What would be the best SLR to get for a beginner?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by jhonmartinvish, Sep 14, 2012.

  1. jhonmartinvish

    jhonmartinvish Member

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    I'm planning on starting a beginners photography course in September but don't know what kind of camera to get. I want a DSLR or SLR whichever is best? For around £350 and one that will kind of grow with me if that makes sense, so as I advance into intermediate and advanced I can begin to use new features with it such as new lenses etc. Any ideas?
     
  2. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    How about an I-phone.
     
  3. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    All questions relating to Digi should be posed on our sister site--DPUG. If you are interrested in film SLR, you are in the correct place. Be prepared to read many opinions on film cameras.
     
  4. Jenni

    Jenni Member

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    You might want to ask www.dpug.org We all shoot film around here. Good luck with your class and have fun! If you want to develop skills that will last a life time start with film who knows you might love it! We all do :smile:
     
  5. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    i suggest a nikon fm. be prepared to hear many other suggestion about people's favorite cameras. there are so many good ones out there. my 2nd suggestion is a usedhasselblad 500.
     
  6. kbrede

    kbrede Member

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    First, welcome to APUG. :smile:

    Second, does your school work with both digital and analog cameras over the course of the program? Does your school have cameras available to check out during the course? I'd contact your professor and ask them for recommendations.
     
  7. SuzanneR

    SuzanneR Moderator Staff Member

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  8. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    You asked SLR or DSLR, which ever is best. SLR usually refers to film camera where as DSLR is a digital camera. (Technically speaking, SLR refers to both)

    Which do you want? I prefer Nikon F100 (which is a film SLR) with B&W film in it but that's my preference. With F100, there is nothing I can't do, equipment wise. It's just a matter of knowing how to do it - which meets your requirement of "growing with" the camera.

    With your budget, you are pretty much limited to a low end digital gear or a really nice film gear. The choice really is yours.
     
  9. wildbill

    wildbill Member

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    the nikon N80 is the best camera ever and I just happen have one for sale.
     
  10. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    I once wanted to buy an N80 but the ebay seller took my money and run so I didn't have an N80.
     
  11. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member

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    The best 1st SLR is a Pentax K1000, or something else. Simply put, best course is to find a simple and reliablea camera without a lot of bells and whistles to cloud up the main goal of a first camera, which is leaning how to control exposure, and learning the reciprocal relationship between film, shutter, and aperture. Where you are at now, everything else is amounts to a distraction.
     
  12. paul_c5x4

    paul_c5x4 Subscriber

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    One of three choices - Nikon, Canon EOS, or Pentax - Go for a system that shares the same lenses between film & <cough> digital bodies. You'll need to do a little research on the available lenses, but certainly steer away from the Canon EFS lenses as they will only fit the digital bodies.

    Find yourself a reputable second hand camera shop (maybe London Camera Exchange) and see what they have in stock and can recommend - What ever you do, do not visit Jessops for unbiased advice.

    Oh, and don't mention the "digital" word here unless you want a late night visit from Professor Abraham Van Helsing...
     
  13. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser

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    and there's a k1000 for sale now with lenses in the classifieds ... here on apug ..
    ( http://www.apug.org/forums/forum379/110114-fs-lots-stuff-bodies-lenses-paper-developer.html )
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 14, 2012
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  15. EASmithV

    EASmithV Member

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    Pentax K1000 (cheap, good quality, and plentiful lenses) or Nikon FG or FM / FM2 (superb glass, well built). Avoid Canon manual focus, as investing in FD mount lenses is a bit folly if you decide you want a more modern camera as well as a mechanical one (though plenty of people use and love theirs), the bodies sometimes develop shutter issues...

    Avoid Digital too (Especially Canon digital) it's really boring.
     
  16. Chrismat

    Chrismat Subscriber

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    You also may want to consider the Pentax KX. Same body as the K1000 (which is based on the Pentax Spotmatic) but with more features, sometimes priced the same or less as the K1000 because it isn't as well known.

    Chris
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 14, 2012
  17. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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  18. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member

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    Like a Nikon F2, or FE2 or something else. Actually the 1st SLR is the best one that you can get on long term loan... With wide, normal and long lens set in the f2.8, 1.4 and 2.0 range respectively.
     
  19. eddie

    eddie Subscriber

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    About 30 years ago, I taught High School photography. The school supplied the cameras, and the only ones that survived the year were the K1000's. Granted, the kids were rougher than they should have been on them, but the cameras kept working, and stayed in spec. None of the Nikons, or Canons did.
     
  20. alohakeith

    alohakeith Member

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    I am also a fan of the Pentax K1000.
     
  21. rbeech

    rbeech Member

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    Pentax K1000.
     
  22. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    Canon Ftb or Pentax K1000.

    Jeff
     
  23. summicron1

    summicron1 Subscriber

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    geeze, for that kind of money you could buy a good user Leica SLR of some sort -- R3 are dirt cheap, R4s not much worse.

    the lenses would hurt you, however.

    I'd say your best SLR, bar none, for a beginner is a Pentax Spotmatic or K1000 -- match needle metering is intuitive and simple, lenses are dirt cheap and amazing quality. It will be a great learner and if you learn well enough that it is you, not the camera, that takes the pictures, it will be the camera that lasts you a lifetime.
     
  24. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    You want something with at least both A (aperture priority) and M (full manual) modes, and with the ability to do both spot metering and averaging. Autofocus is handy, but make sure you can override it manually without a bunch of hassle. Choice of lens doesn't matter hugely except that the cheaper kit lenses are often so bad that they can drive you away from photography. By all means, keep the cheap crap lens that comes with your cheap secondhand camera, but also spend $50 to get a good 50mm f/1.7 lens - it will be razor sharp, you can get nice shallow depth of field and it will teach you to move the camera around for composition.

    Though this is APUG and it will piss off some people here, the fastest way to learn is to buy a cheap secondhand DSLR ($200?) and go shoot about 10,000 photos on it. The instant feedback is invaluable; ignore anyone who never had that and says you can do without - of course you can do without but it doesn't make it a good idea. Once you know what you're doing with metering and composition and can say with absolute confidence that pushing the shutter button will result not only in a technically good (properly focused and exposed) image but one worth keeping, then come back to film. Get a nice medium format camera or whatever and enjoy a huge step up in technical quality over what you can get from affordable (under $10k) digital systems.

    Once you have a basic camera and one good lens, the biggest difference in quality (much more important than ANY body feature or special lens) you can make is off-camera lighting. A cheap wireless flash that you can bounce off walls/ceilings makes a huge difference.
     
  25. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    What is match needle metering? I ask because the way I understood match needle metering then the K1000 doesn't have it.
     
  26. LarryP

    LarryP Member

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    All good choices so far but I'll have to go with a k-mount pentax (personal bias). Best to less than best in my opinion k2,kx,km k1000. I owned a k1000 for years and loved it but admit dof preview and self timer mirror lockup on better models can come in handy while not absolutely necessary. Chan you are right about match needle the k1000 and km have center the needle and the kx and k2 have match needle. I have a km now got it and a 1.7 50 for less than a k1000 body goes for:smile: