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Old Mar 27, 2013, 08:54 PM   #1
ECUpirate44
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DSLR Recommendation

I need a recommendation regarding the following cameras all with an 18-55 lens. This is what i've gathered so far about them. It would be great for someone who owned any of these cameras to share their opinion.

Canon t3i:
Ease of use
Good auto mode.

Nikon D5100 (or 3100
supposed better sensor than the t3i

Sony SLT A58. (or A57 or a37)
Seems to be more feature rich than Canon and Nikon.
Panoramic
3D Photos.
focus lock.

Thanks guys!

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Old Mar 28, 2013, 03:39 PM   #2
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All are good. Which one feels best in your hands, has controls that will work for you? Which brands do your friends/relatives have so you can borrow lenses? Which one has the best deal?

You won't go wrong with any of them.
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Old Mar 28, 2013, 04:24 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ECUpirate44 View Post
I need a recommendation regarding the following cameras all with an 18-55 lens. This is what i've gathered so far about them. It would be great for someone who owned any of these cameras to share their opinion.

Canon t3i:
Ease of use
Good auto mode.

Nikon D5100 (or 3100
supposed better sensor than the t3i

Sony SLT A58. (or A57 or a37)
Seems to be more feature rich than Canon and Nikon.
Panoramic
3D Photos.
focus lock.

Thanks guys!

Nikon and Canon will be about the same as far as quality is concerned. It's a matter of preference and in case you are considering adding other bodies and lenses and gadgets later there are a few slight differences in what's available and sometimes people prefer this or the other. Another thing to consider (I find) is the flash system available from Canon and Nikon. Nikon was always a bit more solid in that area but Canon now has a new non-optical wireless system that people are raving about. May or may not interest you down the road. Both brands are about equally expensive.

Sony (really the old Minolta system here) is very nice but again consider what you may want later on. Choices within the system as well as for third-party accessories and gadgets are a lot more limited with non-major SLR brands (not that Sony is "small" or non-major but I'm strictly speaking professional photography systems here).

Hope that helps. For full disclosure: I'm a Canon shooter and happily so but have nothing against the two other brands. It's all good really.
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Old Mar 28, 2013, 10:35 PM   #4
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Kit lenses are notoriously bad, just to warn you. The 18-55 that came with my D5000 had to be replaced twice in the first 6 months due to manufacturer problems. After I upgraded my lens to an 18-200 I sold the crappy kit lens.

I got the D5000 really cheap with the D5100 came out, and you might be able to get a good deal on the D5100 when the D5200 is out (might be already out, I don't know).

Most people go with Canon or Nikon for some reason. You might want to look into what that reason is (more lens selection?).
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Old Mar 29, 2013, 02:32 AM   #5
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Kit lenses are notoriously bad, just to warn you.
Typically but not always. The lens that came with my D70 was really good and I've missed it since I gave it to a friend. Then again I've replaced it with glass that costs more than he D70 kit.

My point being that there are a couple of good kit lenses out here. With a little research you can get a good deal.
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Old Mar 29, 2013, 03:09 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by ECUpirate44 View Post
I need a recommendation regarding the following cameras all with an 18-55 lens. This is what i've gathered so far about them. It would be great for someone who owned any of these cameras to share their opinion. ...
The Nikon 18-55 VR f/5.6 lens is very good. Well as good as an f/5.6 zoom is going to be. Others might by kind of cheap or down right "mediocre".

One other thing: If you buy a Canon then the next lens you get will have to be a Conon lens. And then the flash unit will need to be Canon too. Then in the few years you upgrade the dSLR body and you will need to buy the Canon body because of your investment in Canon lenses. Same of Nikon. After you buy into one brand you are pretty much stuck unless you can afford to start over. So look at the lenses you might want to buy in the next five years. Look at the used market and decide which brand you can live with for a decade or so.

I don't trust Sony at all to continue making SLRs. Canon and Nikon will be there in 25 years

Niokn has adeal right now, $350 for a refurbished entry level SLR.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Melizard View Post
Kit lenses are notoriously bad, just to warn you. The 18-55 that came with my D5000 had to be replaced twice in the first 6 months due to manufacturer problems. After I upgraded my lens to an 18-200 I sold the crappy kit lens....
Is the 18-200 really an upgrade? Yes it costs more but it's still a f/5.6 zoom consumer grade lens. Nikon's "VR" version of the 18-55 is a pretty useful lens.
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Old Mar 29, 2013, 04:22 AM   #7
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One other thing: If you buy a Canon then the next lens you get will have to be a Conon lens. And then the flash unit will need to be Canon too. Then in the few years you upgrade the dSLR body and you will need to buy the Canon body because of your investment in Canon lenses. Same of Nikon.
You always have the ability to buy third party lenses for whatever camera brand you end up with. Many times they are actually optically better than the original brands and much cheaper to boot! Check DPReview and Photozone for pretty detailed and unbiased reviews using many brands of cameras to test with.

