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your opinion on DSLR under $1000
Hi, my wife and I are looking into a digital SLR, our budget is about $1000. we take a few vacation's each year to National Parks and I wanted something for wildlife and taking pictures of the mountains, things like that. I been reading reviews on the Nikon D50 and Canon Rebel XT but I'm lost with so many camera's to choose from. I would love to hear your opinion, thanks for your time..

Lance..

Comments (25)

You won't go wrong with any of the entry-level DSLRs for amateur level use, so just choose the one that you can see thru best or which handles most naturally..

Canon and Nikon are market leaders (by a mile) but the others (Olympus, Sony, Pentax) have models with image stabilisation built into the camera itself - that means that ANY lens you care to add will enjoy the feature unlike Canon and Nikon where you need to buy special stabliised lenses..

John.Please visit me at:http://www.pbase.com/johnfr/backtothebridgehttp://www.pbase.com/johnfr/digital_dartmoor..

Comment #1

Abaseballfan_1 wrote:.

Hi, my wife and I are looking into a digital SLR, our budget is about$1000. we take a few vacation's each year to National Parks and Iwanted something for wildlife and taking pictures of the mountains,things like that. I been reading reviews on the Nikon D50 and CanonRebel XT but I'm lost with so many camera's to choose from. I wouldlove to hear your opinion, thanks for your time..

Lance.

Hi,.

I was in the same spot two months ago and after reading and reading and reading again the reviews, forum's posts, etc, etc I decided for Nikon. And I narrowed down to either D40 or D60.As long as the price difference is around $100-$150 I have decided for D60.Just my 2c.Good luck...

Comment #2

Nikon D60.

Nikon D60 Review, March 2008, Simon Joinson.

Http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/NikonD60/.

Bill,Jr'I kind of like the Earth, it's where I keep all my Stuff.'Website; http://www.pbase.com/wboth125 Lake Wylie, SC..

Comment #3

Now that the price has been cut a little, the Canon 40D would be a great choice. That's what I use and it's a terrific camera..

Http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canoneos40d/..

Comment #4

Abaseballfan_1 wrote:.

Hi, my wife and I are looking into a digital SLR, our budget is about$1000. we take a few vacation's each year to National Parks and Iwanted something for wildlife and taking pictures of the mountains,things like that. I been reading reviews on the Nikon D50 and CanonRebel XT but I'm lost with so many camera's to choose from. I wouldlove to hear your opinion, thanks for your time..

Lance.

Your budget allows for it, so you ought to consider the newer models - Nikon d40/60/80, Canon xsi...

Comment #5

I think your choices should be the Nikon D60 or rhe Canon XSi. both are awesome cameras, go hold them in store and see which one you like better. The D60 is a bit older model, so for like $900, you get two lenses; as for XSi, you only get a kit lens..

I personally went with the XSi cause it's got more features...

Comment #6

Sounds like the minimum you need is a the camera and at least a modest telephoto (to get closer to the wildlife)..

On the Nikon side, the D50 is long out of production - you'd have to buy used. The D40 gets you in cheap enough that you could add a 70-300VR telephoto lens - very nice for the wildlife. The D60 gets you a slighter better kit lens with Vibration Reduction (VR), and some more megapixels - overkill at 8.5x11/A4 print size, but nice if you are printing out more like 12x18 and still having room to crop - and some other minor features. The downside is that you would be overbudget to get the 70-300VR lens, but the good news is that there is a nice package deal on the 55-200VR lens, and you can get it for about $800, plus or minus $50-100 depending on where you buy from..

I prefer the ergonomics of the Nikons over the Canons, but that is matter of individual taste - be sure to go and actually handle the cameras as much as you can at a store to see which one is more natural for you. Both will take great photos. I don't know the XT, XTI, XSI prices or features well enough to summarize them - I'm sure some Canon fan will meander by and fill you in from that angle..

Another to consider is the Olympus E510. It uses a slightly smaller format/sensor. Doesn't have quite the dynamic range of the Canon/Nikon cameras, and the low light performance drops off a little quicker, but great feature list and price/performance. A little too small for my hands, and the viewfinder and my glasses didn't seem to work well together, so it wasn't quite right for me, but you might want to check it out. I believe there is an attractive two lens package deal available for this, also..

