Buying Advice - Beginner DSLR

Downinja

Well-known Member
Sorry if this has been asked a million times before.

Got a hankering for a DSLR, had one before and sold it (Nikon D3100). I didn't really use it enough, I think mainly because of the pain of transferring images to a laptop before being able to use them anywhere.

With that in mind I am thinking anything I buy needs to have WiFi (iphone users).

Main use will be family photos, we have a newborn so lots of snaps to be taken there.

In my thoughts so far are Canon 2000D or Nikon D3500.

I suppose my question is, am I better looking in the used market for something a year or two older but with a slightly better feature set?

Budget is roughly £400
 

AMc

Distinguished Member
WiFi for file transfer is very common - I can't speak about those cameras but I've had WiFi in my Olympus cameras for years. The apps vary in quality. The Olympus apps have their quirks but they work well for me on iPhone.
You can add WiFi to almost any other camera by using a WiFi SD card - I used to use Toshiba FlashAir cards in the past.

One thing that made me reluctant to use my old DSLR was the size and weight - lugging around a big camera bag along with all the other baby stuff can be a chore.
Mirrorless cameras (in general) are smaller and lighter.

You will undoubtedly get better value going used.
There is a search site run but a member here which will hunt through retailers when you have an idea of what you want - personally I would steer clear of eBay and look at retailers with used warranty but there are bargains there and in forum classifieds.

If you're taking family pictures indoors and in low light you may want to add to the "kit" zoom lens with something with a larger aperture (smaller F number). I use an f1.7 25mm Panasonic or f1.8 17mm Olympus lens with my camera indoors.

Worth reading this sticky
 

eduk

Distinguished Member
dSLR is big and heavy. Have a re-think and consider a second-hand premium compact or small interchangeable lens camera that you can shoot jpeg straight out of camera with and upload to your iPhone.

You could look at the Ricoh GR II or Fuji X100T and the Olympus PEN type cameras.

Have a look at the Sony RX100 (several versions to suit your budget). Excellent 1" sensor but it has a zoom and is small. It is something you'd slip into your pocket and take out and about.
 

1080 jawbreaker

Well-known Member
Sorry if this has been asked a million times before.

Got a hankering for a DSLR, had one before and sold it (Nikon D3100). I didn't really use it enough, I think mainly because of the pain of transferring images to a laptop before being able to use them anywhere.

With that in mind I am thinking anything I buy needs to have WiFi (iphone users).

Main use will be family photos, we have a newborn so lots of snaps to be taken there.

In my thoughts so far are Canon 2000D or Nikon D3500.

I suppose my question is, am I better looking in the used market for something a year or two older but with a slightly better feature set?

Budget is roughly £400
i used wifi memory cards back in the days of using my canon 7D. My Sony a7r3's wifi connections is really slow and the sony imaging app to transfer files doesnt allow me to transfer the raw files, unless ive missed a setting.
 

Downinja

Well-known Member
Expanding my search a little. I had admittedly dismissed mirrorless as slightly inferior but looking at maybe something like a second hand A6000 and it may fit the bill.

Although disappointing to read @1080 jawbreaker take in wifi speeds
 

1080 jawbreaker

Well-known Member
Expanding my search a little. I had admittedly dismissed mirrorless as slightly inferior but looking at maybe something like a second hand A6000 and it may fit the bill.

Although disappointing to read @1080 jawbreaker take in wifi speeds
fine for transfering a few jpgs to your fone for checking sharpness and/or a few lightroom mobile edits. I wouldnt make a camera purchase on which has the best wifi transfer speeds though
 

AMc

Distinguished Member
Although disappointing to read @1080 jawbreaker take in wifi speeds

WiFi is quite a slow file transfer mechanism and photos are quite large files.

