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Old Sep 17, 2006, 12:07 PM   #1
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I've been looking at buying an entry level DSLR, and was considering the Canon EOS 400D, but considering the cost of buying decent lenses and the CF cards, spare battery etc., I've started to think that perhaps I should get a less up-to-date body and invest in a better lens.

I've been looking at the Nikon D50 and have a few questions. Does anyone own it and have any personal opinions? How does it compare to the Canon 350D and the Pentax *ist DS? Is the CCD sensor a disadvantage to the CMOS in the 350D? Also, is there a dust-cleaning system? I've read a few reviews but can't find a mention of it. I'm not sure how much of a problem dust can be, seeing as I've never owned a DSLR.

Regarding lenses; after reading on photozone.de, I have a couple choices about what to get:

1. Buy with the 18-55mm kit lens, then get the 55-200 at a later date once I have got used to the feel of the camera and using a DSLR. This would cost me £400 initially for the camera and kit lens, plus £182 for the extra lens. Total £582


2. Buy the body only, and get the 18-70mm lens separately. The review of this lens is quite good, and said it would be a good all-purpose lens. This would cost me £330 for the body and then about £250 for the lens. Total £580

As you can see, the price is about the same for both choices. I'm going to be using the camera for general shots in my home country (UK) for the first few months; ie building/scenery in London, seaside shots at my family home, family, etc. Nothing action-packed like sports or anything. Then I will be going to Asia for 3 months, which is where the choice becomes important.

I'm not sure which of these options is best, the first gives me a greater range, and a decent zoom which I think would be nice, but the second is an all-round lens which would make travelling easier in terms of lens changing as well as weight. This is also where the dust consideration comes in; if am changing lens a lot I don't want dust to build up, as I'm not sure how exactly to clean the camera.

Either one of these choices is far better in terms of budget than my original consideration, which was a 400D, plus another lens, and all accessories, coming to over £700.

If anyone has any opinions or advice, I'd be most grateful. I'm new to this area, and thought I knew what I wanted with the 400D, but after reading around on this forum and various sites I am coming to realise that it's the photographer and lens that play a more important part in taking good photos than the body. The D50 is 'only' 6MP compared to the 10MP of the 400D, but I don't need that many MP, I'm not a pro, and not making prints, so I am starting to think lenses are more important. I can upgrade the body in a few years and still keep the decent lenses. Something else has just occured to me; is the lens mount on the D50 fairly generic? I don't want to buy lenses that are just restricted to this camera for when I upgrade.

Anyway, I have rambled a lot, I hope I made sense. Please feel free to offer any advice.

Thanks

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Old Sep 17, 2006, 2:13 PM   #2
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Xanin wrote:
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(from your subtitle) Looks good, but too old?
I hope not, I just bought one yesterday. :-)Still learning the ropes, its my first DSLR and so far its been great. About the only thing I can tell you is that no, it doesn't have an autodust cleaner, I bought a microfiber cloth for it and so far that works fine just to wipe itdry. They said I could get a lens cleaner to use with the cloth but right now I'm OK.

About the lenses, I'm no pro but I would suggest the 2 lens option so that you get an overall bigger range and go ahead and get it when you get your camera so you can feel out the differences between the two to know which one is better for each shot. I got a secong lens with my cam yesterday and its cool seeing the differences.
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Old Sep 17, 2006, 3:19 PM   #3
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Thanks for the feedback slammin. Which lens did you get beside the kit one? And how much did you pay, if you don't mind me asking? I've read that the kit lens isn't as good as the 18-70, particulary at the 18mm end. Apprently barrel distortions are quite noticable.
Also, is that microfibre cloth for you sensor or lens?
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Old Sep 17, 2006, 3:48 PM   #4
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I have my D50 for 6 months now and very happy with it. Make sure to hand hold each camera before buying them. I bought the 350D initially, but after owning it for 6 weeks I returned it. The size is just really bad. I have a small hand, but I find my pinky finger gripping on nothing. The problem is worst when you're using lenses heavier than the kit lens. The 400D is the same size as 350D. I use my camera on hiking and after taking the 350D on a couple of hiking, my hand was really sore afterwards. Another thing that I like about Nikon, at least in the US, is that their lenses come with 5 year warranty. The Canon I looked at, 17-85 IS USM, only came with 1 yr. In general I also felt that the D50 was a good enough camera and I'm better off saving my money and spend it on better lens. I have my eyes on the 18-200VR and will get it once I can find them.

I looked at the CMOS vs CCD initially, but it really doesn't matter. There is more to imaging than sensor type. Ignore this choices.

The D50 has no anti-dust system on it's sensor. I find the dust issue a non-issue. The worst dust issue I had took less than 10 mins with a blower to clean up. I bought sensor swabs and solution needed for wet cleaning, but now regret having it, since I don't know when I'll be using it. But I guess it's nice to have if you're going on long trips. There are ways to minimize chances of getting dust, it's matter of changing lenses smartly. But you will need a blower, get one of those rocket blowers, not immitations.

Regarding lenses, the 18-55 and 55-200 kit is a good combo. You can also look at the 18-200 lenses, Nikon has one that's hard to find. People have had good comments on Sigma and Tamron versions.

Any lenses today that fits on the D50 will fit on other Nikon Digital SLR cameras. The DX designation on Nikon lenses are for DSLRs with sensors smaller than 35mm film.

Good Luck!


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Old Sep 18, 2006, 7:50 AM   #5
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I`ve taken over 10,000 pictures with my D50, it has earned me enough money to buy a D200 ,and a couple of lenses.The D50 is an excellent camera and I will not part with it.

It sits in my bag as a backup, and I know when its needed it will produce quality results.

So yes ,, go and buy one,, they are a steal at todays prices

TD

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Old Sep 18, 2006, 9:24 PM   #6
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I`ve got a D50 and a Nikkor 18-200mm VR lens and i`m very very happy with this combination.

You won`t have to change lenses therefore no dust problems.

You can always upgrade the body later.

You are better to invest more in the lens.
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Old Sep 19, 2006, 5:01 PM   #7
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Xanin wrote:
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Thanks for the feedback slammin. Which lens did you get beside the kit one? And how much did you pay, if you don't mind me asking? I've read that the kit lens isn't as good as the 18-70, particulary at the 18mm end. Apprently barrel distortions are quite noticable.
Also, is that microfibre cloth for you sensor or lens?
The second lens I gotis a Promaster AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 LD MACRO and sticker price on it was $189.99 USD. I bought itas part ofan "in-store"bundle so I'm not sure exactly how much I paid. I only use the microfiber cloth on the lenses, I'm not exactly surewhat I'd use on the sensor but I don't think I would use that cloth.
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Old Oct 2, 2006, 6:59 PM   #8
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Have a look what you can do with a D50 and a Nikkor 18-200mm VR lens :

www.pixagogo.com/philippeluyckx

Look at the following albums :

taken with Nikon D50 & 50mm f/1.8D

taken with Nikon D50 & Nikkor 18-200mm >> password : forum
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Old Oct 4, 2006, 10:37 AM   #9
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Looks like wrong pass :lol:
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Old Oct 5, 2006, 9:54 AM   #10
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Pass is correct but carefull not in capital letter.
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