Helpful Posts Helpful Posts:  0
Results 1 to 19 of 19

Thread: [Help] On Choosing My First DSLR

  1. #1
    timo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Posts
    14

    [Help] On Choosing My First DSLR

    HI .
    This is my first post on these boards .
    about 20+years ago i took several classes on photography at the University . Since that time i have sold my equipment, about 13 years ago and have been using (point & Shoot ) compact film cameras.
    the past 7years i have had 2 digital compact cameras . The first digital compact camera i had was a Fuji Finepix and last year i upgraded to the Sony T-70 Touch screen.
    upgrading has sparked my interest once again to dive back into photography and hopefully take better pictures and have more options than i do with my current T-70 .

    I have been out of the loop for so long i am not sure what to get in terms of a decent mid ranged DSLR .like computers i am guessing that DLSR's are changing as fast as one can blink their eyes .

    I travel quite often and enjoy taking portraits , landscapes, city scapes .General all purpose photography i guess one could say .

    I am looking for something that would be easy to use , upgradeable-compatible ( lenses ) take brilliant pictures ,and have a multitude of settings .

    i live in Sweden and i have noticed that the same camera in the EU has a different model number than they do say in North America . so when posting could you please give both model numbers / names for each area if at all possible .

    I have been looking at the Nikon D90 ( kit ) for 1000$ but i am not sure if this would be over kill , if i can get possible the same results with the D40 / D60 or what would you guys suggest . cannon , pentax, nikon ?

    Any help to get me on my way into the new world of DSLR's would be gratefully apreciated .
    Cheers
    T

  2. #2
    Daniel Salazar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Switzerland
    Posts
    226
    Real Name
    Daniel

    Re: [Help] On Choosing My First DSLR

    Hi Timo,

    I'm probably the only user in this forum that uses Sony. I'm very pleased because the user interface is so easy to use. You could read a litte bit here http://www.alphamountworld.com/

    You could compare the Sony Alpha 700 or 350. Both have a very competitive price, I just recommend you getting only the body and depending on your budget get the allrounder Sony 18-250 mm f/3.5-6.3 (I have and is excellent) or the Sony Zeiss 16-80 mm f/3.5-4.5

    Also a advantage is that you could also use some old Minolta lenses like the Minolta 50 mm f/1.4 (I've the Sony version and is also really good).

    Hope it helps! and good luck!

    By the way, you live in one of the European Cities that I consider to be one of the most beutiful ones, together with Vienna. I was there last Mai and since then I want to go back, really nice!

    Cheers,

    Daniel
    Last edited by Daniel Salazar; 20th January 2009 at 07:44 AM.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: [Help] On Choosing My First DSLR

    Hi Timo,

    Welcome to the forums.

    In some ways cameras have changed a lot in the past few years, but then again, in other ways the basic princples remain the same; at the end of the day, they're just a box that lets in the light!

    There are quite a few brands on the market at present, with Canon and Nikon together claiming by far the biggest share of the SLR market. Often people agonize over "which brand is better", but in reality there is a BIG overlap in features and performance between many models from both camps, to the point where one one hand it seems confusing, but on the other hand it can be a relatively easy easy choice because it's pretty hard to go wrong with any of them.

    Once you've invested in a few lenses it makes it a more expensive exercise to change, but other than that in reality it's more of less a case of "toss a coin" to be honest.

    I'm not a Nikon expert (I'm a Canon man) so I'll let the Nikon shooters comment on the Nikon models, whereas if you go the Canon way then you need to know that they have 3 different ranges; the xxxD range (with the 450D being the current model), the xxD range (plus the 5D & 5D2) (with the 50D &5D2 being the latest) and the 1D range (with the 1D3 and 1Ds3 being the latest). The xxxD are entry level models, the xxD / 5D / 5DII are advanced amateur / "prosumer" bodies and the 1D series are professional bodies (with features and priced to match). Often well chosen 2nd hand models give exceptional value for money (with my favourites being the 20D / 30D).

    All are capable of taking great images, however the mid-range have better ergonomics and features and the professional range more so again (including dual media, full weather sealing, better auto-focus & metering etc). For each Canon model, Nikon have an equivalent model with more or less the same specifications (give or take).

    Camera bodies are only a small part of the story though - lenses have a far bigger impact on image quality - so you need to ensure you leave enough in the budget for the lenses you need, which is a different conversation again! And then you may well end up needing tripods / heads / flashes / diffusers / umbrellas / lightstands etc etc etc - the list is endless!

    Hope this helps as a quick introduction - perhaps let some of the others chip in - let us know your thoughts - and we'll go from there.

