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Old Jan 23, 2010, 6:41 PM   #1
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Default Which camera?

Hi,
I am buying my first DSLR camera and taking the right decision among such a broad range of products is very difficult, specially for beginner.


I have done a bit of research and have decided for semi pro (enthusiastic) camera. I don't want to go for entry-level model, I will probably have to upgrade it to quick. I have done some research and have narrowed my choice to 5 cameras Canon eos 50d or Nikon d90 on one hand (those two are cheaper, what is a big +) but I much rather spend more if it is worth the money. And Nikon300s, Nikon d700 and Canon eos d7 on the other hand (I know there are many other good brands, but I like to stay with Nikon or Canon. If I broaden my choice to other brands, than I'll get even more confused, as I'm not enough right now). Specially last 2 cameras are more expensive, but have some very interesting features and I simply cannot see which one is the best since every model has some advantages and some disadvantages. On one hand I really like Nikon d700 which produces better results when shooting in higher ISO and crop factor 1.0. What bothers me the most with Nikon is its lower resolution in Mp (although I do know, Mp are not that important). In comparison with Canon d7, which has more Mp and is faster, and so on. As you can see I am in big dilemma and would really need an advise after all taking wrong decision is an expensive mistake in the case of cameras.

As it goes for what I like to photograph is like that. I like to take my camera everywhere I go. What means, when going to city I will take photos of architecture, city in night (this is why I would like a camera that produces (relatively) good pics at higher ISO); when going in parks (what is my favourite) I will take landscapes and of course wildlife (although I know from technical point of view landscapes and wildlife are in contradiction, but from my point of view those two fields are actually very closely linked), when traveling I would take photos practically of everything, there are also family/friends gatherings, etc. Since I usually take photos outside it would be a big plus if a camera is environmentally sealed. So I would probably need a good all rounder (at least for beginning) with maybe 1 or 2 lenses for beginning.

I cannot say I really know what I am doing with my camera - currently I am using Canon Powershot camera (I am still learning), but I almost never (except in the case of sunset, and sometimes with sport) use scene modes (I usually use AV or Manual settings).

So which model would be the best for my needs (the one that provides quality pics and is worth its price) and which lens is the best to start with?
I must admit I still don't have a good understanding of lenses (can you advise me any good book or website, where I could find a good explanation). There are also many different books on SLR photography and I wouldn't like to buy just one, can you advise me a good book.

Thanks for help.
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Old Jan 23, 2010, 9:00 PM   #2
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Honestly I would go with the 50d or d90. And save the cost of the more expensive bodies and put it toward the lenses. The lenses will impact your photo more then the body. If you go with the 50D I would invest in a little higher grade lenses like the ef 28-135 as a walk around lens and the ef 70-300 as you long zoom. I do not know exactly what is the D90's lens counterpart to the canon lens are. But I would go with the next level lens. The D90 and 50d are both excellent camera, the 50D has a bit more features and the higher price reflects it. Unless you are pixel peeping, the photos are very equal in quality.

To be honest, you will not outgrow any of the high end "entry level" dslr like the T1i or pentax K-x. I have been shooting for over 20 years. And I started on a canon AE-1 Program moved to a Eos 630 when auto focus came out. And treated myself to a Eos1 when I graduated collage. I have been shooting the Eos 1 for over 15 years. And to be honest, I could have kept using the eos 630 as I did not out grow it. Just wanted to treat myself

Since you are planning to carry this camera everywhere, I find that a larger camera are sometimes a burden. I have the Eos 1, but when I switched over to a dslr, the weight of a large body was and issue, so the d90 50d was removed form my list very early. And I still find that the T1i is a bit big sometime, and now I am looking at a olympus EP-2 to augment my T1i.

