Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digicam Help > What Camera Should I Buy?

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old May 5, 2005, 4:00 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 20
Default

Hi,

A few days back I had asked whether to buy a high end prosumer camera or get into the digital SLR world. Based on the responses I got and some online and in store research, I have decided to go in for a DSLR.

I will be taking a lots of kid pictures in various conditions- sports, candlelit Bdays, indoor and outdoor portraits, family vacation pictures, indoor party pictures, landscapes.

I have shortlisted the new canon 350D, Canon 20D and Nikon D70/s. I figure you invest in a system with DSLRs so better to stick with these 2 big player with a big range of lenses and accessories. Also the fact that these are the most popular with the best of reviews.

I am a petite woman and although yesterday I almost made up my mind on the canon 20D but when I saw it in the store, the size and weight was a little daunting and I liked the 350D size better. Maybe its just that I am not used to SLR size. However I want a camera that I use often and maybe I will get the hang of it soon.

So aside from weight, the other things I would like help on is-

1. Which of these has a better set of camera controls which are quick to set under changing conditions and don't require one to go deep into the menus. I want to be able to take a shot quickly enough before people lose patience! I have read Nikon D70 is better in this respect. Please advise.

2. Colors- I have heard that D70 has better more warm colors than the Canons. How big of a difference is this? I do like warm colors but I have seem pictures from both canon and Nikon and they seem pretty close.

3. Nikon has better flash sync 1/500 what ever that means, ability to take 144 continiour pictures Vs 14 in Canon 350D.

4. In all other respects I heard Canons performs better like AF, built in flash range, smaller size etc.

5. Between the 2 canons I liked canon 20D but I am little scared by the size as my wrist started to hurt after holding it for a while. It much better if I support the lens with my other hand. Do you think I am making a big deal about the size?

6. Which of the 2 companies have a better range of lenses in terms of quality and price? This would help. i plan to purchase at least a couple with image stabilization.

7. d70 is only 6 MP and I know this is not supposed to be big fact in quality but I think from a social perpective ( I know you guys are rolling your eyes on this!) it is important when you carry this big camera in the party and its not even 8MP.

Assuming price difference between these do not matter much.

Lastly i am sneaking in a non related question- If I wanted to back up the DSLR with a good P/S in the 6MG range with very good image stabilization, which one should it be?

Thanks in advance for your help.
WannabePro is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old May 5, 2005, 7:02 PM   #2
Super Moderator
 
Hards80's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Cleveland, OH
Posts: 9,046
Default

ok, let me see if i can help..

first off, don't underestimate the importance of how the camera feels to you.. get them all out and pick them up, play with the controls, snap off a few pictures and see which feels right to you.. that should be a big factor for you..

1) the 6mp vs 8mp difference is going to only be a factor when you are doing heavy cropping and then enlarging.. otherwise negligeable..

2) the canon's have the edge in startup times as the 20d starts up under .2 seconds, the rebel xt is very similar

3) color rendition is great for all camearas but the 20d (and thus the rebel xt) have been shown be slightly better.. but again probably negligeable..

4) image quality between the 2 canon's is almost identical as they use very similar cmos sensors with the same image processor..

5) as you have mentioned flash sync is faster for the nikon, which will more than likely not be a big factor for you.. but what may is that the nikon can fire wireless flash from its built in.. the canon's need a transmittor or 2 flashes..

6) lens selection is about equal

7) noise- the canon's definately have the edge here at the higher ISO's.. so if you are doing low light work, might be a significant help for ya.. (btw 20d goes to iso 3200, rebel xt to iso 1600, but noise is similar)

8) in my opinion and it is just that, opinion, i find the control layout of the 20d to be superior to either the rebel xt and d70, though they are all logical and straightforward.. but then again thats just me..

and if it matters, i chose the 20d and have been using it seriously for the last several months and could not be happier.. it is just amazing..

so my 2 cents is, get your hands on all of them.. that will be your biggest help.. and then consider these other points as well.

you will enjoy either of them, so have fun shopping...
dustin
Hards80 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 5, 2005, 7:20 PM   #3
Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 8,529
Default

Well, you can't go wrong with any of the three - they're all great cameras. Specific answers:

1. All 3 cameras adjust quickly to change aperture, ISO or shutter speed or between the preset modes. The only time you need to go into menus is when you whant to change file size/format or presets for saturation, contrast etc - which you don't tend to do in-between shots.

2. Color saturation is a matter of taste - in all 3 cameras you can adjust the amount of saturation - one camera may have more default saturation than another but you can adjust all 3 so this is really negligible.

3. True about the sync speed - where this comes into play is if you use flash for sports or other stop-action photography. It is a nice-to-have but not that important to the majority of folks who use the camera in the ways you describe.

5. Size - this is an issue - especially as you get bigger lenses. What you have to get used to with an SLR is using both hands - it's not like a pocket P&S where you lift and shoot with a single hand. How each camera feels in your hands is important. If everything else is pretty much equal, select the model that feels best in your hands - including changing the dials and such - whichever feels the most intuitve to you - all 3 have different control layouts.

