Beginner First camera, am i spending too much?

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Ashley
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#1
Hi all,

I am looking for my first camera and have completed a fair bit of research, at work I use an old Nikon D80 but they have some decent lenses, I have managed some decent pictures with it.

I was thinking of getting a cheap Nikon DSLR (<£100) and investing in a good lens, but then, after a lot of research like all things my budget went up and up. I have now been looking into mirrorless due to its size and features, Sony seemed to come out on top as they seem to have the highest lens variety.

I had set on an A6000 with the kit lens, but I went to Currys to have a look and they had one, but I found it felt a little awkward in my hand and preferred the chunkier grip on the Nikon and the Nikon's buttons felt better too. I also felt at my experience level the £450 A600 may be a bit expensive and complicated for me.

My budget is up to £450 for ideally a Camera, spare battery, charger, bag, if I can get a prime lens too then great, and as many accessories as I can get!

Is £450 a bit much considering I just use my S8 at the minute? What would be a good budget to get everything I need with a good camera that would suit me? I am looking at used cameras to save a bit of money.

Photos I like taking;

Night shots using light to highlight things (I have a bit of an obsession with cars and I really like these kind of pictures as they highlight the colour more and the car 'scene' predominantly takes place at night)
Car shows, I go to quite a few of these!
People, not portraits or in a studio or anything like that, just out being natural, I took a great picture of a girl just reading a text message and it was the simplest shot I took but captured the emotion in her face and the interaction with the phone which I really liked.
Landscapes, especially when it snows, I tend to get very excited and photograph anything and everything covered in snow.

Thanks in advance, sorry if a silly question!
 
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3,498
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Ian
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#3
I'm not really going to comment on specific cameras because I'm not knowledgeable enough. However....

In my experience, most modern (within the last 5 years) DSLRs will do a grand job with what you're after - and how it feels in your hand is probably the most important decision! Grab a second hand body with a kit lens then go take pictures. Quite quickly you'll start to discover what's limiting you and can then look to start upgrading, or sell the 2nd hand system and buy into something else (sell DSLR and buy mirrorless for example). Usually, if you buy second hand, you can get a fair bit back if you sell on after a year.
Don't forget the extra bits & pieces though. A tripod for example, will help with steady images for your night photography and landscapes. If you're out and about a lot with your camera, a bag might be useful. Then there's memory cards, and perhaps software (if you're into that sort of thing). These can take your £450 budget and turn it into £550 quite quickly. As to whether that's "too much", I think that's impossible to answer because the only person who has to live with a £450 shaped hole is you :)
 
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Peter
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#4
I presume you are allowed to borrow the lenses from work? If not, and if they are decent, you may end up disappointed with the lenses you can afford to buy.......

You've done well to do the research, identify what works well on paper, only to discover they don't fit in your hand. It's just like the great FA cup upsets - football is not played on paper.

As Harlequin says, anything made in the last 5 years will work for you - a lot of the 12-16MP cameras will be superb for landscape and nighttime photography. Buying 2nd means you don't suffer depreciation as much as the original owner too.
 
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TurbodTurtle
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Ashley
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#5
I have found a new Nikon D5600 with kit lens and cleaning kit for £480, this seems very cheap, could there be something i am missing?
 
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#6
I have found a new Nikon D5600 with kit lens and cleaning kit for £480, this seems very cheap, could there be something i am missing?
Depends where you found it I guess. That's lower than the grey import price so I guess just use your normal judgement and gut instinct.
 
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Richard
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#7
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441
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Clint
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#8
Whatever your budget it’s never going to be enough! :beer:Don’t forget to budget for photo editing software, decent monitor, backup drives and if you’re really keen then prints/ printer.
 
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TurbodTurtle
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Ashley
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#9
Should I be concerned about these massive price differences? I saw a D5500 on London Camera Exchange but it sold just before I could get it, but the prices seem to fluctuate massively, a new D5600 is cheaper than a used D5500?

What is the deal with grey imports? Are they bad and to avoid or is it just a Chinese manual that I'd never read anyway?

I have a powerful PC (gaming) so hopefully the monitors will be good enough, editing software is at least a few months down the line yet :)
 
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Clint
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#10
Grey market basically means the manufacturer will not honour the warranty so you have to send it back to the retailer you bought it from and rely on them to fix it.
 
