Which DSLR help

DavidBailey

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Hi Guys & Gels,
I need some help!

I enjoy photography particularly wildlife & have enjoyed using a LUMIX FZ-20 to good effect, with 12X zoom & image stabilisation in one easy to use package with live view etc!
In honesty I tend to shoot mainly in auto mode, but have been pleased with the camera & photos, although the autofocus is hard to pinpoint accurately on one wildlife subject!

I'm now ready to take the step into a DSLR, the main reason is to achieve better quality images, but I still want ease of use. Budget isn't a major issue & I am tempted by Canon 400D 0r 40D, Pentax K10, or maybe the Sony alpha, possibly with the Tamron A18 which would offer me 18-250mm in one lense so I can have a DSLR with compact style convenience! I won't consider Nikon as I have had terrible customer service over their totally crap underwater compact system.

What do you guys think, I'm a novice with DSLR's but want something that will last rather than swapping it each year.

Thanks in anticipation of your help:thumbup:.
 
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DavidBailey

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..................................Bump

Hi folks anybody able to input some ideas, angles & advice???
 

NateS

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Sorry, but I have no input being a Nikon lover myself. Free bump for your answer though.

Actually, a bit of advice.....whatever system you buy, stay out of auto mode. Shoot in aperature priority mode with a really low f-stop to get faster shutter speed for wildlife. You'll get much better results that way rather than using auto mode.
 

Paparoksguitar

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In my opinion, Get the 400d. I have the 350d, i got it and previously i had a digital camera. The 350d REALLY fulfilled every and all expectations i have had for the 350d. I don't think i will grow it out for AWHILE. You should get the 400D instead of the 40D and use the money you save to buy a lense so you can zoom in more than you could with the kit lens. But thats just my opinion, I'm sure someone will have somethign to say about it lol.

Edit: either way I'm sure you'll be happy.

Andrew :)
 

therustytracks

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the 400d or the 40d will be fine. The 400d is much cheaper, but it lacks some of the features the 40d has, hence the hefty price tag. The 40d is definitely worth the price though. Both cameras will suit your needs perfectly. however the burst rate on the 400d is only 3fps and the 40d comes in at 6.5fps. that might be something to think about. I find it easier to use the 40d also, the controls are well placed and i don't have to look at the lcd screen to change shutter, iso, aperture, whit balance, and a lot of other things can all be changed easily and fast.
 

photogincollege

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Ok heres a question for the op, if you get the 40d, how much money would you be able to spend on lenses? That way we can kind of judge, like say you get the 40d but only have like 300 to spend on lenses thats not good, but if you get the 40d and still have a substantial amount to spend id say go for it.
 

KC10Chief

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I vote for the Pentax. I've had several Pentax cameras and have never been disappointed. The K10D is a lot more well built in my opinion than the comparable Canon or Nikon. Also, that 18-250 lens has an f/stop of 3.5-6.3. A lot of people say that's too slow for a zoom lens, but I have read nothing but positive reviews about it. I'm planning on buying one myself. For your purposes, I think the K10D is the winner. Especially if you don't already have any lenses. Pentax, Sigma and Tamron all make an 18-250 lens for the Pentax. Also with the Pentax, they kept the lens mount the same so you can use the older Pentax lenses as well. :thumbup:
 

Mav

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If you're debating between the XTi/400D and the 40D and both fit your hand comfortably and seem easy enough to use, I'd get the 400D and put the extra money towards some nice lenses instead. Somebody else pointed it out, but the much quicker frame rate of the 40D (6.5 fps I think?) might be of some interest if it's moving.

As far as lenses, I'm personally not a fan of super-zoom lenses but that's just me. Half the reason I got into SLR photography is for all of the different lens options and being able to swap. If you're shooting wildlife where you're mainly going to be zoomed all the way out all the time, and budget isn't a major issue, you might consider something like the EF 300mm f/4 IS USM which is relatively fast, stabilized, and you can also use teleconverters (1.4x) with it to get out even further. This is a very popular lens (about $1000) in the Nikon system and I'm sure it's just as good in the Canon system. If you still wanted a zoom, I migth also check out the EF 70-300 f/4-5.6 IS USM. This is also stabilized, but slower (f/5.6 maximum aperture @ 300mm vs f/4), and the image quality probably isn't as good but should still be excellent for about $500. I have the Nikon system equivalent of this lens (the 70-300VR) which costs the same, and from what little shooting I've done with it so far the image quality is outstanding.

In the Nikon system the 18-200VR is an enormously popular lens, but I just couldn't be sold on it. The cheap little $100 18-55 lens is sharper and has better IQ from 18-55mm, and the about as cheap 55-200 kit lens is sharper and has better IQ from 55-200mm. The 18-200 gives you one-lens convenience, but at the cost of image quality. So just beware that it's not a free ride. As long as the image quality is acceptable to you, that's all that matters. Particularly if you have an "active" lifestyle and like going camping, hiking, or possibly do a lot of international travelling where a one-lens solution really is ideal, one of the super-zooms could be your ticket for sure. I used to do A LOT of international travel and an 18-200VR or 18-250 type lens would have been ideal for me then, but that was before I was into SLR photography.
 

aperture monologue

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Pentax is definitely the one I'd recommend. I've been very happy with my k10d, and since you shoot wildlife, the rugged build will come in handy. Also, the built-in vr is a great feature. Lenses aren't always easy to get, but as stated above, sigmas and tamrons work fine. It's hard to beat the k10d for the price.
 
