Recommendation for a beginners camera



I'm trying to find things to fill the large amount of spare time I now have on my hands and one of the things I've always wanted to do was take up photography, so I've decided to give it a bash.

Aside from a couple of weeks doing photography at Lydd a few years ago I've got no experience (I don't count the odd holiday/tour photo).

Can some one recommend a good beginner level camera and some good website for me to take a look at?



You can pick up a 2nd hand Canon 350d DSLR with extra lenses etc for a very reasonable price on ebay. Unless you want to buy new?

That's what I did. Very happy with the camera.
I wouldn't worry about Nikon v Canon, but I would select either or.

Many of the other marques give you great value for money and are extremely good cameras, but with Nikon or Canon you know your investment in terms of lenses and other accessories will stand you in good stead. Other manufacturers tend to change their mount system or overall design fairly frequently, the 'big two' tend to endure.
In terms of websites, I'd seriously recommend Talk Photography. The amount of information and knowledge available on there is huge.

Any of the recent Canon or Nikon's will be easily adequate to produce good photos once you get to grip with them. By recent, I mean the last 5 years or so. Cameras that are supposedly four generations old (Canon 20D, Nikon D40 etc) are still bloody good & can be picked up for sub £200.

More thoughts later, I've got a triathlon to photograph in 6 hours! :)


Book Reviewer


Book Reviewer
The 'self-taken' photographs thread has inspired me to look yet again at changing my trusty Olympus OM10 with Tamron lenses for something a smidge more modern. Reading this thread it seems that Nikon and Canon are now the best cameras, and I've borrowed a colleague's Sony DSLR and found it heavy, unwieldy and difficult to work out so probably wouldn't look at one of those.

Looks like I have a lot more research to do about particular models, but can anyone answer these questions please?

Does anyone know any reason why my existing Tamron lenses, with the right adaptors, wouldn't fit onto a Nikon or Canon DSLR?

Also whether it's still possible (or indeed necessary) to get a camera where you can change from aperture priority to shutter priority or indeed manual setup?

I take a lot of pictures of flowers and could do with recommendations of one with decent macro settings. The Sony was very difficult to focus close in, particularly in bright sunlight where the 'viewfinder' was not easy to see.

Thank you.
Depends on what you want to shoot with it and what your budget is.

If you want to do sports/motorsport then you need fast autofocus; if you're going to do landscape/portrait then you should concentrate on a low-noise sensor. If you want to print them large then you need a full-frame sensor rather than crop.

And the lenses are in some ways more important than the camera; more expensive too. A two-grand camera with a hundred-quid lens is never going to give you better than mediocre pictures.


Book Reviewer
That bit about the lenses was why I asked P_F. My Tamrons were top notch when I bought them, but I realise with some horror that it was nearly 30 years ago! It would be nice to save money, but not if it spoilt all my pics!

Low-noise sensor is the way-to-go for me, thank you! My days of photographing fast cars and bikes are probably over.

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