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Thread: Help to decide DSLR

  1. #1

    Help to decide DSLR

    Hi,

    I am a newbie to SLR world. So far I have used canon point n shoot camera. Now I feel need to upgrade

    I need camera for normal use I mean indoor shoot like family function, portrait of kids and outdoor for family vacation. Apart from that I am seriously thinking to explore the video shooting option in newer DSLR. That will save my bucks on video camera and space to carry it all the places.

    I have considered Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Canon Digital Rebel XSi, Nikon D5000, Nikon D3100. From my options you might have guessed my budget is not over $1000 including basic accessories.

    Please suggest me what is the best camera for my situation.

    Thanks in advance.

    -andy

  2. #2
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Help to decide DSLR

    Hi Andy,

    Welcome to the CiC forums from me.

    Indulge me while I suggest your surname might be Bond or Fleming
    You don't have to say if you wish to remain anonymous

    To business;
    As you'll see from my signature, I'm a happy D5000 owner, but I've not used the video function, so I'm no help there, sorry.

    Two things I would say are;
    1) A dedicated movie camera is considerably cheaper than a DSLR and will give much better results.
    2) You might want to let us know what the zoom range is of your Canon P&S because a standard DSLR kit lens is only 3x and you might find that very restrictive if you're used to 10x or more.

    Best regards,

  3. #3

    Re: Help to decide DSLR

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    Welcome to the CiC forums from me.
    Thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    Indulge me while I suggest your surname might be Bond or Fleming
    You don't have to say if you wish to remain anonymous
    Keep guessing

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    1) A dedicated movie camera is considerably cheaper than a DSLR and will give much better results.
    2) You might want to let us know what the zoom range is of your Canon P&S because a standard DSLR kit lens is only 3x and you might find that very restrictive if you're used to 10x or more.
    1) My proprity is not to use it as movie camera. If you check canon site they do advertise its video shooting capabilities a lot. So just curious here how good that functionality is? As I dont like to carry 3 things when I go out.. my P&S, my SLR and movie camera

    2) It has 5x. But as far as I understand If I get a telescopic lens then I can overcome that.

    Thanks a lot

    -Andy

  4. #4
    benm's Avatar
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    Re: Help to decide DSLR

    >> Now I feel need to upgrade

    What can your P&S not do that you think a dlsr will be able to do? We can respond to your request better if we know the answer to that.

    A few examples - a dslr is better than a P&S for low light (no flash), sports and controlling depth of field.

  5. #5

    Re: Help to decide DSLR

    Basically for last outdoor adventure we went, one of my friend has his canon rabel xsi. I took couple of shots and I liked the camera.. vibrant colors, clearity and I can play with some settings to get totally diffrent picture. And when I compared the picture from my P&S his SLR, I see the real diffrence. So my search for SLR begines and landed to his nice site and forum..

  6. #6
    David's Avatar
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    Re: Help to decide DSLR

    Hi Andy - This question often arises on CiC and on other sites. There are three points that I would make. First, and most importantly, when you enter the world of DSLR you are not simply buying a camera. You are buying into a photographic system be it from Canon, Nikon, etc. You are buying their lenses, their software, their expertise, and you're contributing to their profits. You can, of course, always swap; if you don't like a Canon you can buy a Nikon, but then you'll need those lenses etc. To some extent, it does not matter which of the big names you choose, you generally do not get bad cameras etc. from the big guys, only ones that may not be quite as good as another from their stables (Like whisky come to think of it). Nevertheless, people do like or dislike the feel of the different systems. Note also that in the long run it's the lenses that are the determining factor for many photographers, not the camera body.

    The second point is what do you want your camera for? If you're going to be an occasional user who is happy with documentary shots (posh name for snaps), then you probably don't need a camera that has a hundred and one functions that you'll never use. If you want to get deeper into specialist areas then a different camera and more specialist lenses will be required.

    Thirdly, underpinning the other two points, is how much do you want to spend? There are very few of us who do not work on budgets. If you've got pots of dosh, then go what what takes you're fancy, but otherwise look for lasting value, particularly wrt lenses.

