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Old Oct 17, 2008, 2:50 PM   #1
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Hi, I am new here so go easy on me please.

Decided to get my first dslr this week and went to the stores to look and get the feel of some entry dslr's.

Looked at several makes in particular :-

Nikon D60

Sony A200

Canon 1000d

and a used Canon 400d + used Olympus E510

My question is i guess i am going to practise with the kit lens for a while then hopefully progress to buying a lens more suited to my needs. I am aware that different makes of body's some have some form of IS built in and some have it built in to the lens, whils't owning the camera and i like it i might proceed to getting a better model or maybe a swing to a different make even, how do i know if it's best to get an Image stabilised body or lens set-up, as i have been told the IS len's are far more expensive and i am on a tight budget to start.

I would appreciate some help as it is starting to give me a headache reading so many reviews and peoples opinions and experiencesare which seem to be all so different.

I am also aware of peoples brand loyalty, i dont really care what brand i end up with just something that is relatively for a beginner with above average IQ i guess.

many thanks

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Old Oct 17, 2008, 3:08 PM   #2
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The Canon is going to have the best selection right now in new lenses and you can get it with a stabilized 18-55mm IS lens if desired. The Sony A200 has a body based stabilization system so that any lens you use on it is stabilized and can use any Minolta Autofocus lens ever made (a.k.a., Maxxum, Dynax, Alpha mount lenses)

The Sony's kit lens (18-70mm f/3.5-5.6) has more range from wide to long compared to the lens on the Canon you're looking at. An 18-70mm lens on a Sony body would give you the same angle of view you'd have using a 27-105mm lens on a 35mm camera). But, it doesn't test quite as sharp at all apertures and focal lengths as Canon's newest 18-55mm IS lens. You've got pros and cons to both approaches. Any lens choice is a compromise in one area or another (zoom range from wide to long, sharpness after various focal lengths and apertures, etc.). But, you've got lots of choices in lenses, both used and new.

No matter what solution you go with looking at entry level models like those on a tight budget, the kit lenses usually have a lot of "bang for the buck" compared to alternatives, since they don't add much to the cost of a camera body. That gives you a chance to use a camera for a while and decide if the kit lens is suitable for the types of photos you take, or if you need something longer, wider, brighter, etc., keeping convenience (for example, size, weight, focal range) in mind.

The Nikon D60 is limited to lenses with focus motors built in if you want Autofocus (for example, Nikon AF-S or Sigma HSM lenses), so your lens choices are a bit more limited with it. Nikon doesn't include a focus motor in their entry level bodies (D40, D40x, D60) like they do their other dSLR bodies. So, you have to make sure any lens you buy for it has a focus motor already built in. Lens choice for these models is starting to improve in new lenses, as more manufacturers (for example, Sigma and Tamron are adding them to more lenses as time passes, in order to support these models without AF motors. But, you're going to have limitations that you don't have with other Nikon models with one of their entry level models like that one.

As for used gear, I'd make sure to buy one from a reputable dealer that fairly grades them and offers a warranty if you go that route, as you don't know what a camera has been through.

My favorite vendors of used gear are http://www.keh.com and http://www.bhphotovideo.com

I've bought used lenses and accessories like flashes from both (but, I tend to stick with new camera bodies).

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Old Oct 17, 2008, 3:22 PM   #3
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Why are you looking at the canon 400 or olympus e510 used only? Just curious, as even brand new they are cheaper than the d60 and close in price to the others.

With regards to your specific question about IS: olympus and sony have in body IS, canon and nikon use lens based optical stabilization. A good summary of the differences is found here:

http://www.bobatkins.com/photography...ilization.html

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Old Oct 17, 2008, 3:29 PM   #4
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The truth is all the entry kits are pretty good. As Jim mentioned there are some trade-offs with kit lenses and some features from the different manufacturers. I think there are two very important factors in making that first selection:

1. Which camera(s) feel good to you and which don't. Try them all out at the store you may like the ergonomics of some over others.

