Looking at my first DSLR, bunch of stuff inside

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by guywithcamera, Mar 21, 2008.

  1. guywithcamera

    guywithcamera TPF Noob!

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    OK so my "photography" goes for a little while, I really started to like it when I went to London using my trusty old point and shoot, which is now a paperweight.

    Soon after my mom got a camera for free from work as a 5 year of employment gift dealie. It was a Fujifilm Finepix S5200, it is still my camera of choice mainly beacause I dont have another one to use. The camera isnt bad it has a lot of features but it has no SLR capability, and the controls are pretty annoying to use outside of the full auto mode (which im sure any real photographer will agree is rubbish in 99.9% of cases)

    I went to the local mall with my dad today and saw a camera shop so I decided to stop by and take a look at what they have as far as moving up in my hobby. I held and played with a few cameras (Canon 400D, Nikon D80, Nikon D200) and out of them I really liked the 400D for its price and features. The guy behind the counter told me that there are a wealth of lenses available for Canon cameras and that there are certain perks with the brand as well (lenses interchange from SLR to DSLR cameras, Canon hasnt changed their lens type since 1985, and that there are over 200 lenses total for the Canon SLR/DSLR family from the Canon/Aftermarket side).

    My questions are as follows.

    1. Is a 400D a good camera for a beginner?
    2. Will I have to sell it and get a new one shortly after because of the features/lack thereof?
    3. Is it a good value for the money?
    4. What are other alternatives in the same price range?

    Also, I found some XTi packages on eBay. In the store, the 400D with a Canon 18-55mm lens for 699.99. On eBay, I found a similar package for a total of 570 shipped, and it comes with a Tamron 28-80mm lens, a CF card, cleaning kit, and some other stuff. My questions are as follows for this set.

    1. Is buying on eBay a good idea when it comes to something like this?
    2. Do these seem like reasonable prices?
    3. Is Tamron a good company?
    4. What is a better starter lens for "all purpose" shooting, the 18-55 or 28-80?

    I will also get a MACRO attachment and a set of filters for the lens I start with, and more if needed for later/larger lenses, I hear the filters are a great tool when shooting in certain conditions.

    A side question. I have noticed this "f/3.5-5.6" on lenses. The guy in the store explained it to me but it slipped my mind..what does it mean?

    Anything else I should know perhaps, please post up. Here are a few of my pictures with each camera, and yes, I used editing to get them where I want, I would like to get a better picture from the start rather than edit the life out of it, and I need to get a bit more creative.

    Kodak Point-and-Shoot

    1. [​IMG]


    Fuji Finepix S5200

    1. [​IMG]

    2. [​IMG]

    3. [​IMG]


    Any advice/info apreciated, thanks!!!

    --Alex
     
  2. guywithcamera

    guywithcamera TPF Noob!

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    Here is one I took today...not really good or interesting I was just playing with the ISO and focus settings..then tweaked shadows/highlight in PP

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Mav

    Mav TPF Noob!

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    Click the DSLRs and Lenses 101 link in my sig and that'll explain the lens stuff. The XTI is a decent camera although I'm pretty sure you can do better on the price. You can get a Nikon D40 with an 18-55 lens for like $500 even on B&H or Adorama and I thought the XTI kits were about similar in price. The Tamron 28-80 is a film lens that won't go very wide on a 1.6x DSLR (see crop factor in my sig, hehe). I think you'd be better off with the 18-55 lenses, which give more appropriate angles of view for a mid-range zoom lens on 1.6x DSLRs. For macro stuff, you'd probably be better off getting a dedicated macro lens rather than messing around with filters. used 50-60 macro lenses that do full 1:1 macro are cheap, around $100 or less. Although the basic 18-55 kit lenses get far closer than a lot of people think too. They'll do about 1:3.2 macro which is pretty darned close. Enough to get your feet wet.

    BTW, nice 4th gen ya got there. :mrgreen: Are you on maxima.org? I used to have one of those awhile ago, black 99 SE 5spd fully loaded but never modified it. Great car! :)
     
  4. guywithcamera

    guywithcamera TPF Noob!

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    Maxima belongs to a friend, there was actually a picture from that "shoot" that I did that is in the 2008 Maxima.org callendar, and when a bunch of local Philly Maxima people started their own little club, and saw the pictures, they said they want me to do a shoot for them as well so I am fairly happy with that, at least someone likes my work.

    As far as the D40, I hear its very limited as far as lens selection goes, thats kinda a downfall for me.

    No idea on all of the numbers and things lol still need to get aquainted with it, I will check out the links.
     
