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Buying a DSLR camera

Hi everyone,

I had a question. I am planning to buy a new camera. My budget is 1500 Canadian dollars. I was doing photography in past 5 years using my iPhone XR and iPhone 6s but now I feel that I am ready to buy a DSLR since I want to get more professional in photography. I mostly do landscape photography, and I am new to buy a DSLR camera and there are a ton of great options but I do not know what to choose. I would be thankful if anyone can give me advice on what to buy.

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Sony A7 with wide angle lense.

A7 is the jack of all trades, good in photo and video.

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There's a lot of options and it can be a little difficult to know what you want until after you pick something that you feel like isn't right for you.

Also you keep saying DSLR which is a specific type of camera. Modern options are all "Mirrorless Cameras" which are are more compact because the they ditch the mirror aspect of a DSLR. In fact, I'm not going to recommend any DSLRs in this post.

 

First things first: APS-C or Full Frame?

Basically, bigger the sensor, the more light you're able to capture, and better quality lenses with larger apertures.

This also affects the size of of your camera since a bigger sensor obviously needs a bigger camera body.

 

Do you want a compact camera with a permanent lens or a camera with interchangeable lenses?

For the first category you can select any of the RX100 cameras. Keep in mind that their sensors are even smaller than APS-C.

You can also jump up in price and get something like Fujifilm X100V (or F which is older). This is an APS-C camera, but it uses a Prime lens which means there is no zoom functionality. If you want to get closer to further away from an object, you're gonna be using your legs. Ricoh GRIII is also a fantastic option for APS-C + Prime.

 

For APS-C interchangeable lens systems you can go with Sony or Fujifilm.

Sony A6100 is an incredible start due to their fantastic autofocus system and great selection of lenses.

I'm not really familiar with Fujifilm, but they have a ton to choose from as well. They're also aesthetically pleasing, and have great straight-from-camera colors.

 

For Full Frame sensors, basically everyone is going to say A7III or A7IV. Obviously there are other brands and models  to pick from, but the A7-series hit a great balance of price and features. Keep in mind the A7S and A7R series are much more professional-oriented.

- - - - -

 

If I was in your shoes, I'd probably go for APS-C with a wide angle lens. Something like the A6100 (or even the A6000) and a Sigma 16mm F1.4, or a Fujifilm X100F or X100V.

Unfortunately it seems like the chip shortage is greatly affecting Sony's APS-C cameras, so it may not be a viable option for you at this time.

 

 

 

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I'm going to suggest something different which is to get one of Canon's old full frame cameras (maybe 5D MkII or MkIII even) used and invest more in lenses than the camera body itself. The reason I say Canon is because they're usually the most plentiful on the used market and their old EF lenses adapt excellently on thec newer RF bodies once you upgade.

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4 hours ago, Mo5 said:

I'm going to suggest something different which is to get one of Canon's old full frame cameras (maybe 5D MkII or MkIII even) used and invest more in lenses than the camera body itself. The reason I say Canon is because they're usually the most plentiful on the used market and their old EF lenses adapt excellently on thec newer RF bodies once you upgade.

How about Canon EOS M50 Mark II or Canon EOS RP Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera? Do you think is it a good option because the ones that you mentioned are a bit expensive.

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4 hours ago, Ardalan Askarian said:

How about Canon EOS M50 Mark II or Canon EOS RP Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera? Do you think is it a good option because the ones that you mentioned are a bit expensive.

I'd stay away from the Canon M mount cameras as Canon seems to have abandoned that system. I'd also stay away from the first generation Sony A7 due to autofocus issues (The Sony A7 cameras didn't really become worth buying until the third generation).

Are you looking at $1500 CAD for just the body? What about lenses?

The Canon EOS 5D mk III isn't a bad price at $929 USD at KEH Camera (used) I shot with this camera for years.  https://www.keh.com/shop/canon-eos-5d-mark-iii-22-3-megapixel-digital-slr-camera-body-only-black.html

 

Another good option would be the Nikon D750 ($994 USD at KEH Camera (used)) https://www.keh.com/shop/nikon-d750-24-3-megapixel-digital-slr-camera-body-only.html

 

Also consider the Nikon Z5 mirrorless. Brand new it's $1600 CAD, so a bit out of your price range, but you can get a used one at KEH Camera for $1100 USD https://www.keh.com/shop/nikon-z5-mirrorless-digital-camera-body-24-3-m-p.html

 

I'd say now's actually a decent time to get into DSLRs as companies shift away from DSLRs to focus on mirrorless. On the one hand, it means you won't get new lenses or bodies in the DSLR space, but you can get good DSLR lenses and bodies for a good price.

