Results 1 to 12 of 12

Thread: DLS X-MAS Present?

  1. #1
    Member tboehm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Soldotna AK
    Posts
    2,407

    Default DLS X-MAS Present?

    My wife wants to up grade to a more professional camera than her 5 mp Kodak. I was looking on consumer reports but want to get the opinion from everyone here. At least the ones know know something about semi-pro outdoor photography. I want to get her something in the 10 mp range and want to stay in the 1k to 1.3k range for body and lens. What do you recommend and why? What lens should i get to come with it first and what would you recommend for a second lens for our anniversary in Jan. What should I stay away from? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    1,449

    Default

    Pretty broad question, as there are plenty of cameras that *could* qualify.

    Personally, I have never seen a Kodak digital that was worth much from an image quality point of view, although they have gotten better recently. So I think you should at least consider an upgrade to a better point & shoot from Canon, Nikon, or Panasonic. They have some good long zoom range (10x+)point & shoot cameras that do a good job at most everything as long as you have good lighting. But point & shoot cameras have a difficult time when the lighting gets dim, and some people don't like the frustrating focus lag, so there are good reasons to move to a DSLR.

    For DSLRs Canon's XTi, Nikon's D40x, Pentax's K10D are all pretty good in the moderately low cost range. Pentax is rumored to be announcing a new and significantly improved K20D in late January in time for the big photo show in February. Canon may upgrade the XTi around the same time, but I don't think really needs to. Probably not Nikon though as the D40x is still new.

    The Pentax has built in image stabilization, which a great feature. To get that with Nikon & Canon you have to buy their more expensive IS or VR lenses. So the Pentax can save you money in the long run. Canon has introduced a low cost IS lens pair that is reputed to be exceptionally good - 18-55 IS, and 50-250 IS. If you buy the Canon get the 18-55 *IS* version, not the regular 18-55, as the IS version is also notably sharper, besides adding image stabilization. Right now Nikon's D40x is the newest design of the three, and in some ways may be the best body right now.

    Olympus and Sony also both have DSLRs. The Oly uses a smaller digital sensor that dos not produce an image that is as clean as the others when using high ISO, although they have announced a couple new bodies that are supposed to be remarkably better at this. I never recommend Sony anything, but you can take a look if you want. With both Sony and Olympus you will have to buy somewhat non-standard, and more expensive, memory cards -- XD and MS, respectively. Personally I still avoid these camera brands because, in their greed, they tried to market their own style of memory card formats to gouge even more money from consumers. You can do what you want, but I vote with my wallet.


    As for what lenses to buy with it, a normal zoom for these cameras is in the 18-50mm range (14-45 for the Oly). That equates to about 28-90 for film cameras, and seems to be the range the majority of people use most of the time. You could move up considerably over the standard kit lens offering by buying a Tamron 17-50 f/2.8, or Sigma 18-50 f/2.8 for any of them. They work better in low light and have superior image quality too. Although I might still pick the Canon 18-55 IS lens for the IS feature and very good image quality at a lower price. Some manufacturers are adding the option of a 28-80mm or 28-135mm as the kit lens, but if you don't get below 20mm you will not end up with a wide-normal perspective, so I wouldn't do it for your first lens.

    After you get the main lens picked there are some options to consider. Most of these manufacturers offer relatively low cost 70-300mm telephoto zooms for under $200. They are not so good, but are not horrible either. Canon's 70-300 IS lens (not the older 75-300 IS) is a big step up in price and image quality, and adds a very competent Image Stabilization feature. Nikon offers the same. This will give you a lens that you can use to capture some wildlife and birds, etc.

    The other option is to get a wide zoom in the 10-22mm range. Most people put this off until later, but is a very fun lens to work with. You do have to adjust your mindset though. Images can get a little quirky. Personally, I prefer to use wide lenses to long ones.

    one lens you should always consider is a 50mm f/1.8. Partly because it is so cheap, and partly because they are universally good. Image quality is exceptional, and it's under $100. It also has a large aperture, so allows you to take better pictures in low light situations. And it is a great head & shoulder portrait lens when used on these cameras.

    Perhaps you should take your wife to a camera store and have her fondle them all. Personal choice often comes down to how a camera feels, and none of these are bad choices.

