DSLR Dilemma

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by punkandglamour, Apr 13, 2013.

  1. punkandglamour macrumors newbie

    Apr 13, 2013
    I've been a photographer since my teens, I'm 25 now. Instead of doing what I was good at, I went to college for a useless major and stumbled around the job market until I ended up taking pictures for a living. Right now I work for a studio filming children and we use Nikon D60's. I've been doing this for a bit now and am very comfortable with the D60 and have one myself.

    This fall I've decided to go to school and learn more about my craft and we're being required to buy a DSLR. Particularly one with video function(from what I've been reading HD would be ideal) which one of my classes will need. The D60 does not have that function, thought it still works beautifully.

    I hear there's good bang for the buck with Pentax. I don't know where to go. I'm really quite comfortable with a Nikon but I'm very limited on funds.

    I'm at a loss and thought I'd ask people who know their tech. I'm afraid to switch from a camera that I know but I need something new that's not going to cost me an arm and leg. Will it be easy to be switch from Nikon to another brand?
  2. acearchie macrumors 68040


    Jan 15, 2006
    Canon are known for the best video.

    What do you like to shoot and what would you look for in a camera?

    What is your budget?

    How flexible are you buying second hand versus new?
  3. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Personally, I'd stick with Nikon, or go with Canon. Get a camera that you'll most likely be using in the field after your classes. If you're comfortable with Nikon, then I'd see if you can find something second hand, or on sale.
  4. r.harris1, Apr 14, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2013

    r.harris1 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 20, 2012
    Denver, Colorado, USA
    Nikon and Canon both give excellent options in video, with comparable costs. Since you are already comfortable with Nikon, you may want to check out the D3200, an excellent sensor with good video options. You can get the body and a kit lens for ~$600, new. Used might be an option too (www.keh.com is a great site). Check out www.bythom.com by long-time Nikon shooter Thom Hogan for his insightful reviews on this and other bodies (and lenses, etc).

    While checking out other manufacturers is a worthy option, since you are already comfortable with Nikon's UI and image rendering philosophy, and presumably with it's excellent Creative Lighting System and autofocus functionality, something like a D3200 would certainly be worth consideration.
  5. alice04 macrumors regular


    Feb 15, 2013
    I prefer Nikon. My friend has a studio as well and all of her dslr and other equipment are from Nikon. She uses Nikon D3x
 now and it's really good!
  6. fa8362, Apr 14, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2013

    fa8362 macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2008
    People are giving you bad advice. If the camera and lenses meet your needs, the brand is irrelevant. You need to determine your specific feature needs and match them with the camera model and lenses. If the Pentax K-01 (for example) meets your feature needs, there is no better value in the market because you can get the body for $250-270 new. There will be a learning curve (as with any new camera), but crack open that manual and get to work.

    For digital, I've owned Canon (Rebel, 5D), Nikon (D2h, D80), Sigma (SD9), and Pentax (K5) DSLRs and Pentax K-01, and Panasonic GH2 mirrorless designs. I've also owned medium format digital (Leaf, Kodak). I now only own Pentax - K5 and K-01. Pentax is an optical company, like Nikon, so they have a history of making great lenses. I occasionally miss medium format and the Panasonic GH2, but I don't miss the Canon, Nikon, or Sigma DSLRs at all. The Pentax cameras and lenses are just as good overall (AF is a bit less good, but other aspects are superior) as comparable offerings from Canon and Nikon...and often less expensive.

    If you want to know more, visit pentaxforums.com for more information on pentax cameras and lenses.

    All of the consumer/prosumer cameras are compromised for video use, with the possible exception of the Panasonic GH3, but I assume that's out of your price range.
  7. guzhogi macrumors 68030


    Aug 31, 2003
    Wherever my feet take me…
    I've used an Sony Alpha 65 and 99 and they do great video, up to 1080p60. Since they're SLTs, they can autofocus while shooting video.

    One downside you'll face if you go with Sony is, since you're coming from Nikon, you'll have to buy new lenses.
  8. r.harris1 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 20, 2012
    Denver, Colorado, USA
    I shot Pentax film bodies for many years. Pentax was definitely a great optical company, and even though they are now owned by Ricoh, they're still definitely putting out some good stuff. However, suggesting that someone consider Nikon (because they already use it), or Canon (because they shine at video) isn't actually bad advice ;). Feature-wise, most manufacturers will be comparable. Big differentiators can be lens sets (who has the best lens set for your needs?) and are really the long term investments. Best advice is to go to your nearest dealer and get your hands on what's on offer and in your price range and see what works!
  9. blanka macrumors 68000

    Jul 30, 2012
    What a crap:
    The camera is a sensor, and an image processor, and then there are some buttons attached, making work a little easier or not, but the sensor+processor are what you buy.
    It is not like ancient times where you could pimp your trow-away-camera with a Velvia 100.