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Andrew
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#12
This is not true at all. We live in a global market nowadays. My 5d3 was a "Grey" Import fully covered by CPS no issues whatsoever.
I have a 5D4 on the way from the same supplier at pretty much half the uk retail price. I would like to always buy from my local camera store when possible but getting a new body for £500 less than a used one and £1500 cheaper than new is not to be sniffed at. None of these cameras are manufactured in Europe anyway and are all imported
 
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Richard
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#13
This is not true at all. We live in a global market nowadays. My 5d3 was a "Grey" Import fully covered by CPS no issues whatsoever.
I have a 5D4 on the way from the same supplier at pretty much half the uk retail price. I would like to always buy from my local camera store when possible but getting a new body for £500 less than a used one and £1500 cheaper than new is not to be sniffed at. None of these cameras are manufactured in Europe anyway and are all imported
This isn't the true picture, or the full story.

A grey import is one that comes in through independent channels outside the EU, ie not from Canon UK. VAT will not have been paid (or import duty on lenses) meaning that it's illegal unless the buyer, ie you as the importer, pays HMRC on delivery. This fact, and the impact grey imports have on UK retailers, raises moral issues.

The warranty is the responsibility of the retailer. There will be no warranty from Canon UK, so any repair work will be at their discretion. This could mean that they'll refuse it, or more likely they'll just charge you instead. Grey imports are not checked when registered with CPS (Canon Professional Services - for preferential repairs) but they will be in the event of a claim. For these reasons, the better grey importers make their own warranty arrangements and anecdotal evidence is that this can work well.

That's it in a nutshell, a bit of a minefield that raises a lot of questions that have been hotly debated on here, and at great length if you search.
 
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#14
This isn't the true picture, or the full story.

A grey import is one that comes in through independent channels outside the EU, ie not from Canon UK. VAT will not have been paid (or import duty on lenses) meaning that it's illegal unless the buyer, ie you as the importer, pays HMRC on delivery. This fact, and the impact grey imports have on UK retailers, raises moral issues.

The warranty is the responsibility of the retailer. There will be no warranty from Canon UK, so any repair work will be at their discretion. This could mean that they'll refuse it, or more likely they'll just charge you instead. Grey imports are not checked when registered with CPS (Canon Professional Services - for preferential repairs) but they will be in the event of a claim. For these reasons, the better grey importers make their own warranty arrangements and anecdotal evidence is that this can work well.

That's it in a nutshell, a bit of a minefield that raises a lot of questions that have been hotly debated on here, and at great length if you search.
This is correct.

I sent in my 1DX that I purchased through Digital Rev and the camera needed to go back to get a menu removed from the camera that shouldn't have been on it but is used by the canon techs to do some other stuff. Canon asked where I purchased it and asked for proof of purchasing with the receipt but wouldn't carry out the work under warranty as it was purchased via grey market. So I had to pay for the work to be carried out, even though the camera was only a month old.

My 1DXII I purchased in the uk and have had no such issues when sending it in.
 
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6,689
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Graham
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#15
I have found a new Nikon D5600 with kit lens and cleaning kit for £480, this seems very cheap, could there be something i am missing?
Have a look at the used sections of WEX, MPB, LCE etc as you may be able to get a lot more for your money. MPB give you a 6 month warranty (you can buy extended ones) and WEX provide a 12 month warranty, plus they have stores around the country. I think LCE is usually 6 months but not necessary set in stone.

The main thing to look out for with buying used is the shutter count against the shutter rating. Scuffs etc on the body wouldn't bother me as it makes it less precious when deciding to take the camera out or not. You mentioned that your car photography is often at night and even with using light to assist it may be worth looking at a camera with good low light performance such as the excellent full frame Nikon D700 and there's one on MPB with all the orginal stuff and a very low shutter count of 26k for £424. Grab a Nikon AF 50mm 1.8D to stay in budget and you've got a very nice setup with plenty of scope for creativity and low light performance, or spend an extra £50 odd and get the Nikon AF-S 50mm for silent ultrasonic auto focus. I found my photography never really took off until I got a Canon 5d and a 50mm 1.8. The image quality and creativity I could have with that lens helped a lot.
 
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428
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#16
I have found a new Nikon D5600 with kit lens and cleaning kit for £480, this seems very cheap, could there be something i am missing?
A D5200 second hand is essentially the same image quality as the D5600 and is cheaper.

On MPB D5200= £200, 18-55mm vr ii =£100, 35mm f1.8= £100.
Camera bag of your choice eg Vanguard Havana 36l= £50
=£450 total
 
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#17
Hi all,



My budget is up to £450 for ideally a Camera, spare battery, charger, bag, if I can get a prime lens too then great, and as many accessories as I can get!



Thanks in advance, sorry if a silly question!


You don't have to save up to something like £450 and be expected to buy everything in one go.