  3. #3
    Member tboehm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Soldotna AK
    Posts
    2,407

    Default IS?

    Is it better to have the IS in the body or the lens? Jim, I appreciate you taking the time to type all that out and explain some things. It means alot to me and this is why I love this forum and the people on it! I hate to say it, but you have done kind of the same thing that Consumer reports did and gave me lots of info but it just causes more q's. Let me ask you this way. If you had $1500.00 to spend, and you were getting it for your wife, what would you get her?
    Last edited by tboehm; 12-02-2007 at 06:33. Reason: spelling

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    1,449

    Default

    It is generally said that in-lens IS is better than in-body IS. I've never tested them, but I suspect that to be true, as the IS system can be tailored for the specific lens. However, to make that work well in practice you have to buy IS lenses for both your normal and telephoto length lenses. Some people think IS is only beneficial for long lenses, but that's certainly not my experience. I have a 17-55 f/28 lens with IS, and I find IS to be very useful with it. With in-body IS all your lenses will have the benefits of image stabilization, and it won't cost you so much.

    I think the bottom line is; how much of a financial priority are you going to make for your photography purchases? If you are prepared to buy the camera, and at least two good IS lenses, then in-lens IS (or VR or OS) is a little better plan. But if you are not prepared to buy them both, I think buying a camera with in-body IS to be a better plan.

    Also, Canon and Nikon have a much larger selection of lens & flash options. So if buying into a system for the long haul, and thinking about making a substantial investment in photography over the years, Canon and Nikon are your best choices. But if this is just a nice thing to have for use every once in a while, and you are not planning on spending a great deal of money on photography ever, then I would get the Pentax.

    BTW, the Pentax has the best & brightest view screen of the bunch, but the Canon & Nikon have slightly better image quality, not that you can tell it in anything less than 11x14" prints. They all have their positives and negatives, but they are all quite good.

    If I was buying for my wife, I would get a Canon, so she could borrow my lenses, and I wouldn't have to buy more. But if I was buying for her, and not planning on sharing, I think I would get the Pentax. Actually, I would get her a point & shoot. My wife is not that interested.

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    3,568

    Default

    I own Canon's and am very happy with them. However I see nothing wrong with Nikons. I would stay with either one of these as they offer the most flexibility with the widest range of accessories. Most all the other professionals I know use either one or the other. Commit to either brand and start building up your equipment.
    Don't forget to get quality glass. You are defeating the purpose if you purchase a $1,000 body and then add a lense costing $150. Expect to spend more on the lenses than you do the body.
    Tennessee

  6. #6
    Member tboehm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Soldotna AK
    Posts
    2,407

    Default

    I'm looking to spend 1200-1500 for a set up and looking for the best camera and len combo that is in the 10mp range and a semi-pro set up.

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    1,449

    Default

    Problem is, you can't really get a semi-pro set up with camera and lenses for $1500. Some would call the Canon 40D and Nikon D300 semi-pro, and some wouldn't. But a lot of professionals do use them (often for backup), so I think they qualify. Canon's most popular semi-pro lenses for the 40D ($1300) are the EF-S 10-22 f/3.5-4.5 ($600), EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS ($1000), 70-200 f/4L (or 70-300 f/4-5.6 IS) ($600 either way). A proper semi-pro outfit will often have all three zooms, or something similar, and often more. Nikon's selections are similar or more costly. Figure $3000-4000 to get started.

    Canon Rebel XTi, Nikon D40x, Pentax K10D, are not semi-pro gear, and the lenses they usually come with sure aren't. They are nice consumer oriented gear with the resulting compromises, but you can build an acceptable kit for under $1500 with them. They are very serviceable, and provide excellent image quality. Most owners love them.

    Another thing. SnowWolfe's right about buying quality glass. A $1000 body is usually crippled with $200 glass. Also, when starting out buying lenses for a photography kit, put more money into the main lens than you do into most subsequent lenses. There are exceptions, like expensive telephoto lenses, but you generally want to have the lens you use the most be a very competent piece. On the surface, Canon's new EF-S 18-55 IS lens seems to break the rule about getting what you pay for. The optical qualities are better than the $200 price tag would suggest, but even then it is a lens with a small aperture (f/3.5-5.6), so is limited in other ways. You might consider Tamron's 17-50 f/2.8 for a $400 option with both large aperture and remarkably good image quality. You should be able to find versions of it with any of the main camera manufacturer's lens mounts.

