Question (noob-style) re: camera purchase

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by guitarmy, Nov 3, 2006.

  1. guitarmy

    guitarmy TPF Noob!

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    Hey TPFers.

    I'm a noob, though I've been lurking this forum for the past while and reading up on everything you guys have to offer. Anyway, I'm looking (like everyone else, it seems) to get into the DSLR market.

    Also like everyone else, I'm broke. So that limits what I'm looking at, but here are my options:
    1. Nikon D50, kit lens, 1 GB card - $800 or so (Canadian dollars)
    2. Nikon D70s, kit lens, 1 GB card - $1000 or so
    3. Canon Digital Rebel XTi, kit lens - $1100 or so
    I'd love a D80, but out of my range. Anyway, the lady I was talking to at the camera shop was saying my best bet would be the D70s as opposed to the XTi (stating that the lens that comes with that particular XTi package is 'crap' and there's no card). She was pretty stoked on the lens that comes with the D70s package.

    This is a total noob question and I'm somewhat embarassed to ask it, but the huge difference between the megapixels on the D70s and the XTi have me somewhat concerned (6.1mp vs 10mp). Now, I realize that this only really comes into play if you're planning on blowing up big prints - however, when I buy whatever camera I buy, I don't want to limit myself too much if I can avoid it.

    So there's a few pros and cons for each of the above-mentioned cameras (D50 is cheaper, D70s has a better kit lens apparently and a card, XTi has higher mp and a huge LCD screen), but I'm not sure what kind of weighting I should put on each pro and/or con. I'm just starting to get serious about photography, so I don't know exactly what I want to shoot (but want to start out shooting everything). I also handled each camera and don't really prefer one or the other, so that's not a huge deal...the Nikon felt a little more durable than the Canon, that's about it.

    So without starting a Nikon vs. Canon debate... what do you guys think? What would be my best package deal for the long run (ie. I don't want to regret my decision in a year or two)?

    Thanks all!
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Welcome to the forum...always nice to see another Edmontonian.

    So many people call the Canon kit lens crap...I have it, and I don't think it's all that bad. The worst part is that it's really light...so it 'feels' like it's cheap...which leads a lot of people to call it crap. It's not a great lens...but it's darn good for the $100 it costs (in a kit with camera). The Nikon kit lens does seem to be better than the Canon kit though.

    Between those three cameras...I like the XTi the most. It is mostly true that more mega pixels doesn't mean a better image...but more does help with printing...and it gives you more cropping freedom. The jump from 6MP to 10MP is significant...so there is one argument for the XTi. The XTi also has a self cleaning sensor...which is a cool feature. Also the bigger screen is nice. This is the newest of the bunch, so it's got the latest technology.

    Have you considered trying to find an outdated model and get a deal on it? There might be some Rebel XT cameras still on store shelves.

    If the Nikon kits come with a 1GB card...that's a nice perk.

    Are you planning to buy locally? I'm not sure what kind of deals there might be at places like Best Buy or Future Shop...but it's worth looking around. McBain Camera has the best stock but the prices are high...however, they have a price match policy...so if you find it at another store for a great price...McBain should match the price. (Check 'The Camera Store' in Calgary for better prices).
     
  3. guitarmy

    guitarmy TPF Noob!

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    Thanks Mike.

    Yeah, I went to McBain and that's where I got these numbers from. That price match feature is definitely interesting. Hmm. I will be buying locally I imagine, unless something amazing comes up elsewhere.

    The way I figure it, buy the time I can detect the difference in lens qualities, I should have enough money to buy a new lens - thus kind of negating the kits lens argument, no?

    That's a good idea, to look for outdated models. The D70s will likely be discontinued with the D80 now out, right?
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I think the D80 is an upgrade to the D70s...but the D70s are still avaliable. Mcbain also has the the Rebel XT listed on their site...so they look to be avaliable as well.

    Some people say to always get the best you can afford...so a few hundred more for a better camera now...might be well worth the investment over the next several years. On the other hand...if you save a few hundred...that could go toward accessories like cards, tripod, flash....or a nice lens.

    McBain also has an industry/student discount...I'm not sure how much. I'm not sure if they require proof or not...but it may be worth it to try and get a student discount. Tell then you are taking a photo course at Metro. Or better yet...actually take a course at Metro.
     
  5. guitarmy

    guitarmy TPF Noob!

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    Yeah, the problem is I really shouldn't be buying a camera anyways... good ol' Mastercard.

    I will definitely be taking course(s) at Metro in the future. That student discount is an interesting idea. I do have a U of A ID that doesn't expire til 2008. I should try that route. Apparently the deal with the D70s is a Christmas deal that is happening in about 2 weeks or so.

    The thing is, if I buy top-end of my price range on just a camera/lens/card, I'm kinda hooped for accessories cuz I'll be flat broke. Unless I can score some for Christmas. But with that logic, I should really be buying a D50 and spending the rest on accessories. However, I have a feeling the D50 is something I'd probably want to upgrade in a year's time or so, and I'd like to avoid that if possible.

    Ah! There's a good argument for all points! Maybe that means it's a no-lose situation.
     
  6. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Making these decisions isn't easy...especially when money is tight....but just to confuse things a little more...I'll throw this at you...

    The Camera Store is currently having a limited time offer. The Rebel XTi comes with a 1GB card and an extra generic battery. Check it out here. McBain might match that too.

    To confuse things just a bit more...Canon is currently holding it's annual rebate program. There is a list of certain Canon gear (sadly not the XTi)...that will get you a cash rebate...but if you buy two items...the rebate on both items is doubled. Check out the list here
     
  7. SpeedTrap

    SpeedTrap TPF Noob!

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    As well as what mike said, go to Mcbains and hold the cameras, some people like the feel of the D70s over the D50 or XTi. I did.
    I have created 8x12 and 12x16 prints off my D70s with no problems. Just try them and deside for yourself what feels right in your hands. And the Lenses kit with the D70s is worth it, 18-70 zoom is a good range for a first lense and it has a metal mount, not plastic.

    Just my 2 cents
     
  8. geoffe

    geoffe TPF Noob!

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