I've finally decided to go DSLR!

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by raptor96, Jan 2, 2007.

  1. raptor96 macrumors regular

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    #1
    So I've posted here a couple of times going back and forth between spending all my savings on a DSLR or asking my parents to buy me a ultra-zoom compact camera (a la Sony H2 or one of the Lumix cameras), but I think I'm definitely going to go DSLR now. I was on a trip last week and I felt so limited by not being able to take my pictures in the way I wanted. I was shooting with my point and shoot that I've had for a while and after having played with my bro's D50 I definitely felt limited.

    I'm looking into getting the D50 because it seems like the best camera I can grow on (also since I already have a Nikon 6006 and my family all shoots Nikon it would be nice to be able to get advice and use their lenses). I also figure that once I take Photo I next semester I'll only feel more limited by the point and shoot digicam (even if I moved to like a Lumix).

    Anyway to wrap this up: I wanted to ask what people who were shooting with the D50 or who knew Nikons thought. Should I wait on deals/rebates from Nikon (I know Staples had a Nikon + Nikkor kit for 405 at oone point that I missed out on)? Also should I consider the D40? I've read up on it and it seems like I might be crippled in terms of functionality once I become proficient. Thanks for any advice guys. Ciao!
     
  2. coldrain macrumors regular

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    #2
    Avoid the D40 because it is not compatible with a lot of lenses, because on that model Nikon saved on the internal focusing motor.

    And you don ot have to wait either, the Nikon D50 is out of production and it already is very low in price anyway. The D50 is a very nice camera, and its image quality is a bit better than that of the D70s, which also is out of production now. Both are of course good cameras, but the D50 is a lot better in high ISO noisewise.

    Get the D50 with its 18-55mm kitlens if you do not want to spend much, its very good optically and very cheap. The lenses from your old Nikon SLR will function fine on the D50, and the kitlens with its 18mm will fill in the wide angle part very well.
    Just in case you are not aware of it, because the sensor of the D50 is smaller than the film used in your film SLR, the field of view on the DSLR will be more narrow. This is called the crop factor. The 1.5x crop factor of the D50 will make 18mm equivalent of about 28mm, and that is as wide as the kitlens of your film SLR goes...
     
  3. raptor96 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #3
    Thanks coldrain. I was reading your posts on nms's thread about upgrading from a DSC-T1 and was sort of hoping you'd comment because your comments there seemed rather insightful. I appreciate the info. I had no idea that the D50 is being discontinued (which is a shame, the D40 seems to complement the line rather than supercede the need for the D50). I did know about the crop factor and the need for in-lens AF motor for the D40 but I was wondering something. When I look through the viewfinder of my D50 is that what I will be taking a picture of (or do I have to account for the crop in my head?). I assume it's the former since they call it TTL; so it's sort of WYSIWYG then I assume? Thanks!
     
  4. coldrain macrumors regular

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    #4
    You will see through the viewfinder what you will see on the photo. The mirror is APS-C sized, it does not matter how big the image circle of the lens actually is. So whether you would use a full frame 50mm lens or a 50mm DX lens (APS-C size), there will not be a difference in what you get on your photo, nor what you see through your viewfinder.
     
  5. JeffTL macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    Great choice; you'll love the D50. I recently moved to one from a relatively ancient Kodak DX3600 and have been quite impressed at being able to shoot what I see when I see it.
     
  6. raptor96 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #6
    Cool, thanks guys. I'm really stoked about this camera, I just want to find a good deal on it.

    I saw this awesome deal ($405 for body + Nikkor 18-55 from Staples) but I know it might be dreaming to hope to see that deal again. I would have gotten on it but it sold out too quickly (1000 units in 3 - 4 hrs). Anyone happen to know of any deals (I've been watching all my deals sites like hourly as well).
     
  7. Father Jack macrumors 68020

    Father Jack

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    #7
    D-SLR's are awesome and as you have access to Nikon lenses it makes sense to buy a Nikon.

    Enjoy :)

    FJ
     
  8. beloved84 macrumors regular

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    #8
    get the d40 if you don't mind manual focusing on a few lenses.
     
  9. coldrain macrumors regular

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    Dec 20, 2006
    #9
    The D40 has no advantages over the D50. Just a huge disadvantage. No one with older Nikon lenses should be adviced to get a D40.

