Upgrading to DSLR, is it worth it?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Iskalla, Jul 7, 2008.

  1. Iskalla

    Iskalla TPF Noob!

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    Hey guys, here's my "problem".
    I've been taking photography a little more serious in the past 6 months, I've taken some courses and I plan on learning a lot more, take some more classes and improving all I can. I've been doing all this with my Canon S3 IS, which has quite a bit of manual functions and takes overall nice pictures.
    The kind of photos I usually take are: portraits, flowers and plants (closeups), and live concerts. My camera works fine in the 2 first, but the live concerts pics are always awful (horrible light conditions most of the times).
    Anyway, this month I got a bit extra cash and I thought I could use it to buy a Canon EOS 400D, which is the best I can afford (cameras here in my country are VERY expensive). But I read that the included kit lenses are not very good... If this is true, then I guess I won't buy this camera after all because lenses cost a lot of money and I don't think I can afford it.
    So, my question is, do you think I should buy the EOS 400D or am I better off with the camera I already own? (considering I probably won't buy any lenses any time soon)

    Thanks
     
  2. JohnnyLovely

    JohnnyLovely TPF Noob!

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    Get the EOS 400D.
    Once you switch from point&shoot to DSLR, -even if it is with a kit lens- you won't ever go back to P&S again.

    The kit lenses, yeah, they're not great. But they're not awful, either.
    My suggestion: Get the 400D, get used to it, save up some money for some great glass.
     
  3. Joves

    Joves No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I havent used a P&S since I got my D50. Yes upgrading to one is worth it, more versatility, speed and, options. The only drawback is the obsession with glass.
     
  4. Iskalla

    Iskalla TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for replying, but do you think I'll be able to take decent photos and fully enjoy the camera even with that kit lens? Cuz I guess it'll be a long time until I can buy some decent ones...
    Does anyone know why the kit things are said to be so bad?
     
  5. Joves

    Joves No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Sure I had the kit lens on my D50 for awhile till I got some decent glass. It worked just fine. The range stinks but then it means you will have to work a little more to get the shot you are looking for, just like I used to do in the old days.
     
  6. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    You can get good results with a kit lens - just don't expect them on day one. It takes time to get used to a new camera, especially when you move to DSLR (or SLR) and then it takes a little longer to get used to a lens - to work out both its weaknesses and strengths. The 400D kit lens is a poor lens by canon standards - they can make much better glass. I recomend a kit lens and for portrate and general work the "nifty fifty" - that is the f1.8 50mm. Both canon and nikon have this lens and it is very cheap and yet gets some very good results! A good lens to have in a set-up.

    For close up flower work if you are after a cheap lens you can try the sigma 70-300mm APO marco - flower photography is its strongpoint, but its not a real macro (it can't get to 1:1 ratio macro) but for flower portrates its good enough.
     
  7. Tyjax

    Tyjax TPF Noob!

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    Pure and simple, almost the cheapest kit lens is far more flexible and capable of artistic expression, hell just sharper images, than the average point and shoot. Go DSLR never look back except for drunken party shots...
     
  8. Iskalla

    Iskalla TPF Noob!

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    Yeah but I don't have an average point and shoot, I have a camera that's quite a bit better than that... That's why I was not sure about spending such a huge amount of money on a DSLR if I'm gonna have to spend even more money on lenses to get nice macro shots and all that (which I can already do with the camera I have now).
    I'm talking about 900 US dollars for the camera, and around 400 for the cheapest of decent lenses. Those are the prices here, that's why I need to be really sure that it's worth it, since it's one hell of an investment for an 18 year old :wink:
     
  9. Mav

    Mav TPF Noob!

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    I've heard lots of bad things about the Canon kit lenses, but mainly as far as durability and falling apart. Optically I think it's fine. The Nikon kit lenses seem to be far better built, but even a Nikon kit lens isn't going to take good photos at a concert. Yes, you'd want something like the 50mm f/1.8 lens which is very cheap in both systems.

    Here's a thread on at least what a Nikon kit lens will do: http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=117233

    Even the cheap kit lenses from my Nikons take way better photos than any point and shoot ever has, and I don't think you can compare even with a fancier p+s.
     
  10. sburatorul

    sburatorul TPF Noob!

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    there is no comparison between a p&s and a slr even though its a entry-level. i got the nikon d60 and at first i was a little upset cause i didn't have the comfort of my old fuji s5700 10x zoom (38-380mm) or the super macro capability but the noise performance and sharpness of photos(even with the kit lens) its way better that with a p&s no matter its price plus it made me work a little to get the shots i wanted which is not to bad.
     
  11. Iskalla

    Iskalla TPF Noob!

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    Ok, thanks everyone, I'm a bit more convinced about the SLR now :thumbup:
    I'll post some pictures after I get it :D
     
  12. potownrob

    potownrob TPF Noob!

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    From what I've read and the little experience I have, your best bet is probably to buy an entry level dSLR and use the money you save not getting the better body on a nice f/2.8 lens or a prime (fixed focal length) lens. The only thing I do recommend considering is that Nikon lenses are arguably better than Canon lenses. I've read some reviews claiming the D40 kit lens to be better than a Canon L series lens. I'm a little skeptical of this, but my research gives me an overall idea that Nikon makes a better lens in general. What I sort of regret is going for the Nikon D40 instead of one of the bigger/older ones like a D50 with their built-in autofocus motor, which means the D50 and other older or higher end dSLRs can use older lenses which are cheaper, while the D40 and D60 (newer entry level Nikons) can't autofocus using older non AF-S lenses. If you don't mind doing manual focus, this is not a problem, but who wants to manually focus for action shots? The entry level Canons, as far as I know, have the built-in motor, so that's not a problem. You can also go for aftermarket (i.e. Sigma, Tokina, Tamron) for lenses to save money. These lenses might even be better in some conditions to the Nikon or Canon equivalents, and they're cheaper too.

    As for noise, the sensor in a dSLR is much bigger than even in the Canon S2, which helps not only preserve quality (or in better terms PICK UP quality) but also helps in low light situations. I thought my Panasonic FZ7 was good in low light until I got my D40. The D40 with kit lens blows the FZ7 away in all respects other than telephoto zoom and image stabilization (which allowed me to photograph a concert without flash without much drama in the photos - to my eyes at least). With my D40 I can make a night shot (given decent conditions) look like day (albeit morning or evening) without lowering the shutter speed too much, so I can handhold a night shot without much drama. I can imagine what I could do with a faster 2.8 lens or otherwise with VR (vibration reduction - Nikon's term for image stabilization). Going back to the FZ7, the FZ7 feels and acts like a toy - no wheres as solid feeling, relatively severe shutter lag and digital representation of what you're shooting (dSLR viewfinder shows you exactly what you're aiming at with no delay or digital processing). The only downside besides cost and size would be the lack of live view (seeing the image on the screen before shooting) which very few dSLRs offer, but I like using the viewfinder.

    See this article about image sensor size and pixels:
    http://www.6mpixel.org/en/
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2008

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