shopping for new camera...help needed

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by iamoph, Nov 7, 2009.

  1. iamoph

    iamoph TPF Noob!

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    I have the olympus sp550uz ... Archived Products &gt SP-550 UZ

    and i would really like to get something a little better. dont get me wrong, this camera takes great pics but i do a lot of cropping and its only 7mp so i am looking for 10mp and up. i have several questions:

    1: Canon or Nikon?

    2: i love the 18x optical zoom on my camera...how can i get even better with a digital SLR w/o spending thousands of dollars on lenses?

    3: is that what a telephoto...zoom lense does...lets you zoom far away like the optical zoom? I will only go as far as the optical zoom will let me as i hate the results from digital zoom.

    4: some of the cameras i am looking at only have 3x optical but come with 18-55mm Kit + 55-200mm VR Image Stabilization Zoom Lens....is that a good lens?

    5: will a nikon lens work on a canon dslr?

    6:here are some that im looking at...remember, im still new to this and dont want something high end..just a minor upgrade....

    A: Walmart.com: Save money. Live better.

    B: Walmart.com: Save money. Live better.

    or just the canon eos digital rebel Xs

    Ultimately, should i just hang on to my camera and maybe get some lenses for it?
     
  2. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    An entirely moot point when talking about consumer cameras. Get the camera that feels good for you, that you're most comfortable with menu and general layout wise. For me that was Canon; that and their lens line-up, from my position, was to die for. You may feel differently. It's only in the high-end bodies that are pushing the limits of camera design that you start to see meaningful differences between the two brands, and even then, it's often a fine line.

    In this case, the determining factor is quality. You can get cheap zooms in the telephoto range, but quality will not be stellar. Really lenses in the telephoto range are definitely upwards of a thousand dollars (unless you find some sort of hilariously good deal, or use older lenses¬ódrawbacks there are manual exposure, manual focus, manual aperture, etc.).

    Do yourself a favour and drop the "18x" nonsense. It's a marketing gimmick, calculated in varying ways between cameras.


    On a 35mm camera, the telephoto range starts around 70mm. I honestly don't know the "exact" number for that range, nor do I care. It's in that ballpark and up that lenses start being labelled telephoto. A zoom lens isn't like optical zoom, it is optical. All lenses on SLRs are optical devices, unless you count night-vision converters which have funky black magic inside them. :lol:

    Which lenses exactly are you talking about? There is no "3x optical zoom" in the SLR world. Zoom ranges are measured by the focal length of the lens, and how that translates into what you can actually see is different depending on sensor size. Simply, smaller sensors give smaller field-of-view, which makes things appear closer.

    No. Well, not without funky adaptors. Are there adaptors out there for current Nikon lenses to Canon bodies? I have no idea. o_O Such things aren't really worth thinking about right off the bat though when you're just starting with SLRs. Stick to one, Nikon or Canon, and be happy. Both have rather equivalent lens line-ups in terms of consumer products.

    If you have a point and shoot, how are you going to get a lens designed for any SLR to work on it? o_O And your links are broken.
     
  3. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Well, an entry level Canon or Nikon d-slr and would be pretty sweet upgrades over a point and shoot. The two Walmart links you provided are not functional now.

    Contrary to the post immediately above, there "are" 3x optical zooms, like the Sigma 100-300 f/4 EX HSM and the Canon 100-300. Nikon used to make a nice 100-300mm f/5.6, and I happen to own one. Nikon's 18-200mm VR lens is commonly referred to as an 11x zoom lens. Sigma's 18-250mm zoom is a 13.9x zoom lens. Many years ago, before musicaleCA picked up the photograph bug, the idea was that a good zoom lens would be a "2x zoom lens", and tens of thousands of shooters used to think about buying a "two ex" zoom, like the Nikon 35-70mm f/2.8 because in the 1990's a "two ex zoom", as people called them, was considered the sweet spot of quality. And indeed, there were some truly fine 2x zooms, like the 35-70mm f/2.8 AF-D, and the 75-150 Nikon Series E,and the excellent Olympus 70-150.