    You generally want to avoid lenses with very large zoom ranges. Either their image quality will be poor, focus will be erratic, or their apertures will be small (larger f/number), or all of the above. They are very convenient, but you will loose a lot of the quality and speed reasons a person chooses a DSLR instead of a point & shoot.

    I'll shut up now.

  8. #8
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Eagle River/ Juneau
    Posts
    5,154

    Default

    if you get a dslr remeber that they are only as good as the glass you put in front of them, and good glass = lots of money. A few pointers on glass: -Cheap Super zooms suck, they are pretty soft at all focal lengths and though you can get good pictures with them, keeper rates are pretty low
    -Fast primes are pretty cheap and get you great IQ
    -70-200 F2.8 lenses are generally epic (canon's f4 is apparently awesome as well)

    Try picking up an old totally manual camera, even a rangefinder one, and learn about light and f stops, and shutter speeds and metering and burn through some film (velvia 100 is awesome) film still beats the heck out of digital in terms of resolution, saturation, etc... Plus you can pick up an old manual for like 50 bucks and learn (thats how I started).

    I also reccomend taking a class to learn to develope b&w film imo opinion as a photographer there is nothing more rewarding then working through all the steps needed to take an excellent photo and having it appear in the developer bath...

    Basically what I'm saying is that before you throw a lot of money into a body and glass learn about photography, that way when you spend the money on a dslr you get much more out of it.

    Besides with any camera you can get stellar results, it all depends on the guy behind it... Take a look at my website, see if you can tell what came from the minolta film with bad glass, the fully manual pentax rangefinder, the olympus 6 mp p&s, the pentax 6 mp p&s, or the canon dslr with good glass...

    P.S. to answer your actual question... If I had $1200 and no body I'd get a canon 400d kit a canon 50mm f1.4 and a canon 70-200 F4 L that should run you ~$1400 if you shop around a bit... Thats tough to beat for the price, and canon lens options are endless, and the quality of high end canon stuff can't be beat.
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    2,083

    Default

    tboehm,

    I already answered your PM, and here are a couple of links:

    Canon Rebel XTi (body only). This camera is the upgraded version of the Rebel XT. Canon upgrades the entry-level cameras almost every year, and this one is almost a year old now.
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...Rebel_XTi.html

    There is an older Canon camera that was very popular a year ago. It's a semi-professional camera, although it's sensor is an 8MP one instead of 10MP. The Rebel XT I use has an 8MP sensor, and it's enough to capture an image to print in a size of over 30" x 40" . The 30D has been upgraded to the 40D, but it's still a great camera. That's why a new body still costs $900.00.
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...al_Camera.html

    Now, if I could afford a 40D with an "IS" kit lens, I would go for it.
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...R_Digital.html

    I have posted B&H links, simply because they are a reputable dealer, and their prices are very close to other reputable dealers. Should you decide to buy any of these cameras, or other cameras i have not listed, make sure that you check with Doug at Camera Land. His link should be right here in this forum.

    Ray

  10. #10
    Member tboehm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Soldotna AK
    Posts
    2,407

    Default Thanks

    Well, I didn't get it for her for xmas but our anniversry (23rd) is next week and I just ordered her the Cannon 40D. I wanted to thank everyone for the help and advice. The first picture it will take is of her in the nice corset and matching panties that I also got for her (well may thats for me!!!) but she gets to wear it.

  11. #11
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    3,568

    Default

    Make sure you post that first picture here
    Tennessee

  12. #12
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    2,083

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tboehm View Post
    Well, I didn't get it for her for xmas but our anniversry (23rd) is next week and I just ordered her the Cannon 40D. I wanted to thank everyone for the help and advice. The first picture it will take is of her in the nice corset and matching panties that I also got for her (well may thats for me!!!) but she gets to wear it.
    Excellent!

    Congratulations on your new camera, even if the wife is getting it.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •