First dSLR - how high up to go?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by boclcown, Sep 4, 2006.

  1. boclcown

    boclcown TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2006
    Messages:
    74
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've been into photography now for quite some time - 2 years, maybe even 3. My 3.2 MP Minolta Point + Shoot has served me well so far, but I'm realizing that it is severely limiting me. What? Well, for one, it's extreemly slow. Furthermore, although 3.2 MP might not be terrible, it's causing me problems with clarity in my photos, the sensor is also suspect.

    Anyways, I want to buy a dSLR. I know the basics of photography, and understand many of the advanced functions beyond automatic mode. I want my first dSLR to give me everything - speed, high-quality pictures, and expandability. I don't think I'm going to become a professional photographer (I plan on going into medicine), but I take my hobby seriously. I've used film cameras (a Canon Rebel), and I'm very sure that I don't want to go further with it.

    I have looked at the main cameras, and have done some research, but I need some more opinions.

    From what I understand, the Nikon D50 may be my best bet as it is the cheapest and offers many professional features. The Canon Digital Rebel (XT) was a bit to small i my hand for my liking, but I'm willing to go with it if it is clearly ahead of the D50. I tried out the Canon rebel XTi, and was extreemly impressed, but the $899 price tag (plus about $250 insurance and some more for tax and some more for a CF card....) is going to mean that I won't have my camera until summer 2007.

    So here comes the question, is the D50 going to take me far? Am I going to wish I had the 10 MP of the XTi, and am I going to wish for 9 point autofocus? I don't want to be thinking about upgrading my camera a year from now. Like, I would rather spend a couple extra hundred dollars if it's going to mean that the camera is going to "last" me 5 years....

    I'm not sure about much right now. I only have about 160 dollars saved up (...heh, I know...). Any and all opinions would be awsome.
     
  2. celery

    celery TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2004
    Messages:
    105
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Las Crappy Vegas
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    This has been said time and time again, the camera does not take great pictures; the photographer does.

    I will honestly say that you can go as low as 7mp without being disappointed in picture quality. And at 7mp, you will still be able to blow up pictures to 11x14 or even 12x16 (more if it's capable of shooting RAW).

    Now, you can't go wrong with Nikon or Canon. They're both at the top of the photography market for a reason, they make great cameras. But you have already looked at Nikons and Canons so I will give you a high quality 3rd option.

    Olympus evolt e300.

    I have one (as well as a Canon 20D) and I will honestly say that if I had known how good a camera the olympus was before I got my 20D, I wouldn't have spent all the extra money on it. Not to say that the 20D isn't a fantastic piece of equipment, but the difference is marginal whereas the price difference is pretty big.

    Why is the evolt good?

    1. Good image sensor. It may only be 8mp, but it is quality.

    2. Zuiko lenses. A lens usually come standard with the body, but buying an extra telephoto lens is cheap because most people are all about nikon and canon. They are great lenses and you will be hard pressed to get quality similar without spending 2x-3x as much.

    3. The vibration technology. It shakes dust off the sensor and the lens. No you can't feel it at all, but it makes changing lenses outdoors safer. I live in the desert and there's lots of dust out here. I never change my 20D's lens when I'm outside shooting (I go in my car to switch). It's just too much of a risk.

    4. It's a beast. This is a personal preference. I hate tiny cameras that feel wimpy. I'm not a small guy and I have big hands. I need to know I'm holding something. So if you're scared of size, stay away.

    5. It's intuitive. The controls and menu interface are absolutely the easiest to learn (imo).

    6. The price. I have no idea why it's not a popular camera. I see them going for like $500 on ebay (sometimes less).


    Anyway, that's what I think on the matter.
     
  3. boclcown

    boclcown TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2006
    Messages:
    74
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hm. Do you think the 6 MP on the D50 is a bit too low, then? Also, it would be nice to see the differences between the D50 and the XTi...
     
  4. celery

    celery TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2004
    Messages:
    105
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Las Crappy Vegas
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I wouldn't say 6mp is "too low". But you asked for a camera that will last for maybe 5 years.

    It depends on if you'll ever get your pictures blown up at all. At 6mp, it's still possible to get good quality, but it's harder to find cameras capable of it. Most 6mp (and lower) cameras are consumer cameras meant for people with simple needs to record family events and such.

    If you really want to get into photography as a hobby you'll have to make an investment at the start. Film is much more forgiving (but you stated that you and film are not on good terms so I avoided it).

    If you can find a digital camera that is 6mp and can shoot "high quality jpeg", TIFF or RAW, then yeah you *could* get great results; but like I said, most low mp cameras aren't really designed with photographers in mind.
     
  5. 964

    964 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2006
    Messages:
    57
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    London
    The D50 will be fine.......Get the Rebel XT if you can afford it. Just think about the lenses also, they are important than the body most of the time...
     
