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Old Oct 26, 2006, 7:51 PM   #1
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I'm going to buy a new Digital SLR this week.

I'm thinking if I should stay in the area of 600-700$ D50 and K100D or invest in a twice the price S3 Pro / 30D.

I mostly like to take pictures of sports and racing, animals and night long exposure shots.

I am defenatly not a Proffesional, just want to get more into pro photographing and have a good camera for it.

I will probably have the camera for many years and I won't sell it (I don't sell my cameras) and that's why i'm intimidated to invest twice as much, so I won't need to upgrade.

Both budgets - I don't know which of the 2 to choose from, and unfortunaly I don't have somewhere to try them out (the electronic stores here don't carry them).
What do you think?
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Old Oct 26, 2006, 8:53 PM   #2
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I'd start with an entry level DSLR.

Lenses are holding their value alot better than the cameras right now. These digital cameras are a fairly new technology, and advancements have been coming rather quickly. They're quite good now, and it's possible the pace of improvement will slow down some. But no matter how much you spend on the camera, you might be tempted to upgrade in a few years.

Meanwhile a great lens from 10 or 15 years ago is still a great lens. And some will still sell for nearly as much as people paid for them. And there's a good chance you'll end up spending more on the lenses than the camera.

Plus, the S3 Pro and 30D are both good, but have different stregths. Maybe with some more experience you'll have a better idea what you really want as well. The S3 Pro is more popular with wedding and portrait photographers, while the 30D would be more suited to the sports and action shooting you mentioned.

Also, the S3 Pro is being replaced early next year with the S5 Pro, so prices could come down a bit more on that one if you wait (though they're already down some).

Also, while the K100D is one of the better entry level values, you might be better off sticking to Nikon or Canon if you do expect to want something better. The new K10D would be the next step up from the K100, but I'm not sure yet how that stacks up as far as sports and action type shooting.

If you go with the Nikon D50 or D70s, you have a clearer upgrade path. You will be able to keep your lenses if you decided to move up to a D200 (or to a Fuji S3 or S5 Pro).

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Old Oct 26, 2006, 9:28 PM   #3
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Get the cheapest camera you can find and put twice as much money as you have into the lenses!

Alright maybe thats a bit extreme, but its the direction you should head. For $1200 you can have a professional quality lens setup tailored to any one use but covering most ranges adequately (just to give an idea of possible price range). You can certainly trim that back substantially, all the way to $50 in some cases, but its nice to know what your up against. Cameras cost $500/$1100/$1600 and up, but its best to start low with one that you find comfortable to use and hold. You'll probably know when its time to upgrade, the camera dosent contribute much to image quality (unless your comparing VASTLY different models, like a 2001 D30 vs a new 5D).
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Old Oct 26, 2006, 9:46 PM   #4
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Well, I need to choose the path, either Canon or Nikon.
Canon it's either the 30D or 20D with a good price or the 350XT/Rebel.
Nikon (lenses) S3 Pro or D50/D70s and Nikon lenses.

I have to many options and I need to make up my mind first of all if I'll go with Canon lenses or Nikon lenses. like you said in the long run, you'll be upgrading the cameras and keeping your lenses.

But why should I buy an entery level and upgrade, I won't sell the camera anyway and if I buy a midrage dSLR I'll be using it for years, I don't think it will get much better then this in the next few years and I won't need more then 10-12MP anyhow.

You still think I should go with an entry level one?

Can you explain to me how can I judge the quality of the lense from specifications? I know the best line of lenses from canon for sports are the white telephoto lenses.
I don't know which lenses to buy, which are better, and which lenses I really need.

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Old Oct 27, 2006, 6:53 AM   #5
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After reading a bit more I narrowed down the choices.

Either a Canon Rebel XT 350D or a Nikon D70s.

I'm buying from eBay, so I will most likely go to the best value item i'll find.
I'll list what I found so far:

-Body only Rebel XT for 470$ Shipped.
-Body only D70s + 1GB CF for 590$ Shipped.

-Nikon D70s with 3 lenses (Nikkor 28-100 and 70-300 and digital optics wide angel 0.5x), 2 battaries, 4GB microdrive, sunpack ext flash (looks cheap) and 3 filters - 1000$.
-Canon Rebel XT with 3 lenses (Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM, Canon EF-S 18-55mm, Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III), 1 UV haze filter, 2 batts, 3 1GB CF cards - 1000$.

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Old Nov 2, 2006, 5:01 PM   #6
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Just wanted to update I decided to get the Canon EOS 30D with 18-55 lens kit. for around 1150$.
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Old Nov 3, 2006, 1:06 PM   #7
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tphss wrote:
Thanks a lot for all the info!
I'll have the 18-55 I get with the kit and I want a second lens with very fast focus speed and very good image quality.
How come you didn't comment about the 70-200mm EF-L lens I was looking at? This lens is very fast and hight quality isn't it?

