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DSLR for Landscape / outdoor photography
Hi all,.

Can you please suggest a good DSLR for Landscape / outoor photography. As after going through lots of threads I found Nikon D300 would be a good choice, but again I see Pentax K100D with some prime lenses or Canon 5D are also a good competitiors..

So now I am fully confused as to which one would be a better choice? As I have mentioned earlier my main area of photography would be outdoor specially in low light..

If there are any better one please suggest..

-Lovik..

Comments (18)

I think the 5d is the best suited for landscape and low light. Its an amazing sensor in a body that is ill equiped for speed. Perfect for landscape, if you plan on doing sport not so perfect..

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Comment #1

Don't get me wrong, the K100d is fine camera and great in low light, but it's not in the same league as 5D or D300. The K100d is an entry level camera. The Pentax K20d is a more fitting competitor. It's as good as the K100d in low light, has a better viewfinder, and the capability of higher resolution output in the right circumstances. The right circumstances are sturdy tripod, use mirror lockup, use the lens hood, keep your lenses clean, use a remote release, use the best lenses you can afford..

You correctly found that the Pentax primes, especially the Limited series, are in the league of the best lenses by any manufacturer, including Leitz. Zeiss makes lenses in K mount for Pentax camera's. The Zeiss' are arguably a bit better (IMO) than the Pentax Limitied's but they also cost 2x - 3x as much..

The K20d + limited primes and the proper technique are very well suited for landscape and low light work. I have both the K100d and K20d, a collection of limited primes, and sturdy tripod. The combination works...

Comment #2

Any camera can do this job-you will be using a tripod. Each brand will have cheap and expensive lenses-the more you spend on body the less money you have for lenses..

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Anandahttp://anandasim.spaces.live.com/http://olympuse510.wikispaces.com/http://picasaweb.google.com/AnandaSim/http://www.flickr.com/photos/32554587@N00/..

Comment #3

AnandaSim wrote:.

Any camera can do this job-you will be using a tripod. Each brandwill have cheap and expensive lenses-the more you spend on body theless money you have for lenses..

Agreed you want very good, and fast optics..

When I don't shoot outdoor landscapes on a tripod I like to shoot indoor low light. Think pool halls and bars (without a tripod . In that circumstance small, short, fast primes + in-body shake reduction at high iso works. I use the same kit. Lenses faster than f/2 are essential IMO...

Comment #4

Mrxdimension wrote:.

When I don't shoot outdoor landscapes on a tripod I like to shootindoor low light. Think pool halls and bars (without a tripod .In that circumstance small, short, fast primes + in-body shakereduction at high iso works. I use the same kit. Lenses faster thanf/2 are essential IMO..

If OP is shooting landscapes, on a tripod, don't need IS in fact switch IS off.

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Anandahttp://anandasim.spaces.live.com/http://olympuse510.wikispaces.com/http://picasaweb.google.com/AnandaSim/http://www.flickr.com/photos/32554587@N00/..

Comment #5

AnandaSim wrote:.

Mrxdimension wrote:.

When I don't shoot outdoor landscapes on a tripod I like to shootindoor low light. Think pool halls and bars (without a tripod .In that circumstance small, short, fast primes + in-body shakereduction at high iso works. I use the same kit. Lenses faster thanf/2 are essential IMO..

If OP is shooting landscapes, on a tripod, don't need IS in factswitch IS off.

True again..

When I'm outdoors and shooting landscapes I use the tripod + outdoor techniques with the best lenses I can afford. In such a case the K20d renders finer detail than the K100d. If I want higher standards of output I shoot medium format film. Of course large format film blows everything else away..

When I'm indoor in low light without a tripod I use the same lenses and turn in-body shake reduction on. Either body is acceptable here since the finest level of detail is not the most important element..

For in-between situations I use the same kit with a monopod + shake reduction..

One small kit with two or three small lenses covers lots of occasions. I can generally predict when I'll want the tripod, monopod, or none of the above...

Comment #6

If I'm going to output to the web or make an 8x12" print either the K100d or K20d will do..

My point is Pentax is well suited to cover my low light (non-action) and landscape needs. Good high iso performance. Excellent, fast, physically small primes in the focal length necessary. Image stabilization in-body. A K20d that renders fine detail for exacting detail if required. A K100d with a bit of compromise in detail is acceptable.



If in doubt spend the bulk of your budget on good, fast lenses...

Comment #7

I use an Oly E510 and I like it because of the in camera IS. The shot below was taken with a sigma 18-50mm lens but the kit lens would have been nearly as good. Olys kit lenses are widely considered to be the best kit lenses around. I really like the in camera IS because I can do HDR shots like the one below hand held..

Jim.

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Olympus E-510 and a bunch of stuff to hang on it...

