Why, When, and Where should you buy a DSLR?

(29 posts)
by Daba
18083 Posts
Ready to get things pooping
3 years, 4 months ago
5 years, 8 months ago

I think most of the people that will view this forum, won't find this particular thread useful but I wanted to mark it down for future reference. I don't think I'll be buying an DSLR soon, but eventually I would like to buy one.

 With the launch of multiple DSLRs including today’s Nikon D3X, camera manufacturers are ready and waiting for you to buy their wares. But should you?

DSLRs are perceived by beginners as the pick-up trucks of the camera world. Why buy something with high wheels and a tailgate when you are perfectly happy with a comfortable minivan or sedan. But DSLRs aren’t quite they heavy duty machines we make them out to be.
....

First, the cons. DSLRs are expensive and they’re big. For vacation shots, I’d carry a Kodak point and shoot any day if I knew I wouldn’t be dealing with odd lighting and weird shooting situations. In fact, I’d recommend bringing a point and shoot on vacations unless you’re a photo buff. Nothing says “I’m not a fun person” like carrying around a prosumer camera on the beach.

So Why, When, and Where should you get a DSLR? 
....

http://www.crunchgear.com/2008/12/01/help-key-why-when-and-where-should-you-buy-a-dslr/

by Bob
1407 Posts
Back?
3 years, 3 months ago
5 years, 8 months ago
Thanks for this, Daba.
by rockographer
4 Posts
Digging Out My Soul
5 years, 9 months ago
5 years, 8 months ago

There's nothing more frustrating than switching back to a point and shoot and waiting for that shutter to release while watching your money shot escape your viewfinder. 

On the other hand when's the last time you smuggled your dslr body into a 'no cameras allowed' shoot via your socks or underwear.....?

by rachel juarez-carr
148 Posts
www.countessian.com
1 year, 6 months ago
5 years, 8 months ago

I can't remember how to use my P&S anymore and whenever I try it goes all wrong.

 

I am also Not A Fun Person, though, so I would totally take my "big" camera to the beach. (It's not that big, though. I deliberately got the smallest DSLR I could, because I take buses and don't want to be all "Look! Huge camera! Mug me!" in the middle of the night.)

by Daba
18083 Posts
Ready to get things pooping
3 years, 4 months ago
5 years, 8 months ago
The entry level DSLR Canon they mention looks to be between $700 - $800. Is that what I should expect to pay? Also, should I take a class or just try to learn as I go?
by .....
13 Posts
5 years, 8 months ago
I always tell my friends to think about how often or what exactly they are hoping to use the camera for. Then I send them to the buddies at B&H to hold and  feel the weight etc. I mean no matter how many classes you take if you are overwhelmed by size or how the camera is laid out. There's a good chance that the camera might just end up in a drawer somewhere or your girlfriend using it.  I say surf a little to see what folks are saying. Go in to B&H and look through a few, ask some questions, check your pockets and GO! The more you use it the more proficient you'll get.  I have never taken a class, but have had several cameras in my lifetime. Started with a Canon AE1.
by chris
78 Posts
Stabby McStab Stab
5 years, 8 months ago
5 years, 8 months ago

btw a canon xs is onsale at amazon for $460. comes with an 18-55 3.5-5.6 is lens which is better than nothing. i'd recommend just buying the 50/1.8.

 

oh btw rockographer - i've smuggled my camera in a number of places in the city. i got kicked out of roseland by shooting after the 3 song rule though and that's probably the worse that's happened to me.  last time i snuck in my camera at a show was about 3 weeks ago :) 

 

 

by Olga
3 Posts
5 years, 8 months ago

I'd say learn as you go, that's what I did. And then I took classes (for fun and they're definitely not needed).

 

I still work with an entry-level DSLR (the old Canon Rebel XT) and with a small lens it passes for a large P&S. Quite useful, but I sorely need an upgrade as I've hit a wall with the settings.

 

B&H is the best place to try one out and the staff is very helpful and efficient. And buying a slightly older model would be cheaper once a new one is released (Canon is doing a new redesign every August right now).

by Daba
18083 Posts
Ready to get things pooping
3 years, 4 months ago
5 years, 8 months ago

Thanks for all the tips guys. $460 sounds pretty great although I really shouldn't buy anything that expensive right now.

 

Also, it's cool that classes are not necessary although I think at some point I would like to take them assuming I buy a camera.

by rachel juarez-carr
148 Posts
www.countessian.com
1 year, 6 months ago
5 years, 8 months ago

I refused to go to the photography classes during my journalism degree because the tutor was a pompous idiot, but you can learn a bunch from just going through the manual page by page and testing out every setting.

 

Of course, it helps if you fracture your ankle immediately after getting a new camera, so that you'll be bedridden and have little better to do.

by Gabi Porter
65 Posts
5 years, 8 months ago

Purely based on size, the newest Olympus DSLRs are TINY...and I think the starting price was under $500.   I nearly bought one just because of that...that and I heard the 2 available kit lenses were pretty damn good for the price.  However, I think the options post-kit lens were pretty limited. 

 

It's funny how $500 sounds like nothing when you've spent that much at least four times for lenses.  Le sigh!

 

And chiming in on classes... I'm self-taught but I'm dying to take a class so I can play with studio lighting.  You can learn that stuff solo too, but lights and studios are super 'spensive, nice to have a classroom to bust that cherry.

 

And WHEN to buy an SLR?  When you get to a point where you are really really frustrated with whatever you're shooting with, because you're not able to get the shots you know you could get if you weren't limited by your equipment.  If you you're not at that point, stick to a good point and shoot with manual controls and continue to learn, it's cheaper.

by rachel juarez-carr
148 Posts
www.countessian.com
1 year, 6 months ago
5 years, 8 months ago

Yeah, I definitely recommend not getting one until you've totally driven yourself mad with the limitations of your P&S.

 

If you can learn every setting on the P&S inside out and back to front, it'll be much easier to make the most of the DSLR because you'll already understand all the basic stuff. I found it particularly easy to upgrade because I went from a Canon P&S to a Canon DSLR, and a lot of the controls are identical or at least really similar.

by tinnitus_photography
37 Posts
2012 turned out great
1 year, 8 months ago
5 years, 8 months ago

Gabi, i've got a friend who has an Olympus and the lens choices are very limited (and for the fast glass, really really expensive). 

 

i guess it depends on what you would typically shoot, but for the most options i think one is better off w/ either canon or nikon since they have a lot of lenses, and a lot of 3rd parties also make compatible lenses (tamron, sigma, tokina).

 

'not a fun person' = rofl

by Gabi Porter
65 Posts
5 years, 8 months ago

Yeah, I ended up joining the Nikon family after seriously considering both Oly and Panasonic (those Leica kit lenses are SWEET).  If I had a ton of money to throw around I'd get the Oly 420 as a walking around camera.  But who has a ton of money to throw around?  Haha.

 

I guess I'm Not a Fun Person either!  Hahaha.  I ALWAYS have my camera (and usually 4 lenses) on me.

by .....
13 Posts
5 years, 8 months ago
Hey I just wanted to publically apologize to Dave for my earlier rant.  I thought it sounded funny but it didn't read all that good. I think I'm gonna go take a time out in the corner over here.

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