Cheapish easy to use DSLR

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Rinseout
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Cheapish easy to use DSLR

Post by Rinseout »

Can anyone recomend one or a previous thread talking about this? Looking to spend about £200-£300 and some advise on a few decent lenses for boating on english rivers.

Not looking to take the best photos just a few for my own personal collection, just want somthing a bit more than the regular digital camera takes.

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Tom_Laws
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Re: Cheapish easy to use DSLR

Post by Tom_Laws »

Go to jessops. Buy any of the 300quid SLRs. If you have no aspirations of anything more than holiday snaps, there is little to call between Canon and Nikon.

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Rinseout
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Re: Cheapish easy to use DSLR

Post by Rinseout »

Cheers mate so at the price im looking for the differences in cameras wont make much difference in my almost rookie attempt at taking photos, or is there anything i should specificly watch out for?

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Re: Cheapish easy to use DSLR

Post by Tom_Laws »

One with Canon or Nikon written on it!!

If you want to develop your photography, both of these companies provide very competitive lines.

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SwamP
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Re: Cheapish easy to use DSLR

Post by SwamP »

Tom_Laws wrote: If you have no aspirations of anything more than holiday snaps
Rinseout, please please please have some aspiration and please take more than holiday snaps. An amazing photograph can be taken on a camera phone. Indisputable.

A chap I know, lets call him Ben, has taken some of the best photos I've ever seen of this sport (not Mark R good or Ryan P good, but actually really good!) and he didn't start with expensive kit and still doesn't own an expensive camera, a Canon or a Nikon...(however do go for a Canon or Nikon as they will at least be future proof)

Whatever you buy at this price will not mean you won't be able to take an award winning shot and please post any photos you take that you like up here to back that up!

Cheap camera:
Image
Jim if you want this taken down just let me know mate...cracking shot IMO!
Lets not try to understand each other. Thanks.

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Rinseout
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Re: Cheapish easy to use DSLR

Post by Rinseout »

Cheers guys ill go into a few shops tomorrow and have a look around, i wish to take more than holiday snaps and hoping a decent camera will change this and actually make me get out and take photos rather than just getting out the camera when the oppertunity arises. Heres a few of my attempts already (on a decent camera phone so bear with the quality)
Image
A recent trip to Widemouth bay

Image
One of my better holiday snaps

Feel free to critsise

George

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Rinseout
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Re: Cheapish easy to use DSLR

Post by Rinseout »

Thanks for that ill have a trawl through ebay in a while, and whats a 18-55ml lens like for most average boating pics? As most cameras ive seen so far come with these as standard.
George

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SwamP
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Re: Cheapish easy to use DSLR

Post by SwamP »

Yeah you clearly don't have an eye for photography dude....bloody crappy holiday snaps

Image

Keep up the good work ;o)
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Rinseout
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Re: Cheapish easy to use DSLR

Post by Rinseout »

If only i could justify buying photoshop. Are there are any free alteratives out there?

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Re: Cheapish easy to use DSLR

Post by James H »

Try http://www.getpaint.net/
Don't think it's quite as good as photoshop but it has all the basics and is pretty good for a free program. I'm sure there are some other alternatives too
James

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Re: Cheapish easy to use DSLR

Post by Jim »

I agree with Tom and Ryan on the camera.

There is a free alternative to photoshop. It is quite clunky and I don't know how to use most of it's functionality. It's called GIMP (Gnu Image Manipulation Program). Since most of the post processing I do is re-aligning horizons (they don't always need to be straight, sometimes they need to be not straight) and cropping unwanted extras from the edges, it does all I need for no cost. There are plugins to read both Nikon and Canon raw files if you ever choose to use them.

afkt
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Re: Cheapish easy to use DSLR

Post by afkt »

I use GIMP, it does a lot of the more basic stuff that photoshop does, although it takes a while to get to grips with it. (not sure where my original post went?? oh well.)

