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My First DSLR...

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Ok, so...

I'm looking to get into some real photography. I currently have a Canon Powershot, but now I think I want something more... Expensive! (Te he) I was talking to some people and they recommended me the Nikon D90 for my first camera. Easy to use, takes great pics, lots of interchangeable lenses, the works. I thought that I've found it, my first DSLR.

Then I went to the local camera store and I meet this wise guy there who says that I should be getting a Lunix (sp?), Sony, or Olympus due to the fact that they have this stability sensor that's better and cheaper then the ones Nikon and Canon use.

Hmmmm, what do I do now? Should I just stick with the Nikon? Or are those overrated and I should go with something like Sony (with this better stability sensor...). I'm not sure now. Do you guys have any recommendations? I'm open to all brands, looking to be under 2 grand (this is with lenses), and It needs to be beginner friendly.

Thanks for the help guys!
post #2 of 16
The best thing to do is go back to the store and play around with each to see which one feels the best to you. I have no experience with Sony or Olympus but the difference between Nikon and Canon is mostly differences in body feel and UI, performance is usually on par.

For specific recommendations, it'd be helpful for you to list what you like to shoot and what you're looking for in terms of features. Also, $2k for a beginner set-up seems a bit much unless you're sure you'll love photography. A great beginner set-up can be had for under $1000 these days (You could buy a D40/D80, an 18-55mm VR, a 55-200mm VR, and an SB-400 for less than a grand) and would be more than enough for you to get your foot through the door.
post #3 of 16
I've been through a few DSLRs and am split between Canon and Nikon; Canons are much more ubiquitous and therefor it's much easier to buy and sell used equipment, the last few lenses I have been through have cost me nothing, I have bought and sold at the same price. However the cheaper Canons; XT, XTi have broken on me, the shutter has bent after normal use. The cheaper Nikon bodies seem to be of much better build however you will pay more for glass.
post #4 of 16
I'd go with Canon or Nikon just because they're ubiquitous and you'll have zero trouble finding lenses and other gear for them.

I'm in the Nikon camp, but I don't hate Canon. I think they're pretty good. It's just that the Nikon ergonomics felt better to me and now handling one is almost second nature. That, and the glass I've bought, will probably keep me using Nikons. But I also think that if I had gone with Canon I'd be equally happy.

I agree that $2k is a bit much to spend. See if you can get a good deal on a D80 with the kit lens. Only buy the D90 if a feature or two are must haves. If not, you won't notice the difference. I've had a D70s for a few years and it'sstill more camera than I can use. I've learned a lot, but its capabilities are still beyond my abilities. Which is why I've resisted upgrades. I'll keep shooting the D70s until it either falls apart or a must-have feature emerges.

Don't stop at a kit, though. You'll want another lens or two, a spare battery, a solid camera bag, and a good flash. Do not depend on built-in flashes, you absolutely want an external one you can swivel around to bounce light off ceilings, etc.

The lenses I use are the 18-70mm lens it came with, a 50mm prime and a 70-300mm telephoto. Though I'd love a macro lens, these three cover almost everything I want to shoot. I especially love that prime lens - fast, sharp and gives gorgeous natural proportions. It's a little more work to set up shots, but it pays off.

You'll also want to buy a few filters. I find the circular polarizer incredibly useful. If you want those ridiculously blue skies with clouds that pop out, that's how you get them.

