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Best Dslr For A Beginner?  
User currently offlineflightkid9 From Canada, joined Jul 2010, 65 posts, RR: 0
Posted (3 years 5 months 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 5927 times:

I'm looking at getting a DSLR mostly for use airplane spotting, this will be my first dslr but I have used dslr's before just never owned one. My budget is $500 and under, I was looking at the Sony Alpha A390 but was also wondering if you guys can sugest any better cameras, also, which do you think is better? Nikon D3000, Sony Alpha A390, or Canon EOS Rebel XS? Also, any tips for a beginner aviation spotter?

Thanks,

-Andrew


Can we make this quick? my Boeing's double-parked.
17 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineJakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 1, posted (3 years 5 months 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 5926 times:

The best is whichever feels right in your hands. All the cameras you mention are great and will do the job. If you plan on getting serious and feel you may look to upgrade through a range in future you can't beat Canon and Nikon for the variety of lenses and accessories. Having said that I feel Sony are slowly catching up.

Karl


User currently offlineasuspine From United States of America, joined Apr 2009, 64 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (3 years 5 months 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 5910 times:

Most of my uploads in database are with my current combination of Nikon D3000 + Sigma APO DG 70-300mm lens. Works well for me. However, for similar budget combination make sure auto focus work with lens you buy.


HFK
User currently offlinevikkyvik From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 9400 posts, RR: 27
Reply 3, posted (3 years 5 months 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 5868 times:
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Quoting flightkid9 (Thread starter):
Canon EOS Rebel XS

I'm a beginner, and that's what I have (got it back in February or so), along with the 18-55mm kit lens, and I just purchased the Canon 55-250mm F/4-5.6 IS lens (not bad at all for the price so far).

It's a very easy camera to learn, and I'm quite happy with the photos I've taken. Only gotten one photo in the database so far, but that's dependent on a lot more than just your camera and lens.

Quoting flightkid9 (Thread starter):
Also, any tips for a beginner aviation spotter?

Personally, I didn't even bother uploading for a long time after I got my camera. Instead, I took as many photos as I could, practiced editing, and worked toward getting my photos up to snuff. Once I finally had a few photos that I thought stood a real chance, I uploaded them.

Course, I don't know if that's your goal or not. Ultimately, I still take photos primarily for myself, and at the end of the day, what matters is that I'm happy with my photography progress.



"Two and a Half Men" was filmed in front of a live ostrich.
User currently offlineckw From UK - England, joined Aug 2010, 713 posts, RR: 16
Reply 4, posted (3 years 5 months 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 5831 times:

You should also look at Pentax - relatively new to DSLRs but a wonderful pedigree in 35mm - some would say you get more pro features at a lower cost.

Bottom line is you can't really buy a bad DSLR these days. Find one you are comfortable with, but also, look at the "system" available. Over time, its the lenses which are the biggest investment, and will last longer (I've got lenses which have outlasted 3 or 4 bodies),

One issue with the Sony is that the lens selection, while good, is more limited than say Canon & Nikon, and more to the point, you won't find many Sony bargains whereas with the more established brands you can usually find a good selection of 2nd hand lenses.

Cheers,

Colin



Colin K. Work, Pixstel
User currently offlinecpd From Australia, joined Jun 2008, 4879 posts, RR: 39
Reply 5, posted (3 years 5 months 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 5827 times:

Nikon has some pretty nice cameras out at the moment and a good range of OEM lenses, along with a good range of other OEM accessories.

Of course I'd say that, I'm biased - but in this case, they are cranking out some good cameras.

Obviously, to best benefit the camera industry, you should buy a low end camera from one of the more 'avant-garde' manufacturers, and then later on convert to the Nikon or Canon cameras when you find the original camera doesn't meet your needs.  Wink

[Edited 2010-11-16 17:35:35]

User currently offlineklm77 From Canada, joined Sep 2009, 168 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (3 years 5 months 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 5825 times:

As a beginner myself I started off with my sister's Sony Alpha A350 and eventually bought the Sony Alpha A390. I really enjoy the camera and have no complaints whatsoever. It all depends as mentioned what you like and what you have tested in the past.

User currently offlineJakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 7, posted (3 years 5 months 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 5811 times:

Quoting cpd (Reply 5):
Obviously, to best benefit the camera industry, you should buy a low end camera from one of the more 'avant-garde' manufacturers, and then later on convert to the Nikon or Canon cameras when you find the original camera doesn't meet your needs

Now, now...  

