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Old Jan 20, 2014, 6:14 PM   #1
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Default Yep, I'm new and need help.

I'll try to make this short, but no promises.

I'll be new to the DSLR community. I've always loved taking pictures, mostly of nature and people, but I've recently grown tired of the lack of performance and quality of my point and shoot. I've done a lot of research so far and apparently the Nikon D5300 is the bees knees.

I guess the first question is, when did Canon stop being the recommended brand when it came to DSLRs?

My biggest concern is quality, I don't care how hard the camera is to learn, I'll put in the time and effort, but I want the best possibly quality with the money I'm willing to spend and the D5300 is a little over what I want to spend, with a lens of course, but I'm willing to spend a little more if the quality is where I want it.

Another question I have is lenses. I think I understand the differences, but still wanted to ask anyway. What is the differences between a 18-140mm and a 55-300mm? My assumption is zoom. Is that right? Cause I was thinking of getting a 35mm lens but if I can do 35mm with the 18-140mm then I wouldn't need the 35mm...right? Also, does brand really count for anything? Do I need to be concerned with all the added extra letters, numbers, whatever in the lens description? And one more in regards to lenses. Is it true that Canon changed the lens mount they used in the past and so not a single old lens will work with newer models?

I'm curious about buying the D5300 via a bundle that includes several other accessories and have sent an email to the company in question, BeachCamera, but still wanted to get opinions on the subject. Has anyone here bought a bundle kit? My only real concern is whether or not the camera and lenses come in a retail package and can be registered with the company. I do care a little on the other accessories but my main concern is the camera body and lenses.

And last question. Could someone recommend me some literature or any other form of media in regards to learning how to use a DSLR?

*edit* Didn't dawn on me until now that this post might not be in the right forum. If it's not please let me know and I'll do my best to post it in the right one. Thanks!

Last edited by spiritgod; Jan 20, 2014 at 7:20 PM.
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Old Jan 21, 2014, 9:19 AM   #2
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I guess the first question is, when did Canon stop being the recommended brand when it came to DSLRs?
Canon and Nikon have been the market leaders for decades, occasionally swapping the #1 and #2 positions, but neither has ever had a significant lead over the other.

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My biggest concern is quality, I don't care how hard the camera is to learn, I'll put in the time and effort, but I want the best possibly quality with the money I'm willing to spend and the D5300 is a little over what I want to spend, with a lens of course, but I'm willing to spend a little more if the quality is where I want it.

Another question I have is lenses. I think I understand the differences, but still wanted to ask anyway. What is the differences between a 18-140mm and a 55-300mm? My assumption is zoom. Is that right?
The number in millimeters (mm) is the Focal Length of the lens, which is an indication of how much the lens bends light. A short focal length bends light more than a long focal length, and thus provides a wider Angle of View. Some lenses have a single, fixed focal length, and so provide a single, non-adjustable angle of view. These lenses are commonly referred to a "Prime" lenses. When the focal length is referred to with a range of numbers (i.e.: 18-55mm, 55-300mm, etc.), it means that the focal length, and so the angle of view can be varied. These lenses are commonly referred to a "Zoom" lenses.

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Cause I was thinking of getting a 35mm lens but if I can do 35mm with the 18-140mm then I wouldn't need the 35mm...right?
Probably so, but hold tight.

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Also, does brand really count for anything?
Each and every lens manufacturer makes its share of gems and its share of duds, so you can't judge a lens by it's nameplate. But, in general, the OEMs (i.e.: Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic, Pentax, and Sony, the companies that make lenses for their own cameras) make lenses that are more durable and better fitting (collectively referred to as "build quality") than third party lens manufacturers (i.e.: Sigma, Tokina, Tamron, etc.), but this is not always the case. "Build quality" is a reference to the quality of design, workmanship and materials, not a reference to performance (i.e.: sharpness, distortion, vignetting, chromatic aberration, AF speed, etc.)

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Do I need to be concerned with all the added extra letters, numbers, whatever in the lens description?
Yes.

In addition to the focal length, all that gibberish also includes the maximum Aperture, or F-Number of a lens, which is an indication of how much light a lens can pass through to the image sensor. Smaller f-numbers indicate larger apertures, and so can project a brighter image onto the sensor. This allows the camera to use a faster shutter speed while still capturing a correctly exposed image. Aperture (f-number) and shutter speed, along with ISO (sensitivity) are variables that can be adjusted, alone or in combination, to vary the brightness or dimness of an image, as well as the Depth of Field or motion blur. Typically, the autoexposure systems in cameras can take care of all of this without much help from you, but you can influence it, or even take over for it if you want, in order to get the image you're after.



