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Old Nov 9, 2006, 11:23 PM   #1
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I want a digital SLR to use as way of a new hobby, (with professional potential.)
My subjects will mainly be people. I may want to use this camera at weddings/birthdays/concerts/family photos/headshots- when making a suggestion, please take this into consideration.

I am not so much concerned at the price range- as I am to making sure I get what is right for me. Because this is a new hobby for me, I am considering under buying what my needs are, but not by much. I'd like something I could grow into & conquer. Not something that would overwhelm me with features.

I have narrowed the brands to either Nikon or Canon.

PLEASE HELP!!!
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Old Nov 11, 2006, 5:23 PM   #2
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Nikon seems to have better flash features for the beginner, eg. wireless, with d70s and d80. You will probably need this capability for the situations you described, except for concerts, which with Canon's lower noise at the highest ISOs would be the better choice.
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Old Nov 12, 2006, 12:06 AM   #3
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Canon? Please tell me more.
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Old Nov 12, 2006, 11:43 AM   #4
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Have you handheld each of the cameras? I like the Canon's smaller cameras and menu setup.
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Old Nov 13, 2006, 1:34 AM   #5
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I am familiar with both brands. I favor Nikon. But, truth is Canon is a great brand too. I think I will go to Ritz and hold a few of the newer models.

I am looking at the Nikon D70 and D80. What do you think of these cameras?

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Old Nov 13, 2006, 7:30 AM   #6
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For your stated purposes, both Canon and Nikon make great cameras.In the Canon camp, the 5d is the preferred non-pro option because it's full frame. But, the Nikon D80 is, based on it's specs and limited reviews an outstanding camera and will absolutely be capable of meeting your needs.

But, for portraits, weddings, concerts you have to realize that your success is going to be more dependent upon the lenses you buy. Lenses I mention are from the Canon camp since that's what I'm familiar with but Nikon will have very similar lenses. Even if the focal lengths aren't the same they'll be close - what is highly important is the apertures.

For weddings, a typicall lens setup might be: 24-70 2.8 ($1000), 70-200 2.8 ($1100), 85mm 1.8 ($370), 135mm 2.0 ($950). Plus you need a good flash and flash bracket ($300-400).

Portrait work: Good tripod & head ($200 +), 85mm 1.8 ($370), 50mm 1.4 ($300), probably others - I don't do much portrait work. If you want to do serious portrait work you'll need a strobe setup (alien bees makes popular starter packs for a few hundred $$$) plus a light meter.

Concerts: Concerts are typically very low light. You're more often than not going to be shooting at high ISO 1600-3200 and requiring a fast prime lens (2.0 or better). Which prime lens, of course, depends on your distance from the stage. If you're more than 30-40 yards from the stage I wouldn't even worry about getting good concert photos - you're too far away to get enough detail with the lenses you're likely to have available that are bright enough to take a shot.

So, as others have suggested - get a feeling for the camera body you like - but in the end, for your stated purposes, the lenses and accessories are going to be far more important to your success than the camera body you choose.
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Old Nov 13, 2006, 8:23 AM   #7
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If you are considering the Nikon D80 & the Nikon D70s, you should also take a look at the Sony Alpha dSLR-A100, Canon EOS 400D, and probably the upcoming Pentax K10D as well.

The Nikon D80 have a lot of custom features, solid build quality, great ergonomics, speedy performance, great battery life,advance flash system, fast auto-focus, good buffer, and a great pentaprism TTL viewfinder.

The Sony Alpha dSLR-A100 have a build in shake reduction, anti-dust/removal feature, great continuous shooting performance, and advance dynamic range controls. (It is also great in other areas)

The Pentax K10D will also be having a great pentaprism TTL viewfinder, weather sealed body, special modes, build in anti-shake, build in anti-dust/removal system, and the 22 bit (color) deptCCD. (No proper reviews yet...wait for more proven "great" features.)

The CanonEOS 400D have a wide range of image perimeter settings, excellent image quality, very fast performance, much improved continuous shooting performance, good high ISO performance, extra bright 230,000 pixels TFT LCD,EOS 30D's auto-focus engine, and the build in anti-dust/dust removal system. (It is great also, in other aspects)

The Nikon D70s have one of the best high ISO performance around, and it has a host of other advance features too: Very crisp image quality, superior ergonomics, responsive, solid build quality, robust design, a great grip, advance flash system, great battery life, good range of custom settings, fast auto-focus,deep "intelligent"buffering system, greatcontinuous shooting performance,speedy performance, and a host of other functions.

EDITED.

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Old Nov 13, 2006, 8:38 AM   #8
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Analysis Paralysis warning:

Let me take a crack at restating what Ben is saying - virtually every DSLR on the market is great and has great features. But I caution against getting caught up in analysis paralysis - that is, considering so many cameras and reading so many reviews that you never end up buying a camera.

If you've narrowed it down (for whatever reasons) to a couple models - stick with those. Hand hold those and see which you like.

You could spend months and months reading reviews and get caught up in marketing babble and new features that, in the end, aren't going to make as much difference as the glass you use AND, most importantly, the hands-on practice you can get by actually buying and using the camera.

I gaurantee you'r skill will be the limiting factor - far more so than the camera body (and I don't mean this in a durrogator fashion - it's just a fact that all people starting out in serious photography have a lot to learn - it's something we all go through and continue to go through)..
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Old Nov 13, 2006, 8:45 AM   #9
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Sacstella, I say "Amen" to what JohnG wrote!

He's summed it up well.If you said in your first post you want to stick with Nikon and Canon (staying with these 2 is a sort of a good idea anyway because they have the best range of lenses....) ... then go with either the Nikon D80 (or D50 which is also available) or the Canon 400XTi (or 350XT which is still available) and you'll be set to START!

Practise. enjoy. In time choose lenses you realise will help the type / style of photography you're into (or WANT to get into). Too many people spend more time analysing photography equipment than USING it!

Don't over analyse or worry about differences, apart from maybe looking / feeling how the camera works for you (in your hand, with your eyes / glasses, etc). Ergonomics can be much more personal / subjective and important for one person than another.

Best wishes

Paul
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Old Nov 13, 2006, 8:51 AM   #10
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Quote:

Let me take a crack at restating what Ben is saying - virtually every DSLR on the market is great and has great features.
Yes, you got it right. But instead of just stating that boring statement ""All dSLR cameras are great" I decided to state why are they great. (I decided to include details)

Quote:

But I caution against getting caught up in analysis paralysis - that is, considering so many cameras and reading so many reviews that you never end up buying a camera.

Don't worry, I would be getting my dSLR camera soon; and wouldn't have been able to come this far, if I had not perform my research.

Quote:

If you've narrowed it down (for whatever reasons) to a couple models - stick with those. Hand hold those and see which you like.
So far, he or she had not provided us with his or her criteria(s). (Yet)

Quote:

You could spend months and months reading reviews and get caught up in marketing babble and new features that, in the end, aren't going to make as much difference as the glass you use AND, most importantly, the hands-on practice you can get by actually buying and using the camera.

Yeah, but isn't is just "Better" to research and see which model(s) fits your criteria(s)better. (Or perhaps "even"fits thebest?)

Quote:

I gaurantee you'r skill will be the limiting factor - far more so than the camera body (and I don't mean this in a durrogator fashion - it's just a fact that all people starting out in serious photography have a lot to learn - it's something we all go through and continue to go through)..

Yeah, all this would happen regardless of whatever dSLR camerabody you get...So might as well get the best one for you? (The one that suits you?)








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