Need Your Opinions/Expertise on DSLRs!

Discussion in 'Art, Media & Photography' started by R34CH, Nov 10, 2017.

  1. R34CH

    R34CH Counter Culture Bullet Vulture

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    So over the past couple months I've been really enjoying doing a little photography in my spare time. I think it's at the point where I'm ready to take my camera game to the next level (good bye point and shoot). Not really looking to go professional and make money or anything...just wanna have some fun in the evenings on walks and such.

    I would like to get a DSLR of some kind but the problem is that I have no idea where to start. The local warehouse stores have some kits that seem appealing with entry level Canon's (T6i or T6s) and a couple different lenses. However, I've also heard good things about Fuji and their X series and seem some good deals on older used models (X-Pro1, X-T1, and X-E2) but they are body only so I'd need to do some research on lenses.

    What do you guys think? What should I go for her? Thanks people!

    TL;DR - school me on how to break into DSLR cameras!
     
  2. ThePhilosopher

    ThePhilosopher Reason User Contributor

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    The best advice I have is:
    1. Don't buy a prefab kit, kit lenses are usually garbage.
    2. Have you shot a camera in full manual mode before; if not, be prepared for a learning curve. If you're not going to learn, you may as well stick with a point and shoot.
    3. What are your desired outcomes from owning a DSLR?
      • Do you know what types of shots you would like to take (example images help here)?
      • Reading specs sheets aren't going to help much if you don't know how it limits what you're trying to achieve.
    4. Put your hands on several DSLR models to understand what fits well in your hands; ergonomics are important
    5. Buy used from a reputable place if you're unclear about sticking with the hobby.
     
  3. R34CH

    R34CH Counter Culture Bullet Vulture

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    Thanks for your thoughts! I've heard similar about kits which is why I was wary and looking at going body only as well. I have indeed shot full manual and know the basics but I also know that there is still much, much more to learn and I'm pretty excited to get some more depth of understanding (even though the learning curve may be tough). That's actually part of why I want to move to a nicer camera as I'm starting to feel the need for more control over more aspects of the shot. As for types of shots, I'm not entirely sure yet which I assume is also part of the learning process. I guess for now, I'm looking for something well rounded / versatile?

    Again, thanks for your advice!
     
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  4. ThePhilosopher

    ThePhilosopher Reason User Contributor

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    All bodies will shoot just about anything you'd like (aside from highly specialized things: IR, fast sports, super high MP count, great low light performance, HSS with any lights, etc). It's lenses that will determine versatility.

    To show this, go to my website and tell me which shots were taken with an Olympus E-500, Olympus E-1, Olympus E-3, Nikon D200, Nikon D3, Bronica ETRSi, Sinar Alpina 4x5. Point being, you're more likely to guess focal length than you are which camera was used.

    If you're looking for well-rounded: a 35, 50, 85 (on a 35mm camera) is hard to argue with.
     
  5. odibrom

    odibrom .

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    Although @ThePhilosopher pointed out correct aspects of starting with DSLRs, kits are made for starters in the area, as seams to be your case. Sure, kits' lenses are bellow bar (SLRs bar, mind saying), but are also a bit better than point'n'shoot cameras' lenses. The GREAT thing about DSLRs is to swap lenses, so one can always start with something less expensive to learn how it feels and then climb up the lather of photography hardware. Lenses can be as expensive as bodies and even more, depending on the level of each.

    Personally, I vouch for Canon. Had a few along the years (20+, yeah, analog canon cameras, even previous to EOS revolution) and they have been solid cameras all over the place. I've been out of the loop as for what is there to choose from. If I was to get one new for me, I'd go for a 5D something or similar. If I was to start on this thing, I'd go for a Rebel kit (EOS 100D...?), which I think are not the low level basic ones (EOS 200D and beyond). Yeah, kits' lenses aren't top notch, but they won't fail on you nor blur your photos. They're still better than point'n'shoot lenses... and you can also buy better lenses along the way, swap-able being the keyword, even with other lenses brands (tamron ? makes lenses for Canon, Nikon...).

    Canon numbers their cameras according to its level, the higher number, the lower the tier. The EOS lenses aren't compatible with all cameras, some are only for lower level cameras due to the camera's sensor size (EF-S lenses series are not compatible with higher tier cameras)... this is a subject a little too long for this post. If you'll go with Canon, we can deepen this subject.

