Blog - Sharing Expertise, Experience & Tips

Client asks advice on buying a £600 stills camera

This week I had a client that I am making a few films for request some recommendations for a "camera about £600, primarily to shoot good stills". Here's what I suggested:

I would consider the Panasonic Lumix LX100 as a relatively small/compact (i.e. ideal for the worldwide travel some of their team do) but very capable camera.  Nice big sensor and fast lens.  It will also shoot some pretty decent video.  Basically, you'd be buying one of the very best compact cameras currently available (I have considered buying one myself!).  The newer Lumix GX80 at £600 is a strong contender too, with the advantage that the relatively slow kit lens is interchangeable, allowing use of better/other M43 lenses in the future. The Sony RX100 iii is also a very good alternative to look at too.  In truth, none of them is a truly compact camera - but much more portable for travel etc. than those below.

If you are OK with something a bit bigger in the "bridge" camera format then the Panasonic FZ1000 or Sony RX10 might be worth considering (there is a newer RX10 ii but that's much more expensive).  They will be more cumbersome to carry/pack but are still not big or heavy.  Think of them as a bit like a small DSLR but without the ability to change the lens.

If you want something in the true DSLR format then the Canon 760D will offer interchangeable lens options for the future, good battery life and generally very good ergonomics.  It's about £550 body only so, to start with, I'd suggest you also buy the Canon 18-55mm F3.5-F5.6 EF-S IS (Image Stabilised) "kit" lens (about £150). Not a spectacular lens though (bit slow). Note, a decent Canon zoom lens (like my 17-55mm F2.8 IS EF-S) is going to be in the £600-700 area alone.

However, that's pushing the £600 budget a bit - so look at the Canon 700D body (older but very similar and a still very capable entry level DSLR) which can be found for about £350-£400 or similar Canon 750D which I see is about £480 body only.  Be aware that DSLRs at the price range are plastic bodies and have some compromises...Nikon also do various budget DSLRs and lenses but I know very little about them as I'm a "Canon man". 

When you home in on a particular camera just Google that model number with the word "review" and see what people think.  Best review sites are ones like DPReview etc. but different reviewers notice and comment on different things. A good scan read of a few reviews will give you a better feeling for the strengths and weaknesses of each camera on your short list. Then, ideally, go to John Lewis or Campkins in Cambridge and actually handle one yourself before buying!

Some specific camera review links below:

Below are some links to some recent more general review sites with "round-up, best, top ten" etc. summaries that might help home in on what fits your needs best.

The client was very appreciative of this information - hope it might help someone else with a similar need.