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Thinking of picking up a DSLR.

post #1 of 214
Thread Starter 
I've browsed the various photography threads here, and I want to get my hands on a DSLR.

I have little photography knowledge, perhaps none at all. I hope to gain some knowledge before purchasing a cam, so if you know any great sites for beginners, let me know.

I have my eye on the Nikon D50....

But then again, I'd have to learn more to know what lenses/flashes etc I'd need. But is the D50 too much? Too little?

I'm obviously a photography noob, so any advice?
post #2 of 214
I have found that http://dpreview.com/ is a great source of information on just about everything related to cameras. I'm thinking about going for the Nikon D40x, Nikon 55-200mm f/4.5-5.6G ED AF-S VR DX Lens, and Nikon Speedlight SB-600. It seems to be a decent starter setup. Otherwise there is the Pentax K100D.Here is a good comparision of the D40X and Pentax.

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...hread=23277536
post #3 of 214
Ugh...I'm a bit messed up right now so I'll try to make my post as coherent as possible:

The body that you get isn't really going to matter much. I would recommend either Nikon or Canon, since their bases seem to be the largest and probably have the most support. Get a cheaper body, preferably a used or outdated body (like the Nikon D50, D70, Canon Rebel XT, 20D, etc) and save your money for lenses and other accesories (like a tripod or flash unit).

As for lenses, start out with a cheap kit lens and a 50mm f/1.8. Then, as you work with the kit lens and learn more about the camera and how you use the camera, you can begin deciding on other more specific lenses that suit your needs. Like getting close? Macro. Like shooting portraits? 85/1.8. Need a little reach? 70-200. Like to shoot those wide, panning landscapes? 10-22. And for other accessories, all you need is a basic flash unit like the 430EX (or the nikon equivalent) and a tripod that will at least hold your camera still.

Make sure you take it slow, take your time to learn what you are doing before jumping the gun. You don't want to end up with a bunch of expensive lenses you don't need.

I hope I made sense Good luck
post #4 of 214
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrvile View Post
Ugh...I'm a bit messed up right now so I'll try to make my post as coherent as possible:

The body that you get isn't really going to matter much. I would recommend either Nikon or Canon, since their bases seem to be the largest and probably have the most support. Get a cheaper body, preferably a used or outdated body (like the Nikon D50, D70, Canon Rebel XT, 20D, etc) and save your money for lenses and other accesories (like a tripod or flash unit).

As for lenses, start out with a cheap kit lens and a 50mm f/1.8. Then, as you work with the kit lens and learn more about the camera and how you use the camera, you can begin deciding on other more specific lenses that suit your needs. Like getting close? Macro. Like shooting portraits? 85/1.8. Need a little reach? 70-200. Like to shoot those wide, panning landscapes? 10-22. And for other accessories, all you need is a basic flash unit like the 430EX (or the nikon equivalent) and a tripod that will at least hold your camera still.

Make sure you take it slow, take your time to learn what you are doing before jumping the gun. You don't want to end up with a bunch of expensive lenses you don't need.

I hope I made sense Good luck
That made perfect sense... GREAT suggestion Mrvile... I'd agree with him. I currently have a Canon Digital Rebel XT with the 50mm f/1.8 lens, kit lens, and Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 APO DG Macro, and a Bogen/Manfrotto 3021bpro/488rc2 tripod/ballhead --- pretty much a starter set up as I don't take a ton of photos (not nearly as much as I wish i did) and am still learning more and more about the camera.

Whatever you do, do lots and lots of reading before you take the plunge... because DSLRs and accessories get to be quite expensive and you don't want to make the wrong decision. for review sites I like to go to www.dpreview.com www.stevesdigicams.com and www.dcresource.com --- also, I frequent a Canon photography forum where I learn lots of great things... www.photography-on-the.net/forum --- best of luck!
post #5 of 214
Mrvile is completely right,
Don't spend too much on the body itself, as i don't think anyone can see the difference between a Canon, Pentax or a Nikon if you equal the saturation and contrast.

