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Equipment (Now) Purchased my first DSLR Canon T3i (600d)

Discussion in 'Photography, Art & Design' started by morris8809, 14 Nov 2011.

  1. morris8809

    morris8809 Minimodder

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    My fiancee and I are looking to get a nice DSLR for a christmas present to ourselfs, what do you all recommend? I was looking at the Nikon D5100 and the Canon T3i. I would also need to know which would be the best lens to get for up close and some mid distance shots. Budget of around 900 USD MAX. Thanks guys
     
    Last edited: 21 Jun 2012
  2. Sexton

    Sexton Minimodder

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    I'm very much a Canon person myself, and can highly recommend a 550D or 600D which you might be able to squeeze in with your budget. If not though, the 1100D's are very capable cameras - and quite cheap, so you could then get yourself a decent aftermarket lens for it as well which would probably be the wiser option.
     
  3. LennyRhys

    LennyRhys Oink!

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    I use Canon professionally but have nothing against Nikon - both make amazing stuff. I decided on Canon simply because I prefer the ergonomics of the Canon bodies and the very well categorized lenses.

    For a first dSLR sometimes the simpler the better. At the end of the day, even the pros make adjustments to only three settings in the camera (generally):

    • aperture (size of the hole at the back of the lens)
    • shutter speed (how long the sensor is exposed to light)
    • ISO speed (the digital equivalent to film sensitivity)

    More expensive cameras have silly resolutions which are of little use to consumers, so forget megapixels - go to your nearest camera store and hold a few of the cameras in your price range; whichever feels best, get it. The D5100 is good but has more features than you can shake a stick at, so it will be a steep learning curve....but that's no reason not to get it. I advised a friend of mine to get a D5000 and he loves it.

    Usually the kit lens is reasonable for macro... a good lens to buy to learn different focusing techniques is a 50mm f/1.8 (nifty fifty) which will set you back a little over $100 whether it's Nikon or Canon. It has a large aperture which means the area "in focus" is very shallow - very fun lens to use creatively.

    Cheap tlephoto zoom lenses have very poor quality so you're best waiting to get something a little better. I'm a huge fan of Sigma lenses and I use them often for work, and they can be very competitively priced compared to the branded equivalents.

    Hope that helps. :thumb:
     
  4. Xir

    Xir Modder

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    I#m...sure you know this but.
    The Nikon 50mm 1.8 that autofocusses on the D5100 will set you back about double that.
    And for the "Nifty Fifty" effect on 35mm film, on the APS-C that would be the 35mm 1.8 (which sadly is also $200)
    Supposed to be a very good lens though.
     
  5. LennyRhys

    LennyRhys Oink!

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    I had a look and I must say I'm surprised to hear how much it costs - when my mate bought his D5000 earlier this year, the 50mm AF-S f/1.8 was exactly the same price as Canon's nifty fifty (£99). $200 is ridiculous for a nifty fifty, really - I heard that Nikon can overprice their glass, but that is just nonsense, especially at the budget end of the spectrum.

    As for focal length, the nifty fifty is suggested because it is the cheapest prime and a really good portrait lens on crop sensors, effectively 80mm with Nikon's 1.6 crop factor. Take away the cheap price of the 50mm and it is no longer "nifty".
     
  6. Xir

    Xir Modder

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    Yeah that's the downside of the D-series camera's, the lenses cost more.
    Also you get VR in lens-only, not in camera (like with Sony).
    The usual lenses are compatible though, but you lose the AF.
    That lens would be about 100$, and is an absolute bargain.

    I thought you were suggesting a "normal" lens, not a portrait. That would be the 35mm then.
     
  7. LennyRhys

    LennyRhys Oink!

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    Yeah. I wasn't thinking of any particular kind of lens, just the cheapest and most popular prime, which is always a good starting point because it is cheap and fun. ;) I agree that the 50mm is a bit long on a crop sensor, but it's workable, especially if you have plenty space to move back. :D
     
  8. whisperwolf

    whisperwolf What's a Dremel?

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    I'm always a bit dubious about Nikons entry level DSLR's due to the lack of inbuilt autofocus motor, and therefore losing the autofocus on some lens, admittedly most new lenses from Nikon and third parties now have the motor built in them, and its less of an issue now, but you can still get caught out.
    I must be unique, as everywhere I look people rave about the 50mm 1.8 and I hated mine, I bought it because it was cheap at the time at about £50, but I already had a 18-50 2.8 sigma lens, the difference between 1.8 and 2.8 in speed rarely got used, depth of field was countered with the fact that the sigma had a much much smaller min focus distance. The only time I really used the 1.8 was with creative aperture shapes. and that was more a novelty than anything else.
     
