1  The camera details

1 Nikon D3000 10.2MP Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S DX VR Nikkor Zoom Lens

Nikon D3000 10.2MP Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm f:3.5-5.6G AF-S DX VR Nikkor Zoom Lens

1.1 Description

  • 10.2-megapixel DX-format imaging sensor for prints up to 20 x 30 inches
  • Includes 3x 18-55mm Zoom-Nikkor VR Image Stabilization lens
  • Nikon EXPEED image processing; in-camera image editing and Active D-Lighting
  • 3.0-inch color LCD screen; 170-degree wide-angle viewing
  • Capture images to SD/SDHC memory cards (not included)

1.2 The best review

Purchased this for my daughter, who actually can use a film 35 mm, knows how to develop the film and has probably taken over 1000 selfies with her cell phone! She loves the camera! Myself, I have a camera that does all the work for my and can still cut off heads, miss the target completely, etc!
As she has been known to break cameras, phones, etc, we purchased the warranty for this. She did end up with a problem with her pictures being fuzzy! By the time this happened, I had no idea where the paperwork was. Went on Amazon.com, pulled up purchase history, got the information and contacted the warranty people! They emailed me a copy of my receipt and a mailing label.
All I had to do was put it in a box and take it to UPS, they had it back to her literally within about 3 or 4 days tops! It was truly amazing! Back to the camera, if you are buying for someone who truly can take pictures, this is a great buy.

2 Canon EOS Rebel T1i 15.1 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera with 3-Inch LCD (Body Only)

Canon EOS Rebel T1i 15.1 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera with 3-Inch LCD

2.1 Description

  • New 15.1-megapixel CMOS sensor with DIGIC 4 Image Processor
  • Body only; lenses sold separately
  • Full HD video capture at 1920 x 1080 resolution; HDMI output
  • 3.0-inch Clear View LCD; Live View Function for stills (Quick, Live and Face Detection AF modes) and video
  • Capture images and video to SD/SDHC memory cards (not included)

2.2 The best review

I bought this camera about a month ago and have been experimenting with it ever since. i bought it after reading several rave reviews (was rated #1 customer-purchase last year in some worldwide research). I bought the lens kit and i would have to say that if you are SLR savvy then skip the lens kit because to me the quality and output of this lens is just “average” nothing special / you can buy or acquire a much nicer lenses (i.e. I bought some inexpensive canon FD and pentax super takumar lenses from ebay and works perfect with an adapter also available on ebay).
Just this weekend, i was at a family event, took pics using the T1i plus super-takumar 50mm f1.4 lens – results were real nice; crisp quality in image and in color! i did black/white video (same lens) and it looks real sharp / like proffessional grade! i would recommend the canon eos rebel T1i with a caveat to use other lenses / not the kit lens / just my opinion; canon makes real good products and someone told me that they even use canon lenses these days to film tv productions.
Last note from me, if you buy from amazon, be prepared to see the price fluctuate (most likely you will pay more for it today than next week / that happened to me / price was $20 cheaper the following week / and amazon will not give you a refund to guarantee lowest price.

3 Pentax K-50 16MP Digital SLR Camera with 3-Inch LCD – Body Only (Black)

 Pentax K-50 16MP Digital SLR Camera with 3-Inch LCD

3.1 Description

  • 16 MP APS-C CMOS Sensor. A high performance 16 megapixel APS-C CMOS image sensor strikes the perfect balance between resolution and image quality.
  • ISO Speeds up to 51200. High sensitivity shooting up to 51200 ISO range improves noise performance throughout, even in low lighting.
  • Eye-Fi Card Compatibility with Eye-Fi wireless SD cards, the user can send images to a smartphone. Users can enable automatic transmission of images to a smartphone for sharing. Users can even select favorite images and resize before transmission.
  • Innovative In-body Shake Reduction (SR) Mechanism. The PENTAX in-body, sensor-shift Shake and Dust Reduction technology ensures sharp, image stabilized, auto-leveled, and dust-free imaging with any mounted lens.
  • Full 1080p h.264 HD video recording. Full 1080p HD video capture at 30 frames per second (60 FPS for 720p) features efficient h.264 compression, flexible exposure control, and HDR finishing options for stunning video quality.

