What DSLR camera should I buy?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by drakeman, Sep 12, 2008.

  1. drakeman

    drakeman TPF Noob!

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    Budget

    Around 500 to 800, but looking to buy used.

    Size

    Does not matter

    Features

    How many megapixels will suffice for you?
    8 and up should be fine.

    Whatever zoom is on the camera, I plan to buy a telephoto lense.

    * How important is “image quality” to you? (Rate using a scale of 1-10)
    9

    Do you care for manual exposure modes (shutter priority, aperture priority, manual)?
    Yes

    General Usage

    * What will you generally use the camera for?
    Sports, portraits. I plan on taking skiing freestyle photos and kiteboarding photos, then hopefully make a website for prints to be purchased.
    So I am not looking for an entry level, more like semi-pro

    * Will you be making big prints of your photos or not?
    Yes

    Will you be shooting a lot of indoor photos or low light photos?
    Some on cloudy days, but also portraits indoors.

    Will you be shooting sports and/or action photos?
    Yes

    Miscellaneous

    Are there particular brands you like or hate?
    I am only looking at Nikon and Canon, maybe Sony.

    Are there particular models you already have in mind?
    Yes. So I have read a lot of reviews but still have some questions on what camera is right for me. I am looking for good frames per second shooting for sports. So, the Canon 30D was looking right for me. Also the Nikon D200, maybe a Nikon D80 because of the price.
    What are the others I should be considering?

    (If applicable) Do you need any of the following special features? (Wide Angle, Image Stabilization, Weatherproof, Hotshoe, Rotating LCD)
    I would be looking to use wide angle quite a lot, but can't I do that with a wide angle lens?
    Image stabilization would be good.
    Maybe not weather proof, but I read the D80 lacks the environmental seals of a D200?
    Rotating LCD and a size 2.5 or higher would be nice.

    I like the D300 but way out of price range. I think I am above the D40 and Rebel entry level cameras. The reason I did not list the Canon 20D is because the crop factor, do you think this will be a big deal for what I am shooting?
    Should I just scam the classifieds for a used Nikon D200 or Canon 30D?
    If someone can tell me the main differences between those and which one will me better for action photography that will be great.

    Thanks in advance, Elliot
     
  2. 8power

    8power TPF Noob!

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  3. drakeman

    drakeman TPF Noob!

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    umm, couldn't find the exact answer I was looking for with that link you provided, thanks though.

    I also want to know about lenses...

    I think I would be looking for a telephoto and a wide angle.
    I've read a lot of reviews and the stickies on this and I think I should be looking at a 70-200 mm f/2.8. I know if I went with canon or nikon it would be a lot. I have read a lot of good things about just going with the Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 though. Do you think this would be good for sports like skiing and on-the-water photography like kiteboarding?

    Then for the wide angle I think I would be looking at, actually I haven't really decided yet. So does anyone have a recommendation for a wide angle that would pair well with the telephoto I have in mind? I don't want to leave any "gaps" like I've read about when purchasing lenses.

    Thanks, Elliot
     
  4. Montana

    Montana TPF Noob!

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    You have lots of reading to do. The Canon 20D is not the only crop factor camera you mention....they all are. With so many questions, I do not see how you can be "above" an entry level camera. The Canon Rebel series will take better photos than you imagine...

    Derrick

    The Canon (if thats what you get) 70-200 2.8 IS is wonderful. Pair that with a 17-55 2.8 EFS. Or instead of the 17-55, get the 24-70 2.8 L and the Canon 10-22.
     
  5. Brian Austin

    Brian Austin TPF Noob!

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    I agree. With that budget (including lens or not?), you're already in the entry level range or a 5 year old semi-pro body with a cheaper lens.

    Canon 20D and 30D use the same sensor. Crop factor of 1.6x. Nikon D80 and D200 have a crop factor of 1.5x.

