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MissKay Oct 17, 2010 3:10 PM

Looking to buy my FIRST DSLR camera...
what's a good camera to make the transaction to a DSLR camera? I am looking to buy my first in February and want do as much research as possible so I don't just go and choose one. What is a good first DSLR camera?

shoturtle Oct 17, 2010 3:15 PM

What do you want to shoot with it, and what is your budget. And are you looking for a long zoom right away, and expanding to a fast prime at some point

MissKay Oct 17, 2010 3:20 PM

i want to be able to shoot mostly like landscape and people (mostly my nephew and niece) I don't want to spend more than about 600 max, a longer zoom would be nice, but not necessary right away.

shoturtle Oct 17, 2010 4:57 PM

659 pentax k-x kit, 18-55 and 55-300. will shoot everything you listed.

MissKay Oct 17, 2010 5:22 PM

Alright, thank you

RioRico Oct 17, 2010 5:46 PM

shoturtle is quite right. At first glance, certain Canon dSLRs especially seem attractive, but Pentax has a major advantage: Shake Reduction and Autofocus are built into the body, so EVERY lens you put on the camera is stabilized, and EVERY Pentax-compatible autofocus lens works on the Kx. Canon and Nikon build stabilization into certain lenses only, mostly longer and more expensive. Some Nikon cameras seem attractive also, but I have read that there are autofocus incompatibilities with some Nikon cameras and lenses. I'm not the only one who thinks that a Kx gives the best bang-for-the-buck now. Good luck!

shoturtle Oct 17, 2010 5:51 PM

You are welcome for what you want to shoot, any of the modern dslr can do what you want. But only the pentax will come close to your budget with a long zoom lens. And it gives you HD video also.

I shoot a canon most of the time, but the biggest reason I shoot the canon is that I like to use big aperture primes. And canon has the most options for me.

mrpete Oct 20, 2010 7:30 PM

Sony has the same features as the Pentax (image stabilization and AF motor) plus better availablility, both online and retail.

shoturtle Oct 20, 2010 7:50 PM

does not meet the budget with the a500 when you included the lenses. And the a390 and a290 are not nearly as good as the pentax.

mrpete Oct 20, 2010 9:09 PM

Well, you can get it for $50 under with just kit lens:
Assuming you don't find a better deal (and you likely can-I didnt look at b&h or adorama) I'm sure you could find a Tamron 70-300mm (best of budget zooms) for $100 on eBay or elsewhere (I got one in awesome shape for $50)
That adds up to same as Pentax.

shoturtle Oct 20, 2010 9:20 PM

i know the 70-300 form tamron, it is the best of the budget lens, but it does not compare to the pantax dal 55-300 form 200-300mm. The tamron is really soft form personal experience. The pentax 55-300 is much sharper. That is why in none kit form DA 55-300 is 370 dollars.

mrpete Oct 20, 2010 10:10 PM

Wow, I googled a bit and you are indeed correct. In my ignorance I assumed that the 55-300 was just another kit zoom. Please forgive me. :) I am very aware of the softness issue on the Tam from 200-300mm, but I didn't know of any better lenses for that price.
The one thing (I believe) the Tamron has on the Pentax is it's 1:2 macro ability. It will suffice for me in that regard until I get to getting a dedicated macro. Plenty sharp at 200mm for insects and such.
I still would like to put in a word for Sony though. It is often ignored and they do make nice cameras, although we STILL need a real a700 replacement.
Oh, and I find my 50mm f1.7 much more useful than my 70-300mm. Although one does need a tele, I love how I can get indoor shots with decent speed at ISO 800. Plus it is good for portraits, so if you want to do a lot of family indoor stuff you may want to go for faster lens instead of a zoom. So brand aside, consider that.

