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Thread: Recommended SLR Camera for absolute beginners

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    Talking Recommended SLR Camera for absolute beginners

    Hi,

    I would like to get an entry level SLR camera to try my hand at simple photography and its functions (with the hope that one day i may learn enough to do more). However, I am confused at the range of cameras available. So can someone recommended a simple and cheap ($200-300) camera with an adequate zoom lens? My personal preference would be either Nikon or Canon.

  2. #2

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    For starters, the Canon EOS 300 and EOS 300V would be adequate. Both their bodies are light. The difference is that 300v comes with a metal mount instead of a plastic mount, though i dun seem to notice any difference with performance

    It would be advisable to get a second hand SLR to start off with. I think they would be slightly above your budget of $300.. But they do well

    I'm not sure about nikon

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    You can consider Nikon F65/75 to start off. If you're really serious, you can consider a 2nd hand F80 at a slightly higher price.

    Regarding lenses, you'll need to consider what you're interested in shooting.

    I think to kick off, a AF 28-105 f/3.5-4.5D lense can give you a lot of range to play and shoot with. Do consider carefully what you want to shoot before you jump in. Although Nikon has a wide range, but owning the whole range is not that advisable

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    Default auto???manual???

    Quote Originally Posted by espn
    You can consider Nikon F65/75 to start off. If you're really serious, you can consider a 2nd hand F80 at a slightly higher price.

    Regarding lenses, you'll need to consider what you're interested in shooting.

    I think to kick off, a AF 28-105 f/3.5-4.5D lense can give you a lot of range to play and shoot with. Do consider carefully what you want to shoot before you jump in. Although Nikon has a wide range, but owning the whole range is not that advisable
    so u suggesting that start with a AF camera would be a better choice then a manual one???by the way...can u please enlight me y F80 would be one of the good choice???thanx!!!

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    The Nikon F80 is an excellent camera, boosting lots of options, and yet isn't overly intimidating like the pro-series (F100/F5). In short, it's a camera for you to grow into. It has a variety of metering options (matrix, spot, centre), on demand grid lines to help facilitate your composition and eliminate uneven horizon lines, adequate flash-sync speed, DOF preview button (a very useful tool to help see how much of your scene is in focus) etc. However it's abit out of your budget, even a second hand one.

    The F75 is also a good choice, though since it's relatively new (introduced last year), it's a bit harder to get a second hand deal on it. It has similiar options to the F80 but is catered more to the consumer than the prosumer, unlike the F80. The F65 is also good for beginners, though some of the features are not as straight forward as the F75. Check them all out here at www.bythom.com

    AF cameras has the same creative options as an MF camera. The F65/75/80 all allows you to experiment with shutter speeds, aperture settings. There's nothing you can't do with an AF that you can do with an MF. However, MF cameras are usually cheaper, so it can help as an inexpensive intro if you are unsure if you will take to photography.

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    Default F80

    I am also a beginner and current using F80. I bought it with a 28-100 len for 800+ at CP. No regret, it is definitely a SLR that I will recommend to you. It's better to invest on a slightly higher end SLR than to keep upgrading later.

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    I started out with EOS500. Then when it broke down, got the EOS500N. Good feel and functions for beginners (even multiple exposure), I should think the 300/300V is a bit small in feel. Couple the 500N with the battery grip which lets you use AA batteries, then it is good for beginners as AA batts are cheaper. I believe the 500N should be abt <$200 2nd hand, which suits your budget. Good Luck...

  8. #8

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    Do you prefer to "Try" first before you buy one? Why not borrow only of the SLR and test it for sometime b4 u commit?

    http://forums.clubsnap.org/showthrea...t=53016&page=1

    Check out the above webpage, you will not regret it .

  9. #9

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    Thanks for all the useful information.

    Blurblock - I would seriously love to try those cameras but I am actually getting a camera for a fren who wans to get into photography.

    Actually, the most serious limitation for me is the budget. I have been browsing the buy/sell section, and there are some seriously good deals if not for the fact that i am confined by budget...

    According to the information so far, I guess the best bet is the Canon EOS 500 then. I have seen someone selling it in the buy/sell but it doesn't come with a manual, which isn't really ideal for someone who doesn't know anything abt cameras...

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by feryl
    Thanks for all the useful information.

    Blurblock - I would seriously love to try those cameras but I am actually getting a camera for a fren who wans to get into photography.

    Actually, the most serious limitation for me is the budget. I have been browsing the buy/sell section, and there are some seriously good deals if not for the fact that i am confined by budget...

    According to the information so far, I guess the best bet is the Canon EOS 500 then. I have seen someone selling it in the buy/sell but it doesn't come with a manual, which isn't really ideal for someone who doesn't know anything abt cameras...
    Well, I suggest you get a Minolta then, it is always the cheapest camera with the capability of it's more expensive counterpart. If you are here 1 month eariler, I just sold my 700si for about $200 ...... (Oh well, the other party is a student, so don't when him to spend too much).

