buy now or wait???
I have had a Sony Cybershot F717 for a number of years now and I'm itching to upgrade to a DSLR. My dilemma is trying to decide if I should wait for full frame technology to become more affordable and keep using my Sony or buy something now and upgrade again in a couple years..

I do not have an unlimited budget, and therefore can't afford a camera with a full frame sensor today. $1500-1800 for camera and lens is what I have in mind. I was originally thinking about buying a used D200 and the 18-200mm VR lens to start. My issue is that I don't want to spend well over a thousand dollars for a camera and lens that will likely be obselete in a couple years. One option I have considered is buying the D200 with a FX series lens. I have also thought about buying a very inexpensive D40 with a FX lens and then buying a full frame camera in another year or so..

I well consider myself an amateur, but it has been a hobby of mine for well over 20 years, so I would like some of the advanced features of the D200 vs. the more consumer models. To sum it up, I can't make up my mind, so I'm turning to you for help..

Any advise would be most welcome. Thanks...

Comments (14)

It probably will be more than a couple of years before full frame cameras become "affordable." DSLR photography, compared to point and shoot digital photography, has some differences. Buying a used D200 that is in good condition probably would be a decent means to learn. I have a friend who is very happy with his D200. He does not intend to replace it with a D300 when the D300 is available. Fearing buying an obsolete camera could prevent you from taking pictures then learning.thezero..

Comment #1

Thanks for the advice on buying now, you're probably right. Do you think buying lenses that will support full frame down the road is a wise choice?..

Comment #2

The Sony had a 2/3" CCD and the "FourThirds" system cameras have one four times the area (roughly). Many of us think that's the future for the non-pro's without very serious money to spend. You get a wide range of bodies by Leica, Panasonic and Olympus and lens by them all plus Sigma..

My opinion is that so-called full frame was started to avoid the expense of redesigning all their lenses for digital. I mean your Sony is nothing like 24 x 36 mm but turns out the goods....

This link might help or else a more general one

Regards, David..

Comment #3

I have and have had a whole bunch of crop cameras and currently have a Canon 5d. The 5d is a wonderful camera but I use my Rebel XTi and my Pentax K100D almost exclusively because they are small and light and their image files are small in JPG, while the 5d only reveals it's superior detail in raw files making for some really big storage folders..

From my experience, with both, there is really very little advantage with full frame beyond better application for wide angle and reduced depth of field, which for many folks is a negative trade off. Most prefer the better tele and greater depth of field capability of crop cameras especially if they are coming from small sensor point and shoots..

Buy now and buy the Pentax K100D. It is absolutely the most DSLR presently available both for performance and price. In my mind it has no competition.Dave Lewis..

Comment #4

Unless you intend to shoot high ISO situations. High ISO noise is always going to be a problem with smaller sensors. All the 4/3 cameras are more expensive than the Pentax K100D too and there are fewer lenses available and most are very expensive..

Dave Lewis..

Comment #5

I bought only full frame lenses and I am glad I did so. I started with APS sensor cameras then later purchased a full frame one. The difference is you are looking at Nikon while I invested in Canon bodies. At this time Nikon is marketing only one full framer and it will be expensive. So the answer depends upon your intending to some day acquire a full framer..

A full frame lens' focal length, for Nikon, will be multiplied by 1.5 due to the APS sensor. So a 200 focal length full frame lens will be the equivalent of a 300 focal lenght lens when placed on an APS Nikon. This can be a disadvantage at the wide angle end.thezero..

Comment #6

Buy now. There will always be a better / shinier / faster camera along next month; you can wait for ever, and never take any pictures. The entry-level DSLRS now have features that a pro would have sold his grandmother for a few years ago and are cheap (300 UK). Get a Pentax K100D or Nikon D40 now and start having fun. It will be obsolete in a few years but so what - in 5 years you will be able to get a 200 MP full-frame camera wiith live view, video mode and that makes the tea for 9.99.... so 'carpe diem' and start taking photos now.Mike..

Comment #7

Going from an F707 to a FF dSLR is a major move! Remember:.

1) Buy now and wait are not mutually exclusive..

Buy a beginner dSLR now and wait to see if you really need a FF camera..

2) Sell is also an option..

Sell your F707?.

3) Or keep the F707 and buy discontinued accessories?.

That makes the "package" more valuable. This is the "sell later" strategy..

4) Sell the F707 and buy an FX can get the body later!.

Bodies tend to depreciate. The correct lens will appreciate (gotta pick something special w/ low production numbers). Hold on as the lens becomes more valuable. Soon you may be able to afford that FF camera! This is the "invest now" strategy..

5) Or get the K100D and kit lens and start taking pix....

This is the "have fun now" strategy. When you outgrow the K100D, get a used K10D. Pentax prolly won't ever have a FF camera, so that removes one of your choices and makes this an even better approach..

Charlie DavisNikon 5700 & Sony R1HomePage: http://www.1derful.infoBridge Blog:

Comment #8

If you buy good lenses you will always be able to trade dollars on them. Kept in like new condition, they will alway be worth just about new price. Lenses are like good guns, they gain in value as the prices of everything go up..

