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Old Dec 25, 2010, 10:39 PM   #1
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Default Want to upgrade to DSLR Canon or Nikon

I want to upgrade to dslr either Canon or Nikon. I'm not sure which to choose. There are a lot of questions in my mind. Please help me out.In Malaysia I don't have the luxury to test the camera because they don't have all the models. I am thinking of Canon 550D, 60D or Nikon D7000

1. I need to take photos and videos. Photos in concert with spot lights and low light condition. Do I need high ISO?

2. Does the body or the lens produce good pictures, if it is the lens can I buy a cheaper body.

3. Must I use the original lens from Canon or Nikon or can I use other brand like Sigma or Tamron (I think there are cheaper) and carl zeiss

4. I don't understand the lens. Are wide angles just for wide only and cannot zoom or telephoto lens just for zooming only.

5. Are all the flash same. Can I use different brand.

6. What are the difference between Canon and Nikon?

Thank you very much.
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Old Dec 26, 2010, 2:09 AM   #2
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Well, I think I can help you with some of your main questions...

1. I need to take photos and videos. Photos in concert with spot lights and low light condition. Do I need high ISO? - This is somewhat dependent on a number of items. How bright the spot light is. If you just want the subject that is illuminated by the spot light or would you want some of the background. Also, conditions are going to change from venue to venue. In addition , if you want some of the background, you probably do not want the highlighted subject blow out (way too illuminated). So having a camera body with a sensor that can handle a wide variety of conditions is good. This gets into how you set up the camera to measure the light (single point or multiple points, and averaging the light across a number of points) and thus take the picture. It is not always about handling only high ISO (low light), low ISO has advantages also - especially for good quality. That is why a reasonable range is desirable. DSLRs offer much greater user control so that you can adjust and set up the camera to take the type of image you wish to. Therefore its much more complicated that a Point and Shoot - where by you just point it and click the shutter. DSLRs also have that mode where by you can put it into "full automatic" and let it do everything.

2. Does the body or the lens produce good pictures, if it is the lens can I buy a cheaper body. - Both the body and the lens work together as a system. The lens collects and focuses the light on the sensor. The sensor records the light, with the body's computer processing the image and storing it on the memory card. Arguably the lens is a bit more important, however neither can operate by itself. The more expensive bodies have more user controls, and usually make it easier to take the images in a range of conditions. You list a number of bodies, all relatively new - they all cover the same ISO range 100 - 12800 with the D7000 going up to 25600. They are all certainly capable bodies. None of these are really cheap bodies - these bodies with good lenses will all excel very well.

3. Must I use the original lens from Canon or Nikon or can I use other brand like Sigma or Tamron (I think there are cheaper) and carl zeiss. - Each of the camera makes has different lens mounts (different mechanical attachments with differing electrical connections connecting the lens with the camera body). Also each makes has a different registration distances (distance from the sensor to the lens). Sigma, Tamron, Tokina, Carl Zeiss and other third party lens makers each make lenses that will work with both Canon and Nikon bodies. So, in general you would use Canon lenses on Canon bodies - however you can use Sigma, Tamron, Tokina, Zeiss, etc. lenses on either body, just make sure the lens has the proper camera mount for the body that you select.

4. I don't understand the lens. Are wide angles just for wide only and cannot zoom or telephoto lens just for zooming only. - Lenses come in two varieties - Prime and Zoom. Prime lenses have only a single focal length - like 50mm for instance. Zoom lenses have a range of focal lengths - for instance from 18mm to 50mm. Prime lenses since they only have a single focal length are simpler in their build, but are also sharper. Zoom lenses are much more versatile, however their build is a bit more complex and thus can be slightly less sharp. Wide angle lenses refer to focal length. Focal lengths range from about 8mm to say 1200mm. Wide angle refers to the lower end of the focal length and takes in a wider view of the scene. Telephoto refers to the other end of the focal length range - about 100mm and higher. You can get both wide angle prime or zoom lenses, just as you can telephoto (both prime and zoom).

5. Are all the flash same. Can I use different brand. - There are slightly different flash standards that the cameras makes use. Obviously, each of the makes have their own flashes, however there are third party brands of flashes that work on the camera bodies also (just like the lenses). Others are better at flashes than me - as I like to do ambient light (i.e., no flashes).

6. What are the difference between Canon and Nikon? This is a question that is difficult to answer - similar to what are the differences between a Chevrolet and a Ford, or Porsche and Mercedes Benz. You will get different answers depending on who you ask. There are camera reviews, comparing the various bodies - in the various camera classes - entry level, intermediate, semi-pro and professional etc. One difference is that Canon makes their own sensors while Nikon uses some third party sensors (like the Sony sensor in the D7000 - which is a very fine sensor).



Last edited by interested_observer; Dec 26, 2010 at 2:14 AM.
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