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Rinseout
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Re: Cheapish easy to use DSLR

Post by Rinseout »

Cheers guys ill post up some more photos when i get going, and Ryan if i remember correctly didnt you write a guide on taking and editing photos on here. Think it was to do with a few of your photos on the Etive, If you wouldnt mind posting a link I would be ver grateful.

Cheers for the all the advise guys

George

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Re: Cheapish easy to use DSLR

Post by PeterG89 »

AS good as Canon and Nikon are as brands you will find people out there who have one or the other and will stick by that and completely discourage you from buying the other. If your a beginner in photography and new to dSLRs then Sony is the way to go. All the menus and settings have explanations of why they are there and how to use/change them. Go and play with some though and find out what you like and what you need with it. Sony is definitely excellent for beginner though.

Pete

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Re: Cheapish easy to use DSLR

Post by PeterG89 »

you can be up to taking photos like these and putting them together in very little time
Image
Image

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Re: Cheapish easy to use DSLR

Post by Mark R »

http://picasa.google.com

Free and worth a play with.
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Re: Cheapish easy to use DSLR

Post by Strad »

The good thing about gimp is that you can get one add on that allows it to run any photoshop filter such as http://amicoperry.altervista.org/luce/index.html
and it has some fantastic ones of it's own such as
http://liquidrescale.wikidot.com/

The biggest issues with gimp are 1) it has a clunky interface, but more importantly (for printing / pro graphics) 2) it only supports RGB/HSV rather then CMYK

I've used it quite a bit.

I would also remind that photoshop has a cheaper hobby version called elements which can be had for around £60 quid if you search around. amazon - pshop elements, if you video edit then the twin pack of photoshop elements and premier elements is good value at under £100.
Old School?? I miss my AQII..
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flashollie
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Re: Cheapish easy to use DSLR

Post by flashollie »

Ive just bought a copy of Lightroom for £75.

Was introduced to this on my numpty beginners DSLR course and its really really easy use.
Highly recomended (by someone who doesn't know what they are doing)

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SwamP
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Re: Cheapish easy to use DSLR

Post by SwamP »

I think you can get elements for free when you buy some cameras. If not ask for it...

Also don't pay full price at jessops and like many oter places you best going in end or begining of month when they have to hit targets or can give discounts.

I agree with Mark that picasa's editing does simple stuff just fine.
Lets not try to understand each other. Thanks.

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kieronymous
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Re: Cheapish easy to use DSLR

Post by kieronymous »

Rinseout wrote:I wish to take more than holiday snaps and hoping a decent camera will change this and actually make me get out and take photos rather than just getting out the camera when the oppertunity arises.
Don't count on that (it could be a case of retail disease)! I reckon it's a better bet to find the limits of your existing equipment before buying new gear. At least then you'll know if you've got a taste/flair/passion for it. As Ryan says, you can take brilliant photos with a phone (though if you can manage that on typical British WW, I'd say you're both lucky and good).

So, if you must (and presuming you know enough about photography to make one worthwhile), deffo go Canon or Nikon for SLR. Personally I'm a Canon fan. I did make the mistake of buying a Pentax 35mm SLR many years ago. Oops.

And as many a photographer says - the best camera is the one you have on you. A solid case for one of those wee waterproof /shockproof Olympus things right there in your BA pocket (don't buy the Pentax!).
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SwamP
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Re: Cheapish easy to use DSLR

Post by SwamP »

Rinseout wrote: Ryan if I remember correctly didnt you write a guide on taking and editing photos on here.
This one? http://www.ukriversguidebook.co.uk/foru ... 7666&hilit

Not really meant as a 'do as I say' but more meant to open ideas and suggestions from others...my degree in boatography was back during the end of 35mm film and beginning of digital.

For the record I really like Peteg's first pic and advice, I hear very good things about the Sony cameras and will be interested to see how they fair in years to come. Fuji also.
Lets not try to understand each other. Thanks.

