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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2012 4:54 pm 
Hi Folks,

I am new to the forum so first of all i would like to say hello to every one of you :D okay now the serious bit, i am currently in the market for my first DSLR i currently use a Panasonic Lumix TZ-7 which has been a great starter camera for me but now i am ready to move into the world of 'new shooting'! i tend to take pictures of Landscapes, waterfalls, streams, nature, flowers, trees, wildlife that kind of thing and i have been impressed with the shots i have taken with my Lumix. I don't have a budget as such and i have been keen on the Canon range in my local Jessop's the look and feel of the camera's feel really solid in the hand, in particular the 550D and the 7D (body only) a couple of questions to ask :-

1. Will these particular camera's justify the price tag for what i use my camera for?

2. Is it better to buy a cheaper body and buy a separate quality lens? (550D with a 24-70mm lens?)

3. Which lens would be most suitable for everyday pictures? (An all-rounder?)

4. Any other brand's that are better than the named above for less money?

I really appreciate all your advice to a complete beginner.

Thank You :)


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2012 8:29 pm 
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Welcome aboard!

To answer your questions.

1) Only you can answer that. If it's a hobby that you take very seriously and you use the camera regularly then perhaps the price tag is justified.

2) Again, no size fits all. An L lens as in your example will help you get the best out of an entry level body but depending on your subject matter, there can be specific reasons to get for a more expensive body. However, the subject matter you've cited sounds like a 550D and a 24-70mm will do pretty well though 24mm isn't that wide an angle on a crop-sensor body for landscape photography.

3) That's almost the $64,000 question. The ideal all-rounder would offer a wide focal range and sharp image quality when zoomed in and out but those two qualities are almost mutually exclusive so a compromise is needed. Canon's 15-85mm has a wider range than the kit lens and its image quality is arguably superior at both the wide angle and when fully zoomed in. The Canon 18-200mm and Sigma's 28-300mm lenses offer huge flexibility with a sizeable focal range but both suffer noticeable distortion.

4) "Better" can be a highly subjective way to describe how one brand stacks up against another. What's better for you is far more important. Buying into a brand should be incidental and based partly on your ergonomic preferences. Maybe you should check the alternatives offered by Nikon, Sony or even Pentax if possible and handle them in a CE/photography store?

_________________
DSLRs: Canon EOS 70D, 30D
Lenses: Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM, EF 50mm f/1.8 II, EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 1:03 am 
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I'll give short answers. Maybe not the ultimate ones as they are (as mentioned before) short but it's what I think.

anditsinthere wrote:
1. Will these particular camera's justify the price tag for what i use my camera for?

If you use them the right way: yes.

Quote:
2. Is it better to buy a cheaper body and buy a separate quality lens? (550D with a 24-70mm lens?)

Yes.

Quote:
3. Which lens would be most suitable for everyday pictures? (An all-rounder?)

If I had to get just one "all-rounder" lens I guess I'd go for the Tamron 18-270mm superzoom lens. There are besser lenses in terms of sharpness and light getting through but still it's one of the most versatile ones.

Quote:
4. Any other brand's that are better than the named above for less money?

Pentax. The K-5 has one of the best sensors out there, it's fast, weather sealed, has built-in image stabilization that works with any lens (old lenses / big aperture primes etc.). It's a rival to the EOS 7D or Nikon D300s - but you pay less for it. (You can find third party lenses from Sigma and Tamron for Pentax cameras as well and Pentax lenses are pretty damn good. And you can hardly find pancakier pancake lenses anywhere else.)

_________________
Canon EOS 500D + Canon EOS 5D Mark III + Canon EOS 33v
Canon EF 28-80mm 3.5-5.6 USM + EF 24-105mm 4L IS USM + EF 100-400mm 4.5-5.6L IS USM + EF 50mm 1.8 II + EF 100mm 2.8L Macro IS USM + Sigma 12-24mm 4.5-5.6 EX DG HSM + Canon Speedlite 580 EX II + Nissin Speedlite Di 466


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 6:02 am 
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Welcome to the forums! Hopefully this will help you out a bit...


1. Yes, just about any camera will work fine if you know what you're doing. Read some photo books or take a few courses, and you'll be able to take great shots with any body. What DSLRs offer you is more control over your images, and an overall better quality. However, 90% of what makes the shot is the photographer, the camera's only a tool. This video and this video really help highlight why it's important to have both photography skill and passion, and how little good gear can do for you if you have neither. Also keep in ming that when it comes to gear, generally the lens plays a bigger role in the final image than the camera.


