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    I'm looking to get into photography and plan to get a DSLR camera at some point, probably when my university term finishes. I've been looking at quite a few different cameras. I've been looking through various guides to learn what the technical stuff means, and won't buy until I'm sure of what I need. And there's a family friend who does photography who I can get some advice from.

    I know there are things other than megapixels that are important, but the first thing I'd like to sort out is how many megapizels should I be looking for? What sort of things will affect the megapixels I need?

    What other things should I look out for that can trip up beginners?
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    (Original post by RFowler)
    I'm looking to get into photography and plan to get a DSLR camera at some point, probably when my university term finishes. I've been looking at quite a few different cameras. I've been looking through various guides to learn what the technical stuff means, and won't buy until I'm sure of what I need. And there's a family friend who does photography who I can get some advice from.

    I know there are things other than megapixels that are important, but the first thing I'd like to sort out is how many megapizels should I be looking for? What sort of things will affect the megapixels I need?

    What other things should I look out for that can trip up beginners?
    Any DSLR you can buy new today will have enough meapixels for nearly every eventuality.

    Is there any particular subject you have in mind? A budget?

    One thing you should do once you have a short list of potential cameras is to go to a shop to try them all out, your favourite on paper may feel horrible in your hands and put you off using it.

    Make sure you budget for extras like memory cards, filters, a bag, tripod/monopod (depending on what you shoot this may be unnecessary), spare batteries, editing software (although there are some excellent free programs too). There is probably more but I can't think of it right now.
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    Just to echo what's been said above, any DSLR on the market has a more than high enough resolution that it's virtually never going to be an issue. Don't make your choice based on megapixel count, even if you think it's the only thing separating two cameras you're looking at. It just means keep looking, as there's going to be at least one more significant difference there to make your choice over.

    I also strongly agree that you should try different cameras out before settling on a purchase. Nikon cameras are generally technically better than their equivalent Canon models to some degree or another, but I personally much prefer Canon's ergonomics, button layout and software interface. You may find yourself liking how Pentax handles, or fall in love with the control layout of Nikon or Sony. Be sure to try different options in your price range.

    Make sure you think about how to best distribute your budget between bodies, lenses and other accessories based on what you want to achieve with your system. For example if your budget was a grand it might seem cool to drop £950 on a high tech DSLR body that comes with a basic included kit lens, but if there's a £400 camera that meets all of your needs then you could have invested the other £600 on some awesome lenses, which could be vital depending on what sort of photography you wanted to do (high quality telephoto lenses are vital for wildlife, for example). Similarly if you wanted to get into landscape photography then some budget should be reserved for a good quality tripod, rather than having to fight against a wobbly piece of rubbish from the bargain-bin end of Amazon. You've got some time before you're going to buy from the sounds of it, so think about the style(s) of photography you want to try, or if you just want a versatile setup that you can grow into and specialise later down the line (I've sunk a huge amount into my camera over the last year and I still don't know what type of photography I want to concentrate on!) and research what tools are either essential or just really useful, and start picking your purchases from there :yy:
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    (Original post by dhr90)
    Any DSLR you can buy new today will have enough meapixels for nearly every eventuality.

    Is there any particular subject you have in mind? A budget?

    One thing you should do once you have a short list of potential cameras is to go to a shop to try them all out, your favourite on paper may feel horrible in your hands and put you off using it.

    Make sure you budget for extras like memory cards, filters, a bag, tripod/monopod (depending on what you shoot this may be unnecessary), spare batteries, editing software (although there are some excellent free programs too). There is probably more but I can't think of it right now.
    Yeah, my plan was to get a list of options together once I've done my research, then go to a store and have a proper look before choosing. And I have been bearing the cost of things like tripods and memory cards in mind.

    (Original post by Gofre)
    Just to echo what's been said above, any DSLR on the market has a more than high enough resolution that it's virtually never going to be an issue. Don't make your choice based on megapixel count, even if you think it's the only thing separating two cameras you're looking at. It just means keep looking, as there's going to be at least one more significant difference there to make your choice over.

    I also strongly agree that you should try different cameras out before settling on a purchase. Nikon cameras are generally technically better than their equivalent Canon models to some degree or another, but I personally much prefer Canon's ergonomics, button layout and software interface. You may find yourself liking how Pentax handles, or fall in love with the control layout of Nikon or Sony. Be sure to try different options in your price range.

