First DSLR + Lens Queries

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Eleanor303
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Hi Everybody!

I'm looking to buy my first 'proper' camera for Christmas (well actually I'm hoping to receive one).

The main reason I am looking to purchase a camera is because I will be going travelling next year and think being able to record my adventure with a good camera is very important. Having something lightweight is therefore quite important - but I don't want to sacrifice quality for weight.

As it is my FIRST camera I'm not keen on spending too much - if I really get into it I can invest in a better camera later on. Therefore my budget is UNDER £500. Ideally I would like to purchase the body, and two lenses - one standard 18-55mm and then another potentially another with a greater zoom suitable for wildlife photography.

Any suggestions would be much appreciated!
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Gofre
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(Original post by Eleanor303)
Hi Everybody!

I'm looking to buy my first 'proper' camera for Christmas (well actually I'm hoping to receive one).

The main reason I am looking to purchase a camera is because I will be going travelling next year and think being able to record my adventure with a good camera is very important. Having something lightweight is therefore quite important - but I don't want to sacrifice quality for weight.

As it is my FIRST camera I'm not keen on spending too much - if I really get into it I can invest in a better camera later on. Therefore my budget is UNDER £500. Ideally I would like to purchase the body, and two lenses - one standard 18-55mm and then another potentially another with a greater zoom suitable for wildlife photography.

Any suggestions would be much appreciated!
If you want a "proper" DSLR, I would personally go for either a Canon 100D kit with Canon 55-250mm IS STM telephoto lens or the Nikon D5200 with Nikon D3300 with Nikon 55-200mm VR DX lens, both for a little under (prices according to Amazon but given that it's Black Friday week they may drop over the weekend or be cheaper elsewhere). The 100D is the smallest DSLR in the world so meets your lightweight criteria as well as a DSLR can, and is generally well spec'd, the 55-250mm STM is really sharp for such a low price, and because of the marginally smaller sensor and longer focal length of the lens comoared to the Nikon, it gets about 25% more reach when zoomed in (the Nikon will zoom into 300mm equivalent while the Canon reaches 400mm). The D3300 is Nikon's smallest DSLR and also very small, and has 5fps continuous shooting over the 100D's FPS which will be handy for shooting moving subjects, and the higher resolution means more scope for cropping (although I would personally prefer the 25% extra reach of the Canon over the 25% extra resolution of the Nikon. Aside from that the two cameras have very similar core specs, with nothing significant to really set them apart. Your best bet would be to go into a camera store and try out both cameras and see which you like the feel of more in your hand- ergonomics and design layout are often very overlooked aspects when choosing a camera!

As a word of warning, don't be tempted by bundles that include 70-300mm or 75-300mm lenses at a cheaper price than buying a 55-200/250mm lens separately, these lenses are cheap and usually have very poor sharpness, and may not be image stabilised which is a big deal when you're zoomed all the way in. The 55-200/250mm lenses Canon and Nikon make are a load better for entry level telephotos and offer very good value.

Have you also considered mirrorless cameras? These are cameras with excellent image quality and interchangeable lenses (Sony and Fuji use the same size large image sensors as full sized DSLRs), but because they don't have optical viewfinders like DSLRs they can be much more compact. If size is a big factor, it could definitely be worth looking into. I can't make specific recommendations now because I'm at work, but look into mirrorless camera (also known as compact system cameras) from Sony, Fuji, Panasonic and Olympus for an idea of what you can get for your budget.
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nbrooks2014
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(Original post by Eleanor303)
Hi Everybody!

I'm looking to buy my first 'proper' camera for Christmas (well actually I'm hoping to receive one).

The main reason I am looking to purchase a camera is because I will be going travelling next year and think being able to record my adventure with a good camera is very important. Having something lightweight is therefore quite important - but I don't want to sacrifice quality for weight.

As it is my FIRST camera I'm not keen on spending too much - if I really get into it I can invest in a better camera later on. Therefore my budget is UNDER £500. Ideally I would like to purchase the body, and two lenses - one standard 18-55mm and then another potentially another with a greater zoom suitable for wildlife photography.

