What DSLR Should I Buy?

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Famine

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I require an New Camera. I have an Old Camera which has a slightly smaller sensor than my phone does, and the kit lens on it stopped auto-focusing some time in 2016. I cannot be bothered fixing it, or hurling money at the camera equivalent of the toner cartridges they supply with your new printer, only to screw it onto something which takes lower resolution pictures than a phone. So, new camera.

I know close on nothing about cameras. Literally every camera I've ever owned - including the film one that is one month younger than I am - has been a Canon, and the upshot of that is I'm looking at a Canon EOS 800D, which pretty much appears to be the 2019 version of the EOS 450D it'll be replacing. That's the sort of market point that I'm after - and it'll be used for photographing cars that aren't moving. Maybe also sometimes cars that are moving, but usually not.

That means I'll buy that, regardless of what anyone in this thread suggests, because that's how advice threads on the internet work :lol: However, I'd appreciate suggestions on alternatives and why I should ignore them less readily (preferably not in camerese, which I don't speak) because I know close on nothing about cameras. I'm vaguely aware that there's a Nikon at the same sort of level (D5600), and there's probably a Sony Alpha too.


I need to take photographs with it. I don't need video (or 4K video). From what I understand, the 800D can be paired to your phone and used remotely, which sounds useful if I ever get my telescope set up again. It does the same stuff in the same order as the 450D, so has the advantage of being incredibly familiar, but about a decade of upgrades to everything. It has a 45-point autofocus instead of nine, which I'm sure is super.

All advice gratefully received and then straight-up ignored :D
 

Crash

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How many lens do you already have for the Canon 450D? That's going to be the primary thing determining which company's cameras you go with if you're trying to minimize cost.

Different camera brands have their own proprietary lens mount/mate to body system. The 450D runs on the EF/EF-S system, which pretty much all other Canon DSLRs use. If you already have a bunch of lens that fit your current camera, to switch to another camera brand or to go mirrorless, can get tricky with adapters at best, or at worst, you have to buy a bunch of new lens. Note, if a majority/all of your lens say EF-S on them (instead of just EF), you'll want a camera that accepts EF-S specifically.

Are you planning on shooting still and maybe some moving cars?
 
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I have the EOS 80D and I absolutely love it, for the price you can get them for now, the picture quality is fantastic and well worth the money..I use it for wildlife and fast planes ( some examples are the F-15’s I shot in this forum..although the quality does dip considerably when uploading them on here) I’m by no means a camera expert but I highly recommend it 👍
 

Famine

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How many lens do you already have for the Canon 450D? That's going to be the primary thing determining which company's cameras you go with if you're trying to minimize cost.
One. It's broken. I do have an EF-S to FD adapter that allows me to strap on some old lenses (but my dominant eye is a little off and I can't quite get the horizon and focus right with them), and an EF-S mount for my telescope, but I have no particular reason to stay with Canon other than familiarity.
Are you planning on shooting still and maybe some moving cars?
Yep, almost exclusively not moving, but sometimes moving. I may also take it to GT live events (if there ever are any ever again), but it's a business purchase and my business is primarily cars that aren't moving.
Consider going mirrorless if you want a slightly more compact camera. Sony has the better autofocus system with 425 AF points on the a6100, but that shouldn't matter as much with still pictures.

This might be worth a look over:
https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/buying-guide-best-cameras-under-1000
I had a look through that previously, and while they pick up on the sensor being a little older (and the lower spec of video, which I don't care about), it generally says that the 800D (T7i) is what I think it is and what I want.
I have the EOS 80D and I absolutely love it, for the price you can get them for now, the picture quality is fantastic and well worth the money..I use it for wildlife and fast planes ( some examples are the F-15’s I shot in this forum..although the quality does dip considerably when uploading them on here) I’m by no means a camera expert but I highly recommend it
While I don't know that much about cameras, I do know that in Canon's ecosystem the fewer numbers there are the more professional and expensive the camera is. I've considered the four-digit ones, but they're so close to a phone in terms of image quality (obviously far more settings, better in motion, and bigger glass, but these aren't relevant for my camera's day-to-day use) that it doesn't seem worth it to me. Two-digit ones are way out of my price range for a justifiable purchase. Three digit appears to be the not-quite-pro, not-quite-beginner sweet spot that I'm after.
 