    And Nikon/Sony are setting the standards, Canon hanging a couple of years behind when you look at D-range (IMO one of the most important and way underrated specs of a DSLR). A Nikon D600 runs circles around a 5DmkIII for example when it comes to IQ, and that at almost HALF price. The T4i IQ is a clown compared to a D3200 for example, again at way less money.
  10. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    Ok first point any lenses you have for your D60 would work on a new Nikon camera. This might affect your decision.

    As for which brand. You need to go in to the store and hold and play with the cameras. Part of why someone chooses a particular brand camera is how they feel in your hands.

    Another point with going with a new Nikon is that if you didn't sell the D60 you would have a spare camera body that uses the same lenses as the new camera.
  11. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Apr 14, 2001
    Sendai, Japan
    If you have (access to) a lot of Nikon lenses, flashes and accessories, then this decision is a no-brainer: stick with Nikon. Otherwise, Nikon and Canon both are good choices. If your primary focus is video, though, have a look at Panasonic's GH3 which supposedly can output broadcast quality video streams directly off of the camera. It's also weather sealed and is a very capable still camera with access to a wide variety of lenses from all kinds of manufacturers (including Zeiss lenses if that's what floats your boat). Just have a look at the specs,
  12. mofunk macrumors 68020


    Aug 26, 2009
    Find some friends, ask them if you could shoot them for a fee. Maybe $20 for a few head shots. Save that money and put towards a new camera. Or find a used or refurbish DSLR.

    If you like D60, it's gets better... D90 or D700 or D7000 is at a good price. Or even a D300. I think the D90 sells for $550 new. D7000 $700 or D300 $500 and buy a video camera. D700 great but no video.

    imo Video is still a little tricky with a DSLR. Right now in your price range the D7000 is probably the best for you in Nikon family. I don't like the entry level because it lacks in the SLR part. You are also limited with accessories.

    http://www.adorama.com/catalog.tpl?op=itemlist&cat1=Used&cat2=Nikon Digital&cat3=Cameras


  13. AgRacer macrumors member

    Apr 20, 2011
    Actually THAT is bad advice. Brand is very relevant. If you can't find quality lenses for your camera I'd say the brand is very important. Pentax can't hold a candle to Nikon or Canon in regards to lens selection.
  14. fa8362 macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2008
    I suggest you reread what I wrote, paying particular attention to the phrase "if the camera AND lenses meet your needs." Moreover, it's nonsense to say that Pentax can't hold a candle to Nikon or Canon regarding lens selection. Sure, Pentax don't have as many lenses as Nikon and Canon, but they have plenty of lenses, more than any amateur needs.


    What a crap is right! The sensor and processor are part of the camera! If the camera and lenses meet someone's needs, there isn't anything else to consider. Is there something you don't understand about needs being met?
  15. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    Although in this case I wouldn't necessarily call the original poster an amateur since they work for a photography studio.

    And as another point, since they work for a studio that uses Nikon gear, if they get a Nikon, would they be able to borrow lenses form the studio? That's something to consider.
  16. nburwell macrumors 601


    May 6, 2008
    Judging by the OP's post, he is comfortable using Nikon, so I would look strongly at purchasing another Nikon DSLR that includes video. I don't know how attached you are to you D60, but you could always sell it and put the money you get towards a new DSLR. I would also suggest going to a camera store and playing around with different Nikon and even Canon DSLR's to see what you are most comfortable using. You're probably very familiar with Nikon and the menu system (not that Canon is harder to get used to).
  17. ocabj macrumors 6502a


    Jul 2, 2009
    Between Canon and Nikon, buy the brand that your friends use. Reason being that you can borrow lenses (if they're willing) and can get technical help.
  18. ctyhntr macrumors 6502


    Jul 21, 2010
    The Nikon vs Canon question isn't being the camera, but should be re-framed as buying into a lens system. Canon and Nikon have two of the biggest lens collection out there. Manufacturers are constantly coming up with camera body refreshes (Canon t5i comes to mind), while good lenses have longer useful life. A Canon 50 f1.4 manufactured 20 years ago can still be used on the latest 5DIII, or 7D successor. This is why its sometimes hard for professionals to switch, not because the latest body is $5K, but they have $25K+ invested in lenses.

    How many lenses and accessories have you built up around your Nikon? If you can afford to start over, then you can evaluate different platforms.

    Canon started the DSLR video crazed when they added 1080p video capability to the Canon 5DII. The Canon 5DII now have worthy competitors, check out the Panasonic GH2/GH3.

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