Entry-level DSLR, ~$550
Oct 22, 2008 at 5:09 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 71

dima1109

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It seems like people here have not one, but two high-priced hobbies
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I haven't had a camera for quite a while, and I thought now could be a good time to dip my toe in the prosumer area. I haven't been doing my research for very long, but it seems like Nikon D40, (maybe D60 if a find a sub-$400 kit deal), and Canon XTi are my top choices. I do not plan on upgrading from the kit lens anytime soon, if ever. So far the D40 is looking slightly better because it tends to run a little cheaper, but I could do an XTi if it's worth it.

What do you guys think?
 
Oct 22, 2008 at 9:12 PM Post #2 of 71

erikzen

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I don't know that you're going to find a sub $400 DSLR with a lens, unless you have a used source.

That said, I'm partial to Olympus especially if you're not going to upgrade the lens. From everything I've read, the Olympus kit lenses are better than the Nikon or Canon kit lenses. From personal experience, I have the two Olympus kit lenses and the performance is almost as good as my 50mm f/2 high grade lens, which cost $400.

Buy.com has the E-410 with the 14-42 kit lens for $425:

Olympus EVOLT E-410 Digital SLR Camera w/Olympus 14-42mm Lens - 262041 - Buy.com
 
Oct 23, 2008 at 1:49 AM Post #3 of 71

hembergler

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As a merry owner of the D40, I highly suggest hunting around for one, whether refurbished or used on Craigslist. For its price, I don't think it can be beat.
 
Oct 23, 2008 at 3:22 AM Post #4 of 71

bigshot

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In that price range, I'd suggest going with a high end P&S instead of a low end DSLR. You'll get a lot more use out of a camera like a Panasonic Lumix DMC- FZ18 than you will with a D40 with one kit lens.
 
Oct 23, 2008 at 4:29 AM Post #5 of 71

dima1109

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Steve, what would be the principal difference between an SLR-like camera and a true SLR? (I don't care about video, that's the main difference I can think of)
 
Oct 23, 2008 at 7:28 PM Post #6 of 71

Towert7

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Quote:

Originally Posted by dima1109 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Steve, what would be the principal difference between an SLR-like camera and a true SLR? (I don't care about video, that's the main difference I can think of)


One is a real camera, the other still just a toy.

Do yourself a favor and get the D40 or XTi with kit lens. Try them both out and see which you prefer. You'll love it, and you can start taking pictures right away.

Buying anything less is loosing the whole point of going prosumer.
I think it's foolish to buy a Panasonic FZ18 when you can have a real DSLR. Crazy.

Just looked on bhphoto.com
Nikon D40 with kit 18-55mm Lens, 445$us. Can't beat it.
 
Oct 23, 2008 at 7:38 PM Post #7 of 71

linuxworks

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Quote:

Originally Posted by dima1109 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
It seems like people here have not one, but two high-priced hobbies
smile.gif


I do not plan on upgrading from the kit lens anytime soon, if ever. So far the D40 is looking slightly better because it tends to run a little cheaper, but I could do an XTi if it's worth it.



avoid nikon and canon, then. their kit lenses bit the moose.... ;(

go for oly. I left nikon years ago and am now shooting oly (e3 and others).

the e520 is a good buy right now. there is a new 'tweener' camera coming out between the 520 and e3 - that might be worth looking at.

ALL oly glass is high grade. only the good lenses from N and C are worth anything. if you stay at only kit lenses, oly is the best you can do (assuming zooms). for primes (which you don't want) I'd go pentax.

N and C are over-rated unless you get their BEST bodies and BEST lenses.
 
Oct 23, 2008 at 7:41 PM Post #8 of 71

linuxworks

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Towert7 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Buying anything less is loosing the whole point of going prosumer.
I think it's foolish to buy a Panasonic FZ18 when you can have a real DSLR. Crazy.



I 'got by' with 'just a ps superzoom' (fz30) for a long time. the skill is limited by the user more often than the camera. some of my shots were hard to tell from high end slr shots. seriously.

fz18 and 28 are 'ok' but the fz30/fz50 is the one to get.

note you'll have to lock the iso on lowest (80 or 100) and also use neatimage for noise reduction. it works well though.

one thing you can do with the superzooms is that you can get GREAT macros with clip on lenses (raynox, minolta, and others make many achromats - that's what you want - 2 elements in the macro 'lens' as a clip-on).

you can't do that with kit lenses. not really.

if someone is saying they are buying and using ONLY kit lenses, it does make me wonder if they should be at a high end superzoom instead of an slr.
 
