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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 6:17 am 
Hello all, I'm new to photography and I am in the market for a new DSLR! I watched the review on the 600d(T3i) vs the D5100, and it seemed for a new comer like my self, that the D5100 was the way to go. However at the local PX(Army Post Exchange) there are a couple of other options to consider. With that being said I am looking to Camera Labs Forums for the best set ups and information regarding them.

My options are (all of which come with an 18-55mm Lens) :
Canon T3 $499
Nikon D3100 $549
Canon T3i $799
Nikon D5100 $749
or the one I'm leaning toward and most curious about your opinions, is a bundle deal of the Nikon D3100 and an 55-200mm lens. $699 (the D3100 is 549 and the 55-200mm lens is $279 by its self)

I like the adjustable screens of the T3i/D5100 however they are much more pricey that the other two cameras.
So my questions are : Is the T3i/5100 price wise worth that extra jump over another bigger better lens with the D3100 bundle?
What kind of different pictures would I use the 18-55mm and 55-200mm lenses for?

Thanks for all of your help and look forward to reading your responses

-Aspiring Army Photographer


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 8:00 am 
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In this range, there's not really a "best" one since no size fits all.

The 18-55mm kit lens gives you a range suited from landscapes at the wide angle to portraits when fully zoomed in. The 55-250mm is suited to subjects you want to capture a good amount of detail while it's impractical to physically get close enough with the 18-55mm kit lens.

It's debatable whether the price premium is worth it and will vary from person to person - if you feel you with make regular use of the features present in the T3i/D5100 but absent in the T3/D3100, perhaps it is worth it but if you have a specific requirement for the 55-250mm then no amount of effort will make the benefits of the T3i/D5100 worth it.

Most of us here will agree than the lens is usually more important than the body.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 8:24 am 
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You should ask yourself what kinds of photographs you like or want to take when you get the camera. You should also spend some time in a shop holding each camera and with each of the lenses you mentioned and see how easy the systems are or difficult they are to use and how they feel.

For some quick categorizing:
The T3 and the 3100 are reasonable cameras but they are the starting models of the company lines. the 3100 Advantage is that it can shoot video - the T3 cannot. EDIT: CORRECTION, THE T3 CAN SHOOT VIDEO BUT ONLY AT 720p.
The T3i and the 5100 can shoot video reasonably well and shoot photos - but the T3i is slightly more expensive because it has a stronger video ability and more video options

Having said all that, Investing in good lenses is always more important than the body. If I were you, I would look at lenses you might like to get, like a 18-200 lens that will give you wide angle and telephoto ability. If you look at which lens to go for, you will then know which company to go for, Canon or Nikon. Once you choose the company, then get the T3 or the 3100 - because if you are still learning, its proibably better to learn with a cheaper body - so when you decide you need something more and want to upgrade 5 years from now, you will be in a better position to purchase what you need, and you can always give the T3 or 3100 to a family member of friend while you move on.

2 cents

Leo

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1) Olympus OM1 [Zuiko Auto-S 50mm f/1.8]
2) Pentax MZ-60 [Sigma 28-90 & 100-300]
3) Canon 7D [EF-S 15-85 & 70-200mm f/4 IS & 50mm f1.4]
4) Leica M [50mm Summicron Pre-aspherical - Silver]

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Last edited by Leo on Wed Mar 21, 2012 1:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 9:47 am 
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I agree with the previous comments. Decide if video is important, or just handy to have for the odd clip, but focus more on the best lens to suit your needs first, if photography is your main aim.
If you can get a camera `body only` then identify & buy seperately the best lens for your needs, it might seem a touch more expensive, but if you're not going to use the kit-lens that came with the camera, it gives you more options.

Again it boils down to what you're likely to be shooting & under what conditions (& your budget of course) but if you went the Nikon route I can recommend the 16-85mm f3.5-5.6G ED VR AF-S DX lens.

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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 Mar 21, 2012 6:19 pm 
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I would also shop around for the best kit deal.

While you may spend a little bit more money on a lens you may not use, Gordon did raise an interesting point that buying a body and lens kit will help preserve the resale value should you upgrade your body.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 7:27 pm 
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I understand the reasoning behind that (& not necessarily disagreeing) but tbh the value of a camera 2 or 3 years down the line in't going to be great & maybe better to keep as a spare/second camera. By then MOST folk tend to have bought at least a couple more lenses too.

