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Thread: DSLR Advice

  1. #1
    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
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    Default DSLR Advice

    Hi all,
    I'm ready to make the jump to a digital SLR.

    I've done some casual shopping around and am leaning towards the Nikon D60. I'm assuming that since it's a Nikon finding additional lenses won't be a problem.

    Are their any drawbacks or design shortcomings to this camera?
    For those who have or had one are/were you satisfied with it? If not please say why?

    Thanks in advance, your input is valuable and appreciated.
    Erik

  2. #2
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    You will have plenty of lens choices if you go with Nikon or Canon. Canon has more from what I can see, but I am not overly familiar with Nikon equipment. I have a Canon 40D. The one thing I will say is that the lenses are the most important part of the setup. Pick out the lenses you want, and will want in the future, then buy the camera that supports them. The kit lenses that come with the cameras are lacking in some areas and if you get into photography, you will want to upgrade. I would take a good look at the lenses before deciding on a camera. Also, assuming you are new to photography, be sure to get some books. There are books/dvds specific to each major camera model. For example, the Nikon D60 has a few books made just for it, and there are instructional dvds just for that model. B&H Photo is the best place to order from. Great selection and prices. Go to their website and in the search bar at the top, put in Nikon D60. It will show all the D60 packages, books, and dvds and such. I got some similar books/dvds for my Canon 40D and it really helped me learn how to use my camera. I will try to attach a link below for you to the above mentioned search on B&H.

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...arch&Q=*&bhs=t
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

  3. #3
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    There are drawbacks to all designs. For me one would be the use of SD cards, since I have a large supply of CF cards. ---- Besides none of my Canon glass would fit it.

    Personally, I like the idea of SD(HC) cards. Smaller and less likely to bend a pin/contact while inserting. They are also cheaper than anything else right now.

    The question I have about the D60 is, does it accept older Nikon lenses? Some/most (perhaps all) low end Nikons will not meter with non-CPU Nikon lenses, and some of the newest (perhaps the D60) only really work with G series Nikon lenses. Other lenses mount but either will not meter, or will not autofocus with good but older AF glass. That would be too limiting to me.

    Nikon makes some very good mid range and higher DSLRs, but for the above reasons I haven't liked the low end ones. Perhaps the D60 is different. Might be something you should look into though.

    I am Canon biased, but I think you should look at the Pentax K200D or K20D. They have image stabilization built into the body, so you don't pay a premium for lenses that have it. I think Pentax is underrated. Perhaps it is too limited in lens and flash selection for professionals, but for the rest of us they seem to be pretty good. They are limited with a mediocre AF system, but have the best viewfinders out there. Great for people who prefer to manual focus, but...

  4. #4

    Default Dslr

    Hello,

    No expert here but a person who just went through what you are considering. My wife got me the new canon xsi. i had always had canon point and shoot cameras. the functions and menu settings are similar to those on a point and shoot camera. the kit lens has been fun for a couple months but i am already pricing and considering adding a lens. i got two books for the camera off amazon and that has been very helpful. i read a chapter/section and then go out and play with it. the net has several short videos on many topics specific to the camera i have.

    i always come home and view the images and feel cheated that i did not have this type of camera on some of my earlier trips/outings. i am amazed at the flexability that the images the camera produces (resolution) and the fun things that a good image software program can add. i have a two year old at home so i like the fact that i can take several pictures a second and be assured that one is good enough to send to grandma. the image stabilization on the kit lens gives me confidence to shoot almost anything. that feature will be on any other lens that i buy. I am learning to use this gem and i am having fun. good luck.


    I have been playing more with the macro type shots for now. a lens addition will open up even more for me. one step, one chapter and one paycheck at a time for me.

    Bruce
    http://fmtravels03.com/index.html
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    I thought I would mention two things to keep in mind:

    1. Read the link ShepsMon posted. I have no idea if that's true, but it's worth a look:
    http://www.city-data.com/forum/photo...nikon-d60.html

    2. If you want an entry level DSLR that's not too expensive, consider the brand new Canon XS, which is available in some places already, and in September at B&H. It's a 10MP camera, has LIve View, etc., and costs $699.00 including a kit lens with IS. The XSi is a very nice camera, which should be upgraded by Canon within a year. The 40D is perfect for me, but already a year-old model.

