DSLR for $650 budget

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Case_Sensitive, Sep 11, 2009.

  1. Case_Sensitive

    Case_Sensitive TPF Noob!

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    Hi! This is my first post and it's one of those annoying "what should I get questions" Thanks in Advance! This seems like a good forum and I plan on sticking around and contributing after this post :).

    Currently I use a compact digital (Sony Cybershot H-7) and a Asahi Pentax ES (old SLR from 70s-if anyone has any experience with this camera, let me know! I have a question about the light metering).

    My skill and interest in photography has rapidly developed since I started several years ago and I've deemed myself ready for a dSLR. Although I primarily use my digital compact, I've read a lot about SLRs and photography techniques and treat my compact compact as if it were an SLR by using every manual function available in order to get past its limitations (I even purchased awful wide angle/telephoto lens for it. aye). I'm not an amateur looking for a step-up from a point and shoot-I need professional features and I expect and want a learning curve.

    That being said, I still need help understanding and choosing between all the diverse and technical functions of today's dSLRs.


    My price max is $650 (including lens), but I might be willing to spend a little more if it will get me into the next tier of quality. I also plan on spending a bit more anyways to purchase small accessories (filters, memory, ect...), so maybe I could hold off on some the less-than-essential accessories for the time being. Please say if your quoting me street or list prices.

    Also, I don't have any professional photo software on my computer; I'd appreciate some info about the included software that comes with cameras these days and their limitations compared to high end professional software such as photoshop.


    Most of my photos are either photojournalistic/candid/street or low light/long exposures (10-30sec). Here are a few links to my flickr so you can maybe suggest features that might be important to me but that I am not aware of:

    (West Kirby, England. 2009) on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

    (Negev Desert, Israel. 2009) on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

    DSC02948_2 on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

    DSC01994_2 on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

    DSC02841 on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

    DSC04781 on Flickr - Photo Sharing!


    Features that are most important to me:
    -Double Exposure
    -Low graininess is low light (are there any trade-offs for this?) using long exposure and LOW ISO.
    -included software, but only if the cameras are otherwise comparable!
    -MP, do higher megapixels assist with low light photography/long exposures?
    -ruggedness (I enjoy shooting at the beach/near water and outdoors)
    -amount of image deterioration from filters.
    -highlight priority/D-lighting/Dynamic Range


    Also, would my pentax's analog lens be compatible with a dSLR? I'm assuming I'll at least have to be an adapter ring.


    Thanks so much!
     
  2. schumionbike

    schumionbike TPF Noob!

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    For 650 budget, you can easily get something like a Nikon D40 or something like Canon XTi or XS. If you gonna shoot low ISO, it doesn't really matter which camera you go for, they're not going to be grainy if you're using native ISO. As matter of fact, if all you shoot is long exposure, these camera would take you quite far. If you shoot photography in low light than perhaps not. Oh, i got my D40 for 500 bucks with a 18-55 and 55-200 lens last Christmas just so you know the price. It might be lower now.
     
  3. PhotoXopher

    PhotoXopher TPF Noob!

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    In the Nikon world the D60 would probably be your cheapest solution since has Active D-Lighting on it. It would handle most of your needs, not all.

    Perhaps the D200 for it's rugged body and bracketing ability, but again - some needs, not all.

    For your budget (with lens) it may be hard to find one that does it all.
     
  4. JustAnEngineer

    JustAnEngineer TPF Noob!

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    The Rebel XSi kit is available for as little as $600.
     
  5. Case_Sensitive

    Case_Sensitive TPF Noob!

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    thanks for the replies. Right now I'm trying to compare the Canon models with the Nikons. The Canons i'm looking at are the Digital Rebel XSi and the Digital Rebel XTI. The Nikons I'm looking at are D3000, D60, and D5000. How do these compare? Also, no one has mentioned other brands like olympus, sony, and pentax. Are these worth taking a look at, or are canon and nikon the industry standard?
     
  6. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    NIkon D40 kit (with 18-55) + 55-200VR = 600, with the remaining 50, get memory cards.
     
  7. Case_Sensitive

    Case_Sensitive TPF Noob!

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    Why that camera? I need information. I didn't post because I was too lazy to research. Its easy to do a google search and figure the math with my budget. i'm after opinions more than numbers.

    A couple of you mentioned the D40. I didn't see it on the nikon website and assume that the D60 has is the newest model in that line. correct?
     
  8. schumionbike

    schumionbike TPF Noob!

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    I'm not sure if the D40 is still in production anymore but you definitely can get one of the last one for cheap. Nikon has been out with the D60 and the D3000 so the D40 is a bit dated. It's a very good basic camera and as far as image quality go, it doesn't lose any ground to the D60, not too sure about the D3000 but I think the D60 and the D3000 use the same sensor.

    Also, if you do mostley long exposure, I would say any DSLR would do, the D40 just happen to be the best bargain i think. Look around and you can get the body and two lens for $500. The D40 doesn't have a lot of the gimmick such video, sensor cleaning, D-active lighting and only have 6.1 megapixel, but it's a very good functional camera that does surprisingly well in low light situation becasue it only have 6.1 megapixel. Megapixel doesn't really matter much unless you want to print big so for the most part, it won't matter. I had the D40 for a year now I'm very happy with it. If my picture doesn't come out, that's my fault, the D40 did it job. I work for Fanfoto for the Astro and we shoot with D40, they shoot like 250-400 shots a day for like 80 days a year for the last 3 years (we haven't replace anything) so the D40 is a pretty reliable camera too.
     
  9. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Sounds like you need to slow down and concentrate a bit more on your research: D40 from Nikon

    The newest in the Nikon line are the D3000 and D5000.

    Nikon and Canon make up about 80% of the DSLR market. Oly, Sony and Pentax combined make up most of the remaining 20%.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2009
  10. Case_Sensitive

    Case_Sensitive TPF Noob!

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    sorry I wasn't clear: I saw the Nikon D40 on their www.imaging.nikon.com under their 2007 models. I wasn't if that meant that their was a newer version of this model available, or if it was just no longer in production.

    Would my old analog lens for the pentax work with today's dSLR models? I could spend more on a just a body if they did...I have a SUN Zoom lens (85-210mm) and an Asahi Standard lens. They might have to be professionally cleaned but they both seem in decent condition.

    thanks
     
  11. schumionbike

    schumionbike TPF Noob!

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    they wouldn't work on camera body from other company like Nikon or Canon, I'm not sure if they work on the current pentax line up. I know nikkor lenses from 1959 could still work on today Nikon camera and Canon lenses from 1987 would work still on Canon camera today.
     
  12. JustAnEngineer

    JustAnEngineer TPF Noob!

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    Nikkor manual lenses from 1959 don't work any better on a Nikon D5000 than they do on a Canon Rebel XSi with an adapter. These lenses are fully-manual, without metering.

    Nikkor (AI-S) manual lenses from 1977 are also fully-manual when paired with anything less than a D200/D300. With the prosumer and professional Nikon cameras, you can shoot in aperture priority with these lenses (select the aperture manually, focus manually, and let the camera decide on the exposure length and ISO), but the D90 and lesser cameras don't have the ability to meter with these old Nikon lenses.

    Nikkor auto-focus (AF-D) lenses from the late 1980s won't auto-focus with the Nikon D40/D60/D3000/D5000, but will work in full automatic with the Nikon D50/D70/D80/D90 and better cameras.

    Nikkor auto-focus (AF-I and AF-S) lenses with internal focus motors from 1992 onward are fully functional with the less expensive Nikon DSLRs.
     

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