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Thinking On Taking The Plunge To A Dslr  
User currently offline757MDE From Colombia, joined Sep 2004, 1753 posts, RR: 6
Posted (4 years 5 months 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 4031 times:

Hi all!

I shoot with a point-and-shoot Canon S3-IS. My little warrior has been very good and has proved its worth (especially given its price), I've learned and come a long way with it since the beginning when everything that wasn't "auto" produced horrible results.

I feel I am ready to move to a dSLR, and since I may go to the US relatively soon I have thought on getting the camera there. I've done some research and have come to the conclusion that the Nikon D90 might be my sweet spot in regards of features, quality and price. For my shooting I'd need to have a zoom comparable to my current point and shoot, which is 12X (36-432mm equivalent), and with the crop factor of the D90 a 300mm lens would do the work if I am not mistaken.

So with all this in mind I came to this link:
http://www.adorama.com/INKD9070.html
(Nikon D90 12.3 Megapixel Digital SLR Camera Body with Nikon 70mm - 300mm f/4-5.6G ED AF-S VR (Vibration Reduction) Lens)

I have some questions I hope you can help me clarify:

-Is that lens good for spotting? I have read some reviews and it seems to be good but if some of you knows better or has actual experience with it, I'd be interested to listen to advice.

-Any other lens which you think could be better? (same zoom and more or less same budget...)

-Any other advice you feel you can give me would be appreciated. The camera is going to be used mostly for spotting. As you can see, I am moving from Canon to Nikon but I am not a fanboy, if you have some suggestions with another brand I am open to options too.

Thanks a lot in advance!


I gladly accept donations to pay for flight hours! This thing draws man...
13 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineRuudb From Netherlands, joined Jun 2005, 164 posts, RR: 6
Reply 1, posted (4 years 5 months 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 4011 times:

The Nikkor 70-300mm VR is definitely a good lens for the price, I use it still when I need to use a zoom on the long end, I am sure you won't regret if you buy one, just keep one thing in mind the 70-300 is sharp till about 230mm.

Ruud.


User currently offlineDehowie From Australia, joined Feb 2004, 1056 posts, RR: 34
Reply 2, posted (4 years 5 months 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 3982 times:

First i'd be heading to the nearest shop to feel out literally both the Nikon and Canon bodies.
Both make great entry level cameras with almost identical quality.
So i'd be going for the body that actually feels the best in "your" hand.
Secondly you may not have a crystal ball but over a long period of time i have saved an enormous amount of money by going the Canon line.
If its only ever going to be a side interest then it really makes no difference but to buy my collection of gear with Nikon equivalent would pay for a new car with the difference between Canon and Nikon prices.
Both make wonderful cameras but part of the reason i chose Canon 7 years ago was Nikon then didnt even make VR long lenses and the glass they did was way more expensive than Canon.
Even today there are major price differences between the big C and N on long glass.
If your going to be investing over the next ten years in a large glass collection then future purchases should form a major part of your decision.
Whichever route you take im sure you will be happy with the results.



2EOS1DX,EF14.2.8LII,17TS,85/1.2,16-35L,24-70LII,24L,70-200F2.8LII,100-400,300/400/500/800L
User currently offlineCpd From Australia, joined Jun 2008, 4879 posts, RR: 39
Reply 3, posted (4 years 5 months 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 3971 times:

Nikon D90 should work fine. But then so should 50D.

I went Nikon because the feel was better and I preferred the Nikon menu system and general operation.

But Nikon prices are very expensive. If you buy the level of equipment Darren uses, or even my modest collection, Canon will save you a large amount of money.


User currently offlineIamlucky13 From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 235 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (4 years 5 months 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 3937 times:

It's hard to go wrong with either a Nikon or a Canon. The Pentax lineup also looks good and will generally cost a little less. Their lens lineup is a little more limited, but they've got all the most commonly desired lens models available. The basic image quality is very comparable between the three.

