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 Post subject: My head hurts!
PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2010 7:36 pm 
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My budget is £1000 & want a camera with movie/video recording. 70% of it's use will revolve around family/holidays & a little football/sport.

Initially I thought i'd be looking at a top end compact with a decent zoom or maybe a basic DSLR & separate lens or 2. I also want to be able to attach to a field scope (Acuter ST20-60X80)

Spent the past week reading threads & watching Gordons reviews & THINK I have decided on the Nikon D3100. (subject to a few more positive reviews) but if i'm honest i'm still a little uncertain/confused with all the info.

Ideally, I would probably just buy the body, with the 18-200 lens, which would stretch my finances a little, but at least i'd be covered for most things I'd want to photograph at present, without also paying for a smaller `kit` lens too.

Is my choice decent, or is there a better alternative camera & combination within my budget

I have some (film)SLR experience, but never used a camera with all these new electronic displaysnot so not a `serious` photographer.....yet. :lol:

This will be my first DSLR & want it to last & be able to add lenses in the future, as finances allow. (I can feel myself getting hooked already :roll: )

Thanks in advance.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2010 8:09 pm 
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Location: Pella, IA, USA
Welcome Old Carlos,

Your head hurts :)

Wait until you have the Pentax K7, Nikon D90 and 550D as your short list of under $1000 camera's and along comes the 60D which looks perfect except it's just above $1k!

My first advice is to get them in hand and get a feel for them. I like the D90 a lot but found it did not fit me as well as a Canon.

...what to do, what to do? 8)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2010 8:25 pm 
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haha, yeah what to do :lol:

I guess most folk want the `next`/latest model but i'll have to make my mind up soon!

If I go with the D3100 + the 18-200 lens, it will be around £1,100 so that takes me almost into the Canon Eos 60D & Nikon D7000 territory (albeit with shorter lenses) .....hmm :lol:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2010 8:50 pm 
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With the introduction of the 60D - why not consider a 50D since they are going to be going cheap to make shelf space for the new model. They are a great camera - the one I seriously wanted to own before I become enamored with Oly colours and glass. :wink:

The other advise I would give you is to get yourself into a proper camera store where you can actually get product in your hands. That which feels best and seems easiest to use tends to be the right one for you.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2010 9:18 pm 
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jwnrw, i'm not opposed to an older/outgoing model as long as it has `movie` recording.

I guess it's a bit like choosing your next car, narrow the options then test-drive. :wink:
I'll TRY to choose a couple of cameras I think will suit me, then take a trip to a camera store.

Thanks again.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 18, 2010 12:59 am 
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Location: Ottawa, Canada
If video is your thing, then newer models are your best bet. Personally, I get the popularity of a DSLR with video, but from a practicality perspective, I don't believe I would ever use it -- I only used video once or twice on my Canon G3 in all the years I owned it. The 3100 looks to be an interesting camera -- it is missing, however, some useful features such as auto bracketing, depth-of-field preview (although admittedly DOFp is an old school thing that many newer photographers aren't interested in) and the menu can require you to dig down quite deeply once you get past the guide mode. There aren't many direct access control buttons on the body either - but then it is an entry level camera. ymmv.

Best of luck in the store. Let us know how you get on.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 18, 2010 7:48 am 
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Not sure if this is a silly question, but in general terms, is it better to buy the best body you can afford with maybe a compromise on the lense,
or purchase the lower model down, but with a better quality lense?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 18, 2010 8:04 am 
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honestly, I'd spend most of my money on higher quality lenses.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 18, 2010 8:38 am 
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What do you think? :?

You need the best LENS you can afford, and choose the body after the lens.
If you have a budget of 10, and you want that lens that costs 7, you can buy a body of 3.

The lens is the most important thing for good IQ.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 18, 2010 4:28 pm 
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The general rule of thumb is to put your money into lenses because the notion is that at some point in time you would be looking to upgrade your body over time. The first foray into the DSLR arena, however, puts the buyer in a bit of a predicament -- especially if they are coming from a super zoom digicam. You want the lens reach you are used to, but also want the better performance and quality and output of a DSLR. So - which side does one fall on - the side of great lenses so-so body, good body, average lenses or great body and budget lenses -- or some other permeation/combination? It's a tough decision when you are spending this much money.

