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Old Aug 2, 2009, 1:19 AM   #1
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Default The best upgradeable dSLR and accessories..

Hey all!

I've been using a P&S canon 700IS but now I'm considering to get an entry level DSLR with high resolution and probably 2 other lens that will give me a good range in shooting portrait, nature or architectures in near, far and wide angles.

I need a camera which I don't have to upgrade for a long while since it could be really costly to be changing them every year or two.

I've been making some trips to the camera stores and I'm torn amongst the following:

1. Canon XSi kit with 17-85mm IS lens, Canon 50mm f1.8 and Sigma 70-200 f2.8 and their respective filters.

2. Canon T1i with the same lens as what I mentioned in XSi.

3. Nikon D90 with 18-105mm lens.
I haven't figured which lens to partner it with but I feel this camera is too heavy for me when I held it.

Recommendations anyone?

Thanks!
LadyQ

Last edited by LadyQ; Aug 2, 2009 at 9:32 AM. Reason: To get better responses
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Old Aug 2, 2009, 7:54 AM   #2
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Welcome to the Forums. Your best bet for getting input on a camera to buy would be our What Camera Should I Buy? Forum. So, I'll move this thread there for you now.

A good place to start your search is our Best Cameras List (models deemed to be a good value within their market niche). I'd give members an idea of your total budget for camera and lenses for better responses.
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Old Aug 2, 2009, 9:06 AM   #3
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Thanks JimC!

My range would be from $2500-$3000 for a camera kit, 2 lenses, filter, bag and tripod.

Please help.

Thanks!
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Old Aug 2, 2009, 10:29 AM   #4
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With that budget, you've got quite a few options available now. Unless you're taking "action" type photos where a more responsive AF system and faster frame rate may come into the equation, or photos in very low light without a flash where higher usable ISO speeds may come into the equation, most of the current dSLR models can do a decent job for you.

Then, you'd need to take issues like ergonomics, size and weight into consideration and figure out the best lens choices for the quality you want.

I noticed your edit said this:

Quote:
3. Nikon D90 with 18-105mm lens.
I haven't figured which lens to partner it with but I feel this camera is too heavy for me when I held it.
If you're uncomfortable with the size and weight of that camera/lens combination, then I'd suggest reconsidering the Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 you're considering with the Canon bodies. That lens alone weighs a bit over 3 pounds (more than the D90 and 18-105mm combined). . ;-)

http://www.sigmaphoto.com/lenses/len...40&navigator=3

What kind of nature shots are you looking to take? Is there a reason you're looking at that Sigma (i.e., sports use, use in lower light without a flash, etc.)?
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Old Aug 2, 2009, 11:22 AM   #5
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If you don't need an f/2.8 lens, and want to keep the size/weight down, your best bet is probably something like the Canon 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS lens in their lineup.

Nikon has similar lens choices. For example, their 55-200mm f'4-5.6 VR lens. Ditto for some of the other manufacturers. For example, Sony offers a 55-200m f/4-5.6 and Pentax offers a 50-200mm f/4-5.6.

In the entry level lineup, you can usually find two lens kits at very reasonable prices, too (for example, a camera kit including the camera body and something like an 18-55mm and 55-200mm lens at a discounted price compared to buying the camera body and lenses separately).

For example, in the Nikon lineup, you could get a D60 or D5000 two lens kit with an 18-55mm and 55-200mm lens. In the Sony Lineup your could get some of their bodies (A230, A330, A380) in a two lens kit including their 18-55mm and 55-200mm lenses. The same would apply to some of the Pentax Kits (for example, a K2000 with an 18-55mm and 55-200mm lens). I don't see a Canon two lens kit from a quick glance at vendors.

But, you could add something like their 55-250mm f/4-5.6 lens to a single lens kit if you want to keep size/weight down compared to a lens like that Sigma you're looking at.

On the downside, most of the lenses in those categories (18-55mm, 55-200mm, 55-250mm, etc.) are not going to work properly on a dSLR model with a larger sensor size, if you wanted to upgrade to a body using a sensor the same size as 35mm film later.

That's because these lenses are designed to project a smaller image circle for dSLR models with APS-C size sensors. That helps to keep the size and weight down (which seems to be one of your concerns if you think a Nikon D90 with an 18-105mm lens is too heavy).

Without any special requirements (i.e., a need to shoot in tougher conditions), I'd probably lean towards one of the entry level two lens kits if you want smaller and lighter (Sony A230, A330 or A380, Pentax K2000, Canon XS or XSi, Nikon D60 or D5000, etc.). You may also want to look through some of the Olympus dSLR models. In addition, you may want to set to add an external flash to a kit (since portraits is one of your interests). Then, set aside some money from your total budget for future upgrades, once you get a better feel for what you like or dislike in an entry level kit.

Any of those should be a nice step up from your Olympus 700 IS (which has a lens giving you the same angle of view you'd get using a 35-140mm lens on a 35mm camera). Then, after using an entry level dSLR model and kit lenses for a while, you'll get a better feel for where you may (or may not) be seeing limitations with that type of kit, without as much up front investment.

