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Thread: I'm New to photography, need opinion on which entry level DSLR camera to begin with?

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    Default I'm New to photography, need opinion on which entry level DSLR camera to begin with?

    I am thinking of getting a second hand DSLR for a start. Can anyone who's kind enough to give me advice on which camera is good enough as a beginner? I do not have much knowledge on the functions & features of each camera models.

  2. #2

    Default Re: I'm New to photography, need opinion on which entry level DSLR camera to begin wi

    Quote Originally Posted by gerigoh View Post
    I am thinking of getting a second hand DSLR for a start. Can anyone who's kind enough to give me advice on which camera is good enough as a beginner? I do not have much knowledge on the functions & features of each camera models.
    canon, nikon, sony. cant go wrong with each of them.

    if all you want to do is learn camera theory, look for Panasonic LZ8 or LZ10 for less then $180 as it has manual functions.
    You wont see me much less remember me but i am the guy who makes you look good.

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    Senior Member limwhow's Avatar
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    Default Re: I'm New to photography, need opinion on which entry level DSLR camera to begin wi

    Hello, gerigoh. Reportage has given you a very good lead on your question. I am only left to wish you a warm welcome.

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    Default Re: I'm New to photography, need opinion on which entry level DSLR camera to begin wi

    If u got not much knowledge, i wouldn't advice u to buy 2nd hand camera. U wouldn't know how to check it proper. The experience of getting a faulty set can be quite traumatic.

    Nikon D3000, Sony A230, Canon 1000D are some quite cheap and nice models selling.
    cameras are not made of tofu

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    Default Re: I'm New to photography, need opinion on which entry level DSLR camera to begin wi

    Hi Geri, welcome !!

    To start with you need to have a budget, after that it's a matter of personal selection - nobody can make you choose a particular brand. If your budget is S$950-1000. I'd recommend Pentax K-X if not, any of the other brands are good too. With Pentax and Sony packing more features at a lower costs. Canon and Nikon markets too much, and would probably occupy your mind just like MacDonald's to kids and people hunting for Sentosa Cove. :P

    Start off by reading this thread - http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showthread.php?t=598556

    Read dpreview.com with a pinch of salt. It's too detailed and unless you're really "anal" about noise at pixel level. Most of the main criteria will fall on functionality and ease of use, and of course image quality.

    And if you look further, then you'd want new lenses to play with when the need arise. That said - I know a female photographer, Mandy Tay who stuck to her D70 and kit lens for 5 whole years and she got my respect.
    Panasonic FZ28 Shooter
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    Senior Member Galdor's Avatar
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    Default Re: I'm New to photography, need opinion on which entry level DSLR camera to begin wi

    Minolta. Konica Minolta. Sony

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    Moderator Octarine's Avatar
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    Default Re: I'm New to photography, need opinion on which entry level DSLR camera to begin wi

    Quote Originally Posted by gerigoh View Post
    I am thinking of getting a second hand DSLR for a start. Can anyone who's kind enough to give me advice on which camera is good enough as a beginner? I do not have much knowledge on the functions & features of each camera models.
    I advise you to browse through this subsection. You are not the only one asking this question, it comes up 2x per day by plenty of people who only know how to post messages but miss the point of reading existing information. Also, there is a search function which you can feed with 'entry level' or 'beginner', plenty of threads to read, plenty of advice given many times. The general advice won't change a bit when a new model hits the market.
    EOS

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    Default Re: I'm New to photography, need opinion on which entry level DSLR camera to begin wi

    Quote Originally Posted by gerigoh View Post
    I am thinking of getting a second hand DSLR for a start. Can anyone who's kind enough to give me advice on which camera is good enough as a beginner? I do not have much knowledge on the functions & features of each camera models.
    You have decided on a 2nd hand DSLR for a start.
    You do not have much knowledge on the functions and features of each camera models.

    This is the situation I was in 4 months ago. My experience maybe useful for your reference.

    I surfed the net, read forum pages and became aware of D40. It has good reviews and it has large followings. It happened that a friend has a D40X and I had the chance to hold his camera in my hand. I found it comfortable and decided to look at D40 and nothing else.

    I looked out for 2nd hand D40 in Clubsnap buy/sell and found one which was less than 18 months old with shutter counts less than 4800. My friend went with me to check out the camera, it was in very good condition and without hesitation, I bought it paying a slight premium.

    I am a very happy owner of the camera today. There are lots of information on this camera, with help and advice from the forums, books, manual and practices, I learned the functions and features of a DSLR and am moving to shoot in M mode with some confidence.

