Help me choose an entry-level dSLR

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by yiplong, Jul 25, 2010.

  1. yiplong

    yiplong TPF Noob!

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    I am getting a DSLR for my wife as a gift. We don't know anything about photography. These are some candidates that I am considering. The first price is for camera with a single 15-55mm lens, the second price is for a bundle that includes a second 55-200mm lens.

    Sony A230 - $435/570
    Nikon D3000 - $475/740
    Canon XS - $500/740
    Olympus E-520 - $540/660
    Olympus E-620 - $600/735
    Canon T1i - $700/835

    At these price points, which one of the above cameras are the best value? I want to get a good deal, but I do want to get one so cheap that she will outgrow in a few months or even a year. Some headroom is crucial.

    Buying the 55-200mm in a bundle will probably save me some money, is buying this lens with a starter camera a good idea? Do people often get 55-200mm as a second lens?
     
  2. cardinals1970

    cardinals1970 TPF Noob!

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    I don't know alot about cameras myself but I was looking at the Nikon D3000 myself. However after comparing the D3000 to the D5000 package I went with the D5000 which only cost about $100.00 more. The D5000 over just seemed to be better with the LCS screen on the back that actually rotates, plus any video you may shoot is done in 720p HD.

    Another thing to consider when comparing prices is if you plan to add an extended warranty. Cause my 4 year warranty added about another $170.00 to the over all price.
     
  3. eagleseyeview7

    eagleseyeview7 TPF Noob!

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    they are all good cameras. I am very partial to nikon, but I also like the canons. it also depends on how serious she plans on getting with the camera. I have the d3000, I bought it as my first dslr and I still love it. what's great for beginners is the guide mode, it really helps a ton to understand what the camera is doing. I went to a local camera store and played around with both the d3000 and the rebel and in the end the nikon just felt better and more durable in my hands, and I really liked the menu layout better than the canon.

    you also have to decide what brand you want to stick with because if you buy a nikon, you will end up buying nikon lenses and getting stuck with that brand.

    I like the 55-200mm lens that I got in a bundle. it isn't the best lens out there, but it is good for beginners and is extremely cheap.

    and don't really worry about if you are getting the best value, get the one you think is best for her, most of those are priced where they are worth

    hope that helps!
     
  4. iAstonish

    iAstonish TPF Noob!

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    Let me recommend the Nikon d5000, Nikon d90, and Canon 40d and explain why.

    D5000 - very much the "little brother of the d90." The d5000 is a good choice because it has the same sensor as the more expensive d90 and also features the high ISO capabilities.

    Pros: High ISO capability, Good sensor, HD video, swivel LCD, very good camera for the price.

    Cons: No built in motor for lenses that don't already have them. (This won't affect you much unless you plan to buy old Nikon lenses or third party lenses with no motor.) Lack of dedicated buttons.

    ---------------

    Nikon D90 - A little out of your range, but you might be able to get a good deal on a used body. Similar sensor to the prosumer d300. Great high ISO and better build and button layout than the d5000.

    Pros: Solid build, more robust than the d5000. Great sensor and high ISO. HD Video, better viewfinder, dedicated buttons, built in motor for lenses, etc.

    ------------

    Canon 40d is a much better build quality than the d5000 and slightly better than the d90 in my opinion. It is a lot faster shooting 6.5 frames per second. Dedicated buttons and feels solid.

    Pros: Best build of the three, fast 6.5 fps, image quality is on par with the other two cameras mentioned.

    Cons: High ISO capability isn't as good as the Nikon cameras.
     
  5. iAstonish

    iAstonish TPF Noob!

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    Also I would say skip on most of the cameras you mentioned honestly. You will likely outgrow them quickly and for the price range you could do better.

    The 55-200 is a lens most new photographers end up buying along with the 18-55 mm. This isn't a bad idea, but if you are only picking up one lens, I would suggest something other than the 55-200, because it might be a bit to "tight" depending on what you shoot.

    Also I have to suggest looking at prime lenses. The quality they can give you is equivalent to much more expensive zoom and telephoto lenses, but you "sacrifice" the ability to zoom.

