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    I'm looking for a digital SLR camera and I need some recommendations because I don't know what to look for/where to start!
    I don't need anything overly fancy, I just want something that's capable of taking high quality images and is relatively easy to use it won't be used for anything serious.
    Nothing majorly expensive either please, just something of good quality for good value

    Any suggestions? What do you guys use?
    Would be great if I could see some of your photographs you captured too
    Thanks in advance to anyone who can offer help!
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    (Original post by kateeeeey)
    I'm looking for a new digital SLR camera and I need some recommendations because I don't know what to look for/where to start!
    I don't need anything overly fancy, I just want something that's capable of taking high quality images and is relatively easy to use it won't be used for anything serious.
    Nothing majorly expensive either please, just something of good quality for good value

    Any suggestions? What do you guys use?
    Would be great if I could see some of your photographs you captured too
    Thanks in advance to anyone who can offer help!
    You say 'new' - what did you have previously? If it was sold, do you still have any lenses or are you starting completely afresh?
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    (Original post by TheSownRose)
    You say 'new' - what did you have previously? If it was sold, do you still have any lenses or are you starting completely afresh?
    Oh I didn't have an SLR before, just a normal digital camera, sorry I kinda phrased it badly! So I'm starting afresh yes
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    (Original post by kateeeeey)
    Oh I didn't have an SLR before, just a normal digital camera, sorry I kinda phrased it badly! So I'm starting afresh yes
    Ah right - got the wrong end of the stick there.

    What would you consider 'majorly expensive'? Some DSLRs are more expensive than others, but even for an entry level model you're still look at £400-£500 if you're buying new.
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    (Original post by TheSownRose)
    Ah right - got the wrong end of the stick there.

    What would you consider 'majorly expensive'? Some DSLRs are more expensive than others, but even for an entry level model you're still look at £400-£500 if you're buying new.
    Majorly expensive would be over £1000 or something haha, yeah I was looking for something in the region of £400-£600 give or take.
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    (Original post by kateeeeey)
    Majorly expensive would be over £1000 or something haha, yeah I was looking for something in the region of £400-£600 give or take.
    Ah, good - some people try to find a new one for £300, it's just asking for the moon on a stick.

    DSLRs come in a few roughly defined layers - entry level, serious hobbyist, semi professional, professional. Some cross between a few and some don't really fit in anywhere, but generally you can think about them like that. As you go along, they get more expensive.

    For £400 to £600, you're looking at an entry level or serious hobbyist DSLR. There's not much to separate different manufacturers - a lot of it comes down to how the camera feels in your hand, so I'd recommend going to a camera shop and trying them out. Off the top of my head, the cameras you'll want to be looking at are: Canon 1000D, Canon 1100D, Canon 550D, Canon 600D, Nikon D3000, Nikon D3100, Nikon D5100, Pentax K-r, Pentax K-x and Sony A55.

    Pentax and Sony have image stabilisation (can help counteract shaking hands) in the body, so it will always be stabilised. Canon and Nikon put it in some of their lenses, so whether or not you get stabilisation depends upon which lenses you buy (Canon call them IS lenses, Nikon call them VR lenses, Sigma call them OS lenses, Tamron call them VC lenses) - stabilised lenses are more expensive and not all lenses come with a stabilised option (although these lenses tend to be lenses you'd typically put on a tripod, like wide angles for landscapes.)

    IMO, the big disadvantage with a 'lower' Nikon is they don't put focus motors into the body, so you either have to buy lenses with a focus motor or manually focus - they just seem like unnecessary restrictions on your photography.

    The Canon 600D is essentially the 550D with a screen that rotates, so unless a rotating screen is a really important feature to you, I wouldn't personally pay the extra money to get the 600D instead of the 550D. I have photos taken with a 550D if you're interested, although the quality will be pretty similar across all of those cameras - it's the lenses you put on them and your skills that will make good photos.
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    First of all: define the fields of photography you like the most! If you are into portraits and street photography, you won't need a fast continous shooting which, on the other hand, becomes much more important if you like taking pictures of sports etc.

    Everything TheSownRose said is right. When it comes to buying a DSLR, going to a store and having them in your hand is compulsory. Since the quality of the images is almost the same across cameras of roughly the same price, you won't make big mistakes but a camera which is to big/small for your hands will not be much fun to handle.

