Beginner's SLR - Budget of $650 : LUSENET : Photography Singapore : One Thread

I hope to pick up photography by getting an entry-level SLR which consists of AF and manual capabilities. As I have a really tight budget ($650) I'm currently looking at Minolta 505si Kit.

Can someone comment on the above camera or recommended an SLR with comparable capabilities and still within the budget? I've considered Nikon initially but F60 is really expensive. Preferably the price includes all the necessary components (lens, case, tripod,etc).

Sure sounds like poor-man's photography? Thanks for your advise.

-- Chian Leng (, May 27, 1999


I would personally recommend the Canon EOS 500 / EOS 500N camera with a Tamron 28 - 200mm lens. This would be about $800-$900. If this is too expensive for u, then get the kit which comes with a lens from about 28/35 - 80mm.
There's a new EOS 300. It is very small with all the essential features like P, Manual, Av and Tv mode. $650 should be enough to pay for it.
Please don't get the EOS 888 or 88.

-- Wee Keng Hor (, May 28, 1999.

I agree with everything WKH has said above except the last bit about avoiding the EOS 888 and 88. He's only half right there. The 888 "is" not useful as it has limited capabilities but the newer 88 has no such limitations. It has almost exactly the same specs as the EOS 500 or 500N that he recommends. I'd say that the 88,500 or 500N would definitely suit your need. But the 88 only comes in a kit form (~S$500)with a 35-76 lens which is sadly quite terrible. The 500N is available for ~S$470 for the body alone so it might be better to get the newest body the EOS 300 which retails for ~S$500 (body only). That leaves you with $150 for a lens. Don't worry. For about $130 you can get the EF 50/1.8 which is an excellent lens. The lens may be lightly built and feel plasticky BUT and that's a very big but, the optics are superb. It'll surpass almost any consumer zoom. The remaining $20 could be spent getting a second hand camera bag. Incidentally I recommend that this is the only item that you try to buy second hand as everyone knows how to check a camera bag but not many of us know about used cameras and lenses. Don't be tempted by the attractive prices you see at the 2nd hand shops around peninsula plaza unless you go with a very experienced photographer friend who can check the equipment for you or you trust the shop implicitly. With the basic camera, lens and bag you can start shooting. As you grow in your hobby, you can save up for stuff like tripods and filters, new lenses etc.

Good luck.

-- Linus (, May 28, 1999.

I have just won a new F60 from a lucky draw. It includes batt. and 35-80mm lens. Never shot before. Willing to let go at $600. Why sell? Coz I'm a canon user:) Pg 92595088.

-- raymond lee (, June 05, 1999.

I just got the EOS 300 kit for around $690. That was the cheapest price around town. The Kit is adequate but the 25-80mm zoom lens isn't too great so you might want to swap it for a 50mm/f1.8. That would give you enough from the $650 to purchase the BP-200, which is a nice addition or a drybox, if you don't have one already. Me? Saving to get the prime lens, which is not that ex and maybe another better zoom in a few months time. Meanwhile, just getting used to the many features of the EOS 300. Have fun

-- raizan (, May 08, 2000.

An old question but for the benefit of anyone else out there looking for a feature packed SLR at a budget price, look at the Pentax MZ-30. S$485 with 28-80 Pentax lens (Sept 2000 price). AF, manual focus, AV,TV,subject based program modes (night,sports,etc), green smiley face mode,multi exposure,etc etc. +/-2 diopter eyesight correction. Very light weight. Good optics. Popup flash power is weeny just like all other on camera popup flashes but exposure is accurate.

Bought one and put several rolls through it before passing to the other shareholder. Works great as a P&S. Set it to Smiley face mode for everything.

-- Fred Sun (, January 06, 2001.

Hi Chian, you have a good budget for your camera, my suggestion is that you, can choose a Nikon F55 which is around S$S500/- and ask for a tripod (around S$50/-, bag around 50/-), etc. So within 600/- you can have the complete set. The Nikon F55 comes with a standard 28 - 80 lens. So it is very good for begineers. Mustafa sells this camera at 490/- and Louis Photo sells this at 480/-. Check the stocks as they are in short supply.

-- Harish (, April 15, 2002.

Have a Canon EOS 630 RT for sale. Way within your budget.

-- Christine Tan (, May 27, 2002.

Nikon FE10 For Sale.... INcludes Camera Flash, Nikon Bag ...etc...

-- LioNeL (, September 07, 2002.

Who can give me a full review of Canon EOS 500 ?? and who can give me a copy of book or manual of Canon EOS 500 ?? Thanks a lot !!

-- Yoga (, February 09, 2003.

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