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help with canon vs sony vs nikon
I am new to the digital slr market and want to purchase my first camera... I have played with an old school minolta 35mm film camera without any automatic features from the 70s with a ton of different lenses and filters so I have a very basic understanding of cameras, but I know nothing about the digital half of it with modern cameras... everyone I talk to says canon canon canon yadda yadda and if you dont go canon atleast get a nikon. However I happen to believe I like the sony a100... my cousin just got a canon d40 or something like that with a 28-135 lens... I just want to know what to expect from these three brands what Ill get what ill miss and what specifically to look for...

Searching provides so much info id have to read for days and days and still be unclear... if someone could just give me a few blunt perspectives that would be superb so I can start my search and get into the digital slr world..

Comments (62)

Unlike in former slr times the choice of a d-slr cam body is no more a long lasting valueabel investion. Bodies will have their successors every 18 month. Knowing this the right question is 'which system should I choose?' according to availability of brands and their lenses, you are interested in. So far the suggestion to go with canon or nikon is not so bad. But the other brands have interesting features the big ones don't have (yet)..

You have narrowed down already your choice to 1 candidate (and 2 more possibilities). Find a camera store with all 3 brands and have a try with the sony a100 and the entry level alternatives of canon (probl 400D) an nikon (D40(x) or D80). Maybe you can rent a cam or 2 for some days. Ask your cousin to have a try with his cam (if he will allow). Judge the handling of all these toys. Which one is the most logical to use for YOU? Have a try with tele and wide angle lenses..

And than choose the 'system': build up a checklist with features and lenses you are interested in and run each of your 3 alternatives against it. How many money are you willing to spend?.

"... what I'll get ..." - each cam will be "versatil" as you asked for..

"... what I'll miss ..." - no answer possible yet, because it depends on "what kind of pictures" are you interested in and which system do you use?.

If you will take many pictures in low light, keep in mind, that the sony a100 is regarded to be a bit more noisier than canon or nikon..

Hope this helpsRogRabb..

Comment #1

You are at a very fragile juncture. You are understandably miffed with the Canon chant, but that is not a good reason to buy a Sony. Don't ever listen to anybody that says "buy what I have". Don't ever listen to any salesman at Best Buy. You must use whatever you choose, so make sure it fits your hands! Go actually hold, look through, operate, etc any camera on your short list..

Next, you might consider that when you buy a Canon camera, just for example, you also join a Canon community. This community is in many respects like a religion. If you don't like the people or the doctrines (like if you can't be a Catholic, at least be an Episcopalian or Methodist), you will not be happy. Hang out on the Canon, Nikon, and Sony SLR forums and see which group you fit with best..

All the contenders you have mentioned will take good pix, but the ergonomics and cultural relationships associated with them are vastly different..

Don't forget to look at Pentax and Olympus! They are in many ways more advanced and better values..

Charlie DavisNikon 5700 & Sony R1HomePage: http://www.1derful.infoBridge Blog: http://www.here-ugo.com/BridgeBlog/..

Comment #2

Previous advice is right: Any modern DSLR accomplished with great lens(es) will deliver excellent images. Sony camera based IS is good feature..

I started with minolta system many years ago and still minoltian/sonyoltian... ..

Sony A100 was built based on Minolta 5D DSLR. As any other DSLR helps good photographer to create great images when accomplished with good lenses and used properly (exposure, filters)..

A100 default lens (18-70mm) is decent, but not any fantastic. (all default lenses made by any maker are not fantastic, but universal)..

If you will choose A100 I recommend you to ebay old Minolta 70-210mm f/4 AF lens and Minolta 50mm f/1.7 AF to acomplish default lens kit..

You can also try to find Minolta AF (Maxxum, Dynax) lenses in consigment stores. Old lenses were build to last (metal housing, great glass)..

Http://www.stan-pustylnik.smugmug.com..

Comment #3

Personally, I shoot Fuji S5 nikon lenses/flash, so I have no reason to mention Pentax other than I think right now they offer the most camera for the money, hands down. Both the K100D at under $400 and the professional grade K10D under $700 with in body IS are simply stunning values. If you aren't gonna make enlargements over 11x14, and don't need 5-7 fps speed to shoot sports, I would consider saving the $ and get a K100D and use the money to get a decent lens...

Comment #4

Thanks for all the advice guys I reakky appreciate it and not being told to screw off and just save for a better camera....like most other forums do....

I started with the sony becuase I did pick it up and like the way it felt better than the canon and it looked better than the nikon to me...not that that really matters but... I guess I really just want to make sure I'm not gonna buy a body and then be like ahhhh I wish it did this this or this... I shoulda gotten such and such cuase I dont really know how I'm going to use it... right now I dont own a camera so I dont have any habits... and I know my cousin will let me use hers ill see what I think of the 40d but dunno if I could afford that..

Comment #5

Quail328 wrote:.

... and I know my cousin will let me usehers ill see what I think of the 40d but dunno if I could afford that.

But you'll get some feeling for the canon way of taking pictures. With that look at the 400D (not to confuse with 40D) and you know something more concerning which camera to choose..

And ... there is no way to be absolutly certain, that after your purchase you won't get to the point of thinking, that another choice would have been better for one or two little things. There is no ideal cam (yet?). So my advice will be, don't look back then and get used to your cam. More than 95% of taking good pictures are depending on you. Therefore beeing able to handle the cam and having a good feeling is more important for making good pic's than which brand to choose..

Good luck, RogRabb..

Comment #6

Makes a lot of sense.

I guess each one has it's standout features and each one has something similar with a different name (marketing)...so it probably basically comes down to how much your willing to invest in for the extras and which one just works better for you... whatevers easiest to live with not what has the most features for the money... I take it they all have limitless opportunity ...just costs some money..

Comment #7

If we had tons of spare money than choice would have been much simpler. Buy the top-of-line:-). But with budget limited, we should look for maximizing value unless we have some unique/specific non-compromising needs..

