Looking for a Cheap DSLR Camera

  • Thread starter Johnny1996
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GTP_Johnny1996
I was wondering if anyone out there could help me out with choosing a $150 (USD) or less DSLR camera that still takes excellent photos, but first some background information:

I am a railfan, or a person who, put simply, likes trains. I use a Sony HDR-CX190 video camera for recording and photography of the trains, but using one camera for both purposes doesn't allow me to get as many photos as I would like. Realizing this struggle, I also realized that a DSLR camera would help me a great deal. My budget has to be under $150 USD, no exceptions. I've done a tad bit of searching to get an idea of what I want, but I figured that it would be in my best interest to ask some much more experienced photographers. With all that being said, can you fellow GTPers help me out?

I'll leave you with a photo taken from my CX190, which is a thumbnail.

NS Under Signal.JPG

:cheers:
 

wfooshee

Rather ride my FJR
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You're looking at used stuff for that money, which is nothing to be afraid of. I'm on my 3rd dSLR, and I haven't bought a new one yet.
 

35mm

~
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jpfctf
jpfctf
No, just a DSLR for photos. ;)
That makes it a bit easier but, like @wfooshee said, I think you'll have to go the second-hand route. Not that it's a bad thing; pretty much the opposite.

Also, I think the models of cameras in that video are a good starting point.
 
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GTP_Johnny1996
That makes it a bit easier but, like @wfooshee said, I think you'll have to go the second-hand route. Not that it's a bad thing; pretty much the opposite.

Also, I think the models of cameras in that video are a good starting point.
My sister got a used DSLR and she said its like it never left the factory with how good it is.

After viewing that video, I am considering one of the ones featured, but I'm holding out for some more replies to the thread.

:)
 

35mm

~
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jpfctf
jpfctf
On the Nikon side, I'd say for you to search for a D3000 or even a D3100 (with a kit 18-55mm lens). A D3200 would be the one to get, for its nice sensor, but I don't think you'll find one for that price.

(Btw, I was under the impression that the Nikon model on the video was a D3000, but it's a D40X. And maybe that's a bit too old now.)

For the Canon side, I'm sure someone better qualified than myself will come in and help you. ;)
 
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GTP_Johnny1996
On the Nikon side, I'd say for you to search for a D3000 or even a D3100 (with a kit 18-55mm lens). A D3200 would be the one to get, for its nice sensor, but I don't think you'll find one for that price.

(Btw, I was under the impression that the Nikon model on the video was a D3000, but it's a D40X. And maybe that's a bit too old now.)

For the Canon side, I'm sure someone better qualified than myself will come in and help you. ;)
I appreciate the help that you and the other two have given so far. :cheers:
 

Azuremen

Wizard of Sky Diamonds
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SC2: gtAzire.359
For the Canon side, I'm sure someone better qualified than myself will come in and help you. ;)

Maybe ;)

The 30D is a solid starting camera, and I'd recommend it over a Rebel series because of the additional buttons and control wheel. The metal shell is more satisfying in the hands as well. The sensor is adequate but you'll certainly feel the age creep in when the ISO is dialed up to 800 and somewhat distracting at 1600. Still, I'd take the 8MP sensor over a 10MP sensor in a Rebel anyday.

Keep in mind you can find the 40D for around that price from time to time, and it handles exactly the same just better LCD screen, live view, and 10MP sensor. I always keep an eye out for one as I'd consider converting it to IR for artsy nonsense.

Either way, you can garage/thrift hunt a vintage prime lens longer than the 18-55mm kit you'd likely end up with and pick up a cheap M42 adapter, and likely for under $40 in total.

There is also the mirrorless camera route, which could be in your price range and give dSLR like options for lenses down the road, but I'm unsure how the 2nd hand market has developed on those.
 

35mm

~
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jpfctf
jpfctf
@Azuremen's post reminded me that you could also try looking for a Nikon D80 or, even better, a D200. Especially the D200, if you find it for such a low price, don't hesitate in getting it instead of any of the others I mentioned. It's such a fantastic body.

I remember @casey_2005 getting one for $100 bucks, with a bunch of lenses!
 
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GTP_Johnny1996
@Azuremen's post reminded me that you could also try looking for a Nikon D80 or, even better, a D200. Especially the D200, if you find it for such a low price, don't hesitate in getting it instead of any of the others I mentioned. It's such a fantastic body.

I remember @casey_2005 getting one for $100 bucks, with a bunch of lenses!
I like your entire post, but the last part helps me like it even more. :)
 

nobuffalo

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@Azuremen's post reminded me that you could also try looking for a Nikon D80 or, even better, a D200. Especially the D200, if you find it for such a low price, don't hesitate in getting it instead of any of the others I mentioned. It's such a fantastic body.

I remember @casey_2005 getting one for $100 bucks, with a bunch of lenses!

