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DSLR camera for beginner
I'm looking for a DSLR camera for a little under 850$. For the main purpose I plan on doing scenery and taking picture of flying aircraft. I would also like to get a wide angle lens, possibly a fish eye lens, and a macro lens later on. For now I'd stick with the lens that comes whit the camera and a telephoto (the telephoto is not in the 850$ price). I was maybe considering the Nikon D40, the Canon XTi, or the Pentax K200D. What would be your subjection ?

Comments (12)

IndraTarben wrote:.

I'm looking for a DSLR camera for a little under 850$. For the mainpurpose I plan on doing scenery and taking picture of flyingaircraft. I would also like to get a wide angle lens, possibly a fisheye lens, and a macro lens later on. For now I'd stick with the lensthat comes whit the camera and a telephoto (the telephoto is not inthe 850$ price). I was maybe considering the Nikon D40, the CanonXTi, or the Pentax K200D. What would be your subjection ? .

The class leader in that range right now is the Canon XSi/450D. There is the XS/1000D for less, as well the Nikon D60. The Pentax K200D also looks good..

Do you particularly large hands? If you do, you might want to look at the Nikon D80, even though that stretches your budget...

Comment #1

All good choices, although the lens selection for the D60 is trickier than the canon. Not that there many who want to autofocus macro, but I think the nikon 105VR is the only macro lens that will AF on it. You also get less choice of telephotos, 2 of the ultrawide 10/12-20/24s fall out of the running etc..

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

A small but growing collection of my photos can be seen athttp://www.pbase.com/poliscijustin..

Comment #2

You can get a Canon 350D now for only about $450 because it is an older model that is being discontinued. That leaves you with plenty of money for a nice lens. Almost all the photos on my Zenfolio site (see below) were taken with a 350D. As a beginner, you will not be able to discern the difference between photos taken with a 350D and a 450D..

Jerryhttp://jchoate.zenfolio.com/..

Comment #3

Tons and tons of lenses that autofocus with the D40-D60. Nikon makes 2 macros lenses, the 60mm AFS and the 105mm AFS. Sigma makes several macros as well including the wonderful 150 f2.8 APO Macro..

IMO, the best two superwides also come able to autofocus on those cameras, the Sigma 10-20 and Nikon's own 12-24. Nikon's 10.5 fisheye also works well..

All of Nikon's kit lenses that come on any Nikon will autofocus on the D40-D60. The 18-200 vr is a great lens and will not only autofocus but includes Nikon's excellent vibration reduction..

Every AFS or AFI lens Nikon has ever made or will make will autofocus on the D60. All the HSM Sigmas and most of the new Tamrons also will..

Every lens Nikon has made since 1959 will also work on the D60, though without autofocus or metering.Cheers, Craig..

Comment #4

Do try the cameras in a local store..

- If ergonomics is very important to you, it is very likely that you may rule out the XTI (or other Rebel Series models, like I did). Also, the kit lens of XTI is not considered to be good, so you would want to consider the IS version..

- The D40 comes for a mere $450 with the kit lens. There are several AF lenses compatible with it, so not sure if the lack of AF motor could be a deal-breaker. Anyway, if you primarily shoot landscapes and macro, then AF might not be that important for you in the first place..

- The K200D comes with the best kit lens, and with the current rebate, you can get it for around $520. For a better wide-angle reach, you could skip the kit lens for the Pentax 16-45 which is nearly $215 after a $100 rebate!.

IndraTarben wrote:.

I'm looking for a DSLR camera for a little under 850$. For the mainpurpose I plan on doing scenery and taking picture of flyingaircraft. I would also like to get a wide angle lens, possibly a fisheye lens, and a macro lens later on. For now I'd stick with the lensthat comes whit the camera and a telephoto (the telephoto is not inthe 850$ price). I was maybe considering the Nikon D40, the CanonXTi, or the Pentax K200D. What would be your subjection ?

Comment #5

Guidenet wrote:.

