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Picking a dslr
I have always been interested in photography and am finally looking into taking the plunge and investing in a dslr. I want to stay towards the low end as I am a student and don't have much of an income. So far I've looked at Canon, Nikon, and Sony. Here are my thoughts on some of the cameras I've looked at:.

Canon 450D:- almost too high resolution (maybe noisy)- good choice of lenses.

Canon 40D:- a little on the expensive side.

Nikon D40 / D40X / D60:.

- no in-body AF motor (seems like it would be stupid to limit my choices of lenses to ones with a more expensive and heavier AF motor built in).

Nikon D80:- expensive for it's age (but what do I know?).

Sony A-300:- I like the live view usability (for transition for a P&S)- also like the in camera IS.

- if I want to upgrade the body at a later date, I would think I would probably end up with a Canon or Nikon anyway, so the lenses won't be compatible in the future.

Also, I guess I should let you know what I'll be doing with the camera:- landscape/architecture mostly- the occasional portrait- macro- rarely sports, if ever.

I would greatly appreciate the input of some more experienced photographers in helping me make this decision. Thanks for your help in advance!.

-Aaron..

Comments (7)

NinJuden wrote:.

I have always been interested in photography and am finally lookinginto taking the plunge and investing in a dslr. I want to staytowards the low end as I am a student and don't have much of anincome. So far I've looked at Canon, Nikon, and Sony. Here are mythoughts on some of the cameras I've looked at:.

Canon 450D:- almost too high resolution (maybe noisy)- good choice of lenses.

Probably not noisy. A lot of people don't care for the ergonomics. Camera is too small for many people's hands..

Class leader at this point. Has live view..

Canon 40D:- a little on the expensive side.

But nice. Has live view..

Nikon D40 / D40X / D60:- no in-body AF motor (seems like it would be stupid to limit mychoices of lenses to ones with a more expensive and heavier AF motorbuilt in).

Lots of AF-S lenses. Negligible additional weight. Camera is too small for many people's hands..

Nikon D80:- expensive for it's age (but what do I know?).

A very nice camera..

Sony A-300:- I like the live view usability (for transition for a P&S)- if I want to upgrade the body at a later date, I would think Iwould probably end up with a Canon or Nikon anyway, so the lenseswon't be compatible in the future.

Also, I guess I should let you know what I'll be doing with the camera:- landscape/architecture mostly.

Canon offers a 10-22mm lens, superior to any ultrawide that fits on a Nikon (except the 14-24 on the D3). This alone would steer me to a Canon body..

- the occasional portrait- macro- rarely sports, if ever.

I would greatly appreciate the input of some more experiencedphotographers in helping me make this decision. Thanks for your helpin advance!.

-Aaron..

Comment #1

Canon 450D:- almost too high resolution (maybe noisy)- good choice of lenses.

It's hard to have a bad choice of lenses, these days... unless you're thinking tilt-shift or really extreme macro, in which case there are very few choices..

Canon 40D:- a little on the expensive side.

Most likely overkill..

Nikon D40 / D40X / D60:- no in-body AF motor (seems like it would be stupid to limit mychoices of lenses to ones with a more expensive and heavier AF motorbuilt in).

You say you're mostly interested in architecture and landscapes. Buildings and terrain features don't tend to be highly mobile, so using manual focus shouldn't be a problem unless either you're really pressed for time, or the viewfinder is lousy..

Nikon D80:- expensive for it's age (but what do I know?).

Not a lemon, 'tho..

Sony A-300:- I like the live view usability (for transition for a P&S)- also like the in camera IS.

You should probably be using a tripod for your architectural work..

- if I want to upgrade the body at a later date, I would think Iwould probably end up with a Canon or Nikon anyway, so the lenseswon't be compatible in the future.

For most people, the body is -not- the limitation; it's how much time and effort they're willing to put into it..

Also, I guess I should let you know what I'll be doing with the camera:- landscape/architecture mostly.

Don't forget a tripod with a good panning base and level..

You'll also want an ultrawide, most likely. On the other hand, autofocus isn't particularly important for this; nor is a really wide-open aperture, since you're normally shooting stopped-down for DOF..

An Olympus E-410/420/510 + 7-14mm f/4 would be a reasonable choice for interiors, but is probably more than you want to spend. The 11-22mm f/2.8-3.5 is very good for landscapes, but is somewhat less than ultrawide for indoors..

- the occasional portrait.

Somewhat variable. If we're talking natural-light shots with artistic shallow DOF, fast lenses are handy. If we're talking DOF-irrelevant snapshots with an on-camera flash, kit lenses are adequate. There's not a single DSLR that's bad for portraits, AFAICT..

If you're obsessive about NOT post-processing, Fuji S-series are well-regarded for out-of-camera JPEG colors, IIRC..

If we're talking serious event photography, consider getting something that takes a vertical grip, or a camera bracket that lets you orient it vertically as well as a way to bounce flash off a ceiling..

- macro.

Quite variable. Flowers and miniatures don't run away, and the latter in particular may provide opportunity for such things as focusing rails. Insects will often fly away, and therefore require more stand-offish lenses (e.g. Sigma 150mm macro)..

Focus on lighting. Macro tends to involve stopping down quite a bit for depth of field, which in turn means things like twin flashes get interesting..

- rarely sports, if ever.

Not much need for fast-focusing bodies and long, fast telephotos then...

Comment #2

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing....

Just go to a store with all the money you have, and buy the camera that feels best to you, making sure you have enough money for a good memory card or two, a card reader, a little carrying bag, a polarizer for the lens, and, considering the cameras you are looking at, Photoshop Elements..

Everything you wrote about does not matter. Noisae is not a probklem, there are lots of Nikon-fitting lenses, etc., etc..

BAK..

Comment #3

I agree with the folks that say to go to the store and try them, and don't think about in body motors with respect to the Nikon D40-D60. There are more AFS lenses made by Nikon or third party vendors than some cameras have lenses of any kind available. Moreover, you wouldn't want an old screw drive autofocus when you can have AFS anyway..

Now looking at your choices, I'd get either the Nikon D80 or the Canon 450. The D80 has a real glass pentaprism which means a pro quality bright contrasty viewfinder. The Canon has a newer feature set. The Nikon opens you up to Nikon glass, IMO, the best there is. For example Nikon's 12-24 DX and 14-24 AFS are both superior to Canon's 10-22mm but that's another story. But, if you bought the Canon you could opt for the good Sigma 10-20 or Tokina 12-24 and you wouldn't have to use the more expensive Canon 10-22 yet get the same or better quality optics..

Just my opinion...

Comment #4

Look at the K20D. Higher resolution, lower noise, lower price and Pentax glass...

Comment #5

Thanks for everyone's input. I know I need to go into a store and handle all the cameras before I buy, I just wanted some input from people that have used these cameras and have some more experience with which lenses are available for which cameras. Wanted to talk with some more objective people that aren't trying to sell me the camera. Again, thanks for all your input and I guess I'll be heading into a camera store in the next couple weeks to weed out a couple more of the contenders based on ergonomics...

Comment #6

Also, be sure to look at some photos. So far, I am very impressed with the K20D and the DA35 macro and DA50-135/2.8 lenses. They have a lot of great glass but these 2 have grabbed my attention lately...

Comment #7

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