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Recommend me my first SLR

Discussion in 'Fine Living, Home, Design & Auto' started by SpooPoker, Dec 13, 2010.

  1. TRINI

    TRINI Senior member

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    Getting a GF2 later this month.

    Not holding out for the X-100?

    [​IMG]
     
  2. aizan

    aizan Senior member

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    Is a macro lens something separate that I would have to purchase aside from the initial rig? Right now I am just used to changing to the macro setting to get a closeup shot of a label or something, then clicking back to the standard settings. I would think it would be a pain in the ass to switch a lens just to do that. (again, camera n00b) I would want it to be as auto-ish as a P&S - just next level P&S... if that makes sense?
    nowadays, kit lenses have a minimum focus distance of 25-28cm. taking pictures of clothing labels is not a problem. if you want a next level p&s, look into the so-called mirrorless cameras. imo, the ricoh gxr with the 50mm macro is the perfect WAYWT/ebay/food porn camera.
     
  3. yfyf

    yfyf Senior member Affiliate Vendor

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    Not holding out for the X-100?

    [​IMG]


    Gotta catch em all.
     
  4. fcuknu

    fcuknu Senior member

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    Thanks for the specifics. In your case, I'd go for a prosumer. Something like the Panasonic Lumix LX3 or LX5 or Canon G11 or G12. SLR's really need a higher level of commitment to perform their best. And you do need to switch lenses. The Micro 4/3 cameras have a role but have too many compromises IMHO. And you'll still need to switch lenses.

    The prosumers have manual controls if you want to play around with them. They'll also do fine in their Auto modes. Plus their lenses and macro mode are very versatile.


    What do you mean?
     
  5. afterglow

    afterglow Well-Known Member

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    I always say that an SLR is indicated if there is a need to take photos that are beyond the abilities of other cameras. Stuff like extreme telephotos, extreme close ups, extreme wide angle, extreme DOF effects, low-light, HDR, prints above 5x7, etc. If you're planning to take photos that a compact, prosumer or micro-4/3 can competently handle, I strongly recommend not getting an SLR.

    In order to get the photos that make having an SLR worthwhile, you're going to have to either invest in glass, shoot in RAW or post-process. Things that the OP doesn't seem to be too keen on doing.

    What the OP needs is something for eBay and WAYWRN shots. Not exactly pixel-peeper stuff. A prosumer will easily handle that. It's also much more compact than an SLR and is more likely to be used than an SLR rig. It also has enough manual controls and low-light ability to keep the OP busy should he want to explore photography.
     
  6. willpower

    willpower Senior member

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    Canon 550D / T2I - Also works as a stunning quality video camera. Example footage
     
