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Older, Used, but better or Newer and Entry Level
I had been looking at the Nikon D40 and D40x, as well as the Pentax k100D. After talking to a photographer friend, I am also looking at used Canon 20Ds. So, what do folks think about the tradeoffs there? I also might want to look at the k10D, which I know is more comparable to the 20D and 30D. Thoughts?.

Heres some more info about what I'm looking for I borrowed the "What camera should I get" questions from another forum..

Budget.

* What budget have you allocated for buying this camera? Please be as specific as possible..

Around $800-$900 for camera and one lens.

Size.

* What size camera are you looking for? Or does size not matter at all to you?.

SLR my last SLR was a Nikon FA, and before that, I had one of the mostly metal K1000, so size probably isn't going to make much difference.

Features.

How many megapixels will suffice for you?6-8.

* What optical zoom will you need? (None, Standard = 3x-4x, Ultrazoom = 10x-12x, Other - Specify).

I mainly do if I had to choose between wide-55 and 55-telephoto, I'd probably start with the telephoto end, but I didn't have a telephoto for years when I first got my k1000......

* How important is image quality to you? (Rate using a scale of 1-10)8.

Do you care for manual controls?.

That's why I'm getting an SLR....have a digital point and shoot, but it doesn't give me any control over DOF, focus and such...I miss that..

General Usage.

* What will you generally use the camera for?Informal portrait work, nature/landscape, action shots (dancing).

* Will you be making big prints of your photos or not?Probably not.

Will you be shooting a lot of indoor photos or low light photos?.

Indoor yes, low light...dunno. Indoor shots will frequently be with lots of motion groups of folks dancing.

Will you be shooting sports and/or action photos?see aboveMiscellaneous.

Are there particular brands you like or hate?.

I've had a Pentax k1000 and a Nikon FA. I've heard fabulous things aboutCanon, but have never had one..

Are there particular models you already have in mind?.

I had been looking at the Nikon D40/D40x and the Pentax k100, but then a photog friend suggested strongly that I look at Canon. In particular she suggested looking at a higher grade camera (20D or 30D) and getting it used. I would appreciate any thoughts that folks have about this. The Canon really looks like a great camera, but it it likely to be obsolete more quickly since it's already a few years old?.

(If applicable) Do you need any of the following special features? (Wide Angle, Image Stabilization, Weatherproof, Hotshoe, Rotating LCD).

Image stabilization could be nice for some things, but I've never had it before, so I suspect that, while it would be good, I wouldn't likely miss it too much...

Comments (8)

It might be if you were looking to sell images to picky stock agencies or clients using minimum-equipment qualifications to avoid getting swamped by mostly-amateurs hoping to make a bit of money. It might also be an issue if there's a short supply of lenses for a system and you suspect that support for the system is vanishing might be tricky to get service for a Contax N Digital, for instance..

If you can get a used camera at a reasonably good price, and it meets your needs and I see no reason why a 20D would not be capable of what you're asking of it; problems might mostly be if you select lenses poorly, but it uses the Canon EF-S mount, and there are plenty of compatible lenses to choose from..

With used equipment, reliability might be an issue but if it's a factory refurb, the manufacturer itself will probably stand by it for some time...

Comment #1

JackM4 wrote:.

I had been looking at the Nikon D40 and D40x, as well as the Pentaxk100D. After talking to a photographer friend, I am also looking atused Canon 20Ds. So, what do folks think about the tradeoffs there?I also might want to look at the k10D, which I know is morecomparable to the 20D and 30D. Thoughts?.

Heres some more info about what I'm looking for I borrowed the "Whatcamera should I get" questions from another forum..

Budget.

* What budget have you allocated for buying this camera? Please be asspecific as possible..

Around $800-$900 for camera and one lens.

Size.

* What size camera are you looking for? Or does size not matter atall to you?SLR my last SLR was a Nikon FA, and before that, I had one of themostly metal K1000, so size probably isn't going to make muchdifference.

Features.

How many megapixels will suffice for you?6-8.

* What optical zoom will you need? (None, Standard = 3x-4x, Ultrazoom= 10x-12x, Other - Specify)I mainly do if I had to choose between wide-55 and 55-telephoto, I'dprobably start with the telephoto end, but I didn't have a telephotofor years when I first got my k1000......

* How important is image quality to you? (Rate using a scale of 1-10)8.

Do you care for manual controls?That's why I'm getting an SLR....have a digital point and shoot, butit doesn't give me any control over DOF, focus and such...I miss that..

General Usage.

* What will you generally use the camera for?Informal portrait work, nature/landscape, action shots (dancing).

* Will you be making big prints of your photos or not?Probably not.

