Action photographer - Needs DSLR and doesn't know where to start!

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by irish-ii, Feb 26, 2010.

  1. irish-ii

    irish-ii TPF Noob!

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    I've finally decided to take the plunge into the world of DSLRs...I recently got my newest point and shoot, a Nikon L20, which has been working wonders for artistic photography, but I'm setting up my photography business and realize I really need to upgrade =)

    I'm a horse show photographer, along with other animals and horses (horse shows primarily). I need a camera that can capture split second moments between the horse and rider, and so that my clients receive high qualities photos of their show memories.

    The tricky part is...and you'll probably know what I mean...is that I can't afford anything much. My budget is $350, yes, lense and all. I have a future horse to support as well as school.

    My family has always had Nikons and we absolutely love them...no problems there whatsoever. So, I'd really like to get a Nikon, but I'm coming to the realization that I can't find a new-ish Nikon in my price range.
    I like canons and I tried out my friend's Rebel while she was here for a week, so currently on my top list is Canon Rebel XT and Nikon D70.
    Family has a D70 that I'm going to try out a bit, but the problems with this one are that its only 6 megapixels, where as I'd like to be printing larger shots for clients to frame and still retain image quality. Plus the minor fact that the viewing screen is pretty tiny xD

    Can anyone help me? I know I have a lot of requirements, but I've hardly ever used or even owned a DSLR before and need some help...I want to get just the right one.
    Canon Rebel or Nikon? Tough choices...

    Feedback from you experienced DSLR photographers would be fabulous ;) Thanks!
     
  2. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    You shoot horse shows with a point and shoot £70 camera :confused: ? This is one of my main subjects and i use 2 x 1Dmk2, 300mmF2.8L, 70-200F4L, remote 10D with wide angle lens and other asorted lenses, $350 is not going to get you much
     
  3. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    $350 is going to be tough with your requirements.... period.


    * Small viewing screen is not an issue that I'd be concerned with. Just as long as you can make out the histogram. Your final edits and post work will be done on a computer anyways.

    * Depending on how much you crop and what size prints you had in mind, 6 megapixels might be enough. I have 11x14 prints from 6mp files and there is enough in there.


    You might want to consider an incremental improvement over your Nikon L20. A used high end P&S like the Canon G9 or G10 might be in that price range.
     
  4. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    The lenses you choose are more important than the body, i still have a 1Dmk1 (4mp) which produces fantastic prints because i use top quality lenses
    A 70-200 lens is perfect for what you want if you can get close enough but is probably double your budget
     
  5. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    Some arenas are total dungeons, i'd get the D70, it's a great camera, i owned one, it will work.

    Problem is, i've shot pictures in some arenas with my D700 and 80-200 f/2.8, it it still wasn't really good enough.
     
  6. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    What about a Canon 1Dmk1
    [​IMG]
     
  7. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    1d Mark 1 + lens would push past the $350 budget...
     
  8. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    I read the OP carefully,and stopped by her deviant art page. APparently a H.S. student wanting her first d-slr. Between the Canon Rebel XT and the Nikon D70, I'd say the Canon is the better,newer camera. $350 isn't much capital to start even a small business, so you will have to make due with what you can afford,and not worry about the MP count of the camera. Six megapixels is enough to print a large image of an equestrian scene--IF you get a good,sharp image that has technical values well-controlled. Six d-slr megapixels is quite a bit more capable than you might imagine when actually making a printed image.

    Work hard on learning the positioning and focusing and processing techniques involved in your field of photography. In a year or so, you'll probably be quite capable.
     
  9. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I wasn't sure because prices in the US are soo much cheaper than the UK
     
  10. Jeremy Z

    Jeremy Z No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Can one even get the entry level Canon for $350?

    I would concentrate on the used market if you're going to go with an SLR. I have a now-obsolete Pentax K100D. It has anti-shake integral to the body, so you won't need to buy more expensive lenses with image stabilizer built in in the future. Keep an eye on ebay. Additionally, Pentax's kit lenses are much better quality than Canon's or Nikon's. (metal mounts, all glass elements, sturdier construction)

    Another thing to keep in mind is that there is a "Nikon Tax" on their SLRs. Most folks who buy SLRs never even seriously consider the competition outside of Canon or Nikon, and it is a mistake.

    Just because GSGary shoots the same thing with a multi-thousand dollar set-up doesn't mean that is a requirement for good photos. Especially for outdoor photos, there are many more important things than specific equipment: Timing, location, instinct.

    If you can't find something decent used on ebay for $350, stick with your P&S for a while longer and save up. That, or sell the P&S and some other stuff you're not using and buy the SLR. Maybe also consider posting that you would appreciate some "help" here. There have GOT to be some folks here with an previous generation digital rebels who are looking to upgrade, make an easy sale, and might be willing to help you out.

    I do this all the time. I've got a bunch of 35mm rangefinders on ebay now that I'm selling to help finance the Canon S9 I just ordered.

    Just some thoughts. Let us know what you end up with.
     
  11. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I wasn't saying you need to use the top equipment, but the op made it sound as if they were going to be shooting to sell and wanted the best quality
    A 10D will do what he wants
    10D +50mmF1.4
    [​IMG]
     
  12. Jeremy Z

    Jeremy Z No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Nice shot Gary. This seems like it was pretty well-lit. I bet it would have turned out just as well with a Rebel and the more humble 50mm f/1.8 or even a kit lens, don't you think?

    You are right though, that some shots just cannot be had, or will not be a good enough quality without The Right Lens. But for young amateurs, budget is one of the main things to consider.

    There is hope!
     

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