  7. Avocat

    Avocat Senior member

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    Spoo, Firstly, as a former pro-phographer/photojournalist, I commend you on your decision to take photography to the next level. Although I don't make my living at photography anymore per se, I still do the occasional art show and it remains a very enjoyable hobby for me. Heck, I remember the chemicals and darkrooms, having done my own developing and enlargements. Digital photography only now in my opinion has (finally) caught up to the film cameras, and the available options out there today are endless. What follows is a very basic equipment tutorial: That said, and basically, the principles of film and digital photography are the same. Aside and apart from composition (how you frame/set up the photo -- ie. the image itself) hasn't changed, nor has the fact that the camera (the thing that takes the image) is in reality nothing more than a light tight box. I'm trying to keep this very simple for you, understanding fully that you are new to photography, which is very cool (and don't want to sound like a teacher or anything, or otherwise insult your intelligence, but yeah, like all things new, there's a learning curve, I well understand). So, with that in mind, changing a lens is not at all a problem or inconvenience today unlike in days old when doing so had the potential to expose your film to light if done wrong. It's why we all carried a minimum of two cameras in those days, to protect the film from unwanted exposure, and also to always be at the ready to shoot--i.e., if you have to change a lens in the middle of an action shot, the shot is lost. But that's a professional consideration, doesn't apply--at least not yet [​IMG] --the main concern at this stage when changing lens for you is that it won't affect your film since there's no film anymore--make sense? In other words, the inconvenience/problem of old is gone, so as to no longer be of any concern. Camera is a box: OK, with that out of the way, here goes: so, the camera is a box (that still remains the case today, think of it as your "brain", as it relates to the capturing/storage of the image). The lens is a separate attachment, and may be thought of as the eye. Different lenses do different things (like the eye opens up and closes, there being things like magnifying glasses etc. to see up really close (a macro lens), and telescopes to see far away (telephotos): principles which haven't changed. Lenses are your "eyes" (important): The real cost thus is in the lens. Their costs vary, depending on the quality of the glass, etc. It doesn't really matter what "box" you get, just keep in mind the available lenses out there, and that lenses aren't interchangeable among different brands. Ultimately, the rig (camera and lens, etc.) is only as good as the one using it, it being a tool as you know. Reason also why I suggested you start with a used DSLR. I myself shoot Nikon, having only switched over from film a few years ago (I had an entirely different set up, so went with Nikon as I had to re-buy all the lenses again ... I like that they are backwards compatible meaning they support their product, both old product and new, their new boxes working just as well with the old lenses as they do the new ones, though the new ones today all have autofocus capabilities (as do the boxes, they give you that option) such that you can point and shoot, working on your composition instead (ie your image, what it is you wish to capture). Learn as you shoot! Enjoy the Process: As you progress, you can play around with your features, etc. Great thing about digital photography is that it costs nothing to shoot images, unlike in the old days of course when you had to buy film (with costs of development, etc.). So, have fun with it, as it costs nothing but your time to learn [​IMG] With that, I agree with those here who say spend your money on lenses. These you can get used also, and there's always a market for used gear. At this stage, after reading ie Rockwell and others, the main thing is to pick a brand you're comfortable with, and stick with it. Once you're invested in lenses, that is your system. You can upgrade the box later, and use the same lenses. Canon is a good name also, they make great gear. My only beef with them is that, unlike Nikon, they aren't backwards compatible. (i.e., their older lenses don't work on their new boxes, but this may not be of a concern). That said, and in closing (already going on here, I know), I highly agree with those here who recommend you read up on photography--be it books, web tutorials or even a basic course. You might also consider joining a hobby group in your area. There are photo clubs out there, and once you start shooting, you might want to look into the Flickr website (mostly photo enthusiasts, but also some pros/semi-pros hang out there). Lots to consider, I know, but main thing is, like others here say, you get a system you're comfortable with, and just start shooting! (warn you, though, it's been known to become addictive [​IMG] So, where to start? Basic Kit (whatever the brand): In terms of starting off, all you need is a kit: i.e.., the camera itself and two lenses: a wide angle-portrait (28-70mm OR 35-80mm) and a tele-zoom (70-210mm OR 80-300mm). I also suggest a 60mm with macro function, but that's a specialty lens used for product shots mainly, depending on how much detail you want (i.e., great for fine details like watches and postage stamps, etc., so like all things, it depends: if your current P&S is fine for that, then you don't need it, and that's cool [​IMG] tl/DR: welcome to the wonderful world of DSLR photography -- so many options, once you pick your "box" just get your lenses and enjoy--i.e., just get out there and start shooting!! [​IMG]
     
  8. Expressions Realia

    Expressions Realia Well-Known Member

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    Most important question is what will you be photographing? If solely for recreation, I would save your money and get a competitive P&S.
     
  9. fcuknu

    fcuknu Senior member

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    I say why spend the same amount of money on a fixed lens camera when you can get a M43 which gives you more options. Maybe youll just use the kit lens, but at least you have the option to venture out.
     
  10. ad_infinitum

    ad_infinitum Senior member

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  11. otc

    otc Senior member

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    Canon EOS Digital Rebel T2i w/18-55 IS Lens Kit + a 16GD sandisk ultra 2 card + a slr holster case and a 58mm UV, Polarizer & FLD Deluxe Filter kit for $779 Nikon D5000 kit + DX VR Zoom-NIKKOR 55-200mm f/4-5.6G IF-ED IS + 4GB Card + Carrying case 750$ at Costco Canon EOS Rebel T1i Digital SLR Camera w/ EF-S 18-55mm Lens IS Kit: $527 or less + Tax Nikon D3100 Digital SLR Camera 14.2 Megapixels w/ 18-55MM VR Lens $574 AC at Tiger I am not saying these are the best deals ever (they weren't posted to the front page of slickdeals...just a few I found with a quick search) but they are fairly typical of offers that I see. At the entry level, a lot of cameras are sold as "kits" which include the body and a lens. The kit lenses are usually not so great (but better than your average point and shoot). A lot of the deals will throw you a second lens and some accessories which might get you a better lens (but don't pay extra for a second lens that turns out to suck...read some reviews) Higher level cameras are usually going to be body only so you need to buy lenses to shoot. This is where you get tied in to canon/nikon (or olympus or sony...but only do that if you don't actually care about your lens options). Sure, you can switch by ebaying all of your glass and buying new...but it is easier to stick with one manufacturer. As far as canon vs nikon goes...canon's top end "L" lenses are better but at the low end, there really isn't much differance. Nikon's camera bodies seem to have a little edge right now on the consumer level but they go back and forth on that technology all the time with canon and they are pretty comparable. Basically when you buy into a system it doesn't really matter unless you have really specific needs (like "need to use canon's 70-200 f2.8 IS L series lens"). You could decide based on whatever gives you the best package deal when you are buying or which ever body feels better in your hand or which one is prettier and it wouldn't matter (I shoot canon because my pro-photographer father shoots canon and I have one of his old bodies). EDIT: One big pro for nikon in my mind is the SB-400 flash unit ...I am intensely jealous of this thing as a canon user. If you don't want to have a big full size flash unit and you don't like the crappy built in flash, this thing rocks. Canon's current mini flash has bad reviews and their last model sticks out at least twice as far as the nikon unit.
     
