Searching for a DSLR

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by CaboSailor, Jun 8, 2009.

  1. CaboSailor

    CaboSailor TPF Noob!

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    Greetings,

    I've got extensive experience in film photography, 35 mm through 4x5. I still own 2 Canon A-1's, a Canon F1N, and a Sea & Sea Motormarine IIEX. However, the time has come though to get a DSLR.

    I'm getting ready to go cruising for an undetermined length of time so the camera will be in a marine environment. While making every effort to keep it dry, it will be exposed to salt air. So I'm leaning towards a camera with pretty good sealing.

    Primary use will be record the sights during our travels but also to take reference photos to be used in drawing and painting. These photos will include landscape, travel scenes, wildlife, and nature shots. So the availability of good quality but reasonably priced telephoto and macro lenses would be a plus. I would also like to have no more shutter lag than I do with my 35 mm. I get tired of looking at prints of the ass end of the dolphin if you know what I mean.

    I'm thinking somewhere around the 10 mp range with a budget for the body and initial lens of around $1,500 plus or minus a couple hundred. To some extent this can be modified if needs must. On the other hand I don't see any advantage in spending way more than is needed for what I'll be doing.

    Needless to say I also include reliability and customer support fairly high on the list. I'd just as soon not have to send it in for repair from St. Lucie and pay customs both ways for the privilege.

    I have a couple that I'm looking at but I'll wait to see what comes up here from those with hands on experience. I hope that you folks can give me some input and if there is any other background info needed, just let me know.

    Thanks,
    Rich
     
  2. PhotoXopher

    PhotoXopher TPF Noob!

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    I'm sure there's a Cannon to fit the bill as well but I'm a Nikon guy so with those specs and price range I would highly recommend the Nikon D90 with 18-105 kit lens, runs about $1200 at Best Buy but could be had cheaper online I'm sure.
     
  3. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Based on this, I would recommend a used Nikon D200 or Canon 5D. The 5D with lens might be tight at that price point, but weather-sealing is important for your application, and the lesser bodies don't have it. If you could boost the budget a bit, I'd look for a used Nikon D2Hs.
     
  4. farmerj

    farmerj TPF Noob!

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    for a Nikon I would recommend the D300. Better sealed body over the D90.

    Pentax I understand has a much better camera for that type of an environment, but I am not sure which one.

    Looking at the website, the K20D and the K200D.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2009
  5. CaboSailor

    CaboSailor TPF Noob!

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    Thanks to all that responded. Right now I have it down between the Canon 40D and the Pentax K20D. Canon seems to get slightly better reviews in terms of speed but appears it might be more sensitive to the environmental issues. I guess I'm leaning towards the Pentax for my needs because it is weather sealed and somewhat less expensive. The difference in cost could be used in getting better glass.

    My local Walmart, of all places, has both in stock so my next step is to go pick em up and see what they are like physically.

    I've finally figured out why DSLR's are more difficult to choose over my old film SLR's. With film I had my choice of Kodak, Ilford, Agfa, and Fuji, with digital the "film" quality and characteristics are built in. Same goes for processing, in film I had choices that I could keep or discard, e.g., shoot Kodak Tri-X at 200 instead of 400 and cut the development time by a third. Now it seems that all this is built into the camera. I understand that some post-processing can be done via aftermarket software but basically I'm not buying a camera but a camera + "film" + "processing lab"!!

    Thanks again,
    Rich
     
  6. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    Mmm, Pentax does indeed have some nice weatherproofing on their cameras. A friend of mine has a Pentax 10MP P&S (10!? When did this happen to point-and shoots?) and the bloody thing is waterproof. You could shoot underwater with it. However, I'm of the opinion that if you're not going to be doing anything too silly with the camera (i.e. dropping it in a tub of water or pool), one should be fine with wrapping a plastic bag over it. Then again, sometimes being in Vancouver I do worry about the weatherproofing of my camera. >.<
     
  7. Sachphotography

    Sachphotography TPF Noob!

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    Hey, for your price range i would say go with the Nikon D200. IT is a good camera for the money. It does not use a plastic body and it has good sealing allowing for rougher conditions. The savings used to by the D200 will allow you to spend money on decent lenses. You can get a good D200 Body for around 500-60. You will save enough to get a filter or to as well as a nice carrying case. To many people forget to cost of everything a DSLR requires but $1500 will get a decent setup.

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

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