Originally Posted by Clutz
My wife and I are contemplating purchasing a DSLR in the distant future. Right now I've got a little Canon P&S (PoS?) that I got as a Christmas gift a few years ago. It's perfectly (in)adequate for taking casual shots. The contrast is lousy- it can't resolve light on light colour differences, but for a camera I can fit into any number of pockets and that cost $200, it's not terrible.
My wife would like to get a DSLR, and I'm similarly inclined. We're working on trying to start a family, and we'd like a good camera to take pictures with. My preference is to wait longer and save up for a full frame DSLR (my preference being a Nikon D700 over a Canon 5D mkII, and generally disinterested in the Sony options). For the types of pictures that I like to take, I like having the extra wide field of view, and I'm not sure I'd be too happy giving up a huge amount of crop factor (1.6x vs 1.0) on DX / APS-C sensors- but I am open to being convinced otherwise, if anyone wants to try. The big reason for considering going with a lower end DSLR (APS, APS-C, DX sensor) owuld be that it's considerably cheaper, so we could get it earlier. But on the flip side, I'm pretty sure (being who I am), that I'd end up wanting to get a full frame camera in which case the initial investment would've been somewhat wasted (either as lost value in a trade in, or just an unused extra camera body).
I've done photography before- I've take a few photography classes. I've got a pretty good idea what lenses I want. To start with I'd probably get something like a decent 50 MM and a 24-105 (or similar) zoom. For just being out and about (taking the dog / future kid for walks), the 50 MM lens is probably what I'd want to use most of the time, especially if it had a nice low f-stop. Alternately, perhaps I'd want a 24 (or lower) to 80 zoom, and and an 80-200 for different purposes, but whatever.
I'd also consider an EVIL camera. And in fact, in a lot of ways that seems like it'd be a good stop gap measure between our current terrible camera, and actually getting a good camera.
For taking the Best photos of a child, you do not need FF. If you want to take building photos, landscape, wide angle indoor photos, then yes, get FF. Child photography, no
In all my years of taking photos, if I
wanted to take photos of people (non studio work), this is what I would get:
Nikon D300s (1520$)
Nikkor 24mm F/2.8 (360$) [very optional]
Nikkor 35mm F/2.0 (360$)
Nikkor 50mm F/1.8 (125$) [for such a small price, you have to]
Nikkor 85mm F/1.4 (1230$) or F/1.8 (450$)
If you are feeling adventurous, Nikkor 135mm DC (1300$).
If you can't afford to miss shots, replace those lenses with:
Nikkor 24-70mm F/2.8 (1740$)
Nikkor 70-200mm F/2.8 VR (2300$)
Bottom line. If you want the best child photography, you are going to want the best lenses. You're going to want fast lenses that can make silky smooth bokeh. Camera bodies can only make taking the photo easier (larger viewfinder, more features, quicker access to settings, etc), but it's the lenses that will give you fantastic photos!!!!!!! Can't stress that enough.
If you are dead set on FF, replace the D300s with the D700 for an extra 880$.
If you are Loaded
with money, consider the canon range and get some of their real gems (canon 24mm F/1.4, 35mm F/1.4, 85mm F/1.2, 50mm F/1.2) along with a nice 5D mk2. That would be studio quality photos. If not, I would stick with Nikon for their ergonomics.
Any lenses slower than F/2.8 are less than ideal (unless you are talking 300mm +). You want
the good lenses.
If I was strapped for money:
Nikkor 35mm F/2.0
Nikkor 85mm F/1.8 or
135mm F/2.0 DC (personal preference)