$1200 To Spend...What Camera To Get???

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by AvSRoCkCO1067, Jul 4, 2006.

  1. AvSRoCkCO1067 macrumors 65816

    AvSRoCkCO1067

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    CO
    #1
    Hello Fellow...MacRumorians...or something :p

    I've been here awhile, and I've been searching through the threads on cameras, but I'm going to go ahead and create my own (I hope no one minds...:eek:

    Anyway, let me set up some context. Currently, I'm using a Minolta DiMage 7i (which I thought was a dSLR but really is a fake dSLR...:( ).

    I take photos professionally (not really, but sort of - I've easily paid off the 1000 dollars that the Minolta cost me a few times over, but I'm not a "big" professional photographer) - here's a look at the website if you're interested: http://web.mac.com/c.peters06

    Well, I have a big horse hunter-jumper show coming up on August 5th, and I think I want a new, real dSLR before then. I need a camera that can take pictures fast (think burst mode) but fits my budget (around 1200 bucks).

    Additionally, I have a CF card now, but I'm more than willing to switch to SD or whatever (just remember to factor that into the cost...). Anyway, what camera do you all recommend (probably the Canon or Nikon, :D ), and more importantly, what accessories/lenses should I purchase?

    Finally, links would be much appreciated - is anyone familiar with purchasing cameras online, and if so, where from?

    THANKS - I appreciate all your feedback.
     
  2. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #2
    I'm in the same boat - got one of the first Dimage 7i's
    Now looking for something better, has to have IS -- no IS would be a deal killer for me. Much of my work is handheld macro work at extreme zoom (flower portraits, outdoor).

    I am looking forward to seeing the Sony Alpha, which is the erstwhile new Minolta dSLR. It does have: CF card, IS, 10MP, good Zoom, Minolta lens capability.
     
  3. AvSRoCkCO1067 thread starter macrumors 65816

    AvSRoCkCO1067

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    #3
    Um...IS=Image Stabalization?

    Do Nikon's and Canon's have that...??? :confused:

    As you can see from my website, I too like taking macro shots...the DiMage does a pretty good job, from what I can tell...shrug :D
     
  4. Silentwave macrumors 68000

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    #4
    Nikon and Canon both have lenses with VR (Vibration Reduction- Nikon)/IS (Image stabilization- canon). Nikon has the all in one 18-200mm VR lens that has a huge range and VR. It is kind of expensive but does the jobs of a lot of lenses with great quality.
     
  5. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    #5
    Yeah, I have gotten some nice macro work from the Dimage -- and have also spoilt some good shots due to hand shake. I am hoping for a camera I can focus better -- as my eyes are getting worse, its harder and harder to judge focus on a LCD panel.

    IS = Image stabilization. The big difference between the Sony, and the Nikon and Canon is that N and C use optical elements in the lens to counteract camera movement. Sony/Nikon instead have micro-motors on the image sensor chip itself to do the stabilization... potentially meaning its effective for all lenses on that body, and the lenses don't have to have the technology built in.
     
  6. faustfire macrumors 6502a

    faustfire

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    #6
    I just picked up a canon digital rebel xt a few months ago and it's killer. Takes great photos and you can find it for around 750, and I think there is a hundred dollar rebate still in action.
     
  7. ipacmm macrumors 65816

    ipacmm

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    #7
    I would check out the Canon 20D, it is still a great camera and you can get some great deals right now on it.
     
  8. -hh macrumors 68020

    -hh

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    #8
    I can attest to the 20D's burst mode working pretty well - - its officially rated at 5.0 fps, and claims 23 frames in JPEG before the buffer fills. When you're shooting JPEG/RAW, this drops to a 6 frame buffer.

    For the latter (JPEG/RAW), the catch is in having the discipline to "hold back" on the initial burst to then have more frames immediately available...and when that doesn't apply, the patience to then wait while it clears itself before needing to do another frame or another quick burst.

    In doing a quick, casual look at timestamps on some stuff I've just taken (a lioness trying to climb up a tree), it looks like once the buffer is completely filled, a new JPEG/RAW frame becomes available roughly every 3 seconds, which would infer that to fully recover (ie, be able to do another full burst of 6) would take 18 seconds.

    Note: this was while using 80x ("Ultra") speed CF cards, so its possible that going up the next step in speed might reduce these wait times.


    -hh
     
  9. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

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    #9
    Many people on this forum have had great results with Canon and Nikon VR/IS lenses. Stabilizing vibration on the body itself has been mostly limited to non-DSLR cameras. This is pure speculation, but I imagine that these companies would use vibration reduction on the bodies if it were the best option (both use it on their P&S cameras.)
     
  10. bigbossbmb macrumors 68000

    bigbossbmb

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    #10
    get a used 20D...really the best deal out there. spend whatever you have left on a good lens.
     
  11. jared_kipe macrumors 68030

    jared_kipe

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    Seattle
    #11
    First off, are you looking for a SLR or another advanced P&S?

