Camera suggestion for keen student whose finally got some cash!

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by acearchie, Apr 5, 2011.

  1. acearchie macrumors 68040


    Jan 15, 2006

    Thanks to moving university and sleeping on a sofa for last term and next term I have managed to abolish having to pay rent for student accommodation, along with restricting going out I have been able to save up a small reserve of cash that I would like to finally blow on a camera.

    I have mostly been shooting on my dad's old film cameras (hasselblad and konica 35mm) and then developing myself. Whilst this is great I would love to have a digital camera that I can use and shoot video with.

    I have been pondering in my head for a while what I would want but I would like some like minded people to perhaps sway me.

    Originally I was thinking full frame since I love natural light and I would be using it a lot for video however, with the 5diii supposedly looming (yeh anytime between now and 2012!) I don't think it can really be an option now.

    So crop it is. I am a canon man purely because of the better video controls and I am used to the layout etc. So I am probably looking at the 550d, 600d, 60d and 70d.

    Pushing it the budget could be £1500 but obviously the less I spend the better.

    I won't be getting a kit lens as I don't think I would use it that often and therefore the lenses I would be looking at to get straight away would be a 50mm f1.8 (pretty set on this) and an UWA (ultra wide angle) as I love the look of these and often found that 18mm on a crop was just not enough.

    I realise these are really expensive lenses but It's a look I would be keen to go for unless anyone persuades me otherwise. Top of my list so far is the tokina 11-16mm f2.8 due to the constant and fast aperture that will be good for video as well as low light shots.

    I'll be looking at getting a flash too and whilst I have the option of skimping out on a Nissin or other "random" brand flashes I think I would like to get a 430 EX ii. Because of this I am also more pushed towards the 600/60/7d as they all have the ability to wirelessly fire it.

    Any point of view on this would be a real help.

    Here is a link to my flickr where you can tell me if I really do deserve this equipment or not:

    Plus might as well chuck in a video if anyone is interested.
  2. jampat macrumors 6502a

    Mar 17, 2008
    I have a 430EX because at the time I couldn't justify the price of the 580. I borrow a friends 580 all of the time now and very rarely use the 430. If you can stretch to get the 580, I would consider it entirely worthwhile.

    1)With a modifier on (or on a long bounce), the 430 needs to fire at almost full power which makes for slow recycle times
    2)580's head moves in both directions (the 430ii may have fixed this)
    3)580 can take flash sync cord without extra hotshoe adaptor
    4)580 can be master for other flashes (can the new bodies control groups from within the body? maybe this matters less now)
    5)580 can take external battery pack for amazing recycle times

    If money is too tight for a 580, I would go with a manual flash (like a 285HV or similar check out strobist and see what they like right now) for now and add the 580 when you have the money or want the flexibility of TTL.

    My reasons may not matter to you in which case, go ahead and get the 430, I just know in my case, I am constantly bumping up against things that the 580 would improve on.

    Have fun and good luck.
  3. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Mar 25, 2009
    Folding space
    I was looking at flashes a while ago and found a couple of nice Sigma units that are comparable to the more expensive Canon offerings.

    Sigma Superflash on B&H

  4. acearchie thread starter macrumors 68040


    Jan 15, 2006
    Money is quite tight but I take your points. My previous experiences with flashguns are that of a nissin and canon 430 EX. I was really happy with the extra features that the canon had over the nissin and the extra reach. So at the moment I think I am happy with what the 430 EX will offer.

    So far I'm not aiming to make money so things like recharge times aren't so important as the photo's will normally be of friends and family so I won't feel so bad getting them to wait a little extra longer!

    I believe the 430 EX ii twists both ways but more one way. I don't think this is such an issue and I would get used to it.

    The 430 EX ii would be my first flash therefore controlling others isn't such an issue. Plus it makes a good slave if I decide in the future to get a 580.

    Thanks for the pointers though.

    Thanks for the heads up, hadn't really considered 3rd party for premium flashguns. I will have to find a comparison review as with each manufacturer using their own terminology I struggle to understand if they actually offer the same thing!

    I think at the moment the main thing I am looking for is wireless capability out of the box (with 600d etc), built in white card and wide angle diffuser (I think all have this) and hi speed sync.