With 1110$ on the camera kit + 170$ for the battery grip i'll have about MAX 600$ for a lens for now.
Sorry, missed your question about the 70-200 f4. It's a great lens, just not suited particularly well to your needs - it's too short. Even with a 1.4x TC, it's short for wildlife use. Put a 2x TC on it and you lose autofocus capability and image quality starts to degrade. For motorsport use I would think it's also a bit short - but there I'm guessing. I don't shoot motorsports but do a great deal of sports shooting and from what I've seen, motorsports is typically done in the 300-400mm range.

So, the 70-200 f4 is really a great lens, I just think it's too short for your wildlife and sports shooting needs - especially wildlife where 400mm can be 'too short'. A couple years ago, my longest lens was a Sigma 70-200 2.8. I found it was way too short for wildlife work, even with a 1.4x TC. It was also short for my sports work but I shoot completely different types of sports. Still, I would think 200mm is short for motorsports.

I don't shoot with one, so here's my advice - the same advice I giive to everyone wanting to know if a particular lens is good fora certain type of photography:

1. Seek out advice from someone who uses the 70-200 f4 to shoot motorsports and wildlife. See if their shots are the level of quality you're after. If they're a reliable photographer they should have dozens of shots if not hundreds with the lens in that condition. Everyone can have one great shot once in a while - that isn't a good indicator of how a lens performs. You want to see a breadth of work from the lens in THAT SPECIFIC TYPE OF PHOTOGRAPHY to judge by.

2. Search pbase and other photography sites that allow you to search out images by lens. See if you can find a decent body of work from this lens in your shooting conditions.

There are a LOT of wildlife photogs out there - and some very good ones in these forums. If you can't find wildlife photogs using a particular lens with dozens of photos to share that will tell you something. It may be tougher to find photogs who shoot motorsports - especially on this forum. I'd recommend searching the sports forum for any motorsports posts and checking with those photogs. Otherwise check othere forums (dpreview, fred miranda, etc...) for sports shooters that do that type of work and ask their opinion if the 70-200 f4 is a good fiit for that sport.

Again, I'm not knocking the lens - it's a great tool - just not likely to be a good tool for the job you want to perform. But, in the end, everything is a compromisie - sometimes you have to live with a less-than-ideal tool until you can afford to buy the right tool.
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Old Nov 3, 2006, 1:35 PM   #8
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OK, I'll try this again (wrote a nice detailed response but there was an error with the web page and it got wiped out):

70-200 f4 is a great lens. But I don't think it's the right tool for your intended use. I think it's too short. Definitely too short for wildlife (where 400mm can be short). 300mm is usually the low end you need for wildlife photography. I started out with a 70-200 2.8 lens and found it way too short for wildlife. I don't do a lot of wildlife but what I do end up doing I found I needed at least 300mm. And, I suspect too short for motorsports.

Here's what I suggest doing: look in the sports and wildlife forums for photographers that shoot the types of wildlife you want to shoot and for a sports shooter that shoots motorsports. Ask for their advice. This is critical because, like I said, the 70-200 f4 is a great lens but might not be a good fit for you. So, be leary of the throngs of 70-200 f4 users who love this lens but may not use it for these purposes (always a danger when getting gear advice - just because it's good for one task doesn't make it good for all tasks). Seek out actual photographs too. Not just a single photo - even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while. Seek out galleries of photos. Most wildlife and sports photogs have dozens and hundreds of photos taken with various lenses. This way you are seeing how a lens performs in a breadth of work not just in one single shot. I've gotten a couple very good sports shots with my 28-135 lens but it is by no means a great sporting lens.

So, try and find photogs using that lens for motorsports and wildlife. There are a lot of people who own the lens (it is after all a populare and very capable lens)and their are a lot of wildlife photogs - so if you can't find people with photos who use the lens for your intended uses that should be a clue it's the wrong tool for the job.
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Old Nov 3, 2006, 3:49 PM   #9
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the 18-55 is crap. if i were you i'd get the d70s and invest in a good lens.
the sigma 17-70mm f2.8-4.5 or the tamron 17-50mm f2.8 come to my mind.
roughly, the price payed would be under 1000USD.

p.s. or the 20D with one of those lenses.
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Old Nov 3, 2006, 6:41 PM   #10
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I decided I would like to buy a Canon camera and stick with their lenses/cameras. So the D70s is off.
I assumed the 18-55 wouldn't be anything special, but the BODY ONLY price almost match's the price with the lens.

I checked, and there is not much price difference between a 20D and a 30D. easier to find a brand new 30D then a 20D, most 20D I find are used.

Here are some prices I found:
1) Exellent condition 20D for 740$ shipped (no lens).
2) New 30D /w 18-55 lens 1110$ shipped.
3) New 30D BODY ONLY 1085$ shipped.

Other then the camera itself, I want to buy the BG-E2 grip and a good lens. When i'll have some more money i'll buy an external flash as well.

I was looking at the 70-200mm EF-L lens (for 600$): http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...;rd=1&rd=1

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