View Full Version : Advice on a 1st DSLR please?

29-04-12, 06:01 PM
I'm looking to purchase a DSLR for the first time and need some advice on what direction to go. Our 1st baby is due in June and I am after a camera that I can "grow into" as our child grows up as well. I am after something that is relatively easy to use at first, so I can get to grips with it; but also something that will give me great results over time as my skills improve.

I have been considering the Canon 600D and the Nikon 5100. My budget is around 500-600, ideally no more than 750 at a real push. Can anyone offer any advice as to whether these cameras would fit my needs, whether one is better than the other, or is there other kit out there that would be a better alternative?

Another question is should I go for the lenses that are available bundled with the camera body, or instead go for body only and buy separate lenses? If separates are the way to go, where should I start? As mentioned before, the majority of shots (at least at first) are likely to be of our new arrival.

Looking forward to hearing everyone's advice

Thank you

Blitz Photography & Prod
29-04-12, 07:52 PM
hi ninja

i can't say to much about Nikon body's as i use Canon i have read and saw reviews on the 600D its much like the 550D but a few pounds more so have you thought about the 550D as well as i own a 550D my self so if you don't really mind not having the different screen the 550D would do the same as the 600D but cheaper giving you more money to buy other things to add to your camera body like a new lens.
The lens you buy as a kit or not the best in the world but you can still get good looking photos what i would say is if your wanting a first lens seeing as you said about taken baby photos then get a 50mm prime lens f1.8 as using a kitlens a 18.55mm in doors they don't let in so much light were with a 50mm being a f1.8 it lets more light in to your camera the higher the number on the lens the darker your photos are so as the kitlens is a F3.5 to F 5.6 for indoors photos then the 50mm is best to buy

hope this some help to you all the best
Russ :)

30-04-12, 10:06 AM
hi and welcome its a great idea to have a good camera for the kids i did when mine were growing up and got some great shots. Russ has already said about the 550d and i will second that camera it is really great. i will add also that it takes some practise to use a DSLR too so get one sooner rather than later. I would also look at bridge cameras like canons g12 and g1x and even the sx40hs.
next is go try them see how they feel if feels right then it probably is, dont settle for i will get used to it. also look at the lenses available to you, after all you are buying into a system. if you go for a DSLR then a good external flash will have to be high on the list of extras as this will help with good indoor shots. hope this helps

30-04-12, 11:11 AM
Hi welcome to the forum
Ether the Nikon or the Canon will deliver great photos. The Canons have been well explained by Russ & Wave. The Nikon d5100 sports the same sensor that the d7000 has so it will also give great photos. I would go for the 18-55 kit lens, either Nikon or Canon the Nikon is a good starting lens and only costs about 50 (bundled) over 100 if you buy separately, and a 35mm prime, it's fast ,quite cheap and will make a great 2nd lens only thing about primes is to zoom in and out you have to walk forwards and backwards. Good luck ... Graham

30-04-12, 11:13 AM
Meant to say . I have an old d60 that is due replacing soon and i will be getting the d51000. Graham

01-05-12, 09:11 PM
Thanks for the advice everyone.

I have considered a bridge camera as an intermediate step. My dad has a Panasonic FZ45 which I like the look of, but I wasn't sure what the image quality would be like or if it would be suitable for the sorts of photos I want to take. Also not sure what the longevity of this would be as (hopefully) my skills grow.

Does anyone have any feedback on the FZ45 and whether if would be suitable?

Thanks again

02-05-12, 07:33 AM
you might want to look at the fz150 or the canon g1x or canon sx40hs

06-05-12, 09:58 PM
Out of interest, has any used an online retailer called procamerahop.co.uk?

Have seen some good prices on there and wondered if anyone had any feedback about customer service/reliability?


Nigel Atherton
09-05-12, 10:30 PM
The two cameras you mention are very good, but the new Nikon D3200 (about 649) is also worth considering. As its brand new it has the latest technology developments such as the latest expeed 3 processor and a 24MP sensor, so the image quality will be well above the Canon 600D and Nikon D5100. (You're probably thinking you don't need 24MPs right now and you're probably right, but you may one day, and it does allow you to crop quite a bit and still get a decent image.)
Another good thing about the D3200 is that it has a very good Guide mode which is a kind of illustrated how to guide built into the interface, which explains what the fucntions do and when to use them great for beginners, but you can bypass all this as you progress.
If you have any aspirations to pursue photography more seriously at a later date I'd put an thoughts about bridge cameras out of your head, as you'll probably one day find their limitations frustrating.
Blitz was spot on when recommending a 50mm f/1.8mm prime lens as well. The image quality is a world away from the kit lens (useful though that is for general snaps) and the wide max aperture makes it great for natural light shots indoors, and getting shallow depth of field (perfect for baby photos in fact). The Nikon 50mm f/1.8 D, at around 100, is also one of the cheapest lenses you can buy, so its good news all round.

11-05-12, 08:24 AM
Thanks Nigel. That really gives me some food for thought. Having had a look at the D3200 online it certainly looks like a nice piece of kit, and certainly something that I can "grow into".

Another query I have would be about buying strategy. As I've explored the models on offer a bit more thoroughly I am uncertain what the best strategy is. The D3200 (plus a prime lens) would probably push me a little over my budget if I am honest. However, given that technology moves on so quickly, is the best strategy to buy the best your budget can accommodate now in the hope it will remain "current" for as long a time as possible, rather than try to economize at this stage and then find 12 months down the line that much better equipment is available at a more reasonable price?

Further thought on the D3200 is that most retailers I have looked at online state they may not be able to guarantee delivery by release date (18th of May I believe) due to demand. With baby due middle of June I was hoping to have some time to practice with my new toy before hand. Should I factor this in or just "suck it up" and wait for the D3200?

Thanks for all the advice so far everyone - much appreciated

Nigel Atherton
11-05-12, 09:38 AM
The D3200 will definitely hold its value for longer, being that much newer, and with the latest generation technology inside, but that's a good point about availability. You'd need to get it by the end of May at the latest I guess and I'm not sure if that's do-able. I'll make some enquiries.
As for the budget, I was working on your quoted 750 limit, and with the camera at 650 and the 50mm at 100 it does just fit, but if that's too much the kit lens is perfectly fine and it will do you until you can afford the 50mm.