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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Consumer Hardware & Components > What's A Good DSLR?

What's A Good DSLR?
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ncmason
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Nov 21, 2007, 08:08 PM
 
I'm looking at buying a DSLR sometime soon. I've checked out the Nikon D40x/D50/D80 and the Pentax K10D. They both look like a great buy. Any suggestions?

Thanks,
Mason
( Last edited by ncmason; Nov 21, 2007 at 10:13 PM. )
     
mduell
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Nov 21, 2007, 10:13 PM
 
Canon D400 aka Rebel XTi
     
JustinHorne
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Nov 21, 2007, 10:50 PM
 
Unless you want to spend >1.5 thousand, forget Nikon if you want quality. If you want High quality on the cheap, pick up a used Canon 20 or 30D. The new 40D is incredibly good. I don't know what you plan on using it for, or how good you are, but Pretty much any Canon >Rebel XT will serve you very well. The XTi is a very good camera, but I personally find it very small to hold, and does not feel to be as high quality of a plastic. That said, the pictures are very good. The 20D is about... 3-4 years old now, but it's my main camera, and serves me incredibly well, it's still a GREAT camera. For a few more features, get the 30D. If you want latest and ( a bit better), the 40D rocks.

Basically, get a Canon, seriously.
     
ncmason
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Nov 22, 2007, 12:05 AM
 
As far as upgrading to lenses, would you recommend Canon over Nikon for selection and price?

I'm liking the Canon Rebel, I may have to go check that out.

Thanks,
Mason
     
JustinHorne
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Nov 22, 2007, 12:11 AM
 
I re-EAALY like Canon glass. Sigma makes some stuff that's not bad for the price, either. Basically, Canon's glass is broken down into L (luxury) and non-L. Non L doesn't mean bad at all, L just means crazy good. For a walking around lens, I have/would reccomend the 17-85 IS USM. Very versatile, dang good. You can do better, but it's not bad at all. Also, pick up a 50mm 1.8. Best $80 lens you'll ever buy.

I shot this image with the [EDIT: Meant to say 50mm.]
     
stwain2003
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Nov 22, 2007, 12:44 AM
 
I have a Canon Rebel XT, and even though it is an "outdated" model, it is still sold in stores. I LOVE it, and all of the pictures look straight out of a magazine. Beautiful stuff.
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MrForgetable
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Nov 22, 2007, 05:15 AM
 
Olympus E-510.
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ncmason
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Nov 22, 2007, 10:37 AM
 
Thanks guys for the replies. That really helped. I think I'm going to choose a Canon camera, just don't know which one yet. At most I'd pay $800 for the Body and a 18-55mm lens (to start off with, I'll upgrade the lens later). Would the Rebel XTi be the best for under $800 (on Amazon.com) ?

Thanks,
Mason
     
JustinHorne
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Nov 22, 2007, 03:16 PM
 
Oh... Don't get the 18-55. Just don't. Skimp on the body by a hundred or two, and get better glass. That's the one big mistake new SLR owners do: Get a really nice body, then go cheap on glass. 18-55 is pretty dang crappy. Sounds like you wanna spend at most about a thousand? I say that the XTi is a really good camera, but also, if you can find a good used one, I personally would take a 20D over it. Yes, I've used both extensively. The one BIG feature the XTi has over the 20D is that it can vibrate the sensor free of dust. Without that, you'll have to clean the sensor every few months.

Regardless, don't skimp on glass. This is pretty much the best website for lens reviews:
FM Reviews - Main Index

Either way, good luck, stick with canon, and don't get crappy glass. The best camera in the world is still limited by the quality of the lens.
     
ncmason
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Nov 22, 2007, 05:31 PM
 
I was thinking of buying the Canon from this company, because they are offering a Thanksgiving deal with a 70-300mm lens as part of the package. Tell me what you think.

