Getting an SLR camera

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by crazycat, Mar 19, 2007.

  1. crazycat macrumors 65816

    crazycat

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2005
    #1
    I have been using point and shoot cameras for some time now and i need an SLR for that times when i want to do something a bit more. I have little knowledge with SLR's and i would like some help in buying my next model which i hope will be tomorrow from amazon.com. I need a camera that will allow me to take nice pics as well as have the option to change the lense for when i am in a safari or driving in the country.

    Price point is not that important, I don't want to get a professional setup just something a a guy who is used to point-and-shoot can get his head around.

    Thanks.
     
  2. andy5000 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2006
  3. crazycat thread starter macrumors 65816

    crazycat

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2005
    #3
    Digital, i gave up on film a long time ago.
     
  4. karebihun macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2007
    Location:
    Berkeley
    #4
    I'd say pick up one of the "lower" end Nikons - the D50 over the D40 because the D40 lacks a motor that forces you to use only the newer lenses - some of the older lenses wont work with it. I have a D80 and I love it - go with Nikon, its a BIT more expensive, but you wont regret it.
     
  5. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #5
    I'd do a bit more research and reading "tomorrow" is quite unrealistic if you want to make an informed decision.

    But if you do want to make a quick decision here is how you decide. Look at the kit of equipment you would like to have both soon and in three to five years. Pick out the lenses and maybe a strobe and whatever else you might want. next after picking out a set of 3 or 4 lenses ONLY THEN start to think about a DSLR body. The lenses will pretty much dictate which bod you buy. So many people decide of a body like (say) a low-end Canon and then they go lens shoping only to find they like what Nikon offers. or the other way around. Buy either Canon or Nikon. Don't look at the others unless you have a real good reason

    So how to buy a lens? List the subjects you want to shoot. think about the light they are in. You wrote the word "Safari" that means wildlife. Be warned that wildlife is the most expensive type of photography and places big and expensive demands on a lens. You will be wanting a fast f/2.8 lens if you can afford one. That lens will cost a bit more than the DSLR body so choose it carefully. Don't buy a dslr body untill yo've decided.

    To tel the truth I'd hate to have to make up my mind so quickly. Once you buy (say) a Nikon, you will buy Nikon lenses and then when it's time in a few years to replace/upgrade the body you will have all these expensive Nikon Lenses so you will buy a Nikon Body. The cycle continues for decades. You bether like the company you buy from enough to trust that you will like whatever they have for sale in 15 years. Lenses last a long time. 20 to 30 years is not unreasonable at all. DSLR bodies not so. four years is pushing it. Technology changes so fast you simply will not want a five year old DSLR body even if it works well. But good lenses are nearly lifetime investments. So choose accordingly.

    If you are going to be shooting wildlife it's time to do some serious research on lenses. Know what focal lenghts and f-stops you will be needing and if you want "VR" or "IS" or if you will need a tripod and ball head and what you budget is going to be. Costs range from thousands to hundreds and you should understand the tradeoffs. Expect to sped at least a low four digit figure But I doubt you can become educated enough to make an informed decision in one day. This is what GOOD retailers are for. They can listen to your needs and match you up to a system.

    Notice the word "system". That is what you are buying. Don't think "camera", think "system": A body (or two) a few lenses, some filters and memory cards. Software for editing and catalogging so way to make prints ad a bag to carry it and (I strongly suggest) a hard case to store and transport it all. Thwe system has many parts that you ned to shop for. Chose a Lens or two first.
     
  6. crazycat thread starter macrumors 65816

    crazycat

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2005
    #6
    Thanks Chris, it seems the SLR cameras are a lot more complected then i thought. Your reply makes sense to me, i will hold off and do some more research on different lenses. The reason why i wanted to buy one tomorrow its because i will be going camping for 1 day and wanted a nice camera but i will use my older model in this case.

    I am swinging towards Canon a little bit since I have more experience with it and trust it as a brand more but i will be open minded.

    I was thinking of getting a body and a normal lenses (i dont know the technical name for it) and one that gives me a little more zoom. I am not going to take and real pictures (if i can say that) just something a little more advanced then a point and shoot camera.

    Again thanks for the reply Chris.
     
