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Old Feb 9, 2009, 5:07 AM   #1
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Hello all.



I am posting this question hoping to get a good answer from you knowledgeable people, as I have ben trying to make up my mind for some time but keep finding different opinions both in this site and others. Something tells me that this could well be another case of deja vu but it is up to you guys.

Regarding my phtographic skills, i must let you know that my latest camera has been a Fuji s8000fd, one of those bridge superzoom cameras that would be easy to carry for my travels. A friend of mine who knows stuff had already told me to forget about that and move on to dslr seeing the pictures i was taking with my previous one, but i still wanted to keep my travels light. My last trip has proved what all of you know: those cameras do have noise when conditions are not perfect and when the sun begins to set picture quality drops as well. Some excellent pictures i have taken are somewhat ruined because of noise, and a local photographer has told me that he thinks it is a camera problem.So do i.

At this point i think that some of you will suggest stepping into a lower budget dslr such as the canon eos 450 , a nikon d60 or a sony alpha 350 (or others) but the truth is that i donĀ“t feel like spending money and having to upgrade camera in a year or so again.

This said, and given my budget (spending around 1000-1400 dollars) in a camera plus lens/es ispushing it a bit but it appears to be what i need to spend to get what i need (i plan on selling some pictures...in fact i have already): fairly good quality pictures.

Of the cameras that i have seen the three that i have posted in the title are the ones i have thought of and my thoughts are:

Nikon d300- a bit too expensive for me but pretty darn good. However too much money so i think i will discard it.

Canon 50 d- is at the top of my list right now, however not everyone is very happy with it and some suggest buying the 40d instead

Canon 40d- cheapest of them all and a good bang for the buck- however i loose 5mp plus other features of the 50d

Nikon d90- Seems to be quite good, shares many things with its bigger sister (Nikon d300) however at the same price as the canon 50d. Nikon has video, less resolution, body is smaller plus lighter however lower quality, pictures seem to be good.

Ok, i'll stop the rambling and ask- which should i choose?



Many thanks,

Fred
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Old Feb 9, 2009, 6:36 AM   #2
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The forum hysteria over the Canon 50D revolves chiefly around the fact that the picture quality is no better than the 40D. This is partly irrelevant, because the 40D picture quality is pretty good, and partly Canon's own fault because they do claim the 50D is better.

However even though the picture quality is not improved, the camera itself is improved in many ways. If you want Canon and can afford the 50D then it's a great choice, but the 40D is fine too.

The Nikon D90 is also an excellent camera.

Tough choice between the 50D and D90. Obviously if you want video then only the Nikon has it, so choice made. But I would suggest that you allow your lens selections to be the main determining factor.

What do you plan on using the camera for?
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Old Feb 9, 2009, 7:40 AM   #3
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I agree with peripatetic. These are all excellent cameras. What you want to do will dictate the lenses you'll need, and that may dictate your camera choice. Also, with a budget of $1000-$1400, spending a lot on the camera body may not leave enough for good lenses. And lenses often have more to do with the quality of an image than the camera.

Perhaps you could post some examples of the kinds of photos you've taken, but that turned out unsatisfactorily because of problems with your current camera.

Another factor is how the camera feels to you . If you can't comfortably hold it, if you can't find the commands and controls when you need them, then the camera won't work very well for you.

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Old Feb 9, 2009, 9:12 AM   #4
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Thanks for the swift replies.

I use my camera mainly for travel, although have some other ideas in mind. But when i travel, which i do often, i do take pictures of everything: landscapes, people, animals, night shots (would like to anyhow-current camera makes it a no-no)...but mostly landscapes and people (not posing).

I am attaching one of my latest shots, which has blur when viewed at 100%. I will also upload a night shot taken when using a tripod ( i was in a tall building,so it could be moving because of wind).



thanks again



fred



OK, for some reason i can't upload the pictures, apparently the file size is too big and is limited to 250k

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Old Feb 9, 2009, 9:37 AM   #5
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If your images already exist on the web someplace, you could paste a link to them inside your message text here.

