First DSLR

Discussion in 'What Camera Should I Buy?' started by NamelessFaceless, Sep 13, 2013.

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  1. NamelessFaceless

    NamelessFaceless New Member

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    Hi guys,

    I'm looking to buy my very first DSLR and would love a few pointers in the right direction!

    Budget: $1500

    Size: n/a


    How many megapixels will suffice for you? 18+ would be nice

    * What optical zoom will you need? Standard

    * How important is “image quality” to you? 10

    Do you care for manual exposure modes (shutter priority, aperture priority, manual)? I'm not confident in manual yet, but yes to aperture/shutter priority.

    General Usage

    * What will you generally use the camera for? Portraits, animals, nature, general everyday snaps - nothing major. I'm a fan blurry backgrounds, so I assume I should really be buying a separate lens as well to help with that effect? Eg 50mm f1.8? Is that right?

    * Will you be making big prints of your photos or not? Not a huge priority, but maybe a couple.

    Will you be shooting a lot of indoor photos or low light photos? Definitely

    Will you be shooting sports and/or action photos? Yes


    Are there particular brands you like or hate? I'm most familiar and comfortable with Canon, but I'm open to other brands.

    Are there particular models you already have in mind? Canon 600D and 700D (to be honest, I'm not even sure if there's a major difference? Just the touchscreen? Is the 700D worth the price jump from the 600D?). Would the 60D be too much camera for a DSLR newbie? I was also considering the 100D but read a few too many negative reviews so I scratched that one off the list.

    (If applicable) Do you need any of the following special features? (Wide Angle, Image Stabilization, Weatherproof, Hotshoe, Rotating LCD)
    Image stabilisation. Rotating LCD would be nice. I'd also like something with a fairly decent battery life.

    You guys haven't steered me wrong before so any help would be very much appreciated!

    Thank you! :)
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2013
  2. KCook

    KCook Well-Known Member

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    For casual purposes, shooting without a tripod or other "stuff", weight may be a factor. The lighter camera having the advantage at the end of a long day. Which is where the most compact designs such as the Canon 100D and Nikon D3200 come in. A 60D also comes with a heavier kit zoom, so that may add up to a little more of a burden. Or it may not, different folks have different tolerances for weight. Pick them up in the store and check this for yourself.

    But when you are serious about using a tripod and other gear, then the camera body weight disappears as a factor. In fact a big full frame zoom on a lightweight body gets a little silly. Again, not everybody is all that serious, even with DSLR.

    Right about the fast prime lenses for blurry backgrounds and low light without flash. 50mm is mainly for portraits and nature with a crop body. For a wide enough field of view for big scenes a 28 or 35mm prime is better. Though these are more expensive than those "nifty fifties". Canon is fine for autofocus. If manual focus is key for you, Nikon primes may have an edge there.

    Indoor sports and action is the most challenging task. This is where the more expensive models earn their big price tag. For daylight action, no problem, the entry level bodies can handle that.

    The Canon 700D has WiFi and works with the new STM lenses. These lenses have quieter actions for working in video mode. If you are not keen on video an older Canon will be fine.

    A 60D is definitely not too much camera for a novice. It has Auto, Landscape, Portrait, and Program modes that will do everything for you, just like the entry level models. There are nice deals on the 60D now, so I recommend it for anybody who expects to dive into learning still photography. The 60D does lack the newer STM lens feature compatibility. You can use a STM lens on a 60D, you just won't get the STM benefits.

    Speaking of good deals, the Nikon D5200 is also worth a look.

    Battery life is kind of a non-issue with traditional DSLRs. Using just the viewfinder and shooting only still pictures, the battery life will be fine on any of them. Use LiveView mode or video a lot and then they all need a spare battery. 3rd party batteries are quite a bit cheaper than the Canon/Nikon brand ones. Swapping out the battery on a DSLR is very easy so long as it is not on a tripod. I always take a spare along, so have no worries at all.

    If you like to browse, here are links to more threads on DSLR shopping -

    Kelly Cook
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2013
  3. Andy Stanton

    Andy Stanton Super Moderator Super Moderator

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    The Canon 600D, 650D and 700D are very similar. The only major difference is that the 600D does not have a touchscreen interface, as do the others. Either one of the three should meet your needs.
  4. denzelivanov

    denzelivanov New Member

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    I wouldn't really scratch the 100D off your list. It really depends on what type of photographer you are. I'd say that the 100D would suffice for a beginner who's just getting into photography and doesn't have a ton of experience. If you don't own your own studio and you just want to be taking pictures for a website, blog or something else, you could easily save yourself a decent amount of money by selecting this one as it's way under the budge of 1500$ which you have set for yourself.
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