Need help in switch from prosumer to dslr

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by passionphotographer, Nov 4, 2007.

  1. passionphotographer

    passionphotographer TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2004
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi There,
    I hope my situation is very common these days where the technology of prosumer cameras are trying to compete with that of DSLRs.

    I am having Canon S2 IS since 2 years and have shot thousands of photos. Apart from its battery life, i was very much satisfied with it for my needs till I asked a question - What next?. I found some converters and filters in http://www.lensmateonline.com

    I am wondering should I invest upto $400 on converters and filters for my S2 IS? OR should I go for buying DSLRs like the Nikon D40 / D40X / D80 and enter the world of SLR photography? - what will I gain? - What will I miss? - Can I use DSLR everywhere where I used my S2 IS?

    I need your kind help to decide!!! - please help me!!

    yours sincerely,
    passion photographer
     
  2. Jestev

    Jestev TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 24, 2007
    Messages:
    143
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Dallas, TX, USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    First off, the Canon S2IS is not a prosumer camera (neither is the Nikon D40/x series). The Nikon D80, for example, is a prosumer camera.

    In my opinion, $400 on converters and filters for you S2 is a waste of money. I was in your situation about 1.5 years ago when I was beginning to feel extremely limited by my Canon S1IS. I ended up buying a Nikon D50.

    You should definitely get a DSLR if you feel that you are ready for it. If you are limited by the Canon S2IS (one of the most advanced P&S cameras around) then I'd say you are ready.

    You do need to realize, however, that DSLR photography is pretty expensive.

    The D40 and D40x are great cameras, but are fairly lacking because they do not have an autofocus motor built into the camera body. If you feel that this won't hinder you, then definitely go for it. The problem with the lack of a built-in AF servo is that you cannot use (with full functions) many cheap Nikon F-mount AF lenses. If you feel like this will hold you back, save up and by the prosumer Nikon D80.

    Either way, you won't be disappointed and you will find that digital photography with a DSLR is amazing. You will gain great flexibility with your images so long as you take the time to learn about photography so that you can utilize manual mode. What will you miss? Most likely nothing. The one thing I missed after getting my Nikon D50 was the size of the S1, but the S1/S2/S3/S5 cameras really aren't that small. The extra size/weight of a DSLR is certainly worth it.
     
  3. passionphotographer

    passionphotographer TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2004
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thank you jestev!, you are correct, it would be better for me to enter the world of DSLRs. I am trying to start with an affordable DSLR like Nikon D40/D40X (D80 seems slightly above my budget). However, i did not understand "not able to use F-mount AF lenses" feature in D40/D40x. I saw two lenses of Nikon 70-300 zoom lens - one with VR (new one and expensive) and one without VR (costs about $140-$200). Do you mean to say that i will not be able to use these lenses in D40/D40x? or is it that i would not be able to use the autofocus feature but would still be able to use the manual mode to manually focus?.

    Sorry if i sounded stupid. May be you can also help me in differentiating the lenses 70-300 with and without VR and suggest pros and cons?

    Thanks
    yours sincerely,
    passion photographer
     
  4. Joxby

    Joxby TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2007
    Messages:
    272
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Yorkshire
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    You can only use AF-S lenses on a D40, VR is vibration reduction and doesn't effect whether it AF's on a D40, I dont think, unless all VR's are AF-S...dunno.
    Anyway, that aside...
    Auto focus is achieved by an electrical connection between the camera body and the lens, the motor that operates the AF is in the lens (AF-S)
    Older and hugely numerous f mount lenses, require a mechanical connection with the camera body, via a small cam, the motor that drives AF is in the body, the D40 doesn't have this cam or motor for AF.
    From bodys D50 upwards all have this cam connection and therefore can use any AF lens ever made including AF-S.
    D40 is a starter body, but you can't take advantage of the enormous lens range, your stuck with AF-S lenses for auto focus, which has an ordinary range of choice.
    Which isn't neccesarily a bad thing, they are fast focusing but more expensive.
    The above might not be inch perfect, but at least you can see why AF is an issue on a D40 & D40X
     
  5. Jestev

    Jestev TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 24, 2007
    Messages:
    143
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Dallas, TX, USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I think I worded that part a little bit strange after editing it.

