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Topic # 112412 7-Dec-2012 16:25 Send private message

I am an absolute beginner trying to buy my first DSLR.
Would one of those be overkill for a novice?

if not, which one to pick?
(60D with 18-200 lens and D7100 with 18-105 lens, the prices are nearly the same)

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  Reply # 728656 7-Dec-2012 16:29 Send private message

one is a canon and one is Nikon... D7100 is not out yet so perhaps you mean D7000?

Myself I would love a D7000 but Ive talked myself down to a D5100... Not as much money but still good for a learner/intermediate user like myself...

Go for the D5100 Twin lens kit and thats even better!

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  Reply # 728668 7-Dec-2012 16:51 Send private message

For a beginner I would recommend spending less...

Take a long hard look at spec lists and decide what's important. You might be paying for features you will never use.

Any good name DSLR can do all the fundamentals, and you will find that the photographers own skill and creativity outweigh the differences.




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  Reply # 728677 7-Dec-2012 17:18 Send private message

really depends on how much money you want to burn

most of the amateur cameras have the same exact CCD (the thing that picks up the light photons and the same image compression processor chip (DIGIC 5 is the latest for canon)

the difference is build quality, weather resistance, features, auto focus ability (well the lens is most important here however but still if you wanted to know), etc

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  Reply # 728684 7-Dec-2012 17:46 Send private message

Trust what the DPReview reviews says. Ignore the number of megapixels, it's irrelevant, less is generally better. Both are good cameras, the Nikon I believe is the pro build crop body so it's higher up the Nikon range than the 60D is up the Canon range. Look at the cost not only of the kit, but of the next lens and flash you want - I suggest you stay with OEM lenses for best performance. Both brands have cheaper cameras that will do what you need.

I owned 6-8 Canon cameras over the years, 300D, 20D-40D, 7D, used 5D 1-3, 1D3, 1D4. I eventually sold all my Canon gear and went Nikon, which I still call one of the best decisions I've ever made photographically. My Nikons (D700) focus MUCH more accurately than my Canons, if a shot's out of focus I can always tell why. With Canons I was starting to doubt my own ability.

So I would go Nikon, but Canon is very popular. Canon cameras are easier to use, generally, but Nikon aren't so bad.

Be prepared for a learning curve, both in photography and post processing. It took me a year to become really comfortable with my first DSLR.




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  Reply # 728698 7-Dec-2012 18:37 Send private message

I know this wasn't in the options you gave, but the Sony NEX line are good options for beginners, they have professional features built into a smaller body, and take out the guess work of an optical view finder, replacing it with a electronic viewfinder that shows how the different settings effect the image.

 

Image quality wise the technology behind the NEX-7 outpaces that of the 60D, but ecosystem wise there are far fewer professional grade lenses compared to Canon or Nikon, but plenty of good quality low end options so if you aren't planning to spend thousands on lens', the Sony will do fine.

 

I shoot Canon but have the NEX around when I want something smaller and less conspicuous, not only does it draw less attention it also doesn't concern the subjects as  they don't find it to be intimidating.

 

 




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  Reply # 728715 7-Dec-2012 19:31 Send private message

hmm..i would say...depends..if you are looking to shoot good photos without really wanting to take it up as a hobby, I would say go the Sony way. I have heard its quite easy to use, with tutorials and/or instructions for using the different modes.

I personally use Canon 550D. I bought it 2 years ago. Still learning lots in it. I think Canon (or Nikon) are quite good if you wish to take photography up as a hobby and become an amateur photographer in the future progressing down the line. I think 60D (or the Nikon 7000D) are indeed overkill.

One of my best mates wanted to just take good photos and not really get into photography as a hobby; he got himself a 60D. He is not really happy with it. It is a big camera, with a lot of advanced controls, thus making the learning curve a bit steeper and could deter you from learning more about photography.

Highly recommend saving a bit of money, getting yourself the Canon 650D (or the Nikon equivalent - 5000D?) with the twin lens kit (or a single lens ranging from 18-135+) whichever you fancy. And perhaps invest the remainder of the money in a nice 50mm lens. Both Canon and Nikon have good 50mm f1.8 lenses.

Now choosing between the 2, the best I can say is go to a store that has both those cameras, grab a feel of both of them, take a couple of shots, see which you prefer. I was in the same boat a couple of years back and I had to go and take a feel of both and then decided which one I liked the best. It does make a difference and you need to be comfortable with the camera you buy. For example, I was choosing between a Sony and the Canon when I was getting mine. I found the Sony to be a bit too small for my hands and was comfortable with the Canon. So I went with Canon. Also, I didn't go with a Nikon because back then Nikon hadnt updated their camera line so it was out of the question for me.

