first SLR suggestions

kush23

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Jul 2, 2007
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looking for a SLR camera... sick of using point and shoots. any suggestions? my budget is $400
 

GTaudiophile

Lifer
Oct 24, 2000
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For $400, you'll have to go used...and forget any good glass.

I would keep the P&S for now and save until you have at least $2K to start with a DSLR.
 

Jawo

Diamond Member
Jun 15, 2005
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I would recommend a crosover camera like the Canon G9. It has RAW support, near full manual controls, hotshoe, 6x zoom with IS, for a great deal. It also has the DiGiC III chip in it. Details: http://www.dpreview.com/news/0708/07082005canong9.asp

Its very hard to get started with a dSLR for under $1,000. A good thread for you to watch would be here (although he has a much higher budget).
 

AndrewR

Lifer
Oct 9, 1999
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Originally posted by: Jawo
I would recommend a crosover camera like the Canon G9. It has RAW support, near full manual controls, hotshoe, 6x zoom with IS, for a great deal. It also has the DiGiC III chip in it. Details: http://www.dpreview.com/news/0708/07082005canong9.asp

Its very hard to get started with a dSLR for under $1,000. A good thread for you to watch would be here (although he has a much higher budget).
BS. You can get started on a DSLR for under a $1000, but you just won't have all the gear you need for all situations. I started with a DSLR and one lens (28-75/2.8), and it was fine while I learned what I was doing. I gradually added a tripod, more lenses, filters, etc., but I was certainly able to start (for $950, approx.).

There's no need to immediately start into DSLR photography with lenses ranging from 10-300mm with f/2.8 coverage at all focal lengths and a hydraulic ballhead on carbon fiber legs.

That being said, $400 is not enough. I'd consider about $750 to be a minimum for a new camera, a kit lens, memory card, and perhaps a spare battery.
 

LikeLinus

Lifer
Jul 25, 2001
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Originally posted by: Jawo
Its very hard to get started with a dSLR for under $1,000. A good thread for you to watch would be here (although he has a much higher budget).


BS. You can get a Rebel XT kit for under $550!! Then all you need is a Compact Flash card and you're set.

This is about as good a camera as you can get for that type of money for a "starter" DSLR. The great thing is that you can then buy better lenses down the road when you start to understand what you are doing. The lens in the lens kit isn't nearly as bad as it's made out to be.


"you have at least $2K to start with a DSLR." Idiotic statement also.

 

ElFenix

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Mar 20, 2000
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either get the k100d and some rechargeable batteries (you don't need filters, tripods, bags, flashes, etc., to start), or wait another month or two and get a canon XT, nikon D40, or olympus E-410 or E-500 (which can be had in a two lens kit for under $600, though oly has updated its lineup and so i'm guessing stock is short on those cameras).

heck, OP might already have rechargeable batteries and SD cards that'd work with the k100d just fine.
 

Jawo

Diamond Member
Jun 15, 2005
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Originally posted by: LikeLinus
Originally posted by: Jawo
Its very hard to get started with a dSLR for under $1,000. A good thread for you to watch would be here (although he has a much higher budget).
BS. You can get a Rebel XT kit for under $550!! Then all you need is a Compact Flash card and you're set.

This is about as good a camera as you can get for that type of money for a "starter" DSLR. The great thing is that you can then buy better lenses down the road when you start to understand what you are doing. The lens in the lens kit isn't nearly as bad as it's made out to be.

"you have at least $2K to start with a DSLR." Idiotic statement also.
Yes, the Canon XT is $550 and will probably drop even more once the 40D is released. I never said it wasn't impossible, but "very hard." Photography isn't a cheap hobby and I personally didn't want to start out with the kit lens only to be disappointed with IQ (which I was with my P&S). I carefully researched what I wanted, saved the money, and bought everything I wanted. You don't need accessories beyond a memory card and reader. But it sounded like a good idea to protect your investment with glass (uv) filters, cleaning supplies, and a padded bag to protect everything.

I've said before and I'll say again, you should know why you want a dSLR BEFORE you buy one! If you don't know why you want a dSLR get an A630 / S5 IS /G9 (or comparable) before to develop your shooting style, familarize your self with the manual control options, and explore your creative side. Go to a camera store and explain what you are looking for and they should be able to help you out. I wanted full manual control of my camera, so I could more effectivly use the manual and aperature priority modes.

