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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I still have a film SLR and I have a good compact digital.

But I'm thinking of going for a digital SLR soon and can't afford to splash a shed load of cash.

Would like advice on the best ones at the bottom end of the market and what are the 'must' features on digital SLRs.

Thanx :)
 

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I'd buy a second hand Olympus E500...

must have features for me

proper sensor cleaning facility (the Olympus one is the only one that really works)

top quality kit lenses - before you start spending a fortune upgrading to better lenses (which you inevitably will :)) you'll want to get some idea what the camera can do. I defy anybody to find a better pair if kit lenses than the Olympus E500 ones (14.5-45mm and 40-150mm which due to the "crop factor" actually yield results similar to lenses twice that length in 35mm terms)

Easy to handle and get along with so it has to fit in your hands

A good "auto" mode to fall back on whilst you are learning

UK based service centre in case you need to make a claim on warranties

For my own personal demands it was "not a Nikon" after the terrible treatment we got trying to get our previous Nikon digital camera repaired - it took them three months to not fix it


If you live anywhere near the south coast and want to take my e500 out for the day to see how it performs then feel free to give me a shout

Andy
 

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I'd buy a second hand Olympus E500...

must have features for me

proper sensor cleaning facility (the Olympus one is the only one that really works)

top quality kit lenses - before you start spending a fortune upgrading to better lenses (which you inevitably will :)) you'll want to get some idea what the camera can do. I defy anybody to find a better pair if kit lenses than the Olympus E500 ones (14.5-45mm and 40-150mm which due to the "crop factor" actually yield results similar to lenses twice that length in 35mm terms)

Easy to handle and get along with so it has to fit in your hands

A good "auto" mode to fall back on whilst you are learning

UK based service centre in case you need to make a claim on warranties

For my own personal demands it was "not a Nikon" after the terrible treatment we got trying to get our previous Nikon digital camera repaired - it took them three months to not fix it

If you live anywhere near the south coast and want to take my e500 out for the day to see how it performs then feel free to give me a shout

Andy
And . . . great for taking pics of GINGA kids :lol:

;)
 

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Olympus E510 - got mine just before new year, came with a two lens deal 14-42 mm and 40-150 (equivalent of a 28-80 and 80-300 in 35mm ) Really pleased with it & its got image stabilisation built in too - shopping around I got mine for just under£500 with both lenses :D
 

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I'm no expert dude, but I would go about it this way...

Set your absolute budget, and ask yourself do you want to go with a kit lens (normally as part of the deal), or do you want a decent lens...

Next, go to a store and have a 'feel' of them, ask questions. Most stores will be happy to gab away about this and that.

I'm now a certified canon whore. I was going to stick with hi-end Fuji, but I decided to try out loads in store, and canon won my love.

Most will argue lens is more important, which in part is true, but it still pays to get a decent camera.

If you're shooting sport or birds, a camera with high amount of frames per second is the way to go, but also budget for a good lens to match. If it's generic landscapes, then no doubt you'll be lugging a tripod, in which case frames per sec might not be an issue...

Pixels... ahhh... anything above 6mp is stock library quality as long as it's sharp, and will print decent A4 (maybe even decent A3 prints)...

But really amigo, it will always come back to budget, what kind of things you'll tend to shoot, and how much you want to carry about, I guess...

Not sure if I have helped you here, but if you want me to be more specific in a certain area, myself, or no doubt other photo amigos can answer for you :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Pixels... ahhh... anything above 6mp is stock library quality as long as it's sharp, and will print decent A4 (maybe even decent A3 prints)...
that's the kind of thing I wanted to know... nice one

what I want is one good lens... 50 to 200mil or so

with my film cameras I got to the point where I used to need two bags and carried a tripod as well... eventually i sold it all and replaced it with one camera with a 50 to 200mil lens... what I want in a digital is a replacement for that

most of my pics will be of people... with cars in second place
 

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no - mine cost me £500 but you wouldn't believe how sharp it is :)



borrowed "non ginger" kid :)



there you go a ginger, ruining a perfectly good shot of a sofa :)

in all honesty though, the kit lenses aren't far behind in image quality, they are just a bit "slower" due to only going down as far as f3.5
 

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that's the kind of thing I wanted to know... nice one

what I want is one good lens... 50 to 200mil or so

with my film cameras I got to the point where I used to need two bags and carried a tripod as well... eventually i sold it all and replaced it with one camera with a 50 to 200mil lens... what I want in a digital is a replacement for that

most of my pics will be of people... with cars in second place
50-200 will do just the job for in the city, snapping up some decent candids of folk; I love quirky stuff like this:


What kind of people shots are you thinking of dude?