Tons and tons of lenses that autofocus with the D40-D60. Nikon makes2 macros lenses, the 60mm AFS and the 105mm AFS. Sigma makes severalmacros as well including the wonderful 150 f2.8 APO Macro..

IMO, the best two superwides also come able to autofocus on thosecameras, the Sigma 10-20 and Nikon's own 12-24. Nikon's 10.5 fisheyealso works well..

All of Nikon's kit lenses that come on any Nikon will autofocus onthe D40-D60. The 18-200 vr is a great lens and will not onlyautofocus but includes Nikon's excellent vibration reduction..

Every AFS or AFI lens Nikon has ever made or will make will autofocuson the D60. All the HSM Sigmas and most of the new Tamrons also will..

Every lens Nikon has made since 1959 will also work on the D60,though without autofocus or metering..

That would be more more macro lenses than last I was aware, so I stand corrected on that front, but it can still really cramp your style, especially for budget friendly stuff. It really depends what you are looking for lens wise. You can certainly cover all the bases for some photographers, but not others..

I'm a big fan of nikon stuff, but not of the D60 (or 40/40x). It has a pretty lousy feature set compared to the competition, much slower autofocus, and a pretty dismal user interface unless you don't tweak much of anything. I'd do an XTi over it in a heartbeat...

Comment #6

Well, I might be howled down by one or two for saying it, but the Olympus E520 is about the best value for money at under the price range you suggest. It's predecessor won awards for that last year, and the E520 has several key improvements. I bought one recently and I love it. Here's why I chose it:.

1. Best kit lenses on any DSLR at the price (and often at greater price) and arguably best set of lenses pound for pound to upgrade to - there's less of them to choose from, but there are enough and the quality is unbeatable - and whilst you should listen to the sensor brigade, lenses are at least as crucial to Image Quality. You will never be dissatisfied with an Oly kit lens. You probably will be with some others.2. Best dust reduction system (really is important in the long run).

3. Very light to carry, so you won't leave it behind on some trips which you will end up doing with some heavier beasts..

4. Great Olympus colours - it's true that the Oly is less good at ISOs at 800 and above, but how often will you shoot that? At 100/200 the colours are better than the Nikons and Canons - it's TRUE that that is an opinion, but it's an opinion shared by many (not just Oly users) - writers, magazines etc.5. Great looking camera, well styled and easy to use..

6. Superb Image Stabilisation - built into the camera (which imo is a better idea than having it in a lens...more versatility to use older lenses etc).

Others will tell you something else and that's fair enough, but I do recommend the Olympus E520 as an option that you should at least explore. The truth is, unless you're in extreme conditions, most cameras that you could choose will be excellent. It's the little things that sway it. How does it feel to hold? Do you enjoy using it? Does it look good? Are there some killer features..

Hope that helps...

Comment #7

ZeroKnowledge wrote:.

Do try the cameras in a local store.- If ergonomics is very important to you, it is very likely that youmay rule out the XTI (or other Rebel Series models, like I did).Also, the kit lens of XTI is not considered to be good, so you wouldwant to consider the IS version.- The D40 comes for a mere $450 with the kit lens. There are severalAF lenses compatible with it, so not sure if the lack of AF motorcould be a deal-breaker. Anyway, if you primarily shoot landscapesand macro, then AF might not be that important for you in the firstplace.- The K200D comes with the best kit lens, and with the currentrebate, you can get it for around $520. For a better wide-anglereach, you could skip the kit lens for the Pentax 16-45 which isnearly $215 after a $100 rebate!.

IndraTarben wrote:.

I'm looking for a DSLR camera for a little under 850$. For the mainpurpose I plan on doing scenery and taking picture of flyingaircraft. I would also like to get a wide angle lens, possibly a fisheye lens, and a macro lens later on. For now I'd stick with the lensthat comes whit the camera and a telephoto (the telephoto is not inthe 850$ price). I was maybe considering the Nikon D40, the CanonXTi, or the Pentax K200D. What would be your subjection ? .

