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Nov 24, 2013 20:15:07   #
efrank460
 
Hi, all;
Am new to posting on this forum but have been lurking and reading trying to absorb from the wealth of experience. Used to have a 35mm back in the film days. Took a lot of photos strictly as an amateur and enjoyed using the different lenses, for different types of shots in all kinds of situations. The camera went the way of all things mechanical and we got rid of the whole kit. With the advent of digital I can see that the technical end of this has changed dramatically. I would like to get back into the amateur end of photography and must make a decision on what to buy, where to buy it and what is the final price. We are approaching retirement have grandchildren of all ages and interests and live near the water. The opportunity and desire for wildlife shots as well as shots of grandchildren from infants to high school athletes are available. The budget is set at $1,000 max. If I can get an occasional shot that can be blown up and printed, we would be thrilled. I’ve looked at a few cameras and a friend has a Canon Rebel T3 and takes nice shots at the zoo. Some of the cameras I’ve been considering are the Canon T3i, the Nikon 3200 & 5200. Whereas we have no remaining 35mm equipment we are also considering one of the kit packages. Pricing some of these out at the local big box stores eats up $1,000 pretty fast with none of the extras like a variety of lenses, bags, tripod, additional battery, charger, filters, lens hoods, etc., etc. I see there are several suppliers who sell packages online that look pretty economical. A few of the features that I like on some of the cameras are the articulated viewing screen, the higher mps on some, the auto focus feature and at my age the image stabilization. I will go again to one of the stores and try to hold a camera and work the menu. With the camera wired to the display counter it is a little difficult to get a true feel for it.
1. Has anyone had experience buying one of the all inclusive kits from an online seller? Were you satisfied? Can they be dealt with in terms of returns, or an item that is not as advertised?
2. Is there a best way of locating refurbished equipment as some of the forum members recommend it; I don’t see many ads for these items.
3. Is there any item or dealer we should avoid?
4. Finally, any suggestions/opinions as to which camera and set of lenses. The reviews from this forum appear to be more genuine, authentic and based on experience.

Thanks in advance,

Efrank460

| Reply
Nov 24, 2013 20:23:35   #
jethro779
 
The answers to question 2 Are Adorama; B & H; Cameta Camera. They are online and have both Manufacturer refurbished and new. I can't answer #1 as I got mine at Best Buy last year on Black Friday.
#4 I would suggest you go to Best Buy or some other big box store and hold the cameras in your hand.

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Nov 24, 2013 20:45:51   #
Rbrylawski
 
1. Has anyone had experience buying one of the all inclusive kits from an online seller? Were you satisfied? Can they be dealt with in terms of returns, or an item that is not as advertised?

As suggested above, B&H, Adorama and Cameta all are reputable. But they won't have a better price on Canon or Nikon than your local Best Buy as they must sell them at the price suggested by the manufacturer. You will save sales tax as none of them operate a store outside of Florida, but I ask if the tax savings would be worth the hassle of having to ship it back if there is a problem with the camera or lens. Personally, I've bought my cameras and lenses locally to ensure I can return them locally if there are any issues.

2. Is there a best way of locating refurbished equipment as some of the forum members recommend it; I don’t see many ads for these items.

Nikon and Canon sell refurbished cameras online......You'll have to check often as the availability of stock varies. B&H and Adorama do as well. I've never purchased a refurb as I prefer to buy new, but I can certainly see the value in a factory refurbished unit at a discount.

3. Is there any item or dealer we should avoid?

Avoid ANY dealer who sells at a discounted price. See my comment to number 1. The cameras you are considering should all be pretty much the same price at any dealer who is authorized to sell the cameras. Any dealer offering a huge discount is not authorized and will likely be selling gray market. Meaning you won't have a US warranty and if you have a problem, well.....buyer beware.

4. Finally, any suggestions/opinions as to which camera and set of lenses. The reviews from this forum appear to be more genuine, authentic and based on experience.

