Entry level kit?

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  • jablonski 28 Oct 2011 15:10:37 1,720 posts
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    Hello,

    I'd like to start getting into photography with a camera that uses different lenses.
    I've used Canon cameras before (but never had to change lenses). Found them pretty good.

    What would be a good starter kit to get going? (camera, whatever main lenses I would need etc).

    Don't really want to spend a fortune, and I'd rather it wasn't super-bulky.

    Could anyone advise?
  • mal 28 Oct 2011 15:52:13 21,960 posts
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    If lack of bulk is a priority, you're better off looking at a mirrorless system like Micro four thirds, or Sony's NEX E-mount cameras, Samsung's NX system or (spit) Nikon's 1-mount.

    Of those, I'd suggest going Micro four thirds, and looking at the Panasonic G series if a priority is ease-of-use. You should be able to get a second-hand G2 cheaply enough these days.

    That said, the G series cameras are still rather bulky compared many of the other mirrorless cameras, due to the inbuilt electronic viewfinder. But I'd recommend a viewfinder if you're serious about getting into photography. You can take snaps using a screen, but to take pictures you need a viewfinder.

    Cubby didn't know how to turn off sigs!

  • Jeepers 28 Oct 2011 15:59:30 13,170 posts
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    Entry level Kitt?
  • jablonski 28 Oct 2011 16:11:42 1,720 posts
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    mal wrote:
    If lack of bulk is a priority, you're better off looking at a mirrorless system like Micro four thirds, or Sony's NEX E-mount cameras, Samsung's NX system or (spit) Nikon's 1-mount.

    Of those, I'd suggest going Micro four thirds, and looking at the Panasonic G series if a priority is ease-of-use. You should be able to get a second-hand G2 cheaply enough these days.

    That said, the G series cameras are still rather bulky compared many of the other mirrorless cameras, due to the inbuilt electronic viewfinder. But I'd recommend a viewfinder if you're serious about getting into photography. You can take snaps using a screen, but to take pictures you need a viewfinder.
    Cheers mate.

    By G2, do you mean this one:
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Panasonic-DMC-G2-12-1MP-Compact-System/dp/B003B20SUG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1319814378&sr=8-1

    The size is good, but if I wanted to get into photography seriously (eventually) would you advise getting a proper SLR liked the Canon 550d etc?
  • monkman76 28 Oct 2011 16:26:16 3,398 posts
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    If the size of the 550d plus lens is ok for you I'd go for something like that or the Nikon equivalent (D5100). Always going to be better quality than the micro four thirds and really the prices are similar. But if size is a big factor, micro 4/3 or Sony Nex are both good choices.
  • jablonski 28 Oct 2011 16:37:20 1,720 posts
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    I do like the look of the Sony NEX.
    But if I buy lenses for the SONY, will they be useable with a better SLR model if I upgrade in the future?

    (Sorry, total novice)

    Edited by jablonski at 16:38:22 28-10-2011
  • monkman76 28 Oct 2011 16:44:52 3,398 posts
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    Post deleted
  • monkman76 28 Oct 2011 16:44:53 3,398 posts
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    It's good, i've taken shots with mine that I would say rise above the level of snaps (:-P to mal), as has valli. Not the right choice at the moment if you want a large selection of lenses to choose from though tbh. Best bet is to try handling a few in the shops.
  • Dante_Cubit 28 Oct 2011 17:00:27 1,842 posts
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    I believe what you should think about is what do you want to use the camera for? Why is it that you specifically want a camera that has interchangeable lenses? Are you interested in just taking 'higher quality' pictures or do you feel that you are limited in your creative options with other cameras? Buying a DLSR will give you both but it does represent a much bigger investment than just a decent point and shoot/bridge camera. If you are interested in photography then I would totally recommend getting a DLSR but too many people get pissed off with the size/weight and resort to using their phones. If this is likely to be the case then you would be better off spending your money on coke and whores.

    Photography can be unbelievably expensive. Few things are built to the specifications of good lenses these days and coupled with the limited demand the hobby becomes a bottomless pit for cash. It needn't be however. Any camera with a larger sensor than the typical point and shoot is capable of taking far better pictures - even an entry level DLSR. When you read reviews of lenses and people are being critical, don't assume that anything under a grand is crap. The price difference does not reflect the quality difference for most amateurs. Technique is waaaay more important. Also, buying second hand is very common. Photographic equivalent holds its value very well. Cameras themselves depreciate the most as technology is advancing quite quickly.

    If I were starting out I would probably get a low-end canon (especially if buying brand new). You'll likely get a slow 18-55mm lens which is decent enough for general photography. After this I would buy a cheap 50mm 1.8 which will open a number of different creative avenues for you (shallow depth of field, night photography etc.) and then a wide angle. Many beginners mistakenly think they want a telephoto but they are generally best suited for sports and wildlife photography (though you can do some portraiture or landscape work with them). If you want some eBay suggestions then feel free to ask, otherwise Amazon are as good as anyone really.
  • mal 28 Oct 2011 17:03:07 21,960 posts
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    If you do end up going for a traditional DSLR, don't discount second-hand. The bodies are somewhat tank-like, and damage to the lenses is usually pretty obvious. All my Nikon kit is second hand, apart from my flashgun.

