Entry Level or Mid Level?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by FrankLamont, Mar 6, 2009.

  1. FrankLamont

    FrankLamont TPF Noob!

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    I've not yet got my first DSLR. I've been doing photography for years now, but with P&S's, even though some were quite advanced.

    So, I know most things about photography.

    Yes, I know I'm buying into a brand, although yes, there are lenses from Sigma, Tamron, etc...

    I know it depends on glass as well.

    But here's my question.

    Is it worth investing in a semi-pro/mid level DSLR? I don't want to have to update in at least the next 3 years.

    Because apparently prices for entry levels will drop, but mid levels wouldn't so much...

    I mean, in terms of Image Quality, they'd be around the same. I'm aware that ergonomics is another difference, and so is fps, exp, etc.; but what other features are there?

    Are they sturdier? Will they last longer?

    I don't exactly want a camera that becomes old stock after a while. Would mid levels be compatible with lots of lenses?

    I've recently been considering a lot of cameras, ultimately narrowing down to the Pentax K20D, Canon EOS 450D (Rebel XSi) and Nikon D90.

    Nikon D90 seemed, and seems, so perfect. Only thing; the HD movie mode is bad and makes the price go up. I'd consider it if I weren't so unsure about whether it counts as an entry level or mid level DSLR. Also, apparently the VR lenses aren't as good as IS. Still, that last one isn't that important. It's mainly the price, too.

    Canon 450D is a bit of a grey area for me. It's, compared to the others, cheap, produces fine image quality and can go up reasonably to 1600 ISO without creating a lot of bad side effects. The IS lenses are apparently great, and the program offered is excellent. So you see, I don't want to unnecessarily pay for the D90, just for a better screen and movie recording. I'm aware, however, that this has only 9 pt, against 11 pt, but this has 14 bit proc. and from what I've seen, produces a lot sharper images. However, if this is too much of an 'entry level' and will become 'old stock', I don't really want to get it.

    Pentax K20D is a bigger grey area. I don't know how the image quality matches up to the others, and the ISO noise is contrasting and quite odd. I'm not sure if it's better or not. Live View is terrible, and I don't want to really have to pay for something that is bad, but since the K20D is fairly cheap, I don't mind. 11 pt, unsure about bit proc. and program offered... 6400 ISO, like on the D90, is useless, but I wouldn't use it any way, so it's of no concern. In built SR (Shake Reduction) and it's, from what I can tell, a mid level camera. Pentax doesn't have much glass, but it does have glass, and there are other providers for lenses, anyway, so that doesn't matter at this stage. Pentax's Live View is terrible, and there's no real point of it being sealed up seeing as I'm not going to buy special lenses, or at least accessories to protect the lens, other than a simple UV filter.

    Ergonomics don't matter at this stage. Please don't tell me to hold them. The Pentax is heavier, but if it's worth investing in...

    I'll pay for the D90 if the ISO and IQ is much better, or at least if it's worth investing in. It's really about IQ, ISO noise and long term.

    I'd probably only buy at end of year, so it would probably drop, but still, I'm planning ahead.
     
  2. Mr. Murmeli

    Mr. Murmeli TPF Noob!

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    I'll post a link from another forum: 450D vs D90 noise comparison : Canon EOS 1000D / 450D - 300D Forum: Digital Photography Review

    There's a lot of discussion about noise levels and apparently 450D does better with ISO 100-800. At 1600 it's a tie. For me the D90 seems a bit expensive since for that price i'd much, much rather take Canon 40D. But i'm completely happy with my 450D and it's hard for me to imagine D90 body it self producing significantly better IQ than my cam. Lenses are much more important on that case. From what i've read canon should produce slightly sharper images actually than Nikon. But don't get me wrong, both are great cameras, no doubt about that! :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2009
  3. Katier

    Katier TPF Noob!

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    Well I am a fan of Pentax so the initial response is go for the K20D.. but let's see..

    Pentax actually have a big range of lenses and the largest range of primes of any manufacturer. The live view I don't think is terrible just not up to the quality of the offerings from people like sony. But don't get too stuck up on live view.. it's rarely needed..

    IQ the Pentax is at least as good as the competition, arguably better. The SR is slightly worse than the in lens offering BUT works on ALL lenses. So it's a compromise, do you want to have to rely on the lens or have the flexiblity of a huge range of glass ( not just new but second hand too - all k-series lenses work on the 20D as do M42 with a readily available adapter ).

    The weight of the pentax is a non-issue and I actually prefer it ( I have a similarly heavy 200D ) as it helps balance the shot but it's not a heavy camera ( when compared to pro level ), just heavier and better built than it's competition.

    The D90 is undoubtably a cracking camera, however, and like the Pentax has a superb range of lenses. Both the Pentax and the Nikon have top mounted LCD's ( the 450D doesn't and as I use mine all the time I'd be lost without it ).

    So I think it's really up to you, the K20D and the D90 are both superb cameras. The 20D has better build quality vs the Nikon which has slightly better features. Both will last you several years without a problem and both are systems that are worth investing in.

