Nikon D3500 or Sony A7 III ? (Also Sony A6600 or Nikon Z50) for absolute beginner

Started 4 months ago | Discussions thread
Gerry Winterbourne Forum Pro • Posts: 18,446
Re: Nikon D3500 or Sony A7 III ? (Also Sony A6600 or Nikon Z50) for absolute beginner

sonic123 wrote:

I agree with everything Bob has said so I won't repeat that, but I'll add a couple of things.

Hello. I know this kind of questions are not much liked but I would try to be brief. No matter how good each new generation of smartphones is supposed to be, I find that the photos I take with my iPhone (currently iPhone 11 Pro Max) are always missing something and I don't find them that great.

I am an absolute beginner willing to learn BUT I would like to buy a kind of camera that would serve me as a "gateway drug", I mean, a first camera that would take such great photos in comparison to my iPhone that it would motivate me to learn more, get into the hobby and upgrade the camera. In 2010, I bought an Olympus PEN E-PL1 that was supposed to be better than a regular point and shoot and while the photos were somehow better than my cheap P&S camera, the photos were nothing to talk about.

It's important to realise that cameras don't take photographs - it's photographers who do that. Any camera - including the one in a phone - is just a tool for the photographer. And tools need to be learned - phones are designed to be very easy to learn, cameras take more time and effort.

I've seen some photo samples of the Nikon D3500 and I've loved them. Being so used to my iPhone photos, I could instantly tell that the D3500 photos were different in a good way. The vivid/natural colors, the detail et al. looked to me like a "professional" photo.

Any camera can do that - you could look at samples from any camera on the market and be impressed if the photographer chose a style that appealed to you.

I've read that the D3500 is quite recommended for a beginner's camera BUT it is not ideal as a video camera. I would also like to shoot better videos than the ones I get from my iPhone so it would be ideal if I found a camera that can take photos as good as the D3500 but also great videos.

Mirrorless cameras are generally considered to be better for video than DSLRs.

The problem is that I'm an ignorant beginner with ZERO knowledge and one of the things people praise the D3500 about is that it actually includes an "in-camera" tutorial and a great internal photo processing so you can get great photos without using external/additional computer programs.

So my questions are (being that money wouldn't be a problem):

See above - in the hands if a good photographer all these cameras (and any others you think of) will give equally good results.

1) Does the Sony A7 III take better photos (better image quality - pro looking photos) than the D3500 or does the D3500 still makes the better photos?

2) Does the Sony A7 III in "auto mode" could be used by a beginner like me, so I could take good-looking "regular" photos, portrait photos, landscape and sports photos as equal or better than the D3500?

3) Could the Nikon Z50 be the sweet spot? Or maybe the Sony A6600/A6100

I would be using my camera to make everyday moments photos look BETTER (way better) than the ones I obtain with my iPhone and also to shoot photos (both regular and portrait) photos of my daughter and wife and shoot videos for my daughter.

I am willing to learn about the basics and get into the hobby but in the meantime I would like to be able to take great photos while learning, just like the D3500 it's supposed to allow.

Why, you could say, I don't go and buy the D3500 already? The answer is because the D3500 is not good at shooting videos so would much rather get a camera that is also a good video device without losing any image quality of the D3500.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH for your insight, suggestions and recommendations!

Best regards,

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I'm happy for anyone to edit any of my photos and display the results
First camera 1953, first Pentax 1985, first DSLR 2006

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