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Thread: Advice for first DSLR

  1. #1
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    Default Advice for first DSLR

    Hi all,

    This is my first post here and the reason being I need some advice on getting my first DSLR.

    I've always been using my faithful Canon Powershot but I realize I can no longer ignore the vast difference in pic quality between photos taken by a DSLR and a compact.

    So far I've been looking at Canon EOS 500D, Nikon D5000 and Panasonic GF1. Basically I think it's more of a dilemma between the standard-sized Canon/Nikon versus the more compact Panasonic.

    My question is, would the GF1 lose out in picture quality because of its size? (Whatever micro four thirds technology etc is Greek to me). I'm really attracted to the size of GF1, especially after having a hard time convincing myself to be prepared to lug along a DSLR for my travels.

    The other concern is of course the brand. Afterall it's a Panasonic versus big brothers Canon and Nikon.

    The other question is, why do people looking at buying a new camera rush to buy the latest model? I mean, is there really such a huge difference in say a Canon 450 and 500? (Besides stuff like the HD video feature, and generally difference in megapixels etc.). The reason I'm asking is because due to budget constraint (low S$1K), if the difference is not too great, I would consider getting an older model body but a better lens. A friend suggests getting a 17-200mm lens, which would be good for travelling. What do you guys think?

  2. #2
    Member Cartman2000's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice for first DSLR

    Well technically the GF1 isn't a DSLR

  3. #3

    Default Re: Advice for first DSLR

    1. The GF1 is not a DSLR
    2. Canon, Nikon, Sony, Olympus, Pentax, all make good entry-level cameras
    3. Some new cameras cost less than other second-hand cameras.
    4. Lenses like an 18-200 are convenient, but you sacrifice image quality. The whole point os a DSLR is the right lens for the right job. But most 18-250 are actually sharper than 18-200. And do yu REALLY need to zoom in like that? Most travel shots are wide-angle or within the standard 16-100 range.
    Alpha

  4. #4

    Default Re: Advice for first DSLR

    i was in a similar situation to u a couple of months ago.. bought myself a 500D kit, and im very happy with it.. i know this probably wont answer some of ur questions, but if u go ahead with the 500D, u wont be disappointed
    Check out my blog: pixelogist.me

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    Default Re: Advice for first DSLR

    So I guess it means that the pic quality of a GF1 won't be as good as a DSLR?

    Rashkae, you think a 16-100mm lens would be sufficient for travelling? And if according to what you say, I suppose the image quality would be better than a 18-200mm lens? Actually is it possible to translate all these into how many times optical zoom i.e. compact camera terms, so I can better compare?

    Thanks again!

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    Senior Member Galdor's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice for first DSLR

    Quote Originally Posted by sharenmun View Post
    So I guess it means that the pic quality of a GF1 won't be as good as a DSLR?

    Rashkae, you think a 16-100mm lens would be sufficient for travelling? And if according to what you say, I suppose the image quality would be better than a 18-200mm lens? Actually is it possible to translate all these into how many times optical zoom i.e. compact camera terms, so I can better compare?

    Thanks again!
    Yes I agree with bro Rashkae. I have used my Sony 16-105mm for my Indonesia trip. It's good enough for me. It will depend on yourself if you want the extra 2mm wideness or the 200mm range from the 18-200mm.

    105/16 = 6.56X zoom
    200/18 = 11.11x zoom
    Minolta. Konica Minolta. Sony

  7. #7

    Default Re: Advice for first DSLR

    Sensor size illustrations. The bigger the better


    wikipedia
    Last edited by xhui; 2nd November 2009 at 05:39 PM.
    Licence to shoot.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Advice for first DSLR

    Quote Originally Posted by sharenmun View Post
    Actually is it possible to translate all these into how many times optical zoom i.e. compact camera terms, so I can better compare?
    Nope. What matters is the actual focal length. "Zoom" is just the max. tele / wide angle.

    So a 10-100 is a 10x zoom, so is a 20-200 or a 50-500 lens.
    Alpha

  9. #9
    Moderator Octarine's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice for first DSLR

    Quote Originally Posted by sharenmun View Post
    My question is, would the GF1 lose out in picture quality because of its size? (Whatever micro four thirds technology etc is Greek to me). I'm really attracted to the size of GF1, especially after having a hard time convincing myself to be prepared to lug along a DSLR for my travels.
    If you translate that 'Greek' to English (vulgo: read up about Four Thirds format) you will be able to see what the differences are (GF1 is not a DSLR) and how this affects image quality (hint: ISO) and what other effects come in (hint: crop factor).
    EOS

  10. #10

    Default Re: Advice for first DSLR

    Quote Originally Posted by sharenmun View Post
    Hi all,

    This is my first post here and the reason being I need some advice on getting my first DSLR.

    I've always been using my faithful Canon Powershot but I realize I can no longer ignore the vast difference in pic quality between photos taken by a DSLR and a compact.