    Make sure you think about how to best distribute your budget between bodies, lenses and other accessories based on what you want to achieve with your system. For example if your budget was a grand it might seem cool to drop £950 on a high tech DSLR body that comes with a basic included kit lens, but if there's a £400 camera that meets all of your needs then you could have invested the other £600 on some awesome lenses, which could be vital depending on what sort of photography you wanted to do (high quality telephoto lenses are vital for wildlife, for example). Similarly if you wanted to get into landscape photography then some budget should be reserved for a good quality tripod, rather than having to fight against a wobbly piece of rubbish from the bargain-bin end of Amazon. You've got some time before you're going to buy from the sounds of it, so think about the style(s) of photography you want to try, or if you just want a versatile setup that you can grow into and specialise later down the line (I've sunk a huge amount into my camera over the last year and I still don't know what type of photography I want to concentrate on!) and research what tools are either essential or just really useful, and start picking your purchases from there :yy:
    Very helpful, thanks.

    Nikon and Canon are the two main ones I've been looking at. Why exactly do you think Nikon are better than the Canon equivalent?

    I'm not entirely sure on a type of photography either, so I was planning something fairly versatile that I can add to later when I'm more confident (e.g. getting different lenses).
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    (Original post by RFowler)
    Nikon and Canon are the two main ones I've been looking at. Why exactly do you think Nikon are better than the Canon equivalent?
    General consensus is that when it comes to image quality, Canon have fallen behind a bit as they continue to only use their own sensors whereas Nikon buy from whoever is producing the best sensors at the time (I think they primarily use Sony-built sensors in their current lineups). This means they generally have advantages in things like colour reproduction, dynamic range and noise performance. Canon's are certainly no slouch and produce excellent images with most of their sensors, it's just that other brands can be a bit better. There's obviously more to making a camera choice than just sheer potential image quality though (especially as a beginner, we as photographers can be a larger limitation on how good our pictures are than the camera is!), so be sure to consider things like ergonomics as mentioned above and the features you most want from your camera. For example Canon's 7D and 70D model lines are supposedly more popular for action-oriented lines of photography like sports and wildlife than their closest Nikon counterparts because of their faster continuous shooting rate and larger number of extra-sensitive cross type autofocus points. It all depends on your priorities :yep:
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    (Original post by RFowler)
    Yeah, my plan was to get a list of options together once I've done my research, then go to a store and have a proper look before choosing. And I have been bearing the cost of things like tripods and memory cards in mind.



    Very helpful, thanks.

    Nikon and Canon are the two main ones I've been looking at. Why exactly do you think Nikon are better than the Canon equivalent?

    I'm not entirely sure on a type of photography either, so I was planning something fairly versatile that I can add to later when I'm more confident (e.g. getting different lenses).
    Don't discount the Pentax or Sony cameras. They make some very good equipment.

    To be honest, most cameras are versatile enough these days they can do most things very well, some will specialise more on things like sports, birding, airshows etc, but really I wouldn't worry too much about that. If landscapes and portraiture were a priority then you may lean towards Nikon (although many pros use Canon for those things). Just be sure to have a good long play with them to see which control layout and menu system you prefer.

    Do you have a budget in mind? We could make some suggestions
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    (Original post by RFowler)
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    As people have pointed out already the vital piece of information we need to advice you on potential cameras and lenses to buy is a budget.

    From classic DSLRs (Nikon, Canon, Pentax) to mirrorless cameras with APS-C sensors (Fuji, Sony) or mFT sensors (Panasonic, Olympus) pretty much anything goes. All have certain advantages and disadvantages and which one suits you best mostly depends on what you are most interest in shooting, where you are shooting (mostly at home or travelling exotic destinations?) and other preferences (size, weight, ergonomics).
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    I'm very much in agreement with Gofre on this one. I would also like to add that it's only worth getting a camera that is as good as you are. There's no need for you to get a semi-pro level camera unless you have the ability to make it worth having over an entry level DSLR. To echo what Gofre said, getting a balance between your body and lenses is really important. There's an interesting video on DigitalRev TV that compares a pro body and entry level lens against an entry level body and pro lens: .
    I find that to be a good channel for lens/camera reviews and comparisons as well as providing a few handy tips on general photography. The presenter mostly focuses on street photography (something I have no interest in) but they can still be useful.

    Be sure to look for sample photographs of any cameras you look for but also make sure to check what lens they use. If they're using a Canon 550D with an L series lens then the quality will be MUCH better than the same Canon 550D with the 18-55 mm kit lens that it comes with! That and be wary of excessive use of photoshop.

    I'd also suggest making sure you plan for the future. Getting a slightly obscure brand may limit the number of lenses available to you in the future and if you decide to upgrade you may find your old lenses are useless. This is where Canon performs well, most of its lenses are compatible with virtually all of its DSLRs (there are some exceptions with lenses that only work on the cheaper APS-C cameras). Speaking of lenses, I'd suggest starting with a standard zoom lens and maybe a telephoto zoom. Then once you're comfortable with those start looking at single focal length lenses (i.e. ones which do not zoom). What focal length you want will depend on the style of photography you do, but many people recommend 35 mm and 50 mm as they're useful for a wide range of situations.