There are also a plethora of flashes (if that's your thing) from third party manufacturers and of late they are as good as the major brands, for half the price. Chinese reverse engineering at play.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisA View Post
Niokn has adeal right now, $350 for a refurbished entry level SLR.
That sounds like a pretty good deal to me, especially if it's the 5100.

Try not to get too bogged down in the amazement that brand x has a dynamic range that is 1 f stop better than brand y. You really aren't going to notice it unless you are using top notch lenses and printing really large and then you would want something much better than an entry model anyway. Some cameras these days are using chips to tweak the sensors and exaggerate the dynamic range, it's not necessarily true that the sensors have such a big dynamic range. If it works, it works, I suppose.

My 0.02's worth and hopefully not creating a brand war.
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Old Mar 29, 2013, 08:00 AM   #8
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Wow guys, thanks for all of the recommendations.

Nikon has a refurb d5100 with the 18-55 VR lens for $469 now.
Canon has a refurb Rebel T3i EF-S 18-55mm IS II Lens for $475 now.

How do the lens's compare?

I should ad that i'm a novice and probably wont be spending hundreds on new glass for different situations so I'm looking for an overall good lens for everything.

I've used the t3i and I liked how automatic it could be when I wanted to and I could have manual control also. Does the D5100 also have this flexibility?

According to snapsort.com the Nikon seems to be the better camera.
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Old Mar 29, 2013, 08:18 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by ECUpirate44 View Post
Nikon has a refurb d5100 with the 18-55 VR lens for $469 now.
Canon has a refurb Rebel T3i EF-S 18-55mm IS II Lens for $475 now.
That seems like a great deal for the D5100, which would get my vote by the way.
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Old Mar 29, 2013, 08:19 AM   #10
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That seems like a great deal for the D5100, which would get my vote by the way.
Any specific reason to pick the Nikon over the Canon?

Also, does anyone have experience with Canon or Nikon refurbs?

Last edited by ECUpirate44; Mar 29, 2013 at 08:40 AM.
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Old Mar 29, 2013, 09:36 AM   #11
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I have a Sony a65 and really like it. Takes great pictures, has built-in GPS, etc. There are quite a few 3rd party lenses for it, too. I doubt Nikon & Canon make their lenses in the Sony/Konica A-Mount, but many of the 3rd party lens companies do. One interesting web site I found is http://www.dyxum.com/lenses/resultsAdv.asp

Only thing with the 65 is that there aren't any vertical grips for it. I don't know how important that is for you.
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Old Mar 29, 2013, 06:00 PM   #12
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Any specific reason to pick the Nikon over the Canon?
Reviews, make/build, reliability, expandability, image quality, price, feel.
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Old Mar 29, 2013, 06:13 PM   #13
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Anyone use Sigma lens's? I've used the 18-55 and I need more zoom for what I do, but the canon lens is out of my budget.
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Old Mar 30, 2013, 01:06 AM   #14
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Price a twin lens kit then
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Old Mar 30, 2013, 02:04 AM   #15
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That seems like a great deal for the D5100, which would get my vote by the way.
They have a "3100" for $380. That is likely the best deal you can find.
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Old Mar 30, 2013, 02:20 AM   #16
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They have a "3100" for $380. That is likely the best deal you can find.
You don't think it would be worth the extra $80 to go up to the D5100 Chris?
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Old Mar 30, 2013, 02:23 AM   #17
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I should ad that i'm a novice and probably wont be spending hundreds on new glass for different situations so I'm looking for an overall good lens for everything.

I've used the t3i and I liked how automatic it could be when I wanted to and I could have manual control also. Does the D5100 also have this flexibility?...
"one lens for everything". That is simply not possible. It is were than there would be no point in them selling other lenses.

The Canon and Nikon are nearly identical in terms of automation and control. The Nikon has, I think a slightly better automated flash meter system but you might never notice it.

The real question is WHY buy an SLR if you don't buy a bigger system with multiple lenses, flashes and so on? Not saying don't do it. Just make sure you have a reason because it you don't you are buying the wrong camera andmight be better off with a point and shoot.

So WHY would you want this? Faster, no-lag shutter, lower noise images? Why?