You can always start with a camera and lens, then leave it there. Use any non-photographic bags, like a small handhold, stuffed with towels as a padding, anything as a make shift camera bag. Over time, you build up your kit as you get into some money at later dates. For example: In a few months time you could have spare cash for an extra battery, next year you may have spare cash for an extra lens, and then in a couple of years time, more spare cash for yet another lens. Just build up your kit over a length of time as you get more money, specially sometimes along the way, you realised there is a piece of equipment you want to have, so put it on a wish list for when you get more money.

After all, most of us have done that, start with the basic camera and lens, then over a length of time, we built up our kit.
 
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Steve
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#18
I started with a D50 and moved to a D90 when I broke the D50. I quickly found however I wanted more from it and bought a D7100. I sold that (stupidly) and later bought a D7000.
Things to look out for IMO are plenty of focus points, good ISO, fps, and if you can use the work lenses, compatibility with them.
Budget and spec creep will always be present. For example, I'm thinking of buying a full frame now, but can't really justify or explain why. It's just the desire for something newer or better all the time. Instead however I'm going to pick up a couple of new lenses to expand my shooting range.
I've always bought second hand and if you buy from a reputable shop and take notice of the quality rating you should be fine - and generally can get more for your money.
 
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#19
In my experience I bought a cheap beginner camera when I first started but found myself out growing it quickly due to the need for better functionality. I think if you can afford it the A6000 is a decent starter but be sure that you do your research before buying, not just on the camera but future upgrading options just in case. Sony are super expensive and if you stick with Sony you should be sure that if you wanted to upgrade in the future you'd be able to afford it and are happy paying for it. It's a lit of money to switch systems when you have invested so much. Take it from me, I've sold and bought the major players on a few occasions and it cost a fortune.

Whatever you decide just have fun and dont put too much pressure on yourself.
 
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5,396
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#20
Should I be concerned about these massive price differences? I saw a D5500 on London Camera Exchange but it sold just before I could get it, but the prices seem to fluctuate massively, a new D5600 is cheaper than a used D5500?

What is the deal with grey imports? Are they bad and to avoid or is it just a Chinese manual that I'd never read anyway?

I have a powerful PC (gaming) so hopefully the monitors will be good enough, editing software is at least a few months down the line yet :)
all nikon manuals can be downloaded from the nikon site in english for free
 
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#23
"A grey import is one that comes in through independent channels outside the EU, ie not from Canon UK. VAT will not have been paid (or import duty on lenses) meaning that it's illegal unless the buyer, ie you as the importer, pays HMRC on delivery. This fact, and the impact grey imports have on UK retailers, raises moral issues."


NOT TRUE entirely.

I have used the likes of Panamoz in the past, they are excellent and cover all of the taxes, some companies do some don't, Canon Lenses are a worlwide warranty I seem to remember, it's the camera bodies that are not, that said, my Grey 1DX came with three years as opposed to one, and is serviced in the UK, indeed it has been serviced by Canon though outside the warranty.

see

https://panamoz.com/about-us
 
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181
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Mike
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#24
Buying used there are loads of models that will fit your requirements that are well within your budget. Just after Christmas I brought a Sony NEX6 for under £150. I'm told with a native lens its AF is respectable, but I only use it with adapted lenses.

Used MFT bodies are another possibility again small & highly adaptable. These have a smaller sensor than the normal APSC, giving a narrower FOV than you may be used to from lenses but this is not generally a big issue. You can get a lot better than my G5 within your budget, but even that performs well enough.

If 'full frame' appeals the original Sony A7 is the only option near your budget but I think it's normally ~£500

Newer models in each case will give you better performance in low light but will end up costing more, but all 3 models I've mentioned are adequate for shooting normal low light shots. Indeed any camera from the last 5 years should be adequate for your requirements.

If you build up a list of feature you think will be useful to you it will help narrow down the options. I've never found a camera that meets all my wants.
 
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Terry
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#25
Consider a Pentax DSLR maybe?
I'm currently having a play with a K3ii and a K7 with associated lenses and I'm blown away by the results from them both.
At 14.6MP the K7 is in my view an ideal starter camera. All Pentax 35mm lenses will work with it (as I'm finding out).

Once I've had a play with them I may well be advertising them soon as I'm not sure where to go in my photography journey.

You don't need to just look at the major 2 manufacturers.
 
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1,763
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Richard
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#26
"A grey import is one that comes in through independent channels outside the EU, ie not from Canon UK. VAT will not have been paid (or import duty on lenses) meaning that it's illegal unless the buyer, ie you as the importer, pays HMRC on delivery. This fact, and the impact grey imports have on UK retailers, raises moral issues."


NOT TRUE entirely.