    If going mirrorless, I'd only look at getting the Panasonics second hand, and maybe the Olympuses, but most of the older cameras do have something a bit wrong with them. DSLRs have been more than good enough for most people for a few years now, so go second hand if it means you can bump up to a better camera.

    Cubby didn't know how to turn off sigs!

  • monkman76 28 Oct 2011 17:05:54 3,398 posts
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    Ahem. DSLR.
    @Dante

    Edited by monkman76 at 17:06:05 28-10-2011
  • Dante_Cubit 28 Oct 2011 17:08:20 1,842 posts
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    monkman76 wrote:
    Ahem. DSLR.
    @Dante
    Oops. After 10 years of photography I should be able to type that.
  • monkman76 28 Oct 2011 17:09:20 3,398 posts
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    Once, I could have forgiven :-D
  • Dante_Cubit 28 Oct 2011 17:13:15 1,842 posts
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    monkman76 wrote:
    Once, I could have forgiven :-D
    I would blame the iPad but I think all honesty I was just being a spazz.
  • mal 28 Oct 2011 17:23:30 21,960 posts
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    To be fair, SLR is a retarded description for a camera. Single lens reflex? I can understand what that means, after someone explained it to me, but it's in no way an adequate definition of what that sort of camera is. It's almost as retarded as some of the acronyms they were coming up for mirrorless cameras before we started calling them mirrorless. CSC? EVIL?

    Cubby didn't know how to turn off sigs!

  • Deleted user 28 October 2011 17:25:17
    I'm selling my Sony Alpha 450 if that tickles your fancy.
  • monkman76 28 Oct 2011 18:04:02 3,398 posts
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    Mirrorless isn't great either since that describes virtually all consumer cameras bar SLRs.
  • mal 28 Oct 2011 18:08:46 21,960 posts
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    Those internal folded lens/periscope type cameras (like this one) also have mirrors, and only have one lens, so maybe those are SLRs too ;)

    Cubby didn't know how to turn off sigs!

  • Nth 28 Oct 2011 18:48:40 3,114 posts
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    mal wrote:
    You can take snaps using a screen, but to take pictures you need a viewfinder.
    What an incredibly condescending thing to say.
  • mal 28 Oct 2011 18:52:51 21,960 posts
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    /waves down to Nth

    Cubby didn't know how to turn off sigs!

  • Nth 28 Oct 2011 18:55:24 3,114 posts
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    Be careful on that horse, it's pretty high.
  • Whatsfor 28 Oct 2011 21:56:06 2,189 posts
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    OMG, AFAIK DSLT FTW
  • cheeky_prawnking 28 Oct 2011 22:58:14 3,798 posts
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    Best thing pop into Jessops try the cameras see what you like. End of.
  • cheeky_prawnking 28 Oct 2011 23:04:17 3,798 posts
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    And probably stick with Nikon or Canon. Can't go wrong really.
  • skuzzbag 28 Oct 2011 23:38:43 5,483 posts
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    Entry level body and a Tamron 17-50.
  • AaronTurner 29 Oct 2011 00:02:30 7,521 posts
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    Personally I wouldn't go for second hand, most of the cheaper cameras have shutters only built to last 20,000 activations or so, the better cameras 100,000. 20,000 isn't actually a whole lot, especially when you first start :)
  • jablonski 29 Oct 2011 08:52:46 1,720 posts
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    Been watching a few videos on VIMEO of the Panasonic G1, G2 and G3.
    The quality of video is astonishing - incredibly film like.
    I had no idea the video was so good on these things.
  • Whatsfor 29 Oct 2011 14:11:09 2,189 posts
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    If you like your reds to be pink and your blacks to be gray then the G2/G3 are ideal.

    At this point I would go for the NEX-5n, it's truely astonishing for it's class.

    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/sonynex5n/

    Choose the G2 in this comparison set and look at the darkest end of the Kodak gray scale, the sharpness of the blue lines and the redness of the heart on the playing card, the clarity of the Paul Smith blue watch face and then the black bottle against the gold trim of the Baileys bottle:

    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/SonyNex5N/page12.asp
  • jablonski 29 Oct 2011 22:18:31 1,720 posts
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    While watching a NEX vs G3 comparison, I saw some video footage from the Panasonic GH2 with hack.

    F*ck me, it looks as good as film to my eyes. Incredible motion.

    Anyone got this camera?
  • skuzzbag 29 Oct 2011 22:37:34 5,483 posts
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    The NEX-5n is a great camera (I'd certainly like one for a 2nd) but I'd want to see how it could perform in many different situations from one moment to the next. This is where a DSLR shines IMO the fact that you can adapt quickly to what is around you using the standard controls you come to expect from a DSLR body. I can change ISO / aperture / focus and focus point all within 5 secs without taking the 40D from my eye or navigating any menus at all as the settings are displayed in the viewfinder.

    I think if I was learning I'd go for a APS-C first just to learn all about photography with the hands-on controls they offer.
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