  5. Mav

    Mav TPF Noob!

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    The D40 can use far more lenses than the Canon will since Nikon hasn't changed their lens mount since 1959, lol. But yeah, you need Nikon AF-S lenses to autofocus which are less numerous and don't currently cover all ranges that their older stuff does. If you want to play around with a bunch of lenses the D40 probably isn't the best choice. In that case a used D50 would be the next best bet in the Nikon lineup.
     
  6. guywithcamera

    guywithcamera TPF Noob!

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    But what are the advantages of a D50 to an XTi...I personally played around with both and liked the XTi more, dont know why it just felt nicer to hold and felt easier to use. The guy at the shop said that Nikon vs. Canon is basically a photographic civil war, noone wins. Its like buying a Chevy or Ford...owners of either brand will swear by them and try to get people to agree with them instead of the opposition, and Im trying to get unbiased advice here.
     
  7. JimmyO

    JimmyO TPF Noob!

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    Thats very true. And the best way to decide which on is best for you is to take them for a "test drive". Dont let the specs choose what camera you get. Aslong as your getting a DSLR you will get amazing shots. I own a d40x and although i feel a tad limited with lens selection, i know i can still pretty much get a lens for most applications pretty easisly. I wouldnt let that keep you from getting a d40.

    I have used the Xti also. Great camera, takes shots identical to my d40x. The layout is different and i find it less intuitive then my camera, but everyone has opinions.

    Decide which camera you like best, and which on you feel will fit your budget and go for it. You will pretty much be happy with any camera you have talked about.
     
  8. Mav

    Mav TPF Noob!

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    Definitely get the Canon then. Some people prefer the ergonomics, feel, and operation of Nikon, and others like Canon better. You'll never be able to get the best results with a camera you're not physically comfortable using.

    The unbiased truth is that that's more or less a correct statement, although just like Chevy and Ford, Nikon will have some advantages in some areas while Canon will have advantages in the other. Canon still has a nice edge for sports and action photography. Their consumer level lenses focus quicker than Nikon consumer level stuff, they have a better selection of telephoto lenses, and their super telephotos (300mm f/2.8 and up) are almost always cheaper than the Nikon equivalents, sometimes by thousands of dollars. Nikons are arguably better for photojournalist type work since they have more automated adjustments in the body that'll handle dynamic situations a lot better than Canons will. Nikon also generally has better wide angle lenses. Lots of ultra-wide Canon guys use a full-frame 5D, but then get adapters to use Nikon ultra-wide lenses. OTOH, some Nikon guys who need super telephotos will commonly go out and buy the Canon lens. In some cases it's so much cheaper that they could buy the Canon lens and a nice XTI or 30/40D to shoot it with, and still come out ahead money wise if they had just bought the Nikon lens. You can get great results doing whatever you want with either system though, so it really doesn't matter.

    And don't forget Sony, Pentax, and Olympus too. :mrgreen:
     
  9. guywithcamera

    guywithcamera TPF Noob!

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    Sony I hear is still kinda limited with lens selection, that they only use Sony and Minolta lenses. Also I hear Canon support is better since they make all of the parts in their cameras, whereas Nikon sensors and things are often made by other companies.
     
  10. Mav

    Mav TPF Noob!

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    Sony/Minolta has a full lineup of lenses. There really isn't a whole lot missing, and there's tons of older lenses you can use too. You're only hosed if you want a professional level body which they don't make, or a professional level lens (like a 300mm f/2.8) which is so expensive that there's really no point in buying it and you ought to just switch to Nikon or Canon instead. $5k vs $3k or less.

    I'm not sure what you mean by "support"... It's true that Nikon uses Sony sensors, although some of their new stuff is their own design, and I don't think it's known exactly where it's fabbed. "TOP SECRET" I guess, LOL. It's really not a big deal if you have somebody fab your own sensor design. Fabs are ridiculously expensive and it's pretty common in the industry to outsource for fabbing. For all anybody knows Canon might be making the D3 sensor for Nikon, heh. :)
     
  11. guywithcamera

    guywithcamera TPF Noob!

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  12. Mav

    Mav TPF Noob!

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    beware of scam sites:

    http://www.resellerratings.com/store/Best_Price_Cameras_6
    http://www.resellerratings.com/store/Sonic_Cameras

    If you want good deals, click the links to B&H or Adorama at the top of the page. Those are both very well known and legit stores in the photography world and not rip off places. Amazon either direct or through good third-party resellers (like J&R or 19th street photo) are usually good sources too. Local pro camera stores are definitely worth checking out too if you live near a larger city.
     

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