Nikon D200, Canon 50D


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Sep 10, 2010
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Monroe, NC, USA
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I am getting a new camera the first week of October. I was really pushing for a Canon 50D, but I'm afraid that won't work out. My budget is $1400, but that is the absolute most I can afford (not just for the body, for everything). I will most likely get something used on CL. Anyways, I tried out the 50D and fell in love, but the bodies are about $800-900, and I would get the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 lens (I absolutely love this lens!). The cheapest I have found for it is $425. Would I need another lens? I'd be doing mostly newborn/children photography. If not, then I can probably go with my first choice but if another lens would be ideal, it will be over my budget.

Second choice, I found a Nikon D200 kit on CL for $850. Comes with the body (with 18,972 accutations), SB-600 flash, mb-d200 grip, 18-70 mm 3.5 -4.5 lens, 2 batteries and sto-fen flash diffuser. Sounds like a good deal to me. But would it work for what I want?

What do you reccomend? I am so indecisive!
The price for the D200 kit sounds fair, at least by prices in my region, but I'm not sure it's ideal for you. The 18-70 is an excellent lens, but it's a bit slow for indoor work. You could do it, certainly, but you'd almost always need the flash (The SB600 is an excellent flash BTW) and I'm sure that's ideal for newborn photography.

I've not used the Sigma 50mm 1.4, but by all accounts it's a good piece of glass. It would definitely work, but wouldn't be as convenient in all situations as wide zoom. You could probably save a LOT of cash if you looked toward a 50mm 1.8 vice a 1.4; the 1/3 stop difference won't make a huge difference compared to the cost savings and both Nikon and Canon make great, relatively (esp. used) inexpensive 50mm 1.8s. I can't comment on the 50D as I don't really speak much Canon.

Have you looked around for a used D300? Much better high ISO performance than the D200.
If you're shooting available light, then skip the D200. I also recommend saving a little more for the D300. You will not believe the difference between the two once you start shooting.

As for lenses, would you consider a Nikon 50mm 1.8? It's one of the sharpest lenses they make, and quite affordable.

You going to want something wider - maybe a used 20mm or 24mm 2.8.

When it comes time for long glass, you can't beat the price/quality of a used 80-200 2.8.

I always buy Nikon glass. I've learned the hard way.

And always check the prices at before buying anything. They are simply the best source for used quipment.
Why a D300 when you can have a D90 and the Sigma 50mm f1.4 and SB-600 for under $1400. Or my main setup for awhile was the D90 with the Tamron 17-50 f2.8 for more flexibility when feet zoom is not an option.

First 3200 iso handheld no Post NR

Heading Home by orb9220, on Flickr

And was in awe of how clean 3200 is for lower light situations. Had to sell it off with my kit for medical expenses. And starting again with a used D200 Tamron 17-50 f2.8 and 55-200vr. And do miss the increased iso and dynamic range of the D90 which is up there right with the D300 at a lesser price.

But all that aside I always recommend that a photographer go with the camera feels right for them. That means handling both of them. Checking out the feel and weight. Move the fingers over the controls and placement. Look at menu layout.

For me Canon was a No for feel,controls and Nikon got it right for me. Also the button layout and controls,menu's where more intuitive for me also. This is not a One is Right and One is Wrong. It is about best for me and how I work.

If you really want the 50D then buy one with a basic kit lens and start to get familar and tuck yer left over savings away for a tad bit longer for adding cash to or finding a used Sigma 50mm f1.4 for less than the $425 new? price?

I personally won't settle on a second choice. As would be always nagging me should I have gotten the ??? subtracting from the joy of taking pictures.

Another is a lot of people starting out with a prime f1.4 can actually get 95% of their shots with a cheaper f1.8 version for Nikon anyways where the 50mm f1.8D goes for $140 compared to the 3x the price of the f1.4 which gives you what another 2/3rds of a stop?

Sorry for the rambling but trying to give other options to think about. And hope something here that can help.

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