3.2 The best review

A simply spectacular tool. I am a Pentaxian for sure, but I have used many other brands including the Big Two, and nothing comes close at this price point. You get a modern update of the highly acclaimed 16 MP Sony sensor in a fully weather-sealed body with a matching (high quality) kit lens for under $700!

The body is unbelievable rugged for being plastic. It makes every other DSLR in its price range feel like a cheap toy. Plus, the grip is hands down the best I have ever felt at any price. It hugs my hand and locks in place–no need for a hand strap. The grip and solid, unyielding body are why I chose this model over the K-5II.

At low ISOs, the older sensor is on par or maybe a little noisier than competing models, but when the lights go down, this thing shines. Zero noise gain when well exposed, but if you have to push say a 3200 RAW image, you will be blown away at the headroom the K-50 has in its 12 bit files. And if you can find noise (by pushing), it’s not that gross banding we are used to seeing with cameras that shoot for marking megapixels rather than image quality. It is a gentle, film-like fine grain in very large prints. And this is for color, if you’re converting to B&W, you can take this thing all the way through its ISO range and make beautiful small prints.

The menu system is as near perfect as I can trust engineers to make it. They either are, or work with photographers. Everything you need is one to three clicks away. I tried using a D5200 recently, and I couldn’t even figure out how to set it to RAW, I had to look it up. Then ISO took me five minutes. It was ridiculous. I guarantee you will not have this problem with any Pentax DSLR from 2010 to today.

The lens is pretty brilliant for a kit lens. It is weather-sealed and solid. The zoom is very well dampened. It feels high-quality. I have used many kit lenses in the past from many manufacturers, and this one is the best. It even beats Panasonic’s micro four-thirds kit lens in build. Image quality wise, it’s about on par with others; by that I mean it needs to be stopped down to shine. But it is very sharp throughout the range when it has plenty of light.

Now for the bad: The out-of-camera JPEGs suck. Pentax has never had great JPEG processing. This sensor begs to be left alone. Shoot RAW and use a calibrated monitor to edit the images (it records in DNG, so there’s no worry there).

Moreover, this body needs good glass. Please don’t be a hipster and buy a high-quality camera and only use the kit lens. This is a serious tool, not a toy, so invest in decent lenses. Luckily, the K-mount has among the most expansive and diverse lens collection in photography (it’s why I shoot Pentax). But you don’t have to break the bank, just go to your favorite flea market or internet auction site and look for old manual lenses. You’ll be surprised and the quality that can be had for under 50 USD.

So there it is. My very first ever Amazon product review. Yes, I love this camera that much. It is not just an alternative brand. And this is not an alternative camera at all because the competition doesn’t come close at this price.

Bottom line: If you are looking for your first DSLR, or if you’re considering switching mounts because you’re growing tired of the half-adding and broken promises the Big Two have been accused of lately, you cannot go wrong with the Pentax K-50.

4 Canon EOS Rebel T5 EF-S 18-55mm IS II Digital SLR Kit (Certified Refurbished)

Canon EOS Rebel T5 EF-S 18-55mm IS II Digital SLR Kit

4.1 Description

  • This Certified Refurbished product is tested and certified to look and work like new. The refurbishing process includes functionality testing, basic cleaning, inspection, and repackaging. The product ships with all relevant accessories, a minimum 90-
  • 18 megapixel CMOS (APS-C) sensor with DIGIC 4 image processor, EF-S 18-55mm IS II standard zoom lens expands picture-taking possibilities
  • 3-inch LCD TFT color, liquid-crystal monitor for easy viewing and sharing, EOS 1080p full HD movie mode helps you capture brilliant results
  • 3.0 fps Continuous Shooting, 9-Point AF System and AI Servo AF
  • Features include continuous shooting up to 3fps, Scene Intelligent Auto mode, creative filers, built-in flash and feature guide

4.2 The best review

Unlike many of the reviewers on here, I don’t have another DSLR camera to compare this one to. It’s my first, but what I want to do is approach this review from the pov of a first-time DLSR user. I kinda have no choice, eh? But what I mean is, instead of going on about specifics, I am looking at how easy was it for a beginner like me to use this camera.