All the cameras you listed are excellent cameras. Since you haven't yet had a digital camera, you're going to get to learn all about ISO, White Balance, etc., terms you're not currently familiar with. For this reason and because I know Nikon better than Canon, the D3200 and D5200 have a button which will help educate you as you learn new features. This might be a really good thing for you as you learn. The D5200 also includes an articulated screen, which is actually a nice feature for situations when you're not in an optimal position to take a picture and you can angle the LCD to see what the lens sees from different vantage points.

As far as kits go, they'll all come with an 18MM - 55MM kit lens and they'll typically offer a bundle where you can add a 55MM - 200MM kit lens, which will give all the reach you'll need to get started. Other nice add-on's would likely be a camera bag and a decent memory card.

The best camera is the one that feels best in your hand and has the features you want in a camera. There will be some great opportunities to save a bit on Black Friday, even at Best Buy, so it could be a great opportunity to get a great kit at a great price.

Hope this helps..........

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Nov 24, 2013 23:59:01   #
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Nov 25, 2013 00:42:49   #
Dave Johnson
 
efrank460, I concur with Rbrylawski on all of his points. I would like to make a a few points in addition to those above. I started with a T3i and loved it but when I bought it I bought the body only and added a Sigma 18-200 lens in place of the 18-55 kit lens. That lens has since been surpassed by the 18-250. These lenses from either Tamron or Sigma will be more versatile and give excellent image quality. Also consider the peripheral purchases you'll have to make. Extra battery, SD cards, camera bag, tripod, etc.

| Reply
Nov 25, 2013 00:48:12   #
St3v3M
 
Welcome to UHH

| Reply
Nov 25, 2013 06:22:38   #
beauxPatrick
 
I have the T3i KIT and I not only got the 18-55 lens...but, the 55-250... a small bag (too small) and an 8 GB SD card.

I like the SD card better than the CF... because it is available from so many sources and not that expensive... I use a 32 GB card and I can shoot RAW/Jpg and I get around 800 shots per card...

I am an old film shooter and I really like the way digital has advanced... this is an 18 MP camera and the detail is amazing... both lenses are macro...

I paid right at $1000... for the Kit, then then extras to get filters, flash, etc...

All in all, just for the camera I have invested around $1500...

| Reply
Nov 25, 2013 08:28:58   #
jjestar
 
The Nikons you mentioned have just come out on sale.
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/promotion/10385/nikon-buy-together-and-save.html

| Reply
Nov 25, 2013 08:41:46   #
jerryc41 (a regular here)
 
efrank460 wrote:
Hi, all;
Am new to posting on this forum but have been lurking and reading trying to absorb from the wealth of experience. Used to have a 35mm back in the film days. Took a lot of photos strictly as an amateur and enjoyed using the different lenses, for different types of shots in all kinds of situations. The camera went the way of all things mechanical and we got rid of the whole kit. With the advent of digital I can see that the technical end of this has changed dramatically. I would like to get back into the amateur end of photography and must make a decision on what to buy, where to buy it and what is the final price. We are approaching retirement have grandchildren of all ages and interests and live near the water. The opportunity and desire for wildlife shots as well as shots of grandchildren from infants to high school athletes are available. The budget is set at $1,000 max. If I can get an occasional shot that can be blown up and printed, we would be thrilled. I’ve looked at a few cameras and a friend has a Canon Rebel T3 and takes nice shots at the zoo. Some of the cameras I’ve been considering are the Canon T3i, the Nikon 3200 & 5200. Whereas we have no remaining 35mm equipment we are also considering one of the kit packages. Pricing some of these out at the local big box stores eats up $1,000 pretty fast with none of the extras like a variety of lenses, bags, tripod, additional battery, charger, filters, lens hoods, etc., etc. I see there are several suppliers who sell packages online that look pretty economical. A few of the features that I like on some of the cameras are the articulated viewing screen, the higher mps on some, the auto focus feature and at my age the image stabilization. I will go again to one of the stores and try to hold a camera and work the menu. With the camera wired to the display counter it is a little difficult to get a true feel for it.
1. Has anyone had experience buying one of the all inclusive kits from an online seller? Were you satisfied? Can they be dealt with in terms of returns, or an item that is not as advertised?
2. Is there a best way of locating refurbished equipment as some of the forum members recommend it; I don’t see many ads for these items.
3. Is there any item or dealer we should avoid?
4. Finally, any suggestions/opinions as to which camera and set of lenses. The reviews from this forum appear to be more genuine, authentic and based on experience.

