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Old 09-27-2014, 02:49 PM   #1
desertslave
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Mid/Entry Level DSLR Recommendations?

After a great deal of dabbling and thought, my son has decided on photography for his major. His first photo classes were B&W film oriented. To my amusement, he's been using the same camera that I bought for MY college classes <mumble> years ago, which his sister also used in her high school classes. This semester he's been exploring all of my extra lenses and filters, and having a blast. I introduced him to color slide film, too, and he's having fun making B&W images with his results.

But to move forward he needs a modern camera. The next courses suggest a DSLR, which seems pretty inevitable if he's going to take this seriously. So I'm looking for recommendations for a good DSLR that he could grow into, expand with quality lenses, and that would be workable for the next few years, until he's sure this is what he wants to do and can move into the professional range.

His one quirk (about this, anyway) is that he would prefer a fixed view screen, not one of the "twirly" ones, and an interface that is NOT touch-screen driven.

Thanks for your advice in advance!
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Old 09-27-2014, 03:41 PM   #2
tolyk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by desertslave View Post
After a great deal of dabbling and thought, my son has decided on photography for his major. His first photo classes were B&W film oriented. To my amusement, he's been using the same camera that I bought for MY college classes <mumble> years ago, which his sister also used in her high school classes. This semester he's been exploring all of my extra lenses and filters, and having a blast. I introduced him to color slide film, too, and he's having fun making B&W images with his results.

But to move forward he needs a modern camera. The next courses suggest a DSLR, which seems pretty inevitable if he's going to take this seriously. So I'm looking for recommendations for a good DSLR that he could grow into, expand with quality lenses, and that would be workable for the next few years, until he's sure this is what he wants to do and can move into the professional range.

His one quirk (about this, anyway) is that he would prefer a fixed view screen, not one of the "twirly" ones, and an interface that is NOT touch-screen driven.

Thanks for your advice in advance!
I've always enjoyed the articulating screens myself. Helps to get my low vantage landscapes.

But if that's what he wants. Canon 7d Mark II is coming out any time now, and it's a semi-pro camera you'd never have to replace.

Nikon D7100 is a fantastic model. Not quite as high end as the 7d, but still usable in semi-pro/pro situations.

Pentax K3 is their top end DSLR, and out performs the D7100, but again probably not quite as good as the Canon 7D, but a lot cheaper.


All three of these options are cameras he could grow with, and develop as a system. I'd say go into a good store and have him handle them. See which one he feels most comfortable with. Myself, I always found the colours better out of the Pentax over the others, and Nikon over Canon. But everyone's colour preferences are different too.

Edit to add: And none of them have swivel screens.
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Last edited by tolyk : 09-27-2014 at 03:44 PM.
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Old 09-28-2014, 04:01 AM   #3
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I just recently got back into photography (I did the whole high school and college thing and decided it wasn't my MAIN passion). I've been using a Canon 1D at work... but needing something more... MINE, my budget wasn't going to allow it. I eventually settled on a Nikon D3200. No, it's not FANCY. It IS missing a few of the bells and whistles of a lot of the top of the line cameras. But I use if for MANUAL operation. That means it's me, my lenses/filters, tripod, shutter remote... and the world! For the price, it was an awesome investment for me.

If his class has any minimum requirements, that's where I would begin. Otherwise, look at what he is really passionate about! Is it modeling photography? Real Estate? Landscape? Or just an all around good camera?

I hope I helped!

Cheers!
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Old 10-07-2014, 12:56 AM   #4
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Without starting a war over Canon/Nikon (I have both) They're pretty close to equal in quality, yet quite different in their controls/ feature set.
This doesn't mean other brands aren't as good , but their "systems" are more extensive...

Visit a full line camera store to get an idea of what you need/want/willing to spend.
You don't need to spend a fortune on a kit (body, short zoom, long zoom) but remember, the lenses are what's important, as they will retain most of their value...meanwhile, the body will be obsolete in a few months/years...

Check out this guy: http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/reviews.htm He's considered to be a "guru" when it comes to hardware...I wish I had found him before I spent thousands on unnecessary equipment!
Photography today is about processing the digital image (Photoshop, etc.) the equipment is almost secondary to one's ability to manipulate the image.
Nowadays, almost anyone can "take a picture" (got a phone?) How many of us can "create a photo"

In this sense, photography is still very much an art form
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Old 10-07-2014, 07:01 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by desertslave View Post
After a great deal of dabbling and thought, my son has decided on photography for his major. His first photo classes were B&W film oriented. To my amusement, he's been using the same camera that I bought for MY college classes <mumble> years ago, which his sister also used in her high school classes. This semester he's been exploring all of my extra lenses and filters, and having a blast. I introduced him to color slide film, too, and he's having fun making B&W images with his results.