Comment #8

Honestly, ANY DSLR is going to work for what you have stated. Perhaps the biggest issue you will need to figure out is which feels the most comfortable in your hands. Keep in mind also, that when you buy a DSLR you are not only buying into a camera, but an entire system. The K100d you mentioned is a nice cam, and combined with some old skool Pentax Super Takumar 50mm prime manual focus lenses, you can expect some VERY razor sharp shots. Think glass, more than camera body, the better glass you can get, the better off you will be!John De Bord PhotographyShowcasing the Images of Colorado using the Mind of Minoltawebsite: http://jdebordphoto.comdeviantArt: http://kkart.deviantart.com..

Comment #9

At the size you posted the level of fine detail cannot be judged. At the light level available this is not a low light shot. Your point with respect to the op's question is not made in my mind..

To show detail here's a couple images. Obviously these are not low light examples. First a web print from the K20d (14+ MP) and a very good prime lens. All examples below were taken with a monopod..

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Here's the full size, look at the in-focus dew droplets in the top left and right side of the flower. For this one you have to click the link because the image is huge.http://www.pbase.com/mrxdimension/image/96887484/original.

Here's a shot with the K100d (6MP) and the same lens..

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Here's the link to the full sized one.http://www.pbase.com/mrxdimension/image/96231332/original.

I assert the detail comes from a good lens and technique. The higher MP count body has more detail but that detail is not required for all circumstances or outputs. Use of a tripod would have been better but not possible in this venue. Technique and lenses matter the most, followed by the body when maximum detail is desired..

BTW, this lens and the other limited primes are currently in production. They're not old by any means...

Comment #10

Mrxdimension wrote:.

At the size you posted the level of fine detail cannot be judged. Atthe light level available this is not a low light shot. Your pointwith respect to the op's question is not made in my mind..

My point was shootiing HDR. I made that pretty clear. If you want fine detail see below..

Follow this link to the original. http://www.pbase.com/maddogmd11/image/87862257..

I am not suggesting that the Pentax is not a good camera and did not say that. I pointed out the benifit of IS in camera that allows me to do HDR shots hand held..

Here is one that shows "detail" if you want it. Feel free to follow the properties info and see it full size. My comments on IS would apply to any camera that his inbody IS as well..

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Olympus E-510 and a bunch of stuff to hang on it...

Comment #11

Maddogmd11 wrote:.

Mrxdimension wrote:.

At the size you posted the level of fine detail cannot be judged. Atthe light level available this is not a low light shot. Your pointwith respect to the op's question is not made in my mind..

My point was shootiing HDR. I made that pretty clear. If you wantfine detail see below..

Follow this link to the original.http://www.pbase.com/maddogmd11/image/87862257..

Thanks. I think that's sufficient data..

I am not suggesting that the Pentax is not a good camera and did notsay that. I pointed out the benifit of IS in camera that allows meto do HDR shots hand held..

Here is one that shows "detail" if you want it. Feel free to followthe properties info and see it full size. My comments on IS wouldapply to any camera that his inbody IS as well..

I'm with you on in-body stabilization, and looking at alternatives to the big two. Many times enthusiasts can find an alternative system that offer better value. It depends on requirements and the ability to think through and separate the must have features vs the nice to have, or I don't know so I probably should buy it features. My point is lenses and technique count and not every camera/lens combo is sufficient for low light or landscape work ..

I think we now understand each other. I'm cool...

Comment #12

Well first of all many thanks for such a great suggestions, but frankly speaking I am still not able to decide which one is better. As being novice in DSLR field I purely rely on some expert suggestion. So can you guys please suggest what would be better in terms of picture quality as well handling because I can't afford lots of experiment with different cameras. As still I am stuck with three different models. I am trying to outline below my thoughts about their pros and cons which I have gathered from different reviews on the net..

D300  a very good and well balanced camera..

5D - nice full frame camera with very good sensor but lacks live view.

K20D  nice camera having IS but with half-cooked live view.

Can you please suggest what would be a good choice or should I go for a body only for some camera and then look for a lens which can produce amazing looking pictures..

Once again many thanks for your all replies.

- Lovik..

Comment #13

To make a recomendation that we can't do. You want us to discuss handling and few if any of us have handled all 3 cameras. Also handling is totally personal to the photogrpher. What I like will most likely NOT be what you like in the way of weight, grip, balance, etc. YOU have to decide on the best handling that fits YOU!!.

Of the 3 you have listed the top on my list would be the D300 but this is only based on what I have read. All of these are heavy cameras and the lenses make them much more heavy. I would much perfer something lighter but again that is a personal choice. Some folks like a heavier camera and believe they can hold it more steady..

The K200 is not in the same league with the 5D and the D300. The Canon and the Nikon are both 12MP and the Pentax is 10MP. The Pentax is 1/3 the price and basically a high entry level camera while the other 2 are arguably Pro cameras. The Pentax will not perform to the same standard as the Nikon and the Canon and to expect it to perform to that standard is silly..