  12. Avocat

    Avocat Senior member

    Messages:
    346
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    Canon EOS Digital Rebel T2i w/18-55 IS Lens Kit + a 16GD sandisk ultra 2 card + a slr holster case and a 58mm UV, Polarizer & FLD Deluxe Filter kit for $779 Nikon D5000 kit + DX VR Zoom-NIKKOR 55-200mm f/4-5.6G IF-ED IS + 4GB Card + Carrying case 750$ at Costco Canon EOS Rebel T1i Digital SLR Camera w/ EF-S 18-55mm Lens IS Kit: $527 or less + Tax Nikon D3100 Digital SLR Camera 14.2 Megapixels w/ 18-55MM VR Lens $574 AC at Tiger I am not saying these are the best deals ever (they weren't posted to the front page of slickdeals...just a few I found with a quick search) but they are fairly typical of offers that I see. At the entry level, a lot of cameras are sold as "kits" which include the body and a lens. The kit lenses are usually not so great (but better than your average point and shoot). A lot of the deals will throw you a second lens and some accessories which might get you a better lens (but don't pay extra for a second lens that turns out to suck...read some reviews) Higher level cameras are usually going to be body only so you need to buy lenses to shoot. This is where you get tied in to canon/nikon (or olympus or sony...but only do that if you don't actually care about your lens options). Sure, you can switch by ebaying all of your glass and buying new...but it is easier to stick with one manufacturer. As far as canon vs nikon goes...canon's top end "L" lenses are better but at the low end, there really isn't much differance. Nikon's camera bodies seem to have a little edge right now on the consumer level but they go back and forth on that technology all the time with canon and they are pretty comparable. Basically when you buy into a system it doesn't really matter unless you have really specific needs (like "need to use canon's 70-200 f2.8 IS L series lens"). You could decide based on whatever gives you the best package deal when you are buying or which ever body feels better in your hand or which one is prettier and it wouldn't matter (I shoot canon because my pro-photographer father shoots canon and I have one of his old bodies). EDIT: One big pro for nikon in my mind is the SB-400 flash unit ...I am intensely jealous of this thing as a canon user. If you don't want to have a big full size flash unit and you don't like the crappy built in flash, this thing rocks. Canon's current mini flash has bad reviews and their last model sticks out at least twice as far as the nikon unit.
    Excellent post. Just one quibble though: Canon's L lenses are not better than Nikon's top glass (Nikon's 17-35 for e.g. have an extra stop over Canon's), Nikon primes being better, but Canon's zooms are as good and definitely more affordable than are Nikon's, which is something the OP may wish to consider down the road, I agree. (As to the 70-200 f2.8, whether Nikon or Canon, it's a religious experience the first time you use one, these being the two main brands for a reason). Sigh, if only the glass were hand polished like in the old days, like Blad/Zeiss, all being done by machines now and have for some time, but no one other than fractal pixel-peepers will notice, so it's all good [​IMG]
     
  13. DerekS

    DerekS Senior member

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    id get a Nikon D3100. no question. or look around for a D40. you can find those on the used market for a steal. great cameras.
     
  14. EMY

    EMY Senior member

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    Excellent post. Just one quibble though: Canon's L lenses are not better than Nikon's top glass (Nikon's 17-35 for e.g. have an extra stop over Canon's), Nikon primes being better, but Canon's zooms are as good and definitely more affordable than are Nikon's, which is something the OP may wish to consider down the road, I agree. (As to the 70-200 f2.8, whether Nikon or Canon, it's a religious experience the first time you use one, these being the two main brands for a reason). Sigh, if only the glass were hand polished like in the old days, like Blad/Zeiss, all being done by machines now and have for some time, but no one other than fractal pixel-peepers will notice, so it's all good [​IMG]

    I feel that some of the Nikon "gold ring" lenses are overrated. Cannot compare to Canon equivalent though. Nikon 17-55 seems about the same as 18-55, except for the f2.8.
     