    Other then the body, you will have to take into consideration of the Lenses too . You can ask your friend to try out the camera too . Have a feel b4 you decides .

  11. #11

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    Any camera that fits your budget will do. Even a d100 won't promise breathtaking pictures as I see so often here.

    A simple minolta x700 with a minolta 28-70 will do. Or a Pentax manual. Train your eyes instead, and master your basic tools.

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    Quote Originally Posted by feryl
    Thanks for all the useful information.
    According to the information so far, I guess the best bet is the Canon EOS 500 then. I have seen someone selling it in the buy/sell but it doesn't come with a manual, which isn't really ideal for someone who doesn't know anything abt cameras...
    Get the EOS500N, not the 500. I've downloaded a manual in pdf for a friend before. Try search for it... If not, PM me, i still keep a pdf copy of it.
    Cheerz,
    Iz

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    Default F80

    Quote Originally Posted by yahoosg
    I am also a beginner and current using F80. I bought it with a 28-100 len for 800+ at CP. No regret, it is definitely a SLR that I will recommend to you. It's better to invest on a slightly higher end SLR than to keep upgrading later.

    do u find the built in flash is abit weird???hahaha...wat does it use for then if there is a slot for u to insert a flash?hope u can enlight me!!!thanx!!!

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    Decided to hitch-hike on this thread, since I'd similar concerns.

    Anyway, after trying out with my panasonic FZ-1 for sometime, I'd realised that while an automatic camera is good, it hinders the creation process. Sometimes it's really frustrating to be stuck with pre-set modes, and made do with them. Hence, am looking for a beginner/mid-range AF SLR to learn some proper techniques.

    Similar to the starter of this thread, feryl, I'm quite confused about a number of things in SLR.

    (1) What's the differences between the mounting of the lenses? Like the EF mount Canon, the A mount for Minolta, etc. etc. Will the decision to get a certain brand, i.e. a certain mount, decide what sort of accessories it would be limited to? Which mount is more popular, and have more cheap, yet effective accessories?

    (2) How do one judge whether a lens is good or not? I mean, probably one would look at the specs of the lens saying 75-300mm, at relatively cheap price, and say that it is a good lens. But, does specs really matter?
    I'm asking, since I do not know how to choose a lens... but the offer of Minolta Dynax 5 at MSColor ($649), which includes a AF 28-100mm and AF 75-300mm lens, seems really really attractive!

    Can any lao-jiao please enlighten me on the above.

    Oh! By the way, I'd shortlisted my hunt for a SLR to three cameras: Nikon F65, Canon EOS 300V and Minolta Dynax 5. If anyone want to give up theirs, please pm me. Thanks!!

  15. #15

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    Hi,

    I think it would be better if you compare system as a whole rather than mounts. A system would consist of flashes, lenses, SLR bodies among other photography accessories.

    For lenses, try this site: http://www.photozone.de for reviews.

    Cheers!

  16. #16

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    You will learn alot using a maunal camera. They are not very practical but definitely alot more fun to play with. Use it to take shots of static objects in the Botanic Gardens and other outdoor areas. When you decide to do more practical (ie not spend 10-20 secs adjusting exposure and focus)photography get a AF camera and flash. I'll recommend a M42/Screw mount manual camera since they are cheaper then Nikon manual cameras. For AF i'll recommend Minolta Dynax5, but the resale market for Minolta is low over here so when you outgrow the dynax you might have problems selling it.

  17. #17

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    I have a M42 system on sale.

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    Senior Member The_Cheat's Avatar
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    UY79: Thanks for the weblink. I'd been reading the contents (while skivving in the laboratory) and they are really helpful. However, it's a wee-bit too technical somehow.

    Anyhow, I was thinking about the wisdom behind what Ken Rockwell said: "Your equipment DOES NOT affect the quality of your image. The less time and effort you spend worrying about your equipment the more time and effort you will be able to spend creating great images. The right equipment just makes it easier, faster or more convenient for you to get the results you need."

    So is it too foolish of me to think about accessories and such, while I could just grab any beginner SLR that comes along, and start shooting?

    Oops... I'd digress...

    --

    reno77: Thanks for the recommendations on manual camera. However, I think I shall give it a miss. Practicality is what counts at the end of the day, isn't it?

    As for resales, doesn't all the beginner/mid-range SLR deflate tremendously due to the cheaper construct as compared to the higher end models?

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    Quote Originally Posted by aosis
    I have a M42 system on sale.
    Sorry aosis. I'm giving the manual system a miss.

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    i strongly recommend the Nikon F601QD with a used 35-80mm f4-5.6
    very nice camera with everything u need at this stage,built in flash,AF,Program mode,Aperture priority,Shutter priority and fully manual mode for only ard $150 for the camera(try yahoo auction) and another <$150 for the zoom lens.
    i started off with this set up last time,no regrets

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