Author Topic: Budget DSLR  (Read 4849 times)

Torslanda

  • Professional Gobshite
  • Just a tart for retro kit . . .
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Budget DSLR
« on: May 08, 2017, 08:03:11 pm »
#1 son - Foxbat OTP - wants to get into DSLR world. Aged 16, with a 20 quid a week paper round, his budget isn't huge. What kind of dosh is necessary to get there?

Currently he is using my Fuji FinePix S5600 (5.1 MP with 10 x optical zoom, focal length 6.3 - 63mm) and getting reasonable results. My old SLR is a Canon AV-1 with 35-200 zoom, and I suppose we'd like something about as capable.

Recommendations please . . .
VELOMANCER

Well that's the more blunt way of putting it but as usual he's dead right.

Re: Budget DSLR
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2017, 08:52:43 pm »
It's worth bearing in mind that, once you've bought something, you'll have at least one and probably (soon) several lenses. If budgets will continue to be limited, you probably don't want to be changing systems, and trading them all in in one go. So, if you have strong views on what system you want long-term, second-hand in that system might be a good bet. Or, a few systems work with old lenses.

In my case, I have always been a Pentax user (because my father-in-law was, mostly, and also, back in the day, you could get various independent bodies that used K mount and were cheaper than the real thing). So, when I changed to DSLRs, it was with a Pentax K110D. That's no longer available, but was definitely budget at the time. Very good though, and I still have it as a backup.

I've still got his inherited 400mm telephoto K-mount lens, and it works with my DSLRs (as something nearer a 600mm) :thumbsup:

LEE

  • "Shut Up Jens" - Legs.
Re: Budget DSLR
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2017, 10:27:29 pm »
My Camera body is still available (sold the lenses).https://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=100330.0  It's genuinely immaculate.

You can pick up a Canon 18-55 used for very little and it's a good starting lens.

If that's too much then check out MPB Used Cameras

I just like, and know, Canon cameras so I'd say that the price of the cameras at MPB genuinely reflects their capability so you can find something for even a tiny budget there.


Some people say I'm self-obsessed but that's enough about them.

Charlotte

  • Dissolute libertine
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Re: Budget DSLR
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2017, 10:49:15 pm »
Torslanda, they're all good.  Seriously, it's hard to buy a truly pisspoor DLSR these days.  I only know Nikon, so I'll recommend from their range.

Something like a Nikon D3000/3200/3300/3400 would be *way* better than he needs.  The resolution of these cameras is just silly - my main body is 12MP and still absolutely fine.  Spend more money on the lens and don't feel constrained to the kit zoom, either.  If you can find a second hand D40 and a 35mm f1.8DX lens on eBay or one of the camera forums, I'd probably go for that.
Commercial, Editorial and PR Photographer - www.charlottebarnes.co.uk

David Martin

  • Thats Dr Oi You thankyouverymuch
Re: Budget DSLR
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2017, 10:55:28 pm »
As ever, Charlotte has it right. Any body from a D40 upwards is going to be fine to get going. One gotcha is that not all lenses will autofocus with all bodies (older mechanical AF lenses requrie the screw drive that is only present on some bodies, newer lenses shoudl AF on anything)

I would strongly recommend the MPB route to get a second hand body at not much money. It will have everything needed to learn and depending on the style of photography chosen may be sufficient for a long time. The best upgrades are good glass. If I were in that position I'd spend more on lenses than on the body. As a standard zoom I like the sigma 17-70 macro, but that may be too expensive right now.
"By creating we think. By living we learn" - Patrick Geddes

LEE

  • "Shut Up Jens" - Legs.
Re: Budget DSLR
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2017, 11:10:43 pm »
Just looking at options (Canon).

The 400D is available for around £80 at MPB.  This was a 4.5/5 Camera a while back with great reviews for image quality.

Agree with Charlotte, it's hard to buy a "dog" from one of the big manufacturers if it's from the last 8 years or so. 
Canon/Nikon basically offer the same spec at the same price so don't get hung up on that, you won't go wrong with either brand.

