DSLR Camera

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Evan, Apr 10, 2007.

  1. Evan macrumors newbie

    Apr 10, 2007
    Hey there, I'm looking for a DSLR camera. I need it to take pictures at events and I realized that a standard camera won't cut it. The reason is because I want the pictures to have that "glossy" look. You may know what I am talking about. I think I need something from Nikon since I hear they are really reliable. I need to take pictures at events which would be in the day and night and would need a good zoom (I assume I will need to get a lens seperately) to take pictures at stages for performers. A good flash would be great as well. I'm assuming that something like what I want to do would mean I might need extra batteries and memory cards in case I am at events for a long period of time. Also, taking pictures in rapid succession would be ideal, since you need to be prepared for anything that might happen to get it on film. Also, no delay from pressing the button would be wonderful - I really dislike my current Sony camera for taking SO long after I press the button for the picture to be taken, the same goes for taking one picture after the other. I have a Kodak which seems to take pictures instantaneously so It seems like something very possible. Finally, something with a not-so-steep learning curve would be nice - I am really just interested in pointing and shooting, not fiddling with settings, but I assume a DSLR might mean that won't be the case so much. Thanks!
  2. alFR macrumors 68020

    Aug 10, 2006
    Well, you're partly right - you can use a DSLR as a point-and-shoot, but you won't be getting the most out of it that way and might be better saving some cash and going for a high-end compact digicam.

    If you want a DSLR and have no existing lens stock then you can go with any brand - check out both Canon and Nikon in person if you can, some people prefer the ergonomics of one brand over the other. To take event pictures at night as you describe you'll probably need an (expensive) wide-aperture zoom lens, but either manufacturer can give you that. DSLRs have very little shutter delay, so no worries there. You can get spare batteries, cards etc. for any brand so again no worries.

    Check out:

    Steve's digicams
    Digital camera resource page

    for some reviews.
  3. Martin C macrumors 6502a

    Martin C

    Nov 5, 2006
    New York City
    I think people give you some options if you would tell us if you are under a budget or not.
  4. semicharmed macrumors regular

    Jul 24, 2005
    New Orleans
    Glossy look? Can you show examples? A lot can be done with post-processing, etc even if the shots are originally taken with compact point + shoots.
  5. Cameront9 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 6, 2006
    When you buy a dSLR, you are NOT buying a camera. You are buying a SYSTEM. Check out the differences between Canon and Nikon's lenses and see which ones you think suit your shooting style better. Camera bodies will come and go, but the Glass is the real investment.

    Personally, I love the Canon stuff. You can't go wrong with an Xti or a 30D. If you go Nikon, DON'T get the entry level camera (The D40, I think...). It has been crippled and will only Autofocus with a few newer Nikon autofocus lenses.

    That said, both companies offer good products. just go to the store and try it out. Oh, and don't skimp on the glass. You may think the 5 or 6 hundred you spend on the lens alone is nuts, but it will be worth it to get nice fast glass that takes incredibly sharp photos.
  6. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    Actually, I think the D40 is a decent camera. There are some lenses that won't work on it, but there are a LOT of consumer level lenses that will, because these lenses are the ones that made the shift to SWM first. The only thing I wish is for the 50 mm f/1.8 to get SWM.

    The Nikon D80 is pretty much the class leader for cameras under $1000 USD.

    If you get a Canon, don't bother with the Digital Rebel XTi. Feels like a piece of junk. Every camera from every other manufacturer feels better built. The small size is a preference thing, but the small size is the biggest complaint about this camera as well. The Canon 30D is a great size, although the ergonomics may or may not feel right for you.

    A Pentax K100D is nice, and the K10D is even nicer. Best bang for your buck, I say.
  7. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

    May 7, 2004
    Sod off
    I have a Nikon Coolpix 4300 point-and-shoot that is a few years old. It takes pretty good pictures, but having used DSLRs in archaeology fieldwork I find that I'd like to have a camera with a wide-angle lens for taking pictures of big things up close, and less delay between taking one pic and being ready to do the next.