I would try to land on the body that you think will give you the best learning curve/meet your photography needs now and into the next 3 or 4 years. Then I would look at whether you want to live with the kit lens, budget lens or 3rd party lenses. Where Canikon are concerned, the decision, imo, is a bit easier, because there are so many excellent lenses in the marketplace - both new and used - to choose from.

The D3100 suggested by the OP seems to be an interesting entry-level DSLR -- but, like all of Nikon's entry level offerings, it is missing a couple of, what I believe to be key features. It doesn't have auto-bracketing -- one of the most used features on my e620. Nor does it have an easy-to-navigate menu system. It is also lacking somewhat in on-body direct control buttons. If you are serious about photography, then I think the D3100 will have its limitations after you get out of guide mode. Another thing to think about -- it will not be compatible with AF on older Nikkor lenses which use the older screw motor mechanism. But - if it is anything like its predecessor models - it will have an excellent AF system, be well balanced in-hand, and will have great build quality for an entry-level camera. So - this has to be balanced off with the entire "what-system-do-I-really-want-to-tie-myself-toi" argument.

Best of luck.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2010 8:42 pm 
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jwnrw
You said to let you know how I went on. Well, after endless reading, thinking & weighing everything up, i've just about decided on the..... D7000. (subject to actually holding one)

I didn't really want to limit myself with too few features and then decide fairly quickly that i'd wished i'd purchased a better body.
Hopefully i'll eventually be able to master all the controls! :lol:

Looks like my budget is gonna have to double eh, but seeing as I still have some time to wait before they're in general stock, i'll be asking for cash @ Christmas. :wink:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 7:58 am 
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Dont forget the D90 too eh! I think it's worth comparing those, the price diffrence is huge and the D90 was one of the best mid-range dSLRs.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 10:03 am 
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All fine choices. Don't know what you'd want to film, but keep in mind AF during video is crap on most DSLRs - the notable exception being Sony's A33/A55. The D7000 also offers AF during video capture, although I haven't seen how fast (or slow) it is in practice yet.

I'd also have a look at the Sony A580 - it's an excellent camera for the money (in the UK it costs about the same or only a little more than a Canon 550D/Rebel T2i at Warehouse Express). It has DoF preview, mirror lock-up, excellent high ISO, video, very good battery life (1050 shots, CIPA rating...more than twice the rated battery life of the 550D!), large buffer (22 RAWs...), fast continuous shooting speed, excellent live view with articulating LCD,...(and the same sensor as the D7000 so virtually the same image quality).

The advantages of the D7000 are in my opinion the higher continuous speed (6 fps, although it's not that much faster than 5 fps...also has a smaller buffer - about 11 RAWs) and the more sophisticated AF-system. Battery life is about the same: 1050 shots. In my experience though I have found that you can get a lot more out of it: my A350 has a 730 shots rating (same battery as the A580) but I can get twice (about 1500 shots) as many shots from it - without flash, mostly shooting in continuous/burst mode, with a screw-driven lens. Using a lens with SSM uses a little more power: it is then reduced to approximately 1400 shots.

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Last edited by Joris Van den Berghe on Wed Oct 20, 2010 7:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 10:57 am 
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BTW, I thought that the Canons could AF during video, but with the slow contrast AF, or is that only before capturing videos?
but, the AF isnt worth using (on Canons).

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Tamron 17-50 2.8, Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM,
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 6:47 pm 
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Thanks Ruben123, I haven't totally dismissed the D90, but as long as I can afford the D7000 & it feels comfortable, i'll most likely buy it.

Joris Van den Berghe, initially I quite liked the idea of `easy` picture taking with the Coolpix P7000 when contemplating a new camera, but have decided to get back into photography a bit more & quite like the idea of changing lenses & trying to be a bit more creative.

Thanks again chaps.


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