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Thread: Recommendations for a dSLR

  1. #1
    Licorice eater Strange's Avatar
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    Question Recommendations for a dSLR

    As mentioned in the arty farty pix thread I'm looking into acquiring a dSLR to enable me to take pix that are beyond the technical abilities of my camera phone. A preliminary list of criteria follows…

    *** Should have a wide dynamic range (the lack of this being one of the more annoying limits of my phone camera)

    *** Should have a non-proprietary lens mounting system. Don't want to get locked into a single vendor's lens choices

    *** Should have a fast frame refresh rate -- I hate having to wait to take followup shots

    *** Should be able to save files in a good selection of file types, including RAW

    *** Should have focus & exposure stacking ability

    *** Should take a common, non-proprietary memory card

    *** Should have good battery life

    *** Should have a reasonable pixel density

    *** Price should be >=$1500USD, new or used

    These are what I can think of off the top of my head, but I'm sure there are others. Bear in mind I'm not a terribly sophisticated user, so really abstruse features requiring doctoral degrees are not high on my list of gottahaves. Weight and ergonomics are important but prolly not dealbreakers.

    So what do you shutterbugs recommend???
    She said I was the apple of her eye so I told her she was the rutabaga of my duodenum.

  2. #2
    Member CamB's Avatar
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    In that price range you will be able to pick up the new Nikon D7200 with a nice lens. Personally, I wouldn't want any more than the 18-140mm- its a terrific all rounder.
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  4. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    As mentioned in the arty farty pix thread I'm looking into acquiring a dSLR to enable me to take pix that are beyond the technical abilities of my camera phone. A preliminary list of criteria follows…

    *** Should have a wide dynamic range (the lack of this being one of the more annoying limits of my phone camera)

    *** Should have a non-proprietary lens mounting system. Don't want to get locked into a single vendor's lens choices

    *** Should have a fast frame refresh rate -- I hate having to wait to take followup shots

    *** Should be able to save files in a good selection of file types, including RAW

    *** Should have focus & exposure stacking ability

    *** Should take a common, non-proprietary memory card

    *** Should have good battery life

    *** Should have a reasonable pixel density

    *** Price should be >=$1500USD, new or used

    These are what I can think of off the top of my head, but I'm sure there are others. Bear in mind I'm not a terribly sophisticated user, so really abstruse features requiring doctoral degrees are not high on my list of gottahaves. Weight and ergonomics are important but prolly not dealbreakers.

    So what do you shutterbugs recommend???

    If you want all the stuff you say with a non-proprietary lens mount, then look at a mirror-less micro 4/3 mount from either Olympus or Panasonic. They are small, excellent cameras with a vast number of lens choices. There are also adapters that will allow you to use thousands of lenses from the past 90 years on them. But I wouldn't get too caught up on non-proprietary lens mounts. Third party lens manufacturers produce very good lenses in both Nikon (which I prefer) and Canon camera lens mounts. Their refresh speeds are (slightly) better than the mirrorless dSLRs from Olympus and Panasonic on entry level cameras. But if you go this route, I'd look at the Nikon D7000 or D7100 for less than $1K (body only) and get a good quality prime lens to go with it, like the 50/f1.8, 35/f1.8 or 28mmf1.8.

    These cameras will also accept many older Nikon lenses as well with some possible glitches.
    Last edited by Col Angus; Apr 7, 2015 at 11:33 PM. Reason: added options

  5. #4
    bighead
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    Nikon D7000

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  7. #5
    Moderator gnuyork's Avatar
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    I too am a fan of prime lenses over zooms, but I'm sure there are some nice zooms out there. If you buy a dslr, you'll be locked into their lens mount, but as someone said, there are third party lenses like sigma (very good) and tamron, etc, that give you alternatives. On the higher end, Zeiss makes excellent glass for all mounts I believe (i.e. Nikon/Canon/SONY), but be prepared to spend for those!!

    As I said earlier, I have Canons, but if I had to do it all over again, I'd probably choose Nikon, or SONY for a dSLR.

