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PostPosted: Fri Dec 17, 2010 2:53 pm 
Hi,

I want to step up over my Canon Powershote SX100IS. What I don`t like is its poor quality picture at night and indoor. Basically if it`s not day time the camera only offer average quality picture. I need to always go in manual mode and play with the exposure time since I hate using the flash.

I want to step up to a DSLR because I want high quality picture.

My needs?

- indoor: in my house, during car shows, etc

- outdoor: car/bike races, general picture, scenic, etc.

- night: I like taking picture at night but I want minimal noise in the picture.

- Zoom: Very close range to Long range. I will buy the lense I need if I need to in the future.

- Megapixels: I want to have enough quality so I can print relatively big picture to frame it.

- video: I just use it once in a while but a 1080P is appreciated with a good sound quality. I don`t need a beast like the new Sony auto focus. I want to focus on the picture quality and not really video capability. I`m not buying a DSLR to video record all the time, but I want it to be there with a good resolution so I can only carry one machine if I go somewhere. Also, I`m the type of guy that will keep that DSLR as long as it`s working. I don`t upgrade just for the fun of it. I rather buy something good once and keep it as long as I can.

- Budget: With my needs I figure out that I`m targetting a mid-level DSLR. Pro are way too big. entry are borderline.

- Brands: that`s where I have a hard time. My last two were canons point and shoot. I`m disappointed a bit with their quality. I was looking at Nikon since I know they are a great company in photography. I`ll be nervous buying a Pentax, Sony, Panasonic, etc...

- I was looking at the Nikon D5000 or D7000. The D5000 looks pretty close to the D3100. should I wait for the new D5000 to come out? I`m really not sure. Any other thoughts?, Model? etc...

What`s your thought ?

Thanks

-Dave


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 17, 2010 4:03 pm 
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Hi Dave,

May I wish you a warm welcome to the CameraLabs forum.

I read the reviews just like everyone else (I don't do 'em!) but I think you may be missing out if you don't at least consider cameras from Sony, Panasonic or Olympus. Sony have built very successfully on the Minolta lineage with their Alpha bodies as well as producing a remarkable new system with the NEX line while Panasonic and Olympus are also breaking new ground with micro four-thirds. Olympus has a long history in the camera and optics market and Panasonic have teamed up with Leica to produce some Leica branded lenses, a name still held in some reverence by many including myself.

Talking of lenses, don't think of them as an afterthought. Together with it's large sensor an interchangeable lens is what gives a DSLR or EVIL camera its big advantage and if you have specific requirements then the kit lens that comes with a camera may not be up to the job. Certainly for low light work without a flash a brighter (lower f-number) fixed focal length lens might prove a good investment in conjunction with the kit zoom. Such lenses aren't particularly cheap (e.g. the 20mm f1.7 Lumix G Micro Pancake which has a 35mm camera field of view equivalent to a 40mm lens) but an f/1.7 lens allows about four times as much light through to the sensor as an f/3.5 lens would at the same focal length.

So while a D7000 may well prove to be the camera for you don't forget to have a close look at some of the alternatives. Just to pick a couple from many possible choices the Lumix GF2 or Sony NEX may not look physically imposing but they are serious bits of kit. Note that I'm not offering these as recommendations and it may be that they won't do the job you want when you start drilling down into the specifications and/or reviews or, indeed, the available lenses. Having, I hope, not confused the issue too much I'll hand over to members who actually have experience with any of the cameras that may fit your criteria... 8)

Bob.

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Olympus OM-D E-M1 + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8, Lumix 7-14mm f/4, Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH, M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8, M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8.
Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 17, 2010 4:11 pm 
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I agree with Bob...I'd recommend considering all brands, assuming they are all available where you live - excellent cameras are being made by Canon, Nikon, Sony, Pentax, Olympus, Panasonic...all worthy of consideration. Worry more about features you want, feel of the cameras in your hand, and price...the rest will fall into place.

