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Author Topic: Entry level camera - suggestions please  (Read 419 times)

Brookie

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Entry level camera - suggestions please
« on: November 04, 2018, 02:25:27 PM »

I have a great nephew who wants to get into nature/landscape photography. His parents have a limited budget and have asked me to help ID a good beginner camera for him that does not break the bank. Thought I would ask for input here as I am not really up on anything except FF Nikons.

At this level I donít think crop v. FF really matters and since price is a big consideration I figure a crop sensor is the way to go. I donít think video is a real interest either.  I think kit lens quality and sensor quality are going to be more important. Adding any lenses  would probably be a couple years off too, so probably not a major consideration. Iíd lean towards Nikon since I could help him, but I live about 1,500 miles away so thatís not real helpful. His aunt has a Canon but I really donít know how much she could help, though she does live close by. I think his parents want to keep the price below $500, but they will get some help from me and other family members with this too.

Thanks in advance for your suggestions.
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capital

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Re: Entry level camera - suggestions please
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2018, 03:16:31 PM »

For the number of features for price, the Pentax K-70 is an interesting prospect. Having mirror lock up, pixel shift, tilt-swivel screen, weather resistant body and lenses.

The Pentax K70 with kit 18-55 WR lens is over the budget by about 170, but if you are really looking at a fixed cap of $500, then its better to get an older model used camera kit from KEH, BH or Adorama.
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degrub

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Re: Entry level camera - suggestions please
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2018, 04:56:59 PM »

I used Olympus PM-2s with the kit 14-40 for my 3 kids. Bought them used. Same Sony 16 MB sensor as the OMD EM5. Small and light but a good sensor. Ok for the occasional video. I would bet KEH has something similar and a variety of lenses.
You can also adapt any canon or nikon that has a manual aperture ring easily. Most of those are inexpensive.

Good for learning to compose and not flashy. Of course, a cardboard image frame cutout is the best first camera  ;).
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armand

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Re: Entry level camera - suggestions please
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2018, 05:25:08 PM »

I still have images that I like from a Nikon D50 so practically any camera available right now that offers a manual mode and reasonable growth prospects will do, just find the cheapest.

You might find a entry level Nikon (or similar) with a 2 lens kit available for that money.

Quick googling:
https://www.target.com/p/nikon-d3500-18-55mm-kit/-/A-53814445

https://www.target.com/p/canon-dslr-eos-t6-2lens-kit-bundle/-/A-51362416

The Nikon set from above I think it will be 500$ on Black Friday, including at Costco.

Two23

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Re: Entry level camera - suggestions please
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2018, 05:44:29 PM »

I would look for a Nikon D7100 with 18-55mm lens.  It's a solid camera with lots of options for learning.


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rdonson

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Re: Entry level camera - suggestions please
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2018, 05:58:21 PM »

Is there a limit where the piggy bank is broken???
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BJL

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Re: Entry level camera - suggestions please
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2018, 05:59:45 PM »

I have a great nephew who wants to get into nature/landscape photography. His parents have a limited budget ...

At this level I donít think crop v. FF really matters ...
If nature photography includes wildlife and so telephoto reach, there is an advantage to a smaller format (or pedantically, smaller photosites) so that a given focal length gives the most telephoto reach ("pixels per bird"). Likewise to some extent for nature close-ups. That does weigh a bit in favor of MFT, and very much against 35mm format; I love what I can do with a 75-300 lens plus occasional heavy cropping (cropping to 4MP or less often plenty to tell the story).

Being young, do you think he would be comfortable with a rear-screen-only camera like most Olympus Pen and Panasonic GF models, or would he want an eye-level VF (either OVF or EVF)?

But a $500 budget is tough and certainly won't get a dedicated telephoto lens to start withóthe cheapest ILC options are still the entry-level DSLR's
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Brookie

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Re: Entry level camera - suggestions please
« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2018, 08:09:45 PM »

Thanks for the responses, keep them coming. As far as budget goes, my understanding is >$500 is rapidly approaching whatever the choke-point is, though I donít know that magic number for certain. I really kind of think that either the basic entry level Nikon or Canon would be just fine. My experience is just with Nikon, so Iím curious to see if people think Canon might be a better route to go. I donít imagine that DSLR is a requirement, so a mirrorless camera would be OK too - but I donít know what is available for mirrorless that would offer a similar level of quality at this price level. All help is appreciated!
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Brookie

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Re: Entry level camera - suggestions please
« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2018, 08:13:02 PM »

Armand, I agree that manual mode is important so he can learn the fundamentals of exposure!
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TonyVentourisPhotography

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Re: Entry level camera - suggestions please
« Reply #9 on: November 04, 2018, 08:14:23 PM »

You can find great deals on refurbished Olympus stuff.  Or just go for one of their combo specials they always run on e-pl might seems like consumer focused cameras...but they are actually just as competent as the omd series.  You can easily switch modes and lenses and do the same you would with any other higher priced camera.  So they could be a camera to grow with.  Cheaper telephotos are decent in the Olympus system...and high quality primes are comfortably below the 300 mark often which are just as good as any  primes from other makers.  The 25, 45, and 75 f/1.8 come to mind.  The 25 is available for 250 us often.  The telephoto consumer lens I got for 99.  Itís not that bad...