Thanks in advance,

Efrank460
Hi, all; br Am new to posting on this forum but ha... (show quote)

Welcome to our forum!

Authorized dealers sell within a few dollars of each other. Refurbished is what I always look for first.

I prefer to buy the body alone. Then I would buy the specific lens I want - refurbished or used.

I avoid "kits" sold by some dealers. These include filters, tripods, camera bags, etc. What they are doing is including cheap stuff you don't want to use anyway to make the package look attractive.

| Reply
Nov 25, 2013 08:57:51   #
joer (a regular here)
 
efrank460 wrote:
Hi, all;
Am new to posting on this forum but have been lurking and reading trying to absorb from the wealth of experience. Used to have a 35mm back in the film days. Took a lot of photos strictly as an amateur and enjoyed using the different lenses, for different types of shots in all kinds of situations. The camera went the way of all things mechanical and we got rid of the whole kit. With the advent of digital I can see that the technical end of this has changed dramatically. I would like to get back into the amateur end of photography and must make a decision on what to buy, where to buy it and what is the final price. We are approaching retirement have grandchildren of all ages and interests and live near the water. The opportunity and desire for wildlife shots as well as shots of grandchildren from infants to high school athletes are available. The budget is set at $1,000 max. If I can get an occasional shot that can be blown up and printed, we would be thrilled. I’ve looked at a few cameras and a friend has a Canon Rebel T3 and takes nice shots at the zoo. Some of the cameras I’ve been considering are the Canon T3i, the Nikon 3200 & 5200. Whereas we have no remaining 35mm equipment we are also considering one of the kit packages. Pricing some of these out at the local big box stores eats up $1,000 pretty fast with none of the extras like a variety of lenses, bags, tripod, additional battery, charger, filters, lens hoods, etc., etc. I see there are several suppliers who sell packages online that look pretty economical. A few of the features that I like on some of the cameras are the articulated viewing screen, the higher mps on some, the auto focus feature and at my age the image stabilization. I will go again to one of the stores and try to hold a camera and work the menu. With the camera wired to the display counter it is a little difficult to get a true feel for it.
1. Has anyone had experience buying one of the all inclusive kits from an online seller? Were you satisfied? Can they be dealt with in terms of returns, or an item that is not as advertised?
2. Is there a best way of locating refurbished equipment as some of the forum members recommend it; I don’t see many ads for these items.
3. Is there any item or dealer we should avoid?
4. Finally, any suggestions/opinions as to which camera and set of lenses. The reviews from this forum appear to be more genuine, authentic and based on experience.

Thanks in advance,

Efrank460
Hi, all; br Am new to posting on this forum but ha... (show quote)


The best bang for your buck are the bridge cameras. Easy to use, no issues with sensor crud, no changing lenses, good image quality as long as you don't crop or do extremely large prints. But then, with the available zoom range there is no need to crop.

Best examples are Panasonic FZ200 and Canon SX50 in that order.

And most of all, they will only consume a little more than half you budget.