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12 hours ago, YellowJersey said:

I'd stay away from the Canon M mount cameras as Canon seems to have abandoned that system. I'd also stay away from the first generation Sony A7 due to autofocus issues (The Sony A7 cameras didn't really become worth buying until the third generation).

Are you looking at $1500 CAD for just the body? What about lenses?

The Canon EOS 5D mk III isn't a bad price at $929 USD at KEH Camera (used) I shot with this camera for years.  https://www.keh.com/shop/canon-eos-5d-mark-iii-22-3-megapixel-digital-slr-camera-body-only-black.html

 

Another good option would be the Nikon D750 ($994 USD at KEH Camera (used)) https://www.keh.com/shop/nikon-d750-24-3-megapixel-digital-slr-camera-body-only.html

 

Also consider the Nikon Z5 mirrorless. Brand new it's $1600 CAD, so a bit out of your price range, but you can get a used one at KEH Camera for $1100 USD https://www.keh.com/shop/nikon-z5-mirrorless-digital-camera-body-24-3-m-p.html

 

I'd say now's actually a decent time to get into DSLRs as companies shift away from DSLRs to focus on mirrorless. On the one hand, it means you won't get new lenses or bodies in the DSLR space, but you can get good DSLR lenses and bodies for a good price.

Hi,

My budget is for both body and lens, and I agree with you going after mirrorless cameras is better for longevity which is why I suggested Canon RP in the first place, and the reason I am not going after Nikon is because my father had some Canon lenses which are compatible with the available bodies so I decided to stick with Canon, but I am confused if Canon RP is a good choice?

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3 hours ago, Ardalan Askarian said:

Hi,

My budget is for both body and lens, and I agree with you going after mirrorless cameras is better for longevity which is why I suggested Canon RP in the first place, and the reason I am not going after Nikon is because my father had some Canon lenses which are compatible with the available bodies so I decided to stick with Canon, but I am confused if Canon RP is a good choice?

I'd say the Canon RP is ok; not bad, but not great either.

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Depends on what you want to do.

 

I do a lot of landscape photography. The ability to couple my dSLR with my smartphone wirelessly, and compose / control imaging on my smartphone is priceless. Macro photography especially is a million times easier being able to remote view and control all aspects of exposure control.

 

This feature is not available on older cameras.

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#1 Go to a camera shop and see what brand feels the comfiest to use.

#2 Decide on if you want new or used.  There's a TON of great used equipment for dirt cheap out there.

#3 Generally go for full frame or the largest normal size sensor they have (FF for Nikon, Canon, APS-C for Fuji).  Basically you want access to the best used lenses.

#4 Don't get caught up in marketing BS and think you need the latest STUFF to take great photos and have fun.

 

I have a Nikon D4s and wouldn't trade it for anything. Since they're so cheap I might try and get another one for backup.  You don't need the latest and greatest to take awesome photos and mirrorless is NOT the magic solution to all your problems.  Mirrorless isn't bad, don't get me wrong but a DSLR can take you a long long long long way in photography.  Skill and practice are the most important thing for great photos, not the gear.

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Close your eyes, buy a camera randomly, and it'll be just fine. I'd say get inspiration with what lenses from a system you think make good pictures, the actual cameras are basically irrelevant these days outside of ergonomics.

 

If you're specifically interested in landscapes though one suggestion I could make is a used Pentax K-1. Some of the best wide angle glass available, pixel shift for extra color detail, and built in GPS/Astro-tracer for astro landscapes. Best weather sealing in class too. Plus your nerdy hipster status will go up dramatically.

 

Oh, and it's an OVF, which I much prefer over EVF when framing locations since the camera doesn't need to be on. If I'm out for hours doing landscapes/nature shots it's invaluable.

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There are a few things that you should always check before buying a DSLR camera, including the lens quality, image stabilization, and frame rate. Here are a few more things to keep in mind when purchasing your next camera:

 

1. Make sure the camera has a good lens quality - A good lens can make all the difference when it comes to taking great photos. Make sure to check out the lens specs to see how well it performs in different lighting conditions and at different distances.

 

2. Get an image stabilization system - DSLRs are notorious for having blurry photos due to shaky hands. An image stabilization system can help reduce or even eliminate this problem.

 

3. Make sure the camera has a good frame rate - This is especially important if you plan on shooting videos or doing any action photography. A high frame rate will minimize motion blur and give you smoother footage.

 

4. Be aware of sensor size and resolution - Not all cameras have the same resolution or sensor size, so be sure to read the specs carefully before making your purchase. Also, keep in mind that sensor size affects image quality, so be sure to match up your camera with the right lens type and size if you're planning on using large-format lenses.

 

Hopefully, these tips will help you make an informed decision when purchasing your next DSLR camera!

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