Advice on SLR Camera

2

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  • Reply 21 of 48
    backtomacbacktomac Posts: 4,579member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by skatman View Post


    Go for Rebel XT rather than XTi... it's a better camera.



    Too late.
  • Reply 22 of 48
    icfireballicfireball Posts: 2,594member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by backtomac View Post


    Too late.



    You would have been very pleased with the D80. I've used the C XT, C XTi, C 30D, and N D80, and I much prefer the Nikon. Glass wise though, you really can't go wrong with either. Nikon has better VR tech (I think Canon calls it IS?), but I don't use VR anyways even tho my lens has it as an option.
  • Reply 23 of 48
    bergermeisterbergermeister Posts: 6,784member
    Sorry I didn't see this thread way back when...



    I moved up to a Canon XTi last fall from an S2 IS (which was great and I still use it at times). The XTi is fantastic, and I have taken some really awesome shots with it. I disagree with the comments on the grip, and I have hands large enough to palm a basketball.



    For regular daily shootiing, I got the 17~85mm IS lens. It takes great images and the IS works pretty well even with my bouncy hands.



    For zooming, I picked up a 70~300mm IS lens. It is excellent and I often can make due without a tripod although the tripod helps make really nice shots.



    I am now considering getting one of the Canon White lenses for nature shots. The birds I take photos of don't quite understand the phrase "say cheese" and never smile for the camera, thus my need for speed and range. The mandarin ducks that winter near here stay just at the edge of 300mm and prove to be very difficult subjects.



    After looking at a wide variety of bag makers, I chose Tamrac's Pro 8 (I have a large flash and also carry a small video camera), and am now considering a smaller bag for just carrying the XTi w/ the smaller lens attached.



    You will enjoy your XTi.



    I use Aperture to manage all my shots and to do slight improvements in sharpness and shadows.
  • Reply 24 of 48
    bergermeisterbergermeister Posts: 6,784member
    On the topic of the kit lenses, one of my best images was made with the kit lense using a tripod. They have no image stabilization, so a tripod is a must.



    Good images can be made with the kit lenses, but it is a challenge. Go with one of the IS lenses.
  • Reply 25 of 48
    backtomacbacktomac Posts: 4,579member
    I didn't get the kit lens. I bought the body only and a macro lens. I want some more lenses!
  • Reply 26 of 48
    bergermeisterbergermeister Posts: 6,784member
    I would recommend the 17~85 IS, as it is very good for general use. IS adds a bit to the initial cost, but pays off in performance big time. I actually only rarely use my 300mm lens, so I am looking to buy a smaller bag for general use.



    Do be careful changing lenses not to get dust in the camera. Good software (the apps that came with your camera can do it) can cover the spots, but it is nicer to have a clean lense. Make sure to change in a clean place without wind (if I am away from home, I hop into the car and change lenses there).
  • Reply 27 of 48
    backtomacbacktomac Posts: 4,579member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Bergermeister View Post


    I would recommend the 17~85 IS, as it is very good for general use. IS adds a bit to the initial cost, but pays off in performance big time. I actually only rarely use my 300mm lens, so I am looking to buy a smaller bag for general use.



    Do be careful changing lenses not to get dust in the camera. Good software (the apps that came with your camera can do it) can cover the spots, but it is nicer to have a clean lense. Make sure to change in a clean place without wind (if I am away from home, I hop into the car and change lenses there).



    Super dumb question, but I'm still learning. What's an IS lens? I've got the ultrasonic Canon lens and it seems nice but I don't think that's what you're referring to.
  • Reply 28 of 48
    timotimo Posts: 353member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tonton View Post


    4. Pentax is a fantastic system with great lenses.



    I agree with tonton -- money (and bulk and ergonomics) no object, then onto a Canon 5D and pro glass.



    But otherwise, take a look at Pentax, especially their lens offerings. I was particularly compelled by their tiny "pancake" lenses -- way less "in your face" and optically beautiful.



