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Looking for a New (to Me) Camera

Hello wonderful community!

I was directed by @noenken (thank you) to create a new post as I should get more visibility with it. I’m in the market for a new (to me) camera in the cheaper range. I have experience with using a Canon T3i and definitely enjoyed it. I have some thoughts on what I would like to pursue (astrophotography and landscape mainly), but I’d like to start out with something that’ll last me. I am not looking for anything professional, but I would like to be a hobbyist/enthusiast. Having a DSLR or mirrorless camera appeal to me the most but I am open to all options. For the past 6 months or so I used my Nexus 6P as my main camera and loved it, but I have since needed to sell it and want some high quality pictures still. Whatever you can give advice on or recommend I will take into consideration. Thanks for reading and I’m looking forward to your help!

-WT

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The difficulty with getting into a mirrorless or DSLR camera is not so much the cost of the body, but the lenses.

I recommend buying a body and lens package because most kit lenses (as they’re called) are okay, somewhat general-purpose lenses that should allow you to get to know the camera and define what you really want from your lenses before going out to buy more.

That said, I didn’t see you mention a budget. It’s hard to make a recommendation without a price range.

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While you could go out and blow a bunch of money on high-end lenses and a camera body, getting a package (as @SgtAwesomesauce suggested) makes more sense.

From you calling the Canon Rebel T3i (Also known as EOS 600D), I assume you are in the US. Budget would be helpful.


I am using the Canon T6i (or 700D) with the 18-55mm kit lense and got myself a used 70-200mm lense. If you want to save the occasional lense swapping, there are affordable lenses that do 18-200mm.

Or you go purist and only use prime lenses, wich gives you a measurable edge at the cost of an arm, a kidney and your first born.

Personally, I take most shots in manual mode (setting ISO, apperture and shutter speed by hand) so I can´t speak for the auto/semi auto features.

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Let me follow suit on the Sony side:

I’ve currently got an A6300 with the kit lens (16-50mm). It’s good, but being APS-C, (basically, the MM rating should be multiplied by 1.5 to get the actual angle) I can’t get all the shots I’d really like to get. I’m planning on getting an 8mm and the 55-160mm that they make for sony E-mounts, but that’s aside the point. the kit lens is plenty to start with.

It’s absolutely breathtaking in low-light, and you don’t start to see grain until about 12500 ISO, but any review will tell you that.

The auto-focus isn’t quite on par, in terms of speed, with some of the high-end Canon bodies, but it’s definitely good. The nice thing about this camera being mirrorless is that you’ll have the benefit of being able to preview most normal-exposure shots on the viewfinder or screen, and what you see is exactly what you get, so it’s awesome to help you learn what settings work without even taking a shot.

The only downside to it is the video. It’s got a bit of a rolling shutter and it has an overheating problem when you’re shooting 4k. I haven’t experienced overheating when taking photos, and I live in SoCal, so it’s pretty damn hot right now, but YMMV.

For your intents, (astrophotography is freaking awesome BTW. I’ll have to show you some of my shots when I’m not on my phone) I think you’ll do well with the A6300, or even the A6000. If you choose to go A6000, to save a few bucks, you’ll see almost no difference in features.

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I already made my pitch to @WolfTech716, just in short so that it is part of the conversation here:

  • Adapted manual lenses are great for astro and landscape because of real aperture and focus rings, no “by wire” nonsense.
  • The first lens I would recommend for both of those fields is around 20mm.
  • The best solution for adapting old manual lenses is a mirrorless full frame body.
  • The most affordable one is a used Sony A7 (first gen).

So that is my recommendation.

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Oh, that’s an excellent idea. The A7 doesn’t have any of the downsides of the A6 series. (only problem is that the used market is “I’m selling it for the price of new because it’s not damaged” around me)

Hey all sorry for my lack of budget, I was trying to think through it and didn’t want to be unreasonable with my asking. I’m thinking under ~$500 but the cheaper the better of course. I certainly understand that the lenses are the more expensive portion, and I’m trying to see if my work will upgrade a camera so I can snag one of the old T3’s they have for cheap/free. I found an A7 for $435 (including shipping) on eBay that includes one lens (FE OSS 28-70mm) and was wondering if it was good or not. I really appreciate all the advice you guys have given me and I have more to mull over now! @SgtAwesomesauce I am looking forward to seeing your astrophotography it’s my favorite!

I’m still using my T3i with MagicLantern installed and a Tamron 18-55mm lens. loving it but want to do more video, which is limited to 10 min clips (fat32 limitation)

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That’s a decent lens. I think that’s the kit lens for that body. It’s got optical image stabilisation, so that’s nice, but additionally, it will give you a pretty good focal range. The only concern I’d see is that your wide-end is 28mm, and as @noenken recommended, 20mm is good for landscape and astro.

You could start with that lens and when you’re comfortable with it and looking to expand your capabilities, you can buy a lens or two that’s wider.

Regarding that A7 for $435, it’s a steal. Grab it!

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Awesome I will try to pick up that kit for sure then! I’ll also keep my eyes out to make sure I don’t miss any other great deals out there. Does anyone have a recommendation (other than eBay of course) for finding used cameras at good deals without fear of being scammed? I know there’s risks everywhere just curious. Definitely don’t mind starting off with something basic and moving forward as money and time becomes available!

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Craigslist in my region is a bit shit, but you might find something good.

That’s really the best way to do it.

I also just found this for bidding… seems pretty promising right?

Yeah, but the A7 body is worlds ahead of the t3i IMO. My brother has the T3i and I find my a6300 to be better in every way except lens availability.

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Nice alright then that’s what I’ll keep an eye out for, just thought I’d check. Thanks!

http://snapsort.com/compare/Canon-T3i-vs-Sony-A7/detailed

Keep in mind that the sensor on the A7 is more advanced as well, so it probably captures more photons than the T3i despite being higher resolution.

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Canon’s sensors are not the best choice for astro stuff. What you want to be able to shoot is ISO3200 and up with the best signal to noise ratio. Canon’s sensors have gotten better on the high end but the rebels are still not even on older Sony APS-C level. Also DSLR sucks for adapting lenses so you would be stuck in the system.

The 28-70 is the kit lens, kinda slow, kinda plastic, … kinda a lens. It’s nothing special but for the price … worst case, you sell it for a couple bucks and got the body even cheaper. I certainly would not recommend it for astro, landscape … probably works but … I still don’t like the by wire stuff. Especially for things that won’t run away.

Buy it, try it, get a manual lens, try that too. Then you know both.


I have had very good experiences buying and selling stuff in photography forums and even facebook groups. You have to look the profile of course but I had maybe two deals that were not good and in both cases we got it fixed in the end. And I have bought and sold hundreds of lenses and cameras.

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The by wire has the advantage of beeing a ultrasonic drive meaning no noise. I have no feelings about it in one way or the other.

The main problem is that those type of lenses will reset their position whenever you turn the camera off or it goes into standby. So when you setup your shot and then wanna wait a bit for the light to change or something, you might have to do it all over again.

There are lenses that can do both … kinda. Like the Olympus 12mm f/2.0 for m4/3 or the Fuji 14mm f/2.8 for X-Pro/X-T/X-E… cameras. On those you can pull the focus ring and have a real scale with markings and hard stops. But it is still by wire.

Unfortunately I have awhile to wait to purchase a camera but now I have a better grasp on what to look for and how much to spend on one. Thank you wonderful community for your input and I would say the thread can be closed now! Thanks again!

@moderators This can be closed!

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Locking it down. Feel free to PM any of us if you’d like it opened up.

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