If you want smaller cameras, certainly the micro 4/3 and Sony NEX systems are worth a look - nearly as capable as DSLRs, but with much smaller form factors and different approaches, they might suit you well. Or, you can go to DSLRs that are smaller, such as the Sony A33/55 or the Pentax KX. Both are excellent at higher ISOs, have fast frame rates, and are capable across the board, plus accept normal SLR lenses with good used lens availability and stabilization built into the body for both.

If willing to go a little larger, the Canon T2, Nikon D3100 or D5000, Sony A580, or Pentax KR all might be worth a look - larger bodies with more control buttons and traditional DSLR functionality - all with basic video capabilities, btu are still cameras first-and-foremost.

The D7000 looks like a strong camera, if you don't mind the budget...the Canon 7D also might be worth a look or the 60D, if you don't mind spending a bit more.

But honestly, even the more basic entry-level DSLRs can easily handle all of your needs, and give you plenty of room to grow. DSLRs are all going to focus much faster, shoot faster, have less lag, can change lenses, can shoot at much higher ISOs without bad noise, and have excellent resolution off large sensors with plenty of room to crop.

_________________
Justin Miller
Sony DSLR-A580 / Sony 18-250mm / Minolta 50mm F1.7 / Sigma 30mm F1.4 / Tamron 10-24mm / Tamron 150-600mm / Tamron 90mm F2.8 macro / Minolta 300mm F4 APO
Sony A6000 / 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 / 55-210mm F4-6.3 / 10-18mm F4 / 35mm F1.8 / 16mm F2.8 / via manual adapter, lots of Pentax K mount, Konica K/AR mount, and Leica M mount manual lenses

Galleries:
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 17, 2010 11:21 pm 
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Dave,

I don't think you should ignore the canon range because you had a bad experience with a P&S. P&S's never produce very good image quality (unless you spend ALOT of money on them) and I am sure your canon one was no worse than a nikon, sony ect one of the same price range.

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Accessories: Manfrotto 055XPROB with 808RC4 head, Canon 430ex II speedlite, Lowepro Nova 180AW and Lowepro Pro Runner 450AW


Oh that is so lame, every hot girl who can aim a camera thinks she’s a photographer -Stewie Griffin


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 18, 2010 1:04 am 
The thing I`m struggling the most is what is truely the difference between the Nikon D3100, D5000 and D7000. I look at all the review and they look very very similar.

I never really learn anything about photography. I know the longer you expose, the better the quality is (if you don`t move). Highest the ISO is the more sensitive it is and higher risk of noise as well.

I don't fully understand the difference between the Base D3100, the mid D5000 and the semi-pro D7000. Also not to forget the D90. I`m lost!!! :D

What make those worth a couple of hundred bucks more than their more basic counter part?


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 18, 2010 5:17 am 
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Nowadays, many cameras are very close in potential image quality - similar at higher ISO too. With cameras often using the same sensor between entry, mid, and high level cameras, that's not too much of a surprise. Canon's T2, 60D, and 7D are basically using a similar or same sensor. Nikon's D3100, 5000, and 7000 aren't drastically different in their IQ from eachother...most of the time, the price differences come down to features, speed, and build. You pay more for the higher end cameras to get more controls, better handling, faster frame rates and focus, better build quality, magnesium bodies, weatherproofing, in-body focus motors, etc. Nikon's 3100 image quality is quite good, but the features are stripped down a bit - for example, no in-body focus motor. D5000 also doesn't have the focus motor, but may add a few features, or increase speed of burst modes, for example.

Only in my opinion the Canon T1, Sony A290/390, and the Nikon D3000 were behind in image quality compared to their mid-level lines...starting with the Canon T2, Sony A500/550, and Nikon D3100, the image quality begins to close up and be potentially as good as the higher end cameras, but just not as good a build or as many features or slightly slower performance compared to the mid-enthusiast-level cameras.

