Art and Photography

Debating on getting a used DSLR for vacations

  • Last Updated:
  • Sep 18th, 2017 3:43 pm
[OP]
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Aug 14, 2007
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Debating on getting a used DSLR for vacations

I recently decided to do some more travelling in the future (1 vacation per year) and want to move away from using my iPhone 7 (or whatever phone I have by then) for taking pictures as I know the quality on a DSLR can be much better.

Next trip I'm planning is Jamaica (Vegas is coming up in October but won't have the funds for one by then).

I would prefer to buy used as new can be quite a bit more expensive.

I don't know too much about these cameras but would want the normal lens it comes with (or perhaps just the body) but a lens that can also zoom in quite far as well.

Any recommendations on where to start with?


Forgot to add, but is a budget of $300-$450 for the body reasonable or am I aiming too low?
44 replies
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One thing about a DSLR is that without knowing how to use it and use it on auto, the quality will only be slightly higher than a phone nowadays, and at times can look worse. Knowing how to use it and learning a bit of photography makes a world of difference. The lens is also really what controls quality.

Really any entry level camera can do to start, look around for a used Canon T6 or T5i (or new one as below as a kit lens). If you think of getting it to perhaps learn more about photography while at it, you can pick up one and learn, and you can get new lens as you can more familiar (such as a longer zoom lens). Otherwise I would suggest a mid end point and shoot, not a DSLR.

http://www.bestbuy.ca/en-ca/product/can ... 16668.aspx?

http://www.bestbuy.ca/en-ca/product/can ... 00990.aspx?
[OP]
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Firebot wrote:
Aug 30th, 2017 11:15 am
One thing about a DSLR is that without knowing how to use it and use it on auto, the quality will only be slightly higher than a phone nowadays, and at times can look worse. Knowing how to use it and learning a bit of photography makes a world of difference. The lens is also really what controls quality.

Really any entry level camera can do to start, look around for a used Canon T6 or T5i (or new one as below as a kit lens). If you think of getting it to perhaps learn more about photography while at it, you can pick up one and learn, and you can get new lens as you can more familiar (such as a longer zoom lens). Otherwise I would suggest a mid end point and shoot, not a DSLR.

http://www.bestbuy.ca/en-ca/product/can ... 16668.aspx?

http://www.bestbuy.ca/en-ca/product/can ... 00990.aspx?
Thanks

I do plan on learning more about photography which is why I would like to get a decent camera for the future.
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Aug 2, 2004
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The problem with a used DSLR is the shutter only has a limited life span. Most prosumer units have a life of 150,000 on the shutter

Entry level DSLR are worse and probably done after 80,000
Sr. Member
Feb 1, 2015
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MB
Not everybody uses their DSLR's intensively for many reasons : people give up on photography, early equipment upgrade,...
You can find used cameras with less than 5000 or even less 1000 than shutter counts on the market.
Last edited by catoun on Aug 30th, 2017 1:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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XtremeModder wrote:
Aug 30th, 2017 9:38 am
I recently decided to do some more travelling in the future (1 vacation per year) and want to move away from using my iPhone 7 (or whatever phone I have by then) for taking pictures as I know the quality on a DSLR can be much better.

Next trip I'm planning is Jamaica (Vegas is coming up in October but won't have the funds for one by then).

I would prefer to buy used as new can be quite a bit more expensive.

I don't know too much about these cameras but would want the normal lens it comes with (or perhaps just the body) but a lens that can also zoom in quite far as well.

Any recommendations on where to start with?

Forgot to add, but is a budget of $300-$450 for the body reasonable or am I aiming too low?
As mentioned above, if you're not going to learn how to use aperture/shutterspeed to control photos and just keep it on Auto, then your iphone is likely your best bet anyway. But if you're willing to learn, then welcome :)

Most entry level DSLRs will include what they call a "kit lens" - generally the focal length will range from 18-55mm or so, which gives you a pretty good range of wide angle and a bit more zoom. If you want a lens that can "zoom quite far", then you'll want something a telephoto lens that can approach the 200mm focal length or so, although at those ranges, you'll probably also want a tripod or something to stabilize the camera. The longer the focal length, the greater the zoom, but the more effect camera shake will have on the image quality.

Bestbuy and other stores will sometimes have deals for entry level DSLR with kit lens, and include a telephoto zoom lens too. I think my friend recently got a new Canon T6i with both lenses but it's definitely more expensive than your budget. But I find a lot of people buy these packages, and the 50-200 zoom ends up being very lightly used because the buyers will realize that it's not really what they need.

