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-   -   Shopping for my first dSLR (

dandcp Apr 24, 2006 2:25 AM

I have been taking pictures since I was in High School (almost 20 years) with my Pentax ME Super, Vivitar 80-200mm, 50mm. Sadly about 2 years ago it was all stolen, and since then I havejust used aSony Cybershotfor basic memory photos. I have just recently been able to afford a new one and have decided to that I want a nice dSLR to get back into photography as I miss it so much. I enjoy taking the nice scenics, landscapes, (Sunsets at beach, mountains, waterfalls etc) and of course my two daughters. I am no professional... yet... maybe I'd call myself a serious amateur.

My budget is $1200-1300.

I have done some researchand am aiming for a 6-8MP camera. I don't know if I can afford the Canon 20D or not, and still get a good quality lens. I have looked also at theNikon D50/D70, Pentax istDS2 and just saw Canon 350D. I would appreciate any feedback or questions.

I would like tomake sure I get a nice telephoto lens too. at least 200mmzoom but maybe 300 or 400, but that maybe out of my $$ range, yes, I am a dreamer.

I have a tripod already. so justfocusing on body, 2 lens, backpack, may wait to get flash later, but doneed one. of course need a nice size memory card. maybe 2GB? what's the deal with batteries? I have readstuff about AA being better than the Lithium kind. Anythoughts?

Thanks in advance for your advice!

dandcp Apr 24, 2006 11:13 PM

No replies yet... Well I finally went out today to Samys and actually took a look at all these cameras. Just wanted to get a feel to see how they all felt in my hands to see them side by side. Well I think I have come to the conclusion that the Pentax ones seem a bit small and sort of cheap feeling. He showed me the Canon 30D and WOW is that ever nice. Ilove the feel of it and it justseems fast and solid too. I just don't know if I should spend the majority of my budget on just the body? I also looked at the Nikon's D50 and D70s which I thought was supposed to beexactly alike with just a few minor differences.But I liked the D70smuch better. It felt better in myhands as it was a bit larger it seemed. They had a deal of D70s with 18-70ED lens, 1GB card, Tripod and case, DVD of something, and 300reprints for $999 then for $200 more you can get a 70-300 zoom and 2 year warranty.

I didn't get to see a 20D but is there much difference from the 30D? Maybe I should be able to find a 20D for much cheaper now that 30D is out.

Any advice for me out there? Or something Ishould be thinkingabout? Am I missing something?

staticrules Apr 24, 2006 11:39 PM

I have a D50 and love it. I think most folks will tell you to spend money on some good glass if you are able to, rather than on the body. I'm still an amateur and have the kit lense which is OK for now since I'm on a budget and still learning.

ellover009 Apr 25, 2006 12:23 AM

The D50 is nicer than the D70S unless you do a lotta manipulating with your computer, the D50 had better noise. I'm having the same difficulty exept I got a $1500 budget and I'll nr my first dslr. Right now I'm aiming at 8mp so nikon is outta the picture and the D200 is out of my budget, If it included a lens at its tag price I would consider it but then id have a body and no lens. I narrowed it down to:
Rebel XT, Hand Grip, 2gb mem extreme 3, and prob a 18-55 IS lens.
Rebel XT KIT, Hand Grip, 2gb mem extreme 3 Save mucho $$
30D kit, 2gb mem extreme 3 Feels much better
+ cleaning kit, a carry bag, and prob a warantee if $$ left

I can get the 30D for $1,350 kit and $1,250 from rob's, heard good from em, authorized canon dealer us warantee.

