Contemplating which route to take

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by vmorriss, Apr 19, 2008.

  1. vmorriss

    vmorriss TPF Noob!

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    I'm fairly new to the dSLR market. I've been playing around w/ my roommates old Nikon F2 for a while, but I can't say that I really know a lot about photography, besides what I've been able to dig up on the internet.

    I've decided to upgrade from my point-and-shoot to a dslr for two main reasons. Firstly I want to begin taking photos for my college newspaper, and secondly because I plan on studying abroad some time next year, and don't want to pass up the opportunity to take great photos.

    I have looked at many basic setups, but what I'm mainly looking for is an average consumer camera, that I won't feel like upgrading for a couple years, and maybe one decent quality walk around lens, and a somewhat decent telephoto.

    Since the xsi came out, I was immediately attracted to the xti's price drop. After reading some reviews I thought it might be interesting to get the xti (body only), the Tamron SP AF 17-50mm F/2.8 Di II LD, and the canon 50mm f/1.8 prime lens. That would total to about $1040, and then I might get the Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM ($590ish) sometime later when I have saved up more money.

    Alternatively, I was looking at the Nikon d80 paired with the Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 G ED-IF AF-S VR all around lens, which would total for about $1320. I am hesitant to get an all-around lens, as I've heard that the distortion is pretty bad in some areas of the range, the close up performance isn't supposed to be that great, and it is supposed to be soft at points. Most of all, my whole point was to get away form point-and shoots, so why get an all around lens for everything?

    Price wise there doesn't seem to be a huge difference between going the nikon or canon route... I will just have to work more hours over the summer. I was just wondering if anyone had any opinions. Should I start a little more at the low end? Thanks in advance! (sorry this was so long)
     
  2. jilleenphoto

    jilleenphoto TPF Noob!

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    I'm new to the dSLR game as well, just purchased a Nikon D60 about a month ago.

    I've never really understood manual settings, and working with my old Kodak P850, it was either hit or miss with the manual modes.

    What I do like about my Nikon is that it tells you what the f-stop and shutter speed is in every shooting mode. I think that is an important and handy tool for someone who hasn't had a lot of experience with the manual modes because you can learn through trial and error which modes work with which settings and why, then from there you can actually teach yourself what manual settings will work for each subject you're shooting.

    It also gives you a few different manual modes, where you can shoot in Shutter Priority mode for example, and only have to set the shutter speed. The camera picks the best f-stop for the shutter speed you select, and you can tell from how your picture comes out which shutter speed would have been better to use.

    There's also an aperture priority mode, which is the opposite of shutter mode. Then there is priority mode, which selects the best shutter AND aperture for you, and of course the full out manual mode.

    The camera also tells you if the subject is too dark, too light...etc.. before you take the picture.

    My draw backs so far to this model is the focus points, which I still haven't learned how to fully control.

    Over-all though, it's been great for me. If nothing else I am learning how to select my own manual modes, and the lens that came with the camera produces way better shots than the Kodak I was just using.

    What I don't like about dSLR's seems to be that there is no live mode for most of the ones I researched. You have to shoot while looking through the view finder, which I suppose is more professional anyway.

    Hope that helps. A great site is to see the pros and cons of a new camera is: http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikond80/
     
  3. SpeedTrap

    SpeedTrap TPF Noob!

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    Ok, so here is my opinion. I am a Nikon guy so I can’t comment on the Canon Bodies.
    As far as the D80 is a very capable camera, and as for the 18-200 Lens it is a solid lens for general use.
    The thing to remember about the 18-200 lens is that you do trade off a bit of distortion or softness at some focal ranges (I do mean only a little bit) I do own this lens and have been very happy with the results from it. It is nice to have it on my second body if I do not want to walk around with my big 70-200mm F2.8 on.
    Using this lens has an advantage that you will not have to change lenses as often and will provide a great overall experience. Once you have discovered what areas you need faster glass you can purchase more lenses when you are ready.
     
  4. RyanLilly

    RyanLilly No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I think you're right on with the canon package you have put together, that Tamron gets rave reviews and is on my shopping list, and you cant beat the 50mm 1.8 for the price. I think you will be much happier in the end with a fixed 2.8 like the Tamron offers. Now the D80 is a great camera also and that 17-50 is available in a Nikon mount as well Search these forums, you will find a lot of mixed opinions about the Nikon 18-200.
     

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