The 50mm f/1.8 from Canon is famously just about the best bang-for-the-buck lens you can buy after your first kit lens.
I used to have one and it's a cracker (mine was £89 new) but it's not a general purpose lens, more like a budget portrait lens.

I'm still a fan of the budget 18-55 kit lenses as a starting place.  It's reassuring to know, when you're hiking through some woods, that you only have a £45 lens fitted.

My current "carry lens" weighs a ton and I can't afford to bang it on a tree.

Edit. If I was buying a Canon crop-sensor then I'd ask for the Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM "pancake" for Christmas.  Stick that on my tiny EOS 100D and you'd have a lovely setup for walk-about photography.

This is my EOS with a 40mm "Pancake" with a CD for scale.  It's teeny but the 40mm on a crop-sensor is a bit of a no-mans-land of a focal length, the 24 would give you a really useful 38mm equivalent. (Now I'm talking myself into keeping the 100D and buying a 24mm pancake for it... this is a poor sales pitch)
Some people say I'm self-obsessed but that's enough about them.

Torslanda

  • Professional Gobshite
  • Just a tart for retro kit . . .
    • John's Bikes
Re: Budget DSLR
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2017, 12:43:31 am »
So. Does this: LENS

Work with this: BODY?

Sorry if this is basic stuff but if it was a groupset compatibility question . . .

VELOMANCER

Well that's the more blunt way of putting it but as usual he's dead right.

Re: Budget DSLR
« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2017, 07:03:19 am »
Good advice above.   I love our Sony but with Canon and Nikon you are entering the Shimano zone of the camera world where there is lots of choice and it's all pretty reliable.

Way back in the early noughties I recall reading an article where it said that once dslr sensors reached 12mp then they would be as good as film for the amateur enthusiast.   I don't know how glib or simplistic that might be but I waited for 12mp* before dipping and have not been disappointed.

The other thing we have evolved to for general practicality is a wide to portrait zoom.   Ours is a Signa 17 to 70 but all the manufacturers have the almost ubiquitous 'kit' lens of a similar range.   It just stays on these days.

*14 mp on our Sony Alpha 350 which we remain very pleased with.

Re: Budget DSLR
« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2017, 08:08:55 am »
So. Does this: LENS

Work with this: BODY?

Sorry if this is basic stuff but if it was a groupset compatibility question . . .

Yes, but that's an FX (full frame) lens and the body is DX (APS-C or cropped frame).  It'll work - as I understand it the field of view and depth of field change - but you'd probably be better off getting a DX lens as it'll be smaller and lighter for a similar effective focal length.  Something like this: https://www.mpb.com/en-uk/used-equipment/used-photo-and-video/used-lenses/used-nikon-fit-lenses/nikon-af-s-18-55mm-f-3-5-5-6g-dx-vr/ which is the lens that comes with the Nikon DX DSLR kits and will give similar results.

Re: Budget DSLR
« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2017, 08:41:23 am »
Hi Tors

When Miss S started her photography course we went here in town. Lots of secondhand stuff at decent prices with a warranty and patient helpful non pushy staff.

HTH

clarion

  • Tyke
Re: Budget DSLR
« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2017, 09:49:53 am »
Is it worth considering an SLR-style micro four thirds system?  Lenses are light and significantly cheaper, so it's easier to expand the system.

Olympus OM-D is a good choice, offering in-body the best image stabilisation available.  The EM-10 is a good entry point, and the EM-1 is superb.  Panasonic have a good range, too.
Getting there...

LEE

  • "Shut Up Jens" - Legs.
Re: Budget DSLR
« Reply #11 on: May 09, 2017, 10:01:16 am »
So. Does this: LENS

Work with this: BODY?

Sorry if this is basic stuff but if it was a groupset compatibility question . . .

That D40x has a shutter count of 6,000.  That's practically unused.  a 5/5 camera back in the day...for £94!!.  I'd snap it up and stick a Nikon 18-55 on it (the Nikon AF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G DX VR)

Amazing setup for £150

Agree with comments about Olympus, Panasonic, Pentax...etc but Canon and Nikon, Canon especially, provide access to such a vast range of used, and 3rd party*, gear that I'd stick with one or the other until your lad knows precisely what he wants.