    3. Or the much more expensive upgrade to the 40D (I have this one), the 50D. But the 50D will be introduced to the market in a month or two.

  6. #6

    Default Nikon

    ok i'll be the nikon guy . I have 2 nikons , a D70 and a D200 . with a plan to upgrade to a D2X soon . I like nikons interface and controls much more than canons. Not to say they arent good cameras I just prefer them . Since you are in the entry level I would compair and contrast the 2 next to each other and go from there . I chose my D200 because of the metal frame etc . Not sure what the scoop is on teh D80 . I also hate SD cards or those other little cards . CF cards are more durable harder to loose and less likely to corupt files .

  7. #7

    Default Nikon D60

    Quote Originally Posted by Erik in AK View Post
    Hi all,
    I'm ready to make the jump to a digital SLR.

    I've done some casual shopping around and am leaning towards the Nikon D60. I'm assuming that since it's a Nikon finding additional lenses won't be a problem.

    Are their any drawbacks or design shortcomings to this camera?
    For those who have or had one are/were you satisfied with it? If not please say why?

    Thanks in advance, your input is valuable and appreciated.
    Erik
    I will admit that I am a Nikon fan but Canon makes some good stuff. If you looking at the D60 though one thing you need to consider is that this body does not have an auto focus motor in it. The D40 D40x and D60 use the AF-S series Nikon lenses that have the auto focus motor in the lens. You can use other lenses with it but it is manual focus only.

    The nice thing is if and when you decide to upgrade to the D80 or higher you will be able to use your old lenses. Decide on the lenses you want because this will be a big part of you investment. Most people start with a specific brand and stick with that company so they do not have to reinvest in new glass.

    The D60 is a great entry level DSLR and will keep you happy for some time. Check out some of the comparable Canon brands before you buy though the XTI and XSI are also great cameras and do have the focusing motor in the camera body. Don't quote me but the XSI kit might even be a bit cheaper than the D60 Kit.

  8. #8
    Member Floyd_Davidson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erik in AK View Post
    I've done some casual shopping around and am leaning towards the Nikon D60. I'm assuming that since it's a Nikon finding additional lenses won't be a problem.
    There is a full line of consumer grade zoom lenses that match the D60. However, Nikon has many very nice older lenses, which are often without any modern counter part, which will not work with the D60. Hence, yes there is a "full line" of lenses, but for example the two most commonly sought after fixed focal length lenses, the 50mm and 85mm (either the f/1.4 or f/1.8 versions) are not fully functional with the D60.

    If you actually have specialty interests in lenses, such as using a bellows or some of the older manual focus telephoto lenses, then none of the entry level Nikon cameras should be considered. Start with the D80 and look upwards from there (which is a very smart move regardless). And note that the availability of such lenses is one of the major attractions of Nikon over Canon for cameras above the entry level.
    Are their any drawbacks or design shortcomings to this camera?
    For those who have or had one are/were you satisfied with it? If not please say why?
    The obvious drawback is that for the price it cannot offer everything the Nikon D3/D300 models do. You will have to decide at what price you want to cap your search, depending on the features offered. I would highly suggest that you totally ignore all references that take you to Ken Rockwell's web page. He is not a reliable source of information. (The review being cited, which compares the D40 well against the D60, is a typical Rockwell bit of horse excriment. This sentence, in particular, is hilarious: "The D60 is less sensitive to light then the D40 (its default ISO is only ISO 100 compared to the D40's default ISO of 200)." That is utter nonsense, and is the reason Rockwell should be avoided.)

    Thom Hogan's web page well worth looking at. In particular, here is a chart comparing Nikon cameras:


    If at all possible it makes relatively good sense to skip the entry level cameras all together. If you can make a determination that you will eventually want a higher level camera, try to concentrate on that now, rather than later. Otherwise you get locked into a system based on comparisons between low end cameras rather than the ones you will actually want to own.