    A good Pentax K10D review, with comparisons to Nikon and Canon:



    http://www.photozone.de/8Reviews/dsl...10d/index.html
  • Reply 29 of 48
    bergermeisterbergermeister Posts: 6,784member
    IS = Image Stabilizing



    When you hold your camera, your hands shake, your heart beats and your body moves, sometiems your subject moves and you pan with it, all of which make the image you are shooting move on the camera's sensor, too, in bad cases ending in a blurred image. IS helps reduce the shake and make a clearer photo.



    Canon puts IS into some of its lenses, which adds cost, but some pros I know think it does a better job than Sony's arrangement which has the IS built in to the camera. Of course, some pros think Sony has it better, thus both ways of doing the same thing.



    With IS, you don't always need to use a tripod, especially if you are using rather fast shutter speeds. The longer your exposure, the harder it is to reduce the shake nd the less effective the IS becomes. The 17~85 lens works pretty well for most shots without a tripod; the 300mm lens often needs a tripod, especially when zoomed to the max.
  • Reply 30 of 48
    bergermeisterbergermeister Posts: 6,784member
    Ultra sonic is the method used to focus the lens. When you push shutter button half-way, the lens makes minor movements to bring itself into focus. These are done by ultrasonic motors.
  • Reply 31 of 48
    bergermeisterbergermeister Posts: 6,784member
    The 17 to 85 mm lens:

    http://www.usa.canon.com/consumer/co...&modelid=10511



    ...and a far better intro to IS than I could dream of giving:



    http://web.canon.jp/Imaging/lens/index.html
  • Reply 32 of 48
    trobertstroberts Posts: 701member
    I see a lot of posts talking about lenses, but when purchasing a camera shouldn't we be more concerned with aperture, shutter speed, and frame rate (i.e. how quickly pictures can be taken)?
  • Reply 33 of 48
    oldcodger73oldcodger73 Posts: 707member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by troberts View Post


    I see a lot of posts talking about lenses, but when purchasing a camera shouldn't we be more concerned with aperture, shutter speed, and frame rate (i.e. how quickly pictures can be taken)?



    Leaving out aperture, which is a function of the lens not camera, I would say that all DSLR come with an acceptable and similar range of the things you mention. The amount of megapixals vary, now 8-10 seems the standard with anything below 8 is to avoided.



    Anyway, the feeling of most experienced DSLR shooters is that advancements in cameras, particularly when it comes to improved sensor performace, is still happening and if you're really into photography you'll probably be replacing your camera body about every three years. On the other hand, good glass tends to be forever.
  • Reply 34 of 48
    oldcodger73oldcodger73 Posts: 707member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tonton View Post


    First thing you'll want to do is throw away the "kit" lens that comes with that baby. Apparently it's the worst lens shipped with an SLR type camera in history. A VERY good replacement would be the Tamron 17-50/2.8 DiII.



    I guarantee that unless you take pictures with a lens other than the Canon kit lens, you won't get anywhere near the potential of the camera.



    Now that you're invested in Canon, stick with it, and you'll do okay. But very soon you'll start to think the XTi feels a bit flimsy (the flimsiest of all the DSLRs) and you'll want something more robust, with better features as they come into the market.



    The camera can produce great images, with great quality. Unfortunately, it can't do it with the kit lens, and it's not likely to last very long or stand up to heavy use.



    While the 18-55 kit lens that comes with the XT/XTi isn't considered a very good lens it's still capable of taking excellent pictures if you work within its limitations and shoot f/8 or f/11. Also for someone totally new to DSLRs it an adequate lens with which to learn how to use the camera.



    However, when I bought my XT nf 2005 I deliberately got it with the 17-85IS. Recently I've gone to a 2-lens walk-around kit, a 10-22 Canon and a 24-105L Canon.



    I haven't used the Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 but it gets consistently good reviews with one caveat, only if you get a good copy as Tamron seems to have a lot of copy to copy variation in their quality control.



    Finally the XT/XTi is NOT flimsy. Too many people without having ever used it knock the camera because it's small and made out of plastic. That plastic, incidently, is extremely rugged. I can speak from experience on this having taken a three point landing with one point being the top of the camera. The camera functions fine and suffered only a small scuff mark.



