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Old May 23, 2007, 11:50 PM   #1
RGA
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I probably should not discount other makers but I just want to simplify. Also, I do not support Sony for personal reasons.

So, the 400D gets raves but so does Nikon. I have no lenses and this will be my first DSLR.

I was looking at the Zoom cameras but looking at price and build I figure that I could buy a zoom Image stabalized lens and probably get a much better camera in the 400D over the 3IS or 5IS.

The thing is I would like to get a camera that is easy to use, is well built and offers good lenses.

It would be nice if it worked well indoors but also with low light.

I also want low price. So the camera, a good everyday lense (which apparently the Canon Kit loses marks for) and a zoom lense to 300mm.

Are Nikon Lenses more expensive than Canon's? How do I know what a good lense is? People tell me that Canon Lenses are more abundant and cheaper.

I have a Canon 300 Elph but I personally don't love its picture quality nor did I love the 2is that I used. If I loved them I probably would just buy Canon but Nikon is supposed to be good and it looks sexy.

The big Question

So if you were putting together a Canon 400d kit with an everyday lense and a zoom lense how would it compare to a Nikon kit with an everyday lense and a zoom lense in terms of price and performance.
And if possible a ballpark price of two such set-ups would be greatly helpful. I am in Korea so prices seem to vary a great deal.

I would also buy used - I do like the big 2.5 inch screen though. But I could live with a 2 if there was something truly fantastic.

Thanks
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Old May 24, 2007, 1:59 AM   #2
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Starting with the lenses...

I have never used the lenses I'm about to recommend, but I have used some of the alternatives and looked at the reviews on http://www.slrgear.com

In your position I would be looking for a wide focal length coverage, good optics, decent price.

So would go for:

1. Sigma 17-70 f2.8-f4.5 Macro.

Equivalent 35mm focal lengths:

Nikon, Pentax = 26-105

Canon = 27-112

http://www.slrgear.com/reviews/showp...uct/349/cat/31

Check out the comparison with the Canon & Nikon kit lenses.

2. Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG Macro APO

Which is commonly regarded as the best of the "cheap" telephoto zooms by some considerable margin.

Equivalent 35mm focal lengths:

Nikon, Pentax = 105-450

Canon = 112 - 480



Turning to the body...

Anything will be fine.

Nikon D40, D40x, D80

Canon 350D, 400D

Pentax K100D, K10D

The Pentax cameras have built-in stabilisation, so that's nice.

My ranking would be:

1. K10D

2. D80

3. 400D

4. K100D

5. D40x, 350D

6. D40

Surprise surprise - that's pretty much how much they cost in descending order too. In terms of image quality there is very little to choose between them, but the camera gets progressively nicer in terms of features, ergonomics and build quality as you increase what you are willing to spend.

So my advice would be to figure out how much those two lenses are going to cost you and then work backwards from your total budget to see how much you can afford on the body and pick the best one you can from the list.

[Edit] Oops just realised that the D40, D40x because of their cut-down body won't actually work with the Sigma lenses I've mentioned above. So you could go for the (not as good) Nikon lenses in the same price range or just drop them off the list.

K100D looks like a winner at the bottom to me, and the K10D the winner at the top.



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Old May 24, 2007, 5:15 AM   #3
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RGA-

Peripatetic has provided some very excellent advice. The Sigma 17-70mm is a really brilliant (excellent) lens. I use the Sigma 17-70mm on my XT with great results. However, it will not work on the Nikon D-40 or the D-40X because the lens itselfhas no built in focusing motor.

In short most probably your first step is to decide which system you want to "buy into" for the long haul. All consumer level DSLR cameras will, just as perpatetic has said, produce great photos. I own a Nikon D-40, a Canon XT, and a Pentax K100D. They all have great image quality.

The combination of the Nikon D-40 eqipped with the Nikkor 18-55mm kit lens and the Nikkor 55-200mmVR lens (about $230) make a great (and rather ecomomical) starting combination. I especially like the small camera body size, and the two excellent lenses.

My only complaint about the Pentaxis that the lens selection has been rather limited. With the introduction of more new lenses by Pentax that problem will gradually go away. As peripatetic mentioned the imager mounted SR or IS on the Pentax is a nice advantage.

The Canon XT is a good little camera, but I have come to the feeling that the Canon 20D or 30D is capable of greater IQ. You connot go wrong with any of the DSLR cameras mentioned. Please just take some time and consider the whole system before deciding.

If I had to buy just one camera,it would be the D-40 combination I mentioned above.

MT/Sarah
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Old May 24, 2007, 9:56 AM   #4
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I've been looking at the Sigma reviews and I'm kind of thinking I would like just one lens. I've been reading about various lenses and I notice that there are 28-200 so called Vacation lenses which seem to be a great way to start out. This gives me a very nice zoom range and apparently has the advantage of keeping dust out of the camera.

I saw the Nikon one Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED AF-S DX VR Nikkor but is quite expensive bit it has image stabilization which the reviewer seems to suggest is worth the extra money. http://www.slrgear.com/reviews/showp...ct/250/cat/all

This is assuming I go with Nikon.

The Sigma equivelant is about half the price and would work on the Canon if I understand you folks correctly. http://www.slrgear.com/reviews/showp...uct/175/cat/31

I am in Korea so I am not sure which combinations are best but would I be right to assume that if the camera bodies are roughly equal then it would be better to get the best lens? Thus a Nikon 40 and Nikon Lens rather than the Canon with a lesser Lens? From what I can tell Canon does not offer a 28-200 with IS and the Sigma and Tamron ones don't have it.

Thanks for your help.





