Suggestions for my first DSLR setup please

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by dakkon76, Mar 3, 2009.

  1. dakkon76

    dakkon76 TPF Noob!

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    Alright, so I've finally decided to make the investment and jump into a fairly decent rig so I can have some fun on my hiking trips this spring/summer. My budget right now is about $1000, but later on if I end up falling in love, I won't mind spending more on some good equipment.

    My Interests:
    1. Outdoors - landscapes, architecture, and I LOVE outdoor macro shots!
    2. HDR!! - I absolutely LOVE HDR pics and I'm a big computer nut, so I am eager to start playing around with this (have photoshop, and willing to buy photomatix).

    Camera:
    I'm leaning toward the Canon XSi vs the Pentax K2000. Looking at DPReview, it looks like the Canon is getting better image quality than the Pentax and they cost about the same.

    Lens:
    This is the part i'm not sure about. I'm guessing I would have good success with the Canon 50mm that's $85 on amazon that everyone seems to love, but not sure what other lens I might need for landscape shots. I don't mind spending a couple hundred on a good lens that'll fit my interest.

    Also, wondering if I should go with the kit, or just the body. The price difference is about $150 I think. Cheapest I could find the body (new) is $549 on walmart's website (I know, I hate walmart too!).

    So I'm not sure if I should get the body and a good lens (or 2?) or get the kit and the 50mm.

    I've got access to a tripod and monopod already that will get me started.

    Thanks for any advice!
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2009
  2. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I would say go with the canon - if you love macro work (and by outdoor I will take it that you like bugs) then canon are the best to go with in the long term - the canon MPE 65mm is the only lens in production (that I know of) which goes from 1:1 macro to 5:1 macro (5 times life size). Its NOT a lens I recomend you rush out and get as its one of the hardest lenses to learn to use- but its certainly a macro shooters dream!

    As for lenses I would start out with the kit lens it will do you well to learn from and its a decent focal length for many uses and will do decent close up work (not full macro, but close enough for say a flower head opened).
    the 50mm f1.8 is also a well recomended lens - cheap and yet with good quality optics.

    As for landscapes the sigma 10-20mm is a highly recomended lens for a crop sensor body like a canon XSi - though do be aware sigma have recently announced an updated version of this lens - as yet a price and release date are not confirmed but its something to bare in mind before rushing to the shops
     
  3. dakkon76

    dakkon76 TPF Noob!

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    Wow, I looked at some pics taken with the MPE 65mm and that's exactly what I want to be able to do eventually... pretty impressive stuff :) I definitely won't be buying that lens just yet, especially with the price tag ;)

    I've got a UV filter in my shopping cart as well. Should I get a hood too, or is that not something I really need? (and can the 58mm UV filter be used with the hood? I didn't see how the two mated...)
     
  4. Katier

    Katier TPF Noob!

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    Well comparing the K-m/K2000 and 450D is a wrong comparison. the 450D is £200 MORE than the K2000 and about £100 more than the K200D.

    If you want to compare Pentax with Canon then the K200D is the correct Comparison.

    For outdoor shots they are probably comparable, I prefer pentaxes and the shear superb build quality of the K200D would be beneficial for outdoors work. The Sensor on the K200D is excellent and probably better than the Canon's. The Pentax also has a top panel LCD which frankly I'd be lost without, I use it ALL the time.

    Pentax also have probably the best range of prime lenses which is handy for good selections for mixing macro with wide angle etc.

    Overall out of the K200D and 450D I'd go for the K200D. Comparing the 450D with the K2000/k-m isn't a fair comparison, the Canon EOS 1000D (Rebel XS.. NOT XSi) is more the k-m level.

    According to dpreview ( if you actually meant XS vs 2000 )

    "Trying to assess the underlying image quality, once you've removed the influence of the in-camera processing, the K2000 does a better job against the 1000D. The image isn't quite so sharp but they are similarly detailed, with a slight edge going to the Pentax. "

    In RAW mode it's either a match for, or better than, the competition in RAW mode and as RAW is where it matters...

    note :- the pentax JPEG engine is not as good as Canon and Nikon but RAW is the important bit for best images so not an issue.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2009
  5. dustinpedley

    dustinpedley TPF Noob!

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    I bought the XSI a few months ago,
    I knew almost nothing about cameras when i bought it. Im still trying to figure out the menus and settings. The lens isnt the greatest but its serviceable and its just a lil to small for my big paws.

    other than that its a great camera
     
  6. dakkon76

    dakkon76 TPF Noob!

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    I just did a side-by-side with the XSi and the K200D. The only thing that concerns me about the K200D is the continuous rate, since I want to be able to do HDR in the future. It looks like it's only 1.1 FPS in RAW format, vs 3.5 FPS with the XSi. Is this an issue?

    Secondly, my dream camera right now is a 5D which I can't justify dropping the cash on. This is partially why I'm leaning toward Canon to start with, so that my lenses will work once I upgrade. Is getting an adapter a big deal or not really?
     
  7. Katier

    Katier TPF Noob!

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    For HDR you don't need continuus shooting. You take a shot, adjust the exposure, take a shot. In fact the LAST thing you need is continuus.
     
  8. dakkon76

    dakkon76 TPF Noob!

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    Oh, I was under the impression that you can take a regular, over, and under exposed shot with a single click? I forget what the name of the setting is, but isn't it a type of bracketted shot?
     
  9. Katier

    Katier TPF Noob!

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    yes it is a bracketed shot BUT you can't do it in 'motor drive' mode. You shoot, alter exposure, shoot again. All on a tripod.

    'Motor drive' is used where your following action and are trying to capture that image and need to get several shots of the action in a short space of time to try to get that one good shot.

    For that Pentax's are generally sluggish ( although the K20D does have a crazy 20fps burst mode ) but for what you want to do it's a complete non-issue.

    As for the future, if you really think you'll be going for the 5D then yes the canon might be a better choice although will you really need 21mp/full frame? You'd probably be better off investing in respectible glass unless your doing major proffesional work that's getting blown up to large sizes and running superb multi 1000 dollar glass.
     
  10. uplander

    uplander TPF Noob!

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    There is a low shutter count 40D in the buy /sell forum for $600.00 US.
    I would snap that baby up before buying an XSi. From the sounds of it, you will definately grow into the camera and more than likely grow out of an XSi.

    Lenses....I would look at Canons EF 100 macro, Prolly the Sigma 10-22 ( you said landscape didn't you?), The nifty 50, and something in the 24-200 range not sure what though.

    I know, I know, this goes over $1000.00 but what you described , even with the XSi you'll be over budget.

    I'd still grab the 40D and pick a decent walkabout lens to begin with.
     
  11. dakkon76

    dakkon76 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the advice all. I decided to go with the Rebel XSi kit for now and play with it before I decide on a lens. Not sure if I should get the $84 50mm or wait until I know what I'm doing and spend $400 on the 100mm... If I'm doing outdoor macro shots, the pics I was looking at that were taken with the 100mm looked quite a bit better.

    Uplander, I appreciate the heads up on the used 40D but I was kind of wary about buying something like that off of someone who sounded like they were as new as I was, I'm really picky about how I treat my equipment and i've been burned buying used stuff before so I decided to start off with new :)

    Thanks again everyone, I look forward to showing you some pics very soon! :)
     
  12. uplander

    uplander TPF Noob!

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    I bought the 580 EX from him and it was mint...arrived in a day and a 1/2 also.
     

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