HELP needed for choosing beginner DSLRs.


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tehzeh

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Aug 7, 2009
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#1
hey guys. I need help from you guys. I am a beginner and I am looking for a DSLR for beginners. My budget is 1.2k-1.3k. I have narrowed my choice to Canon 500D, Sony a500 with 18-55mm lens, Sony a330 with 18-55, 55-200mm lenses.

Reasons for considering:

Canon 500D:
1) 3" with 920000 dots
2) the build of the camera
3) video function (least)
4) I can get the camera at 1.3k with a free canon 50mm f1.8.

Sony a500:
1) On-screen guide
2) tilt-able screen
3) 3" screen
4) shape of camera
5) steady shot (wdv they call dat)
6) build in AF motor

Sony a330:
1) I can get 2 lenses at 1.2k.
2) On-screen guide
3) steady shot
4) tilt-able screen

I would be using this camera to take some family photos/travel/macro. I am a complete beginner so the on-screen guide really appeals to me. So any opinions from you guys? Thanks alot!:)
 

limwhow

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Jun 9, 2009
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#2
Hello, tehzeh.
Very happy to have you at Clubsnap.
You have asked a very difficult question to answer.
Problem is, if anyone says Canon 500D is better, the Sony guys will kick up a big war, and vice versa.
I see that you already have made some analysis after review (must be).
So why don't you tell us which one would you most likely get?
 

madmartian

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May 2, 2009
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#3
Hi, welcome to CS:) Agree with limwhow. Go play around with the cameras at the shops and find out more before getting one ;)
 

krishna91

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Oct 14, 2009
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#4
at the entry level it really doesnt matter because as you go along, you will keep upgrading once in a while once you find your limitations or once you use your friend's top of the line camera. it's inevitable for most of us. But i will only say this , Sony is a strong emerging brand, but if you get very serious about photography and get into full frame cameras and range of professional lenses, i must say that you should go for a canon or nikon, as they are clearly the strongest brands up there. I used to shoot olympus, a great entry level camera maker, and then once i started doing professional photojournalism i moved to a canon 5d mark II and L lenses. It really depends on where you see yourself in the future...
 

tehzeh

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#5
hi guys! Thanks for the very warm welcome! :)

I only got to try the a330 and I felt that it's quite okay but the grip is not that big for me to hold it comfortably... That's the major drawback of this camera.

I was so close to buying the a330 today... but I decided to consider once more. and now, I got affected by the grip...

And also, i saw from a very recent thread, that a500 is a better investment to go long term... also, the a500 is shaped like a normal DSLR.. (you know, the usual DSLRs... nikon etc..)

Another choice is canon 500d. it has some really good features but... it doesnt have the tilt-able screen. I would need it if i am going to take macro photos.

I do not have a "most likely to get" camera at the moment.. because all these 3 cameras are quite okay.. I would be okay with any one of these three cameras.. it's just that I want to make this purchase more worthwhile as compared to the other 2 cameras... yeah.
 

limwhow

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Jun 9, 2009
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#6
.... canon 500d. it has some really good features but... it doesnt have the tilt-able screen. I would need it if i am going to take macro photos.
...
Allow me to ask, do you really need the tiltable screen?
An SLR uses mirror and pentaprism to reflect the image right into the view finder, not an angled screen.
Honestly, I don't think any Canon SLR users, and for that matter, users of any other brands without angled screen, would have difficulty taking Macro shots.
Really. Think about it, tehzeh.
Perhaps this would help you a little bit in your decision.
My humble opinion.
 

tehzeh

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Aug 7, 2009
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#7
no offence, but is there a possibility of you being biased towards Canon? ( from your signature) ;)

Okay, frankly speaking, I do like to shoot from weird angles like from the top or something. I do agree that without a tiltable screen, you can still take good macro photos, if you have the skills and right equipment. but honestly speaking, I feel that the tiltable screen is something I MIGHT (yes.. might, not will) need..

I understand that people use the viewfinder when they are using DSLR because it's faster and clearer and etc. but there will be moments when I would use the tiltable screen and live view. but I don't know, if there isnt a function like tiltable screen, i tink i can still live without it. oh and wait,limwhow or anyone reading this, can you tell me if it's more practical to get a 50mm f1.8 lens or a 55-200mm lens? Do I need so much zoom as a beginner?

Thanks again!
 

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limwhow

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Jun 9, 2009
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#8
Honestly, I try my very best not to be biased.
And (haha..) so far I think I have not shown myself to be biased in CS.
For weird angles and very low ground shots, the easy way to go about it is to use a right angle finder mounted on the view finder.
Not a limitation at all.

If, as a beginner, you are going to get ONLY one lens, then let it be the 55-200mm.
I say this as you have listed only the prime 50mm and this 55-200mm only.
There are other lens like the 18-200mm, in my opinion, that are perhaps more suitable for a start.
 

Titan10k

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May 16, 2008
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#9
Tiltable screen is helpful when you need to take overhead shots, e.i. events, where there's a huge crowd in front of you. Definitely you won't be using it that much, but it's not completely useless. The strength of Sony system lies in the in-body image stablizer (Super Steadyshot - Sony term) and built-in wireless trigger (only the Canon 7D has this on its system) rather than the tilting screen.
 

tehzeh

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Aug 7, 2009
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#10
If, as a beginner, you are going to get ONLY one lens, then let it be the 55-200mm.
I say this as you have listed only the prime 50mm and this 55-200mm only.
There are other lens like the 18-200mm, in my opinion, that are perhaps more suitable for a start.
huh..? so if you were given a choice between one camera with a 55-200mm lens and one with a 50mm f1.8 lens, which one would you choose? (not considering canon/sony)

Tiltable screen is helpful when you need to take overhead shots, e.i. events, where there's a huge crowd in front of you. Definitely you won't be using it that much, but it's not completely useless. The strength of Sony system lies in the in-body image stablizer (Super Steadyshot - Sony term) and built-in wireless trigger (only the Canon 7D has this on its system) rather than the tilting screen.
ya lo... the steady shot and AF/MF is really appealing to me.. not forgetting the tiltable LCD..
 