The Olympus OI.share app allows you to control the camera remotely over WiFi (or low power bluetooth on later cameras). It allows you to use the phone as a GPS tracker to tag the location of images you took on the camera. It also allows you to transfer images to the phone and some basic editing on the phone too - you could use another editor if you like.
OI.Share lets you choose what size to transfer - so you can use the camera's JPG engine to resize the 16-20MP image to a size suitable to upload to facebook etc. before it's transfered
I have mine set to 1600 x1200 pixels which moves nice and fast and is more than enough for Instagram etc.

There are advantages to DSLR and to mirrorless but I wouldn't suggest either is necessarily superior.
I moved to mirrorless because I wanted a smaller body - which in turn meant I took it out more and took more pictures.

I don't know enough about the A6000 to comment - worth checking the cost of lenses.

If you're not really interested in photography as a hobby but just want good pictures then the comment above about the RX100 Sony might be on the money.

If you went with the Olympus PEN line then you would have the option to add lenses and there's an upgrade path. I started my mirrorless with an E-PL5 and moved to the E-M10 line for a viewfinder and better stabilisation which lets you take shots in darker conditions without camera shake.

I now use an Olympus OM-D E-M10 mark ii which you could pick up for around £200

£70 would get you a basic kit lens

All my recent pics have been taken with the M10ii though I have a bunch of other lenses
All these pics were taken with the 14-42mm kit lens
 

Downinja

Well-known Member
From reading up, I think a small bodied mirrorless is in order.

The A6000 has slightly faster burst shot and higher res sensor, although probably closer to £350 with a sensible kit lens.

Primes seem reasonable if I want something to add on further down the line.
 

eduk

Distinguished Member
From reading up, I think a small bodied mirrorless is in order.

The A6000 has slightly faster burst shot and higher res sensor, although probably closer to £350 with a sensible kit lens.

Primes seem reasonable if I want something to add on further down the line.

Sony e-mount is technically good of course, but compare body and lens combined size/weight before committing. Sensors from the various mirrorless brands are all good.

Get something you can have at home instantly ready to use, something that fits in your jacket pocket to encourage you to take it to the park.

Once you have found the Sony kit lens inadequate around the house (and you will) you'll end up putting a large prime on it and that makes things worse in terms of size and weight, much less encouraging to take it with you. It will sit at home in its bag.

If you must get an ILC rather than one of the excellent premium fixed lens compacts, then limit your search to the smallest body with prime pancake lenses, then see what comes up. A Micro-Four-Thirds might be ideal.
 

273K

Well-known Member
I've been through this process with my kids, here's my take. I bought a budget DSLR when our first was born. A baby mostly stays at home, people come to visit, so portrait capabilities are important and a DSLR with a good portrait lens was a priority. Portability less so, weight wise carrying both a small baby and a DSLR is not difficult. However once you have a toddler, or a second child, then you're out and about, the kid is heavier and there's more stuff, pushchairs, scooters etc. involved then size/weight can become an issue. At this point I switched to a small mirrorless+pancake setup. Portrait capability is still important to me which, for me, means interchangeable lenses, but I seriously considered a premium compact, even a top end phone camera works for many people.
So maybe it's a question of if you're ok with buying a camera now and then potentially a different one in a couple of years, or you want one to keep longer term.
 
Last edited:

Leo31291

Distinguished Member
Buy what you're going to use. I found the RX100 range to be great little cameras you can carry with you everywhere. But then I wanted something a little better (wider apertures, more options) so upgraded to the A600. I don't carry that as often as I would like but definitely more than I would with a full fledge DSLR.

Transferring images used to be a pain but it's really just connecting the camera to the computer via USB and copying from the card, easy. For on the go use, you can connect your camera to your phone wirelessly and transfer jpegs across, takes some setting up but once done you're good to go.
 

snerkler

Member
I would definitely recommend mirrorless or 'large sensor' compact camera. If you can see yourself as a 'dedicated' photographer then I'd suggest mirrorless, if you're unlikely to want to carry around bulky gear and potentially be changing lenses then something like the Sony RX100 models may be more suitable.
 

