Need some advice on first purchase

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by FunyunBreath, Oct 29, 2008.

  1. FunyunBreath

    FunyunBreath TPF Noob!

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    Hi everyone,
    I'm going to be getting into photography and I just wanted to get some good advice on what digital SLR and lenses to buy. I've looked at both the Nikon D60 and Canon XSI and I'm leaning more towards getting a the XSI because I like the fact that it has live view, a bigger LCD screen, and 12 mpx vs. 10 on the D60. The other big factor for getting a canon over a nikon is that my friend has a canon as well and we could borrow each other's lenses. I don't like the kit lense that comes with the XSi because it just feels cheap to me, so i'm thinking of getting the body only but I'm not sure what lense to get instead. Should I stick with canon or would something like Tamron suffice? Also what recommendations do you guys have as far as the types of lenses to get? Most of the photography I can see myself doing right now is landscape/nature, and low-light stuff.

    I'd really appreciate any advice or recommendations anyone can give!
     
  2. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    A couple of things IMO to think about.

    Unless you have gone to a camera shop and picked up both models and had a good play with them, taken sample pictures with them (suggest to use the 50mm on both for comparison), navigated around the menus and inquired about the important features, then your research is not complete. Both can produce excellent photos. Both can produce absolute crap.

    2MPX difference is insignificant, especially if shooting RAW.

    I have live view on my Nikon and find it insignificant for me.

    If you decide on Canon body only and borrowing your friends lenses, the 50mm lens is very good to begin with.

    After you are comfortable with your camera and have a better idea of your shooting style, then look for other lenses. There is plenty of information out there on lenses, you just have to search, find the good websites for reviews and be observant. Oh yeah... ask a few questions along the way. :biggrin:


    One more thing... no, two more things.

    Welcome to TPF. Check out the Welcome forum and introduce yourself to us.

    This is an expensive obsession. :lol:
     
  3. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Well there are very few lenses that belong in everyone's camera bag since we all have different interests and needs.
    One lens though that is very popular (and cheap) is the nifty fifty (both a canon and nikon variety) = that is a 50mm f1.8 prime lens (only one fixed focal length - no zoom). Its plasticy in make, but its sharp and has a fast apperture (good for low light stuff).

    After that what lens you add really depends on how much you are willling to spend - I can say that for a crop sensor like either the Nikon or Canon cameras you list the Sigma 10-20mm lens is a very popular lens for landscape shooting - sharp as the canon equivalent and half the price.

    After that your next interest - nature - which I take to mean wildlife possibly and insects - there the costs can mount up very quickly (I know its my area) but canon I think has the edge over nikon here. Firstly canon long primes are generally cheaper than the nikon equivalent - which is an important consideration - secondly if you have an interest in macro work canon are the only (far as I know) camera company who make a dedicated 5:1 macro lens (that is 5 times life size) whilst most others only go as far as 1:1 (life size). Though it is one of the hardest lenses to learn how to use its one to consider for the future.

    also definatly take Kundalini's advice about testing the cameras out!
     
  4. maulrat

    maulrat TPF Noob!

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    I would lean toward the XSi myself considering your situation. Having a friend to borrow lenses from makes it easier to decided on your next lens purchases. You can test lenses in a store all day long but nothing beats actually putting on your camera and taking it out for a test spin. Yes, you can rent lenses from camera stores but it gets expensive and they probably want a big cash deposits. You might want to get more info on this but I beleive the D60 has some autofocussing issues with certain lenses like the nifty-50. I could be wrong though.

    As for a first lens, I would try to get an all-around lens. Perhaps a Canon 28-135mm if you can spend the cash. I just bought a Sigma 18-200mm for my XTi. Still testing it out but I am very pleased so far.
     
  5. TUX424

    TUX424 TPF Noob!

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    Truly there is hardly any reason to spend more money on the D60 over the D40 because the D60/40x are both based off of the D40 and all three of these cameras are pretty much the same because megapixels dont matter. Because all that u are really getting with the D60 over the D40 is more mega pixels. All 3 of the camera have no AF (Auto Focus) motor but all of the new AF-S lens will work with them and since you are building a new system that shudent really matter. And if u must really have that AF motor get the D50 or D70 for the about the same price and the D50 has the same kit lens as the D40/60/40x and the D70 has the AF-S 18-70. BTW the D40/x/60 kit lens are AF-S there so no worries
    Hope this helped
     
  6. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    That's why I suggest to hand hold each. I was all set to buy into Canon digital... I already had a Canon film camera and lenses. Then I took time with the Nikon (D40 and D80) and they both fit my mitts better.


    That's a lot of words about models the OP never mentioned. Perhaps their research has taken them this far to make the short list stated.
     
  7. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If you are new to photography and do not know what lens to get, getting the kit lens is not a bad choice.

    The kit lens that shipped with the XSi is not that bad in Optical Quality. <Review here> and <here> It just looks and feel cheap. But it is quite sharp.

    As mentioned, the 50mm F/1.8 is a popular lens and it is one of the Best price per performance lens you can get from Canon. It looks cheap but it is sharp.

    And of course, if you are willing to spend more money, there are a lot of options out there. However, it depends on the type of photos you are interested in.
     
  8. FunyunBreath

    FunyunBreath TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the advice guys! My friend has an XTI with the 18-55mm kit lens and 100mm macro and I've been borrowing his setup to shoot with right now. I went to a camera shop today and checked out the D60, D90, XSI and 40D. I like the ergonomics of the D60 more than the XSI, and while the D90 and 40D felt really great in my hand I'd rather take the extra money they cost and put it into a couple good lenses. I'm definitely decided on at least a 50mm since they're cheap and fast for low light.
     

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