Hope that helps :)

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  Reply # 728719 7-Dec-2012 19:35 Send private message

I looked at both of those a year or so ago. They are both good cameras, but both have their flaws. I went with the Nikon D7000. The  clincher for me was essentially the handling. The d5100 was just uncomfortable to hold (too small), the 60D, didn't have buttons in the places I expected them to be (not a show stopper) but also didn't feel as comfortable to hold as the D7000 (felt like I could drop it too easily). So go and try them out!

Feature wise there were a few extra features I liked about the D7000 over the 60D

Can't talk about the 60D, but the D7000 has a steep learning curve not impossible though, but that was what I wanted. Didn't want to shell out $1500 for a camera and then have to pay another $2k in 5 years time when I got bored with the first one. Done that too many times already!

I found this review very useful in pointing out any potential flaws.
http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Nikon_D7000/

Otherwise check out dpreview.com

Figure out what you really want to use it for and if you can live with the flaws of each camera, but really you shouldn't go too wrong with either

Cheers

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  Reply # 728720 7-Dec-2012 19:43 Send private message

How a camera feels in your hand is really important.

I have two D700s with grips, a bunch of lenses, flashes, all kinds of stuff. I have a Sony RX-100 for casual everyday and family photos, though for family portraits I use the big cameras. I really rate the RX100, it's an awesome wee camera even up at ISO3200 and 6400, no post processing required unless you want to (it has full raw support). Its only downside is no hotshoe, but it's so tiny it'd be hard to fit one in.




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  Reply # 728922 8-Dec-2012 11:21 Send private message

timmmay: Trust what the DPReview reviews says. Ignore the number of megapixels, it's irrelevant, less is generally better. Both are good cameras, the Nikon I believe is the pro build crop body so it's higher up the Nikon range than the 60D is up the Canon range.


I think you may be confusing the D7000 with the D300s. The latter is generally regarded as the 'professional' DX body while the former is essentially the top-of-the line amateur offering. 

For me personally the two main drawcards of the D7000 would be the top LCD and the weather sealing. These may not matter too much in this case because most inexperienced users feel comfortable using the rear LCD, and having a weather sealed body may not be of much benefit given that the 18 - 105mm has limited weather resistance IMO.

If you're seriously considering getting the D7000 then I would advise waiting a couple of months as it is a two year old model and it is widely believed that a successor will be released in the very near future. The D7000 will probably be discounted when the new model becomes available, or alternatively you may wish to consider getting the new model instead if it offers features that appeal.

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  Reply # 728942 8-Dec-2012 12:31 Send private message

Yeah I think you're right about the D300s. I've never had Nikon crop bodies so not really up to speed on them.




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  Reply # 729498 10-Dec-2012 09:06 Send private message

great advice, thank you guys!
probably D3200 or 650D or something along the line would be better for my level
I haven't done much research on the Sony NEX line apart from seeing a TV commercial ... :-)

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  Reply # 729578 10-Dec-2012 10:28 Send private message

I recently went through the same dilemma over which DSLR to choose. Previously I had a Nikon F401 film SLR, a Nikon Coolpix 4500. I went with the Canon 650D with the 18-135 lens. The 650 has a touch screen which is really nice to use and makes things much quicker and easier. It also has a built in stereo mic as well as a 3.5mm headphone jack for an external mic.

I chose the 18-135 lens as it covers most shooting scenarios and it uses silent focus motors so you don't get buzzing coming through on your video as you will with the other kit lenses.

I have been using it for a few months now and have no complaints at all. Image quality is great and the auto modes do a good job while you learn to use the manual settings.

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  Reply # 729641 10-Dec-2012 11:44 Send private message

I agree with the two cameras concepts mentioned above. We have a DSLR for shots we want to be of the best quality/manipulated/printed large etc. And then we have a small handheld compact for quick use/fits in the wife's handbag/take anywhere type stuff. This takes ok photos in ideal lighting conditions and ok movies for emailing/facebook etc. I'm a fan of this concept, where you don't compromise too much trying to get something that can do everything.

I also agree with the 18-135mm sort of range single lens. It depends on what you want to take photos off, but more and more I'm personally moving towards wider angle shots. The fixed 50mm lens is a great suggestion also, and it forces you to move yourself to frame your shots rather than turn the zoom ring. I've seen arguments where the 50mm lens is great for learning to compose your shots and I think there could be some merit in that.