2. As I mentioned earlier, the lens plays a bigger role in your image than the body. A sharp lens makes the final image much more pleasing than an expensive body. While a good photographer can make a good picture with any camera like I said before, if you want to maximize that extra quality that a DSLR offers over a point and shoot camera, invest in a good lens as opposed to an extremely expensive body. A good rule of thumb is to spend at least ~50% of what you paid for the camera on quality lenses, but of course, spending more will always get you that sharper, better made lens. This is another video to check out.


3. What you'd be looking at for a lens that suits almost all occasions would be a super-zoom lens. However, you'd lose the optical quality that a lens with a shorter focal length or a prime lens with a foxed focal length would offer. Rorschach put it well; the 15-85 is a nice, sharp lens that gives you more flexibility than a kit lens, however not that much versatility. Something like an 18-200 would give you that versatility, but would suffer from a loss of optical quality throughout the range, especially at the longer ends. I'd take a look at the 15-85, coupled with a fast 50mm prime, and a 70-200 f/4 as your telephoto. If you have a healthy budget though, springing for a 24-105 or 24-70 would always be a good choice, but you'll lose lots of range at the wider end. For wide angles, the Tokina 11-16 is a great piece of kit.


4. Nikon's pretty much comparable, they seem to range around the same price as Canon's equivalents, give or take $100. What should really be the deciding factor, is how comfortable each one feels in your hands. Ergonomics are entirely a personal thing, so it's difficult to comment on what would be the best for you. Try out the 550/600D and D5100, or the 60D and D7000. Whichever one feels better in the hands should be the one you decide on. Also take a look at the K5, as Jiko mentioned. It's great quality for a very reasonable price, the only disadvantage is that Pentax has a smaller lens collection compared to the big two (Nikon and Canon), and while it's relatively inexpensive to change bodies, changing your lens collection can be difficult and expensive, so once you've decided on your brand, you've got to stick with them.

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-Evan

Gear: 7 Nikon Nikkor AI-S and AF-S lenses, SB-700 flash, Nikon D7000, Nikon FM, variety of accessories

"There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs."
- Ansel Adams


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 8:29 pm 
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Location: Alexandra, Central Otago, NZ
I allways find it a bit weird that when we buy a car, we take it for a test drive.

With buying a camera, especially a DSLR - its very difficult to "take it for a test drive"...yet in some cases these can cost more than a car.

As such we pretty much have to rely on experiences from others and the look and feel of the thing in the shop.

I havent owned lots of cameras and i havent had much of a play with higher end cameras to really feel or notice the difference. What i have had is a slow evolution of my own ability and experience in dealing with digital cameras from cheap point and shoots to my first DSLR.

Taking the jump to a DSLR is a little daunting and from my own experiences i looked to my close freinds and the cameras they had. I played with them and asked some questions and took some shots. i read a lot of reviews !

In the end i came to some basic conclusions.

1) my budget is not huge
2) i dont have a lot of experience with DSLR
3) this is a step up from p&s but im not looking at getting published in a magazine or taking wedding photos etc
4) im interested in knowing a little more about photography and want a little more control on the shots i take.

this all leads to the point that im looking at entry level DSLR and for the masses with a lot of support and reference material thats easy to use.

This all led me to the camps of Canon and Nikon.

Very similar in every way..in the end i went with a canon 300D as opposed to the Nikon equivilent.

I managed to find a great deal on a bundle where the camera came with the boxed 18-55 lens plus a 70-300mm telescopic lens (i think).

After a few months i upgraded the boxed standard lens (which actually was quite good !) with a few trial and error cheap lenses as my budget dictated and managed to save up for a relatively decent canon EFS 17-85 IS USM and a canon 75-300 IS USM.

I used the D300 up until this year when i finally replaced it with a an upgrade. Not a huge one but in terms of technology it may be is..The 550D. I havent changed the lenses or found it necessary to buy another lens...yet..

I like to think i take better than average photos every now and then and my freinds like the photos i take. If i get a good shot then its really the production and editing of the photo that make it something different.

The camera alone will not make you the next lord lichfield. You will need to develo pyour skills and eye for it.

So to answer your questions:

Yes the entry level DSLR's justify their price tag - especially if you can find a camera+lens bundle deal.

In my opinion 2 lenses have covered most of the range of photography i take, the 18-55 that comes with the cameras (the canon in my example) is a great start and is not a bad lens. You can upgrade over time. The scary part is when you really start spending more money on lenses than you did on the camera ! My current EFS 17-85 lens pretty much lives on my camera and i would say does around 90% of all my shots.

Whilst there are other cameras out there that cost more or less the market leaders are that for a reason. Ease of use, good support, plenty of reference material and proven track record.

