1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

What Entry level dslr?

Discussion in 'Beginner's Corner' started by johnmk, Sep 4, 2017.

  1. johnmk

    johnmk New Member

    I'm would like to purchase a DSLR. Whilst this is my first DSLR, I am familiar with SLR cameras - albeit in a limited way - I realistically really would prefer an entry level DSLR.

    It would be good to purchase one with image stabilisation built in. To eliminate shudder, a fast shutter speed is a necessity, so having a camera with a good range of shutter speeds would be great, but ultimately, it would still be good to have a camera which included this function.

    What camera would you recommend?

    I understand with technology changing all the time, devices being updated, brands are changing their product range constantly. But are there slightly older (DSLR) models which would still accommodate my needs?

  2. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

  3. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Welcome, better to post once or the replies get all mixed up and duplicated. If by "built in" you mean part of the body then the list given by Andrew seems definitive. Stabilised lenses are commonplace. The once a month buying guide in AP lists the availability by mount. Last buying guide in w/e Sept 2nd edition.
  4. dangie

    dangie Senior Knobhead

    Firstly I would ask yourself "Why do I want a dSLR"
    if you wish in time to add additional lenses and to build up a photographic system, then yes, you do need an SLR.
    If however you can't see yourself going beyond the body and standard lens, then you could consider a 'premium' bridge type camera such as the Panasonic FZ1000
    Just a thought.

    PhotoEcosse likes this.
  5. PhotoEcosse

    PhotoEcosse Well-Known Member

    The question is the right one to ask. The suggested answer is incorrect. You could build up a very extensive, expansive and expensive photographic system based on CSC or rangefinder cameras.

    I have said it before on this forum. I am "trapped" into a dSLR system because that is where I started when I "went digital" and I now have maybe £30,000-worth of kit, much of which would become redundant if I changed systems.

    But if my house was burgled and all my camera stuff stolen, then when I got the cheque from the insurance company I most certainly would not "re-invest" it in a replacement dSLR system. My preference would be for a good mirrorless CSC system which, I believe, would give huge advantages over what I currently use.
    peterba likes this.
  6. peterba

    peterba Well-Known Member

    I agree - and the only real way out of the "trap" is to sell everything (with potential hassle, and a likely financial loss), or p/ex everything (usually without too much hassle, but with an almost-guaranteed financial loss). :(

    I think I'd avoid the DSLR route if I were starting again. Mirrorless provides far more flexibility in lens choice, since most (but not all) lens mounts can be accommodated, by using the appropriate adaptor.
  7. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Its all a matter of likes. I prefer my DSLR system and tolerate using a CSC when I need something less weighty.
  8. dangie

    dangie Senior Knobhead

    Sorry I didn't make myself clear. I said dSLR as that was what John was asking about. I should have said something along the lines of 'Do I need an interchangeable lens camera?'.

    In many cases a good bridge camera like the Panasonic FZ1000 is just the ticket.
  9. Chester AP

    Chester AP Well-Known Member

    Everybody else appears to be trying to put you off buying a DSLR.

    I will assume you have done some research, and know the difference between DSLR (optical viewfinder, lots of second hand bodies and lenses on the market if you stick to manufacturers who have used the same mount for decades - Canon/Nikon/Pentax ), a CSC (electronic viewfinder, fewer second hand lenses on the market because many of the lens mounts have been introduced relatively recently), and a bridge camera (fixed lens).

    My best suggestion is that you look for a good condition used APS-C sensor camera body and 18-55 mm kit lens (unless you can find an old model Sigma 17-70 mm F2.8-F4.5 lens which is far more versatile). I have used the regular advertisers in the back of AP for over 15 years (LCE, Ffordes, etc.). LCE have more shops you can visit and play with the hardware, which is strongly recommended.

    One point that few people ever mention, and AP glosses over in reviews, is that if you want to progress to fully manual exposure (so you are in full control, not the camera software), you need a body and lens combination that you allows you to adjust three things easily - lens aperture, shutter speed and ISO without having to use the menu every time. Most modern lenses don't have aperture rings (because this is controlled from the camera body), so you need two control dials on the camera body - one for aperture and one for shutter speed. And preferably a quick way to change ISO without going into menus.

    If you look carefully at 'entry level' current Canon and Nikon models you will find only one control dial, so they must assume that you will be using fully auto, or aperture priority (you change only the aperture and the body sets the shutter speed), or shutter priority (you change only the shutter speed and the body sets the aperture).