    So far I've been looking at Canon EOS 500D, Nikon D5000 and Panasonic GF1. Basically I think it's more of a dilemma between the standard-sized Canon/Nikon versus the more compact Panasonic.

    My question is, would the GF1 lose out in picture quality because of its size? (Whatever micro four thirds technology etc is Greek to me). I'm really attracted to the size of GF1, especially after having a hard time convincing myself to be prepared to lug along a DSLR for my travels.
    Hi bro i am newbies here too.
    I have read this and decide what type of DSLR for myself.
    http://www.digital-slr-guide.com/index.html

    what i know panasonic dont have DSLR yet. (correct me if i am wrong,senior out there)

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Advice for first DSLR

    Quote Originally Posted by sharenmun View Post
    So I guess it means that the pic quality of a GF1 won't be as good as a DSLR?

    Rashkae, you think a 16-100mm lens would be sufficient for travelling? And if according to what you say, I suppose the image quality would be better than a 18-200mm lens? Actually is it possible to translate all these into how many times optical zoom i.e. compact camera terms, so I can better compare?

    Thanks again!
    As Rashkae said... optical zoom and quality of image are totally different animals.

    Lens specs - 16-100 shows the focal lengths of the lens.

    Other things you might want to know is the aperture sizes and how it affects shutter speed and consequently exposures. The bigger the aperture, the faster the lens - eg. If you use a bigger aperture, the shutter speed can be faster. A smaller aperture may take a longer shutter timing to get the same amount of exposure (all things remaining constant).

    There's also terms like Depth of Field - that's when you want the subject to pop out and the background blurred.

    As for image quality - sensor size is one thing, there's also size of the photosites, and effective pixels. Bigger may not be better, quality and capability of the sensor photosites are what you should look into. The review i read in Practical Photography on Budget DSLR shootout (yeah... technically, GF1 is not a DSLR) but the image quality is pretty good. "Nipping at the heels of the Canon".

    So saying Bigger Sensor is better, isn't exactly correct? Other things like processing engine has to be considered.

    Having said all these, use your eyes to judge. Read reviews and go experience the camera, yourself. That helps a lot. Hope that it's not too much to digest.
    Panasonic FZ28 Shooter
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    Default Re: Advice for first DSLR

    Thanks everyone!

    After all your advice and a bit more reading up, I think I've kinda decided on a Canon. Instead of the EOS 500D, I should be getting the 450D instead. Cos' I want to incorporate a 16-100mm lens into the budget.

    The next question is, as my friend suggested getting a second hand lens, what are the things I should look out for when buying one?

    And would the prices at the coming up Sitex fair be cheaper than in one of those recommended retailers?

  13. #13

    Default Re: Advice for first DSLR

    Quote Originally Posted by sharenmun View Post
    The next question is, as my friend suggested getting a second hand lens, what are the things I should look out for when buying one?
    Frequently asked... please try a search.

    Quote Originally Posted by sharenmun View Post
    And would the prices at the coming up Sitex fair be cheaper than in one of those recommended retailers?
    4 times a year there are IT/PC/Sitex/Comex shows. Every time, the same "will prices be cheaper" question comes up. And every time, the same answer: Usually NO, but you may get more freebies. But those freebies may not be worth the hassle.
    Alpha

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    Default Re: Advice for first DSLR

    Great, thanks!

    I was looking through the WTS/WTB forum and it seems that there's not much talk of a 16-100mm lens. (lots of 18-200mm though) is that a less common lens?

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    Default Re: Advice for first DSLR

    Quote Originally Posted by sharenmun View Post
    Great, thanks!

    I was looking through the WTS/WTB forum and it seems that there's not much talk of a 16-100mm lens. (lots of 18-200mm though) is that a less common lens?
    Hi, as far as I know, Canon do not have a 16-100mm lens, perhaps Sony have as one of the fellow CSer have mention above. I believe "16-100" is a range that most photographers will go for during travel.

    Most will bring 1 lens, an all in 1 (commonly the 18-200mm) or 3rd party ones such as Tamron 18-270 or Sigma 18-250 while others may bring a few lens along, eg: 10-22 for wide angle shots, 17-55 f/2.8 for low light and general purpose shots etc (incidentally, these are 2 of Canon most famous lens).

    Happy shooting~!
    Canon EOS 40D | EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM

  16. #16

    Default Re: Advice for first DSLR

    Hi there, I've just started photography not too long ago too. I'll list out the equipment I started out with and hope it may help you decide.

    Body: Nikon D300
    Lens: Sigma 18-50 HSM EX DC Macro f2.8

    Reason why I got the D300 was because I wanted the body to last a long time before I even think of upgrading. Why Nikon? It feels good in my hands and the interface/usability is well thought out compared to the other brands. It's a solid build and the weather protection seems to be a plus!

    As for the lens, I feel it has little CA and Vignetting at 50mm, colour reproduction is almost flawless to me and the fstop is too hard to ignore. I got this over tamron because of it's HSM.

    Just my two cents!

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