In my last post I talked about my approach to this hobby and shared the list created from the advice given by my pals on Facebook. Today I am going to focus on step 1, “buy a camera”.
Four days have passed since that conversation and I can honestly say that this has been confusing as hell. It doesn’t seem to matter how many reviews or guides I read, it all seems to come down to one thing. This one is rubbish, get a more expensive one; then once you have it, take off the lens, throw that away and buy several new ones. Oh, and they are also rubbish, unless you get the bloody expensive ones.
This led me to my first real decision. I need to draw a line in the sand and steadfastly refuse to spend more than the amount I have promised myself. I have decided that my absolute limit for the price of a new camera is 600 quid. I am after all a complete beginner and suspect that anything better than that would be somewhat wasted on me, for now at least.
Now that I know how much I am going to spend, things start getting a little easier, this has narrowed the field quite significantly and a few candidates immediately start to show themselves. However, all the reviews and tech specs can be baffling if you don’t understand the lingo. As such, I have been doing a lot of reading,
Some of the resources I have found have been incredibly useful, so it is only fair to go through them here.
This site has an excellent introduction to DSLR cameras and lenses, along with explanations that any child, idiot or ‘Phil’ can easily understand. I found this invaluable in understanding the very basics of what to look for in a camera.
I have also found a couple of other sites which have given me insight into what things like ISO, aperture, shutter speed, auto-focus, burst rates and whatever-me-flips mean.
Once that reading was done I went back to the buying guides and reviews and started again. This time they all seemed to make a little more sense. These sites were particularly useful:
I shouldn’t forget to mention the ever faithful amazon.co.uk great for simple reviews from ordinary folk, like what I is.
To the short list, and some audience participation, I hope!
These are the 3 cameras I like the look of, I guess it is going to have to be one of them:
- Nikon D5100 – There is so much good about this, not least the brand name, the quality of pictures it takes (apparently) and the healthy 1st & 3rd Party accessory / lens market.
- Canon EOS 600D – This cameras real strength is in producing video, not something I have a lot of interest in to be honest. Still a very capable camera mind.
- Sony A65 – Now, this one is a bit of a wild card. Officially it shouldn’t be in this list, as it is actually a lot more expensive than my budget allows. It is head and shoulders above the others in terms of specs, but about on par (apparently) in terms of picture quality, particularly in low light conditions.
The reason it is here and does qualify is because with my Sony Staff discount, it comes in under budget and so suddenly it is a very strong contender!
So, decision time, which one should I buy? I would love to hear your recommendations and thoughts in the comments section below.