Buying a D-SLR

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by running_with_scissors, Aug 1, 2007.

  1. running_with_scissors

    running_with_scissors TPF Noob!

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    I have been taking pictures with a nikon point and shoot for a while and after reading on the internet, my interests have been sparked. I decided that i want to buy a D-SLR. From reading on this forums and looking at reviews on the internet I have narrowed my choices to the Nikon D40x, Cannon Rebel XTi, and possibly the Cannon Rebel XT.
    I realize that the D40x has the limitation of Requiring the AF-S lenses [for auto focus]. I realize that may cause some financial restrictions later on when I look into buying additional lenses. Other than the lens compatibility issue are there any disadvantages to this model, especially as they relate to the Canon Rebel XT(i).
    From what i can tell the Canon XT and XTi are slightly more expensive than the D40 and D40x, but i do not understand why, unless it is because of the pressence of the motor which the D40 family lacks.
    I'm looking for opinions and information on the cameras as they compare to each other. Advantages/ disadvantages would be great. Any help is greatly appreciated.
     
  2. lifeafter2am

    lifeafter2am TPF Noob!

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    I was always told, and I am sure that many will agree, that you do not buy a camera, but a camera system. If you are going to invest in this, I would not recommend the D40(x) simply because of the lack of the autofocus motor. Now, you can still use the other lenses with that D40(x), but you will have to manually focus.
     
  3. DSLR noob

    DSLR noob TPF Noob!

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    Canons entry levels are more like the Nikon D80. Better AF systems, more megapixels, and a few small things.
     
  4. Jon, The Elder

    Jon, The Elder TPF Noob!

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    Raise your sights a bit. If you are going into serious photography, or even think you are, get a full featured camera.
    This is a very Nikon oriented forum in general, but there are a lot of subtle differences in the 2 major brands.

    Definately do some 'hands-on' looking and testing other than relying on the words from a few strangers in a little forum.

    Testimonials are nice but nothing beats first hand knowledge.
     
  5. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    For the OP I am going to expand on what Jon The Elder said. If this is your first venture into the world of the DSLR you need to do your homework first. What kinds of things do you like, intend to photograph? What equipment do you need to accomplish those goals? What features are needed to help you accomplish those goals. As stated above you are not buying a camera, you are buying a system. Bodies get replaced over time, but if you take care of your glass, it can last for ever.

    Once you know have an idea of what it is you want to do and the requirements to do so, then compare the camera bodies that interest you. This is a good site to get a side by side comparison of camera bodies. http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/sidebyside.asp

    Once you narrow down your choice to the bodies that fit the bill, it is time for some good ol'e hands on learning. Go get yourself one small cheap media card for each body you are looking at. $5.00 or so per card is in the long run a good investment for some small card like a 512 meg card. Next, go to a good photography shop with media in hand. Look at the bodies that interest you. Feel them, check out the placement of the controls and figure out which one's you like the best. Check out the lens selections for the bodies you are still considering. Check out the types of accessories you would also want. Remember, you are buying into a system and it gets expensive to change if you make a mistake.

    Now with the bodies that are left in your list, shoot some pictures with them. Any good photography shop is going to let you do so. Use the media cards you brought along. Take the same photos, at the same settings with very similar lenses. High ISO, Low ISO, same aperture etc. Shoot .jpg unless you already have a photo editing program that can process any raw files for the cameras you shoot. They are not all the same when it comes to raw.

    Go home with those media cards. Look at the photos. Compare the results for sharpness, color (remember color can be changed easily in post processing), [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Chromatic Aberration etc. Now you have a basis to make a decision for yourself on what YOU like and what YOU feel you will use. Purchasing a DSLR is a very personal thing and if you are not happy, you will probably not shoot the thing unless you have to. Good luck and let us know what you decide.
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