    My advice is go to a reputable camera shop and ask to handle all the main makes, then see what you can afford on the budget that you've thought out. But, if you buy anything other than a Canon, I'm going to sulk

    Cheers

    David

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    Re: Help to decide DSLR

    Hi Andy,

    I'll throw my 10c worth in too ...

    With regards to video - it's probably most accurate to say that one CAN get even broadcast quality from some DSLR cameras (the House season finale was filmed entirely on a Canon 5D Mk2, and I know of other movies being shot with it) so the potential for stunning results is there - but - in terms of ease of use (auto focus etc) I think a conventional video camera is going to be a LOT easier to get good results. It's probably a fair bet to say that the videographers that shot the house episode probably know a thing or two about handling a camera. Personally, if my 1Ds3 had video I think I'd still use my video camera - but - if it's there anyway then hey, "what the heck".

    Re: Lenses - you'll get a better result from a high-qualty lens on a cheap camera than you will from a cheap lens on a high-quality camera - AND - a quality lens will last a LOT longer than the camera.

    Re: Other things - in addition to body & lenses, you'll also probably want to add a few other light modifiers like a flash (or flashes) - a reflector - a gray card - and perhaps some quality post-processing software. Not necessarily needed all at once, but you can get much better results with that (and we can help you learn how to use these things).

    The only other thing that comes to mind is that although the entry-level cameras can take a high-quality shot, many prefer the better ergonomics of the Canon xxD range; the bigger size and the QCD (Quick Control Dial) make them a lot nicer to hold and adjust (and adjust is something you'll end up doing constantly as you get better); personally I'd rather buy a 2nd hand 40D or even 30D than a new 550D (or 1000D). There are members here producing kick-ass work with 20D's (and I still have many from my 20D days that don't look a lot different that that from my 1Ds3 - and that's when they're printed 22 x 44 inches) (although you would lose video ability with any member of the xxD range except the new 60D).

    Hope this helps

    PS: At the end of the day there is a HUGE overlap between models - so there really isn't any one model that 100% "right choice" nor any that are 100% "wrong choice"; in most cases any limitations of a particular model aren't too difficult to work around.

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Help to decide DSLR

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    (the House season finale was filmed entirely on a Canon 5D Mk2, and I know of other movies being shot with it)
    I bet they didn't record the sound on it using the built-in microphone! There's a reason for video mics to have those big fluffy things on, as you'll discover when you first step outdoors and record something. No DSLR has such a mic and you'll hear the resulting wind roar on the sound track.

    I also bet they set up a scene with limited (and well rehearsed) changes of focal length and/or focus, shot it, then move on.

    This method of production is a world away from what is needed to shoot home/action footage handheld as the (non-interuptable) action unfolds, e.g. like family life!

    Hence my recommendation to go for a dedicated movie camera if that's where a large part of a videographer's interest lie.

    Getting back to still pics on DSLRs, as David says, there's not a lot to choose and how it feels in your hands is the best way to judge.

    But I'll sulk if you don't by a Nikon

    Cheers,

  9. #9

    Re: Help to decide DSLR

    There's something to be said for every dollar you spend on a lens for your photography going towards your videography. Quite a lot of professional filming is done with DSLRs these days.

    Just don't EVER try using CMOS sensor footage to work with for VFX. The warbling due to shutter rotations makes tracking and compositing completely impossible in many situations. If shots aren't handheld you can get away with it.

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    Re: Help to decide DSLR

    Quote Originally Posted by Lornek View Post
    The warbling due to shutter rotations makes tracking and compositing completely impossible in many situations. If shots aren't handheld you can get away with it.
    These are new terms to me - what's "warbling" and what are "shutter rotations" if you don't mind me asking?

  11. #11

    Re: Help to decide DSLR

    I am also curious. In fact I have asked WireVixen to listen for warbling in my 40D. A bit of groaning and complaining but no warbling. I tried to get my shutter to rotate but that looks like another trip to the repair shop....wait I have some duck tape and super glue in the workshop. Problem solved.

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