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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Not very magical, still... » » One for the shutter bugs... (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Josh Chaikin
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I'm thinking about buying my first DSLR camera. Most of what I have used in the past has been standard point-and-shoot digital cameras, and I've also had a DSLR-like camera in a Panasonic DMC-FZ30. There are a lot of options to consider and I've been overwhelmed trying to sift through the information.

From what I've been able to see, Canon and Nikon seem to be considered the best. I have used Canon previously and have been happy with them (I get a lot of noise on my Panasonic when used in low light environments).

What options should I consider? In terms of lenses, what exactly do the MMs mean? If I plan on doing shooting at night, which camera would have the better ISO settings, without giving much (if any) noise?

Also, seeing how this would be my first DSLR, I would really like to stay away from spending several
thousand dollars on a body (preferably, no more than $1,200). In terms of subjects, I would probably be doing mostly nature and landscape (city and otherwise) photohraphy.

Thoughts?

(Also, what considerations should I make when choosing a lens, and which would be best as a starter with the above in mind?)
jazzy snazzy
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Before the floodgates open, let me just say that for your purposes, it doesn't make one bit of difference.

You will see the Canon 5D MKII used extensively for VIDEO because of it's large chip. This was never anticipated by Canon when they designed it. Now there is a whole category of equipment for DSLR fim makers. I have used Nikon for 46 years and have no intention of changing at this point. This is primarily because of the optics. The premium lenses are superior in highly technical applications such as MACRO and PERSPECTIVE CONTROL. I could show you many Canon users who are just as dedicated however.

Look for differences in internal features such as internal cleaning, battery life, ease of manual override, Face memory, etc.
BOTH brands in your price range come with crappy plastic lenses that will not hold up to years of professional use.

Study B&H Photo Video's website carefully to determine what is available in your price range and negotiate from there. Don't forget to factor in other items such as; camera bag, tripod, external flash (if you plan to shoot extensively in low light), the all-important UV lens filter (to protect your expensive lens), extra high capacity chips, batteries, etc. Be sure to get the extra protection of CAMERA ARMOUR. These things are delicate.
Often you can put together a package deal with the dealer. NEVER BUY USED EQUIPMENT>

Try them all in your price range to see what feels best for you. Try to get photos of the same subject using your top 2 choices and study them side-by side in uncompressed,RAW format, highly magnified. Get the best lens that you can possibly afford.

Whatever you choose, I'm sure you will get tons of enjoyment from it. Both brands are excellent (don't let them try to sell you something else).
"The secret of life is to look good from a distance."
-Charles Schulz
irossall
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My only advise is get a camera that uses a standard mounting scheme, rather than priority. Too many DSLR's only allow the user to use their brand of lens.
Canon, Nikon or even Kodak make good camera's.
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jazzy snazzy
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The more millimeters, the more magnification. Wide angle is 18 to 35mm. Normal range is 35 to 55mm. 100 to 200 is good for portraits. Over 200 is telephoto for shooting from a distance such as 1000, 2000, even 5000. You can also get special mounts for a telescope or microscope. A general purpose ISO (which used to be film speed)is 400. If you encounter a Sasquatch at night, you can boost that into the thousands but it adds noise. Noise is a combination of electronic specifications and shooting conditions. I'll get you the name of the website that explains it later. Unless you are making 60ft. wide prints, it won't matter a whole lot.
"The secret of life is to look good from a distance."
-Charles Schulz
stoneunhinged
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When I decided to get a new DSLR, I ended up buying an Olympus. The photo quality is superb, it's relatively inexpensive (just about the cheapest on the market here in Europe), and it's small and lightweight. IMO, it simply cannot be beat as an entry-level DSLR. I bought the E-450 twin kit, which gave me two lenses, for around $500 or so.

My friend--an enthusiastic hobby photographer--uses an old E-420, but has several lenses. His work looks really good to me.

It's like everything else: you often are paying for features you'll never use. Sometimes the cost is more than just money, too. Another friend of mine has a top of the line Nikon with a nice collection of lenses, but he often leaves the kit in the trunk of the car, since it weighs fifteen pounds or so. The other friend with the Olympus nearly always has his camera with him, so he can pull it out anywhere, anytime. The latter friend takes a LOT more photos, to say the least.

