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Help, I want to but a SLR camera, but not break the bank...

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by 93Devil, Nov 2, 2009.

  1. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    SportsJournalists.com, help me.

    I am looking to spend between 300 and 500 for a nice, used, single-lens reflex camera with lens. I have used them in the past, and I know they will give a much higher quality photo than the current pont-and-click we currently use.

    Here are two possible options.



    What should I be looking for? What are the deal breakers when looking for an SLR camera? Does anyone have any recommendations as to where to buy it from? B&H was reccomended by a local photo place, but I am open to other options.

    I do want to add different lenses down the road.

    Thank you ahead of time beacuse a would like more of my daughter's pictures to look like this...



  2. ADodgen

    ADodgen Member

    I recommend to the students in my photo class to take a look at keh.com.

    My first digital was a Canon 20D, which I still have and sometimes use. Recently I've been recommending the new Rebels, because even at their lowest price point, they're a much nicer camera than my 20, even though it was pretty sweet when it was new.

    I'm sorry I can't give you much help with Nikons, as I've been a Canon user for more than a decade.
  3. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    Canon user, too. The Digital Rebels are excellent cameras for the prosumer and I still shoot (not action) with my original Digital Rebel. I don't know much about Nikon or the quality, other than that they have bolstered their offerings in that market and have gained some traction and taken away some market.

    I deal a lot with pro sports photographers and the large majority of them shoot with Canon. Nikon wasn't as much of an option on the consumer level when I started to get interested. Combine those two things, and I went Canon.

    One thing, if you go Canon -- the lens offerings may be better and have more staying power (although check this out, because I am not an expert). Canon glass is super expensive, but I think one reason a lot of pros shoot Canon is that the L Series lenses are considered the best. In my bag, I have some lower end lenses. There are plenty of third-party makers. Sigma is popular, because the lenses are cheaper, but the quality is so-so and I have avoided them. I think Tamron is half a step up. One pro recommended I look at some Tokina lenses (not as popular or well known) as an alternative, and with some good patience and lurking on a photography board, I found a deal on an 80-200 mm f2.8 lens used that is built like a tank and takes beautiful photos with my Digital Rebel. The beauty of it is that the lens was an older version of a newer model (the auto focus hunts very occasionally and it is noisy, but other than that, it was the best deal ever because of the quality of the photos it takes and how solidly the lens was built). That is where the Digital Rebels are amazing. Canon lenses could be finicky about working with different models, but a lot of their older lenses slide right onto the digital cameras and work beautifully. It gives you so many choices and you can hit the used market (do it carefully) to find some very good lenses on whatever budget you have. It's a way to get great value if you are patient and research and know what you are looking for.

    Sorry I am not much help with the Nikon cameras. But I am a happy Canon Digital Rebel user and I'd say 90 percent of the pro photographers I work with shoot Canon (unless it is something not suited to SLR photography -- such as a cover shoot where a guy might be using a Hasselblad or some such camera).
  4. OTD

    OTD Active Member

    I've got a Nikon and really like it. I looked at the Canon, and they're very good as well. I just always wanted a Nikon.
    Mine's a D40X, which I think means it has the features of the D40, but it's 10.2 MP.

    You can probably buy a used Canon or Nikon with about 8 MP for cheap. It'll be plenty to highlight that little girl's cute face!
  5. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    Thanks for all the help.

    So I can mix and match lenses? Will a Canon lens fit on a Nikon body?
  6. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

  7. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    Well that settles that.

    Oh, keh.com seems to freeking rock.
  8. AMacIsaac

    AMacIsaac Guest

    I love my Nikon D40, that I bought new with an 18-55 kit lens for $500 last Christmas. I've been taking some amazing shots with it and I recently added a 75-200 to my bag.

    I'll be upgrading to the D90 probably next year and adding a 24, me thinks.
  9. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member


    This site, along with the posts on this thread, is helping me out a lot.
  10. ADodgen

    ADodgen Member

    I love KEH. And if you're really going to be focusing on portraits, let me recommend getting a 50mm lens. Canon makes one that's about $75. I love it. I have a bag full of L series lenses, but use that lens and a cheap 35mm when I'm out shooting stuff for myself and not for work.
  11. I have been using a Canon Digital Rebel XT SLR and getting great results for the most part. The only downside is I need a decent flash, as well as the ability to push the ISO speed to 3200 (it maxes out at 1600) so I can get better action shots. I am told I could do it with a firmware hack, but I don't want to risk it right now.

    This one of the pictures my then 11-year old daughter took with it at last year's Athens Regional Foundation Classic (Nationwide Tour):

    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2014
  12. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member



    For a father of a 20-month old girl, these would be nice?

    Then buy the longer lens when she starts playing sports?
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