The short and simple answer: Very easy.

First, let me say I have had several Canon compact point-and-shoot digital cameras. My current one is the Powershot SX280 HS, which I LOVE. One thing I love about Canon is that they tend to set up their cameras very similarly between models, so I had no trouble getting used to where buttons were and what different symbols mean and how to scroll through menus.

Some of the features I really like about the T5 are the weight, the fit in my hand, the large view screen, the button placement, the battery life, the ease of use of the software for uploading pictures, and the picture quality is great.

The main thing is, I was able to pull this camera out of the box and just start using it.

More specifically, I had a blast taking macro shots. I am a total nerd when it comes to insects and such, so I love taking close-ups. Not just bugs, but all kinds of things. This camera is great for those kinds of shots. Great for portrait and distance as well, but this was the feature that had me scouring my yard for cool stuff to shoot.

I do agree with others about the slowness of the auto focus. However, it does kind of depend on what you’re shooting and what the lighting is like. In nice afternoon sun, the speed was quite good for me.

5 Nikon D3100 14.2MP Digital SLR Double-Zoom Lens Kit with 18-55mm and 55-200mm DX Zoom Lenses (Black) (Discontinued by Manufacturer)

Nikon D3100 14.2MP Digital SLR Double-Zoom Lens Kit with 18-55mm and 55-200mm DX Zoom Lenses 

5.1 Description

  • 14.2 megapixel DX-format CMOS sensor
  • 3.0 inch LCD with 230,000 dots
  • 1080p HD video with full-time AF
  • 11 AF points (with 3D tracking)
  • IS0 100-3200 range (12800 expanded)
  • RAW + JPEG shooting

5.2 The best review

I bought this camera for my wife after she did all the research (much of that here on Amazon) and from the recommendation of several friends. We are novice photographers but can say that so far we are both pleased with the performance. I’ve always leaned towards pocket point and shoots for the simple fact that I would carry them more often. But they were always hit or miss with regards to speed, image quality, etc. and have become somewhat superfluous as cell phone cameras have gotten better.

Enter the D3100

No way P&S or cell phone cameras could give us the shots we get for the D3100. Last weekend at our 4 year old’s soccer game, that became even MORE glaringly obvious. I opted for the VR lens, but can’t tell you if it makes a difference or not. Worst case is that I spent $100 extra if we don’t like the VR and turn it off.

I have no other SLR to compare it to (other than a 1980s Canon A1 that I used to use) so I can’t say how it stacks up against other current offerings. All I can tell you is that if you think you want to step up to a SLR, this is a nice way to go. The body is not huge, you get 2 lenses that should handle 95%+ of all your needs and you get speed, and quality shots that are FAR better than P&S cameras we spent $300 on.

I just got back from a trip to oregon and wished I had taken the SLR. Phone camera was great for shots durign bike rides, etc., but “coastal tourist” shots would have been much better with the 3100.

6 Canon EOS 50D 15.1 MP Digital SLR Camera Kit (Black)

Canon EOS 50D 15.1 MP Digital SLR Camera Kit

6.1 Description

  • 15.1-megapixel CMOS sensor with improved noise reduction
  • EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM standard zoom lens included
  • Enhanced Live View shooting includes Face Detection Live mode
  • New Lens Peripheral Illumination Correction setting; HDMI output
  • Capture images to Compact Flash Type I or II memory cards (not included)

6.2 The best review

I started a photography business and I’ve been using my Canon Rebel T1i for the past year. It’s been a great camera and I love it, but now that I’m starting to do more weddings, I needed a more semi-professional camera to keep up with the pace and strain of your average wedding. I had been looking to get the 50D for some time and after I was paid for a wedding and the 60D was announced (looks like Canon is making the XXD line more consumer oriented), I knew it was time to get the 50D.