    My recommendation, go ahead to get a D40 or other model which has large followings and start shooting.
    Last edited by LBL2009; 18th November 2009 at 10:57 AM.

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    Senior Member madmartian's Avatar
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    Default Re: I'm New to photography, need opinion on which entry level DSLR camera to begin wi

    Welcome to CS Ya, read up more before buying. Choose 1 that suits your needs and style of shooting.
    Take the shot!

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    Default Re: I'm New to photography, need opinion on which entry level DSLR camera to begin wi

    Let me give you an advice..
    Find you camera HERE.

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    Default Re: I'm New to photography, need opinion on which entry level DSLR camera to begin wi

    Hi gerigoh,

    I suppose you have already made up your mind you want a DSLR. For me, this decision wasn't an easy one to make. Please allow me to share.

    With the price of DSLRs so low, it's very easy to rush into one and get overwhelmed by the complexity. I personally feel learning the basics first is better. Cameras come and go, the technology never stays stagnant but what makes a good photograph will always remain, such as composition. And you do want to build up these basic skills first. That's why I personally found it beneficial to learn the ropes using a simple but good point and shoot first. Using something so simple, I learnt the techniques rather than relied on the technology. I believed that if I can't take good pictures with a point-and-shoot, I don't think I will in a DSLR.

    I shot exclusively on a point-and-shoot for 3 years, and I finally got frustrated with it. During this time, the fear of missing out a good shot pushed me to push the camera to its limits. I was pleasantly surprised how far it can bring you if you pushed yourself and you pushed the camera. I eventually felt inhibited but that meant I'm ready to graduate to something more advanced and the limitations of the point-and-shoot also allowed me to know what I wanted in a DSLR. That really made selecting a DSLR with all those fancy features a lot easier.

    But that's another story. All I'm saying is, do think about whether a DSLR is necessarily your best option at this point.

    If it is, then do note that unlike buying a point and shoot, buying a DSLR is an investment. You are not only buying a camera, you are buying an entire system.

    Therefore cost is a very important consideration. DSLRs are already expensive but you'll be surprised how much its supporting crew will cost. In the long run, the body of the DSLR is actually just the tip of your money spent.

    You must also consider hidden costs. Do not just look at the price of a DSLR kit. You will also need high speed memory cards, cleaning kit, bag and dry cabinet. All these can add significant cost to your investment, perhaps S$200 or more. While some of these are usually given as freebies, from my own observation, what vendors dish out as freebies differ significantly. If you are picky about brands and quality, then you are likely to go out and purchase these items above what was given as freebies.

    You might quickly venture out into getting additional things like tripod, lens hood, filters and even better lenses. If you are starting photography from scratch, then this is not an issue, you are likely to only invest in these items a while later. However if you have some experience with point and shoots, you are likely to progress quite quickly. By experience, I do not mean taking pictures at family gatherings. I mean trying to take some artistic shots etc.

    I don't believe in rushing into buy digital products. The more you acquaint yourself with market information, the more you are likely to identify a good buy. The market price of a DSLR is rather standard. You can find an extensive list in the price guide. Many people belittle the freebies, but perhaps that's cos they are seasoned photographers who have no need for these freebies. But for a beginner like yourself, they will make a huge difference in the start-up cost.

    You are entering the market at a good time. Sitex is coming up, the holiday sales period is starting. If I were you, I'll spend a good amount of time this next few days doing the following:

    • Peruse the wealth of information on this portal (including equipment discussion) to find out which camera excites you more,

    • Speak to your friends who have DSLRs,

    • Visit your nearest Courts to have a hands-on. If you can, go to their Mega Store, they have almost all models on display for customers to play around. There are no annoying salesmen watching over you so you can play to your heart's content. Other electronics stores do not have DSLRs on display that you can fiddle with,

    • Read the Straits Times Saturday edition. There are a lot of advertisements, especially for DSLRs.


    The purpose of doing your homework is to:

    • Find out what are the features you are looking for, and what fancy feature you can live without.

    • Find out which brand you are more interested in. At the beginner level, not all brands are equal. Experienced users here have testified that they do not switch camps once they have decided on one, and if they do, it's a painful and expensive affair.

    • Find out which DSLR actually suits your budget.

    • Find out what is its market price, and hence what is a good deal.


    The more you read, the more you are able to have a good gauge of what the market price is and what freebies you can expect. It may be excessive but I hate the feeling of finding a better deal the day after I buy my digital products.

    Finally, do also consider buying from a reputable vendor and building a good long term relationship with them. Not only will they give long term customers the best price, you can also tap into their experience and advice.

    I liken a DSLR camera system to an F1 Racing Team. It's more than just the driver and the car, it's a serious investment into the whole set up.