    Remember the crop factor on your sensor when thinking about a lens and focal length. If you decide to splurge and get a full frame, you will get the focal length specified on the lens - The Nikon D610 would be nice, but it would bust your budget with a lens....if you could stretch though...

    and an update - I mentioned we bought my mom the D5500, I made a mistake, I meant the D3300, Nikon's latest entry level - it's really good for the price.

    Here is a good place to buy used equipment. I have only purchased lenses from here, but they rate very conservatively. I have only bought EX+ lenses and they looked brand new, not a scratch or finger print on them. The prices were good at the time...
    https://www.keh.com/

  8. #6
    Oh absolutely. A Nikon D7xxx series second hand (the latest one you can afford would be how I would do it). You'll never want for more.

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    b& m8 CanadianStraps's Avatar
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    I started a similar thread a few months ago, received all kinds of great advice, and eventually purchased a Nikon D5300. I was an inch away from a 7xxx but ultimately decided that it would be too too much camera for my current abilities. The 5300 is a lot of camera, but it takes excellent photos and there are hundreds of lenses available from all the lens players. I bought the camera (came with decent kit lens) a nice dslr backpack, an excellent quality tripod, and 3 additional lenses so far: portrait/macro, telephoto, and UWA. Did not buy it all at once, but that's what I'm in for so far; I don't know that I'm at your $1500 limit yet, and it is a lot of gear. The lenses are all of good quality from well known and respected brands. I would call the lenses in the Omega class, not the Lange class: so very usable.
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  11. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianStraps View Post
    I started a similar thread a few months ago, received all kinds of great advice, and eventually purchased a Nikon D5300. I was an inch away from a 7xxx but ultimately decided that it would be too too much camera for my current abilities. The 5300 is a lot of camera, but it takes excellent photos and there are hundreds of lenses available from all the lens players. I bought the camera (came with decent kit lens) a nice dslr backpack, an excellent quality tripod, and 3 additional lenses so far: portrait/macro, telephoto, and UWA. Did not buy it all at once, but that's what I'm in for so far; I don't know that I'm at your $1500 limit yet, and it is a lot of gear. The lenses are all of good quality from well known and respected brands. I would call the lenses in the Omega class, not the Lange class: so very usable.
    Oh yeah that's right. What lenses did you end up getting? Details....

  12. #9
    Member Berrnard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    As mentioned in the arty farty pix thread I'm looking into acquiring a dSLR to enable me to take pix that are beyond the technical abilities of my camera phone. A preliminary list of criteria follows…

    *** Should have a wide dynamic range (the lack of this being one of the more annoying limits of my phone camera)

    *** Should have a non-proprietary lens mounting system. Don't want to get locked into a single vendor's lens choices

    *** Should have a fast frame refresh rate -- I hate having to wait to take followup shots

    *** Should be able to save files in a good selection of file types, including RAW

    *** Should have focus & exposure stacking ability

    *** Should take a common, non-proprietary memory card

    *** Should have good battery life

    *** Should have a reasonable pixel density

    *** Price should be >=$1500USD, new or used

    These are what I can think of off the top of my head, but I'm sure there are others. Bear in mind I'm not a terribly sophisticated user, so really abstruse features requiring doctoral degrees are not high on my list of gottahaves. Weight and ergonomics are important but prolly not dealbreakers.

    So what do you shutterbugs recommend???
    I am a canon fan so i will say a T5i kit with the 18-135 lens or new t6i(has built in wifi). having a 18-150ish lens has been my greatest purchase for my camera ever. and remember, its not so much the camera, it's the lens that needs to be the quality product. and then you will have money leftover for bag, good tripod(i like manfrotto), extra batteries, etc...

    and this requirement-Should have a fast frame refresh rate -- I hate having to wait to take followup shots-- this is due to how fast your sd card can keep up(moreso in write speed, look for a high write speed), not fps. about any camera out there nowadays can sustain 3 fps+
    Last edited by Berrnard; Apr 9, 2015 at 02:57 AM.

  13. #10
    Member Berrnard's Avatar
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    also some good sites are bhphotovideo.com to see what all is out there.

    and borrowlenses.com- sign up for their newsletter, they have used sales every once in a while. that is how i picked up my $700 canon lens for $300. a few scuffs but in perfect working order, and they guarantee everything.

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