I shoot allot in AV mode, and I use the bracket feature allot. I find sometimes it takes to much time to set up the shot in Manual. But if I am shooting a set shot, then I will play with the Manual mode.
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Last edited by shoturtle; Jan 23, 2010 at 9:56 PM.
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Old Jan 23, 2010, 9:47 PM   #3
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much of this will overlap with shoturtle's response..

but, you seem to have a wide-variety of interests, in that you want to do everything from city/landscapes which require a wide/ultrawide lens to wildlife requiring a very nice long telephoto. and everything inbetween, including family/friend get-togethers, so now you are adding a flash in the mix and maybe a fast prime.

now, you realize that the money you will need to spend to get lenses that are even reasonable to do this job is going to be in the thousands? not only that, but the lifespan of a lens is much, much, longer than the lifespan of any digital camera. you will be upgrading your body, no matter what one you buy, in a few years. those lenses, you will keep a lifetime. heck, my 50 1.8 is almost 20 years old, and still works like a charm on my 50d.

so, i think you may want to rethink the breakdown of your budget. get a higher end entry-level camera and spend the difference on glass and a nice flash. your photography will be much better for this than putting cheap glass on a pro body, or not having the lens you need for a specific shooting purpose.

get a T1i, or a d5000, they give up nothing in image quality to their bigger brothers. and then spend that 1000$ you saved on another lens or two.

if you can come around to our thinking here, we can help you decide on the lenses you need once you pick a body.
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Old Jan 23, 2010, 9:55 PM   #4
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The d5000 may have a disadvantage for the OP since shooting everything is a requirement. And that not all the nikon lenses will AF on the d5000 will push up the cost for all the lenses OP will need to fit the shooting needs. Think the T1i may be a better high end "entry level" dslr that fits the requirements.
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Last edited by shoturtle; Jan 23, 2010 at 11:30 PM.
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Old Jan 23, 2010, 9:57 PM   #5
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yea, to some extent. but there are becoming more and more options with focus motors that if the camera was well-liked it would not be a huge hindrance.
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Old Jan 24, 2010, 6:05 AM   #6
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At the moment you want to shoot everything because you haven't decided or learned what kind of photographer you will be.

For a medium-budget starter set:
1. Canon 7D.
2. Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM
3. Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM
4. Photoshop Lightroom
5. "Understanding Exposure" by Bryan Peterson
6. Luminous Landscape Guide to Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2

Don't buy any more equipment for 1 year, take at least 10,000 photos during that time.
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Old Jan 24, 2010, 9:22 AM   #7
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[QUOTE=shoturtle;1043594]
>>
>>To be honest, you will not outgrow any of the high end
>>"entry level" dslr like the T1i or pentax K-x.
>>

Hello Shorturtle! Greetings from here in central Finland! Hey, this topic is important to me, as I am looking to make a purchase of camera in March or April. I read what you wrote about the Pentax K-x and Canon 500D. You also mentioned Nikon. I was curious if you have had any experience with Pentax. I keep reading and reading about these three cameras... Frankly, when reading ALL the reviews, it just seems a little confusing... If only there was one that has the features of all... they all have their plus and minus points. I have used Pentax "film" cameras, now I MUST go digital. Do you know which of the three above-mentioned cameras really do the trick for quality photos. I must admit, I need to use the video, but not in any "big way," just to record my wife's elderly parents... otherwise, I am looking for a camera that delivers quality RAW photos, etc.

Thanks and all the best.

Ned
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Old Jan 24, 2010, 9:45 AM   #8
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I do agree that it's better to spend your initial dollars on lenses than cameras - for much of what I do I can still do easily with the 6 mp Pentax K100. It's my first choice for something specialized that I'm doing now, even though I now have a higher-end camera as well. There's nothing wrong with using an entry camera for learning the basics - so often all those fancy features sound great, but are you really going to use them very often? As often as you will use a (fill in the blank) lens that lets you get (wider/closer/faster shutter speed)?