    I was thinking of getting a Pentax K100D, but Nikon emailed me an advert for the D40X, and it looks attractive. I'm not a professional by any stretch, but I take pictures often enough I think I'm ready to graduate to a DSLR...

    But I know little about lenses right now, so I've got some reading to do. In the field I used a 35mm film camera (either a Canon F1 or a Canon EOS) with 50mm and 28mm lenses. The digital was an old Canon EOS with some sort of zoom lens but I can't remember the focal length...it's all so confusing! ;)
  8. Unspeaked macrumors 68020


    Dec 29, 2003
    West Coast
    I'm in the same boat, sort of, but in the end, I think the fact that the Pentax works with the entire Pentax line of lenses while the Nikon only works with a select few pushes things in the K100D's favor.

    Plus, the buit-in anti-shake will probably help make up for the 6MP vs 10MP difference...
  9. MacAnkka macrumors regular

    Jun 30, 2006
    The Nikon line is quite a lot bigger than Pentax's, though. (Even if you don't count the Nikon lenses that don't work with D40, I think)
  10. j5uh macrumors member

    Mar 13, 2007
    i'm sorry but i love by 350d (XT)
    kit lens isn't so bad... very under rated by noobs.
    If you know how to shoot, you can shoot with any lens.

    reason why i chose the 350d is the price. I got mine of amazon.com for 530 with kit lens and body. its light and portable.

    if you want, i'd advise you to buy the 350d with just the body for around 450. and buy yourself a 50mm f/1.8 lens from b&h. it's only $80 bucks for a freaking awesome prime lens. Prime means no zoom... fyi.

    if you want, you can check out my photos on my flickr www.flickr.com/photos/j5uh

    btw if your buying a dslr, you better have some time to sit and learn how to use it. if not, your wasting your time and energy lugging around a bigger camera.

    secondly, learn to edit photos. that means shooting in RAW rather than jpg.

    there's lots to learn. you have to be passionate and have the time. anything less, your wasting your time and money. :D
  11. Veritas&Equitas macrumors 68000


    Oct 31, 2005
    Twin Cities, MN
    Based on your post, I'd say you probably don't have much experience at all with dSLR. Also, instead of focusing on the body, make your decision based on the lens. I see way too many people worried about what body to get, when in reality, the lens system is what you are buying into. For instance, even if you bought a D40 body for $450, a decent lens could cost you double that. (i.e. 18-200mm VR). If you buy Canon, you can only use those specific lenses, same with Nikon. In the long run, you'll be spending much more money on your lenses than your body, most likely.

    That being said, what you are looking to do is going to cost you. A decent body, with a couple decent lenses, coupled with a speed light that you said you want will run you well over $1,000. That's not even including the editing software that you will probably need (unless you already have Photoshop). For instance, a D40 runs you $450ish, say a 18-55mm kit lens is another $150, a cheap 50mm/1.8 prime is around $120, and a decent zoom lens will run you at least another few hundred if you are working in low lighting like you say at shooting a stage of performers, probably more. Throw in some more for a decent memory card, carrying case, maybe tripod/monopod, you'll be well over $1,000 after all is said and done, probably closer to $1,400-1,500, and that's not even buying top stuff, just "budget" equipment (i.e. not D200, D2x, 70-300mm VR, etc.) Make sure it's what you want to do, and it's worth the investment of not only money, but a good deal of time learning all the basics of shooting (ISO, shutter speed, aperture, etc.).
  12. Evan thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 10, 2007
    Wow. Didn't expect such a reply - I guess I should say some more stuff now.

    The "gloss" thing I was talking about may be pretty much subjective, but this. I think it could be post processing or something.

