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Entry level DSLR

MattDawsonMattDawson Solihull, UKMember Posts: 1,244
I've been investigating purchasing a new camera (instead of using inherited ones or my phone camera) and I've been looking into entry level DSLRs, and I quite fancy the Nikon D3300. However, with it being so much money, does anyone have any opinions on it?

Also, would anyone have any recommendations for similar cameras from other makers? Wirecutter says the Canon T5i and Pentax KS2 and I've also seen mentions of the Canon 700D.


  • mr_bennmr_benn United KingdomMember Posts: 886
    I have literally this week just ordered the 700D - looks like as it's been superceded in the range the price is pretty good and all the reviews I've read were very positive.  I can't however express an opinion on the others though!
  • stluxstlux LuxembourgMember Posts: 2,393
    I have the D7200 myself and love it.

    However instead of the body I'd suggest you focus on the lenses. What kind of pictures do you want to take? And who offers the best lenses for that purpose?
    The body is easy to replace. Once you have invested in some lenses, you are unlikely to want to have to invest in a completely new collection again.

    If possible, buy the camera as body only without a kit lens, and add a decent lens instead.
  • GallardoLUGallardoLU USAMember Posts: 644
    my family has long been a Nikon family (due to my mothers photography business) and I can agree that lenses are the real jewel of a DSLR Camera. and thankfully I have access to lenses for virtually any need, everything from .5 meters to 800m and specialty lenses. Currently i'm using the slightly older D3200 (optional Video mode, comes in handy for kids, and far better than a phone video)
  • kiki180703kiki180703 Montreal, CanadaMember Posts: 1,051
    I think the Canon T5i is the 700D.
  • BrickamoreBrickamore USAMember Posts: 56
    edited August 2016
    Yes, the 700D is known as the T5i in the Americas.

    I've had it as my first camera for a while, but I haven't taken too deep a dive into learning all about it yet. I am a fan of Wirecutter's content as well. I was just on there to check out there lens picks as I think I would like a wide angle lens soon. 
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,810
    You won't go wrong with either of the D3300 or the 700D/T5i. Whichever you choose will probably tie you into either Canon or Nikon for the rest of your days if you invest in lenses so my advice would be to try both in a shop and see which one 'feels right' when you use it because essentially they will take pretty much identical pictures and have much the same features so it's more down to ergonomics and aesthetics.

    If you're planning on photographing LEGO and opt for the Nikon then I can recommend the 60mm micro (macro) lens: I use it exclusively on my D610 for the stuff I take for reviews.

  • LobotLobot UKMember Posts: 997

    @MattDawson - I've used a 550D for a couple of years, which looks to be a similar spec to the 700D, and I'd highly recommend it.  It's very intuitive to use, and it feels well-built but without being too bulky.  The 'live-view' is really helpful and I use it 99% of the time. 

    Canon after-sales are also brilliant - before that I had an 'entry-level' 1100D and one of the cable ports became loose so I returned it to my local dealer.  Within 10 days they'd repaired it free of charge and even given it a total overhaul and clean!

    My only recommendation is to ensure that you include the 'IS' lens (Image Stabilisation), the 15-55mm is a good choice.  I don't understand how it works, but it's bordering on alchemy as far as I'm concerned.

    Have a look at my flickr account - most of the images have been taken with one![email protected]

  • josekaleljosekalel Rio Grande Valley, TexasMember Posts: 681
    My only suggestion is to put a list of what you need, want, and then research a lot. Read, read, and read some more. Read reviews, comments (like in this thread), and then some more. It also helps to set a budget, which eliminates options right out of the bat. 

    When I bought my first DSLR more than three years ago (holly crap, it's been a while), I had been spoiled by two features that the iPhone spoiled me on: GPS/geo-tagging and live-view. I know these 'features' seem banal in terms of what matters in a camera, like you know, photo quality, but it was something I 'needed' from a camera. 

    Now, I did a lot of research and I ended up going for a Sony Alpha A65, a mirrorless camera. Is it perfect? No, but I think it does a great job. Is the GPS perfect? No, but it's built in. Is live-view perfect? Close enough, and very helpful. Was this camera the perfect choice? No, but it was the closest for my knowledge at the time. SONY cameras don't have too many 'generic' lenses and thus, it's expensive to expand your lenses collection, and yes, it does matter.

    Like most have said, lenses are a very important part of this. If you have never had a DSLR it takes time to get used to having lenses. Depending on what type of photo and quality you want, you have to change them often. Plus, lenses are not made equal. A one-size-fits-all zoom lens will never give you the same quality of photos like a prime lens, and so on, but it will still give you a way better quality photo than almost all cell phones. 

    Also, just because you get a DSLR does not mean that you get perfect photos automatically, which is what a lot of people think (note that I am NO professional, more like an amateur/hobbyist photographer), which means that you will end up using manual mode instead of auto, that you will be playing with all the settings and then, more than likely, end up having to 'retouch' your photos in Picasa (like myself), Lightroom, etc. Most of the photos you see online are not an exact copy of the photo that was taken, more than likely it's been processed more than you think. 

    In the end, you end up having a lot of fun. You can take 100 photos or a 1000 of a single subject, and you will end up having to 'curate' your work by deleting the stuff that doesn't work, and the stuff that does, and even then, you might end up uploading five out of those 1,000 photos...tough love. 
  • SprinkleOtterSprinkleOtter Member Posts: 2,751
    Resurrecting this thread to ask- what do others use for a good camera with decent video option?
  • GallardoLUGallardoLU USAMember Posts: 644
    Resurrecting this thread to ask- what do others use for a good camera with decent video option?
    I mentioned it above for the D3200, but the same HD (1080p at 60/50/30/25/24p) video mode is available in the D3300. The video mode doesn't use the eyepiece like you would taking a picture, you view it on the larger LCD screen on the back of the camera. the quality is great, and sound capture is better than I expected. The down side is that your video files can be very large. and depending on length of event you wish to record may eat up your battery rather quickly. (at least with the D3200)

    also consider a nice tripod, this will come in handy for both photo and video, no matter what device you chose.
  • MattDawsonMattDawson Solihull, UKMember Posts: 1,244
    With regards to a tripod, I've found the Amazon Basics tripod works fine, but I'd weigh it down if using outdoors - it's sturdy but very light.
  • nwr122nwr122 GlasgowMember Posts: 143
    As others have said lenses are very important and are likely to outlast your camera body. I've had 2 DSLRs now, D3100 and D7100 and probably unlikely to move from Nikon.

    If you buy a kit (body and lens) and want to try macro close ups of your Lego, try a extender tube kit like this before splashing out on a specific macro lens.

    Also, if you haven't got experience or knowledge of RAW photographs and how to work on them in post processing, start reading up about. It can be very daunting, but very regarding once you get into the swing of it
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