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searching for my 1st DSLR?
I will be getting my first digital slr here soon, and I'm not totally sure on what camera I should get. i've been looking around at them, but I'm not sure yet. the cost of the camera isnt really an issue, but I'm wondering if someone could recommend some good cameras to me. which ones you believe are best? I want to make sure I get one that I will be happy with. and I will be attending college for photography so I would really like a top quality one ..

Comments (18)

Go to a "real" store and try a few of them (different brands, different models); also try a few lenses..

Http://www.flickr.com/photos/thesorus/..

Comment #1

I would talk to college you're going to attend and see what they recommend. It's possible they know of near by shops that have good used equipment that previous students have grown out of...

Comment #2

Ashley127 wrote:.

I will be getting my first digital slr here soon, and I'm not totallysure on what camera I should get. i've been looking around at them,but I'm not sure yet. the cost of the camera isnt really an issue, butim wondering if someone could recommend some good cameras to me.which ones you believe are best? I want to make sure I get one that iwill be happy with. and I will be attending college for photographyso I would really like a top quality one .

I love it when someone knows their mind. Ok, the best it is..

I would suggest a Hasselblad H3DII-39MS Multi-Shot System Digital SLR Camera and the HCD 28 with integral central lens shutter. It's a great still life camera as well and fairly light and easy to carry. Remember this is a 39 megapixel camera here. Only the very best of the best..

For quite a bit less money and a larger format, you could get the Linhof Master Technika Classic with a nice Schneider 110mm f/5.6 Super-Symmar XL Wide Angle Lens. Once digitized, this could be your super megapixel choice. This is not quite an SLR. It's single lens and you do view directly on the ground glass and right through the lens. I suppose you could add an optional right angle viewfinder and then call it an SLR. That's a bit of a reach..

If you want to get quite a bit cheaper, consider the Nikon D3 and a 24-70 f2.8 lens for starters. It's only 12 megapixels, though..

Cheers, Craig..

Comment #3

Hello,.

I really like the D50 I got for $300 on Craigslist. I *love* this camera..

I then bought a new Nikkor 35mm f/2 for another $300 from Amazon..

Nearly two weeks and 1,000 pictures later (and lost 4 pounds doing photo-yoga):.

Http://flickr.com/photos/28941600@N02/sets/72157606587540545/show/.

This is just using the Windows Photo Gallery that comes with Vista Ultimate to crop and play with colors..

The people that say to buy a cheap camera and expensive lenses are dead on, listen to them, unless you are already an SLR intermediate/expert...or have several thousand dollars to get get a D700 and pro lenses. If money is no object the D700 is smokin'.

A camera body that was $1,000 in 2005 is still incredible tech..

P.S. One more thing I forgot...if you go Nikon I would try to get only FX lenses...in 5 years I imagine full frame will be the norm. (just guessing).

MC..

Comment #4

Guidenet, your postings are usually well reasoned even if I don't agree with all of them..

It is a pity, many people use the word "best" without defining it or understanding that it has no meaning without a personal definition that can be conveyed..

I'd hate to see Ashley127 miss your good advice..

BTW I'd love to have a Linhof, a couple of Schneider's, and the accessories ..

Comment #5

Mrxdimension wrote:.

Guidenet, your postings are usually well reasoned even if I don'tagree with all of them..

It is a pity, many people use the word "best" without defining it orunderstanding that it has no meaning without a personal definitionthat can be conveyed..

I'd hate to see Ashley127 miss your good advice..

BTW I'd love to have a Linhof, a couple of Schneider's, and theaccessories .

You mean you don't think she'd like my brand of humor? Ah well. That Hassie topped $47,000 when I spec'd it out. LOL She might have really meant the "best." For photography school they might actually prefer to use more manual cameras. Who knows? She should then get an old Pentax K series with match needle metering. Come to think of it, that would be fun. My old Spotmatic has that..