    In the 1970s and throughout the entire decade of the 1980's the "3x" (pronouced three ex by most people) 70-210mm zoom lens was THE sought-after lens among Nikon,Canon,Minolta,and Pentax users, and zillions of 3x 70-210 lenses were sold by all sorts of companies like Vivitar, Kiron, Soligor,Tamron, Nikon,Canon,Minolta, etc.

    Years ago, in 1991 IMMSMC, Tamron began popularizing what people all over the USA called a "seven ex" zoom-- the 28-200mm, which Tamron refined and refined over a decade, and which was "the" amateur dream lens of the mid-1990's and into the early 2000's.

    As digital came in, the "five ex" or 80-400 lens became a reality, with Nikon and Sigma,and also Tokina, offering pretty good quality 5x optical zooms. The Nikon and Sigma 5x zooms offer image stabilizer features,which is pretty handy. Nikon had made the 50-300mm f/4.5 or 6x zoom for two decades, but it was a huge, professional-caliber lens and very costly; the new 80-400 lenses were variable aperture, smaller,lighter, and less costly. Canon's excellent 100-400-L slide-zoom is considered a good "4x" zoom,well worthy of a look, since it is a cornerstone of their pro-sumer/pro lens line.

    Currently, an 18mm-270mm superzoom is the "15 ex" optical zoom many amateurs want to have.

    Today, there are soooo many zoom lenses to choose from that the choices can be baffling. Currently the 18-55mm or "3x optical" is the most common beginner's kit lens sold with low-cost d-slr bodies of almost all brands. But with the larger sensor and increased image quality delivered by a d-slr, the "3x" ratio 18-55mm lens can have its images cropped quite a bit more than a P&S image, so the limitation of a 3x zoom is not nearly as great with a d-slr than it would be with a point and shoot type digital.
     
  4. PatrickHMS

    PatrickHMS TPF Noob!

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    What Derrel said +2

    Derrell, you must be an old fart (like me!) to know what the "ex" really means as a multiplier.
     
  5. Rifleman1776

    Rifleman1776 TPF Noob!

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    You are not giving enough credit to the capabilities of your present camera. It will do 95% of what DLSRs costing thousands more will do. But, I understand, we all suffer from the 'bigger is better' syndrome. If you have the money to spend, check out the Nikons and their great and very expensive lenses. Or, just upgrade what you have to an Olympus SP 590UZ for only a few hundred dollars.
     
  6. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    Well I'll be a monkey's uncle. Whoopsee. Darn old farts.

    I still think it's a marketing gimmick now though. Focal lengths seem way more useful. o_O (The darn multipliers make sense, in their own way, but...bleck. AFAIK the larger the difference between the wide and long ends of a lens, the more and more difficult it is to provide good performance across the range. Sharpness probably being the most obvious thing that gets lost with a zoom that goes from say, 18-200mm.)
     
  7. iamoph

    iamoph TPF Noob!

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    Thank you all so very much! you were all very helpful. sorry the links didnt work. Hopefully they will now...
    Walmart.com: Canon EOS Digital Rebel XSI Black 12MP Digital SLR w/ 18-55-IS Lens Kit + 55-250mm IS Telephoto Zoom Lens Bundle Offer: Digital Cameras
    Walmart.com: Nikon D3000 Black 10.2MP Digital SLR Camera with Nikkor 18-55mm Kit + 55-200mm VR Image Stabilization Zoom Lens Bundle Offer: Digital Cameras
    Walmart.com: Canon Digital Rebel Xs Black 10.1MP Digital SLR w/ 18-55-IS lens & Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III Telephoto Zoom Lens: Digital Cameras

    Im still not sure what i will do. if you have the time please let me know what you think of the products above. I agree that i do have the bigger is better syndrome but my thing is that i crop a lot of photos and more MP would be great for me so i thought while i was at it i would just try a complete upgrade.
     
