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Thread: Need DSLR advice

  1. #1

    Default Need DSLR advice

    hi hi,
    i've been using my panasonic fz-5 for quite some time,
    then thinking of moving on to a dslr 'cos i'm starting to feel the limits of the camera already.
    however, the market of dslr is new to me and there seems to be alot to look out for.

    i'm thinking of spending say about 2k for my first dslr, say body and kit len(s).
    does anyone have any suggestions? brand and model?

    also this thing about canon and nikon (please don't erupt into a forum argument),
    how do people usually choose between the two? or are there other brands i shld consider?

    thanks lots. ^^

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Need DSLR advice

    You can consider Pentax K20D. It's a great camera that is on display @ IT show.

    Lots of Pentaxian had tested it with positive feedback. You might get a better deal outside of IT show.
    Let's get rolling :)

  3. #3

    Default Re: Need DSLR advice

    Ask yourself what in your current camers is limiting you. Then shop with the goal of buying something that won't limit you that way.

    for me i use canon, but nikon or any other brand will have cameras that are really good. i chose canon because of the noise performance, ease of finding lenses and the interface.

    if your budget is $2k i suggest you look at a used camera body. there are so many good cameras being sold now that if i had to buy another body i would not even look at new ones.

    be careful with your lens choice. lenses last a long time so buy what you really want, not what you can "get by with".

    my two cents.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Need DSLR advice

    I suggest the advice that has been givven about 1000 times already here...

    Go out, feel the cameras in your hand, try to figure out which one feels comfortable, which feels right. Consider the features that you need (built-in antishake, or do you need to buy antishake lenses?) etc etc. DO NOT let the salesperson pressure tactic you, or BS you into believing only C and N are good. Canon, Nikon, Sony, Olympus, Pentax ALL make great cameras, what matters is your budget and which one "feels best" for you.

    Go out try, the Nikon, try the Canons, the Sonys, etc. Remember, great second-hand deals are on the marketplace too.
    Alpha

  5. #5

    Default Re: Need DSLR advice

    hmm okies. thanks lots to all. ^^

    what's the diff in prices or say functionalities between having anti-shake on camera or in lens?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Need DSLR advice

    Quote Originally Posted by peanutsjh View Post
    hmm okies. thanks lots to all. ^^

    what's the diff in prices or say functionalities between having anti-shake on camera or in lens?
    Anti-shake in camera- All lens are are "IS" or "VR" depending on the term you are comfortable with.

    Anti-shake in lens- only the lens is anti-shake. Usually more expensive.

    That is why I chose Pentax since it had anti-shake in the body.
    Let's get rolling :)

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Need DSLR advice

    sony oso has built-in anti-shake...

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Need DSLR advice

    I bought my first Nikon D70s 2 years ago, because my friends are using nikon. It was an economic choice because we are poor students and we could share our lenses and also learn our way together.

    I also got a chance to play around with my friend's canon. I realised that I cant get used to it. But I realised that each has its own merits.

    So end of the day, its going down and feel for yourself. If you have friends thats owns one, and is willing to let u play with it, even better. But i think, end of the day, its getting use to the interface. most of them are quite good.

    and yeah, u got to be careful about buying into which system, cos when u start buying into it its very hard to change. especially when u buy lens.

    have fun with DSLR! I have fun!
    D70s-er Since 2005

  9. #9

    Default Re: Need DSLR advice

    Quote Originally Posted by NoMoney View Post
    Anti-shake in camera- All lens are are "IS" or "VR" depending on the term you are comfortable with.

    Anti-shake in lens- only the lens is anti-shake. Usually more expensive.

    That is why I chose Pentax since it had anti-shake in the body.
    oh okies. thanks thanks.
    eh... lenses between cameras of different brands are not interchangeable rite?
    then how's the lens selection of pentax like?
    i don't think i'll be doing much macro. mostly shooting people, maybe sports, and occasionally scenery.

    Quote Originally Posted by adiknaim View Post
    sony oso has built-in anti-shake...
    haha yeah. thanks. ^^

    Quote Originally Posted by zcwnfx View Post
    I bought my first Nikon D70s 2 years ago, because my friends are using nikon. It was an economic choice because we are poor students and we could share our lenses and also learn our way together.

    I also got a chance to play around with my friend's canon. I realised that I cant get used to it. But I realised that each has its own merits.

    So end of the day, its going down and feel for yourself. If you have friends thats owns one, and is willing to let u play with it, even better. But i think, end of the day, its getting use to the interface. most of them are quite good.

    and yeah, u got to be careful about buying into which system, cos when u start buying into it its very hard to change. especially when u buy lens.

    have fun with DSLR! I have fun!
    oh. haha. problem is, i have friends who use both. haha. but yeah. probably will give this it show a miss and buy the camera some other time. more time to do research. hehe.
    what do u mean by being careful when buying into each system? what's to take note of?

