Have you wanted to start enjoying photography and then discovered just how expensive digital cameras are? Well the truth is this, you don’t need the newest or the best cameras to start enjoying photography as a hobby.
There are so many bargains out there for you to snap up! To prove my point. I’m going to find one of the following cameras and published a photograph from it on my new journal to prove what it can do over the next 52 weeks (once I have found a second hand camera and lens). So what camera’s would I recommend?
Nikon D300 or Canon 40D
So what would be the best camera to buy second hand that would offer great results in late 2018? I’m going to recommend either the Nikon D300 or the Canon 40D. A good copy of either can be picked up for less than £200. They’re well built and very tough.
Both Nikon and Canon provide their own free raw converters either Nikon Capture NX-D or Canon DPP4.
So What’s the Catch?
“But they don’t have very many mega pixels, nor are very good in low light and they’re only a crop sensors”, I hear you say.
The Nikon D300 produces images that are naturally 4288 x 2848 pixels (14.29 x 9.49 inches) at 300 dpi.
The Canon 40D produces images that are naturally 3888 x 2592 pixels (12.96 x 8.64 inches) at 300 dpi.
So not much difference. How big do you print? In any event both will produce fantastic images for the internet.
On my wall today, I’ve perfect, framed prints from a Nikon D300 that are 18 x 12 inches in size. The Canon can easily do the same.
When these cameras were released, they were seriously lusted after! In 2018 they’re not as good in low light as more modern cameras, But that’s all
Is that really an issue? Well it depends on what you’re photographing.
Taking Low Light Photographs
If you’re capturing moving objects in low light then having better low light noise performance would be useful as you can have a higher shutter speed to freeze the action.
If you’re taking static images in very low light, it’s not an issue. Put the camera on a tripod, set the ISO to its base setting and let the shutter remain open for longer to get your exposure.
Finally the sensor size thing. Zack Arias says it all perfectly in his video. If you’re concerned about sensor size watch this. But it really isn’t about the size of your sensor, its how you use it. I had a small one for a long time and didn’t have any complaints!
Which Lens to Buy
The Sigma 18-50 2.8 EX is a cheap bargain lens that you can buy for for either Nikon and Canon. Just make sure you choose the right lens mount.
The featured image on this post was taken with a Nikon D300 and a Sigma 18-50 f2.8 lens.
The Sigma has been ungraded to the Sigma 17-50 2.8 EX DC OS now. Still a bargain second hand.
I would definitely get the Nikon 35mm f1.8G AF DX over the Sigma. The Nikon would be a great choice! It’ll make you think about your composition and move your legs. Using one prime lens will train your eye to see the image before you even raise the camera to look through the viewfinder. You can pick a nice secondhand one up for £119.
For Canon a 24 2.8 STM pancake would be my choice to get. Brand new these are just £149 and can be found for less than £100 secondhand.
Other Recommended Camera’s to Buy
If you’d prefer have a compact system camera (CSC), Fuji would be my recommended route. An X-Pro1, X-E2 or X-T1 will be a bit more than the Nikon but still cheap as chips for digital cameras. As for a lens, the Fuji 28mm f2 or the 35 1.4 would make a great first purchase. Else try the newer Fuji 23 f2 or 35 f2, being newer, they’ll be more expensive.
Once you have a camera and lens then you can start your new hobby. Then practise, practise, practise. Then practise some more!
I’m now going to search for cheap second hand camera and will posts again once I’ve found something suitable.
Page last updated: 07/11/18