So don't overlook the weight issue. Go to a camera store and pick up one of those big Canons or Nikons and you'll see what I mean. They are a far cry from the SLRs of old.
motown
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Did you get one of those Olympus Pen cameras?

Check reviews on the camera before you buy. There are many great sources on the net that review
different catagories of cameras.
"If you ever write anything about me after I'm gone, I will come back and haunt you."
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Josh Chaikin
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I found a website that really went into great detail about lenses and explained everything with clarity. Knowing what type of photography I want to do, everything else seemed to fall into place after that. I've settled on a Canon EOS T3i (with kit 18mm-55mm) lens and an EF 50 mm f/1.8 II (and an EF 35 mm f/2 to be purchased in the future).

I think I'll wait and see what models are announced in 2012 before I take the plunge, so prices will drop off a bit more.

EDIT

RE: Review Sites...one site that I've been viewing on and off for about five years now is http://www.dpreview.com/ - great, thorough reviews and photo samples (plus side-by-side comparisons of extreme ISO conditions)

As for lenses:

http://www.digital-slr-guide.com/best-digital-slr-lens.html
acesover
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I can only speak with any real knowledge on cameras that use film as to what lenses are considered telephoto and wide angle. Actualy it depends on the size of the fiml you are using. When using 35mm film a normal lens wouls be considered 50 or 55 mm and wide angle would be anything from around 20 to 35. Smaller than 20and you begin to get into what is considered fisheye. But remember that is with 35 mm film if medium format film is used such as 120 film a 55 mm lens would be considered wide angle and 90 to 100 would be considered normal. Normal is bascially seeing what the eye actualy sees. While this may sound confusing once you becomeo a little familiar with photography using film it becomes clear. However I am not sure what is considered fisheye, wide angle, normal or tlelphoto in digital format.

Quite honestly most people seem to want to go to a telephoto lens as their first purchase after a normal lens. Having said that I feel you will get much more use and pleasure with a nice wide angle lens as your first lens venture from a normal lens.
If I were to agree with you. Then we would both be wrong. As of Apr 5, 2015 10:26 pm I have 880 posts. Used to have over 1,000
Josh Chaikin
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Most of what I would take photos of is landscapes and architecture. Certainly, a telephoto would be nice to be able to zoom in closer on subjects, but a wide angle lens seems like it would fit the bill better. The 20mm-35mm does help somewhat, though. As I did have a 28 mm lens and 35mm lens on my list. The 2.8 costs around $300, while the 35 costs $400. I think, once I take the plunge, I'll stick with the kit lens, until I'm comfortable with that, before moving on.

I know that I do want a prime lens.
Josh Chaikin
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Sorry, that should be 1.8 - EF 28mm f/1.8 USM to be precise.
acesover
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Quote:
On 2011-12-05 01:15, Josh Chaikin wrote:
Most of what I would take photos of is landscapes and architecture. Certainly, a telephoto would be nice to be able to zoom in closer on subjects, but a wide angle lens seems like it would fit the bill better. The 20mm-35mm does help somewhat, though. As I did have a 28 mm lens and 35mm lens on my list. The 2.8 costs around $300, while the 35 costs $400. I think, once I take the plunge, I'll stick with the kit lens, until I'm comfortable with that, before moving on.

I know that I do want a prime lens.


With what you say will be most of your subjects, "landscapes and architecture" a normal, prime lens and a wide angle will fill the bill nicely. It is a fasinating hobby and when using your camera you will find subject matter everywhere. Just use your imagination. You will be amazed at what you can create with different perspectives such as ground level as opposed to standing or sitting and using a wide angle lens instead of a normal (prime lens). You can get quite close to an object with a wide angle lens and still have mosts of the picture in focus as depth of field is much greater on a wide angle lens. You will be in for an adventure. Don't just point and shoot, CREATE IMAGES.
If I were to agree with you. Then we would both be wrong. As of Apr 5, 2015 10:26 pm I have 880 posts. Used to have over 1,000
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