Having come from using the T1i, the first thing I had to get used to was all the buttons. Seriously, there are more buttons on the 50D because parameters like meter, white balance, etc. have their own button rather than having to go through menus like on the T1i. But this makes adjustments much faster, since there are less menus to dig into. And the adjustment wheel on the back of the camera is awesome, again because it makes adjustments quick. I no longer have to press a button to adjust exposure compensation, I can just use the wheel on the back.

The camera is also quieter than the T1i. Shutter and mirror noise from the 50D are noticeably quieter than the T1i. This will help greatly with the weddings I’ll be shooting and with more photojournalistic shoots.

Everything else about the camera is a step up from the T1i. Just a few things I really like are the faster burst rate (6 fps sounds like a machine gun) and having all the focus points be cross type, which aids greatly in low light focusing (espcially with a fast prime, like my 85mm f/1.8). All this will help me capture weddings much better.

The only drawback is that the 50D with a grip (I bought an Opteka) is quite big and heavy. The T1i with a battery grip felt pretty hefty, but the 50D with a grip feels like I’m carrying around a brick. I’m sure over time I’ll get used to the weight, but for now I usually think twice about carrying the 50D around. It does help a lot to get a padded shoulder strap (I found one by Targus that was only $10).

As I continue to grow my photography business, I have confidence now tackling more jobs with the 50D compared to just having the T1i. I look forward to really putting the camera through its paces.

7 Nikon D3300 24.2 MP CMOS Digital SLR with AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR II Zoom Lens (Grey)

Nikon D3300 24.2 MP CMOS Digital SLR with AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f:3.5-5.6G VR II Zoom Lens

7.1 Description

  • 24.2 MP CMOS DX-format sensor
  • 5 frames per second continuous shooting
  • 11 AF points with 3D tracking
  • ISO 100-12800 (expandable to 25600)
  • 1080 (60, 50, 30, 25, 24 fps) HD video (MPEG-4/H.264/MOV).The D3300’s 11-point Autofocus System locks onto your subjects as soon as they enter the frame and stays with them until you catch the shot you want.
  • 3 inch LCD with 921,000 dots

7.2 The best review

Awesome camera. Got this as a Christmas gift. Great for amateur photography. Mine came with the 18-55mm and 55-200mm lens. Great for family photos, taking pictures outside, and kids activities and sports.
The max resolution is 4000×6000 so it can produce a decent size print of great quality depending on what pictures you take. The controls are easy to figure out once you read the manual and then play around with the settings. I best way to learn the camera inside and out are to manipulate the settings and see what pictures you get.

8 Canon EOS Rebel T4i 18.0 MP Digital SLR with 18-135mm EF-S IS STM Lens (OLD MODEL)

Canon EOS Rebel T4i 18.0 MP Digital SLR with 18-135mm EF-S IS STM Lens

8.1 Description

  • 18MP APS-C “Hybrid CMOS” sensor
  • 5 frames per second continuous shooting
  • 9-point AF system, all cross-type
  • ISO 100-12800, expandable to 25600
  • 1080p HD video recording
  • 3.0 inch articulated touch sensitive LCD with 1,040,000 dots
  • 14-bit DIGIC 5 processor
  • Built-in stereo microphone as well as external microphone input

8.2 The best review

My last camera was a c. 2005 point-and-shoot. I was ready for the “big girl” DSLR. I knew nothing about lenses. I had no idea why I’d want an 18~135mm lens, other than I take a lot of action photos, and don’t have time to get closer to my subject.

