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Thread: 1st SLR, which one?

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    Member keelermk's Avatar
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    Question 1st SLR, which one?

    I'm looking to buy an SLR to start taking some better wildlife and outdoor pics. I have about $1500 to spend and after spending what seems like forever looking at different cameras and packages, i'm stumped. I'm edging toward the canon 40D right now. Should i wait for the 50d to come out and save alittle more $ or will the 40D do everything i will ever need? Will the 50D be that much better of a camera? Basically what i'm trying to figure out is what to buy now without having to buy another cam a year down the row! I'm also not strickly looking at these two cams, they are just what has caught my attention at this point. Once i decide on what cam to buy what is your favorite all around lense to get things started?

    Again thanks for every bodies help in advance.
    IF GUNS KILL PEOPLE THEN CAN I BLAME MY PENCIL FOR MISSPELLED WORDS?

  2. #2

    Default nikon or canon

    go with either canon or nikon cant go wrong with one of the major 2 brands . invest in good glass right off the start .

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    The jury is still out on whether the 50D image quality is significantly better than the 40D. Right now, you can go to dpreview.com, check out the 50D-10D forum and you will find all kinds of conflicting opinions. Since they just started shipping last week in Europe, and may not have reached any USA dealers yet, we should expect some more significant reports that we have now in a couple more weeks. It is an upgrade, feature wise, but the extra 5 megapixels may not make much difference unless you use it with a very sharp lens, a sturdy tripod, and flawless technique.

    The 50D will be selling for $1400 for some months yet, and the 40D is selling for under $1000 right now. There is also a used one on Craig's list that looks to be in excellent condition for $800.

    You will also need a couple lenses if you are planing on taking wildlife and scenics. Bare minimum will be a 300mm lens for wildlife. Cheap 75-300mm zooms can be had for $150, but they are not any better than a low cost superzoom point & shoot, so why bother? A decent 70-300 will be over $500, and a good 100-400 will be triple that. The new kit lens (18-55 IS) is decent enough for the money, but optically slow. DON'T get it with the 18-55 non-IS kit lens -- Optically they are not the same. Also the 28-135 that it is often sold with the 40D is a poor choice for most people because it is not wide enough with these small sensor cameras.

    What I'm getting at is $1500 is hardly enough to get even a used 40D and half decent lenses, so you may want to rethink your financial strategy.

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    Member keelermk's Avatar
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    Thanks for the reply Jim. FRom what i've read the 40d is what i'm looking for. Also i'm not looking to buy all of my lenses and accesories at once. For now I would like to get the best camera i can afford and a good lense that i can learn with over the winter. Over the winter i will be able to afford to pick up more lenses and stuff like that. I suppose i should have mentioned that before hand huh... Here is what i'm thinking of starting of with, EOS 40D SLR Digital Camera with Canon EF-S 17-85mm IS USM AF Lens, I can pick this package up at b&h for a little over $1300. If someone runs by a better deal let me know please! Also keep the advice coming!
    IF GUNS KILL PEOPLE THEN CAN I BLAME MY PENCIL FOR MISSPELLED WORDS?

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    40D is a great camera. I like mine. The 17-85 is a good option to the 28-135, as it is sized better to fit the smaller sensor of the 40D. Some people complain that there is a fair amount of barrel distortion at the 17mm end, but that's hardly going to matter much for scenic images, and it is easy to fix after the fact if needed. Some will insist on a faster aperture, at least f/2.8 instead of the f/4-5.6, but this usually matters more for interior pictures. The IS feature of the 17-85 offsets most of this difference anyway.

    Nikon's new D90 is another good option, although I would get it with their 18-200 VR lens if I went with Nikon. Typically of Canon & Nikon, their prices and features are staggered in between each other so they don't have to go head to head and really duke it out. The 40D fits into this scheme above the D90 and below the D300. They are all good choices depending on how much you want to spend.

    I also think Pentax's K20D is another very good option, and with Pentax (like Sony) the image stabilization is built in to the camera body, so all lenses that fit it have the IS/VR/OS (etc.) advantage.

    I suppose I could recommend Sony, but it goes against my religion so I won't. It's not that they don't make good equipment, they just have earned a nasty reputation for not supporting their consumer products.

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    Member greythorn3's Avatar
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    are they as good as 35mm yet?
    Semper Fi!

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    "are they as good as 35mm yet"

    That's an arguable question, but from my perspective digital SLRs have surpassed 35mm film some time ago.

