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Old Jan 25, 2008, 6:42 AM   #1
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I just bought a Canon A720IS. I will use it some casual shootings and stuff, however I am also thinking about buying a DSLR. That's why I need you guys' advice.

First Canon is my preference, but I am open to other options. I believe there must be some DSLR which is better Canon in certain ways. Probably it will be cheaper.

I hardly shoot actions and people. I focus more on landscapes and the like. I don't mean that I don't need action-savvy camera. I am just prioritizing. I want the colors to be bright. I like sharpness too. I do have a thing for nocturnal photos. Many times I need to take photos when there little light. What's more, I don't like noise (DSLRs don't have noise?).

My budget is around 600 US dollars, lens included.

Thanks in advance.
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Old Jan 25, 2008, 7:02 AM   #2
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hotshotdebut wrote:

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First Canon is my preference, but I am open to other options. I believe there must be some DSLR which is better Canon in certain ways. Probably it will be cheaper.

I hardly shoot actions and people. I focus more on landscapes and the like. I don't mean that I don't need action-savvy camera. I am just prioritizing. I want the colors to be bright. I like sharpness too. I do have a thing for nocturnal photos. Many times I need to take photos when there little light.
It seems to me that you need a good, fast wide angle or wide angle zoom lens. Canon does make some good stuff, and has a larger selection of lenses than anyone else, followed closely by Nikon.

I suggest you shop for lenses that will do what you want, and then shop for cameras that can use those lenses.

hotshotdebut wrote:
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(DSLRs don't have noise?).
dSLRs do have noise, but the level of noise is related to pixel density (the quantity of pixels crammed onto a small image sensor), and dSLRs have larger image sensors than P&S digicams.

hotshotdebut wrote:
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My budget is around 6,000 US dollars, lens included.
:!::!::!::!::!::!::!::!::!::!::!:

I don't think you'll have a problem there.
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Old Jan 25, 2008, 7:18 AM   #3
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Thanks for the advice, but can you be more specific? Any lens in particular that I should pay attention to? What about the body? Which model? Thanks.

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Old Jan 25, 2008, 7:45 AM   #4
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hotshotdebut wrote:
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Thanks for the advice, but can you be more specific? Any lens in particular that I should pay attention to? What about the body? Which model? Thanks.
Worry about the body once you've selected the lenses. The lens isn't an accesory for the camera; the camera is an accessory for the lenses.

These are some fast wide angle lenses:

Canon EF 28mm f/2.8 $169.95
Nikon 28mm f/2.8D $229.95
Sony 28mm f/2.8 $229.95
Sigma 28mm f/1.8 EX DG Aspherical (Canon, Nikon, Pentax & Sony) $269.00
Canon EF 24mm f/2.8 $289.95
Nikon 24mm f/2.8D $309.95
Sigma 24mm f/1.8 EX Aspherical DG DF (Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sigma & Sony) $339.00
Sigma 24mm f/1.8 EX Aspherical DG DF (Olympus: Eq 32mm on 1.5x dSLR) $339.00
Canon EF 28mm f/1.8 USM $374.95
Sigma 20mm f/1.8 EX Aspherical DG DF RF (Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sigma & Sony) $409.00
Canon EF 20mm f/2.8 USM $419.95
Nikon 20mm f/2.8D $484.95
Pentax SMCP-DA 14mm f/2.8 ED IF $479.95
Sony 20mm f/2.8 $609.95
Sony 16mm f/2.8 879.95
Tamron SP AF 14mm f/2.8 Aspherical (IF) (Canon, Nikon, Pentax & Sony) $999.00
Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L USM $1,119.00
Nikon 14mm f/2.8D ED $1,419.95
Canon EF 14mm f/2.8L USM $1,800.00

These are some fast wide angle zoom lenses:

Wide Angle Zoom:
Sigma 24-60mm f/2.8 EX DG Aspherical (Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sigma & Sony) $399.00
Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 EX DC Macro (Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sigma, Sony) $419.00
Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 EX Aspherical DG DF (Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Pentax, Sigma & Sony) $429.00
Olympus 14-54mm f/2.8-3.5 (Olympus) $409.95
Tamron SP AF 17-50mm f/2.8 XR DI-II LD Aspherical (IF) (Canon, Nikon & Sony) $439.95
Tokina Pro DX AF 16-50mm f/2.8 (Canon & Nikon) $659.95
Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM $929.00
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM $1,064.00
Nikon 17-55mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S DX $1,199.95

Another factor that comes into play here is the crop factors of the different brands of cameras. The larger the crop factor, the narrower the angle of view the lens gives the camera. Canon and Nikon (and others soon)have some dSLRs that have a 1.0x crop factor, meaning that they have an image sensor equal in size tothe exposure on 35mm film. The rest of Nikon's, and all of Pentax' and Sony's have a 1.5x crop factor. The rest of Canon's have a 1.6x crop factor, and all Olympus dSLRs have a 2.0x crop factor. These numbers affect how different focal length lenses work on different dSLRs.