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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: Tue May 29, 2012 8:49 pm 
I was just wondering if you made your decision. I am new to the forum, but just went through the same process as you. I went with the Canon Eos Rebel T3 kit. It takes great pics. I am an a avid amateur photographer and upgraded from the Nikon Coolpix 1110, which was fine but I love the DSLR cameras a lot better. I hope you have made a decision and are happy with it.

Slr


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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 12:59 am 
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It all boils down to what you intend to do with your camera. If you have aspirations of becoming a professional in the next year or so, or intend to enter contests, etc, then I would strongly suggest the T3i / 5100 series. If you are just interested in having pictures of your family / travels, and want something a bit better than a Point & Shoot, then the T3 / 3100 should be sufficient.

The 18-55 kit lens is great to start with, but if you get serious about photography you will eventually outgrow it for 3 reasons: 1) image quality, 2) focal length (you will likely want a telephoto lens such as the 55-250, or a 70-300 [but NOT the 75-300], and an ultra-wide-angle such as a 11-16). 3) aperture: when it gets dark, you will want something in the f/2.8 or even a f/2.0 or better prime lens, such as the 99$ 50mm f/1.8.

In either case, you have to think of photography as a long-term investment. Your first step is to buy a camera, and the T3i would definitely last you quite many years. The second step is to build up a basic collection of lenses: kit lens + telephoto + wide angle + fast prime. Third step will be to start upgrading those lenses to professional lenses (24-70 f/2.8 + 70-200 f/2.8 combo), then finally upgrade to a higher camera. That's the progression that most people tend to follow. Some go at it faster, others take years to accumulate a good set of equipment.

But if you're not interested in spending the time and money to learn photography, then a t3 with a superzoom such as the Canon 18-200mm or Tamron 18-270mm PZD lens would give you much greater results than a point & shoot.

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Lenses: Tamron: SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di VC USD, SP 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di VC USD, Rokinon: 8mm Fisheye cine, Canon: EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens, 75-300mm f/4.0-5.6 III, and EF 50mm f/1.8 II
Retired camera: Fujifilm Finepix s700


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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 6:44 am 
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Jean-Pierre wrote:
3) aperture: when it gets dark, you will want something in the f/2.8 or even a f/2.0 or better prime lens, such as the 99$ 50mm f/1.8.

Not necessarily true. In the dark, if you can use a tripod or otherwise keep the camera perfectly steady and reduce the camera speed, a f/2.8 aperture isn't a must have since an immobilised camera on a low shutter speed can let in sufficient light. The benefit of a large aperture where no amount of trickery with a smaller aperture can give the same result is that you can attain a lower depth of field so the subject needn't be as far away from the background so as to keep it out of focus while only the subject remains in focus.

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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 1:03 pm 
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Rorschach wrote:
Jean-Pierre wrote:
3) aperture: when it gets dark, you will want something in the f/2.8 or even a f/2.0 or better prime lens, such as the 99$ 50mm f/1.8.

Not necessarily true. In the dark, if you can use a tripod or otherwise keep the camera perfectly steady and reduce the camera speed, a f/2.8 aperture isn't a must have since an immobilised camera on a low shutter speed can let in sufficient light. The benefit of a large aperture where no amount of trickery with a smaller aperture can give the same result is that you can attain a lower depth of field so the subject needn't be as far away from the background so as to keep it out of focus while only the subject remains in focus.


I would agree with you if you're shooting a statue in the dark, but if you're shooting people or other moving things, 1/30 sec is pretty much the very slowest shutter speed you can get away with, in which case you'll need a fast prime or a flash to compensate. Of course if you had the budget for a D4, D800, or 5dIII, then you could just crank up the ISO, but that's a story for another thread :)

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Lenses: Tamron: SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di VC USD, SP 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di VC USD, Rokinon: 8mm Fisheye cine, Canon: EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens, 75-300mm f/4.0-5.6 III, and EF 50mm f/1.8 II
Retired camera: Fujifilm Finepix s700


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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 6:03 pm 
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Jean-Pierre wrote:
I would agree with you if you're shooting a statue in the dark, but if you're shooting people or other moving things, 1/30 sec is pretty much the very slowest shutter speed you can get away with, in which case you'll need a fast prime or a flash to compensate. Of course if you had the budget for a D4, D800, or 5dIII, then you could just crank up the ISO, but that's a story for another thread :)

No argument from me on that. I only mentioned the use of the tripod as a possible workaround though it's not necessarily practical such as with the examples you gave. :mrgreen:

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