Will you be shooting a lot of indoor photos or low light photos?Indoor yes, low light...dunno. Indoor shots will frequently be withlots of motion groups of folks dancing.

Will you be shooting sports and/or action photos?see aboveMiscellaneous.

Are there particular brands you like or hate?.

I've had a Pentax k1000 and a Nikon FA. I've heard fabulous things aboutCanon, but have never had one..

Are there particular models you already have in mind?I had been looking at the Nikon D40/D40x and the Pentax k100, butthen a photog friend suggested strongly that I look at Canon. Inparticular she suggested looking at a higher grade camera (20D or30D) and getting it used. I would appreciate any thoughts that folkshave about this. The Canon really looks like a great camera, but itit likely to be obsolete more quickly since it's already a few yearsold?.

(If applicable) Do you need any of the following special features?(Wide Angle, Image Stabilization, Weatherproof, Hotshoe, Rotating LCD).

Image stabilization could be nice for some things, but I've never hadit before, so I suspect that, while it would be good, I wouldn'tlikely miss it too much..

Hi.

All are great choices. You should try them all yourself if possible..

All these cameras are great at low light, The Nikons to me are a bit limited (great cameras though) and you should consider d50/d70s instead if going Nikon..

I use the K100d and most of my photos are at 800 iso and up...If you need to machine gun a lot of photos quickly...do NOT get a K100d...the thing with a K100d is that it is an entry level camera that is highly specified....in order to make it so inexpensive there have to be limits on certain things....that said at iso 1600 and 3200 it is better or as good as many higher spec cameras..

The 6mp Nikons use the same sensor so for this reason are also good at low light...the K100d is stabilised with all lenses though..

The Canon is a great mid range camera good at low light...of course you probably will not get a guarrantee....The Canon 20d will be better for other things than the K100d, faster etc but the end result will be much the same from all your choices..

For $900...if that is US$ you can get a great lens...maybe 2..certainly with the Pentax...something like a Tamron 28-75 2.8.....very popular in ALL brands for low light indoors (eg live music)...it will be stabilised on Pentax but not on the others..

Now...having said all that..

Technology is rapidly changing. To date Sony 6mp ccd sensors and Canon 8mp sensors in apsc size have been the best for low light (along with the larger Canon sensors at greater prices)...the reason for the Sonys is that they have larger pixels at the same time as having *JUST* enough pixles for most needs...the rapid improvements beyond the sensor (ie Nikon D300/D3) have a LOT to do with other things than sensor/pixel size..

In a few months it appears Pentax will be releasing a 14mp apsc sensor camera that may be better or at least as good as the lowly K100d at high isos...expect that sort of thing from all manufacturers soon and then just about any new camera will be fine..

Anyway try them all and get what feels best for your needs.neil..

Comment #2

If it is in great condition, the 20D really is a very good camera. I used to have one, now I shoot Fuji, but friend of mine that is a full time pro owns one that has around 200,000 clicks on it and he prefers it still 80% of the time over his 1DmkII for it's OOC jpg quality. The K10D is also an amazing value for what it offers...

Comment #3

KEH has a 20d in EX+ condition for $500. I can get lenses locally 28 - 105 canon ultrasonic for around $180. That should get me started for most things I want to do, and then I can add other lenses later as I need them..

Thanks for the thoughts. I probably won't order anything for a bit (though I should probably order soon seeing as we have Christmas coming on soon), so if anyone has other thoughts, please share..

Thanks!.

Jack..

Comment #4

JackM4 wrote:.

I had been looking at the Nikon D40 and D40x, as well as the Pentaxk100D. After talking to a photographer friend, I am also looking atused Canon 20Ds. So, what do folks think about the tradeoffs there?I also might want to look at the k10D, which I know is morecomparable to the 20D and 30D. Thoughts?.

Nothing wrong with any of these. A 30D would be better than a 20D. They are relatively affordable now that the 40D has replaced it..

Heres some more info about what I'm looking for .......

Your dance photos are going to require a fast lens. To keep within your budget you may well be advised to look for a used f/2.8 zoom. You will find a plentifull supply of those for Nikon and, I imagine, Canon but not so easy for the other makes.

Are there particular models you already have in mind?I had been looking at the Nikon D40/D40x.

The D40/40x will not AF with older lenses BUT it will work perfectly with a Sigma 50-150 f/2.8 which is probably your minimum need to stop dance action. The D40/40X also will also not AF with primes..

Then a photog friend suggested strongly that I look at Canon. Inparticular she suggested looking at a higher grade camera (20D or30D) and getting it used..

I would be wary of the 20D. Many may have a very high shutter count (You can check that via the exif information with a free program like Opanda).

