DSLR advice for newbie


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happydog

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Sep 15, 2007
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#1
Hi!

I am considering getting a DSLR (am a newbie to DSLR). I am considering between Canon 400D, Nikon D80 and Canon 40D.

Main use
1) Low light photography (ie concert, outdoor performance at night, indoor shoots, night shots)
2) sports or moving objects
3) macro
4) landscape

What would you all suggest? also which kit to get or any lens/tripods recommendation?

Thanks a lot in advance.
 

ExplorerZ

Senior Member
Jan 9, 2006
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West Legion
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#2
All of them will do well if you know them well... 40d definitely have a slight edge with its 6FPS vs the other 2 with 3FPS.

kit lens? even the nikon 18-55 is very good... canon? i dono cos i don use canon.
tripod? gotta know what lens you going to use it..
 

advrider

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Sep 3, 2007
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#3
if you are mainly into sports. get canon. they have very fast AF.
 

lukesky

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Oct 28, 2004
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#4
but the kit lens for the 400D loses to the kit lens for the D80 by quite a bit , in terms of reach and image quality, but of cse u pay more for D80. Then again, the kit lens for 400D also loses to the kit lens for the D40.. so if u wana buy canon, jus get the body and get better lenses.
 

geraldkhoo

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Jun 15, 2007
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The Tiny Red Dot
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#5
Hi!

I am considering getting a DSLR (am a newbie to DSLR). I am considering between Canon 400D, Nikon D80 and Canon 40D.

Main use
1) Low light photography (ie concert, outdoor performance at night, indoor shoots, night shots)
2) sports or moving objects
3) macro
4) landscape

What would you all suggest? also which kit to get or any lens/tripods recommendation?

Thanks a lot in advance.
Both Canon and Nikon bodies can perform well for these 4 areas... but what you want to really look at is the lenses.

1. In low-light photography, it is best to get lenses with large apertures, i.e. small f numbers, e.g. f/1.2, f/1.4, f/1.8, f/2.8, etc, also known as fast lenses. These lenses tend to be very expensive, except the 50mm f/1.8 lens which is less than $200. If you do not have fast lenses, then you would need to learn flash photography.

2. For sports and moving object, you need cameras with fast auto-focusing, which both brands do well. Depending on the kind of sports you are taking, you may need to look at a lens that can reach far, e.g. 200mm to 400mm range. Long range lenses with large apertures are generally expensive.

3. For macro shots, you would then need to buy macro lenses.

4. For landscape, the kit lens would generally do.

Hence, out of the 4 areas, 3 of them preferably need lenses that are better than the kit lens. So, your consideration of what camera body should be decided on the range of lenses that the body can use.
 

happydog

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Sep 15, 2007
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#6
Thanks for all your kind advices. I will do more research and welcome any suggestions.
 

happydog

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Sep 15, 2007
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#7
If just buy body, which one would you recommend? and any suggestion on better lenses?

but the kit lens for the 400D loses to the kit lens for the D80 by quite a bit , in terms of reach and image quality, but of cse u pay more for D80. Then again, the kit lens for 400D also loses to the kit lens for the D40.. so if u wana buy canon, jus get the body and get better lenses.
 

happydog

New Member
Sep 15, 2007
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#8
Thank you. It has been really informative.

In that case, should I consider buying a cheaper body and get better lens? Any suggestions on combination (body + lenses). I am still undecided betwen canon or nikon.

For 1, any recommendations on lens?

"So, your consideration of what camera body should be decided on the range of lenses that the body can use."- could you explain more, ie both canon and nikon have good selection of lenses right?

Apologise for asking so many questions. Thanks in advance.

Both Canon and Nikon bodies can perform well for these 4 areas... but what you want to really look at is the lenses.

1. In low-light photography, it is best to get lenses with large apertures, i.e. small f numbers, e.g. f/1.2, f/1.4, f/1.8, f/2.8, etc, also known as fast lenses. These lenses tend to be very expensive, except the 50mm f/1.8 lens which is less than $200. If you do not have fast lenses, then you would need to learn flash photography.

2. For sports and moving object, you need cameras with fast auto-focusing, which both brands do well. Depending on the kind of sports you are taking, you may need to look at a lens that can reach far, e.g. 200mm to 400mm range. Long range lenses with large apertures are generally expensive.