    Some people around here will say "well nikon have FF bodies, pentax don't" this is true but for a huge price. Pentax also aren't going to be standing still and while it's known they almost certainly won't go FF, there are a lot of rumours flying around of some very interesting cameras including the rumoured 'K30D' which is likely to sit above the 20D this summer.

    Ultimatly you won't go wrong with either system, I'd personally go K20D myself but that's my choice and the D90 won't disapoint either.
     
  4. flea77

    flea77 TPF Noob!

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    I have over the past twenty something years had the honor of shooting with all three systems (though not the specific cameras you mentioned) and in my opinion all three are capable of producing excellent shots.

    Unfortunately I am going to tell you what you do not want to hear, it is about the feel. Not just the weight, not just the materials, not just about the size and position of the grip, but where the buttons are, how the camera reacts to you, etc.

    I find that I personally get into a better rhythm with Nikon equipment. For me, they are better. That is highly subjective and based solely on what I feel comfortable with. When you are carrying a camera with you often, using it often, it is incredibly important that you and your camera "mesh" regardless of the capabilities of the camera.

    An example: Some of my best work recently has been with a Contax G1, not because it has arguably the best glass of any 35mm in the world (which it does), but because every time I reach for the G1 I smile. I love the little thing. It just feels "right" in my hands.

    Hope this helps....

    Allan
     
  5. hankejp

    hankejp TPF Noob!

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    Not to get off topic, but your name made me more hungry than I already am. :lmao:
     
  6. Graham18ce

    Graham18ce TPF Noob!

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    I would agree - I shot film for years on different systems and i was happiest with my Pentax. However, when i made the switch to digital this year, i was disapointed in the feel of the Pentax. The control just didn't seem to suit me and the menu system interface didn't agree with me. I flipped back and forth for some time before finally deciding to go to the D90 and have to buy all new lenses. Image quality on the test shots i had done in store and the few times i had borrowed the bodies seem equal or higher on the Pentax at normal ISO Range, but i had much higher comfort level with the D90 and seem to be able to hit the settings i needed and get the shot i wanted faster and more reeliably with the D90.

    A few months later and i'm still very happy with the D90 - although, i'm really missing my 50mm f1.2 from my pentax :( just a wonderful peice of glass.
     
  7. sabbath999

    sabbath999 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    With all due respect, this is nonsense.

    Image sharpness has nothing to do with the brand of the sensor that captures it, assuming that it is a quality brand, like Canon, Nikon, Sony, Pentax, etc. and that it isn't defective.

    An argument can be made as to whether a CCD or CMOS sensor produces superior results, but sharpness isn't going to be one of the determining factors... they will both be just as sharp as the lens and the sensor settings allow them to be.

    Sharpness is lenses, and sharpness is software... it isn't the brand of chip inside the camera body.

    NO picture shot RAW is very sharp, Canon or Nikon or Sony or Pentax or whomever. With JPEG, you determine the amount of sharpening applied by your camera settings.
     
  8. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Prove this.

    Canon 40D. Check that out. It's the mid level Canon and one hell of a deal. You can get them for $600 used. 6.5 FPS, better controls, and other features.
     
  9. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    VI I agree.

    Now that I know more about DSLR, I would rather but a 40D in good condition than a brand new XSi.

    And the shutter life of the 40D (other med level DSLR as well) is much higher than the entry level cameras. (From what I read on the net, 40D is more than 200000 and entry level usually around 50000). Of course, that doesn't mean the camera will die after passing that mark.

    So if someone take a lot of photos, he/she may pass 50000 clicks within few years.
     
  10. Mr. Murmeli

    Mr. Murmeli TPF Noob!

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    Sorry about that! My bad:

    I just saw some side by side comparison on - jpeg - pictures and didn't much think about it. Nikon D90 does more antialiasing, or whatever to jpegs than Canon 450D. When i now looked at RAW comparison, differences where tiny. And overall i didn't mean to compare all nikon vs all canon, just those specific models.

    And also as Village Idiot and Dao said, you should also consider canon 40D since at least here it costs about the same as D90. But i must be honest, i don't have much experience with D90 so i can't say which is best. I've shot with D80 though and it's a decent piece of kit :).
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2009
  11. Early

    Early TPF Noob!

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    Buy a used cheapie now. It'll give you something to use while you save up for a Canon 5DmkII, or a Nikon D700, or a Sony D900, or whatever brand you choose.
     
  12. maulrat

    maulrat TPF Noob!

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    I would have done this if only I didn't get such a great deal on my XTi and my limited budget. If I was to buy a DSLR today, I would go with a used $600. After shooting about 8 months, I am already wanting a better body. But since glass is king, I'm going to invest in lenses before upgrading.

    You seem pretty solid on going staying with photography. Perhaps you should skip the entry level bodies, buy a used 40d or Nikon equivelant, invest in some top glass, then upgrade your body in a couple of years.
     

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