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Old Apr 17, 2005, 4:54 PM   #1
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I have been given $4,000 from a scholarship, and now I must decide which camera I want to buy.

A little background, all I have is a Fuji S20Pro, and I want a dSLR oh so bad, and am pretty much going to buy one. My background and training have came from Fuji S2's and my boss let me play with his 10D, 1D Mark II, and once I got to touch a 1Ds Mark II.

My main concern is the lens path I want to take, as I can use almost anything thrown my way.

Now the cameras I'm considering are:
Nikon D70
Canon 20D
Sigma SD10
Fuji S3
Canon 1D Mark II

The Mark II is my first preference, but it will consume all of my money and leave me with nothing for glass.

It should also be noted that I will be using the camera for landscape, portraits and low light mainly, with the occasional sporting event.
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Old Apr 18, 2005, 3:28 PM   #2
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In your shoes I'd get:

20D plus Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM ($1900)

Canon Wide Angle EF 28mm f/1.8 USM ($390)
Sigma Zoom Telephoto 70-200mm f/2.8 EX APO IF HSM ($840)
Sigma 1.4x EX APO Teleconverter ($180)
Sigma Normal 50mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro ($275)
2x1Gb CF cards ($180)
Slik Pro 700DX Tripod ($130)
Spare Battery ($40)

Total = $3935 from B&H website.

The 17-85 is an excellent general purpose lens and certainly good enough for landscape work.
The 28mm (*1.6=45mm) will give you an excellent low-light option.
The 50mm (*1.6=80mm) will give you a good portrait and macro lens.
The 70-200 + 1.4X TC will give you another good portrait lens plus allow you to do some reasonable wildlife and sports stuff too.

It leaves you some change for a bag too, oh yes and maybe some books - it's scholarship money after all. :-)
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Old Apr 20, 2005, 10:14 AM   #3
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I'm adding a Kodak DCS/c to the list, because apparently I could get one from BH for $3,500.

Also, thank you peripatetic. If I can get talked out of one of the larger cameras I'm most likely going to do exactly what you said, minus the tripod and CF cards, as I already have them.

Anyway, I need to get talked out of getting a S3, DCS/c, or 1D Mark II. The thing is, I like the feel of the larger cameras.

Anyone else's input?
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Old Apr 20, 2005, 1:54 PM   #4
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If I had 4 grand ...

a Minolta 7D $1,300 after rebate

A vertical grip - $200

a used Minolta 80-200/2.8 G - $900

A Minolta 28-75/2.8 D - $450

a Sigma 100-300/4 - $900

A Gitzo basalt tripod $300

An Acratech ballhead $280

Two Sandisk Ultra II 1 Gig cards $200

With the remaing $400-$500 I would hunt down a Sigma TC or two, as well as a second battery for the vertical grip, and pehaps a bag.

With the Minolta you get anti-shake with all of your lenses - very good for low light work and any other time when a tripod may be difficult - and you get it at a vast savings over Nikon or Canon. The Minolta also has the very nice heft (with or without grip) that you are looking for.

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Old Apr 20, 2005, 3:22 PM   #5
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You may now want to broaden your list w/the addition of the Nikon improvement to the D70...
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Old Apr 20, 2005, 6:38 PM   #6
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One thing to keep in mind is that digicams are improving at a very rapid rate, likely there will be a better camera available within a week of the "no questions asked" return policy lapses on whatever you buy. For sure there will be a much better camera available within two years. So spend your money on lenses - those are not dropping in price and will be able to be used in a later/better camera.
Sormaus wrote:
... my boss let me play with his 10D, 1D Mark II, and once I got to touch a 1Ds Mark II....
Having a good handfull of lenses does tend to lock you into a particular camera model. Since you *might* be able to borrow a lens from your boss, Cannon would be your first choice.
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Old Apr 20, 2005, 7:05 PM   #7
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I've heard that the money for the 1D Mark2 isn't worth the money. In fact it have the same image quality as the 20D. Yes it can be set that with Digital the camera can make the picture, however no matter how good your megapixels are the clearity of the image comes from the lens. However, I think that that the kit lens that comes with the 20D is [email protected].
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Old Apr 20, 2005, 7:58 PM   #8
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What are your all's thoughts on the Fujifilm S3?

I've pretty much narrowed it down between the 20D and the S3, and I already own a camera with Fuji's SuperSR CCD, so I know exactly what to expect from it. The big thing I like about the S3 is the size and the way it's made, but the 20D just blows it out of the water when it comes to features. What I guess I'm asking is, is a camera I feel more comfortable shooting with worth the extra $700 (they sell for $2200 on BH now), and a different lens path?

Keep in mind, I have no lenses right now because my S20 has a fixed lens. I guess what it boils down to is, aside from the comfort of a S3, do I want to be locked into a Nikon path, or a Canon path?
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Old Apr 20, 2005, 8:11 PM   #9
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If you can wait for another Dell sale...you'd get more for your money. FYI, last week, the Canon 20D body went for about $966 after a total of 28% off discount and $100 Canon rebate. The Canon 1D Mark II went for $2903 after 28% discount and $500 Canon rebate. The 28% off discount also applied to the Canon lenses. Unfortunately, their lens prices are a bit steep to start with compared with B&H Photo. Dell had this sale twice in two weeks. Not sure though if they're gonna have another one soon.

Check out http://www.fatwallet.com/c/18/for these hotsale announcements.
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