3. For macro shots, you would then need to buy macro lenses.

4. For landscape, the kit lens would generally do.

Hence, out of the 4 areas, 3 of them preferably need lenses that are better than the kit lens. So, your consideration of what camera body should be decided on the range of lenses that the body can use.
 

ashflames

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Aug 18, 2007
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#9
try to set a budget for all the equipments, and try to work within the budget. Do remenber that other accessories(lens, flash...) are much much more expensive than the body itself.

ie, if u like taking a sports event, a 70-200 IS USM f2.8L will cost around 2k+ which might blow away your budget. so better to set a target before just going out to buy what everyone recommends... will get the BBB virus one... ;)
 

happydog

New Member
Sep 15, 2007
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#10
Thanks Ashflames. Ya, a 70-200 IS USM f2.8L @2k+ will definitely blow away my budget...haha..

btw, what is BBB virus?:embrass:

try to set a budget for all the equipments, and try to work within the budget. Do remenber that other accessories(lens, flash...) are much much more expensive than the body itself.

ie, if u like taking a sports event, a 70-200 IS USM f2.8L will cost around 2k+ which might blow away your budget. so better to set a target before just going out to buy what everyone recommends... will get the BBB virus one... ;)
 

ashflames

New Member
Aug 18, 2007
34
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#12
BBB - buy buy buy...

since im also quite new to DSLR, (just upgrade from prosumer) some of the items that you might need to take all your above photos. do note items below are all 2nd hand items... =)

camera body - perhaps a 2nd 30D around 1200+
17-85 is USM lens (cover most range) - 2nd hand 800+
430EX flash - ard 400+ 2nd hand
50mm f1.8 - ard 100++ 2nd hand
70 -200mm f4L IS USM - 1500+ 2nd hand
bag - Lowepro around 200+ if wan to bring all your equipments
other stuff like drycabinet (100+), remote (50), batterygrip (100++), batteries (50?)

that's the BBB virus.. so my suggestions is to plan what u really need and slowly (while learning) invest and upgrade your equipments... :)
 

keet79

New Member
Aug 21, 2007
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woodlands
#13
many ppl comment about the 400D kit lens not good enough, if so, then which lens for subsitution?? but budget cant too far from that.:think:
 

ashflames

New Member
Aug 18, 2007
34
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#14
many ppl comment about the 400D kit lens not good enough, if so, then which lens for subsitution?? but budget cant too far from that.:think:
the 18-55mm kit lens is a good lens. i believe need to learn photography before going all out for the best lens.

if have some spare cash, maybe can try the 17-85mm f4-5.6 IS USM lens. a better lens with USM and IS makes taking shoots easier. ard 800+ .

if u going for 400D kit, can try the Kit II options. remenber comex was selling like 2k with 400D, 17-85mm , and battery grip. quite a good value package... =)
 

happydog

New Member
Sep 15, 2007
232
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#15
Ashflames, thanks for your advice....I think I see the kit II offer at comex too.. Don't think the package with battery grip is still around though. What camera are u using and with which len/flash option?
 

ashflames

New Member
Aug 18, 2007
34
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#16
can try alan photo or cathy photo, think they willl still sell u the package with lesser freebies. below is my humble set up cause a student = no money,,

body 350D kit (around 700+) - went for 350D cause i dun do large prints = 8 mega pixel enuff for me and 7 pont focus sufficient cause still learning photography. i lwill oose less money if i sell this body away.. (when 5D II comes out, will got grap the 2nd 40D camera.. hahaz.... )

lens -
kit lens 18-55mm f4-5.6 - simple and CHEAP lens, good for most purpose.

50mm f1.8 - comes free when extend warrenty but think the offer is over. good lens. make me think twice before taking a shot cause without zoom feature, i got to "think and plan" my pic more.

