at proper Nikon ones though - the VR image stabilisation makes a really big difference at 300mm, overcoming many of the limitations of the lens and I don't think that the Tamron one has this. In addition to the standard one that comes with the camera I have a 70-200 that does pretty much everything I need, with a slightly better one that zooms to 300, which I only take to airshows and similar.

However, I would definitely suggest you look elsewhere than Jessops - they really aren't cheap and I strongly suspect that you can get a far better deal elsewhere, definitely online, but possibly in a smaller camera shop as well. Amazon is a good place to start, but watch out for grey imports.

HTH FredT

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Most important piece of advice I had from Phreak on here, or you can call him Rich ;) was to try the cameras in my hands as the comfort is a big thing. Have a word with him, he runs T4 cameras in Swindon and knows his onions. He will also give you unbiased advice, even though he is a massive Nikon man he pointed me towards a canon body because in the price range I was looking at it was the better option.

Secondly, the glass on the front makes a huge difference and you will change bodies before glass, so don't be tempted to skimp as its a struggle if you have a good camera body getting handicapped by the lens.

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Hi Edge,

I've just gone through the same exercise in buying my first DSLR. After speaking to a learned friend on the subject he suggested, based on my experience (none) and my price bracket that a Canon would be my best bet as he suggested I would probably get better result out of the box. Add to that you can purchase compatible Sigma lenses rather than Canon's own lenses; the Sigma are somewhat cheaper.

I went for a Canon EOS 750D with EF-S 18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Zoom Lens. I think it's a good compromise between budget and functionality; you can get it straight out of the box and start using it in fully automatic mode and when you become a bit more adventurous you can start playing with shutter speeds and f-stops!

This is all just from my own in-experience, and will probably learn much more in time.

Good luck.

Karl.

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Thanks Greg ang Karl.

Hadn't even considered comfort until you mentioned it. Bleedin obvious now I think of it! Swindon's not so far so I'll see if I can call into T4 cameras for a look and advice.

I've looked at Canon too Karl, and to be honest all I've managed to do is confuse myself with all the acronyms used to describe lenses etc!

Edge

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Do not ignore the Fuji X range of cameras, such as the XT10. It is not a DSLR but looks like one- they are smaller and lighter that the Nikon/Canon equivalents but offer exactly the same. And Fuji lenses are wonderful!

John

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As Greg B pointed out comfort is everything with a camera, what works for some will not work for others, found that out myself over the years.

All cameras are basically the same, a box, with light sensitive martial at one end, a shutter and some glass with a hole in it. :)

Don't get hung up on all the differnent acronyms, out the box stick it on full Program mode and the camera will 8 out 10 times get it right and give you a fine image.

If you want to know more, post questions up :)

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Thanks John.

And Knikki too. To be honest I'll probably leave it in auto as I haven't a clue about the other settings. I just want some good photos to look back on.

My birthdays next month & I'm hoping for some cash to help me towards the purchase, so I'll start to handle a few of the options before then.

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Personally, I'd be pointing you at the Nikon D5500, the next step up from the D3300. A much superior body, with much better focus ability. However, keep reading.

The biggest downside to carrying a dSLR kit with you is quite often the sheer bulk and weight of the whole outfit, especially if you end up with good lenses ie f/2.8 and over 300mm (I speak from some experience - my 200 f/2 weighs 3kg on its own, and is the size of a really big thing). Those factors mean that it will quite often get left at home/in the hotel when you're out on a trip because frankly, they get in the way of fun. Also, seeing as you don't want to spend a fortune (whatever that may mean to you), you'll probably not end up with the quality lenses and instead get stuck with the kit lenses - which are quite good enough these days, but aren't the absolute best. Consider instead something from a mirrorless range, as they're a lot smaller and if you're planning on using it in Auto, then there's really no point in you going to the big system. Mirrorless cameras are quite capable enough for most of what most people want from them..

Here's a link for info

http://www.sansmirror.com/

Thom is a working pro photographer and also knows his onions.

For your airshow work, 300mm, even on a crop sensor, is the bare minimum you want. Usually, you'll want nearer 500mm. Yes, you can crop after the fact, but it's bad practice.

In a pinch, a possibly more portable, more affordable alternative would be one of the superzoom bridge cameras. Here's a link with info:

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/2015-superzoom-camera-roundup

(Do read the last page where they give other recommendations - there's a couple there that I'd choose over any of the reviewed cameras.)

Feel free to PM me if you want to chat about stuff.

