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Old Sep 8, 2009, 12:45 AM   #1
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Default Canon 50D or Nikon D90 or other?

Hi, I am looking to purchase a DSLR to use for a serious photography hobby in my retirement. Main uses are for travel, landscapes (vineyards through the seasons and beach during day and evening), nature (still shots) and family portraits. I would like image quality such that the landscapes can be enlarged to 16 x 20 (at least) to be framed. Also for the camera to be not too heavy to lug around but substantial enough in the hand for myself and my husband. Our budget for the body and two or three quality lenses is around AU$3,000. Also, I have been reading a lot of reviews and am confused as to whether a 16-85mm, 18-85mm, 18-105mm walkaround lens + 10-20mm zoom is the way to go. Any help from the forum to make my choice a bit easier would be most appreciated.
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Old Sep 8, 2009, 7:31 AM   #2
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The 50D weighs 822g, the D90 703g - add a decent lens (around 6-700g) and you'll have to hang 1.5kg around your neck around the vineyards (btw great way to spend retirement). I found the 50D to be quite a beast when I held it - I'm 185cm tall and over 100kg - compared to the D40 that I eventually bought. Hold them both with a large lens and see how you feel raising it to your eye.

My own personal opinion, is that unless you shoot wildlife that doesn't allow you to approach closely, or sports like surfing or sailing or football (where you are potentially far from the players/sportmen/women) getting above a 200mm probably isn't worth it - at first. Obviously your expereinces and the others here will differ.

The 16-85mm Nikkor seems well regarded, and on other forums people seem to like the 18-105mm. The 10-20mm is probably best left for once you have a bit of experience and decide that you are missing some width.

I'm Nikon biased, but you cannot go wrong with the Canon 40D, 50D, 450D, 500D, the Oly E-30 or E-620, the Pentax K7, the Sony Alpha 700 etc etc. Do you have a friend that could advise? A nice photo shop nearby? If anyone pushes you towards a certain brand - like I would - then look at the competing products just to make sure.

If I had the dollars, I'd get the D90 + 18-105 kit lens, a filter (polarizer), a bag that can carry another lens or two and start from there.

Have fun.

Matt
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Old Sep 8, 2009, 8:11 AM   #3
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Bansky-

It really all depends on your brand loyalty. Matty has suggested a good starter kit of the Nikon D-90 coupled with a Nikon 18-105mmVR lens, and then adding, at a later date, the Sigma 10-20, or its Tamron equivalent.

I also feel that the Canon 50D might be a bit weighty as well. As an alternative suggestion you might look at the new Sony A-500/A-550 DSLR cameras coming to market in late October, which would be competitive to the Nikon D-90.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Sep 8, 2009, 9:01 AM   #4
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Thanks Sarah, worth consideration. I will check out from this end. Lyn
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Old Sep 8, 2009, 1:34 PM   #5
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you might want to seriously consider the Pentax K7. I hope to see a full review on here soon Stev ?
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Old Sep 8, 2009, 2:36 PM   #6
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I notice wording like "serious photography hobby", "quality such that landscapes can be enlarged to 16 x 20 (at least) to be framed, and not too heavy to lug around", etc.

If you want the most detail for landscapes at larger print sizes, my suggestion would be to look at one of the new 24MP models using a full frame (35mm film size) sensor like the new Sony A850 or A900 (whichever is less expensive in your location, as some dealers are "price gouging" a bit with the new Sony A850.

The only other dSLR model you'll find without going to a medium format back that takes landscapes as nice for enlargements is the Nikon D3x, which like the Sony A850 and Sony A900, takes advantage of a larger full frame (same size as 35mm film) Sony 24 Megapixel CMOS Sensor.

You'll see a photo with camera body size comparisons between the new Sony A850 and Nikon D3x over at imaging-resource.com if you scroll down on this page (the D3x is much larger and heavier, and it sounds like you don't want that, based on the "not too heavy to lug around" comment).

http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/AA850/AA850A.HTM

You can buy the Nikon D3x in the U.S. for around $7499 right now after current discounts. See the current prices at B&H for an example:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...al_Camera.html

The Sony A850, which also uses a Sony 24MP CMOS Sensor is around $1999:

http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/...52921665970159

The Sony A900 (same sensor) is approximately $2699:

http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/...52921665531176

The Nikon D3x has better noise reduction algorithms at higher ISO speeds. But, you'll spend several times as much for a Nikon D3x compared to the new Sony A850, and with the D3x, you'd have a much larger and heavier camera with features you probably don't need for the type of photos you want to take.

I'd probably couple one of the new Sony 24MP models with the new Sigma 24-70mm EX DG HSM lens (selling for around $899 here in the U.S.) for starters, and buy a longer lens later if you need one, keeping in mind that any Minolta Autofocus mount lens ever made would also work on those Sony models (including many lenses made by Tamron, Sigma and others in this lens mount), and they'd all be stabilized, thanks to the in body stabilization system.

For larger landscape type prints with lots of detail in distant foilage, you'd benefit from the resolution of a 24MP sensor, as long as you stick with good lenses. Also keep in mind that for landscapes, you'll have a wider angle of view using a dSLR model with a larger sensor (so that you don't have to buy lenses with focal lengths as wide to capture what you want). For example, to get the same angle of view you'd have at 24mm with a 24-70mm lens on a model with a 35mm size sensor like the Nikon D3x, Sony A900 or Sony A850 (and Canon full frame models like the Canon EOS 5D Mark II), you'd need to use a lens starting out at around 16mm on a camera using an APS-C size sensor like the Nikon D90 you mentioned, which uses a smaller Sony 12MP APS-C size CMOS Sensor when compared to the larger (same size as 35mm film) Sony 24 Megapixel CMOS Sensor used in the Nikon D3x, Sony A850 and Sony A900.
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Old Sep 8, 2009, 5:53 PM   #7
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Wow, fantastic info and explanation which is what we mere amateurs need from people who have been there, done that. Thanks I will check them out. Lyn
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Old Sep 8, 2009, 6:02 PM   #8
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Thanks mattyb, I have a good camera shop close by who stock all the major brands and have been comparing for a couple of weeks now. It seems that no particular camera/lens combo is absolutely without some flaw but heck we just want to have fun and hopefully produce something that is worthy of hanging on the wall! I appreciate your comments. Lyn
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Old Sep 8, 2009, 6:07 PM   #9
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banksky-

If you really want the whole enchilada, as I often do, also give some consideration to the full frame Sony A-850 which is a 24mp camera, that has all the bells and whistles you could ask for in a DSLR camera.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Sep 8, 2009, 6:30 PM   #10
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As did JimC in the Welcome Forum where I incorrectly posted the same message!
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