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Old May 24, 2007, 10:26 AM   #5
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You've received excellent advice here already. The only thing I might add is that in some cases (not all) the "lack of availability" of lenses for Pentax cameras is over-emphasized. It does depend on what you want to use. Long zooms? The Sigma 50-500 is available. Fast primes? There are all kinds of options, and the FA 50mm 1.4 is reasonably priced. Wide angle? There's the DA 10-17mm, though I'm thinking of the DA 12-24mm lens myself. One area where Pentax is weak is fast zooms, and they are coming out with two lenses this summer that addresses that issue. In the mean time, there'sthe Tamron 28-75 f2.8 macro available in Pentax mount (Sigma has a similar lens, I don't have either). There are others available. A year ago I might point out that you can save quite a bit of money by picking up some older, used lenses (the K10 and K100 will work with any Pentax lens made, though M42 screw-mount lenses require an adaptor), but recently prices of used lenses have gone through the roof. Too many people have discovered the Pentax cameras and are pushing up the price of the best lenses to the point it's not as good a buy as it once was.

Two other things I'll mention - all of the cameras listed have excellent image quality. The ergonomics could easily be the most important difference - the best camera in the world won't take good pictures if it is left in your closet because you don't like carrying/using it. Go to a camera store and handle all the cameras mentioned. Are the controls easy for you to find? Does it feel comfortable to you - not either too heavy or too cramped for your hands?

Final thing - there are instances where more mp are better than less (such as heavily cropping wildlife pictures). However, there are also instances where a 6 mp camera will be better (low light comes to mind). I happen to have the Pentax K10 and the K100 and use them bothall the time. The K100 is better in low light/high ISO conditions (less noise). So don't rule out the various 6 mp cameras just because they have fewer pixels. Choose a 10 mp camera because it has features you want that aren't available on the 6 mp cameras, or because they feel better in your hands.
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Old May 24, 2007, 10:27 PM   #6
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RGA -



To answer your specific questions.

(1) The Sigma 18-200mm and the Tamron 18-200mm lenses are essentially "compromise" lenses. Meaning that they are good but not great as you can determine from reading the www.SLRgear.com review.

(2) Sigma does make an 18-200mm OS (=Optical Stabilization, Sigma's name for IS) lens. However, it is about $125 (U.S. Dollars here in the USA)more expensive than the Non OS lens.

(3) The Nikon D-40 or D-40X using the Nikkor 18-55mm kit lens and the Nikkor 55-200mmVR lens IMHO would offer you lenses with greater IQ.

MT/Sarah
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Old May 25, 2007, 12:20 AM   #7
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If you really want a one lens solution, the Nikon 18-135mm is also very good. It can be found for under $350 new, but I've also seen it available with the D40 at a very good price. If you want to do less lens changing that might be a better choice than the 18-55.


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Old May 25, 2007, 1:30 AM   #8
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RGA wrote:
Quote:
I've been looking at the Sigma reviews and I'm kind of thinking I would like just one lens. I've been reading about various lenses and I notice that there are 28-200 so called Vacation lenses which seem to be a great way to start out. This gives me a very nice zoom range and apparently has the advantage of keeping dust out of the camera.
I have the Tamron 28-200mm and am quite happy with it.
(Most of the Tamron and Sima lenses are very similar)

What ever you do though is stay away drom Eithers 28-30mm lens, as they really suffer over 200mm especially in,low light and wide open. If you wand that much reach go for one of the 70-300mm lenses.

There really is no perfect ONE lens. However there are two lens combo that work out very well.

Originally I mostly used a Simga 28-70mm and Sigma 70-300mm on my Pentax K10D.
Still have them but more often using a Tamron 28-200mm and a Pheonix 100-400mm currently Usually carry a fast Pentax 50mm prime too.
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Old May 25, 2007, 6:51 AM   #9
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Hayward wrote:
Quote:
What ever you do though is stay away drom Eithers 28-30mm lens, as they really suffer over 200mm especially in,low light and wide open. If you wand that much reach go for one of the 70-300mm lenses.
The new Tamron 18-250mm has gotten good reviews and I know someone who is getting good results. Of course it's no better in low light than the 28-300mm and it is running about 500 dollars. I have also heard it is a little slow in focusing but still a very tempting range.
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Old May 26, 2007, 8:17 PM   #10
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Well being in Korea I found some interesting things. They sell Sigma and Tamron but none of the IS Lenses. Not yet anyway.

I held the Canon 400 and Nikon 40x cameras and I prefered the fell of the Canon which is odd since all the reviews said otherwise. Frankly they were similar to me.

They want $810.00 for the 400 body only. Strangely they want $570.00 for the Kiss X which is exactly the same camera for the Japanese market.

The lenses get frustrating - they want $500.00 for the 28-135mm lenses either from Nikon or from Canon. Canon does not offer a 18-200mm lense (can't afford L).

It seems both Nikon and Canon are in somekind of league with eachother because one camera offers 2-3 things I really want while the other has them but has 2-3 things the other doesn't have. Canon makes me buy the CF lense which is odd since all entry Canon's have SD and all their top models have SD -- this makes me buy the apparently slower CF cards. Then Canon does not offer a "vacation" lense in the 18-200mm range. The 28-135 is a compromise and the kit lense is suppose to be dreadful. These raise the price to around $1100.00Won (worth more than the US or Canadian dollar)

Then there is Nikon - I could live with the feel but apparently the 40X is limited to certain lenses, the Nikon 40X with their nicer 18-200mm VR lense which is the size I want runs $1320.00. Which is too much for me.

The Kiss X body seems to be reasonably priced but now I need a lense - it does have that lense cleaning system but for now I would prefer a one lense set-up. Ideally I could connect the Nikon VR 18-200 lense to the Kiss X. Argghh.

On a 28-135mm does Image stabilizing matter that much?

Thanks for the help
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