Any suggestions would be much appreciated!
I suggest that if your traveling you will want a more rugged and weather sealed camera that can take more knocks and bumps. If you're more familiar with Canon I recommend that you get a canon 5d as it has full-frame sensor and image quality that is far superior to any of the new 'toy' DSLRs and as for lenses get a canon 28-105 and Tamron 70-300 VC, both of these lenses are tough and provide very sharp results; however if you are more familiar with Nikon I recommend that you get a D300s, also a very tough camera and has Auto Focusing that is faster than the two cameras that 'Gofre' mentioned and shoots at 7fps, also faster than the two cameras Gofre mentioned, when it comes to Nikon get an 18-200mm VR. this lens covers a great range and will save you a lot of room in your luggage. Both of these Kits that I have told you about are used.

If you want to spend a bit more I recommend that you go to SLR hut and get a Nikon D7100 and an 18-140mm. This kit will cost you £570 but is a new semi-pro camera, a much better deal than the two that 'Gofre' mentioned.
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dhr90
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I'd take a new 100D over a mk1 5D every day of the week. Just because it is full frame doesn't automatically make it better than something 8-10 years newer. Not to mention two different lenses would I think be better than one big (and not very good) super zoom lens.
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Eleanor303
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(Original post by Gofre)
If you want a "proper" DSLR, I would personally go for either a Canon 100D kit with Canon 55-250mm IS STM telephoto lens or the Nikon D5200 with Nikon D3300 with Nikon 55-200mm VR DX lens, both for a little under (prices according to Amazon but given that it's Black Friday week they may drop over the weekend or be cheaper elsewhere). The 100D is the smallest DSLR in the world so meets your lightweight criteria as well as a DSLR can, and is generally well spec'd, the 55-250mm STM is really sharp for such a low price, and because of the marginally smaller sensor and longer focal length of the lens comoared to the Nikon, it gets about 25% more reach when zoomed in (the Nikon will zoom into 300mm equivalent while the Canon reaches 400mm). The D3300 is Nikon's smallest DSLR and also very small, and has 5fps continuous shooting over the 100D's FPS which will be handy for shooting moving subjects, and the higher resolution means more scope for cropping (although I would personally prefer the 25% extra reach of the Canon over the 25% extra resolution of the Nikon. Aside from that the two cameras have very similar core specs, with nothing significant to really set them apart. Your best bet would be to go into a camera store and try out both cameras and see which you like the feel of more in your hand- ergonomics and design layout are often very overlooked aspects when choosing a camera!

As a word of warning, don't be tempted by bundles that include 70-300mm or 75-300mm lenses at a cheaper price than buying a 55-200/250mm lens separately, these lenses are cheap and usually have very poor sharpness, and may not be image stabilised which is a big deal when you're zoomed all the way in. The 55-200/250mm lenses Canon and Nikon make are a load better for entry level telephotos and offer very good value.

Have you also considered mirrorless cameras? These are cameras with excellent image quality and interchangeable lenses (Sony and Fuji use the same size large image sensors as full sized DSLRs), but because they don't have optical viewfinders like DSLRs they can be much more compact. If size is a big factor, it could definitely be worth looking into. I can't make specific recommendations now because I'm at work, but look into mirrorless camera (also known as compact system cameras) from Sony, Fuji, Panasonic and Olympus for an idea of what you can get for your budget.
I am quite keen on the Nikon d3300, Alternatively I have just discovered the d5300 which is the better (more expensive option).
Which would you recommend buying?

http://www.currys.co.uk/gbuk/cameras...37621-pdt.html

http://www.currys.co.uk/gbuk/cameras...37619-pdt.html

I somewhat prefer the Nikon D3300 bundle because it comes with 2 Nikkor lenses and is the cheaper option, but I can't help but feel that the D5300 may be better in the long term - with the prospect of potentially buying a 18-140/200 or 55-200 lens in the future.

THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR PREVIOUS HELP!!! It has been so useful and I am so grateful to receive such a detailed response
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Gofre
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(Original post by Eleanor303)
I am quite keen on the Nikon d3300, Alternatively I have just discovered the d5300 which is the better (more expensive option).
Which would you recommend buying?

http://www.currys.co.uk/gbuk/cameras...37621-pdt.html

http://www.currys.co.uk/gbuk/cameras...37619-pdt.html

I somewhat prefer the Nikon D3300 bundle because it comes with 2 Nikkor lenses and is the cheaper option, but I can't help but feel that the D5300 may be better in the long term - with the prospect of potentially buying a 18-140/200 or 55-200 lens in the future.

THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR PREVIOUS HELP!!! It has been so useful and I am so grateful to receive such a detailed response
The D5300 does have some solid improvements over the D3300, most notably the autofocus system and the articulating screen. They use the same imaging hardware (the sensor and image processor) so the image quality will be nigh-on identical, but the more robust focussing will be nice to have. That D3300 bundle is pretty awesome, but with £40 cashback available from Nikon when you buy the D5300 you shouldn't be massively over budget if you bought a telephoto lens to go with it.
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nbrooks2014
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(Original post by Gofre)
The D5300 does have some solid improvements over the D3300, most notably the autofocus system and the articulating screen. They use the same imaging hardware (the sensor and image processor) so the image quality will be nigh-on identical, but the more robust focussing will be nice to have. That D3300 bundle is pretty awesome, but with £40 cashback available from Nikon when you buy the D5300 you shouldn't be massively over budget if you bought a telephoto lens to go with it.
If your going to go over budget get this D7100 with 18-140mm for £580, it probably is more expensive than the D5300 that you've been looking at but is a far superior camera. And is new.

https://slrhut.co.uk/product/ID1710C5/view
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nbrooks2014
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(Original post by Eleanor303)
Hi Everybody!

I'm looking to buy my first 'proper' camera for Christmas (well actually I'm hoping to receive one).

The main reason I am looking to purchase a camera is because I will be going travelling next year and think being able to record my adventure with a good camera is very important. Having something lightweight is therefore quite important - but I don't want to sacrifice quality for weight.

As it is my FIRST camera I'm not keen on spending too much - if I really get into it I can invest in a better camera later on. Therefore my budget is UNDER £500. Ideally I would like to purchase the body, and two lenses - one standard 18-55mm and then another potentially another with a greater zoom suitable for wildlife photography.

Any suggestions would be much appreciated!
If your going to go over budget get this D7100 with 18-140mm for £580, it probably is more expensive than the D5300 that you've been looking at but is a far superior camera. And is new.

https://slrhut.co.uk/product/ID1710C5/view
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Sir Fox
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I'd go with nbrooks2014's advise and get something a bit older but better. If you buy used you can get a Nikon D7100 or Pentax K5 II with some nice lenses. Both are semi-professional DSLRs with all the bells and whistles (shoulder display, weather sealing, high quality build quality, more direct access buttons etc.) with excellent image quality that make a D3000-series Nikon look like a toy.

They are a bit heavy though. So for travelling light you could look at a DSLM - the Olympus OMD EM5 is a good, high quality option that can be found in your budget range. Or a PEN EP-L7. Or a Panasonic GX7. All very compact, high quality cameras that have been on the market for about two or so years, still deliver great image quality and used to cost around £1,000.

Whatever you decide to get, bear in mind that lenses have a huge impact on image quality and buying used will get you more for your money.
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nbrooks2014
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(Original post by Sir Fox)
I'd go with nbrooks2014's advise and get something a bit older but better. If you buy used you can get a Nikon D7100 or Pentax K5 II with some nice lenses. Both are semi-professional DSLRs with all the bells and whistles (shoulder display, weather sealing, high quality build quality, more direct access buttons etc.) with excellent image quality that make a D3000-series Nikon look like a toy.

They are a bit heavy though. So for travelling light you could look at a DSLM - the Olympus OMD EM5 is a good, high quality option that can be found in your budget range. Or a PEN EP-L7. Or a Panasonic GX7. All very compact, high quality cameras that have been on the market for about two or so years, still deliver great image quality and used to cost around £1,000.

Whatever you decide to get, bear in mind that lenses have a huge impact on image quality and buying used will get you more for your money.
I have found a D7100 with 50,000 shots on it for £350 on mpb
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CurlyBen
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Might be worth looking to see what you can get in the way of refurbished gear - I've just picked up an EOS 70D with 18-55 and 55-250 lenses for about £450 on the Canon refurbished site in the US. From all I've read (and experienced) manufacturer refurbished kit is more or less indistinguishable from new, comes with the same warranty but generally has a good discount.
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