    Actually, no one should regardless of if they already have lenses or not. If you want a small DSLR there are better alternatives in the Canon XT/350D, Canon XTi/400D and Pentax K100D. And the forementioned Nikon D50 of course.

    So, to the original poster, get the D50 while you still can, as you see they are clearing stocks quickly. Good luck with getting one, and I wish you a lot of joy from it.
     
  10. Squonk macrumors 65816

    Squonk

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    #10
    The P&S camera's are nice, but nothing inspires more to want to learn to take great photographs than my DSLR. You will love it!!!
     
  11. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #11
    You have an odd mission about this camera.

    Some advantages of the D40 over the D50:

    2.5", 230,000 pixel LCD vrs. 2.0" 130,000 pixel LCD
    Larger magnification viewfinder: .8x vrs. .75x
    Stronger flash: 17 vrs. 15
    can use SDHC cards
    bigger buffer: allows unlimited JPG and 9 RAW continuous frames vrs 12/4 frames
    Programmable FUNC button
    In-camera retouching
    1.0 lbs vrs. 1.2 lbs. (for those that want a light camera)

    Also, the D40 is much less expensive than the Canon Rebel XTi/400D. Most people don't consider $200 to be meaningless.

    The idea that no one should buy this camera is rediculous. What if I own 10 AF-S lenses? I should still buy a Canon or a Pentax?
     
  12. 840quadra Moderator

    840quadra

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    #12
    How about the XT as opposed to the XTi? In that case, most places will have the XT at a lower cost than the D40.

    I think that coldrain was getting at the fact that the older Nikon lenses will work better with the D50 than the D40, which is true isn't it ? I didn't see him recommend Canon or Pentax over Nikon, I only spotted him recommending the D50 over the D40.
     
  13. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #13
    Well, he recommends the Canons and Pentax in post #9 above (and the D50 of course for the OP).

    I just think it's a strange argument to say that the D40 simply shouldn't be bought by anyone for any reasons, and to deny that it does have advantages over the D50. And it has advantages over the Canon Rebel XT/350D, and over the Pentax. It has disadvantages too, of course, which may be more important. And not being able to use older Nikon lenses as autofocus lenses is of course a major disadvantage for most people, but not for everyone.
     
  14. 840quadra Moderator

    840quadra

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    #14
    I didn't see that post, thanks :) .


    Good points.
     
  15. coldrain macrumors regular

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    Dec 20, 2006
    #15
    -The camera (D40) has no good RAW conversion software standard. It costs another 150$.

    -The camera HAS to have a programmable func button because Nikon did not put an ISO or WhiteBalance button on the body. How annoying and weird is that?

    -The camera has NO internal motor, which makes it not really an option to use a few years old lenses, and lenses that you can still buy like almost the entire range of primes. And which makes it impossible almost to buy lenses from 3rd party manucaturers like Sigma, Tamron, Tokina.

    -The camera has no depth of field preview. I personally hardly use it on my 350D, but others do find it valuable and the Pentax and Canon models I mentioned do have it.

    -The camera as a 3 point autofocus compared to the 5 point autofocus of the D50 (other cameras have more).

    -Exposure and white balance bracketing possibility has been removed (D50 has that) (as do the others).

    -The camera does not have mirror lock-up like the mentioned Canons and Pentax have.

    So... while the D40 has gained in the toys department (bigger LCD, in camera editting like "red eye removal" and "image overlay"), it has been drastically cut down in areas that matter (internal motor gone, from 5 to 3 AF points, no ISO and WB button).

    And you wonder why I will not recommend a D40 over the K100D, 350D/XT, 400D/XTi and D50? A very odd mission I have over the D40 indeed :rolleyes: .

    And anyone with 10 AF-S lenses already will have a Nikon DSLR I am sure, and they are more likely to UPGRADE to a D80 or D200 than to DOWNGRADE to a D40.
     
  16. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #16
    What camera would you recommend for this person:

    60-year old woman with a bad back who is used to SLR cameras. Used to use all manual, but has basically been using her most recent SLR in auto mode for the past 10 years. Her top priorities are:

    that the camera be light. (she has a bad back/neck and wants a camera that she can realistically take around often).

    that the camera have as large an LCD and viewfinder as possible. (Old eyes.)

    That the camera be inexpensive (retired)

    And, that's it. Those are the top priorities. She doesn't have any legacy lenses, and would likely just want a kit lens and a light, plastic telephoto zoom.