Oct 23, 2008 at 7:44 PM Post #9 of 71

philodox

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Towert7 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
One is a real camera, the other still just a toy.


Have you ever even used one of these cameras that you so readily trash on here?
 
Oct 23, 2008 at 8:29 PM Post #10 of 71

Towert7

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Quote:

Originally Posted by philodox /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Have you ever even used one of these cameras that you so readily trash on here?


Does a physicist have to go to the moon to understand the gravitational properties of the moon? Of course not!

You should give me more credit. I'm no dummy.
 
Oct 23, 2008 at 8:32 PM Post #11 of 71

Towert7

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Quote:

Originally Posted by linuxworks /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I 'got by' with 'just a ps superzoom' (fz30) for a long time. the skill is limited by the user more often than the camera. some of my shots were hard to tell from high end slr shots. seriously.

fz18 and 28 are 'ok' but the fz30/fz50 is the one to get.

note you'll have to lock the iso on lowest (80 or 100) and also use neatimage for noise reduction. it works well though.

one thing you can do with the superzooms is that you can get GREAT macros with clip on lenses (raynox, minolta, and others make many achromats - that's what you want - 2 elements in the macro 'lens' as a clip-on).

you can't do that with kit lenses. not really.

if someone is saying they are buying and using ONLY kit lenses, it does make me wonder if they should be at a high end superzoom instead of an slr.



The thing you have to realize about people is this:
If they are looking to upgrade something and get something better, and then they say "I do not plan to upgrade from the kit lens anytime soon"...... Well that's simply a contradiction. Of course they are going to upgrade from the kit lens within a short period of time! Resistance is futile.

Knowing this about people, I made my recommendation to get a DSLR. I think it's a safe assumption, don't you?
 
Oct 23, 2008 at 8:47 PM Post #12 of 71

linuxworks

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Towert7 /img/forum/go_quote.gif

Knowing this about people, I made my recommendation to get a DSLR. I think it's a safe assumption, don't you?



I'm pretty active on the DPR photo forums and I can assure you that there are *many* people who will fight, tooth and nail, to avoid slrs and stay with digicams.

and today's digicams *can* be really really good. they take some skill but their drawbacks can be worked around (like I mentioned about the neatimage program).

there's also no dust or 'which lens to use' syndrome in DC's. the 10x, 12x, 18x and more zoom ranges are great to have! you also get '2.8 glass' (or close) on the pany cams - which you WILL NOT get on kit lenses.

you also get super wide depth of field on DC's that us macro guys appreciate. we want a lot in focus and DC's small sensors help with that.

I have been in the field long enough to know that the camps are split. its NOT always obvious that the user 'needs an slr'. not at all!

and quite a few slr guys LEAVE slr land and go (back?) to digicam land.

its true.
 
Oct 23, 2008 at 8:56 PM Post #14 of 71

Towert7

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Quote:

Originally Posted by linuxworks /img/forum/go_quote.gif
you also get '2.8 glass'


Correct me if I'm wrong, but F/2.8 on a 2x crop sensor is not like F/2.8 on a 1.5x crop sensor (or 35mm, or MF, etc).

I had a horrible Olympus C-740 megazoom, and it had a F/2.8 lens. It couldn't give me the isolation that my F/2.8 nikkor lens gives me on my D50; not even close.

If you're serious about photography, you get yourself the equipment that gets in your way the least. A P&S is not one of those.
You buy a P&S if you want to 'capture the moment', or don't use the camera enough to justify the upgrade. The difference between a hobbyist and an enthusiast.
 
Oct 23, 2008 at 9:08 PM Post #15 of 71

linuxworks

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don't want to over-argue (grin) but some superzoom samples really are hard to tell from slr. yes, a lot of the diff IS in the processing which is camera independant.

I think you are putting the DCs into the 'purse camera' catagory and I simply do not agree. I have experience in this area and I've shot some commercial shoots using 'simple digicams' (my fz5 and fz30) and they faired quite well (I was doing product photos at the time).

I do have both and lately I'm favoring my slrs but that does not mean that I would feel all that crippled if I had ONLY my fz30. for a lot of people, they can do pro level work with 'just that'.

and again, the amount of people going FROM a dslr to a digicam is non-zero. very very non-zero
wink.gif
that says a lot right there.


update: just saw this today:

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/kidding.shtml

fwiw..
 

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