In auto modes you can make great imagery too.  They are rather impressive.  And they place nice with cell phone apps.
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eronald

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Re: Entry level camera - suggestions please
« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2018, 05:52:37 AM »

The old Canon Rebels are actually nice and sell for very cheap.
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BradSmith

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Re: Entry level camera - suggestions please
« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2018, 02:57:16 PM »

I suggest 3 or 4 year old used cameras and lenses for a beginner in this situation.  Since wildlife is an interest, I'd suggest micro 4/3 because of the higher crop factor.  For example, used Olympus EM-5 or EM-10.  I just saw their 40mm-150mm f4-5.6 zoom on sale for only $100.  (I own this lens  that is equivalent to an 80-300 and am flabbergasted at how sharp it is.)  And I'm sure their used kit zooms are very inexpensive.     
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NancyP

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Re: Entry level camera - suggestions please
« Reply #12 on: November 14, 2018, 07:49:34 PM »

No comment on Nikon, I am a Canon user and don't know Nikon well.

The Target sale Canon T6 Rebel with 18-55mm and 75-300mm would be a great bet for "new" camera. It does allow for full manual operation, as well as program, aperture-dominant, shutter speed-dominant modes. Although the camera was released in 2016, it has a 2010 sensor (same as 60D and 7D) and doesn't have some of the more sophisticated video features of the others in the T6 Rebel family (which are more expensive). The camera DOES have Wi-Fi, if that's of interest. Lenses are "good enough", older kit lenses, fine for beginner. This is actually a decent bargain kit.

Canon 60D is a nice alternative to a Rebel, for those who find the Rebel a bit too small for their hands. There are several used ones with kit lens under USD 500.00 on Ebay now. If he wants to shoot sports or wildlife, the used Canon 7D is now about the same price. I'd probably get the 7D. These are good cameras, about 8 to 10 years from release. Stock it with a Canon 18-55 mm EF-S lens, STM focusing if he is interested in video, standard USM focusing if he likes manual (because all STM focusing is by wire). Later on, he could get one of the 55-200 or 75-300 zooms used for cheap..

I love my 60D, and it is very amenable to manual use, as is the 7D. 60D has swing-out flippy screen for video convenience, 7D doesn't, but 7D has better (and more customizable) autofocus, a "joystick" control for autofocus points, a few more customizable buttons, and is built like a tank. You could get a used 7D or 60D, a used 18-55mm EF-S lens, a memory card or two, and a card reader (if his computer doesn't have one) for USD 500.00, and the Canon RAW developer program (DPP) is free.
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Aram Hăvărneanu

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Re: Entry level camera - suggestions please
« Reply #13 on: November 14, 2018, 08:29:22 PM »

You might be able to get a Fuji X-T10 with a 18-55mm around $500 from ebay. Somewhat cheaper if you get the Fuji X-E2s instead of the X-T10.

In my opinion this lens is a class above the usual Canon/Nikon lenses. Literally one step faster than the Canikon kit lenses, and IMO much nicer lens all around.
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Rob C

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Re: Entry level camera - suggestions please
« Reply #14 on: November 15, 2018, 07:24:09 AM »

FWIW, I would suggest finding a Nikon D200 body.

I still have one and use it in preference to my FF D700 because it suits my 50mm lens better, making it a little longer and so more like my sense of how I like pics to look.

There's nothing that states wides are the only lenses for landscape, so something around 24, 35 or so would be quite versatile on that smaller format.

Rob

NancyP

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Re: Entry level camera - suggestions please
« Reply #15 on: November 15, 2018, 12:06:30 PM »

Another thought - used Sony RX10 version III (1" sensor, fixed lens mirrorless "bridge" camera), with the 24-600mm equivalent lens. As I understand it, autofocus is fine for still subjects, not very good at action. The new version IV is very popular with birders because now it has good enough autofocus to handle birds in flight, a hit and miss proposition with version III. Obviously it is not the best at low light due to small sensor. Apparently the image stabilization works fine at 600mm equivalent, and the lens is very good for a bridge camera lens, Zeiss design. It has manual mode, I haven't handled it so I don't know about ergonomics.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/SONY-CYBER-SHOT-DSC-RX10-III-20-2MP-DIGITAL-CAMERA-w-25x-ZEISS-T-LENS/233002324690?hash=item36400552d2:g:FesAAOSwsJBb6PHh
Hunts Photo
minimum bid USD 449.00, 3 days left, may or may not top out around $600.00 based on other prices.
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lightskyland

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Re: Entry level camera - suggestions please
« Reply #16 on: November 16, 2018, 02:28:45 PM »

I would definitely not get him a dSLR, since both Canon and Nikon are moving away from those systems to their new mirrorless bodies and lenses.

I'd recommend a Sony E-mount system, since it is fully compatible with all their full-frame lenses and bodies and also meets the budget requirement. The Sony Alpha 6000 should be available for sale next Friday (Black Friday) with both kit lenses (wide-normal and telephoto) for around $600.

The Sony RX10M3, used, is another good choice which will give him a great zoom range (24-200 equivalent) with a very sharp lens. Here is a live auction on ebay:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Mint-Sony-Cyber-Shot-DSC-RX10-III-Digital-Camera-20-1mp-w-Box-L-K/192723278313?hash=item2cdf33d9e9:g:IsoAAOSwl5Jb66VQ

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langier

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Re: Entry level camera - suggestions please
« Reply #17 on: November 16, 2018, 04:33:22 PM »

A good, used few year old DX or FX with a better all-in-one lens comes to mind for a start. Lots of supply and inexpensive from better dealers from coast-to-coast and the manuals are almost always available as a PDF online. Even the more recent m43 cameras at 12-16mp do a fairly good job and won't break the bank or the bank in packing them around.

Nikon, Canon, Olympus & Panasonic are plentiful as are their lenses in the second-hand market and all with good craft and lots of practice would do well. I've used them all and even at 10 mp create quite remarkable large prints, much larger than the math suggests if that's the ultimate goal.

If the goal is an audience on social media, one can get away with a lot less capability and save even more.

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