    You can sometimes get decent bundle deals with extra lenses or bits and pieces of equipment like bags so keep an eye out for those. I managed to get my 75-300 mm lens (worth around £100) for virtually nothing through one of these deals.
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    I've been looking at a few cameras. I've started looking at reviews of different models as well.

    There's this Nikon one (D3200) that looks good so far, and I've looked at reviews online that say it's a good entry level dslr. It has 24 megapixels. I know for a fact that I don't need that many, but are there any downsides to getting a camera with more megapixels than I actually need? I just need to know if I should look for something with fewer MP, or if it doesn't really matter.
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    (Original post by RFowler)
    I've been looking at a few cameras. I've started looking at reviews of different models as well.

    There's this Nikon one (D3200) that looks good so far, and I've looked at reviews online that say it's a good entry level dslr. It has 24 megapixels. I know for a fact that I don't need that many, but are there any downsides to getting a camera with more megapixels than I actually need? I just need to know if I should look for something with fewer MP, or if it doesn't really matter.
    24MP is nothing exceptional for a DSLR, there's only a few current-gen DSLRs left on the market with sub-20MP sensors on the market. Shoving too many megapixels into too small a sensor can have negative impacts like increased noise, but that's not an issue here, it just means more detail and more scope for cropping.
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    Ok, I've been researching for a while and have started to narrow options down.

    There's these two I'm looking at, but I'm not fully decided yet and may look at others. These two are well within my budget (I'm taking the cost of tripod, memory cards, etc into account) and I've read reviews saying they're good cameras for beginners. I think I've got my head round most of the technical stuff as well.

    http://www.currys.co.uk/gbuk/cameras...03762-pdt.html

    http://www.currys.co.uk/gbuk/cameras...24789-pdt.html

    I'm certainly not asking for anyone to make a decision for me, but is there anything I should know about these two cameras? Some key information I may have overlooked?
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    (Original post by RFowler)
    Ok, I've been researching for a while and have started to narrow options down.

    There's these two I'm looking at, but I'm not fully decided yet and may look at others. These two are well within my budget (I'm taking the cost of tripod, memory cards, etc into account) and I've read reviews saying they're good cameras for beginners. I think I've got my head round most of the technical stuff as well.

    http://www.currys.co.uk/gbuk/cameras...03762-pdt.html

    http://www.currys.co.uk/gbuk/cameras...24789-pdt.html

    I'm certainly not asking for anyone to make a decision for me, but is there anything I should know about these two cameras? Some key information I may have overlooked?
    Both are great, compact DSLRs, there's nothing that hugely differentiates them in terms of features. I would say your best bet is go into a store and try both out, see which you prefer the feel of in your hand, like the button placement of more etc. Don't overlook the importance of ergonomics, it's going to be a pain using a camera that you don't find comfortable to hold!

    If after that you don't find yourself leaning strongly in either direction and you want to make your choice on a purely technical standpoint, the D3200 has better image quality than the Canon and a couple of extra focus points. As a new shooter you will most likely be a bigger limitation on the quality of your prictures than the camera will be for a while yet though! Another thing to consider is that, in my opinion, Canon have a better range of high quality, low cost lenses. You can get a wide aperture Canon 50mm 1.8 for under £65 on Amazon now that a newer version has come out, the cheapest first party brand lens by a large margin, while Nikon's cheapest wide aperture prime lenses (35mm and 50mm) is almost double the price most of the time. Canon also have an exceptional 10-18mm image stabilised ultra wide angle lens that's sells for as little as £180, while to my knowledge the cheapest options for Nikon cameras are all £300+ at retail. So with Canon you can build a versatile collection of lenses, or buy specific lenses to try out different types of photography, for a lower cost than you could on Nikon. Although the appeal of this depends on what style(s) of photography you want to do and if you even plan on buying additional lenses at all.
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    I agree with Gofre it's definitely worth getting a camera that you are comfortable with, if the camera doesn't feel good in your hands when you are taking your pictures then it is highly likely that the quality won't be as good.

    As someone who enjoys photographing landscapes in my past time I bought myself a Canon 700D Digital SLR Camera which works really well for me and I would definitely recommend it.

    I've also started writing up a guide on photography jobs for newly qualified photographers so if your need any inspiration on what career path to pursue after university then this could be of use to you

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/274836513/...-Photographers

    Hope this helps

    Ed
 
 
 
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