I have used the likes of Panamoz in the past, they are excellent and cover all of the taxes, some companies do some don't, Canon Lenses are a worlwide warranty I seem to remember, it's the camera bodies that are not, that said, my Grey 1DX came with three years as opposed to one, and is serviced in the UK, indeed it has been serviced by Canon though outside the warranty.

see

https://panamoz.com/about-us
All import and customs charges are covered by us”. But they don’t say “paid by us” or even “paid”. I think they probably mean they’ll cough up if caught ;).
 

StewartR

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Stewart
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#27
“All import and customs charges are covered by us”. But they don’t say “paid by us” or even “paid”. I think they probably mean they’ll cough up if caught ;).
That's it exactly. Note also the lack of mention of VAT. If you're importing a camera, there are no customs charges or import duties - there are on lenses, not cameras - but there's still VAT to be paid. Or evaded.
 
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181
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Mike
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#28
Consider a Pentax DSLR maybe?
I'm currently having a play with a K3ii and a K7 with associated lenses and I'm blown away by the results from them both.
At 14.6MP the K7 is in my view an ideal starter camera. All Pentax 35mm lenses will work with it (as I'm finding out).

Once I've had a play with them I may well be advertising them soon as I'm not sure where to go in my photography journey.

You don't need to just look at the major 2 manufacturers.
I would think the K5 would have replaced the K7 in that role. Both are very similar in use, but the K5 has considerably better low light performance, and would be available for well under £250 now. IIRC My K5ii was £200 a couple of years ago, but it was from a friend...
 
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Terry
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#29
Agreed the K5 is a newer camera but if cost is a factor a K7 and a couple of lenses can be had for around £250 - £300 leaving plenty left for a bag, tripod etc.
 
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Mike
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#30
I'd happily sell my K7 for £250 with the 18-55 (MK1) kit lens & either the telephoto DA55-200 or perhaps several manual lenses.
It's handy having it at work but very rarely gets used. However the price difference between the K7 & K5 is very minimal so I would think the extra is worth it for someone interested in Night shots.
 
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#31
With that budget, I’d go for a Nikon D7100 along with Sigma 17-50mm. Alternatively a 50mm or 35mm prime (probably a 35mm on a crop sensor). The D7100 is a cracking camera and the Sigma 17-50mm punches way above its price. You should get those within budget too. Just look out for a used camera with a couple of batteries, charger etc. A used bag shouldn’t cost a great deal either. A decent tripod would be an idea too for night shots.
 
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#32
That's it exactly. Note also the lack of mention of VAT. If you're importing a camera, there are no customs charges or import duties - there are on lenses, not cameras - but there's still VAT to be paid. Or evaded.

https://panamoz.com/faq#shipping

3. Will I have to pay additional charges on delivery?

All our prices are final. There will be no additional charges.

4. Are you able to provide a VAT invoice?

While we will pay for all import and customs charges, we are unable to provide a VAT invoice, as we are not a VAT company.

https://panamoz.com/terms-conditions

Import and Customs Charges


The prices on Panamoz.com are all inclusive. All import and customs charges will be covered by us fully, and will be billed to our shipping account directly. You will not be billed. These charges include import taxes and duties, and all associated charges, such as administration fees.
 
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#33
AS an Example

https://panamoz.com/canon-eos-r-24105-mirrorless-lens-kit.html

Why Buy From Panamoz.com?

Free 3 Year UK Local Warranty
14 Day Money Back Guarantee
Price includes taxes and duties
All inclusive prices with no hidden fees

Products are 100% brand new and in box
Express shipping with insurance and
tracking (UPS/FedEx/TNT)
Delivery in 4-6 business days only
Secure payment with PayPal/
credit/debit cards

Note:
Includes English user manual in hardcopy
 
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Richard
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#35
https://panamoz.com/faq#shipping

3. Will I have to pay additional charges on delivery?

All our prices are final. There will be no additional charges.

4. Are you able to provide a VAT invoice?

While we will pay for all import and customs charges, we are unable to provide a VAT invoice, as we are not a VAT company.

https://panamoz.com/terms-conditions

Import and Customs Charges


The prices on Panamoz.com are all inclusive. All import and customs charges will be covered by us fully, and will be billed to our shipping account directly. You will not be billed. These charges include import taxes and duties, and all associated charges, such as administration fees.
You seem to be saying that all taxes have been paid (sorry if that’s not what you mean) but obviously they/you are not paying VAT since they say they cannot provide a VAT invoice.
 
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Phil
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#36
While we will pay for all import and customs charges, we are unable to provide a VAT invoice, as we are not a VAT company.
And you believe they're doing nothing 'wrong' when they admit to not being VAT registered.
What do you think that means?
 
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