Digital SLR advice
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    Digital SLR advice

    I've seen some photography buffs on here so I thought it might be a good place to seek out some advice. I'm looking to finally upgrade from your run of the mill point and click to a digital SLR. I've been mainly looking at Canons and Nikons so far. The price range I'm looking at is about 700$ or so for the body with the basic 18-55mm (give or take) lens.

    So far I've just read reviews online and looked at the Canon digital rebel XSi and the Nikon D60 at Best Buy today. The people working in the camera section there didn't have any idea what they were doing and couldn't tell me which cameras had live preview (on the LCD) and which didn't or how to switch back and forth between the viewfinder and the live preview. I've gotten a recommendation to go down to Christian Photo in DSM, but haven't been able to make it down when they are open.

    Any advice appreciated. Thanks!



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    Re: Digital SLR advice

    Quote Originally Posted by RayShimley View Post
    I've seen some photography buffs on here so I thought it might be a good place to seek out some advice. I'm looking to finally upgrade from your run of the mill point and click to a digital SLR. I've been mainly looking at Canons and Nikons so far. The price range I'm looking at is about 700$ or so for the body with the basic 18-55mm (give or take) lens.

    So far I've just read reviews online and looked at the Canon digital rebel XSi and the Nikon D60 at Best Buy today. The people working in the camera section there didn't have any idea what they were doing and couldn't tell me which cameras had live preview (on the LCD) and which didn't or how to switch back and forth between the viewfinder and the live preview. I've gotten a recommendation to go down to Christian Photo in DSM, but haven't been able to make it down when they are open.

    Any advice appreciated. Thanks!
    Make sure it's really what you want to do. Making that jump from point and click to SLR will make for a lot of advantages, but the huge disadvantage being having to lug the thing around everywhere. I purchased a used Nikon D40 a few years ago, from a guy who got tired of lugging it around. I then sold it to my boss because I got tired of lugging it around. Great photos, awesome to be able to use all of the lenses, but honestly, unless you are at the very least a serious hobby photographer, I'd think twice about it.

    I'm not trying to discourage you as much as getting you to really think about what you are using it for. I've found that we get 10 times the amount of family pictures since we picked up a canon sure shot than we did when we had to lug the D40 everywhere we went. The pictures definitely aren't as nice, but I find we have saved a lot more memories having the point and shoot handy everywhere we go. By all means though, if you are considering photography as a serious hobby, by all means, go SLR. I'm sorry I can't point you towards a brand though, I really don't have the experience with multiply brands to know. The Nikon took wonderful pictures.



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    Re: Digital SLR advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Clonefan94 View Post
    Make sure it's really what you want to do. Making that jump from point and click to SLR will make for a lot of advantages, but the huge disadvantage being having to lug the thing around everywhere. I purchased a used Nikon D40 a few years ago, from a guy who got tired of lugging it around. I then sold it to my boss because I got tired of lugging it around. Great photos, awesome to be able to use all of the lenses, but honestly, unless you are at the very least a serious hobby photographer, I'd think twice about it.

    I'm not trying to discourage you as much as getting you to really think about what you are using it for. I've found that we get 10 times the amount of family pictures since we picked up a canon sure shot than we did when we had to lug the D40 everywhere we went. The pictures definitely aren't as nice, but I find we have saved a lot more memories having the point and shoot handy everywhere we go. By all means though, if you are considering photography as a serious hobby, by all means, go SLR. I'm sorry I can't point you towards a brand though, I really don't have the experience with multiply brands to know. The Nikon took wonderful pictures.
    I definitely appreciate the advice. I will definitily be keeping a point and click for just those type of pictures. My main reasoning for getting a digital SLR is that I've been able to visit a lot of cool places lately because of work and have been frustrated by the limitations (i.e. lens-wise) of my point and click. I enjoy taking nature and sports photos and would like to have the option of a telephoto.



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    Re: Digital SLR advice

    I really like our DSLR, definitely glad we had it when we went to California a couple weeks ago. We have a nice over the shoulder bag that I carried so it wasn't anymore inconvenient, but the pictures I was able to get were so much better. It's not like it's a brick, it's still very easy to carry.


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    Re: Digital SLR advice

    Quote Originally Posted by RayShimley View Post
    I definitely appreciate the advice. I will definitily be keeping a point and click for just those type of pictures. My main reasoning for getting a digital SLR is that I've been able to visit a lot of cool places lately because of work and have been frustrated by the limitations (i.e. lens-wise) of my point and click. I enjoy taking nature and sports photos and would like to have the option of a telephoto.
    definitely check out Christian photo.

    As far as cameras themselves go, get the cheapest body you can. They all have roughly the same features if you know what you are doing, and roughly the same features if you don't. The main differences are in how the features are accessed. If you're asking here, there really are no features that the higher end cameras have that would matter to you except for build quality. You would be hard pressed to tell the difference between a photo from an XSi and a 50D with the same lens and exposure settings.

    Speaking of lenses, spend some money on a 50mm prime as well. The 50mm F/1.4 from Canon is around 80 bucks and the lens will blow the doors off of the kit lens. The kit lens, while worth having,has pretty awful optics on either main brand.

    Lenses are the single biggest reason to get an SLR and make the single biggest difference in image quality as well these days. The best sensor in the world is still limited by the glass in front of it.


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    Re: Digital SLR advice

    We just bought a t1i, saw some good reviews and like the fact that it shoots high def video as well, for the price. Got the kit for $850 at Costco.

    Canon EOS 500D / Digital Rebel T1i Review: 15. Photographic tests (Noise): Digital Photography Review



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    Re: Digital SLR advice

    The 50mm 1.8 is the $80 lens I think. The 1.4 runs about $400.



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    Re: Digital SLR advice

    We made the switch to a DSLR about 3 years ago & it is definitely worth it. We've got a Canon XTi & I love the thing. I've never used a Nikon so I can't really comment on those specifically, but I'd recommend visiting a local camera store to play with both brands to see which one you like personally.

    I also agree with jumbo that the 50mm lens is a great investment. The thing is amazing in low-light conditions and its constantly on our camera as my wife is always taking pictures of our kids.

    Also, before you buy anything from a local store I would check out this website & compare prices...

    B&H Photo Video | Digital Cameras, Camcorders

    They usually have fantastic prices along with free shipping if you're going to spend the $$$ to get your camera from them. We've bought multiple lenses from them & have never had a problem. My brother-in-law who lives in NYC has visited their superstore a couple of times & really loves the place.



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    Re: Digital SLR advice

    I got a Nikon SLR with both the 18-55 and 55-200 mm lens. I like the 55-200 lens a lot.


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    Re: Digital SLR advice

    Thanks for the advice. The B&H website has some of the best prices I've seen outside of ebay. That's a good point about the camera body, I was kind of thinking the opposite before, but your argument makes sense.



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    Re: Digital SLR advice

    Quote Originally Posted by RayShimley View Post
    Thanks for the advice. The B&H website has some of the best prices I've seen outside of ebay. That's a good point about the camera body, I was kind of thinking the opposite before, but your argument makes sense.

    My bad. I meant the 1.8 not the 1.4 (I would really like to have the 1.4 though....probably my next lens).

    B&H has about the best legit, new prices you'll find and I've always had great service from them. Christian photo is pretty competitive though.

    The other thing I would highly recommend is taking a photography class and/or spending some time studying photography. SLRs take great photos in 'green box' mode, but to get the most out of them, you really need to learn the fundamentals and how to use your camera's features.


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