DSLR Camera - Is this a good deal?

Hello everyone.
I Don't really have any experience with DSLR cameras and am looking to buy one for my dad who loves photography.
I noticed that with the Dick Smith Ebay promotion and Cash rewards, I can basically score this camera with the twin lens kit for about $625.

http://www.dicksmith.com.au/digital-slrs/nikon-d3200-dslr-vr...

I asked a friend who has some knowledge and he reckoned that with the lens option being 18-55 and 55-300 this is good as most kits only have 18-55 and 55-200.

Just wondering whether someone can point out if this is a good deal and is this a good camera for someone who is enthusiastic about photography but has never owned a digital SLR.

Appreciate your assistance.

Comments

  • The same kit for $752 at digidirect (till end of today)
    http://www.digidirect.com.au/slr_cameras/nikon/nikon_d3200_i...

    • +1

      I think I might be missing something here.
      The dick smith deal is costing me about $625.
      Are you suggesting that as it is listed at $752 at digidirect, the dick smith deal is good or is there another promotion on for digidirect as well where I could get it for less than $625?

      • Diksmith's price shows as $798.40 for me.

        Edit. Sorry, I didnt realise you took into account 20% from ebay.
        My apologies

        • No worries mate.

  • +3

    my 2c: don't buy a camera because it is a deal, buy one that suits your needs (and is still relatively cheap)

    find a kit with a longer lens.
    18-55 is effectively only a 3x zoom. You could tire of it early.
    Changing lens is an inconvenience, and over time you may become tired of changing the lens.
    It also means a larger kit bag to carry around.

    Go check some out in a camera shop before you commit to a twin lens kit.

    Also, re the difference between 200 & 300 max zoom, whilst sounding alot, depending on your photography patterns there may be very few occasions that actually warrant a zoom in the 200-300 range. Wouldn't put that high up the preference list.

    • Thanks mate.
      I understand your point about usage patterns but as I have no experience with something like this I am at a loss to make an informed choice.
      I understand that he will be looking at clicking general pictures around family functions and also for the occasional travel trips.
      It gets a bit harder when you are trying to guess the usage considering I am buying a gift.
      Thanks for your input though.

  • Got this DSLR with those lenses and it's great. You'll probably need a prime lens, and you'll be ready to take all sorts of photos.

  • With basic dslr kits don't base your choice on the zoom lens. You will find he most likely will rarely use it. Easier to buy one later if he finds he needs it.

    Stick with Canon or Nikon and make sure the lens does have IS (image stabilisation).

    You can get some good single lens kits 18-55 for under $400 that will far exceed his expectations. It is too easy to go overboard with dslrs and waste a lot of money.

    The only problem with a dslr is it is a pain to lug around when travelling. Sometimes a good quality mid size digital camera somewhere between compact and dslr is better.

  • +1

    Some very good points above, particularly xywolap's point about it being a pain to lug around. You're best off working out how he will be using a camera before spending any money - doesn't matter how good the camera is, if it's inconvenient to carry around it's not going to get used.

    There are some very good bridging cameras on the market, like the Sony RX100 - larger sensor, fast lens for low light, manual controls and a very handy size to carry around.

    If your dad isn't too concerned about the size but wants the ability to change lenses for different types of photography then the D3200 is a pretty good choice.

    Compact system cameras like the olympus and panasonic range of micro four thirds lens cameras are also a very good choice as you have a good range of lenses in a much smaller package, with very good image quality.

    • Totally agree with you JayOh. Sony RX100 is a gem. I used a compact Sony NEX mirror-less camera with large APS-C sensor (similar to <$2000 Canon Nikon) and 18-200mm zoom lens for European tour. That's all you really need for <$1000. The pic quality is amazing including in dim locations like inside basilicas, night scenes, etc.

  • 3 things most camera buyers (esp. non-DSLR buyers, and I've got both so not 'judging') overlook:

    • the CMOS (called a 'CCD') size. This one is 23.2x15.4mm, and I think, quite a bit larger than most non-DSLRs (but I haven't checked). What this means most of all, is that images can be 'cropped' a lot with minimal loss of resolution if image taken at 'large' size in the first place AND/OR can be enlarged nicely to poster size.
    • the F-stop range on the zoom lens: the 18-55 here is 3.5 - 5.6. (Pretty good for such a cheap DSLR) again, resulting in better images even in quite low light. Also, both these lens are 'VR' - Nikon's way of saying 'image stabilised' (vibration reduction).
    • the DP etc. camera reviews, that say this camera is 'OK', especially for the price, but nothing great, and not as good as Canon's 600 entry-DSLR model.
    • Might be a typo but CCD and CMOS are mutually exclusive (but both are sensors). CCDs don't have the rolling shutter problem (eg: when lightning strikes no flicker) - also some purists prefer CCD as it has more colour saturation/film like effect while CMOS is rather 'cold'.

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