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Coal
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Photog Newbie: Which Camera To Start With?

Sat Sep 01, 2007 10:50 pm

So I went to a big electronics show today and took a look at a few cammeras. I looked at the Sony Alpha 100, Nikon D80, and Cannon 40D.

Now, I had seen the Nikon D80 before and was close to buying it, but had second thoughts about such a large investment.

It seems as though the Sony would be the best investment to start with as it was the cheaper option and I think at my stage the best would be to learn about the main functionalities of an SLR.

The Sony Alpha 100 package was the camera, two lenses, a case, a humidifier, and a half-day class on how to use the camera. It was going for about SGD1,399 (Singapore dollars), while the Nikon D80 was about SGD1,899 and the Cannon 40D was SGD2,399.

So being a total newbie, should I start out with the Sony for a few years or should I go all out and go for the Nikon or Cannon?

It should be noted that I would probably not want to have more than 3 or 4 lenses as this would be mostly for travel photography and I like to be nimble and pack light when I travel.

Thanks.

Cheers
Coal
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IL76
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RE: Photog Newbie: Which Camera To Start With?

Sun Sep 02, 2007 12:34 am

Quoting Coal (Thread starter):
Cannon 40D was SGD2,399

Really? Which shop? That's €200 cheaper than over here...

And I don't know anything about these other 2 camera's you mentioned, but they seem to be very good (seeing the reviews).

Ed
 
ilikeflight
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RE: Photog Newbie: Which Camera To Start With?

Sun Sep 02, 2007 12:40 am

Go with Nikon they are good for beginners with the Sony in the ong run you wont have nearly as many lens choices as you would with Nikon
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zululima
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RE: Photog Newbie: Which Camera To Start With?

Sun Sep 02, 2007 6:48 am

Quoting Ilikeflight (Reply 2):
with the Sony in the ong run you wont have nearly as many lens choices

Ditto that. Good photos will come 90% from the lenses you choose, as opposed to the body. Sony is a new player in the SLR world, and I would avoid them for a few years. My advice is to go check out a Canon Digital Rebel XTi, not the 40D if you don't want to spend too much for a first camera. Plus, the 1.6x crop factor gives extra reach on lenses, good for aviation photography. If you don't like Canon, get Nikon. Either way, choose a manufacturer that has the selection of lenses you want. Bodies get replaced by newer/better models every few years, but good glass will last decades. Also consider buying body only. Lenses that come in kits are usually inferior. So, the lesson here? It's all about the lenses. Do some research before you buy and you'll be much better off in the long run. (Quick opinionated research tip: skip Olympus, Konica, Sony altogether)
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Coal
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RE: Photog Newbie: Which Camera To Start With?

Sun Sep 02, 2007 4:53 pm

Quoting IL76 (Reply 1):
Really? Which shop? That's €200 cheaper than over here...

At the COMEX show in Suntec City, but I think they're going for the same price if you lurk on the streets adjacent to Orchard Rd.

Thanks to everyone else for the advise. Another question is: Do all lenses come with stabilizer? I liked that the Sony came with it in the camera, not the lens. Does having the stabilizer make the lenses more expensive?

Cheers
Coal
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IL76
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RE: Photog Newbie: Which Camera To Start With?

Sun Sep 02, 2007 5:04 pm

Quoting Coal (Reply 4):
At the COMEX show in Suntec City, but I think they're going for the same price if you lurk on the streets adjacent to Orchard Rd.

Aha... I think my friends there (locals) can talk something off the price in the real shops (not the show).  Wink Somehow Singaporeans can get away with a lot more than ang mo's.

Thanks Steve.

About the camera's, Sony is also coming out with lots of new lenses as they are really trying to enter the DSLR market. I don't know the prices they ask for their new line-up though. But there are always the 3rd party lenses like Tamron and Sigma. So don't write off Sony just yet. I'm a Canon guy, so a bit biased, but it might be best if you try them out in the shops, see how they feel/operate and don't listen too much to the uncle behind the counter, they sometimes talk rubbish.  Wink Cathay Photo in Peninsular Plaza is a good shop (although some Singaporeans say it's not the cheapest), the salesmen do know quite a lot there.

Ed
 
luvaulter
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RE: Photog Newbie: Which Camera To Start With?

Mon Sep 03, 2007 2:01 pm

i just invested in a new dslr I got the Nikon D40 and i can't put it down it is very easy to use and it really hard to take a bad picture. The d40 is about $600 us i got it with a kit which came with 2 lenses and a bag and 2 Nikon DVDs. i got it from ritzcamera.com

mike
 
CalgaryBill
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RE: Photog Newbie: Which Camera To Start With?