    The bottom line is that the XTi is a fine camera and takes great pictures.
  • Reply 35 of 48
    To whoever said stay clear of the D40, we just bought one this past weekend and it works great. Ken Rockwell (kenrockwell.com) seems to love it for use from family to some pro stuff as well and the cameras he uses most are the D200 and D40, skipping all the middle parts of the Nikon line. That would be a great website to check out.
  • Reply 36 of 48
    backtomacbacktomac Posts: 4,579member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Shadow Slayer 26 View Post


    To whoever said stay clear of the D40, we just bought one this past weekend and it works great. Ken Rockwell (kenrockwell.com) seems to love it for use from family to some pro stuff as well and the cameras he uses most are the D200 and D40, skipping all the middle parts of the Nikon line. That would be a great website to check out.



    Agreed. Did you get the D40 or the D40x? Both are excellent values IMO.
  • Reply 37 of 48
    bageljoeybageljoey Posts: 1,751member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Shadow Slayer 26 View Post


    To whoever said stay clear of the D40, we just bought one this past weekend and it works great. Ken Rockwell (kenrockwell.com) seems to love it for use from family to some pro stuff as well and the cameras he uses most are the D200 and D40, skipping all the middle parts of the Nikon line. That would be a great website to check out.



    I wrote here for advice about 6 months ago: Should I buy the Nikon D80 with the decent kit lens or should I get the D40 and use the savings to get a high end VR lens. I got thoughtful advice on both sides and ended up going with the D80.



    It has been spectatular and I have enjoyed it more than I could expect. But I will always wonder what I would have thought of the D40--though the concern that a heavy lens would have completely unbalanced the relatively light weight D40 was what swayed me.



    Anyway, it is good to hear that someone is happy with the D40. I think my sister might be looking at one...
  • Reply 38 of 48
    vasuvasu Posts: 26member
    For right around the $1000 mark, I'd say the Nikon D80 and the Pentax K10D are the best out there. I own a K10D and have used Nikon D80 and Digital Rebel XTi, and think the Pentax is just the best bang for the buck.



    I prefer the K10D because it has features and performance that rival the more expensive Nikon D200 and Canon 30D, its fully weather sealed, has in camera (ccd-shift) IS, and I personally love Pentax glass.



    I should point out that Pentax's ccd-shift works different from Sony/Minolta's. The Sony/Minolta system works by attaching motors to the ccd mounting plate, that physically push/pull the sensor. If I'm not mistaken, this only works in 1 axis (i think left-right).. I can't recall if it also works in the up-down axis, or if it can do both at the same time. Pentax's however uses magnets located all around the ccd mounting plate to move the ccd around. This has several advantages vs motor driven ccd-shift: 1) faster response time 2) considerably less power drain 3) works in left-right, up-down, and rotational axis. The fact that it works in the rotational axis is actually a really big deal, and makes it the best ccd-shift around.



    I've used Canon IS lenses and Nikon VR lenses in the past, and I can say that the Pentax model for ccd-shift works just as well. Of course the advantage is that you'll have top of the class IS for EVERY lens you ever buy, even 30 year old K-Mount lenses and 50 year old M42 screw mount lenses!



    Their ccd-shift and the cost and quality of Pentax glass is what brought me to the K10D. From what I've read and seen, the Pentax kit lenses (18-55 and a 50-200) are better than Canon and Nikon kit lenses, and similar to the nice Olympus-Zuiko lenses. I love the Pentax 50mm f/1.4, and you can find them for $150, and it then becomes an IS lens as well. And don't get me started about Pentax Limited Edition lenses. They're expensive, but man are they beautiful lenses.



    Oh! and the K10D is weather sealed too. I love taking my camera out in a light drizzle and getting some rain shots.



    Back to the other guys though... I was a big Minolta fan, even a year or two ago, but I'm not that impressed with the Sony A100. It's a nice camera, but just not better enough over the Maxxums, and ISO400 is a bit disappointing, let alone 800. The Canon Digital Rebels, even the latest XTi, have a very "my first slr" feel to them. Cheap plastics and horrible ergonomics (my hand cramps every time I play with one).



    I liked Olympus' old film SLRs a lot, but I really dislike the 4/3 system that Olympus, Panasonic and Leica use. It's great if you want to have cheap, effectively long focal length lenses (since the crop factor is a massive 2x), but if you like wide angle or low image noise, they aren't so hot. Too bad, they're built well and have a great user interface.



