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Old 11-17-2014, 06:04 PM   #1
rbenn81
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Advice on first DSLR camera

I've been looking to venture into the world of DSLR cameras and have decided to go for it. I'm looking for a good all around camera. One that will do well from family vacations to kid sports to the parks. I found three bundles at one of the big box stores. Currently looking at these three:

1) Canon T5i kit with 18-55/55-200 STM IS Lenses
2) Nikon D3300 kit with 18-55II/55-200 VR Lenses
3) Nikon D5300 kit with 18-55II/55-300 VR Lenses

The 5i and the d3300 are more in line with my budget but I'd say the d5300 would be the end of my budget. Being able to use the touch screen on the T5i to make adjustments is very appealing. Any suggestions from everyone would be appreciated. Also any advantages or disadvantages from buying from local camera store vs big box stores?

Thanks!
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Old 11-17-2014, 06:25 PM   #2
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I have a d5300 amd love it!
We got it from a box store and knock on wood, we haven't had to use them for maintenance or repairs.
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Old 11-17-2014, 07:07 PM   #3
havoc315
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rbenn81 View Post
I've been looking to venture into the world of DSLR cameras and have decided to go for it. I'm looking for a good all around camera. One that will do well from family vacations to kid sports to the parks. I found three bundles at one of the big box stores. Currently looking at these three:

1) Canon T5i kit with 18-55/55-200 STM IS Lenses
2) Nikon D3300 kit with 18-55II/55-200 VR Lenses
3) Nikon D5300 kit with 18-55II/55-300 VR Lenses

The 5i and the d3300 are more in line with my budget but I'd say the d5300 would be the end of my budget. Being able to use the touch screen on the T5i to make adjustments is very appealing. Any suggestions from everyone would be appreciated. Also any advantages or disadvantages from buying from local camera store vs big box stores?

Thanks!
As long as the seller is reputable, doesn't matter where you buy from. You do want to buy from an authorized seller, to make sure you get the full warranty. You will often find the best prices online, but still be sure you are buying from an authorized seller.

As to the differences between the cameras, most of the differences are subtle. If you are somewhat a novice, you may never notice most of the differences.

The t5i does have the touch screen which some people like. It also allows for smoother video autofocus with certain lenses.

Both Nikons have better image quality, particularly better low light performance. So if you were using both cameras to their top potential, you may notice that the Nikon is producing images with less noise, more dynamic range, etc. But in the hands of an inexperienced photographer and/or mediocre lenses, you are unlikely to be getting the maximum potential out of the camera, and therefore may never even notice the higher image quality.

Much of it really comes down to the feeling in the hands... You want a camera that is comfortable to hold, and that's subjective.

Comparing the Nikon D3300 to the D5300..... The D5300 adds features like a flip out screen, Wifi, and a more advanced auto focus system, particularly useful if you will be tracking action. (The Canon t5i auto focus system probably lies between the 2 Nikon models). So the question is, how much value do you place on these things. Many new photographers who are used to smart phones, really value wifi. For me, I don't much care about wifi.. but a more advanced auto focus system is important to me . So it's a matter of how much value you assign to those things.

Lenses really need to be considered apart from camera body. Decide what lenses you want/need. If they happen to come together as a good value package, all the better. But in many cases, you are often better off buying them separately, and getting a better lens than might be included in the package.

I haven't shot with any of those lenses, so I can't only speak about my general impressions based on what I've seen and read.
Both the Nikon 55-200 and 55-300 are good overall lenses. They are adequately sharp, especially in the center of the frame. For a beginner, they will likely serve you well. Obviously, the 300 gives you more reach. The 200 gives you enough reach if you are close to the action and just want to get in tight. The 300 is more important if you are shooting sports or wildlife from more of a distance.

Not sure what Canon lens you are referring to -- To my knowledge, they don't make a 55-200 STM IS EFS lens. They do make a 55-250... A pretty new lens, and I've seen good reviews of it.

If you want to shoot in low light without flash, none of these lenses will do though.

Anyway, you really can't go wrong. They are all very fine cameras.
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Old 11-17-2014, 08:18 PM   #4
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Not sure what Canon lens you are referring to -- To my knowledge, they don't make a 55-200 STM IS EFS lens. They do make a 55-250... A pretty new lens, and I've seen good reviews of it.
.
Thanks Havoc315! You are correct, the 55-250 is the second lens in the Canon kit. Brain hiccup on my part.

