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Looking for advice on a new DSLR
I am new to digital photography and I would appreciate any help you folks can provide. I am looking to get a DSLR and have been reading and searching the Internet for the best fit for my needs. Just when I think I may have found the right camera, I find something that seems to knock it out of contention..

I am pretty much confused and slightly frustrated, so I thought maybe those of you with experience could lend some assistance. I want a camera to take action shots (mainly outdoor sports but also some indoor sports and events), but also your basic people gatherings and any vacation type photos that may pop up. So I guess one of the main prerequisites I am looking for is fast Auto focusing (please correct me if I am wrong). I was pretty much set on either the Pentax K20D or the K200D, but I have read where the auto focus on these units were not all that good for sports photography..

Another factor in my decision is the viewfinder. I wear glasses and I would like a viewfinder that is as big and bright as possible. It should also have a diopter adjustment to make life easier photographically speaking..

While I am new to digital photography, I am willing and able to learn the intricacies of whatever camera I decide on. I will start out as a sort of point & shooter, but will progress as I gain more knowledge of the camera's capabilities. I guess what I am getting at is the menu/button setup of the camera is not the major factor I am looking at..

I hope I haven't blathered on too long and I look forward to your suggestions..

Thanks in advance for your time and effort...

Comments (8)

Victor Tango wrote:fast Auto focusing (please correct.

Me if I am wrong). I was pretty much set on either the Pentax K20D orthe K200D, but I have read where the auto focus on these units werenot all that good for sports photography..

Another factor in my decision is the viewfinder. I wear glasses and Iwould like a viewfinder that is as big and bright as possible. Itshould also have a diopter adjustment to make life easierphotographically speaking..

I shoot the K10D which used the same basic auto-focus system as the K20. It works just fine for sports as long as the light is decent. It really doesn't fall off the mark much compared to the Nikon's and Canons until you light starts to fade. Late evening, dusk or poorly lit indoor soccer arena and you will start to fall off on focus speed. The flip side is the thing is built like a tank and doesn't mind getting splashed on rained on one bit. I use it as my beach, rainy day, spelunking, rafting camera and it never misses a beat.

Seems like it's always available in Canon first followed closely by Nikon Mount and then Sony/Minolta and then the others when/if they get around to it. I also shoot a Nikon D300 and D3. The D300 is my favorite daytime sports camera. With 8 fps with the grip and 51 3D AF that covers most of the frame there is very little I miss. I also like having VR in the lens so the image in the viewfinder is stabilized as well (helps when zoomed way out.

You should really handle a Canon 40D, Pentax K20D and a Nikon D300 and no matter which you choose, make sure you budget for a 70-200 F/2.8 lens as well. This will BE the sports lens of choice. (I am leaving the Sony's out because of their dim and restrictive viewfinders and Oly because it will be more "noise challenged" in dim indoor light situations where you have to keep the shutter speed up.)..

Comment #1

I shoot K20D and it's a great camera, I'm partial to Pentax...from 35mm to 645 and now DSLR. I shot with a Sony F828 for a while...Pentax didn't have a body I liked. Sony now has Minolta mounts for their DSLRs and Ziess optics...but I'm happy with the Pentax..

When trying to decide what camera to choose I started out looking at the lenses I wanted in my camera bag and what that would cost relitive to the quality of the glass and the speed (apature) Cost and quality along with the fact the IS is in the body made Pentax the choice.I'd say look at your choice of lenses will make the bodydecision a lot easier..

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Comment #2

One thing you need to keep in mind, it is not only a DSLR your buying into, your buying a system!.

When your (first) DSLR is bought, you will start a collection of lenses and accessories, so from this perspective, I would not only look at a specific set-up (body and lens), but also at available accessories. As "WCHP" mentioned in his reply, Canon and Nikon seems to be first out on the marked with new lenses, same as for Sigma and Tamron who both provide all their lenses to them. So a lot wider selection of lenses for those two systems..

When I started by entry level DSLR 5-6 years ago, I went the Canon way, I'm not saying this is the best camera, but it was my choice at the time, and I have never looked back since..

I started on a Entry level DSLR (300D) and upgrade the body a couple of times since then, I still have a few of the initial lenses (and a few more since then).

So my recommendation is to think system rather then a specific set-up, if your like me, you wont stay with the same body, but upgrade when you, your wife, your budget allow it, so would be a damn shame if you had to replace everything. Get a reasonable good body, some good glass that you can keep (forever) no matter which brand / system you select..

Most DSLR's perform almost alike, comparing entry level to entry level and so forth..

So with that in mind, I would for sure put Nikon and Canon on top of my list, either one is very good camera's, then it is a mere question about what you like the best, as both have very minor pro's and con's.

Good luck..

Comment #3

Nice shot there! Hopefully in the not too distant future I can come close to results like that...

Comment #4

I will now set my sites on makeing a decision and a purchase by the end of July, armed with the knowledge gained from y'all..

Thanks again!..

Comment #5

Wow, that example shot should be an example of what *not* to get - very bad purple fringing around the rocks and the highlights are totally blown.....

Comment #6

Cjnielsen_nz wrote:.

Wow, that example shot should be an example of what *not* to get -very bad purple fringing around the rocks and the highlights aretotally blown....

Maybe so, but if you look at the shot as a whole it would be a difficult shot to get for most cameras since most of the waterfall is in the shade with just one area of bright sunlight. If you slowed it down more to save the highlights, you would get blurry waterfall (which some people like but others don't)..

Purple fringing is inherent to the lens, and with that being on a camera that doesn't allow for an interchangeable lens (the Sony F828) you pretty much get what you get. A lot of post processing apps can get rid of fringing for you though..

That does make me wonder about Zeiss lenses as a whole though is this purple fringing a problem with the Sony DSLR lenses made by Zeiss?.

ChrisEffzeeone now has a Effzeefifty!(Gear in profile).

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Comment #7

Effzeeone wrote:.

That does make me wonder about Zeiss lenses as a whole though isthis purple fringing a problem with the Sony DSLR lenses made byZeiss?.

No, Zeiss makes fine lenses. The issue with the 828 was the relatively small sensor plus perhaps the interface between the lens and sensor. The CZ lens in the R-1 and the expensive CZ lenses for the alpha line are top grade..

However, in this case, I'm not sure it's classical PF or CA. It may be "blooming" as the degree of overexposure appears extreme..

Charlie DavisNikon 5700, Sony R1, Nikon D300HomePage: http://www.1derful.infoBridge Blog: http://www.here-ugo.com/BridgeBlog/'Experience: Discovering that a claw hammer will bend nails.Epiphany: Discovering that a claw hammer is two tools...'..

Comment #8

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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