Depending on what you need to zoom into, there are also lenses that might hit both... for example, some Canons will have an 18-135 lens bundled instead of 18-55, which might actually be all you need for your zoom purposes. I mean, worst case is you use your feet as your zoom and just walk closer to your subject. Grinning Face With Smiling Eyes

Deals like this on Kijiji are pretty interesting and it's a camera that is suitable for entry level and a bit more intermediate photographers, although obviously you don't know if there's anything wrong with the camera: https://www.kijiji.ca/v-camera-camcorde ... nFlag=true

This camera is decent for beginners and for travel too, because it's smaller than the rest of Canon's rebel line, and include both a kit lens and a prime lens (it's fixed to one focal length, so no zoom but much smaller in size). Again, Kijiji, so you take the chance of buying used: https://www.kijiji.ca/v-camera-camcorde ... nFlag=true
Last edited by M1GOmigs on Aug 30th, 2017 1:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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[OP]
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Aug 14, 2007
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M1GOmigs wrote:
Aug 30th, 2017 1:09 pm
As mentioned above, if you're not going to learn how to use aperture/shutterspeed to control photos and just keep it on Auto, then your iphone is likely your best bet anyway. But if you're willing to learn, then welcome :)

Most entry level DSLRs will include what they call a "kit lens" - generally the focal length will range from 18-55mm or so, which gives you a pretty good range of wide angle and a bit more zoom. If you want a lens that can "zoom quite far", then you'll want something a telephoto lens that can approach the 200mm focal length or so, although at those ranges, you'll probably also want a tripod or something to stabilize the camera. The longer the focal length, the greater the zoom, but the more effect camera shake will have on the image quality.

Bestbuy and other stores will sometimes have deals for entry level DSLR with kit lens, and include a telephoto zoom lens too. I think my friend recently got a new Canon T6i with both lenses but it's definitely more expensive than your budget. But I find a lot of people buy these packages, and the 50-200 zoom ends up being very lightly used because the buyers will realize that it's not really what they need.

Depending on what you need to zoom into, there are also lenses that might hit both... for example, some Canons will have an 18-135 lens bundled instead of 18-55, which might actually be all you need for your zoom purposes. I mean, worst case is you use your feet as your zoom and just walk closer to your subject. Grinning Face With Smiling Eyes

Deals like this on Kijiji are pretty interesting and it's a camera that is suitable for entry level and a bit more intermediate photographers, although obviously you don't know if there's anything wrong with the camera: https://www.kijiji.ca/v-camera-camcorde ... nFlag=true

This camera is decent for beginners and for travel too, because it's smaller than the rest of Canon's rebel line, and include a prime lens (it's fixed to one focal length, so no zoom but much smaller in size). Again, Kijiji, so you take the chance of buying used: https://www.kijiji.ca/v-camera-camcorde ... nFlag=true
Thanks for that. As for shutter count is there usually a way to check the count on it?
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Sep 27, 2003
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XtremeModder wrote:
Aug 30th, 2017 1:13 pm
Thanks for that. As for shutter count is there usually a way to check the count on it?
Yup - it's usually buried in a hidden menu, sometimes matched with a Street Fighter grouping of random button pushes.
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XtremeModder wrote:
Aug 30th, 2017 9:38 am
I recently decided to do some more travelling in the future (1 vacation per year) and want to move away from using my iPhone 7 (or whatever phone I have by then) for taking pictures as I know the quality on a DSLR can be much better.

Next trip I'm planning is Jamaica (Vegas is coming up in October but won't have the funds for one by then).

I would prefer to buy used as new can be quite a bit more expensive.

I don't know too much about these cameras but would want the normal lens it comes with (or perhaps just the body) but a lens that can also zoom in quite far as well.

Any recommendations on where to start with?


Forgot to add, but is a budget of $300-$450 for the body reasonable or am I aiming too low?
What is it you need from a dslr you are not getting from a cell phone? I am asking because I mainly use my phone and a Sony point and shoot camera for my vacation photos. I am making posters out of those and they are just for digital viewing with minimal or no editing at all so I am not really concerned about quality.
IMHO, keep it simple and enjoy your vacation instead of lagging unneeded gear.
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I've purchased a DSLR and a mirrorless camera through Kijiji - friends have as well. You can get some good deals if you are patient and know what you are looking for. A friend of mine recently purchased a used Sony Nex 6 Mirrorless camera with kit lens complete with box, battery, charger strap and instructions. It had a shutter count of 140. A person purchased it for his wife but she preferred to use her phone and wasn't really into photography. A camera I purchased used last year had a shutter count of around 2000.