I certainly did, although it was a deal from a friend so it might be hard for someone to repeat. I was gonna mention the D200 but Johnny said it must be under $150 with no exceptions. I think if someone was to keep a close eye on craigslist or other online sites one could probably be found in the 200-250 dollar range. It is a great body and for it's age it still produces some really nice images, especially with quality lenses. The downsides are the screen kinda sucks in sunlight, battery life isn't the best and you probably wouldn't want to shoot over ISO 1250 unless you had plenty of light. I believe DiabolicalMask had one so if you wanna see what it can do you should take a look at his thread as well as some of the later posts in mine.

I know you say 150 with no exceptions but I think you'll see a good bump in quality if you could muster up another hundred bucks or so.
 

phillgt2002

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Oops, what I posted was $300 almost.

I was going to post the 40D. I was looking at one of those to get and a few older prime lenses to tack on a year or so ago. Johnny, I think you'd be fine with a 30 or 40D
 
6
Australia
Coolum
wheelywong
I bought a Canon SX50 for when I'm out on the dirtbike, and or going to be too happy at parties and fall over. I know it's more than your price range, but a good bridging camera none the less that does all I ask of it.
All you need is pretty much contained in the camera so travel is light. I do recommend a tripod though for any long range shots or they will be on the blurred side.
I paid $369 here in Aus. You guys usually get stuff about 30% cheaper than we do over here so it might come close. Cause if you buy a body and start looking for lenses its never going to stop............. wont even be able to afford a train ticket
 

TB

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I bought a Canon SX50 for when I'm out on the dirtbike, and or going to be too happy at parties and fall over. I know it's more than your price range, but a good bridging camera none the less that does all I ask of it.
But as it's not a DSLR, it doesn't fit his request. :)
 
2,227
United States
Portland, Oregon
I'm currently using one of those Canon Digital Eos Rebels (An XT). It would be a good place to start. But mine uses some weird type of memory card I've never seen before, as opposed to an SD card, and I assume that model would, too. If it doesn't come with one you'll have to take that into account, too. My biggest gripe with the camera is that the screen on the back isn't very clear, so sometimes I find myself with a bunch of pictures slightly out of focus. If you plan on using auto focus this probably won't be an issue for you, though. It's pretty easy to use, and there's user manuals online if you have any questions.

I have a similar lens, too. I don't have enough experience to say if it's good or bad, so I can't help with that. I think I'd prefer something like a 50-200 lens but that's just me. Overall I'd say it's a good place to start to see if you like photography before you start spending more.
 

Carlos

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Nikon D70, 6 MP, 28-80mm - $150,-

I find this camera pretty nice, I have a D70 and does what I want. Don't know if you would want a Nikon, most of my friends and dad have Nikon so it's easy for me to own one too so we can swap lenses or lent them. If your friends have Canon than I would go with Canon.

We have a Nikon D100 too, almost the same as the D70, a little bit better I'm told, prices are the same as D70. What TB suggested, to buy separate, is a pretty good idea. I would do that too, the kit lenses from that era are not that good. I have had a couple of Sigma lenses and their lenses are pretty nice for the prices. Only bad experience I had with Sigma is a 70-300, entry level zoom lenses seem to be crap.

The D70 and D100 are with my dad now but I fixed him a nice D200 so probably he doesn't use one of them any more. If you want, I could ask what his plans are. No idea what shipping would cost, but yeah if you want I could ask and see from there.
 
2,227
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Oh, I remembered something to add about the Canon Eos body; Watch out for 'Error 99" if you end up getting it. It's apparently pretty common on these, mine does it sometimes too. It will prevent you from taking any pictures until you turn the camera off and back on again. I'm not quite sure what it is that happens, but you'll know it when it happens; the viewfinder gets darker and the shutter doesn't make the right noise. Should still be a good choice at a price that low, I've never had the problem ruin any once-in-a-lifetime photo oppurtunities.
 
15
Lithuania
Birzai
I was wondering if anyone out there could help me out with choosing a $150 (USD) or less DSLR camera that still takes excellent photos, but first some background information:

I am a railfan, or a person who, put simply, likes trains. I use a Sony HDR-CX190 video camera for recording and photography of the trains, but using one camera for both purposes doesn't allow me to get as many photos as I would like. Realizing this struggle, I also realized that a DSLR camera would help me a great deal. My budget has to be under $150 USD, no exceptions. I've done a tad bit of searching to get an idea of what I want, but I figured that it would be in my best interest to ask some much more experienced photographers. With all that being said, can you fellow GTPers help me out?

I'll leave you with a photo taken from my CX190, which is a thumbnail.

View attachment 172376

:cheers:

Hey!
I currently have a Canon 7D, but before it, i had a Canon rebel XTI, which worked pretty well for it's price! If you look around, you could find one for around $150! Look into it, let me know what you think!
-Aidas
 
5,000
United States
United States
GTP_Johnny1996
Remember the names of them?
No, but I'm going to go to the stores where I've seen each camera and note whatever the important things are about them. Then after I compare what I have on paper, I'll buy a camera.
 

Swagger897

On A Sekrit Mishun
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KCCO
No, but I'm going to go to the stores where I've seen each camera and note whatever the important things are about them. Then after I compare what I have on paper, I'll buy a camera.
Put them on here too, I'd like to see what you go with for your first DSLR. I've just gotten mine four months ago but it was a Nikon...