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Old 10-03-2009, 12:14 PM   #1
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Default DSLR Time. Trying to decide between 3.

I know I risk getting opinions by ... asking for opinions, but I'm curious what the photographers in here like and why.

I'm looking to get into more critical photography beyond the realm of PnS and I'm looking for something with a good supply of not super expensive lenses for expansion (which is why it's a canikon fest) and decent low light shooting. I also want live view which is why there aren't cheaper nikons on here. movie clips is interesting, but not required.

Speed is relatively important and these are all on par with each other (3-4 fps) as are most other critical features.

If you have other models I'm unaware of or justification for other brands, I'm curious. Case in point: I started out looking at the yet-to-be-released Pentax K-X because it was a feature *****, but then realized that it also might be a dead end for the future.

I've narrowed it down to 4 for now that I think are worth my time. And I'm sort of dithering between the XS and T1i for the price/features tug-o-war.

Canon EOS 1000D / Digital Rebel XS $499
Canon EOS 1000D / Rebel XS Review: 1. Introduction: Digital Photography Review

Canon EOS 450D / Digital Rebel XSi $620
Canon EOS 450D / Digital Rebel XSi Review: 1. Introduction: Digital Photography Review

Canon EOS 500D / Digital Rebel T1i $790
Canon EOS 500D / Digital Rebel T1i Review: 1. Introduction: Digital Photography Review

Nikon D5000 $720
Nikon D5000 Review: 1. Introduction: Digital Photography Review

thx.

edit: added price with 18-55 kit lens since I kinda need that and it's cheaper than buying one separately. kinda illustrates the cavernous price difference from the XS to everything else...
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Old 10-03-2009, 01:22 PM   #2
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I would look into getting a used Canon 40D. Dump the lens kit and get a Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 lens. All of those you mentioned are okay starter DSLR cameras, but you can get a decent used Canon 40D for the same price. Just my 2 cents.
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Old 10-03-2009, 01:34 PM   #3
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I'd also consider the Sony A350 in this price range. One thing great about the Sony is its image stabilization is in the body, not the lens, so you're stabilized with any lens you get. The current Sony cameras use all the Sony lenses (up to some really excellent Carl Zeiss glass), but they also take ANY lens that works on the older Minolta AF cameras... and there are a lot of lenses out there generally cheaper than their Nikon/Canon brethren. The downfalls of the A350 from the viewpoint of your list are that it's high ISO performance is a little noisier than its Canon/Nikon equivalents (I just shoot lower ISO with faster glass), and it's only 2.5fps rather than the 3.4 the Nikon is. IMHO you wouldn't probably miss the .9fps difference but that's just me. If you were willing to ditch the live view I'd recommend an A100 or A700 over the A350 since I personally think they're the better optioned cameras. I don't honestly find a lack of live view to be particularly difficult to live with. All 3 of these have reviews on DP.

Here's a couple shots from my A100 to give you an idea...

taken through glass in very dark conditions at ISO 100, Tamron 70-210 f2.8 lens



Taken through the fence at Thunderhill (front lens element is larger than the chain links.. softened the image slightly. ISO 100, Tamron 200-400 f5.6 lens



Taken at Golden Gate Park... ISO 100, Sigma 28-70 f2.8 lens



Quote:
Originally Posted by y8s View Post
I know I risk getting opinions by ... asking for opinions, but I'm curious what the photographers in here like and why.

I'm looking to get into more critical photography beyond the realm of PnS and I'm looking for something with a good supply of not super expensive lenses for expansion (which is why it's a canikon fest) and decent low light shooting. I also want live view which is why there aren't cheaper nikons on here. movie clips is interesting, but not required.

Speed is relatively important and these are all on par with each other (3-4 fps) as are most other critical features.

If you have other models I'm unaware of or justification for other brands, I'm curious. Case in point: I started out looking at the yet-to-be-released Pentax K-X because it was a feature *****, but then realized that it also might be a dead end for the future.

I've narrowed it down to 4 for now that I think are worth my time. And I'm sort of dithering between the XS and T1i for the price/features tug-o-war.

