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Where To Start .. SLR  
User currently offlineHigh_flyr69 From Australia, joined Apr 2001, 510 posts, RR: 0
Posted (13 years 1 month 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 3286 times:

Hello eveeryone
I am looking into buying MY first camera..... I am not a great fan of digital and I prefer SLR. I have been looking into magazines etc and I'd say im looking at spending no more than $800 Australian. So far I have taken a liking to the Nikon F55, Canon EOS 300V, Minolta Dynax 3 and the Pentax MZ-60 with twin lens kit.
I aint going to pretend i know much about SLR, because i dont and id appreciate some help before i go buying and become subject to saleman tactics.
Any help is appreciated

Diplomacy is the art of saying 'Nice Doggy' until you find the shot gun
10 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineWietse From Netherlands, joined Oct 2001, 3809 posts, RR: 53
Reply 1, posted (13 years 1 month 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 3268 times:

Important is that you look into the brand instead of just the camera. Most of the cameras mentioned are fine and not dissimilar to eachother.

Lenses are the most important part of a SLR system. So looking at the range of lenses each brand has to offer is a very important thing. Minolta and Pentax offer a relatively small range of lenses. Canon offers the biggest range with more features. That is why I have gone Canon.

The IS Canon offers is not unique (Nikon has a VR counterpart) but it is featured on more lenses and budget lenses. Nikon only uses it on pro lenses which will cost you dearly... Not saying you need IS, but it is something you should try to take into consideration.

One more thing: Get a feel on the cameras, hold each and every one, try it out and decide for yourself what you like best.

Good Luck and have fun,


Wietse de Graaf
User currently offlineJwenting From Netherlands, joined Apr 2001, 10213 posts, RR: 17
Reply 2, posted (13 years 1 month 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 3247 times:

The Nikon and Minolta you mention are no comparison in features to the Eos 300.

For Nikon, look for the F65, F75 or F80 (depending on budget), Minolta Dynax 4 or 5.

Don't know Pentax, wouldn't touch them. Not that they're bad, but the choice in lenses and accessoiries available for them is just not good enough (and typically more expensive too).
This is somewhat true for Minolta too these days, they've lost the market sadly.

Minolta, Nikon and Canon will serve you well. Which you get is really down to personal preference (control layout, ballance, weight (some people like heavy cameras, others do not. I like them heavy for the better stability it provides), etc. are all important).
If the camera doesn't fit your hand, you won't be comfortable using it which is vitally important.

Best thing is to go to a GOOD camera store (or more than one if you can) and try them out.
Don't let them bully you into buying a Canon, as many stores will do in my experience (one store refused to hand me a Nikon they had available even when I told them I came specifically for that Nikon. I never went back there).
And do buy that camera there too, even if it's more expensive than some mailorder firm.
That store will be processing your film and handling any warranty issues you may have, they deserve the big purchases too!
And where would you be if they went out of business because noone buys from them, only going there to ask questions?

I've only today ordered equipment, which was different from what I intended because of the availability and price in the store here.
They couldn't deliver what I originally had in mind within my budget but could get me something else I know will also do the job so I ordered that instead of going online or abroad.
That purchase is possibly the largest single order they get this month...

I wish I were flying
User currently offlineTimdegroot From Netherlands, joined Apr 2002, 3680 posts, RR: 60
Reply 3, posted (13 years 1 month 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 3203 times:
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My advice would be to go with either Canon or Nikon. Those systems offer the best possibilities for expanding your equipment (lenses, dlsr, etc). Eventually you upgrade your equipment from say an EOS 300 and 75-300 lens, to an EOS 1V and 100-400 L IS.

I would buy from an e-shop, at least here in the Netherlands where local stores are very expensive and online stores from germany are reputable and cheap.


Alderman Exit
User currently offlineJwenting From Netherlands, joined Apr 2001, 10213 posts, RR: 17
Reply 4, posted (13 years 1 month 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 3057 times:

Tim, where do you go for service or to try out something when there are no local shops anymore?

Or are you one of the people who go to a local store to get advise and then buy in Germany after the store here spend time and money on you when they could have been helping a real customer?

