Recommend Me a DSLR/Quality Camera? 2 replies

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Superfluous Curmudgeon VIP Member

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22nd December 2007

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#1 1 month ago

I am strongly considering getting a decent camera within the next 2 months or so with about a $500 max budget. I can add to that budget a few months down the road, but for now cash it pretty tight. Some of you are quite handy with a camera and I was wondering if you had any suggestions for a base kit around that price range and if you had any tips for what my initial considerations should be. Usage should be pretty general. 50%/50% split between indoor and outdoor lighting, medium-long distance (but not high zoom) shots, probably not capturing fast-moving objects, decent video capabilities, etc. Over time I'll try to verse myself on the basics a bit better so I have some idea what the difference between a 50mm and a 500mm lens is, but in the interim any suggestions are welcome.




MrFancypants Forum Admin

The Bad

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#2 1 month ago

I bought a compact system camera two years ago and read a lot of reviews (also had a thread here). In the end I went with the Fuji XT-20, which is over your budget, but a really cool piece of equipment. 


With a 500 Euro budget there are a couple of decent options. First, decide on the type of camera: system vs slr. Generally speaking, system will be a bit more user-friendly and compact while slr offers the better price-performance ratio. So if you care only about image quality a slr in the $500 range should be good (Nikon is pretty strong in that segment last time I checked). Specifically, SLRs will usually have better sensors than system cameras of similar price range and the sensor is decisive for image quality.

I went for system because I needed something compact for travelling and user-friendly beceause I'm a noob. Costs a little extra.


For beginners the bundle options usually make sense, they pair a camera with a general purpose lens which will set you up for most scenarios.


Definitely save some money for add-ons: a good, watertight (most cameras, even in upper price segment, are not waterproof) bag and comfortable strap are a must.


If you plan to take this up as a long-time hobby you should spend some time reading about the ecosystem of lenses, as the expenses for lenses will quickly go above the camera price.


Finally, while I really enjoy my system camera I still take a lot of pictures with my smartphone (crappy mid-range with mediocre camera). The Fuji is the dedicated vacation/excursion cam, but the smartphone is always there. If you don't intend to make photography a hobby to some extent maybe spending the dollars on a better smartphone might be the more rational choice.





Superfluous Curmudgeon VIP Member

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#3 1 month ago

Well, I went ahead and purchased the Canon Rebel SL2, which is Canon's newest entry-level DSLR. Hopefully portability doesn't become an issue but I figured it was a worthwhile venture; in the cases I really want quality photos I'll find a way to make a larger form factor work.

I had considered a mirrorless camera for greater portability, but when you consider the bulk of the lenses I don't think it ultimately makes that much difference. As far as I can tell, Canon and Nikon are similar in terms of performance per price, and that it's ultimately a matter of preference and specific features that distinguish the two. In this case, Canon's new "dual pixel autofocus" has a lot of hype surrounding its performance in a videography context. Not sure if Nikon has a similar tech.