  9. #9
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Floyd_Davidson View Post
    If at all possible it makes relatively good sense to skip the entry level cameras all together. If you can make a determination that you will eventually want a higher level camera, try to concentrate on that now, rather than later. Otherwise you get locked into a system based on comparisons between low end cameras rather than the ones you will actually want to own.
    Great points Floyd makes here. I wanted to get the Nikon D40 or Canon Xti when first shopping for my first dslr last Nov. I eventually decided on the Canon 40D. Glad I did. No need to upgrade now. I have invested in some higher quality lenses, filters, tripod, etc.. But if I had got the D40 or Xti, I would be wanting a nicer camera by now for sure. If you will be getting into photography in a fairly serious way, investing a little more money for a more fully featured camera makes sense. And if you hold the nicer Nikon and Canon models, they will make the entry level cameras feel like kids toys in comparison. Build quality is a big factor here. Apples to oranges.
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

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    "No need to upgrade now."

    Yeah, yeah. Whatever. -- But did you see yesterdays announcement on that new Canon 50D? I NEED one of those.

    Oh rats! Now look at this mess. You got me all stirred up and I'm drooling on my shirt already. I'd be drooling on a 50D if I could get my hands on one. I think I'm hopeless.

  11. #11
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Strutz View Post
    I think I'm hopeless.
    You are in good company Jim!
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

  12. #12
    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
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    Everyone,
    Thanks so much for your input.

    Decisions, decisons....Floyd (in particular) thanks for reminding me of a lesson I'd learned years ago about glass...buying the best right off saves money in the long run.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Erik in AK View Post
    Everyone,
    Thanks so much for your input.

    Decisions, decisons....Floyd (in particular) thanks for reminding me of a lesson I'd learned years ago about glass...buying the best right off saves money in the long run.
    Erik, for all of us it's a matter of sub-optimization. Few of us have someone buying their equipment for them (other than maybe my oldest son ). Whether you choose Nikon or Canon, you'll be happy. I chose Nikon because a) I'd ALWAYS wanted one back to my film days in the '80's, and b) the availability of lenses. If you choose a Nikon from the D80 on up, all Nikon lenses back to the AI days are available to use with few restrictions (some may not meter through the lens on the D80 - I have one and usually limit my lense choices to AF lenses).

    When Canon changed over from the AE (?) mount, they effectively orphaned all of their older, and some might say better quality, lenses that can no longer be used with the new cameras.

    I am a firm believer in used glass, and this is where the Nikon choice makes a difference to those of us on a budget. If money was not an object, I'd likely go Canon, as they have a superior lens selection to Nikon, IMHO (although all Nikon lenses are ED glass, their top coating designation, while Canon gets a steep premium for their "L" glass ). I bought my son Canon gear for Christmas, so he wouldn't steal my lenses!

    I agree with Floyd, Dan, and Jim, the selection of the body will be secondary, as they are becoming almost throwaways (hard to think of someone plopping down $5-8000 for the latest and greatest body to see it plummet to around $1,000 in less than 3 years), whereas quality glass are maintaining their value.

    Have fun with the choice, realizing that once you choose the platform, it'll be no time until you're afflicted with withe CAS or NAS, which is a terminal condition - it stays with you until you're gone . . (Canon Acquisition Syndrome and Nikon Acquisition Syndrome - that irrational desire to purchase lenses and accessories for your camera to satisfy some "need" completely unquantifiable by any means.

    I see Jim is having another attack above . . . .

    Cheers,
    SH

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    Member Roger45's Avatar
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    About 3 weeks ago I was at the airport waiting for a flight. I picked up a Digital Photography magazine that the front cover promoted the top four entry level DSLR cameras in a head to head competition. Nikon, Canon, Pentax, and Olympus I believe. It was a great article and may be something you want to read. I gave the mag to a friend, but if you want more info I can get it back from him.
    "...and then Jack chopped down the beanstock, adding murder and ecological vandalism to the theft, enticement and vandalism charges already mentioned, but he got away with it and lived happily ever after without so much as a guilty twinge about what he had done. Which proves that you can be excused just about anything if you're a hero, because no one asks the inconvenient questions." Terry Pratchett's The Hogfather

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    Nikon introduced their much anticipated D90 today. Was reading about it on dpreview.com, and started with the drooling again --- and I don't even shoot Nikons!