    Something TheSownRose did not mention: put emphasis on the lenses, not the camera. I'd even say 60% of a picture's quality are determined by the quality of the lenses and the camera does not make up for more than 40% or so. Consider that due to progressing technology you will have several cameras throughout your life (though you do not have to change them every year or two such as those technology geeks do ) but the lenses could last forever. Some of the lenses made by Zeiss or Leica some 40, 50 years ago are still among the best lenses ever built, even today!

    This said, you'd better cut back on the camera (you could even consider buying a used model since it is your first and you want to make some experiences) and invest more of your money in a very well built lense. If you buy an outstanding camera (Canon 5D Mark II or even Hasselblad) and attach a poor lense the results will always be poor, but a good lense will always make the best out of your pictures since today there are actually not really bad DSLR's any more. Paying less will maybe result in lower ISOs available (which you can make up by using prime lenses with wide apertures), slower continous shooting etc., but in the end the image quality is the most important aspect (at least for most photographers).

    I am using a Pentax K-r since roughly a year and am totally satisfied in any aspect (building quality, auto-focus, low light potential etc.). It was also praised in test reports, so it will definitely be no mistake. To be fair I have to mention the problems about the auto-focus experienced by some users under some rare conditions, but you will find that on Google
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    Hi, I own now Canon 5D Mark II but had for ages my Canon 400D which has been very good, but haven't got recording option and I learnt on it what was important. For you I would recommend Canon 550D (has 60fps recording option which is excellent even mark II has only 30fps...). Take a look before you buy, sometimes kits cost more than buy separately camera and body. Learn manual settings first like ISO,shutter speed etc it gives you great experience after all, all cameras are working similar.
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    I would recommend second hand D90 or D5000. The sensor is very good, not too many megapixels. Frame rate reasonable. The D5000 is small and ideal for street photography or candid shots as there is less chance of the subject becoming aware of you, the tilting LCD screen is also useful in this scenario as you can shoot from the hip, keeping the camera relatively out of sight. That tilted screen and from the hip approach worked well for my daughter at a family wedding. Lenses are trickier because investing in good lenses is excellent advice, but with an initial starting budget such as yours one has to get something to get you up and running. So I would suggest an 18-105 VR, which will work on both, and is stabilised.

    The D90 has an internal focus motor, the D5000 does not. This is a factor if you already own a collection of older lenses or want to borrow the same of people you know. It also used to be an issue when the third party lens manufacturers did not put motors in their lenses, but Sigma and Tamron now have motors, and Leicas and Zeiss tend to be manual focus only anyway. The exception would be Tokina which would autofocus on a D90 and would not on a D5000.

    My question would be what have you used thus far and why do you think an SLR is the right option ? I find it sad when folks get an SLR and cannot come close to the zoom range they had previously, or that there friends still have and then they are very disappointed and the SLR falls into disuse and sometimes such individuals get lost to photography full stop.

    Some heavily compressed snaps in my gallery, a few with a D90, some with a 4.1 mp cybershot compact but most with my own cameras. My wife now has the D90 and a D5000, our daughter also has a D5000.
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    Nikon, Canon, and Panasonic are all good (Lumix LX-5 is awesome, even though it's not an SLR) and Leica (again not SLR but worth a look if you're planning on spending a lot).
    But yeah I would stick to Nikon, Canon, and Panasonic which are all reliable
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    I've got a 500D and it's pretty decent and fairly affordable ~300 quid or whatever.

    My only regret is that I didn't purchase a camera that can shoot video.

    SLRs have massive sensors so they shoot badass HD video. So yeah, considering going the extra mile for one that can shoot video but mind it'll cost an extra 200 odd quid at least.
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    (Original post by tamimi)
    I've got a 500D and it's pretty decent and fairly affordable ~300 quid or whatever.

    My only regret is that I didn't purchase a camera that can shoot video.

    SLRs have massive sensors so they shoot badass HD video. So yeah, considering going the extra mile for one that can shoot video but mind it'll cost an extra 200 odd quid at least.
    Which is a complete waste of money if you're never going to shoot video on it, and the only reason you're paying the extra £200 to get Camera X instead of Camera Y is it has video capability.