True though; in a way. People always say there's more than just Canon and Nikon, but these guys are solely imaging specialists and that's their forte within electronics. Sony are getting there, but we have to not forget that Sony's primary market is not photography. You wouldn't really want to buy a stereo system made by Canon would you? You tend to find that everyone follows the leaders, and benchmarks are usually set by the big two.

Karl


User currently offlineflightkid9 From Canada, joined Jul 2010, 65 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (3 years 5 months 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 5789 times:

So so far I'm leaning towards the canon EOS Rebel XS, also, does anybody know any good spotting areas for spotting at CYEG? Thanks for all the suggestions and tips too you guys!


Can we make this quick? my Boeing's double-parked.
User currently offlinedlowwa From Canada, joined Apr 2005, 7328 posts, RR: 31
Reply 9, posted (3 years 5 months 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 5771 times:
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Quoting JakTrax (Reply 7):
You tend to find that everyone follows the leaders, and benchmarks are usually set by the big two.

Usually, but not always. They have been making solely optical equipment for as long or longer than Nikon and Canon have, but I know preaching anything other that CaNikon here is like talking to a wall.


User currently offlinecpd From Australia, joined Jun 2008, 4879 posts, RR: 39
Reply 10, posted (3 years 5 months 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 5756 times:

While I see Dana's point, Nikon and Canon seem to be the only ones consistently pushing the benchmarks at the top end these days - and at the major sporting events, Canon and Nikon are always in attendance, and the majority of people use either EOS-1D or Nikon D3 / D3S.

At the last event I went to - the only camera brands to be seen were Nikon (D3/D3S) and Canon (EOS-1D/EOS-7D/EOS-5D Mk.II). And Nikon was hugely outnumbered by Canon, I hate to say. No Sony or Pentax cameras in attendance. Come on Sony, you can put all that effort into flashy 70 inch televisions, how about doing a rival for the current top-end-of-town Nikon and Canon cameras?

That effort Nikon and Canon put into the top cameras eventually filters down to the lower models, plus you know they'll still be around building cameras in the future - and that's why I have no hesitation in recommending them.


User currently offlineckw From UK - England, joined Aug 2010, 713 posts, RR: 16
Reply 11, posted (3 years 5 months 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 5752 times:

People always say there's more than just Canon and Nikon, but these guys are solely imaging specialists and that's their forte within electronics.

Not as clear cut as you might think - Canon makes a huge range of business products (printers, scanners, copiers etc) in fact, in 2008 only about 1/3rd of the company's turnover was camera related - and that includes video.

Some of the "upstarts" have been building and supplying components for Canon and Nikon from the start - for instance, I discovered the LCD in my 20D is made by Sony. They also make the sensor for the Nikon D300 (in fact have a long history of producing sensors for other camera manufacturers).

Where Canon, and to a lesser extent, Nikon beat the others is in marketing and product placement. Many of the big pro agencies are given major inducements (including free gear) to use Nikon or Canon.

Not to say that Sony et al are better than Canon/Nikon, but they are by no means also rans. In fact to an extent Nikon and Canon are handicapped by their huge range of legacy equipment and users - it makes innovation much more difficult/expensive when you want a new model to work with everything that's gone before. Look how long its taken Canon to offer an articulated LCD on a DSLR! Sony and others have an advantage of coming to the market with a clean sheet.

Of course this can be a problem as well - Olympus made a brave attempt with their 3/4 format, but look like they've decided to throw in the towel (though micro 3/4 seems to be thriving). Sigma are still soldiering on with the Foveon sensor, but I think that looks like a dead end as well. Good ideas still need market penetration as well to succeed.

So, I would advise avoiding anything that claims to be really radical, but aside from that, you should be safe with any of the current crop of DSLRs

Cheers,

Colin



Colin K. Work, Pixstel
User currently offlinecpd From Australia, joined Jun 2008, 4879 posts, RR: 39
Reply 12, posted (3 years 5 months 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 5743 times:

Quoting ckw (Reply 11):
n fact to an extent Nikon and Canon are handicapped by their huge range of legacy equipment and users

I don't think there is any handicap at all.

The Nikon legacy of F-mount is a huge benefit, because it allows access to some superb older lenses that are no longer made anymore. Some lenses of course will not work at all, period. But those are mostly extremely old lenses. (think 1960s or 1970s vintage). And those are clearly noted in the camera manuals.

