Newbie gear question 2300 budget.

Started Feb 3, 2014 | Discussions thread
ragmanjin Contributing Member • Posts: 959
Re: An alternative?

John Deerfield wrote:

Thanks Raj however, the only alternative i would consider right now to a Canon or Nikon system is a mirrorless system like the Fuji X, Olyumpus or Sony A7.

For my own curiosity, may I ask why that is?

I don't know about the OP, but I will let you know why I suggest sticking with Canon or Nikon. At some point in the decision making process, you simply need to consider less options, not more. The more you consider, the more confusing it will be. Almost every camera has something of merit.

But very few cameras have as much of merit as the K-3 — and the ones that do aren't APS-C.

With Canon/Nikon, you have the most peer-to-peer support. This includes (but not limited too) potentially saving money buying used gear. I have been teaching a basic camera class for over 10-years. In all of those years, in terms of DSLR's, I have had countless Nikon or Canon cameras. I have had two Sony DSLRs and a total of zero Pentax cameras. And it never fails, class participants will organize themselves: Canon shooters clump together, Nikon shooters clump together. I often wonder how my two Sony shooters felt.

Odd. I also teach photography, though generally as a four-lesson crash course in a one-on-one setting. I always used to make a point of bringing a different camera brand each time, starting with a film SLR and going through three brands of DSLRs for the next three lessons. Students have said it helps get them away from dwelling on brand and pushes them to focus on the three major settings relevant to every exposure and common to every camera: Shutter speed, aperture and ISO.

That I know of right now, three of my former students have upgraded from their previous or starter systems to Pentax DSLRs. Legacy glass for them is everywhere up here, often sitting on pawn shop shelves for as little as $25/lens, and while you might not be able to find them in every camera store, they're carried by at least a couple major chains (London Drugs, Henry's, etc.). If you're looking for used AF lenses, there's always a good selection on KEH and eBay that can ship worldwide.

This is also why there is simply more third party support for Canon and Nikon. One example: choosing a flash. Pentax themselves don't even make a decent middle of the road ($200-$300 flash). Their $200 flash doesn't swivel (it's a common complaint). And even that just goes a bit deeper. Most people wouldn't know why they would want a flash the both bounces and swivels, but when they learn why they need this they are now in a system (Pentax) that doesn't offer anything until the $400.

That's what Metz is for

You learn more and have more creative control using all manual flashes anyways.

And I am not trying to pick on Pentax. In the Sony system, FEC (flash exposure compensation) is hidden within the camera menu. What sense does that make? Both Canon and Nikon put it on the flash itself… which seems like a no-brainer to me. In other words, you aren't going to outgrow a Canon or Nikon system. Or at least you are less likely to outgrow them.

Now, if someone has a specific reason to choose say Sony, or Pentax, or whatever, then great. You know what you need. But for the vast majority, it is simply smarter to stay with Canon or Nikon.

Doesn't make sense to me to limit yourself to only two options simply because they're the ones everyone else likes.

Now, if somebody has a specific reason to choose, say, Canon or Nikon, great. Though it never hurts to keep in mind that Sony's better for easy video (less so now that the 70D exists) and that Pentax has bar-none the best features:price ratio.


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< / sarcasm>

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