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Thread: New to DSLRs...

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    New to DSLRs...

    Don't worry, this won't be a "tell me how to be a good photographer!" thread (not sure if you guys get those, but you know. )

    What I need is some help being directed towards a setup that will suit my needs. I currently have a Cannon Powershot S5 IS, and enjoy it quite a bit. My primary use for it is taking super macro shots for use in 3D work. However, I'm expanding out towards nature shooting, and intend to try and branch out (in the future) into selling prints and side-work at social events. Video is a plus, but not required, for my own personal vacations. Also, if it makes a difference, this would be my first DSLR camera. I've only ever used "normal" digital cameras, and my dad's Olympus film camera before that (been years, don't remember the model.)

    Now, the Panasonic GH1 has been recommended to me. I looked into it, and while I'm really liking the 4/3rd cameras, I really don't have the money to spend on a GH1 (and similarly priced cameras) at the moment. I was thinking more in the range of $800 - $1000 for an initial investment of a body + lens. Before the recommendation, I had been looking at the Canon Rebel XTi that comes with a 18-55 kit. I know very little about lenses atm, but had read in these forums the kit lenses normally aren't all that good.

    So based on that, what do you all recommend? While I am slightly enamored with Canon over the quality of the digital camera I have, I'm not particularly devoted to any specific brand, so that's not a big factor for me. The biggest factors are bodies/lenses that will be good for super macro and nature. Like I said, I look to branch out later, and video is a plus, but those are ancillary at this point.

    Thanks in advance!

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    Senior Member Lisa's Avatar
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    Re: New to DSLRs...

    It's true that Canon kit lenses (according to conventional wisdom on forums) aren't all that good, but Nikon produces considerably better quality inexpensive kit lenses. I started digital with a D70 with the very inexpensive 18-70mm kit lens, and found it surprisingly much better quality (less fuzzy in the corners) than the moderately expensive Canon lens I had been using on my Canon film camera. Nikon has several additional kit lenses these days, and I've heard decent things about them. Bjorn Rorslett has a web site with great, detailed, well-informed reviews of Nikon lenses that might help you look at the currently-available inexpensive Nikon lenses:http://www.naturfotograf.com/index2.html
    Just go to the "Lenses" link in the upper left list of topics on that page.

    I was very happy with my D70, and can highly recommend whatever lower-end Nikon DSLRs are being sold these days as its direct successor (D40? D60?). For camera body choice, the reviews at dpreview.com are very useful to get a complete list of features and their overall assessment.

    But keep in mind that which brand camera body you go with is much less important that choosing the brand that makes the *lenses* that are best for what you want to do.

    In case you're curious, I'm currently using a Nikon D300 with the Nikon 18-200 VR lens.

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    Re: New to DSLRs...

    Consider a clean used Canon 20D and a clean used 100mm macro. That is better than the new low end Canons.

    Look at quality used body a generation or two behind. And Used Lenses are always a good way to go for glass that's tried and true.

    Avoid Kit Lenses like Ebola. Get Quality primes....

    "The market wants a Leica to be a Leica: the inheritor of tradition, the subject of lore, and indisputably a mark of status to own."
    Mike Johnston


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    Re: New to DSLRs...

    Thanks! I found a local store that sells used equipment, so I'll be checking into both of yours suggestions with them. I was a little leery about going the route of used equipment (especially over something like eBay or Amazon,) but with someone local, no reason for me to NOT look into it.

    Thanks again, I'll post if I have any more questions. And, heck, with any luck I may start posting photos in a few weeks.

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    Re: New to DSLRs...

    Quote Originally Posted by weaselboy View Post
    Thanks! I found a local store that sells used equipment, so I'll be checking into both of yours suggestions with them. I was a little leery about going the route of used equipment (especially over something like eBay or Amazon,) but with someone local, no reason for me to NOT look into it.

    Thanks again, I'll post if I have any more questions. And, heck, with any luck I may start posting photos in a few weeks.
    Check out B&H and KEH for used equipment..