Galdor

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Jul 5, 2006
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#11
Hello...welcome.

I would say both the Canon 500D and Sony A500 are pretty impressive. Maybe you would like to visit a shop to try out both to see which is more comfortable to you. Besides the features, the camera's user interface and buttons must be comfortable to you cos you are the one using it. Do not be influenced by the sales person cos they are not the one using the cam and they only want to clinch the sales that give them the highest commission. Just listen to your heart.

Do also check out the features offer by each brand with the same amount of money and see which is more worth, you can do the calculations yourself.
 

limwhow

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Jun 9, 2009
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#12
huh..? so if you were given a choice between one camera with a 55-200mm lens and one with a 50mm f1.8 lens, which one would you choose? (not considering canon/sony)
For my own use, tehzeh, I will choose 55-200mm on a cropped body.
This is because over time I have realised that this range suits my shooting style better.
To each his own, you see.
I am sure many seasoned photographers would take a prime 50mm anytime, as much as there are those who'd choose the telelens.
 

Oct 26, 2006
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toa payoh
#14
Go with the one you are most comfortable with..
specs shouldn't be the main concern for you since you are starting out
you might wanna look into the lenses and flashes since getting a dslr would mean getting a system, the cost as a whole should be the other factor ;)

(ps.. sony lenses are more ex)
 

Galdor

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#15
^what's a crop body? :X

Galdor, I will take note. Haha thanks for telling.
When others are still shooting on film, it's film size is known as 35mm format. Then the digital age came and people still refer to the 35mm format as a full frame. But as the sensor size of most digital cameras are smaller than the 35mm format, hence they are know as 'crop sensor' Most of the cameras has a 1.5 times difference. (eg. if you used a 100mm lens on a 35mm format camera, the lens will react and give you the same view as a 100mm format should, but when you mount it on a 1.5 crop camera, it will be effectively a 150mm view on a 35mm format cam). Hope I got it right and you can understand what I'm saying.

Do note that most cameras (Nikon, Sony, Pentax) uses the 1.5X crop factor sensor. Canon uses a slightly smaller one at 1.6X and Olympus uses a 2X crop factor sensor.
 

Galdor

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#16
Go with the one you are most comfortable with..
specs shouldn't be the main concern for you since you are starting out
you might wanna look into the lenses and flashes since getting a dslr would mean getting a system, the cost as a whole should be the other factor ;)

(ps.. sony lenses are more ex)
That's a myth that Sony lenses are more expensive. Maybe you can give us some examples that Sony lenses are more expensive to support your claims?
If it's true I guess Sony users are either very rich or they are stupid enough to let Sony chop carrot. :bsmilie:
 

android17

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Sep 27, 2009
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#17
TS, please head to the nearest Sony Style shop (there's many in Singapore) and try out the A500/550. You can play around for hours in the shop, they wont chase u away LOL.

Since u mention you wanna do macro, do try out the manual focus live view mode (remember to switch ur lens' AF off). This is a great function for macro photography.
 

Nov 30, 2008
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#18
go n try...feel it...make it side by side comparison see which 1 u like...CP is a good location
 

nysheng

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Sep 11, 2006
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#19
Tip: if u have the same cam body as ur frenz...u can borrow lenses... ;)
 

ZerocoolAstra

Senior Member
Mar 13, 2008
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#20
hey guys. I need help from you guys. I am a beginner and I am looking for a DSLR for beginners. My budget is 1.2k-1.3k. I have narrowed my choice to Canon 500D, Sony a500 with 18-55mm lens, Sony a330 with 18-55, 55-200mm lenses.

Reasons for considering:

Canon 500D:
1) 3" with 920000 dots
2) the build of the camera
3) video function (least)
4) I can get the camera at 1.3k with a free canon 50mm f1.8.

Sony a500:
1) On-screen guide
2) tilt-able screen
3) 3" screen
4) shape of camera
5) steady shot (wdv they call dat)
6) build in AF motor

Sony a330:
1) I can get 2 lenses at 1.2k.
2) On-screen guide
3) steady shot
4) tilt-able screen

I would be using this camera to take some family photos/travel/macro. I am a complete beginner so the on-screen guide really appeals to me. So any opinions from you guys? Thanks alot!:)
As you can see, each camera has its strengths and weaknesses.
Sony's value-for-money proposition is hard to beat. If you compare specs for specs, the case for a Sony DSLR is very compelling indeed.
If a tiltable LCD is very important for you, well... I guess that eliminates the Canon from your shortlist, doesn't it? Then it's just a straight fight between the 2 Sonys.
So what other opinions are you trying to fish for?

For me, I chose Nikon because I prefer the ergonomics, the menu layout, the flash capability, etc.
Tiltable screen and in-built stabiliser weren't high on my priority list, so I made my decision.

Another factor to consider is size and weight.
I've seen people give up carrying their DSLR around after some months/years of hobby shooting, coz it's too heavy to lug around. What good is a super-dooper DSLR if it's just sitting in the dry cabinet?
 

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