As long as you're happy with the feel and controls of the D90 and having a chance to handle a Canon or Pentax doesn't induce any strong attraction versus the Nikon, I say go for it. There will definitely be some getting used to and learning shortcuts, but it will give you a lot better experience than a point-and-shoot.

The Nikon 70-300 VR is pretty much as good of a lens as you're going to get for the price range. It's what I use and am pretty happy with it. As someone pointed out, it does start to soften up a little beyond 200mm, but it stays respectable. Sigma has a couple telephoto zooms in the same price range or a little more ($500-1000), but I don't think any of them perform any better, and some noticeably worse. The main reason I'd suggest a Sigma is if the places you expect to be shooting require the greater reach of say, the 150-500mm, or the low light ability of the 70-200 F/2.8, but don't want to shell out twice as much or more for Nikon equivalents.


User currently offlineDlednicer From United States of America, joined May 2005, 531 posts, RR: 7
Reply 5, posted (4 years 5 months 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 3921 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
DATABASE EDITOR

I shot with a Canon PowerShot S2 IS and then a S3 IS for about two years and learned a lot. Then I took a big leap and bought a Rebel XTi (400D) and instead of getting the kit lens, I bought a EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM (which I think has been replaced with the EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM). This was within my budget and has worked very well. Six months later, I bought a EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM. This lens proved to not be sharp enough, so I just replaced it with a used EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM.

I really like the Canon line, but the one downside has been reliability. The S2 IS and Rebel XTi have been in for repairs, with both failures related to the shutter mechanisms. I don't know how the Nikons compare in this regard.


User currently offlineNZ107 From New Zealand, joined Jul 2005, 6335 posts, RR: 39
Reply 6, posted (4 years 5 months 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 3920 times:



Quoting 757MDE (Thread starter):
I feel I am ready to move to a dSLR, and since I may go to the US relatively soon I have thought on getting the camera there. I've done some research and have come to the conclusion that the Nikon D90 might be my sweet spot in regards of features, quality and price. For my shooting I'd need to have a zoom comparable to my current point and shoot, which is 12X (36-432mm equivalent), and with the crop factor of the D90 a 300mm lens would do the work if I am not mistaken.

Better than Canon? Seeing that you've used Canon, the functions on the non-DSLR cameras which have manual modes are pretty much identical to the DSLR and it's very easy to use. You will instantly know which functions are which. Same terminology, same way of going to the menu to find stuff etc.

Just to add to this, there's nothing wrong with Canon's equivalent either, the Canon 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM, which would seem like the lens you'd go for if you didn't pick the D90. As has been stated above, the 50D could suit you just as well.



It's all about the destination AND the journey.
User currently offline757MDE From Colombia, joined Sep 2004, 1753 posts, RR: 6
Reply 7, posted (4 years 5 months 2 days ago) and read 3879 times:

Quoting Ruudb (Reply 1):
The Nikkor 70-300mm VR is definitely a good lens for the price, I use it still when I need to use a zoom on the long end, I am sure you won't regret if you buy one, just keep one thing in mind the 70-300 is sharp till about 230mm.

Ruud.

Thanks!
I saw some of your pictures... not bad at all!

Quoting Dehowie (Reply 2):

Even today there are major price differences between the big C and N on long glass.
If your going to be investing over the next ten years in a large glass collection then future purchases should form a major part of your decision.
Whichever route you take im sure you will be happy with the results.

Thanks!
Well... there's no real store close to home where I can go and check (and the ones that carry this kind of stuff are very limited in variety and ultra expensive... that's why I am thinking on taking advantage of my likely trip to the US). But I have played with friend's Rebel XT and D5000... I liked the Nikon a little bit better, but honestly the Canon wasn't bad either.

I'd love to have a collection like yours, but it's not realistic (look at my signature). All of my money is saved to continue my flight training as soon as I can. Spotting is the activity that I'll have to relief myself from time to time, as they say "all work and no play...".