Ooo, I just became a senior member. Woohoo!

shoturtle Oct 20, 2010 10:15 PM

there is a simple solution for macro. Almost 1:1 add a canon 500D close up lens to the 55-300 and you get a hell of a good macro lens. It is a 80 dollar add on with the 58mm thread. The pentax a 2 lens kit form is the best value in regards to lenses. Nothing else will come close to it for the price.

shoturtle Oct 20, 2010 10:27 PM

This is why I said the 55-300 is such a good lens, I shoot it every now and then

mrpete Oct 20, 2010 10:32 PM

I agree it that package looks awesome. Although he should still consider brand..... But it looks like Pentax wins this one.
Hmm, I always thought those 'wide angle adapters' and 'macro filters' were gimmicks to inflate package prices. Are those actually cheap ways to get effects that are, while not as good quality if course, cheap alternatives to whole lenses? It would be way easier for me to try a WA adapter for $50 than shelling $400 on a sigma 10-20.

shoturtle Oct 20, 2010 10:45 PM

the cheaper ones are not as good but the canon 500D is a very good one. I would not use anything lower grade on a dslr lens. The raynox work okay with megazooms and point and shoots. But for the big sensor dslr and 4/3. The canon is the way to go. Here is what you can do with a long zoom and that lens.

mrpete Oct 20, 2010 10:56 PM

Awesome pics (especially for 300mm). Makes me wish I had more than a Tammy 70-300. Although that's what the Sig 70-200mm f2.8 is.

Off topic: how do you bike-transport your camera? I am always afraid of falling and smashing it. I'd ask in the bird photo thread*but it is dead and I am no necromancer. :) Just one quick answer and then we'll let the OP get back to business.

shoturtle Oct 20, 2010 10:58 PM

I use a point and shoot most the time. Or I use a small sling pack, and wear it up front, as most falls you end up on your back.

John.Pattullo Oct 20, 2010 11:05 PM

do they do a wide angle variant - i would like to try some fisheye shots but dont think for what i want i justify buying a fisheye lens and the ones i've seen on amazon and ebay look decidely dodgy

shoturtle Oct 20, 2010 11:14 PM

Canon does have the WC-DC58B in couple of thread sized the 58mm is 150. I have not tried it.

But I would not put the lower end wide angles on a dslr lens. The canon uses better glass and are much higher quality.

MissKay Oct 21, 2010 6:08 PM

now with Sony or Pentax I'm curious about how many lens they have compared to Nikon/Canon. Because in the future I would like to be able to purchase more lens

shoturtle Oct 21, 2010 6:12 PM

about 115 for the sony and 97 for the pentax, for the d3100, d5000, d3000 about 135, other nikons are about 200 canon above 200. These numbers are with 3rd party and current new.

frank-in-toronto Oct 21, 2010 6:15 PM

However numbers don't tell the whole story. I've been looking for a uwa for my sony alpha and the camera shops in toronto mostly stock canon and nikon mounts. sony is almost impossible to find.

MissKay Oct 21, 2010 6:15 PM

Alright thank you!

mrpete Oct 21, 2010 6:30 PM

Pentax are even harder to find than Sony in the shops (and online too).
According to the dyxum amount database, there are maybe 350 lenses that are compatible with Sony alpha. A few of these are rare/specialty/super expensive, but it does give you an idea. I would assume that there are vastly more Canikons, and fewer Pentax.

Personally, I think Sony has cheapest entry-mid lenses (especially used). And there a lot of great minolta lenses out there on eBay.
Nikon will certainly have the most expensive lenses if you are getting a d3100/5000. They cannot use most of Nikon's lenses with autofocus, since they have no autofocus motor. I personally would only go nikon if I were getting a used d90 or new d7000 (since they can use all lenses)

But, from what I've seen, of any of the four brand you pick, you will be able to find pretty much any lens you will need at an entry/mid level. Sure, Pentax has fewer lenses, but do you think you really will need more than 100 choices (they have around 200)?
It's when you get to pros that the differences are more pronounced, and people go for a specific brand because they have specific lenses and they're spending $6k on it.

shoturtle Oct 21, 2010 6:55 PM

There are about the same amount of lenses with the pentax if you are count older lenses that will mount on the pentax as well. Every pentax camera can used all the older k-mount lenses form the MF era. Just look at Bigdawgs' high end collection of legacy pentax lens.

Vastly more with nikon if you count the older non AF lenses. Canon went with EF mount. And do not have the same amount as the others, as they FD will not mount on EF mounts.

But for starting out a good 2 lens kit is really a good start. And when you get to the point where the kit lenses can not further your photography. Then look to add a lens or 2.

I have a decent amount of lenses, and haver upgraded over the years to what I have now. So with my 9 eos lenses, it took a while to figure out what to add and delete over 20 years with eos. So the lens count is not as important as what kind of lens you need.

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