Complete beginners can still take incredible photos with the most basic of cameras and i still have a sub £200 compact point and shoot for just throwing in my pocket when i walk the dog, go play with the kids or around the house etc.

I also bought my first DSLR from Jessops :) since then i have shopped around a little more but you are not alone and you are in the same place a lot of people find themselves.

My final note is that if you find the DSLR thing a little too daunting but want something more than a sub £200 compact then there are a number of superb alternatives..but thats another mine field.

Good luck. Let us know how you get on and more importantly enjoy it and post some of your pics here !

Rob

apologies for the wall of text. :lol:

_________________
Canon 550D, Canon EFS 17-85 IS USM, Canon EF 75-300 IS USM, Canon EFS 10-22mm USM, Canon EF35mm F2.

Got some of the gear but really still no idea...:)


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 2:15 am 
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robbon44 wrote:
The scary part is when you really start spending more money on lenses than you did on the camera !

My camera: EOS 500D ~ 700€ with 18-55mm IS kit lens. (I bought it a short time after it was released)
My (other than kit) lenses:
Canon EF 50mm 1.8 II ~ 80€/110€ (used/new)
Sigma 12-24mm EX DG HSM ~400€/650€ (used/new)
Canon EF 100mm 2.8L Macro IS USM ~770€ (new)
Canon EF 100-400mm L IS USM ~1200€ (new)

Erm... yes - some of my lenses cost a bit more than my camera. I'm happy with the results.

_________________
Canon EOS 500D + Canon EOS 5D Mark III + Canon EOS 33v
Canon EF 28-80mm 3.5-5.6 USM + EF 24-105mm 4L IS USM + EF 100-400mm 4.5-5.6L IS USM + EF 50mm 1.8 II + EF 100mm 2.8L Macro IS USM + Sigma 12-24mm 4.5-5.6 EX DG HSM + Canon Speedlite 580 EX II + Nissin Speedlite Di 466


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 9:22 am 
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hahaha.. case in point.

its all good fun though..

:D

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Canon 550D, Canon EFS 17-85 IS USM, Canon EF 75-300 IS USM, Canon EFS 10-22mm USM, Canon EF35mm F2.

Got some of the gear but really still no idea...:)


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 9:43 am 
Also been looking at the Nikon range something along side the 7D is the D7000 a worthy challenger?? Not really that bothered with full hd video recording as I take a lot of landscape shots.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 10:26 am 
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Hi anditsinthere,

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

This time last year I probably would have said go for the cheaper body and invest in quality glass unless you specifically need the extra features that a 7D can offer. Camera bodies tend to depreciate a lot faster than good lenses and the chances are that any lens you buy will see service on several cameras so buying a lens that may have any shortcomings highlighted by a body you buy in, say, five years time can be a false economy.

That would still be my advice today if you want a DSLR but, to get you started, you could do a lot worse than just buying the 550D with the kit 18-55mm lens. The front of the lens rotates which makes using a polarising filter a little more awkward (but not impossible) and the lens is optically sharp even if the build quality is at the budget end of the scale. The extra cost of the lens is marginal when bought with the body and a month or two shooting with that combination might put you in a better position to know exactly what you want (focal length and aperture) from one of Canon's more upmarket offerings.

My own journey in DSLR land started with a 400D, moved on to a 40D and then to a 5D Mark II and a good selection of Canon's "L" lenses but (with one lens still to go as I write) I've sold the lot! The 5D2 provided me with some wonderful results but I found it getting used less and less often. Maybe, or even probably, I'm not a keen enough photographer but carrying the size and weight around was becoming more of a chore. That said the PowerShot G10 I always have with me, while a very good compact, just doesn't give me the IQ I want except in the very kindest of conditions. The bottom line is that I'm now investing in micro four-thirds as the latest generation of sensors in those cameras is good enough for my purposes and, most significantly, there is a good selection of glass available. I particularly wanted a good ultra wide-angle option so the Panasonic 7-14mm f4 lens (H-F007014) drove my decision although I have opted for the Olympus OM-D E-M5 body rather than the much more affordable but also well reviewed Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1.

I can't say yet whether or not that was a good decision as I haven't even got the camera yet (it's on order) but I'm confident that the IQ will be good enough and I'll end up with a camera that I will be happy to have with me all the time, particularly when fitted with the Lumix 14-42mm X PZ lens as my "walk around" option. There are other CSC (compact system camera) systems out there so I'm not suggesting that micro four-thirds is the only good option by any means. And if you can work within its limitations even the Canon G1 X might be worth a look. Check out the various reviews.

A DSLR might still be for you but I thought I'd widen the discussion a little...

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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