    From my first impressions I think that the sigma offers this but then it might be the cost of imports as that sigma seems to be a tad more expensive than the 430 ex ii here in the UK!
  5. rusty2192 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 15, 2008
    Just as a heads up, the 430 EX II does not have the built in bounce card like the 580. That being said, you could always just use a rubber band and an index card or sheet of stiff white paper. A few months ago I was wanting to get my first flash and threw around the idea of one of the third party ones, but eventually just spent the extra money on the 430 EX II. I am very happy with it, although I haven't really used it anywhere near its potential yet.

    The wireless E-TTL would be awesome. That's the main thing I would like about the 600D over my 550D. I don't think you can go wrong with any of these that you listed. There is a big difference in the feel and handling of each, so get yourself to a store to try each in your hand.
  6. acearchie thread starter macrumors 68040


    Jan 15, 2006
    Oh that's a bummer! Even the cheap Nissin I used had this feature. I just assumed they all did! Might have to purchase a cheap diffuser or similar to whack on the top. Or the DIY card and elastic band as you said!

    Exactly, that swivel screen and digital crop zoom are the only real difference. Wireless flash alone is worth the extra £100 as most of the wireless kits have less functions and are more than £100!
  7. alph45 macrumors member

    Jun 2, 2010
    i got the 7d just for it's video functionality. The 60fps is really useful to me. great still camera though.
  8. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus


    Jul 24, 2002
    Don't buy new. Or at least not a full price. I got my 7D last year off eBay. Brand-new grey import. £1050. At that time the cheapest non-eBay online prices were more like £1300...
  9. gameface macrumors 6502

    Sep 11, 2010
    Boston, MA
    Hate to be buzz killington but having some liquid cash is a smart thing to have. Learn this now at an early age. And spending this just for the sake of getting something new (you didn't even know what you "wanted") is kinda dumb. I'd never be where I am today career wise if I didn't have the cash to up and move across the country after college and survive doing a 40+ hour a week job at an unpaid internship.

    Seriously, save the dough, you'll thank me later.
  10. acearchie thread starter macrumors 68040


    Jan 15, 2006
    But since this is the career that I would like to get into and it is not an upgrade but the starting place to get a foothold on photography and video I think it is worthwhile.

    I also do know what I want but since, as you have said, this is a large amount of money to anyone, I am looking if experienced photographers have a different point of view on what I am attempting to purchase. Whilst I have done my research I think it is always good to get someone else's opinion.

    On a side note when I realised that I would not have to pay rent for the foreseeable future I did chuck a load of money into a savings account that is guaranteed at least 30% growth over the next 5 (well 4.5 now!) years.

    This was going to be my next port of call. I was worried about warranties though as this is a lot of money. I know that I can look after my stuff but I don't know whether I can trust the people that have had the camera before me!

    So far I have been looking at DigitalRev as they have lower than RRP prices and offer a 1 year warranty which is a bit of a bummer as if I buy in the UK I would get a 2 year warranty out of the box which would be handy!

    Thanks for all the help everyone.
  11. fcortese macrumors demi-god


    Apr 3, 2010
    Big Sky country
    If possible refurb 7d if one can be found. also consider this flash as an alternative. the link below in the US, so you might have to search the UK to find one and compare prices, shipping, etc. Just a thought anyway.

    LumoPro 160 flash

    Good luck and have fun.:)
  12. MattSepeta macrumors 65816


    Jul 9, 2009
    375th St. Y
    Get the 7D. If you get a Rebel you will end up wanting to upgrade it a year and a half from now.

    7D is a BEAST of a camera that can handle ANYTHING you would want to do. I wish my 5D Mark II had the 60fps recording capability the 7D has.

    For a good UWA, check out the Tokina 11-16 f/2.8. Plenty wide, fast, built to last, great IQ.

    Dont bother with the 430EX. I have one among other speedlites, and I reach for my 580EXII first, then the nikon SB-28, then the vivitar 285HV, and finally, the 430EX if I realllly need a 4th light. Look for a used 285HV or Nikon SB-28. You shouldn't be learning with TTL anyways, just do it all manually and you will not be kicking yourself later.
  13. acearchie, Apr 6, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2011

    acearchie thread starter macrumors 68040


    Jan 15, 2006
    Cheers for the flash help. You say this but that is actually what I am planning on doing.