    Gonna have to get another shirt though. This lead up to Photkina is ruining my image.

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    Sierra Hotel:

    You can use all sorts of old lenses on Canon DSLR lenses, except that focusing must be done manually. For example, with the right mount-kit I can use Leitz, Nikon, and other manual focusing lenses. The same story can be said about the Canon D60, as you can read in the link I posted above (under ShepsMom). Canon's switch was a good thing for Canon camera users, since it's much better to have the servo in the lens instead of the camera. Besides, with this list of lenses...:
    http://photography-on-the.net/forum/...d.php?t=141406
    http://www.pebbleplace.com/Personal/Leica_db.html

    Perhaps using good old lenses is good to a lot of people, but I, like most "picture takers" prefer modern and fully compatible lenses, regardless of brand.

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    Member Sierra Hotel's Avatar
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    Ray, I've seen your work, and I think you can take a great shot even through the bottom of a Coke bottle.

    Canon does have the better selection of newer lenses, IMHO, but I think a lot of the older Nikon lenses are GREAT deals, as they will AF, meter through the lens, are top quality, and can be purchased via a lot of sources to expend your camera bag quicker than if you were purchasing new lenses at new lens prices.

    I don't think one can wrong with either choice . . . I don't like the price premium for Canon's "L" glass though, for what is essentially improved coatings . . .

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    "I don't like the price premium for Canon's "L" glass though, for what is essentially improved coatings . . ."

    I think it goes deeper than that. In fact, I believe the lens coatings are basically the same on all Canon lenses. (I could be wrong on this point) There has been some recent changes in coatings on some third party lenses to work better with digital sensors and increase sharpness, but I don't know that Canon has done this.

    Anyway, Canon L lenses have a much better build quality than their other lines, and historically they reserved the L designation for lenses that used exotic glass, floride crystal, aspheric or other specialty elements. This was done to reduce chromatic aberrations, distortion and flare, and increase sharpness and contrast. Lately they have been using some hybrid aspheric and ED type elements on non-L lenses, but the L lenses are generally their best (or fastest) in any category. Nikon does the same with price and features on their best lenses, but has no single designation for them.

    Generally speaking Canon's prices are less than the equivalent Nikon glass. Plenty of exceptions to that rule though, and sometimes there are no direct equivalents, so it depends on which lenses one is looking for.

    Also, while all Nikon F mount lenses will fit all Nikon DSLRs, not all of them will meter on all bodies, some low end bodies cannot control the aperture of many Nikon (old and new) lenses and of course non-AF lenses will still be manual focus only. Oddly, with an adapter, all Nikon F mount lenses will fit and meter on all Canon EOS, and DSLR cameras. There are still limits though. Like Nikon G series lenses have no aperture control when mounted on a Canon (there is a work around for this however), and there is no auto focus or auto aperture control with them.

    All that said, pick a system, any system. They're all good. It's very hard to make a bad decision with what's available right now.

  19. #19
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Yeah, the Canon L glass is in a league of its own. I have the 24-105 and 100-400. They make my other (non L) Canon lenses look like toys. The images from the L lenses are much better and the build quality is not even comparable to the non L lenses. This is one of those situations in life where you actually get what you pay for. Well, almost, but you get the point. These things are expensive.
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

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    Member Auminer's Avatar
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    Floyd (in particular) thanks for reminding me of a lesson I'd learned years ago about glass...buying the best right off saves money in the long run.
    Yup, buy quality glass (prime if you can afford it) and get the body to fit, the glass will retain its value...

    See there are a lot of Canon shooters on here...

    Dave (Nikon D700)

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