Need help first time DSLR or Mirrorless Buyer

Started Apr 3, 2014 | Questions thread
Marty4650 Forum Pro • Posts: 14,480
Some advice

Every camera you mentioned will do well.

We have gotten to the point where no one really makes a bad camera. So decisions are based on preferences and budget.

I don't want to confuse you further, but please consider the following"

  • This will be your first system camera, not your last. You don't have to start at the top.
  • If money is a concern, you can live behind the curve. There has been very minor improvements in new models, and mostly in things that won't matter to you that much. Consider "last year's models" like the Canon 60D, Nikon D7000, Olympus EM5, or Pentax K5 IIs, and save big.
  • You might even want to consider used cameras. There are plenty of people who upgrade constantly, so there are nice clean used models available cheap. It's like buying a car.... you can have a brand new Buick or a used BMW for the same price. Which one do you buy? (Example.... brand new Nikon D7100 sells for $1100, but you can find plenty of used D7000s selling for under $500 .)
  • For travel or street photography, you might find MILC a lot more convenient than FF DSLRs.
  • Always get the kit lens. These are cheap when bundled with a camera, and are generally very decent lenses. They just aren't as fast. For $100 over the body only price, they are a real bargain.
  • Once you stop down to f/8 or so, there is virtually no difference between a $100 kit lens and a $1000 upgrade lens. Don't buy capabilities you don't need right now, or can't afford right now. You can always upgrade later.
  • Don't spend more than $1000 for your first camera and lens. If you spend too much, you will find yourself locked into a system that you may not like three years from now. Keep the cost down, so you can sell it and take a small loss if you want to switch to something else in the future. Or, if you find you love it, you can build on it.
  • The Fuji XE-1 is a good choice. I use Olympus M4/3 and Sony SLT, but I admire the Fuji X system. They have come a long way in a very short time.
  • No matter how good the price or the specs, if the camera doesn't suit you you will be unhappy with it. Try them out if you can. At least handle them. Ergonomics counts.

Good luck!

 Marty4650's gear list:Marty4650's gear list
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Olympus E-M1 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 Panasonic Lumix G 14mm F2.5 ASPH Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 14-42mm 1:3.5-5.6 II R +11 more
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