    The £100+ I lose in depreciation is worth having a body for at least 6 months+ or however long it takes for the 5diii to come out.

    I know that the 7d will give me better photos but for video they are exactly the same and since the jump is quite high up to the 7d price wise I might as well save a little harder and get the full frame 5diii which has many more benefits over the 7d.

    The tokina is actually the one I am looking at at the moment as it seems to be the best bang for buck!

    Thanks for the link. Seems so far that people are trying to turn me off the 430 ex ii but I am still wondering whether these 3rd party flashes will have all the features that the 430exii will have and work well with the body... The site says it has a lot of features but at the bottom it mentions some non-syncing issues with some canon cameras. Whilst my camera and lens knowledge is good, my knowledge on flashes is much less so maybe the 430exii would be better as a sort of beginner flash when I am not wanting to work in manual the whole time?
  14. MattSepeta macrumors 65816


    Jul 9, 2009
    375th St. Y
    Fair enough, if video is a priority and the 60D matches the 7D in that regard, go for it. I would be weary of "waiting around" for a camera that does not even exist. Not saying it wont come out eventually, but I imagine when it does it is going to be pretty expensive, something like $3,200 I'm thinking.

    If you want to save any money, look into a used 430EXI rather than a 430EXII. Might save you $100 you could put towards a tripod or something.
  15. HBOC macrumors 68020

    Oct 14, 2008
    No one knows what the "5D3" or 5D2N or whatev it will be called will be released. The 1Ds4 has't even been announced. If the new 5Ds' AF is like the 5D2, Canon will be in trouble, but I honestly believe that they will put at the minimum the 7Ds' AF in there. Speaking of the 7D, it is approaching 2 years and I would think a replacement is on the way this August/September.

    As for what camera, go to a store and test them out as much as you can. My buddy was going to get a 7D and I told him about the 60D (back in November or so) and he ended up with that. He does video.
  16. cupcakes2000 macrumors 6502

    Apr 13, 2010
    I have a 7d and it's amazing for stills and amazing for video. I would thoroughly recommend it. It's bullet proof as well.

    I use it with the cheap 50mm 1.8 (if that's the one you mean) and a sigma 10-20mm, among others.

    The 50mm is really crisp the bokeh is lovely for such a cheapy. I always say buying this lens catapulted my photography at the time.

    The wide one is REALLY wide. You can do some awesome weird perspective stuff with it, and at the mid to long end you can get lens distortion free shots.

    For flashes, which I'm very new to, I originally got a bottom of the range hotshoe only canon speedlite.
    I pretty soon after that realised that off camera flash was the way forward. I didn't want to blow loads of money on an experiment.

    I got two Yongnuo speedlights for ebay, about £40 each here....
    Two recievers (RF-602RX)
    One transmitter (RF-602TX). Ebay again, about £50 for it all.....
    Two very cheap lightstands. Not 100% awesome at all but not bad for £10 each! (Amazon).

    They all work fine, cheap way of getting an interesting multi light set up.

    I felt I had to get a transmitter and receivers because although the 7d can set off an external flash, it can only seem to do it optically via the internal flash. This seemed to be quite a limitation for me. I was worried about extra light getting in the shot and the distance that I could be from the flashes. Also the flashes didn't really work to well when they were behind the camera.

    This all might be different when using an official speedlite Maybe it's a limitation of a cheap set up, but now I can fire my flash from quite long a distance and from a hidden spot!

    Anyway, you seem to be aiming for the same thing as me!
  17. stradale33 macrumors member


    Aug 27, 2010
    Wirelessly posted (Opera/9.80 (iPhone; Opera Mini/5.0.019802/24.746; U; en) Presto/2.5.25 Version/10.54)


    Sorry not really quailified to speak to your questions But i did have a look at you Flickr page and youtube clip - keep up the good work. Sounds like you are on track to make a good go of a career in it too.

    PS. Could you tell me what the track was from the youtube clip?

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