Therefore A100 is on top of value-for-money DSLRs. In-built SR, a bit extra zoom in kit-lens, good resolution and IQ. A bit better built than others in it's class (entry level). I would go for it, followed by K10D (which is still better value with it's weather seals and better view-finder, but at higher absolute price.). Than Nikon D40x followed by Canon 400D..

Quail328 wrote:.

If someone could justgive me a few blunt perspectives that would be superb so I can startmy search and get into the digital slr world.

Best Wishes, Ajayhttp://picasaweb.google.com/ajay0612..

Comment #8

What is SR and what is IQ... I think your answer is exactly what I was looking for being told that for a similar price the sony skips on weather seals etc... things like that is what I really want to know....

Also would it be of better interest to skip the kit buy the body and go for a better lens from the start? spend a few extra bucks and have a higher quality lens... what makes a bigger contribution to picture quality ...after the user of course... the body or the lens? or are they in direct relation to each other?.

And who makes the ...i think you called it k10d or something like that the one with the weather seals and better viewfinder?..

Comment #9

Do any sites offer side by side feature comparisons of different models of different make cameras... like so I could see features of a sony against a canon or olympus on the same page in the same format?..

Comment #10

Quail328 wrote:.

What is SR.

Shake-reduction (CCD-Shift type).

And what is IQ....

Image Quality.

Also would it be of better interest to skip the kit buy the body andgo for a better lens from the start? spend a few extra bucks and havea higher quality lens....

Yes. You could consider buying one (e.g. 16-80mm in case of Sony.). But don't expect those 10x zooms (18-200 etc.) to be better than kit lens..

What makes a bigger contribution to picturequality ...after the user of course... the body or the lens? or arethey in direct relation to each other?.

Overwhelmingly lens. Than Sensor. A high resolution sensor will be wasted when coupled with poor lens (lacking sharpness). While all sensors will be benifitted with good quality of lens..

And who makes the ...i think you called it k10d or something likethat the one with the weather seals and better viewfinder?.

Ohh. Its full name is "Pentax K10D" DSLR camera. It has SR and weather seals. Recently Sony has launched A700 which also offer these features (alongwith faster burst mode) but at much higher price.Best Wishes, Ajayhttp://picasaweb.google.com/ajay0612..

Comment #11

This site offers this. Go to "Buyer's Guide" and select "Side-by-side"..

Quail328 wrote:.

Do any sites offer side by side feature comparisons of differentmodels of different make cameras... like so I could see features of asony against a canon or olympus on the same page in the same format?.

Best Wishes, Ajayhttp://picasaweb.google.com/ajay0612..

Comment #12

Just a thought for you. Understand that I'm a Minolta/Sony user so that's where I'm coming from. I agree that upgrading from the kit is a good idea.....eventually. With the Sony (like I said, that's what I know) the kit lens, for the price is a very decent lens particularly for someone just starting out. The additional cost in the kit is minimal, and if you decide later to switch, you can always put it up on Craigs list or ebay and probably get back most of what you spent on it. The thing is, the kit is a very nice focal range for a "walking around" lens.

What is your style. Do you wish you had something wider 'cause you shoot a lot of landscapes, or do you like to shoot animals at the zoo and wish you had more reach? Do you want to shoot birds and wish you had a lot more reach? Do you shoot your kids football games outdoors at night and need something faster? As someone who jumped into the ebay lens buying frenzy right away, I currently only own one lens of the maybe 10 or 12 that I bought in the first year. Someone mentioned the 70-210 f4. Great lens, and I've owned three. But as nice as it is, every time I went on a shoot, I found I wasn't carrying it because of the weight.

The 70-210 (beercan) probably weighs more than the camera body. That's something you will need to evaluate about yourself and what you want. In a couple years when/if you decide to move up to the next level, it will be a whole different story. You probably won't want the kit lens, but you will know what you want. Whatever you do, have fun..

Comment #13

Haha great info guys...yeah ive checked out the sony a700 but yeah still expensive... and whats the beer can reference is it just the size/shape of the lens? I dont think I'm so worried about weight I'm 22 and personally I think a heavier weight will help me stay steadier with the camera... my family has some shaky hands at times haha ... but ive played with non slr digitals and gotten some great zoom pictures in giants stadium with a 5mp sony and the digital zoom maxed out... can see a ball being snapped to pennington from the 18th row of the upperdeck on on the 20 yard line 80 yards across the field... so I'm not so worried about shakes yet but yeah the anti shake features and such would be great help...

I plan on doing some traveling in my near future I'm about to graduate college with a degree in marketing and international business and this could be a nice hobby for the side... I can see myself takin a lot of city pictures (ny) car pictures and am dying to get on a cruise to alaska ... I do enjoy takin pictures at ball games etc and I cant imagine what a camera like this could do in shea stadium... I'm not terribly worried about fps ...that seems to be an expensive feature to upgrade haha and going from digital 1 picture every ten seconds to 3fps is gonna be ungodly quick to me ...if I have to be patient and take more attempts at the perfect shot thats more time I get to use my camera ..

Comment #14

If your budget is in the A100 range (and well below the A700 range) then the Sony A100 is a lot of camera for the money. But if you can get to a store that has one, check out a Nikon D80 and Pentax entry level models ... even if you go to a 6MP Pentax instead of the 10 - if you're printing to 8x10 you might be better served by the 6MP sensor anyway..

(I'm leaving out Canon - they're the obvious choice of many advanced amateurs and pros, but for a a budget system, I don't think they have much to offer ... image stabilization in affordable fast lenses is not available and - like Sony right now - you have to step up to an expensive model to get a nice pentaprism VF like you'll find in the Nikon D80 and Pentax cameras)..

So while the D80 and the Pentax models offer great VFs, the Sony A100 and the Pentax models offer in-body image stabilization ... which is great if you're on a budget, as it works with cheap kit lenses, inexpensive fast 3rd party lenses (like Tamron's excellent 17-50/2.8 and 28-75/2.8) as well as affordable 50mm lenses..