Canon EOS 1000D / Digital Rebel XS $499
Canon EOS 1000D / Rebel XS Review: 1. Introduction: Digital Photography Review

Canon EOS 450D / Digital Rebel XSi $620
Canon EOS 450D / Digital Rebel XSi Review: 1. Introduction: Digital Photography Review

Canon EOS 500D / Digital Rebel T1i $790
Canon EOS 500D / Digital Rebel T1i Review: 1. Introduction: Digital Photography Review

Nikon D5000 $720
Nikon D5000 Review: 1. Introduction: Digital Photography Review

thx.

edit: added price with 18-55 kit lens since I kinda need that and it's cheaper than buying one separately. kinda illustrates the cavernous price difference from the XS to everything else...
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Old 10-03-2009, 02:24 PM   #4
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I love my Nikon D300, and you can pick them up pretty decent used. I started off with a Nikon D80 which is by no means a slow camera. The D80 did every thing I needed, and then some. But cameras are kinda like boost. You buy a starter DSLR, you get the photobug bite, then you need more mega pixels, faster, better low light, and then you are buying the biggest fastest DSLR out there. And still jonesing for faster you start looking at large format digitals. Next thing you are broke living in a card board box, selling pictures from the wallmart kiosk. But you have some really nice photog gear

Seriously though check out DP Review, they have a great side by side comparison feature. Also Photography World Mag, has had some good write ups. Nikon hasn't been the top dog for being crappy.
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Old 10-03-2009, 02:35 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qckslvr View Post
And still jonesing for faster you start looking at large format digitals. Next thing you are broke living in a card board box, selling pictures from the wallmart kiosk. But you have some really nice photog gear
Ah if only there were a portable, affordable digital back for my Sinar... sigh.
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Old 10-03-2009, 02:57 PM   #6
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choose between one of the canons based on how much money you wnat to spend, theyre all pretty good. Nikon had always been the best because of theyre awsome lenses but in recenmt years canon has upped their game
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Old 10-04-2009, 01:53 AM   #7
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The more I think about it, the more I think spending less on the body and getting shooting time in is the best idea. And eventually adding lenses as I need them is no big deal with any decent mfgr.

Though the T1i/500D is very highly rated, it doesn't offer THAT much more than the XS/1000D in terms of getting out there and taking pictures.
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Old 10-04-2009, 02:17 AM   #8
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DSLR's make me so sad. Seems like I just bought my D50 yesterday, when it was still top of the line in the middle tier/non professional multi thousand dollar camera. Now its been outdated so many times its not funny, and the D5000 is cheaper than what I paid for the D50 and has tons more features. I'm a Nikon fan boy, so no surprise here which camera I vote for.
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Old 10-04-2009, 02:23 AM   #9
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how many hobbies can you possibly handle without upsetting your wife/female friend?
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Old 10-04-2009, 03:53 AM   #10
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I am considering Pentax for the same reason Rennkafer suggested Sony - the image stabilization is in the body and not in the lenses like Canon/Nikon, so you're allowed to use all generations of Pentax lenses without losing IS. It means lenses are cheaper, which means you can spend a bit more on them to get faster lenses.

Haven't sprung for one yet, though; too many things to pay for right now to indulge myself.

Renn, that shot of the gorilla is great.
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Old 10-04-2009, 05:05 AM   #11
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I bought a D40 and a 18-200mm VR lens back when microsoft live.com was doing their cashback gig. I've never shot with my 18-55mm kit lens but love my superzoom. I took that setup on my europe trip and carried it for a month and loved it. The battery life was excellent. Thing i charged the battery twice, one of those times just to make sure. The lens versatility itself was excellent. The body has plenty of features and is super affordable at $450 or less on ebay. That gives you room to buy a more versatile lens or an external flash to widen your horizons a little. I suppose active view would be nice but I don't really care as I've never had it on an SLR so I don't miss it. I would like the HD video that cameras like the D90 have. That coupled with a 500mm lens would make for a damn good time.
At this low of a price point, you can resell and upgrade easily.
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Old 10-04-2009, 12:10 PM   #12
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the nikon 18-200 VR is very fondly reviewed, but it's more than the body of any of the cameras I listed cost. I have to start with the kit lens and get familiar with the camera before shelling out that kind of cash.

