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Entry Level DSLR

Discussion in 'General Equipment Chat & Advice' started by Louise7, Sep 27, 2018.

  1. Louise7

    Louise7 Member

    For all of you who have provided me with advice over the last couple of weeks regarding an entry level DSLR, I thought I would let you know I have now made my purchase and its quite different on what I set out to buy. So I decided to go for a mirrorless camera and have purchased an Olympus OM-D E-M10. To be honest I did not know much about mirrorless cameras, but after reading the article by the Editor of Amateur Photographer magazine this week, I decided to throw them in the mix and as soon as I saw the Olympus I knew it was the camera for me. I went to LCE in the Strand (and following on from the debate this week, I found the staff extremely helpful and I had a great experience, no pressure what-so-ever to buy anything) and I was shown around a number of cameras, both DSLR's and mirrorless. I think I instantly liked the compactness of the mirrorless cameras and thought one would best suit my needs, easy to travel with and this was a big factor, but as soon as I saw and held the Olympus I think my mind was made up, and having never used a DSLR before, my thinking is I will not know any difference, in comparing a DSLR versus a mirrorless, although I have been assured that they do exactly the same job as a DSLR and I will still get great pictures and at the end of the day, as you have all advised, its really down to personal choice and how comfortable I feel handling the camera. I think I have found the perfect camera for me and can't wait to start taking great photos.
    Roger Hicks, Snorri and EightBitTony like this.
  2. Snorri

    Snorri Well-Known Member

    Happy new camera day. You could have done much worse than an Oly, the OM-D are very good and the only real difference from a users piont of view is the viewfinder.
    Many of us would go the same route if we were starting from scratch as like you said less bulk and smaller glass realy is great for traveling.
    Roger Hicks and Louise7 like this.
  3. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    That's the thing! Do post some pictures to show how you are getting on!
  4. SXH

    SXH Well-Known Member

    It's a good camera - it must be, I have one! ;)

    If it's the original Mk 1 EM10, you might find the optional battery-less grip (ECG-1) makes it even more comfortable to use. I know I did.

    Mind you, try for a used one - the full price is a bit exorbitant - £55, though MPB have a mint one for £19.
  5. Chester AP

    Chester AP Well-Known Member

    As I suspected, many people who ask for advice about buying a DSLR end up buying a more compact mirrorless camera body that looks like a DSLR - hence the advice about some hand-on time at a real camera shop. I expect you'll find it ideal for your needs, and have avoided an expensive mistake by doing some research.

    I'm glad you've had the kind of experience with LCE that I've always had. This approach is in their best long term interests, because you'll probably go back again and recommend them to friends, like I do.

    You don't say which lens you got with the body. I ask because some of the AP reviews of the Olympus models have been very unflattering about the least expensive of the OM kit lenses. But whatever lens you have, don't rush to buy any other lenses until you've learned how to use the camera and found out if you want a shorter focal length one (wide angle) or possibly a longer focal length one (telephoto). Or perhaps just a better quality kit lens like a Sigma 17-70. And then LCE may have some nice mint condition secondhand ones for you to look at - if not at your 'local' branch, then in other branches via their website.

    Have fun.
  6. Chester AP

    Chester AP Well-Known Member

    Same here - you and I don't buy stuff like unless you know at least as much about it as the salesperson. But most first-time buyers don't have this advantage and need a retailer that can be trusted, hence the importance of recommendation from satisfied customers like us.
    Also, a really good salesperson will listen to the buyer's needs (if they can be explained), and perhaps suggest alternative models to the one first discussed. But there is a great difference between a helpful suggestion and high-pressure selling, which is where the retailer's policy and staff training are important.
  7. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    Earlier Louise you asked about software. I suggest that you do not buy any yet. Since I own a much earlier Oly I was able to download Olympus Viewer 3. This seems better than the earlier Olympus Master 2. It gives you the basic functions that you are likely to need. If you use it for now then you will begin to realise what you want in a more comprehensive application.
    Have fun.
  8. Chester AP

    Chester AP Well-Known Member

    Re. buying software.

    Initially I would suggest learning how to use the camera and lens so that you can get as much as possible 'right in camera', to minimise the need for any post-processing. This will allow you more time to use the camera, instead of being indoors slaving over your PC. This will also allow time to to some research, like you did when buying your camera. You may then have some idea how much image manipulation you want to do - just minor adjustments to correct image distortion, colour balance, contrast, sharpening, etc. (this is all I do, using a 2009 copy of Photoshop Elements 7), or very complex stuff that may require more specialist and expensive software. I didn't buy this software until over a year after I got my first DSLR, when I wanted to find out more about working with the camera's RAW files after reading about this in AP. But that's really beyond your needs now - just concentrate for a while on getting the best JPG images you can and learning how to use the camera.

    Since you are using a digital camera rather than a film one, you can take thousand of shots whilst you learn and your success rate will improve. When I got my first real camera (an basic East German film SLR), I was using Kodachrome colour transparency film, and had a job in the school holidays where if I worked for eight hours, after bus fares I had enough money to buy one roll of 36 exposure process-paid film. So the basics had to be mastered without the luxury of taking hundreds of pictures - and I also had to wait about a week to see my pictures.
  9. Louise7

    Louise7 Member

    This is pretty much what the guy in LCE said, just concentrate on learning how to use the camera and just concentrate on jpg images for now. He said just download the free Olympus photo editing software for now as it will cover my needs at the moment just as good as any will.
  10. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Start to think about how you will file your images. I was "lucky" in that I used the software that came with the camera to download by usb cable and this software both created a separate folder for every day a photograph was taken and only downloaded "new" pictures.

    It wasn't until recently, when I got another make of camera and found that download put everything on the camera in a folder dated the download day, that I realised how lucky I had been. Instead of using a camera for a week and getting seven folders, I'd get one folder with a week of images in it, plus duplicates of anything older that was on the card.

    Now I am organised and keyword images as I download them but going back and cataloguing old pictures has been made so much easier by having them separated by date. They add up. I take (keep) very few by some people's standards but it's about 20,000 since I moved to digital in 2007.
  11. Louise7

    Louise7 Member

    Wow so much to learn.
  12. Snorri

    Snorri Well-Known Member

    True enough... But remember to have fun doing it.
  13. Chester AP

    Chester AP Well-Known Member

    If you say that the LCE salesman said pretty much what I said, then you've paid him a compliment. (I did once, may years ago, work in retail for a few years selling washing machines, televisions and audio systems. A satisfied customer is hopefully a repeat customer, and it sounds as if you'll recommend this shop to friends too.) An excellent shop manager once told me that selling once to customer is easy (just flatter them and lie to them), but selling repeatedly to the same customer requires honesty and more work.

    Don't worry if initially you don't get the images you want - take some more and learn as you go.
  14. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    Louise, you said you were near London, which way? If you are anywhere near Watford I can thoroughly recommend SRS Microsystems, they stock Olympus and have a good used range too.
  15. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    Good advice but I would add that you might want to shot jpeg+raw. As long as you are happy with the out of camera jpegs (and often I am) just use the jpegs. But keep the raws. Someday you may want them. I am still very annoyed that my late mother threw away hundreds of monochrome negatives of family photos. The prints that she kept are no real substitute, even the ones that I enlarged to paper.

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