Image stabilization could be nice for some things, but I've never hadit before, so I suspect that, while it would be good, I wouldn'tlikely miss it too much..

It will not help you freeze action so spend your money on faster glass..

If you are going to look at the Canon 30D take a look at the Nikon D200. There should be plenty around used and some good deals new now that the D300 is out..

The main problem about buying used is trying to avoid a crock in territory which is new to you. Any factory reconditioned DSLR should be a safe bet (I bought one) otherwise you really need to inspect the camera and certainly need to know the shutter count (If the seller sends you a recent photo you should be able to read it for yourself off the exif info). Buying used from a friend is a good idea. You may pay top dollar but you are unlikley to get a crock that way..

Chris Elliott.

*Nikon* D Eighty + Fifty - Other equipment in Profile.

Http://PlacidoD.Zenfolio.com/..

Comment #5

Hmmm.... re the high shutter count and other issues of used, what would you consider reasonable for a shutter count if you were buying it?.

I'm looking at getting something from KEH at this point. I'll check with them to see if they have that information. I know that they test all of the cameras that they have, and I'm planning to add the warranty as well. I had mainly been thinking in terms of feature differences between the 20D and 30D, but thinking about lifespan might make it worth the extra $200..

All of the used D200's I can find are rather significantly out of my pricerange....nice sounding camera, though..

Thanks,.

Jack.

Chris Elliott wrote:.

I would be wary of the 20D. Many may have a very high shutter count(You can check that via the exif information with a free program likeOpanda).

Image stabilization could be nice for some things, but I've never hadit before, so I suspect that, while it would be good, I wouldn'tlikely miss it too much..

It will not help you freeze action so spend your money on faster glass..

If you are going to look at the Canon 30D take a look at the NikonD200. There should be plenty around used and some good deals new nowthat the D300 is out..

The main problem about buying used is trying to avoid a crock interritory which is new to you. Any factory reconditioned DSLR shouldbe a safe bet (I bought one) otherwise you really need to inspect thecamera and certainly need to know the shutter count (If the sellersends you a recent photo you should be able to read it for yourselfoff the exif info). Buying used from a friend is a good idea. You maypay top dollar but you are unlikley to get a crock that way..

Chris Elliott.

*Nikon* D Eighty + Fifty - Other equipment in Profile.

Http://PlacidoD.Zenfolio.com/..

Comment #6

I have a K100D and I would not complain about it apart from the fact it does not do as well as the Nikon and Canon's for speed bursts..

That said you mention you had a K1000. If you have lenses for this then they will happily mount on a K100D ( or K10D or the Samsung DSLRs )..

I'd suggest you focus on the most difficult shots you plan to take - those indoor dancing photos. You need to choose a lens and camera to handle that well. You sound experienced so I think you know what you need..

In the end I choose the K100D because it felt right in my hands and does a good job in general. I'd suggest you try the different cameras and especially the viewfinders..

StephenG.

Pentax K100DFuji S5200Fuji E900PCLinuxOS..

Comment #7

JackM4 wrote:.

Hmmm.... re the high shutter count and other issues of used, whatwould you consider reasonable for a shutter count if you were buyingit?.

I'm looking at getting something from KEH at this point. I'll checkwith them to see if they have that information. I know that theytest all of the cameras that they have, and I'm planning to add thewarranty as well. I had mainly been thinking in terms of featuredifferences between the 20D and 30D, but thinking about lifespanmight make it worth the extra $200..

All of the used D200's I can find are rather significantly out of mypricerange....nice sounding camera, though..

Jack,.

There are two forseeable failures with buying an older camera:.

A) lithium ion batteries decay with age whether they are used or not. So battery capacity will be down. You may need to budget for a new one. The old one can become a spare with limited capacity.

B) Shutter failure - This is far more catastrophic. With cheaper old DSLRs it is rarely economic to repair. My experience is Nikon but I am sure the same holds true for Canon so, for example, people get quoted $250 for a new shutter on a Nikon D50 where the value of the camera is barely more than that..

You may need to do some research on the shutter design life of the 20D. I do not have that specific knowledge. I would expect it to be 100,000+ actuations (From memory the Nikon D200 was 100,000+ and the D300 is 200,000+)..

Used 20Ds will have massively different histories. There will be those which shot 2,500 shots a month and others that sat in a cupboard and simply came out to take family photos..

I would say 50,000 should be safe for a 20D but I am really not the most knowledgeable person on this subject. I suggest you ask a question on the Canon Forum on shutter life and likely repair costs..

Chris Elliott.

*Nikon* D Eighty + Fifty - Other equipment in Profile.

Http://PlacidoD.Zenfolio.com/..

Comment #8

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