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Re: Cheapish easy to use DSLR

Post by NickB »

kieronymous wrote:
Rinseout wrote: So, if you must (and presuming you know enough about photography to make one worthwhile), deffo go Canon or Nikon for SLR. Personally I'm a Canon fan. I did make the mistake of buying a Pentax 35mm SLR many years ago. Oops.

And as many a photographer says - the best camera is the one you have on you. A solid case for one of those wee waterproof /shockproof Olympus things right there in your BA pocket (don't buy the Pentax!).
Why so against Pentax? do you mean the compact WP range or the k series of weatherproof DSLR? or just Pentax in general?
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Re: Cheapish easy to use DSLR

Post by SimonMW »

Well count me in as a Pentax fan. Get much more for the money than other makes IMHO, and they have some absolutely classic lenses that can be found quite cheaply on eBay. I thought that many of the Olympus cameras are basically the same as the Pentax, using the same components?
As Ryan says, you can take brilliant photos with a phone
You can, but personally I think that it takes someone who already knows about how cameras react in different situations and what they are doing to be able to take advantage and take good photos with such a device consistently.

I don't think that someone should rush out and buy the most expensive top of the range thing they can find, but at least find gear that will cope well with the conditions they are taking it, and give room for development. I think that the slow focus and inability to cope well with harsh lighting when using a cheap compact will put people off photography. Especially when some of the better compacts can cost only just slightly cheaper than a low range DSLR.

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Re: Cheapish easy to use DSLR

Post by maryinoxford »

Beginning of 2009, I was planning a holiday in a photogenic location. (St. Kilda.) Didn't have an SLR at the time, so bought one - entry-level Canon, with a couple of lenses that were a notch better than the kit lenses.

The outfit works fine, I have no problems with that. But it's a lot to carry around. I also have a Canon compact, about the same megapixels as the SLR. If I ever get that "photo of a lifetime," I'm more likely to get it on the compact, because I often take it around with me; it's no bother to carry. The SLR only gets lugged around if the object of the outing is to take photos.

Mary
Not in Oxford any more...

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Re: Cheapish easy to use DSLR

Post by Chris Morrison »

This is the advice I wish somebody had given me when I was looking for my first DSLR...

Buy a Canon 300D, 350D or 400D with the given kit lens (go for the biggest number you can afford).

Buy a Canon 50mm f/1.8 (at the same time, so budget for this).

Read everything you can about photography. There is MILLIONS of stuff online, all free. Join 'POTN' (massive Canon forum). Read Ryan P's guide, as well as this one - http://worldkayakblogs.com/jscreekin/20 ... utorial-1/

Play with your camera whenever you can. Sitting at your desk/eating your tea/lying in bed etc.

Done :D

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Re: Cheapish easy to use DSLR

Post by John N »

My advice is to have a really good play with any camera you choose to buy. For myself, I'd echo Mary's comments. Last Christmas I got a CANON EOS500, and I'm still trying to get to grips with it. This is NOT a CANON problem as most camera's around this price bracket seem to operate the same way. I just can't get used to little thumbwheels to adjust the many options (inc. exposure) available to you so use it mostly on full auto.
I'd like an in camera display with a row of diodes (+/-) or exposure needle and the ability to adjust aperture and speed outside of the camera such as my old SLR's (Fuji ST801 & Olympus OM2), how I miss the simplicity of both. I'm currently looking around for something else inc. other CANON models but would seriously contemplate a quality compact such as the CANON G12.

If you do not have a freindly camera retailer to go to (one who know's his stuff) try JOHN LEWIS. I find thier staff to be quite knowledgeable and from time to time the camera manufacturers representatives are on hand to really give you specific model advice.