    Hope this helps,

    Cheers,

    Colin - pbase.com/cjsouthern

  4. #4
    timo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Posts
    14

    Re: [Help] On Choosing My First DSLR

    HI,
    thankyou for the help so far .
    I guess i should say from the top , that i generally buy all electronics new . im not really interested in second hand electronics . for one i like to have the warranty and all that comes with the item in the box . if i have any problems i can just visit my local shop and go from there . so i'll be looking for something NEW in the box

    secondly i understand that the biggest part of this new investment will be the lense(s) and extra batteries . im prepared for that .
    my budget is anywhere from 500 USD-1500 USD and its looking like im heading towards the 1500mark in order to get something that will last and perform well.

    i guess the most things that matter to me are ease of use .
    more buttons on the body than fiddeling with the menu system .

    so far i have watched several video reviews on the Pentax K20D , Canon EOS 40D and Nikon D90.
    not to start a war here, but to me the menu system from the reviews on the Canon seemed like it took too much time to turn something on or off compared to the D90 which had a button on the body ready to click when needed for more ease of use .
    but again the Canon proved to be faster and more punch for the same money .

    another big thing with the D90 was the new Video mode . i could use that even though it seems to be a bit shaky . no auto focusing while zooing etc .

    the Pentax has better resolution and is weather proff . all in the same price range .

    SO i guesss i would like ot hear more comments about these cameras and what lenses you guys would recommend .

    thanks again for the help !
    Cheers
    T
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 22nd May 2009 at 11:52 AM.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Quebec, Canada
    Posts
    116

    Re: [Help] On Choosing My First DSLR

    Quote Originally Posted by timo View Post
    i guess the most things that matter to me are ease of use .
    more buttons on the body than fiddeling with the menu system .
    [...] on the Cannon seemed like it took too much time to turn something on or off compared to the D90 which had a button on the body ready to click when needed for more ease of use .
    Hi Time!
    I just bought a Canon 450D recently.
    The turn on time is almost instant.. as for the menu, I must say that its quick and simple.
    The general settings are directly accessible from one button.
    Up until now, I'm really satisfied with the performance and the friendly interface of the Canon camera, considering the low price spent.

    Quote Originally Posted by timo View Post
    another big thing with the D90 was the new Video mode . i could use that even though it seems to be a bit shaky . no auto focusing while zooing etc .
    This feature is great for someone who wants to capture some quick video, plus, it's capturing full HD. However, if you plan on doing some serious video project, the jpeg-avi format may not be as satisfying.

    Quote Originally Posted by timo View Post
    what lenses you guys would recommend .
    I've been recommended to buy lens separately instead of going with the kit lenses.
    I chose a Zoom+Prime combo
    The only thing I didn't pay attention is the Image Stabilizer (which apparently is quite useful and works well); you should consider it if you plan to take pictures as you move.

    Of course depending on the camera brand you choose, there are websites that have specific reviews for each.

    there's the website called motleypixel you can look at for beautiful samples from each lens of many brands.
    Last edited by Zephyrize; 20th January 2009 at 11:44 PM.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: [Help] On Choosing My First DSLR

    Hi Timo,

    "not to start a war here, but to me the menu system from the reviews on the Cannon seemed like it took too much time to turn something on or off compared to the D90 which had a button on the body ready to click when needed for more ease of use ."

    Don't worry, you won't start a war :)

    Sounds like you might turn out to be a Nikon man! Nikon have a different approach to their menus, but at the end of the day both camps cover the basics in much the same way (except Nikon section theirs vertically, and Canon horizontally) - Once you're familiar with what's where you should be able to change anything on either system within a few seconds. Easiest way (for Canon cameras) is to use the index wheel to get to the section you want then roll the QCD (Quick Control Dial) with your thumb to select an item on that menu - then press SET to select it for changing. It's a bit like driving different cars with controls in different places in that you quickly get used to either one.

    "another big thing with the D90 was the new Video mode . i could use that even though it seems to be a bit shaky . no auto focusing while zooing etc ."

    With regards to video modes - if it's important to you then by all means go for a camera that has it. Many however (including myself) tend to think of this "feature" as being more of a marketing gimmick to help increase sales. My video camera takes good stills, but my SLR still beats the pants of it - but I suspect that when it comes to video, the video cameras are going to win that battle for quite a while yet.

    "the Pentax has better resolution and is weather proff . all in the same price range ."

