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So which camera?

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Hi all

I am getting a bit fed up with pictures of our little adventures from the iphone so I thought I might like to get back into SLR photography. Years ago I used (still have!) a Canon AE-1 program and enjoyed a spot of photography so I think I can remember some of the basics. Looking around on ebay there seems to be such a bewildering selection that I though I would ask opinions.

I know the first thing that is going to be asked is what is your budget? - And that is the first thing I dont know - I am more interested to know what I NEED to spend in order to get something Mid range with suitable lenses.

I guess for the boating side I will need a bit of an all-rounder - something that is ok for action shots as well as landscapes etc.

What advice can you guys offer?



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Some 35mm film SLR lenses work very well with some DSLR bodies, but there are quite a few no-go combinations, so it's best to check very carefully first to avoid dissapointment.

For instance, all Canon EOS film lenses will fit all Canon DSLR bodies, but earlier Canon FD lenses don't.

The crucial factor is the distance from the lens mount flange to the film focus plane. Some film camera bodies are deeper than modern DSLR bodies, and the lenses then won't focus to infinity without an additional correcting element, which costs more and reduces quality.

Also, the electronics for focus and exposure are sometimes incompatible. For instance, many Sigma Canon EOS film camera lenses have software that won't work with digital EOS cameras, whereas Tamron EOS film lenses do work with digital EOS cameras.

I use a Canon EOS 500EF and also a Canon EOS 5D body, and using cheap Ebay (chinese) lens adapters, I use a variety of very high quality Pentax and Olympus 35mm film camera lenses, like the F1.4 50mm prime lens, which gives superb results on the 5D full frame body.

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If you find that your old lenses aren't compatible with the new breed of DSLR and have to start again from scratch, it may be worth considering the Micro Four Thirds cameras marketed by Olympus and Panasonic. They're lighter and smaller than DSLR bodies and lenses and the quality of images is more than good enough for most discerning users. If you wanted to create wall sized prints then maybe not, but very few people actually need to do that sort of photography.

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  • 1 month later...


After some research I have narrowed the search. Well I had until I came across a Sony A57. I was impressed by the fast focusing and image stabilisation built into the body rather than the lens - for on the boat shots I guess both these features will be helpful, not to mention the ability to use cheaper non VR lenses.

Any opinions?



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I have just reappraised my photographic requirements and part exchanged a fair amount of gear at London Camera Exchange ( Branches not only in London). I used to have a Sony A 350 which was getting a bit long in the tooth with a variety of lenses - wide angle 10 - 20mm, Macro 105mm prime, 70 - 300, and 50 - 500mm. I now have a new Sony A 65 with so many functions that I still haven't found all of them yet combined with a 18 - 250mm lens which covers most of the bases that I now need.

I always carry a small Olympus camera in the car for those moments when you need a camera and don't have the SLR with you.

So far, I love the new camera with its continuous focussing and bright viewfinder.


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All comes down to what youwant to with the camera in the end , the main difference in bridge camera,s and dslr,s is the funtion mode,s ,a good dslr will let you do every thing yourself(manual mode)as well as having all the preset,s(sunny,shade ect),it will also let you shoot in "raw" mode, this mean,s the image is not finished in the camera ,and needs to go thruogh software to do the final adjustments.(capture nx2 for nikon) or of coarse light room ect.

agree with seaboater ,the quality of images usualy dosn,t matter ,you,ll have a job noticing ,Micro Four Thirds camera for on the go ,good dslr when you want to get arty!! :wave

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I have just sold all of my DSLR kit as it simply wasn't getting used (too much to cart around). I have replaced it with an olympus Pen 'Lite' E-PL3 twin lens kit, and I have to say I am stunned by how much functionality they have squeezed into a small package. Nearly all of the exposure setting are manually adjustable (ISO, shutter speed, aperture, white balance etc etc) as well as having some very nifty p&s type gimickery such as art filters. It also shoots jpeg and raw for when I want to get a little more serious.

I've also just ordered the converter lens set, which converts the standard 14-42 kit lens into a fish-eye, wide or macro lens for less than £200. Can't do that with a DSLR! So far, very happy with it!

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Felt the same way about all the "clutter" of a dslr, so found a walk around lens, it,s a sigma28-300 compact hyperzoom 1:3.5-6.3 , and does a reasonable job in most circumstances, (it was 35 pounds second hand!)camera,s are constantly evolving and getting more compact ,ie i phone,s and the like :wave

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