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Old Jun 24, 2009, 8:34 PM   #1
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Default My first DSLR?

I'm looking at getting my first DSLR. My budget is around $700, but if I can get away with spending less that would be ideal.

This will be an all-purpose camera for me. I'm going to Disney World this summer and I want to be able to take some really nice night shots. Something to show reflections and lighting very well.

My selections are...

Canon XS
Canon XSi
Nikon D60

I'm really leaning towards a Canon because I like the interface and I'm used to it from school work. Newegg has a pretty good deal going on for the Canon XS http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...Size=10&page=1

How good is the second lens?

Also, is the jump from the XS to the XSi worth the additional money for my needs?

I threw the Nikon into the mix for anyone who might think its a better option.
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Old Jun 25, 2009, 6:34 AM   #2
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The Canons have a better kit lens that is also stabilized, which will be important for long shutter speeds for night shots. They also have 'Live View', which will also help for your intended purpose, and they also do better at higher ISO settings.

The Nikon D60 just doesn't compare.

The XSi has a 12MP image sensor while theone in the XS is 10MP, and it has a better autofocus system.
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Old Jun 25, 2009, 3:32 PM   #3
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Thank you for the response.

I'm still curious about the additional lens provided in that deal. Is that lens any good and worth the deal?
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Old Jun 25, 2009, 4:22 PM   #4
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There are better choices for a longer lens than the one in the package.
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Old Jun 25, 2009, 4:41 PM   #5
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Quote:
The Canons have a better kit lens that is also stabilized, which will be important for long shutter speeds for night shots.
The D60's kit lens (18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 VR) is stabilized, too. ;-)

Also, the Nikon D60's AF speed is fairly fast (it's AF speed is usually in the "Pros" column with most reviewers), even though it's not quite as fast as the latest Canon models. It just doesn't have as many AF points as some cameras. The Nikon also has an available ISO 3200 setting (missing on both of those Canon models).

But for night photos, you're better off keeping ISO speeds set lower and using a tripod anyway (unless you want blurry/grainy photos), especially with a dimmer kit lens.
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Old Jun 26, 2009, 9:44 AM   #6
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If I may chime in here, I have a Nikon D60 and absolutly love it. I came to Steve's looking for advice and got some really great advise. TCav recommended the A200 to me since I already have a Minolta Maxxum 450si with 2 lenses, but after going to my local camera shop and handling the Sony A200 Canon Rebel and Nikon D60, it was the D60 that felt most comfortable in my hand and the one I choose with no regrets. On paper the D60 seems to be the least capable of the entry level camera's and it very rarely gets recommended as an option on this forum but for someone moving from a p&s it's a really easy camera to use and get great results, and for what's it's worth reviewer's seem to like this camera.
So my advise is to try all the camera's you can in this price range and pick the one that feels right. And just for fun here are some conclusions some revieweres made about the D60.

Bottom line - The new Nikon D60 is quite impressive for an entry-level dSLR, offering superb performance, great image quality, and multiple exposure options. The 3fps continuous drive mode (or 3.5fps in our testing), Sensor Cleaning system and onboard HELP Menu are distinct improvements for this soon to be popular camera. As the successor to the D40x, the D60 is sure to please the novice shooter - or even the seasoned photographer seeking a lighter camera for those long days of shooting. The latest technology is available on the D60 including Eight Digital Vari-Programs and a variety of Retouch Menus, including Quick Retouch, Stop-motion Movie and NEF (RAW) Processing. With a street price of US$749.95 or less for the camera/lens outfit, the Nikon D60 digital SLR package offers an outstanding value. You get the experience and reliability of Nikon along with a large selection of accessories.

In reality the biggest challenge the D60 faces is the competition; there's been an explosion of small, affordable entry-level SLRs in the 18 month or so since the D40 first appeared, and though I've never actually used live view outside the studio there's no denying it's a strong selling point at this end of the market, as is in-body stabilization. Cameras such as the Olympus E-410 (and its promising successor the E-420) offer a fuller feature set in an equally small (and affordable) body, and you can't ignore the imminent arrival on the shelves of Canon's seriously beefed-up (though pricier) forthcoming new entry-level model, the EOS 450D, not to mention the new Sonys or the Pentax K200D.
But let's not forget what the D60 has to offer; it's still one of the most affordable cameras in its class and it represents the perfect 'upgrade' camera for anyone who has outgrown their digital compact camera and is looking to dip a first toe in the world of the digital SLR. Its output is consistently good (the JPEGs are excellent and its raw files have lots of dynamic range headroom), it's a pleasure to use and, handles well and weighs very little. And as I've stressed throughout this review, it makes getting pleasing results incredibly easy
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Old Jun 26, 2009, 10:12 AM   #7
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The Nikon entry level models are well liked cameras. It all depends on what you want to shoot, as there are pros and cons to any of them.

I think I'm often guilty of assuming that everyone wants the same features in a camera that I'd use, when in reality, most users buying this level of camera probably don't care about a lot of the technical details and features (more AF points for tracking action, compatibility with older lenses, etc.).

More often than not, I suspect that a typical entry level dSLR buyer just wants a camera that takes nicer photos compared to their current point and shoot model, without a lot of expense.

Nikon seemed to realize that and they were "right on the money", as their entry level lineup (D40, D40x and D60) have been big sellers for them, even though many of us may not buy one because we want to use more third party lenses and primes that may not Autofocus on these models (since they don't have a body based focus motor built in). But, that problem is diminishing, as more and more lenses in Nikon mount have focus motors built in now.

Personally, I think the Sony A200 has the most "bang for the buck" in that market niche. But, most dealers are sold out of it now, as it's being replaced by the Sony A230. Also, I'm probably a bit biased since I shoot with a Sony A700 now.

It looks like Sony is following Nikon's model of releasing smaller and lighter cameras with the the new Sony A230, A330, and A380. We'll have to wait and see how well they're received. So far, Sony's marketing plan seems to be working for them, even though they're the "new kid on the block" with their dSLR lineup. For example, it's my understanding that they more than doubled dSLR market share in 2008 (putting them in a much stronger 3rd place).
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Old Jun 26, 2009, 12:55 PM   #8
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I totally agree Jim that the Sony A200 is the best bang for the buck. I probablly would have bought it over the Nikon D60 if I could have gotten it body only, but I didn't wan't the hassle of selling a lense and I already had 2 lenses from the Minolta. Personally I'm a general photographer and it's simply a hobby, but if a choose to get more serious I can upgrade to a better body like a D90 or better, personally I think at this level all major brands produce great DSLR's for general photography and I would be happy with any of them, if I wanted to get serious about sports I would probably go Canon or Nikon.
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Old Jun 26, 2009, 7:55 PM   #9
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Thank you for the great responses. I'm just going to have to look and see which one feels best. I have worked with the Canons before and thats why I tend to lean that way. I understand the interface from the ghetgo.

But I'm not one of those users that just wants better pictures. I want more control, AF points and speed are something that is important to me.

I'm actually considering upping the anty a little bit and going for the Canon T1i. I just want to make the best choice for me, for the money.
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