Anyway yes that Linhof would be nice. We poorer guys have to live with lesser. I still have an old Graflex as well as a newer Toyo field camera when I actually use a view camera anymore. I wish I had more time. Maybe when I retire...not that long off. DOF from here to infinity..

Now when don't you agree with my well reasoned posts? I have always loved Pentax cameras. I mean it's not like owning a Sony. With those you grow green ears and have other unlikely problems, but not Pentax..

Cheers, Craig..

Comment #6

It's all about the Lens! I'll suggest a Nikon D80. This way you shall have an ability to add all the great nikon lens's to your tool chest! Buy it, learn it, you will love it!..

Comment #7

Guidenet wrote:.

Now when don't you agree with my well reasoned posts? I have alwaysloved Pentax cameras. I mean it's not like owning a Sony. With thoseyou grow green ears and have other unlikely problems, but not Pentax..

Haha, you're good. Sometimes you push Nikon a bit too hard but you admit your bias. I have my own different bias that accounts for our differences. I have Canon, Pentax, Mamiya, and Calumet. I never bought a Nikon, close but no cigar. I do appreciate their quality, especially the the film jobs built like tanks.

Sony on the other hand, I don't trust as a company because a) I see them as having an expensive lockin strategy, and b) their spyware infected cd's of a few years ago..

I think you know or guessed as much about me already...

Comment #8

Well, it does say "geek" in your profile, but I'm also one. I'm a 57 year old software guy, now manager and not half the fun..

We both have the same oppinions concerning Sony, even down to their heavy handed approach to innovation, Sony style along with Sony's XCP and Mediamax criminal activity..

Can't sleep tonight, dammit.Cheers, Craig..

Comment #9

Ashley,.

Craig is being unusually mercurial..

There is no substitute for:a) Research: read the specs and reviews.

B) Ask here where you do not understand some aspect of the specs or reviews (But do read a few more first. Things may become clearer)c) Get your hand on a few on your shortlist..

You can read detailed reviews here and at:http://www.imaging-resource.com/http://www.bythom.com/nikon.htm (Nikon only).

If you are going to study photography you will want a DSLR with decent controls and not a glorofied P & S. Check with the college. Do they recommend a particular brand? More likely they have a shortlist..

Of those availabel at the moment I suggest you look at a Canon 40D (You may find it too heavy), Nikon D80, Pentax K20D..

Be aware you are buying into a system. Nikon & Canon are the big players and have a more comprehensive array of accessories most particularly lenses..

The D80 is about to be replaced. I would expect the first D90s could be in the shops late September/early October. It will have the same IQ as the D300 and may be worth waiting for..

If money is not tight I would suggest you get a used low shutter count Nikon D50 or used or new D80 now and learn the basics on that then move up when you are clearer as to your needs. I expect there will be quite a few of boths models on Ebay very soon as their owners anticipate the arrival of the D90..

If you are serious about photography you will probably need at least two bodies long term anyway. That should proof you against disaster and allow for different lenses etc..

Chris Elliott.

*Nikon* D Eighty + Fifty - Other equipment in Profile.

Http://PlacidoD.Zenfolio.com/..

Comment #10

All of the DSLRs currently offered are very capable. Some are more feature rich, however. For example, Pentax offers a weathersealed (or weather-resistant) entry level body in the K200D. The lit lens for this particular model is very good, according to those in the Pentax forums. as well, all Pentax current Pentax models have ib-body stabilization. It also has a dust-removal system.

The viewfinders on the Pentax's are wonderful. Also, it has exposure-bracketing, for taking 3 exposure in rapid fire at + and - the recommended exposure. For more info, check out cameralabs .com, as DPReview hasn't reviewed this camera yet..

The Olympus E420/E520 are also fully featured cameras. Not weather-resisitant, but the E520 DOES have in-body stabilization. the E420 doesn't. Both of these also offer exposure-bracketing. As well, both have pixel-mapping, for if/when the camera develops 'hot' pixels. I'm not sure if any of the other entry level cams offer this.