Quoting ckw (Reply 11):
Sigma are still soldiering on with the Foveon sensor, but I think that looks like a dead end as well

You don't want to hear what my camera dealer said about those particular cameras. Especially shocking since they retail just about the entire range of Sigma equipment, even expensive lenses. Their comments RE: Sigma DSLR with foveon sensor are almost too obscene to be written here.  Wow!


User currently offlineckw From UK - England, joined Aug 2010, 713 posts, RR: 16
Reply 13, posted (3 years 5 months 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 5722 times:

I don't think there is any handicap at all

Not if you're a Nikon or Canon owner! But I do think it made both manufacturers I little less innovative than they might have been otherwise. The Canon 1 series for example is much bigger and heavier than it has any need to be simply because they wanted to maintain the look and feel of the film based cameras - great if you are using, or coming from, an EOS 1 but otherwise entirely unnecessary.

Poor Sigma - to be honest, I think they made a big mistake trying to develop their own DSLR. I've used one and actually its not too bad, but it just feels a generation out of date. Pity really because under ideal conditions, the output of the Foveon sensor is stunning. If they had licensed the technology to a bigger manufacturer I think Sigma could have made a lot of money and we'd have better quality images. I think that boat has sailed now as there is not such a huge advantage to the Foveon as there once was, and now everyone else has invested too much in their own sensor production.

Similarly, if Olympus had only been a little more rapid in putting out pro-quality bodies, they may have become much more important. I do think they have some of the best glass ever produced by anyone.

Cheers,

Colin



Colin K. Work, Pixstel
User currently offlineJakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 14, posted (3 years 5 months 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 5713 times:

For anyone thinking or suggesting I have a heavy Canon bias I actually came from the Minolta (Sony) stable, but I'm afraid what they had to offer when I made the switch to digital was worse than pathetic! Since the take-over by Sony things have much improved but I would still have trouble justifying recommending them over Canon/Nikon.

There may be other reasons why pro's choose Canon/Nikon besides quality (marketing incentives, etc.) but if that's what they're using and are satisfied with then it's good enough for me.

Promoting anything other than the big two may seem like talking to a solid brick wall but there are few reasons for going with an alternative (yes, I'm conceding there are reasons) other than as some kind of protest against following the masses. I'm never one to be a sheep but everyone's probably using the big two for good reason.

Finally, I switched from Minolta to Canon because I was getting very serious and knew Canon in the long run could easily accommodate my future growth as a photographer. Saying this, however, I must admit that I have found fault with Canon's systems on occasions.

Karl


User currently offlinecpd From Australia, joined Jun 2008, 4879 posts, RR: 39
Reply 15, posted (3 years 5 months 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 5666 times:

Quoting ckw (Reply 13):
The Canon 1 series for example is much bigger and heavier than it has any need to be simply because they wanted to maintain the look and feel of the film based cameras - great if you are using, or coming from, an EOS 1 but otherwise entirely unnecessary.

But they also have the grip for vertical/portrait photography and a pretty big battery (if I remember right from the last EOS-1D I looked at). Its battery was at least as big as the large one on my D3S / D700. These big cameras do also tend to have a lot of functions that would otherwise be buried in the menus assigned switches on the outside of the camera. This is convenient and functional, and the ergonomics are pretty good on these cameras.

Smallness is good, but only if it delivers benefits in ease of operation. If it means you must dig through camera setup menus to change white balance, ISO settings or bracketing - then that's not so smart.


User currently offlinevincyag2000 From Japan, joined Jan 2010, 32 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (3 years 5 months 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 5601 times:

I understand everybody is talking about Canon and Nikon, but Pentax isn't that bad either. I bought a brand new Pentax Kx lens kit(from Japan) in about 36,000 yen, or roughly 350-400 dollars. Double lens kit was about 500-550 dollars. They may be unknown, but they aren't that bad either, especially in low light.

Good luck!
vincyag2000


User currently offlineJakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 17, posted (3 years 5 months 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 5540 times:

Just looking back over the thread...

Quoting ckw (Reply 11):
Canon makes a huge range of business products (printers, scanners, copiers etc)



Are these items not imaging products, like I said?

Quoting vincyag2000 (Reply 16):
I understand everybody is talking about Canon and Nikon, but Pentax isn't that bad either



No-one makes bad DSLRs. In fact, I'd say body-wise there are manufacturers actually building better consumer cameras than Nikon and Canon. It's just that the big two excel when it comes to choice of lens and peripherals. I'm afraid that's succinct, but that's not to say that a decent photographer could not be happy with another brand.

Karl


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