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

JohnJ851 wrote:

Is it just me that think an entry level DSLR is made for a beginner to learn the ropes?

All DSLR's are fine these days.


Personally, I don't think so. I think an entry level is just that, an entry into SLR photography. I think they are built as inexpensively as possible leaving off many of the things that make learning photography easier. Just because they are inexpensive doesn't mean they are easier to learn with, IMO.

It might be similar with an inexpensive car. Though a cheaper way to get an automobile, it might not be the best to learn how to drive for the first time. The two things have little in common. Inexpensive doesn't always mean educational.

I think it also depends on what the novice photographer wants to learn or how far they want to get into this hobby or career. If they just want to get good enough for everyday shots on vacation and family events where they start in P mode and eventually just graduate to A mode and an understanding of depth of field, I'm sure an entry level model is just fine. On the other hand, if they really want to understand exposure and learn to take full control over photography, they'd do better with a camera which has more tactile controls and external information. This is why I often ask how far they want to go and how much passion they have.

If a novice really wants to learn exposure and possibly The Zone System of photography and they want that control on tactile controls on the body; and they want the exposure information outside and visible, then a more enthusiast body might indeed be preferable to them. An entry level model might quickly prove very frustrating. That's not to say you couldn't learn everything on an entry level. I'm just talking about making it as easy and seamless as possible. There's absolutely no reason to step it up if the novice has a large enough wallet. It also means they don't need to upgrade nearly as soon.

Many new SLR owners buy something like a T3i or T4i entry level camera with a twin lens EF-S kit only to find they have to upgrade the whole shebang when they wish to take the next step. Not one piece of that starter kit might be part of the next-step kit. That next large investment might to too large for many to partake and they are held back with inexpensive mediocre gear.

However, had they purchased a little better camera and just one lens that was a little better, they might be able to slowly build that better kit around the original purchase. Say a 60D with the 18-135 STM setup or a 7D and lens. Even a 5D MKII with good EF lens might be a great idea. It just depends on what your long term goals are.

Have a great day.

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Cheers, Craig
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