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507 posts

Ultimate Geek
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# 38243 27-Jul-2009 11:40
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So im looking to get into photography and im looking to buy a DSLR to do so.

I find my P+S digital camera isnt nearly good enough for what i want to do.

Anyways, im looking to take action shots(of pets, and snowboarding) and some longer range shots for weather patterns and buildings etc.  The usual.

What entry level DSLR should i get?  Heard good things about the sony A200, and the Canon 60D.

My friend says i should just go for the Canon 500D and be done with it.

Any camera nuts got input?




 


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  # 239423 27-Jul-2009 18:23
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You will find their are "camps" in the dslr world similar to the apple V's PC debate. The most popular brands are Canon and Nikon, also known as the Canikon "camp". Unfortunately passions can run high and many Canikon users will rubbish anything else such as the A200 you mentioned from Sony.

I have owned a Sony A100, Sony A300, Canon 40d and now a Sony A100 again. I can honestly say that picture quality from them all was excellent, especially if you are upgrading from a point and shoot. The other thing you will find in camera forums are "pixel peepers", they blow every image up and inspect the detail and crtique it accordingly. Sometimes I wonder how these "experts" actually find any time to use their cameras.

The A200 can be had for a good price at the moment, consider a second hand model from trademe as well. The built in steady shot system in Sony cameras is a bonus as well. If you want to purchase in lens stabilisation it can get pretty expensive pretty fast.

Which brings me on to my next point, most users will spend more on lens than they will on the camera. A good lens can set you back several thousand dollars. One bonus with Sony is that all old Minolta Auto Focus lens will fit and there are thousands of them around.

The Canon 500d you mentioned wil also be a good camera.

I would suggest having a look at the lens prices on trademe for various brands as this is were most of your money will be spent in the future if you really get into it.

Send me a PM if you get a Sony, I will let you know what old Minolta lens to look out for on trademe.

Also check out www.dpreview.com as they have a lot of camera reviews and forums including an in depth review of the A200 here:

A200 review

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  # 239446 27-Jul-2009 20:16
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Whatever you buy now, you will be committed to the brand for many years as you'll find yourself investing in lenses and at least one flash. Having said that all of the major Japanese manufacturers make good gear and the differences between them are reasonably minor.

Someone above mentioned stabilisation, which is one of the few things that differs substantially between the manufacturers. Canon and Nikon build stabilisation into their lenses while the others build it into the body. Supporters of in-body stabilisation point out that it works with every lens so you only have to buy the feature once, but I personally prefer in-lens stabilisation as I expect to keep my lenses for much longer than I would keep my body and some tests have proven the in-lens solution to be more effective. This subject gets debated regularly on photography forums, but really it's just personal preference.

I personally use a Nikon D40 with a 18-55mm, 55-200mm VR, SB400 speedlight and a couple of Lowepro bags. The 18-55 is a good lens stopped down a bit, but seems to be very prone to purple fringing when wide open. The 55-200VR is an exceptionally good lens for the price and the D40 is an absolute pleasure to use. This week I plan to buy an 18-105VR to replace my 18-55 as the benefits of the strengthening NZ dollar are just starting to hit price tickets.

 
 
 
 


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  # 239484 27-Jul-2009 21:42
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500D and be done with it.

I have the 350D and couldn't be happier.

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  # 239607 28-Jul-2009 10:51
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the Canon 40D for great multi shot for sports, I got mine November last year and love it. We are in the process of buying a speed lite and looking into higher quality lenses, but for what we do it is an excellent camera.

I have used a Nikon but found that the low frame rate was a hinderence for the type of photography I do, which is mainly equestrian.

A good body is the best place to start, you can always upgrade lenses etc as you gain more skills.

Also I am REALLY impressed with the battery life of my
Canon



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Ultimate Geek
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  # 239629 28-Jul-2009 11:14
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cool.

This is some good info.  Initially i thought id try to keep my total purchase around 1500 if possible.

If i find that i love photography a lot, then i can always spend a lot more on lenses in the future i guess.

One thing i was a bit concerned with in respect to the sony A200 is that suppose i do buy some of the older glass lenses that fit......i had heard that there are problems with dust, as the older lenses do not repel dust in the same way.

Can anyone confirm/deny this?

How many MP do i really need?  Is there a massive difference between say 12 and 15MP?




 


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  # 239635 28-Jul-2009 11:19
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I've got the canon 1000D and love it picked it up cheap as chips because a relative works for canon so was pretty stoked with that, but as others have said the 500D would be a good bet if you can get it at a good price




For billions of years since the outset of time, every single one of your ancestors survived, every single person on your Mum and Dads side, successfully looked after and passed onto you life.  What are the chances of that like?

