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Thread: What's a good camera to get for $800-$1200?

  1. #1
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    Default What's a good camera to get for $800-$1200?

    I have a friend asking me for an opinion. I'll consider her a hobbyist, who will probably use auto/program mode most of the time, but might slowly start exploring basic settings.

    Her requirements are as such:
    - Budget of $800-$1200
    - Good low light performance (either fast lens or good ISO performance)
    - Preferably able to take tele

    I've considered the following:
    Prosumers like the Canon G16 seem decent, but with her budget I think she can get something with a larger sensor.
    Entry level CSCs like the NEX-3N, but the lens range seems limited. Able to get body + fast WA + tele for $1200?
    RX100? Is that within budget?

    Haven't been keeping up with the entry level DSLRs as of late, perhaps they are an option?

    Hope to get some comments!
    Last edited by wallyworld; 25th February 2014 at 06:36 PM.

  2. #2

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    I introduced a friend to Canon 700D with the 18-135mm STM kit lens as he wanted to move to DSLR from point & shoot compacts. Cost is around $1200, a few $10s more perhaps. After his Iceland trip, he said he was happy to have bought it. You could take your friend to Canon showroom at Vivocity to handle and try out the 700D for herself to see if it is to her liking. Some ladies would prefer the 18-55 kit lens because it's smaller & lighter (& cheaper). Another friend who prefers Nikon bought the D5100 (or was it D5200?) & was happy with it too. Enjoy the shopping :-)

    PS: If your friend can wait until April, try out the new Canon G1X Mark II. It's also possible to add on an electronic view finder later if she likes. One family friend has been using the G15 for some years and likes the form factor & size. She said for a girl, it was just right & can fit into any of her bags easily. G1X Mk II would be a higher model than G16. In my family circle, we have two S95's, an S100, S110 & S120. Owners are very happy with them. (I guess Nikon and Fuji are favoured by many too. I'm used to Canon & lazy to switch brand or system as a user. Not enough experience with other brands to recommend to you, except for Lumix, which I still have & use from time to time. They're good.) For $800-$1200, you have a lot of choices; so take time to choose one carefully to enjoy using for 3-4 years at least :-)
    Last edited by macVince; 25th February 2014 at 07:49 PM.
    Hobbyist; Weekend SG Tourist

  3. #3

    Default Re: What's a good camera to get for $800-$1200?

    Actually there are quite a handful of models that may fall into your list of consideration. Does your friend mind bulky gears like a DSLR or prefer something lighter such as m4/3 systems?

    Don't forget third party manufacturers' lens that adds to the choice of lenses for each brand. Unless your friend is going into serious photography I doubt she will need that many lenses to buy and choose from.

    DSLR: Get mid entry level such as Canon 700D, Nikon 5300D, Pentax K50, etc body only. Then pair up with Tamron 17-50 f2.8 and a 55-250mm lens. If you want fast tele then probably your budget may not be enough.

    M4/3: EPL5/6, good ISO performance and just get the 14-42 kit lens and maybe 40-150mm tele.

    Others: Fujifilm XM-1 (very good ISO performance) get the 16-50mm kit and with 55-250mm lens.

  4. #4
    Moderator rhino123's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's a good camera to get for $800-$1200?

    Actually... none of us can give your friend an accurate assessment into which camera suits her... because camera wise, all of them are good, however, there is a very personal feel... like ergonomic (the feel of the camera, right down to the sound of the shutter release).

    What we like might not be what your friend like.

    Anyway, that being say, with a budget like hers... you can ask her to looked into the following,

    1) Olympus EPM2
    2) Olympus EPL3
    3) Sony NEX series (not too sure which one will fit the bill)
    4) Canon EOS-M (among the cheapest now - 499 with kit lens)
    5) Nikon 1 series (some of them would be within budget)
    6) RX100 (same sensor size as Nikon 1 series)
    7) G1X or upcoming G1XmkII.
    8) Canon 100D

    Actually... don't just focus in getting a camera and lens... do note that she would definitely need a good tripod too.
    I am not a photographer, just someone who happened to have a couple of cameras.
    My lousy shots

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by wallyworld View Post
    I have a friend asking me for an opinion. I'll consider her a hobbyist, who will probably use auto/program mode most of the time, but might slowly start exploring basic settings.

    Her requirements are as such:
    - Budget of $800-$1200
    - Good low light performance (either fast lens or good ISO performance)
    - Preferably able to take tele

    I've considered the following:
    Prosumers like the Canon G16 seem decent, but with her budget I think she can get something with a larger sensor.
    Entry level CSCs like the NEX-3N, but the lens range seems limited. Able to get body + fast WA + tele for $1200?
    RX100? Is that within budget?

    Haven't been keeping up with the entry level DSLRs as of late, perhaps they are an option?

    Hope to get some comments!
    If your friend can stretch her budget, I would recommend the sony RX10 to her. That's if she don't wish to lug around so many lenses to change.

    Moderate sensor size coupled with fast zoom lens (24-200/2.8 equivalent), and OSS. Definitely enough to play with manual settings and depth of field creativity. 24mm 2.8 is a fast wide, 200/2.8 also a fast telephoto. Compare it with entry DSLRs with 18-135mm lenses, u gain about 2 stops of light at the telephoto end, which means 2 stops less ISO for cleaner image. All in a slightly smaller package.
    hi

  6. #6
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    Default Re: What's a good camera to get for $800-$1200?

    Thanks for the advice guys. I think DSLRs are out of the equation because I found out she will be using it for travelling and she wants something light and fits into a bag. RX10 seems like a good fit with a slightly heftier price tag, but damn it's ugly as hell LOL. I'll let her see it for herself.

  7. #7
    Moderator rhino123's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's a good camera to get for $800-$1200?

    Quote Originally Posted by wallyworld View Post
    Thanks for the advice guys. I think DSLRs are out of the equation because I found out she will be using it for travelling and she wants something light and fits into a bag. RX10 seems like a good fit with a slightly heftier price tag, but damn it's ugly as hell LOL. I'll let her see it for herself.
    Er... if RX10 is actually pretty big and heavy. If she is okay with that weight, I see no problem with a small DSLR like the Canon 100D which weight significantly lighter even with the lens on. Of course one can argue that RX10 packed with a great Zeiss lens that have pretty nice reach, but a DSLR could be upgraded with a variety of lenses in future providing it with more flexibility.

    That said, a RX10 is a great camera too.
    I am not a photographer, just someone who happened to have a couple of cameras.
    My lousy shots

  8. #8

    Default Re: What's a good camera to get for $800-$1200?

    Quote Originally Posted by wallyworld View Post
    Thanks for the advice guys. I think DSLRs are out of the equation because I found out she will be using it for travelling and she wants something light and fits into a bag. RX10 seems like a good fit with a slightly heftier price tag, but damn it's ugly as hell LOL. I'll let her see it for herself.
    Well there would be the RX100 or the Panasonic GM1 if she does not need a big range. With the GM1, she could get fast primes and the damn thing is tiny for an ILC!

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