- DennisGallery at http://kingofthebeasts.smugmug.com..

Comment #15

If you tried the Sony and liked the Sony, buy the Sony. Don't let anyone put you off with micro-differences that justify another choice, because when it comes down to it all they are trying to do is make you conform to their tastes..

Unless you had a very specialist need that pushed you in a particular direction (for example, the use of a wide shift lens, which pretty much puts you in the Canon camp, or you need highly adjustable wireless macro flash, which drives you to Nikon) any camera system will fit your needs..

So, it all comes down to what you are comfortable with.You name it, I've broken it...

Comment #16

Scruntys NutPea Funch wrote:.

If you tried the Sony and liked the Sony, buy the Sony. Don't letanyone put you off with micro-differences that justify anotherchoice, because when it comes down to it all they are trying to do ismake you conform to their tastes..

I haven't seen much of that in this thread. Most advice has been to try ALL the choices before deciding WHICH camera fits..

Charlie DavisNikon 5700 & Sony R1HomePage: http://www.1derful.infoBridge Blog: http://www.here-ugo.com/BridgeBlog/..

Comment #17

Hi,.

Well basically Im sitting in the same camp; I'm also new to the SLR worldAnd started out reading on various cameras..

I finally narrowed it down to the Nikon D80 (after also looking hard at the Canon 400D) , but now the Sony A700 wasreleased in South Africa and now i'm sitting with a bit of a toss up betweenthe two ? .

Ok Nikon has not changed it lens fittings in the last 40 years, and has a good.

Track record (although it uses Sony a CCD chip ... not that that always means much cause.

It seems that the lenses are more important than the body in the end, seeing that new bodies comes out every 18 months or so).

Ok and Sony has only released it's second long awaited DSLR after the A100, but it has years of experience with the Minolta technology built into it..

Any advice between the D80 and the A700 ? .

The one thing that I would like to get into is sport/action type fotos ... so I would also probably need a better lens that the standard kits offer ... the D80 comes with a 18-135mm and the Sony comes with a 18-70mm lens .... then for the sport /action fotos I would probably need something like a 170-500mm lens ? .

And which camera might be good for indoor and outdoor ?

Comment #18

Zeroimpact wrote:then for the sport /action fotos I.

Would probably need something like a 170-500mm lens ? .

Oops sorry I ment 70-500mm lens..

Comment #19

Chuxter wrote:.

I haven't seen much of that in this thread. Most advice has been totry ALL the choices before deciding WHICH camera fits..

Possibly because it's posted in Beginners Questions section, which is usually relatively tame. Post the same opening gambit in the relevant Canon, Nikon, Sony or any other room and expect a very different response..

You name it, I've broken it...

Comment #20

Thats why I posted here obviously if I post in sony everyone is gonna say oh sony this sony that boo canon... etc....

Im not asking anyone to make a choice for me ...far from it... in fact thats the furthest from what I'm doing....

I am new to the slr market and yeah I tried the sony the sony fit in my hands was comfortable... but spending a minute and 30 seconds playing with it in best buy doesnt tell me anything about the camera... and theres a jillion features I dont understand or know anything about nor would I be able to in a retail store with 50 ppl around me and 3 salemen breathing down my neck....

Thats why I came here asking for perspectives... not to be told what to buy... to be told what each ones key features are and how the competing cameras stack up against each other... to be forewarned about things that I cant possibly understand without spending a sufficient amount of time with a camera....

To me this is a huuuge investment... to some ppl it's just a camera w.e I get that.. I just want to try to get the best bang for my buck... and not or try my best to avoid buying something to learn it was the exact opposite of what I was looking for.

Which is why I posted in the beginners section... cause asides from lenses and f stops and exposures and some of the most basic technical aspects of taking a picture.... I know absolutley zilch..

Comment #21

For outdoor sports, long reach will probably be more important than indoors. Light is usually better, so high iso noise isn't as much of an issue, nor is focus speed. Any of the three, Nikon D80, Sony a-700, or Canon 40D should be able to handle it well. (I'm talking daytime sports here) Indoors or night time is another matter, The biggest considerations are going to be low light focus performance, and high ISO noise control. All three are fairly recent releases and manufacturers have been working hard to improve both of these areas with some success. I think most people would concede that Canon has been "king of the hill "with regards to high ISO noise for a while now, although the difference is now mostly apparent at the pixel peeping level.

Canon and Sony shoot at 6 and 5 fps, while the Nikon is only 3fps. Sports photography is one of the main areas where shutter speed really matters. Maybe more important than which camera body you chose, is the lens you choose. If you are shooting indoors or outdoors at night, I think most experienced photographers would tell you that you will need at least f2.8 for max aperture to have any chance of getting sharp images with good stop action, All three have available, good 70-200mm f2.8 lenses that will work well with tele converters to give you that extra reach, Unfortunately, part of that reach is into your wallet, so be prepared for sticker shock.   Hope this helps..

Comment #22

That helps me understand features and such but I think all three of those are gonna wind up out of my price range I think for now I'm looking 400d a100 or maybe d80 I think ill invest in a good lens once I get comfortable with a kit and then if I feel I need it upgrade to a better body at a later (probably much later) time by that point the three you mentioned will be obsolete I bet but you give me a perspective of what I should be trying to attain and what the lower models will do to try to compete with the higher ends relative to their price point..

Comment #23

I can really appreciate what you're going through. I'm currently trying to decide between one of these same three cameras. (80D, D40, A-700 and I'll throw in the Olympus E-3) Some times it makes my head hurt to even think about it..

When you are considering these three "entry level" bodies, you also have to consider where you will go from there. Which mid level body do you prefer, and which "system do you prefer (lenses etc.) When you decide to move up, and you most likely will, the value of your lenses could very well be many times the price of the body. Deciding to switch platforms at that point adds a whole new level of complexity in the decision making process. Believe me I know. So take your time and look at the big picture first. That being said, of the three you are looking at, The Sony probably has the sharpest, most detailed image at low iso.