Mon Sep 03, 2007 2:55 pm

Quoting IL76 (Reply 5):
I'm a Canon guy, so a bit biased, but it might be best if you try them out in the shops, see how they feel/operate and don't listen too much to the uncle behind the counter, they sometimes talk rubbish.

I'm a Nikon guy and I agree - pick the camera that you enjoy using and that makes sense to you. Try a few things like changing ISO, deleting images, adjusting aperature/shutter speed in auto mode etc, and go with the one that you find intuitive. Make sure the lenses you want are available for it - and go for it.

B
 
linco22
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RE: Photog Newbie: Which Camera To Start With?

Mon Sep 03, 2007 5:10 pm

B is correct. Get down to your local camera shop and have a play with the models that have been mentioned. Whatever feels right in the hand will be easier to use, especially from the beginning. Don't get bogged down in ISO wars etc etc, just concentrate on learning the camera and good photographs will come.

Just make sure you buy a Canon  Wink

Colin  Smile
 
garry
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RE: Photog Newbie: Which Camera To Start With?

Mon Sep 03, 2007 5:28 pm

Quoting Linco22 (Reply 8):
Just make sure you buy a Canon

Well said Colin! The 40D looks very impressive.
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linco22
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RE: Photog Newbie: Which Camera To Start With?

Mon Sep 03, 2007 5:33 pm

Quoting Garry (Reply 9):
Well said Colin! The 40D looks very impressive.

It does, but after 3 days with my new 30D, i'm happy enough so far with my upgrade from the 350D  Smile
 
XT6Wagon
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RE: Photog Newbie: Which Camera To Start With?

Mon Sep 03, 2007 9:24 pm

Forgot who sony bought, but they did buy into a high end camera maker in the last few years. Also they have been selling sensors to everyone and thier cousin for years so they do have extensive background in some of the most important parts.

This isn't a recomendation, but rather to not count out the Sony as "cheap consumer junk" just because of the name like so many do.


More importantly "test drive" the cameras before buying. I found out that as much as I wanted a 10D I couldn't have one as it was completely the wrong size and layout for my hands. D70 I did get was just the right size.
 
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Kereru
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RE: Photog Newbie: Which Camera To Start With?

Tue Sep 04, 2007 1:29 pm

Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 11):
Forgot who sony bought

Minolta, and I think you can use some of the Minolta lenses on them?

As already mentioned try some out in a camera shop and see which fits your needs. A second hand camera is an alternative and sometimes you can resell them with very little depreciation later.

I do like using the grid display in the viewfinder as it helps to get things level and in perspective so I like the feature in the D70 and D200 where you can go to the menu and switch it on or off at your leisure. The older 35mm model I had I had to buy a separate screen and fit it and I think some of the new DSLR are the same. Not a big deal but it all adds extra cost and is less convenient.

Cheers and good luck with your choice.

Colin  old 
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LuckyEddie
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RE: Photog Newbie: Which Camera To Start With?

Thu Sep 06, 2007 4:58 pm

I am afraid I disagree with all those who recommend buying a camera which "feels" the best. If you invest in a system you should do so because of the access to the lenses that system has. Anyone can learn how to use any of these three cameras and the sensor quality is not an issue with any of them. If cost is an issue there are other options from Nikon and Canon such as the D40x and Rebel, or even second hand as somebody has already mentioned. Take a good long look at the range of lenses Sony has on offer and think of the future. Will it be enough or do you see yourself wanting to spend 4 figures on pro-quality optics in a few years time?

To answer your question about image stabilisers, no not all Canon and Nikon lenses have this feature, and yes it does make a lens more expensive. Canon seem to have all the bases covered with a very extensive range of IS lenses while Nikon are fast catching up with their VR system. The Sony in-camera system is a nice idea but once again do they have the range of lenses to back it up?

In the past when film was king many thousands of photographers were happy with Olympus, Pentax and Minolta(now Sony), but these were the people who were happy to stick with a range of consumer type lenses. Those who wanted more specialised stuff went with Canon or Nikon and that is still the case.

So to summarise I would take a good long look at all three lens ranges. Look at the cost. You may want the Canon or Nikon lenses but can you afford them? Good luck with your choice!
 
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Coal
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RE: Photog Newbie: Which Camera To Start With?