*Such as Yongnuo Flashguns and (reliable) cheap batteries**.  If a 3rd-party makes a Camera accessory they will typically make it for Canon..then Nikon...then possibly the others.  It's a numbers game.

** Never underestimate the benefits of decent cheap batteries.
Some people say I'm self-obsessed but that's enough about them.

Re: Budget DSLR
« Reply #12 on: May 09, 2017, 10:42:36 am »
Torslanda, they're all good.  Seriously, it's hard to buy a truly pisspoor DLSR these days. I only know Nikon, so I'll recommend from their range.

Something like a Nikon D3000/3200/3300/3400 would be *way* better than he needs.  The resolution of these cameras is just silly - my main body is 12MP and still absolutely fine.  Spend more money on the lens and don't feel constrained to the kit zoom, either.  If you can find a second hand D40 and a 35mm f1.8DX lens on eBay or one of the camera forums, I'd probably go for that.


This - a friend recently asked me to recommend a dslr for her daughter and I finished up saying it didn't matter - buy what she thinks is better...

Charlotte

  • Dissolute libertine
  • Here's to ol' D.H. Lawrence...
    • charlottebarnes.co.uk
Re: Budget DSLR
« Reply #13 on: May 09, 2017, 10:49:13 am »
Also, that older lens is likely to be screw focusing rather than an ultrasonic AF-S motor-in-the-lens that you'll need on a D40x.

I would definitely try and stretch for a 35mm lens like this one:  https://www.mpb.com/en-uk/used-equipment/used-photo-and-video/used-lenses/used-nikon-fit-lenses/nikon-af-s-35mm-f-1-8g-dx/sku-660273/

If you can't justify spending more on the lens than on the body, get this: https://www.mpb.com/en-uk/used-equipment/used-photo-and-video/used-lenses/used-nikon-fit-lenses/nikon-af-s-18-55mm-f-3-5-5-6g-ed-dx-vr-ii/sku-660955/

If the money's tight, I'd personally much prefer the older, cheaper D40 (as opposed to D40x) with only 6MP and the better fixed lens.  Six beautifully sharp megapixels are worth much, much more than twelve blurry ones.  Good, fixed glass beats a so-so zoom every single time.
Commercial, Editorial and PR Photographer - www.charlottebarnes.co.uk

David Martin

  • Thats Dr Oi You thankyouverymuch
Re: Budget DSLR
« Reply #14 on: May 09, 2017, 11:23:04 am »
The lens is an AF-D which requires a screw drive. The D40x requires AF-S lenses with a built in motor.

Advice above to get the body and the 18-55 VR is good.

..d
"By creating we think. By living we learn" - Patrick Geddes

Torslanda

  • Professional Gobshite
  • Just a tart for retro kit . . .
    • John's Bikes
Re: Budget DSLR
« Reply #15 on: August 18, 2017, 09:15:50 am »
Finally pulled the trigger on a Canon eos400 with 18-55 lens in mint condition

Then forgot to order a compact flash card. Knob.
VELOMANCER

Well that's the more blunt way of putting it but as usual he's dead right.

LEE

  • "Shut Up Jens" - Legs.
Re: Budget DSLR
« Reply #16 on: August 18, 2017, 09:23:55 am »
Finally pulled the trigger on a Canon eos400 with 18-55 lens in mint condition

Then forgot to order a compact flash card. Knob.

I think you'll be blown away with the image quality from a cheap DSLR (Don't forget to choose File type = RAW + JPG.... or you'll regret it one day)
Some people say I'm self-obsessed but that's enough about them.

Torslanda

  • Professional Gobshite
  • Just a tart for retro kit . . .
    • John's Bikes
Re: Budget DSLR
« Reply #17 on: August 21, 2017, 09:01:26 pm »
Crisis averted by diverting to Currys/PC World on the way to Kent and picking up a 16GB card after borrowing a CF to SD adapter which took the card no problem but the camera threw its toys out and gave us a 'no card' error message.

Happy Foxbat has so far about doubled the shutter count on this body...!
VELOMANCER

Well that's the more blunt way of putting it but as usual he's dead right.