Crop lenses are going to continue to be worth full value because crop cameras are here to stay, in my mind.Dave Lewis..

Comment #9

When you begin your journey with dslrs, you should know that the lenses you buy are what is important. They will last for decades, whereas the camera body is something that you probably will change every 2-3 years. Therefore, my suggestion is that you buy the cheapest Canon or Nikon dslr body available with a kit lens or, alternatively, a 50mm lens, and use them to learn. Then, when you are feeling good about your photographic abilities, you can begin accumulating good lenses to go with your camera. You can get a Canon 350D, Canon 400D, or Nikon D40 with a kit lens or 50mm lens cheaply (considerably cheaper than the amount you are allowing), and this will leave money for all the accessories that you need when you get started. Good luck and good photography!.


Comment #10

Camera technology is changing rapidly. There is no doubt that today's camera bodies will be obsolete junk in 2 or 3 years. Maybe the investment in glass will last much longer, but I suspect that too will change relatively rapidly. Will the next generation of sensors require different glass? What advances will occur for in lens image stabilization?..

Comment #11

In my view the term "obsolete" when used with regard to camera equipment applies more to a persons changing abilities and camera usage than to the "function" of a certain body. In other words, if you buy a good camera today, it will continue to perform exactly the same for it's entire working life. As a photographer gains experience and knowledge he or she may outgrow a particular camera but not because the camera is any less useful..

This is not to say that we don't all have a desire to have the latest equipment but the question is whether or not we really "need" that new equipment. I am a purely amateur photographer and have a six month old Pentax K10D and I can't imagine ever needing more "features" than it has. On the other hand, if you're a Pro using your equipment as a tool to earn a living then I think the argument becomes quite different. Still, the fact remains that a given camera does not lose any of it's abilities over time.Too many subjects, not enough time.....

Comment #12

Piratelooks40 wrote:.

I do not have an unlimited budget, and therefore can't afford acamera with a full frame sensor today. $1500-1800 for camera andlens is what I have in mind. I was originally thinking about buyinga used D200 and the 18-200mm VR lens to start..

I was chatting with a pro yesterday - me with my D80 + 18-200VR, and him with his D200 plus some outrageously priced piece of pro glass .

He admired my 18-200 VR. I noted his D200, which he has not intentions of replacing in the near future..

He is a leading pro in my city..

I think you can see where I'm going with this - D200 + 18-200 VR? Why not?.

My issue is that Idon't want to spend well over a thousand dollars for a camera andlens that will likely be obselete in a couple years..

Whatever camera you buy today, it will be "obsolete" in a couple of years if not sooner. It will still take photos. .

Lenses - DX vz FX? No crystal ball here, I suppose the long term trend will be towards full frame, but think about it - the major makers like Nikon are still extending their range of DX lenses (and bodies) as we speak. I think DX will be around for a long, long time and certainly it's not worth going for full frame now just because you're worried about the future of DX - not if it means compromising on your budget or requirements in other areas..

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window..

Comment #13

Greetings "Pirate".

Ah, I remember 40. The camera you buy today will be considered "obsolete" almost by the time your battery is charged sooner if you read this board too much. Heck, they're already speculating about the "D400" and no one's taken delivery of the D300 yet..

The lenses you buy today if you buy wisely will last and last..

I'm on my second DSLR (first was a D70, current one is a D200). I upgraded partly because of megapixels and partly because there were things that the D200 did that the D70 didn't most notably in-camera multiple exposures. For what it's worth, I opted for the D200 over the D80 partly because I have so many CF cards..

The decision on what camera you buy and whether you should invest in DX for FX format gear depends on your shooting style, preferred subjects..

The camera you have now has a lens that has an effective focal length of 38 to 190. And that's on a small sensor camera. Any camera with a larger sensor is going to potentially give you clearer images that could be blown up bigger, show more detail etc. that includes 4/3 sensor cameras, DX sensor cameras and FX sensor cameras..

If you use the LCD on your current camera to compose and you don't like a real viewfinder, you may prefer the 4/3 cameras with "live view.".

Putting "vaporware" aside, there are a couple choices you can make..

If you want to buy a camera this year and want to compose on the LCD, go with the 4/3 camera (Olympus or Leica) it's your only option and in a choice between those two, go for the Olympus..

If you're interested in low-light photography and no camera has a night vision/night shot feature like Sony did in that era Canon tends to do a better job than Nikon. That could change with the D300 but for now, that's pretty much a given. (The 5D, Canon's prosumer FX camera, is going for about $2,300 these days something worth noting because chances re Canon's FX offering will come into your price range before Nikon's)..

If you're looking for a value camera with a DX sensor that's weather sealed (for those Pirate trips) consider the Pentax K10D..

If you're looking for a value/entry level DSLR body and plan to buy FX lenses (and eventually an FX body) you're looking at the D40 or the Digital Rebel. I'm partial to Nikon. Of course if you're going that route then the Nikon 18-200 VR (and any other kit lens on the planet) are unwise buys because they're DX lenses..

If I had a better idea of what you like to shoot, I could offer more meaningful concrete suggestions..

Either way, good luck in your search..

'Nice pen, bet you write good stories with it.'..

Comment #14

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