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Going to Montreal Grand Prix, buying my first dslr

post #1 of 17
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i think now it's the time i get into photography. i been stalking threads here and there for awhile now. i think i get the idea of ISO, shutter speed, soft lighting, aperture and landscape compositions. however i know nothing and i mean absolutely nothing about cameras, mainly dslr. example, nikon, cannon, sony, etc. and to make matter worse there are alot of models to choose from.

photography has always been an interest for me and i do want to keep this hobby down the road. and i heard it's better to stick to one brand since you'll more likely to collect lens and filters than different camera bodies.

as for budget.. i can spend a decent amount, preferrably under 800 or 900 usd. i could go used or refurbished if there isn't that much of a difference. any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated. thanks!
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post #2 of 17
In terms of lens selection and popularity, Nikon or Canon would be the brand to stick with.

Most entry level DSLRs have no auto focus motor in the camera body to cut down on cost and weight. Unless you purchase a camera with auto focus motor in the body, you are stuck buying lenses with the motor built in. This is not as severe a limitation as it was when they first came out, as most of the low and mid range models of Nikon and Canon DSLRs do not have an auto focus motor in the body of the camera, so a lot of lenses are being manufactured with built in motor.

Sony Alpha series DSLRs seem to be of good quality and have a good selection of lenses available too as I believe they can use most older Konica Minolta lenses. The A290 can be had for < $500. That would give you some money left over for a decent telephoto lens.

If you are going Nikon, may I suggest the D5000 which can be had used for around $550. To my knowledge this is the lowest model camera that offers auto exposure bracketing (useful for HDR photos)

Canon T1i is also in that price range and is a capable camera.


You want to stay in that price range because most cameras only come with a limited zoom kit lens (usually 18-55mm). This might not get you close enough if you are not right up front at the race.
You will want to check out a zoom lens in the 55-200mm flavor. As long as your getting nothing fancy, a telephoto lens that covers that range would be around the $200-$300 mark. Nikon offers one with vibration reduction technology that you can find used for under $200. Vibration reduction allows you to use slower shutter speeds, while helping prevent blur from camera shake that you can get with too slow of a shutter speed. You can also find an 18-200mm to act as an all purpose lens, and that way you won't have to switch for those closer shots, but they are usually either more expensive, or lower quality optics overall.
Edited by robchaos - 5/15/11 at 9:20pm
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post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
yes a buddy of mine just informed me about the lense motor. from what he told me is basically if i get a rebel series i will probably sell it when i become better. i learned that mistake with guitars already( went through 5 guitars and only kept 2) and i don't want to repeat the same mistake here. therefore i think i'm willing to up my budget to say around 1 grand? with/without lens that is. i don't care for resale value since i'm planning on keeping it for a long while.

what about the canon 60D. is that too over the top?
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post #4 of 17
60d will break your budget before you even get a lens. I have been happy with my d40x for a number of years now. Having to buy lenses with af motor included has not limited me at all. You can find pretty much any type of lens with af motor. I know some pros that have a d40 or d 60 as backups and end up using them more then their main cameras due to smaller size and weight.
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post #5 of 17
r31ncarnat3d has a decent guide to buying an entry level dslr on here. It's stickied at the top. Beyond nikon/canon, sony makes great products. I wouldn't get a pentax, but thats mainly because they really target the price competitive (ie cheap) side of the market.

Beyond that, I'd say at 900 you can get a fantastic beginner/hobbiest slr.
Also, be sure to check out strobist.com. The amount of times I say that on here people will think I'm getting kickbacks, but the guy is a master and breaks off camera lighting down for beginners/pros alike.
post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrwesth View Post
r31ncarnat3d has a decent guide to buying an entry level dslr on here. It's stickied at the top. Beyond nikon/canon, sony makes great products. I wouldn't get a pentax, but thats mainly because they really target the price competitive (ie cheap) side of the market.

Beyond that, I'd say at 900 you can get a fantastic beginner/hobbiest slr.
Also, be sure to check out strobist.com. The amount of times I say that on here people will think I'm getting kickbacks, but the guy is a master and breaks off camera lighting down for beginners/pros alike.
wow what a guide. i didn't know the 60D is that much bigger. yes economic is definitely needed here. i guess now i'm kinda undecided between the t2i and the t3i.
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post #7 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by kckyle View Post
wow what a guide. i didn't know the 60D is that much bigger. yes economic is definitely needed here. i guess now i'm kinda undecided between the t2i and the t3i.
I'd say save the money on the body and buy a 50mm 1.8 in addition to the kit lens. Its the cheapest canon brand lens @ $100 (other then the old $50 kit) and delivers great image quality with a very wide aperture. If newbies weren't lured by zooms I'm sure it would be a better fit as a first/kit lens.
post #8 of 17
Glad to see my guide helped

This post will have to be severely tl;dr-ed as I just finished a great weekend with my friends at LA and am currently on hour 48 with no sleep, so I'm dead tired right now.

Brands: I'd stick with Canikon. I personally like them because they're the industry leaders in terms of market share, and as such have a larger lens library and third party accessories/lenses.

The only limitation in Nikon's bodies are that the lower end bodies don't have an internal autofocus motor, meaning you can only autofocus with AF-S lenses and not AF lenses. This might not be a problem as many lenses and almost all new lenses are AF-S and will autofocus. Canon does not have this problem as all their lenses have a built-in motor.

For one grand, I'd grab a Canon T2i under the Canon Loyalty Program for $519 (You should Google it; I'm currently not at my PC and don't have my photo bookmarks) and add on a 55-250mm IS lens for telephoto capabilities. It's a cheap lens but performs very well. ljason8eg has a fantastic sample of Nascar photos he took himself with this lens. The lens itself can be found for around $200. Add on a quality tripod (NOT a cheapo plastic tripod) for another $200, and you have about $80 left in accessories (batteries, cards, etc), which I think is a good use of $1k.
post #9 of 17
OT: You could have visited me and you coulda thrown my 5DII!
post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by dudemanppl View Post
OT: You could have visited me and you coulda thrown my 5DII!
20 year old guy meeting up with a 14 year old? Not that desperate to get my face on TV
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