The larger zooms, say 250mm and above tend to be used for specific tasks where you physically can't get close enough to your subject, such as bird/animal shots, concerts or air shows/sports etc. Often the lenses don't work too well at max zoom and you get shaking issues. Potentially it's a difficult area to work with without spending a bit of money on kit.

The 650D looks like a great camera for your task. As with others, I'd question what features you need from the 60D etc over say the 650D when you're just starting out. If you really want to spend a fixed amount, the difference could buy another lens, say the 50mm at least.

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  Reply # 729988 10-Dec-2012 21:19 Send private message

Jaxson: I agree with the two cameras concepts mentioned above. We have a DSLR for shots we want to be of the best quality/manipulated/printed large etc. And then we have a small handheld compact for quick use/fits in the wife's handbag/take anywhere type stuff. This takes ok photos in ideal lighting conditions and ok movies for emailing/facebook etc. I'm a fan of this concept, where you don't compromise too much trying to get something that can do everything.


I agree - I have two quite radically different cameras which complement each other nicely. Firstly I have a Nikon D90 which I use whenever it's feasible to lug it around. My other camera is an AW100 which admittedly leaves a lot to be desired in performance, but it's ideal if I want to shoot under water or for situations where the D90 would be too heavy, or at risk of damage or theft.


The larger zooms, say 250mm and above tend to be used for specific tasks where you physically can't get close enough to your subject, such as bird/animal shots, concerts or air shows/sports etc. Often the lenses don't work too well at max zoom and you get shaking issues. Potentially it's a difficult area to work with without spending a bit of money on kit.


I have had some excellent results from my Nikkor 55 - 200mm zoom when shooting aircraft, boats or cars in motion. These consumer grade zooms work really well outdoors during the day, but where they run into problems is in an environment like a gymnasium where the slow aperture conspires to blur any motion.

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  Reply # 732066 13-Dec-2012 14:43 Send private message

For a beginner usually two things are most important:
1) price
2) ease of use

For this reason I highly recommend the Panasonic GH2. 

It is unbelievably cheap 

US$699 for the kit (although I've seen it as low as $499 very recently when it was on special which I wish I had snapped up, and I expect the price could drop even further now that the GH3 is out):
http://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-DMC-GH2KK-Interchangeable-Free-Angle-Black/dp/B0043VE27Y/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1355361871&sr=8-1&keywords=gh2

US499 for the body:
http://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-DMC-GH2-Interchangeable-Free-Angle-Black/dp/B0043VE26U/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1355361871&sr=8-2&keywords=gh2

You're likely to find it more user friendly than the Nikon or Cannon DSLRs, while it has all of the power and flexibility that they have too.

As a bonus the GH2 is smaller than even than smallest Nikon or Cannon DSLRs, many beginners can be surprised at the weight of a DSLR if they're used to compacts! And believe me it will feel a lot heavier than it was in shop after a few hours of tourist sightseeing or tramping in the bush. Remember, "the best camera is the one you have with you!" I can promise you will carry around the GH2 more often with you than any Nikon or Cannon DSLR (put a pancake lens on the GH2 and it almost becomes pocketable!).

If you're at all interested in video you'll be pleased to know the GH2 is INCREDIBLY GOOD at this! (there is NOTHING in its price range which beats it! Except arguably the GH3 which has just just been released) And I'm understating this, seriously. It has in the hands of professionals beaten video cameras which cost near on $100k. Am not joking, check out the revenge of the camera shootout 2012 (a great documentary to watch in its own right!): http://www.zacuto.com/shootout-revenge-2012

Another benefit of the GH2 (as if there is not enough!) is that as a micro four thirds camera it has the most flexible lens mount out there, you can put on it the vast vast majority of lens that have ever been produced which gives it a great versatility (although for you I'd recommend just starting with the kit lens, then building up from there as you learn).

I
 personally have a Nikon D50 and I'm very likely in the new year to get the GH2 as an upgrade to my current DSLR, primarily because I'm enrolled in a Diploma of Digital Film which starts next year (although I'm still on the fence about which of the GH1/GH2/GH3 I should get, as they're all very fine cameras. Probably will get the GH2, but if I win the lotto somehow without even buying a ticket then I will of course go for the GH3. However, conserving my budget and going for the GH1 then getting the GH3 in another year ish after a price drop or once they enter the second hand market is another tempting path too. As the GH1 will serve very well for my student work, and will be very useful as a bcam even after I get a GH3).




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