taking the next step: purchasing a DSLR... decisions, decisions..

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by ir0n_ma1den, Feb 22, 2008.

  1. ir0n_ma1den

    ir0n_ma1den TPF Noob!

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    Hi everybody,

    Well since I am new here, I'll tell a little bit about my photography experience. I am currently enrolled in a photography course through my school where we strictly do black and white, developing our own film and printing in a dark room. I have been using a Minolta Maxxum 7000i with a Sigma 28-70mm and a Sigma 70-210mm for the past year with some decent results. I really like photography and will definetly be taking the next level photo course. The thing is that the next level course is a DSLR course.

    My digital camera experience is with a Sony DSC-S500 and I will take my Minolta over the Sony any day.

    So, I have been doing alot of research about DSLR's in general and have come up with a few cameras that will fit my wants and needs.

    I want a camera that has a wide range of ISO, HDR capability, low noise, at least 10MP, and a built-in flash.

    I have come up with a list of 3 camera's that fit my needs:
    Canon EOS 40D
    Nikon D80
    Sony DSLR-A700 ( I am pretty sure that if I buy this camera I can use my existing lenses)
    Here is a side-by-side comparison:
    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/compare_post.asp?method=sidebyside&cameras=canon_eos40d%2Cnikon_d80%2Csony_dslra700&camuser=sony_dslra700&show=all

    As for a price range, I am not really sure. At the lower-end is the Nikon D80 and the Canon EOS 40D.

    I would also like to buy at least 2 lenses if the lenses I currently have do not fit the camera, so this sort of pushes the higher-priced cameras out of the window, but I am not sure yet.

    thanks

    EDIT: After thinking it over, I have decided that the Nikon D200 and the Olympus E-3 are too expensive, so I only have to decided between the remaining 3 models.
     
  2. djrichie28

    djrichie28 TPF Noob!

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    looks like you're in the market for a mid-grade camera. I noticed that you picked a Nikon D200. For a couple of hundred dollars more there is the D300 which won Camera of the Year award from Popular Photography. Maybe do a direct comparison between the D200 and the D300 and see for yourself if the differences are worth the extra cash.

    I am currently an Olympus shooter and find the range of lenses pretty slim. Also, there doesn't seem to be very much talk in this forum about Olympus or Sony cameras.

    Good luck in your search. I am personally going to be looking into Nikon for my next camera.
     
  3. Jon0807

    Jon0807 TPF Noob!

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    Looks like you've done quite a bit of research. I would also recommend going out and playing with each camera. There's alot to be said for hands on experience. You may be leaning twords one but once you play with the others you may quickly change your mind. Play with the menu options and all the buttons and nobs and you'll quickly see which one fits your needs.
     
  4. ir0n_ma1den

    ir0n_ma1den TPF Noob!

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    After thinking it over, I have decided that the Nikon D200 and the Olympus E-3 are too expensive, so I only have to decided between the remaining 3 models.
     
  5. memento

    memento No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Being a 40D owner, I'd suggest... the 40D. If that's what you can afford.

    But I'd also suggest looking into a used 20D, and spend the extra money on glass.
     
  6. Sandspur

    Sandspur TPF Noob!

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    Definitely the D80 ... and spend the difference between it and the 40D on lenses or a flash.

    BTW, the Nikon price on the D80 is about to drop $100 before the end of February.
     
  7. ir0n_ma1den

    ir0n_ma1den TPF Noob!

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    Well,

    I've been looking around the internet for Nikon D80 packages and pricings.

    One package particularly caught my eye: Nikon D80 with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED AF-S DX Lens and Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED-IF AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor Lens for $1520.

    Is this a good package to start with in terms of the two lenses it comes with?
     
  8. Mav

    Mav TPF Noob!

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    http://www.adorama.com/INKD80K2C.html?searchinfo=D80 kit&item_no=5

    I'd go for that one instead. That gives you the 18-135 lens instead of the 18-55 along with the D80 and the 70-300 VR, all for the same price. You can still get a ton of great photos with the 18-55, but it needs to be stopped down for maximum sharpness, whereas the 18-135 is sharp wide-open, and gives you a lot more range.
     
  9. EricBrian

    EricBrian TPF Noob!

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    Did you check some of the retailers on Ebay? I got a great package there. The only problem with them, as I see it at this time, is that when you call them to tell them how to pay for it all, they want to sell add ons and shipping insurance.
     
  10. ir0n_ma1den

    ir0n_ma1den TPF Noob!

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    I was thinking about Ebay, but I don't know if my dad wants me dealing with high priced items on ebay, but I'll check it out.
     
  11. EricBrian

    EricBrian TPF Noob!

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    Well, I checked the reputation of the Ebay sellers until I found one that I felt was sufficiently reputable.

    I didn't go with some web site since there is no guarantee that they will be any better than the Ebay seller and there is no reputation system for them.
     
  12. Mav

    Mav TPF Noob!

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    A lot of people selling stuff on eBay aren't authorized Nikon dealers, and the Nikon warranty is only valid when things are bought through authorized resellers. Even if they claim to be Nikon authorized they might not be, so be careful.

    As for online resellers, check here: http://www.resellerratings.com/
     

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