    For entry level DLSR, my vote goes to the Pentax K100D. The Nikon D40/D40x is kinda nice, but with no focus motor, it means buying expensive lenses, or always manual focusing. The K100D also has IS, and you can get them for around $400 for the body, which is just awesome. They also rock at ISO 1600, and are pretty good at 3200.



    For mid level, Pentax K10D and Nikon D80. They both use the same sensor, but I think the Pentax just offers way more for the price.



    For higher end, I like the Nikon D200 over the Canon 30D. I like the ergonomics better, and the weather sealing.



    And for insane craziness, the new Canon 1D Mk3 is just ridiculous. Have you all heard that thing firing away at 10fps? Sounds like a machine gun!



    As a parting message, the K10D also just won the TIPA (Technical Image Press Association) 2007 award for best "Expert D-SLR" camera. (http://www.tipa.com/awa_detail_2007....&-KeyValue=110)
  • Reply 39 of 48
    vasuvasu Posts: 26member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tonton View Post


    But it's just idiotic that so many people dismiss anything but Canikon, without knowing anything whatsoever about photography or cameras.



    Well I think that's exactly why beginners, or those that haven't been into photography for a while dismiss everything except for Canon and Nikon. If you don't know much about the market and the history, the safe bet is with the companies that control 80% of the d-slr market.
  • Reply 40 of 48
    -hh-hh Posts: 31member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tonton View Post


    Do Nikon and Canon have a 50mm/f1.4 lens with VR that is perfect for shooting concert shots?



    Sony and Pentax do.



    A 50mm to shoot concerts? I won't ask.



    There's more than one way to skin a cat. Image Stabilization (IS) systems can be generally relied upon to give you 2 stops worth of compensation. The easiest way to do this on a Canon would be to find a used copy of their now-discontinued EF 50mm f/1.0 lens - - that's one stop faster than the above lens. The second stop would be done in ISO or RAW post-processing, which is feasible on the Canon since their CMOS chips generally has lower noise levels than the rest of the industry.



    Quote:

    In my opinion, lens-specific VR/AS/IS makes very little sense...



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Bergermeister View Post


    Canon puts IS into some of its lenses, which adds cost, but some pros I know think it does a better job than Sony's arrangement which has the IS built in to the camera. Of course, some pros think Sony has it better, thus both ways of doing the same thing.



    From an engineering performance perspective, an in-body IS system is optimal when coupled with short focal length lenses, such as a 50mm, because you don't have to buy it for each lens.



    However, as the lens's focal length increases, the distance that an in-body IS system has to be able to move the sensor chip (to do its job) increases. As such, when you go to longer telephoto lenses, the in-body technical approach becomes increasingly impractical, and the only technically effective way to do the stabilization is thus within-lens.



    Given that the old rule of thumb is that your maximum shutter speed should be no worse than 1/(focal length in mm) seconds...ie, 1/60sec for a 50mm, or 1/250sec for a 200mm...what this also means is that the need for IS is more critical as the focal length increases - ie, on telephoto lenses.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by troberts View Post


    I see a lot of posts talking about lenses, but when purchasing a camera shouldn't we be more concerned with aperture, shutter speed, and frame rate (i.e. how quickly pictures can be taken)?



    In general, the reason why is because the decision to buy an SLR is accompanied by the question of how long you're going to keep in that vein and what to do with it...which is a "lens diversity" sort of question. A SLR is a SLR because of its modularity in lenses, so you're really deciding on which manufacturer's lens system to invest in, along with the SLR bodies that accompany those lenses, because once you've made this choice, your sunk cost in lenses will drive your future purchase decisions...ie, once someone has gone Canon, it pays for him to stick with Canon. Ditto Nikon, etc.



    To gloss over a lot of history, Nikon and Canon now dominate the industry with their lens selections, particularly at the higher end, where the technical stuff gets hard. The classic examples are the L-class 70-200mm f/2.8 IS (Canon) and VR (Nikon) lenses, and the super-telephotos that you see Pros using at Sports events and on African safaris.







    -hh
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