Please help me choose my first DSLR

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by AKR, May 30, 2009.

  1. AKR

    AKR TPF Noob!

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    Hi, I've been an amateur photographer for about 12 years. I've basically stopped using physical-film cameras and have been using my girlfriend's point-n-shoot digital for a few years, which takes surprisingly good shots. However, it's still a point-n-shoot and I finally have some money to spend on a decent digital. I'm looking to spend up to around $700-800 for a body + something like a 200mm zoom lens, and I'm willing to buy a used camera from somewhere like Adorama.

    I shoot a lot of nature shots, focusing on macro-photography, but I'm planning on shoot quite a few portrait shots as well. Those will be my two main purposes for this camera, but I also shoot some scenery and action shots as well. I've been looking at something like the Pentax K2000 or the K200D. I already have a 35mm and a medium format camera from Pentax, but I don't know how great their DSLR's compare to others. I was also looking at the Nikon D60. There are others in the same price range, but I don't see any others with some sort of image stabilization ability.

    Anyways, thanks for reading.

    Reuben


    P.S. My gf is also looking at the Sony Alpha A200 for most macro/portraits as well, if it's a good camera for these needs. She already has some old Minolta lenses that will work with this body.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2009
  2. dan.rpo

    dan.rpo TPF Noob!

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    hey reuben...i posted the same topic a year ago when i chose my first dslr....your budget is bigger than mine to begin with, mine was about $500...however, i finally chose the Nikon D40....sure, its only 6MP, but if youre not making billboard sized prints, who cares? I can easily get gorgeous 20"x30" prints with the D40....eBay is a great place to start looking, my sister bought her D60 package on there and everything came brand new from the factory...some ebay packages will come with more than just the kit lens too, including 55-200mm...check Cameta Camera auctions on eBay...they are the most reputable photo store on long island and they are located 20 mins from me, they have great stuff and sometimes at real awesome prices. thats where i got my D40 from....if youd rather steer clear of eBay, check either ADORAMA or B&H Photo/Video....these are even more reputable than cameta and provide everything in photography at amazing prices. they do sell kits on their sites, so check those.....since your budget is almost double what mine was, the D90 may be a good choice for you (if you were to go Nikon). i dont know much else about other brands, as i've always dealt with Nikon for my film and digital needs for the past few years.
     
  3. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    It makes perfect sense for your gf to go with the Sony (previously Minolta) since she already has glass for it.

    The in-body stabilization in the Pentax cameras sure looks like a plus. Having been involved in photography for several years you have a big head start on figuring out some of the feature differences in DSLR's.

    You probably already know the D60 does not have an in-body auto focus motor so some of Nikon's lenses will leave you with manual focus only were you to decide to buy one of them.

    Nikon makes a good selection of lenses that have an auto focus motor in them so it's just something you need to be aware of.
     
  4. dxqcanada

    dxqcanada Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    What Pentax 35mm lenses do you already have ?
     
  5. Studio97

    Studio97 TPF Noob!

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    I have a NIKON and I love it...I have a d300, more than you want to spend but you can always upgrade later....just make sure you like what you get before investing in a lot of lenses....you can not interchange them.

    Good Luck
     
  6. gumball513

    gumball513 TPF Noob!

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    Honestly, im 16 and have had the canon rebel g2 (35 mil) and the canon rebel Xsi (Dslr) The Xsi was a loner so i had to buy my own dslr. Ive been a canon Fanboy for years, hated nikon. I went into ritz camera today they recommended a d60 and i walked out with the black gold edition and i love it. I would recommend a nikon. Absolutley 100%
     
  7. Sleepy_Sentry

    Sleepy_Sentry TPF Noob!

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    A lot of it depends on what lenses you already own, not necessarily the better brand. I have a Canon Rebel 2000 (also a 35mm) and just bought a Canon Rebel XSI ironically. I only had to buy the body because I had a lens, a savings of about $100. For someone who's 18 and going to college that makes a huge difference. I thought about going to Nikon, but would rather keep the lenses I have rather than buy new ones. Any pro will tell you the same.
     
  8. AKR

    AKR TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the replies, guys. I think I'm going to go for a Canon Rebel XS or XSI. I found some long reviews with good comparisons. The Nikon D60 doesn't have DOF preview, live view, and a 3 point AF system. The Pentax 2000 and 200D don't have live view and the image stabilization isn't as good as the Rebels. The Rebels also shoot continuously a little faster. I think my gf is gonna go with the same Camera. The lack of DOF preview on the Sony's is a deal breaker. I don't remember what I didn't like about the Minoltas, but they were lacking something.
     
  9. Sachphotography

    Sachphotography TPF Noob!

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    Just to throw my 2cents in the ring. I would say go with the Nikon D80. The D80 will allow a broader selection of lenses. I is compatible with all the older model lens except a couple of them. The focusing motor is in the camera itself. The d80 offers an 11 point focusing area.
    Nikon has brought out newer cameras but at your price range I would say the d80 or even the D200 would squeeze right in there. I would check out those two cameras.

    Daniel Sach
    Sachphotography Fine Art Photography The homepage of Daniel Sach and his photography Company
     
  10. nitrocole

    nitrocole TPF Noob!

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    i would recomend the sony alpha 300 or the alpha 350
     

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