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Stepping up to a DSLR £600 budget in mind....advice?

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Showing 1-25 of 34 posts in this discussion
Posted on 30 Nov 2012 07:48:06 GMT
ChrisJ says:
Praktica! Isn't that the one with the noisy mirror up / take picture / mirror down that can be heard on the other side of the football pitch!

You always needed a tripod, because of the shake from the mirror movement.

Posted on 28 Nov 2012 12:06:44 GMT
Kevin W says:
Just had email and long conversation with Currys who said they cannot fulfil my order 'due to not being able to contact me for random security clearance'. I suspect this was because I was using a voucher code for £50 off plus Quidco 10% plus Nikon £55 cashback.

I politely informed them that they will get no further custom from me.

I'm on the look out for another DSLR deal at the moment and might just go for the John Lewis 3 Lens kit for £649.95 less £110 cashback.

My mother suggested I use my old man's camera stuff which has been sitting in the loft, so I decided to take a look. A Praktica BCA and BX20 .....yikes I'll wait thanks!

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Nov 2012 09:18:29 GMT
I've followed this discussion and would be interested in what you ultimately purchase. I bought the Canon 550D in May 2011 and I'm very pleased with it. At the the time the 600D was out but I didn't feel I needed the extra features such as wireless flash trigger or articulated screen. On the whole that decision has been valid, I have never felt the need for the articulated screen but now that I have a speedlite I might have used wireless flash. In terms of lenses I bought the camera with a 18-55mm, 6 months later bought the 50mm 1.8 and 12 months later the 55 - 250mm. All the lenses I have been pleased with but equally I do appreciate at times they have their limitations. For example I am a member of our local zoo and take many pictures there with the 55 -250mm but sometimes feel the reach is not far enough, however, I was once fortunate to borrow a 100mm -400mm L lenses and the quality of the pictures blew me away - this is with the same 550D body. I've also hired a 24 -105mm lens and again the quality and sharpness was excellent. It goes to prove that it is the quality of the glass that is important.

I had (and still have) a Panasonic bridge camera and got some excellent pictures from it and compared to the SLR is less bulk and a great focal range 28 - 504 ! I thought my SLR would replace it but in fact it complements it and I find I use both. One issue I've had with an SLR is choosing the right lens for the occasion, often finding myself wanting to swap so I think 18mm - 105mm would be a good choice.

On the whole I'm happy to have bought the Canon 550D and it has really opened up more opportunities for me, better depth of field control, dedicated flashgun, less noise at higher ISOs and the return of having an optical viewfinder which cannot be underestimated! Whatever you ultimately purchase enjoy the journey of photography.

Posted on 25 Nov 2012 21:36:29 GMT
I would pick up a 550D from eBay, cheaper! and then get some glass! Though the lenses you get will depend on what you are shooting.

In reply to an earlier post on 25 Nov 2012 21:04:49 GMT
Hi Kevin,
Ive just bought the 600D and im over the moon !!!- i opted for the 18-135 lens and it does the job nicely...The weather proofing is a consideration (for pro's) but I doubt you'll be going out in the rain,...I've done hours and hours of research before i bought the 600d...The 550d is a super camera and great if you can get it at the right price..I wanted to do some videoing (kids) so the 600d was the better option - The 650 is nice but i think it's the touch screen feature that makes it a bit pricier (which im not bothered about) not much difference in spec..The Nikon is nice but i've heard that they try to boost their camera's with more pixels whereas Canon try to improve all round performance...Good wont regret it!!

In reply to an earlier post on 25 Nov 2012 17:45:22 GMT
Wow Kevin,
That's very cheap.

Posted on 25 Nov 2012 02:50:18 GMT
Graham H says:
Nice! The lenses make more difference than anything else anyway. Well done!

Posted on 24 Nov 2012 12:11:26 GMT
Kevin W says:
Thanks for everyones input, I finally decided to purchase the D5100 having tested it yesterday. One of the main deciding factors was the final price of £282 with 18-55mm VR lens. The significant savings made will now be spent on decent lens options

Posted on 24 Nov 2012 01:37:48 GMT
The Pentax is a bargain at the moment if you want a weathersealed camera. For £529 you can get a Pentax K-30 + 18-55mm & 50-200mm WR Lenses (might as well get weather resistant lenses if you have a WR body). Add a nice 35mm or 50mm prime and you are set. If you just want the body then that's £319 at amazon or Wex (after £50 Pentax cashback) - bargain!

Used also makes sense - Harrison cameras do a 1 year warranty on their used dslrs so the same warranty as on a new camera. Ffordes and a few other places do a 6 month warranty on used dslrs and lenses. Spending money on lenses (which hold their value and will make the biggest difference in image quality) makes more sense than spending the money on bodies which rapidly depreciate and get replaced by newer models. Or if you must have a new camera then decide what you want, wait until the replacement is announced and get the older model at a fraction of the price of the newer one.

Posted on 23 Nov 2012 20:45:54 GMT
Peter Piper says:
I'm not sure you have a problem that a £600 DSLR set-up will solve. But if you're determined, I'd suggest you buy a great lens that does what you want and a cheap used DSLR that you can live with, and see how you get on.