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Comment #7

There are a lot of cameras out there for a budget of $1000. This is my personal choice if I had that much money and in your situation, but it may be helpful for you..

Example 1. > Nikon D2H (used) for around $500-600 + a third party, either a tamron or a sigma constant 2.8 wide to mid range zoom for another $250ish + sb-600 = around the $1000 price point. Wide angle +constant 2.8 is useful for landscapes and a multipurpose walkaround lens..

Example 2. >Nikon D2h used (500-600) + Nikon 80-200mm 2.8 (older, non-af-s version) i've seen go for 500-800 depending on model and condition. I think this is a good set up if doing some wildlife / fast action. Personally, I think this is a good fit for you > "abaseballfan" and wild life action set up.  hehe.

Example 3. > Nikon D40 Kit + 70-300 VR or 55-200 VR. Kit sells for around 400-450 used (I sold mine a couple months back for 400) + SB-600 This is combo is light, user friendly, economical but not as good as the first two IMO..

Example 4. > this is what I have currently. Nikon D1H ($300), 50mm 1.8 ($60, used) Sigma 70-300 APO DG MACRO ($60, used), 18-55mm AF-S ($0, just because it came with my D40), SB-600 ($150, used)..

As you can see, I have a very usable set-up (I am in no way a pro, just a starting amateur who aspires to learn and have fun with photography) for just around $500. Feel free to look at my site, they are mostly amateurish snapshots of D1h and D40 cameras with my budget lenses..

There are a lot of cameras out there for your budget. IMO, any or all are capable of great pictures. The important thing is to have fun and learn and shoot!.

I hope this helps..

Goodluck to you..

By the way, the prices are just ballpark numbers from the current ebay/CL prices. That said, EBAY and Craigslist are your friends. There are great deals out there, you just have to wait and be patient. Others might tell you not to buy online or used, but being a responsible buyer and following a buyer beware attitude can prevent a lot of trouble..

Respects,.

Doni.

...in matters of grave importance, style not sincerity is the vital thing - Oscar Wilde..

Comment #8

Aodhan51 wrote:.

Now that the price has been cut a little, the Canon 40D would be agreat choice. That's what I use and it's a terrific camera..

Yes, it is a great buy. But I think he wanted a WHOLE camera (including lens) that would actually take pix for less than $1000. .

BTW, my opinion is that all dSLRs should be priced under $1000!.

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 #9

Lance.....

If you are looking for a good DSLR to take "vacation pictures" then just about every one on the market will fit the bill..

And if you don't plan on owning more than the most useful two or three lenses, then any brand will do..

People sometimes misread the question and assume you want professional gear and will suggest used Canon or Nikon high level equipment that can be had for "just under $1000.".

Don't limit your search to the Big Two. Based on your stated needs, there are many good choices from Sony, Pentax, and Olympus too. The only real advantage of Canon and Nikon is they make a wide assortment of lenses that you will never need or never be able to afford.... That is, they offer the "most complete systems.".

My own personal feeling is that for your stated purpose the Olympus E510 with the 2 lens kit is very hard to beat. And it is currently priced WAY under $1000. Something like $650 now.Martyhttp://flickr.com/...photos/7735239@N02/sets/72157604030772272/detail/?page=5.

Panasonic FZ7, FZ30, LX2.

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Comment #10

Marty4650 wrote:.

If you are looking for a good DSLR to take "vacation pictures" thenjust about every one on the market will fit the bill..

I definitely agree. Any camera has the capacity to take wonderful pictures!It is entirely upto the photographer and taking the right shot at the right moment at the right place..

Don't limit your search to the Big Two. Based on your stated needs,there are many good choices from Sony, Pentax, and Olympus too. Theonly real advantage of Canon and Nikon is they make a wide assortmentof lenses that you will never need or never be able to afford....That is, they offer the "most complete systems.".

I used to think that way too. But I have not regretted the choice to invest in Nikon. I did not need anything but my kit lens before, but as I learned more, I saw the value of having a 70-200mm VR or a 17-55 2.8 for example. I guess my point is that in cases of "you never know" situations like this, it's better to be safe than sorry..

My own personal feeling is that for your stated purpose the OlympusE510 with the 2 lens kit is very hard to beat. And it is currentlypriced WAY under $1000. Something like $650 now.Marty.

