Oct 11, 20161943 views

Looking for a good starter camera!

Can anyone recommend me a camera under 400 preferably, i'm looking into going on hikes, exploring the city, traveling in the near future. Also how much do camera depreciate in value each year, or does it stay steady like audio gear?Like i said though, total newbie but really want to get into the hobby!
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Gary Berman, Martin Vann, and 15 others
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I use an Olympus OMD-EM5 Mk II for a recent vacation. It's very compact, and gives you stuff like IBIS and a large selection of lenses, should you wish to expand your setup. if you stick on the Panasonic 40mm Pancake, you have a very small and light setup indeed.
I have the Nikon D3400. Probably the best starter camera you can get right now.
I just picked up a mint condition, very low shutter count Nikon D7000 with 2 x (cheap) lenses for under $400 AUD. However for hiking etc. you may want something smaller / lighter? My pocket cam. is an Olympus TG4 - which you should be able to find used for 1/2 your budget, It's a great little camera for what it is.
I love my refurbished Nikon D3200. Got it from Adorama
How important is auto focus to you? Cause a lot of people are recommending a6000 but it doesn't have much native lenses that one would consider cheap, and the cheaper lenses out there arw manual lenses or something that could be used with an adapter but in exchange auto focus won't work properly... Something to consider... But i love the a6000
Because of your price point (everyone has their own budget, but $400 is a tough ask to get anything worth anything in the DSLR market), I highly suggest you check out http://www.keh.com - great used gear that has been checked out by professionals. For that money, I would suggest maybe a used Nikon D200 and a 50mm 1.8. Good luck!
I'd check eBay or local classifieds for a used Sony a6000. It's definitely an older camera but it has so much to offer. If you can afford the extra bump in price I'd also take a look at the Sony a6300, which is a lot better and offers 4K video. Both cameras are super small meaning they won't be annoying to carry around on hikes or when storing in bags. They're definitely worth checking out.
I recommend going with a used Canon 7D Mark I. It has a good AF system, you can lenses fairly cheap, shoots 8 FPS for those action shots, it’s also weather proofed. Great starter camera.
My 2c assuming DSLR is what you are referring to. Buy a used camera body separately in excellent condition.  Make sure the camera has an inbuilt motor for lens control. This will make your future lens purchases less expensive as your lenses will not need their own motors. This allows you to use all sorts of old and new lenses. Unless you are going to be a pro photographer on day 1, no point spending a whole lot of cash on anything. Good lenses come used.
Buy one camera body and one lens. Learn all that you can possibly learn on how to use that one lens. A good prime lens is at 35mm (for crop sensor camera) vs 50mm (for full frame camera).  If you are not ever going to be pro, because you don't want to be one, a crop sensor camera might be a better choice. Camera resolution can be between 20 to 24 MP (this is only being suggested to keep with current camera line up specs and for no other reason - and higher you will pay more and any lower you will feel deprived).
Learn how to screw around with light. This will help out a lot.
Learn how to enhance photos in a decent software like Lightroom.
Once you have mastered your first lens, buy another lens (used). To be a great and versatile photographer, you don't need more than 3 lenses (and am I being extremely generous when I say that).
Read up on photography gear, and you will soon realize that good photos don't need expensive gear. Today, I can take an excellent photo with a 30 to 50 dollar lens. Most good photographers will be able to. When I was starting out though, I thought I had to have that 1000 dollar lens to amount to anything.
Be disciplined and don't believe the hype. Practice till your fingers bleed. Enjoy. Peace.
Well a nikon d3300 or canon t5 would be great if you want a dslr, an a6000 would also be great because I believe its a little lighter and more compact. To me it seems sony holds value better in terms of their cropped sensors but I could be wrong. Its really just preference because they will all be great little cameras and have the potential to take amazing photos!