The other stuff also provides some info that you should take note of. For instance (just for Nikon lenses):
  • AF-S - The lens has it's own autofocus motor. This is important to you because the camera body you're considering, the D5300, doesn't have its own AF motor, so lenses that don't have an AF motor won't be able to AF. Most third party lenses for the Nikon mount have their own AF motor, but some earlier Nikon lenses, the ones labeled simply AF, won't AF on that body. The equivalent designations from some third party manufacturers are as follows:
    • Sigma: HSM
    • Tamron: USD or PZD, or simply "Built in motor"
  • VR - The lens can compensate for an unsteady hand. "VR" means "Vibration Reduction" which reduces the amount of motion blur induced by camera shake, typically from the natural tendency of a human body to adjust its position slightly in its attempt to remain standing upright. The equivalent designations from some third party manufacturers are as follows:
    • Sigma: OS for "Optical Stabilizer"
    • Tamron: VC for "Vibration Compensation"
    • Collectively, these features are referred to as Image Stabilization. Nikon started out putting image stabilization in it's lenses because, at the time, it still made film cameras, and the only way to stabilize an image for a film camera was via the optics. (Canon did the same, btw, though it no longer makes film SLRs.)
  • IF - The focus mechanism is internal, so the lens doesn't get longer or shorter as you focus on close or distant subjects.
The rest of the stuff primarily refers to details of the construction of the lens.

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And one more in regards to lenses. Is it true that Canon changed the lens mount they used in the past and so not a single old lens will work with newer models?
Every manufacturer has made changes to the lens mount over the years. Canon changed mounts when it went from manual focus cameras (FD Mount) to autofocus cameras (EF Mount), as did Minolta (Sony). Nikon stuck with its F-Mount through its transition from MF to AF, but still made multiple minor changes that affected the functioning of a lens on a body, as did Pentax.

So, while this is somewhat true, it's not a big factor, as each of the lens mounts currently in use has been available for years.

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I'm curious about buying the D5300 via a bundle that includes several other accessories and have sent an email to the company in question, BeachCamera, but still wanted to get opinions on the subject. Has anyone here bought a bundle kit? My only real concern is whether or not the camera and lenses come in a retail package and can be registered with the company. I do care a little on the other accessories but my main concern is the camera body and lenses.
In general, the accessories that may come bundled with a camera are not the best quality and/or might not meet your particular needs. For instance, included filters are generally of inferior quality and are generally superfluous anyway, and included memory cards may be slower than you might need for every operation your camera is capable of. As such, bundles provide you with accessories that are, at best, barely able to provide the capabilities you might need or find useful, and since you've already got them, would hinder you from spending money to get accessories that would perform better.

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And last question. Could someone recommend me some literature or any other form of media in regards to learning how to use a DSLR?
Every manufacturer has its own resources to help new owners take advantage of their equipment. I recommend that you take advantage of these free resources before you consider spending money elsewhere.

See http://www.nikonusa.com/en/Learn-And-Explore/index.page
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Last edited by TCav; Jan 21, 2014 at 11:50 AM.
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Old Jan 21, 2014, 10:13 AM   #3
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*edit* Didn't dawn on me until now that this post might not be in the right forum. If it's not please let me know and I'll do my best to post it in the right one. Thanks!
No Problem. I've moved this thread to the What Camera Should I Buy? Forum, which is the best forum for getting help on decisions about the camera that would best suit your needs.
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Old Jan 21, 2014, 12:22 PM   #4
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Just a small addition... the D5200 is pretty much the same as the D5300- save built in WiFi and GPS and a 60fps video capability- and if these extras are of little importance,can save you a bit of money.
The D5300 has no anti-aliasing / optical low-pass filter, which in theory could lead to sharper images- though to be honest you'd have to be looking really hard- and have quality glass on board to notice..!
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Old Jan 21, 2014, 6:08 PM   #5
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Tcav, thank you soo much for all that information. I'll read over it thoroughly, and make a copy for when I do more research on DSLRs. I did notice one thing. The only reason I was looking at a bundle kit was because it comes with two lenses. I haven't gotten an email back from the company but the lenses I asked about as a comparison (18-140mm, 55-300mm) are the ones that come with the bundle and they're both made my Nikon, from what I can see in the picture and in the description. I figured the two of them covered a decent range and I believe I'll be getting it cheaper with the bundle than I would with buying them separately. I know I'll be taking a lot of pictures of things up close but also of things from far away that I won't want to disturb in order to get a good shot, and I just figured those two lenses would have me covered. Should I post the link from the site?

