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Wannabe Geek


Topic # 64675 20-Jul-2010 11:28
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I'd like to upgrade my little digital camera for something with more versatility before I head out on a campervan trip around NZ.  Not sure if I'm really up to tackling something too professional...  A friend suggested a Canon, the same one that's a prize at Bond and Bond http://www.bondandbond.co.nz/cameracomp.  The price is ok for me but just wondered if anyone had any other suggestions for an entry level DSLR.  Easy is my main priority!  :)

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xpd

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  Reply # 353836 20-Jul-2010 11:48
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I dont think you get a DSLR for its ease of use as such, but for the quality of picture you can get from one once youve learnt to use it.

What is your current camera ? A point and shoot or a little further up such as a Fuji S1500 or similar ?

Just a note, that camera B+B are giving away, was originally released in 2008... so old stock as such Im guessing, not that Id say no to it :)




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  Reply # 353837 20-Jul-2010 11:50
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That would be a Canon 1000D - They usually retail around $1199 for the twin lens kit. Its an excellent beginner dSLR kit as you can leave the camera on AUTO or select one of the pre-programmed modes like sport or landscape from memory.

I would recommend getting one of these, it sounds like it would be perfect for what you are looking for and getting an extra battery or two and stocking up on SDHC memory cards.

I also fully recommend having a play in store prior to purchase and seeing if it feels comfortable in your hands and get a demonstration of the ease of the controls.

The only equivalent I would also recommended you take a look at is the Nikon D3000 twin lens kit. Its a bit pricier at RRP $1245. It doesn't have a 70-300mm lens, instead having a 70-200 VR lens, which makes your shots steadier and is a good lens by all accounts. The nikon 18-55mm is one of the best lenses they've ever made IMHO.

Again, its what is easist and most comfortable for you to use. Harvey Normans or similar usually have both these cameras for you to try in store.

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  Reply # 353839 20-Jul-2010 11:53
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I recommend Canon & Nikon purely for the range of lenses and accessories available, especially second hand if you're starting out.

I *STRONGLY* recommend you budget for a book such as the following:
http://www.mightyape.co.nz/product/David-Buschs-Canon-EOS-Rebel-T1i500D-Guide-to-Digital-SLR-Photogr.../

David Busch's guides walk you through each specific setting for your particular choice of camera and are extremely straight forward and easy to follow with examples.

I'd recommend getting an APS-C sized camera like the EOS 500D. The dual lens kit will give you decent short and long zoom lenses. But I'd also recommend spending another $180 or so for an entry level 50mm prime (80mm equivalent) like this:

http://wps.net.nz/store/canon/slr-lenses/293996.canon-ef-50mm-f-1-8-ii.html




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Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 353844 20-Jul-2010 12:00
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Hey thanks for that detailed reply.  Didn't realise you could get good books like that and would be far less intimidating than small print manuals!  Liek the idea of an extra lens too - maybe it would make sense for me to really upgrade seeing as I'm about to have a good amount of time to practice :)

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  Reply # 353849 20-Jul-2010 12:05
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And once you've learnt to use whichever you decide to go with, I recommend these books to help you get the most from your shooting! Theres 3 books in this series all up and they're in plain english using both Canon and Nikon cameras. They'll bust you out of Auto mode photography!

http://www.mightyape.co.nz/product/The-Digital-Photography-Book/1959405/

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  Reply # 353850 20-Jul-2010 12:07
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I have the 1000d, having just migrated from a Point and shoot - and I seriously love it.  I pretty much run it as a point and shoot with the advantage of 4 frames per second.

These things can work in fully automatic mode, but after a while you start fiddling with things to make for some better shots.




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  Reply # 353860 20-Jul-2010 12:29
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Just remember that you're not so much buying a camera as you are investing in lenses. I have an EOS 400D which is a bit old now but works like a charm. The best investment I made was a 50mm prime lens and a polariser (http://www.photowarehouse.co.nz/standard-lens-50mm/onlyshow/canon) which produces fantastic photos - even the cheap one :). A Good tripod is a must.  Also, courtesy of wellington public library: Real World Digital Photograpy: Katrin Eismann, Sean Duggan and Tim Grey...great read




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  Reply # 353863 20-Jul-2010 12:37
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As a photographer, I'd say drop a little more $$ and pick up the 550D, as it's the latest in the rebel line, so you have some serious future proofing.

