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PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 10:27 pm 
Hi there, another newbie looking for advice please.

I'm about to buy my first DSLR and have pretty much decided on the 550D, subject to giving it a good try out in a shop. I've looked at the 60D and Nikon D5000 as well as I like the flip out screens, but with a budget of £1000 (including memory and spare battery) I've plumped for the 550D body and 17-85 f4/5.6 IS USM lens. Easy.

But - is there anything else I should consider, like the Sony A33 or A55 say? I wanted to stick with one of the big two brands just for the sake of it being easier to get bits but I'm open to suggestions.

I mostly take macro wildlife and landscape stuff (if I go Canon the 100mm Macro would be my next purchase) and the link in my sig goes to my Flickr page so you can see the sort of thing I like. Currently I'm using a Fuji S9600 and although I like it I feel I'm getting towards its limits now.

So, do you have any other cameras I should consider before I go ahead? I'll give all of them a feel in the shop first, but that aside what else should I look at?

Thanks for your advice, and for reading this far. :D


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 10:29 pm 
Consider finding a 50D, with it's semi-pro build it might suit you better in doing wild-life shoots, as it is better at shrugging off bad weather/knocks :)


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 10:37 pm 
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and nikon d90 is also a great camera for roughly the same price now as 550d

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2011 1:09 am 
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Location: Boca Raton, FL, USA
It's absolutely worth looking at competitive options from other brands - Pentax, Sony, and Olympus all worth seeing what's out and what you like the look and feel of.

There are some price competitive cameras like Pentax's KX and KR which pack a lot of customization menus and features in for the buck, and have in-body stabilization and good backwards compatibility with all past Pentax lenses. They have in-camera HDR, and fast 4.7fps shooting.

There are some unique feature sets like in Sony's A500/550/580 that have the only quick live view systems with tilt screens that can focus and shoot with phase-detect AF and no delay in live view or viewfinder mode, in body stabilization, built-in HDR, and both a 5fps burst mode with focus or a 7fps speed mode with fixed focus. And Sony cameras have backwards compatibility with Minolta AF lenses from the mid-1980s on, all stabilized. And Sony'a A33 & A55 are interesting hybrid electronic viewfinder fixed-mirror systems that have incredibly fast 10fps shooting with AF, and more compact bodies.

Olympus has some compact bodies with built-in stabilization as well, as well as their Pen compact interchangeable lens systems.

No reason not to consider all the choices before you buy - you never know what ends up being the perfect camera for your needs and budget. It may end up being Canon...or Nikon...or Pentax, Sony, or Olympus. They're all quite good! I ended up going with the A550 Sony mostly after handling the camera, liking the feel and size in my hands, and liking a few key selling features like the in-body stabilization and quick AF live view and tilt screen. I do much wildlife and bird photography, and the selection of third-party lenses (Sigma, Tamron) was good and the legacy Minolta lenses like their APO primes are superb and quite a bargain compared to the equivalent from the big two. Sony makes the sensors in the Pentax and Nikon models too, and the A550 shares the same one in the Nikon D5000, D90, and Pentax KX. The A580 shares the great new sensor also in the Nikon D7000 and Pentax K5.

But no matter which one you pick, you'll have a fine tool - you just need to grow comfortable with it, learn how to get the most out of it, and get the best lenses for it.

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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

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2011 4:17 pm 
+1 on all previous posts.

In particular, as Justin notes - the options are multitudinous -- but the down side of that is that you can get bogged down in camera specs, IQ (or rather perceived IQ), etc.

Finally -- if the camera feels right in your hands -- it's likely the right one for you.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2011 6:29 pm 
Thanks for the replies. I think I'll head to the shop with an open mind but it looks like I prefer the 550D and better lens on paper. I can't stretch to a 50D alas, and I really shouldn't have tried the 7D I played with briefly this afternoon. I want one of those now. :roll:

As a related question, I've just got Elements 9 for processing duties. I take it that the RAW formats of all current DSLRs are compatible with it? I'm sure I read somewhere that some Canons didn't work with it.