BrianI

  • Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's Lepidopterist Man!
Re: Budget DSLR
« Reply #18 on: October 17, 2017, 09:37:34 am »
Hmmm. Browsing mpb.com, there is certainly a large selection used DSLRs for not much money!

Currently I have a Pentax K100D, and I'm contemplating switching to either Canon or Nikon.   However I've increasingly found myself getting frustrated with the poor performance of the K100D, particularly in RAW mode. 

The most expensive lens I have for the Pentax is the Sigma 10-20 F4-5.6 so I dont have *too* much of an investment in a particular brand.

So perhaps I'd be better served by treating myself to a used Canon / Nikon and get a decent camera for not much coin?

David Martin

  • Thats Dr Oi You thankyouverymuch
Re: Budget DSLR
« Reply #19 on: October 17, 2017, 11:17:01 pm »
And then lust after increasingly nice lenses. I do like the Sigma 105mm macro which is probably right up your street for bugs etc.
"By creating we think. By living we learn" - Patrick Geddes

T42

  • Gaulois réfractaire
Re: Budget DSLR
« Reply #20 on: October 18, 2017, 08:27:27 am »
Tilty/flippy LCDs are good for macro, although a tablet with Helicon Remote is pretty good too.
I dare eat all that may become a man.

But hold the oysters.

LEE

  • "Shut Up Jens" - Legs.
Re: Budget DSLR
« Reply #21 on: October 18, 2017, 03:14:42 pm »
And then lust after increasingly nice lenses. I do like the Sigma 105mm macro which is probably right up your street for bugs etc.

Extension tubes are £10 new off Ebay.  Maybe not as good as a good Macro.. but still..£10.  Silly not to have a set in the toolkit.
Some people say I'm self-obsessed but that's enough about them.

BrianI

  • Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's Lepidopterist Man!
Re: Budget DSLR
« Reply #22 on: October 18, 2017, 06:34:31 pm »
And then lust after increasingly nice lenses. I do like the Sigma 105mm macro which is probably right up your street for bugs etc.

Definitely!  To be honest, while I have enjoyed my Pentax K100D DSLR, I think I may be better served in the long term migrating to Canon, there certainly is a heck of a lot more used lenses which would be more suitable for my needs than there are for Pentax.  Plus buying a used Canon body I could probably afford a decent camera + used lenses than if I just stuck with buying a new pentax body.  That mbp.com site does look dangerous for ones wallet!  ;)

BrianI

  • Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's Lepidopterist Man!
Re: Budget DSLR
« Reply #23 on: October 18, 2017, 08:23:51 pm »
And then lust after increasingly nice lenses. I do like the Sigma 105mm macro which is probably right up your street for bugs etc.

Definitely!  To be honest, while I have enjoyed my Pentax K100D DSLR, I think I may be better served in the long term migrating to Canon, there certainly is a heck of a lot more used lenses which would be more suitable for my needs than there are for Pentax.  Plus buying a used Canon body I could probably afford a decent camera + used lenses than if I just stuck with buying a new pentax body.  That mbp.com site does look dangerous for ones wallet!  ;)

However seeing as I have a Big Birthday next week, I may actually push the boat out and treat myself to a shiny new Canon DSLR. At the moment Thon Purple Shirt Purveyor of Computing and Electrical Goods has a sale on Canon 1300D with kit lens & 75-300 for £429 (including 2 year warranty).  Considering that was near enough what I paid for my Pentax K100D 11 years ago, for just the body and kit lens, that seems a good purchase!  For the more intersting lenses such as a canon 10-18 or a sigma 105mm macro, I'd probably buy these used from mbp.com

I have a weeks annual leave next week, so if I could hopefully purchase a camera for then, it'll give me a good week to practice with it!  :)

T42

  • Gaulois réfractaire
Re: Budget DSLR
« Reply #24 on: October 19, 2017, 08:41:27 am »
Wellllllll... Not to pour cold water, but I don't think you'll get much more than your Pentax already offers, other than Mp and better low-light performance. And you'll lose that nice LCD on top of the camera.

https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canon-eos-rebel-t6-1300d-review
I dare eat all that may become a man.

But hold the oysters.