    Thanks all for ur replies.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Need DSLR advice

    Quote Originally Posted by peanutsjh View Post
    oh okies. thanks thanks.
    eh... lenses between cameras of different brands are not interchangeable rite?
    then how's the lens selection of pentax like?
    i don't think i'll be doing much macro. mostly shooting people, maybe sports, and occasionally scenery.
    i will do my usual ranting comment thing on most of the brands from what i've seen and felt, to be honest, you can't go wrong with all brands, but some people will prefer one brand more strongly than others.

    canon, the market leader (or nikon, who cares?), along with well, nikon, has the advantage of having a huge availability of lenses, be it from canon itself, or third-party brands like tamron/sigma/tokina. however, for good canon lenses, i.e. good quality like L series, please be prepared to burn money. price increase for marginal quality improvement is exponential. also, no anti-shake in-body.. if you want lenses with image stabilisation and/or vibration reduction , please prepare to burn money also. olympus, sony and pentax on the other hand have image stabilisation in-body for most models.

    for entry level dslrs like 400d/350d/upcoming 450d from canon, take note that some people might not like the handling.. it seems to be designed for smaller hands.

    for nikon entry level dslrs, like d40x/d40/d60, do note that the bodies do not have inbuilt af motors, so you need a certain series where the lenses have af motors.. $$$ once again. handling comments generally seem more friendly though.

    lenses for sony also very expensive, but the body is relatively cheap for what you get.

    olympus special consideration is the 2x crop factor instead of usual 1.5x or 1.3x.

    for the non nikon/canon lenses, can't really speak for sony/olympus but from personal experience pentax lenses not so easy to find, both second hand and first hand. but when you find them, boy oh boy, are they good for the price.

    i guess that's all i will say.. and best if you do not discount any brand at all.. too many people follow blindly and it becomes a herd instinct thing.. i'm using xxx brand because everybody else is using it so it's good. not necessarily true, hor.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Need DSLR advice

    sony fans here haha
    i would suggest you to get A200 or A350 with tamron 17-50mm f2.8.
    that sholud works you well. the lens also had cannon mounting, so, 400D with tamron 17-50mm f2.8 also can. but with 2k, get 40D better.
    if you want nikon, don't look at D40 D40x and D60, just look at D80. it will save you alot of lens problem.(sorry if any nikon user feel offended)
    i want to take great photos!!!

  12. #12

    Default Re: Need DSLR advice

    Try this, but its only my opinion, correct me anything if im wrong:

    Analyse your needs, your habits.

    you said: "i don't think i'll be doing much macro. mostly shooting people, maybe sports, and occasionally scenery."

    Shooting people, any camera will do. Usually prime lenses (no zoom kind of lens) are really good for this use, and they are usually much cost efficient, better image quality, able to shoot at higher shutter speeds than zooms. The good thing about prime lenses is they can really be tiny. Pentax makes the tiniest prime lenses i have ever seen. Search google for "DA 40 f2.8" and you'll see why. So, if this is what you aim to have, Pentax is a good choice. As for sports though, i feel Pentax is adequate but not the best since they don't offer extremely fast FPS cameras.
    Olympus is really good, alot of very high quality lenses but the usual criticism is the sensor size is small, not so good noise performance compared to the rest, but you get extremely lightweight and small cameras with high quality images. Olympus E-3 has better speed and sorta "fastest AF in the world" so definitely better choice for sports. However it costs above 2k.
    Sony makes really good cameras for the money, however the price of lenses is really high. However old minolta lenses are compatible, you can dig some real gold in 2nd hand places for possibly damn cheap. A700 can do sports well too i guess, fast FPS and fast AF. Also cost above 2k haha.
    Canon offers the widest range, thats why they are kind of the "market leader" but i feel they aren't innovative, most technologies in SLR are invented by other manufacturers (minolta having the first autofocus cam? pentax making the first japanese 35mm SLR?) but well they have cameras for the newbie, the amateur, the hobbyist, the semi-pro and the true professionals. And a very large lens range to match as well.
    Nikon offers very high quality cameras that i feel is quite premium. I feel even their kit lens have quite good build quality (smooth AF action, feels solid). Abit on the expensive side i think, for example D80 most expensive vs A100, K10D, 400D, E550. I've tried out a nikon though, the quality is very superb as per my experience. Quite a fan of the D40 however the lens compatibility is its downside.

    to sum it up, looking at different brands you gotta see which matches ur needs. At 2K+ you can get a Pentax K20D with 3FPS and a 20FPS burst in 1.6mp, a very unique feature, definitely good for sports if u doing just for web use, and Pentax has the best selection of prime lenses in my opinion. Sony A700 is extremely high quality and really good noise performance too, at 5FPS so its a good choice if you manage to overcome the expensive but superb quality lens range. Olympus E-3 is also a wonderful choice if you can overcome its noise performance. Canon 40D is fastest out of these: 6.5 FPS, and a really wide range of lenses. Nikon D300 owns the 40D in features such as autofocus, if i'm not wrong its the most expensive out of these choices? Superb choice if you find nikon lenses your thing. So go out and try them all and you'll reach a conclusion
    Functional disorder

  13. #13

    Default Re: Need DSLR advice

    It should not be too difficult for you to make the decision since you have been shooting for a while with a bridge / prosumer cam. Maybe ask yourself what type of photos you usually take? Family? Professional into potraits and weddings? Nature and landscapes/ architecture? Wildlife and sports?