Sony only offers a few lenses with high speed motors in the lens, and I'm betting you cant afford them.   They are nice though. The Canon 400D reportedly has nearly identical image quality to the 40d. I don't honestly know about focus speed, but it's lacking a few of the features of the others. (for example, spot metering) Many don't like it's small grip and build quality, but that's a personal thing.

It also leads you into the Canon system. The Nikon D80 is arguably the most advanced of the three (and most expensive) Image quality is probably pretty close to the Sony (same sensor) but Nikon has managed to control high ISO noise better than Sony. The thing that has kept me personally in the Sony camp is the "Super Steady Shot" image stabilization built into the body. I'm a semi serious birder, but I have a hard time justifying the size and price of the Canon stabilized long lenses. With my Konica Minolta 5D, I can shoot (in good light) with a Tamron 200-500, at 500mm, hand held, no problem.

Even so, the Canon force is strong in me. LOL Bottom line,.....look at your 2nd and 3rd steps before you take the first step...

Comment #24

Well thanks for that .....

I must say you are the first person that gave me an answer which I was looking formost sales people that I chatted to only seem willing to punt the latest.

Cameras and tries to convince you to buy a camera because there kick back might be better from one brand to another.....

I still think I will need to go this weekend and pick up the three cameras put them.

Side by side and have a good look at them..... but it feels like the D80 is pulling me more and more to the dark side .... .

Just another question though on VR lenses and the stabaliser built in the body.

How negative would you say it is not having the stabaliser in the body vs in the lens (except for the obvious reason which is cost of course).

Regards..

Comment #25

Just another question though on VR lenses and the stabaliser built inthe bodyhow negative would you say it is not having the stabaliser in thebody vs in the lens (except for the obvious reason which is cost ofcourse).

Henry Richardson has written IMHO the definitive analysis of the differences between in-body and in-lens stabilization systems..

Known advantages and disadvantageshttp://forums.dpreview.com/...forums/read.asp?forum=1037&message=24966312.

Speculation and marketing spinhttp://forums.dpreview.com/...forums/read.asp?forum=1037&message=24966357..

Comment #26

Dr jim wrote:.

I can really appreciate what you're going through. I'm currentlytrying to decide between one of these same three cameras. (80D, D40,A-700 and I'll throw in the Olympus E-3) Some times it makes myhead hurt to even think about it.When you are considering these three "entry level" bodies, you alsohave to consider where you will go from there. Which mid level bodydo you prefer, and which "system do you prefer (lenses etc.) Whenyou decide to move up, and you most likely will, the value of yourlenses could very well be many times the price of the body. Decidingto switch platforms at that point adds a whole new level ofcomplexity in the decision making process. Believe me I know.

That being said,of the three you are looking at, The Sony probably has the sharpest,most detailed image at low iso. It is however noisier at high isothan the others, and is quite slow in the AF department. Sony onlyoffers a few lenses with high speed motors in the lens, and I'mbetting you cant afford them.   They are nice though. The Canon400D reportedly has nearly identical image quality to the 40d.

(for example, spot metering) Many don't likeits small grip and build quality, but that's a personal thing. Itdidn't get to be such a huge seller for no reason. It also leads youinto the Canon system. The Nikon D80 is arguably the most advancedof the three (and most expensive) Image quality is probably prettyclose to the Sony (same sensor) but Nikon has managed to control highISO noise better than Sony. The thing that has kept me personallyin the Sony camp is the "Super Steady Shot" image stabilization builtinto the body.

It will cost me $6-700and only weighs 1200+ gms. Even so, the Canon force is strong in me.LOL Bottom line,.....look at your 2nd and 3rd steps before youtake the first step..

You've given good advice about looking to the entire system before committing. I'd like to add just a couple of points for consideration..

1. You don't need to survey the entire lens and accessory lineups before deciding which system to choose. Usually you can cover your basic needs with one walkaround lens, then later one long zoom, and finally a fast prime..

2. I don't know your budget, but the A700 is such a leap over the A100 (I have both) that I recommend buying the A700 and looking for good used lenses rather than the A100 and new lenses. The A700's AF is astoundingly fast, the ergonomics are superior to even the KM7D, and the recent firmware upgrade has improved the already great image quality. Plus the viewfinder is so much better than the A100 that I can finally use manual focus to good effect..

Sorry that I sound so partisan...

Comment #27

Most of what I have heard from you is that you like the Sony A100 alot and that your on a budget. If so, why not take a look at the Pentax offerings. It's a shame the K10D is out of your budget; I have one and love it's abilities, but the K100D Super is definitely worth looking at. It has both dust removal and shake reduction. It also has support for ultrasonic in-lens motors as well. It has some preset modes as well as the usual Aperature and shutter priority and program and manual modes.

It's autofocus is not as fast as the K10D, somewhat in part to being powered by AA batteries..

The other aspect of an affordable system is the lenses. While the current lense range does not go much above 200, there will be a couple more options in a few months. The lenses are very good and also are relatively well priced. You can also use older K-mount lenses as well. For instance, in addition to the 18-55 kit lense, I use an old F 70-210/4-5.6 which is good but nothing special and an F 50/1.7 which is a spectacular lense. Both of which were made the same year I was born ('88 if you were wondering)! Imagine that!.

I highly suggest you find a place that carries it and see how it feels to you. O yea, there's a $100 rebate out for the K100D Super with the kit lens through january. Just another thing to keep in mind...

Comment #28

No matter the hobby, most tend to start with an "off brand" or consumer grade. Most are happy and keep it..

Some though, some decide they want to move beyond. Extra capabilities, whatever..

I too started of in Minolta, spent thousands on Minolta, as my hobby became more a Passion. Finally realised I was a photo addict and moved to Canon..

Considered Nikon, use a friends for awhile, but the very things that made me so choosey, dictated I buy Canon..

Bottom line, there is a reason why everyone tells you Canon..