ROAD_DOGG33J

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I had a look through that previously, and while they pick up on the sensor being a little older (and the lower spec of video, which I don't care about), it generally says that the 800D (T7i) is what I think it is and what I want.

Sounds like you're well on your way to a camera purchase. 👍
 

GTP_Dutchy

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@Famine Note that the "What camera should i buy?" question actually consists of a lot of smaller questions

Is weight important -> if it is maybe consider a smaller mirroless camera and an adapterring for your lenses
Is size important -> if it is maybe consider a smaller mirroless camera and an adapterring for your lenses
What is it used for Print, Web, Digital only for yourself -> if you print big maybe you should go full frame (judging your post this won't be an issue)
Speed -> how fast should you be able to take the pictures one after another. (judging your post this won't be an issue)
What is it used for pictures of the kids and private live vs. everyday (semi)- proffesional shooting -> look if the camera's up for the workload you're expecting.

A pitfall i've seen many time is not having the above question right and buying a camera based of a spec sheet comparison. If you need to use it a lot and carry it with you, weight and size are one of the most important factors. Also i've seen people getting an expensive camera's with all kind of functions and never use them and stick to full auto shooting. if that's what you're planning save the money and go for the cheap option.

Personal experience
I've had an 600D for almost an decade now, it never let me down. It had it's fair share of abuse exept for the rubbers nothing shows the beating it has had. although it's an consumer camera that body type is very strong. I've upgraded to a 6d Mark II about 2 years a go , but i still use the 600d if i want to travel light and fast. I've recommended the xxxD series for years but as of late i would also recommend people beginning or otherwise interested in this bodytype to also take into consideration an mirrorless camera seeing that they're great multifunctional camera's that are light small and offer the same(ish) quality.

Also i'd recommend you watching some youtube tutorials and leave your camera in Manual mode for the first year. You'll make incredibbly bad pictures for the first year way worse than with the camera on auto. however it will gain you the knowledge the get better results and you actually know what you're doing. It'll really benefit you in the long term. I did the same haven't regret it one bit.

I've touched on it in the pitfall but don't worry about the specs that much they're great and all once you really know what all the stuff does but at first hand it just cause confusion. Even with an entry level dslr you can take great pics. i.e. a wile back i'd shot a behind the scenes of some mucisians and posted it you national geographic yourshot (doesn't exist today anymare unfortunatly) but i made it to 12 best pics of the day by a jury of pro's

The image in the lower right corner is mine. It got me a web feature for an photography magazine.

Same goes for this one.

These images got me invited for the canon explorer series aswell.

Just goes to say that you can achieve great images and things with lower end camera's aswell.

Anyway if this still contains to much camerajibberish just ask i'll gladly explain. Good luck with the buy!
 

Famine

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Is weight important -> if it is maybe consider a smaller mirroless camera and an adapterring for your lenses
Is size important -> if it is maybe consider a smaller mirroless camera and an adapterring for your lenses
What is it used for Print, Web, Digital only for yourself -> if you print big maybe you should go full frame (judging your post this won't be an issue)
Speed -> how fast should you be able to take the pictures one after another. (judging your post this won't be an issue)
What is it used for pictures of the kids and private live vs. everyday (semi)- proffesional shooting -> look if the camera's up for the workload you're expecting.
Ultimately it'll be a work camera (and a business purchase for my writing-about-cars business). Weight and size aren't relevant, and the photos will either be on here or one of my side-gigs - I shot 86 photos of an E-Type today, all on my phone and while the phone is good enough, there's a certain... expectation that the chap turning up to take photos of your car is using a proper camera rather than a phone, even if the phone's camera is good enough for the job:

20200903_140809.jpg


To be honest, it's not even photography, just image capture. There's precious little about it that gets into the artistry and composition of photography. I'm not doing anything special, just taking loads of pictures of a car at several angles, and any details I find interesting enough to shoot - like the one above :D

I can see the usefulness of having some different lenses available, but as I don't currently have them I do without. If I had a wide angle and a telephoto in addition to a kit lens, I'd use the crap out of them.

As it'll be a work camera, it'll also have some use in other situations. I'm heading to Augsburg in two weeks to pretty much my personal heaven on Earth (it's an old tram shed), and I'd take it with me for that. Maybe to GT World Tour events, where it's a bunch of people usually under spot lights in a dark room doing fast things with their hands.