One thing about DSLR's is that most are not weather sealed and don't always fare well in wet and sandy environments. A decent weatherproof camera may meet your needs for your upcoming trip. A DSLR or Mirrorless camera would be better IMHO if you want to get into photography.
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bvit6667 wrote:
Aug 30th, 2017 2:00 pm
One thing about DSLR's is that most are not weather sealed and don't always fare well in wet and sandy environments. A decent weatherproof camera may meet your needs for your upcoming trip. A DSLR or Mirrorless camera would be better IMHO if you want to get into photography.
I think the one thing that a weatherproof P&S can't deliver is OP's requirement for it to "zoom in quite far". Otherwise, I'd steer him towards a Fuji XP120 or similar tough camera...

*EDIT* I just looked at Fuji XP120 specs and due to sensor size, the max FL is equivalent to 140mm which isn't bad.... but I wonder what kind of quality you get zoomed out all the way. I used to own a Fuji XP60 and it made some nice photos, although I didn't really shoot a lot of zoomed in stuff.
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M1GOmigs wrote:
Aug 30th, 2017 2:26 pm
I think the one thing that a weatherproof P&S can't deliver is OP's requirement for it to "zoom in quite far". Otherwise, I'd steer him towards a Fuji XP120 or similar tough camera...

*EDIT* I just looked at Fuji XP120 specs and due to sensor size, the max FL is equivalent to 140mm which isn't bad.... but I wonder what kind of quality you get zoomed out all the way. I used to own a Fuji XP60 and it made some nice photos, although I didn't really shoot a lot of zoomed in stuff.
There are definite trade-offs whichever way you go. Personally, I like the weatherproof camera for "the beach" and "the pool" - It 's great not to worry about sand and being able to take the camera right into the water.

For "Photography" a DSLR is hard to beat. There is a company advertising "New Out of Box" Canon T5 camera's with 18-55 and 75-300 lenses for $450 plus tax. I have no experience with this company so can't recommend them but the deal seems to check most of the boxes the OP is looking for within his budget. Definitely not a pro DSLR but should be a decent tool to learn on - thoughts??
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Firebot wrote:
Aug 30th, 2017 11:15 am
One thing about a DSLR is that without knowing how to use it and use it on auto, the quality will only be slightly higher than a phone nowadays, and at times can look worse. Knowing how to use it and learning a bit of photography makes a world of difference.
Slightly better? Maybe if you got one of the early generation of DSLRs (ie one from circa 2002) or if you go by the simplistic measure of pixel count. Yes phones are getting up in there in pixels but that doesn't mean much if you squeeze all of those pixels into an ultra small sensor which results in a lot of noise in your pictures. You need to look at things like the dynamic range, Color depth and low light sensitivity of a sensor as well. While they have improved on the average camera phone over the years, they still have much to be desired. All of these improvements are had even using the DSLR on auto.
Firebot wrote:
Aug 30th, 2017 11:15 am
The lens is also really what controls quality.
That I agree with partly as lenses are the other half of the story. The phone's quality can't be improved as the lens is small, fixed and can't be changed out so a general statement like you made above really doesn't make any sense when comparing DSLRs used on auto vs. a camera phone. In addition, with any zoom lens on a DSLR, you will always shoot with the same number of pixels as the optical zoom actually zooms rather than phones which crop the picture.
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I wouldn't trust any kit lens from Canon as the reviews for them have been poor at best especially if you compare them with other entry level Canon lenses that aren't included in any kits. Those Canon kit lenses are made to meet a certain price point and has little to do with quality. If you are going with a kit, get a Nikon kit... while the Nikon kit lens is still entry level and the build quality is not great (in comparison to higher end lenses) the optical quality is still pretty good and many times, Nikon actually uses regular lenses in their kits so the quality is the same if you buy the lens separately or as a kit.

There's a thread in the Hot Deals forum which talks about Walmart selling the entry level Nikon kit for about $400 which is something you might want to consider.
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Many similar threads of late, started looking for DSLR but eventually find out what they need is a mirrorless camera, especially for travel.
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