The OP just said he "was sick and tired of P&S cameras," but never explained why. I have heard numerous people say that for years, set a similar budget and just stay frustrated. Its quite a large jump to a dSLR from a point and shoot and can be difficult to learn all the options. I do not see why people buy a dSLR only to use it in the Auto mode with the kit lens. If you want the MP...there are plenty of 10MP cameras out there that will fit in your pocket. Maybe its just me but I try to encourage people to take pictures, and I try to let them do so with the easiest setup possible.

 

AmigaMan

Diamond Member
Oct 12, 1999
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Originally posted by: GTaudiophile
For $400, you'll have to go used...and forget any good glass.

I would keep the P&S for now and save until you have at least $2K to start with a DSLR.
That's ridiculous! You can have a very full featured DSLR for under $600. The Pentax K100D, Olympus E-410, Nikon D40, Canon Rebel XT, any of those would be a great setup for a beginner. If you want to spend up to $700, you can also get a Sony Alpha A100.
I don't understand why people think you have to spend tons of money to get started using an SLR? All of those cameras have decent wide-angle lenses and are suitable for beginners and serious amateurs as well. It will take quite a bit to outgrow those and even then, I would wager a lot of people with $1500 DSLRs still use auto mode on them. It's NOT THE CAMERA that makes the picture great, it's the photographer!

OP: If you want to save money, then buy used, but don't think you have to have $2000 to start with a DSLR. I certainly didn't and my Sony Alpha and I take great pictures.
 

ElFenix

Elite Member
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Mar 20, 2000
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Originally posted by: Jawo
The OP just said he "was sick and tired of P&S cameras," but never explained why. I have heard numerous people say that for years, set a similar budget and just stay frustrated. Its quite a large jump to a dSLR from a point and shoot and can be difficult to learn all the options. I do not see why people buy a dSLR only to use it in the Auto mode with the kit lens. If you want the MP...there are plenty of 10MP cameras out there that will fit in your pocket. Maybe its just me but I try to encourage people to take pictures, and I try to let them do so with the easiest setup possible.
even on full auto mode an SLR is much much faster than any compact digital camera. the shutter lag on a compact can make any action shot a pain to attempt. plus they do much better in low light than any compact p&s.
 

BornStar

Diamond Member
Oct 30, 2001
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Originally posted by: ElFenix
Originally posted by: Jawo
The OP just said he "was sick and tired of P&S cameras," but never explained why. I have heard numerous people say that for years, set a similar budget and just stay frustrated. Its quite a large jump to a dSLR from a point and shoot and can be difficult to learn all the options. I do not see why people buy a dSLR only to use it in the Auto mode with the kit lens. If you want the MP...there are plenty of 10MP cameras out there that will fit in your pocket. Maybe its just me but I try to encourage people to take pictures, and I try to let them do so with the easiest setup possible.
even on full auto mode an SLR is much much faster than any compact digital camera. the shutter lag on a compact can make any action shot a pain to attempt. plus they do much better in low light than any compact p&s.
The whole reason I got my SLR was because I wanted the speed but didn't care about the manual settings. My P&S was far to slow to capture what I wanted so I never used it. Once I actually got the SLR I realized I wanted to spend time learning about the settings and now I don't spend any time in Auto.
 

NaOH

Diamond Member
Mar 2, 2006
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I would say start out with a cheap G5 and progress from there if you still want an SLR. I loved mine, but then was starting to get held back by the lens, controls, screen, etc....
 

ElFenix

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Mar 20, 2000
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Originally posted by: alexruiz
Another vote for the Pentax K100D... it is cheaper now :)
the super has the rebate. the regular does not, unfortunately.


i wonder if the OP ever got a camera?
 

soydios

Platinum Member
Mar 12, 2006
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It will end up costing you far more than $400. I got in as cheap as I could with a Nikon D50, bag kit which included filter and spare battery, the 18-55 kit lens, and 55-200mm non-VR. It set me back $900, but I've already sunk $1500 more into stuff to attach to my little D50.

It's called Nikon Acquisition Syndrome. Consider yourself warned.
 

jpeyton

Moderator in SFF, Notebooks, Pre-Built/Barebones
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Aug 23, 2003
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Originally posted by: GTaudiophile
For $400, you'll have to go used...and forget any good glass.