If you still want a cheap new DSLR i recommend you to take a look at the Pentax K110D, this is the same camera as the K100D except that it lacks the IS. (not a big deal imo, just train with the camera to hold it still)

Overall i think this is the cheapest body you can get, as it features 4 AA batteries and uses SD(HC) cards, also the Pentax kit lens is quite good, (a bit of vignetting though) and other Pentax brand lenses are great value too, especially the 50-200, which is around $150.

I'm will be ordering my Pentax K110D (inc. 18-55) within a few weeks for €405, quite the bargain, id say.

BTW, the only DSLR i do not recommend is the Olympus series, as they use a way smaller 4:3 sensor, which can be problematic when you want to get decent wide-angles, and i don't see any reason why anyone would shoot at 4:3.

And how much goes the 50mm F/1.8 you guys are talking about, in my country they are damn expensive.
post #6 of 214
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the great advice, anyone else?
post #7 of 214
I just bought a D50 as my first real camera and couldn't be happier - I'd never taken anything beyond random snapshots with P&S before.

The main problem is the nightmares about having the D50 stolen :P (especially in Spain....)

But if you really plan to take pictures, and have fun... I find it really enjoyable with just the D50, kit lens and an Ansel Adams book. Totally worth it.
post #8 of 214
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sir Nobax View Post
And how much goes the 50mm F/1.8 you guys are talking about, in my country they are damn expensive.
Are you sure it's the 1.8s? 1.4 is more, and then a 1.2 is really expensive. But here in the states, you can pick up a Canon 50mm/1.8 for $70 USD, and a Nikon is about $90.

As for advice on a dSLR, others have covered most of it. The only other thing I'd add is to try holding these cameras in your hands before you buy one. The cheapest dSLRs also tend to be the most compact: some people like that and others find them too small. While there are certain differences in performance between brands, one of the biggest differences with cameras are their interface. If you can find a store that has Canon, Nikon, Sony, and Pentax cameras on display, check to see if the buttons are laid out in an intuitive manner for you.
post #9 of 214
I recently bought a NOS Nikon D70s. If you look, there are still a number of retailers that have new ones even though they've been discontinued. It's considerably less that the D80, and while the D80 is better, the D70s is pretty far from bad. I think new D50s are still around and while I'm not familiar with the Canon lineup, I'm sure you can find similar deals. I heavily recommend that because you save a lot of money while getting a new camera with a full warranty. Unless you must have a new feature, get the discontinued one.

As for lenses, so far I've picked up the f/1.8 50mm and the $120 70-300mm. Had tons of great shots with them last weekend and am glad I didn't buy the more expensive ones. I'm sure the pro lenses are good, but the "cheapies" exceeded my expectations.
post #10 of 214
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sir Nobax View Post


BTW, the only DSLR i do not recommend is the Olympus series, as they use a way smaller 4:3 sensor, which can be problematic when you want to get decent wide-angles, and i don't see any reason why anyone would shoot at 4:3.

And how much goes the 50mm F/1.8 you guys are talking about, in my country they are damn expensive.
A 4:3 'Lens' system is not 'way' smaller than any of the other dslr sensors.
good article -> http://www.calicocat.com/2005/01/oly...-standard.html

In fact, the multiplier for 4:3 lenses is X2 so a 50mm lens is equivilant to a 100mm in 35mm format. My 50mm/f2.0 Zuiko was almost $500
post #11 of 214
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sir Nobax View Post
BTW, the only DSLR i do not recommend is the Olympus series, as they use a way smaller 4:3 sensor, which can be problematic when you want to get decent wide-angles, and i don't see any reason why anyone would shoot at 4:3.
The existence of wide angle lenses for the 4:3 system is not an issue. The current 4:3 wide angle lens (taking crop into account) is wider than Canon and Nikon. 4:3 also have plenty of standard zooms starting at 28mm equivalence.