You can regularly find refurbished Canon T5 or Nikon D3200 online. You honestly can't go wrong with any brand these days but these two tend to offer the cheapest solid entry level cameras in your budget. As for depreciation, i would say most do not hold significant value at this price point, mostly because this is the bracket that gets regular model updates as opposed to the top tier cameras which only see a new model every couple of years.
Definitely try to get a used sony a6000, or new if you can afford it. I got one as my first camera last summer, and it was been fantastic for a full featured entry level camera. The a6X00 series is great because it has cheaper glass for the smaller APSC sensor, but it can use more expensive but more reusable full frame glass just as well.
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Here's one of my favorites I took with the camera my first summer with it.
The GR is a great camera with beautiful image output. The fixed focal length lens might be limiting however. Wide angle 28mm equivalent. If that's not an issue also look for a Nikon CoolpixA. Another small fixed focal length camera with huge image output.
A used RX100 mk 3 might be found for $400ish. Excellent image quality. a useful zoom range, decent battery life, good video, and pocket sized. You could use that for a while and sell it for almost what you paid. They hold their used value well.
You could pick up something like a Sony a600 series and the question of depreciation wouldn't matter. Why? Because you'd have a great compact camera that would hold up for years and there'd be no reason to upgrade. Even if you start later with a FF, having this on hand will be useful for checking set-ups.
Kind of a loaded question... point and shoots are typically cameras that depreciate the fastest. A DSLR or a mirrorless is going to be the camera that you can grow with. As a professional I still suggest something that gives you the capability to take you outside your comfort zone with a semi professional DSLR or mirrorless. You can always upgrade to better lenses and keep the same body instead of just wasting money and buying a new camera.
For travel a mirrorless is more compact and lightweight, but a DSLr tends to have better lens options (because it's been out longer)
personally i would suggest first fujifilm mirrorless (best color profiles that emulate a classic film look) , then the Sony A6000 (Best all around mirrorless) and then canon's M series (good ergonomics and great color.)

hopefully that helps.
Kanoa
Side note: $400 is not the best range for buying anything besides point and shoots these days... you're better off just sticking to whatever new smartphone camera you have (I mean the iPhone can shoot 4k). In ideal lighting conditions it's the smartphones that are actually as good if not superior to most basic point and shoots.

I did look and saw a sony A5000 and I believe it has interchangeable lenses (best opportunity to upgrade via lenses). small And compact, has a selfie mode and i would look into a starter interchangeable mirrorless if you can.
Depends if you want a point-and-shoot or a DSLR
If you get a point and shoot, look at also buying a Spyder BlackWidow Holster, such a useful add-on
In terms of still image quality and portability, you should have a look at the original version of the Olympus E-M5. As someone else has said, the MkII version has superceded the original version, so you can grab a second hand one with a kit 12-50mm lens for between US$250 - $US350 on eBay. It doesn't do 4K video but does just about everything else well, and the range of micro four thirds lenses is pretty expansive.
Jim-bob
@JonnyJ This is a great starter camera. The body goes for $150 locally and on camera forums and usually are in good condition if they still work today. They are prone to bricking randomly, unfortunately, but hey, it was a cheap camera.
AF is particularly good and generic Pro-Go batteries are cheap and reliable.
The camera is lightweight, simpler than the E-M5 mark II that replaced it, easy to use, and is full featured.
Woot has Pentax K-S1 on sale for 260 today (with lens!). Grab it! Has weather protection, shake reduction, good Sony sensor etc
I'd say go for a Nikon or Cannon, even used as they are pretty durable cameras that last. Nice thing about both is you can get really good used lenses for really cheap. The benefit would be that in the future if you decide to upgrade to a better camera from either company your lenses will still work.
If you're wanting something smaller with a good bang for the buck you really can't go wrong with an older Olympus epl-5, you can get them used for like $300. They also seem to hold value pretty well.
Is nothing wrong at all with going used cameras and I would actually suggest it if your just getting into the hobby and don't have a big budget.