Also, both of these cameras offer the unique-to-entry level camera option of wireless off-board flashes, the FL36R and FL50R to be exact..

As far as Nikon, as mentioned, the D80 is a very good camera, comparable to the K200D, but with out weather-sealing and Anti-Shake. Very good camera, though. If you can find a used D50, it is a capable camera. I have one. both of these cameras offer exposure-bracketing. My only advice is, avoid the 18-55 (nonVR) lens.

I have thought of getting a Sigma 18-50 2.8 to replace it. I, personally, wouldn't recommend either the D40 or D60, for they lack some nice festures, such as exposure-bracketing. They also only Auto Focus with AF-S and AF-I lenses. One very nice feature of the D60 is active D-Lighting. See the D60 review for more info..

The Canon XTi and XSi are very good cameras. I don't know very much about Canon's models, it's best to ask specific questions in the Canon forums and check the reviews here and elswhere..

I couldo on and on, but don't have the time. The best thing to do is look at the reviews, make a short list of ones you'd like to check out and go to the store. Put them in your hands, feel them. And pick the one you like. ALL of the DSLRs are very capable canmeras.Hope this helps a little.shinndigghttp://www.pbase.com/shinndigg..

Comment #11

I see 2 or 3 posts a day from folks looking for their first DSLR and want to know should I get a Canon xxx or a Nikon xxx or an Olympus xxx or a Sony xxx. So in an attempt to be proactive I decided I'd put this post up for you to read before you post the question. Now I own an Oly and say that for clarity up front. Also I have put up almost the same statements for many posts so here's to being proactive..

Ok everyone likes their camera. So if you post a I'm choosing between the Nikon XXX and the Sony XXX you will generally get more comments that say get the Nikon because there are more Nikon owners. They may be right they may be wrong, so lets cut to the chase..

The least important thing overall in the system, e.g. photographer, camera body, lens, is the camera body. ALL the DSLRs available today will take excellent images. All of them. So you have one variable which is basically a wash unless you want to count pixels, take pictures in very dark rooms without a flash, or whatever..

So we are left with the photographer and lenses. All the manufacturers make good lenses. Canon and Nikon make the most and there are more 3rd party lenses. And you will often see a posting about the "wide variety" of lenses from Nikon and Canon. But honestly how many lenses do you need? There are 32 lenses available for a 4/3 mount at my last count. I think that will cover all of my requirements with about 28 lenses left over.

All of the manufacturer make good quality lenses. However based on what I have read and experienced in the kit lens area Oly and Pentax have the best kit lens quality. There are so many other lenses that it really comes down to value. Can you get equiv quality lenses at the same prices. Generally the answer again is yes.

So in my opinion Oly/Pentax come out slightly ahead here for the kit lensesPlease note I said slightly. For everything else it's a wash..

That leaves us with the most important part of the system...the photographer. YOU have to decide what is the most comfortable system for you. Generally the Oly/Panasonic will have a lighter body and much lighter lenses. Pentax bodies are weather sealed so if you are going outdoors a good deal you may want to consider that. So many people use Canikons that you could be able to borrow lenses etc. Sony and Oly have built in image stabilization.

Does any of this matter to YOU? I don't know and nobody on these forums can make that decision. Some people like a heavier system. I don't but I don't like a really feather weight either. Are the controls where YOU want them? Does the menu make sense to YOU? Can YOU quickly change settings? How's the view finder? Is the camera comfortable for YOU to hold and control. If your 6'10 and have hands like Shak then you most likely will not be comfortable with a small camera.

The MOST important aspect in taking pictures is the PHOTOGRAPHER and his/her knowledge of his/her tools and his/her comfort in using that tool. DON'T put too much thought into the tool. Painters don't stand around admiring each others brushes. They talk technique. I've seen shots with Point and Shoots that are better then anything I can take with my fancy DSLR because the guy/gal that took them has more understanding of composition and has a better eye for what is interesting and they get the most from their tools..