But to move forward he needs a modern camera. The next courses suggest a DSLR, which seems pretty inevitable if he's going to take this seriously. So I'm looking for recommendations for a good DSLR that he could grow into, expand with quality lenses, and that would be workable for the next few years, until he's sure this is what he wants to do and can move into the professional range.

His one quirk (about this, anyway) is that he would prefer a fixed view screen, not one of the "twirly" ones, and an interface that is NOT touch-screen driven.

Thanks for your advice in advance!

Since you didn't mention lenses, I'm going to stick to camera recommendations. Suffice to say, that lenses are probably the better things you can 'buy' rather than bodies, but that's a personal opinion.
Also, I'm assuming you're wanting a DX camera as your son probably doesn't 'need' a full frame FX

Starting off, you. mentioned mid level.
At this point, this is the most confusing spectrum of cameras.
Here's how the classes are divided at the moment in both Nikon and Canon, starting from the cheapest:-

1. Previous generation basic DSLR.
2. Current generation basic DSLR
3. Previous generation Advanced-Basic DSLR
4. Current generation Advanced-Basic DSLR
5. Previous generation ProSumer DSLR
6. Current generation Prosumer DSL(
7. High End professional DX camera.Nikon doesn't have this at the moment)

Out of all the above the one you'd 'want' to pic is the 6th one.

prosumers are targeted for enthusiasts and hobbyists who dont have a pressing need to have the highest possible configuration and yet, require enough capability to satisfy the personal needs of the hobbyist photographer. All photography enthusiasts who dont work professionally are targeted.

these cameras, have excellent image quality, great autofocus, robust build quality and usuallxy a better viewfinder(pentaprism vs pentamirror)., better dial system, better ergonomics, dual card slot etc.

the recent generation cameras in this range boast high resolution and in capable hands, nearly professional image quality.

Although, not for someone who has just stepped into photography, in my view these are the best cameras for people who are confident of growing into their cameras.

There are two models to recommend.
1. Nikon d7100
2. Canon eos 70d

From the above two, I'd personally recommend the Nikon. no brand bias, but I feel the Nikon does a better job of being. the camera I feel will stay for some time with it's owner. Also, the excellent lens ecosystem of Nikon in the lower budget is also something that points me towards itself.

The Canon is no slouch. With it's Dual Pixel AF it has a better and more progressive AF in live view and movie modes.
The Canon has a clear edge in terms of movie mode performance, but as long as you're taking stills the Nikon wins, with It's delightful sensor with no noise at Ihigh ISOs.

I have detailed facts for and against each, but I won't post them here.
for more, you may always contact me.

for now the Nikon D7100 with the Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G is about all a photographer needs, most of the time.

thanks.
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Old 10-07-2014, 05:14 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rudrakshpathak View Post
There are two models to recommend.
1. Nikon d7100
2. Canon eos 70d
Just a heads up, the Canon 70d has an articulating screen. Which is why I didn't recommend it.
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Old 10-08-2014, 04:20 AM   #7
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Just a heads up, the Canon 70d has an articulating screen. Which is why I didn't recommend it.
exactly.
I dont see the harm though, it's not as if you HAVE to use it as a flip screen.
I'd personally recommend to buy a budget Nikon DSLR till you learn the ropes, and invest the rest in a basic package of lenses, 18-55,55-200,35 f/1.8, 50 f/1.8 and the excellent 85 f/1.8
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Old 10-09-2014, 04:44 PM   #8
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Nikon d3100/3200 or 5000....perfect entry level cameras
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Old 11-07-2014, 12:26 AM   #9
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Agree with Tolyk. The Canon 7d Mark II would be great and if he gets real serious later on, he can get the 5d Mark IV when it finally comes out. The 7d would be a great secondary camera at that point.
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Old 11-07-2014, 11:11 PM   #10
NickiC
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I am dyslexic forgive me if I leave words. An old Pentax helps with composition. Photography is composition
It has to be something more interesting than what we all see day to day. Study it and have a good camera
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Old 11-09-2014, 01:12 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by NickiC View Post
I am dyslexic forgive me if I leave words. An old Pentax helps with composition. Photography is composition
It has to be something more interesting than what we all see day to day. Study it and have a good camera
Agreed and have some fun with it. I still love film cameras, my lomography lubitel 166+ is my baby.
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Old 11-10-2014, 11:11 PM   #12
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Agreed and have some fun with it. I still love film cameras, my lomography lubitel 166+ is my baby.
Thank you. I really love photographers who understand composition. Nurse your baby and get some good stuff out. We are in a down period of photography I think. I love it. No other moment will ever happen as that moment. I would love to see people's work here.
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