Conrad Dowding
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Re: Cheapish easy to use DSLR

Post by Conrad Dowding »

A quick look online here gives the following cameras at £350 or so with an 18-55mm lens:

Canon EOS 1000D with 18-55mm DC (non IS) Kit (review here)
Pentax K-x Black Digital SLR with 18-55mm Lens ( review here)
Sony Alpha A290 Digital SLR Camera plus 18-55mm Lens (review for the £50 more expensive A390 here)

Nikons cheapest SLR is the D3000 (Now replaced by the D3100?) and that seems to be around £450 with a kit lens

Of the three above, you should easily be able to go to the high street and try the Canon and Sony, Pentax isn't such a big SLR brand and so you may need to try a specialist camera shop.

The review of the A390 isn't too positive, particulaly the high ISO quality, and the other two get better reviews so I'd look at those. Spec wise a few things stand out:
  • Batteries - Canon has a lithium ion battery, the Pentax uses AA's which means you need a separate charger (Although here it's included for £350) but it does mean you can go down the shops and buy some more when your batteries flat.

    Continuous shooting - Pentax 4.7fps vs 3fps for the Canon so more chances of getting that shot where the paddle isn't in front of their faces.

    Movie mode - The Pentax is the only one with a movie mode

    Image stabilisation - The Pentax has in body stabilisation (Which isn't as quite as good as in lens stabilisation apparently) so all lenses will be stabilised. The Canon doesn't have any stabilistation
The Canon's an older camera (released over a year before the Pentax) so it's well overdue a replacement, maybe something will be released in January?

As far as lens choice and accessories go, Canon is a much bigger brand with a lot more lenses available, but the question is whether you can get the lenses you'll realistically want and be able to afford. Pentax may not have the wide range of Canon or Nikon but its weakpoint is really the high end profesional grade lenses which are generally well over a grand each and if you think you'll be getting one of those then may I suggest you won't be wanting the cheapest body to stick it on?

Hope I haven't confused the issue too much, if you need any of the terms explaining please ask.

Cheers,

Conrad.

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SwamP
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Re: Cheapish easy to use DSLR

Post by SwamP »

Pentax have a soft spot for me…my first ever camera…however at almost twice my age and I’d imagine the company is slightly different these days.

Pentax use a Pentax/Samsung lens. Sony/Minolta. Fuji however use Nikon lens.

When you buy a DSLR body you are locked into the lenses you end up using. Hence why most have said Nikon or Canon. You might as well add Fuji to this list given what I’ve said...Fuji who produce great colours.

What I like about DSLR is when you push the button everything is down to you. You have the control and if a shot comes out bad, it’s generally your fault…similarly if you take a photo like Peter has above then you can have some pride in it.

Some have said they have a DSLR and never use it, they’ve spent the money and rate their compact as a better investment. Given that each day their DSLR is sitting doing nothing it’s getting old and loosing money, I’d offer to buy theirs…


I totally see the reason to buy a compact, they are so handy….but if you’re going to own just one ‘not-cheap’ camera….
Lets not try to understand each other. Thanks.

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steddyjames
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Re: Cheapish easy to use DSLR

Post by steddyjames »

I bought a Canon 350D a good few years ago and the biggest difference it made to me was the flexibility of changing lens. I really haven't put any time into understanding everything I can do with it but for surfing shots having a decent zoom lens really makes a difference.

I got a copy of photoshop and couldn't understand a word of it so just use a free programme for cropping and stuff.

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Re: Cheapish easy to use DSLR

Post by NPearce »

I picked up a Nikon D60 a couple of years ago for about £350 new, excellent camera for playing with, all the features you need for learning what they do and it will take pictures better than my ability will ever allow. The downside is that whilst its a cheaper camera the A-FS lenses it requires are more expensive than their standard counterparts (due to the onboard motors).

I am now debating a cheap D90 body, which whilst more expensive initially with more features I will save that extra cash when buying a few lenses and also opens up a wider range. Maybe something to consider when buyig the entry level stuff. Canon may be different in lens ranges, am sure someone can inform better on that.

Why Nikon? If just felt better to handle for me than the Canons.

Nathan

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