6. Both companies make great lenses and to be honest, third party manufacturers like Sigma and Tamron make great lenses that work on either Canon or Nikon. A sweeping generalization and others here may disagree is that Nikon has better performing wide-angle lenses and canon better telephoto - but that's a broad generaliztion. Both camps have similar lenses in similar price ranges (in some cases Canon's version is pricier in others the Nikon is).

7. MP diff between 6 and 8 is no big deal. I had a 6mp 300d and now a 8mp 20d and I can crop slightly more with the 20d's photos but not enough where it's a huge difference. For your needs I don't see as much heavy cropping.

The only place where I would say the 20d wins out is in frame rate and buffer and AF - so it gets the edge for your sports shooting needs. But, especially with sports the lense is really more important.

So, my personal suggestion is to test shoot all 3 and go with the one that feels best. Buy the kit lense and save up for a) a fast lense for sports shooting and b) external flash. Many people like getting a fast 1.8 lense for low light indoors but I think the external flash gives you much more flexibility (all 3 really don't have very good internal flashes). Good luck and enjoy!
JohnG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 5, 2005, 7:20 PM   #4
KSV
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 248
Default

Dear WanabePro!

Do you realize how funny your points? For the starter how you can compare 20D and 350D? This most nonsense what I heard! 20D is a real camera with real performance, but cost read money. If for you money not an object than buy both Canons and use 20D for mastering your photographic skills and 350D to carry around as small back-up. Second most important things - lens with IS is made only by Canon (AFAIMK), so if you really plan to purchase them in the future you automatically have to stick to Canon and therefore your choice will be narrowed to two models. IS lenses cost real-real money - thousands of dollars, more than 20D body, so if you really going to buy them how ever you can think about 350D as your main camera?!?

In short - majority of your concern is not much important or not important at all (IMHO), you have to decide witch camera is more suitable for you and to witch system you wish to stick. If you feel uncomfortable with big body - do not buy it! If you have no previous experience with SLR it is not necessarily that you will be happy with DSLR - sure they can deliver, but they also demanding - you must wish to learn and learn a lot. And experiment a lot. If size is important for you there is list of small-factor DSLR - 350D, *istDS, E300 and upcoming D50. Try witch one you are more comfortable with and get it. And do not worry too much about X-sync and other crap - at the end of the end photographer making photos, not camera.

And at last:
Quote:
7. d70 is only 6 MP and I know this is not supposed to be big fact in quality but I think from a social perpective ( I know you guys are rolling your eyes on this!) it is important when you carry this big camera in the party and its not even 8MP.
Are you serious?!? If so please kindly disregard everything written above:G
KSV is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 5, 2005, 8:09 PM   #5
Super Moderator
 
Hards80's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Cleveland, OH
Posts: 9,046
Default

KSV wrote:
Quote:
Dear WanabePro!

Do you realize how funny your points? For the starter how you can compare 20D and 350D? This most nonsense what I heard! 20D is a real camera with real performance, but cost read money. If for you money not an object than buy both Canons and use 20D for mastering your photographic skills and 350D to carry around as small back-up. Second most important things - lens with IS is made only by Canon (AFAIMK), so if you really plan to purchase them in the future you automatically have to stick to Canon and therefore your choice will be narrowed to two models. IS lenses cost real-real money - thousands of dollars, more than 20D body, so if you really going to buy them how ever you can think about 350D as your main camera?!
disregard that paragraph by ksv.. the 350d and 20d are both real cameras and are both capable of professional results.. the 20d has a few more custom fucntions and more rugged body, and lil faster burst..image stabilized (IS)is not only made by canon, nikon has it, sigma has it, minolta has it in body.. theIS lenses do not cost thousands of dollars.. my 28-135 is was 410.. can get a nice 300 f4 IS for 950...

please ppl, make sure you know your stuff if you are gonna post advice.. ppl use this to make decisions that are possiby important financially..
Hards80 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 5, 2005, 8:27 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 3,396
Default

Hards80 is correct, they are all good cameras, and all can be used to make very good images. The 20D also has that high-precission center focus point that only works if you use the more expensive f2.8 or faster lenses, so for a beginner it also probably won't make much difference either. :-)

Depending on which dslr you choose now, you are buying into a lens and accessory system. That will grow and move from body to body if you change them, so that will tie you to the particular brand.

One thing though with a DSLR you will need to learn how to post process the image files, they do not come out ready-to-print like they do from a P&S.