Jim.

Olympus E-510 and a bunch of stuff to hang on it...

Comment #12

I can appreciate your quest for recommendations, but I think you need to conduct some more hands-on research and then come back here with more specific questions and concerns. You mention that money isn't really an issue, that you want something top-drawer, and that you want to know what we think is "best." This is all fine, but with these vague "qualifiers" you're going to get such a wide range of answers, you'll be more confused after having read this thread than before...

Comment #13

Too many good ones... I'm always surprised at my friends' choices they all have excellent reasons why they choose one brand/model over another!!!.

Yeah, go to a retail store and handle them all and see which one you like best. Then read up on the ones you like. If you are serious about photography, you may want to avoid the entry-level DSLRs which lack some important features you may need in your courses (e.g. Spot metering, Auto Bracketing, etc.)..

You are also buying into a system if you decide to buy any more lenses, flash, etc. besides what comes in the kit. A good lens can cost more than your DSLR body..

Start small: buy an affordable DSLR (one level up from the entry-level ones), an external flash with bounce head, a good tripod. Learn all you can and get to know better what you really like (and dislike) in a camera. After a few years, you'll outgrow your camera and be ready to buy a new one and know exactly what you're looking for in a camera...

Comment #14

Ashley127 wrote:.

I will be getting my first digital slr here soon, and I'm not totallysure on what camera I should get. i've been looking around at them,but I'm not sure yet. the cost of the camera isnt really an issue, butim wondering if someone could recommend some good cameras to me.which ones you believe are best? I want to make sure I get one that iwill be happy with. and I will be attending college for photographyso I would really like a top quality one .

As others have noted, there's no way anyone can pick your camera for you. Here are a few I'd look at, in order of price:.

Pentax K200DCanon XSiNikon D80Canon 40DNikon D300Canon 5DNikon D700.

ALL of them are excellent cameras. Getting good lenses is at least as important as getting a good body...

Comment #15

Guidenet wrote:.

Well, it does say "geek" in your profile, but I'm also one. I'm a 57year old software guy, now manager and not half the fun..

We both have the same oppinions concerning Sony, even down to theirheavy handed approach to innovation, Sony style along with Sony's XCPand Mediamax criminal activity..

Can't sleep tonight, dammit..

I don't have quite the years you do but I'm close enough. I've remained on the technical side. I doubt there's much difference in our thought processes. I too am not as much fun as I used to be..

My read is you kicked someone out of your office for asking a question without thinking first. Sometimes I do the same. Sometimes I regret it in hindsight..

IOW, I apologize too...

Comment #16

Maddogmd11 wrote:.

I see 2 or 3 posts a day from folks looking for their first DSLR andwant to know should I get a Canon xxx or a Nikon xxx or an Olympusxxx or a Sony xxx..

Hogwash, I am grateful for the help of the forums since I'm a noob...and am happy to return the favor with my $.02 cents even if it's worth only that. Having several different perspectives helped me a ton..

One thing I've learned about these forums: Ignore the negative people, listen to the positive people...

Comment #17

Of the best digital SLRs with less concern for cost than quality, several cameras come to mind. The D700 Nikon - Full Frame 12MP - this will be all you need for many years.Canon 5D if you want to stay with Canon lens mount Full Frame 12 MPCanon 1DsMarkIII 21 MP (but it's $8000 or something. Who needs 21MP?).

If you don't want to immediately buy into a full frame system, then the Nikon D300 or.

Fuji (Nikon lens mount) S5 - I don't know why nobody mentioned Fuji before- they have the best tonality and dynamic range or any camera. Best out of the camera images as well. (limited to APSc sensor size though)Equally important is which lenses you use.Will..

Comment #18

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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