What Camera Should I Start With?

Hello all on the forum at this lovely hour of day, I have a simple question about Photography, as I am quite new to this world of things. As of late I have found a ton of joy in taking pictures when I go hiking, I just like the feeling of taking a nice photo that really expresses the feeling of the entire hike, it is amazing! Sadly the camera that I have been using has been the one that comes with my Galaxy Note 4, and while it is a pretty good camera in terms of phones, it is still not performing well enough to really bring the pictures I want to life i.e. it lacks functionality of an actual camera, things like good manual focus, and exposure control, shudder speed, things like this. I have been looking at a couple different cameras to start out with, and I am not sure exactly the one to save up for, and look forward to. We have in one corner, the Nikon D3300, and in the other, the Sony a6000. One is an entry level DSLR, and the other is a body-only mirrorless camera. I mostly take pictures of nature, and things of that sort (as mentioned before). Please give me your suggestions as to what I should start saving up for.
TL;DR Nikon D3300 .vs. Sony a6000 body-only, I take pictures of pretty nature, which should I save for?

I would go with nikon here. The D3300 is an awesome little camera that will not let you down.

The sony camera is not bad, but the D3300 is a little bit better and you get a lens. Sooooooo yeah.

The other thing you might want to consider is that there are a lot of sales/deals for the D3300 with a bag and an SD card and a 55-200mm lens for 100 bucks more.

It is a fairly considerable savings, and it is something you should really look into.

Well how much did you want to spend?

Most people here are more experienced with cameras than me, but my humble opinion would be, even an old nikon D40 might be a good start since you can invest more into lens.

I sold mine with lens, for almost 100 dollars, it was quite good condition, without lens you can find it for much cheaper maybe than invest all the money on a good lens... at least that would be what I would do.

I only suggest this because you said nature and stuff, d40 is a damn slow camera, if you want want to shoot anything moving, or dont have a budget problem, d3300 would totally be my suggestion too.

i second the d3300 as i have one my self and it has amazing image quality

from what ive seen of the a6000, it seems to be the superior camera out of the 2 when it comes to image quality. but honestly, i dont think anyone would be able to tell the difference. they are both good choices.

a6000 if you want something light and compact.
d3300 if you want something more rugged.

in the end, nothing beats a DSLR for build quality and ruggedness. also, youll get significantly more battery life from the d3300.

There is only one right answer, the one you will actually carry. As a starter camera there is no right answer this is the camera you will hopefully own for a year or more that will teach you what you need to know and what you want out of a camera. having owned both SLR and Interchangeable Lens Cameras they both have strengths and weaknesses and both can work well.

some general things to consider Do NOT get hung up on megapixels the more that get crammed into a smaller space the less light sensitive the imager is and the more post processing the camera has to do. Make sure it lets you Manually control everything if you want. Finally look at the lens selection for the camera and make sure it has lenses that will let you take the style of photos you want.

Ask your self what eco system do I want. You need more than just the camera you need lenses and other stuff depending on what you want to do. Then come up with a budget and shop around. I have herd a D7100 factory refurb can be had for less than 500$ in the US and the amount of good used lenses for it are affordable and plentiful. It unlike the D5xxx and D3xxx has a built in focus mtr and can meter non CPU lenes which opens up a lot of options.
I am so happy with mine and I paid full price.

I thank everyone here for your responses to my thread, I did not think I would get this much help! I think that I should probably try to go for the D3300 as from what it seems, it is a very good starter camera, and I think that I will be able to carry it with me as I take my first real steps into the world of photography. I will be able to get lenses for it as well as just be able to really be able to fiddle with it and really find out what I want from a camera and things of that sort.

How much knowledge of photography do you have? Are you looking to just use it in full auto mode? Nikon is known for having superb low-light sensitivity. I don't know much about Sony, but their dSLRs get high praise. You're going to be out in the field, maybe you don't want to carry a heavy SLR, but either way, you're going to have a lens, and the Nikon comes with a kit lens. Kit lenses aren't bad for starting.