If you are new to camera, do not go with a used/second hand. Go with a new one with warranty in case there is a problem to avoid any headache. Second hand cameras are for those who at least has a grasp on how things work and know where to look at when there is an issue.
Look into the Canon Elph 110 or one of its predecessor if you want a good travel camera. If you want a DSLR I would go Canon for video. Nikon for photo.
AitchDavis
I love the Canon Elph120. It shoots in raw and is great in low light situations.
A starter camera will either make the learner fall in love with photography and want to replace it as they learn, or be put away and saved for special occasions, like birthday parties and garage sales.
Don't commit emotionally to a system up front--if a love of photography happens then all of it will be replaced sooner or later anyway, and probably more than once--just look for a used entry-level body from whatever manufacturer with simple but direct manual controls for aperture, shutter speed, ISO, and white balance; an affordable prime between 24mm and 50mm with a low f/ number (the $100 50mm f/1.8 lenses from some of the systems are ideal for lots of reasons); and whatever zoom lens is needed.
If the old camera body is really old, then as long as it takes pictures that are 8 megapixels or larger they will still fill a 4K screen, aspect ratio differences notwithstanding. It doesn't pay to worry about 8K screens, a camera needs 32 megapixels in a 16:9 aspect ratio for that.
Even though I recommend getting a starter camera, I don't necessarily believe in going through all the models in a line as skills improve. A photographer can follow it up with a flagship camera and premium lenses, so long as they have enough passion to overcome the added frustration. And money. Lots of money to overcome the added zeroes.
eunu
Totally agree!! 8mp is plenty, and a 50mm would be great! I wish someone would've told me this when I started😂
Not nearly enough folks recommending fuji considering they mentioned hiking. You can get a used XPRO1 or XE-2 for peanuts.
The $400 price point is difficult: too low for something you'll keep if you stay with it, and high if you fall back to occasional use. For the use you describe, I think the suggestion of a used Ricoh GR is best. Great camera, that you will grow into, very compact, and outstanding image quality.
I see a lot of people buying expensive pro cameras, only to leave them in fully automatic mode. And there's nothing wrong with that. But IMHO it makes more sense to just use the camera you already have in your phone with an app that gives you manual control.
If you decide that you'd rather just use automatic mode, then that will help guide the kind of camera you'll eventually want to buy.
I've been in the hobby for a while and my must haves for a dedicated camera are few: 1. Fully articulated screen (so I can stretch my arm out and get a cool angle on a shot and still see the display) 2. RAW shooting capability - so I can have greater quality when post-processing the image 3. Fully manual exposure control, along with aperture and shutter priority - because that's just how I like to shoot (with a live histogram)
When you're ready to pick a camera, don't go nuts and buy top of the line. Buy something that will help you decide what your preference for body and lenses are. You want a camera you can experiment with. An older Canon Rebel series with kit lens is fine, along with any of the other suggestions already made.
Since I'm not a pro and all current cameras and lenses are good enough quality, I tend to look more for usability and handling then image specifications. Just take a ton of pictures and have fun, the "film" is free!
sony a600. I just got it and I love it. It's light and compact High quality, fast autofocus and a lot more
I'm going to go out on a limb and recommend you try and find a used or refurbished Ricoh GR camera. It's a point and shoot camera with a huge (APS-C) sized sensor. It's basically an entry-level DSLR in a point & shoot body. You can do long exposures with it if you go on hikes and take along a Joby Gorillapod tripod if you want to travel light. A used GR is probably around the $400-450 USD mark. The brand new one, the GR II costs significantly more used but its specs are almost exactly the same.
The GR is tiny but it performs fantastically. If you're traveling, hiking, exploring the city, etc. you'll appreciate how much freedom it gives you compared to a huge SLR and a lens. It's smaller than even the smallest ILC cameras. It has a fixed wide-angle 28mm lens though which may be a dealbreaker for you if you want to shoot portraits with it.