(And finally, a link for Thom's review of the D5500, which he much prefers over the D3300

http://www.dslrbodies.com/cameras/current-nikon-dslr-reviews/nikon-d5500-camera-review.html )

HTH.

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Most important piece of advice I had from Phreak on here, or you can call him Rich ;) was to try the cameras in my hands as the comfort is a big thing.

Good advice. The bigger, heavier and clumsier the camera, the less likely you'll take it anywhere. And of course, some are more 'useable' than others.

Also, beware of snobbery, which abounds in photography. Canon and Nikon owners are especially prone to this - don't restrict yourself. There's other good stuff out there.

John.

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Personally, I'd be pointing you at the Nikon D5500, the next step up from the D3300. A much superior body, with much better focus ability. However, keep reading.

The biggest downside to carrying a dSLR kit with you is quite often the sheer bulk and weight of the whole outfit, especially if you end up with good lenses ie f/2.8 and over 300mm (I speak from some experience - my 200 f/2 weighs 3kg on its own, and is the size of a really big thing). Those factors mean that it will quite often get left at home/in the hotel when you're out on a trip because frankly, they get in the way of fun. Also, seeing as you don't want to spend a fortune (whatever that may mean to you), you'll probably not end up with the quality lenses and instead get stuck with the kit lenses - which are quite good enough these days, but aren't the absolute best. Consider instead something from a mirrorless range, as they're a lot smaller and if you're planning on using it in Auto, then there's really no point in you going to the big system. Mirrorless cameras are quite capable enough for most of what most people want from them..

Define 'kit lenses', my 6D comes with a 24-105 IS L...... Not sure why you're mentioning 200mm f/2's when all he wants is to get into basic photography, let alone forking out £4k+ on gear. You can carry around decent gear with little to no weight. Especially if you are going to have just one body and two 'kit lenses', but I guess you know that.

My advice is to go into a shop and try out a few body/lens combos, Jessops staff seem to be on the ball now that the guy from Dragons Den owns? the company. Then check out the online shops for a cheaper buy, MPB offer great second hand kit, Park Cameras are good for new stuff, HDEW for import stuff + 3 years warranty (often save quite a bit and they're UK based) to name a few.

I'm a Canon guy, but can recommend Nikon, my brother uses Nikon gear and when I've used it sometimes it's brilliant.. Each to their own and all that.

Good luck and have fun.

Edited by Radleigh
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Thanks chaps.

The reviews were useful Rob. The Nikon D5500 does look good, but is a step up in price from the more basic 3300 and as I'm considering an additional lens, would be a little too much for the budget.

Good ideas Radleigh - you're quite correct in that I'm stepping up from taking basic snapshots with either compact cameras or phones so the most important things is simplicity, ease of use (point & shoot basically) and comfort.

Edge

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i can recomend nikon as I bought my first DSLR a coupla years ago a D3100 and still quite happy with it, a note on extra lenses, i got a mint 70-200mm nikkor lens for 70 quid on ebay. might be worth considering that approach whatever brand or model you plump for in the end.

matt

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  • 1 year later...

I wouldn't worry about megapixels too much... yes bigger means better but only if your going to be getting your pictures printed on a huge scale... if you're sticking to small prints then it's not a big selling point.

 

If you're wanting to shoot planes at airshows then concentrate on FPS... if you're happy to then look at used cameras meeting your needs and spend a little extra you've saved on good lenses.

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32 minutes ago, Hobby Paul said:

I wouldn't worry about megapixels too much... yes bigger means better but only if your going to be getting your pictures printed on a huge scale... if you're sticking to small prints then it's not a big selling point.

 Or if you need to crop heavily.

 

John.

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I got a Nikon DSLR recently, and I can honestly say that it was my worst camera purchase ever.    It might have been easier to learn to fly a jumbo jet.     No doubt it could produce excellent images if I had spent a couple of months learning how to use it.    Apart from anything else, it was big and clumsy.   After about 9 days of struggling with it, I took it back and got a full refund.      The manager who dealt with the return said I had been sold the wrong type of camera, and that I would find a "bridge camera" far superior if I didn't have the time and patience to learn to use a DSLR.      I had never heard of a bridge camera, but they look like DSLRs and can be used on auto or manual.     I got one, and found it far more user-friendly, and produce excellent images as well.    I will never get a DSLR again - I believe they are only suitable for dedicated camera enthusiats who are prepared to spend weeks and weeks learning how to use them!   This is an example of a picture taken on a bridge camera.

Bob

PCB_Large.jpg

 

Edited by ShipbuilderMN
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