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DavidBailey

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Thanks folks for the response, appreciated.

I get the idea from your help that a cheaper camera with better lense will give better results than a more expensive camera with kit lense.... is that right???

Although I am lucky enough to be able to afford both a decent camera & lense, I want best value & have been used to a £250 Lumix Z20 which has been great.

I want better quality standard images & better/faster auto-focus, but I am only a holiday & occasional weekend snapper (much as I enjoy taking photos) so want to have something that will give me better quality results for the same effort & allow me to progress with my photo taking skills.

I don't want to be like the spoilt kid (although I'm in my 40's now!!!) who gets a Ferrari purchased for his first car & doesn't know how to drive it or get the best out of it.... he would be better off working up to that car! Is that the same with cameras or should I go best possible & grow into it!!!!

P.S.... With two votes for the Pentax K10, plus its great review & value, that looks like a good choice over the 40D!!??
 

Johnboy2978

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I am very happy with the pentax line. I started out w/ the ME Super 35mm, then got the *ist 35mm and also added the ist DS and the k10d. The k10d is a heck of a camera, well built and full of seals for weather. The shake reduction feature is a really nice addition. My buddy has a Canon XTi and while it too has really good image quality, it just seems so tiny. Some of that is due to the fact that I also bought the battery grip for a more substantial feel and increased shooting time. Still his feels a little small when I've shot with it. That's the only comparison I have though. Really you wouldn't go wrong with any of those choices. I think the k10d, the XTi, and a Nikon d80 are all pretty even contenders in the image quality market.
 

Mav

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I want better quality standard images & better/faster auto-focus, but I am only a holiday & occasional weekend snapper (much as I enjoy taking photos) so want to have something that will give me better quality results for the same effort & allow me to progress with my photo taking skills.

I don't want to be like the spoilt kid (although I'm in my 40's now!!!) who gets a Ferrari purchased for his first car & doesn't know how to drive it or get the best out of it.... he would be better off working up to that car! Is that the same with cameras or should I go best possible & grow into it!!!!
In that case stick with the cheaper body, but consider putting some extra money into a nicer lens. I fretted between the Nikon D200 and the D80 for a bit, but ultimately decided that I just wasn't going to use many of the extra features of the D200 and stuck with the D80 instead, and with the money I saved I got myself a half decent collection of lenses instead. No regrets. And considering how badly DSLR bodies depreciate, spending too much money on a fancy body is a losing proposition. Lenses hold their value much much better, and make the bigger difference anyways.

P.S.... With two votes for the Pentax K10, plus its great review & value, that looks like a good choice over the 40D!!??
The only thing I'd caution someone with on going with Pentax is that your lens selection is much more limited than with Canon, Nikon, and even Sony/Minolta, and there's much less room to grow in the Pentax system vs other systems. Plus finding used equipment will be much harder than with Canon or Nikon. Half of my lenses I've bought used for dirt cheap, and it was very easy to find them too.
 

KC10Chief

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Pentax might have a few less lenses, but I GUARANTEE that they have any kind of lens that an amateur could ever want. Primes, zooms, macro's, etc. There's about 80 lenses available for a K10D that I'm aware of. Also, the K10D has the shake reduction built into the body. Canon and Nikon have it built into the lenses and that makes the lenses more expensive and it wears on your battery more too from what I've read here. Go to www.dpreview.com. Read reviews. The K10D has the BEST reviews and the highest rating of ANY digital SLR and for good reason. Even the SLR's that cost thousands of dollars. It's an awesome camera. Most people use Canon and Nikon because they are common and easy to find. Pentax doesn't put as much into advertising at Canon or Nikon, but in my opinion, it's a superior camera. They're all good. If you don't already have Canon or Nikon lenses, then the Pentax is the way to go. I don't think you need to spend the extra money on the high end SLR's. From the sounds of it, you're an amateur and won't ever be doing photography for a living. The K10D is way more camera than you'll ever need. Also, it has a ton of weather seals to keep dirt and moisture out. Even the lenses have them. Canon and Nikon don't. This is a good feature for anybody who likes to shoot outdoors. Seriously though, go to www.dpreview.com. All of the reviews are from consumers who actually bought and used the cameras. It's an excellent site. Read reviews for the K10D, the XTi and the D40x. They all get good reviews and ratings, but the Pentax is the best.
 

Stratman

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I just bought a K10D, and I love it. After rebate it will cost me $540. Find a Canon or Nikon with the K10Ds features and quality for anywhere near that price, you CAN'T, simple as that. It's true that C & N have more lenses available, but you have to decide what kind of shooting you'll be doing, if it isn't super fast sports photography, then there are PLENTY of pentax lenses you can use.
 

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