DSLR Camera Recommendation for College Bound Student

Discussion in 'What Camera Should I Buy?' started by flyerslv7, Apr 26, 2014.

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  1. flyerslv7

    flyerslv7 New Member

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    So, I am not a complete beginner with DSLR photography but this will be my first camera of my own so I was hoping for some recommendations on camera and lenses. I use my sisters Canon Rebel t2i a lot and a very old Nikon DSLR for my school newspaper but since I am going off to college I want to get my own since I plan on picking up my hobby of photography a little more. I have been researching for months but I figured I might as well try one of these forums since they generally have people with more knowledge that will give me less opposing opinions then just researching on the internet.


    I would prefer the body alone to be no more then $800 and then nothing more than another $700 for three basic lenses. That is my max budget, of course if the body is less than $800 I will pay more for lenses but I don't think I need that high quality or high functioning lenses to begin with.


    I prefer the smaller size, a Canon EOS SL1 looks good but if a Rebel t31, t41, or t51 would be better for what I want that size is fine as well.

    General Usage

    I will generally be taking pictures of just whatever I see I plan on being able to just take a stroll around and take pictures of interesting things and just overall learning more about photography and photo editing through experience. I will not be printing out my photos that much as big prints maybe just a few that I like a lot. I want the camera to be pretty versatile so if I want to shoot in low light or sports I can but it doesn't have to be super high class photos or specifically geared towards that just on occasion.

    As far as lenses right now I am leaning towards all purpose photography so just three lenses that I should get to start off with... for example everyone I know started off with at least a 18-55mm lens.


    I'm not that big a fan of Nikon but that might be more to do with the fact that the only Nikon DSLR I have used is our 9+ year old newspaper camera.

    I am leaning towards the Canon EOS SL1 but I don't know what lenses also I haven't bothered looking to much into Nikon so if you know of a Nikon camera that will suit me better go for it.

    Just some other things to keep in mind. I am traveling to Europe in July and I want to get a good camera in time to take it with me and take pictures there (so I also wanted to know accessories I should get to keep my camera safe as my carry on luggage). I am going to be living in Indiana for college but I live on the east coast so I will be traveling a lot with the camera it needs to be able to withstand that.

  2. Andy Stanton

    Andy Stanton Super Moderator Super Moderator

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    Both Canon and Nikon DSLR's are safe bets. They dominate the DSLR market and each has hundreds of lenses to choose from. For someone starting out it's probably best to go with the 18-55mm first, and then buy additional lenses when you know what you want.

    The Canon SL1 is a fine camera and it's small and lightweight. My only issue with it is that its right-hand grip is shallow. I prefer the deeper grip of the larger Canons, like the T5, the T3i, 4i and 5i and the Nikon D3200 and D3300. As far as image quality and performance are concerned, all are very good.

    If you're leaning towards the SL1 because of its small size and light weight, consider the Nikon D3300, which is only slightly larger and heavier than the SL1 but has better ergonomics, a better viewfinder and much better battery life.
    Here are some sample images from the SL1 and the D3300:
    https://www.flickr.com/search/?sort=interestingness-desc&text=Canon eos 100D

    https://www.flickr.com/search?sort=interestingness-desc&text=Nikon D3300
  3. KCook

    KCook Well-Known Member

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    That is the tricky part. The kit lenses for both brands are pretty comparable, but primes and the more expensive zooms often have differences. So if you think you will become keen on some particular prime or advanced zoom, look into those now.

    Kelly Cook
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