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Old May 31, 2004, 4:50 PM   #1
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Background

Hello! I'm new to the forums and new to SLR cameras in general. I have been using a 2 MP point and shoot for years now but I have decided I want to move onto something more professional.

Usage

I run a news and review site and I am often invited to various launch parties and conventions. The main purpose of this camera will be to document these events. These pictures will primarily be available on line as part of the articles. My 2 MP camera has been more then adequate for web photography. The images rarely need to be over 400 px wide. However I have grown tired to constantly replacing the batteries, not to mention not being able to properly control lighting and focus.

I would also like to expand my use of photography as more of a hobby. I would love to take pictures of people (Portraits and more candid poses) and landscapes in a semi professional atmosphere.

Limits

I know it's easy to go crazy on these things. I can easily talk myself up and before you know it, I am spending 3x what I feel comfortable with. I don't want to spend more then $2000 when all is done. That will include the lenses I will need, a nice large(min 512 mb) memory card , extended battery pack, case, strap, dust kit, and anything else I will need.

Remember I am just starting out in the SLR camera class, so I have nothing. I will need everything a first timer will need and I don't want to break $2000 getting there.

Research

I have read several sites, and dozens of reviews and I think I have decided on two dSLR packages. The Sigma SD10 and the Nikon D70. I am open to other suggestions but please reference reviews and if possible, your own experience with the alternative vs one of the SLRs I mentioned above.

NOTES
  • The majority of my photography will be indoors and lighting may be "low" but not dark. [/*]
  • I still want to do landscapes as well as nice close-ups for product shots (brochures and marketing pamphlets) [/*]
  • Do any cameras do particularly good skin tones? [/*]
  • I am set on an SLR so please No Digital Rebels or Minolta Dimage A2s.[/*]
Thank you for all your help!
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Old May 31, 2004, 10:32 PM   #2
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First of all I don't know what you mean about the digital rebel - it is a true digital slr. Having said that, I would pick the D70 over the sigma. The sigma is only 3.4 mp and with that price tag I don't see anything to make me choose it over the D70. You would be wise to get the kit with the 18-70 lens and also get a 70-200 or 70-300.

In regards to the skin tones the best camera is probably the fuji s2 but it's probably out of your budget.
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Old May 31, 2004, 11:32 PM   #3
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Sorry, I'm a victim of ambiguous product lines. The review on the Rebel I had seen was for a non SLR camera. I have to admit the images I have seen fro the sigma have impressed me. Plus the two lens package is appealing.

I took a trip to Wolf (Wolf, Kits, Ritz) Camera today and got my hands on a few of the Cameras including a D70, D100 and a Canon 10D. I felt pretty comfortable with the D70 and I liked the price point. I figure the $1600 price point of the sigma plus a flash already puts my budget into uncomfortable territory..

Regardless, I'm willing to spend the extra $500 or so it would take to get the sigma up to par if it meant I would get significantly better pictures. It seems the sigma images hold up to Enlargement and still look better (to my eye) then the stock images of many higher MP SLRs.

The fact is, I'm lower then an armature when it comes to all this. And I mostly need a camera that will give me Nice indoor and candid shots but still "prosumer" enough to take nice landscapes and even Portraits in a semi professional environment.

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Old Jun 1, 2004, 12:07 AM   #4
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First I wanted to thank you for the good description of the issues and your uses. Too many people say "which should I buy" and don't say anything more. I just don't even try to answer those any more... it isn't worth the time and frustration.

The D70 has a very nice advantage which will help you with your indoor event photography. A really high flash sync speed (1/500.) The only other camera I know that has one that high is the 1D (NOT the 1D Mark II, which is lower.) That is a huge win for flash photography, as it allows for much better flash performance. That will help you a lot in indoor photography in darker spaces.

How I'd rate the cameras is as follows:

Of the 2 you originally listed, the D70 should be the one. I believe the D70 should be chosed over the D100, so that is easy. The DRebel is probably basically the same or a little lower than the D70 (it depends on usage.) The Canon 10D is around the D70 or a bit higher (depends on your usage.)

You'll spend around $120 on a good CF card, $30 on a battery, $50 on a case, $20 on a strap (unless you like the one it comes with), $50 on the grip, $1299 on the camer a (I think.) So you're looking at having about $400 on a lens. That is not much. I don't know the quality of the kit lens, but its a decent wide angle. Not a very good f-stop for indoor low light shooting. I'm not sure what the best lens would be and you won't have any left for a flash.

Eric
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Old Jun 1, 2004, 1:20 AM   #5
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Hey, thanks for noticing the effort I put into the question.

I want to start off with by saying the $2000 is to get me up and running. And I have a list VERY similar to what you described. However, in mine I have the battery grip (about $180) and the remote for another 20.

I'm not too worried about the glass at this point. I think the Nikkor DX 18-70 Zoom will fill my needs adequately for now.

That said, I think I can wait on an external flash for now (About $350?) and any extra glass I may want two months down the road. I think at this point I have answered my own question.

The Sigma's lack of a flash means I'm looking at a $300 option on top of the $1600 camera. That doesn't even leave room for a decent CF card. If I pushed the budget to $2500 I would have to know my photos would be ‘noticeable' better.

I think at this point we all know the answer unless someone can give me a real good argument for the Sigma.

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Old Jun 1, 2004, 9:18 AM   #6
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The price on the grip was just a guess. Pity its as high as you said. Personally, I get about 400 pictures on 3/4 of a battery with my 10D. I bet you'll get similar results with the D70. Is that enough pictures? If so, then you don't need the grip. Do get the extra battery, though. I've been happy with my after market battery (which is usually cheaper and has a larger capacity) but I know others who complain about how they stop taking a charge after 6 months to a year (not enough.) If that is the same with the D70 I don't know.

Another benefit for waiting is that you can get used to the camera and learn how you'll use it. That will help guide you towards future lenses. So you'll get what you really will use.

Eric
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