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Do I need an DSLR?
Hello!.

I have been using my dad's Nikon FM for past 15 years. Was looking for a new camera. I dont know whether to buy an DSLR or something like the Canon Powershot S5 IS..

Requirements:1. Zoom in onto the little avians, at maximum 50meters/75meters?2. Capture the details of insects and flowers using macro features..

3. Good low light capability. I try to experiment indoors and also outdoors in low light..

I wont be taking out huge prints, but will be viewing them on my 32" LCD TV..

I have a budget of $500 to $700 for the camera+lens. A DSLR or not? What camera is best for me, pref. Canon or Nikon..

Thank you!..

Comments (6)

Blue_V wrote:.

Hello!I have been using my dad's Nikon FM for past 15 years. Was lookingfor a new camera. I dont know whether to buy an DSLR or somethinglike the Canon Powershot S5 IS..

Requirements:1. Zoom in onto the little avians, at maximum 50meters/75meters?2. Capture the details of insects and flowers using macro features.3. Good low light capability. I try to experiment indoors and alsooutdoors in low light..

I wont be taking out huge prints, but will be viewing them on my 32"LCD TV..

I have a budget of $500 to $700 for the camera+lens. A DSLR or not?What camera is best for me, pref. Canon or Nikon..

No point and shoot can do everything you want, and no DSLR can do it for anywhere near your budget - at least not well. Technically you can use a camera phone if you want. It depends on how good of quality you want. Assuming that you want good quality you are simply asking way too much for way too little. Most unrealistic is thinking you'll shoot birds at such extreme distances - you need at least a 600mm lens for that (not a 600mm equivalent, but the real deal). Look to spend about $6000 for that...

Comment #1

IMac, therefore iAm wrote:.

Blue_V wrote:.

Hello!I have been using my dad's Nikon FM for past 15 years. Was lookingfor a new camera. I dont know whether to buy an DSLR or somethinglike the Canon Powershot S5 IS..

Requirements:1. Zoom in onto the little avians, at maximum 50meters/75meters?2. Capture the details of insects and flowers using macro features.3. Good low light capability. I try to experiment indoors and alsooutdoors in low light..

I wont be taking out huge prints, but will be viewing them on my 32"LCD TV..

I have a budget of $500 to $700 for the camera+lens. A DSLR or not?What camera is best for me, pref. Canon or Nikon..

No point and shoot can do everything you want, and no DSLR can do itfor anywhere near your budget - at least not well. Technically youcan use a camera phone if you want. It depends on how good of qualityyou want. Assuming that you want good quality you are simply askingway too much for way too little. Most unrealistic is thinking you'llshoot birds at such extreme distances - you need at least a 600mmlens for that (not a 600mm equivalent, but the real deal). Look tospend about $6000 for that..

I gave the wrong distance! Im sorry. 2 to 4 meters max...

Comment #2

Get yourself one of the "superzoom" P&S cameras. The Panasonic ??Z18 comes to mind. The ex has one, it's able to macro in on flowers/exc and the 18x zoom gives the camera alot of range. Heck, with your budget you can toss in a tripod and a memory card..

Technologist @ Large- Mark0..

Comment #3

There are many other things that you ought to consider that come with the territory of buying a DSLR. You'd want to look at buying a couple of good books on DSLR photography, a camera bag, a couple of memory cards, a back-up battery, a good tripod, software, and etc. I think we all end up spending a lot more than we originally budget for..

Btw, it's not a matter of Canon is better than Nikon, or vice versa. The camera and lenses you buy should be bought because they work for you and because they offer what you want. Basically, it helps to take a look at features to determine which equipment is best for you. It will also help to try out some cameras (e.g., Nikon, Canon, P&S, or whatever) to get a feel for what you need..

$700 worth of equipment will start you out at an entry level DSLR. If I was you, then I'd wait until I could stretch that budget to about $1200 or so before I invested into a new DSLR system. If you feel you have to buy something new, then a good P&S ought to do you well. Or, you could also think about investing into some used, "Like New" DSLR equipment. keh.com would be a great place to start for high quality used equipment..

Brandon..

Comment #4

For your price range of $500 - $700, you can get some good DSLR's out there..

I sold my my d40 a while back for $450 with a kit lens. I am buying a Nikon D1H for $320 USD plus some batteries for a total of $380 (body only). I heard that a Nikon D50 goes for less than $500. For around $600 you could get a Nikon D100..

These are all estimates. Also, when buying, save up for the lens and flash systems. Remember that a camera is an investment..

Lastly, buy a camera that fits your needs. Do not go for the megapixel myth or "lens lust".

My two cents..

Respects,.

Doni..

Comment #5

The "old" Canon Rebel XT body is about or less than $350 used without the kit lens. Going below that generation is not advisable, but the XT is an awesome camera. .

That leaves you with $400 for lenses in your budget. And lenses is where you seriously start to spend. Multiply all focal lengths by 1.6 for 35mm equivalent..

EF-S 18-55 IS (not to be confused with the non-IS lens, which is not nearly as good to put it mildly) is about $170, which is a decent all-around lens.

EF 50mm f/1.8 is $50 used or slightly more new- that's your low-light/portrait/short telephoto lens.

Dedicated macro does start to get pricey, but not so much. It'll be up to you to decide whether closeups of objects are worth it to you. You can take some decent closeups with standard equipment, but Macro lenses open another world..

EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro is about $360.

There are plenty of other Macro lenses that you'll find discussed many many times. Some may well be less expensive..

Personally, I have a Rebel XT and a 50mm f/1.8. I bought the camera for a very specific purpose and this combination let me get a DSLR system for $375. Unfortunately, for the rest of my shots (probably impossible with P&S equipment...available light concert photography that's actually usable ), it looks like I am looking at EF 135mm f/1.8 and that will be moderately pricey..

My DSLR is set for stealth to ensure that I don't annoy anyone around me - no beeps, LCD off, no AF beam, no flash - fast lenses make that possible and Canon made that affordable for me. I went up to front row and captured a few dozen good images in a really terrible light..

With DSLRs, your purchases of optics carry through up the model line. With the S5 IS, no matter how good the optics are on that camera you can't take them with you when you decide to upgrade and you can't rent a specialized lens. I can hook up my Rebel XT to the EF1200mm F/5.6 monster if I ever have the opportunity. .

As the DSLRs mature, they drop in price (well, the bodies do) to incredibly low values. However, used midrange P&S digital cameras simply have zero value to megapixel-driven consumers. I can buy some excellent previous generation 4-6MP P&S equipment for next to nothing..

The only limit with the DSLR is your budget, but you can expand your features incrementally and rent special-purpose lenses as needed. .

While the initial purchase price of lenses is high, they retain most of their value quite well..

Save on the body and get the glass. Then again, you've been shooting for 15 years with an SLR, so you already know that. .

If Nikon fits your needs better, I am sure you'll find similar lenses there..

The S5 has an interesting and relatively fast lens Focal Length.

6.0-72.0mm f/2.7-3.5 (35mm film equivalent: 36-432mm). It costs about as much as a Rebel XT does used without a lens. A comparable lens on a DSLR would be quite pricey. On the other hand, it has a much smaller sensor with a 6x crop factor vs. 1.6x in current Canon DSLR models within your budget. .

Good luck. .

Blue_V wrote:.

Requirements:1. Zoom in onto the little avians, at maximum 50meters/75meters?2. Capture the details of insects and flowers using macro features.3. Good low light capability. I try to experiment indoors and alsooutdoors in low light...

Comment #6

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