Is there an advantage, that Canon or Nikon's entry level dSLRs hold over their competition ones (notably Sony) for a young enthusias who wants to learn more but is currently, and probably won't in the immediate future, not interested in investing too much in lenses, apart from the starting one and maybe one with that.

More interested in technique and composition.

Edit: mattdm beautifulyl put it in the comments below, so I'll just steal his words. Apart from being able to upgrade indefinitely into the ecosystem, what would be the reasons for choosing Canon/Nikon entry level models?

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    IMO, slight variation given the linked answers focus on the advantages of the alternatives rather than the advantages of Canon/Nikon. – AndyML Mar 11 '14 at 16:26
  • @mattdm - Read it, and most certanly it tangents the same question. However, I am aiming specifically on entry level models in this one, and am hoping to get answers on what would be their disadvantages over Can/Nikon's. That of course is time dependent, but my modest read on the subject, it seems that it has been that way for a few years now. Canon and Nikon keeping some more interesting options in their mid range models, while Sony attracting buyers while implementing them in their entry levels. This comment space is a bit too short, but I think you already understand my meaning above. – Rook Mar 11 '14 at 16:31
  • @AndyML - Or vice versa. – Rook Mar 11 '14 at 16:32
  • I think the "or vice versa" kind of clinches this as a duplicate. :) The other answers certainly should cover entry-level cameras as well. – mattdm Mar 11 '14 at 19:45
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    Surprised this is closed as a dupe, the other question is worded (and is getting questions to the effect) that it doesn't answer this question at all. When answering a question of 'Why is X better than Y' you wouldn't reply with points explaining why Y is better than X which is what this question is asking. And, IMO, this question is a better way to phrase the question "Why choose the big brands over the other guys and vice versa" – Shizam Mar 11 '14 at 21:51

The biggest advantage (for a non-professional) of the "Big Two" is the availability of third party add-ons.

For an enthusiast with a limited budget being able to buy third party lenses and flashes can be a big deal.

Also eBay is full of cheep Chinese cables, adapters, triggers and flashes for Canon and Nikon cameras - there is a much smaller selection of more expensive items for Sony and almost nothing for other brands.

  • Good point on third party equipment. ++ – Rook Mar 11 '14 at 20:05

One of the biggest advantages that you'll find with the Canon/Nikon route (at least for APS-C/FF) is the ability to scale up to the professional level within the same ecosystem.

At the entry-level, most brands offer excellent quality and a good selection of lenses over your standard focal length range. What you're getting with Canon and Nikon is the ability to start upgrading your camera body to semi-pro and pro while maintaining many of the same lenses, flashes, interface layout, ect. As you scale upward, eventually the other manufacturers taper off as their body/lens selection stops meeting the needs of high-end professionals.

The ability to scale to the highest level of demand is something to consider, but many photographers do not desire to reach this level and instead enjoy the advantages found in other manufacturers.

  • This is a reasonable point, but I think it's important to note that this ceiling is quite high; it's not that Pentax / Sony / etc. only offer entry-level cameras and lenses. That is, we're talking about what you might need to do if camera bodies and lenses that exceed $1000 each do not meet your needs. – mattdm Mar 11 '14 at 19:34
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    And personally, while I think it's fine to keep in mind as a factor, I don't think this should be a big concern for any beginner. You'll make plenty of spending mistakes along the way anyway, and trying to save nickels and dimes by locking yourself in early doesn't make long-term sense. Look at the bigger system and your likely future needs — especially where you see yourself in two or three years — not a lifetime of theoretical growth. – mattdm Mar 11 '14 at 19:41
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    @mattdm I certainly agree. I honestly don't think there are any big factors to consider when comparing manufacturers. As a beginner, it's not so much the manufacturer, but more the camera. Look at all cameras between all manufacturers and select a camera based on comfort, features you want, and anything else that will cause the photographer to want to take the camera with them wherever they go. – AndyML Mar 11 '14 at 19:50
  • @mattdm - With that comment you've read my mind. What I wanted to say but hadn't managed to come up with the right words. – Rook Mar 11 '14 at 20:07

The downside to the big two is that they often cost a bit more for a similar level of features. The upside, on the cheap side, is that they have a far wider set of accessories available by third parties which are cheaper than the accessories available for the smaller players.

Another upside, if you plan to grow in photography, is that you can invest in higher quality lenses that will be useful on higher end cameras. When you start getting in to the higher end cameras, the big two start to have a more decided advantage in terms of build quality and feature set. Canon and Nikon both make some phenomenal high end optics, but unless you plan on going a long way in photography eventually, this isn't really a major factor.

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