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04-24-2013, 03:49 PM   #1
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What to buy?

Hello,

I have thought about purchasing my first DSLR. I am a beginner but would like a mid-entry camera that would be good for a newbie but plenty of room to grow in the event I start to do portraits etc. I have focused on the Nikon D5100 or the Canon Rebel T3i. What are your opinions of these cameras or what would you recommend differently, I would like to stay around the $500 range to begin with.

Thanks

04-24-2013, 04:32 PM   #2
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Either of those will be fine. However the Nikon D5100 should be slightly cheaper. But you are probably looking at 600 dollars with the kit lens.

If you start to grow in your interest in shooting with it, just add better lenses as just about ANY modern camera is perfectly fine for these kind of interests.
04-24-2013, 04:35 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by ntdmoma Quote
Hello,

I have thought about purchasing my first DSLR. I am a beginner but would like a mid-entry camera that would be good for a newbie but plenty of room to grow in the event I start to do portraits etc. I have focused on the Nikon D5100 or the Canon Rebel T3i. What are your opinions of these cameras or what would you recommend differently, I would like to stay around the $500 range to begin with.

Thanks
Take a look at this comparative review:
Canon T4i vs Nikon D5100 vs Pentax K-30 - Introduction - PentaxForums.com

If you're looking for the best video, the Canon would be a good choice. The Nikon is a bit better for stills.

Adam
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04-24-2013, 04:50 PM   #4
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thanks for the help guys...

04-24-2013, 05:27 PM   #5
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You should really look at the buy & sell section of this forum. You can have a K-r with a Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 for about 600 dollars... and that beats any of the cameras you mentioned.
04-24-2013, 09:28 PM   #6
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If you can handle each camera in a store, one might feel better built or more natural to you. That might seem unimportant but you'll be picking up the thing and carrying it around a lot. Annoyances add up over time.

DSLRs have pages and pages of specifications, slandards, measurements and tiny details. I guess you shouldn't totally ignore them but don't get completely absorbed by number differences. No one is going to look at a good shot and say "hmm, was this taken at 1.5 crop factor and 16.3 megapixels, or 1.6 crop factor and 18 megapixels?" Hardly anyone can tell which of my shots were taken at 6 megapixels and which at 14 megapixels.

I can see the difference between an average lens and a good lens even at 6 megapixels. Lenses make a big difference. In a year you might find yourself spending another $500 on a lens. Just keep that in mind.

It is nice that you can still buy older models as a new camera but this has to affect short term resale values. In other words, you'll have a hard time selling a T3i for close to the new price, so buying is a commitment.
04-25-2013, 06:45 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
If you can handle each camera in a store, one might feel better built or more natural to you. That might seem unimportant but you'll be picking up the thing and carrying it around a lot. Annoyances add up over time.
I second this wholeheartedly. My biggest mistake with my first dslr was not holding a bunch of different models. I ended up with a camera that I like to shoot with but that causes me a great deal of discomfort when I hold it for longer than an hour or so.

When you are first looking for a dslr you are looking at spec sheets and trying to figure out which one is the best but the thing you probably don't know is that once you've learned how to actually USE the camera you'll be able to take good pictures with almost any camera. What really matters is how the camera feels in your hand and whether there are lenses that work for how you shoot available for the mount the camera uses. You aren't really buying a camera, you're buying a lens mount with a camera attached to it. If the ergonomics are bad, or you can't get lenses that you want for your camera (whether because they are unavailable or are too expensive), it'll be an uphill battle to learn and enjoy shooting.
04-26-2013, 10:05 AM   #8
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Wow! That was a wake up call about what I should really think about...most of what I read/heard was they were both equal except for this or maybe that and almost everyone has told me all my decent shots will be based on the lens not really the camera....going and actually seeing which one is the best to hold for a period of time is probably the best advice I haven't gotten so far....thanks alot!!! Funny how its easy to overlook the simple things!!

Thanks again and happy shooting!

04-26-2013, 10:14 AM   #9
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Yay!

Good luck with your search ntdmoma :-)
04-26-2013, 11:14 AM   #10
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I can share what brought me to Pentax. I cut my teeth on my Dad's full-manual camera in the '80s. I appreciated Pentax (K-10 at the time) had thought to make it easy to use the camera in full manual mode with good ergonomics for using two wheels and a couple buttons easily reached with the thumb and a couple fingers. That and the ruggedness and in-body shake reduction meant it was the brand for me.
Seeing what even old M50 f/2 kit lenses can do on these new cameras is a revelation.

The new sensors mean if you can see it, you can photograph it. And you can photograph things you can't see if you leave the shutter open for a while.
04-27-2013, 12:51 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by ntdmoma Quote
decent shots will be based on the lens
Good glass is also really important too, perhaps IMHO more so that bodies which can come and go.

A Pentax advantage is the fact you can use older legacy glass with the more modern bodies, as the mounting system has stayed basically the same.

Unlike some other well known manufacturers.
04-27-2013, 03:35 PM   #12
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Thanks again for all the input!
04-29-2013, 07:24 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by kerrowdown Quote
A Pentax advantage is the fact you can use older legacy glass with the more modern bodies, as the mounting system has stayed basically the same.
This was a really big point for me. Let's see, I can buy a modern prime lens for hundreds of dollars, or buy a legacy lens that's just as good optical quality for far less... The only difference is it'll be manual focus, which is fine in many situations and more fun to use.
04-29-2013, 08:16 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by dboeren Quote
only difference is it'll be manual focus
Why is there something else?

Not in my working world at the moment there isn't.
05-30-2013, 09:00 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by ntdmoma Quote
Thanks again for all the input!
Not sure if you're still looking, but I really recommend the k-r or k-x as well. Not sure if k-x is still being manufactured, but you can probably hunt one down if you look hard enough.
It's great value at around $650 for the twin lens kit. The reason why I'd advise against getting a 'mid-level' is because they tend to be pricier, but eventually you'll find wanting to upgrade anyway, so you might as well get something that's more budget-friendly to begin with! And you can still learn everything you need from the k-r
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