I am looking to having the body, a zoom lens and then shorter lens (say starting at 10mm or something like that) and that's it.
(of course, I'd have to include accessories like maybe extra battery, cleaning, hoods...).
With this in mind how much do you think could be saved in buying the equivalent Canon setup vs the Nikon?
What Canon setup do you think could be equivalent?

Quoting Cpd (Reply 3):
Nikon D90 should work fine. But then so should 50D.

I went Nikon because the feel was better and I preferred the Nikon menu system and general operation.

But Nikon prices are very expensive. If you buy the level of equipment Darren uses, or even my modest collection, Canon will save you a large amount of money.

Thanks!
May I ask what setup do you have?
(also... what's your input with the new questions I've posted above if you have and don't mind)

Quoting Iamlucky13 (Reply 4):
As long as you're happy with the feel and controls of the D90 and having a chance to handle a Canon or Pentax doesn't induce any strong attraction versus the Nikon, I say go for it. There will definitely be some getting used to and learning shortcuts, but it will give you a lot better experience than a point-and-shoot.

Absolutely
Thanks!
I don't know anything about the Pentax line, could you give me some names of a equivalent Pentax setup to what I am looking for?
Any Sigma lens you consider good just to have in mind?

Quoting Dlednicer (Reply 5):
I really like the Canon line, but the one downside has been reliability. The S2 IS and Rebel XTi have been in for repairs, with both failures related to the shutter mechanisms. I don't know how the Nikons compare in this regard.

Thanks!
May I ask how much your used 100-400L costed and where?

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 6):
Just to add to this, there's nothing wrong with Canon's equivalent either, the Canon 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM, which would seem like the lens you'd go for if you didn't pick the D90. As has been stated above, the 50D could suit you just as well.

Thanks!
Well, I am not unhappy with my Canon's menu and functions. I tested the D5000 and liked it a bit more but at this moment is not really a decisive factor since I don't dislike any of them. Granted, I'd have a learning curve and some time adjusting to any choice I make, but I guess it comes with the territory.

-------

Thanks to everybody!
More advice you might have on gear, prices and whatnot is always appreciated!

[Edited 2009-11-18 11:42:43]


I gladly accept donations to pay for flight hours! This thing draws man...
User currently offlineMat1979 From France, joined Dec 2005, 90 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (4 years 5 months 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 3871 times:

Hi there. Nikon will be fine for you. Some people here want you to buy Canon because that's what they use. But it's just bollocks, both cameramakers are good and offer similar stuff and the market between them is pretty balanced.

Your setup D90 + 70-300 is great equipment. For similar price you will have similar quality at Canon or Pentax or whatever. If you like the Nikon feel go for it.

My thoughts.


User currently offlineIamlucky13 From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 235 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (4 years 5 months 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 3851 times:



Quoting 757MDE (Reply 7):
I don't know anything about the Pentax line, could you give me some names of a equivalent Pentax setup to what I am looking for?

I admit I'm not intimately familiar with it myself, but people I talk to like them well enough. I think the closest equivalent to the D90 is either the K-20D or the K-7. They also offer a 55-300mm lens, but I really don't know how it compares to the Nikon's 70-300. Sigma and Tamron lenses are also available for Pentax cameras.

Mainly I mentioned Pentax just to make sure you were aware they exist and have a good reputation, in case you encounter a good deal. I still have my own preference for Nikon, but no sense in not being open about all the options.

The Sigma lenses I had in mind are the ones I mentioned, with the caveats I mentioned, too. Those specific models are a little more expensive, but have different specs than the 70-300 VR. There's some less expensive ones, but from what I've read and seen, while I wouldn't avoid them entirely, I'd be wary of them. I did just notice Sigma has a new 70-300 HSM OS lens out (equivalent to Nikon's AF-S autofocus and VR stabilizer functions respectively) that appears to be intended to directly compete with the 70-300 VR, but no reviews appear to be available yet.