Thanks,
Mason
     
JustinHorne
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Nov 22, 2007, 05:59 PM
 
Not so good. I've never heard of them, and Resellerratings gives them a thumbsdown:

Wolf Camera Customer Ratings, Reviews and Prices at ResellerRatings


Buy from B&H Photo Video | Digital Cameras, Camcorders

Second, that 75-300 is CRAP.... I have a friend with one, he hates it, and is gonna sell it. It's a very soft lens. Take the 18-55 over the 75-300.
Lens review: FM Reviews - EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III USM
I say: buy this Canon | EOS Digital Rebel XTi Digital Camera Body | 1239B002

and this Sigma | 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 DC Macro Lens for Can | 669101 | B&H

Here's the review for that lens: FM Reviews - 17-70mm F2.8-4.5 DC MACRO

Then one of these: Canon | Normal EF 50mm f/1.8 II Autofocus Lens | 2514A002 | B&H

Then save up for this: Canon | 70-200mm f/4.0L USM Autofocus Lens | 2578A002 | B&H (There are two better verisons of this lens (one has IS, one has IS and is F/2.8, but both are more money. )
     
ncmason
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Nov 22, 2007, 06:08 PM
 
I'm careful with my equipment, but for purpose sake, I like to get an extended warranty. Does B & H have extended warranties for the XTi. Thanks again for letting me know about that company. That was a close one!

Thanks,
Mason
     
JustinHorne
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Nov 22, 2007, 06:17 PM
 
Yep. If you look under accessories, it's baout halfway down the page. $80 for a 3 year plan, on the camera body.

EDIT: One more random statement. If you're lookin at Canon lenses that have IS (image stabilization, ) it's NOT a gimmick. A few of the glass elements are gyro stabilized. It's incredible to see it in action it works insanely good. If you get a hands on with one of the lenses, do the following:
Turn IS off.
Hold the camera with one hand only, then try to keep a focus box over an object a good distance a way. See how it jumps around a lot, because you aren't perfectly still? Now turn IS on.. You can easily hold it exactl yin the box. It's VERY impressive.
     
Lancer409
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Nov 25, 2007, 01:30 AM
 
Hows the Canon 40D stack up to the Nikon D300? I'm looking in the direction of the D300. =) Sorry, dont mean to thread jack.

No trees were killed in the sending of this message. However, a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.
     
JustinHorne
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Nov 25, 2007, 04:35 AM
 
Purely on specs, the D300 is a little bit better, in terms of resolution. However, it's ISO range is worse, and (purely based on Nikon's history, not the D300 itself) Canon has FAR less noise at higher ISOs than Nikons do. Also, personal preference, but I despise the Nikon on camera interface. Hate it. With a passion. Your miles may vary.

Also, I much prefer Canon glass. I'd take the 40D over it without a thought.

Canon EOS 40D Review: 1. Introduction: Digital Photography Review

Nikon D300 Hands-On Preview: 1. Introduction: Digital Photography Review
     
OreoCookie
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Nov 25, 2007, 07:34 AM
 
Originally Posted by JustinHorne View Post
Purely on specs, the D300 is a little bit better, in terms of resolution. However, it's ISO range is worse, and (purely based on Nikon's history, not the D300 itself) Canon has FAR less noise at higher ISOs than Nikons do.
The D300 has a larger ISO range (100-6400) than the 40D (100-1600). Even my D80 has a larger ISO range (100-3200). Nor do `Canons' have far less noise than `Nikons'.

From dpreview's test of the 5D:
Originally Posted by dpreview
This would appear to be an example of the difference in the ethos behind Canon's professional EOS-1D series cameras and the rest of the range. The overall noise performance from the EOS 5D is very good and by our measurements almost identical to the EOS 20D.
Originally Posted by dpreview
The EOS 5D exhibited slightly lower chroma noise (colored speckles) than both the EOS-1Ds Mark II and EOS 20D, although couldn't match the D2X which has a more monochromatic appearance to noise.
( Last edited by OreoCookie; Nov 25, 2007 at 07:42 AM. )
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ghporter
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Nov 25, 2007, 10:14 AM
 
Does anyone else notice the near-religious nature of people's camera maker affiliations?

