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Old Jan 6, 2011, 8:39 AM   #1
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Default Help me choose my first dslr-!

Good afternoon...i am new to the forum and looking for some advice into what is the best camera and lense(s) for what i want to achieve...

I have had a bridge camera for a while now...and i would like to purchase my first dsrl as i am finding limitations with my current camera.

I have had a look at different cameras...there are so many...i dont really know where to start...so i thought i would ask on here...to see what people thought would be suitable for me.

I do a lot of eventing photography for horses...and whilst i have 'got by' with my camera at the moment...i need something better to take my photos to the next level.

Have had a look at the Nikon D90 and the Canon 550D as the ones which i have looked at in more detail lately...what do people think of those? for sport and also horse eventing? have also had a look at the Nikon D5000 which looks a nice camera.

The Nikon D3000 also seems nice...see my problem now...there are just so many to choose from. Then i have also looked at the Canon EOS 1000D

Dont want to spend loads...as this is my first dslr...but want something that will do the job and do it well...

Any views would be great thank you everyone.
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Old Jan 6, 2011, 9:13 AM   #2
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FWIW, the D3000 is pretty widely regarded as a suboptimal offering from Nikon. Both the D5000 and the D3100 are considerably better-reviewed. The D90 has been almost universally praised. I own the D5000 and love it. But many people feel that there are serious limitations with the D5000. These include:
1. It does not have an in-body focusing motor, so many of the older lenses for Nikon cameras will not autofocus on the D5000. There are still a great many lenses available for the D5000 that will autofocus, but (especially of you want to find used lens bargains) the lack of an in-body focusing motor makes many lenses inappropriate choices for this body.
2. The D90 allows the photographer to control just about everything related to shooting controls from the two control wheels, so you don't ever need to use the menu system while taking a shot. Everything you care about is available through the viewfinder via these wheels. With the D5000, this is not quite true (e.g., changing both aperture and shutter speed is a pain with the one-wheel system. I use either Aperture priority or Shutter priority, and change the other parameter indirectly by adjusting the ISO. It amounts to the same thing, but you need to get a bit creative to accomplish the same adjustments with the D5000 single-wheel approach).
3. The D90 has a pentaprism viewfinder, whereas all the cameras below it use a pentamirror system. What this means practically is that the viewfinder is noticeably brighter on the D90 than the lower models.
4. The D90 supports a few "bells and whistles" that are quite attractive to some and irrelevant to others. Among these are a "DOF preview" button that sets the f-stop to the one that will be used for the shot when you press this button, so you can (kinda) see the depth of field that will be in the final shot. This is really a side effect of the pentaprism -- a pentamirror would just be too dark to make this view useful. Another feature valued by some is support for "commander mode" flash using the D90. This is an advanced flash mode for co-ordinating off-camera flashes with the camera. I've never used it, so I don't really know what I'm missing.

The difference between the D3100 and the D5000 basically seems to boil down to this -- the D3100 has more pixels and the D5000 has bracketed exposure support. More pixels allow you to crop your photo more before it becomes unusable, and bracketed exposure allows you to easily take a sequence of photos for HDR (or just hedge your bets on what the right exposure should be).

I am not personally familiar with the Canon line, but my understanding is that the 60D would roughly line up with the Nikon D90, the 550D and 500D with the D3100 and D5000. I'm sure someone else can provide more insight into why you'd choose one of them over the other, and correct any misinformation in my Nikon characterization.
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Old Jan 6, 2011, 9:24 AM   #3
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tclune - thank you for your reply...so basically...i would be better off looking at the Nikon D90?

I have had a look at the D90 and it does seem to get very good reviews...would this be a good camera with lens to achieve horse events photography? thank you again.
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Old Jan 6, 2011, 9:33 AM   #4
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I would pm our TCav, he shoots horses with a d90.

The camera d90 and the 550D would be the to camera I would consider as you are shooting action with horse.
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Old Jan 6, 2011, 10:04 AM   #5
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I would pm our TCav, he shoots horses with a d90.

The camera d90 and the 550D would be the to camera I would consider as you are shooting action with horse.
Thank you...i will do that...im getting quite hooked at looking at the D90...seen some sample pictures and it looks amazing.
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Old Jan 6, 2011, 10:07 AM   #6
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You mention sport and horses. Can you be more specific about what sports you want to shoot? And what type of horse events you want to shoot?

The camera is only part of the equation. You have to pair it with appropriate lenses if you want good results. We need more detail about the sports and types of horse events you're talking about to determine what lenses might be appropriate.
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Old Jan 6, 2011, 10:40 AM   #7
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tclune - thank you for your reply...so basically...i would be better off looking at the Nikon D90?
Well, given that I looked at the same list of differences, chose the D5000, and am happy with my choice, I wouldn't say that the necessary conclusion would be" Buy a D90." But, if that's the way it adds up to you, then you would not be making a silly choice.
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Old Jan 6, 2011, 10:59 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by JohnG View Post
You mention sport and horses. Can you be more specific about what sports you want to shoot? And what type of horse events you want to shoot?

The camera is only part of the equation. You have to pair it with appropriate lenses if you want good results. We need more detail about the sports and types of horse events you're talking about to determine what lenses might be appropriate.
Hello John...yes...i have tried to take photos of horses on the gallops at a few local yards...as i wanted to get experience in that area...unfortunately...it seems that my present camera has limitations...which is obvious...it isnt a dslr.

I need to do horse racing...horses on the gallops...and things like that.

Thank you again.
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Old Jan 6, 2011, 11:00 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by tclune View Post
Well, given that I looked at the same list of differences, chose the D5000, and am happy with my choice, I wouldn't say that the necessary conclusion would be" Buy a D90." But, if that's the way it adds up to you, then you would not be making a silly choice.
Hi tclune...thank you again...i do like the look of the D90...i will have a look at the D5000 too...
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Old Jan 6, 2011, 11:15 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quizmaster View Post
Hello John...yes...i have tried to take photos of horses on the gallops at a few local yards...as i wanted to get experience in that area...unfortunately...it seems that my present camera has limitations...which is obvious...it isnt a dslr.

I need to do horse racing...horses on the gallops...and things like that.

Thank you again.
What sort of distance are you from the subject (horses)? Are you shooting indoors, outdoors under lights?
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