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Entry Level DSLR.  
User currently offlinePWMRamper From United States of America, joined Jul 2009, 628 posts, RR: 3
Posted (4 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 4922 times:

I've been at my current job at PWM for a year and a half, and it's given me a huge obsession with aviation. I quickly found this site and love everything about it. I've taken some shots while at work (with a crappy iPhone camera), and even with no equipment, I love it. I've wanted to get into Aviation Photography for a while now, but really do not know where to begin.

I'm planning a trip to SXM this year, and would love to have a solid camera to enjoy spotting while down there. I am a complete novice when it comes to photography, but am eager to learn. (Somewhat related, are there any good sites to start educating myself on the science behind photography?)

I know a point and shoot could probably do the job, but I really want to get an entry level DSLR, something in the $500-$700 range is in my budget.

My goal is to have fun, first and foremost. I know I do not need a top of the line camera to do that, hell, I have fun taking photos with my iPhone at work. But learning to be a better photographer, and potentially getting good enough shots to get something accepted here would be nice. Do not hesitate to tell me that a DSLR is not what I need, I'd understand that, and I've wondered if a Superzoom would be better for me.

So, what camera/starter lenses would you recommend for me?

24 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinedl767captain From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 2539 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (4 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 4900 times:

I'm a big fan of the Sony Alpha camera line, i got the A200 when circuit city went out of business and i've never looked back. I looked at canon and nikon but there were just too many choices when i looked and it seemed more complicated. I just upgraded to the A700 so i'm going to be getting rid of my a200 at some point but sony has the A230 on sale with an 18-55mm and a 55-200mm lens for $650 right now which is a good deal. Now those lenses arent the greatest quality in the world but they are great for a beginner. You can look at a few of the pictures i have accepted, a couple of those were taken with the A200 the others with the A700

User currently offlineRootsAir From Costa Rica, joined Feb 2005, 4186 posts, RR: 40
Reply 2, posted (4 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 4877 times:

Canon 1000D is an excellent entry-level DSLR. Although I never owned one, I was able to use one as my nieghbour owns one.
At the time I got into photography, I went for Canon 400D which at the time was the entry-level DSLR of Canon and now considered as mid range. I sold it to my brother and during the two weeks I waited for my new 7D, I was able to borrow the 1000D.
Unfortunately the kit lenses they come with are not vey good lenses hence the reason why I immediately upgaded to 17-40mm f/4 L lenses in the case of my 400D.
The best bargain in my opinion for zoom is the Canon 70-200mm f/4 L IS lens whose optical quality is amazing. I owned one before upgrading to the F/2.8 version which I needed for concert photography. The latter is however far more expensive and heavy.

Welcome to the passionate world of photography

Regards BM     



A man without the knowledge of his past history,culture and origins is like a tree without roots
User currently offlineDazed767 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 5498 posts, RR: 51
Reply 3, posted (4 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 4864 times:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...2756B003_EOS_Rebel_XSi_a_k_a_.html


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Photo © Justin Cederholm
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Photo © Justin Cederholm


The 18-55IS isn't terrible, but better than the first generation one.

[Edited 2010-02-22 17:27:06]

User currently offlinexavier2511 From Suriname, joined Mar 2009, 129 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (4 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 4855 times:

I would recommend the Nikon D5000 which I currently use. It is a very good entry level DSLR, quality is good, easy to use.
You can get it at amazon for just under $700 with a 18-55mm lens not the best lens but it is good for photographing aircraft at close range. Here are a couple of pictures taken with a Nikon D5000 with a 18-200mm Nikon lens that is very similar in sharpness to the 18-55mm.
http://www.airliners.net/search/phot...d=8a0b27410612670632eecd366eeb3c29

Xavier


User currently offlineJakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 5, posted (4 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 4838 times:

My vote goes for the Sony A230 or the Canon EOS 1000D. Nikon entry-level bodies are okay but there are serious issues with some of the better lenses.

If you're going to be getting serious over the years however it's better to choose a manufacturer with a decent range of lenses and accessories - which is where both Canon and Nikon come in.

