First Camera On A Budget Recommendations

Discussion in 'Digital Cameras, Webcams and Scanners' started by Origin Saint, Oct 16, 2015.

  1. Origin Saint

    Origin Saint Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,366
    Hi all,

    After lurking through the post your pictures thread for a long time and making a Flikr recently and remembering how I've always wanted a decent camera to take pictures with for fun and hobby-ing, I've decided I want to buy one before Christmas. But I'm new to the show and don't know too much about them, I've only ever owned film-based cameras, or the ones attached to my phones.

    I do have a budget for this, however. I'm not looking to get into anything professionally, and I don't need something crazy, but I certainly don't want a piece of junk. I'm looking at spending no more than $250 on a camera.

    I've been looking at the Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FZ70 on Amazon. It seems like a good camera for the price point, but I am very open to suggestions, provided you've got some reasoning to them.

    So shoot! And thanks in advance, friends.
     
  2. Shlouski

    Shlouski VIP Member

    Messages:
    1,317
  3. spirit

    spirit Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    17,364
    I'd recommend looking used and seeing if you can get a Nikon or Canon D-SLR within your budget. Something like a used Nikon D3100 may be in your region, or a used Canon EOS 500D or 550D or something like that. I'd recommend a D-SLR for best image quality and I'd recommend Nikon or Canon for best lens options. For getting with started the standard 18-5mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens these cameras come with is usually fine. Sometimes if you looked used they come with a nicer lens. Here's a D3100 with the 18-55 lens on eBay for $250 used Buy It Now. That would be a very good option. If you look on eBay there are plenty of options.

    I've used quite a few of these 'bridge' type cameras before (like the Lumix you're looking at). They're OK but they don't compare to even the lowest-end D-SLR in terms of image quality and low-light performance, and you can change the lenses on a D-SLR to achieve different effects. These D-SLRs also shoot in RAW so if you want to get into editing you can have a better editing experience, RAW files are much better for editing than JPEGs. I've always been disappointed with bridge cameras, so if you want something good look at a used D-SLR.
     
  4. Origin Saint

    Origin Saint Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,366
    Sorry for the way long reply. I've been looking into the camera options slowly but surely. I finally decided I don't necessarily need/want one enough to spring for the purchase right now, however, with Christmas coming up, I figured I'd research a bit harder and ask for one for Christmas and see what happens :rolleyes:

    So after taking a look at some reviews and specs I narrowed it down to 4 total cameras that I think look great that I should be able to find for $250 or less online or somewhere, two of which I like more than the others, but I'd like some more "professional" (read: "experienced") opinions/pointers on which ones to maybe omit, or if the whole list seems like a solid list of options.

    • The one that looks the best to me so far is the Nikon D3200. I found a few on eBay for $250 or less, and the specs look remarkable: 6016 x 4000 max resolution, 24 MP, 1080p video recording, USB type C connection, wireless capability (provided you get an adapter), seemingly long-lasting battery, GPS capability (also, provided you get an adapter), lots of available storage types (SD, SDHC, SDXC) and a fairly small weight footprint.
    • Next would be the Canon EOS 550D. Similar to the Nikon, but a little more accessible in terms of availability used. 5184 x 3456 max resolution, 18 MP, mini HDMI, Eye-Fi connectivity and a little larger.
    • Next up is the Canon EOS 1200D. Seems like a lighter version of the 550D, but might be more available or something?
    • Lastly the, Canon EOS 600D. The heaviest by far, but holds it's own to the other three pretty well it seems like.
    The Nikon D5100 and Nikon D3100 also seem good too, but if I can get one of these four, I figured it would be a bit more worth it, provided I can find a deal including a lens and bag.

    So what do my fellow computer forum members think? Should I shoot for any one in particular or are any of these a definite no-no or something I should be aware of?

    Thanks for the help guys!
     
  5. Geoff

    Geoff VIP Member

    Messages:
    37,673
    FYI, the D3200 doesn't have USB Type C, AFAIK no DSLR does.

    Honestly I think any camera in this price range is going to be similar to learn the basics, it comes down to what lenses you are planning to buy and if you prefer Nikon or Canon's offerings. DSLR bodies come and go, but lenses last for a long time. I would also recommend playing with both and seeing which one has a better feel in-hand, and which menu UI you find more intuitive.

    From what I've seen, Nikon has some better budget cameras, but their lenses are a bit more expensive, and don't have as many low-cost lens options.
     
  6. Origin Saint

    Origin Saint Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,366
    Ooops, I misread the page I was on. It has HDMI type C, so Mini-HDMI.

    So considering I would never be taking this to a professional level or anything, would a Canon be better off for me given that you mentioned that the lens' are typically cheaper and there are more budget options?
     
  7. Origin Saint

    Origin Saint Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,366
    After looking some more, I think I've decided on anything from the 550D to the 760D or the 1200D or 100D would all work perfectly fine for me, and with such a large range, it should be easy to find some on eBay or Craigslist that include some lenses. I hope I can manage to get something with more than one lens, a memory card, and a carrying bag, but only time will tell.

    If anyone has anything further to add, feel free!
     
  8. Geoff

    Geoff VIP Member

    Messages:
    37,673
    If you have no intent on investing more into DSLR's, like higher quality lenses or a wider variety of lenses, IMO you would be better off getting a mirrorless camera. An entry level DSLR with low end kit lens isn't going to yield the greatest results.
     
  9. Origin Saint

    Origin Saint Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,366
    While I don't necessarily have that intention now, I wouldn't say that I never will. I've always wanted to do photography as a hobby, and my S/O loves taking pictures and is artsy and whatnot, so while I'm sure I would be using fairly basic lens' for a while, the advantage here is that when the time comes I actually have the option to get better lenses and have more variety that I wouldn't get with the mirrorless. I'd say while I may get a better quality image from a mirrorless for the same price, I'd find the DSLR a better choice in the long-run. I'm just not intending to invest much into this from the get-go or for a while, so I'm looking for something used with a lens or two that I can build on eventually.
     
  10. C4C

    C4C Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,860
    I side with Spirit on the D3100. I have used mine for the past 4 years, and it still works perfectly. Could use some nicer glass, but I've made do with the 2 standard lenses (18-55 & 55-200)
     
  11. spirit

    spirit Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    17,364
    D3200 is a solid option. Had mine 3 years, still love it. 24 megapixels is very nice, especially once you put good glass on it. If you want samples just look at my Flickr. :) http://flickr.com/jasonbrown2013

    I think you should just get a D3200 if you want a D-SLR. Kit lens for it is pretty good too!
     
    C4C likes this.

Share This Page