Best place to buy is B & H Photo and Adorama.

| Reply
Nov 25, 2013 10:12:11   #
joealdrich
 
I'm kind of in the same boat regards being an old film guy. I don't think you can go wrong with any of the 24MP Nikons (7100,5300,5200,3200). I'm a big on using the brightest glass, so I haven't been "impressed" with the f/3.5 zooms Nikon offers in these kits EXCEPT in the 200-300 length lenses where f/3.5 is near top-end. I like the Nikon 28-300 for zoom range, but the 18-200 or Sigma's 18-250 make excellent "do everything" lenses as well. The 7100 with its' built-in motor lends more flexibility to third party lens choices, if you're into that. Good luck!

| Reply
Nov 25, 2013 11:53:12   #
Anne
 
Hi, all;
Am new to posting on this forum but have been lurking and reading trying to absorb from the wealth of experience. Used to have a 35mm back in the film days. Took a lot of photos strictly as an amateur and enjoyed using the different lenses, for different types of shots in all kinds of situations. The camera went the way of all things mechanical and we got rid of the whole kit. With the advent of digital I can see that the technical end of this has changed dramatically. I would like to get back into the amateur end of photography and must make a decision on what to buy, where to buy it and what is the final price. We are approaching retirement have grandchildren of all ages and interests and live near the water. The opportunity and desire for wildlife shots as well as shots of grandchildren from infants to high school athletes are available. The budget is set at $1,000 max. If I can get an occasional shot that can be blown up and printed, we would be thrilled. I’ve looked at a few cameras and a friend has a Canon Rebel T3 and takes nice shots at the zoo. Some of the cameras I’ve been considering are the Canon T3i, the Nikon 3200 & 5200. Whereas we have no remaining 35mm equipment we are also considering one of the kit packages. Pricing some of these out at the local big box stores eats up $1,000 pretty fast with none of the extras like a variety of lenses, bags, tripod, additional battery, charger, filters, lens hoods, etc., etc. I see there are several suppliers who sell packages online that look pretty economical. A few of the features that I like on some of the cameras are the articulated viewing screen, the higher mps on some, the auto focus feature and at my age the image stabilization. I will go again to one of the stores and try to hold a camera and work the menu. With the camera wired to the display counter it is a little difficult to get a true feel for it.
1. Has anyone had experience buying one of the all inclusive kits from an online seller? Were you satisfied? Can they be dealt with in terms of returns, or an item that is not as advertised?
2. Is there a best way of locating refurbished equipment as some of the forum members recommend it; I don’t see many ads for these items.
3. Is there any item or dealer we should avoid?
4. Finally, any suggestions/opinions as to which camera and set of lenses. The reviews from this forum appear to be more genuine, authentic and based on experience.

Thanks in advance,

Efrank460
I just ordered a Canoon 60D body only from Canon refurbished department of their Retail online store. I am waiting for delivery but found heir prices very good. They have a loyalty program which gives you 20% off the refurbished price and I turned in an old, point and shoot film camera to qualify for the loyalty program and saved $100.00. This is my first refurbished purchase, Others in my camera club have gone this route and been very pleased. I told them what model I was looking for and it was not in when I called last week but they told me that they do get them in and would let me know when one arrives. It was 3 days later when they called back to tell me the model was available. If I don't like the camera I have until January 15th to return it. This info may be helpful to you.
Anne

| Reply
Nov 25, 2013 17:40:31   #
rhyde
 
Welcome to UHH.

May I suggest you consider the micro 4/3 mirrorless system, specifically the Olympus OMD E-M5. Olympus has just come out with the E-M1, which will drive down the price of the E-M5. It's a great camera and small enough to take with you anywhere. I take pictures of my grands with it!

| Reply
Nov 25, 2013 19:39:48   #
olcoach
 
Welcome to UHH. The subject has been covered but I too think you should shy away from kits and get a good all around lens, Look at the Tamron 18-270 which gives you broad shooting range. Have fun.

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Nov 26, 2013 02:16:11   #
amehta
 
Rbrylawski wrote:
Since you haven't yet had a digital camera, you're going to get to learn all about ISO, White Balance, etc., terms you're not currently familiar with.


All 35mm film shooters know about ISO, though they may call it ASA. When buying film, that was the 3rd question you asked, after b&w/color and slide/negative. :-)

I have a strong tendency to avoid zooms with a focal length range bigger than 5x, so I avoid any super-zooms. I think the optical engineers have to cut too many corners compared to using 2 lenses. So I'd prefer an 18-55 and 55-200 over a single 18-200 lens.

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