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Old Jan 21, 2011, 2:23 PM   #1
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Default Looking for Entry Level SLR and lens suggestions

I'm looking at stepping up into the world of SLRs, although not too big of a step. I'm looking at the Canon T2i and Nikon D3100. It seems like those are the comparable Canon / Nikon offerings at this time. I'm also interested in suggestions about lenses.

My primary use for the camera these days would be for pictures inside and outside on vacations, of both near and far away objects, buildings and such. I will also use the camera at family events, again both inside and outside and I'm at about that point in my life that I'm likely to have a child in the not so far off future, at which time I might appreciate having some HD filming capabilities.

I know that both of the cameras listed come with an 18 - 55 mm lens, which doesn't really provide much in the way of zoom. I've seen a lot of 55 - 200+ mm lenses that would provide me with enough zoom for what I'm looking for these days, but I don't know that I want to have to carry around two lenses all the time, so I think a lens that is 18 - 200+ mm would likely be a good investment for me. I'm not super into taking pictures, but I do like to take them and it's something I would like to get better at once I get some better tools, again it would be the same types of pictures as listed above, just hopefully with better results. I'm looking to keep my purchase around the $1000 range, knowing that my budget will likely increase as I do more research, but hopefully by less than 50%.

Suggestions, recommendations and opinions are appreciated. Thanks.
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Old Jan 21, 2011, 2:59 PM   #2
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G'day tpc rider

From the sounds of it, I would agree that an 18-200 would be your best bet
IF you were a pro photographer, IF you were going to produce lots of 20" x 30" posters for sale, etc etc maybe the above lens would not be the best one to get

However, for good quality, everyday holiday pix, maybe printed to 8" x 12" to put on the wall, then the above lens will do 'more than okay'

BTW - the 18-200 is 12x zoom ... this is one of the very reasons that the so-called 'bridge' cameras of 12x, 15x, etc zoom are so very, very popular. A good quality zoom lens coupled to a light-weight body with nearly all the dSLR features makes a damn-good travel camera system

Just as a thought ... look up dpreview's 2010 review of 'superzoom' cameras for travellers - it may be useful
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Old Jan 21, 2011, 3:13 PM   #3
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The canon t2i, you can add some good entry level lenses that will cover your need. To cover everything a 3 lens setup would work well with the mention 18-55, 55-250 and 50mm 1.8.

But for a 1 lens solution. I you will need to push your budget a little bit. The all in one lenses will run you about 500 dollars with the canon 18-200, or tamron 18-270 or sigma 18-250. And the body will be around 600 dollars at least. Same nikon AF-s 18-200 and the nikon mounts on the sigma or tamron. I would still add the ef 50 mm 1.8 is you get the canon to get nice low light shots when you can not flash. Or the AF-s 35 1.8 with the nikon.

Between the 2 bodies the canon T2i is the better body. And canon has better developed HD system compare to Nikon, and a better AF system as well.
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Old Jan 21, 2011, 3:15 PM   #4
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If recording HD video is something you're serious about, you'd be better off with a camcorder. While the dSLRs you mentioned can do it, it's not for the fainthearted.

The best reason to get a dSLR is to be able to use lenses that are optimized for a particular purpose. A single lens that can do everything, won't be able to do anything very well, and will usually cost as much or more than multiple lenses of less ambitious zoom ranges that will provide better image quality. But if all you'll ever do is display your photos on a computer monitor or television, then you probably won't notice the difference. ... in which case, you may be better off with a camcorder that can record good still images.

But between the two, the Canon t2i would probably be a better choice, especially if you'd like to record video with a dSLR. But to shoot indoors, especially with an all-purpose lens, you'll need an external flash as well.
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Old Jan 21, 2011, 9:59 PM   #5
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Have you considered one of the mirrorless/micro-four-thirds cameras from Panasonic, Olympus, Sony or Samsung? They are designed to compete with entry level dslr, are quite capable and smaller. Here's a great link showing 2 of the pannys with lots of picturesand I found lots of fun to read too.

http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showthread.php?t=753888

My digital journey looks like this: Canon p2100, Panasonic Lumix TZ1, FZ7, FZ8, FZ28 and FZ35. While I love these superzooms I find I'm really not using the long end much (I'm not a "birder" and don't plan on an African safari anytime soon) and I find their indoor/low light performance very frustrating. I take lots of family pics and enjoy landscapes, buildings and neat stuff that catches my eye.

I watched my son-in-law build a system around a D5000 which he now stores in a back pack and only pulls it out on special occasions. And when he does, wow what a load. Too much for my taste.

I ended up with the panasonic G10 which is only slightly bigger than the FZ35. Not perfect but a major step up.
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Old Jan 22, 2011, 1:42 AM   #6
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the mirrorless does a better job with HD. But they do have their limits. Action is not something they are really suited to do well. They can get the occasion action shot. The panasonic micro 4/3 do not shoot low light as well as entry level dslr. While the olympus m4/3 comes close matching the entry dslr to 1600iso.

The sony and the samsungs are aps-c mirrorless, so you get more dof control. But the samsung is only good upto 1600iso as well, the sony is good to 3200iso. But they to have draw backs as well.

I have a mirrorless camera, and they are great for traveling and running around. I took my olympus epl-1 on a month long vacation in SE Asia, and it did a great job. Just avoided the situations that it was not well suited for. And have a ton of photo memories. There is not prefect camera. But you find the one that fits your ergo the best and matches up with your needs the best.
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