    A moot point since it does not cost an extra £200 or more, but still. :rolleyes:
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    (Original post by TheSownRose)
    Which is a complete waste of money if you're never going to shoot video on it, and the only reason you're paying the extra £200 to get Camera X instead of Camera Y is it has video capability.

    A moot point since it does not cost an extra £200 or more, but still. :rolleyes:
    When I bought mine, I had no intention of shooting video. Things change.
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    (Original post by tamimi)
    I've got a 500D and it's pretty decent and fairly affordable ~300 quid or whatever.

    My only regret is that I didn't purchase a camera that can shoot video.

    SLRs have massive sensors so they shoot badass HD video. So yeah, considering going the extra mile for one that can shoot video but mind it'll cost an extra 200 odd quid at least.
    I checked the video on my SLRs when I took them out of the box to ensure it worked. I wish they sold cheaper non video models. Never used the video feature since.

    Not sure what the size of the sensor has to do with it. HD video is about 2.1 MP, the sensor in my Panasonic camcorder is optimised for video, quality is excellent.
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    (Original post by evening sunrise)
    I checked the video on my SLRs when I took them out of the box to ensure it worked. I wish they sold cheaper non video models. Never used the video feature since.

    Not sure what the size of the sensor has to do with it. HD video is about 2.1 MP, the sensor in my Panasonic camcorder is optimised for video, quality is excellent.
    Sensors are more so for depth of field rather than quality in Mega Pixels. Generic camcorders have smallish sensors to make them operate efficiently in terms of power. SLRs already have big sensors built in because... well, they're SLRs. It's the USP.
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    (Original post by tamimi)
    Sensors are more so for depth of field rather than quality in Mega Pixels. Generic camcorders have smallish sensors to make them operate efficiently in terms of power. SLRs already have big sensors built in because... well, they're SLRs. It's the USP.
    Video cameras only run at 2.1 mp which is HD, so the photoreceptor site size is not same issue as it is on a 14mp compact. The sensors are optimised for video. It is a challenge achieving shallow DOF on a camcorder / compact /bridge, but this is not primarily due to sensor size but the physical focal length of the lens. The sensors are small because it permits cheaper lens construction and vastly increased zoom without weight. In the camcorder and bridge camera market it is still a zoom war, each refresh of a range introducing more zoom.

    I used to own a Sony F828 camera, the lens was (35mm equiv) 28mm to 200mm (f2.0 to f2.8) a 200mm f2.8 on a 5D or D700, will cost you 800 to 1600 GBP, and weighs a ton.
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    (Original post by tamimi)
    Sensors are more so for depth of field rather than quality in Mega Pixels. Generic camcorders have smallish sensors to make them operate efficiently in terms of power. SLRs already have big sensors built in because... well, they're SLRs. It's the USP.
    Yeah, larger sensors offer shallower depth of field for a given f-stop. However, there are some benefits to a smaller sensor.

    For example, the Canon 7D has an APS-C sensor with a crop factor of 1.6. It also has a resolution of 21MP versus the 5D MKIII's full frame sensor with 22MP resolution. This has some advantages, especially for sports photographers who use telephoto lenses. They can get a much higher equivalent focal length for a given lens (a 300mm lens on the 5D would translate to an equivalent 480mm on the 7D). The 7D would also be able to pack in many more pixels into that space, because the 5D would have to zoom in quite a bit to get to 480mm, losing out on resolution.

    By the same logic, landscape photographers would opt for the 5D, as they're more interested in wide-angle shots.

    For the OP, I would recommend a Canon 1100D. It's a great entry level DSLR with all the capabilities you need (including video) at an affordable price.
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    (Original post by CocoPop)
    For example, the Canon 7D has an APS-C sensor with a crop factor of 1.6. It also has a resolution of 21MP versus the 5D MKIII's full frame sensor with 22MP resolution. This has some advantages, especially for sports photographers who use telephoto lenses. They can get a much higher equivalent focal length for a given lens (a 300mm lens on the 5D would translate to an equivalent 480mm on the 7D). The 7D would also be able to pack in many more pixels into that space, because the 5D would have to zoom in quite a bit to get to 480mm, losing out on resolution.

