Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digicam Help > What Camera Should I Buy?

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Nov 14, 2007, 12:01 AM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 15

I would like to buy a DSLR,
since you guys got more experience with cameras, I had a few questions about buying a new one for beginner.
1. What are some things i should look for when i get my first dslr?
2. Whats the best choice for a beginner's dslr camera??

k_240sx is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Nov 14, 2007, 2:24 AM   #2
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 51

I don't own a DSLR but I've read many DSLR specs and review.

1. (IMHO) lenses, accessories, features.

2. Canon EOS 400D, Nikon D40x, Pentax K100D, Olympus E-510.

Pentax and Oly have sensor-shift IS. For Canon and Nikon, you have to buy IS or VR lenses.

Only Canon EOS 400D has battery grip.

Only Pentax uses AA. it's useful when you run out of power and you don't have spare battery/recharger. Go to local store and get alkaline AA.
DChris is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 14, 2007, 6:55 AM   #3
Junior Member
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 9

1) It's very useful to know basic things about photography before you decide what you buy (shutter speed, aparture, DOF, ISO, ...) You can buy a book, but you can find a lot of information on the internet, too.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"2) Then you should think about the situations in which you want to take pictures: e.g. concerts, wildlife, sports, landscape, family, ...

3) Now you can decide which lenses you would like to have (not the ones you can afford, just what you dream of)

4) Then you look which brand fits best your needs of lenses

5) And then you look at the cameras.

This would be the best way (IMHO). But if you don't want to go that way, it's okay. You can do great pictures with every DSLR on the market. But be aware of the fact, that you do decide for a system/brand. The camera (body) will change in 2-5 years, but the lenses will perhaps still be yours in 20 years.

And: Reading a good book on photography (and paractising the things you read) will improve your photographic skills more, than a 2000$ camera.

If you want people on the forum to help you more, please specify your needs a bit. What do you want to take pictures of? In which situations?What is your knowledge about photography? What is the camera you are currently using? What's its zoom range (in mm). would you like more wide-angle and/or more tele, than with your camera? Is there a special brand you prefer? Do you really want to go deeper in photography or do you want to take "nice" pictures? And, what is your budget?
StefH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 14, 2007, 7:20 AM   #4
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 8,529

StepH has some great points. Buying a dslr isn't like buying a digicam. With digicams you might buy a Panasonic this year and in two years buy a Nikon and then a Kodak, etc. You incur no real penalty by switching brands with each digicam purchase. With DSLRs you are buying into a SYSTEM. Over the life of a given DSLR camera body you'll likely spend more money on lenses and flash than on the camera body itself. So down the road in 3 years when you want a new DSLR if you want to switch brands you'll have to sell off the lenses (the body won't be worth much) and buy all new lenses for the new system. Every camera system on the market has strengths and weaknesses. For example, Canon has probably the largest selection of lenses available, Oly has the smallest sensor and lenses designed for that sensor are often smaller/lighter than competition, pentax cameras can use all the old manual focus pentax lenses, etc. Some brands have anti-shake technology in the camera body and some in the lens.

So, it's always best to try and figure out what your goals are - both right now and over the next few years with regards to photography. Then see if a given SYSTEM meets your needs better than another. Sometimes they don't. Sometimes a person's needs are pretty simple and every DSLR system will be a good fit. Then it just depends which camera feels best to them.

So, back to the question: do you know what aspects of photography you're interested in?
JohnG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 14, 2007, 9:07 AM   #5
Senior Member
mtngal's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Frazier Park, CA
Posts: 16,108

The only thing I'll add is this - believe it about the lenses being very important. I'm using a Pentax dSLR and a couple of lenses I bought in 1980 for a film camera. They still take as good pictures today as they did over 27 years ago when they were new (and it saved me quite a bit of money).
mtngal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 17, 2007, 2:54 PM   #6
Beejygirl's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 47

Could I also reiterate what a lot of other posters have replied to others' similar queries....once you've narrowed down what type of photography you're after (landscape/portrait/sports etc...) thus the lens system you think would best suit, then try actually holding the cameras and *playing* with them in store.

Are the menus intuitive to you? Does the cam feel *right* in your hands?

My dad has a Sony A100...I have little hands (I'm a wee girlie) so the cam feels a little too big to me, having moved up from a dinky Canon Ixus - but he loved the cam cos he can use his old super-sharp Minolta lenses he used in his old Dynax from way back (ahem!!) in the 90s!

I checked out the competition for an entry-level dSLR and loved the feel of the Canon 400d/ Rebel Xti - it was really just the right size for me, not too big and heavy and not dissimilar to a friend's Fuji S6500 p&s. Just as an example, I'm quite happy to take it out with me even when I'm walking my two dogs(with associated leads, balls and 'extras') whereas I think the size of the Sony would make me revert back to the Ixus if I want some dog-walk pics.

There's little point in spending megabucks on a camera you're loathe to use!

Equally, as a first dslr for a beginner photgrapher (I'd exhausted the Ixus's features and caught the bug after using dad's old Olympus OM10 while on hol in Scotland), the Canon - and other budget end dSLRS - have just the right amount of user-defined features for me - plenty to learn with, not too many to feel daunted by!!

So, having made the brave decision earlier this year to *go dSLR*, these were the kind of questions I asked myself before I bought:

1) What do I want to shoot? (I wanted to take *action pics* of my dogs at agility competitions/ chasing after balls etc - sad huh! - and Canon seemed to have the edge on sports lenses, and even advanced P&Ss wouldn't cut the mustard in that department)

2) What level of features did I want - basic, advanced amateur, pro?

3) How did it feel in my hands?

4) Would I need to spend a week reading the accompanying user guide before I felt confident with the menu systems?

Hope this helps - I'm sure there are other people with more experience than me that can advise on the pros and cons of individual systems. Trouble is with a dSLR you are never satisfied - prepare to become rather acquisitive and lustful of new lenses, flashguns and other such goodies :-)

You just don't get that urge with a fixed lens camera, hehehe!
Beejygirl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 18, 2007, 11:29 AM   #7
Senior Member
TCav's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Washington, DC, Metro Area, Maryland
Posts: 13,693

There's no such thing as a 'Beginner dSLR'.

There is such a thing as a 'First dSLR'.

When you buy your first dSLR, you're buying the first part of a photography system. That system will include one or more camera bodies, special purpose and/or general purpose lenses, and accessories. That system may grow to include more than one camera body, and if you choose your first dSLR wisely, you may keep it even after you've purchased your second. ... or even your third.

You need to figure out what type(s) of photography you want to pursue, then figure out what lenses you'll need, and then pick a dSLR manufacturer(s) for which suitable lenses are available.

Then, you can pick a dSLR.

Otherwise, you may end up buying a dSLR that has all the features you want, but can't find (or afford) the lenses you'll need to do what you want.

For instance, Canon and Nikon have the best selection of lenses, by far, except for the Nikon D40 and D40x. Pentax has many good wide-angle, standard, and medium telephoto lenses, but few long lenses, so if you want to take sports and/or wildlife shots, Pentax might not be a good choice. Sony and Olympus have a broad selection of quality lenses, but they can be very expensive, and there are gaps in their line-ups, so you might find yourself having to make do.

However, Canon and Nikon use optical image stabilization, which makes their IS and VR lenses bigger, heavier, and more expensive.

These are all considerations that only you are equipped to consider when you decide where you want photography to take you.

So, what kind of pictures do you want to take?
TCav is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 3:59 AM.