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Justin Miller
Sony DSLR-A580 / Sony 18-250mm / Minolta 50mm F1.7 / Sigma 30mm F1.4 / Tamron 10-24mm / Tamron 150-600mm / Tamron 90mm F2.8 macro / Minolta 300mm F4 APO
Sony A6000 / 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 / 55-210mm F4-6.3 / 10-18mm F4 / 35mm F1.8 / 16mm F2.8 / via manual adapter, lots of Pentax K mount, Konica K/AR mount, and Leica M mount manual lenses

Galleries:
http://www.pbase.com/zackiedawg


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 18, 2010 11:17 am 
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Hi Dave,

I think you might enjoy our sister site DSLT Tips. Very accessible tutorials and knowing a bit about some of the techniques may help inform your choice of camera.

Bob.

_________________
Olympus OM-D E-M1 + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8, Lumix 7-14mm f/4, Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH, M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8, M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8.
Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 18, 2010 12:41 pm 
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From what I've read, the Pentax K-r is among the best for low light for low/mid range cameras. Pentax cameras tend to be great value too.

For a few more $, there's the Pentax K5, which got a gold award at another well-known website yesterday.

Also, I think Canon are a close 2nd in low-light. Don't discount Canon because of your P&S experience. All P&S fail in low-light, but Canon & Panasonic are generally regarded as the best.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 18, 2010 12:54 pm 
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Thanks, kimchi, for the circumspection but as DPReview are no longer blocking links back to us and as Pentax show no sign of wanting to get their cameras into Gordon's hands for review (makes me wonder if they are really to be taken seriously in their marketing) I'll provide the link you omitted - Pentax K-5 In-depth Review. Of course having a great body doesn't always equate to being totally magnificent. No titters, thank you: I'm referring to the lenses. The price and optical performance of any lenses that might be needed, either from Pentax or from third party manufacturers, needs to be taken into account.

Bob.

_________________
Olympus OM-D E-M1 + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8, Lumix 7-14mm f/4, Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH, M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8, M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8.
Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 18, 2010 4:35 pm 
Hi daver6,

one thing to consider: choosing the largest players in the market, means that there are a lot more people selling perfectly fine equipment on ebay and craigslist at any given time.

This can lead to significant savings if you are careful with your purchases.

Good luck with your choices!

and one last thing: never wait for the next new model/upgrade to come out. The camera and the lens contributes very little to the image, compared to what you as a photographer do.

If your desire is "good pictures", you getting practice is far more important than the camera itself.

Cheers :-)


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 18, 2010 5:18 pm 
Lots of good advice -- my 2 cents would be that, the three Nikon models you are considering are vastly different cameras (IQ similarities aside). Yes, these vast differences are in feature sets, but the D7000 is so much more camera than either of the other two. In fact, as you look at prices now -- you can get a D5000 for the same price as a D3100 with current Christmas promotions. The main beef I have with the entry level Nikons is handling -- and the lack of direct access/control buttons. Although the D3100 looks to be breaking this mold a tad -- it's still a very menu-driven interface biased towards newbies to DLSR photography. If you think you can live with that, and the fact that you would be unable to engage the AF of older lenses, it is not a bad camera which is solidly built.

Canon entry level DSLRs, on the other hand, tend to have a more complete feature set from a photographer's perspective, but have always felt more cheaply built to me.

Then there are the new Sonys which look to be very good indeed.

There is a lot to work through -- best of luck. Let us know how you are progressing.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 18, 2010 5:54 pm 
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If you want to go Nikon, dont forget the D90! It's better than either the D5000 and D3100.

Please also think about other manufractors.

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Panasonic DMC-FZ18, Panasonic DMC-FZ28, Canon G5, Canon 350D, Canon 50D + BG-E2N
Tamron 17-50 2.8, Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM,
Canon 18-55 II plus lots of Minolta MD/M42 lenses and bodies


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 12:14 am 
Ruben is quite right about the D90 -- a very good sensor, good autofocus and low-light capabilities. Going at just below what the D5000 was priced at when it first entered the marketplace.

But that new array on the D7000 makes it very, very tempting indeed.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2010 3:54 am 
Thanks guys. I was not expected so many good replies. It show that you guys are willing to help new people like me and your ideas are very helpful.

I will certainly let you guys know what my choice will be. I will let the holiday goes by and thinks about it.

Thank you again!


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2010 2:39 pm 
If you have the $$ to spend --- the boxing-day sales should have some interesting pricing on these cameras.


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