    I meant that non-AF-S Nikon F-mount lenses will not autofocus on the D40/x because of the reason Joxby stated: there is no autofocus motor in the D40/x so it cannot operate the screw drive built into AF lenses. So, if you want AF while using the D40/x you must buy AF-S lenses which have built-in motors to autofocus. All other operations (VR, metering, etc.) will not be altered.

    You can manual focus while being in the automatic modes, but you should learn to use the manual mode instead of the automatic ones--you'll get better images.

    The Nikkor 70-300VR is a far better lens than the 70-300G that is only $120 for many reasons. The main one is that it has VR but it also has AF-S and re-designed optics that generate far better images. That being said, it's still not amazing. It's pretty slow. The ~$450 version is certainly worth the price difference, and it will autofocus on the D40/x.
     
  6. seafoxfla

    seafoxfla TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2007
    Messages:
    345
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Sunny SoFlo (Miami)
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    You can also pick up a good used D70/D70s for less than $500.00. it's a very good camera and latter on if you upgrade to a better i.e. D200/D300 camera you can convert the D70 to shoot Infrared.
     
  7. passionphotographer

    passionphotographer TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2004
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    This sounds like a good idea rather than buy a beginner D40. I also found D80 - refurbished which is cheaper than new D80. But will the quality get affected as it is refurbished?

    What would I acheive in terms of image quality or improving my photography skills in SLR photography when using a used D70 compared to a brand new D40x. Is it only the price factor or is it the "use old lenses too" factor?

    Correct me if i am wrong.

    Thanks
    yours sincerely,

    passion photographer
     
  8. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2003
    Messages:
    9,713
    Likes Received:
    203
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    They are rather comparable. The D70 however is NOT crippled by the AF-S only lens "problem" and I do consider that a problem that the D40x is. Plus the D70 is quite a bit better in size (for me easier to hold), it has a more sturdy build etc. You should really go to a shop and hold each camera to make up your own opinions. Nothing we say can compare to you actually having a play with them before you buy.

    Refurbished cameras are fine. There's not a lot that can go wrong with camera bodies other than dust on the sensor which a refurbished hopefully does not have, or the actuation count on a shutter. Shutters don't last for ever so second hand cameras are more likely to seize, but they are relatively cheap to fix and once fixed you get your 50000 click life expectancy back
     
  9. fido dog

    fido dog TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2006
    Messages:
    143
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    The Nikons are nice. Also check out the Canon Digital Rebel. I was able to use it in many situations that rivaled higher priced cameras and got great results. It won't matter if you buy a Nikon body or Canon, Just make sure you get good glass. That's where you'll really see the difference.

    Goooooood Glaaaaaasssssssssss................;)
     
  10. passionphotographer

    passionphotographer TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2004
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    This is very helpful information not only for me, but also for anyone who would visit this forum with a similar problem. Thanks a lot gentlemen!

    Having said that, I see having the following options in DSLR world suggested,

    1) Nikon D40 or D40X - which I essentially starting thinking about buying
    2) Nikon D80
    3) Nikon D70 second hand
    4) Canon Rebel XT/XTi

    Can anyone suggest me one camera body and a decent lens combination to start with?, which would help me learn SLR photography, enhance my skills and provide me option to upgrade in lenses or body later (after accumulating some dollars!) once i feel i am confident in terms of manual mode and can explore more!

    Note : while hunting online for pricing, i found some camera+lens+extras kit with various options in sites like digicombos and ebay. But not sure if it is worth buying there and most of the kit containe mostly nonVR lens for nikon. How about Amazon and Adorama or any place suggestible where it is safe, and worthy and not too pricy?

    Thanks
    yours sincerely,

    passion photographer
     
  11. Brotage

    Brotage TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2007
    Messages:
    77
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I'm just going to repeat what other people told me when I made a thread like this.

    B&H is a reliable site, theres a banner at the corner of the site.

    Everyone that I've talked to told me to just buy the camera body and buy lenses seperately.

    I am going to buy a Canon Rebel XTi and still have decided on the lens, probably this one to save money.

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/12142-GREY/Canon_2514A002_Normal_EF_50mm_f_1_8.html

    It's only 70$ and people like it, especially for the money. the only gripe it it's made out of plastic.
     
  12. fido dog

    fido dog TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2006
    Messages:
    143
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Glass is not plastic........period!
    Period is not plastic......GLASS!
    Glass is not period........Plastic!

    Aww HECK!!

    Someone jump in......:mrgreen:
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page

is nikon d40 a dslr or prosumer camera