I also think that looking at the Olympus is a smart move. I tried some Oly DSLRs in the store for a long time when I was first buying a camera. The price and features are very, very reasonable..

I, however, still stand by my choices if you had $1000 as a price point. Again, keep an open mind and try which ever fits your preference best. There are an abundance of info here and other sites to help you make an informed decision..

Pick what feels best for you and start shooting!.

Enjoy!.

Respects,.

Doni.

...in matters of grave importance, style not sincerity is the vital thing - Oscar Wilde.

Http://xdms.multiply.com/photos..

Comment #11

Abaseballfan_1 wrote:.

Hi, my wife and I are looking into a digital SLR, our budget is about$1000. we take a few vacation's each year to National Parks and Iwanted something for wildlife and taking pictures of the mountains,things like that. I been reading reviews on the Nikon D50 and CanonRebel XT but I'm lost with so many camera's to choose from. I wouldlove to hear your opinion, thanks for your time..

Lance.

Consider the Pentax K200d. It has a nice build. It uses AA batteries. You will want two sets of low discharge NIMH AA's such as Eneloop and a good battery charger. All camera's will require accessories such as a camera bag, extra batteries, memory cards, ... budget for them..

If you can find a K100d super it will also do the job. They cost less but they're older and hard to find..

Unless you've had your mind made up already look at and touch the alternatives to the big two you've mentioned. Ergonomics matter a great deal and it is subjective...

Comment #12

I listed this in another thread, but if you have a Costco near you check out the bundle they have for a D60. $825 get you the D60, a 18-55VR, 55-200VR, bag, 1GB memory card, and DVDs. Also has a 90day return period with no restocking fee...

Comment #13

Broadsword wrote:.

Sounds like the minimum you need is a the camera and at least a.

Modest telephoto (to get closer to the wildlife)... I prefer the ergonomics of the Nikons over the Canons, but that is...matter of individual taste - be sure to go and actually handle thecameras as much as you can.

The above advice should be all you need, "handle the cameras". It doesn't help to have the 'best' camera in the world if you don't use it. I went from Nikon film to Nikon digital without handling camera. Unlike Broadsword, I loathed the camera and much prefer Canon's way of doing digital. Those are my issues and not your concerns..

If your local camera store is like mine it is a perfect place to take some pictures and see how the camera reacts..

Another to consider is the Olympus E510. It uses a slightly smallerformat/sensor. Doesn't have quite the dynamic range of theCanon/Nikon cameras, and the low light performance drops off a littlequicker, but great feature list and price/performance. A little toosmall for my hands, and the viewfinder and my glasses didn't seem towork well together, so it wasn't quite right for me, but you mightwant to check it out. I believe there is an attractive two lenspackage deal available for this, also..

While broadsword has damned the Olympus with faint praise it like the 'other' brands have much to recommend them over Canon and Nikon. BTW most people will notice color saturation before dynamic range..

It is not a hard decision. Hold the camera, like the camera, buy the camera..

REd..

Comment #14

Yup - Oly e-510 seems to one of the best budget choices right no - you get a whoooole lot of camera for the money..

I'll also recomend the Sony A200 - very nice camera which you can grow with and which is cheap..

But really - you can't make a wrong choice - all dslr out there are good...

Comment #15

Defining under a thousand..

You'll need a memory card, and you'll need to pay taxes..

A circular polarizer ($50 or so) makes for bdtter pictures..

Weird as it may seem, you'll probably want editing software that's another $100 or so, with taxes, for Photoshop Elements in the USA or Canada..

And some backup to your computer's hard drive you may already have one, or you may want to pay $100 for a new one..

The battery that comes with the camera is probably fine by iutself, but a second one is a good idea for travellers. Maybe $40 or more..

Try to avoid an XT; that's what I use and the bigger back screen on an XTi is worth a bit more money. If budget can stretch to the XSi, the image stabilization in the kit lens is worth a few dollars, too..

BAK..

Comment #16

Dvdnamja wrote:.

I listed this in another thread, but if you have a Costco near youcheck out the bundle they have for a D60. $825 get you the D60, a18-55VR, 55-200VR, bag, 1GB memory card, and DVDs. Also has a 90dayreturn period with no restocking fee..

