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Haven't had a DSLR for years, but looking to get one again.

Not looking for anything too high end, just the best I can get for $350-500 depending on it's features (used, working condition is perfectly fine with me). Basic kit lens and cheap indoor lens ( like 50mm F/1.8) is all I really need.

Just intend to use the camera to take nice quality pics of people and my aquariums (so no long range lenses).

I was simply thinking of Canon Rebel T3i, T4i, T5i, but I have far from did my homework on all the DSLR's out nowadays. If I remember correctly Canon 60D and the likes are better geared toward video?

When I was into DSLR's, I rarely shot video or used Auto Focus (even for videos).

So I am open to any suggestions, whatever brand it may be. But please, only researched suggestions or personal comparisons between cameras you have used.

If the picture quality isn't worth the price, I may just get a iPhone or Samsung Galaxy/Note if they take nearly as good pics.

So what camera make and model should I look into to see if anyone has a used one for cheap.
 

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Look at the Pentax lineup. Great cameras and have image stabilization built into the camera so even a 50 year old (yes. 50 year old M42 screw mount lenses work on them.) gets stabilization. IQ is high even with a 10 MP K10D. That's what I shoot with and I've blown up my shots to 10'. Yes. 10 Feet. (I work in a print shop) I use it for everything from quick snaps of the boy to product photography for clients.

I wouldn't get a K10D now since there are many newer models available used. And you can scour the auction site for some of the great glass Pentax and Vivitar made back in the day. Real glass not that plastic stuff.
 
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In that price range, I don't think you could go wrong with the 60D. It's been my camera for the last 4 or so years and have been very happy with it.

There won't really be any difference in Image Quality between the 60D and those other Canon Txi cameras you listed.

The 60D I know is bigger, more weather resistant and built stronger. There are more one click buttons available as well. It also has a much longer life battery. Mine seems to last forever.

The T5i is actually more advanced for video. If you use canon stm lenses you'll be able to do continuous auto focus, something you can't do with the older cameras. Do a comparison search on those and see what's more important to you. The camera phones have very good IQ now under normal circumstances, but once you go to lower light, macro, indoors, moving, etc. there is still no comparison.
 

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I've got zero "real" photography experience.....so feel free to laugh at me if this is a ridiculous suggestion. But have you looked at anything like an ILC? Sort of that nice inbetween above a point and shoot but below DSLR with lots of the same features though? I was recently looking to upgrade from the old point and shoot and/or my cell phone and was amazed at how expensive the DSLR cameras were...even used. Came upon a used Nikon 1j1 for a good price so I scooped it up. Its perfect as I have the ability to change lenses and do a lot more than I ever could with a point and shoot, but I'm also not overwhelmed with features that I dont even know how to use yet.
 

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I've had great results with my Nikon D3300. I believe it was about $500 on Amazon during Black Friday. It's great in low light conditions. You can push the ISO to 800 with hardly any noise.
 

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The worst DSLR on the market right now will still give MUCH better image quality than the best smart phone camera. Once you start looking at point and shoots, the race is closer, but the better point and shoots will also run rings around phones. In general I'm a Canon guy due to (IMO) them having the best user interface, ergonomics, and lens selection, but I actually think that in the lower end of the market, the best sensor/image quality is in the Sony mirrorless cameras: a5000 and the like. That being said, as was mentioned before, remember that you are buying into a system, and if it is primarily going to be used for shooting aquariums, you will eventually need to have a macro lens and off camera flash, so the cost of that should be considered in the long haul at least.

-Justin
 
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