I wish I were flying
User currently offlineTimdegroot From Netherlands, joined Apr 2002, 3680 posts, RR: 60
Reply 5, posted (13 years 1 month 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 3032 times:
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I understand where you're coming from Jeroen.
I have however never tried something in a local shop and then bought it somewhere on the web.
I just order in from the web without testing.......call me stupid but I know the Canon lenses are high quality.....Service I always do directly trough Canon, which is comfortably located in my town Smile


Alderman Exit
User currently offlineLindy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (13 years 1 month 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 2997 times:

I started with Canon AE-1, after one year I've decided that I should switch to AF camera. I went to the store, compared Canon to Nikon and then I ordered online Nikon F50 with Sigma lens.
Once during photoshooting day at BWI I was cleaning mirror in my camera, I left two big scratches on it and when I took it to authorized Nikon Service center here in DC they said that my camera will be in their shop for 2 WEEKS!
That was WAY too long for me so I purchused Nikon N70 and it serves me well. Also few days ago I purchused Nikkor 70-300mm ED lens  Smile

My sugestion to you is: buy Canon or Nikon camera to practice your skills.


User currently offlineCfalk From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (13 years 1 month 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 2945 times:

As Tim mentioned, you have to look forward to the day that you will upgrade your equipment, without having to chuck away the whole kit and start afresh. The best equipment tends to be Canon or Nikon, in terms of lenses and bodies. If you start with a basic Canon set, like the EOS 300, and two consumer-grade zooms like 28-80mm and 75-300mm (you'll often find all 3 in a package), that is a perfectly usable setup to start with. Over time, save up your money and buy a nice lens, like a 70-200mm f/2.8 L. Then a while later buy a bigger L lens, or maybe a good body like an EOS 3 or 1v. Canon is getting into digital big-time, and if you ever go that route, those lenses are perfect for Canon DSLRs.

Choose one quality brand that you will stick to for the next 20 years, and which you feel will be able to keep up with your future needs as your skills, needs, and buying power develop. Again, as Tim said, the brands most likely to grow with you are Canon and Nikon (I'm a Canonite myself).


[Edited 2003-04-02 19:05:41]

User currently offlineJwenting From Netherlands, joined Apr 2001, 10213 posts, RR: 17
Reply 8, posted (13 years 1 month 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 2924 times:

You're not starting out Tim.
If you didn't know the first thing about the things, would you go out and order something from the web based on a picture only (and maybe a short description) costing €1000+?

Or would you go to a store, try it there and get advise, and THEN buy it on the web?
Or would you go to a store, try it there and give them the business even if it's more expensive?

I know a lot of people do the second... That's very bad for the stores, who can't possibly compete with the internet discounters (because like the store here the price the manufacturer charges them is often higher than the retail price those discounters can offer) and go out of business.
That is bad for customers because they're out of a place to get advise and get their film processed (unless you want to trust it to the supermarket or drugstore where a 16 year old will pull it through the machine in between talking to his girlfriend on the phone).

I wish I were flying
User currently offlineTimdegroot From Netherlands, joined Apr 2002, 3680 posts, RR: 60
Reply 9, posted (13 years 1 month 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 2916 times:
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You are very right Jeroen, if you are starting out a friendly local store can be very helpfull, and they do a far better job a developing your pictures Smile

However: The Internet especially has increased the available price information, and transparency of the market immensely. You can't blame people for buying their equipment at the lowest price available, can you. Maybe it is a bit immoral to try at a local store and buy somewhere else, but sadly for those stores that is how a market works nowadays, you can take advantage of 2 types of stores when making a purchase.

Local shops still have a future though......plenty of reasons to still go there, there's just no market for so many of them, especially with the supermarkets also competing. Just here in Hoofddorp, a relatively small town there are dozens of photoshops....the market is maybe a bit too saturated nowadays for so many local shops to still be around

Same has happened with local grocery stores, sure they were friendlier and offered higher quality, but apparently that's not what the majority in this country wants......

Ok, I'm getting wayyyyy off topic I realize Smile, sorry


Alderman Exit
User currently offlineJwenting From Netherlands, joined Apr 2001, 10213 posts, RR: 17
Reply 10, posted (13 years 1 month 16 hours ago) and read 2874 times:

You're lucky, here in Almere there are only 2 stores selling SLRs at all, and one of them isn't a dedicated store and the people there know only which one to advise (which is the one which they were told to advise because it gives the highest markup).

Groceries is somewhat different. People don't go to a small grocery store to see what's available and then go to the supermarket to buy it  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
Oftentimes, they go to the supermarket because the small store isn't open anymore when they get home from work at 7 in the evening...

I wish I were flying
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