The only other camera I would recommend for you is either a Sony a6000 series camera or the more expensive Sony a7 series. Neither of those are as light as the GR but you get the versatility of interchangeable lenses. The Olympus OM-D and Fuji X100 or Fuji X-E series are also great, small but powerful interchangeable cameras but will cost more obviously.
I do 90% of my commercial work with the Ricoh GR and Sony a6000 as my primary cameras. The Ricoh shoots almost everything while the a6000 is my go-to for everything else like portraits, product photography, telephoto shots, etc. For the rest I rent gear to maximize my work-to-profit ratio.
All cameras depreciate horribly. The only cameras that don't depreciate that quickly are Leica cameras and I wouldn't recommend one of those unless you really are into photography. I own a few as my personal cameras and some appreciate while some hold their value very steadily.
Photography is not something you should go into if you're worried about depreciation since the industry moves fast and a new camera comes out all the time with more or better features like computers and electronics. Get into it as a hobby for the fun and enjoyment and making art for yourself or for sharing with others.
Good luck!
You can go point and shoot (P&S) or interchangeable lens camera (ILC). The pricing is such that a high-end P&S is often at around the same price point ($400-800) as a low end ILC. A P&S is pocketable but is not expandable. An ILC can be expanded with new lenses etc. but is a bit bigger and is not as portable as a P&S. You might invest in a good P&S and see how much use you get. If you start enjoying photography, then you can look at investing in an ILC from Olympus, Panasonic, Nikon, Canon, Fuji, etc.
In P&S cameras, there are 2 main categories, the travel camera and the super zoom. A travel camera is usually small and has a smaller zoom but faster (e.g., = better in low light) lens. Super zooms usually have a much larger zoom range but the lens isn't as fast because of this. Like anything else, its a trade off.
If you plan to take pictures in low light settings, then a faster lens will be better. So one thing to look for is a lens that is f2.0 or less (e.g., f1.8).
Another thing to look for is a zoom with a lower end that is 24mm or 25mm (e.g., the spec says zoom range 24mm-200mm). Some P&S cameras have a zoom with a lower end of 28mm, which I have found to be wholly inadequate.
Just like any other technology item, cameras tend to depreciate as new models with new features come out. This is good and bad. The bad is that if you buy new, it will depreciate significantly in a few years. If you buy new, buy something released in the last 6 months so you know you have the latest features. The good is that you can pick up something that was state of the art not long ago at steep discount to what it sold when it was new.
One thing worth looking at is refurbished cameras. Canon and Olympus sell these directly and they come with a warranty from the manufacturer.
Let me make one recommendation - the Olympus TG4. The lens is fairly fast at f2.0 and has a decent zoom range 25-100mm. Its part of their tough series so its ruggedized and is waterproof, dustproof, shockproof etc. If you are travelling, you can take it snorkeling etc.
If I were you I would get a compact camera like the Sony RX100 series or a Canon G7X for example but there are others as well. The reason is that you are carrying the camera around a lot, hiking, exploring and travelling and there is nothing like a small compact for all day every day carry. The cameras I have suggested above have new tech 1" sensors by Sony which are as good as the sensors in DSLR cameras from a few years ago. If you insist on an interchangeable lens camera look at M4/3 because the cameras and lenses are smaller and there are cheap camera options
Also look at the Panasonic LX100, an amazing compact camera if you want a quality feel and good ergonomics but at the expense of a bigger size camera. Personally for everyday carry I would go with a small compact like a RX100 because anything bigger and you soon start leaving it behind
Fotons
The only downside with the RX100 models I, II, and III is that the lower end of the zoom range is 28mm. The III, IV, and V models have a lower end zoom range of 24mm, but their price is unfortunately well beyond the OP's stated price range. For that matter so does the Panasonic LX100, LX10. If the OP can up his budget to around $750, then the LX10, LX100, RX100 III, etc. all are possibilities.