Wanna buy my first Dslr for College, suggestions?

Created by skilled_gamer on March 15, 2012, 6:45 p.m.
  • @skilled_gamer: the T3, I'd say, is a great entry-level camera. If you're looking to do video with the camera, you might want to look into a T2i (at T3is are a significant price increase) - but for straight photography, I'd say the T3 is a good choice.

    Although, keep in mind that there is the fact that photography can be a HUGE money drain. Tripods, batteries, battery grips and lenses have the capability to FAR outspend the camera. After the purchase of a body, start saving for some good glass. Also keep in mind that if you plan to pursue this for with an seriousness (even as a hobby) you have to make a decision between Nikon and Canon, before your collection gets too out of control. It's not a problem with entry level cameras (because it's not too large of a loss to simply switch), but once you buy any quality or quantity of glass, you're locking yourself in with a manufacturer.

    As far as Nikon vs Canon - Braga, Norm (AFAIK, don't hold them to it) and myself are all in the canon camp - although I know that Norm certainly has a soft sport for MFT (Micro Four-thirds) cameras.

  • I got a Canon T1i for Christmas 2010 and so far I really like it. The T2i is a spec bump on the T1i, so I imagine it would serve you well and you can find some good deals on them. I would probably go with that because I take video occasionally and like the idea of a more balanced camera, However if you do not do much/any video perhaps the T3 would be the best choice.

    I don't have that much invested in Canon, just the stock lens and a prime 55mm one as well, but this is my second Canon camera and I have had good luck with and been impressed with both. I have to say I too fall in the Canon camp, however I have nothing against Nikon. Just personal taste.

  • I made the mistake of getting the Entry-level 450D Canon (Pretty sure it's a particular 'Rebel' in the states) a couple of years ago. Whilst it's a great camera that won't break the bank balance completely, I'm now absolutely livid that I didn't get the 550D. The extra £100 would have been well worth the 1080p video, which I now regret not getting.

    If you pick up a 1.8 50mm prime for it? You'll probably never take it off again : )

  • Get a decent bridge camera instead. You really don't need a DSLR for college, if your interest is big enough then maybe you should get one, but can you definitely justify it? It won't collect dust?

    I have a Nikon L120 and was kicking myself at first for not getting a DSLR, but considering how much the L120 gets used it's good I didn't spend more. Can't wait to take it to Japan and Europe later this year though!

    The L120 is probably worth looking into btw, especially if you are on a budget.

  • @Sooty: The major issue with a normal bridge camera (especially in the last few years as stuff like the Sony NEX and m4/3 options have taken off and created a mirrorless large sensor market) is they have a tiny point and shoot sensor (1/2.3" for the L120, so the smallest rectangle in that comparison of sizes) so you need to bounce a flash for indoors worth a damn and that zoom lens may be quite nice compared to a p&s but you're stuck with it (no shallow DoF/bokeh from a different F-stop value lens). I say this as someone with a Panasonic FZ8 on my desk and who has enjoyed much fun using that camera.

    Today the mirrorless model with a zoom for when you go out into the countryside and need a zoom and a pancake for when you're indoors is the answer, probably focus on getting one with a pop-out flash and ultra-compact body for student style guerilla photography (although it's always a shame to use a flash at all, you may have a need for it with your desires for candid shots and the pancake will keep the thing reasonably small to pocket the camera). Obviously on top of the not tiny cost there is also insurance (might be covered under a decent contents policy) as you probably don't want to risk it and this isn't a cheap P&S.

    The entry level or similar DSLR is also an option, but you don't lose a lot from going mirrorless (this topic has been covered to death and everyone has a take on it).

  • @Shivoa said:

    @Sooty: The major issue with a normal bridge camera (especially in the last few years as stuff like the Sony NEX and m4/3 options have taken off and created a mirrorless large sensor market) is they have a tiny point and shoot sensor (1/2.3" for the L120, so the smallest rectangle in that comparison of sizes) so you need to bounce a flash for indoors worth a damn and that zoom lens may be quite nice compared to a p&s but you're stuck with it (no shallow DoF/bokeh from a different F-stop value lens). I say this as someone with a Panasonic FZ8 on my desk and who has enjoyed much fun using that camera.

    Today the mirrorless model with a zoom for when you go out into the countryside and need a zoom and a pancake for when you're indoors is the answer, probably focus on getting one with a pop-out flash and ultra-compact body for student style guerilla photography (although it's always a shame to use a flash at all, you may have a need for it with your desires for candid shots and the pancake will keep the thing reasonably small to pocket the camera). Obviously on top of the not tiny cost there is also insurance (might be covered under a decent contents policy) as you probably don't want to risk it and this isn't a cheap P&S.

    The entry level or similar DSLR is also an option, but you don't lose a lot from going mirrorless (this topic has been covered to death and everyone has a take on it).

    I know what you mean, I try to avoid using flash because without a mod hacked together to make it bounce off the ceiling it just makes a lot of pictures look washed out and artificial, it's quite good in low-ish light scenarios without it anyway. For casual and somewhat intermediate photography I think the L120 is a safe bet, for anything more there are better options, just comes down to the user. I know I wouldn't buy a DSLR for college but for somebody that also does a lot of photography in their spare time they should probably consider it.


  • @Shivoa said:

    Today the mirrorless model with a zoom for when you go out into the countryside and need a zoom and a pancake for when you're indoors is the answer, probably focus on getting one with a pop-out flash and ultra-compact body for student style guerilla photography (although it's always a shame to use a flash at all, you may have a need for it with your desires for candid shots and the pancake will keep the thing reasonably small to pocket the camera). Obviously on top of the not tiny cost there is also insurance (might be covered under a decent contents policy) as you probably don't want to risk it and this isn't a cheap P&S.

    Got to agree on the "no bridge" (why did you do that?). Mirrorless are pretty good indeed, but the problem is usually a much narrower choice of lenses, and the loss of the viewfinder (bummer for me).

    Plus if you're sure you're really going to do some photography, go big or go home. Choose a good body for now, and forget about getting tones of lens right now, you'll do it over time. Just find a nice trans-standard (not sure it's a term used in English), use it to learn the body you have, then later, you you'll have had time to know what you want to do (macro/close ups, portrait... what have you), you'll know what lenses to look for.

    Also, hopefully the choice in terms of brand is much broader than Nikon/Canon. Pentax, Sony, Olympus and Panasonic (no high end stuff from Panasonic though) are all very good too, just try them if you can, and rest assured that you'll always find lenses and accessories for any of those brands. It's really more a matter of which brand you del more comfortable with as there is no one better brand than the others. After a while, you'll be able to score great pictures no matter what brand you chose.

    ANYHOW, long story short, if you're sure you're gonna get into photography, chip in for a nice body (mid range, not like the 5D or 1D okay?), so you have some room to improve over time, and be able to use lenses at the best of their abilities, without having to . Try to test a body from each brand to see which one feels the most comfortable (browse the menus and all). If you're still unsure about your future, just get any entry level reflex or mirror less, it won't change much anyway.

    Hope it helps.

    Edit: Darn! One more thing, be sure to check some reviews before making a final decision, regarding the low light conditions. Some brands - cough Pana cough sonic - are known to be not so good at dealing with noise, still I have surprised more than one pro photographer with night shots from my L10... so I guess you can compensate.