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PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2011 8:59 pm 
Hi,

I am looking at purchasing my first DSLR camera but don't want to break the bank at the same time.

I spend a lot of time doing freestyle snowboarding at my local indoor ski slope so have an interest in sports photography. So therefore want something that can take good quality photos with a relatively high shutter speed, but also has the capabilities of taking good still photos of architecture as this is another keen interest of mine.

Any help would be much appreciated, as i dont know whether to look at a second hand camera or a brand new one.

My budget initially is about £500-600 for the full set up (Shell, Lens, Memory card and case) but this can be increased if needs be.

Chris


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2011 9:28 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2011 5:03 pm
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Location: London, United Kingdom
I can't tell you about cameras I haven't used. But I would recommend Sony A580. I've been using it for a week or so, and I tottaly love it. ISO performance is really good and 7fps is ideal for sport photography. I was thinking about D5100, but it had 4fps and it wasn't fast enough for me. Sony is cheaper and you get more, in my opinion. Nikon has more lenses available, but with Minolta lenses available Sony isn't far.
I was taking pictures of my dog running around and pictures was sharp.
But everyone knows best way is go to store and see which camera works for you.

Good luck! 8)

_________________
Sony α580 | 18-55mm | 50mm F1.8 | 70-200 F2.8 |


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2011 9:35 pm 
As you have already realised, you have the choice between an entry level body and lens, or a more advanced body and lens but second hand.

The new option comes with better image quality, and the SH option comes with better usability and possibly a more interesting lens, like a fixed 2.8 or something, which you could achieve possibly more "professional" looking images.

Id get the new option tbh, with an 18-55mm lens. With this you can see what you need in a new body or lens and upgrade later down the line when you know more what you want.

You cant really go wrong with any recent entry level DSLR. Go into a store and feel which one feels best in your hands.

On a last point, and I know Im going to upset a few people by saying this, but Id seriously recommend against buying outside of Canon or Nikon. Considering you are a beginner, the levels of support online around the CaNikon systems are exponentially greater than with other systems. Also, accessories are more readily available, there are better lens collections, better used dealers around. I could go on.

Jeremy


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2011 9:49 pm 
Thanks for the quick responses, as I am a total beginner I'm taking every bit of advice anyone gives me seriously.

Iv been looking around at a couple of entry level DSLR's including Canon EOS 1100d, would you recommend this or are there better options for a similar price?

I totally agree with going into a store and having go with various models to see what I'm after. I just wanting a bit of a starting point so that I don't pick something that wont help me to progress and get the most out of the camera itself.

Thanks once again

Chris


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2011 10:41 pm 
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Posts: 169
imho probably best going nikon because the used market has more options so may be cheaper, for your price range a used d90 would probably be best body, but would leave little money for a lens, a 70-200 2.8 would cost £500 on its own. i would get the used 70-200 and somet like a d80 (never used one though) and upgrade the body later, its more important to have better lenses than a great camera body


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2011 10:42 pm 
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your snowboarding is indoors so a wide aperture lens is a must


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2011 12:15 pm 
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Location: NW England
CL619

Calumet are in your area (M12 6HH) they may be a good place to check out a few bodies & lenses. http://www.calumetphoto.co.uk/eng/brows ... ands/nikon

Agree with stephen.rooke, get the best/brightest lens you can afford, the body is secondary.

_________________
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: Mon Sep 05, 2011 12:38 pm 
My advice to you would be to first decide what minimum camera and lens features your going to want to take the photos you'll want to straight away. From there you'll be able to build a system that will evolve

I'd support the CANIKON argument as your more likely to build into a better system. (see http://www.cameralabs.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=28085&highlight=)

Before asking "what brand should I be looking at?" I'd suggest:

What budget DSLR set up for taking indoor snowboarding pictures?

Canon's 50mm f1.8 might be a good option as a starting point lens as its fast, cheap and has a good reputation. Not sure on how good its auto focus is though.

You'll want a decent flash too for indoor snowboarding. Have a look at this post (http://www.cameralabs.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=28005&highlight=) for a discussion that's probably pretty relevant

I know this isnt a straight forward answer

sorry

:?


