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

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Feb 14, 2011, 7:12 PM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 5
Default First DSLR?

I have decided that I will try to jump into the world of DSLR photography, but into the shallower (cheaper) end. To that end I have decided that I would really like to start off with a good, functional used camera from ebay, or the lower end of the current lines. I know some have reservations about a used camera from ebay, but I would still consider it.

Firstly, I am looking for a camera that uses the Sony/Minolta mount. What would be the better overall camera? A sony a100 or 200, or a Minolta MAXXUM 5d? How would a modern low-end sony camera sompare to these choices? (even if I would have to buy that one new)

Secondly I might consider a Nikon camera of the same price range, I already have a Nikon lens that while (probably, I dont really even know) not very good, would still work. It is a manual focus Sigma 35-70 F2.8-4. What Nikons would fit the price requirements and offer a decent quality? D100? D50?

Also, what about Fuji DSLRs? I have read somewhere that they use the Nikon mount, so that would also work for the lense that I have.

Nothing serious for this photography, mostly learning, and some travel, probably a few backyard animals and birds, pets, stuff like that.

ComCom is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Feb 14, 2011, 7:37 PM   #2
Senior Member
mtclimber's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Oregon, USA
Posts: 18,143


I will speak to the Sony side of the DSLR equation. If you want to keep your initial investment as small as possible, you will pass up the A100 due to its inability to use numerically high ISO settings with showing visual noise) and the current A290 (this camera seems to be a "tweaked" A230). Sony has not made that many changes to their entry level DSLR. Thus, you would save money if you purchased the A230 model.

I recently purchased an A230 from Wolf Camera for $320.00. It was an open box/returned camera. But they provided a cash register receipt and I was able to register the camera with Sony and obtain a full 1 year guarantee. The camera I purchased, had the Sony 18-55mm kit lens, but it was missing both a battery and a battery charger. I purchased the needed battery and battery charger on E-Bay for less than $18.00.

The Sony A200 series do not have a LiveView capability, that may be a factor for you. I prefer the optical viewfinder so the A230 was a perfect match for me. You will probably find the A230 to be the most inexpensive of the entry level cameras. And being able to get a full 1 year guarantee made it a very good deal, in my opinion.

Sarah Joyce

Last edited by mtclimber; Feb 14, 2011 at 7:58 PM.
mtclimber is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 14, 2011, 9:06 PM   #3
Senior Member
zig-123's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Posts: 5,170

As far as used equipment is concerned, you might try Craig'sList as opposed to E-Bay simply because it is typically a face to face transaction whereby you can try the camera out before you buy it.

As for a used Sony DSLR camera, If I were to buy one, I would look at what the used online stores have available. KEH.com, B&HPhoto.com and Adorama.com are the 3 big on line sellers of used equipment. They are reputable and stand behind the equipment they sell.

KEH.com happens to have a Sony A-350 with an 18-70mm lens in Excellent+ condition for 465.00USD. (you didn't mention your budget)


As far as the used Sigma lens is concerned; it's resale value is probably around 25dollars (KEH.com has one for 27bucks). I wouldn't make a buying decision and lock myself into a camera system based on that lens.

That's not to say that buying a used Nikon camera is a bad idea- on the contrary. If I personally were starting out and buying a used camera today,
I would look at the used Canons and Nikons. Simply because they make up about 80% of the market which means that there are a lot more good used Nikon and Canon cameras from which to choose. Not to mention a lot more used lens choices.

If you already have a supply of Sony or Minolta lenses than get a used Sony, otherwise there's a lot more choices in the Nikon and Canon used market.

So you want to be a better photographer? Open your eyes and take a look at what is all around you.
zig-123 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 15, 2011, 6:03 AM   #4
Senior Member
TCav's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Washington, DC, Metro Area, Maryland
Posts: 13,618

Buying a used dSLR isn't like buying a used car. A dSLR is the foundation for a photographic system of lenses, flashes and other accessories. If you buy a used A100 (for instance) and add to it, then discover that a Sony was an inappropriate choice for the type(s) of photography you want to persue, switching systems can get very expensive.

I think the first thing you should do is pick a system based on what you want to shoot, and then figure out how to ease into it.

Also, since it seems you already have access to some lenses, it would help if you could list them for us. You may have some lenses that would be worthwhile for what you want to do, but it's also possible that they might not be good for you, and using them as a reason for selecting a dSLR brand, might not be the best idea.

So, what do you want to shoot? ... and what other lenses do you already have?
  • The lens is the thing.
  • 'Full Frame' is the new 'Medium Format'.
  • "One good test is worth a thousand expert opinions." - Tex Johnston, Boeing 707 test pilot.
TCav is online now   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 3:23 PM.