help me buy a good slr camera

Started Jan 18, 2013 | Questions thread
Guidenet Forum Pro • Posts: 15,748
Re: help me buy a good slr camera

KCook wrote:

I suspect that "a little harder to learn with" is in regard to just 1 wheel? True, for full manual mode. I generally do not shoot in manual mode with my Canon, even though it is a 50D and has both wheels. Different strokes for different folks.

Kelly Cook

Well, Kelly, I agree with you with respect to a single command dial but even in A or S mode, you're using one dial for both purposes. For example, in A mode, you have to tell the dial to set the aperture you wish. In Tv mode, you have to tell that same dial to set the Shutter speed. I would imagine it would be easier to have a shutter button on one side and an aperture dial on the other side. Even in P mode, you might want to shift the shutter or aperture or both. It's nice to have a difference.

Speaking of that, why does Canon insist on calling the Shutter speed Time value. Everyone knows Shutter Priority Mode. Who's ever heard of Time Value Priority mode? LOL I'm kidding, of course. I don't really care. It's just a small annoyance. Who knows who came up with either? It's actually the shutter duration, not the speed anyway.

I think that it's not just the single command dial I'm talking about. I'm talking about all the other things too that are left out on an entry level camera. Many of these things would help a learning photograher. For example, having to light up the back panel to see your settings. Imagine a novice photographer in a class and everyone is asked to check what aperture is set or shutter speed. In the old days, they could just glance at the camera and see. Changes are made in real time. Not so with an entry level. You have to light it up or look through the viewfinder. With say a 60D, they could glance at the top informational LCD. Everything's there.

On my cameras I can change ISO, Bracketing, Quality, Frame Rates, AF mode, Focus points, number of points, note the battery condition, note shots left, and a whole lot more without lighting the back or viewing through the viewfinder. There's no menu searching. It's easy in plain sight, all this an a lot more. The camera body is like an open book and I think that ease of use makes it easier to learn with providing the beginner can afford the extra price tag for that level of camera. Just my opinion, really.

Hiding all that away is because it's cheaper to do it that way and they expect novice photographers to use it in some auto or scene mode. P, Tv (S), and A are all auto modes. These entry level models don't build this sparce because it's easier to use. It's just cheaper. You have to pay to make them more versatile and easier to use.

Anyway, that's why if a novice can afford it, I always suggest a notch above entry level for a new user. With Canon, it starts at about the 60D. With Nikon, it starts at the D90 or D7000. Every single model below these lose the pentaprism viewfinder and top LCD, not to mention twin command dials. So, I'm not looking at it so much as a different stroke type difference where it's just preference, but at the actual pragmatical use of the camera. As usual, it's just my opinion though.

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Cheers, Craig
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