I'll soon be going in the opposite direction and packing a film SLR in the bag, purely for monochrome work. Like yourself, I've been lugging two, sometimes three bags, but I've just bought a lowpro trekker to chuck the lot in; much easier
 

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mainly family and kids...

other than that... more documentary type things than anything
I'm just wondering if you should be starting lower than 50mil; it's frustrating if you can't fit the topic in frame only to find yourself taking a few steps back to compensate, whereas with a lower mil, you can always dash a few steps to catch the action or be choosy with composition, if that makes any sense...

I like your pic above
Fank yoo :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I'm just wondering if you should be starting lower than 50mil; it's frustrating if you can't fit the topic in frame only to find yourself taking a few steps back to compensate, whereas with a lower mil, you can always dash a few steps to catch the action or be choosy with composition, if that makes any sense...
50 to 200 has always been a good enough compromise... I do have a 28mil lens for my film camera, but I never take it out or take it on holiday etc... it's just for specific things

Actually Julian, I'd sincerely love to go out on a shoot with you; just nonsense/silly stuff, share the passion and a bit of banter :)
would be cool...

unrelated... but one thing I really want to get some shots of is my view of London as I drive to college

there are some great views right across from heathrow to canary wharf... and sometimes the sun hits odd bits etc... would love to get some nice shots on here to show people... but it's a really hard thing to capture
 

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there are some great views right across from heathrow to canary wharf... and sometimes the sun hits odd bits etc... would love to get some nice shots on here to show people... but it's a really hard thing to capture
The fact that you seem acutely aware of how light falls suggests to me you are perfectly capable of pulling off some cool shots, especially as you are not a stranger to the predecessors of the original camera obscura :D We've discussed this in lite version in the past...
[darth vadar] dude, it's your destiny...[/darth vadar] :D
 

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Ask a dozen people, and you'll get a dozen different answers.
Whenever anybody asks me a question like that, I start by asking them questions. What do you want to use it for? How much do you have to spend? What accessories do you want/need?

My thoughts, based on what you've said already...

Fuju S5700 or S5800 (7 & 8 MP respectively). Not a true SLR, but good quality images. Cheap - just over £100, to about £150 depending upon model. But if you're used to a film SLR, I think its limitations would soon frustrate you. Fine if you wish to slow down and take your time taking pictures.

Nikon D40. 6 MP. £300. Cheap. See below for notes (as the D40x is similar).

Nikon D40x 10 MP. £400. Updated version of the above. Different sensor (similar to the one in the D80), and a couple of other tweaks, means this is a whole different camera. Great range of lenses. Shopping on ebay can mean batteries, memory cards, remote shutter releases, are cheap. 10 MP is truly useful if you like big prints.

Canon D400. £420. 10 MP. Not sure about prices of accessories, but ebaying should bring them up cheap. Great range of lenses, and can use some of the earlier film camera auto-focus lenses, meaning cheap second hand lenses should be plentiful 10 MP is truly useful.

Olympus. Seemed to be expensive for me, accessories (batteries, remote releases) couldn't be picked up as cheaply.

Sigma. Wooo! 14 MP in their new camera, and making some great claims about their sensor. Again, would've been beyond my budget at the time.

Lenses. The standard zoom lens that comes with all of them is fine. If you're on a budget, stick with it for now.
There are some great superzooms available for the Nikon's/Canon's. 28-200 sort of ranges, with Image Stabilisation/Vibration Reduction (IS/VR). Expensive, but one of those would be all you'd need/want for almost everything.
A standard (28-55) IS/VR lens would be cheaper, and still cover most of your photography.

Having handled all the above in shops, theres little to choose between the Canon Nikon. It's just personal prefference. Any nitpicking about one over the other regarding handling/lenses/sensors/quality, just isn't that important (and a bit geeky/sad) - getting the camera that you feel more comfortable with is more important, and therefore getting the pictures you want is more important.

Personally, I bought a Nikon D40x with standard & telephoto zooms. Extra batteries, memory cards, filters, flash, and it all goes into a dinky Lowepro backpack.
I'm now selling off all my old film SLR's, and will be saving up for a VR lens (not sure which focal range yet) in the future.

Get to a shop and give them all a try. However, Curry's/Dixons/PC World don't put batteries in them, so try a proper camera shop.
 
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