    Good luck!

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    Senior Member madmartian's Avatar
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    Default Re: I'm New to photography, need opinion on which entry level DSLR camera to begin wi

    Wow! Nid anything else?
    Take the shot!

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    Member Cartman2000's Avatar
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    Default Re: I'm New to photography, need opinion on which entry level DSLR camera to begin wi

    Visit your nearest Courts to have a hands-on. If you can, go to their Mega Store, they have almost all models on display for customers to play around. There are no annoying salesmen watching over you so you can play to your heart's content. Other electronics stores do not have DSLRs on display that you can fiddle with,
    I have never failed to hear a "buying camera sir" or something to that effect in the few times I've been there

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    Senior Member ZerocoolAstra's Avatar
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    Default Re: I'm New to photography, need opinion on which entry level DSLR camera to begin wi

    hahahah... true... I'm browsing through the camera section of the store.... Do they think I'm looking for a sofa, perhaps?
    Exploring! :)

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    Senior Member ZerocoolAstra's Avatar
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    Default Re: I'm New to photography, need opinion on which entry level DSLR camera to begin wi

    Quote Originally Posted by roque
    Hi gerigoh,

    I suppose you have already made up your mind you want a DSLR. For me, this decision wasn't an easy one to make. Please allow me to share.

    With the price of DSLRs so low, it's very easy to rush into one and get overwhelmed by the complexity. I personally feel learning the basics first is better. Cameras come and go, the technology never stays stagnant but what makes a good photograph will always remain, such as composition. And you do want to build up these basic skills first. That's why I personally found it beneficial to learn the ropes using a simple but good point and shoot first. Using something so simple, I learnt the techniques rather than relied on the technology. I believed that if I can't take good pictures with a point-and-shoot, I don't think I will in a DSLR.

    I shot exclusively on a point-and-shoot for 3 years, and I finally got frustrated with it. During this time, the fear of missing out a good shot pushed me to push the camera to its limits. I was pleasantly surprised how far it can bring you if you pushed yourself and you pushed the camera. I eventually felt inhibited but that meant I'm ready to graduate to something more advanced and the limitations of the point-and-shoot also allowed me to know what I wanted in a DSLR. That really made selecting a DSLR with all those fancy features a lot easier.

    But that's another story. All I'm saying is, do think about whether a DSLR is necessarily your best option at this point.

    If it is, then do note that unlike buying a point and shoot, buying a DSLR is an investment. You are not only buying a camera, you are buying an entire system.

    Therefore cost is a very important consideration. DSLRs are already expensive but you'll be surprised how much its supporting crew will cost. In the long run, the body of the DSLR is actually just the tip of your money spent.

    You must also consider hidden costs. Do not just look at the price of a DSLR kit. You will also need high speed memory cards, cleaning kit, bag and dry cabinet. All these can add significant cost to your investment, perhaps S$200 or more. While some of these are usually given as freebies, from my own observation, what vendors dish out as freebies differ significantly. If you are picky about brands and quality, then you are likely to go out and purchase these items above what was given as freebies.

    You might quickly venture out into getting additional things like tripod, lens hood, filters and even better lenses. If you are starting photography from scratch, then this is not an issue, you are likely to only invest in these items a while later. However if you have some experience with point and shoots, you are likely to progress quite quickly. By experience, I do not mean taking pictures at family gatherings. I mean trying to take some artistic shots etc.

    I don't believe in rushing into buy digital products. The more you acquaint yourself with market information, the more you are likely to identify a good buy. The market price of a DSLR is rather standard. You can find an extensive list in the price guide. Many people belittle the freebies, but perhaps that's cos they are seasoned photographers who have no need for these freebies. But for a beginner like yourself, they will make a huge difference in the start-up cost.

    You are entering the market at a good time. Sitex is coming up, the holiday sales period is starting. If I were you, I'll spend a good amount of time this next few days doing the following:

    • Peruse the wealth of information on this portal (including equipment discussion) to find out which camera excites you more,

    • Speak to your friends who have DSLRs,

    • Visit your nearest Courts to have a hands-on. If you can, go to their Mega Store, they have almost all models on display for customers to play around. There are no annoying salesmen watching over you so you can play to your heart's content. Other electronics stores do not have DSLRs on display that you can fiddle with,

    • Read the Straits Times Saturday edition. There are a lot of advertisements, especially for DSLRs.


    The purpose of doing your homework is to:

    • Find out what are the features you are looking for, and what fancy feature you can live without.

    • Find out which brand you are more interested in. At the beginner level, not all brands are equal. Experienced users here have testified that they do not switch camps once they have decided on one, and if they do, it's a painful and expensive affair.