In all fairness any budget body will give good results coupled with the right lens. It's simply a case of choosing whichever feels best for you. Many people slate the 18-55 kit lenses and while they are indeed not the best a good photographer will get amazing images out of them. Don't forget it'sthe skill of the photographer that ultimately gets the good picture!

Karl


User currently offlinecpd From Australia, joined Jun 2008, 4879 posts, RR: 38
Reply 6, posted (4 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 4836 times:

As others have said, if you don't plan to get serious about photography, just buy a base model Sony or Pentax, Nikon or Canon.

If you plan to get serious - stick with Canon or Nikon where you'll find a broad range of accessories (especially Nikon).

Quoting JakTrax (Reply 5):
Many people slate the 18-55 kit lenses and while they are indeed not the best a good photographer will get amazing images out of them.

My old Nikon D80 came with the 18-135mm F/3.5-5.6G kit lens. It was a quite good lens - you can get perfectly good photos with it, even at F/5.6. F/8 or smaller aperture is very sharp. Just need to know how to get the best from them.


User currently offlineJakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 7, posted (4 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 4828 times:

Quoting cpd (Reply 6):
Just need to know how to get the best from them

A well-kept secret.....  

Karl


User currently offlinevikkyvik From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 10047 posts, RR: 26
Reply 8, posted (4 years 7 months 1 week 1 day ago) and read 4697 times:
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Quoting RootsAir (Reply 2):
Canon 1000D is an excellent entry-level DSLR. Although I never owned one, I was able to use one as my nieghbour owns one.

As a beginner DSLR photographer myself, I bought a Canon 1000D a month and a half ago (I think the 1000D is the same as the Rebel XS....at least it says both on my user manual). It came with the standard 18-55IS lens. I am very happy with it thusfar - it's simple enough for me to figure out without too much pondering, but the photo quality is far and away better than my old point-and-shoot (Canon A530). Colors are brighter, shots are crisper, it's just great.

Now obviously, since I'm a beginner, I don't have much with which to compare it. Just thought I'd share my general happiness with it  



"Two and a Half Men" was filmed in front of a live ostrich.
User currently offlineJohnKrist From Sweden, joined Jan 2005, 1399 posts, RR: 6
Reply 9, posted (4 years 7 months 1 week 23 hours ago) and read 4675 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
HEAD SUPPORT

Quoting JakTrax (Reply 5):
If you're going to be getting serious over the years however it's better to choose a manufacturer with a decent range of lenses and accessories - which is where both Canon and Nikon come in.
Quoting cpd (Reply 6):
stick with Canon or Nikon where you'll find a broad range of accessories (especially Nikon).

What exactly do you mean by that? What is it you need that Sony or Minolta lenses can't give that a Nikon/Canon lens/accessory can? Especially with the new 500G coming I have a hard time seeing what else you would need?
400 2.8? And the excellent feature taht provides IS even in old Minolta lenses? I have shot some nice pics with my old Minolta 5D, and my favourite is this TNT that is shot with the kit lens 18-70:


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Photo © Johnny Kristensen



Even though I shoot Canon now, my heart is still with Minolta/Sony. 20 years of love is not so easy to wipe out, even if the gear carries pretty red rings...



5D Mark III, 7D, 17-40 F4 L, 70-200 F2.8 L IS, EF 1.4x II, EF 2x III, Metz 58-AF1
User currently offlinedvincent From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 1745 posts, RR: 11
Reply 10, posted (4 years 7 months 1 week 21 hours ago) and read 4640 times:
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It's true you can't get a 400/2.8 or an 800 f/5.6 or a (first party) tilt shift. But an a900 (or even a700) with a 70-300 G or 70-400 G is one hell of a spotting setup.

I think people are just parroting their "not enough stuff" conventional wisdom without actually looking to see what people need and what things can do for them. Things aren't always rosy in the other marques either. It's just life. You have to pick out what you like and what works for you. The situation for Sony at least has changed a lot (for the better) since when Konica Minolta bailed out, and a lot of this is due to the a900.



