While there's nothng wrong with Pentax cameras, and Sony makes pretty good cameras for a compny without a history in prolevel stil photography, I'd lean to ward Nikon or Canon..
I prefer Canon at the low end, because of the increase in autofocuss spots compared to the low end Nikons..
And, for your requirements, if you can stretch the budget, the Rebel XTi / 400D and the Sigma 18-50mm f2.8, plus a small tripod, would be a great combo..
Canon and Nikon have the best lens options available..
For low light photography you need a good tripod and preferably a remote release (although the self timer works too)..
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I know that Canon and Nikon are often considered some of the best cameras out there (at least in the class I am looking at). I tried handling them at a local store the other day and found I really didn't like the Canon. I was surprised at that. I didn't expect the differences to make that much difference to me..
I have a tripod (an old but I think pretty good bogen). But I'm really looking for as much hand-held pictures as I can get. F2.8 is pretty good, but I would still want IS. I know it can't help every time, but I understand from reviews that it's not a gimmick. If I get either the Canon or Nikon which don't come with sensor based IS, how much more will I pay for it in lenses, trying to keep quality the same?.
1. Most DSLRs (and all budget ones) have a field of view crop factor, ranging from 1.5x (Nikons) to 1.6x (Canons) to 2.0x (Four-Thirds system). So an 18mm lens on an entry-level to prosumer-level Canon or Nikon DSLR won't be an ultra-wide-angle lens. It will be more of a 28mm replacement. There are full-frame bodies that don't have the crop factor, but even the cheapest of these (Canon EOS 5D) is rather expensive..
2. I don't think there are any ultra-wide-angle lenses with built-in IS/VR. There are two moderately wide angle lenses with this feature: the Nikon 18-200mm VR lens, and the Sigma 18-200 (250?)mm OS lens. So if you *must* have IS on a wide-angle lens, you will probably need to go with a system that has IS in-body...
Here is an interesting read from a recent thread........http://forums.dpreview.com/...forums/read.asp?forum=1018&message=25493448Regards,Hank.
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Like lots of people here I'm looking to upgrade and buy a DSLR. Ihave a number of cameras, from 4 different brands, that have myinterest..
But, I started thinking I should find out more about lens choicesbefore picking a camera. And I'm finding it more confusing than thebody choices. How does everyone keep it straight ?.
I'll tell you a little about what I'm interested in, and budget,maybe you can give me some ideas. I much prefer the wide angle endof things rather than telephoto. I've never had a lens wider than28, but, at least occasionally, want to go below that. And, I liketo take low light photos. That time of day when the sun is just belowthe horizon, and street scenes at night. Prime lenses for the lowlight stuff is probably all I can afford.
As to budget, it's a little hard to be sure of how much I might bewilling to pay in the future, but to be realistic, $200 to $300 for alens is about it (figuring I'll picking up 3 or 4 lenses over thecourse of a few years). I might be able to stretch that if it's forsomething I just can't resist..
Oh, I didn't mention which brands (and models) I'm interested in.Canon EOS 400D / Digital Rebel XTiNikon D40XPentax K10DSony DSLR-A100.
For what you want I think you would be better off (if going Nikon) with A Nikon D40...or to me...a D50 or D70s over the D40x. If going Pentax a K100d over the K10d..
Also the new Sony A700 over the A100....all the cameras I have mentioned are better at low light in my opinion to the ones you have mentioned....though still great cameras (K10d is the one winning all the awards). Either of the Canons would be ok..
Since telephotos are not your thing then all the companies have great lenses....Pentax does not have much in the way of teles but for short primes they are the equal (at least) of the others....some very nice limited lenses that will all be stabilised...at your price level you may have to go up a little to get some of them. You can even find old (but good) manual focus lenses quite cheap at garage sales or wherever that will work great....and be stabilised. There are plenty of ultra wide choices for all the cameras you have listed though again may be a little over your price range..
Bottom line...try them all..
1. Most DSLRs (and all budget ones) have a field of view crop factor,ranging from 1.5x (Nikons) to 1.6x (Canons) to 2.0x (Four-Thirdssystem). So an 18mm lens on an entry-level to prosumer-level Canonor Nikon DSLR won't be an ultra-wide-angle lens. It will be more ofa 28mm replacement. There are full-frame bodies that don't have thecrop factor, but even the cheapest of these (Canon EOS 5D) is ratherexpensive..
2. I don't think there are any ultra-wide-angle lenses with built-inIS/VR. There are two moderately wide angle lenses with this feature:the Nikon 18-200mm VR lens, and the Sigma 18-200 (250?)mm OS lens.So if you *must* have IS on a wide-angle lens, you will probably needto go with a system that has IS in-body..
I knew about the crop factor. That's one reason I didn't include Olympus cameras in the list. Zooms that start at about 18mm seem to be standard for kit lenses, and I figured that would be my 'default' lens, one to use most of the time just because it has the most versatile coverage. So far I have assumed that my next lens would be another zoom wider than that. I think I've seen lenses that cover 10mm to 20mm, or 12mm to 24mm (or something similar to that)..
It didn't even occur to me that the wide angle zooms would not have stabilization. I know it is not as important as in telephoto, so maybe it's just not worth the extra cost? I did guess primes wouldn't have it..
Hmmm, I will have to think about this. If none of the wide angle lenses I end up with have IS/VR, then what? If it's a must for me (which I think it is, but nothing's set in concrete yet), then I would have to go for the bodies with sensor based systems (Pentax & Sony)...
Why does IS with wide angle lenses seem so vital? Remember, a tripod is still the best IS of all by a long, long way..
My advice; go Canon or Nikon. It should be obvious that any type of photography can be accomplished with either system, because it is all being done by thousands of different photographers with both systems as I type this. From what you have said so far, I suspect that Pentax or Olympus, or Sony would also work for you, but you should have no post purchase doubts if you go Canon or Nikon..
The decision is not as critical as you think it is right now..
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