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Old Oct 19, 2007, 2:40 AM   #1
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Hi my first post, being a real newbie here I'm just overwelmed by the info I have read so far, but I'm finding it hard to to decide on what to purchase.

Since I'm going to the Big Apple in the new year I'd like to have a good camera to take pictures of the buildings. I really don't care about shooting people but would like that option open. I have a SD800 is which i like but shooting buildings with it just doesn't seem to cut it, and since I'm really liking taking pictures it seems going DSLR is the logical step. I'd prefer not to spend a whole lot of cash, and with the prices I've found so far I don't think I need too.

So the questions are
What camera and lens(es) would be good to
A. learn on and let me take wonderful pictures of the Empire State Building?
and sometimes people?
B. last me a while so as my skills hopefully get better I wont really have to
upgrade too soon.

Thank you
Paul
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Old Oct 19, 2007, 4:21 AM   #2
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OK, sounds like you're going to want to do some wide angle work but nothing too difficult. I think any of the following would easily fit the bill:

Canon 350D

Nikon D40x

Pentax K100 Super

The Canon 400D is a very nice upgrade over the 350D for about $100 more. Oly has some nice cameras but with the 2x crop factor it makes shooting wide more difficult.

Your requirements can be met by all of the above really. But they all handle/feel differently. So you would want to handle all of them before making a decision.
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Old Oct 19, 2007, 8:01 AM   #3
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Be careful, and make sure you're checking prices from reputable vendors if shopping online. If you're seeing prices too good to be true, they probably are. Use resellerratings.com to check out vendors if you're not sure.
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Old Oct 19, 2007, 8:02 AM   #4
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Since JohnG took on the cameras, I'll take on the lenses.

For cityscapes, you'll need a good wide angle zoom with a large maximum aperture. My personal favorite is the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8, but it's only available for Canon, Sony and Nikon except the D40/D40x. An alternative is the Sigma 18-50 f/2.8, which is available for anything.

They provide a nice range and are bright enough to pick up a lot of detail in the often dim but incredibly photogenicside-streets of lower Manhattan.

Keep in mind that nothing you can see will be very far away, so a telephoto won't be very useful. A number of photographers have done some marvelous work with telephoto lenses in the middle of lower Manhattan, but that's not something you should take on during your first trip there. At best, you might be well served by a 10MP dSLR instead of a 6MP, so that you'll have images you can crop to find the hidden treasures. And there will be plenty of them.

You might be tempted to go with just the kit lens, but the small maximum apertures will not serve you well. If the sky is clear, you'll lose a lot of detail in the shadows, and if the sky is overcast, you'll have long shutter speeds (which brings up the potential need for image stabilization.)

Battery Park is my favorite place in the world, and it's hard to take a bad photo there. That's the departure point for the Staten Island Ferry and the Circle Line Boat trips around the City and to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. For these, a 17-50 or 18-50 will also serve you well, but a medium telephoto or telephoto zoom wouldn't be a bad idea. Also, if you find yourself in Brooklyn, a telephoto lens might serve you well in the Jamaica Bay Unit of the Gateway National Recreational Area, near where I grew up.

I seem to have wangled my way into talking about cameras, so I'll suggest that a Sony A-100 (10MPs with sensor shift image stabilization) paired with a Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 would probably be a hard combination to beat for a photographic journey through The Greatest City in the World.
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Old Oct 19, 2007, 9:43 PM   #5
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Thanks for your input guys, but I think I'll end up with the XTi since I have a customer who owes me a favor that so happens to have the sigma lens for sale and is willing to sell it to me at $150 cdn and from what I have seen I think I'm getting a great deal.

Oh also its my 2nd time to New York but this time with a good camera not my old sony 3mp p&s :-)
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Old Oct 20, 2007, 1:59 AM   #6
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Ok me again, would I be better off with a 20D instead? The prices on those seem to be really good. If any objections please do tell....

Paul
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Old Oct 20, 2007, 6:13 AM   #7
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As someone who has spent the last few years taking more pictures of NYC then I care to admit let me make a couple of suggestions. Taking photos of individual buildings is OK but a little boring. Instead be adventurous. Go to the waterfront of Brooklyn or Queens or Roosevelt Island(just one subway stop from Manhattan). These locations afford the best views of the NY skyline. The photos will be so good you will have a tough time convinc-
ing your friends that they are not postcards you bought. Also stand on the deck of the Staten Island ferry for the best views of lower Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty. And the best thing about it....IT"S FREE!
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Old Oct 22, 2007, 1:50 AM   #8
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Ok so I got a 20D the sigma lens a 2gig card and the EF-S 18-55 lens for quite a bit under $1000 CDN. I now think I'm good to go. BTW any recommendations on a decent all round lens? or will the 18-55 do?

Oh and thank you all for your location tips in the Big Apple!!!!

Paul
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Old Oct 22, 2007, 2:42 AM   #9
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Congratulations on your new toys!

18-55 isn't the best, but you just can't beat the price :-). You haven't told what Sigma lens you've got, but Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 EX DC HSM can be great for landscapes/cityscapes and/or either Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 DC Macro, or Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 Di II LD Aspherical IF SP AF can make a good walk-around lens, but the Canon 18-55mm kit lens isn't bad at all and you already have one.

just my $0.05
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Old Oct 22, 2007, 6:12 PM   #10
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Again thanks all for yor inputs!!!!!!!!

paul
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