From the Mind of Minolta
User currently offlinestackhouse007 From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 420 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (4 years 7 months 1 week 16 hours ago) and read 4610 times:
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I started photography this summer and bought a Nikon D60. That came with a 18-55mm lens which is nice but I needed bigger considering I shoot from a viewing area and I wasn't close enough. I now have a 55-200mm lens. If you dont mind, what is your position at PWM? The only reason I ask, are you taking pictures from on the ramp? or do you work inside and just take pictures out the window or a viewing area after work? That makes a large difference what camera to look at I believe. That could make you change your mind to find something that comes with a lens you could easily work with until you learn the basics and upgrade.

Best of luck!



Nikon D60: 18-55mm - 55-200mm / Canon 50D: 100-400mm
User currently offlineJakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 12, posted (4 years 7 months 1 week 10 hours ago) and read 4584 times:

I too came from Minolta but there's no denying that Canon and to a slightly lesser degree Nikon have the widest range of lenses and accessories available. To pass this off as myth would practically be suicide! Having said that, point taken about Sony offering just about everything the photographer could ever require. I admire Sony's work in the DSLR market and there's no doubt they are getting stronger - I'd have no worries about recommending them above all other manufacturers besides Canon and Nikon.

Karl


User currently offlinedvincent From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 1745 posts, RR: 11
Reply 13, posted (4 years 7 months 1 week 7 hours ago) and read 4569 times:
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Quoting JakTrax (Reply 12):
but there's no denying that Canon and to a slightly lesser degree Nikon have the widest range of lenses and accessories available. To pass this off as myth would practically be suicide!

This is true, but that's not what I said. The myth is that Sony doesn't have enough stuff, which is not true except in certain narrow circumstances. It was true a few years ago, but the times have changed.



From the Mind of Minolta
User currently offlineJakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 14, posted (4 years 7 months 1 week 4 hours ago) and read 4553 times:

Dan,

My post was with reference to John's post. Sorry for the confusion.

Karl


User currently offlinePWMRamper From United States of America, joined Jul 2009, 628 posts, RR: 3
Reply 15, posted (4 years 7 months 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 4510 times:

Quoting stackhouse007 (Reply 11):
If you dont mind, what is your position at PWM?

I work on the ramp, but I'd like the camera to be at least good enough to be able to get shots from common spotting areas. I'm planning a day trip to JFK sometime this spring, and want a camera to be able to do the job there as well.

Obviously when I'm taking shots at PWM I wouldn't need a ridiculous lens, even if I'm not on the ramp there are good spotting areas around 11/29. I'm really looking for something basic, but not so basic where I can't get any shots unless I'm right there.


User currently offlinerangercarp From United States of America, joined Nov 2009, 144 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (4 years 7 months 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 4478 times:

I would check out the Pentax Kx if I were you. Sure, Pentax does not having anything that is comparable to the Nikon or Canon pro models (yet) but for an entry level camera, you get a lot more bang for your buck with Pentax. The Olympus Four Thirds DSLR's are another great entry level option. Especially if you want a smaller bodied DSLR.


iwgbtp!
User currently offlineua777222 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 3348 posts, RR: 11
Reply 17, posted (4 years 7 months 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 4449 times:

Others will disagree, but look between Canon and Nikon, the former probably being slightly easier to learn on.

Go for the 450D. At $60 more than the 1000D, you'll get a better quality image. My experience with Canon has been great and when I worked on a Nikon as I jumped into photography, I found the learning curve to be more than that of a Canon. Feel free to take a look through some of my pictures, I'm shooting with a 50D and soon to be 5DMk2, but all of my stuff on this site was shot with a 300D and 20D with an 18-55 or 100-400. Those two bodies were well over $1000 when I bought them but should be about equal in quality to the 450D.

All of these were with the stock 18-55 non-IS.


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Photo © Matthew Hom
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Photo © Matthew Hom
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Photo © Matthew Hom




"It wasn't raining when Noah built the ark."
User currently offlinetadeuprimo From Brazil, joined Dec 2009, 10 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (4 years 7 months 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 4401 times:

I'm happy with my 450D. My only big error was bought a Canon EF-S 55-250mm F/4-5.6 Lenses, Its a good lenses if you use minus the 200mm extension. My next purchase its a 70-200 F/4 IS.