Reason why all the glass you see used by professional photographers is White.Dave PattersonMidwestshutterbug.com'When the light and composition are strong, nobodynotices things like resolution or pincushion distortion'Gary Friedman..

Comment #29

Considered Nikon, use a friends for awhile, but the very things thatmade me so choosey, dictated I buy Canon..

Reason why all the glass you see used by professional photographersis White..

Could you elaborate a bit more on what you mean by the above two statements ? .

Thanks..

Comment #30

I second zero's question..

What "things" made Canon suitable for you? What type of photography do you do?.

I can completely understand and agree that for sports/action photography canon has the best AF and fast lens selection, followed closely by Nikon. However, if you do mostly stationary subject shooting. There are many brands much more than adequete and affordable for that type of shooting...

Comment #31

Hah you beat me too it thats exactly what I'm looking for ..why do you say such strong things in favor of canon what is it that makes you think this way..

Comment #32

Quail328 wrote:.

Hah you beat me too it thats exactly what I'm looking for ..why do yousay such strong things in favor of canon what is it that makes youthink this way.

Midwestshutterbug is quite right in that there's a reason you see all the pro photographers whooting white lenses (implying Canon - Minolta's G teles were white, too, but we know they're not shooting them  Canon has a great lineup of sharp, fast tele glass with a reputation for great AF performance when used on pro bodies, particularly tracking moving subjects. They continuously upgrade their line of professional products. They listen to pros. They market to pros. You can rent a 600/4 for an assignment or a safari..

The implication is that, since the pros use them, the rest of us should to, but the reasons don't trickle down. The differences between a pro Canon body and arsenal of white lenses and a dRebel with an 18-55 kit lens are so vast that you might as well be comparing to a Sony, Nikon or Pentax kit..

"It's what the pros use" is just time-tested marketing propaganda..

Unless you're a pro .

- DennisGallery at http://kingofthebeasts.smugmug.com..

Comment #33

But why do the pros use them and do the others offer competition against those kind of lenses and what happens if you use a lens like that with say an 800 dollar body..

Comment #34

ANSWER

Comment #35

The OP asks about amateur consumer level equipment and Canon's Pro features never make it down to the Consumer level. Other brands, namely Pentax, Olympus, and Nikon, offer much more in their amateur/consumer level bodies. Plus you don't have to shell out top dollar for "L" lenses that should be the standard for Canon rather than the premium and are sometimes not even better than the alternatives equivalent regular lenses in terms of IQ..

While Canon may make great sense to a serious and devoted amateur/professional who has the bucks for the equipment, it seriously lacks value in the consumer level...

Comment #36

Seems to me you are digging too deep. You got so great advice already. Just go and buy Sony 50mm f/1.4 or Nikkor or Pentax or Canon or Olympus (f/2) in addition to any camera body(kit)..

If you are looking for perfection; glass, filters and compositional skills are most importrant, not what PentaCanoNikkSonOly system you will use..

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Http://www.stan-pustylnik.smugmug.com..

Comment #37

ANSWER

Comment #38

I disagree. Read my follow-up below.Dave PattersonMidwestshutterbug.com'When the light and composition are strong, nobodynotices things like resolution or pincushion distortion'Gary Friedman..

Comment #39

Last image is simply an awe inspiring image!.

I agree, single greatest liability is not which brand of equipment, nor the quality fo it, but rather oneself..

Which you just proved, BTW..

I have no image that competes with the last one in your series. Not even my National Geographic Winner stands up, IMO..

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Op asked about the best. IMO, that's Canon. Start there and I doubt a brand change is in your future. Changing brands can be expensive. I know, been there adn done that..

Same is true with Nikon. Start with Nikon and I doubt one would really need to change, unless becoming a full time Pro and even then, I feel Nikon can do the job. Maybe not "quite" as good but personal "skill set" will more than make up the differnce..

I genuinely believe that "starting out" with any other camera system & there is a possiblity that one could find themselves regretting tht choice..

Maybe not, only way time will tell..

Noticed a restored Ford Pinto the other day. That person obviously loved it and loved it very much.Dave PattersonMidwestshutterbug.com'When the light and composition are strong, nobodynotices things like resolution or pincushion distortion'Gary Friedman..

Comment #40

Trickle down economics may not work but trickle down product featuresdo..

Yet there are many Canon owners who complain about disabled features, comments such as "the 300D was crippled - it was capable of many of the features of the 10D, but Canon chose to disable the features in the firmware.".

Http://forums.dpreview.com/...ssage=24505397&q=features+disabled&qf=m.

Http://forums.dpreview.com/...ssage=25158051&q=features+disabled&qf=m.

Http://forums.dpreview.com/...ssage=24058536&q=features+disabled&qf=mNot all features trickle down..

Ford owns Jaguar, yet few Jaguar features seem to trickle down to my Fiesta..

Canon makes cameras that range from mediocre to excellent. I think it's wiser to argue on the merits and deficiencies of specific cameras than to make a decision about an entry level camera based on the professional version..

I've seen your portfolio and it's outstanding. I believe you're the type of photographer who could take outstanding pictures with a Kodak Brownie..

Which brings us round full circle. It's better to focus on the capabilities of what you can afford, than to assume that one day you'll spend a fortune on pro bodies and lenses...

Comment #41

Midwest Shutterbug wrote:.

Last image is simply an awe inspiring image!.

I agree, single greatest liability is not which brand of equipment,nor the quality fo it, but rather oneself..

Which you just proved, BTW..

I have no image that competes with the last one in your series. Noteven my National Geographic Winner stands up, IMO..

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Op asked about the best. IMO, that's Canon. Start there and I doubt abrand change is in your future. Changing brands can be expensive. I.

Midwestshutterbug.com.

Beautiful shot. I also liked your puppies series, the one's on the white background. A joy to behold...

Comment #42

Hah lets not fight over this...im the OP.. I wanted to learn as much as I can in as little time... this is all great help... and like ive stated I'm not looking to be told whats the best... I'm looking for the best features of each... so I can decide what is the best...for me that is...