    "The market wants a Leica to be a Leica: the inheritor of tradition, the subject of lore, and indisputably a mark of status to own."
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    Re: New to DSLRs...

    Welcome Wealselboy. I see you found this place. I don't know when you were ready to buy but I second checking out B&H. I haven't had any problems when I've bought stuff from them. I also just saw this 2 lens Sony kit with the a350 on sale and it's in your price range. You of course know I really like 4/3 over the entry level Canon and Nikons personally but I agree with others that if you can swing a used semi-pro model ingood condition you will be even better off unless you just need that new equipment "piece of mind."

    Sony
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...R_Digital.html

    Olympus
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...al_Camera.html
    Last edited by iiiNelson; 20th May 2009 at 14:59.
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    Re: New to DSLRs...

    Well, I wasn't planning to buy for a couple weeks, but I'll be at Mt. Rainier in a week and a half, so I may be buying sooner than I expected if I can find a good deal right off the bat.

    Just out of curiosity, in regards to prime lenses, are they simply listed with one focal length as opposed to a range of lengths (just to make sure my understanding is correct?)

    Honestly, I think Sony is about the only company I haven't considered yet... not because I don't like their cameras, but because I forget they make cameras. I have been browsing through both KEH and B&H and am actually quite surprised with some of the deals when compared to the retail. The links will help me quite a bit.

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    Re: New to DSLRs...

    I'm not finding any page that lists what comes with the Olympus E-620 you linked, Hired. I'm strongly considering that after seeing some of the lenses available from the 4/3rd supporters. However, I need to know if I would have to buy a memory card for it, cables to hook up to my PC, etc.

    Also, would there be any way of telling if my current tripod would work with it? It's a pretty cheap tripod, but it gets the job done for my current camera, and if I could use a DSLR with it, I would just assume keep using it for now.
    Last edited by weaselboy; 21st May 2009 at 15:57. Reason: Correcting some typos and adding some info.

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    Re: New to DSLRs...

    You don't want to hook it directly to your PC. Get a card Reader and you will be buying memory cards lots of them.

    A cheap tripod can be worse than no tripod.

    "The market wants a Leica to be a Leica: the inheritor of tradition, the subject of lore, and indisputably a mark of status to own."
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    Re: New to DSLRs...


    "The market wants a Leica to be a Leica: the inheritor of tradition, the subject of lore, and indisputably a mark of status to own."
    Mike Johnston


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    Re: New to DSLRs...

    Wow, not sure how I missed that page when I went to Olympus's website.

    Just out of curiosity, what's the advantage of using a card reader? Just for the ease of swapping multiple cards?

    Thanks!

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    Re: New to DSLRs...

    The major advantage of a card reader is the speed. While you might be able to connect a camera directly to your computer for downloading it will never match the speed and easy of transfer that a card read offers.

    Don
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    Re: New to DSLRs...

    Gotcha, thanks!

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    Re: New to DSLRs...

    re. card reader: it is also good because if the battery depletes before the download is completed you may end up with problems such as corrupted image files, or a camera that becomes unresponsive (often resolved by other methods), etc.

    So speed and reliability are good reasons for a card reader, as is leaving your camera's battery with more charge available so that you can get back to shooting.

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    Re: New to DSLRs...

    Well, I ordered the Olympus E-620 today with an extra battery (apparently only shoots ~200-300 with Live view enabled, 500 w/o) so a card reader is on my wishlist for after next months' rent.

    Thanks for all the suggestions, everyone!

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    Re: New to DSLRs...

    I was going to put in my two cents, but I think you picked a great camera. I'm sure you'll be pretty happy with it.
    Charles - flickr

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    Re: New to DSLRs...

    Quote Originally Posted by weaselboy View Post
    Well, I ordered the Olympus E-620 today with an extra battery (apparently only shoots ~200-300 with Live view enabled, 500 w/o) so a card reader is on my wishlist for after next months' rent.

    Thanks for all the suggestions, everyone!
    Congrats on your new camera. I told you there was a lot of good information and people here.
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    Re: New to DSLRs...

    Thank you for directing me here, sir.

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