OSU_av8or From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 89 posts, RR: 0 Posted (5 years 3 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 5663 times:
I have realized that it is time to retire my aging Olympus C-740 and move into the world of DSLR's. I shoot purely as a hobby (as my equipment might have suggested), and don't want to break the bank on this purchase. I'm looking for something in the $500-$600 dollar range that should serve for spotting and general use. I guess I can buy a bigger piece of glass for it later.
I found a deal on a Nikon D60 with an 18-135mm lense for just over $600. Most of the reviews are pretty good, but I'm more interested in what you guys have to say, especially anyone with one.
Ruudb From Netherlands, joined Jun 2005, 164 posts, RR: 6 Reply 1, posted (5 years 3 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 5641 times:
In my opinion you can better buy a Nikon 70-300VR lens instead of the 18-135mm and a camera, better one with a inboard motor (D80 or higher) in my opinion. Or maybe the D40X with this lens, because what I have read there isn't too much difference between in picture quality between a D60 and D40X and I suppose there is a price difference, the quality of your pictures depend more on your abilities and the lens as on the camera you use.
ANITIX87 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 3279 posts, RR: 14 Reply 2, posted (5 years 3 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 5613 times:
If you like your Olympus, you can stay with the same brand and get the Olympus E-520 or E-420. I used the E-500 and now the E-510 and I'm absolutely thrilled with every single aspect of it except the performance at high-ISO, which the Nikon and Canon entry-level DSLRs will also have. I'm not saying Olympus is necessarily better than Canon or Nikon, and I'll admit just as quickly as the next guy that Olympus is like to stay around the least amount of time if the industry comes down to two companies, but their cameras are very good and quite cheap. Third-party lenses are also priced well, but another draw-back is that Olympus' lenses for their own cameras are very very very expensive (worth the money, but very expensive). The Zuiko (Olympus) 90-250mm f/2.0, for example (180-500 equivalent in 35mm) costs 6600 dollars or so.
Having said all of the above, you can find some great deals for the Olympus cameras and if you want samples, visit www.tisdigital.com or check out my images on this site (search Antonis Panayotatos). Feel free to contact me with any questions or for full-size images if you want a good idea of quality.
www.stellaryear.com: Canon EOS 50D, Canon EOS 5DMkII, Sigma 50mm 1.4, Canon 24-70 2.8L II, Canon 100mm 2.8L, Canon 100-4
Iamlucky13 From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 232 posts, RR: 0 Reply 3, posted (5 years 3 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 5613 times:
A 70-300VR isn't going to be a great lens for general use. It's too much zoom for most situations, even though it would be really handy for aviation. The 18-135, however, covers a range that will serve general use quite well, and allow a decent start for aviation photography. And $600 for a D60 plus the 18-135 is a good deal. I think it normally sells for over $600 with the 18-55 kit lens.
I have a D40, which is built on the same body as the D60. It's a good compromise for an entry level SLR, and gives you plenty of control for learning the ropes of photography. As Ruudb said, the quality of the pictures is generally more about knowing how to use the camera than having the right body and lens, but there are few situations where the D40/D60 will let you down.
That's Nikon's offering in your price range. The Canon EOS 400 XTi is about the same price, and Pentax and Olympus both have cameras about the same range. You could nitpick little things here and there about them, but at the end of the day, the differences aren't overwhelming. The most substantial criticism I would say is that Pentax and Olympus have fewer lens offerings if you want to upgrade down the line.
Dbudd From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 228 posts, RR: 23 Reply 4, posted (5 years 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 5572 times:
I now have the D80 with the 70-300VR lens combo and can't believe that I didn't upgrade sooner. I have an assortment of cheaper Nikon lens and they all have their limitations and an amount of softness to them(except the 18-55) that I do FD shots with.
I'd stay with either the 70-300VR on a Nikon body or go with the 18-200, but I hear some bad things about getting bad copies of this lens.
You never said if you plan on uploading the photos. Is image quality important or are you looking to just collect images and print them later on.
OSU_av8or From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 89 posts, RR: 0 Reply 5, posted (5 years 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 5566 times:
Thanks for the info.
Yes, Dbudd, I do plan on uploading them. I was under the impression that the D40 was limited with what lenses you could use as the autofocus mechanism is not in the camera body itself. Any thoughts on that?
EDIT: Just found out the D60 has the same autofocus mechanism as the D40, would this be a problem?
Ruudb From Netherlands, joined Jun 2005, 164 posts, RR: 6 Reply 6, posted (5 years 3 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 5502 times:
The 18-200mm isn't a real good quality lens, I have used it too, but it is soft and vignetting is really bad! The 70-300mm lens is a good value for the money. The D60 and D40 both have no internal motor like I already mentioned in a previous message, so it is up to you to decide what you want. But maybe a Sony isn't a bad choise either, they all have as far as I know build in an anti-shake option so every lens you buy will be VR or IS. And the sensors are the same.
Iamlucky13 From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 232 posts, RR: 0 Reply 8, posted (5 years 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 5447 times:
Several people are advocating more expensive setups than what OSUav8or has mentioned an interest in. If you can stretch your budget, so much the better, but having a D40 or D60 isn't going to be a major limitation. What I would not compromise on is spending all your money on a telephoto zoom if very much of your usage is going to be non-aviation. However, if you decide to stretch your budget to get a 70-300 or similar, you can easily find the 18-55 (non-VR) lens for slightly over $100 and have a very versatile kit.
It's true the D40/D40x/D60 will not autofocus with lenses that don't have a built-in autofocus motor. Nikon brands these as AF-S lenses, so look for that and you'll be fine. There's actually a fairly large collection of them available now. Only a few of the currently popular lenses don't include AF-S. Unfortunately, the 80-400VR Dbudd mentioned is one. Third party manufacturers are starting to make some, too. Sigma calls their version HSM.
Dbudd - interesting comment about the 55-200. I seem to have mixed results with mine, too (VR version), but several different lens reviews I've seen of it show it getting comparable sharpness to the 70-300 on out to 150mm.