Then, if you upgrade (either body or lenses) down the road, you'll be able to make better informed decisions based on your experience with them (taking issues like size and weight into consideration).
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Old Aug 2, 2009, 1:29 PM   #6
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How I would spend your money if I were your personal shopper:

T1i body. ($800)
EF-S 17-55 f2.8 IS ($960)
EF 70-300 f4-5.6 IS ($560)
Manfrotto/Benbo 190CXPro3 legs ($300) + Ball Head ($120)
Sigma EF-530 DG Super ETTL II flashgun ($220)

Cameras and flashguns last 3-5 years.
Lenses last 5-15 years.
Good tripods last a lifetime.

Notice that the most money goes on the "standard zoom". It is a brilliant lens and you will have it on your camera most of the time.
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Old Aug 2, 2009, 3:15 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimC View Post
With that budget, you've got quite a few options available now. Unless you're taking "action" type photos where a more responsive AF system and faster frame rate may come into the equation, or photos in very low light without a flash where higher usable ISO speeds may come into the equation, most of the current dSLR models can do a decent job for you.

I might be able to take some action shots in the future but for now I would like to concentrate on getting some good still shots of my family, friends, animals, landscape both indoors and outdoors.

I'm also fascinated photographing old churches and its grand details.


Then, you'd need to take issues like ergonomics, size and weight into consideration and figure out the best lens choices for the quality you want.

I noticed your edit said this:

If you're uncomfortable with the size and weight of that camera/lens combination, then I'd suggest reconsidering the Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 you're considering with the Canon bodies. That lens alone weighs a bit over 3 pounds (more than the D90 and 18-105mm combined). ;-)

http://www.sigmaphoto.com/lenses/len...40&navigator=3

What kind of nature shots are you looking to take?

For nature shots, I like to photograph sunrise/sunset, cliffs, open seas, whatever my eyes could possibly see.

Is there a reason you're looking at that Sigma (i.e., sports use, use in lower light without a flash, etc.)?
I'm considering sigma because of the price. The Canon 70-200 IS is more expensive. The guy from the store recommended it although I didnt really get a chance to test it from a canon camera because they dont have it in stock. I said I will research on it.

Are the sigma, tamron or tokina lens REALLY good subs for the Canon IS or Nikon VR lens?


Thanks JimC!

:-) LadyQ
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Old Aug 2, 2009, 3:44 PM   #8
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You really need to take each lens on a case by case basis. All of the major manufacturers make lower and higher quality lenses.

But, I wouldn't rush out and buy a kit without making sure you're comfortable with it (size, weight, etc.), given your comments about thinking that the Nikon D90 with an 18-105mm VR lens felt too heavy. IOW, make sure to take a look at the lenses you want to consider, too. ;-) A 70-200mm f/2.8 lens like that Sigma is going to be relatively heavy (i.e., over 3 pounds), and I haven't seen anything in your comments that tells me you need that type of lens for the shooting you want to do.
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Old Aug 2, 2009, 5:31 PM   #9
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Just a few suggestions for your consideration. First, I would not run out and spend the entire budget all at once. I would select a camera system, and pickup the kit lenses (or lens), and start there. The kit lens will be relative inexpensive as compared to everything else. Starting there, with that as a base, your experience and needs will lead you to where your interests take you. It might be a bit premature to try to select everything now and then later decide you wish you would have gone in a slightly different direction.

The next item, you asked about Tokina lenses - and other third party lenses. I will say that the Tokina 12-24/f4 wide angle lens is an excellent wide angle lens, extremely sharp and comes in both the canon and nikon mounts. It was co-designed by Pentax and essentially the same as the Pentax DA 12-24/f4 - however the differences are Pentax used their own SMC lens coating (reduces flare), used their own barrel design and their own autofocus manual clutch (not Hoya owns both Tokina and Pentax). It is a very good lens. The one item is that both Canon and Nikon has their image stabilization in the lens, while Sony, Pentax and Olympus have body based stabilization - so on the Canon and Nikon the lens is not stabilized.

On the tripod and ball head. Are you interested in stitching images together? If so rather than a ball head you want to look into panning ballheads - they are a bit more expensive, so that when you are using a tripod, you can keep all the images level and straight, so that they all stitch together level (if not you will loose some of the image to cropping after stitching).

IS or image stabilization is very useful at longer focal lengths. You will introduce some degree of camera shake into the images especially at the telescopic lengths, and will be noticeable in lower light levels - especially when a tripod is not used.

As touched on before, a camera body with in body stabilization will provide image stabilization to any lens mounted, thus you will not need to go to the more expensive IS or VR lenses (Canon and Nikon).

Just a thought.
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Old Aug 2, 2009, 7:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimC View Post
You really need to take each lens on a case by case basis. All of the major manufacturers make lower and higher quality lenses.

But, I wouldn't rush out and buy a kit without making sure you're comfortable with it (size, weight, etc.), given your comments about thinking that the Nikon D90 with an 18-105mm VR lens felt too heavy. IOW, make sure to take a look at the lenses you want to consider, too. ;-) A 70-200mm f/2.8 lens like that Sigma is going to be relatively heavy (i.e., over 3 pounds), and I haven't seen anything in your comments that tells me you need that type of lens for the shooting you want to do.
In store, I used the canon xsi and t1i. Grip wise, it's good for my girly hands. Should I go for XSi or T1i? And what is a good starter lens given my subject photo preference?
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