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which camera to buy??

Discussion in 'Beginner's Corner' started by john wykes, Feb 6, 2018.

  1. john wykes

    john wykes New Member

    hi everyone,

    looking for some advice please,

    I'm looking at buying a new camera for my wife for her birthday as she loves taking photos of everything from people to landscapes and everything in between really, and she's really good at it, but unfortunately I don't know much about cameras and I really want to buy her a good one, I've got up to £800 to spend,

    any help greatly appreciated,

  2. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Hi, there are three routes to go really depending on what your wife's view is.

    My wife loves photography and is far better at it than I but isn't in the vaguest bit interested in cameras and especially lugging around lots of kit and double against having to do such a thing as changing a lens. She likes "zooming in" on details as well as having wide angle capability for scenery. Her needs are met with a bridge camera. A bridge camera is a compact camera that has a wide range of focal lengths and is modelled as a SLR - so it is relatively big, has a hand-grip etc. compared to a compact camera. Compact/bridge cameras are all-in-one. They generally give "less good" results than the other two camera types but "less good" doesn't mean useless. Indeed, unless you make a side-by-side comparison often you would not be able to tell.

    The other option is for a changeable lens camera. You can use a dedicated lens for an application for the best results possible. There are two types. DSLRs are still the most popular and continue from the film tradition that you look through an optical viewfinder and out of the lens. Compact System Cameras replace the optical path with an electronic viewfinder. They are smaller, lighter and the performance gap has substantially closed. These days both DSLRs and CSCs allow the live image also to be viewed on the rear screen of the camera which is a familiar step for people coming from phone photography. Compact/Bridge cameras do so to.

    The ultimate factor in choosing a camera, once you decide between Compact/bridge or DSLR or CSC, is whether it feels comfortable to hold and easy to use. Buying a camera for someone else as a surprise is a bit of a gamble. I'd suggest to look at some models that you think would be suitable but involve her in the end choice. At a given price point the manufacturers are competing with very similar products technically. The separation is mainly in the user experience.
  3. BigWill

    BigWill Gorgeous oversensitive Nikon-loving cream puff

    I think it would help enormously if we knew which camera your wife is CURRENTLY using as this would give us some clue as to what she is currently used to in order for us to give you focused advice on what might be an appropriate "upgrade" for her. For instance, the name and model of her current camera so we can determine if it is film or digital, a compact, an SLR or everything in between.

    RogerMac and Andrew Flannigan like this.
  4. El_Sid

    El_Sid Well-Known Member

    While it's nice to get a surprise present on your birthday there are times when it may be better to discuss it beforehand and this is one of those times. Getting something you want even if you know it's coming is better than getting a surprise you can't use...
    RogerMac and BigWill like this.
  5. john wykes

    john wykes New Member

    thanks all for the reply's, ive dropped a few subtle hints and I know now that she wants a DSLR, any opinions on which is a good option for the this,


  6. john wykes

    john wykes New Member

  7. Chester AP

    Chester AP Well-Known Member

    Take her to a decent camera shop where there is an adult who knows about DSLRs (so probably not Jessops), like London Camera Exchange or one of the other regular advertisers in AP. Try to make a shortlist from AP reviews (look at the website), but do not spend a single penny until she has handled a few camera bodies and lenses, because she will find some more comfortable than others to hold and use.

    And, having said she wants a DSLR, she may choose to buy something half the size anyway.

    With you budget with you a decent APS-C (half frame) DSLR from the lower end of the Canon/Nikon/Pentax ranges. The best value my be 'last year's' model being sold off at a better price than the latest model. Don't just buy a body with the 18-55 kit lens. Much better to buy a lower specification body and a decent lens (Sigma 17-70, for example, or a 35 mm prime) than a higher specification body and a 'made down to a price' 18-55 small-aperture kit lens.
  8. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    The first AP of the month has a buyers guide in it. The 75-300 isn't very good. The 70-300 IS ii @£500 or EFS 55-250 IS @£330 are better. You tend to get what you pay for when it comes to lenses. Image stabilisation (IS) is very useful. I'd look at WEX or LCE to see what bundles they are putting together.
  9. BigWill

    BigWill Gorgeous oversensitive Nikon-loving cream puff

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