Additiona Thought
If I had your budget and I 6MP didn't bother me I would get the D50 and 18-200VR lens with immage stabilization, heck of a lens. 2mp is not big but it's 2006 and theres minimal price difference between the two with the canon 100$ rebate on the XT and the D50 lacks Mirror lock up wich is a nice feature.
I've heard from ppl who have bought Battery grips for the 350xt that I weights more with the grip than a 30D non gripped, and that it felt better but a little heavy.
Panasonic is coming out soon with theyr first DSLR 7.9MP CMOS sensor, built in stabilization, ultrasonic lens cleaner, and a leica lens, will cost a bit but is feature heavy and I'll include a new version of theyr processor Venus 3 wich will prob fix theyr noise issues.

dandcp Apr 25, 2006 1:47 AM

Thanks ellover009for your advice. I am still trying to decide on if 6mp is ok or if I should splurge for 8. I want this to last a long time as I don't forsee me getting another dSLR for years. There is a chance I could bump up my budget to $1500 but didn't want to do that if I don't have to.

Where is this robs? "I can get the 30D for $1,350 kit and $1,250 from rob's"

I will have to look into that 18-200VR as well.

Thanks again!

rey Apr 25, 2006 2:13 AM


the D50 lacks Mirror lock up wich is a nice feature.
The D50 can do mirror lockup, if you buy the $20 remote. What the D50 doesn't have is mirror pre-release, which is a great feature, and I don't know if the XT has it.

With short supply of Nikon lenses, especially the 18-200VR and Tokina 12-24, I really wish people would stop buying Nikons until the supply can keep up with current demand. Hopefully Canon's rebate helps. :-)

photojazz Apr 25, 2006 12:07 PM

Hi, I was in the same mode last month and did the following:

Read almost every forumon most of the popular websites

Finalized my choices down to the Nikon D70, Nikon D50 . I renetd the D70 for a week and took alot of great photos. I did not test the D50 but made my decisions based upo more reviews and the store I brought it from gave me a week to test it.

In the end I settled for the D50 and plan to use the savings for better glass.

Hope this helps!

mtclimber Apr 25, 2006 4:30 PM

1 Attachment(s)
I happen to agree with photojazz-

Camera bodies come and go rather quickly. In contrast, good glass retains its value and are the most important element of the the DSLR equation. Here is a photo taken with my D-50 and the Tamron 18-200mm lens.


ellover009 Apr 25, 2006 8:27 PM

Don't order online call theyr indiana store and purchase by phone, they sell the 30D's for $1250 non kit $1350 kit and since ur calling the store personally they'll sell it at instore price. When I called no tax for my state MASS, and shipping was estimated to 22$ to my area.
I am still thinking how far to push it, it's a big investement, i'll be my first DSLR, and I want something to last quite a bit, not forever but at least over 2-3 yrs.
If I had more $$ I would defenitely look into the nikon D200, heck of a camera but I'm already stretching the budget. The D50 has mirror lockup but it's designed mostly to clean the sensor, not for long exposures.
Remember you are buying into the equipment, take a look at the prices of the lenses and the accessories it all adds up to your needs and how much you are willing to spend. The 350xt , hand-grip and a nice sigma lens with 18-200 would be nice, but I like the30D a lot, feels nice, but not sure if my wallet can justify almost 2x cost for and magnesium alloy body, a 2.5in lcd, and ISO 3200 (most likely not used much).

peripatetic Apr 26, 2006 3:37 AM


Camera bodies come and go rather quickly.
I'm not sure about that anymore.

Certainly digital photography has been through a revolution, but there are definite signs that it's all going to slow down now.

The megapixel race is effectively finished. The high-end DSLRs are now limited by lens resolution and it's fairly clear that the APS-C cameras will have to start trading noise for increased resolution.

Even the smaller digicams are starting to back away from higher pixel counts to improve noise performance. 8Mp models are starting to be replaced with 6Mp models with better noise.

And why should the race continue? The APS-C DSLRs have image quality that is about as good as 35mm film was. For most that is good enough, as it's good enough for A3 prints (with a bit of work) and easily good enough for A4 prints.

I think the Canon 30D will be around for quite some time. Development cycles are going to lengthen IMO. And I would be very surprised to see any replacement for the D200 for at least 3-4 years.

So really I reckon that if you have your heart set on the 30D you could easily consider it an "investment" that will last for 5 years plus. After all why upgrade the shutter on the 30D to 100,000 cycles if they didn't expect people to hang on to the camera for a while?

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