I would keep the P&S for now and save until you have at least $2K to start with a DSLR.
:roll:

Is that the kind of elitist crap you guys peddle around here?

The OP can easily get any of the following for around $400 (give or take $50):

New K100D Super Kit
New D40 Kit
Used D50 Kit
Used Rebel XT Kit

Craigslist is a haven for excellent, cheap photography gear. You can get the K100D Super or D40 online.
 

Neos

Senior member
Jul 19, 2000
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I have an Olympus E300 with the 14-45 lens. It is built like a tank, has a dustbuster that works, a kit lens that is better by far than any other mfg. kit lens - and the rest of the glass is as good as you can get when you upgrade.
Scene modes, manual A&P modes, macro ..all anyone needs.
Since they have come out with the new E410/510 kits - the E300 can be bought used for a song.
It is a great 8 mp camera, but different - not following the crowd in design. Personally I like being a bit different!
:)
 

Zenmervolt

Elite member
Oct 22, 2000
24,510
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Originally posted by: Neos
I have an Olympus E300 with the 14-45 lens. It is built like a tank, has a dustbuster that works, a kit lens that is better by far than any other mfg. kit lens - and the rest of the glass is as good as you can get when you upgrade.
Scene modes, manual A&P modes, macro ..all anyone needs.
Since they have come out with the new E410/510 kits - the E300 can be bought used for a song.
It is a great 8 mp camera, but different - not following the crowd in design. Personally I like being a bit different!
:)
Olympus does make some nice cameras and some phenomenal glass. However, the 4/3 imaging sensor is physically smaller than the APS-C in competing cameras and it has that odd 4:3 aspect ratio as opposed to the standard 3:2. Both of which are important considerations. It's entirely possible that they don't matter to a given photographer. For example, the smaller size of the Olympus sensor (and corresponding higher noise) would not be an issue at all to me. However, I do not personally care for the 4:3 aspect ratio and I would end up cropping every image I took with an Olympus DSLR back to 3:2. Not a big deal in terms of resolution since it would still leave me with a 7.12 MP image, but it would get tedious.

Someone looking at Olympus would have to decide if those quirks were OK for them. I think they will work fine for most people and I have always been impressed with the results that people have gotten from Olympus.

ZV
 

chucky2

Lifer
Dec 9, 1999
10,038
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I'm not even an amateur photographer, but I'll sort of lend some thoughts here:

Yes, you can definitely get a new body+lens (a kit) in the $400 range; better to boost that a couple hundred dollars though in reality.

I do agree that the skill of the photographer is more important than the camera, however the limiting factor is really the lens in my experience.

Having shot thousands of pics with my D70 kit lens (18-70 F3.5-4.6 DX I believe), and then renting recently a 18-70 F2.8 (no VR), I can without a doubt say that better glass is very key to getting better opportunities at great pics.

Pics that would have not been exposed properly, or just would not have been possible (some family football fun), were easily taken with the 18-70 F2.8.

If I had to do it over again knowing what I know now, I'd get a used D50, a used good condition 50mm F1.4 (or F1.8), and save for a good condition used F2.8 or better (meaning the 2.8 value goes down) lens. I used Nikon as an example, but you could apply that to any of the major manufacturers.

The goal is good glass...and that's not what you get in a kit...

JMHO's...

Chuck
 

jpeyton

Moderator in SFF, Notebooks, Pre-Built/Barebones
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Aug 23, 2003
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Originally posted by: chucky2
JMHO's...

Chuck
Dude, unless you have $2000 cash in your hand RIGHT NOW, you're not even worthy to own a DSLR!

;)
 

chucky2

Lifer
Dec 9, 1999
10,038
36
86
Originally posted by: jpeyton
Originally posted by: chucky2
JMHO's...

Chuck
Dude, unless you have $2000 cash in your hand RIGHT NOW, you're not even worthy to own a DSLR!

;)
It's even worse...I've been saving for a house for the past couple of years, so I've got plenty of liquid cash to fuel my NAS...it took everything I had not to buy both a 70-200 F2.8 VR and 18-70 F2.8 (no VR) that I've rented so far that I had to spend small amounts of my savings just to burn small holes in my pockets instead of very large ones.

NAS...a very expensive Syndrome... :D

Chuck
 

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