    Actual DSLRs have lots of features, depending on budget. Some can also do HD videos besides photos, so choose accordingly with your needs.

    Cameras are instruments, not the ones who takes the photos. Good photos are taken by good photographers, regardless of the camera used. I've taken some very interesting photos with my cell phone and some really bad ones with my top notch DSLR (Canon EOS 1D Mark II from 2004).

    As for 2nd hand Photography hardware, I have no experience, but I fear mold in lenses and loose mechanics on cameras. As I'm in no way acknowledged in repairing cameras as I'm with guitars... only on trusted sellers (shops with repair services...?) and do not buy via the web, only local and "hands on" on 2nd hand equipment.

    Last but not least, I've seen lots of people carrying their new cameras and new lenses around without a skylight filter. A Skylight filter is to protect the lenses, is far easier and cheaper to replace than to repair an expensive lenses because it is scratched... A Skylight filter can be replaced with other filters like polarizing ones (pretty useful with reflected images on windows, water or reflective surfaces). This to say that ALWAYS wear a filter with the lenses, a skylight is a no brainer, a polarizing may be a plus, but it takes some light and may not be that functional at dark situations.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2017
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  6. ThePhilosopher

    ThePhilosopher Reason User Contributor

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    We'll agree to disagree about always putting a filter on your lenses. Some lenses don't take front filters and others don't use cost effective sizes for quality glass that's not going to degrade image quality.
     
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  7. odibrom

    odibrom .

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    fish eye lenses don't take filters... afaik... I'll put on a skylight filter on any lens I get, sometimes a polarizing one. I prefer a little less image quality due to the filter than to have a lenses' glass being polished because of scratches made when cleaning dust... Besides, I doubt most will ever notice the difference on having a skylight filter or not in the results...
     
  8. R34CH

    R34CH Counter Culture Bullet Vulture

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    Good info here! Thanks guys! Any good recommendations on where to find used cameras/gear? I've been looking on ebay but are there any more camera oriented places that people use?
     
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  9. odibrom

    odibrom .

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    I would avoid online shopping for used cameras and lenses. Try first your local photography shop.
     
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  10. ThePhilosopher

    ThePhilosopher Reason User Contributor

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    The only reputable places I know of are KEH.com and DigitalBack.com
     
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  11. R34CH

    R34CH Counter Culture Bullet Vulture

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    Thanks guys...got a lot to investigate and think about!
     
  12. odibrom

    odibrom .

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    Feel free to post back with more questions. As I said before, I'm a happy Canon user. I have experimented some Sony a few years ago with more resolution (pixel per pixel ratio) and its image quality was considerably worst than my camera's.
     
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  13. ThePhilosopher

    ThePhilosopher Reason User Contributor

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    Not to derail, but was the an A7r series camera or one of their other cameras? I'm looking to alleviate some of the weight from the D3 setup and considering all options to do so including an A7rii setup.
     
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  14. odibrom

    odibrom .

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    I don't remember, really, it was about 7 or 8 years ago. It was one of their firs DSLRs models I think, not sure if the Alfa series already. It was my sister's one. A few time latter I came to know that the camera stopped working properly, don't know why. My Canon 1D mark II still takes awesome photos for a 13 years old digital camera. It's already obsolete for today's standards, but it still kicks ass.

    Sony has some nice stuff, as well as other brands, but for standard regular use Photography, I'd go with longer tradition brands like Canon or Nikon. Obviously I'm not talking pro level here...

    The thing is, the better the photo is at the camera, the less post production there will be needed.
     
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  15. R34CH

    R34CH Counter Culture Bullet Vulture

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    Just wanted to let you guys know that I found a sweet deal on a Fuji X-E2 with an accompanying XF35mmF2. Really enjoying it so far but like you said - definitely a bit of a learning curve.

    Looking forward to getting better and hopefully sharing some shots in the Photography Thread. :) Thanks for your inputs guys!
     
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  16. odibrom

    odibrom .

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    May that camera serve you well
     
  17. ThePhilosopher

    ThePhilosopher Reason User Contributor

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    Congrats, most of the heavy contributors to the Photo thread don't post there any more.
     
  18. R34CH

    R34CH Counter Culture Bullet Vulture

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    Yeah, it does seem to have really slowed down...
     

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