  9. morris8809

    morris8809 Minimodder

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    Last edited: 15 Nov 2011
  10. Sexton

    Sexton Minimodder

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    Ah, just looked and found the T3i is just the foreign name for the 600D - in which case, highly recommended :) Brilliant camera.
     
  11. morris8809

    morris8809 Minimodder

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    Are those lenses good to start off with or should i go with a different one?
     
  12. whisperwolf

    whisperwolf What's a Dremel?

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    There your basic kit lenses, they're not the best glass by far, but they are perfectly good to get to grips with the camera and learn what range you most like. Then you can pick the lens you want to improve your kit with be it a wider angle, quicker glass or telephoto zoom.
     
  13. Sexton

    Sexton Minimodder

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    The Canon 18-55mm is a brilliant lens for all-round photography. If you're looking to expand your range though, Tamron do some very good lenses.
     
  14. Lovah

    Lovah Apple and Canon fanboy

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    I'm not up to date on the used market in the US, but I bet you can find a used 5D and 50mm F1.4 for around your budget. Then save up a bit for a 24-70 F2.8 L and your set.

    enjoy
     
  15. eddtox

    eddtox Homo Interneticus

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    It might also be worth looking at Sony's offerings. After playing with a few cameras in my local shop i fell in love with the A35, mainly for is ridiculously fast autofocus (which works for stills and video :D)
    I will probably be buying it before the year draws to a close :D
     
  16. supermonkey

    supermonkey Deal with it

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    I know quite a few of the professional photographers around here will cringe when I say this, but in my professional opinion the kit lens that ships with the Canon bodies is actually pretty decent. It does the job well enough that I've never felt the need to invest in more expensive glass.

    Yes, it has its limitations. And yes, the quality and limited aperture range mean that you have to sacrifice a bit compared to high dollar lenses. However, if you're just looking for a camera to take casual family photos, then a kit lens with moderate zoom (e.g. 28-135) is going to suit you just fine. Almost every photo in my Flickr galleries was taken with a kit lens.
     
  17. LennyRhys

    LennyRhys Oink!

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    @ supermonkey I agree - the kit lens is decent, but I'd never use it for work. Where equipment is concerned, there's professional discretion, and there's professional snobbery (which usually accompanies full frame cameras), but aside from that the photographer has a responsibility to take the best pictures they can, which means using the right glass for the job. A kit lens for family and holiday snaps is fine, and the more skill you have as a photographer the better results you will get with it.

    I've never owned a kit lens with any of my current gear, because none of my cameras came with one (and if they did, I bought body only), but that's because I don't "do" family or holiday snaps outside of work. :D
     
  18. supermonkey

    supermonkey Deal with it

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    That's all well and true for professional photographers, but in threads like these is always a good idea to remember that most of the time the people asking for equipment recommendations are not professional photographers. I'm willing to bet that many of them won't appreciate lugging a bunch of pro glass around on holiday because it has over 9000 less chromatic aberrations.

    I'm not having a go at anyone here specifically. It's just that all too often when I see threads like this, it usually follows with a few pros and hobbyist photographers talking up the importance of expensive glass, when all the OP asks for is a decent camera to take casual photos. That's why I felt it was good to point out that kit lenses aren't necessarily that bad these days.

    If you can find a camera body and quality lens for roughly the same as a body+kit lens combo, then there's not much problem with opting for better optics. But if it means upping the budget significantly, then there better be a really good reason to spend more.
     
  19. LennyRhys

    LennyRhys Oink!

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    I totally agree, which is specifically why I suggested the nifty fifty - cheap and great for beginners, just like the kit lens.

    Can't say I've seen any threads in which pro/hobbyist photographers encourage beginners to by expensive glass, but perhaps that's just me.
     
  20. morris8809

    morris8809 Minimodder

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    Just figured I would let you all know that I picked up a T3i while on our honeymoon in florida :), and its great. I got the kit with the 18-55mm lens and 55-250mm lens, 8gb card, carry bag etc for 950 after taxes. Thanks for all of your help :thumb:.

    Here are a couple photos I took with it on our honeymoon, let me know what you think, note this is first day using it coming from a point and shoot. Will post better versions later.

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