I have the D3100 from many years ago, and it's a really good entry level dSLR. The image quality is excellent. They have probably only improved with the later models. But please, get a UV filter to protect your lens. In order to see the maximum potential of whatever camera you choose, you're going to have to use manual modes. Full auto is good for focusing on improving the composition of your photos though.

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I'd get a Sony RX-100 Mk3 they cost around 600$ depending on where you buy it.

I wish someone had told me to get one of those for my first camera instead of my Nikon D5000.

The Sony might be more expensive, but it won't be obsolete once you get a better DSLR.
It is a small point and shoot with a lot of adjust-ability. And if you want it for hiking you will be thankfull that it is small and light. This is a camera that you can carry around everyday because the best camera is the one you have with you and even when you upgrade to a FX sized DSLR you can still use that Sony, whereas the D3300 would just be replaced. Also you don't have to invest a lot of money early on in lenses etc.
You should focus and taking good pictures instead of dealing with your equipment all the time.

That's why currently I shoot almost exclusively on 35mm film. I only adjust the shutter to what the lightmeter in my Nikon FM2 tells me and shoot. Just makes me enjoy the moment more. But that's a different topic.

I think it is easier to develop a passion for photography when you don't have a big camera to lug around and just have fun taking pictures. That's why for years I haven't been that much into it and my D5000 kept collecting dust.

Edit: Also a small camera you can take into areas where they won't let you take a DSLR. Like concerts or festivals

I run Nikon and I'd advise against them even though they're really nice cameras using really nice sony sensors.

You will be limited by Nikons Lens selection, there are vastly more lenses out there for the EF system

There's nothing overly special about the 3xxx or 5xxx series, they're just good starter DSLRs

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That's very interesting. I'm definitely going to keep this in mind, next time I'm in the market for a new camera.

Built-in light meters lie though. They can't always be trusted.

I know, but looking at my results mine is quite accurate in day-light and tells me to over-expose about one stop in low-light. But now that I know that I can compensate for it. You can't always carry around a light-meter.

I don't get why there would be so much more lenses for the EF mount (except if you consider canon's cine lenses). Sure, there is more "canon" labled glass, but there are so many third party lens brands that do great stuff (Big fan of the sigma art series - amazing sharpness in those lenses).
Shooting nikon and I have never felt that I was limited by the lens selection there is for nikon.

Once you get into the area of canon or nikon DSLR's, the thing you are paying for as you go up is more potential. If I had a beginner a "cheap" 500 euro/dollar starter kit or a 20 grand pro gear kit, he won't take any better pictures with the pro kit - maybe even worse. A better camera has more options that get away for a beginner, often more heft and less training wheels.

I would therefore suggest something with interchangeable lenses - Nikon D3x00, D5x00, or something in Canon's rebel line of cameras. They have the training wheels when you are starting out, but (while not as smooth and feature-full as the higher models) allow you to grow and learn to work with more manual control (shutter/aperture priority modes, full manual..) and invest in better lenses.

My first camera was a nikon D5000 - and I still use it on a regular basis. While I have by now invested in other bodies, it's still a good camera that takes good pictures.

You could also look at second hand semi-pro cameras (like a nikon D300 or D700 that can sometimes go for cheap on ebay and likes) but I would advise against it unless you are ok with a medium steep learning curve.

The main thing is - a camera is a tool. You still take the picture, and you still have to put effort in making the picture look good. Just because you have a good camera doesn't mean you are suddenly going to be taking way better shots.

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It's not so much the lens selection but the body.

If you end up with half a dozen Nikon Fmount Lens cool you can only use them on Nikon bodies. Canon EF lenses are very easy to adapt to other bodies, EG Panasonic (GH4) Sony (A7) there are exceptions obviously. but that's what I was trying to say.

Because Glass lasts forever, You will change your body later down in your life.

Alright all, I know I have not posted in this thread in some time, but this is due to me not having enough of a mind to come and post, I have been having too much fun with my camera, literally. I ended up going and picking up a Nikon D3200, and I am more than pleased with it, it takes honestly amazing photos. I have a particularly favorite one so far, and I will probably post it here, it is from new years when I was setting off some fireworks. Thank you everyone for your input, this forum is always so helpful!


Eh, I am going to link the full size picture, looks better.