    So let me give you a bit more story - I'm going to be doing a website where pictures at events/parties would be a big part of it. So I've stated that I would want a zoom to get a good view of performers on stage from a distance in case I can only shoot at a less than prime (far) spot. What I'm doing is going to be pretty new here, the only "competition" in this field basically tells people to go with whatever camera they have, focus on having a certain number of Megapixels on the camera and that's all. So, I want to do it right, I want to have the pictures with that "gloss". So it'll be pictures of people at parties, posing, etc. It would be mostly but not always at night. Here's something else, I'm in the Caribbean and doing this would mean ordering from the internet and working just on the opinions of nice people like you :) With this said, I don't think I NEED a professional camera, and I would hope I can get away with spending around $500 US. That probably wouldn't be a reality but I would at least like to get the information and know how much I would need to. So I've learned that I need to focus on the lense(s) but I don't know much about this. I've had the D40/80 suggested before but again, getting people's suggestions is what I need since I can't use these things before I buy. I'm no photographer, never used a DSLR, but I am a fast learner, having a camera that doesn't take much to operate would be ideal too!
  13. carbonmotion macrumors 6502a


    Jan 28, 2004
    San Francisco, CA
  14. Roy Hobbs macrumors 68000

    Roy Hobbs

    Apr 29, 2005
    I think the "gloss" you are talking about is from a well taken picture not necessarily form a DSLR. A good photographger can get great pics from a disposable camera.
  15. Unspeaked macrumors 68020


    Dec 29, 2003
    West Coast

    That example he gave looks like something any modest Point and Shoot could accomplish.

    I think he'd be better of getting a Canon Powershot or something of that nature, with a decent zoom (since that seems to be a must-have for him) and he can get away with spending under $400 and have a pretty nice, high resolution camera.
  16. Lovesong macrumors 65816


    Sep 15, 2006
    Stuck beween a rock and a hard place
    The "gloss" you're referring to is simply a sharp image that can be obtained without the use of an SLR. The whole idea behind the interchangeable lenses is that you can use a certain lens for a certain situation (i.e. a macro lens for all those bugs in the backyard, a fast prime for low light, etc.). There are some advantages over the P&S cameras, including having complete manual control over your images, selecting glass that will be good for some situations, and less noise at higher ISOs.
    That being said, a dSLR is more than the "camera." As others have said, you're buying a system of lenses. Recently I bought a $2500 Canon 5D. I fully expect that within 5-10 years that camera will be gone, replaced by something else. What will stay are the lenses that I have bought for the Canon mount (which added up to more than the camera body itself). For what you're looking to do (telephoto stuff, low light), you are going to need something like a 70-200 f/2.8 lens (running at about $1200, more for the Nikon), and some fast long primes (which are out of most our budgets).
    My advice to you is to look into the so-called super-zooms. They are not SLR cameras, but deliver many of the same manual controls, and image quality is often on par with some of the budget SLRs. Try the Lumix FZ-50, or one of the Fuji S series. Canon also has the S3 IS, which is nice camera as well. Given your lack of experience in the field, and your low budget, this would make more sense, and give you instant gratification, over the SLRs, which though outstanding, are more expensive than they appear.
  17. Cameront9 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 6, 2006
    Been thinking about your predicament.

    You say you want a good zoom and most of the pics will be at night. This means you will have to use "fast" glass to get good results, as you're probably not going to be able to use a flash....You're looking at some expensive lenses in this case...."Fast" zooms are some of the most expensive lenses there are.

    Also, you need to realize that on an SLR, you're not going to have 10x zooms, etc. you're going to have lenses which zoom like 3-4x at the most. Depending on how far away you are, you're going to need probably a zoom lens of about 100mm-400mm, I would think...

    You might check some camera specific forums to get a better answer. www.steves-digicams.com is a good site that I trust. I'm a Canon guy, and the Canon forums at http://photography-on-the.net/forum/ are really great. They can help you look towards where you want to go... Sorry, don't know of any Nikon forums, might google "Nikonians," I think I've heard that name before....
  18. Evan thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 10, 2007
    Seems like I'll have a ton of research to do still. But you're with the night shots, they'll most likely be outdoors to boot. I see no reason I can't use a flash but I'm thinking using a flash may be a bad idea. I guess this is irrelevant, I can easily turn flash on or off. I still think but am not certain that a DSLR is what I should get in case I can manage to get images in magazine, or if people want prints, though alternately I am sure you can get good prints from a point and shoot. I'd have multiple people at events and some would use standard P&S cameras, but I at least want one "good" camera for performers, etc. But I'm not going to get a good Zoom with a DSLR? That will suck but some zoom is better than none. Also, I may not really need a zoom in reality but I would like to have it just in case.