    Nikon 50mm 1.8 $90-110 new
    Nikon 35mm 1.8 $180-220 new
     
  6. yiplong

    yiplong TPF Noob!

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    I know that lenses are very important for DSLR cameras. There are probably more Canon/Nikon lenses out there because they sell more cameras, but Sony/Olympus' cameras seem to be a lot cheaper for the same stats. Is there any serious downside to getting one of those? Are their lenses lower quality or more expensive? (initial saving on the purchase of the camera can be overshadowed by more expensive future lenses).
     
  7. iAstonish

    iAstonish TPF Noob!

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    You will obviously have a larger selection in lenses and accessories with Canon or Nikon, since they are leading brands in digital photography. Also Sony lenses do seem to be a bit more expensive, not sure of the quality, because I have never used Sony or Olympus cameras. People argue Nikon lenses are the best because rather than being an electronic company, Nikon is a camera company.

    But again, I would recommend the d5000. It is the best bang for the buck in your price range, and I doubt your wife would be using any of the old lenses with no motors if she is just starting and doesn't already have a collection of old lenses lying around.
     
  8. Bryce

    Bryce TPF Noob!

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    If a d 5000 has no focus motor it has nothing to do with older or off brand lenses that won't work. DX or AFS lenses have the motor in the lense and they are not good for when you advance. I know this because I just bought some new lenses that are AF and nikon brand lenses for my D40 and they don't have focus motors so I have to manually focus so it obviously is not just old lenses laying around that don't have the motor it is the new ones also. I am grateful that most nikon lenses are not capable of working with my D40 because it taught me how to do things manually. Do not buy a nikon if you are going to be stuck with one specific type of lense and not be able to advance. You can get a D90 that tons of people love and it focuses with any nikon lense even AF or DX and you can get them for a little over $700 now. I think it is body only. I have been looking for lenses and many times I find complaints about the lenses because people just bought a D5000 and can't use auto focus on their new camera. If you look at nikon lenses on amazon you see tons of these complaints. I am still using my D40 but I have upgraded my lenses and my next camera is a D90. I used a D5000 and I loved it but i would hate to be stuck with those DX lenses. I say get a canon or a D90. Sell some junk and buy the lenses for it. The 50mm is a good basic lense and is only $124 dollars. Here are some links to what I am talking about. D90 also does small videos. I also threw my DX lenses in the trash because the mount that holds it in the camera is plastic and they keep breaking and everytime I fix it I have to buy a $20 kit. Most any other AF lense is going to have a metal mount.
    https://fumfie.com/product/169.5/adwords

    [ame="http://www.amazon.com/Nikon-50mm-Nikkor-Digital-Cameras/dp/B00005LEN4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1280115304&sr=8-1"]Amazon.com: Nikon 50mm f/1.8D AF Nikkor Lens for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras: Electronics[/ame]
     
  9. yiplong

    yiplong TPF Noob!

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    I have done a little more looking around, here are some updating pricing:

    Nikon D3000 - $470, 2 lenses - $648
    Nikon D5000 - $756, 2 lenses - $810
    Canon T1i - $700, 2 lenses - $835

    so the D5000 costs about $150-200 more than the the D3000, and it is about the same price as Canon T1i.

    Between the T1i and D5000 which is better?
     
  10. Bryce

    Bryce TPF Noob!

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    Get the canon. I'm telling you from expierience you are going to screw yourself if you get a camera that is not versatile with its lenses.
     
  11. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Btw... because of crop factor a 15mm-55mm lens is going to have a different field of view on an Olympus than Nikon/Canon/Sony. The Olympus is equipped with a smaller 4/3rds sensor which is 2x crop as compared to Nikon/Canon/Sony which are "about" 1.5x crop.

    BHphoto has a slightly cheaper than listed kit for the Olympus E-620 with 14-42mm and 40-150mm lens.

    Olympus E-System E-620 SLR Digital Camera with 14-42mm 262162 -
     
  12. iAstonish

    iAstonish TPF Noob!

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    You can get a refurbished d5000 for less than $500. Have you thought about buying used? You can find some great deals on Craigslist from time to time.
     

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