But I strongly request you think better and look for Canon EOS 450D XSi. Its a good choise.


User currently offlineasuspine From United States of America, joined Apr 2009, 64 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (4 years 7 months 23 hours ago) and read 4265 times:

Quoting PWMRamper (Thread starter):
So, what camera/starter lenses would you recommend for me?

I would not confuse you further. Just log on to a website like bestbuy.com, and search for a DSLR in desired price range. Go through the options available in different brands and then compare the ones you like the most. Go through camera reviews on the internet. Next, go to a store and have a look at the cameras that appealed you the most.

For additional accessories you can choose a third party lens if you want to remain within your budget. Also get some experience with photo editing software, I doubt if there is a single photo on this website that has not been edited by photoshop etc. Best of luck.



HFK
User currently offlinedomokun From United States of America, joined Sep 2006, 202 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (4 years 7 months 13 hours ago) and read 4238 times:

I am sure this has been stated before but, honestly, I'd say that given your budget you invest in some decent used lenses over a specific body. Once you chose a brand (lens mount) you are generally locked in for most purposes. In any case, bodies come and go but lenses generally stay. Depending on how close/far you are from the "action" you should choose a good used lens and then pick up a decent used body with the extra funds.  

User currently offlinedomokun From United States of America, joined Sep 2006, 202 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (4 years 7 months 12 hours ago) and read 4237 times:

Quoting ua777222 (Reply 17):
Others will disagree, but look between Canon and Nikon, the former probably being slightly easier to learn on.

In my personal opinion, I agree. The auto-focus and flash systems (imho) are a bit trickier on Nikon cameras. I also posit that Nikon has a price premium which is often unwarranted in most cases (less professional lenses.)


User currently offlineViper911 From Russia, joined Oct 2005, 264 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (4 years 7 months 9 hours ago) and read 4228 times:

I bought my canon 1000D about 3 months ago, and since then i only have big smile on my face. imho its the perfect camera for beginners, with the right skills and a good lens this camera can deliver some amazing shots.
you also can buy a cheap tele lens with like the 75-300mm or the 100-300mm (which i have).
to sum up: this camera fits well in your budget, u can even buy a cheap tele lens with it and u wont go over, the 18-55mm IS kit lens some might say is so so, but i think its a very good lens with a great quality. the 1000D is the perfect camera to train your skills on.


User currently offlineJakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 23, posted (4 years 7 months 8 hours ago) and read 4227 times:

Two guys here using 1000Ds spring to mind - both of whom are getting nice pic's with it...

Ronald J Stella
Gavin Bowler

Just tap their names into 'keywords' in the photo search engine to see the pic's. I know Gavin personally and photograph with him almost every weekend (if the sun shines!) - in fact I took his camera for a road test when he first bought it (he didn't have time as we were travelling very soon and he wanted to know if the camera was capable). Even being a regular XXD user it was a joy to use the 1000D and I found no issues with it at all. Good colour and contrast, decent exposures, etc. Only issue is the slow buffer speed when shooting RAW but for me it wasn't too great a problem.

As for the 18-55 kit lens...

It isn't the best, however a good shot depends more on the photographer than anything else. Here's Gavin's most recent image here with it (ignore the 70-300 caption, it's a mistake)...


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Photo © Gavin Bowler



Karl


User currently offlineMonvillez From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2007, 8 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (4 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 4099 times:

The 1000D for me. Some good value bundles out there, and in the US I imagine. IMHO its tremendous value and well featured for an entry level camera. I've been using it since I started last year and I had never even held a DSLR before. Got acceptances on here immediately. Look for a good twin lens bundle with at least a 18-55mm wide angle and a 300mm zoom (the Tamron AF works for me). It is also still topping the DSLR best buy on a top UK consumer website; Which? This was another tick in the box for me at the time I bought mine and it is remarkable (but not unsurprising) that it still tops their list.

As has been mentioned, photo processing software is essential. With the help of useful workflows that can be found on here (Jid Webb's is one of several), you will give yourself the best chance of getting quite pleasing results and Anet acceptances.

Good luck,

Garry


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