Digital SLRs

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Tarukai, Sep 25, 2009.

  1. Tarukai

    Tarukai SMILEY CAR

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    Bored so I thought I'd get some opinions.

    Considering I should get a nice-sized tax return in February or so, I'm considering getting a DSLR finally (since I'll have the cash to), but I'm kind of at a standstill with my decision.

    I'm deciding between the Nikon D60 with the 18-55mm lens and probably a macro/telephoto, a bag and some filters; a Pentax K2000 with the 18-55 and also a 50-200mm lens with it, bag filters etc; or something else, possibly the olympus EP-1 4/3 and its main lense, a bag and stuff.

    I plan on travelling after next year of school (and in general, like next summer) and taking a lot of pictures and such. I'm decent with composition pending the situation, but I would like a better camera. I would also bring it with me on a lot of longer biking trips and stuff for awesome shots (gotta love pics in the woods and mountains!).

    I was wondering what those on here with experience in this have to say, as in what's good for a starter setup and whatnot under (if possible) $800-1000 (hopefully far under it, lol).
     
  2. Industry_Hack

    Industry_Hack Total noob (& forum admin) Admin Staff Tavern Member

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    In 35mm and digital, I've shot exclusively with Canon for more than 15 years. (I also shot medium format, back in the film days, but that's another story)

    Forget the image quality argument between Canon and Nikon. You can read all the magazine test data you want, but in the real world, unless you're nailing focus and exposure with every shot, using a high shutter speed or tripod, and then printing on a high end printer or using a pro lab, no one can tell the difference. There are just too many variables to get caught up in, when it's really the user that has the most effect on the final product.

    So here's my shopping advice. You can pay a bit more for Nikon, but you're not necessarily getting more. Canon has a huge range of lenses, and a billion more aftermarket lenses. You could go with Pentax or Olympus, and possibly save some money up front, but then your lenses and accessories are probably limited and pricier.

    Of course, it goes without saying that you need to try each one in the store first. One may fit your hands better than another. Apparently, I have large hands, and nothing less than a Canon with the big accessory grip feels right for me. And you have to feel comfortable with the controls.

    For lenses, a couple of zooms and a 50mm cover 90% of what I've ever needed. The 18-55 is compact, but a big compromise. I have a 24-70 f2.8, a 70-210 f2.8, and for low light and macro, I use a 50mm f1.8 alone or with extension tubes for macro. Long lenses are fun, but most people find themselves in need of wider, rather than longer lenses. And a macro is nice, but unless you're really dedicated to close-up photography, the extension tube sets are a better value. No glass, they just move the rear element farther from the film (chip) plane, allowing for closer focus with little effect on image quality.

    I'll stop now, unless you want more suggestions/info, or have questions.

    [edit] I'm not suggesting that you go out and buy really expensive glass, just telling you what has worked best for me, shooting professionally for many years.
     

  3. Tarukai

    Tarukai SMILEY CAR

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    Oh, I figured you weren't stating to just go out and buy the really pricey glass. It's just a case of go with what works for you and your budget.

    I've looked at Canon, I may go with them, but I'm not sure. I need to try them all, obviously. Luckily there's a Ritz Camera in one of the two malls by me. I like the Sony Alphas, but I don't know if I'd want one of those or not.

    Do go on with the advice, it's very helpful.
     
  4. Industry_Hack

    Industry_Hack Total noob (& forum admin) Admin Staff Tavern Member

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    Take a look at what's available, accessory-wise, before you buy.