I'm a Canon guy myself; I started with an A1 in 1980 or '81, and I've loved that camera ever since. I spent years wishing that someone (hopefully Canon) would come up with a "digital back" for the A1 body, to no avail. So when the pennies finally add up to a DSLR for me (as opposed to the numerous point-and-shoot digital cameras I have used so far), then I'm probably going to go with a Canon-for the same reason I went with a Kodak for my first digital camera: I'm used to the control setup and feel.

So, personal biases aside, whose cameras give the best performance (resolution, low noise, high frame rate in still mode, etc.) for the money?

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
G-Force
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Nov 25, 2007, 11:33 AM
 
Originally Posted by JustinHorne View Post
Purely on specs, the D300 is a little bit better, in terms of resolution. However, it's ISO range is worse, and (purely based on Nikon's history, not the D300 itself) Canon has FAR less noise at higher ISOs than Nikons do. Also, personal preference, but I despise the Nikon on camera interface. Hate it. With a passion. Your miles may vary.
Canon has historically had an advantage with higher ISO images, but with the introduction of the D300 and D3 that advantage has all but disappeared. I suggest you look at some acutal images rather than look at Nikon's history.

To the original poster, here's my advice: Take some of the information here and go to a camera store and try out the cameras you are considering. You may find you like certain things more or less about certain models and I think it will give you a better idea what will work for you rather than just relying on the opinions of others. After all, everyone has different preferences. When trying out the cameras notice the ergonomics, the menu system, ease of use, responsiveness, etc. You may even take a memory card with you so you can take some sample images yourself. Chances are there will be one or two that will stick out that you like. Good luck!
     
hojo
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Nov 25, 2007, 12:23 PM
 
The concept of Canon having higher quality in the cameras than Nikon is laughably ridiculous. Even the most die-hard Canon professional would never make such a silly statement. The Rebel series, better now, was a troublesome camera from the beginning both in terms of reliability and the effect of its crippled firmware on handling and image quality. Personally, I think Canon ergonomics are a disaster and I'd strongly urge the OP to go to a camera store and handle both before buying.

Canon makes good cameras, no doubt. And I will grant that in-camera processing via their DIGIC VLSI processing handles provides some advantage in decreased noise on high-ISO shots (no longer true now that Nikon has elected to go the same route with their EXPEED processing), but the only real advantage they consistently have over Nikon is marketing. There's a lot of money in selling copiers and printers, and they've used it well.
     
JustinHorne
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Nov 25, 2007, 04:21 PM
 
Ok, so, apparently, the D300 has good high ISO performance then.
However, as I had stated, when it comes to Nikon's lower to mid range cameras, I just thouroughly dislike them. Mind you, I also consider the Rebel (not the XT/XTi) to be a pretty poor camera myself. I also think that the XT doesn't feel as solid as some of the higher end Canons, it's far too small and light. That said, when it comes to UI/on camera software, etc, Canon's feels way more intuitive, powerful to me.
And, if we're comparing prosumer level cameras, XTi, 40D/midrange Nikon's, I have never seen the equivalent Nikon outperform in terms or noise.

But, that's just me.
     
Westfoto
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Nov 26, 2007, 05:05 PM
 
Rob Galbraith DPI: Home

Digital Camera Reviews and News: Digital Photography Review: Forums, Glossary, FAQ

Go and check these out.

I am one who moved from Nikon to Canon. And yes I make money with my camera. Canon Glass is a world apart away from nikon, it is so much better. I would say that the XTi from Canon is one heck of a camera.
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Christopera
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Nov 26, 2007, 06:08 PM
 
I'm going to have to say whetever camera you get, whether it be a point and shoot or a DSLR get CANON!

I was very very close to purchasing a Sony set as I have a connection to get refurb Sony at waaaaaaay below even what refurb products retail for. My bro-in-law talked be out of the Sony and into a Canon and I have to say that it is the best camera I have ever had.

My Credentials(for what they are worth):My father is a professional photog, my g/f is a serious amateur and so am I.
     
   
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