    Its going to be really hard to get IS on Canon or Nikon SLRs for $1200, so the people recommending 20D's are not caring about your want for IS. You could get some of the cheaper Canon or Nikon cameras then pickup an IS lens for them, like the Canon 17-85mm or 28-135mm for around $1200.

    For Advanced P&S's I've always liked the Panasonic Lumix line. But some other options would be the Canon S3 IS, or that newly announced Samsung camera.
     
  12. AvSRoCkCO1067 thread starter macrumors 65816

    AvSRoCkCO1067

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    #12
    To be sure, I have no idea what an IS is...or if I really need it :eek: . I think I'll get a monopod...or whatever they're called...to take pictures at hunter-jumper shows. I take macros fine with the DiMage 7i - and I have very, very steady hands - so I don't know if I need this IS thingy...

    I would, however, like a dSLR. I looked at the newly announced Samsung - that is a dSLR as well, right? Based off of the Pentax...?

    Shrug, I have no clue :eek: - I think I'll go back to the shop and compare the Nikon D50 to the Canon Digital Rebel some more...

    This thread was aimed more at lens/accessory recommendations - I think that whatever camera I purchase will be a vast imporvement over what I have now. Thanks!
     
  13. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    #13
    The thing that scares me off the Lumix line is persistent reports of high noise from the chip. Seems to be a constant all the way through the product line.

    I don't quite agree -- I don't think there is anything inherently substandard about in-camera IS. I would think it is more to do with C and N having entrenched earlier technology in the lenses that they can't abandon. Perhaps also incidentally that they can make more money selling multiple individual lenses with IS in them than selling it only once in the body.
     
  14. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #14
    Shop for the lens first.

    I'm sure this will becaome a Nikon V. canon debate. With you budget I would pick the lens first. Maybe even pick the lens you want today and the next two you will buy. Then after you know wat lenes you want buy whatever camera body fits the lens and your budget. Remember the technology inside the camera bodies change fast and what ever you buy will have a short usful lifetime compared to the lens. You put your money into the lens the low-end DSLR body from either Nikon or canon will work well but you may decide you really need (say) an 80-200mm f/2.8 zoom then you pick eeither the Canon L-Seires or the Nikon 80-200 or 70-200 depending on budget. If you decide you need such a nice high end lens you may be forced to choosed Nikon as I don't think Canon can sell you an 80-200 and a 350D for $1200 but with Nikon you can just get in for $1200.

    But if the "kit" 18-70mm lens will work then the Nikon option is about $900.

    Either way shop for the lens first. Don't worry about the camera body.

    CF cards have become a non-issue. 2GB cards are like $50 the same as a tank of gas or a good filter or 4% of your budget don't let it decide what to buy.
     
  15. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #15
    If depends on the focal lenght where to put IS. For a long lens like a big telephoto you really want the IS to be in the lens.

    If IS is done in the body then it is done by physically moving the CCD and there is a (small) limit to how much you can move a CCD. I imagine only a couple millimeters at most, if even that. When you rotate a camera (do to camera shake) the amount the image moves across the CCD is directly proportional to the lens focal lenght so the amount of stabiliztion depends on the lens will work best with shorter lenses

    When you build IS into the lens they can tilt a lens element adn if that element is far from the CCD the image can be shift by a lot and with a onger lens the moving element can be quite far from the CCD.

    The Canon and Nikon system "scales" with the lens and would not have poorer performance with longer lenses. Whereas the in-body IS system will work only half as well when you double the focal lenght of the lens.

    It's just basic trig. The sin of the angle the camera rotates thru times the lfocal lenght of the lens determins how much the image shifts on the sensor. Same for the rates too. Sin of the Rate of rotation (degrees per second) times focal lenght is the rate in mm per second of the image shift. Also with lens lenese a shift of the CCD will cause a minor focus error witha long fast lens (but notice Sony does not offer a lens like this - for a reason maybe)

    I think this is resonable even the markets. Canon and Nikon are selling to a higher end market where people migh be concidering maybe buying a 400mm f/2.8 lens with built-in IS but most people buying the Sony would be using low cost lenses and Sony dose not even offer the pro=grade optics

    I'd like to see a hybred. Why not put IS into the body so it can work with all the current non-IS lenses and then add IS to the big expensive lenses where in-body IS can't work well.
     
  16. Mike Teezie macrumors 68020

    Mike Teezie

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    #16
    Sage advice from ChrisA.

    For $1200, I would try to pick up a used Canon 20D, and a used Tamron 28-75 f/2.8.
     
  17. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus

    Mitthrawnuruodo

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    #17
    I've been really started looking for a (cheap) digital SLR lately, and I'm more or less settled on Olympus E-500 over the Canon EOS350D/Digital Rebel XT. I've always been an Olympus fan, and they've ye to dissapoint me, and even if I initially started looking at the Canon camera, the more I read about the E-500 the more I wanted it.

