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Thread: Questions about getting a new camera

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    Questions about getting a new camera

    u see my knowledge so far is point and shoot to tell you the truth!! but when i look at pictures i have the eye for details and in front of a good picture i always wish i am the person behind the cam.... never too late to learn!! thank you again for the link, i will let you know of my choice. Merry Christmas by the way and Happy New Year!
    i just need to add one qst do you think the Canon 1000D a good one to start with!!???
    Last edited by Donald; 28th December 2010 at 09:35 PM. Reason: Post copied in from 'New member' thread

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    Re: Questions about getting a new camera

    Leslie

    I think your starting point is to work out what your budget is. And then start thinking about what it is you want to achieve in photography. And then start reading some of the review sites and online stores sites to learn about what functions various cameras have.

    At some point along this journey, the advice will be to go into a store and handle various different models, to see what suits you.

    The 1000D is the entry point of Canon's DSLR's. It will provide perfectly good images. But if you think you might want to upgrade to a higher spec model in a couople of years, you might want to spend the money on that higher spec model now.

    So, lots of reading and learning to do before you buy. Don't rush it, even though you may want to go out and get a camera right now.
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 30th December 2010 at 04:00 AM.

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    Re: Questions about getting a new camera

    Don't rush it, even though you may want to go out and get a camera right now.
    That sounds like the same broken record I use on my students.

    Pops
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 30th December 2010 at 04:01 AM.

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    Re: Questions about getting a new camera

    Leslie, has the course you're going to take specified what kind of equipment they might have available for you to use (i.e., lenses, flash equipment)? An XS is ok, but if they provide Nikon equipment, or if you have friends you can pool equipment with who shoot Nikon, you may want to go for the other side of the fence. Once you get a body, you're likely to be locked into a lens mount. It's hard to afford shooting multiple systems.

    The XS is ok to start with, but it's an older model. When it was introduced as a low-priced alternative to the better-specced dRebels, it was already using older camera technology (it's basically a Canon XT/350D with an updated sensor), and it's almost three years old (which means two generations of dRebels have come and gone since it's been introduced--it's a contemporary of the 450D, not the 500D or 550D). It doesn't do video, you can't use it with an IR remote, and the AF system is the most primitive one Canon makes (7 AF points). If you plan on shooting a lot of fast action or doing a lot of self portraits, I'd consider buying a used dSLR in a higher tier. A refurbished or used 30D or 40D (or on the Nikon side, a D70/D80 or D200) might be well worth the extra cost.

    Also, come the spring, Canon might be "refreshing" the xxxxD tier (i.e., replacing the XS with a new model). It will probably come out at the XS's original MSRP, though (translation: be more expensive).

    The XS can cover all the basics, though, and if you're going to do the weekend warrior thing, then it may actually hold you for as long as it takes for a newer generation of cameras to be out by the time you want to upgrade. And it will save you money for lenses. Most folks eventually end up spending two to three times what they did on the camera body on lenses and other piece of the dSLR system. Or more. And lenses, unlike your digital camera bodies, can last you decades. You do need to be aware that dSLRs aren't cheap and can possibly become never-ending purchase streams. You're not just buying a camera. You're buying into a camera system.

    If this seems like far too much money to spend, and your course doesn't require a dSLR, you may want to consider whether a higher-end P&S camera with the PSAM modes and RAW capability (Canon G12 & S95, or Panasonic DMC-LX5, etc.) might not be a better choice.
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 30th December 2010 at 04:02 AM.

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    Re: Questions about getting a new camera

    Hello Kathy!! THank you very much for you input! I have actually asked the teacher to give an idea on the cam he thinks is most suitable on the long run as i start with a beginner course then go to an advance one later on... he gave me 3 options : Nikon d3100, Canon D500 and D550. I have checked with the mutlymedia store i have near my place and they have also the canon 60D also.
    to tell you the truth, part of the obvious specs of course, all these models for me are practicly screaming camera... part of my sony digi cam I have yet to touch a professional cam... the closest i got to is the Sony HX1 i have fell in love with and that made me think of taking acourse and creossing over

    Do you see why i am lost???
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 30th December 2010 at 04:02 AM.

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    Re: Questions about getting a new camera

    Not really, but I'm a gearhead. Here's something that might help you make sense of all the model numbers.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Templat...n_DSLR_cameras

    This is a handy-dandy reference table that lists all the Canon dSLRs by both product tier (top to bottom is profession down to entry level), and generation (timeline goes from left to right).

    Note that there are links to similar tables for all the other dSLR makes below the table, so you can find the same information for Nikon, Sony, Olympus, and Pentax.
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 30th December 2010 at 04:03 AM.

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    Re: Questions about getting a new camera

    Hi Leslie,

    Yours is a question that pops up quite regularly - happy to dig out a few previous threads for you if you think this might help.

