Discussion  - 
 
Hey everyone! I recently got into film photography and am finishing up an introduction black and white course, as well as have some experience with plastic film cameras. I've definitely fallen in love with taking photos, and I'm hoping to get into the digital slr world a bit, but am lost in all the options. 

If I were to choose a beginner DSLR with the ability to grow into it, what would you reccomend? 
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Kyle McDonnell's profile photoTravis Nichols's profile photoTrevor Awalt's profile photoKevin Rice's profile photo
11 comments
 
Awesome questions, Kyle! I'm sure others will have some input on this. I started with a Canon Rebel. It's a great DSLR with all the capabilities you could need. You can get the newest model, or save some money by purchasing an older model.
 
Well this is going to depend on how much you want to spend Kyle.  and also what kind of photography you'd like to do because you gotta remember the lens you'll have to get also. But since I shoot a Canon 7D I think a good beginner DSLR would be the new Canon T4i. Look it up on google or go to Canon's website and check it out.  Now I have not ever used a Nikon so all you Nikon users don't jump on my rear. I think Nikons are great I just have never used one, and I all I know is Canon. So if you Nikon owners have a Nikon you could suggest let Kyle know. Heck it don't have to be either Canon or Nikon.
 
Hi +Kyle McDonnell, I would second what +Varina Patel and +Kevin Rice said. I also started out with a Canon Rebel. It seems right now that the Rebel T4i is perpetually on sale--the holiday season is a great time to make the leap! Nikon and Canon have their ardent supporters, and I believe that both companies make great cameras. There are other brands, like Sony and Pentax, but I was warned away from them just because there is less of an ecosystem behind them--it would be pretty upsetting to spend several hundred dollars only to find you have no more room to grow within your brand. I'm sure some people would argue with me on that, though.
 
And what about SLT (sony) ?
The interface is a lot simpler than the Canon or Nikon one.

In "non-pro" budget, the quality is pretty identical (unless you shot in lowlight)
 
You would definitely be able to grow with a Canon or Nikon. And Tristan your right about the interface might be easier with Sony but if your wanting to be able to grow with your photography your gonna need a camera that can shoot in low light.
 
great tips! I'm still new to photography, but I'm certainly leaning more towards portraits, street photography, and macro photography. I'd love the ability to shoot in low light without a flash as well-I hate how a flash can wash out the photo. maybe that narrows my choices? 
 
Ok that's great. But one thing you said you'd like to do is portraits. Unless your gonna be shooting portraits outside all the time, using a flash is great to for indoor portraits. Now even shooting outdoors may require you to use a reflector which is great also great. I use all these things that I mentioned, it just takes time and practice, you'll get it.
 
If you want to ditch the flash, that will constrain your choices a bit. The higher end cameras have much better high ISO performance, and consequently you can get away with shooting in lower light. An entry level DSLR is not going to compare to a more expensive, full-frame camera like the Canon 5D Mark III or the Nikon D800. Also, this can be influenced by the lens. The Canon 50mm f/1.4 is a great little lens that will allow you to let in a lot of light (and thus shoot in darker situations), and it usually goes for around $300 (very affordable comparatively).
As +Kevin Rice said, though, flash can be a great tool in one's arsenal, but it typically requires more than just the pop-up flash (e.g., reflectors, independent flash units, etc.).
 
1st thing is to decide on what type of photography you want to shoot.
There is a great course on Creative Live it's a 5 day workshop on Introduction to Digital Photography covers a lot of information including many different cameras including Micro Four Thirds. They have a Dec sale on right now 20% off... http://www.creativelive.com/courses/digitalphotography

If you decide on a DSLR you need to choose between a APS-C sensor or Full Frame. Full Frame is expensive so off the start you may not choose to go that route, however keep this in mind for the long term because it will have a bearing on the Lenses you choose to purchase. Lenses built specifically for a APS-C sensor will not work on a Full Frame Camera.

If you are starting out as mentioned above the T4i or the T3i body are both great choices. You can get these in a bundle with a 18-55 and a 55-250 lens which will produce great results. If you want to start out a bit more cost conscious just get a body and the 50mm F1.8 lens, remember just the one 50mm lens would be great for portrait, video, landscape(not wide angle) and street photography. If you want to shoot a different genre then you need to spend time deciding on lenses.

Flash is another bundle of wax, again there are lots of courses on creative live or kelby training that can teach you all you would ever want to know. Just do your home work by deciding what type of flash photography you want to do, that will determine if you want studio strobes with battery packs or the compact EX flashes. Remember compact flashes have a thermal shutdown so its important to understand what you expect from your flash.

You can get into a lot of money very quickly, So my advice is as stated above really consider what you want to shoot and put as much detail around that as possible then you will be better able to determine what you really need and minimize the money you'll need to spend.

As far as picking a brand go to the store and put them in your hands, what feels better to you, try the menu systems and see which one you understand better. There are some issues around manufacturer capabilities such as bracketing etc... which will again determine which manufacturer to go with. Also keep in mind the cost of lenses say the pro ones in Canon terms they are "L" lenses these can be very expensive so decide on the coverage and then compare prices, that will help with your decision as well.

This is why you cannot get an easy answer, it all boils down to what you want to achieve.

Hopefully this helps. best regards
 
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