    (and someone with 10 AF-S lenses already might be a pro who wants a light, cheap backup camera)
     
  17. coldrain macrumors regular

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    #17
    No pro wants a camera like a D40. And a D200 and D80 are already light for a pro. A pro will not want a camera where all those features have been dropped from. A pro will also not be so brand-sensitive, so if a pro wants a small camera a pro might just look at a Canon XTi with a lens, since that pro would not mind having an extra lens or two just for the compact camera's sake.

    And OK, so if an elderly lady comes along, with bad eyesight, artritis and low budget, who only wants average kitlenses, I will consider advicing the D40. When the D50 has been out of sales channels, because 2" vs. 2.5" is hardly a huge step.
     
  18. TBi macrumors 68030

    TBi

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    #18
    Why bother getting a DSLR at all. A point and shoot would do her just fine, especially since she isn't going to change the lens. I got a Canon A710 and it does a fantastic job. 6X zoom and Image Stabilizer. My friend who is an avid photographer recommended it to me.

    We took the same picture with his D400 and my A710. If you want I'll send you both and you try to tell me which is which (although the file size and the fact that one is 10MP and one is 7.1MP will probably give it away...).

     
  19. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #19
    That's pretty funny. The woman in the example is my mom, and she ended up getting the Canon 710 IS that I recommended. In the end, the cost and weight of the DSLR were more than she wanted to deal with.

    And I have a 400D! We haven't compared too much, and we've only both been photographing the same location once. We didn't do a test to compare the cameras, so the differences seemed to be more about her better sense of composition (she photographed in B&W and printed her own pictures for decades) and my better technical understanding of digital cameras.
     
  20. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

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    #20
    Nikon's D80. Smaller and lighter than the D200 but with many of the same features, with the capability to shoot in the way in which she was formerly accustomed (all-manual, aperture priority or shutter priority) or if she prefers, simply all in "auto" or "program mode." Lenses: rather than waste money on the kit lens, she'd be better off with the 18-200mm VR for an all-around, all-purpose walkaround lens and for low-light work, 50mm f/1.4 or if costs are an issue, f/1.8. Another option would be either the new 18-55mm kit lens or the well-thought-of 18-70 kit lens that initially was issued with the D70, as well as the new 70-300mm VR if she wants greater length in telephoto.

    Shoot, I should've read the whole thread before responding to the earlier question! :D
     
  21. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #21
    I can think of some professionals that simply want control of the shutter speed and aperture and don't want or need any other camera features. You have to remember most who earn a living do commercial work. These guys are not out walking around looking for things to shot they almost always work in controlled conditions and set up the shots that they are asked to make. All those thousands of pages magazines and newspapers and catalogs and direct mail that I dump in the recycle bin every month are chuck-filled with photos and every one was shot by some commercial photographer who likely had no use for TTL shoe mounted strobes, autofocus lens, matrix meters, 5 frame per second moter drives,...

    I think that many of these people have simply oput digital backs on thier old Mamiya RZ67 or Sinar p2. It's just the news, sports and event photographers that have gone to small format (DX/APS-C) DSLRs.

    I'm very certain that if I go to a car dealer and walk out with a stack of sales pamphlets none of those images were done with a Canon or a Nikon DSLR

    My guess is that 95% of all the D200s and 30Ds are sold to armatures who only take pictures while on vacation. That's the way it was with 35mm SLRs and I don't see why it would change with DSLRs.
     
  22. coldrain macrumors regular

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    #22
    So... you basically agree with me, a pro will not look for a lowest end 6mp DSLR? And the pros you decribe have no need or wish for lightest + smallest?
     
  23. Silentwave macrumors 68000

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    #23
    I know at least two pros who did buy the D40. I know I would if I had the spare money.

    Besides, most of its negatives are irrelevant for its primary target audience.
     
  24. coldrain macrumors regular

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    #24
    Which is its primary ratget audience? Average customer joe who has no idea that the camera lacks valuable features, and gets drawn by the low price and marketing blurb?
    And which two "pros" bought a d40, and why?
     
  25. Phatpat macrumors 6502a

    Phatpat

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    #25
    Sometimes having more features just to have them is worse. If you don't need them, they just clutter the interface. Kind of like an Acer laptop vs. a Macbook. Sure, you can list out a ton of nice little features, but which works better? I like my Macbook.

     

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