In essence I'm not a professional photographer, but part of my profession involves photography - thus the camera needs to be professionalesque :D It's part of why I settled on the 450D originally too, so it seems natural to progress to the 800D.

A pitfall i've seen many time is not having the above question right and buying a camera based of a spec sheet comparison. If you need to use it a lot and carry it with you, weight and size are one of the most important factors. Also i've seen people getting an expensive camera's with all kind of functions and never use them and stick to full auto shooting. if that's what you're planning save the money and go for the cheap option.

Personal experience
I've had an 600D for almost an decade now, it never let me down. It had it's fair share of abuse exept for the rubbers nothing shows the beating it has had. although it's an consumer camera that body type is very strong. I've upgraded to a 6d Mark II about 2 years a go , but i still use the 600d if i want to travel light and fast. I've recommended the xxxD series for years but as of late i would also recommend people beginning or otherwise interested in this bodytype to also take into consideration an mirrorless camera seeing that they're great multifunctional camera's that are light small and offer the same(ish) quality.

Also i'd recommend you watching some youtube tutorials and leave your camera in Manual mode for the first year. You'll make incredibbly bad pictures for the first year way worse than with the camera on auto. however it will gain you the knowledge the get better results and you actually know what you're doing. It'll really benefit you in the long term. I did the same haven't regret it one bit.
It's almost certainly the case that I'll use it full auto most of the time, because most of the images will be, but part of the reason I bought the 450D in... 2009? I think, was to learn more about the various functions and modes to take better photographs (rather than just capture images), and while I still have a lookup table as a guide I broadly know what I'm doing. As the 800D appears barely any different in terms of how you operate it and access the menus, it has the advantage of familiarity.
 

GTP_Dutchy

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Ultimately it'll be a work camera (and a business purchase for my writing-about-cars business). Weight and size aren't relevant, and the photos will either be on here or one of my side-gigs - I shot 86 photos of an E-Type today, all on my phone and while the phone is good enough, there's a certain... expectation that the chap turning up to take photos of your car is using a proper camera rather than a phone, even if the phone's camera is good enough for the job:

View attachment 955039

To be honest, it's not even photography, just image capture. There's precious little about it that gets into the artistry and composition of photography. I'm not doing anything special, just taking loads of pictures of a car at several angles, and any details I find interesting enough to shoot - like the one above :D

I can see the usefulness of having some different lenses available, but as I don't currently have them I do without. If I had a wide angle and a telephoto in addition to a kit lens, I'd use the crap out of them.

As it'll be a work camera, it'll also have some use in other situations. I'm heading to Augsburg in two weeks to pretty much my personal heaven on Earth (it's an old tram shed), and I'd take it with me for that. Maybe to GT World Tour events, where it's a bunch of people usually under spot lights in a dark room doing fast things with their hands.

In essence I'm not a professional photographer, but part of my profession involves photography - thus the camera needs to be professionalesque :D It's part of why I settled on the 450D originally too, so it seems natural to progress to the 800D.


It's almost certainly the case that I'll use it full auto most of the time, because most of the images will be, but part of the reason I bought the 450D in... 2009? I think, was to learn more about the various functions and modes to take better photographs (rather than just capture images), and while I still have a lookup table as a guide I broadly know what I'm doing. As the 800D appears barely any different in terms of how you operate it and access the menus, it has the advantage of familiarity.

In that case absolutely go with the 800D i think it's spot on for what you'll be doing. for your lens additions i'd recommend the canon 10-18mm efs lens, it's quite cheap and up for the job you're planning. Next to that consider canon 75-300mm lens which offers a great range. with these 3 lenses(including your kit lens) you're all covered for everything you might encounter and want to do at an great pricepoint.

Edit: Also you might want to have a look if your kit lens is the first 18-55mm without auto focus or if it's the second with it. An cheap upgrade and it will make life easier. in addition to the lenses above you could have a look at the 50mm f1.8 it's about 100 euro but gives you the best bang for your buck image quality wise.
It's a more stylized lens. You could make something like this. it should be a great lens for the little details since it allows you for the rest of the less important stuff to be out of focus.
https://live.staticflickr.com/475/19739168632_ee0532fa23_b.jpg

So basically if you're looking from an price point you'd start out with.

