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I need your help/ expertise...

I want to get a DSLR so I can practice my photography I love taking pictures for family and when I travel (maybe for vlogging too), and eventually do engagement pictures for my cousins - 2 are getting married next year and the year after :)

I recently found my sister's DSLR laying around (she moved away and said I can use it or sell it), it's a Canon Rebel T3 Body with EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Type II lens

So here's where I need your help.. should I...

  1. Sell this camera off for $250 (?) I think that's how much it's worth; and invest in a new camera. Friends are recommending the Canon 60D for pics or 70D for video/pics

  2. Keep Body and get better lens? Not sure about the 12.2megapixel and the picture quality

  3. Any other suggestions ? I would like to keep it under $800 total spending

Thank you in advance !!

closed as off-topic by scottbb, inkista, mattdm, Michael C, Olivier Apr 10 '17 at 17:30

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This is just me, but use what you've got until you know what you need.

Your inexperience and lack of knowledge are likely to be far bigger stumbling blocks to getting the image quality you want than the gear. Things like megapixels and frame rates, etc. all make less difference than messageboard discussions make it out to be. Lower-end gear tends to look worse because it's bought by newbs who don't know what they're doing. $3000+ cameras tend to look better because they're bought by experienced, skilled, and talented photographers who do know what they're doing. But just as buying a custom Fender Stratocaster doesn't mean you'll become a rock star overnight, getting a higher-end camera doesn't mean you're gonna shoot Vogue covers overnight. You gotta learn how to use your tools.

Sure, an 18-55 is low end and limited. But how you use it is still going to be more of a problem than the glass itself. And you need to learn how to use one lens to figure out what the next one you want is. Unless you're happy shooting with what your friends prefer, rather than what you know you need.

There's also the fact that camera gear shifts all the time. The 60D was followed by the 70D, which is now followed by the 80D and 77D. And in six months time, there may be another model or another or another, ad infinitum. The longer you wait, the better the tech you'll score when you do plunk down your dollars. And the more specifically you can tailor to what you want/need.

I went from a dRebel to an XXD to a 5Dii, to a micro four-thirds, to an X100T. It's a journey. And the end goals are different for everyone, because what/how you shoot and how much you can spend are specific to you.

My only advice for purchases early on are to invest in cards, batteries, a card reader (if your computer doesn't have one), post-processing software, and hard drive backup. Then you can think about lenses and bodies. And by then you may realize a dSLR isn't what you want.

See also: What do I need to consider to choose between dSLR, mirrorless, or a compact as my first "serious" camera?

  • For the flip side of this coin, see most of the well-written answers to Are there disadvantages to a prosumer camera for a beginner, aside from cost? – Michael C Apr 10 '17 at 17:12
  • Is it even possible to get sharp images from an 18-55? I know Canon made some improvements since the original 18–55, but if it is even half as bad as the original, I would suggest upgrading the lens to something sharper right off the bat. That lens was such a dog that if I hadn't already been into videography, I probably would have given up on digital photography altogether. I assumed that the camera was low quality., but it out that the lens was out-resolved by the original Digital Rebel.... :-/ – dgatwood Apr 10 '17 at 17:31
  • One thing to consider as well: the longer one waits to sell a camera like the T3, the less it will be worth. Also, buying current models as they are replaced seems to be a good time to get them at significantly lower prices than what that model sold for over much of its life cycle. This can be a good strategy when moving up from the entry level to the the next tier. Take for example the Rebel T6s/760D vs. the 70D: They're currently the same price, depending on seller, at amazon. The 70D sold for about $200 more until replaced by the 80D,which currently sells for about $200 more. – Michael C Apr 10 '17 at 17:35
  • @dgatwood Beginning with the EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS the kit lenses were much better than the pre-IS versions that could be really bad, depending on the copy you got. My EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 II was just awful and I quickly replaced it with a Tamron SP 17-50mm f/2.8 Di II. For more, please see this answer to upgrading from kit lens – Michael C Apr 10 '17 at 17:58

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