One more thing. Maybe look at the Nikon 18-200mm VR II. lens if you only intend to buy one lens. This might be the only ne you need, Well except you like the 35mm f/1.8 or the longer 50mm f/1.8 if you do a lot of people shots.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by ijohn.8.80 View Post
You don't think it would be worth the extra $80 to go up to the D5100 Chris?
If you have an extra $80 in your pocket, spend it on a 50mm f/1.8 lens. No one will know what body you used to shoot the image but the results of the f/1.8 is obvious to anyone who sees the photos.

Used lenses are good deals and it is easy to get a 50mm or 35mm lens for about $100

MUCH better to spend on glass.
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Old Mar 30, 2013, 09:21 AM   #18
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"one lens for everything". That is simply not possible. It is were than there would be no point in them selling other lenses.

The Canon and Nikon are nearly identical in terms of automation and control. The Nikon has, I think a slightly better automated flash meter system but you might never notice it.

The real question is WHY buy an SLR if you don't buy a bigger system with multiple lenses, flashes and so on? Not saying don't do it. Just make sure you have a reason because it you don't you are buying the wrong camera andmight be better off with a point and shoot.

So WHY would you want this? Faster, no-lag shutter, lower noise images? Why?

One more thing. Maybe look at the Nikon 18-200mm VR II. lens if you only intend to buy one lens. This might be the only ne you need, Well except you like the 35mm f/1.8 or the longer 50mm f/1.8 if you do a lot of people shots.

----------



If you have an extra $80 in your pocket, spend it on a 50mm f/1.8 lens. No one will know what body you used to shoot the image but the results of the f/1.8 is obvious to anyone who sees the photos.

Used lenses are good deals and it is easy to get a 50mm or 35mm lens for about $100

MUCH better to spend on glass.
I will be using the camera to take pictures while on vacation. I don't intend on taking many macro shots or anything. I want a DSLR because the quality of the pics on my point and shoot aren't cutting it. I also like the flexibility of the DSLR in terms of control and expandability (if I decide I want to).


I was looking at the Nikon 18-200mm VR II if I decided to get the d5100. Alternatively, I was looking at the Canon 18-135 if I got the t3i. Neither lens appears to be mind blowing, but it would be a step up from the 18-55 and that's what I'm looking for.
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Old Mar 30, 2013, 10:38 AM   #19
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Ive decided on the t3i. I found one brand new for 520 on craigslist. Should I jump?
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Old Mar 30, 2013, 01:36 PM   #20
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Ive decided on the t3i. I found one brand new for 520 on craigslist. Should I jump?
It's $519 on Amazon for a new one t3

The thing is 18 MP. I'd worry a little about noise and low light ability. It is a trade up more pixels and less low light ability. Also which company has the best 18-200 lens? Go look at both. The lens matters more. Look at the controls on the lens how good is the "VR". Is there an instant manual override? You will own this lens long after the body gone. People tend to keep a good lens for decades, dSLR bodies get "old" in five years.

About better "quality" images. Most of that is the technique used by the photographer. Education will pay off quicker then equipment. Get books on color and composition and how to tell a story with images.

I doubt the SLR will make better image quality them a higher end compact camera such as the one of those below. For some one who only uses a camea a few times a year they are a better choice in most cases.

The way I see it is if the purpose of going some place is to create some photos then bring the SLR system. If the purpose is to do something else, bring the compact camera. How to know if you are there to make photos? Are you waiting for th light to change before to get the shot. Do you move around and hke backwards and forwards to get the right persecutive. How much time do you spend on post processing. If none aplies get the smaller camera. Image quality from all the ones below is very good.
http://www.amazon.com/Canon-PowerShot-G11-Stabilized-articulating/dp/B002LITT56

http://www.amazon.com/Leica-DLUX-10-.../dp/B009E3VFDA

or maybe a mirrorless Nikon
http://www.amazon.com/Nikon-Digital-Camera-System-10-30mm/dp/B005OGQXJW
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Old Mar 31, 2013, 01:43 PM   #21
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Is the 18-200 really an upgrade? Yes it costs more but it's still a f/5.6 zoom consumer grade lens. Nikon's "VR" version of the 18-55 is a pretty useful lens.
It depends on what the purpose of the lens is. For me, I wanted a super convenient lens for travel so I don't have to bring a bunch of lenses with me, and continually switch them. I had issues with the 18-55 as I mentioned, and it became obsolete when I got a lens that covered that range. Also, "consumer-grade" is perfect for amateurs like myself, who don't have the skills to make an expensive pro-grade lens worthwhile.