70-300 f4-5.6 IS USM - got this lens from a fellow CSC menber, good for use when taking nature and sports.

accessories -
remote - rc-1 (think is this number) if want take firework, it is a must.
bag - lowepro stealth reporter 100aw - got from another fellow CSC member, sold me at a good price. =)
tripod - got the one from carrefour, $20 only, cause my equipments are still quite light, think a cheapo one will do untill i strike rich one day.
dry box - use a plastic box with lots of silica gel ($4 per bottle from carrefour PS), room no more space for dry cabinet.

above items burnt a 1500++ hole in my pocket.

and my BBB wish list -
430EX flash - if the need arise, then will get one, cause now mainly taking outdoor pics,
70-200mm f4L IS USM - when i strike lottery, i will buy this.. hahah.z...
and a better macro lens...

hopes this help.... Any other equipment suggestions from all the pro out there...? remenber, i am still a student dun recommend me a $$$ lens....
 

happydog

New Member
Sep 15, 2007
232
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#17
Ashflames, thanks. It has been really helpful. guess I will think long and hard before buying.heehee..
 

#18
Thank you. It has been really informative.

In that case, should I consider buying a cheaper body and get better lens? Any suggestions on combination (body + lenses). I am still undecided betwen canon or nikon.

For 1, any recommendations on lens?

"So, your consideration of what camera body should be decided on the range of lenses that the body can use."- could you explain more, ie both canon and nikon have good selection of lenses right?

Apologise for asking so many questions. Thanks in advance.
I am a Nikon user... so I give you my side of the story ;)

I personally feel that Nikon has some of the best lenses available. I am using some lenses that are more than 15 years old, and the picture quality is just amazing. One of the best things about Nikon is that you can use lenses all the way back from the AI range, which are manual focus. Nikon has a whole range of AF lenses (AF, AF-D, AF-I, AF-S), and they can be used on all their bodies. The only exception is the D40/x which can only use AF-S/AF-I for auto focusing, but can use all the other types of lenses but require manual focusing.

I have a budget to keep, so I buy what is most important first. If you need to choose what to invest in, i.e. body or lens, go with the lens. A new body comes out every 18 months, but the lens can last you a much longer time. It is better to get an average body but great lens, then to buy a great body and lousy lens.

So... it is true that both Canon and Nikon have a great range of lenses... but my personal take is that the Nikon selection of lenses is better and wider, and that is why I decided to use the Nikon system. Recently, I decided to get a set of f/2.8 lenses, and found that I can get some old Nikon f/2.8 lenses at a real bargain, and they work fantastically.

My suggestion for you is still to do your homework. Maybe you can ask some photographers out to test out their system and lenses. Ask them how much they cost, etc. At the end of the day, you are the one deciding... and whichever system, Canon or Nikon, suits your needs, then go for that.
 

kezumix

New Member
Jun 25, 2007
457
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East
#19
i choose nikon for its grip on the camera... this means alot to me as i got bigger hands. i did my research b4 like you do now.. but when i hand held canon 400D and D80 and olympus E-510.My choice was D80 (Unless you got extra budget for ur purchase, u can get the battery grip for 400D). In terms of lens... i can say D80 kit lens is good enough for me in terms of sharpness for the time being as it is the only lens tat i am holding on for now.

Bottom line is... feel good when u hold it. :)
 

mtunlinn

New Member
Mar 16, 2006
1,471
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East
#20
Hi!

I am considering getting a DSLR (am a newbie to DSLR). I am considering between Canon 400D, Nikon D80 and Canon 40D.

Main use
1) Low light photography (ie concert, outdoor performance at night, indoor shoots, night shots)
2) sports or moving objects
3) macro
4) landscape

What would you all suggest? also which kit to get or any lens/tripods recommendation?

Thanks a lot in advance.
No doubt. 40D is the best among all the 3 cameras you mentioned. Live view, 6.5 fps, better high iso performance etc...

For lens, no single lens can satisfy your needs. Better get at least 2 lens. My recommendation will be tamron 17-50 F2.8 and sigma 70-300 APO DG Macro. This combo will cost you about 1k. This combo is far more capable than 800 bucks 17-85 IS if you don't mind changing lens. You may add 50 1.8 for just a 120 bucks more.

For flash 430EX will be good choice. Cost around 450 for brand new.

Tripod, Slik DX series. 330 DX will satisfy most newbies. cost about 130+. Comes with pan head and very light at 1 kg+.

Don't forget, you need dry cabinet. Electronic dry cabinet 30 litres size. Cost about 100.

All the above will cost around 3.5k. Don't forget the BBB virus of SLR photography, especially for lens... It will cost you much mcuh more..........:cry:

If you are a hard core learner, just get a 2nd hand 350D and kit lens. Learn as much as you can from it and upgrade later. This will cost you around 700. :):)
 

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