Actually I would recommend against bundle's by the outfit selling the camera kit. Not always, but many times they sell the camera kit at very low margin and upsell you to the accessories where they make their margin back. Buy the accessories online. BTW a 1 GB memory card is barely sufficient. You want at least two cards by a known manufacturer (such as Sandisk) and 2GB or 4GB cards are inexpensive..

With respect to camera bags beware the build quality, especially the zippers or velcro...

Comment #17

Which ever DSLR you chose be sure to go to a camera store and handlethe different cameras to see how they feel in your hands.If it isn't comfortable to handle you won't realy like it....

Comment #18

I am a beginner too and chose the Nikon D60. Boy is it a great camera! Pictures are excellent. Bought mine at Buydig.com. They have a special now. 799.00 shipped. Both 18-55 and 55-200vr lens, 2 Nikon School Dvd's and a free 2gb card.

The D60 just felt right to me.Nikon D60 18-55vr & 55-200vrSB400Casio Z750..

Comment #19

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Comment #20

Mrxdimension wrote:.

Dvdnamja wrote:.

I listed this in another thread, but if you have a Costco near youcheck out the bundle they have for a D60. $825 get you the D60, a18-55VR, 55-200VR, bag, 1GB memory card, and DVDs. Also has a 90dayreturn period with no restocking fee..

Actually I would recommend against bundle's by the outfit selling thecamera kit. Not always, but many times they sell the camera kit atvery low margin and upsell you to the accessories where they maketheir margin back. Buy the accessories online. BTW a 1 GB memorycard is barely sufficient. You want at least two cards by a knownmanufacturer (such as Sandisk) and 2GB or 4GB cards are inexpensive..

With respect to camera bags beware the build quality, especially thezippers or velcro..

I didn't recommend this bundle for the actual accessories that were included in the bundle but for the price you pay for getting basic items, since the user seemed to be looking at a fixed bundle. Yes 1GB is not nearly enough but when picking up this bundle at Costco (if he were so inclined to do so) he could move over 5 feet to the flash memory section and pick up a 4GB Sandisk Ultra II for around $30-35..

I'm in the same boat, I don't recommend getting bundles, especially those on eBay or from other online retailers..

The main reason I recommended this bundle is for the return and warranty policy. 90 days, no questions asked return policy with no restocking fee. Most online retailers will either give you a short time to return it (7-10 days) where buyers remorse usually never settles in or doesn't give you enough time to play around with the camera to fully like or dislike the camera. You get a much longer return policy plus Costco extends the manufacturer's warranty for another year, so you get 2 years instead of 1...

Comment #21

Thanks everyone for your help! This is a great site ..

Comment #22

Whenever I'm asked this question and the budget allows for it, this is it. Nikon D40 (not X version) and Nikkor 18-200mm VR..

Sharpest, most versatile lens with stabilization and a very capable body that can still be purchased new at a very good price. Money should be spent on the lens. Upgrade the body later if necessary and it will always be necessary..

Cameta Camera has this setup for right about $1k. Call and ask for the best price with shipping. Generally (outside NY) there is no sales tax. I've purchased several lenses and bodies from them, both Canon and Nikon..

ReviewsLens http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/18200.htmBody http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/d40.htm..

Comment #23

Red13 wrote:.

...most people will notice color saturation before dynamic range..

Yes, but saturation is just an adjustment, wheras DR is not..

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 #24

If you're really looking to save money, one option is to buy the parts separately (body and lens)..

If all you want is vacation pictures, an entry model is your best bet. I, being a Canon guy, would recommend a Rebel series camera. Currently on pricegrabber.com, the XT body is going for 350 and the XTi with lens is going for 430. Both of these cameras will last you a long time (if all you plan to do is vacation pictures)..

As far as a telephoto lens goes, I would recommend a 55-250 IS or 70-300 IS. Both are great lenses that will suit your needs. The 70-300, although more expensive, is definitely a better lens (both optical quality and build quality)..

If you're planning on doing more with your pictures (vacation or otherwise)... e.g. print them for whatever reason, go with an XSi or Nikon D60 and get more resolution. If all you're going to do is view these pictures on a computer/tv/print an 8x10, you don't need anything too fancy..

-Chad..

Comment #25

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