Im not planning on spending more than an entry level body ... but from the way things aree going I think buying an entry level body and using saved money for a better lens will have a better impact initially than just spending a crapload on a good body with a kit..... I'm sure someday ill want a better body but will I ever need the top of the line canon with an 8 foot long lens the size of a dinner plate... probably not... but it's good to know why the canon is there why each company is in their competitive position and what trends to watch and follow to decide where I thiink the product is going... the sony line even tho I'm shopping for the a100 looks promising being that it's new...

And seeing advances made in the a700 sony is definitely taking the camera serioursly... I dont think I have to worry about sony being a dead end... I just have to decide if id rather have the more readily accessible canon features now... I'm sure sony will get there give them time......

Comment #43

Hi,.

As far as Nikon Vs Canon I did find Ken Rockwell's site with a reasonable (IMO) comparison: You can find it at:.

Http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/nikon-vs-canon.htm.

I found it to be an interesting read..

Peter McGovern..

Comment #44

Quail328 wrote:.

Hah lets not fight over this...im the OP..i think buying an entry level body andusing saved money for a better lens will have a better impactinitially than just spending a crapload on a good body with a kit....

Absolutely! The camera body can only record what the lens gives it. Yes, body is important but lens is far more so..

I can no longer recommend a Sony DSLR to hardly anyone. For the prices involved, I think Pentax is better. (If neither Canon nor Nikon are options.) Sony is dead last. (Again, in my opinion.).

P&S, even Prosumer models, Sony is a serious consideration, just not DLSR's. Love that Minolta glass - bokeh is superb. Sadly , the Glass is just too darn old and really showing it's age in every other aspect, except bokeh..

Bokeh is not the end-all, be-all of glass. Just a nifty neat perk..

No matter what system you choose, use it often & learn it well..

Luck!Dave PattersonMidwestshutterbug.com'When the light and composition are strong, nobodynotices things like resolution or pincushion distortion'Gary Friedman..

Comment #45

Hi Dave !.

I think a minor point I wanted to make is that bodies like the 300D don't provide the same awesome AF performance that Canon's USM lenses are known for on pro bodies ... but more importantly, the fact that pros are out there shooting 300/4's and 70-200/2.8s etc (all for good reason) matters little to the people who walk into best buy and walk out with a $1000 2-lens kit ... you have to admit that it probably doesn't much matter which brand they buy at that point !.

However, you did make another point that's well taken ... some percentage of buyers will get the photography "bug" and at some point, ought to make a decision as to whether they should stick with the brand they started with (and continue upgrading) or reconsider their brand of choice. About 5 years ago, when I was doing a lot of nature photography and sitting on well over $5000 in Minolta G glass and a 7 & 9 body for nature photography, I probably would have been better off with that same money invested in Canon gear. 5 years later with little time for 'serious' photography, and most of my shots taken of people at events, mostly in the 28-85 range, I think I'm probably better off with Sony gear (in-body stabilization, a nice 28/2 and 85/1.4 and the price-performing 28-75/2.8). Then again, when I was shooting Minolta film bodies, I used TTL bounce flash quite a bit, and suspect that if I were using Nikon or Oly, I might be shooting flash now ... I'm avoiding the hassles with TTL preflash or AT because of all the issues surrounding flash use on the 7D.



It's just good to know why Canon is the choice of pros before assuming those reasons apply to any given consumer..

Happy Shooting !.

- DennisGallery at http://kingofthebeasts.smugmug.com..

Comment #46

Midwest Shutterbug wrote:.

Last image is simply an awe inspiring image!.

I agree ! (Of course, post it on photo.net and you'll get told the horizon shouldn't be in the middle .

- DennisGallery at http://kingofthebeasts.smugmug.com..

Comment #47

So if one is to buy a body Canon or Nikon , both comes with a Kit lens optionusually 18-55mm (N & C) or 18-135 (N) or 17-85mm.

Is it better to buy a kit or just a body + lenses.

And what lenses would you recommend for either makes,keeping in mind that the OP and myself are both trying to get in the SLR game..

So if you recommend a lens fora) action/sportsb) Land Scape type photosc) Wild lifed) every day run of the mill type photos.

Would a 3fps camera be good enough for sports or should one look rather at 5fps+or does this not matter if the lens that you use is good enough..

Where can one also find a good article explaining how lenses work and what the various lenses can do for one ? .

Regards..

Comment #48

A very good buyeven though not a great lens. Sony kit are pretty decent, especially for the price. nikon kit is a good lens, Canon kit doesn't have a real great reputation..

That said, they generally are limited. The Sony 18-70 kit is nice on the A100 but is probably a little cheap for the A700. It's still the same lens, but A700 buyers will probably want more from a lens and are more willing to pay more for it...

Comment #49

I've been going through this same mental exercise myself. I've decided that I'm getting a Canon, and I'm now in the hunt for the "perfect" used 350D (maybe 400D if I get the right deal). Let me explain why:.

Convenience - Canon and Nikon are familiar to most everyone who knows anything about photography. If you're looking for some advice to go along with your gear you can get a lot more of it with a Canon or Nikon than any other brand. I have no idea what your skill level is, but everyone can do better by learning more. The best folks to learn from are the pros - and the pros shoot Canon and Nikon (The ones shooting DSLRs like we're discussing anyway)..

Availability - I was a die hard Olympus guy in the film days (I may yet be buried with my OM-1), but it gets depressing to see all the great stuff out there for Canons and Nikons - particularly from 3rd party companies - when you are holding some other brand in your hands. Lenses, software, books...it doesn't matter what it is it comes out for Canon and Nikon 1st, and the others (maybe) later. I had the same experience owning a Dodge truck and seeing all the cool stuff for Ford and Chevy in the 4x4 magazines.....

