Yet another SLR noob

bl0ckev

Well-known Member
Right, I am thinking of treating myself to a nice camera where I have the option of taking much nicer photos of holidays/pets/people etc... whilst in zoom or not.

I am a total noob and I hope that does not mean I end up wasting my money, I will probably read up on features such as ISO/shutter speed/exposure/aperture etc....
I even need to know what the descriptions mean.....haha

So a good starting camera which is going to blow me away and not blow my bank.

Nikon D40 ?
Panasonic Lumix Digital Cameras

OR something between £200-£400

Any pointers on what to look out for, keywords etc....? I dont even know what the "+ 18-55mm f3.5-5.6G ED" you get with above camera.... :suicide:
 

OrbitalPete

Novice Member
I would strongly recommend using the classified section on these forums to try and pick up a second hand beginners kit - you will get far, far more for your money, and if you decide to sell on later you will suffer less depreciation.

ULtimately any of the beginner range are fine for your needs - it's just a case of what you can get for the money. Different makes of camera handle differently, so you may want to get down to a shop and get your hands on teh various entry level models, just to see if you have a preference. Ultimately, however, thye are all much of a muchness.
 

bl0ckev

Well-known Member
I would strongly recommend using the classified section on these forums to try and pick up a second hand beginners kit - you will get far, far more for your money, and if you decide to sell on later you will suffer less depreciation.

ULtimately any of the beginner range are fine for your needs - it's just a case of what you can get for the money. Different makes of camera handle differently, so you may want to get down to a shop and get your hands on teh various entry level models, just to see if you have a preference. Ultimately, however, thye are all much of a muchness.
What kind of questions should I ask the sellers? apart from whats included etc... I see people asking about "how many activations?"
 

OrbitalPete

Novice Member
Activations refers to how many times the shutter has been pressed - basically how many photos have been taken. Most shutters are good for about 100,000, then it's a ~£50 job to replace them.

Key things to look for:
1. Lense. Does it come with a lens? If so, you probably want it to be around the 18-50mm range. At entry level prices you're not going to be getting anything of stunning quality, so there's no point getting too hung up about it.
2. Does it come with any accessories? Bag and tripod can be a big help.

Other than that, have a look around, compare prices with what things look like new (try to avoid evilbay - it's generally a rip-off when it comes to camera gear), and if you ahve any more questions, post back up here :)
 

mutamist

Active Member
Just to back up what Pete has said. I was and still am a beginner but thanks to advice on this forum I found a camera system I like (Sony Alpha) and have sourced camera and lenses through the classified forum here and on Talk Photography. I've also sold on cameras on these forums and both my sales and purchases have been faultless - these forums attract a good breed.

One of the reasons I went for a Sony (SOny A200 initially, A300 now) is because of in-camera image stabilisation so as a beginner it's one less thing to look for in lenses and means I can use all the old Minolta lenses and still have IS.
 

Aardvarks

Active Member
Hi blockev

What has made you want an SLR?

What do you use at the moment?

What do you like a bout the photos?

What do you dislike about the photos?

What would you want to shoot that your current camera cant manage?

I have both a resonable SLR with in camera body optical image stabilisation plus a range of lenses and accessories and a neat little compact with a light mini table top tripod and it is the compact that is with me most of the time and takes most of the shots, why? well it takes the shots I want and it clips on my belt and I can carry it with me all day....and if I want to, it will shoot video as well.

about the only thing the slr will do much better is portraits using a couple of flashguns and wedding shots outdoors using flash fill for definition and shadow softening, plus it will take polarising filters for shooting at water and other eflective surfaces, but to get this improvemt takes quite a bit of messing with things like shutter, aperture, iso, flash power, flash placement, live view in addition to subject composition.

Get back to us with some answers to these questions and the people here will help you move in the direction that you need.

An SLR is not always the solution, sometimes it is the problem, so tell us your problem and we will give you some alternative ways of ranking your priorities to get what it is that you want from your photos.

The image is king, the camera is just a tool
 

ncmoody

Novice Member
At your budget I would suggest a top of the range compact from Nikon or Canon would be a better choice unless there are specific thongs you want to do that these cannot do such as extreme telephoto, very low light or high speed sports.
However if any of the above are on the agenda a serious hike in bodget would be needed to do serious justice to them Like £5000 for instance.
 

bl0ckev

Well-known Member
Hi blockev

What has made you want an SLR?

What do you use at the moment?

What do you like a bout the photos?

What do you dislike about the photos?

What would you want to shoot that your current camera cant manage?
Quality of pictures mainly of people... more of a professional look (blurred out background and a very detail portrait (child/Pets)

I use a fujifilm digi cam.. not sure of model without looking. Was £100 when new so nothing awesome.

some are OK... convience of a digi cam i guess

Macro not great, people pictures not good compared to others I see.

People/Pets/Landscape/Macro/children when I have some :p
I would like a good and quality zoom should I take pictures of distant sport,people,places
 

Aardvarks

Active Member
Thanks for the reply bl0ckev.