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2011 3:34 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 5:23 pm
Posts: 820
Location: Boca Raton, FL, USA
I'd encourage strongly to consider all 4 major DSLR brands to give yourself the widest selection of features, bodies, and styles to find the one that will work best for you - Canon and Nikon are fine choices, as are Sony and Pentax - and sometimes the smaller brands offer you more features for the money or unique abilities the other cameras simply cannot do - those particular features or abilities could be an absolute godsend for you or your needs, and make you a much better and more capable photographer. Lens selection is hugely important here too, so consider what lens you need for the type of shooting you'll be doing - how much focal length you need (wide or long) and a fast enough aperture to deal with the action.

Nothing wrong with the other opinions above - everyone's entitled to them. Mine differs, so I'll offer it - sticking with Canon or Nikon exclusively robs you of a good cross shopping experience and could end up causing you to miss out on the camera that would have been perfect for you, or a key ability you won't get. If you want to ascend to the professional career photographer realm in short order, that's something to weigh in the decision - when you're spending $20,000 - 50,000 on camera gear, Canon and Nikon will offer you better support. But until then, or if your aspirations are not that high anytime soon (sounds this way based on your budget), Sony and Pentax can offer you unique capabilities and features for the money.

_________________
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: Mon Sep 05, 2011 8:52 pm 
Hi thanks for the replies,

I nipped into my local Jessops tonight just to have a chat and have a look at various cameras. The two main ones I looked at were the Canon EOS 550D and the Pentax K-R.

I really liked both cameras but am still unsure about which one to buy as they both seemed a viable option for me. The Pentax is looking like a more cost affective option as I would be able to afford the camera and 2 lenses for a lower price than the Canon, and it offers a higher frame rate for taking the snowboarding photos but I'm concerned that there might not be the available lenses that I might require in the future. Would any of you recommend the Pentax or would it be worth spending the extra £200ish on the Canon?

Once again any help would be much appreciated.

Chris


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2011 9:24 pm 
Chris - The advice to go with Canon or Nikon is very understandable, as both make excellent products and have wide ranges of bodies and lenses at varying prices, to choose from.

Pentax makes a very small range of bodies - at present just the K-R entry-midrange, and the K-5 upper-midrange, in DSLRs. The K-5 is Weather-Resistant, the K-R isn't.

If you're working to a strict budget, the K-R gives a lot of features and functions for the price. There is a new model due out shortly, so there will be some good deals on K-Rs.

Pentax has an advantage in that the modern digital-body cameras are compatible with a huge range of Pentax and third-party K-mount lenses going back many years into the Film-SLR era - that is, they fit the current bodies without adaptors or modifications. Some will be semi-manual, others fully manual, but some very good optics are available at quite modest prices. (Even earlier M42 Asahi-Pentax / Takumar, etc, lenses - can be used with an M42 adaptor.)

Pentax DSLRs have the Shake-Reduction built-into the camera body - so every lens fitted - from modern to very old - has Shake-Reduction. (As also with Sony.)

Lenses for Canons and Nikons are of very good quality - but as their camera bodies don't have Shake-Reduction, users have the choice of "standard" lenses without Shake-Reduction, and the pricier versions with it built into the lens.

From the "£" symbol I'm guessing that you're in the UK. You might be able to find a K-R with a better 2-lens kit than the "usual" 18-55mm and 50-200mm - there is a kit with the L (kit version, but same optics as the ED version) Pentax 55-300mm. That's a prosumer optics quality lens, and a bargain if you can get it in a kit.

It isn't a "fast sports" lens - but folk do use it for sports with good results. The "kit" 50-200mm is much less suited to that.

If you were going to "make the investments needed" for pro-level sports photography - Nikon is said to be best for that - but as with anything of such high-end quality, certainly isn't bargain-basement in pricing...