    Just one small thing that often gets mentioned (especially by me) ...

    The Canon xxxD range (500D 550D etc) are physically smaller and don't have QCD's (Quick Control Dials) on the back (compared to other ranges, eg xxD range) which means that you have to push more buttons to achieve the same thing, which gets to be annoying after a while. The xxxD range is also smaller and of "lighter" construction than their bigger brothers.

    These are issues that bother some significantly, but don't bother others at all (I fall into the first group). One of my first digital cameras was a 350D which I sold after a few weeks to buy a 20D mostly because of the improved ergonomics ... and to this day I'd do the same again in a heartbeat.

    Just some food for thought.
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 30th December 2010 at 11:53 AM. Reason: typo

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    Re: Questions about getting a new camera

    The point about getting locked into a lens series is very valid. Whichever brand of camera you choose can then lock you into an upgrade body and lens path. I chose to start with Nikon, because all of the lenses from the mid 50 on are uable on the various bodies. Some lenses will not autofocus with some of the bodies, but that doesn't bother me, as I came up through the manual focus/aperture/shutter world anyway.

    I have the D40 and the D70 in digital. I have the N70 and N80 in film. They exchange lenses quite well. My 400mm is a 1958 and my 55-200 is a 2009. All my cameras like any of the lenses in the stash, so long as I remember to do my part of the job. I'm looking at the D200 and the D90 in factory refurbed right now, and they are running at about the same price. Right around the market price of the D3100.

    Pops
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 30th December 2010 at 04:03 AM.

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    Re: Questions about getting a new camera

    Quote Originally Posted by PopsPhotos View Post
    The point about getting locked into a lens series is very valid. Whichever brand of camera you choose can then lock you into an upgrade body and lens path.
    I wonder if this now begs the question (and Canon won't be thanking me for this any time soon!); "does it really matter which system we get ourselves locked into anymore?"

    Personally I think there are potentially bigger issues in going outside the traditional Canon / Nikon camp, but with these two giants still taking the lions share of the market, is it really an issue anymore? Does a shot taken with a Nikon look any different to the same shot taken with a Canon? I don't think so.

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    Re: Questions about getting a new camera

    Pops, I take your point on Nikon-for-the-old-manual focus glass; but Pentax can make a similar claim if you're talking no adapters. And with adapters, on my Canon dSLRs, I can mount a pre-AI Nikkor 55/1.2 with a simple adapter ring without fear of damaging my camera body (unlike a D90/D300s/D700), and I'll have accurate stop-down metering even on the lowly XS, unlike the D3100/D5000/D90 which lose metering altogether.

    And, unlike a Nikon, I can also adapt my Canons with those same simple rings, lenses in Oly OM, Pentax K, M42, Contax/Yashica (Zeiss!), and Leica-R mounts. Leitax only makes lens mount replacement kits to adapt OM, C/Y, and R to Nikon, and they're not exactly as easy to use or at the same price point.

    So, maybe the Canon EOS mount isn't necessarily at a disadvantage when it comes to mounting up the old manual focus vintage glass, despite the fact that it can't use Canon FD/FL lenses.

    Of course, the true kings of adapted manual focus lenses, are the mirrorless compacts. They can use rangefinder lenses, too....

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    Re: Questions about getting a new camera

    Very true, kathy. However, I wasnted to avoid the plethora of adapters, rings and fuss at this stage in my life. I like to keep things simple. After all, I started with a very complex camera called the Brownie Hawkeye, before graduating to a twin-lens.

    Seriously, I was attempting to show why one should take a close look at one's anticipated growth path when chosing one's first body and lens. You have shown another reason for that same caution.

    Pops

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    Re: Questions about getting a new camera

    Quote Originally Posted by PopsPhotos View Post
    I wasnted to avoid the plethora of adapters, rings and fuss at this stage in my life.
    Personally, I just use modern lenses on modern bodies ... but it all just seems too easy

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    Re: Questions about getting a new camera

    You need a Zeiss Planar T* 100/2 to complicate your life.

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    Re: Questions about getting a new camera

    THANK YOU KATHY & COLIN & POPS!!

    I really didn't know (actually I still don't) what Im getting myself into!! all i can say it is turning out to be my research of the year!
    the conclusion I have from what I learned so far is that :
    - Canon is the pro-cam you would mostly find ( and is mostly known) in the Beirut market ... salespersons can tell you what the professional models are, they work on selling you the newest one because it is more expensive and "has more options" but they cannot tell you what is most appropriate for you. My search continues but I have a question, can I find a model that is "passe partout" - multipurpuse, as I cannot define for now my prefered photography style allthough I am leaning more and more towards landscape and low key lighting.