Posted on 23 Nov 2012 19:15:43 GMT
Unclemeat says:
Personally I went for a 60D body only and bought another lens.I can personally attest to the weather proofing on this camera after mine was hit by two big waves and survived once it had spent two days drying,I think a lesser camera 650,600,550 would have been destroyed as they have no weather sealing although I'm sure they are shower proof,I had a Canon 10-22mm attached at the time and that survived too.The sealing on the 60 is not as extensive as on the 7,5D mk 2/3 etc but it is good.You might also like to think about buying from Panamoz based in Hongkong,I did and saved a packet,don't be put of by imports.I have made 3 purchases from them since and they are superb,3 working days delivery and replacement warranties,no fixing,just a new camera/lens if it should have a fault.Quality controls are so high nowadays that it is very unlikely though,so I can recommend them,you will save hundreds!! Any questions just ask!

Posted on 23 Nov 2012 15:26:25 GMT
Kevin W says:
Just back from my local LondonCameraExchange and handled and had a play with D5100, 650D and NEX-5N. Both the sales staff there now use NEX as opposed to their DSLR stuff and raved about them as comparable in quality with the DSLR range I was looking at. I did like the menu system which was touch screen and incorporated the wheel function and the lenses were incredibly light even the telephoto. If I didn't already own a good point and shoot then this would have been a serious contender.

The 650D sits much better in my hands and the lens feels easier to zoom, the shutter button being in a slightly better position being angled forward and the grip on the reverse sitting right where my thumb rested. The menu system is more simplified and easier to alter ISO/AF etc without taking your eye from the view finder. He also said the 650D's digic 5 processor was much better then the older expeed 2 on the Nikon

The D5100 had a nice menu system which looked easier to understand and make your way around. The manual focus ring on the Nikon lens felt more comfortable to use than the Canon but the zoom felt stiff and ended up not keeping the camera as still trying to adjust zoom. I liked the focus points being lit on the viewfinder (I can't remember if the Canon did this). I felt slightly more awkward to hold but not to the point of dislike.

The staff member told me that both the Canons and Nikons are on par with each other on image quality but I am still concerned if this is true or not as DXOmark rates 82.0 nikon v 62.0 canon....thats a serious difference. The nikon has the larger sensor and higher ISO, greater color depth surely all these must be noticeable not just under test conditions.

Pentax was dismissed by both staff members even when opened up a debate on brand recognition, I presumed it was more because I didn't see any Pentax sitting on their shelves for sale.

Price wise;
Nikon D5100 18-55 + 55-200 - £558
Canon 650D 18-55 + used 55-250 - £684
Canon 600D 18-55 + used 55-250 - £550

Posted on 23 Nov 2012 15:22:09 GMT
Graham H says:
No, not at all C.L.

I use Nikon, but the reason I chose the D90 was partly because I can use the old (film) lenses. Canon adopted a completely different lens mount after 1986, so none of the old ones can be used on the digitals, unlike Nikon where you can go back to the '70s and still use them today.
Pentax made some excellent glass. As I opined above, I think the reason no-one buys Pentax is because Pentax don't shout about their products loudly enough in the media.
Look at the Pentax K1000. One of the best and most rugged cameras ever made, and a favourite with many, many photographers worldwide.

Posted on 23 Nov 2012 09:18:15 GMT
C. Laister says:
I would go for the pentax k-30 which is full waterproof body and with offers available at the minute you can get the full waterproof lens version after rebate for £339 leaving you extra £260 for another lens the 55-300mm pentax is very good and could be picked up for that, i have a friend who works for a camera shop who let me try a sony a57, nikon 3200 etc and the image quality was miles better with the pentax he said the pentax are very good but people stick with the big 3 names also the pentax mount has not changed since the beginning so im picking up some f1.7 prime lens for like £30 talk about quality pictures. my 2p worth im sure the nikon etc die hards will flame me.

Posted on 23 Nov 2012 08:11:46 GMT
Graham H says:
Plus one vote for Nikon from me. But as Lucius points out, this is based on personal preference and "gut feeling". I simply find the lower and mid priced Canon offerings a little too plasticky for my tastes.
Although I can't really comment because I've been using my Fujifilm X10 more than my DSLR this year. I think I can count the D90's outings in 2012 on the thumbs of one hand.

Posted on 22 Nov 2012 10:38:32 GMT
Lucius says:
Sounds like you've done plenty of research Kevin. I've had both the Nikon and Canon dSLRs and just got along with the Nikons better, they seemed more logically laid out and their kit lenses felt much better quality build than the kit Canon lenses, I mean in terms of build, not necessarily optically. Thinking ahead, Canon do a better range of cheaper semi-pro lenses though - having said that, Nikon have just introduced an f/4 70-200 so maybe they will move into that space more in the future.