    Digital sensors have the wide dynamic range of good color negative film (perhaps even better) but only if shooting raw image files, and even then all the safe extended range is in the shadows. It's real easy to blow out a digital capture, just like color slide film.

    A very good slow color slide captures at most 20 megapixels of data, but professional 400 ISO color print film can't get nearly half of that. So it would depend on the digital camera and the film you are comparing it to. Also, if you scan your film, you loose even more resolution and dynamic range.

    Also, digital noise is far less than film grain at anything over 100 ISO. The difference gets really noticeable at 800 iSO and above. However, I like the look of film grain better than digital noise.

    For some things it still makes sense to use film. Star shots for example. Perhaps Aurora pics as well. But for most things, it's my opinion that digital is better.

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    northern lights?
    Semper Fi!

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    Default consider

    consider nikon is stopping film cameras all together , Hasselblad has stopped them as well , canon I believe is following soon . Films time is dieing / dead .

  10. #10
    Member keelermk's Avatar
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    Default Thanks for all of the info

    Thanks Jim looks like my 40d will be on order very soon. Now just to search around and find the best deal... Any suggestions on where? So far B&H looks pretty good.
    IF GUNS KILL PEOPLE THEN CAN I BLAME MY PENCIL FOR MISSPELLED WORDS?

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    Check out this web site. It really helped me.

    http://kenrockwell.com/

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    Member Floyd_Davidson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rickb1b View Post
    Check out this web site. It really helped me.

    http://kenrockwell.com/
    Rockwell is not a reliable source.

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    Default My $.02

    Hi there,
    I just got a D60 about three weeks ago. While I am still learning about all this camera has to offer, I have been very pleased with it and with the quality of pictures.

    Also, my husband has a D90 that he uses for outdoor/studio shots and he is also quite happy with it. No particular reason we picked Nikon over Canon, but I agree with everyone else...invest in good lenses as well. As pleased as we are with our camera's we're already saving to get additional lenses.

    Good luck deciding!!!

    ~kristie~

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roman View Post
    go with either canon or nikon cant go wrong with one of the major 2 brands . invest in good glass right off the start .
    This is the best advice!! The bodies are equal in just about all aspects - one may have a little more features than the other but it ultimately depends on the glass.

    Kind of like a home stereo...which is better... a high $ receiver (camera body) with cheap speakers (lens) or a moderate $ receiver (body) with top of the line speakers (lens)? The better speakers will ALWAYS sound better as will the best glass out perform cheap lenses and expensive bodies.

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    keelermik: B&H didn't become the largest photo dealer in the world for nothing. They provide good service, excellent return policy, very competitive prices and reasonable shipping. It's hard to be that combination. Adorama is another good NYC dealer for pretty much the same reasons. You can beat their prices by a few dollars if you look around, but if you find any substantial price differences from B&H it is just one more reason to question the reliability of the dealer. Always check out unknown dealer at resellerratings.com. It's a lot less frustrating that way.

    Greythorn3: I think film might still be better for Northern Lights pictures. I have seen some good Aurora images from digital cameras, but digital still struggles with long exposures. For one thing, the sensor heats up as the exposure continues, and this produces digital noise. You can see the "hot pixels." They almost look like extra stars -- but with too much color. The newer & better cameras allow you to set a feature that takes a second "blank" exposure right after the real one, and the camera then subtracts the noise of the blank shot from the real one. It does work pretty well, but I think film might still have the edge anyway. I haven't sold *all* my film cameras.

    Floyd: "Rockwell is not a reliable source." I believe this to be a correct comment about Ken Rockwell's site, but He is still interesting to read at times.

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    Member Majik Imaje's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roman View Post
    Films time is dieing / dead .
    Well all of that is not quite true at all.. FILM WILL NEVER DIE ! It has far more reaching uses and applications than just for home photographers - 'wanna be' and professional photographers. for users of 35mm and 120 format and even medium format this might seem to be true, but for process cameras that use 30" X 40" sheet film or cameras that use 20,000 - 60,000 & even 120,000 frames per second !! FILM IS STILL THE BEST AND THE NORM.

    Industrial applications need what film can do; that digital cannot do or even approach !!

    It is beyond the scope of this thread for me to explain how industrial companies, medical industries, such as General Electric and other huge companies depend on film.

    A DIGITAL CAMERA (dslr) cannot approach what an 8 x 10 11 x 14 or 16 x 20 camera is capable of achieving.

    Film sees colors that the human eye cannot possibly see. Digital records what the eye can see. In technical and scientific applications film is still king and always will be for many decades to come.