    I am a newbie FZ-18 user and i am interested in wildlife [Alas Sg liimited locations and source for wildlife shoots ]. Its not that i don't shoot people or sceneries but i just like to get up close with my wildlife subjects. So for me my choice of a DSLR lens upgrade or add-on in time to come should be a portable moderate telephoto lens within my budget (less than a thousand to start with). Sony and Pentax had third party telephoto lenses up to the 300mm focal length which brings the total equivalent to 35mm format to a 450mm focal length. Entry level Nikon and Canon have them too but these cams do not have build in IS. Olympus has the Zuiko lenses to match and the 70-300mm extends the focal length to 600mm although it shall have a smaller sensor to work with. Anyway i am not making large prints so that should not be a problem for me. Having used the FZ-18 i would not settle for any focal lengths less than 500mm.

    I guess you just have to think on what you do with the cam before making the upgrade to an SLR and buy the suitable system.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Need DSLR advice

    Quote Originally Posted by a.c.e View Post
    sony fans here haha
    i would suggest you to get A200 or A350 with tamron 17-50mm f2.8.
    that sholud works you well. the lens also had cannon mounting, so, 400D with tamron 17-50mm f2.8 also can. but with 2k, get 40D better.
    if you want nikon, don't look at D40 D40x and D60, just look at D80. it will save you alot of lens problem.(sorry if any nikon user feel offended)
    Well I am a D40X user.. as long as one does not mind doing manual focus.. there is no lens limitations.. And in all honesty.. most of the lens cannot AF on these bodies are mainly Primes and Macros which I personally like to do manual focus. Just a bit of the inconvenience.. not end of the world.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Need DSLR advice

    Quote Originally Posted by bomby929 View Post
    Well I am a D40X user.. as long as one does not mind doing manual focus.. there is no lens limitations.. And in all honesty.. most of the lens cannot AF on these bodies are mainly Primes and Macros which I personally like to do manual focus. Just a bit of the inconvenience.. not end of the world.
    sorry to OT a bit.
    i'm also using the FZ-5 as well.
    to be honest, the reason i bought the d40 is because i want to limit myself to the lens cause the BBB virus is really infectious (since my friends around me have quite a number of lens) and i still have to save quite a bit for my studies.
    besides my friends are using nikon as well as long their lens are AFS i can always borrow and snap a few shots before returning to them.
    no doubt canon have better noise performance but at 6 meg the noise is on-par or even better than the 350d since i compared it on dcresource.com before making the purchase.
    Last edited by Simon_84; 10th March 2008 at 01:31 PM.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Need DSLR advice

    Thanks guys for your replies.

    after reading through all your replies and exploring a few cameras,
    i must admit that i've only kept to canon and nikon so far though,
    i've narrowed it down to the nikon D80 and the canon400D (well, the 450 isn't out yet).
    while still looking for time to look at other cameras,
    i think i might stick with nikon and canon for their cheaper (at times) and more seemingly widely available lens range for the time being.

    and yes, since i've been using a prosumer, i've got this sickening feeling that something that doesnt zoom to 500mm or more will not be able to satisfy me. die. sure spend alot of money.
    just a thought.

    i was adviced to buy a body alone, and then buy a tamron 17-50mm for starters.

    however, is it true that canon has better or rather, more good zoom lenses avail than nikon does? how do you judge lens quality? i'm not particularly picky, as always one would still wan to buy something that's good and not simply average.

    also, about prime lenses, they have a fixed focal length rite? so it's the "camp-and-shoot" method when using these lenses?

    accessories wise, what accessories would a new dslr buyer normally need?
    i don't think i need a flash so soon, i hope, but yeah. what abt the rest?
    dry cab?

    thanks again. ^^

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Need DSLR advice

    Hi, I have a FZ5 as well and recently gotten a 400D. I do admit the zooming is not up to par with the FZ but that did not occur as a problem I found. I've gotten an used 75~300 zoom at bargain price for that purpose. The image quality and size allow one to make a good crop due to the large sensor dslr has over the prosumer.

    However, it will never beats the convenient of something like an FZ compactness, potability, ease of use and the idiolt proof mode. So I'll still be keeping my baby FZ and still using it.

    Happy shopping and hope you found a dslr suited to your style and requirement.
    651D90 Mk II cameller™ ...... "Ai Camel Mai ?"

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Need DSLR advice

    Yoz....

    I feel that both Nikon and Canon manufacture good cameras and lenses. For that matter, many other companies also make great cameras and lenses.

    More importantly, go and try out the camera yourself and see which one you like more. You mentioned that you got friends that are into canon and nikon, which is great! Go take and try lah.

    Why i say careful is.... when u start buying nikon... if midway u decide to switch, then u got to switch all ur lenses, flash... etc etc... which might come up to a big amount! Dont waste :P

    Too bad you missed the IT Fair.. Great chance to play aka abuse the camera which is not yours :P haa haa also, there are will be the whole range there.... so u can really try all of them :P

    nvm! have fun trying to decide on ur first camera! once you did that! shoot more! you dont need so much accessories and lenses. what you need is to shoot more!
    D70s-er Since 2005

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