Live view has limited value for what you want to do unless you plan on taking a tripod with you everywhere or as a minimum a monopod and neither is necessary for your stated purpose 90% of the time. IS is FAR more important particularly if you are shooting long heavy lenses..

Both the Nikon and the Canon will have a greater number of lenses available but for your stated purpose all these choices will have high quailty capable lenses..

Like it or not it's YOUR choice not ours and the most important part of photogrphy is the guy holding the camera not the camera. A great camera in the hands of a bad photographer will not produce better pictures. It will only produce bad pictures with more detail and dynamic range!!.

Good luck..

Jim.

Olympus E-510 and a bunch of stuff to hang on it...

Comment #14

Maddogmd11 wrote:.

To make a recomendation that we can't do. You want us to discusshandling and few if any of us have handled all 3 cameras. Alsohandling is totally personal to the photogrpher. What I like willmost likely NOT be what you like in the way of weight, grip, balance,etc. YOU have to decide on the best handling that fits YOU!!.

Of the 3 you have listed the top on my list would be the D300 butthis is only based on what I have read. All of these are heavycameras and the lenses make them much more heavy. I would muchperfer something lighter but again that is a personal choice. Somefolks like a heavier camera and believe they can hold it more steady..

The K200 is not in the same league with the 5D and the D300. TheCanon and the Nikon are both 12MP and the Pentax is 10MP. The Pentaxis 1/3 the price and basically a high entry level camera while theother 2 are arguably Pro cameras. The Pentax will not perform to thesame standard as the Nikon and the Canon and to expect it to performto that standard is silly..

Live view has limited value for what you want to do unless you planon taking a tripod with you everywhere or as a minimum a monopod andneither is necessary for your stated purpose 90% of the time. IS isFAR more important particularly if you are shooting long heavy lenses..

Both the Nikon and the Canon will have a greater number of lensesavailable but for your stated purpose all these choices will havehigh quailty capable lenses..

Like it or not it's YOUR choice not ours and the most important partof photogrphy is the guy holding the camera not the camera. A greatcamera in the hands of a bad photographer will not produce betterpictures. It will only produce bad pictures with more detail anddynamic range!!.

Good luck..

Jim.

Olympus E-510 and a bunch of stuff to hang on it..

HI.

K20d IS in the same league and that was the one asked about..

The Pentax is great if you do not need a fast frame rate, or the latest great pro auto focus...which is best is really a personal choice. I like it a lot (used one, do not own one)..

K200d does not have live view, K20d does. You can always buy a zigview for a camera without it.

Neil..

Comment #15

I either need new glasses or larger type on DPreview. I saw the D at the end and thought it was an 0. Man getting old sucks. My error and thanks for correcting it..

However, I still don't think the K20D stacks up well against the D300 or 5D and not be cause it is a bad camera. It is 2/3s the cost rather then the 1/3 that I stated previously. The Nikon has twice the burst rate (which is uselss for the OPs stated objective), twice the exposure compensation, 3 times the LCD resolution, high power AF, ... It simply is not a fair comparison nor should it be..

I can say that for the stated purpose the Pentax (assuming no equipment on hand for the Canon or the Nikon) would definately be the BEST VALUE and is fully capable of delivering images of the same quality as the Canon or Nikon FOR THE STATED PURPOSE. However I don't think it is the overall the best camera of the 3 mentioned (based on what I have read since I haven't actually used any of these systems) nor should it be based on the price..

I will say however that I wouldn't even consider the 5D. Feature for feature the Nikon kicks it but and the Pentax comes close and is actually closer to half the cost..

JimOlympus E-510 and a bunch of stuff to hang on it...

Comment #16

I will say however that I wouldn't even consider the 5D. Feature forfeature the Nikon kicks it but and the Pentax comes close and isactually closer to half the cost..

Feature for feature the D300 is a very nice camera. But, it's not a full frame. The Canon is in a league of it's own there. I would still recommend it, even though the 5D is aging and due for replacement any time now...

Comment #17

I'm going to make a suggestion and you can make up your own mind..

My suggestion would be the Nikon D300 and two lenses..

85mm 1.4, This is a fast prime lens and is simply magical in it's quality and rendition. It is absolutely tack sharp and extremely fast. As a short telephoto, it's not the best for landscape but great for close sports in low light. Remember, a fast aperture means a very shallow depth of field. With the D300s tremendous high ISO performance and this lenses wonderful 1.4 fast aperture, you'd have a very hard to beat combination. Nikon's 85 f1.4 is a magical lens, but expensive..

14-24 f2.8 Zoom. This would be your ultimate landscape lens. There might not be a better lens on the planet. It's is wonderful in low light, but landscape is generally small aperture work and you don't really need a fast lens. Still, this lens is the best. This is an expensive lens..

Let me show you the paper thin depth of field of the 85 at f1.4. This is just a chain link fence..

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Cheers, Craig..

Comment #18

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