Sat Sep 08, 2007 10:46 pm

I went down to one of the electronics malls today and found the following:

- Nikon D80
- Body: USD960
- 18-200 Lens: USD835
- Cannon 40D
- Body: USD1,195
- 28-135 Lens: USD485

I was told the Nikon body was better as apparently the Cannon has some bugs because it's quite new (sounds like BS). I heard the Cannon was better because the LCD screen was bigger (who cares? Sounds like someone really cares about their commission).

On the lenses, I think that to start with the 18-200 is a great lens, as it is wide angle and telephoto. Not sure about the actual quality of the lens, but at least it would be good to have only one good lens to start with.

Comments?

Cheers
Coal
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dvincent
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RE: Photog Newbie: Which Camera To Start With?

Sun Sep 09, 2007 2:01 am

Don't let people talk you out of a Sony if you like the feel. The Alpha series continues the great ergonomics of Minolta, and the new a700 continues it.

You can use all Minolta A-mount lenses on the Sony cameras, and many of those lenses have great pedigree. A few good examples are the 70-210 f/4, the 100-300 and 100-400 APO brothers, the 85G, the Minolta 28-75, the 28-135 f/4-4.5. You can't buy them new, true, but it's a testament to the build quality and designs of these lenses that thousands of people use them on their modern cameras with no problems and great results.

It's fair to say that some lenses are harder to get than others but you're just starting out. Do you really need a 70-200 f/2.8 SSM? No. A used 70-210 f/4 will do you just fine until you learn the ropes and get used to the system.

The true positive of Minolta/Sony over other cameras is that they use stronger and more precise RGB filtering in their bayer matrixes. This gives superior color rendering. They are also designed to be a photographer's tool. This is what sold me on them when I held my first Maxxum - it felt like it was designed by a photographer for a photographer. Things like mirror lockup on the 2 second self timer. Having all of the necessary functions within reach of your shooting hand. Wireless flash without any extra commanders or doodads, it just works (Nikon finally caught up with this 13 years after Minolta invented it).

Sony took over the old Minolta camera group and it's the same guys doing the new cameras as the old ones. The main knock against the A100 (which was fixed with the forthcoming A700) was noise on ISO over 800. If you do go Sony, buy the A100 body only (or with the 18-70 kit) and get a 70-210 f/4 (beercan) used.
From the Mind of Minolta
 
zululima
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RE: Photog Newbie: Which Camera To Start With?

Sun Sep 09, 2007 8:09 am

Quoting LuckyEddie (Reply 13):
I am afraid I disagree with all those who recommend buying a camera which "feels" the best.

How many times have you heard a photographer complain of hand-chafing on a long shoot? Never. Lets face it, besides nit-picky details only photographers can tell apart, all DSLRs look alike and are contoured to fit the right hand comfortably. Like we've said before, if you don't consider lenses as your primary feature, you'll be sorry. I hate to throw generalizations and opinions about, but here's the way the digital "35mm equivalent" SLR market is: Canon & Nikon are Boeing & Airbus, everyone else takes what they can get from other niches in the market. It's not just a matter of "I need a lens that zooms from 30-85mm and one that goes from 85-200mm", it's a matter of optical quality. Quality comes in Canon and Nikon boxes.

p.s. If I were biased I would never have mentioned Nikon, as I am a 100% Canon (with 2 n's people, not 3) guy. This is just the way things are. The other manufacturers are a few years behind at this point.
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dvincent
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RE: Photog Newbie: Which Camera To Start With?

Mon Sep 10, 2007 2:42 am

Quoting ZuluLima (Reply 16):

How many times have you heard a photographer complain of hand-chafing on a long shoot? Never. Lets face it, besides nit-picky details only photographers can tell apart, all DSLRs look alike and are contoured to fit the right hand comfortably.

It's more about placement of the controls and the choice of the controls to me. Ask Canon about how they get raked over the coals every time for not having mirror lockup executable by a button or missing entirely for example. There's also the case of the digital rebel which has a terrible skinny grip. Admittedly this is better in the 400D but the 400D still feels small and cramped in a hand as compared to the similar Nikons.

There's also facts like viewfinders (The 400D's viewfinder is a tunnel), availability of vertical grips and whether or not the grip duplicates controls (very important). How about customizability of the controls? Can you assign one of the dials to exposure comp fulltime?

There's more to it than just how sticky the rubber is.
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TS-IOR
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RE: Photog Newbie: Which Camera To Start With?

Sun Sep 23, 2007 5:55 pm

What about starting with a bridge, Olympus SP-550UZ or Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18 ?!

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