  7. Sdashiki macrumors 68040

    Sdashiki

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2005
    Location:
    Behind the lens
    #7
    Good thing about film camera bodies, unlike the 5yr cycle noted above, they never go out of use or style.

    My AE-1 is a few decades old now, still works as well as it did when it was new.
     
  8. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Location:
    with Hamburglar.
    #8
    there are 91 threads on this very topic... a forum search can put you months ahead in terms of research.
     
  9. failsafe1 macrumors 6502a

    failsafe1

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2003
    #9
    You must go to a store and play with some firsthand. Don't research sight unseen and make purchase. You can hold and see how different models handle and then search online for the best price. There are a ton of web sites to current reviews of curerent models. Do any of your friends have a camera you like? Best of luck. Get a good system that you can put nice glass on. Most people buying their first camera get a nice body and skimp on glass.
     
  10. seenew macrumors 68000

    seenew

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2005
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    #10
    While there are many advantages to film, it can become quite expensive to process, and it can be more cumbersome. Keeping your negatives safe can be harder than keeping track of your digital files (yes I know hard drives can fail). The guy said he wanted to go digital, anyway.
     
  11. Sdashiki macrumors 68040

    Sdashiki

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2005
    Location:
    Behind the lens
    #11
    You are SO right.

    But I like saying my camera is like 30 years old, people cant seem to understand that.

    Especially when my photos look 10x better than the AUTO set photos they capture.

    ps: these people dont post here!
     
  12. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #12
    You are right. But it's psychological. People prefer "free" even if they have to pay a fortune to get that "free" item. Look at cell phones: People will gladely sign a two year contract for $40 a month so they can get a "free" cell phone. No difference with Digital SLRs. People will pay $1,200 for a DSLR body to they don't have to by a $4 box of film.

    Nothing wrong with digital cameras and cell phones but don't fool yourself into thinking you are saving money. No Way. No even close. We buy then because we like them and have a bit of extra cash to spend

    I can beat your AE-1. I've got one of these, good as new too.
    http://www.exakta.org/org35/orgvarex2a/vxiiacc.jpg
    The exacta was the fist 35mm SLR with interchangeable lenses and viewfinders. When new, it sold for a bit more money than most people made in a month. It was the camera that Nikon copied (and improved) when they built the "F" in 1959. (I've got an F2 also and N8080, N90 and D50) My Exacta still works and it's Zeiss 58mm f/1.4 lens is as sharp as anything made today. But today I use the D50.
     
  13. seenew macrumors 68000

    seenew

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2005
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    #13
    Sorry to burst your bubble, but I bought a $200 SLR (luckily already had lenses) and spent $800 on film, paper, and lab fees this past quarter of school. That's $1000 for ten weeks. You can get a decent dSLR for $500, a decent lens (maybe two) and a memory card, and be set for life (theoretically) for the same $1000. It's not psychological. Humans don't invent things because they're cool or just because we can. It's an improvement in the process, increase efficiency and decrease cost. In the next five years, there will be no debate on the quality of film verses digital. People will still shoot film, though, because people still paint, after all.
     
  14. Sdashiki macrumors 68040

    Sdashiki

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2005
    Location:
    Behind the lens
    #14
    Ah, but mine was the first to have a microprocessor to do the light meter calculations!

    That is very true. However, there is ALWAYS something to be said for the differences between analog and digital capturing of light.

    Some things film just inherently does because of its analog/physical nature, that a sensor and all the software in the world cant recreate.
     
  15. Wes Jordan macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2006
    #15
    Along the lines of the Nikon vs. Canon debate, this is a major decision. I picked Canon because I liked the controls of the camera, the performance, and brand image and reputation. I love my 20D and I would not trade it for any other camera...okay maybe a nicer Canon body...

    Am I at times envious of the high zoom ratio of many of the Nikon lenses? Yes. The new Nikon 18-300 (or is it 200?) VR is fantastic, if a bit pricey. The best Canon offers is the 17-85 IS(mine arrives tomorrow). I have heard many say that Nikon makes better cheap lenses. I might agree with this, but I have done no comparisons. I would however say that on the high end Canon and Nikon are probably equal until it comes to camera bodies, and then in my opinion Canon wins that round. It depends what is important to you...If it is lenses....you might want to go with Nikon, if it is the camera, maybe Canon.

    Overall both are great systems. dSLRs are the way to go!
     

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