Yep, when I was buying, ergonomically, I didn't like the Canons. The Nikons were okay, but the feature set on the D40-60 didn't seem as great as others. I ended up buying a Sony, and LOVE it. Ergonomically it felt the best, came with a great set of features, decent lens, and I couldn't be happier. But that was me, and you have to make your own decisions.Sic Vis Pacem Para Bellum..

Comment #8

Sony produces also good DSLR.both A-200 and A-350 not so expensive and produce good pics..

Im seriously thinking about buying A-200 or A-350(after more units will be available)..

E-lot from Olympus(boith 420 or 520) also wist investment, but for differently prioritized customer.shoots quality more or less comparably...

Comment #9

Poliscijustin wrote:.

Guidenet wrote:.

Tons and tons of lenses that autofocus with the D40-D60. Nikon makes2 macros lenses, the 60mm AFS and the 105mm AFS. Sigma makes severalmacros as well including the wonderful 150 f2.8 APO Macro..

IMO, the best two superwides also come able to autofocus on thosecameras, the Sigma 10-20 and Nikon's own 12-24. Nikon's 10.5 fisheyealso works well..

All of Nikon's kit lenses that come on any Nikon will autofocus onthe D40-D60. The 18-200 vr is a great lens and will not onlyautofocus but includes Nikon's excellent vibration reduction..

Every AFS or AFI lens Nikon has ever made or will make will autofocuson the D60. All the HSM Sigmas and most of the new Tamrons also will..

Every lens Nikon has made since 1959 will also work on the D60,though without autofocus or metering..

That would be more more macro lenses than last I was aware, so Istand corrected on that front, but it can still really cramp yourstyle, especially for budget friendly stuff. It really depends whatyou are looking for lens wise. You can certainly cover all the basesfor some photographers, but not others..

I'm a big fan of nikon stuff, but not of the D60 (or 40/40x). It hasa pretty lousy feature set compared to the competition, much slowerautofocus, and a pretty dismal user interface unless you don't tweakmuch of anything. I'd do an XTi over it in a heartbeat..

I'm curious as to what you mean by "budget friendly." I guessing that either you're referring to the 50 1.8 or older used non-AFS/AFI lenses. That doesn't amount to much, IMO. Sigma makes a 50 1.4 HSM, for example. Most buyers of a D40-D60 buy zooms, I imagine. As far as older manual lenses are concerned, the D40/D60 fits more than just about any other camera on earth. I recently purchased an 85 f1.4 for $1100.



You say that they have much slower autofocus. Again, I'm not sure where that's coming from. An AFS lens will focus as fast on a D40 as it will on a D3. If you're talking about 3 focus points, I understand. Personally, I use 1 focus point much of the time on my D300..

If you take the D40/D60 out of beginner mode, the user interface can be much more pro-like. The difference between Nikon and Canon is more due to philosophy. Nikon tends to have one set things in menu once, then have a tactile approach, where Canon tends more to be menu driven. To each their own. As far as feature set is conserned, for me, the XTI is out of the running for the lack of a spot meter, something all Nikons share. I'm not sure what features one has the other doesn't that would conjur up the description "lousy?" Have you actually looked at or handled the D60? Have you compared how bright and accurate the viewfinders are? I might compare the XSI, but certainly not the XTI to the D60..

I can tweek just about as many important things on my D40 as I can on my D300. I can't bracket nor use DOF preview, but I find that I don't do that much. I bracket the way I've done since before digital. DOF preview, I find to be not so easy on a ground glass as chimping a shot. Much rather have a spot meter and a bright viewfinder if I'm trading feature sets..

I had both the XT and XTI and gave them to one of my daughters. They're inexpensive used, but I've used them a bit. Just my opinion.Cheers, Craig..

Comment #10

Kit lenses are the big problem with buying Sony. read the review here of the standard kit lens. kit lenses are an Oly strength tipping the scale in their direction for a lot of people..

For size/feature set/value/performance the Oly cameras can be the best bang for your investment.....

Comment #11

I not reli on review too high, but always read all of them..

Trully impressive LIVE experience - thats' what I always checks, after any new hardware released ..

Comment #12

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