  6. LWW

    LWW TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2005
    Messages:
    1,206
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Dayton,Ohio
    How large will you blow things up? Most people don't have a printer that will do larger than 8.5 X 11. If you go beyond 13 X 19 you are pushing the limits of the D50 IMHO.

    I've never used the 5 point AF in the D50. To me it's a feature for advertising and not a lot of use in the real world. Others may disagree and see great value in it. I consider myself lucky to have learned photography on MF bodies.

    IMHO you would do better to use the D50 and turn all of the auto functions off for the first 1,000 pics. Having a body select a correct exposure and focus doesn't mean that it will have the artistic vision that you do. Trust me...the human brain of a dolt, and you are much smarter than this, no offense intended or implied...is far superior to any camera's ECU.

    If you are a photo geek you will start thinking of it within a year no matter what. I know I do.

    That being said great photos can be taken with a D50 and Nikkor glass. That being said great photos can be taken with an FM10 and Nikkor glass.

    The technology available in today's cameras can be a great adviser to a photographer and allow the photographer to take great photos faster...IE before the moment has passed...if you have the knowledge to kjnow how to shoot your vision.

    The technology can also be a crutch which allows you to shoot perfectly exposed mediocre photos in rapid succession with only a small amount being awesome or awful. That happens when you allow the ECU to become the artist and you only control when the shutter is released.

    I hope I helped you more than I confused you.

    LWW
     
  7. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2003
    Messages:
    7,021
    Likes Received:
    34
    Location:
    Lawrence, KS
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    It can't take you anywhere, but if your passion for photography takes you far, the D50 will come along nicely.

    Of course you are. Canon and Nikon spend millions of dollars each year to make sure photographers agonize about upgrading. Will 10mp and 9 point AF make you a better photographer? Nope, but you'll covet them anyway. ;)
     
  8. mentos_007

    mentos_007 The Freshmaker!

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2004
    Messages:
    9,325
    Likes Received:
    102
    Location:
    Poland, Sz-n
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit

    well I don't agree ... for last 3 years I had been shooting with 3 mp Fuji s5000 and did lots of big prints as for A3+ (30x40 cm) which is a size for prints that go for an exhibition... and theresults were really good... so with 6mp there is no problem with big prints like this
     
  9. 'Daniel'

    'Daniel' TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2004
    Messages:
    1,507
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    It depends what quality of rpint you want. You can't go above about 10 inches with 6mp if you want 300dpi.
     
  10. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2003
    Messages:
    7,021
    Likes Received:
    34
    Location:
    Lawrence, KS
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Even though I used to insist that 300 dpi was required for excellent print quality, I have to admit that I've found that it's possible to create great looking prints at much lower dpi. Or at least it's possible to up-size an image file to about twice the original size at 300 dpi.

    I recently had some 16"x24" prints made from 20D files, and they looked really good; I was surprised. At 300 dpi a straight out of the camera 20D file would be about 8"x12". I increased the file resolution so that it was 300dpi, but there can't really be more information than the original file, and at 16x24 print size the original file would be about 150 dpi.
     
  11. tzorbatzakis

    tzorbatzakis TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Heraklion, Crete, Greece
    I would say, get the D50 and spend any extra money you have on a nice zoom lens for starters. Later, when you feel something missing, get another lens (e.g. a wide angle). Concerning the megapixels, i believe that unless you want to "print large", 6.1 would be more than enough. In fact the only annoying thing i have noticed with 6 pegapixels, is other people looking at my camera saying "oh you only have 6 mp? my camera has 10...":confused:
     
  12. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2003
    Messages:
    7,021
    Likes Received:
    34
    Location:
    Lawrence, KS
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Hilarious! Reminds me of Spinal Tap.

    Nigel Tufnel: The numbers all go to eleven. Look, right across the board, eleven, eleven, eleven and...

    Marty DiBergi: Oh, I see. And most amps go up to ten?

    Nigel Tufnel: Exactly.

    Marty DiBergi: Does that mean it's louder? Is it any louder?

    Nigel Tufnel: Well, it's one louder, isn't it? It's not ten. You see, most blokes, you know, will be playing at ten. You're on ten here, all the way up, all the way up, all the way up, you're on ten on your guitar. Where can you go from there? Where?

    Marty DiBergi: I don't know.

    Nigel Tufnel: Nowhere. Exactly. What we do is, if we need that extra push over the cliff, you know what we do?

    Marty DiBergi: Put it up to eleven.

    Nigel Tufnel: Eleven. Exactly. One louder.

    Marty DiBergi: Why don't you just make ten louder and make ten be the top number and make that a little louder?

    Nigel Tufnel: [pause] These go to eleven.
     

Share This Page