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Looking for first DSLR for under £300 (must inc. lens)


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#1 Elliot B.

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 10:35

Dad wants his first DSLR. We don't know what any of the lens terminology means.

The lowest price DSLRs from each manufacturer are:

£230 - Sony Alpha SLT-A37 (unknown lens type) (mid-2012)
£300 - Canon EOS 1100D (DC lens) (early 2011)
£300 - Nikon D3100 (VR lens) (mid-2010)

All of the above have 18-55mm lens, whatever that means.

Any suggestions? Recommendations? Comments? Alternatives?


#2 +jamesyfx

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 10:43

I would avoid a Sony Alpha - their ultra low cost entices a lot of people but the actual picture quality is not too great.

Is £300 the top end of your budget? If you added an extra £100 you could go for a Nikon D5100, which is a great DSLR for a beginner.

#3 OP Elliot B.

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 10:46

I would avoid a Sony Alpha - their ultra low cost entices a lot of people but the actual picture quality is not too great.

Is £300 the top end of your budget? If you added an extra £100 you could go for a Nikon D5100, which is a great DSLR for a beginner.

£400 for a camera is mad to us.

£325 is the top limit :)

#4 Kerm

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 10:52

Either the Canon or Nikon will be great for you. Go and hold them both, or get your dad to and buy whichever feels the nicest in your hands.

18-55mm is the focal range (zoom range), at 18mm the photo will be very wide, at 55mm it will be more zoomed in, you twist the lens to select through the range.

#5 Zain Adeel

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 11:00

Also if u get the Canon get their cheap 50mm Fixed Lens afterwards sometime it will be great for indoor closeups and such. it has a wide aperture so will allow the sensor to capture more light in less time resulting on good photos in low light.

#6 Ryya

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 11:16

Go for the Canon 1100d it's a great camera and if you don't mind manufacturer refurbs which come with 1 years warranty the Canon eBay store has some great offers. I would also recommend grey imports from DigitalRev.

#7 Argote

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 21:45

I would avoid a Sony Alpha - their ultra low cost entices a lot of people but the actual picture quality is not too great.

Is £300 the top end of your budget? If you added an extra £100 you could go for a Nikon D5100, which is a great DSLR for a beginner.


As someone who regularly uses an Alpha camera and have used other brands quite extensively: You are mistaken, IQ-wise the differences between equivalent cameras (same genration, target segment, etc) of different brands are usually minimal. And I'd definitely say the A37 is better than the 1100D or D3100.