  8. benhasajeep

    benhasajeep TPF Noob!

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    First off your current camera lens is the same as a 28mm to 500mm on a standard 35mm camera (think 35mm film here, or digital with a full sized sensor).

    Now all the less expensive DSLR cameras have whats called a crop sensor. That means the sensor is smaller than a 35mm film frame. Because of this they have whats called a crop factor. Canon is 1.6 and Nikon is 1.5. That means what ever lens your looking at for a Nikon or Canon you multiply it by the crop factor.

    So in the case of the Nikon the 18-55 lens gives you the same view as a 27-82mm roughly (your current camera lens only goes down to 28mm, so its just a hair wider. Now the 55-200 lens would be the same as a 82-300mm, that would be a bit shorter in zoom than your current lens (500mm).

    Now the Canon 75-300 will get you closer. It would be 120-480mm. Lot closer to what you have now. But, its a fairly low quality lens. I have one and it takes decent pictures. But its a bit soft, and slow, and its just a basic lens. Nothing to write home about. If you go with the canon kit with the 18-55 and 75-300, you will be very close to your current lens range (29-480) With 20mm inbetween the 2 lenses missing. The 2 lenses are fairly inexpensive so if you find they are not quite good enough for you. Replacing them is not really wasting that much money. The Canon 18-55 is not that bad of a lens. But the 75-300 III is on the cheap side. But would be useable to start with.

    There are other advantages to going with a DSLR over a compact camera. The sensor's are larger and should get better picture quality. They are faster, very little shutter lag. Have more / easier controls if you want to venture out of Auto mode. But they are more expensive and bulkier to carry.

    You can't go wrong with Canon or Nikon. And don't forget Pentax. They have some of the best deals in entry level DSLR's and lenses going. Since they are trying to catch up with Nikon and Canon they have a couple extra features in their bodys that the others dont have. You may find a Pentax more to your liking in price and features. Just department stores dont carry them.

    I will add just one thing. It's better to start out with good glass and a cheaper body. Glass will last you years, while in the same time you will most likely upgrade bodies. But good glass costs big money. So, if you can't afford the good glass then set a plan for what you want to do. If your really on a tight budget and just have to have a DSLR. Sigma, Tamron, and Tokina all sell lenses a little less than the big manufacturers. Their cheap lenses are about the same quality as the cheap big name lenses and you can save a little bit. But if you can, try and get some good lenses right from the start. Most any lens made today is "useable". The better ones allow higher quality more critical work possible. And normally they are quite a bit faster so they allow easier use in difficult conditions. But it's not an absolute necessity to have thousand dollar lenses. Just if your going to be serious about photography in the near future. It saves money over the long run to buy the best first.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2009
  9. DennyCrane

    DennyCrane No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I would also humbly suggest you disregard any post that falls into the Canon's better than Nikon or Nikon's better than Canon category. You'll find nothing helpful there.
     
  10. Rifleman1776

    Rifleman1776 TPF Noob!

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    That used to be generally accepted philosophy. But, improvements in technology and lens design has almost eliminated that argument. Some mid-range cameras will produce results indistinguisable from those made by the most expensive equipment. Not always, but the gap is narrowing dramaticaly.
     
  11. Rifleman1776

    Rifleman1776 TPF Noob!

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    Is that a forum rule? Or your opinion?
    Opinions are what make a discussion forum like this valuable reading. Saying, 'My experience is that Brand A is better than Brand B.' can be helpful in a members decision making process.
     
  12. DennyCrane

    DennyCrane No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Since I'm not a mod or admin, it's clear that's simply my opinion. People so blinded by their love of one brand, they feel they need to trash another have little to offer. They don't move a discussion forward. Nikon and Canon both make great products and only a fool says one is great and the other is trash.
     

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