I've been leaning towards the d3300 partly because of the price. I've thought about getting that bundle along with a 35mm f/1.8 lens for low light situations.
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Old 11-17-2014, 11:44 PM   #5
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I vote D3300.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5RTh9K0kUDo

The D5300 offers a flipout screen. Save the money if you don't plan to use the flip feature much.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vHPcHZywKsU

Something to consider.... do you really want to be swapping wide and zoom lenses all day? Have you considered getting a combo super zoom. Nikon and Canon offer 18-200mm combo lenses. However, Nikon also offers the 18-300mm (Canon fails!). This is my favourite multi-purpose lenses with a wide zoom range.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8ghz3KuQ-w&t=7m2s

Last edited by xlxo; 11-18-2014 at 01:08 AM.
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Old 11-17-2014, 11:59 PM   #6
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Bet thing would be to buy from B&H online. You will save money and Canon usually discounts items around the holidays. I have been buying mega photography gear from there for years and always best quality ans service you can ask for. They are also excellent at returns within 30 days.

Hands down Canon and from B&H.
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Old 11-18-2014, 08:26 AM   #7
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Bet thing would be to buy from B&H online. You will save money and Canon usually discounts items around the holidays. I have been buying mega photography gear from there for years and always best quality ans service you can ask for. They are also excellent at returns within 30 days.

Hands down Canon and from B&H.
sure, Canon will have better "IQ" image quality, AF, lens, etc, than the other brands.
And B&H and Adorama are good, but check out refurbished, full warranty and return policy
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Old 11-18-2014, 10:01 AM   #8
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Thanks Havoc315! You are correct, the 55-250 is the second lens in the Canon kit. Brain hiccup on my part.

I've been leaning towards the d3300 partly because of the price. I've thought about getting that bundle along with a 35mm f/1.8 lens for low light situations.
The D3300 is the best image quality for the price. And that's an excellent lens choice for when you need low light.

The D3300 has one negative that would be a deal breaker for me, but irrelevant for other people. I like doing some HDR work, which is easier with auto-bracketing. The D3300 can't auto-bracket. For many many people, this is entirely irrelevant.

Also, someone suggested looking at 18-200 or 18-300 lenses.... Be warned, those lenses do give you the convenience of not changing lenses. But the trade off is, they give you far lesser image quality, and they mean unnecessarily often carrying extra weight. There is a reason that dSLRs have interchangeable lenses... People who want a single lens can buy a bridge camera.
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Old 11-18-2014, 10:53 AM   #9
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Personally, I'd find a local store you can go hold the different choices.

To me, feel in the hand, control layout, ease of use, all will have a much bigger impact than any in the lab performance.

DXOMark scores mean nothing on an entry level DSLR, (on any camera really).
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Old 11-18-2014, 11:51 AM   #10
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Personally, I'd find a local store you can go hold the different choices.

To me, feel in the hand, control layout, ease of use, all will have a much bigger impact than any in the lab performance.

DXOMark scores mean nothing on an entry level DSLR, (on any camera really).
Entry level cameras are largely interchangeable. Totally agree that simple in-hand comfort can really be the deciding factor, as many of the other differences will make no difference to an entry level shooter.

Now, I'm not speaking about you, but I do find it amusing how brand loyalists get picky about which items supposedly matter.
Canon fans are quick to dismiss DXO scores because Canon does poorly in them (they do reflect some truth, but I do think their scoring methods are overall quite poor). Nikon fans are quick to dismiss the consumer friendly features of Canon like touch-screens. Canon and Nikon users will both look down their nose at Sony (claiming inadequate lenses and lack of OVF), and down at Pentax (no path to full frame). Sony users will dismiss all the traditional dSLRs (so last century). They will claim the drawbacks of their own system are meaningless.... Sony user (I have all the lenses anyone could actually need.. I don't need an OVF for tracking, I can "adapt" to using an EVF). Canon user (DXO scores are meaningless... I can't see a difference. And nobody needs more than 20 megapixels). Nikon (who needs AF in live view... serious photographers use the viewfinder anyway, and real photographers can use MF in live view). Pentax (with advances in sensor technology, nobody needs fullframe anyway).

Objectively, you will get very similar results from any brand. Subjectively, each brand may have pros and cons, that might be meaningful to a given photographer. Whether it be a consumer feature like wifi or touch screen, whether it be a different auto focus system, whether it be slight image quality advantages.
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Old 11-18-2014, 12:20 PM   #11
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I didn't intend to seem like I was trying to start a Canon vs. Nikon vs. Sony holy war... that wasn't my intention at all.

My biggest problem is DXOMark's overall score is nearly useless....

I will start a new thread to elaborate my point.
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Old 11-18-2014, 12:29 PM   #12
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I didn't intend to seem like I was trying to start a Canon vs. Nikon vs. Sony holy war... that wasn't my intention at all.

My biggest problem is DXOMark's overall score is nearly useless....

I will start a new thread to elaborate my point.
Their graphs are very informative. Their overall scores are next-to-useless. I compare it to the score of a baseball game, but only at the end of the first inning.
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Old 11-18-2014, 08:44 PM   #13
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I really appreciate all the information everyone has provided. Thanks!
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