    I have a Pentax K5 (bodies now available secondhand in good condition for £200) because Pentax usually fit TWO control dials, and and ISO button that works with one of the dials to allow adjustment. I CAN ADJUST APERTURE, SHUTTER SPEED AND ISO WITHOUT TAKING MY EYE FROM THE VIEWFINDER (try doing this with any other DSLR body you can buy new for less than £600-£700) . Also the body has a small LCD screen on the top surface which shows these settings, so I only need to use the rear LCD if I need to check if a shot has been correctly exposed, or when I (very rarely) need to change the colour temperature setting (daylight, tungsten lighting, etc.)

    Buying secondhand will minimise your losses if you later decide that a DSLR is not really what you want. The image quality is now so good that a 16 megapixel APS-C body 4 or 5 years old will will do everything you want, and lots of things you don't need too. I have had 50 x 75 cm prints done from images taken with my 16 megapixel Pentax K5 and they look great, but the quality of the lens used makes a difference too. For the same money, you can get much better stuff secondhand than you can new.
  10. Craig20264

    Craig20264 Well-Known Member

    I have a D5100. It has one control Dial. I can use it in full manual, and change all three , aperture, shutter speed and iso, without going into the menu. I'll let you work out how, but please don't post mis-information unless you are in possession of the full facts. It is misleading to the OP. ;)
    EightBitTony likes this.
  11. RogerMac

    RogerMac Well-Known Member

    And I think that full manual control is overrated . Apart from rare occasions the closest I get is adjusting the exposure compensation after selecting either of the priority modes. If I am just walking around with a camera, just in case, it will be set to to P mode.
    I do not think that it would improve my images if I ignored the very clever metering that I have spent so much on.
    EightBitTony likes this.
  12. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    Unless you pick a Canon CSC and use the converter, giving you access to the full range of EF and EF-S lenses, as well as EF-M's.
  13. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    What a load of utter ignorant nonsense.
    "Progress to fully manual exposure" - gibberish. If you want to use manual, use manual, but doing so is not the mark of a more advanced photographer in any way.

    The rest is just untrue.
  14. Chester AP

    Chester AP Well-Known Member

    I looked at a Nikon 'one control dial' body in a shop 3 or 4 years ago, and the staff in the shop used the rear screen every time they changed a setting in manual exposure mode, and I assumed they knew how to use it. But this may have been a mistake. Does your reply also include 'without taking my eye from the viewfinder'?

    On my K5 in manual mode, I have set the front dial to aperture and the rear dial to shutter speed. I change the ISO less often, and when I press the ISO button (near the rear dial) with the index finger the rear dial then adjusts the ISO.
    All whilst the looking through the viewfinder where the information is, of course, displayed. Surely having one one control dial must make this functionality more complex?

    I think this shows how important it is to handle the camera body with a lens attached, in conjunction with the user manual, and confirm it does exactly what you require. This point is probably the best advice most of us can offer.
  15. Craig20264

    Craig20264 Well-Known Member

  16. P_Stoddart

    P_Stoddart Well-Known Member

    Welcome, I think the best thing is for you to tell us what kind of photography floats your boat so to say LOL

    What you are trying to capture and also what is this experience of SLR you speak of please?

    That way you get advice on all kit not just dSLR.

    Of course if you really like a optical view finder as used in film SLR then dSLR is the natural modern version.

    As a shooter who started out on a non electronic, non AF, I set the exposure myself kit. I feel quite pampered these days. LOL
    Benchista likes this.
  17. Craig20264

    Craig20264 Well-Known Member

    I'll expand a bit on my original answer. When in Manual mode (M), the single thumbwheel control on the D5100 will control the shutter speed. If you now depress the Exposure Compensation button whilst operating the thumbwheel, this now controls the Aperture. For the ISO, you need to allocate the Fn button to this, and whilst holding this button, operating the thumbwheel now changes the ISO. All without moving the camera from your eye.

    Seperate controls nice, but not necessary. Not sure if this is the same with Canon low end DSLR's. Possible a Canon user can tell us?
  18. Geren

    Geren Well-Known Member

    It has been a while since I used it and can't check because my daughter now has it but that sounds very much like the way I operated my Canon Rebel Xti - us equiv. to a 450D I think? Thereabouts anyway. It certainly wasn't difficult to assume control over any aspect of the exposure.

    Can't say for sure but I know when I've seen shop staff demonstrating the use of a camera before they have very often used the rear screen and I htink there are possibly two reasons for this. The first is that they may have grown up used to the idea of touch screens and viewing things on LCD viewscreens and see that as a 'normal' way to do things now. The second is that it's actually easier to show someone what's going on if they can see it too. If the staff have the camera up to their eye and are looking through the viewfinder, it doesn't give the customer a great view. Customers are free to read the manual at any point of course!
    Craig20264 likes this.
  19. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    Yep, you can do that on the 600D I have (entry level Canon).
    Craig20264 likes this.
  20. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    And to be fair to them, their job is to sell cameras, not (at that point) teach people about exposure.
    Geren likes this.

Share This Page