    Answer me this, would there be packages with different lenses for cameras or you'd have to get them separately? And a Macro Lens is for smaller things, but could I not use it to just take pictures like a P&S? The thing is I don't want to be having to change lenses during an event to have it drop, etc. So one lens would be ok. I'm just really inquisitive because I don't want to spend more than I need to but if I have to put out the money I will try. I have a Sony, I don't think these pictures have the same "kick" as a DSLR has, check here and here. Thanks a lot for the help, I really appreciate it, and I would love any more suggestions you have. The Digital Rebel is actually looking like it might be OK but anything else, do let me know. I'm going to look into the Lumix cam in the meantime.
  19. j5uh macrumors member

    Mar 13, 2007
    i dont think i've ever seen packages of different cameras and lenses...

    but either way,... ur gonna have to change out ur lens for different situations. unless u just don't care how your images look. Lens aren't cheap either.

    i see that your wanting a lens with good zoom and good night time capabilities. i'd recommend the canon 70-200mm f/2.8 L glass. its about 1600-$1700. it's one of the best for indoor/lowlight settings.

    just be ready to shell out some money if ur gonna go dslr. it's not a cheap hobby.
  20. Jht macrumors member

    Dec 25, 2006
    Manchesterish, England
    Instead of an dslr have you thought about a prosumer/bridge camera instead, they tend to offer big zooms (10-18x optical), many manual settings common to dslr, high iso, shutter etc but all in a camera with a fixed lens, there also quite a bit cheaper and easier to maintain (ie: no dust in lens etc), bacially, as the name suggests they bridge the gap between an slr and a compact would be good for you if you feel your going to overwhelmed by an slr or the technology will be wasted on you, have a look at the fuji s range:

  21. Evan thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 10, 2007
    Interesting, but the Rebel is a bit more so maybe I should just go with that?
  22. Roy Hobbs macrumors 68000

    Roy Hobbs

    Apr 29, 2005
    Again these pictures would not have neccessarily been better with a DSLR or any other camera. The "kick" you are referring to is simply a good photograpgher taking good pictures a camera can not do this for you.
  23. Evan thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 10, 2007
    So what do you suggest? Walking around with a light or something? When you say "good" photographer you're talking about knowing what ISO or something to use? I am liking what I see from the Rebel, this picture is really nice. So is this one. Would what I described above in terms of requirements for lenses be adequate for sports? (i.e. needing a good zoom) or is there another lens I would need specifically?
  24. JNB macrumors 604


    Oct 7, 2004
    In a Hell predominately of my own making
    If you end up going with a point 'n' shoot, one thing to be careful of is the advertised zoom factor. There's optical zoom, and digital zoom.

    Optical is "real" zoom, where the physical optics are adjusted to achieve the zoom.

    Digital zoom is simple "blowing up" the digital image to make it appear closer. It results in a much grainer picture.

    Most P&S cameras use a combination of this. The will be advertised with something like "30X Effective Zoom!" That's likely a 3X Optical and 10X Digital. Bottom line, the higher optical zoom number, the better. I never used the digital portion on my old Canon A40 at all.
  25. bep207 macrumors 6502

    Jul 20, 2006
    those example pictures you are referencing have been worked on in some sort of photo editing program, be it photoshop or something like that.
    theoretically any photo can come out like this after some post-processing.

    its what comes out of the camera RAW that is important.
    which is where NIkon comes in.
    D80 without a doubt.

    Unless you have extremely tiny hands and have an affinity for toy-like electronics steer clear from Canon unless you have the money to buy their higher models.

    You cannot get a better deal than the D80.

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