    Weather sealing is always good insurance - so long as the lenses you get offer the same range of protection. As far as megapixels go, it's pretty much been a moot point when they all hit 8MP. In summary, the bigger the print that you do, the further away that it gets viewed - and the less detail your eyes are able to resolve. I still sell 22" x 44" prints taken on a 20D (8MP), and they look just fine. Keep in mind also that it's a square-law function - if you have an 8MP camera and you want to upgrade to something that's twice the resolution then you need a 32MP camera, not a 16MP one. In practical terms the difference between say an 12MP camera and a 16MP one with regards to image quality is - approx - zero (I know, it does take a while to get your head around it).

    Final thought - keep in mind that lenses are FAR more important than the cameras that they're attached to. You'll get a far better image with a great lens on a mediocre camera than you will with a mediocre lens on a great camera; as I said originally, the camera is just a box that lets the light in - and they all do that pretty much the same way!

    Hope this helps,

    Cheers,

    Colin - pbase.com/cjsouthern

  7. #7
    The Blue Boy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Manchester
    Posts
    787
    Real Name
    Mark Fleming

    Re: [Help] On Choosing My First DSLR

    I'm afraid you are going to get my stock answer for this type of query/advice. You can read all the reviews/advice/specifications et al until hell freezes over. The most important thing for you to do is go and pick a few up. What I mean by this is; what's the use of having something you don't like the feel of? I was determined to buy a Canon until I had a go with a friends D200. I loved the feel of it. Now some might say "it's just a tool". I agree. To an extent. For me photography is more than just pictures. It's also about the experience of going out, setting up and having fun. It's also a very tactile hobby, for me at least. So to sum up; Go to a dealer and annoy some sales people. I wanna look and play with that one, and that one and then that one!
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 18th February 2009 at 10:50 AM.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: [Help] On Choosing My First DSLR

    "You can read all the reviews/advice/specifications et al until hell freezes over."

    I agree. Because a lot of camera feedback is written subjectively, you can end up going nuts wading through all the reports.

    Because there is a BIG overlap in cameras from all manufacturers there is a tendency for people to be "very happy" with what they choose (and rave about it), and yet be blissfully unaware that other makes and models do it pretty much the same way (which, without knowing, they often tend to put down) ("My 10 foot pole is longer than your 10 foot pole" type of stuff).

    I do feel however that even going to the store and handling both to see what feels better may still not be the ultimate indicator, as ultimately opinions can change as one gets more familiar and comfortable with something. I'd feel more comfortable driving my Ford Telstar than I would driving Aston Martin DB9, but give me 1/2 a chance and I'll bet I'll be just as comfortable in the DB9 after a few weeks!

    Cheers,

    Colin

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Quebec, Canada
    Posts
    116

    Re: [Help] On Choosing My First DSLR

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    but I suspect that when it comes to video, the video cameras are going to win that battle for quite a while yet.
    but again, the video quality of the 5DII in low light surpasses most of the consumer and even some prosumer cameras. Whatever it is, I wish they can implement in their next model of camcorder

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: [Help] On Choosing My First DSLR

    "but again, the video quality of the 5DII in low light surpasses most of the consumer and even some prosumer cameras."

    It does in theory, but outside of the lab I have to wonder if things like AF and zoom will still put "conventional" video cameras ahead in "real world" conditions. Just my opinion all the same - I don't think it's a feature that I'd ever use though. For video I use a Sony camera with a built in HDD - I suspect that all things considered, overall usability would be better than what's built into DSLR cameras.

    I see it a bit like the extending of a PC to be able to handle TV - was a great idea, but in reality most of us still use seperate boxes.

    Cheers,

    Colin

  11. #11
    Daniel Salazar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Switzerland
    Posts
    226
    Real Name
    Daniel

    Re: [Help] On Choosing My First DSLR

    Hi Timo

    If you want to have "facts" about different kind of lenses, you could read some reviews at http://www.photozone.de/

    This might help you having some "hard" facts when choosing your new lenses.

    Cheers,
    Daniel

  12. #12
    timo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Posts
    14

    Re: [Help] On Choosing My First DSLR

    HI , and thanks again for the help .

    I have been reading so many text reviews, video reviews , personal website reviews etc . and now my head is spinning more than ever !. its a high tech world out there with 1000's of opinions .
    now after all this i was checking out another photo forum on the net . i saw a link ot a guy called Ken Rockwell and he states that the D40 is the only camera most will ever need . so with say the new D40 is the D60 for 2009 , correct ? so i buy that and then spend the money on a very HG'ity lense or 2 and could essentially take pictures like the D700 or what ?-!

    and as Chelseablue stated . go into a shop and test drive a few of them .

    im sure the sales person will see me a mile away and ill walk out of there with with somthing i dont need or with nothing in my hands and more CONFUSED than ever .

    well i guess i need to make a decision , just trying to gather as much info before i go in and make the purchase . i justw ant to find the best camera for me and something i can grow into and not have to do this all over again in say 1-2 years time .
    im like this with most everything i buy .