User currently offlineDlednicer From United States of America, joined May 2005, 531 posts, RR: 7
Reply 10, posted (4 years 5 months 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 3839 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
DATABASE EDITOR



Quoting 757MDE (Reply 7):
May I ask how much your used 100-400L cost and where?

I bought it on amazon.com and paid about $1400. Right now, this lens is very hard to find in the US - I had tried to buy a new one, but everyone was back-ordered. Due to the shortage, used prices are very high.

An open question to everyone: do Nikon bodies have reliability issues like I have experienced with my Canons? I should note that I think I am a heavy user - my S3 IS has about 45,000 exposures on it and the XTi has about 25,000 exposures.


User currently offlineCpd From Australia, joined Jun 2008, 4879 posts, RR: 39
Reply 11, posted (4 years 5 months 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 3839 times:

Quoting 757MDE (Reply 7):
Thanks!
May I ask what setup do you have?
(also... what's your input with the new questions I've posted above if you have and don't mind)

Nikon D700 (with battery grip)
Nikon D80 (with battery grip)
18-135mm F/3.5-5.6 Zoom-Nikkor
24-70mm F/2.8 Zoom-Nikkor
300mm F/4.0 Nikkor
200-400mm F/4.0 Zoom Nikkor
AF-S Teleconverter TC-14E II
Manfrotto 055XPROB / 808RC4
Manfrotto 685B / 234RC

You can see some of it on my profile.

In my gear, Canon has some better options / or some equivalents / or, some blank spaces where Canon doesn't make any equivalent lens (200-400mm). Another example is the D700 and the Canon 5D Mk.2, Canon has more megapixels, but isn't necessarily better. Both cameras have different strengths. For what you are looking at, you might save yourself $500 or so going Canon.

But don't let the money dictate you - buy the brand that feels most natural for you to use. When I started out with digital, there was the Nikon D80 or Canon 40D. I went with D80, and expanded into other Nikon products, so I'm anchored to Nikon.

Quoting Dlednicer (Reply 10):
An open question to everyone: do Nikon bodies have reliability issues like I have experienced with my Canons? I should note that I think I am a heavy user - my S3 IS has about 45,000 exposures on it and the XTi has about 25,000 exposures.

my Nikon gear is pretty reliable. Not much happens with them.

[Edited 2009-11-18 17:34:41 by cpd]

User currently offlineIamlucky13 From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 235 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (4 years 5 months 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 3820 times:



Quoting Cpd (Reply 11):
In my gear, Canon has some better options / or some equivalents / or, some blank spaces where Canon doesn't make any equivalent lens (200-400mm). Another example is the D700 and the Canon 5D Mk.2, Canon has more megapixels, but isn't necessarily better. Both cameras have different strengths. For what you are looking at, you might save yourself $500 or so going Canon.

I would like to make a friendly correction about the savings for the level of gear the 757MDE is considering buying. The D90 fits in one of those mentioned gaps between the Canon Rebel T1i and Canon 50D, both in features and in price. A T1i would be ~$200 less, while a 50D would be around $100 more. The Canon 70-300 IS is about the same price as the Nikon.

For a kit like yours, yes there's savings to be had on the Canon side, but I'd rate the entry to mid-level offerings by both company's very comparable values.

Anyway, enough about that. 757MDE should have enough info by now to make a decision he'll be quite happy with either way.


User currently offline757MDE From Colombia, joined Sep 2004, 1753 posts, RR: 6
Reply 13, posted (4 years 5 months 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 3795 times:

Thanks again.
I've been doing more research and doing more reviews and it seems both the T1i and the 50D have some problems (at least perceived in the reviews vs the D90), anyone here has had any experience with those bodies for spotting?

Also how does the Canon 70-300 lens compare to the Nikkor one?



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