should a dslr be my first camera ever?

Started Jan 2, 2013 | Questions thread
Vlad S Veteran Member • Posts: 3,713
Some suggestions

akarockin wrote:

well the use of the camera would be for family vacation as well as somewhat designing purpose .I am an engineering student and i would be further getting into designing. It would be the only camera i would be investing in... a 1 time investment. I wont be buying a camera for a long period of time then.

I might use it as soon as i catch the sight of something good. I will keep it with me wherever i go.

can you now suggest a few cameras?

I would suggest looking at these options. They all will work well for your purposes, and the quality of image in all of them will be good enough for the vast majority of your shooting conditions. The difference will be in how far you can push them in the future, the size and weight of the outfit, and the cost of ownership. I would suggest using this list to go to the specific forums, and ask about DISadvantages of these cameras, and see which ones would be ruled out.

1. Sony RX100. The smallest of the bunch, but fixed lens, therefore most limited. It also has the smallest sensor, but the quality of the image is as good as some DSLRs used to have just a few years ago. It's also most difficult to achieve the background blur, if that's what you like.

The remaining cameras have interchangeable lenses, so they need to be budgeted separately. But they offer more versatility and better image quality, although at the cost of size and weight.

2. Olympus E-PL5. Probably currently the best micro four thirds camera without a viewfinder. Will work  great in full auto, but will offer full manual control when you are ready for it. There is a great selection of critically acclaimed lenses available today.

3. Panasonic G5 or G3. Like the Olympus, also belongs to the micro 4/3 system. I would recommend these if you want a mirrorless camera with a viewfinder. I loved "Intelligent Auto" button: if you need to hand the camera to someone to "just push the button" - that's the mode to use. Can use the same lenses as E-PL5. G5 Has better ergonomics, but more expensive. It also has somewhat better image quality, but G3 is already very good.

4. Sony Nex system. Size-wise comparable with micro 4/3, better sensor, but worse lenses, and a totally different interface. It's really a matter of personal preference IMO, and the cost of the lenses that you want. I can't say anything about specific models.

5. Canon 650D or Nikon D3200. The choice between these two is really down to the cost of the cameras and lenses where you live. Either one will serve your needs for as long as you need. I would not not buy other brands (Pentax, Sony) simply because it's easier to find support for Canikon worldwide, and if you take a class, the teacher and students will be more familiar with the interface.

I think full frame DSLRs are not appropriate for family use, because they are distracting, difficult to carry, and it will be about taking pictures, rather than enjoying your family or friends. I myself selected the micro 4/3 system, and I have a small, light messenger bag (not a special camera bag), that contains the camera, a few lenses, a sandwich, and a notebook. I can take it to any place or party, and it does not interfere with my lifestyle, but offers excellent image quality when I see an opportunity.


 Vlad S's gear list:Vlad S's gear list
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-45mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH OIS Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm F4.0-5.6 Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH Panasonic Lumix G Vario 100-300mm F4-5.6 OIS +2 more
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