    Cheers
    T

  13. #13

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: [Help] On Choosing My First DSLR

    "i saw a link ot a guy called [COLOR=#333380]Ken Rockwell and he states that the D40 is the only camera most will ever need"

    My suggestion is that you first read Ken's about page ...

    http://www.kenrockwell.com/about.htm

    Cheers,

    Colin
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 22nd January 2009 at 12:22 AM.

  14. #14

    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Gorokan NSW Australia
    Posts
    408

    Re: [Help] On Choosing My First DSLR

    Timo if it's any help I'll explain why I chose the D90. Firstly because it will let me go as far as I want to in photography, without too much mucking around in menus, it mostly has dedicated buttons.
    Secondly my wife wants to learn photography, and the D90 has the Auto and several other dedicated modes. I plan to start her off in these modes, and when the result is not what she was hoping for I can then show her how to achieve it.

    I chose the 18-105VR lens as a walkaround/family snapshot/general lens, and the 70-300VR for shots of my Grandkids at netball and cricket.

    Edit. I don't think I will ever use the video mode.
    Last edited by Bill44; 22nd January 2009 at 12:03 AM. Reason: Added info.

  15. #15

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: [Help] On Choosing My First DSLR

    "I plan to start her off in these modes, and when the result is not what she was hoping for I can then show her how to achieve it."

    This isn't the old "bait and switch" is it Bill where you buy a D90 - get the wife interested - give it too her (like any good husband would) - and then go buy yourself a D3x?

    Cheers,

    Colin - pbase.com/cjsouthern

  16. #16

    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Gorokan NSW Australia
    Posts
    408

    Re: [Help] On Choosing My First DSLR

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    "I plan to start her off in these modes, and when the result is not what she was hoping for I can then show her how to achieve it."

    This isn't the old "bait and switch" is it Bill where you buy a D90 - get the wife interested - give it too her (like any good husband would) - and then go buy yourself a D3x?

    Cheers,

    Colin - pbase.com/cjsouthern
    Would I do That?

  17. #17
    timo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Posts
    14

    Re: [Help] On Choosing My First DSLR

    well gents , i bought the D90 !
    "Nikon D90m/18-105 AF-S DX ED VR, 12.3MP, 4.5 bps, HDMI, film"
    should arrive today & i'll keep you posted .

    Cheers
    T

  18. #18
    shreds's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    London
    Posts
    1,298
    Real Name
    Ian

    Re: [Help] On Choosing My First DSLR

    Hi Timo,

    Only just seen this thread, but as a committed Nikon man, with numerous friends and colleagues having the D90, I think you made a wise choice, although as Colin says there is a lot of overlap these days with the top brands.

    I guess the reason we haven't seen you on here since it arrived is because you've been out and about 'testing' it. We await your first results with baited breath.

    Ian

  19. #19

    Re: [Help] On Choosing My First DSLR

    I am a Pentax affecionado. I started using Pentax 35 mm film cameras and their lenses from about 40 years ago. I have stayed with them ever since. 5 years ago I bought a Pentax digital SLR camera - IstD (6 MP) with a 18-55 mm lens which I later traded (lens only) in for a 16-45 mm lens. Both lenses were made by Pentax.

    I opted to stay with Pentax all along because Pentax is the best company in keeping their new deveopments - camera bodies(backward) compatible with any and all their lenses ever made - bayonet mount or screw mount (when used with adapters). The quality of all their lenses is superb and they all focus at infinfinity perfectly.

    Also, all independent brand lenses made with Pentax mounts (bayonet or screw) for films, still work with Pentax Digital camera bodies, although with some limitations, such as manual focusing and manual metering possible only with screw mount adapters. Some lenses work in aperture preferred mode besides. Recently I bought another SLR Pentax digital body, Pentax K 200D (10 MP) which also works like a charm with all my lenses. I should have bought their top of the line body Pentax K 20D (14.7 MP). But, the cost was prohibitive for me although many photographers would consider the price of $1000 (body only) fairly competetive with other makes in the field.

    Pentax also has another body, Pentax KM (or K 2000 as it is called in some countries) - this body is the cheapest of them all at the present moment. I would recommend Pentax brand very highly considering the price, quality, etc. in comparison with Nikon, Canon, Olympus, etc. I have no regrets staying with Pentax.
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 7th May 2009 at 08:06 PM. Reason: Minor formatting

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •