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Archive 2013 · New DSLR for a beginner
  
 
huddy
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p.1 #1 · New DSLR for a beginner


Hey Canonites, I'm a Nikon shooter but I'm helping one of my younger family members pick out a first camera. She has her eye set on a Canon Digital Rebel XS with a kit lens or some gobbily gook like that. I'm going to have her think things through a bit before she lays down money (she is still working on saving and should get there within a few months) and consider CaNikOny and various other mirrorless options. I'm also taking her to a store to try lots of bodies in hand.

I don't know the first thing about entry Canon DSLR's, but I know that she likes to take people pictures. I'm also guessing she will be able to save up $600-700.

I was going to suggest she actually pick up a well cared for 5Dc, and maybe a 50/1.8 II to start out with, and gift her a some basic strobist gear (stand+flash+umbrella+remotes), plus a ZA one light field guide for her birthday a few months later. I figure that she should learn a 50 really well and can work from there as I remember my frustration of having slow kit lenses with minimal DOF control. Would there be any concerns with using the 50/1.8, as I am aware that the build quality is less than ideal and I don't want to guide her to a lens that will fall apart. If I sent her the Nikon route, it would probably be a D300+35 or 50/1.8.

I'm not averse to Canon crop bodies either so if anyone has a good recommendation there or advice to give on top of what I mentioned above, I'm all ears.

Thank you in advance.



Jan 02, 2013 at 12:45 AM
chez
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p.1 #2 · New DSLR for a beginner


I would definitely have her look at the different mirror less systems out there. Olympus, Sony and Fuji have some very nice cameras and lens, every way capable of delivering great results. They seem to be the rave of the future and if I was starting out today, I might have gone that direction.


Jan 02, 2013 at 12:54 AM
Ernie Aubert
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p.1 #3 · New DSLR for a beginner


If you could consider a mirrorless camera, I have this one on the B&S board:
http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1164817/0#11106935
and a good f2.8 macro lens:
http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1165377/0#11111965



Jan 02, 2013 at 01:00 AM
svassh
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p.1 #4 · New DSLR for a beginner


Think about a Rebel body with video capability. The youngsters show a big interest in short video clips also, at least my girls do. There is a Canon Loyalty Program where you trade in a broken Canon body, any P&S will do for 20% off the refurbished prices. They occasionally run specials where you get 50% off any refurb lens purchased at the same time as the body. Don't know the number but do a search on here and you can find it. You can pickup a broken body off ebay for $10 and use that for trade in. I would think you could get into a T2i or better with a 50 1.8 for under $400.


Jan 02, 2013 at 01:03 AM
reno.peterson
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p.1 #5 · New DSLR for a beginner


The T3 right now is on sale with 18-55 IS II, 55-250 IS II and the 70-300 f/4-5.6 @ B&H for 500.00 shipped...

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/753766-REG/Canon_5757B002_EOS_Rebel_T3_Digital.html

before buying though you have to hit the "Click Here To Save $20 On Adobe Photoshop Elements 11" link, then on the left side of the pop-up pane, change the selection from "Software" to "Lenses" then you can add the entire bundle to your cart.

I'm seriously considering the move, priced right!!!



Jan 02, 2013 at 01:07 AM
StarNut
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p.1 #6 · New DSLR for a beginner


To me, the only reason to get an entry-level DSLR (in this age of mirrorless) is if you plan to acquire lenses which will be used with higher-end DSLRs later.

Unless your "younger family member" has serious plans to work up to equipment clearly better than mirrorless, I seriously question why one would want to be saddled with a large, heavy camera/lens combination.

Just my opinion, of course....



Jan 02, 2013 at 02:00 AM
Paul Mo
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p.1 #7 · New DSLR for a beginner


How responsive are mirrorless cameras? Are start, and shutter lag times fast?


Jan 02, 2013 at 02:58 AM
huddy
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p.1 #8 · New DSLR for a beginner


chez wrote:
I would definitely have her look at the different mirror less systems out there. Olympus, Sony and Fuji have some very nice cameras and lens, every way capable of delivering great results. They seem to be the rave of the future and if I was starting out today, I might have gone that direction.


Chez, mirrorless is definitely something I have my mind on for showing her as it is something I have started to watch more closely and hopefully will embrace in the next 1-3 generations of cameras once optical lineups and AF performance catch up to DSLRs just a bit more. The physical aspects of that system are very appealing. I don't have any beef with m4/3 systems, but I'd definitely like for her to get the biggest sensor possible with some sort of fast 50 equivalent. I'll keep my eye peeled. Thank you.

Ernie Aubert wrote:
If you could consider a mirrorless camera, I have this one on the B&S board:
http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1164817/0#11106935
and a good f2.8 macro lens:
http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1165377/0#11111965


Ernie, thanks for the shout. If it is still there in a few months, we might give you a yell! (although I hope you do have better luck selling than that!)

svassh wrote:
Think about a Rebel body with video capability. The youngsters show a big interest in short video clips also, at least my girls do. There is a Canon Loyalty Program where you trade in a broken Canon body, any P&S will do for 20% off the refurbished prices. They occasionally run specials where you get 50% off any refurb lens purchased at the same time as the body. Don't know the number but do a search on here and you can find it. You can pickup a broken body off ebay for $10 and use that for trade in. I
...Show more

Thank you very much for this tip. It would be great to get her in the door for less than $500 as any left overs could immediately go towards a bit of lighting gear which she really should master, IMO, to do the type of people work she has in mind.

reno.peterson wrote:
The T3 right now is on sale with 18-55 IS II, 55-250 IS II and the 70-300 f/4-5.6 @ B&H for 500.00 shipped...

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/753766-REG/Canon_5757B002_EOS_Rebel_T3_Digital.html

before buying though you have to hit the "Click Here To Save $20 On Adobe Photoshop Elements 11" link, then on the left side of the pop-up pane, change the selection from "Software" to "Lenses" then you can add the entire bundle to your cart.

I'm seriously considering the move, priced right!!!


Heck of a deal there. I didn't realize the T3i's were so cheap. I suppose that is roughly equivalent to a Nikon D5100. This is definitely one to keep in mind for her, thank you!

StarNut wrote:
To me, the only reason to get an entry-level DSLR (in this age of mirrorless) is if you plan to acquire lenses which will be used with higher-end DSLRs later.

Unless your "younger family member" has serious plans to work up to equipment clearly better than mirrorless, I seriously question why one would want to be saddled with a large, heavy camera/lens combination.

Just my opinion, of course....


I think your opinion is completely valid for many reasons. I only still like SLR's due to the low cost of a fast 50 or equivalent lens when paired with a bleeding edge entry level body or highly competent cheap used body. I don't know of her future plans are, but until the price for equivalent mirrorless gear drops into her price range, I think the DSLR makes more sense. Get back to me in 12-24 months and I'm sure that solid mirrorless equipment should also be vastly cheaper. Thanks!

Paul Mo wrote:
How responsive are mirrorless cameras? Are start, and shutter lag times fast?


I've used the following:
Nikon V1: blazing fast with great AF, but way more DOF than I'd want in anything but a travel camera. IQ falls off a bit fast at high ISO due to high sensor. Didn't keep it.
Fuji X100: slower than frozen molasses, with excellent IQ. I'm having to learn to work with it but have kept it. Leaf shutters and high flash sync is sweet. MF is practically useless.
Fuji XE-1: Nice body, great IQ generally, sweet glass, still painfully slow AF at times. Excellent UI. X-Trans sensor has obvious issues in PP that have to be resolved. I think once Fuji has another generation of bodies to improve software support for the sensor, improve AF and some time to fill out their glass lineup, this will be the system I buy into.
Sony NEX: lots of great cameras, great IQ, can adapt any lens under the sun... but their prime lenses are expensive and I'm not a fan of the menu driven UI.
m4/3: I know m4/3 is the most complete system, but I am not big on the smaller sensor. Call me a large sensor snob if you like.



Jan 02, 2013 at 04:02 AM
kevinsullivan
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p.1 #9 · New DSLR for a beginner


Here's how I'd think about it.

(1) Good lenses matter most. Without a good lens, a good body is useless. So make your highest priority to provide your young shooter with good glass.

(2) Before you can decide what first good lens to buy, you have to decide whether you're going to be in the full frame or crop body camp. There are fantastic options in either one, but you do have to decide.

(3) If it's a Canon crop body (XTi, XS, T1i, T2i, or whatever) strongly consider pairing it with the Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 non-IS lens (the IS version is much less sharp). IMO, this is the combo to start with in a Canon crop body format.

(4) If it's a Canon FF (5Dc if you want a non-exhorbitant cost), then you've got interesting possibilities. The 50/1.8 is an excellent choice albeit without zoom capacity. That might be all that is in range given budget.

(5) If I had to pick between (3) and (4), I'd pick (4). I'd rather build a lens collection over time based on FF rather than crop sensors, and there is plenty of astonishingly great photography that can be done with that simple combo. It has been a long time since I've looked at step-up zooms for FF bodies, so I wouldn't presume to give you up to date advice on that front.

KS



Jan 02, 2013 at 04:23 AM
 

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melcat
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p.1 #10 · New DSLR for a beginner


huddy wrote:
I figure that she should learn a 50 really well and can work from there as I remember my frustration of having slow kit lenses with minimal DOF control.


That was what I was persuaded to get as a first serious camera, and I well remember my frustration being stuck with a single focal length I didn't much care for. I was then and remain 30 years later much more interested in composition than depth of field effects.



Jan 02, 2013 at 07:45 AM
Paul Mo
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p.1 #11 · New DSLR for a beginner


kevinsullivan wrote:
Here's how I'd think about it.

(4). I'd rather build a lens collection over time based on FF rather than crop sensors, and there is plenty of astonishingly great photography that can be done with that simple combo.
KS


That's great advice; quality glass that can be kept in the family.



Jan 02, 2013 at 09:08 AM
15Bit
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p.1 #12 · New DSLR for a beginner


If you're a Nikon shooter, why not get her a Nikon so you can share lenses and accessories?

If you go Canon i would vote for a used Rebel with the 50mm f/1.8. Cheap and very capable. For a bit more capability, a used 40D or 50D is great value too. You could also consider the 40mm pancake lens in place of the 50mm.



Jan 02, 2013 at 09:19 AM
Paul Mo
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p.1 #13 · New DSLR for a beginner


Mmm... 50s. I dunno. I'd look at, and this is not an area I know anything about (zooms for crop), the best bang-for-buck crop constant aperture zoom to match the best deal for a T2i/T3i/T4i. Get an extra battery, decent amount of memory (SD cards), lens hood, decent protector filter, and a good strap and nice bag that she likes/picks herself.


Jan 02, 2013 at 09:39 AM
Johnny B Goode
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p.1 #14 · New DSLR for a beginner


kevinsullivan wrote:
(4) If it's a Canon FF (5Dc if you want a non-exhorbitant cost), then you've got interesting possibilities. The 50/1.8 is an excellent choice albeit without zoom capacity. That might be all that is in range given budget.

KS


If she's seriously into photography go this route. The 5Dc is just a camera, no fancy gimmicky functions. I think this is the best route if she wants the stripped down back to the basics photography experience.

If she wants a great fun little camera the go mirrorless. However I've been cautious recommending mirrorless bodies with interchangeable lenses to friends shopping for a long term camera investment. I don't see that "format" as 'standardized' yet and I question if it will stay apsc (or m4/3) or become 24x36 as technology makes it easier to build cameras smaller.

The digital rebel (T2i/T3i/T4i) is a good option. Very capable, has lots of cool tech stuff. And the EOS mount isn't going anywhere anytime soon.



Jan 02, 2013 at 11:45 AM
abqnmusa
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p.1 #15 · New DSLR for a beginner


Canon 40D used is a good buy these days. check buy/sell here, or Amazon

Canon 5D is also a good buy with good IQ. But it has no sensor cleaning. So can be a hassle to clean manually (wet method/sensor swab). Not sure if a new DSLR user would be ready for that.



Jan 02, 2013 at 05:05 PM
Ernie Aubert
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p.1 #16 · New DSLR for a beginner


I'm pretty sure a new DSLR user wouldn't... heck, I'm not very enthused about doing it either. Another non-trivial thing the 5D doesn't have is AF micro-adjust.


Jan 02, 2013 at 07:49 PM
boingyman
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p.1 #17 · New DSLR for a beginner


If you're sticking with a Canon DSLR, IMO a T2i/T3i's are very cheap these days and have so much to offer for a beginner. 18-55 kit lens, 55-250 and 50 1.8 is the budget friendly beginner combo to add on top of that. Then you can add a cheap third party flash, some filters and even a tripod to really add some flexbility and options.


Jan 02, 2013 at 07:54 PM
huddy
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p.1 #18 · New DSLR for a beginner


Lots of good advice here. I'm going to take everything that has been said and give it to her to consider.

Nikon would obviously be nice from a standpoint of system compatibility with what I have, but most of my lenses are manual focus which is might be frustrating for her. The AF lenses I do own are not likely to be of much interest to her on a crop body, hence my consideration of Canon equipment. I'd like for her to start out with something nice, and I don't really care what brand it is.

Thank you all for your help!



Jan 02, 2013 at 09:22 PM





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