  15. aizan

    aizan Senior member

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    Higher level cameras are usually going to be body only so you need to buy lenses to shoot. This is where you get tied in to canon/nikon (or olympus or sony...but only do that if you don't actually care about your lens options).
    eek, this is the kind of sweeping generalization n00bs need to be weary of. people can decide for themselves if a brand makes the lenses they need, and if those lenses are good enough. olympus specializes in zooms, and the optical quality of the whole system is easily the best on the market. if you shoot aps-c and prefer prime lenses, pentax is the only game in town. sony's got aps-c covered, but their full frame lineup needs to expand and be refreshed if they want to attract pros. they still have the basics and some top notch carl zeiss lenses. then there's leica. enough said. the number of lenses beginners go for is much more limited (this is a good read: http://theonlinephotographer.typepad...n-part-ii.html), though every brand is missing something at this moment. canon doesn't have a fast, normal ef-s prime, for example.
     
  16. LawrenceMD

    LawrenceMD Senior member

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    Spoo- a recent thread I started here. Since you said you know "nothing" in this regard and are mostly shooting ebay pics and WAYWN... take a look at the Olympus and Panasonic Micro 4/3's... several regulars here use them, PG, YFYF and others... they ahve the convenient size and ease of P&S' and are in your price range. Plus they do afford the ability to change lenses if you really get into it.
    i use a gf1 for my seller pics. its easy to do with the gf1 and if you use good lighting (good old mid day/mid morning sun light) post processing not needed. here are a few examples: http://www.styleforum.net/showthread...light=red+wing http://www.styleforum.net/showpost.p...&postcount=493 I use a gf1 with 20mm pancake lens (prime lens - meaning no zoom just use your arms and distance to focus). And the pics that come out are great and so easy to do. I also did learn all the basic photography stuff eventually which helps when you need to manipulate something to your needs. But if the light is right the camera basically does all the work. upping your photography game helps tremendously with ebay auctions/seller threads. i don't really need to sell stuff but it has become a bit of an addiction for me because I like to keep my closets clean and well if you take good enough of pictures of adequate sellable items you can sell anything (lol)!
     
  17. Avocat

    Avocat Senior member

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    I feel that some of the Nikon "gold ring" lenses are overrated. Cannot compare to Canon equivalent though. Nikon 17-55 seems about the same as 18-55, except for the f2.8.
    Everyone has their favorite, and that's cool [​IMG] That said, I shoot FX (full frame) format (Nikon D3 with the D700 backup, professional series with professional lenses, and (sadly) professional prices, too. Nikon metal, with Nikon's AF, speed and handling being superior (D3 being the fastest on the market, choice of sports photogs and photojournalists, the D700 costs much less than the D3 hence the choice for most studio work, and also wedding photogs who don't need the D3). Canon 5D Mark II is the best Canon's got, but it's not as good as Nikon's D700 much less the D3 (D700 even costs slightly less than the Canon's 5D). Canon's 5D is mostly plastic and can't nail moving shots in dim light, which the D700 does effortlessly (but not as good as the D3 does). To be fair to Canon's 5D, though, it has more pixels for the price than Nikon's D700 if looking to render everything at 20x30 (but I use medium format when shooting that size up, as 35mm sensors--which is what FX is--weren't meant to go beyond a certain size, at least not professionally). But if I was doing stills, portraits and non-action stuff, and could only have one camera, does the price of glass (lenses) count? You bet (and well put, now I wish they'd lower their price [​IMG] ) In terms of entry level and mid-market DX format (standard DSLR) cameras and kits, though, either Nikon or Canon fit the bill nicely, I agree (and Canon's a good maker, always has been, and I'd never say otherwise). EDIT: it's the f2.8 stop on the Nikon--i.e., fast/low light--that makes that pro lens worth the price, but otherwise, Canon and Nikon in terms of pro line lenses are equivalent, and I totally agree with you that Canon's pro line's better priced (all depends on what you're shooting)
     
  18. otc

    otc Senior member

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    Avocat: any suggestion on cheap upgrades to my canon D60 (not 60D)?

    I don't really want to jump on the rebel series but I am not sure where on the used market I will get the best value...something like a 30D or a 40D? I am not sure how the rebel model numbering works so I don't even know where to start there (or what features I lose out on going to consumer entry level...the only rebel I have played with didn't even have a separate screen for exposure information and spammed the integrated flash instead of using a focus assist light)
     
  19. Avocat

    Avocat Senior member

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    ^^^I just sent you a PM, OTC (and my pleasure [​IMG]
     
  20. CDFS

    CDFS Senior member

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    I wonder if anyone posting here has even read the op.
     

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