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View Full Version : What is a good affordable DSLR camera?


Quagmire
2009-07-13, 16:05
I am looking into getting a DSLR camera as I have a growing interest in photography especially as I love to photograph my cars and take pictures of planes. I am looking for a decent affordable DSLR camera. I have read that Nikon and Canon are pretty much on the top of the market. On Newegg, they have the Nikon D60 10.2 MP DSLR for $539. I am trying to avoid going over $600 with the absolute ceiling of $700.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16830113088

PKIDelirium
2009-07-13, 16:11
D60 is nice, but I prefer the Canons. I'd go with a Rebel if you can get the right price.

Quagmire
2009-07-13, 16:17
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16830120278

That is the only Canon that is below $600. So which is a better buy? Same price, but which is the better camera?

PKIDelirium
2009-07-13, 17:27
I would go for the Canon. IMO they're higher quality, with the DiGIC 3 image processor and the XS has a pretty good kit lens.

Also, Canon cameras are made in Japan, while Nikon moved their primary production to Thailand a while back. Not saying that makes them bad, but Canons feel more solid to me.

Swox
2009-07-13, 19:10
As much as I prefer Canons, at this end I would probably lean toward the Nikon, primarily because of the second control wheel.

Really though, the difference is probably negligible. I'd try both and see which feels better to you.

julesstoop
2009-07-13, 19:28
On the high end of your price range, I think you should consider the Nikon D5000 and the Olympus E620. Both are excellent cameras.

torifile
2009-07-13, 19:32
Why would you be considering a dslr? For the lenses? If that's the case, you'll want to look to see what options you've got locally, either through craigslist or local camera shops, so you can expand your lens selections. In my experience, the second hand market for Canon lenses is much more robust than Nikon, so that'd be a big factor in my decision (aside from the fact that I'm a Canon shooter).

PB PM
2009-07-13, 19:42
On the Nikon side, I think a D40 or D60 with kit lens(es) (the D500, body only is out of the buyers price range) would fit the bill nicely for the type of photography you are thinking of. I threw in the D40, because it is a steal for the price, and from the pictures my sister gets from her's, it gives a lot of the newer, higher resolution cameras a run for their money. There are plenty of reasons to go for an SLR camera, such as low light shooting, greater depth of field control, and flash/lighting control. On the Canon side, a Rebel XS isn't a bad choice, either. Also don't hesitate to look at the used market, there are a lot of good cameras sitting around in shops unused because people have to have the latest and greatest!



Before you buy an SLR, go into the store and try them out, it would really stink if you went out and spent that much money only to find that you don't like the feel of the camera.

Quagmire
2009-07-13, 22:45
I am leaning towards the D60, but what are the general cost differences between Nikon's AF-S lenses( since it is the only lens besides the AF-I that does autofocus on the D60) and Canon's EF's(since the XS has the motor built into it)?

sunrain
2009-07-13, 22:51
Whatever you do, I'd suggest only buying a body and then getting a good solid lens (35mm, 50mm or so) as a starting point. Kit lenses are universally pretty rotten and you'll never outgrow good glass. In fact I'd go for a used body and spend on the lens rather than grabbing something new if your budget is that strict.

Partial
2009-07-13, 23:07
Check Slickdeals.net search for canon. I see DSLR's on there all the freaking time.

PB PM
2009-07-13, 23:44
I am leaning towards the D60, but what are the general cost differences between Nikon's AF-S lenses( since it is the only lens besides the AF-I that does autofocus on the D60) and Canon's EF's(since the XS has the motor built into it)?
That is a tough question to answer. What kind of lenses would you be looking at getting? If you are just looking at basic kit lenses, Nikon's are known for being among, if not the, best out there. If you are looking at fast (F2.8) zooms, prices are exactly the same in terms of third party lenses, from Sigma/Tamron/Tolkina, and not very much in terms of in house lenses. Example, the Nikon AF-S 24-70 mm F2.8G ED is $1888.88 (Cdn), while the Canon EF 24-70/2.8L USM is $1,538.64 (Cdn). When it comes to camera gear though, $300 is not a big difference. The big difference between Nikon and Canon is that Canon offers a semi-pro line of F4 lenses, which Nikon lacks. IMO, in the consumer space, Nikon has a better lineup, but when it comes to pro gear, they are closer in terms of quality.

Swox
2009-07-14, 01:39
Really, for 95% of users, the differences between Nikon and Canon come down primarily to personal taste. Both make excellent bodies and lenses. I personally like the Canon lens lineup a lot more than Nikon's, but that's more in that semi-pro to pro range that PB PM is talking about.

I don't really think anyone's going to notice a real difference at the consumer level. Again, I'd really recommend trying them out for a bit first. And getting them used from a reputable store is a great way to go, especially for bodies, where issues are going to be a bit more obvious.

torifile
2009-07-14, 05:57
And that's why the secondary market is so important. I don't think that there's as robust a used market for Nikon stuff. Just browsing my local craigslist and sites like fredmiranda.com, I just don't see the same volume of used Nikon. Maybe I'm looking in the wrong places.

But I've found that lenses are really expensive and if you can get them used, you should.

Matsu
2009-07-14, 10:46
Don't forget to factor in the availability of third party lenses. The best of the new designs are in some cases better than first party offerings from Nikon or Canon -- ie, the new HSM Sigma 35 and 50mm -- though these aren't any cheaper!

Others are regarded as pretty good items at a fraction of the price, like Tamron's 17-50 and 28-75 f/2.8. The Sigma 24-70 f/2.8 HSM seems to test better than the Canon equivalent, but not as well as the latest Nikon standard zoom. In any case considering all these zooms cost from 1/3 to 2/3 what you'll pay for Nicanikon inc's wares, they're pretty good value.

PB PM
2009-07-14, 12:54
And that's why the secondary market is so important. I don't think that there's as robust a used market for Nikon stuff. Just browsing my local craigslist and sites like fredmiranda.com, I just don't see the same volume of used Nikon. Maybe I'm looking in the wrong places.

But I've found that lenses are really expensive and if you can get them used, you should.
Knowing where to look is a good thing. Most major camera dealers offer refurbuished or used lenses, of the lenses that I have half of them are used. There is even one major site dedicated to selling used camera equipment:
http://www.keh.com/onlinestore/home.aspx

There is also a ton of good stuff on eBay, you just have to be careful who you buy from, and only buy from there if the prices are lower than other used sources, you can get some great deals.

Quagmire
2009-07-14, 15:52
I went with the D60. It felt better in my hands then the XS did. Felt more solid to me, IMHO.

PB PM
2009-07-14, 16:26
Congrats, the D60 is a solid little camera.

Swox
2009-07-14, 19:26
Welcome to the wonderful world of DSLRs :)

Look forward to seeing some snaps in the Color Photography thread!