I am looking to buy my first dSLR and have been hunting the net looking for information. I came across this site last week and think the reviews are excellent. It must be because I've been a regular reader of PCW for the last 14 years and tend to read Gordon's columns first
Anyway I currently have a Fujifilm Finepix F10 which I have been very happy with but am now finding quite restrictive as I want to take more creative photos. My wife and I are going on a 3 week trip to New Zealand in March/April so I want to get a camera before then so I can get used to it. If you look at my Flickr photos
you'll see I take quite a range of pictures. Recently I've been getting more interested in landscape photography and am also interested in motorsport photography along with some macro photography for good measure. I know that's a wide contrast, especially with a point and shoot camera.
I have a budget of around £800 and have been considering the Nikon D80, the Canon EOS 400D. I went into my local branch of Jessops yesterday. The salesman was very helpful in letting me try both cameras although he didn't offer much in the way of opinion.
I found the 400D to be a little small and less comfortable to use than the D80. I do like the anti dust features however and from what I've read the supplied software is better from Canon than Nikon. This is important as I'd like to shoot in RAW and only have Photoshop Elements 5. I don't have the budget to upgrade to the full version of PS.
I also had a look at the Canon EOS 30D. Canon are offering £100 cashback on it until the end of January so it just falls into my price range. I was quoted the following prices:
Body Only: £542.75
+18-70 kit lens: £699.85
+18-135 kit lens: £763.75
Body Only: £489.99
+18-55 kit lens: £499.99
+18-55 kit lens + 55-200 + battery grip: £859.99
Body only: £789.99 - £100 = £689.99
+18-55 kit lens: £819.99 = £719.99
+17-85 lens: £1078.99 = £978.99
I'm having a hard time deciding between the 3 cameras. Each one appears to have its pros and cons. With the 400D and kit lens I could afford to look at getting a decent zoom lens. The EF 70-300 f/4-5.6 IS can be had for around £370 and I could probably stretch to that.
If I were to go the route of the D80 or 30D I would have to either go without a zoom lens or go for a budget one. Jessops are also offering the Tamron 70-300mm F/4-5.6 LD Macro
lens for £99 which may be worth considering. I had a go with one fitted to the 30D and it felt OK.
The D80 appears to offer advantages in that the kit lens is better than the Canon one (according to what I've read). I'd probably go with the 18-70 lens as I understand the 18-135 lens has a plastic bayonet. the D80 also has a viewfinder grid and 11 point AF and is generally more up to date than the 30D. The big advantage of the 30D is its metal body and speed of shooting. It is definitely built more solidly than the D80.
As you can see I'm in a quandary. Any advice you guys can offer would be much appreciated.
I wasn't sure which of the forums to post in. Since I'm leaning towards the Nikon I decided to post it here. Maybe there needs to be a separate buying advice forum.