Entry-level DSLR options .. seeking advice

I'm interested in picking up photography as a hobby and looking into my options in the DSLR world.

My brother has a Nikon d3100 that I have played around with and really enjoy and I am looking for something similar but cheaper.

The camera would be used in all environments (indoor/outdoor/low light/etc)

Right now I have the following options:

New Canon Rebel XS for $415
New Nikon D3000 for $449
New Nikon D5000 for $575
Refurbished Nikon D3000 for $399

Or should I take a stab at any of the DSLRs in Canon's customer loyalty program? I'm also open to used options and hoping to spend less than $600 on everything (MAX, hoping to go cheaper).

I'm really interested in making a purchase soon and exploring the world of photography.

For those more knowledgeable on the topic, can you please comment as to which would be the best option?

6 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about entry level dslr options seeking advice
  1. Choosing a Nikon will give you the ability to change lenses with your brother if you have different lenses. Other wise all cameras listed a good entry level units
  2. thanks for the advice.

    I am leaning towards the D5000 option and am going to the store tomorrow to play with all the models and figure out whats best.
  3. Best answer
    For your purchase, try searching online. They offer much better deals there than most in-store locations.

    Recommended stores to look at:

    When deciding which camera to buy, ignore some of the marketing gimmicks they advertise such as megapixels, effects, and the extra lenses they throw in.

    Megapixels: as long as you have above 10.0-12.0 megapixels in your digital camera you'll have more than necessary... Unless you're a professional and you make VERY large detailed prints.

    Effects: these are sort of a waste since you can do all of this stuff later in a photo editing application like photoshop.

    Lenses: since you are just starting out, I wouldn't be too concerned about this; however, If you plan on getting into photography more in the near future, then it may be wise to consider that the glass (lens) you choose is just as important as the body. As an intermediate-professional photographer it would be wise to spend (more or less) 50% $$ on body and 50% $$ on lenses. *This is why they sell some camera models as body only* But, since you are just beginning, the 18-55 lens the body usually comes with should be ok for now.

    Things to consider:

    Features that are important to look for in the camera (depending on what is most important to you) are ISO range; burst mode fps (if you want to shoot sports or fast moving subjects); the option to shoot video (HDSLR video is getting quite big nowadays!); the size of the camera and layout of the controls/buttons (whatever you prefer); and if it matters to you, the LCD size.

    There are other features, but probably ones that don't relate to your buying options right now...

    I recommend even looking on craigslist for cameras and lenses that people are selling. Just make sure you find out how much wear they've had, number of shutter actuations, and how old they are.
  4. Best answer selected by r1p5aw.
  5. thank you halley!
  6. Just saw the Nikon 3000 on sale at today in the student sale's section. Not sure how good this one is, but it just caught my eye since you had listed that one...
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