    I know I seem the "new girl" in town - please bare with me... I hope soon it will all pay off!!
    Last edited by LeslieM; 30th December 2010 at 02:03 PM.

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    Re: Questions about getting a new camera

    The following site may be helpful. It contains independent reviews and ratings of most of the currently available dSLRs, including image quality, ease of use, suitability for particular purposes, etc...

    http://dpreview.com/

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    Re: Questions about getting a new camera

    Camera bodies of the type we are discussing here are all "multi-purpose." Only when you get into lenses and filters will you start to find "restricted purpose" items. If you start your search at 10Mp, minimum, and then start looking at such other factors as control placement, view finder/screen, remote control accessibility, size, weight, and such, you will find the camera that suits you, your growth path and your budget. The difference in image quality between Canon, Nikon, and other major brands is not visible to most people. One of my students and my wife each have a picture chosen for display at the local art center. Each was taken with a pocket camera. The one of mine which is being displayed was taken with a D70 or D40 (I've forgotten which and am too lazy to go look it up,) and is not as "good" in image quality.

    "The camera is a box to store photographs. The picture is behind your eyeballs." Bill Belknap said to me - 1948

    Pops

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    Re: Questions about getting a new camera

    Hi Leslie,

    Probably THE most important thing to remember is that there is a HUGE overlap in capabilities between models and brands - so there's really very little danger of buying the "wrong" brand or model. At the end of the day, the camera is just a box that lets in some light when you push the button.

    As I mentioned above, there's a few ergonomic differences between entry level and mid range models, but that aside, I really doubt many would notice any difference in image quality between an old 300D (or 20D) and an up to date 550D or 60D.

    In fact - since people often don't realise that additional $$$ are needed for lenses / tripods / flashes etc, if the budget isn't unlimited, then getting the likes of a 2nd hand 40D might possibly be a good option for you.

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    Re: Questions about getting a new camera

    Leslie, one last note.

    While the tiers do differentiate in terms of ergonomics and usability features, what you want to keep in mind is that often, camera bodies between the tiers of entry-level and prosumer will share the same sensor and processor. For example, the Canon 7D, 60D, and 550D more or less all have the same sensor and processor. If you look, they all have the same Digic processor generation (Digic 4, although the 7D has two of them), the same resolution (18mp), and the same iso setting range (100-6400, with 12800 pushed). [On the Nikon side, the D300S, D90, and D5000 do a similar sharing of processor/sensor]. Image quality from all three cameras will be pretty much identical. Image quality is not part of what makes a higher-end camera more desirable (full frames aside)--it's all about the usability features like burst rate, build materials, viewfinder size, etc. But when it comes to the final image, put the same lens on both, and optically, you're pretty much on a level playing field.

    Secondly, paying more for a camera body doesn't necessarily translate into keeping it any longer than you would had you gone for an entry level version. It's like computers and cellphones. You just get better high-end features you can enjoy for the time you keep the device, but generally, between Moore's Law and feature creep, most folks end up upgrading within five years. Which is why older, used cameras can be a great bargain: it's not like they stopped being great cameras, just because something newer and shinier came along. New features are great, but maybe you don't actually need them (e.g., video). Wanting them, though, is a different matter.
    Last edited by inkista; 30th December 2010 at 08:45 PM.

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    Re: Questions about getting a new camera

    it's not like they stopped being great cameras, just because something newer and shinier came along.
    Ooooooh, SHINEY! (That said, I'm still lusting after a D90. )

    Pops

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    Re: Questions about getting a new camera

    Quote Originally Posted by inkista View Post
    While the tiers do differentiate in terms of ergonomics and usability features, what you want to keep in mind is that often, camera bodies between the tiers of entry-level and prosumer will share the same sensor and processor. For example, the Canon 7D, 60D, and 550D more or less all have the same sensor and processor. If you look, they all have the same Digic processor generation (Digic 4, although the 7D has two of them), the same resolution (18mp), and the same iso setting range (100-6400, with 12800 pushed). [On the Nikon side, the D300S, D90, and D5000 do a similar sharing of processor/sensor]. Image quality from all three cameras will be pretty much identical. Image quality is not part of what makes a higher-end camera more desirable (full frames aside)--it's all about the usability features like burst rate, build materials, viewfinder size, etc. But when it comes to the final image, put the same lens on both, and optically, you're pretty much on a level playing field.

    Secondly, paying more for a camera body doesn't necessarily translate into keeping it any longer than you would had you gone for an entry level version. It's like computers and cellphones. You just get better high-end features you can enjoy for the time you keep the device, but generally, between Moore's Law and feature creep, most folks end up upgrading within five years. Which is why older, used cameras can be a great bargain: it's not like they stopped being great cameras, just because something newer and shinier came along. New features are great, but maybe you don't actually need them (e.g., video). Wanting them, though, is a different matter.
    Well said!

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