Thanks again for your advice.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2011 8:07 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 3:52 pm
Posts: 2175
Location: The Netherlands
The 50D's cheaper than the 550D.

Was though, it isnt sold anymore here.

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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: Wed Jan 19, 2011 8:52 pm 
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Location: NW England
Don't know your location, but if here in the UK you could also maybe consider the D7000? You can now pick one up with the 18-105 vr lens & memory card, for around £1,100

If you NEED the better weather proofing, the D300s (body only though) can be bought for almost £1000.

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Image btw,He who dies with the most toys, WINS!
Nikon D800E & D700 bodies + Nikon 200-400mm F4 VR1, 50mm F1.4G, 16-35mm f/4G VR, 105 F2.8 VR macro, 70-300mm lenses. A couple of filters, Giotto tripod & ballhead. Lowepro Slingshot 302 AW
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2011 9:19 pm 
Ruben, I can't find a 50D cheaper than the 550D here in the UK but I'll keep looking.

I really can't stretch to the D7000 or D300s, I've got a grand to spend including all the other odds and sods (spare battery, memory, circ pol.). Unless someone can point me towards a cheap UK source please?


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2011 10:06 pm 
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Location: NW England
Hi benley. Link for a D7000 kit from a reputable Co. http://www.wilkinson.co.uk/store/produc ... 266&page=1 If you shop around you could possibly save a bit more.
Do you NEED a spare battery straight away?

Jessops have a twin lens kit with the D90. http://www.jessops.com/online.store/pro ... /show.html

_________________
Image btw,He who dies with the most toys, WINS!
Nikon D800E & D700 bodies + Nikon 200-400mm F4 VR1, 50mm F1.4G, 16-35mm f/4G VR, 105 F2.8 VR macro, 70-300mm lenses. A couple of filters, Giotto tripod & ballhead. Lowepro Slingshot 302 AW
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2011 10:59 pm 
That D90 package is very tempting, thanks oldCarlos. And they've got it in my local store as well :D

I was a bit put off of the D90 as it's been around for a while now, is it not a bit out of date? I assumed the 550D would be a bit more 'future friendly'.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 1:12 am 
Quote:
I assumed the 550D would be a bit more 'future friendly'.


That would be the 60D. Do yourself a favor and get one in-hand and play with it for awhile.

...the 50D and D90 are fine cameras but so is the 60D.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 1:17 am 
To be honest -- no sooner than you buy a new camera, within 6 months, a new one will come out that trumps it. That's the nature of technology nowadays.

The D90 is a mid-range camera and vastly superior, imo to the 550D which is still entry level -- albeit a higher end of the entry level market. I don't know if the Tamron telephoto zoom is stabilized. The 18-55VR is only a so-so lens. The 18-105 VR is a far better lens.

With the D90 you will be able to use any Nikon AF lens. The sensor is one of the better sensors around for the money these days, imo. ymmv. Two reasons I would buy the D90 over the 550D are simple:
1. top-mounted LCD.
2. dual-wheel control (i.e. front and back) for shutter and aperture.

For my hands, the Canon simply feels cheap, although the video is a stronger implementation than on the D90. The Canon sw bundle is pretty solid - Nikon has never had a great reputation for their included sw.

Now -- if you were comparing a 50D and a D90 -- then they are both very close indeed. Since you aren't -- I'd be looking to the kit at Jessops.

However - don't buy until you actually handle the camera and get a sense for the user interface, etc. The camera that feels right in your hands is the one you will use the most.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 5:42 pm 
Alright, thanks again for the replies. I'm off to try them all out tomorrow, assuming everything is in stock. Jwnrw, what do you mean by sw bundle, software?

In a complete about face, the D90 is now looking favourite, depending on the taste test tomorrow. :lol:


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 1:17 am 
Yup -- sw=software. Canon has always done a good job with their bundle, Nikon less so. But in the end, there are plenty of free options around as well anyway.


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