    By the same logic, landscape photographers would opt for the 5D, as they're more interested in wide-angle shots.
    Canon 7D has 18MP, not 21Mp. Using a longer focal length doesn't reduce the number of megapixels: a 10MP camera takes a photo with 10MP whether you use 20mm or 500mm. At least for Canon and I imagine the others as well, lenses are made for crop sensors - I use a crop sensor camera for landscape photography with no issues, because I use a 10-22mm lens which gives the equivalent of 16-35mm ... which is (barring the 14mm prime) the widest non-EFS lens.
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    (Original post by TheSownRose)
    Canon 7D has 18MP, not 21Mp. Using a longer focal length doesn't reduce the number of megapixels: a 10MP camera takes a photo with 10MP whether you use 20mm or 500mm. At least for Canon and I imagine the others as well, lenses are made for crop sensors - I use a crop sensor camera for landscape photography with no issues, because I use a 10-22mm lens which gives the equivalent of 16-35mm ... which is (barring the 14mm prime) the widest non-EFS lens.
    Sorry, I explained quite it badly. I said that the 5D would have to zoom in quite a bit to get an equivalent focal length of 480mm (which the 7D would achieve with a 300mm lens). However, if the lens being used has a maximum focal length of 300mm, then the 5D owner has no choice but to crop the image to capture the same image as the 7D, thus losing out on resolution. Alternatively, he has to buy a 480mm lens.

    Bear in mind that all L lenses have the EF mount (for Canon). Professionals are likely to be using these lenses (for weather-proofing, higher quality optics etc.). With these lenses and a cropped camera, you're getting bigger focal lengths - great for sports/wildlife, worse for landscape.

    I do like that they have EF-S lenses, the only annoying this is that if I ever decide to upgrade my 7D to a 5D I'll lose a bunch of lenses as well! (not that I plan on upgrading anytime soon)

    Also, you're right - the 7D is 18MP! I own it and still got it wrong!
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    (Original post by CocoPop)
    Sorry, I explained quite it badly. I said that the 5D would have to zoom in quite a bit to get an equivalent focal length of 480mm (which the 7D would achieve with a 300mm lens). However, if the lens being used has a maximum focal length of 300mm, then the 5D owner has no choice but to crop the image to capture the same image as the 7D, thus losing out on resolution. Alternatively, he has to buy a 480mm lens.

    Bear in mind that all L lenses have the EF mount (for Canon). Professionals are likely to be using these lenses (for weather-proofing, higher quality optics etc.). With these lenses and a cropped camera, you're getting bigger focal lengths - great for sports/wildlife, worse for landscape.

    I do like that they have EF-S lenses, the only annoying this is that if I ever decide to upgrade my 7D to a 5D I'll lose a bunch of lenses as well! (not that I plan on upgrading anytime soon)

    Also, you're right - the 7D is 18MP! I own it and still got it wrong!
    Lens investments can be irritating, I prefer a cropped sensor. So for short focal lengths I use DX lenses, (designed for cropped sensor) but for most of my lenses >= 50mm I use FX lenses, which means I use the centre part of the lens only, thus avoiding distortion, and any vignetting that might be present when used on a 35mm sensor. I can of course use these lenses on a 35mm sensor (or film) should I decide to do that. But I prefer crop sensors for the reasons you state for sports and wildlife. Crop sensor body and 200mm 2.8 = 300mm equiv 2.8 and the lens 800 - 1600 quid (with or without stablisation.) Full frame body and 300mm 2.8 = 4K for the lens..........

    However the D800 has just changed the game, as in crop mode the 36mp sensor gives the same resolution as a 16mp 1.5 crop sensor. Where as using a D700 or D3 in crop mode "knee capped " the resolution. So one can fit DX lenses and the camera will switch to crop mode automatically and the resolution will be fine. Now formally tested by DXO labs, the fact that the D800 sensor scores significantly higher than the D4 sensor is a surprise, the fact that it scores better than a Phase One, achieving the highest ever rating is quite remarkable. So maybe the days of having to make a choice are behind us and one can have the best of both worlds in one package. The D4 in crop mode "kneecaps resolution" as per the D3 and D700.

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