I am so glad I got the T4i with this lens! If you know nothing about interchangeable lenses, let me tell you — a wide angle lens doesn’t mean your subject will be tiny. The zoom capability takes care of that. You can get the equivalent of a 5x zoom with this lens. If you need more than that, get another lens or crop. Yes, just crop in Photoshop.

(NOTE: This is an EF-S lens, not an EF, which means that it can only be used with the cropped sensor cameras; they cannot be mounted on full-frame sensor camera bodies. Only a problem for lenses that you expect to continue to use should you trade up to a full-frame model.)

LOVE: Image Stabilization, baby cakes! How many times have I ruined a shot due to hand shake? A thing of the past. It’s built into the lens, though you can turn it off for artistic effects.

ALSO LOVE: Shutter priority! Aperture priority! A real treat after the nearly-always-auto point-and-shoot. I’m learning a lot about exposure and the ways to get challenging shots and artistic shots.

One last word: HDR. That stands for high dynamic range. Does it right in the camera. For the shots where there is a lot of light behind your subject, and you’d like to capture some of the detail in the lighter areas. Be ready to use a tripod for that, but also be aware of the artistic possibilities of a long exposure with HDR that gives you those artistic streaks, such as moving water or city scenes.

I’m having a lot of fun with this camera.

9 Canon Digital Rebel XSI 12.2 MP Digital SLR Camera with EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens (Silver)

Canon Digital Rebel XSI 12.2 MP Digital SLR Camera with EF-S 18-55mm f:3.5-5.6 IS Lens

9.1 Description

  • 12.2-megapixel CMOS sensor captures enough detail for poster-size, photo-quality prints
  • Large 3.0-inch LCD display; includes Canon’s EF-S 18-55mm, f3.5-5.6 IS zoom lens
  • DIGIC III image processor provides fast, accurate image processing; improved Autofocus and framing rate
  • EOS Integrated Cleaning system, plus Dust Delete Data Detection in included software
  • Stores images on SD/SDHC memory cards (not included)

9.2 The best review

I’m barely an amateur photographer, so I’m not going to get technical because I can’t.

I own a film SLR, but haven’t used it in about 5 years–ever since “quality” digital point-and-shoots flooded the market. I left the film and all of the manual tinkering behind for the ease of use. Now having this camera for a few days, I’m sorry I did that. My latest P&S is a Canon S3 IS, which has a nice zoom and takes good pics. It may never be used again.

The first thing I immediately noticed is the depth of field that the XSi produced. I forgot how good an SLR could be. Upload the pics to your computer and the clarity and color of the photos are just unbelievable. Night or indoor shooting is equally amazing. I never got good results when I disabled the flash on my P&S cameras, but I am shocked at how well the photos turn out in a low-light situation when not using the flash on this one.

The camera and lens does feel a bit cheap with all of the plastic. But, I plan on taking care of it, so I’m ok with that. The battery seems to have a lot of juice in it for hundreds of pics before recharging (2 hour charge). I don’t see myself using the “live view” function too much. It doesn’t really work like a P&S like it may seem. There is no memory card in the kit, which is fine with me since the cards included in most cameras are very low capacity and essentially useless.

I love this camera and wish I would’ve jumped on a DSLR sooner. Then again, maybe it was well worth the wait…

Edit: October 31, 2008
Still loving this camera in every way after about 3000 pics. Image quality still impresses me and battery life is also very good. Extremely satisfied.

