camera for my friend? (with 35mm prime, for ~475$)

Discussion in 'Beginner Questions' started by pawel_baranski, Mar 8, 2012.

  1. My friend want to see if photography is interesting for her. She is looking for cheap, used dslr with 35mm prime.
    She wants to spend about 300 pounds (about 475$).
    We considered film camera already and decided on dslr.
    What would you recommend?
  2. Nikon D40 with AF-S 35mm f/1.8 DX.
    But I'd recommend getting a kit lens on this budget, rather than a prime (I prefer primes myself, but I see enough people starting who really don't get the concept of not being able to zoom).
  3. Or a Nikon D50 with 18-70mm lens - I started out with DSLRs with this combination and found it to be very versatile. I'd not worry about VR - you learn more about freezing motion (of all sorts) without it.
  4. Pentax K100D Super (or newer if you can find) and a Pentax DA 35mm f/2.4.
    Light weight, amazing image quality. Ability to use SDHC cards (the old Nikon D50 can't.) Ability to use AA batteries, which will never be discontinued. I got 1200+ shots on a set of AA lithium batteries.
  5. If she is a petite lady she might find something like a Olympus PEN PL1 more to her liking and it has interchangeability with a lens mount ...I suggest you search B&H or KEH ... not sure about exact price but she might be able to afford a new one rather than an excellent condition one from those firms. Panasonic G1 maybe in her price range too. Both excellent cameras to get to know and enjoy photography and likely will not be restricted to just a 35mm lense but more likely a 14-42 [ 28-84 AoV similar to what you find many cameras coming with these days].
    These days it is no longer a choice between P&S and DSLR sized sensors. The DSLR is not the obvious choice it used to be.
  6. B&H has a Nikon D3000 with 18-55 VR lens for $445. That's still a good camera, and the price is good. I agree that the 18-55 VR is a better choice than a 35mm prime lens. It's a much more versatile lens. If she finds that she like photography, she can add the very good Nikon 35mm f/1.8 AF-S for around $200.
  7. Definitely look for any Sony, Canon, Pentax, or Nikon DSLR. They're all about equal. Try to stick with a newer low-end camera instead of an older medium-grade camera, as you'll get more user friendliness out of it. The problem with JC's recommendation is that micro 4/3 prices are heavily inflated. The only normal lenses are the $350 Panasonic 20mm (which has poor corner performance and relatively slow autofocus) or the $600 Panasonic 25mm f/1.4. Plus, getting her to learn with a viewfinder is a great habit to start.

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