First dSLR?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by PJL, Sep 12, 2009.

  1. PJL

    PJL TPF Noob!

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    As the thread title so pithily points out, I'm on a quest for my first dSLR. I've owned a Canon Rebel G for a number of years now, but film and developing is so 20th century.

    The primary reason I'm getting a dSLR is for a trip-of-a-lifetime backpacking trip to New Zealand I'm taking in January, which is the beginning of their summer. If you don't know anything about New Zealand, it's one of the most topographically diverse places in the world, with sweeping grass plains, jagged snow-capped peaks, dense forests, and just about anything else you could want to experience in nature.

    That being said, this is what I'm looking for in a camera:

    - I want to spend under $1,000 total, but a cap of $800 would be the most comfortable for me. If I get a Canon, I'm planning on using the 18-55 lens from my Rebel G, buying just a dSLR body, and spending the balance on a good zoom lens.

    - Whatever I get needs to have excellent picture quality, especially when it comes to color accuracy.

    - Durability is definitely a bonus factor.

    - It needs to have pretty good point and shoot functionality. Although I'd like to eventually learn the ins-and-outs of manual photography, I know that a lot of my pictures will be taken on-the-fly and I'm not really experienced enough to make snap decisions regarding aperture, shutter speed, ISO, and other settings on my own.

    Some cameras I've been considering are the Canon XSi, Canon T1i, and the Nikon D5000. Any help you can give me would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Plato

    Plato TPF Noob!

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    Well, I'm prejudiced in favor of Nikon but from what you've put in your post, I think that you would be better off looking into the Pentax line. I don't know the specifics of their models all that well but they're built well, many are somewhat weather-proof and they're less expensive than the Nikon and Canon counterparts.

    One thing that's significant about Pentax is that image stabilization is in the camera body, not in the lens. Advantage is cost - cheap lenses benefit from IS. There are two disadvantages. One is that you do not see the benefit while looking through the viewfinder. The other is that it does not work quite as well as the in-lens implementation.
     
  3. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    All of your specific model choices seem reasonable to me. One minor point though--the Canon 18-55 kit lens that came with the Rebels and the earlier Canon d-slr models was a bad kit lens..no two ways about it. I currently own one,and even on my 8.2MP 20D, it's a low-resolving,poorly corrected lens with bad optics. The original 18-55 Canon kit lens will eliminate the high quality picture production potential of a newer, higher-MP Canon sensor, so...the Rebel's kit lens must go. The newest version has been updated dramatically,so a newer, higher-MP body deserves a better kit lens.

    The newer d-slr options with video capture seem like a nice combination of high quality still image and video capture in one camera body. My suggestion is always a hands-on, side-by-side comparison. often there will be one or two features about each camera that makes it seem better or worse suited to your own,personal shooting style,hand size, eyeglasses, etc.

    Like, for example, the very-newest Sony dslr with video; Michael Reichmann says it has the absolute worse viewfinder of any d-slr made...but if you came from a digital P&S,yuo might not worry about the tiny,bad finder.
     
  4. PJL

    PJL TPF Noob!

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    Plato -- could you put your response in allegorical form?

    Just kidding. Thanks for the suggestion; I'll check them out.

    Derrel -- thanks for the info about the Rebel lens. I guess I'll just have to more carefully budget if I want an additional lens.
     
  5. photo28

    photo28 TPF Noob!

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    Don't forget Sony as well. Any first DSLR will do you fine. I have a Sony A200 - one of the cheapest - and love it. You might want to look into the A700, not sure how much it is. Even better, get an A350 and spend the rest of the money on a good lens.
     

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