Ok, so you need to be able to make good portraits and control the depth of field to make the background out of focus. In addition you want a good zoom and good macro mode to shoot small things.

You can get all this in a modern quality compact with superzoom lens and either clever scene modes or true manual control when you learn the ropes. You can also look at bridge cameras which can give you 18x optical zoom in one lens without having to worry about changing the lens.

The big advantage of an SLR is the ability to buy more lenses of better quality and be able to link to several flashguns or a studio set up for portriats. If you dont plan to use extra flash or change lenses then this may not be the right way forwards at the moment.

Perhaps now we can suggest a mix of

1. Super zoom compacts with some manual control

2. Bridge cameras with some manual control

3. Entry level SLR with easy scene modes and manual control with reasonable kit lens and macro capability. In camera optical image stabilisation would be good too.

On point 1 I an suggest the new Lumix TZ9 and TZ10 which have a wide to telephoto from 25mm, very wide to 300m, very long and a good macro mode plus up to full manual overide and HD 720p video capability
 
Last edited:

Aardvarks

Active Member
Aardvarks - while compacts are getting better, the sensor sizes still make small depths of field pretty much impossible to achieve.
Good point.

I guess I get carried away with my TZ6 being so easy to carry and always with me, with my GX20 I have to plan to go out and take speciifc shots.

To be fair, If I was setting out to do a 'proper' portrait, I would use my SLR plus tripod, plus off camera flash, and reflectors, but I use my little TZ6 nearly all the time for family and candids............it it rubbish with flash tho, apart from daylight fill where it isnt so bad

I might do a side by side comparsion, now what did I do with Cheryl Cole's mobile number??
 

shotokan101

Distinguished Member
Aardvarks - while compacts are getting better, the sensor sizes still make small depths of field pretty much impossible to achieve.
+1

Control of DOF was the single biggest reason I "upgraded" from my Finepix S9600 - otherwise I was pretty happy with my "SLR-alike" as a one stop solution :) but you can't beat a DSLR for flexibility an added creative options.

Jim
 

Yardbent

Novice Member
Control of DOF was the single biggest reason I "upgraded" from my Finepix S9600 - otherwise I was pretty happy with my "SLR-alike" as a one stop solution :) but you can't beat a DSLR for flexibility an added creative options....Jim
second that !.....after 30years of "fillum" bought a DSLR ...haven't looked back !

refurbished Nikon D40 £240 - about a year till you "may" upgraded - sells for a good price so not a great ££££ loss
comes with kit lens.......18-55mm DX
DX refers to it's suitable for DX cameras
18mm is a wide angle good enough for landscapes to start
55mm gives a good everyday focal length

add a tripod and camera bag + SDHC cards...totals £350-400

later you can add a tele-zoom, the Nikon 55-200 VR is excellent starter
often for sale here

good luck...........................:smashin:
 

bl0ckev

Well-known Member
You can also look at bridge cameras which can give you 18x optical zoom in one lens without having to worry about changing the lens.

3. Entry level SLR with easy scene modes and manual control with reasonable kit lens and macro capability. In camera optical image stabilisation would be good too.
Tell me more about the bridge camera / 18x optical zoom lens I should be looking for? Or the entry SLRs with auto functions aswell as the other features I need.

Second hand Sony A300? A nikon D40 ? I am totally lost on what to buy but it would be awesome to buy one with a lens capable of 18x optical which offers a wide variety without having to carry buy new lens (for now)

Main features I guess:
Would be Chargeable battery, Flash and a good lens for optical zoom. I guess the rest I would have to research (ISO etc....)

Oh and the "and control the depth of field to make the background out of focus" is something I want too. It looks so much better and should kids come along I want some pics I can be very happy with.
 
Last edited:

bl0ckev

Well-known Member
With regards to the below, :blush:

Sony Alpha a330 18-55mm Kit - Jessops

Or go for more of a kit like:

Sony Alpha a330 8GB Twin Lens Bundle - Jessops

Is it really worth the extra £150 (seems the extra lens is £169) or should I start with 1 lens 1 camera and buy things as I go along ....

or there is for same price additional sony lens rather than tamron but without all the other parts.

http://www.jessops.com/Directory/catalogue.ashx/$s=a330?cm_re=230610-_-Search-_-a330

Would I be right in saying 70-300mm would be the better one for distance (zoom) and the 18-55mm for close ups?
 

Aardvarks

Active Member
With regards to the below, :blush:

Sony Alpha a330 18-55mm Kit - Jessops

Or go for more of a kit like:

Sony Alpha a330 8GB Twin Lens Bundle - Jessops

Is it really worth the extra £150 (seems the extra lens is £169) or should I start with 1 lens 1 camera and buy things as I go along ....

or there is for same price additional sony lens rather than tamron but without all the other parts.

http://www.jessops.com/Directory/catalogue.ashx/$s=a330?cm_re=230610-_-Search-_-a330

Would I be right in saying 70-300mm would be the better one for distance (zoom) and the 18-55mm for close ups?
Hi bl0ckev,

The way I read the Jessops advert, if you go for the cheaper bundle, you can add the same Tamron lens for £119.

