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Old Jul 9, 2006, 7:59 AM   #1
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Okay, don't laugh, but I've got a Kodak DC290 that I've finally had it with the low quality pics and zero control over the shot.

Both me & the girlfriend used to do amateur b&w photography and both have had darkroom setups so while very rusty, we do know a little bit about shooting but not a heck of a lot.

Right now I'm looking at Steve's "best" of the SLRs under 1k and I'm realizing two things. 1) I need to get my hands on these cameras to see which I like the feel of and 2) I don't know much about lenses.

At the top of the list is the Rebel XT or a D50 body, then a lens (preferrably something with macro for around $200) with a moderate range of zoom...maybe to 150. I'm fully aware that the investment ends up more in the lenses but I obviously am unsure of which direction to go.

What do I want to shoot? Well, everything. I used to play with macro shots for a while, every year I try to get out and shoot the 4th fireworks, I want to get out and hike more so bird & other nature type shots and we might be going to Yellowstone in a year or two so landscapes as well. Night shots with high contrasts are fun and even a little action photography. Pretty much the entire spectrum of possibilities. I really enjoy crisp pictures...not sure if that's a good word to use, but when I see a nice clear, sharp and richly colored pic I love it.

So now the questions that come to my mind....

Right now (besides the Kodak) I've got a Canon AE1 Program. I know that the two lenses I have would need an adapter to put on a Canon and that I'd get zero automation out of them so let's assume I have no lens investment.

Are there any brands that would be better off going with in the long run? For some reason, Nikon (to me) has the better brand name recognition for lenses. Canon rings better for the body construction but my experience is limited.

I've always wanted to toy with IR and have read that Canon has a heftier IR filter. Is that a serious restriction? In other words, will I need to take a 2 second shot to get a nice pic on a Canon vs. a normal shutter speed on a Nikon or is the difference more minute?

Ultimately I know I can't realy go wrong either way, but with the current Rebel rebate (and it being ready to expire) I just got that horrible itch to buy something. I've also taken a short look at the Olympus 500 which seems like a nice unit as well, but from the little I know about Canon/Nikon I know even less about Olympus. I'm looking to spend roughly $8-900 for a body one or two lenses and a mem card. As a side note I was looking at Butterfly's lens pack (http://www2.butterflyphoto.com/shop/...u=REBELLENSKIT) which they have a version for either Nikon or Canon and was wondering if those were decent.

Any comments, anecdotes and opinions are most welcome.

Thanks for reading
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Old Jul 9, 2006, 10:13 AM   #2
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You can get very good lenses for Nikon, Canon, and Olympus. It'll be a tough call to find one or 2 lenses that can do everything you're wanting, esp in your price range, since you seem to appreciate the extremes based on your description of shooting habits :G Good luck, but I'd suggest probably narrowing your primary interests a bit so you can get something a bit more tuned to that.

But one thing I can really help out with here - you'll want to check out butterfly photo at resellerratings.com or a similar site before you get lenses (or anything else) there. Particularly read the comments. Remember, "if it seems to good to be true, it probably is".




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Old Jul 9, 2006, 10:43 AM   #3
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I bought my KM 5D from Butterfly. It was not too bad. Do expect so pressure selling on such things as warranties, chips, and accessories,however. Just be prepared to have to call them on the telephone and to keep politely saying, no, no, no.

Although the price has increased from $699 to $724 the KM 7D's from www.walmart.com are still a good buy. I also was able to pick up a Nikon refurbished D-50 from www.beachcamera.com for $399 which has been a great camera. So there are lts of options out there. Yes, I do thinlk that the D-50 is a good camera to learn with through everyday shooting.

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Old Jul 9, 2006, 2:23 PM   #4
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Quote:
It'll be a tough call to find one or 2 lenses that can do everything you're wanting, esp in your price range, since you seem to appreciate the extremes based on your description of shooting habits :G

Yeah yeah I know I basically said "the world" in my description. I know full well I'd need a dozen lenses for all that I guess I was describing the use of the camera more.

