Return to

I want to buy a proper camera, what do i need to know?

For a long, long time i’ve been frustrated by the pictures i take with my phone, specially after i upgraded to my current Xiaomi Black Shark 1, which has an ok sensor but awful software to back it up, GCAM helps but its not a miracle app.
Not only that, i’m extremely frustrated with the logistics course i’m in right now, i don’t feel happy at all studying for that, i want to switch over to photography.
However i have zero experience with since i’ve had no opportunity to either own or try out any proper camera, so i don’t really know what specs i should look for or what kind of camera body i should seek out to buy.
Not long ago i mentioned this new interest in the lounge and @noenken said i should try to find a used Fujifilm X100f or X100t to start the hobby with, but the only ones i’m able to find over here (Brazil) are exorbitantly expensive, which is a shame because it seems to be a pretty cool camera to carry around.
In short, i don’t know what to look for, what i want is to take decent pictures in both bright daylight and at night with indoors and outdoors lighting (which is where my phone almost refuses to take a proper picture), i’ll be mainly taking pictures of static objects like cars, landscapes and products over a table.
As a point of reference, i know some photography courses around here use Canon Rebel T6s and T7s as the main practice cameras, and i know i can afford up to the Rebel SL2 price.

How deep are your pockets, and how good are your rummage sale skills?

I assume my proper camera you mean a (d) SLR?

Any of the big names are great, and the smaller names are fun too.

I invested in Pentax bodies (now Ricoh), mainly because I had some beautiful antique glass lenses that still work with a modern body. I had purchased an antique 35mm film body and lenses at a rummage sale while in primary school and had great fun with it. Decades later, Pentax came out with a digital body in my price range and sure enough my antiques moved right over.

I wouldn’t say any particular technology is suited for the subjects you want to shoot, that’s all about learning the art and science of photography. Technology comes into play some indoors, you can learn flash setup, multi flash, back lighting, etc. Art and science.

If you really like the artistic side of it, IMHO old glass is the way to go. See what you can find at second hand stores and rummage sales. If you come across somebody selling their grandparents camera gear cause it’s all old dirty and heavy, you’ve scored big. Next step is to find a digital body that is compatible with that glass.

1 Like

Not very deep, i mentioned that i can afford up to a brand new Canon Rebel SL2, which costs around R$2200 (~US$550).
Rummage sales are a rarity around here, i think I’ve only seen one or two.

I think it should be the right path to take, right? I like the size and packaging of mirrorless a bit better, but I’ve heard that some lower end models can struggle in some situations a standard DSLR wouldn’t.

Like i said, i haven’t got any experience with cameras yet, so i wouldn’t really know what works or doesn’t for me, I’d have to experiment it first.
I think the results can be pretty interesting.

I am a Photographer and broadcaster for the US Military. Look into a Panasonic or Olympus Micro four thirds (MFT) camera. The Fuji cameras are nice but the lenses tend to cost more as do the adapters. With MFT adapters can be cheap and you can find one for anything. People put old Russian lenses or CCTV lenses on MFT mount. I shoot mostly NIKON for stills and have some older Black Magic stuff for video, but one of my favorite cameras is still a Panasonic G7.


Wow, that’s amazing!

Really? Do those older lenses achieve good results?

Will do, most stores here don’t mention what lens mount the camera haves, is there any telltale sign it uses this kind of lens mounting system?

A few years ago I went with Nikon D7100. It is a great value now if you can find a good used one. It has a focus motor which allows the use of older D lenses and there are many lenses available used.
You may want to take a look and see what’s available in your area. Once you start, if you enjoy it, you are going to want to buy a few lenses, flash, and other accessories.
The Nikon gave me the best bang for buck IMO.


A lot of those for sale around here, some in the same price range as the SL2 i mentioned earlier.
How many clicks is considered too much? Most if not all of those are above 20k clicks.

That information should be available on the brand website.

Micro 4/3 is a neat idea, supposed to break the duopoly of Nikon and Canon. Hasn’t really worked.

@trevsstrem suggestion of getting a focus motor equipped body is a great suggestion. Many newer bodies have ditched the motor for autofocus. The lens should still work just needing manual focus.


They claim 150,000. But of course this would be under ideal circumstances. Depends a lot on care and maintenance. That said 20,000 isn’t to much if it has been looked after and treated well.

1 Like

Unfortunately it isn’t an information i would be able to acquire, they could simply claim it was well taken care of when it really wasn’t.

I have learned a lot from this channel. He can be a little obnoxious but he knows his shit and doesn’t shill for nobody.
Give this a watch.


Sure will, thanks!

1 Like

Regarding sensor sizes:

And for the insane, there still is “medium format”

1 Like

The bigger, the better?

Big sensors mean each pixel is bigger. More surface area gets more light meaning the camera is better in low light.
Having a 44x33mm sensor with 9 pixels is still crap though :stuck_out_tongue:

The important 3:

  • Full Frame is something like the Cannon 5D
  • APS-C is the common one (found in most DSLRs)
  • 1/3.2" is what most smartphones got

Side fact: Full frame refers to the dimensions of this stuff:


Interesting, that answers why most reviews keep mentioning full frame cameras.

Something else to consider, Nikon just announced they’re terminating their authorized service center program. So instead of a local shop, you ship your camera to one of only a handful of corporate repair centers.

1 Like

Hmm, good to know.
I was just taking a much closer look at a Nikon D5600.

Have you guys heard of the Canon EOS M50? Seems pretty interesting.

It seems like the cameras you are looking at are really all over the place. Some things you might want to consider is how much you expect to carry the camera around, if there are any camera requirements for the classes you are thinking about taking, and lens costs.

If you want to carry the camera around everywhere with you a dslr might not be the best choice since they get a bit bulky. As a replacement for the camera on your phone you might want to look at a premium compact like the Fuji xf10, or a smaller M4/3 camera like the Panasonic GM5 (or one of its successors) paired with one of Panasonic’s 14mm or 20mm pancake lenses.

I used to go to a school with a pretty serious photo program, and I think they required the photo students to have a “DSLR of at least 12mp” or something like that, your classes might potentially have similar prerequisites.

Lenses can get expensive quickly. Buying old/vintage glass can help to reduce that cost, but you do usually give up auto focus. That’s something that you kinda have decide the value of for yourself. But with most mirrorless systems adapting old manual focus glass is relatively easy and affordable (adapters for most common non af mounts are available for ~20USD on ebay). The plus in the DSLR column here is that there are a lot of old lenses that were already made for their mounts so no adapter needed an less of a chance of some bizzare incompatibly.

My apologies if any of my suggestions are way off base cost wise, I don’t really know what pricing is like in Brazil.

1 Like