Regards, Dave.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2011 9:36 pm 
Hi Dave, thanks for the response, when I was in Jessops the assistant brought out a Tamron 70-300mm F4/5.6 DI LD Macro Lens when i was looking at the Pentax K-R as he advised that as a second lens for my needs. Is that an ok lens or would you stick with the one you suggested in your previous post?

I'm still unsure about going for the Pentax but it seems the more viable option for me at the moment. If not may have to leave it a month or so to gain the extra cash to fund the 550D.

Chris


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2011 11:34 pm 
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Posts: 169
ive got a tamron 70-300 macro, don't now if its the same version but it suffers from colour abberation and a lack of sharpness. mine only costs £100 new so cant complain too much its good for beginners wanting to improve there composition skills.

jessops will try and sell you anthing made by tamron though, theve got commercial arrangements with them. the upmarket tamrons are supposed to be good lenses though


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 5:21 am 
Chris - From what I've read of that Tamron, Stephen, who has one, says about the same as the reviews do - so it seems to be an "avoidable".

When I mentioned the Pentax 55-300mm as a "kit lens" - as available in the US and sometimes in the UK - is because that's a way to get good midrange - not "entry consumer" level optics in an up-to-300mm zoom lens.

There are 2 versions of the Pentax 55-300mm - the "DA L" one - which has a plastic mount, no Quick-Shift (to MF), and comes without a hood. It's only available new as a kit-lens in a the US, and sometimes EU. We can't get it new in Australia at all.

The other version is the "DA ED" - which has a metal mount, Quick-Shift, and comes with a hood. In Sydney it costs AUD$670.00 (AUD is about equal to USD at present.)

In the Pentax forum Lens Database - well worth a look through, you don't have to join the forum to see the Database - that lens rates as "best prosumer value for money" for a to-300mm zoom lens. And user reports on it are pretty good.

However, you're working to a budget, and a 55-300mm ED version would make a big hole in it if you can't find the L in a kit offer.

Kinder to the budget, if not quite as highly rated, is the Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 APO DG Macro. (Not the cheaper non-APO one.)

Others will likely have more suggestions on 250-300mm zoom lenses.

Depending on where you're buying, you might be able to do an "upgrade" or alternative-kit lens, instead of the 18-55mm f/3.6-5.6 - and consider another basic lens which costs little more than the std 18-55mm, the Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 DC MAC.

You like doing buildings and architecture - so 17mm is a bit wider than 18mm at the wide-end - and 70mm is a bit more tele at the long end. It also starts at a wider f/2.8 aperture than the kit len's f/3.5 - so would be better for indoors, building interiors, and other lower-light scenes.

That isn't by any means a high-end lens - but users do get and show some very good results with it. Also - unlike the kit lens - it has a Macro setting for the fine-details of things. At the price ($339.00 here in Sydney) - it isn't a dedicated 1:1 macro lens - I quote the site "...Minimum focusing distance of 20cm, maximum magnification of 1:2.3...."

You really need some more midrange and up lenses to fully cover your needs, but such aren't in-budget at present...

I know the feeling - I'm "between cameras" - well, DSLRS - at present. I hope the snatch-and-grab kid is enjoying his very-second-hand (if in very neat condition) - K200D - I bought a while back as a learn-into-DSLR camera... Well - only $300.00 - and the lens on it was a scruffy Sigma 28-80mm. Just a nasty feeling about it....

But the K200 taught me enough to know what I now want - so, second-hand, low-actuations, Pentax K-7 coming up when finances allow...

Regards, Dave.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 12:57 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2009 1:16 am
Posts: 237
oldwarbler wrote:
Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 DC MAC

This lens has been discontinued. There's a new version, the Sigma 17-70mm f2.8-4.0 DC Macro OS HSM. I just posted a bunch of photos that I took with that lens in this thread if you'd like a preview.

_________________
Body: Canon Rebel XS, Canon EOS 7D
Lenses: Sigma 17-70mm f2.8-4.0 OS HSM DC Macro, Canon EF-S 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 IS II, Canon EF 50mm f1.8 II, Canon EF-S 10-22mm f3.5-4.5 USM, Canon EF 85mm f1.8 II USM


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