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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2011 10:26 am 
I am about to buy my first DSLR camera. I have spent a lot of time looking at different models and read more reviews than I can remember. I have narrowed it down to either a Nikon D3100 or a Cannon 550D. I have seen an offer for a D3100 with the 18-55VR & 55-300VR and the Cannon 550D with the 18-55mm and the 55-250mm IS. The Cannon is about 200euros more.
I want to have two lenses from the get go, one for general and a decent telephoto for sporting events etc. I have held them both and played around in the store with them and still can´t decide. I will mostly be photographing sport, scenery and portraits. Video is not the be all and end all and wouldn´t sway my decision.
As it is my first camera I want something that is going to last, I appreciate the the 550D has already been replaced and I will probably wait a couple of weeks to see if the price comes down more. I see as well that you can not get a battery grip for the Nikon which I know is silly but it puts me off, are there any other accessories I would be missing out on remote control etc?
Generally speaking who has a better offering of lenses and would I be wasting money buying a decent lens for the Nikon as it is more entry level than the Cannon.
Can anyone give me any ideas which is better for me?
Thanks in advance!
John


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2011 11:01 am 
The one thats better for you is the one which felt best in the store, seeing as you say neither did, then maybe look at Sony, Pentax etc or just buy either.

They are both pretty much the same, completely entry level build quality, same sort of handling, great image quality

You cant go wrong with either


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2011 1:40 pm 
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Sony models (like the A550) have fast AF and fast continuous shooting (up to 7fps), what's great for sport of course. Have a look at the A550 review from Gordon.

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Ruben

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: Mon Mar 28, 2011 7:23 pm 
Good comments already.

Insofar as sports shooting, however, Rueben makes a valid point around fps speed - which is much lower in the entry-level than in the mid-range space. The kit lenses aren't the fastest around, and so I wouldn't be surprised should you find some discontent if you are focused on shooting high speed sports photography with an entry level zoom lens.

With regards to a camera that lasts -- I can assure you that your first DLSR body will outlast your desire to upgrade by a very wide margin :wink:.

The lens selection is essentially equal between Nikon and Canon - however, because the D3100 doesn't have the AF screw drive, you will be limited only to their newer lenses that have the focus motor built into the lenses.

Thinking which will be best for you, I will agree with Jeremy's comment that the camera which feels best in your hand is what you will use the most - pure and simple.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2011 4:45 pm 
Thanks for the advice. I went back to the store and took a few shots with both of them. I do like the way the Canon feels. When I say sports shooting, I should make it clear that it will be Formula 1 and mostly in the slow corners. I checked out the Sony review and held one in the store and was not keen, but thanks for the suggestion Ruben!
My next questions are:
1.) Will I notice any difference with the kit lenses. The kit I am buying from Nikon has the 55-300 whereas the Canon only has 55-250. Will the 50mm make a big difference? Are they good lenses?
2.) The Canon also seems to generate huge files (one was 23MB!) at a very high resolution,I played around with the Nikon but could not get the same resolution will this make a difference as well?
3.) Canon bundle the remote control software (demo´d in the excellent video review by Gordon) do Nikon offer anything similar?
Thanks for all your help thus far! :D


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2011 7:48 pm 
When you buy lenses, you really do get what you pay for. Kit lenses are just that -- budget lenses bundled in for the average or starting DLSR photographer. The two lenses you refer to are pretty level, in my experience - and should provide you with good pictures as a starting point. You will want to upgrade your glass at some point, I am sure, but as I suggest, neither is a bad starting point.

There is a slight difference in crop factor between the two cameras. Crop factor is the 35mm equivalency for a lens mated with a sensor. The Nikon (crop factor of 1.5X) 50-300 will give you effectively 82.5 - 450. The Canon (crop factor of 1.6X) will give you effectively 88 - 400.

Canon's software bundle has long been a strength in their overall bundling of products. You will pay extra for remote control software for Nikon - which they do sell. You can get it free for 30 days and then have to purchase it before the trial runs out. I am not sure on what the current price is for this or any of Nikon's other software offerings.

I still think that you will be pushing either of these entry-level cameras beyond what they are meant to do in order to get quality sport pictures - even in the slower F-1 corners. Notwithstanding, with patience, and lots of memory cards, you should be able to produce some good shots -- just don't expect every shot to be even close to a keeper, that's all.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2011 9:28 am 
JWNRW - thanks very much for your comments, they are really helpful.

I don´t want to open anoher can of worms as I have spent so long looking at these to BUT If I was to increase my budget, what would/should I be looking at?


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2011 9:50 am 
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Depends what you COULD stretch your budget to. :wink: but put it into the best `glass` you can afford.

I started like you, then decided on the D7000..........& my budget quickly trebled! :shock: :lol:

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2011 10:32 am 
Not to that, I guess I could go to about 900 euros. I am looking at the 550D as it comes with the two lenses (18-55IS & 55-250IS) I want a DSLR which is going to last, so if if i did buy better "glass" would I feel the benefit with the 550 body? I am going to the spanish Grandprix at the end of May and to Valencia in June so need to be sorted by then. Which also means time to save for a better lens is limited! What would you suggest.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2011 6:41 pm 
You will likely to be ready to upgrade your body before any DLSR "wears out".

I frequently point to this video on DigitalRevTV when asking about cheap glass and expensive body and vice-versa. The presentation style doesn't suit everyone, but it does demonstrate quite clearly the differences between the two.

http://www.digitalrev.com/en/pro-dslr-a ... ticle.html


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2011 9:31 pm 
Thanks again jwnrw.

I had seen this guy review the 550d, hilarious!!

Having said that the video makes a good point and has put my mind at rest. Eos550d it is. I think.

Does that mean I have to be a Canon "fan boy" now?

Thanks again. Really appreciate it!

John


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2011 2:20 am 
Enjoy -- post some pics when you get it.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2011 5:35 am 
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No, you dont have to be a fanboy. Im huge fan of both Sony and Nikon (only Nikon high end models), but Canon cameras and lenses are much cheaper here.... That's why I own Canon :lol:

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Ruben

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: Sat Apr 02, 2011 6:34 am 
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Enjoy the camera when you buy it, have any nice lenses in mind?

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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 02, 2011 10:21 pm 
Damn It! Went out today and saw Nikon d3100 with 18-55 AND 55-300 both VR for 740 euros! The saving will go towards my first lens plus my better half likes the guide mode and has offered to go halves on the camera!! :D

Been looking at Gordons reviews and am thinking of getting A 35mm 1.8 prime lens. What would be a good third lens for a beginner??

Should I post this in the Nikon forum, apologies if I should!

Thanks

John


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