10 Canon EOS Rebel T2i 18 MP CMOS APS-C Sensor DIGIC 4 Image Processor Full-HD Movie Mode Digital SLR Camera and EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS UD Standard Zoom Lens (Discontinued by Manufacturer)

Canon EOS Rebel T2i 18 MP CMOS APS-C Sensor DIGIC 4 Image Processor Full-HD Movie Mode Digital SLR Camera and EF-S 18-135mm f:3.5-5.6 IS UD Standard Zoom Lens

10.1 Description

  • 18.0 Megapixel CMOS (APS-C) Sensor and DIGIC 4 Image Processor Offer High Image Quality and Speed
  • ISO 100-6400 (Expandable to 12800) For Shooting From Bright to Dim Light
  • EOS Movie Mode Has Manual Exposure, Expanded Recording Modes, and Improved Sound Quality
  • Enhanced 63-Zone, Dual-Layer Metering System and 9-point AF System
  • Quick Control Screen Button for Easy Access to Frequently Used Settings
  • Wide 3.0-inch (3:2 Aspect Ratio) Clear View LCD Monitor (1.04 Million Dots) for Improved Viewing

10.2 The best review

Having worked with larger body Canon EOS cameras in the past, I was reluctant to buy a smaller body camera due to the shape of my hands (big dude with big hands), but price was a major factor in purchasing this refurbished T2i. Adding a battery grip solved the size/grip issues immediately.

The 18MP sensor (17.9 actual in file resolution) produces images at the same quality as the 60D and 7D camera bodies. The only issue is the ISO availabilities, with this maxing out at 6400. However, I doubt I will be shooting in super high ISO due to image noise, and made a point of fitting images with image stabilization (gyroscopic) which allows for longer shutter times and therefore the ability to get a good shot on a lower ISO.

I could go over this in a full review, but it isn’t necessary. The camera rocks.

Only 2 cons, both of which have an easy solution:

1) Out of the box, the camera’s remote port for a wired shutter switch did not work with my Opteka switch. Expecting that I got a bad switch, I went out and bought the Canon RS-60E3 switch, and it also didn’t work. I reloaded the camera’s firmware, no joy. I then went out and downloaded a fresh copy from the Canon website, extracted it, and loaded it, and now both switches work. So, if you end up with this issue, download a fresh copy FROM CANON and it seems to be the solution.

2) Audio tends to shift quite a bit, with the camera running an automatic gain, which leaves you with garbage (hiss) in recorded audio. This is one feature that the higher end offers, the ability to disable the gain, but the T2i (as well as T1i and T3i) firmware sets do not allow this. Adding the Magical Lantern firmware enhancement (search Google) adds an additional programming menu from the SD card where it is installed, and allows 7D-level control of audio. Magical Lantern turns this into an amazing video device!

 

2 The camera list

Produce Price

Rate

1 Nikon D3000 10.2MP Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S DX VR Nikkor Zoom Lens $198.00 ★★★★☆
2 Canon EOS Rebel T1i 15.1 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera with 3-Inch LCD (Body Only)

$242.80

★★★★☆
3 Pentax K-50 16MP Digital SLR Camera with 3-Inch LCD – Body Only (Black)

$242.80

★★★★☆
4 Canon EOS Rebel T5 EF-S 18-55mm IS II Digital SLR Kit (Certified Refurbished)

$379.00

★★★★☆
5 Nikon D3100 14.2MP Digital SLR Double-Zoom Lens Kit with 18-55mm and 55-200mm DX Zoom Lenses (Black) (Discontinued by Manufacturer)

$335.00

★★★★☆
6 Canon EOS 50D 15.1 MP Digital SLR Camera Kit (Black)

$242.80

★★★★☆
7 Nikon D3300 24.2 MP CMOS Digital SLR with AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR II Zoom Lens (Grey)

$499.95

★★★★☆
8 Canon EOS Rebel T4i 18.0 MP Digital SLR with 18-135mm EF-S IS STM Lens (OLD MODEL)

$499.95

★★★★☆
9 Canon Digital Rebel XSI 12.2 MP Digital SLR Camera with EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens (Silver)

$285.95

★★★★☆
10 Canon EOS Rebel T2i 18 MP CMOS APS-C Sensor DIGIC 4 Image Processor Full-HD Movie Mode Digital SLR Camera and EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS UD Standard Zoom Lens (Discontinued by Manufacturer)

$285.95

★★★★☆