Still, even though I'm starting out, I dont want to be penny wise and pound foolish about the lenses. Those are the things you keep forever as you dump the outdated bodies.

incidentally chad, the D40 new from amazon right now is $469 with kit lens. tempting but the new cams are slightly ahead in features for not much more money. lots of people (braineack too) love the D40 for its size and weight and getting the job done and there's definitely newer stuff that maintains those ideals.

hell, if I wanted a D40, I'd just buy Scott's and help him upgrade to a D5000...
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Old 10-05-2009, 12:21 AM   #13
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I went and held some cameras today. I like the feel of the D5000. I alleviated the guilt of buying a more expensive camera and I think I'll be happy. Plus it's got great high ISO performance and is allegedly very quiet for a nikon.

hellooooo amazon
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Old 10-05-2009, 11:00 AM   #14
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You don't need some fancy-schmancy DSLR

Canon PowerShot S5....






In all seriousness, my GF is using the XS and has a few lenses (I don't keep up with them as I never touch that camera..so I don't care what lenses she has lol)..







What camera were you using before? What do you think about the different user interfaces between Canon and Nikon? I prefer the interface of the Canon equipment.
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Old 10-05-2009, 11:35 AM   #15
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I have a D40 and love it. The kit lens is ok, wish it were VR and quicker. I've picked up a 70-300mm VR lens, and an SB-600 flash. Next on the list is the 35mm fixed F1.8 lens, awesome for indoor portraits (kids).
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Old 10-05-2009, 11:44 AM   #16
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photos of stuff dont tell me how well a camera works though.

I just want something that's intuitive and has more settings than "kids in sun" and "red eye reduction" like my current canon point and shoot.
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Old 10-05-2009, 12:04 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by y8s View Post
photos of stuff dont tell me how well a camera works though.

I just want something that's intuitive and has more settings than "kids in sun" and "red eye reduction" like my current canon point and shoot.
But OOC pics show how well you can take pics!! It's a big step to go from a small PnS to a DSLR...the features can be overwhelming/mind boggling. Have you thought about picking up a used XS/XT to save a little cost while you experiment with the world of DSLR? Like you, i've thought about upgradeing to something with more capabilities and since i've been using Canon stuff for awhile, i've thought about getting a used XS or XT..whatever fits the budget when I decide to pull the trigger. I know that the camera body will eventually go but and good lenses will carry over to a better body. But in the meantime i'll keep playing with the S5..maybe buy a zoom and wide-angle lens. I kinda like the challenge of using a "lesser" camera to get good shots...my only gripe about the S5 is when trying to take panning shots it loses the picture while the shutter does its thing. But having used this and doing some tinkering with the XS, it's an easier step than going from like a Canon SD1000 to a Nikon D60.

I say go for the XS, learn it, do your research on the lenses and learn the camera and it's pros and cons...then decide what body you really want to drop coin on.
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Old 10-05-2009, 12:04 PM   #18
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this is why I like my D40. it's light, fast, and basic; it's a great intro dslr camera. Set it on 'auto' mode and 'closest focus' mode, and walla perfect PNS camera.


It can take great quick shots of build progress:



or cool doggies:


then set it on a tripod and take pictures of the pizza place next door:


or if you're working from home and get bored, take a picture of King Hobberts I:

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Old 10-05-2009, 12:12 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Braineack View Post
try panning shots with a PNS...
Been there...the S5 is much faster than a typical PnS, but you still lose view though the viewfinder when pulling the shutter :( But if you figure out how to use your right eye to watch the viewfinder and your left eye to keep the subject in about the same area you can get the pic...and feel like a human chameleon at the same time!
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Old 10-05-2009, 12:30 PM   #20
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Canon EOS 1000D / Digital Rebel XS $499
Canon EOS 1000D / Rebel XS Review: 1. Introduction: Digital Photography Review


thats the one i have.
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