This weekend I was confronted with the age old “help me choose a camera”-question.
Well, that’s easy…
If you’re a sports shooter then you buy the D4s, if you’re more a landscape shooter or like to print really big then you go for a D810 and if you just want a very good all-round camera then you buy the D750.
Next, you add a 24-70 f2.8 and maybe even the two other trinity lenses.
And to round it all you buy a SB-910, a pile of batteries and even more memory cards.
At least that would be my advice to someone who is very serious about the hobby and has the skill, time and dedication to make the most out of his equipment as well as the money required.
But as so often this is not the case here.
The person asking the question is currently using a point and shoot but has the ambition to learn how to take better pictures.
His main motivations for upgrading are the better image quality that a DSLR offers as well as improved indoor (low light) photography capability. He also wants to learn how to properly use a camera (aperture, time, iso,…).
And finally… His budget would be around 500€.
Given this last piece of information my choices are suddenly quite limited.
I was thinking about the D3300 with a 18-55 or 18-105 kit lens.
The problem is that I’ve only used the Nikon D800 myself and have no experience with the entry level DX cameras and lenses.
So that’s why I’m hoping you will be able to provide some insights.
- Is the D3300 a good (enough) camera? The DXOmark sensor analysis shows that it’s still a capable sensor and the pictures that I saw seem to be of a respectable quality.
What scares me a bit is the 11 focus points. Ok, I had a less on my first AF Film SLR. But it’s still a lot less than the 39 of the D5300.
And what about high ISO performance. I’m not talking about shooting a black bear at night in the woods using only starlight. But when shooting indoors with a kit lens it’s still quite easy to end up with high iso numbers.
- What about the lenses? I can get the 18-55 kit or 18-105 kit and remain approximately within budget. On the one hand I would go for the larger range and longer reach of the 18-105 (combined with that fact that it will offer a wider aperture around 50mm). On the other hand the range looks like a bit of a “superzoom” with all the associated optical compromises. Then again, I’m not really impressed with the resolution results from the 18-55. They actually look about equally (un)sharp to me. (I guess I’m spoiled with my D800 and lenses)
Another advantage would be that there is less need to swap lenses with the 18-105 so less likelihood of dust entering the mirrorbox.
Right now I would suggest a Nikon D3300 with the 18-105 kit lens and a SB-300 as a follow up purchase if he’s actually doing a lot of indoor shooting.
But I have absolutely no experience with this “entry level” equipment so I would appreciate all possible feedback.