800d(+ 18-55mm kit lens you already own) ~ 600 euro's

first upgrade i'd recomment would be the 10-18mm
10-18mm - 230 euro's

second upgrade i'd recommend would be the 75-300mm
75-300mm - 200 euro's

Third upgrade i'd recommend would be 50mm (normally this would be my first recomendation but seeing you're going to shoot full auto)
50mm f1.8 - 100 euro's

fourth upgrade the kitlens to a newer version or slighty better one
16-55mm II - max 100 euro (you can try to sell the old one)

so around 1200 euro you got everything you'd ever need. You don't need to spend it all at once it's just an glance at what the kit could look like over the years. anyhow this kit will provide better results than buying an 1200 euro body.
 
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TenEightyOne

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I use a Nikon D3100 for all my site survey work, photogrammetry and "delivery" shots (e.g. a photo portfolio of heritage asset or site). Always been plenty good enough, and editing the RAW files afterwards allows me to more than make up for my utter lack of artistic talent or the inevitable mis-exposed shots. I've found the Nikon to be rugged (touch wood), hold a good charge even with heavy use, and practical to operate. For those reasons I'd recommend something from the Nikon range, doesn't have to be massively over-teched to get the job done well.

When I bought mine I bought the body new and then bought second-hand lenses online, got a full kit with telephoto lens, standard 18-55m AS/AF lens and a load of filters (including must-have UV) for about £400. You can double that and go much newer, obviously, but it'll easily get you more than you ever really need.
 

Crash

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While I don't know that much about cameras, I do know that in Canon's ecosystem the fewer numbers there are the more professional and expensive the camera is. I've considered the four-digit ones, but they're so close to a phone in terms of image quality (obviously far more settings, better in motion, and bigger glass, but these aren't relevant for my camera's day-to-day use) that it doesn't seem worth it to me. Two-digit ones are way out of my price range for a justifiable purchase. Three digit appears to be the not-quite-pro, not-quite-beginner sweet spot that I'm after.

You're right on this. Canon (Nikon similarly) has separated out their DSLR lines so that if you are buying the current generation, and want a certain level of features, you will have to pony up for a certain line (4/3/2/1 digit), or if you have a certain budget, then you'll fall into a specific line. And you're there with your budget.

The 80D is of a previous generation and uses an older image processor, but was built for a more prosumer market. The end results are probably pretty close, so by default, I suggest sticking with the 800D and the newer image processor.

Ultimately it'll be a work camera (and a business purchase for my writing-about-cars business). Weight and size aren't relevant, and the photos will either be on here or one of my side-gigs - I shot 86 photos of an E-Type today, all on my phone and while the phone is good enough, there's a certain... expectation that the chap turning up to take photos of your car is using a proper camera rather than a phone, even if the phone's camera is good enough for the job:

...

It's almost certainly the case that I'll use it full auto most of the time, because most of the images will be, but part of the reason I bought the 450D in... 2009? I think, was to learn more about the various functions and modes to take better photographs (rather than just capture images), and while I still have a lookup table as a guide I broadly know what I'm doing. As the 800D appears barely any different in terms of how you operate it and access the menus, it has the advantage of familiarity.

I understand that you're not a professional photographer per se, that really it's your profession that requires it. I would think heavily about spending some time and doing basic editing in the pictures that you publish if you really want to take it to that next level. A couple minutes of rough editing gave me this:

20200903_140809_E.jpg


A big advantage of using a DSLR or one of the new mirrorless is how it gives you so much more room for editing in post processing because you can shoot in RAW. Having only JPEGs are great if small file size is the utmost importance, but it's lossy compressed file format just kills quality very, very quickly. In this case, your original image probably have a few compression passes on it already so it wasn't the best example to start with, but just having worked with it once, you can already see the quality degradation.

Moving back to the gear, kit lens will probably do to start. If you start buying additional lenses, I suggest starting with one that allows wide angle shooting. Anything body that you're looking at will have what's called a crop sensor, and they have an effective focal length that is 1.x times the standard 35mm film equivalent (The 1.x factor depends on the camera). The 800D has a crop factor of 1.6x, so if you have the lens set at 28mm, the sensor actually sees and captures the equivalent image of 28 x 1.6 = 45 mm of a 35mm camera/full frame sensor. Because the effect is similar to "zoomed in", I've found it's more difficult to capture the car indoors or in smaller spaces with a long focal length zoom lens than with a wide angle.