If not, you need to reduce the file size down to 250K, usually by reducing the size (resolution) to at least 800X600. (Otherwise, people will have to scroll horizontally to see all of it.) You can do that in any number of image editting applications that have a 'Resize' or Export' command.
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Old Feb 9, 2009, 9:57 AM   #6
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OK, here they go, thanks for the tip...at this size however it is impossible to see the problems i curently have, but you can see the kind of pictures i like to take (some kinds, anyhow)

cheers!

Fred
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Old Feb 9, 2009, 9:58 AM   #7
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Another one. Night shot with a tripod
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Old Feb 9, 2009, 10:00 AM   #8
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And the last one...i was so upset when i got home and saw the amount of noise it has (and all that were takenlike it). It was taken at sunrise...in my opinion there should have been enough light but...
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Old Feb 9, 2009, 11:33 AM   #9
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Good topic. There are some important considerations here.

First and foremost A WARNING!!!

In 2 of your shots with the monks you need to realize a DSLR is going to have a potential downside for these types of shots. Yes, noise performance will be better. BUT, what may cause you a problem is the difference in depth-of-field (DOF) between a digicam and a DSLR. Because of the larger sensor and the longer physical lenses used on a DSLR vs digicam, the depth-of-field is shallower than that of a digicam. What that means is, with a DSLR less of the scene will be in-focus. This causes a LOT of concern for people moving from digicam to DSLR. What it means is you may have to use an aperture 2, 3 or more stops narrower on a DSLR to get a deep depth of field. That means you have to use a slower shutter speed and/or higher ISO to compensate for that narrow aperture. It's something you should be aware of before making the jump.

Now, on to the second part of the equation - lenses. The benefit of a DSLR is that it is a SYSTEM not an all-in-one. So you can exchange lenses, flashes etc to use the right lens/flash for the job at hand. The best quality lenses are ones that are specialized in their task. The more broad you make a lens the more compromises you must make in it's construction. So, you have a difficult choice. You have a broad range of subjects, PLUS you will be using the camera for travel a lot.

On one end of the spectrum is the superzoom lens (think 18-200mm lenses). This provides you the most flexibility - a single, relatively small lens - a nice to have for travel. However, such lenses have a lot of compromises - more distortion, chromatic aberation, softness at the long end etc as compared to zooms with a shorter ratio or prime lenses. Theses superzoom lenses also have fairly narrow 5.6 apertures so it can be difficult to get faster shutter speeds in low light. The other end of the spectrum is using a 2-3 lens setup to get better quality for the various types of shots you take. Every shot is improved by doing this, but you incur a significant cost in terms of more gear to carry around and changing lenses.

So, that'sa tough decision. For those here who have used pro grade lenses it's very difficult to go back and use superzooms as the drop off in quality is very noticable. I say this because, like many people making the switch from digicam to DSLR you are focusing in on the camera body. In reality the quality of the lenses you use will affect EVERY shot you take. The difference in your results when using an entry level DSLR vs. a mid-level or pro-sumer DSLR depends on the types of shots and whether the type of photography uses a feature one of the higher end cameras has. For example, if you take a portrait or landscape or architecture shot with the Canon 450d and same shots with 50d using the same lens on both cameras you'd be very hard pressed to ever notice a difference. If you need to take photos at ISO 3200 then there are some differences. If you shoot action, the higher frame rate starts to enter intoit. Just some things to further muddy the water for you :G
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Old Feb 9, 2009, 2:53 PM   #10
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In addition to some of the points that have been brought up - weight sounds like it would be a big issue for you. I got a surprise when I looked up the relative weights of some cameras. It wasn't a surprise how heavy the D300 is - I tried handling one and couldn't handle it for long. What did surprise me is how heavy the Canon 50d is - I thought it would be lighter than the weather-sealed Pentax K20 (another camera that's an excellent camera) but I was wrong - it's a bit heavier (Canon 50d - 730g, K20 is 715g). The Nikon D90 is significantly lighter at 620g.

Also, what JohnG said about Depth of Field. So many times I hear people talking about fast lenses (and I have a few of them) but they often don't mention the downsides of them - size, weight and tiny depth of fields. Everything is a compromise in photography. You might actually be better off with slower (and often lighter)lenses for the most part. While I agree with him for the most part about lens quality being the limiting factor, the better quality lens you have, the more likely you'll see differences between cameras. An average lens will look pretty much the same no matter what camera you put it on.
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