    Being a Canon shooter, I'd look at a Canon 30D and Tamron or Sigma 70-200/2.8. I have the Canon 70-200/2.8L IS and, while it's easily the most used lens in my bag, it's not the cheapest. Even used you're looking at $1500. The 70-200/4L is a nice compromise (not to mention a lot lighter) but you'll lose the full stop. I find it handy for both wedding photography and artsy tight depth of field shots.

    Nikon D80 would be a good choice, too, but I don't know what they're selling for on the used market. D200 is probably a bit too high unless it has a high shutter count. Nice camera, though. Fuji S3 would also be a nice choice and uses a Nikon mount for lenses. Better sensor, imo, with great colors.
     
  6. drakeman

    drakeman TPF Noob!

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    Thank you both for your replies. The budget was for the used camera only. The lens information was very helpful, I might just go with a 20D because t will fit with my budget better. Thanks, Elliot
     
  7. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I'm a Nikon guy, so certainly a used D200 if you can get it for that much would be fine... I have never looked them up, and I'm betting you won't be able to pull it off for that little WITH a lens, but I'm not sure.

    On the prosumer line in Nikon, don't get less than a D200. The D100 is a nice camera but its ridiculously dated since it was the first entrant into the prosumer DSLR line. I have one right here. :)

    I'd recommend a D80 (used, obviously, since your budget wouldn't swing a new one). The D40s and D60s are "fine", but I tell people to get them for budget-only reasons... as in "if that's all you can afford, then buy one and you should be happy with it... just understand it has some notable limitations". The D80, as far as I am concerned, is an EXCELLENT starter camera with relatively few notable limitations.

    I highly recommend the 18-135 as a good starter lens for almost everyone. Gives you a lot of flexibility without having to flip glass around. As you grow and learn more of what your style is and needs are, you can start picking up nicer lenses for more money.

    Remember, no matter what anyone says, you can get amazing pictures out of inexpensive glass. Look up some of my posts. A lot of my pictures are taken with a total POS 28-100 Nikkor. (admittedly, I'm ready for an upgrade, but the lens still does an excellent job despite its limitations)

    You can also get some amazing pictures out of inexpensive bodies, but there is a big difference between an inexpensive body and an inexpensive lens.

    For example, a cheap $100 will buy you an amazingly clear and fast 50mm 1.8 lens that is absolutely stunning. Stupid cheap. It has a hard limitation on it's a fixed focal length, but essentially no soft limitations as the quality is stunning.

    However, a cheap $500 will get you a D40 which has no soft issues whatsoever- the optical quality is arguably just as good as any other camera out there and it will get the same pictures any other camera will get you... however it has a LOT of hard limitations. It only has three focus points, it cannot use lenses that require focusing screws, etc.
     
  8. drakeman

    drakeman TPF Noob!

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    Hey thanks a lot. I really am attracted to the faster fps and higher iso abilities of the 20 and 30d. I am looking forward to doing some cool tricks with that many pictures so close together. Thanks for the info on the lens also.
    -Elliot
     
  9. sxesweets

    sxesweets TPF Noob!

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    What, if you don't mind my asking do you see as the "limitations"?

    I'm still on the fence about what camera to get and looking for imput.
     
  10. cviste

    cviste TPF Noob!

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    i have a d40 with weveything stockincluded lmk?
     
  11. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Depends on what camera you are referring to. What are you looking at?

    BTW, there's always the search bar. There is at least 4-5 of these threads a week.

    ummmmmmmm what?
     
  12. drakeman

    drakeman TPF Noob!

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    Alright I found a smokin' deal on a d50, from someone that I know, not online. I think I will build up my lens collection with this, then save for a d200 or 300.

    I really wanted the 20d because I have heard canon is better for sports with more fps and better high iso capabilities. However I think if I keep saving for the D300 it will be worth my while, as I think that camera is excellent compared to canons.

    Do you guys think the D50 will do for now for skiing and water action photography?
    Thanks, Elliot
     

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