The other big thing that jumps out at me from what you wrote is that you sound an awful lot like me. My camera bag goes with me about every day, and I try to spend my lunch times walking around where I work, shooting pictures. Sometimes it's architecture, sometimes macro (love macro), sometimes interiors, sometimes informal sports. Weekends it's landscape/hiking/snowshoeing in winter, etc. Weight and size is a VERY big issue for me - there's a limit of how much I can carry. So (relatively) small and light is close to top on my priority list. I found most of the cameras on your list heavier than I was willing to carry (or could handle comfortably) - so that is something you need to consider. Look at all the weights of the cameras, figure out something you have around the house that weighs the same as the camera, lens, batteries and card, then put it in a sack and carry it around your neck for a couple of hours. Fill a purse, carry-on shoulder bag with the same weight, along with the weight of a couple of different lenses and carry that around for a day.

I do agree with not overloading yourself with equipment at first - it's better to buy one or two lenses and use them for a while, finding out what they can and can't do before you decide if/what you want to do that they can't do. Also, since you mentioned family and friends, you'll probably also want to save money for a good flash.

If you decide that weight is going to be a high priority and you still want the weather sealing, then you might want to look at the Pentax K-7. It's weather sealed and lighter than the D90.
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Old Jan 24, 2010, 11:23 AM   #9
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[QUOTE=Eetu;1043741]
Quote:
Originally Posted by shoturtle View Post
>>
>>To be honest, you will not outgrow any of the high end
>>"entry level" dslr like the T1i or pentax K-x.
>>

Hello Shorturtle! Greetings from here in central Finland! Hey, this topic is important to me, as I am looking to make a purchase of camera in March or April. I read what you wrote about the Pentax K-x and Canon 500D. You also mentioned Nikon. I was curious if you have had any experience with Pentax. I keep reading and reading about these three cameras... Frankly, when reading ALL the reviews, it just seems a little confusing... If only there was one that has the features of all... they all have their plus and minus points. I have used Pentax "film" cameras, now I MUST go digital. Do you know which of the three above-mentioned cameras really do the trick for quality photos. I must admit, I need to use the video, but not in any "big way," just to record my wife's elderly parents... otherwise, I am looking for a camera that delivers quality RAW photos, etc.

Thanks and all the best.

Ned
Actaully I have uses the Pentax K-x for about 2 weeks not, my brother went with the pentax k-x as it fit his budget better the the 500d I have. It is an excellent camera, and the photos quality is just as good as the 500D. It has very good low light abilities. The auto focus is just a little behind the 500D in very low light. Sometime the pentax will not get a AF lock where the 500D can, but it does take the 500D some time to acquired the lock. Both have iso 12800, highest in their class.

The canon does full hd video ato 1080, the k-x does it at 720 only. Not a big thing for me, I have a camcorder for hd video.

The pentax does do HDR in camera, which is nice if you are not into post production editing with photoshop, lightroom, or apple aperture. With the canon, you just bracket the shot and convert it to hdr on the computer.

The canon gives you a mini hdmi port, so you can connect the camera right to the HDTV to view video and photos. The pentax does not.

But since you have a pentax slr, and if your lenses are design for auto focus. The pentax K-x will have no issues using them with AF. That will save you couple of euros on lenses. If you have an external flash, you would be better off getting a dedicated flash like the metz 48 for the pentax. It works great with it.

The pentax measure up very well to the 500D, the nikon D5000 is a bit behind, having a 6400iso, not being able to work with all nikon lenses and 3rd party lenses. But it has the best flash system out there.
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Old Jan 25, 2010, 4:06 PM   #10
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Thanks again for every suggestion. Although all of those comments are useful are as well a bit confusing . Anyway it seems like I'll decide for lower price range camera (either Canon 50d or Nikon 90d or I was just looking at Pentax k-7) and rather invest more in lenses like suggested. It seems like all of those cameras will do the job (at least for my needs). According to your advices I don't see a point in spending so much many for camera since I probably wont do professional photography .
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