So far, all you've told us is that you like shooting landscapes and low-light. Can you provide us with samples of the kinds of photos you like to take?
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Old Jan 25, 2008, 7:52 AM   #5
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I like taking pictures of buildings, skylines, especially at night, concerts, flowers. I love blue sky.

Is that the samples you talked about? Or you want me to give your some pictures?

By the way it seems to me that only Canon EF 28mm f/2.8 is affordable.
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Old Jan 25, 2008, 8:08 AM   #6
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hotshotdebut wrote:
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I like taking pictures of buildings, skylines, especially at night, concerts, flowers. I love blue sky.

Is that the samples you talked about? Or you want me to give your some pictures?
It would be easier if you could show us.

"... buildings, skylines, ... blue sky." means wide angle.

"... especially at night, ..." can mean fast lenses, long shutter speeds (which means using a tripod), or high ISO settings (which can mean noise). I'd suggest fast lenses.

"... concerts, flowers ..." doesn't tell us anything. For "concerts", how far away from the stage are you? For "flowers", do you mean fields of flowers, bunches of flowers, or one flower at a time, up close?
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Old Jan 25, 2008, 8:22 AM   #7
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When you said $6,000 did you mean $600?

If you have $6,000 it's pretty easy.

Canon 5D body.

Choose one or two from:
1. 24 f1.4 L
2. 35 f1.4L
3. 50 f1.4 or 50 f1.2L
4. 85 f1.8 or 85 f.12L

for low-light work, depending on your favourite focal length.

And throw in a zoom or two:
1. 16-35 f2.8 MkII L
2. 17-40 f4 L
3. 24-105 f4 IS L

And a macro for flowers and stuff there are a bunch at different prices.

e.g. 5D + 24-105L + 50 f1.4 + 100 f2.8 Macro => $3,500

If you meant $600 it's rather more difficult.

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Old Jan 25, 2008, 8:26 AM   #8
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My mistake. It is 600 dollars. Is it hard?
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Old Jan 25, 2008, 9:17 AM   #9
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Since your budget is limited, and you like to take pictures in low light (do you use a tripod all the time?) you might want to look at either Pentax or Sony also (I use Pentax). They both offer image stabilization in-camera so any lens you use will be stabilized. That will allow you to take pictures at slower shutter speeds without camera shake. Both Canon and Nikon put stabilization in their lenses, which are more expensive. With Pentax and (to a certain extent Sony) you could buy a less expensive, used lens and it would be stabilized.

Pentax has a number of excellent lenses and the dSLR cameras can use any Pentax lens ever made. I'm personally using a 50mm 1.7lens that I bought new in 1980, and you can use older M42 screw-mount lenses with an adaptor. The only thing to be aware of is that an old manual focus/manual exposure lens won't suddenly become auto focus/auto exposure - if you go buying used lenses, make sure you know it's capbility. On the other hand, an early auto focus/auto exposure lens will retain it's capabilities (something that Nikon doesn't offer on their D40 and D40X cameras).

If I were looking right now, I'd have a tough time deciding what to do. Pentax announced two new cameras, but they aren't for sale yet. At B&H the price of the K100 Super and kit lens is $599 ($519 body only)before the $100 rebate, bringing the camera to $499. The kit lens is one of the better ones offered and well worth the little they sell it for. It does reasonably well as a close-up lens, but isn't a true macro (there are a couple of inexpensive, pretty good macro lenses out there).

If you don't need a camera right away, it might be worth it for you to wait until the new K200 comes out. This camera replaces the K100 Super, and will offer weather sealing, something they had offered before only on the K10 (which does fine for me in the snow).
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Old Jan 25, 2008, 9:34 AM   #10
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hotshotdebut wrote:
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My mistake. It is 600 dollars. Is it hard?
For a $600 budget, I agree with mtngal that Pentax is probably the way to go. Pentax has a better selection of fast, wide angle lenses than Sony.
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