    I know you can probably quote some article on the internet that says the exact opposite. (yawn) I know from experience working in industrial complex applications that this is still the 'norm' !

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    I have the Canon 40D and I am naturally biased. I love this camera. While Nikon and Canon both have lots to offer, I suggest what I know about. Surely others will disagree. But my advice to you is to get the 40D. No question. I am getting ready to buy a second one myself. Just waiting for the price to drop a bit more. B&H Photo/Video is my choice. They are the trusted name in photography. For good lenses, consider the 24-105. I love mine. Great lens. The 17-85 you mentioned may be a good starter lens. I am not familiar with it. It will depend on your usage. I got the Canon 10-22, 24-105, and 100-400. Planning on a 100 f/2.8 macro soon. Just need the dough. All are remarkable lenses. I started with the kit lens (28-135). It is ok, but the 24-105 is a much better lens. Like many things, you get what you pay for. I would suggest you do lots of research before buying lenses. Not something to rush into. They are as, or more, important than the camera. If you are new to photography, you need some books and dvds. There are some made just for the 40D. Look on B&H, if you can't find them, shoot me a pm and I will send you links. You will need a tripod. Look at the Bogen 190 with a ball head. That will be about $175 on B&H. Great value and high quality for the price. Look at Lowepro backpacks. Very nice way to store/carry your gear. Get Adobe Photoshop Elements 6.0 (editing software). Post processing (editing) is a big part of digital photography. I can not emphasize this enough. It is easier than it seems. You can make your photos 100% better with just a minute or two of post processing. Often just increasing saturation/colors/vibrancy/etc.. Also used for resizing (making smaller sized files) for web use. That way you can download them much faster and they look the same on computer screens. For sharing photos, get a Flickr account. It is a great way to share images. You just make an album on Flickr and email the link to people and they can view the images. A free account is available, but you can get the Pro account for about $25/year. That allows unlimited downloads. Great stuff. You will likely want a circular polarizer. Hold off on any other filters for starters. Consider a Hoya Pro 1 from filter2filter (website). Best prices to be found are at that site. A book for Photoshop Elements 6.0 will get you on the right track. I bought three, but one is far better than the others. Get it at Amazon or Barnes and Noble online. It is "Photoshop Elements 6.0 for Digital Photographers" by Scott Kelby. This sounds like a lot, but trust me, it will make sense soon (if not already). Not sure what your experience is, but I had to start from scratch. A great forum is www.photo.net Go there and go to the Canon forum. Post a question and you will get tons of feedback. Read over the old post. Put Canon 40D in the search box in the upper left. Tons of info on this forum. Tons. Take a look at the nature forum too. I went through all this last year and will tell you anything I can to help. Just shoot me an email if you have questions. I remember how hard it was getting this info. Below are some of my Flickr links so you can see what it looks like. When the links open, click "view slideshow" in the upper right.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/2114408...7605295387576/

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/2114408...7603817533952/

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/2114408...7603675756905/

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/2114408...7607454754242/


    Dan
    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.

  18. #18
    Member keelermk's Avatar
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    Default Thanks Dan!

    Here's the deal i've found so far. It's a 40d come's with a canon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS, and a 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS lenses. Also comes with a canon camera backpack, a few filters, a 4g card, a hard case, two cheap tripods, and a couple other cheap through in stuff. I know the two lenses aren't the fastest out there but shouldn't they get me started as i learn? the price on this package is $1338 shipped.

    After lots of looking this seems like the best deal to me. What do you guys think? Sorry for all the questions guys i just want to make sure i'm not wasting money here.
    IF GUNS KILL PEOPLE THEN CAN I BLAME MY PENCIL FOR MISSPELLED WORDS?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roman View Post
    Films time is dieing / dead .
    For the purposes of this forum, that is absolutely true. For almost all purposes it is nearly true.

    Film still has uses in various niches where electronic sensors may not yet (or in a very very very few place ever) be better. But for small format outdoor photography, film practically does not exist today.

    Medium format photography still has, barely, a use for film. That will be gone within perhaps less than a decade. The same is true of large format photography.

    Within 20 years there will remain virtually nothing but very minor industrial uses of film, and most of those would not be called "photography" as such.

    Incidentally, the claim that electronic sensors see only visible light is not true at all. There are electronics sensors that do not respond to visible light at all!

  20. #20
    Member greythorn3's Avatar
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    show me a good picture of the northern lights or another low light picture from a digital?

    Ray
    Semper Fi!

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