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meowschwitz 01-17-2013 02:28 AM

Beginner DSLR
I've been becoming more and more interested in photography, but I really have no idea where to begin. I've been using my Samsung Galaxy S3 and Canon S95 for photos, but I want something that'll produce higher quality stuff. That being said, I do have a (flexible) budget and, while I would love to get something fancy, I only really need something that can both allow my to practice the basics as well as give me some nice looking photos. So my question is, what would be a good starting DSLR? And I suppose I can extend that to, what accessories would be good, e.g., lenses, etc.?

Snowflake311 01-17-2013 03:42 AM

The Nikon D3200 would be a good one. The Nikon D5100 you can pick up cheap. It is very user friendly have a help menu and will help you develop your skills. That would be my pick if it was my first DSLR.

I am not new to SLR camera and just got a Pentax k-30 and It's the best. I am so in love with this camera. It was really easy for me to get use to. The manual settings are so easy to find and use compared to my old olympus E410.

GraphicGr8s 01-17-2013 04:11 AM

+1 to Pentax.

Scars 01-17-2013 04:14 AM

I dont know the Nikon line too well, but the canon T3i can be found for some good prices. The biggest recommendation I can make for fish tank photography is a tt560 from Neewer, and a remote flash trigger from cowboy studios. If youre looking for general photography accessory ideas, the 50mm f1.8 is an amazing lens for cheap. Also pick up a reflector or two.

tetra73 01-17-2013 11:40 PM

Seriously, what is your budget? Today's entry level DSLR bodies are very capable. You just can't go wrong. However, the lens is the first thing the picture comes into the camera senor. "Kit lens" is generally affordable and delivering OK images. A LOT of the better lenses cost more than the camera body. :) Yeah, how much you are planning to spend???

meowschwitz 01-17-2013 11:53 PM

$500 maybe? Even that is pushing it.

tetra73 01-18-2013 12:07 AM


Originally Posted by meowschwitz (Post 2272793)
$500 maybe? Even that is pushing it. may have to buy used then. Try here:

I am a Canon guy and so I am more familiar with the Canon gear. You can get a Canon 40d for about $350+ used. The 40D is considered a prosumer camera about 4 to 5 years ago. It has no video and it is only 10mp. However, it is a body I don't mind to have if I need a second body. With your budget, after the body, you may only have enough to buy one lens.

Thunder_o_b 01-18-2013 01:00 AM

Before you buy, hold each one in your hands. Even the best camera that is uncomfortable in your hands will end up gathering dust.

8foot6inchRod 01-18-2013 03:03 AM

You might want to consider saving a bit more to jump into the DSLR world. Quality lenses will be a good focus. I've just got kit lenses and I'm itching to get some sharper lenses.

My only experience is with T3i, but I think it's great for a beginning DSLR. I didn't think I'd use a fold-out LCD screen much, but I use it all the time; very handy! The T3i is also awesome if you want to do any videography too, especially if you add Magic Lantern to the mix.

Also, are you planning on doing a lot of aquarium photography? A nice macro lens can cost several hundred dollars, and you're going to want a flash that you can use wirelessly from your camera; maybe even more than one. A flash system shooting down from the top of your tank is how a lot of the best photography on this forum is shot.

Basil 01-18-2013 03:13 AM

+1 on a good macro lens. That alone will run you a couple hundred. So take a little more time, visit a local camera shop that has several lines of cameras to try out. Really, the best camera will be one that you pick up and enjoy handling and using. I only have experience with Nikon and I've got an old school D40 Kit with a basic lens plus a telephoto lens. It ran me at the time I got it $700 but you can easily find gently used camera kits around that are just as good but will be easier on your budget.

So go slow and compare brands and try out the cameras before you commit. Lenses will be the most costly so this will be an investment.

Option 01-18-2013 08:35 PM

In general, do Canons tend to be more pricey than Nikons? Or perhaps I am just stating the obvious to more experienced photographers...? But in my beginner/novice status I seem to have noticed this in my online researching for a new DSLR.

Elliriyanna 01-18-2013 10:17 PM

I have always seen them around the same price ... You may be finding that Canons have more features at times and thus are more expensive. The canon I am looking at is only $500 ... I havent found a nikon that compares

meowschwitz 01-19-2013 03:55 AM

Went to Best Buy today and saw a few cameras. DSLRs are huge and heavy. I held a Canon D5100 in one hand for less than a minute and my arm was already straining. Anywho, looking around at prices for even the entry models plus lenses makes me think this is just too expensive for me. I'm paying for college by working part-time, and I don't know how much I can spare to a new hobby.

GraphicGr8s 01-19-2013 04:34 AM

Look at a used Pentax K-10, K20, You can get great shots at anything above 6mp. so even an older ist* would be nice. I had toyed with getting one myself but decided to get more tanks instead since I have the K10

blink 01-19-2013 07:12 AM

Honestly, with a Canon S95 you already have a really really capable camera.
I'd suggest working on your skills and asking photographers to critique your work, try to improve what you've already got. I don't mean to offend because I don't know what your photos look like right now but I'm going to go out on a limb and say that just getting a bigger, heavier d-slr isn't going to give you a night and day improvement from your S95 because it's a good bit of equipment... if you were talking about some 8 year old Kodak, yeah, definitely upgrade.

If you do feel that buying a d-slr is THE step, please take this one piece of advice and rent one before you plunk down the cash, or make very sure it's returnable after a few shots.

Oh, and give this a read through

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