In reply to an earlier post on 22 Nov 2012 10:07:20 GMT
Kevin W says:
I was actually going to try and avoid the standard kit lens and go for a 18-105mm, 55-200mm or 55-300mm as they are on cashback and match this up with a 35mm or 55mm prime lens. Ideally I'd like an ultra wide angle lens as it would capture cityscape and landscapes much better but an expensive £300/600 lens would only happen if I am comfortable with the camera and happy to progress.

I know the image quality is very high on those NEX series as they are very highly rated on DXOmark along with the Pentax K series and Nikons. The problem with places like Comet is they have them connected on the security tags and can usually only barely lift them away from its stand.

I feel you pain on missing out on Comet deal, I saw my Canon S95 in my local one listed as end of line £70 as the S100 had just been released. It cost me £320 and they actually still selling them new at £200 on amazon

Posted on 22 Nov 2012 09:47:03 GMT
Last edited by the author on 22 Nov 2012 09:47:32 GMT
Lucius says:

I appreciate what you're saying, the PEN is still more compact camera like to hold, although the new collapsing lenses are really small, it's still not 'grippy'! I don't know what lenses are are planning on getting, I guess you'd get the kit 18-55 lens with your dSLR for a while?

Have a go with the NEX - the 5N has a great grip and honestly had better image quality than my pro body Nikon dSLR! I know the 5N has recently been replaced but that doesn't make it a bad camera and you can get them for around £350 kit price (I actually missed out on getting one by about 30 seconds in Comet closing down sale yesterday for £200!). I have all Fuji pro gear now, which is simply amazing, but I couldn't resist another go with the 5N at that price! It's worth at least going and having a go, you never know.


In reply to an earlier post on 22 Nov 2012 09:38:15 GMT
Kevin W says:
Thanks for your input Matt.

It's not patronising at all I'm sure there are many people who purchase a DSLR and then later regret as they get tired with lumbering kit around. Which is why I purchased the S95 with manual controls as my taster into amateur photography.

I haven't handled the PEN or NEX but those interchangeable lens would be where the majority of the weight comes from and they would still need to be carried around in a bag as having only one lens would be pointless. The handling issue with the S95 is that the area which you hold it is is by finger and thumbs on the top/bottom edges and never feels secure, I would imagine that this is only intensified when holding a similar rectangular body with a larger lens stuck on the front. I want something to wrap my fingers around the side/front of a camera and be able to hold it more stable. And the price is way up there with DSLR

If I were to consider any of the inbetween models it would be something like a Panasonic G10 or Canon G15....something more grippy

I'll have a look for the youtube stuff, I was watching some DigitalRev clips a couple of days ago with the crazy chinese guy who talks far more rubbish than sense while wondering around swinging his DSLR like he is James Bond

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Nov 2012 09:27:18 GMT
Kevin W says:
Your right, if I was considerably richer or intent to progress to a professional career in photography then I would purchase a full frame DSLR but it's not the case and the next down from a full frame is the CMOS.

I do intend to take my S95 with me as it is so small and lightweight it is hardly noticeable even in jeans pocket.

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Nov 2012 09:22:19 GMT
Kevin W says:
I'll be sure to check out the pentax when I pop in to my local camera store over the weekend. I'll try to research up a little more on them. I have been comparing using the website but it does favour nikon in almost every Vs

Are you still using that Olympus ZX-1?

Posted on 22 Nov 2012 08:13:26 GMT
Lucius says:
Is there any particular reason you need a dSLR and are not interested in one of the compact system cameras with interchangeable lenses such as the Olympus PEN or Sony NEX?

I ask because most people don't really need a dSLR, they just think it's the only next step up from a compact, and once they have a dSLR they tend not to carry it around after the initial excitement because they find it too big! Sorry if that comes across a bit patronising, it isn't meant to be.

As for weatherproofing, unless you're planning to use it in the driving rain, desert or jungle regularly I really wouldn't worry about it. My Fuji gear has been absolutely soaked, isn't weather sealed and has never had any problems. There is a funny YouTube video from DigitalRev if you want to look it up where they torture some non-weathersealed dSLR's - it's a bit silly, but makes a valid point that they can cope with a lot more than you think.


Posted on 21 Nov 2012 23:34:14 GMT
Graham H says:
As we both found out at the weekend! Dr G had his Bronica medium format and I had my Olympus OM-2n. The lighting at the venue we were at was so bad that both of us had to resort to our digitals.
Always good to have a backup.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Nov 2012 19:01:40 GMT
Hi Kevin,
Whatever you choose, and I'm sure you wouldn't go wrong with either Canon or Nikon, getting a big sensor camera has to be the way to get better quality. Do take your S95 though - a back up is always a good thing.

Posted on 21 Nov 2012 15:12:24 GMT
Last edited by the author on 21 Nov 2012 15:12:37 GMT
Graham H says:
Thanks for the namecheck! I'm glad I could help with your Canon '95.

As for Pentax not being a mainstream brand... Are you kidding? Pentax are an extremely capable and top quality camera company of many, many years' standing. I have the highest regard for their kit.
I think the reason they suffer in the marketplace is purely because they don't have the advertising budget of Canon or even Nikon.
Certainly I'd check out their range if I were in your position.

All the best,

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