Best Mid-Range DSLR for a Beginner

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by mikeluis, Feb 23, 2012.

  1. mikeluis

    mikeluis TPF Noob!

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    I've always showed an interest in photography, but not until recently I have became really engaged and want to actually go through with learning. In my area unfortunately (Rhode Island) there's only one camera store in the whole state. Currently they only have inventory of the 60D in the mid-range DSLR category. I'm stuck in between the Canon 60D, the Nikon D7000, and the Pentax K-5. I played with the 60D, but wasn't able to try any of the other cameras. In comparison to the Canon how does this Pentax K-5 and Nikon D7000 compare in ease of use of the menus? I'm not looking for fanboyism or biased opinions please. I would also like to know overall what you would all recommend to me to get. (Price isn't a factor, but I'm not interested in anything more advanced than these three DSLR'S)

    Thanks,

    Mike


     
  2. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Nikon D7000.
     
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  3. mikeluis

    mikeluis TPF Noob!

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    Can you be more specific to why? And are you saying overall or ease of use over the other two within the UI?

    Thanks,

    Mike
     
  4. Joey_Ricard

    Joey_Ricard TPF Noob!

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    With big players such as Canon, Nikon and Pentax having some great products, this easliy comes down to someone touting their favorite. There could be many reasons one would suggest their brand.

    I shot Nikon Film for 20+ years, then Canon for Digital. Both make great products. It's always nice to get your hands on something before you buy it, but when it comes down to it, 1 minute with a camera is not enough to really get a feel for it. Sometimes that is based on strange things like scary menu, small grip, texture and such.... If you have internet, you have a camera store - at least to purchase from.
     
  5. DiskoJoe

    DiskoJoe Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    You have any photog friends? If yes, then maybe buy what they use. Then you can swap lenses. If not the any would be good.
     
  6. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Ease of use is totally an individual thing and to be honest with a good round of practice each of the 3 is likely as easy to use as the others. Personal preference and experiences are going to come to the fore before any inherent differences (which will be minor in general anyway).

    However you've not really spoken much about what you want to do with the camera nor roughly how far down the investment line you want to go. A DSLR is only one part, and often the lesser of importance against lighting and lenses. With an idea of the type of subjects and situations as well as a rough idea on how far you want to go (I don't mean pro or amateur, just an idea of the disposable income) then we can make some choices. With criteria you might find that one brand offers features and lenses that suit your needs and budget a little more than the others (even if you have to save up to afford some of it).
     
  7. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    DxOMark - Compare cameras side by side

    The K-5 and the D7000 use the same, Sony-made sensor, and it is currently the "best" APS-C sensor on the market. The High-ISO score, as well as the overall scores from both the Pentax and the Nikon (High-ISO scores of 1162 for the Pentax, 1167 for Nikon, and a dismal 813 for the Canon), as well as the "Overall Score" of 82 for the Pentax, 80 for the nikon, and a veryyyyy distant 66 for the Canon...not to mention the veritable "ass-whipping" the Canon gets in Dynamic Range...the Canon has asensor that is two generations behind, and squeaks out a disappointing 11.5 EV dynamic range score; the newer, Sony-made sensor earns 14.1 EV with Pentax electronics running it, and 13.9 EV with Nikon electronics running it...

    The difference between 14.1 Exposure Value units of dynamic range and 13.9 DV is slight...two-tenths of one f/stop value between the Pentax and the Nikon. Between the Pentax and the Canon, there is a 2.6 f/stop difference in Dynamic Range capabilities in favor of the Pentax...and the Nikon thumps the Canon there pretty badly also.

    In terms of actual, real-world benefits expanded Dynamic Range is THE MOST IMPORTANT sensor performance metric, across "most" real-world lighting conditions. Wider dynamic range makes one's images look better, and "less-digital". Low-Light/High-ISO performance is also important indoors, or in dimmer light conditions...when combined, the much wider dynamic range of the Pentax and the Nikon sensors, and the much better Low-Light/High-ISO performance metric tests the Sony sensor yields means that the Nikon and Pentax cameras are almost a dead-heat...and the Canon is far,far behind; roughly two sensor/electronic generations.