On the dearer bundle you are also paying for a camera bag and a memory card at 8gb but it it is a good deal. About the only thing you need on the dear bundle would be evetually and external flash which will give you more light power and more control over shadows than the flash built into the camera body.

So the Sony 330 has in built image stabilisation, dust protection, a good processing engine.

15-55mm lens gets you a wide angle for landscape through to a short telephoto abale to give flattering portraits.

The 70-300mm zoom gets you probably from Portrait through to shooting lions on the Serengeti.

So in two lenses you go from 15mm to 300mm, that is 20x zoom capability

The Tamron lens gets some mixed reviews and a lot of people at this level of zoom go for the Sigma version but personally I used Tamron and Tamron sp lenses for 30 years and I was always happy with the results. You are not going to get the Sigma version for the add in price of £119 but you might pick up a second hand one for less than this if you can find one with the Sony fit.

The Camera looks like a great place to start to learn how to set up shots and then mess around with settings as your confidence grows. I would be happy to use this camera without any problem.

Lets see what others say about the lens choices

Edit: I can find the Sony 75-300 for £180 online which would take your spend to £509 but you still need a memory card, allow £15 ish

Sony SAL75300 Telephoto zoom lens - 75 mm - 300 mm - F/4.5-5.6 - Minolta A-type
 
Last edited:

bl0ckev

Well-known Member
Thanks Aardvarks, I think maybe to keep within reason of spending I should look more at the £329 deal for camera and 18-55mm lens and try picking up neck straps/memory/bags separate.

I just guess my problem is making that all important final decision on which camera to buy! Sony/Canon/Nikon A330, A200, A300 blah blah blah blah !!
 

Aardvarks

Active Member
Thanks Aardvarks, I think maybe to keep within reason of spending I should look more at the £329 deal for camera and 18-55mm lens and try picking up neck straps/memory/bags separate.

I just guess my problem is making that all important final decision on which camera to buy! Sony/Canon/Nikon A330, A200, A300 blah blah blah blah !!
The Sony packs a lot of specifications into the camera at this price point. Remember that Sony bought out the Minolta brand of cameras which for many years were very well regarded. It should come with a neck strap included in the box.

The best thing now is to go to a store and see how they feel in your hand.

I dont think you get in camera body image stabilisation with Canon and Nikon, I think they are built into the lenses which locks you into buying expensive lenses, but lets see what others have to say. One man's meat is another man's poison
 
Last edited:

bl0ckev

Well-known Member
Nipping to PC world at dinner, seems they only have the A230 but from reading up it is similar in how it feels, if anything the A330 should be slightly better.

Thanks for now, and yes anyone else please feel free to comment :smashin:
 

ncmoody

Novice Member
If you intent this to be a one off purchase then go for a bridge camera.
However, if this is to be the start of a £1000 per year hobby then you should choose a DSLR and from the mainstream, Nikon or Canon.
You could easily blow your entire current budget on a reasonable portrait lens, a good one would be £1000.
 

Aardvarks

Active Member
I have just been looking at reviews and spec. If you can, compare the A330 to the A300 which is the older model. The A300 gets consistently better reviews and can be had with an 18-70mm kit lens for about £350

Can someone make a suggestion of which Bridge Cameras Bl0ckev should be loking at, I have no experience with these at all.
 

bl0ckev

Well-known Member
If you intent this to be a one off purchase then go for a bridge camera.
However, if this is to be the start of a £1000 per year hobby then you should choose a DSLR and from the mainstream, Nikon or Canon.
You could easily blow your entire current budget on a reasonable portrait lens, a good one would be £1000.
I hear where you are coming from but I cannot read the future, therefore buying a DSLR may move on to bigger things, it could also involve me selling it and going back to a point & shoot.
 

bl0ckev

Well-known Member
Can bridge cameras control the depth of field to make the background out of focus? I just think the price of a DSLR maybe worth a try
 

mutamist

Active Member
Depth of field is one of the reasons I went back to DSLR, that and low light photography which the TZ7 utterly failed on. My kit (A300, 2 x batteries, 2 x filters, 18-70mm kit lens and Sigma 70-300 f4-5.6 Macro DG lens) cost me a total of £305 posted, and that includes 18 months of warranty still on the A300 which was successfully transferred to my name. If you look around you can get some great second hand deals which are perfect for beginners.
 

The latest video from AVForums

Podcast: Reported HDMI 2.1 bugs, Audiolab Amp & LG LED Projector reviews + Best of the Month

Latest News

What's new on Sky and NOW TV UK for November 2020
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
AVForums Podcast: 28th October 2020
  • By Phil Hinton
  • Published
Tom's Thumbs: What is coming to Netflix in November 2020
  • By AVForums
  • Published
Melco anniversary edition N10 library announced
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
What's new on Disney+ UK for November 2020
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Top Bottom