We were at Ritz today and of course we both liked the feel of the D70 and hated the Rebel. The 50 was nice, but the feel wasn't as beefy as the 70 which is both good and bad. Good for carrying around and holding it all day but bad that it just feels a little cheaper (not that it is by any stretch).
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Old Jul 9, 2006, 3:41 PM   #5
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Tom-

I have a few suggestions:

(1) If you photos are not in low light level situations, the Olympus E-500 two lens kit represents an excellent investment. You will be able to cover a focal length range of 28mm to 300mm. It is also available at Costco.

(2) If cost is a factor, take a look at the NIKON refurbished D-50's at Beach camera.com, or look for an Olympus E-300 on www.ebay.com.

(3) www.walmart.com has the KM 74 available at $724 with the kit lens

(4) IMHO the Nikon D-50 is a somewhat better camera than the D-70. I sold my D-70 after I got my D-50, which has a much better noise signature.

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Old Jul 9, 2006, 7:09 PM   #6
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mtclimber wrote:
Quote:
Tom-

I have a few suggestions:

(1) If you photos are not in low light level situations, the Olympus E-500 two lens kit represents an excellent investment. You will be able to cover a focal length range of 28mm to 300mm. It is also available at Costco.

(2) If cost is a factor, take a look at the NIKON refurbished D-50's at Beach camera.com, or look for an Olympus E-300 on http://www.ebay.com.

(3) http://www.walmart.com has the KM 74 available at $724 with the kit lens

(4) IMHO the Nikon D-50 is a somewhat better camera than the D-70. I sold my D-70 after I got my D-50, which has a much better noise signature.

MT
1) I think low light is going to be a factor. I'm guessing you're referring to noise in that instance that it's a little worse in the E-500?

2) I don't think the cost is THAT prohibitive if you look at a refurb vs. brand new. I can stretch the cash and would rather get new.

3) I'm still looking for a shop that has the Oly and KM so I can handle them. I very much liked how the D70 fit in my hand, even my girlfriend preferred it and she's got tiny hands.

4) REALLY? Has anyone else had a similar experience or do you think you got lucky with a good 50 or vice versa a so-so 70?

As it stands right now I'm leaning towards the D70. I'm debating what to do about lenses and did have the thought of just getting the kit for now to familiarize myself with the camera and then get a nice pair for Christmas or something to that effect. Is the kit lens worth the money or can you get something with the same specs for a similar price but is an overallbetter glass?
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Old Jul 9, 2006, 8:15 PM   #7
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Is there a reason you are not considering the Pentax camera? There's a $100 rebate on the DL right now because Pentax is coming out with a new, IS camera and the DL is a really good buy right now. I'm told it uses the same sensor as the Nikon, it is the smallest and lightest of the dSLRs - great for hiking and lugging around extra equipment. It can use any Pentax lens made (though if the lens is manual, it will still be manual), I'm using lenses purchased over 25 years ago. You can often find good buys on excellent used lenses, so you could possibly afford more lenses, buying ones for some of your more specialized requirements (like a dedicated macro lens). Its a very nice camera and worth a look.
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Old Jul 9, 2006, 10:00 PM   #8
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Tom-

Mtgal raises a good point the Pentax DL with the $100 rebate is an attractive alternative, bringing your net cost down to around $350 after the rebate. Here is a Pentax sample photo for you taken using the Sigma 24-70mm lens which is an inexpensive lens.

MT
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Old Jul 10, 2006, 11:07 AM   #9
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I'm not sure why I haven't considered it. Most likely because Canon and Nikon are the two names that come to mind for me with this topic.

I'm more interested in buying into a highly popular and supported line than I am saving a few bucks. If it means buy a D70 and pay $200 more so be it. It seems that the cameras themselves are relatively similar. As well the lenses do seem to be available in different mounts. It looks like it's down to ease of use and ergonomics which Nikon wins the latter, the former is still out for judgement.
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