What camera?

Mr E

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I find myself in a nice position...

Mrs E has presented me with £2.5k to buy myself a DSLR - she's been looking around at various bundles and deals but has decided that it'll be better for me to choose rather than her choose for me.

I prefer Canon over anything else, but open to argument. I tend towards portraiture and landscape over sport / action.

As there are a number of enthusiasts here, I thought I'd garner opinions and thoughts, and also suggestions on where to purchase from.

Cheers - Mr E
 

Dryce

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Do you have any existing kit - especially lenses?

If not then the 2.5K presumably needs to cover at least one decent lens. And you need to consider whether you want to go full frame or smaller APS-C sensor.

If SWMBO gave me 2.5K to spend on a fresh setup then I'd probably slobber over a full frame DSLR and then begin to figure that my camera budget would be squeezed back to make some room to cough for a couple of useful lenses.
 
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Mr E

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Nope - all my existing kit is film, so we're looking at body + glass.

One option is a 6D bundled with a 24-105 L lens. That leaves about £400 (plus a bit I can put in) for a flash and other bits and bobs.

Once the new job kicks in, I can think about more glass to add on.
 

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I went Pentax as I already had a pile of their lenses.
 

Dryce

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One option is a 6D bundled with a 24-105 L lens. That leaves about £400 (plus a bit I can put in) for a flash and other bits and bobs.
Also: do you actually need a DSLR? There are some very interesting non-DSLR options available.

DSLRs are great - but also physically (both body + lens) quite imposing. You have one FF non-DSLR option available at 2.5K plus several cheaper APS-C and micro 4/3.

I currently use two DSLRs plus a Canon G10. If I was starting afresh with 2.5K then I'd have a serious think about the Sony RX1 and also a serious think about the Fuji and Sony mirrorless. Then a look at the Canon 6D, Sony A99, and Nikon D600.

TBH the 6D + 24-105 would be pretty much in the mix as a 'logical' route. (I prefer Canon to Nikon for handling and the A99 is IMO overpriced). I also like the 24-105 range on FF. But I'd still have a lurking thought that the likes of the RX1 might have been the way to go.

Rather than invest the £400 in flash I'd probably go for another lens - such as a cheap prime. But I personally use flash very rarely.
 

Charles Morgan

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Where Canon is Canon and Nikon is Nikon and never the twain shall meet.

I have recently bought a Nikon D700 (full size sensor) second hand with a secondhand 28 - 105mm lens, and the clarity and results are absolutely stunning. Grays of Westminster supplied it - solely Nikon with a great stock of high quality secondhand kit so you can build a good collection of lens at decent prices (tip was by buying a full sensor camera I could use lenses from film cameras without any issue and in most cases with considerably better optics, but marginally worse auto focus speeds - not a problem for antiques or rose photography!).

Whichever route you go, remember to buy really good lenses, and they will keep going long after the camera has been changed through obsalescence.
 
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Mr E

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Having grown up with SLRs (including a couple of years of pro work) I prefer the size of the body / lens combination - we've had a increasing sophisticated range of compacts which, although I can get great shots with, I find difficult / fiddly to use. I guess it's what I feel comfortable with.

I'll have a look at the Fuji and the Sony as suggested by Dryce.
 
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Mr E

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Just had a quick look at the RX1 - very nice and discreet. However, my other foible pushing me down the DSLR route is that I prefer to use a viewfinder - again probably what I'm used to, but I find it gives a more stable platform when shooting hand-held.
 

artyman

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If you want to go FF then the 6D and 24-105 sounds like a good combo, for crop the 7D with the 15-85 which is what I have, though I shoot birds so the 1.6 advantage of the crop sensor gives me more focal length with my telephoto lens.
 

Dryce

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Just had a quick look at the RX1 - very nice and discreet. However, my other foible pushing me down the DSLR route is that I prefer to use a viewfinder - again probably what I'm used to, but I find it gives a more stable platform when shooting hand-held.
Totally agree on the VF.

However - one advantage - in addition to discretion - of the likes of the RX1 and other mirrorless is the lack of vibration when shooting.
 

Bryan Allman

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The glass you choose is the key. The better the glass, the better the image - so always go for L Glass if you prefer Canon. The newer bodies always have the latest features (obviously). The main difference between the various Canon bodies is durability and weather proofing. Those with three digits have the least life expectancy (durability), two digits provides improved durability, and a single digit (such as the 1D) give the best durability and weather proofing. To put that into context a 1D will have about 6 times the life expectancy in terms of shutter actuations compared to a 600D.

Your suggestion of a 6D and a 24-105L sounds a good place to start :) Also take a look at Yongnuo flashguns rather than the propriety Canon product - very low cost and fully featured

Yongnuo YN-568EX II TTL Master High Speed Sync 1/8000s Flash Speedlite for CANON | eBay

Whichever way you go - have fun :)
 

artyman

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Don't get necessarily hooked on L lenses other manufactures also produce some decent stuff. This was with my Sigma on my Canon 7D

 

BTB 500

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If you're not into sport/action photography I would also suggest taking a serious look at non-SLR options. Mirrorless systems have already been mentioned, but I would at least have a play with a Canon G1X as that has a big sensor and 28-112 (equiv.) lens with 'SLR type' handling and options (and optical viewfinder):

Canon PowerShot G1 X Review: Digital Photography Review
 
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Mr E

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Thank you all for your advice / comments - thought I'd give a quick update...

Spent last weekend looking around a few camera shops, giving various options a try. However, kept coming back to the Canon as it felt comfortable and familiar. At the end of the day, that's quite important and I found I could just pick it up and use it from the outset.

So Mrs E has ordered an EOS 6D, 24-105 L lens, EX 430, grip, extra battery, ExtremePro Card and UV filter. Seeing her in action makes me pleased I don't negotiate with her on a daily basis - she buttonholed the Canon rep who was in the place and between him and the store manager screwed out a £450 discount!!!

I have to wait until we go on holiday before I can play... roll on next Thursday and arrival in Perpignan.
 

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