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November 24th 2011 2:53 pm

The major difference between a $600 beginner DSLR and a $1400 Intermediate/Pro DSLR

So I walked into Best Buy all set to drop down some benjamins on a Nikon 3100; and the sales guy talked me right out of it... I want to make this into a serious hobby and he stared me clear from any beginner setup from BOTH Canon and Nikon. So... now i'm one confused shopper with a lot of research. Can you guys go down the list of the major difference on a high end DSLR like the Nikon D7000 and the the beginner setups from both top dogs, Canon and Nikon?

Bare with my questions please. I know I hassled you guys about getting a beginner cam, but now i'm just thinking I should save some more and jump knee deep into it.
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doubledollarman's pick

I view myself a serious enthusiast. With some research and some great advice from other serious entusiasts, I purchased a Canon T3i. The advice: buy a system of lenses and you can upgrade the body later. So, I bought that T3i, body only. I also separately purchased an EF 85 f/1.8, perfect for indoor basketball shots. As my skills improve and my savings increase, I'll be able to upgrade my body and still use the lenses I've invested it. I've heard you really can't go wrong choosing between Nikon and Canon; they both have quality lenses and sensors.
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doubledollarman's pick

Smart phones replace the point & shoot cameras and are always in your pocket. Use that for snaps.

For hobbying, its well worth a DSLR, if you're committed. But also worth approaching it slowly - the entry level DSLRs from Canon & Nikon are, imo, the best way to wet your feet and make a decision if you want to invest much more cash.

I started with a Canon 400D (Rebel) and a few years later decided to upgrade to a Canon 60D. Its all been a pleasure to date!
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doubledollarman's pick

The higher end cameras have more features related to flash, faster burst speed, larger buffers, better ISO/low light performance, etc...

A better camera will not make you a better photographer, but it may make it easier to take some photos, and allow you to use more complicated setups. A higher end camera can make you look more professional, which is sometimes good, sometimes bad.

Having an SLR makes a big difference over a point and shoot for learning and mastering photography, in terms of learning to control light and getting an understanding of shutter, aperature, and ISO. An SLR will not in itself give you an eye for photos, nor make you subjects comfortable, nor help you manage a group of people for a shot. Those things just come from experience shooting with any camera with an eye for improvement.
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