2. What are your mid and long term photography goals. Certain camera systems have strengths or weaknesses when compared to others. No one system is perfect. So, your mid and long term goals could drive you toward one system or another. And, the beauty of DSLR systems is that you don't have to replace everything. Get a good lens and it will last you a dozen years and possibly several bodies. Now, it may be that your goals aren't very defined yet and that's OK too. But it costs a lot more money to change systems once you've bought into one. Hypothetically, let's say you like to do a lot of hiking and traveling, the Oly system might be a good match because their cameras / lenses are smaller and lighter than other systems. But if you want to get into sports work that's probably a poor system for you to get into. If you like to do a lot of flash photography and maybe get into portrait work, Nikon might be a great system - they have a very good flash system with wireless capability built in to some of their cameras. If you're on a tight budget and don't mind manual focus, Pentax might be good - they can use any pentax lens made so you can get some good deal on used manual focus lenses if your patient.

So, what types of photography are you interested in?

Also, let me say this: the principles of photography - exposure, DOF, composition, using light, stop-action, showing motion are manufacturer independent. Every entry level camera has 'pre-fab' modes you can use until you understand how to use AV, TV, M. So I don't buy into the notion that a given camera is "easier to learn" - what is different though is how different manufcaturers design the ergonomics. So, depending on what features YOU end up using more than others you may find one manufacturer puts that on a dial and another in a menu. For example, to some people exposure bracketing is a big part of how they shoot. I never use it. To the person that does it can make a big difference how that feature is accessed. To me it doesn't because it's not a feature I use. Doesn't make a camera harder or easier to learn - but a given camera could have a feature that's harder or easier to access. The tough thing is - until you develop your own style it's tough to predict what features you will use frequently. The best you can do is go with what you know you will use now.
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Old Oct 17, 2008, 3:30 PM   #5
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Thanks JimC for your reply, ok Canon felt good in the hand and liked the menu system, if i went for the used 400d because it is a little older than the 1000d am i still going to get the latest technologies, i cant really afford a 450d yet...?? I guess it comes down now to lens prices as i think for a starter like me allthe body's are going to be roughly the same, what would you recommend for a starter like me. I think i just want to buy into the right system in an ideal world and start the learning curve.

Peoples opinions and experiences of what the first dslr was and how they got on would be very interesting, not just for me, but for all noob's??

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Old Oct 17, 2008, 3:40 PM   #6
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No reason really for the specific used it's just i know a couple of friends ugrading their present dslr's which were them two, i was also unaware how relatively cheap the 510 was new, sp prob look at new one's aswell.

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Old Oct 17, 2008, 3:49 PM   #7
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I would lean towards a new system with a kit lens if you're on a very tight budget (and it sounds like you are), as I just don't think the difference in those bodies would make a used body a good idea. You're probably going to be the limiting factor in getting the most out of any of those choices, versus the differences in camera features. They're all pretty decent cameras for their price.

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Old Oct 17, 2008, 3:52 PM   #8
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Thanks JohnG, wow... a lot to consider, I have had probably 10 non dslr's (point & shoots) in the last 18 months, plus 5 superzooms all different makes.

I think i would prob shoot Nothing fast action, mainly scenery and landscape, the odd lowish light indoors of the kids, maybe a little macro work, thats about it if it helps, does that suggest poss a make or set upmaybe, bearing in mind it might have to be the kit lens at the start.

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Old Oct 17, 2008, 3:58 PM   #9
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tag007 wrote:
Quote:
Thanks JohnG, wow... a lot to consider, I have had probably 10 non dslr's (point & shoots) in the last 18 months, plus 5 superzooms all different makes.

Tag
10-15 cameras in the last 18 months. And you're on a budget? Even in today's fast paced electronics world a new camera every month or two is strange. What is it you want out of a DSLR that the 15 previous cameras in the last 18 months haven't done for you?
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Old Oct 17, 2008, 4:01 PM   #10
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Thanks JimC for your reply on going for a new set up, and yes i am on a fairly tight budget and as a beginner dslr buyer i think maybe the higher endfeatured models maybe a little too complex for mestraight away.

So basically as a first time dslrowner most if not all entry level one's will get me going in terms of practise with probably their kit lens?

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