Cost - This is how I ended up chosing Canon over Nikon. Pound for pound it's cheaper to build a Canon arsenal than Nikon. The difference isn't stagering (usually), and the die hard Nikon guys can explain in gory detail what you're getting for your money. Trust me, you'll never see it in your pictures, not differences in the bodies anyway..

I'm going for a used body so I can focus my $$$$ on getting quality glass to put in front of it. You could shell out for the 1D MKIII and it would be obsolete in 2 years anyway. Wait to pick up that 40D body until the 60D (or 70D or 80D, etc.) has come out. The L-series lenses I'll be able to afford with the cash saved are worth 100X more than a few megapixels to picture quality..

Resale - part of cost really. Canon and Nikon hold their value as well as any piece of technology can be expected too. Everything else depreciates faster - much faster..

Having said all that, if you like the Sony and you can get all the accessories that you want (or will ever want), and you won't ever sell it - then go for it. If nothing else is certain, you can count on taking better pictures with a camera that's in your hand than one that's still at the store!..

Comment #50

Kit lenses are decent or worse, but universal. (prints up to 8X10 will be good, compresssed files will be fine). They cover from wide to tele, but detail will be softer, show some fringing, stronger distortion. These artifacts will be visible at actual pixels view an tax resolution and unexeptable in stock photography for example..

Buy own CF or SD card. Go to store place each camera on countertop, use timer, do test shots at f/3.5, f/8, f/16 in RAW+JPG format. During this test handling you will get feel of AF. At home you will review images and make your choice..

For sports lens shoud be long, fast, with fast AF. (85 1.4, 200mm f/2.8, 300mm f/2.8).

Macro lens should be very sharp, good bokeh (tamron 90mm f/2.8, most of manufacturers macro lenses).

Portrait lens (85mm f/1.4/1.8, 100mm f/2, 50mm f/1.4/1.8)Landscape 17-35mm f/2.8 or set of primes..

I don't have any kit zoom lens..

I pre-selected each lens by high possible MTF score and smaller distortion at http://old.photodo.com.

Then I hunt them on KEH, Ebay..

Old Minolta AF lenses are heavy. But I don't feel their a-g-e because they have metal construction and real glass. I just wish to have full set of Maxxum primes... .

My best shot, by the way, was made with ebay bargain $30 Sigma 24mm f/2.8 + Minolta 7D DSLR..

Http://www.stan-pustylnik.smugmug.com..

Comment #51

"Sadly , the Glass is just too darn old and really showing it's age in every other aspect, except bokeh".

Are you talking about this type of age?.

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On seroious note, I don't have brand new Sony 50mm f1.4 to compare... .

Thanks for your replies!!!http://www.stan-pustylnik.smugmug.com..

Comment #52

Man I love this site .... The info is great !!!It really helps a person when you walk into a shop and you are at leastarmed with backup material when a sales man starts throwing jargonand you can at least understand what he is on about or just telling one BS .

Thanks for the advice on the lenses !.

On the Second hand body, what should one look at when buying maybe 2nd hand,just so that you know that you are not being shafted..

There is a shop close to where I live that is selling second hand bodiesand not to bad prices and they give a 3 month Guarentee on it...

Comment #53

I'm still looking for my first, so I can only tell you what I'm looking for. Can't guarantee that this is the right stuff though. Hopefully someone who's actually pulled the trigger (shutter?) on some used gear will chime in.....

I went to the store and took a good hard look at the new bodies so that I'd know where a used one was falling short. Dust seems to be the most common problem. Cameras that sounded great on-line ("bought last year, took it on vacation once and never used it since.") frequently turn out to be quite dusty given their low shutter count..

Obviously lots of dings and scratches mean that the body came into contact with some other hard object. DSLR bodies don't as a rule rattle if shaken gently - not unless they're enroute to being very broken..

Other than that I consider the stated amount of use the camera has seen. This has to be considered carefully though. Heavy use by a pro who knows what he's doing is far better than casual use by a soccer mom who decided to clean the milkshake off the sensor with PineSol!.

I also like bodies that have been factory serviced. They may have been broken, or it may just have been routine. Either way these bodies are working, spotless (inside anyway), and cheap because a lot of folks are scared of 'em...

Comment #54

And, if you're in the market for a 600mm f/4, you might care what the pro's use. BTW, Nikon's is $9500 and Canon's is $7200 (USD). And, the one's you see on tv are shooting sports. There are lots of pro's shooting weddings with Nikon (as well as Canon and Fuji)..

What matters more is what filters down to consumer-grade gear..

If you're on a budget, consider the Nikon D40, D40x, or D80 with the 18-55 kit lens and the 55-200VR. The D40 and D40x can't autofocus with all lenses, but there are plenty that will..

There's nothing wrong with the others either. Pro's tend to stick to Canon and Nikon, but all the major brands have plenty of lenses for most people...

Comment #55

Heavy use by a pro is asking for a dusty sensor as they're the ones changing lenses the most often...

Comment #56

Not always:.

- Some of the consumer grade equipment that pros own is a backup to their "real" gear. I looked at a Canon 20D that a wedding photographer owns and it's had a 24-70L zoom on it since the day he bought it. It's a backup to his 1D outfit and he's never really had to use it (hence, they're up for sale - but still out of my price range)..

- Sports photographers often just leave the "big glass" on the body because they never need anything less. Bird photographers are in the same boat. The problem with these guys is that they're the ones who are outside with their gear all the time..

- Some portrait photographers have one lens that they do most, if not all, of their shooting with..

- Newspaper photographers are more likely to rely on a "super zoom" than to have time to change lenses. You have to watch this though because even if that lens never came off the camers, the push-pull designs are notorious for "pumping" dust around in the camera..

Frankly, I think that Joe-amateur who has three lenses and isn't sure which one to use for what is more likely to be swapping them around all the time. He's more likely to make a mess while doing it too..

But as always - buyer beware!..

Comment #57

ANSWER

Comment #58

Zeroimpact wrote:.