    The downside to Olympus vs Canon (or Nikon) is that there's less lenses to choose from, but the way I see it there should be plenty for my use (I only had/have 3 lenses for my Olympus OM-1).

    Just need a couple of jobs to afford it. It's not that I'm not happy with my current P&S camera, an Olympus µ digital 600/stylus 600, but not having manual focus, shutter and exposure is a major shortcoming in some situation.

    Don't know if it's the right camera for you, but I recommend you at least check out the E-500, a couple of memory cards and a nice selection of lenses. You should even have some money left. :)
     
  18. cookie1105 macrumors 6502

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    #18
    With a $1200 budget I would go for a "consumer" SLR and a couple of good lenses. D50 or rebel xt + a couple of decent lenses plus couple of decent size cf cards and you are set.

    Just my opinion.
     
  19. rikers_mailbox macrumors 6502a

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    LA-la-land
    #19
    I'll vouch for the Sony Alpha... it's a fantastic camera. The IS is great, allows for crisp handheld low-light shots. The UI is pretty slick.. buttons are well placed and the visual feedback (on-screen and through the viewfinder) are nice. Also, the CCD is tp notch. Overall, a worthy competetor for any Canon.
     
  20. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #20
    In a way you are right. So Olypus doe not offer a full lineup of 35 lenses. who would need that many anyways? But let's say you only needed one lens and Olynpus did not offer that one lens. The guy who started this thread had a very specific use for the camera and lens. Covering competivie horse jumpping. I guess he might need a mid range, fast telephoto zoom maybe the 80-200 f/2.8 Does Olympus offer a lens like that? If not that's a deal breaker.

    The good thing about having very specific needs is that it make shopping easier

    For any kind of sports or wildlife photography the bulk of the equipment budget will be in lenses. I suggested shopping for the lens fist. Any DSLR body can capture an image.
     
  21. Nuc macrumors 6502a

    Nuc

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    #21
    I to look forward to seeing how the Sony Alpha performs. I'm a strong Sony camera/camcorder supporter. I was wondering about the live view on-screen. That is what I don't like about Canon is that you can't take a picture without looking through the viewfinder. Correct me if I'm wrong about this... The built in stabilization and the Anti-Dust technology is a big plus because lenses with built in IS are extremely expensive.

    I think Sony will give Canon some strong competition and hopefully we'll see price drops due to this... I'll probably buy a Sony DSLR after a few revisions.

    Nuc
     
  22. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #22
    Exactly, and since you're so keen on taking photos of flowers, I was going to suggest waiting for the Sony Alpha. I doubt it would have any rev A headaches because it's essentially a redesigned Minolta with some extra features built-in, but I don't know about the lens situation with Sony/Minolta/Carl Zeiss at all. They may not have everything you want right now. I don't know.

    @AvSRoCkCO1067: I don't think you "need" in-built IS with your camera. I'm sure you'd rather have it. I'm sure everybody would like it. However, it's really not a necessity and it may keep your costs down and still provide you with more lens options if you were to go with Nikon, Canon, Olympus, or yes, Pentax rather than Sony.

    For CanadaRAM, I think the Sony Alpha might give him better flower photos. A lens like the new Nikon 105 mm VR macro lens is likely the best for what you want to do, if you really want "VR". ;) Chip may have more to say about that since he likely sells it.

    While I agree with you to some extent (Canon and Nikon wouldn't make "VR/IS" available in-camera because they make a lot of money selling multiple lenses with this feature), remember that in-camera VR/IS doesn't allow you to use your camera 3 or 4 stops slower, only around 2 stops. To me, this would indicate that in-camera IS isn't as good. However, whether this is important or not is another factor. I don't even need for IS to let me use my camera 3-4 stops slower. A not-so-optimal in-camera IS would be available to every single lens I own, which seems more important.
     
  23. cgratti macrumors 6502a

    cgratti

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    #23
    for a few more bucks you could get the Canon 30D, this is one sweet camera, you wont need an upgrade for quite some time...

    I would stick with Canon or Nikon though, they are the "true" camera guys. Not saying Sony and those others dont make decent cameras, but Canon and Nikon specialize in it and are not sidetracked by other projects. It's all about cameras...

    B&H Photo is a great place to buy from, great service and fast shipping!
     
  24. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #24
    Have you used it yet? How much time have you spent using it? Loading photos into your computer and examining your photos when compared to other cameras? :confused:

    I'd love to try it out, but I'm just curious why you know so much about the camera.


    That's what an SLR essentially is, though. All the cameras that use live-view probably have horrid view-finders. Your hands are also less sturdy if you're holding a heavy camera away from your face. It's nice to have live-view, but I'm sure most pros or amateur photographers who want the best results won't want to rely on live-view cameras.

    Yes, but built-in IS is also not as good. I'd like the "anti-dust" technology though.
     
  25. TheAnswer macrumors 68030

    TheAnswer

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    #25
    I think Amazon has rebates on Canon if you purchase before July 15th. That's something else to consider.
     

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