Peter.
PeterP is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 5, 2005, 8:38 PM   #7
Super Moderator
 
Hards80's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Cleveland, OH
Posts: 9,046
Default

excellent point about post processing peter.. many ppl jumping to dslrs are not aware of this and are disappointed in their images straight out of camera, this is particularly true of models such as 20d where canon assumes you will process the images.. therefore they may look a little bit underexposed and less than tack sharp.. this is to prevent losing information in "blown" highlights and artifacts from over-sharpening..

my advice is either enroll in a little short course on photoshop.. or pick up a good book on it.. i like the "Photoshop for Photographers" series.. i have the one for photoshop elements 3.0 by scott kelby and its very informative, but also easy to follow..

most of these camera's will come with elements 2.0 i think.. though they may have changed that for the rebel xt here recently.. anyways, my advice it to pick up elements 3.0, it really is a slicker interface and allows you to do much of what CS will do for a fraction of the cost..

overwhelmed yet???? hehe... :G.. don't be, its a fun learning process....

dustin


Hards80 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 5, 2005, 8:58 PM   #8
KSV
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 248
Default

Hards80 wrote:
Quote:
KSV wrote:
Quote:
Dear WanabePro!

Do you realize how funny your points? For the starter how you can compare 20D and 350D? This most nonsense what I heard! 20D is a real camera with real performance, but cost read money. If for you money not an object than buy both Canons and use 20D for mastering your photographic skills and 350D to carry around as small back-up. Second most important things - lens with IS is made only by Canon (AFAIMK), so if you really plan to purchase them in the future you automatically have to stick to Canon and therefore your choice will be narrowed to two models. IS lenses cost real-real money - thousands of dollars, more than 20D body, so if you really going to buy them how ever you can think about 350D as your main camera?!
disregard that paragraph by ksv.. the 350d and 20d are both real cameras and are both capable of professional results.. the 20d has a few more custom fucntions and more rugged body, and lil faster burst..image stabilized (IS)is not only made by canon, nikon has it, sigma has it, minolta has it in body.. theIS lenses do not cost thousands of dollars.. my 28-135 is was 410.. can get a nice 300 f4 IS for 950...

please ppl, make sure you know your stuff if you are gonna post advice.. ppl use this to make decisions that are possiby important financially..
IMHO 350D can not be considered as "real" camera with its flimsy plastic body, shocking viefinder,great tendency to bow out light and even without spot metering. How people can discuss importance of X-sync and forget about absent of spot metering is way beyond my understanding.But it is my only opinion and you welcome to have any other :-)

In B&H IS only available for Canon and all they Canon made - could you pleasepoint me at any Nikon or Sigma IS lens? Minolta has IS in body, indeed, but we was talking about lenses or I miss something? Whats about 28-135, you right it cost $350 - I never new it before. Probably because I do not believe that any sober person needs IS in 135mm lens :-) . IMHO IS really required from 300mm onward and EF300/2.8 cost around $3800 orEF400/4.0 around 5000 - and this is what I was talking about, and I believe that you understood it properly. So please be polite in supporting your favorite brand.
KSV is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 5, 2005, 9:32 PM   #9
Super Moderator
 
Hards80's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Cleveland, OH
Posts: 9,046
Default

KSV wrote:
IMHO 350D can not be considered as "real" camera with its flimsy plastic body, shocking viefinder,great tendency to bow out light and even without spot metering. How people can discuss importance of X-sync and forget about absent of spot metering is way beyond my understanding.But it is my only opinion and you welcome to have any other :-)

In B&H IS only available for Canon and all they Canon made - could you pleasepoint me at any Nikon or Sigma IS lens? Minolta has IS in body, indeed, but we was talking about lenses or I miss something? Whats about 28-135, you right it cost $350 - I never new it before. Probably because I do not believe that any sober person needs IS in 135mm lens :-) . IMHO IS really required from 300mm onward and EF300/2.8 cost around $3800 orEF400/4.0 around 5000 - and this is what I was talking about, and I believe that you understood it properly. So please be polite in supporting your favorite brand.


in regards to your first paragraph.. while it is your opinion, please remember that the 20d also does not have spot meter, but 9% partial.. does that make it not a real camera? and what do you mean awful tendency of 350d to blow out highlights, it uses the same image processor as the 20d.. they are both "real" cameras and can do anything anyone could ever ask.. that is MY opinion

in regards to second.. the image stabilization from nikon is their VR lens series.. and sigma's is the OS.. and my response to your comment on the 135 and IS, is what sober person would not want it, given the opportunity... it is very useful in lower light situations and even for adding that extra sharpness in marginal light.. and if you want to talk about 300 and beyond.. remember that canon also has a 100-400 IS L that costs 1200, and yes they do make a 300 f4 IS for round 1000... and a 70-200 for bout 1600 which can be made a 300 w/ a 1.4tc, 75-300 for 400, 70-300 DO for 1050... i mean there are many image stabilized lenschoices costing less than 3800!!!!


Hards80 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 5, 2005, 10:16 PM   #10
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

All are good choices, but don't forget that you can still find new Canon 10D's for the price of an older Digital Rebel (300D). While it's a 6MP camera, it will have more "Pro" features...like a 20D & none of the sortcuts of a Rebel or Nikon D70.

That being said...The Canon 350D is a hard camera to beat for the money (the higher ISO performance quality is a huge jump). And (with Canons resources), I can only see them getting bigger and better by each year.
  Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 4:02 PM.