    Canon's 60D has the unfortunate fate of being introduced at the exact time that SONY had made a BETTER sensor, and at a time when Pentax and Nikon BOTH poured millions of yen into designing better electronics...the 60D is like a Diner's Club credit card; the Pentax is MasterCard, the Nikon is Visa. if the Pentax were a Nikon, I'd select it....but the Nikon is part of the huge Nikon lens,body,and flash family; Pentax has been 3rd-string for three decades...the sheer expansiveness of the Nikon system is why the D7000 remains, in my mind. "The best Mid-Range DSLR for a Beginner". Because besides top of class performance in the metrics that really MATTER the most, most often, when you sell that D7000, you will have a great camera (still), and a huge, willing market of used camera buyers. With the Pentax, you will have a guy in Ohio and one in Minnesota, maybe bidding for it on eBay. With the Canon 60D, it will already be three generations behind, and the 60D is a camera that is loathed by many Canon users, because it was a HUGE "re-defining" of the XXD line that came before it...it's almost like an Edsel...Canon users have not taken to the 60D, so the used market for it will suck.
     
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  8. MLeeK

    MLeeK TPF Noob!

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    The thing is... they are all easy to use for those who love them. I'd be lost in a Nikon, sony or pentax menu and it would all seem wrong and silly to me. So... you need to let the camera store know that if they are going to sell you a camera you will be playing with each one.
    About the only thing we can give you is our fanboyisms and some facts that really won't have the same effect on one person to the next.
    I will definitely agree with Derrel and say rule out the 60D. It was almost a step down from the 50D and really disgusted a lot of canon users.

    If this is going to become a profession that will eventually migrate to full frame/professional cameras rule out Pentax and be careful and deliberate if sony is the way you choose to go. Once you invest in a system and start to build a kit of good lenses it's a HUGE investment and switching brands is going to cost a lot. So... consider what you plan down the line even if it's a "maybe" thing.

    If you are going to be an avid hobby shooter? Pentax is pretty outstanding and under-used. What pentax lacks in accessories and lenses Sigma and Tamron make for the Pentax mounts.

    What KIND of photography are you interested in? Portraits, action, landscape, wedding/event... That has a lot of bearing on the camera you will need. Certain cameras are built for certain things.

    If I had to choose one all around camera that is good for almost anything from Nikon and Canon I'd go with the Canon 7D and the Nikon the D300s.
    The D7000 is compared to the 60D... which I already touched on. If I were choosing between the D7000 and the 60D? It'd be the D7000 hands down.
     
  9. mikeluis

    mikeluis TPF Noob!

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    The problem is i'm pretty unsure what I want to use it for. If I had one stand out idea of what I want to do though, it's portraits. I want to experiment in sports photography as well though. That's one thing that makes me hesitant about the Nikon because it can only shoot around 20 frames in RAW I believe until the buffer is full. I think my problem is I might be expecting too much out of the price range i'm looking into.
     
  10. Dominantly

    Dominantly TPF Noob!

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    Well, if you are here asking these questions, then it's probably safe to assume you don't know a whole lot about the technical aspects of photography and it's associated equipment. That being said, something like the D7000 is going to far exceed YOUR capabilities for quite some time (if not forever). For the reasons already mentioned, I would go with the D7000.

    IF you want/need speed then spend more and get the 7D.

    7D- Raw: 7.98 fps, 16 frames total, 10 seconds to clear

    D7000- Raw: 5.88 fps, 10 frames total, 9 seconds to clear
     
  11. mikeluis

    mikeluis TPF Noob!

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    Decided to spend the extra money and go with the 7D. Thanks everyone.
     
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  12. MLeeK

    MLeeK TPF Noob!

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    Make sure you buy GOOD memory cards or the buffer write speed won't be an issue, the memory card will!
     

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