I can see why people might be concerned about the 4:3 system, but, as with any system, Canon, Nikon, Sony/Minolta, Pentax, it has its strengths and its weaknesses. On one hand, its deeper depth of field makes it somewhat less useful for more dramatic blurred macro photography relative to the competition, but on the other hand, its deeper depth of field, and the compact size of many Olympus cameras, makes it more attractive for fast, hyperfocal focused, street photography.

There is nothing sacred about a 3:2 aspect ratio. In many instances 4:3 is more appropriate (my understanding is that in certain professional settings 4:3 is the standard over 3:2).

I wouldn't worry about starting with an Olympus. Actually, when I think about the number of pros who have used and learned on Olympus in the past, I can't help but think it's a great heritage to be joining. But that is, of course, equally applicable to all the major systems out there.

Best regards,

-Jason
post #12 of 214
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjcha View Post
The existence of wide angle lenses for the 4:3 system is not an issue. The current 4:3 wide angle lens (taking crop into account) is wider than Canon and Nikon. 4:3 also have plenty of standard zooms starting at 28mm equivalence.

I can see why people might be concerned about the 4:3 system, but, as with any system, Canon, Nikon, Sony/Minolta, Pentax, it has its strengths and its weaknesses. On one hand, its deeper depth of field makes it somewhat less useful for more dramatic blurred macro photography relative to the competition, but on the other hand, its deeper depth of field, and the compact size of many Olympus cameras, makes it more attractive for fast, hyperfocal focused, street photography.

There is nothing sacred about a 3:2 aspect ratio. In many instances 4:3 is more appropriate (my understanding is that in certain professional settings 4:3 is the standard over 3:2).

I wouldn't worry about starting with an Olympus. Actually, when I think about the number of pros who have used and learned on Olympus in the past, I can't help but think it's a great heritage to be joining. But that is, of course, equally applicable to all the major systems out there.

Best regards,

-Jason
Large format cameras (4x5 and 8x10) are very close to 4:3 ratio. Shooting in 4:3 lets you make 8x10 prints with almost no cropping, plus it fits your monitor. Printing 8x10 from 3:2 format always involves either major cropping, which leads to issues with composition, or having to print with large borders to avoid cropping. It's also easier to find ready-made frames/mats for 8x10.

Pretty much all P&S digicams are 4:3 format, so people who have been using digicams, and like the format, have a dSLR to step up to. I had trouble going back to 3:2 after years of shooting 4x5, then 4:3 with my Canon Pro 1. Now that I've gotten used to 3:2, (again) 4:3 looks too square to my eye.
post #13 of 214
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjcha View Post
.

On one hand, its deeper depth of field makes it somewhat less useful for more dramatic blurred macro photography relative to the competition, but on the other hand, its deeper depth of field, and the compact size of many Olympus cameras, makes it more attractive for fast, hyperfocal focused, street photography.
I don't think very many of the shooters with the E series dslrs have that problem. I tend to find that with all 3 of my lenses, 50mm/f2.0, 14-45mm/f3.5-5.6, and 40-150mm/f3.5-4.5, that if i don't shoot in AP mode and close the aperture some, then i get too much bokeh or too shallow DOF. The cool thing is that all 3 lenses are digital and the firmware can be upgraded online by just plugging the camera into your computer
post #14 of 214
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjcha View Post
On one hand, its deeper depth of field makes it somewhat less useful for more dramatic blurred macro photography relative to the competition...
When shooting macro, I want as much DOF I can get without losing image quality to loss of light or diffraction. With a high-crop camera like the 4:3 sensors I get a little extra free DOF without having to stop down. Most macro shooters shoot at f/11 or f/16, which is already skimming the limits of most lenses and stepping into diffraction range, so anything to help us obtain more DOF is a blessing. Canon/Nikon's next step is to introduce a pro-level APS-C body for sports shooters, birders, and macro shooters who can make use of the extra reach and DOF.
post #15 of 214
Whatever entry-level camera you get, if you buy lenses for it, you'll end up buying more of their product line.

Rebel XTi is a good start, though the Nikons aren't all the bad either. Pentax K100D is a decent start for Pentax. Uses AA batteries too, I think.

- lk
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