Faldrax

Well-known Member
I have an A6000 as my 'travel' camera - with the 16-50 kit lens it is small enough to fit in a coat pocket, but large enough to use as a 'proper' camera.
My kit includes the 55-210 kit tele-zoom, and both 35 and 50 f/1.8 OSS primes for lower light.
I also have an MK-320 flash (but would advise a Godox TT350 if buying now), but even with all that it fits in a small lowepro shoulder bag (10"x8"x5" when full).
You will want a spare battery or two - battery life is the big weakness of range, but a 3rd party charger and couple of batteries is fairly cheap from Amazon, and batteries are small and light enough that carrying spares is easy.
 

12harry

Distinguished Member
Hi, If price is important ( and it should be), then a kit zoom lens will work for a long time before you need to buy another. Any mirrorless without interchangeable lens is a severe restriction - and as you previously used ( bought( a DSLR,), presumably you want good framing - A modest Zoom isn't that bulky and should have a Case to fit. This will protect your investment.
+I'm not aware that taking the SD-card out is a real pain... . it's easily done while the PC is booting itself. WiFi transfer - I've never had/needed that Option, so don't know.
However, I do find battery-charging a pain, but after a few hours it's done; e.g. while having tea.

Cheers.
. . . . Let us know what you buy - and how it suits...
 

snerkler

Member
Hi, If price is important ( and it should be), then a kit zoom lens will work for a long time before you need to buy another. Any mirrorless without interchangeable lens is a severe restriction - and as you previously used ( bought( a DSLR,), presumably you want good framing - A modest Zoom isn't that bulky and should have a Case to fit. This will protect your investment.
+I'm not aware that taking the SD-card out is a real pain... . it's easily done while the PC is booting itself. WiFi transfer - I've never had/needed that Option, so don't know.
However, I do find battery-charging a pain, but after a few hours it's done; e.g. while having tea.

Cheers.
. . . . Let us know what you buy - and how it suits...
TBH I'd say a fixed zoom lens is no more restricting than using an interchangeable lens camera with a kit zoom if you don't intend to buy another. Also, in this regard fixed lens cameras tend to have a significant light advantage over kit zooms being eg f1.8-2.8 vs f3.5-5.6.
 

AMc

Distinguished Member
downinja said:
Main use will be family photos, we have a newborn so lots of snaps to be taken there.

The one area where kit zooms on interchangeable lens cameras are likely to really let you down are in low light indoors. A blurry, noisy picture is really likely to put you off using your camera.
There you will really want more light than f3.5 if you can.

There are two ways to do that without breaking the bank - a fixed focal length lens with a fast aperture on a interchangeable lens camera 25mm f1.8 etc. or a higher end compact with an f1.8 - 2.8 lens fitted.

On a related note - when our kid was little I took quite a lot of video with a camcorder. There are a lot of "firsts" - rolling over, crawling, walking, scooter, bike ride... so I wouldn't neglect video as a consideration.
As our daughter has got older I don't shoot video much but I wish I'd got the best quality footage I could afford back then - miniDV was decent at the time, but it looks pretty tame on a 1080p TV let alone how it will look in 4K then 8K!
 

snerkler

Member
Memory card or the charger of your phone can transfer files into laptop.
I assume you mean the charger cable for your phone can transfer files to your laptop from your phone?

If I have photos on my phone I want to transfer to the computer I just use airdrop these days :smashin:
 

eduk

Distinguished Member
I assume you mean the charger cable for your phone can transfer files to your laptop from your phone?

If I have photos on my phone I want to transfer to the computer I just use airdrop these days :smashin:

An airdrop from you is the quickest way to clear a room.
 

Downinja

Well-known Member
Update, picked up an A6000 second hand a while back.

16-50mm kit lens and a 50mm f1.8

So far it's been great, obviously with lockdown not had too much chance to give it run, but my beer pics on instagram have definitely improved :)
 

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