So if one is to buy a body Canon or Nikon , both comes with a Kitlens optionusually 18-55mm (N & C) or 18-135 (N) or 17-85mm.

Is it better to buy a kit or just a body + lenses.

Start off with the Kit..

Good Friend, Gary Friedman wetn to China. all he took with him was a Minolta A2, Prosumer camera. NOT a DSLR. He captrued postively stunning images. of course, Gary writes books about Photography and certian specific Minolta & Canon camera bodies..

Http://www.friedmanarchives.com/ebooks/index.htm.

Images are here:http://www.friedmanarchives.com/China/Page1/index.htm.

He mentioned once, 'When the light and composition are strong, nobodynotices things like resolution or pincushion distortion'.

Know what? It's true..

Yes, we spend thousands on top notch gear. Not because that is what it takes to get a great image, it isn't. We does so because we do not to be hampered by the gear itself. having teh best, makes life easier..

However, it does no good whatsoever to have the worlds greatest set-up. It still does not create the image, only record it..

If I gave you a professional Pit Crew Toolbox, would you be able to set up Jeff Gordons car? probably not. So why run out and spend $40K on one..

And what lenses would you recommend for either makes,keeping in mind that the OP and myself are both trying to get in theSLR game..

Answered above. But.I love Tamorns 28-75mm 2.8. For the price, it's superb. I hear Tamrons 17-50mm 2.8 is pretty good also. I did realy care for Canons 17-55mm 2.8 IS - had two and sold them both. I love my 70-200mm 2.8 IS though.



Heres a good place to start:http://www.photozone.de/8Reviews/index.html.

So if you recommend a lens fora) action/sportsb) Land Scape type photosc) Wild lifed) every day run of the mill type photos.

Would a 3fps camera be good enough for sports or should one lookrather at 5fps+or does this not matter if the lens that you use is good enough..

Yes, 5 is better than 3 but somewhere we got to stop worrying about it. Otherwise, we are not shooting Stills but a movie camera. Better to use our knowledge and time the shot..

Too, If one realy needs the high frame count, get out of RAW. Set an accurate custom white balance and shoot Jpegs..

Where can one also find a good article explaining how lenses work andwhat the various lenses can do for one ? .

Check out this tutorial:http://www.tamroneurope.com/flc.htm.

Good one at showing (in laymans terms, ie:generally) what lens, does what..

Dave PattersonMidwestshutterbug.com'When the light and composition are strong, nobodynotices things like resolution or pincushion distortion'Gary Friedman..

Comment #59

TheMadTexan wrote:.

I've been going through this same mental exercise myself. I'vedecided that I'm getting a Canon.

Convenience - Canon and Nikon are familiar to most everyone who knowsanything about photography. If you're looking for some advice to goalong with your gear you can get a lot more of it with a Canon orNikon than any other brand. I have no idea what your skill level is,but everyone can do better by learning more..

Sound thinking. Not something we see alot on this forum. (lol).

Availability - I was a die hard Olympus guy in the film days (I mayyet be buried with my OM-1), but it gets depressing to see all thegreat stuff out there for Canons and Nikons - particularly from 3rdparty companies - when you are holding some other brand in yourhands. Lenses, software, books...it doesn't matter what it is itcomes out for Canon and Nikon 1st, and the others (maybe) later. Ihad the same experience owning a Dodge truck and seeing all the coolstuff for Ford and Chevy in the 4x4 magazines.....

Contributing factor to my move from Minolta to Canon. Availablity of equipment..

Been years since Sony got 'into' the DSLR race & be years more before Sony can actually compete on this stage. Takes time to design, test, build, market, then actually ship. products. Announcing stuff is easy part - Minolta taught that.

Cost - This is how I ended up chosing Canon over Nikon. Pound forpound it's cheaper to build a Canon arsenal than Nikon. Thedifference isn't stagering (usually), and the die hard Nikon guys canexplain in gory detail what you're getting for your money. Trust me,you'll never see it in your pictures, not differences in the bodiesanyway..

Trust you on this. Never priced nikon..

I'm going for a used body so I can focus my $$$$ on getting qualityglass to put in front of it. You could shell out for the 1D MKIIIand it would be obsolete in 2 years anyway. Wait to pick up that 40Dbody until the 60D (or 70D or 80D, etc.) has come out. The L-serieslenses I'll be able to afford with the cash saved are worth 100X morethan a few megapixels to picture quality..

Another vauluble lesson learned from Minolta, Do not rush out adn get teh latest greatest body. Flash Issues, Focus Issues, uh uh, not for me. Pick up a body that is tried and true,. 2nd generation is just fine for me..

Nice thing about Canon. Constantly delivering new bodies..

Resale - part of cost really. Canon and Nikon hold their value aswell as any piece of technology can be expected too. Everything elsedepreciates faster - much faster..

More shooters means more buyers, means price stays high..

Of course, when Minolta announced they were getting out fo the game, my used minolta stuff commanded a very high price indeed. Too bad Sony saw those prices and decided their stuff was worth even more..

Sell it - then go for it. If nothing else is certain, you can counton taking better pictures with a camera that's in your hand than onethat's still at the store!.

Truer words are rarely spoken..

Dave PattersonMidwestshutterbug.com'When the light and composition are strong, nobodynotices things like resolution or pincushion distortion'Gary Friedman..

Comment #60

Nikonites talk about bad copies too. Or, in the case of the 18-200, good copies...

Comment #61

70-210 f/4 works fast for me. Thought, I still miss some shots but blame it on myself or low contrasty moments..

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Older model of 100-300mm xi had fast af - need to ebay another one (just broke).

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But you certanly made me think. Interesting will be to campare Sony 50mm f/1.4 AF speed/acuracy with my old 50mm f/1.7 and just test Sony 135 f/1.8..

Some years later when my daughter will be in gymnastics team, 135mm, and 85mm f/1.4 will be very needed..

A700 camera with improved AF speed/accuracy will help too..

Http://www.stan-pustylnik.smugmug.com..

Comment #62

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