Finally, once you get a camera, go nuts. Put a big memory card in and just keep shooting. Experiment and try new things. I was a film diehard, but being able to snap off 1,000 shots without worrying about the battery or developing, I was completely hooked.
post #5 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Erik View Post
The lenses I use are the 18-70mm lens it came with, a 50mm prime and a 70-300mm telephoto.
The Canon/Nikon 50mm F1.8 is the lens to have above all others. At around $80 new I found myself using it for everything, at one point I just had a 28-200mm L lens and the 50mm prime.
post #6 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Graphicism View Post
The Canon/Nikon 50mm F1.8 is the lens to have above all others. At around $80 new I found myself using it for everything, at one point I just had a 28-200mm L lens and the 50mm prime.
I've never really understood the fixation with the nifty fifty. It's quick, it's sharp, and it's cheap but unless you're shooting full frame, I've found that it occupies a dead zone in that it's way too long for a walk around lens and too short to use as a short tele. I like my 50 on my old F2 and it's a good complement but I wouldn't use it as my only lens for DX.
post #7 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by skyline889 View Post
I've never really understood the fixation with the nifty fifty. It's quick, it's sharp, and it's cheap but unless you're shooting full frame, I've found that it occupies a dead zone in that it's way too long for a walk around lens and too short to use as a short tele. I like my 50 on my old F2 and it's a good complement but I wouldn't use it as my only lens for DX.
I suppose some just prefer the 80mm portrait shot as opposed to wide which I agree you do need for full frame, landscape and the likes. I did often find myself wanting a wider lens but for a prime of the same aperture you'd be looking at 10x the price. I remember being out shooting one day with a friend, "how do I zoom in, is it manual?" she asked, manual as in walking forwards yes, I replied.
post #8 of 16
i shoot with nikon system for approximately 27 years.. shifted to Canon more than 7 years ago.. Nikon has better ergonomics but Canon has better after sales service (at least in my country)

entry level dSLR nikon or canon plus kit lens will be a very good start

you may eventually buy more lenses (prime/fixed and/or zoom) if you get involved further.. however, 50f/1.8 is a "must have" lens.. it has a lot of positive attributes.. i even use it as quasi-macro lens .. too inexpensive lens to be missed as mr. Wallet won't complain much with this lens
post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hey, thanks alot guys for the responses!

Well, I've managed to narrow it down to the D90. I'm probably just going to buy the body with a 18-200mm lens and a 50mm f/1.8. I'm mainly going to use these for urban landscapes with portraits. Is this a good buy?

Anyways, thanks again for the help, Its really narrowed down my choices!
post #10 of 16
I'd probably still get a Lunix because it's an awesome camera. Try testing Lunix LX3.
post #11 of 16
FTFY

Lunix = Lumix (from Panasonic)
post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Uam View Post
Hey, thanks alot guys for the responses!

Well, I've managed to narrow it down to the D90. I'm probably just going to buy the body with a 18-200mm lens and a 50mm f/1.8. I'm mainly going to use these for urban landscapes with portraits. Is this a good buy?

Anyways, thanks again for the help, Its really narrowed down my choices!
Sounds like a great setup for a first DSLR! I doubt you'll need more than that for years (which has, unfortunately, nothing to do with the urge to buy stuff). Specs and stuff like stability sensors really don't matter, image quality and the joy of handling a great camera much more so.
post #13 of 16
Yes! The 50mm f/1.8 is the one to get!

I use it more than the other lenses because it makes such pleasing photos. Add the circular polarizer and you can walk around all day and get plenty of great photos. I think I paid about $100 for it, too. I especially like it in low light since it'll pull out details. When I went to Carlsbad Caverns about six months ago, I used the 50mm and a tripod to take photos. The flash didn't work so well since the caverns are huge, so the solution was to turn the flash off and go for long exposures with the 50mm and a tripod.

Which reminds me, Nikon makes a remote control that sells for about $25. It's completely worth it. You can set up on a tripod, get the camera ready, then trigger it with the IR remote. You can take terrific pictures of dark places and the night sky.

Also, look around to see if the inexpensive 70-300mm is available still. I think I paid about $130 for it. It's not the fastest lens and it has a plastic mount, but I've gotten very nice photos. When you put it all the way out, it gives you remarkable bokeh for portraits. If I remember, Ken Rockwell raved about the lens in a review a few years back. If you haven't read Ken's site, go there and have a look around. You'll learn a lot.
post #14 of 16
The D90 and 50/1.8 and the zoom lens will be great. Next is the dedicated Nikon flash, and so it begins....muuahahah!
post #15 of 16

i started out with an old D70s and the 35mm f/1.8.  got the D70s second-hand and the total cost of this set-up was less than what i paid for a brand new Lumix LX3.  i really like the 35mm f/1.8 as an every day sort of lens. if you'd like to see some shots of what this lens can do, you can swing by my flickr.  i haven't felt the need to upgrade anything at all.


Edited by sputnik00 - 5/29/10 at 3:14am
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