Need a decent camera, know nothing about cameras.

3,019
United Kingdom
Essex
GTP_Lout
Ok so the title sums it up really.

I'm off to Le Mans again this year and I want to buy myself a decent camera and lense, as the cameras I've used in the past haven't been all that great (or mine for that matter)

Just wondering if anyone has any recommendations really, I should have a budget of around £500-£600 for a camera and lense.

Please bare in mind I know next to nothing about this sort of stuff. I just need something fairly decent for when I'm out and about.

Thanks in advance!
 

Solo

Cheese Gromit.
Premium
5,166
England
Essex, UK
These are both really solid camera systems that fall into your price range. Whilst neither have world class lenses in the bundle they leave room for buying better glass in the future and would give you the kind of lens you need for your trip to Le Mans. The Nikon body is a little more 'pro' than the Canon however their specs are pretty similar otherwise, with the Nikon perhaps having the edge in the AF battle but the Canon lens has a little more reach.

I'd really recommend trying to get your hands on the bodies before buying though as feel in the hand makes a huge difference on cameras I've found.

http://www.digitalrev.com/product/nikon-d7000-with-18-105mm/OTk1Mg_A_A
http://www.digitalrev.com/product/canon-eos-700d-with-ef/MTAwMjU2Ng_A_A
 

Pupik

old hand
Staff Emeritus
17,935
United States
HSV or something
The biggest advice for you is to not buy something a week before a big event, especially if you are not quite sure how to use it. Learning the basics takes a little time and practice, although mastery takes a few years and/or decades.

Also, without some press passes, you aren't likely to get terribly close to the action without a pretty good zoom lens and a nice spot well above catch-fencing or other obstructions.
 

Lion-Face

Premium
1,352
New Zealand
Invercargill
Lion-Face
I have never been to Le Mans myself, but I would have thought that 135mm would come up a little short no?

Would probably point towards a twin lens kit when on a budget, giving you just that much more reach when on the side of the circuit, but being able to use the shorter lens when not requiring the reach, cutting down on size/weight when you want to use it as an everyday camera.

My suggestion...

http://www.digitalrev.com/product/sony-alpha-a6000-with-16/MTEwMzM0Nw_A_A

As an idea why I picked this camera.

Easier to pick up and play compared with DSLR
11 frames per second for burst shot when the cars go past.
The twin kit gives you the reach.
Smaller/lighter for travel, no compromise in image quality compared to DSLR
Wifi - send your pictures straight to phone/tablet for backup/posting online.
 

Solo

Cheese Gromit.
Premium
5,166
England
Essex, UK
I have never been to Le Mans myself, but I would have thought that 135mm would come up a little short no?
Going through my Le Mans album from 2014 on Flickr few of my shots are at 200mm and most are below 135mm so it would be ok I think.

That A6000 bundle is pretty solid though. I do hear that the sony cameras don't have the greatest battery life though, which will be key for Le Mans, unless you buy a bunch of spares of course.
 

Lion-Face

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1,352
New Zealand
Invercargill
Lion-Face
That A6000 bundle is pretty solid though. I do hear that the sony cameras don't have the greatest battery life though, which will be key for Le Mans, unless you buy a bunch of spares of course.

Yes, didn't think of that. The camera is rated to about 300~350 shots from a charge. Which from my experience is about right. The closest I have gotten is about 200 photos in a day and left me with approx 50% charge. The DSLR cameras have a larger battery and when using it through the viewfinder, their battery life would be about 3x that of the Sony cameras. So yes, picking up a spare battery or two before the day would probably be a good idea if going with the Sony.
 
3,019
United Kingdom
Essex
GTP_Lout
Wow first of all thanks for the responses!

@Solo and @Lion-Face thanks for the links and the advice. When I've got a bit of free time I'll go on a hunt for those and try them out!

Although I am currently leaning towards the Sony at the moment, although without trying anything I'm not letting myself jump to conclusions.

@Pupik I totally agree, I'm planning on making a purchase as soon as I can really. Over the last few years I've managed to find a few pretty decent places to stand to get pictures so I'm not overly worried about that 👍
 

Azuremen

Wizard of Sky Diamonds
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United States
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Azuremen
SC2: gtAzire.359
That A6000 bundle is pretty solid though. I do hear that the sony cameras don't have the greatest battery life though, which will be key for Le Mans, unless you buy a bunch of spares of course.

Third party batteries are cheap and work well enough in my experience. I currently have the OEM battery and 4 third party batteries for my EOS M for when I was in India.

And the a6000 has impressive auto-focus, certainly enough to make it worthwhile over a dSLR and consumer grade lenses. And that linked kit looks pretty good, though I was a touch under whelmed by the 16-50mm when I tried it out but it is in par with most other kit zooms.