    • Find out which DSLR actually suits your budget.

    • Find out what is its market price, and hence what is a good deal.


    The more you read, the more you are able to have a good gauge of what the market price is and what freebies you can expect. It may be excessive but I hate the feeling of finding a better deal the day after I buy my digital products.

    Finally, do also consider buying from a reputable vendor and building a good long term relationship with them. Not only will they give long term customers the best price, you can also tap into their experience and advice.

    I liken a DSLR camera system to an F1 Racing Team. It's more than just the driver and the car, it's a serious investment into the whole set up.

    Good luck!
    Thumbs up for this advice! Learning the basics does help much more than chasing the latest tech. Too many people think that getting a DSLR will somehow improve their photography, and fail to realize that their lack of knowledge about what photography actually is, that is the main culprit for not being able to produce good shots.

    I was a little more impatient than you. Progressed from PnS to prosumer to DSLR, each jump taking just over a year.
    I was still a bit clueless about DSLRs when I took the plunge and got mine. Thankfully no regrets. Been using it for about 2 and a half years already. Have successfully put down the urge to upgrade.
    Exploring! :)

  16. #16

    Default Re: I'm New to photography, need opinion on which entry level DSLR camera to begin wi

    Thanks all for the kind & helpful respond!
    I am definitely gonna make efforts before purchasing an expensive camera. The reason why i am thinking of getting a 2nd hand camera is due to the tight budget i've set for a start & there's alot of things i am unsure about. I did consider the disadvantages of getting a 2nd hand camera. I am new and i know that there might be a risk. Since i lack of camera knowledge and might not know if the condition of the camera. So i had to read and question carefully before i set my mind on it. Anyway, I am looking at a few models and comparing. But it is still hard for me to decide now. There's certain camera terms mentioned on the specs which i have no idea what it is. I have many questions and doubts still. Of course, i would like to get a first hand camera. But it will be a waste if i do not know how to operate it. So i need more advice and opinions from professionals to help me with my first pair of DSLR!
    Last edited by gerigoh; 18th November 2009 at 11:40 PM.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Galdor's Avatar
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    Default Re: I'm New to photography, need opinion on which entry level DSLR camera to begin wi

    Maybe you would like to set a budget and see what are the cameras out there you can get and try them out to see if they are comfortable to you. Personally I find the user interface, spec & features and handling quite important.

    Hope you will get your cam soon.
    Minolta. Konica Minolta. Sony

  18. #18

    Default Re: I'm New to photography, need opinion on which entry level DSLR camera to begin wi

    You could perhaps keep a selection of photographs that you like and ask your photography friends if they know how to capture a similar shot, as well as what you need to capture such a shot. That might help you focus on the features that you want, and not be distracted by others.

    Have you tried http://www.digitalreview.ca? Not the most popular review website but i like their frequent DSLR comparisons. It's also easy to read.

    You could also try to rent a DSLR over the weekend to try. I know of one here but I have never tried renting before.

    Another easy way to break the deadlock is to compare each camera's shortcomings to see which features you cannot live without.

    Some experienced photographers have also advised me rather than getting the best DSLR kit my money can buy, better to get a decent DSLR body that meets most of my needs and invest the spare cash in better lenses.

    Finally, both Canon and Nikon have huge followings around the world, you can hardly go wrong with either. So instead of fretting over which is superior, you might be better off just getting one that is within your means and spending more effort on mastering it.

  19. #19

    Default Re: I'm New to photography, need opinion on which entry level DSLR camera to begin wi

    Currently, what i have in mind is Canon 40D, 450D, 400D, 500D and 1000D.
    Most sellers on ClubSNap are selling away the body ONLY. I am looking for a whole package(Body + Lens) Does anyone uses this models of camera, pls feedback to me?
    withlove;geri goh

  20. #20

    Default Re: I'm New to photography, need opinion on which entry level DSLR camera to begin wi

    I am currently using Canon 500D plus the kit-lens 18-200mm.
    Honestly, I feel I should have researched more on the various brands out there.
    Don't get me wrong, I lurve my canon a lot.

    However, there are other brands which are just as good if not better value for the sepcs.
    One of the few which I wished I had the chance to try was A550, Pentax K-7, Pentax K-X.
    However, that time I was in rushed, and got myself a Canon instead

    Like many others before me advised, its better to go out and hold the camera in your hand before deciding.

    What draws you to the camera?
    1) handling and ergonomics
    2) design
    3) brand
    4) lens availiability

    The factors which decide your first dslr are a lot. You determine what you want or need.

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