An 800D would accept both EF and EF-S lens. EF lens have a wider user base because virtually all EF-S cameras (crop sensor Canon DSLR) can run EF (full frame Canon DSLR) but not the other way around. Once you go beyond your kit lens, I suggest buying EF; if you want to sell them down the road, you'll have a bigger market to sell into.

Edit: Also you might want to have a look if your kit lens is the first 18-55mm without auto focus or if it's the second with it. An cheap upgrade and it will make life easier. in addition to the lenses above you could have a look at the 50mm f1.8 it's about 100 euro but gives you the best bang for your buck image quality wise.
It's a more stylized lens. You could make something like this. it should be a great lens for the little details since it allows you for the rest of the less important stuff to be out of focus.
https://live.staticflickr.com/475/19739168632_ee0532fa23_b.jpg

I have the 50mm and I recommend it as well. It's a great, cheap add-on that's useful.
 

GTP_Dutchy

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A big advantage of using a DSLR or one of the new mirrorless is how it gives you so much more room for editing in post processing because you can shoot in RAW.
Most of the currentday mirrorless systemcamera's shoot raw an are certainly there or there about quallity wise. Like you suggested i would investing time in learning the very basics of editing so you know how to elevate the pictures just a touch. the imagery is a way your audience percieves your content and they judge you by it.
 
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One big advantage to using a mirrorless camera is that you can directly see on the screen how the photo is going to be before pressing the shutter.

I myself use a DSLR but for the way you use a camera I suggest a mirrorless.
Just as good or better image quality, the same abilities to shoot in different formats (also a staunch advocate of RAW, but know editorial work is often done in JPEG).

The one advantage to using a DSLR is it looks more professional when showing up with it
 

GTP_Dutchy

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One big advantage to using a mirrorless camera is that you can directly see on the screen how the photo is going to be before pressing the shutter.

I myself use a DSLR but for the way you use a camera I suggest a mirrorless.
Just as good or better image quality, the same abilities to shoot in different formats (also a staunch advocate of RAW, but know editorial work is often done in JPEG).

The one advantage to using a DSLR is it looks more professional when showing up with it
Most DSLR's have the option to switch to liveview which does exactly the same. So basically both types of camera allow you to see what your sensor sees. With a dslr however you have the option to chose the viewfinder which is different to the digital viewfinder on some mirrorless camera's.
 
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Most DSLR's have the option to switch to liveview which does exactly the same. So basically both types of camera allow you to see what your sensor sees. With a dslr however you have the option to chose the viewfinder which is different to the digital viewfinder on some mirrorless camera's.
Yes, you are right about that. I guess I'm just old school and uses the viewfinder 99% of the time
 

MatskiMonk

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Live view on a flip out screen is the reason I bought my EOS-60D all those years ago... thing is, it's awful, I think I've only used it once. The Auto-focus in live view is hopeless compared to using the viewfinder, it's virtually constantly hunting for the wrong thing to focus on. I'm sure newer systems are leaps and bounds better these days but I'm not sure I'd be able to break the habit of mashing my face against the back of the camera!
 

GTP_Dutchy

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Live view on a flip out screen is the reason I bought my EOS-60D all those years ago... thing is, it's awful, I think I've only used it once. The Auto-focus in live view is hopeless compared to using the viewfinder, it's virtually constantly hunting for the wrong thing to focus on. I'm sure newer systems are leaps and bounds better these days but I'm not sure I'd be able to break the habit of mashing my face against the back of the camera!
Totally understandable but with mirrorless you'll have no difference in af performance throygh live view and the viewfinder since they're basically the samething.

However like you and @RacingGrandpa i love the dslr viewvinders however i like the tiltyflipy thing when shooting over crowds or get those low to the ground pics.

Anyway to get the discusion on point about dslr vs mirrorless. If youve never owned a dslr the lack of an optical viewfinder will never be missed since you dont know what its like to have one.
 
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GTP_Dutchy

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You should try a premium Analog SLR for viewfinder goodness.
My Nikon F6 is superb. Unfortunately I am too lazy to use it often
I can imagine but at this point i can't afford another expensive hobby ;) although you could argue photogrpahy is photography. thats another debate but for the moment i don't want to venture into film for the cost.