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Old Jul 19, 2009, 6:15 PM   #1
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Default First DSLR: D90 or 50D? And what first lens?

I want to switch from P&S to a DSLR camera and canít decide on which camera to get. I have no experience with DSLR so the new camera needs built in automatic modes that I can use while I learn the manual modes. I take mostly pictures of my 1 year old daughter (lots of indoor pictures) but also take pictures while on vacation.
From my research, it looks like the Nikon D90 or the Canon 50D would be good cameras that would allow me to start with the automatic modes but could grow with me as I learn more. Iíve read a ton of reviews and forum posts but canít decide on one versus the other. I would also like only one good everyday lens that I can use most of the time. I don't mind adding extra lens later on but initially would like one only.

Currently, Best Buy has the following kits with the D90 and 50D:
Nikon D90 - 18-105mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 DX Nikkor lens - $1,199.99
Canon 50D - EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens - $1,399.99
Are those good everyday lens? From the forum posts that Iíve read, Iíve seen a lot of people recommending the 18-200mm but that means I canít get it local and the price on B&H would mean an extra $450 or $200 depending on the camera.
Nikon D90 - 18-200mm VR II Lens - 1,649.95
Canon 50D - 18-200mm EF-S IS Lens - $ 1,599.95
Would I be able to see the difference or would the 18-200mm filter be more useful and last longer to justify the extra cost?

Based on the above, would you recommend the D90 or 50D and what lens?

Thank you very much! I really appreciate it.

Daniel
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Old Jul 19, 2009, 7:14 PM   #2
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Daniel-

I would go with the D-90 and the 18-105 mm VR kit lens. It has received great professional reviews and is an excellent camera. I would also get the very reasonably priced Nikon SB-400 flash unit for those indoor photos.

Is there any reason you have not considered the Nikon D-5000 or the D-60 with, the Nikon 18-105 mm lens, and the Nikon SB-400 flash?

Either could save some $$.

The Nikon 18-200 mm VR lens is good but rather expensive. If you don't need that much zoom, the Nikon 18-105 mm VR lens will be fine.

Sarah Joyce

Last edited by mtclimber; Jul 19, 2009 at 7:36 PM.
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Old Jul 19, 2009, 8:15 PM   #3
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Default Good recommendation and ...

I was just wondering if you had considered the Canon T1i. It has many of the same features as the 50D, but is cheaper and has HD video capability as well.
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Old Jul 19, 2009, 9:08 PM   #4
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Great tip about the flash, Thanks! I wasn't sure if the built in flash would work since we take a lot of indoor photos at night.

The reason why I was looking for the D90 or 50D is because I was thinking that these cameras would provide more features since I would like to get more experienced in photography and I was trying to avoid the entry level cameras that could have limitations in the future (such as the type of lenses, etc).

I liked the features and how the Nikon D90 felt in the store but it seems to be very hard to decide between Nikon and Canon since you get people how loves and hates both brands. I was also trying to make sure I would not be missing any feature of the Canon 50D if I chose the Nikon D90 (like the 50D's higher resolution, faster continuous shooting, etc).

I am glad you think the standard 18-105mm lens kit will do fine so I can get the camera locally. I was concerned that I read here in the forum that the 18-105 suffers from a lot of vignetting, but I am still not sure if/how that will impact me.

Thanks again.
Daniel
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Old Jul 19, 2009, 9:17 PM   #5
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Daniel-

I have the Nikon 18-105 mm lens and I really like it a lot. I have not seen any serious vignetting problems at all. In fact, it is one of my favorite lenses. Yes, you can go with the Canon 50D, but what does it gain you? It is a good camera, but not much better than the Nikon D-90 in my opinion.

The next question is: should we save some money in this transaction? You could select the D-5000 or D-60 cameras. It might help you purchase a nice Nikon 55-200 mm VR lens ($200 to $230 right now) to round out your lens capability. That is just a thought. It might not apply in your case.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Jul 20, 2009, 3:02 AM   #6
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The Nikon is a much better bet with either of the lens choices you have outlined above.

The Canon 28-135 is not a good lens to start off with, because it has no wide-angle. On a small-sensor body you need a zoom that starts at around the 17-18mm mark. The Canon 18-200 is not as nice as the Nikon 18-200, but I would avoid those lenses unless you really hate changing lenses, the wide zoom range forces just too many optical compromises.

A better choice would be the Canon 50D + 17-85 IS lens. Which is a perfectly good setup.

But the Nikon D90 is a very nice camera and the 18-105 VR kit lens is excellent. It has a half-generation advantage over the Canon 50D. And is also excellent value for money. Definitely one of the best mid-level buys at the moment.
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