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Best Mid Level SLR for under $1000

lowe-boylowe-boy Posts: 1,222 Officer
Been debating on getting a new user friendly camera that my girl can use with really simplistic features. Primary use is photos of family & friends, outdoors, birds and maybe stills, panoramics, etc.

Here is the site that I am working with as I have an account with them:


What other accessories are a must have?

The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.


  • ChuckcChuckc Posts: 4,398 Captain
    It would be best to have your girl make a trip to a camera store to try some out to make sure she's comfy with the menus, etc. A D3100 or Canon t3 leaves enough room under the $1k to pick up a 55-200, 55-250 or something along those lines lens, maybe even a basic tripod. If I were doing it my primary consideration would be what she seems most comfortable with, the next would be what gear my friends have in case I needed to borrow a lens for a special need or a test.
  • WaterEngineerWaterEngineer Posts: 24,415 AG
    Agreed....and in addition check out or have her check out the new Nikon V1.....small.......great image quality.....interchangeable lenses....so small she will have it with her all the time.

    Nikon hit a home run with this one.
  • mississippi macmississippi mac Posts: 4,222 Captain
    canon t3i.....
    a surprisingly great camera with a lot of great and simple to use features...

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  • GuidenetGuidenet Posts: 239 Officer
    At this level, there is no Best. They are all about the same as far as entry level DSLRs are concerned. The Canon T3 or slightly higher T3i is a good bet with a mature design and well thought out feature set. The Nikon D3100 and slightly higher D5100 are along the same lines. You couldn't go wrong with any of these. I'd go to the store and handle them, especially if you have a real ma and pa, brick and mortar camera store. Hold them up to your eye. Hold them in one and two hands. Get a feel for them and then decide.

    You didn't mention it, but I'll tell you. I'd avoid Olympus right now because of the corporate problems they're having. I'd be a little afraid of Pentax because they are under new ownership. I would totally ignore Sony for a number of reasons I'll not get into. Canon and Nikon are still your best bets with Pentax at third.

    If I were buying for my gal or daughter, here's exactly what I'd get in your price range. I'd get a Nikon D5100 with the Nikon 18-105 VR Kit lens. That lens is a serious upgrade to the 18-55 kit you often see, but so well worth it. Just get that one lens and don't get any other lens until the camera and that one lens is mastered. You shouldn't need another lens, really unless there's something specific you need to do where that lens can't be worked around. By choosing this specific lens, you're on a better long term path than the cheapy kit lenses like the Nikon 18-55 combined with the 55-200 and the Canon 18-55 with their 55-250. People who start with that better 18-105 VR tend to save up a little longer and get the much much better 70-300 VR when they need a longer telephoto zoom. It ends up being a better all around kit long term than trying to cram in the cheapy twin lens kit at the start. Trust me.

    Unfortunately Canon's version of that superb 18-105 VR is the 18-135 IS and is not that good of a lens optically. So if you go Canon, the twin lens outfit might be the better choice. I don't know why Canon dropped the ball on that upgraded kit lens. They can make great glass most of the time.
    Nikon D800, D3S, D700, D300, Canon G1X, Sigma 15 f/2.8 Fisheye, Sigma 10-20 f/4-5.6, Nikon 16-35 f/4 VR, Nikon 28 f/1.8G AFS, Tamron 17-50 f/2.8, Nikon 35-70 f/2.8 AFD, Nikon 80-200 f/2.8 AFD, Nikon 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 VR, Nikon 80-400 f/4.5-5.6 AFS VR, Nikon 35 f/2, Nikon 50 f/1.8 G, Nikon 60 f/2.8 G Micro, Nikon 85 f/1.4 AFS G, Nikon 105 f/2.5 AI, Sigma 150 f/2.8 APO Macro, Nikon 300 f/2.8 AFS VR, Nikon 500 f/4 -P, Interfit Stellar X complete six light studio
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