My wife wants a DSLR
July 2, 2014 1:53 PM   Subscribe

Is this a good deal? Don't know much about cameras, looking for entry/mid. Mostly entry.
posted by notned to Shopping (19 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I don't know anything about the camera, but what looks like the exact same thing is $50 less on Amazon. QVC is, in general, super expensive because of the "free" installments thing (the vast majority of stuff bought from QVC ends up being paid for in installments), that you just pay for by paying more for the gadget to begin with.
posted by brainmouse at 1:57 PM on July 2, 2014

I don't know much about cameras either, but I managed to snag this exact same combo on eBay for $500. I've been very happy with it so far (and am now lusting for a good macro lens for it). I've kept an eye on deals since I bought it (about two months ago) and although mine was a bit better, this is a very decent deal for this combo.
posted by AwkwardPause at 1:57 PM on July 2, 2014

Looks like the Amazon deal only comes with one lens, so not identical.
posted by AwkwardPause at 1:59 PM on July 2, 2014

Looks like the Amazon deal only comes with one lens

Ach, you're definitely right, oops.
posted by brainmouse at 2:07 PM on July 2, 2014

Fine camera, but not a great deal.

At Abes of Maine, the camera with the 18-55 mm "kit" lens goes for $400, and the 75-300 mm lens goes for another $100, so that's $50 less for what I think is the same gear. Forgive me if I misread a model number or something.

You might be able to do better than that if you look around. That's the first site I checked.
posted by Naberius at 2:14 PM on July 2, 2014

I don't think it's a bad deal. I recall paying about $600 for a Rebel T3 and two lenses.

But, for what it's worth, that exact same kit is available for the exact same price on Amazon. The Rebel series is a good entry-level DSLR. I think you probably want to think about the lenses. I recall not getting a kit and instead buying my long lens separately because I wanted it to have image stabilization (IS). Both Best Buy and Target had deals where if you bought a camera and a lens, you got $xxx off or something. So with that deal, it was the same price for a bundle where the lens didn't have IS. It depends what she wants to use it for, I wanted to be able to take photos of sports.

But, if she's never had a DSLR, she'll love it. Taking great pics is so fun.
posted by AppleTurnover at 3:36 PM on July 2, 2014

If you're looking for entry level I'd consider something older and used. For casual use, there's not been a lot of change in the past three years. My first DSLR was an Olympus E-510 which can be found quite inexpensively these days and took great photos other than in very dark situations.

I'd also make sure that a mirrorless camera like the micro 4/3rds systems won't be enough - they're smaller and can be cheaper than DSLRs while being nearly as good for most purposes.
posted by Candleman at 3:38 PM on July 2, 2014

The kit lens with the Canon Rebel is generally not great. I'd go with the body only and then pick up this 50mm lens (it's really good for the price).
posted by melissasaurus at 3:55 PM on July 2, 2014

Disagree with only going for the 50mm lens - the two kit lenses provide SO much more flexibility, especially as a beginner.

Having a 300mm lens is awesome for birds, sports etc. 18mm is great for landscapes.

The 50mm is great for people photos, especially indoors or at night.

I would suggest get the kit lenses, see what you would most like to take better photos of, then buy a better lens if you can justify the cost.
posted by trialex at 5:18 PM on July 2, 2014 [1 favorite]

The 50mm lens is great, but limiting if you are used to digital zoom. You can stick with the two lenses there, but you should realize that they will both probably be terrible indoors or in lower-light situations. If that matters to you, add on the 50mm since it will be better for low-light situations.
posted by ohisee at 5:20 PM on July 2, 2014

Just throwing this out there -- if she's going straight from a point-and-shoot, a digital P&S might be a reasonable upgrade. I got a camera from the Samsung NX1000 series plus accessories, and it's taken great, even amazing pictures. Plus, at under 300 dollars it seemed more budget friendly than a DSLR I would likely not have used as much right off the bat. At this point I have no plans to upgrade, and it's been just about a year since purchase. Just a thought.
posted by sm1tten at 7:24 PM on July 2, 2014

When my SO wanted a DSLR for her birthday, I bought a used entry level camera on Craigslist. The entry level Nikon or Cannon (either the current or previous generation) DSLRs will be the most common and either one should be great. There are tons of people who start with the entry level model and then sell it to help pay for an upgrade.
posted by VTX at 7:51 PM on July 2, 2014

It's a good camera. A little bit plastic feeling, but that is to keep the cost down.

Go with the 18-55mm kit lens and then buy additional lenses once she's worked out what kind of photography she likes to do.

The 75-300mm doesn't get great reviews so I probably wouldn't bother. Even more so when you have no idea whether or not she wants to take pictures that require that level of zoom.

FWIW I have the 18-55mm and the 50mm f1.8 for low light and face shots. Don't just get the body and the 50mm as it'll massively limit her photography. Imagine walking around with your point and shoot fixed at full analogue zoom and you get the idea of the limitations. Trying to take a photo of someone only to find you have to stand in another room to get them fully in the picture isn't much fun.

Next things she should consider buying are a camera bag, a spare battery and lessons to get away from shooting in automatic.
posted by mr_silver at 1:14 AM on July 3, 2014

Sorry, I forgot to point out that the camera I have does have a manual shooting mode.
posted by sm1tten at 5:45 AM on July 3, 2014

If you don't know exactly what you want and want to buy new, keep an eye on this page of camera sales. Anything there is going to be at least a reasonably good deal. When you see something in your price/specs range, just check the reviews.
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 6:26 AM on July 3, 2014

Your link now says the item is unavailable, but as a starting point, I don't think there's any bigger bang for the buck than the Nikon D3100 for about $400 with an 18-55 zoom lens.

It's a couple generations old, which is why the price is so good, but it's an excellent camera which will still be great for years to come. Unless she needs a longer zoom immediately, I'd recommend the Nikon 35mm prime as the next lens. I know most people seem to like the 50mm prime, but the 35 is a more "normal" field of view for a DX format camera.

If you want to be overwhelmed with information (if you aren't already) you can go to Snapsort and run comparisons of different camera models head-to-head before making your final decision.
posted by The Deej at 8:11 AM on July 3, 2014

Seconding what Candleman said: If your wife has never had a dlsr before, she might be very happy with a mirrorless camera. It has the benefit of letting you use whatever lens you want with half the heft and price of a DSLR. Plus, lots of pros who do photography out in the field are moving to them.
posted by nushustu at 8:55 AM on July 3, 2014

I had a Canon Rebel T2i a while back, upgraded to the 5D Mark III, but then sold both. (I mostly shoot video for projects).

You should really weigh the pros/cons of both Canon & Nikon for your camera, since which-ever one you chose will pretty much make you loyal to that brand since you'll invest in lenses that work on that camera.

I really liked the Rebel and I'm sure they've gotten better with ISO and sensors. The kit lenses are really good for general use, but if you want to do super-duper low depth of field stuff consider the f/1.8 50mm lens for another $100. Virtually every Canon photographer has it, and you could get it used off of craigslist if someone is upgrading to the f/1.4 version.

Additionally, if you get more serious about your photoing, there's always lens/body rental:
posted by wcfields at 11:57 AM on July 3, 2014

Don't only get her a camera with a short lens. She will need a long lens, especially if she is used to point-and-shoots with digital zoom. I bought a Canon Rebel without the long lens, hated that it didn't zoom and returned. Then I realized with DSLRs you need a different lens and then I was very happen to have a lens for indoor shooting and a long lens for outdoor shooting.
posted by AppleTurnover at 7:33 PM on July 4, 2014

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