Simon40 - Are you sure? Cause every review, both professional and user have all said that the difference can be seen.
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Old Jan 21, 2014, 6:08 PM   #6
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No Problem. I've moved this thread to the What Camera Should I Buy? Forum, which is the best forum for getting help on decisions about the camera that would best suit your needs.
Thanks!
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Old Jan 21, 2014, 6:28 PM   #7
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We're talking very miniscule differences...in my opinion... and you're gonna have to view/print images at VERY large sizes to notice anything worth talking about- and as I stated earlier, any difference will certainly be lost with anything other than quality glass...

Have a look for yourself with some side by side shots...
check various sensitivity settings etc...
http://www.imaging-resource.com/IMCOMP/COMPS01.HTM

And Ken Rockwell said- and I quote...

"The D5300 adds Wi-Fi and GPS over last year's model, the D5200. Honestly, when I need Wi-Fi and GPS, I use my iPhone which does it right. The other hottest features of the D5300 are that it also comes in grey or red. Otherwise, I'd suggest the older models like the D5200 for a big discount."

DXO's sensor comparison...

http://www.dxomark.com/Cameras/Compa...5200___919_850

But,hey- don't let me put you off a D5300- a very fine camera...

Last edited by SIMON40; Jan 21, 2014 at 6:46 PM.
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Old Jan 21, 2014, 6:52 PM   #8
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We're talking very miniscule differences...in my opinion... and you're gonna have to view/print images at VERY large sizes to notice anything worth talking about- and as I stated earlier, any difference will certainly be lost with anything other than quality glass...

Have a look for yourself with some side by side shots...
check various sensitivity settings etc...
http://www.imaging-resource.com/IMCOMP/COMPS01.HTM

And Ken Rockwell said- and I quote...

"The D5300 adds Wi-Fi and GPS over last year's model, the D5200. Honestly, when I need Wi-Fi and GPS, I use my iPhone which does it right. The other hottest features of the D5300 are that it also comes in grey or red. Otherwise, I'd suggest the older models like the D5200 for a big discount."

DXO's sensor comparison...

http://www.dxomark.com/Cameras/Compa...5200___919_850

But,hey- don't let me put you off a D5300- a very fine camera...
I hope I don't sound like I don't want to take your advice, I just have to have quality. I looked at that site and yeah, they look almost identical, so I may end up going with the D5200. Though I wonder how much low light difference there is from the two. I plan on taking a lot of night pictures, and possibly, fingers crossed, getting into astrophotography but it isn't a must for me.
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Old Jan 21, 2014, 7:32 PM   #9
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The only reason I was looking at a bundle kit was because it comes with two lenses. I haven't gotten an email back from the company but the lenses I asked about as a comparison (18-140mm, 55-300mm) are the ones that come with the bundle and they're both made my Nikon, from what I can see in the picture and in the description. I figured the two of them covered a decent range and I believe I'll be getting it cheaper with the bundle than I would with buying them separately. I know I'll be taking a lot of pictures of things up close but also of things from far away that I won't want to disturb in order to get a good shot, and I just figured those two lenses would have me covered. Should I post the link from the site?
Can you go into more detail about what you want to shoot?. Sports/action/wildlife? Weddings/events? Portraiture? Landscape? Cityscape? Architecture? Neither of those lenses is particularly good at what you say you want to do (... except that the 18-140 has a good zoom range for video, and it's quiet.)
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Old Jan 21, 2014, 8:28 PM   #10
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Can you go into more detail about what you want to shoot?. Sports/action/wildlife? Weddings/events? Portraiture? Landscape? Cityscape? Architecture? Neither of those lenses is particularly good at what you say you want to do (... except that the 18-140 has a good zoom range for video, and it's quiet.)
Nature/wildlife, cityscape, Architecture, portraits, landscapes. I mostly take pictures of scenic nature and animals, both up close and far away. I like to catch people doing whatever they're doing at the time but also like to take pictures of people waiting on the camera to go off. I'm not a huge fan of shooting fast moving sport players, so I won't be doing a lot of that...if any. I love taking pictures of cities at night, and am hoping to get a lot of good pictures of fireworks. I also love to take pictures of anything colorful, mostly flowers. Oh, and I'll be taking a trip to the canyons, not exactly sure where since I've never been before, but will be taking a lot and I really mean a lot of pictures when I go on that trip. I would like to get into Astrophotography, but that'll be later...probably much later down the road.

Does anyone know how good the video is on both the D5200 and the D5300? I don't know if I'm going to be shooting a lot of video, but I will probably be filming a few church services down the road if either are capable of video working viewing.
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