Too many choices!!!

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by CMOS, Feb 7, 2006.

  1. CMOS

    CMOS TPF Noob!

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    Just beginning to look for a camera, and I am completely overwhelmed with the number of choices. So, I'm looking for some help.

    1st, some background on me and why I want to buy a camera:

    - Last time I did any semi serious photography, everything was film.
    - I mostly shot with medium and large format cameras, but did do some 35 mm.
    - My wife participates in athletic events (mostly triathlons, so frames per second is an issue especially during the bike) for the Leukemia and Lymphoma society, and I want to be able to record her efforts and those of her teammates.
    - Quality equipment has always been important to me, but I'd rather not be spending $7000 on a camera; at this point anyway.

    I've looked (on the Internet) at Nikons and Canons, but like I said, it is overwhelming out there. I really could use some guidance.

    Look forward to you responses -

    CMOS
     
  2. Rob

    Rob TPF Noob!

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    What's your budget?
     
  3. CMOS

    CMOS TPF Noob!

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    2-3K. But I could be persuaded to go higher if necessary.
     
  4. Big Mike

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

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    Do you want to go with film or digital? Or both?
     
  5. Rob

    Rob TPF Noob!

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    2-3K of what? :)
     
  6. CMOS

    CMOS TPF Noob!

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    Rob .... Budget - 2000 to 3000 US.

    Big Mike .... Digital only
     
  7. Big Mike

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

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    Well you are definitely in the price range for a Digital SLR. Which is good because a DSLR is much, much better than a digital point & shoot.

    Canon & Nikon are the leaders, as you know. Pentax, Sigma & some others make DSLRs as well but unless you have an investment in their lenses, I'd stick with Canon or Nikon. Minolta does/did make some DSLRs but they are selling out to Sony who may or may not continue the format.

    So Canon's cameras are the Rebel XT (350D), 20D, 5D...and then the 1 series pro bodies, which are very expensive.

    Nikon has the D50, D70s and the new D200. (and pro bodies)

    All but one of the above cameras has a sensor that is smaller than 35mm film, which give us the crop factor. That just means that the field of view for a given focal length is different than it would be on a 35mm SLR.

    The Canon 5D is what they call Full Frame, the sensor is the same size as 35mm film.

    The D200 is the only one with weather sealing, which is typically found on only the high end pro bodies.

    As with other formats, the lenses are very important, so it might be wise to allocate a good portion of your budget for one or more good lenses.

    You can check the specs of all these cameras at www.dpreview.com

    Also, the PMA show is later this month, rumor has it that Canon will introduce a new DSLR to replace the 20D. Something to think about anyway.

    As always, it's good to go into a camera shop and try them out. See how they feel. The Rebel XT for example is very light & small, too small for some.

    Any of these are great cameras, you will have to figure out which is best for you. Plenty of us have DSLRs and would be happy to answer more specific questions when you have them.
     
  8. darich

    darich TPF Noob!

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    For your budget, the best camera as far as Canon is concerned, is the 5D. It retails at around $3300 US.
    However if the continuous shooting is an issue, then the best would be the Canon 20D. The 20D has a burst rate of 5fps compared to only 3fps for the 5D.
    If you're completely overwhelmed and getting back into it after years out then the 20D may be a more sensible choice - it's around $1200 - 1300 US and will give great shots as many will testify here. It would allow you to get back into things with a great camera but without breaking the bank before you get to grips with digital.
    I'm talking purely from a Canon point of view here because I don't know the Nikon range at all - not because I'm saying Canon are better. I'm sure there are plenty guys will advise you on the Nikon range.
     
  9. CMOS

    CMOS TPF Noob!

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    I do have one more question (at least one right now). I was wondering about noise in the image. Does that play a roll with any of the Canons or Nikons? Just wondering if that may be the case when snapping off a bunch of images in a short period of time.

    The reason I am asking is that I tried my hand at Astronomical imaging (and may well try it again with whatever SLR I get). Long exposures led to noise from heat build up in some of the chips. As I recall, it can be resolved somewhat with post imaging software, and taking specialized images that the software used to eliminnate the noise. Also using gizmos that cooled the chips helped.
     
  10. darich

    darich TPF Noob!

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    my understanding is that the 20D has some of the lowest noise in the Canon range. I think it'll be difficult to eliminate altogether.
    When snapping a range of images in a short time, noise appears if the ISO is very high but again....I don't think there's anyway to completely elimnate it without post processing software.

    I don't know which is the best because the type of shooting i do i rarely have noise to deal with.
     
  11. CMOS

    CMOS TPF Noob!

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    Sorry to be a pest, however ....

    I made a list to use as a guide when talking to the sales person (keeping in mind that one of the primary uses will be taking action shots at Triathlons). Please add anything you think I should ask.

    - Frames per second
    - Noise
    - Dust on sensor .... is this automatically compensated for by the camera (I read somewhere that at least one camera does this and dust can become a problem especially when changing lenses)
    - Focus speed
    - Lens compatibility (generics, ie Tamron)
    - Flash systems and flash synch speed
    - Shutter speed
    - Best first lens (fixed / zoom / focal length) - I figure one lens now, add more later as the budget recovers.
     
  12. darich

    darich TPF Noob!

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    • I think you'll be hard pushed to find a camera with a burst shooting of more than 5fps as the Canon 20D has.
    • Noise is very well controlled on 20D.
    • The dust on the snsor is a general DSLR issue and not any worse for a particular camera as far as i know.
    • Focus speed will depend on the lens more than the camera
    • Compatibility with generic makes is good
    • Not sure about flash info but sync speed is 1/250 as far as i know
    • Fastest shutter speed on the 20D is 1/8000 of a second
    • For sports shooting a fast lens would be best. Ideall one of the "L" series. The focal length would depend on how close you can get to the action. Bear in mind that the 20D has a 1.6x magnification factor so all focal lengths are multiplied by 1.6
     

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