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  # 239653 28-Jul-2009 11:54
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I still have my Canon 300D which ive used a few years now.
Various lenses Stock canon 18-55, Canon 50 mm Prime - cheap lens and good quality plus good for low light, Sigma 28-105,Canon 90-300 plus a 430 Flash




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  # 239661 28-Jul-2009 12:18
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Don't worry too much about the dust issue. All lenses will get some tiny specks of dust eventually. Some of the older lenses are better quality than the kit lens you get anyway. If you want to spend around $1500 you would get an a200 and 2-3 reasonable lens for that, especially if you can pick up a few minolta lens off trademe like this one:

http://www.trademe.co.nz/Browse/Listing.aspx?id=231795075

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  # 239668 28-Jul-2009 12:27
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Nikon D40x user here (about to upgrade to D90), have been for a few years and I'm very happy with it. I have nothing against the others, I was using a friend's Canon 450D over the weekend and quickly adjusted to it (Tv for shutter priority??). When I bought my first DSLR I tried out the Canons and Olympus cameras too, but the Nikon just felt better in my hands and I preferred the layout of everything. As previously mentioned once you choose a brand though it's a very expensive exercise to change, so I'd strongly recommend you go to a camera shop and try out a few different cameras before you buy. It's going to be an expensive experience (and will continue to be, you can never have enough lenses) so make sure you're 100% happy with it.

I have a few different lenses but my most useful one is the 18-200mm. I do a lot of travelling so not having to cart around multiple lenses is great, it's a decent size and while it's not the sharpest the convenience of it makes up for it for me.

The number of MP is only important if you want to do huge prints. I've only got 10MP and I'm quite happy with it, if I need to do big shots (usually panos) I take a few shots and stitch them.

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  # 239670 28-Jul-2009 12:33
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Seems to be a few photo people in here.....I am a rank amatuer, but just created a flickr group geekzonenz where I though us geekzone members could share what photos we have

http://www.flickr.com/groups/geekzonenz

Hope to see a few of you on there :)




For billions of years since the outset of time, every single one of your ancestors survived, every single person on your Mum and Dads side, successfully looked after and passed onto you life.  What are the chances of that like?



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  # 239682 28-Jul-2009 12:52
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What about HD recording facility?

Personally im meh but a lot of fuss seems to be made over it. I think if i wanted to record videos i would buy a camcorder!




 


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  # 239713 28-Jul-2009 13:38
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All the main brands have excellent entry level cameras such as the 500D and 1000D already discussed.The image quality is pretty good compared with the expensive cameras. In fact these cameras have made the whole high-end range of p&S cameras (such as the Powershot G series) practically obsolete.



rossmnz: cool.
One thing i was a bit concerned with in respect to the sony A200 is that suppose i do buy some of the older glass lenses that fit......i had heard that there are problems with dust, as the older lenses do not repel dust in the same way.

Can anyone confirm/deny this?



Dust is more likely to be a problem with the image sensors, though most new cameras have ways to deal with it. Though many cheap telephoto lenses aren't sealed and act like bellows - they suck air (and dust) into them each time to rotate the zoom (or focus). Don't know anything about the Sony lenses though.



rossmnz: cool.

How many MP do i really need? Is there a massive difference between say 12 and 15MP?



10MP should be enough to enlarge to A3 size without compromising quality. At that size you're going to see more problems with lens quality (e.g. chromatic aberration that Alista has on his) or your ability to take good photos. Above about 8MP the number of pixels contributes little to everyday image quality.




 

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  # 239714 28-Jul-2009 13:39
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I have a Canon EOS450D with the twin lens kit, and couldn't be happier. It doesn't do video, but when you're talking DSLR, you're not wanting to do video generally.

I looked at getting a Sony, but ended up shying away due to replacement battery costs. Another reason was simply that when you think DSLR, Sony isn't generally one of the first names that pops into your mind. Also, I know the camera is easy to modify for astrophotography purposes (I'm a space nut).

I've taken my 450D to a few Shihad gigs to try it out (yay for press passes!), and managed some good photos under constantly varying lighting conditions using just apature mode - see them here - http://www.flickr.com/photos/23586901@N04/sets/72157606329882915/

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  # 239719 28-Jul-2009 13:43
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TinyTim:


10MP should be enough to enlarge to A3 size without compromising quality. At that size you're going to see more problems with lens quality (e.g. chromatic aberration that Alista has on his) or your ability to take good photos. Above about 8MP the number of pixels contributes little to everyday image quality.


 

PS many entry level cameras come with really really awful kit lenses so if you start to push the boundaries of your photography skills and find you're having problems with photo quality then this may be something to look at.




 

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  # 239722 28-Jul-2009 13:51
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I was looking at a new DSLR until I discovered the Canon G10, great point and shoot functionality without having to muck around with lenses. Can even fit in your pocket. Has all the manual functions of the SLR camera as well.




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