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  Reply # 353875 20-Jul-2010 12:53
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macuser: As a photographer, I'd say drop a little more $$ and pick up the 550D, as it's the latest in the rebel line, so you have some serious future proofing.


Any courses you might recommend? 




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  Reply # 353887 20-Jul-2010 13:13
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Hi,

Dont want to confuse the issue too much but moving from a basic point and shoot to even a base DSLR may be the wrong step. A stop gap measure may be a SuperZoom such as the Sony HX1 http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/sonydschx1/

The benefits of this are they are smaller and lighter and don't have the need for multiple lenses but they have the option of Manual or Auto shooting and are image stabilised. Downside is you will not get quite such a good output (although in saying that the results can be marginal to say the least between this and base DSLR) nor can you get to buy lenses which suit your specific needs. This link provides some of the pros and cons of both http://aak-whitepaper.blogspot.com/

Given the price difference it may be worth getting a superzoom from one of the suppliers Sony, Canon, Panasonic etc. Then if and when you decide you want to take the next step up you can more readily justify the bigger price that a good DSLR as opposed to the more basic model commands, and then pay for the good lenses to match!

There are also a slew of micro 4/3rds hitting the market such as the Panasonic GF1 which are lighter and smaller than a DSLR but offer you the option of changing lenses. Personally I had decided to get one of these, went into the shop and found it too small for my hands so ended up with a Canon 500D when replacing my previous Sony superzoom.



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Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 353896 20-Jul-2010 13:27
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Hey thanks everyone for all your advice.  The superzoom idea really does sound interesting (although as you say it does make the decision harder now, haha).  Will get my partner to read over all your comments with me.  Again really helpful, and lots of things I hadn't thought of :)

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  Reply # 353900 20-Jul-2010 13:32
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Tamster: Hey thanks everyone for all your advice.  The superzoom idea really does sound interesting (although as you say it does make the decision harder now, haha).  Will get my partner to read over all your comments with me.  Again really helpful, and lots of things I hadn't thought of :)


We, or should I say i got SWMBO to look at the canon SX20 and the Canon 1000d DSLR and compare them - knowing their price difference around the $300 mark with similar megapixel specs.  She chose the DSLR - especially with the 200mm lens attached for "the amount of detail the zoom shows". 

Also it's speed, at taking photos, and the zoom speed.

So have a compare.  I'd read that the superzooms try to baffle you with high megapixel numbers, but at those mp settings, the image sensor starts introducing noise....the DSLRs have a larger image sensor so don;t tend to suffer from this.  Remember I'm pretty much a n00b as well, but this has been my experience in switch up to dslr.




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  Reply # 353902 20-Jul-2010 13:41
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If you pixel peep a superzoom just doesn't come close to an SLR quality wise. The large sensor makes a huge difference and would definitely be a deal breaker for me.

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  Reply # 353905 20-Jul-2010 13:47
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Buttonmash: If you pixel peep a superzoom just doesn't come close to an SLR quality wise. The large sensor makes a huge difference and would definitely be a deal breaker for me.


DSLR all the way. 




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  Reply # 353907 20-Jul-2010 13:54
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My 2c,

Aim high, save more and get better glass (lenses) over an upgrade of body.

My father recently bought a 550D for himself in Canada and he absolutely loves it. He did however upgrade to a slightly better lens than the default kit one from memory.

I've also got a friend who grabbed a GF1 micro 4/3rds and also raves about it for the fact that it's nice and small and easy to take places.

My Nikon D300 with battery grip and 70-200 is a BEAST, and stupidly hard to take places but does take some nice images so i don't really mind. But, i'm a camera nerd so am invariably carrying more camera gear than food or clothes...

Look around, check out the Fredmiranda.com forums, and dpreview.com for some in-depth reviews. Also have a look at http://www.pixel-peeper.com/ and do a search of camera type and intended lens to see what sort of images people in the real world are getting from that combo, it's a great way to check out real life images.

Enjoy.

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