...anyways, if you find a good deal with a kit lens, go for it. The other option is to find a body only, which may be a good deal cheaper (especially if you find refurb or used), and purchase a 'better' lens separately.
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Old Apr 1, 2013, 06:17 PM   #22
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I'd buy a Sony RX100 to be honest, best travel camera ever. Someone offered me a Rebel or a RX100 to travel with, I wouldn't even give the Rebel a second look. DSLR's are not good travel cameras (let alone entry level DSLRs with kit lenses, absolutely the worst), m4/3 cameras are better and good for photo enthusiasts who care (and know) enough about IQ and don't mind the bulk, but RX100 is the best travel cam for 90% of the population IMHO.

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Old Apr 1, 2013, 09:25 PM   #23
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Wow guys, thanks for all of the recommendations.

Nikon has a refurb d5100 with the 18-55 VR lens for $469 now.
Canon has a refurb Rebel T3i EF-S 18-55mm IS II Lens for $475 now.

How do the lens's compare?

I should ad that i'm a novice and probably wont be spending hundreds on new glass for different situations so I'm looking for an overall good lens for everything.

I've used the t3i and I liked how automatic it could be when I wanted to and I could have manual control also. Does the D5100 also have this flexibility?

According to snapsort.com the Nikon seems to be the better camera.

You can get a D90 for that price. If you are planning to grow and learn more about photography, why not skip the entry level cameras and go with something better. It's better because you get a wider choice of lenses, more pro-like features (off camera flash sync, top LCD viewer, more accessories).


D90 $599 (retailed for $999)
http://www.adorama.com/INKD90.html

Add a 18-70mm lens. This lens is better than the 18-55mm. It has a better build and more lens elements (sharper).

18-70mm used $124
http://www.adorama.com/US%20%20%20%20555381.html

Or the Nifty 50.. 50mm f/1.8 G $124. I like this better than the 18-55mm. Its sharp, great for low light shooting.
http://www.adorama.com/NK5018AFDU.html

If you are seriously thinking about getting into photography skip the entry level cameras. Entry Level DLSRs are okay to use but they have their limitations. Slow shutter, limited selection of older lenses, battery life is less. I just hear a lot of people trying to sell these entry level SLR in 4-6months of use. Its a waste. Just spend the extra $200 and get a Nikon D90 or a Canon 40D.
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Old Apr 2, 2013, 12:23 AM   #24
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You always have the ability to buy third party lenses for whatever camera brand you end up with. Many times they are actually optically better than the original brands and much cheaper to boot!
Yes you are correct. I should have said "If you have a Canon body you have to buy Canon mount lenses"

These can be made by Sigma or who ever but still you will end out with a collection of Canon mount glass and the next body you buy will be Canon. Basically you are "married" to the brand and changing is expensive.

In some cases the third party leenses are as good and cheaper. That might be the case more with Nikon
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Old Apr 2, 2013, 12:36 AM   #25
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...
If you are seriously thinking about getting into photography skip the entry level cameras. Entry Level DLSRs are okay to use but they have their limitations. Slow shutter, limited selection of older lenses, battery life is less. I just hear a lot of people trying to sell these entry level SLR in 4-6months of use. Its a waste. Just spend the extra $200 and get a Nikon D90 or a Canon 40D.
The other option for a beginner is to buy "yesterday's" entry level camera. For example the D50 is a great cameras that is still sought after because it has a focus motor and can use older "non S" lenses. You can buy a D50 for well under $200.

I recently bought a D200. In that line the D300 is the current model. The D200has the advantage that I can use all my old manual focus lenses and the meter still works with them.

Used gear is always a better value. The D90 is very good. The D50 will work for basic still shots and is $100 cheaper.

SLight disagreement over the 18-70. I have one and like it for the range but I want a "vr" lens so i can hand hold the camera with a slow shutter speed. The new 18-55 vr is very sharp and the 18079 has some optical distortion at the wide end. but nothing that can't be corrected out in Photoshop.

I have a couple older 50mm f/1.4 lenses and AI-s and a "D" This is the second most used lens and then a VERY old manual focus macro lens

What you do is watch for "deals". Buy into the Nikon (Or Canon) system with the something like a D50 and 18-55 "vr" lens for a total cost of about $240 and then buy a second body or a second lens. Then sell off what you are not using. You can sell a used lens for the same price you paid for it. They are a low risk.

If buying used gear, It is easy to buy Canon. There is not a lot you need to know. Nikon is a more complex system with more rulles about what worked with what. With Nikon even some old 1960's vintage equipment still (maybe) works with the new gear.
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