Europe soon~> dslr thought...

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by spacemanps, Apr 6, 2009.

  1. spacemanps macrumors regular


    Oct 14, 2008
    New Jersey
    okay so im off to a trip around Europe soon and all i have now is a point and shoot. don't get me wrong i love my point and shoots but it just sometimes cant do what i want. And i just sometimes crave more.. so i have been leaning towards a dslr.. but i am under a budget, a lot of people are telling me not to get a new one because i will grow out of it being a beginner... im trying to spend around 300-400 on the camera, lenses, 8gb card, and bag. Im not necessarily looking for a bundle so i can order from a number of places

    The things that i would like in my camera:
    1) Live view (i wear glasses and it makes my life easier)
    2) flash- just nice to have..
    3) light weight
    4) not too big

    ive been looking at the d40 (but doesnt have Live view), and the Rebel XS (too expensive even used)
  2. leighonigar macrumors 6502a

    May 5, 2007
  3. spacemanps thread starter macrumors regular


    Oct 14, 2008
    New Jersey
    ive been specifically told not to get an Olympus... only listening to what one of my pro friends says...
  4. 147798 Suspended

    Dec 29, 2007
    Are you in the states? Check refurb/used at adorama or B&H for an XTi body and get an 18-55 IS lens (make sure it's IS). This is a great starter kit, though it doesn't have live view. BUT for what you want, live view is NOT useful unless you are doing macro. But for travel photog -- not useful. In the bodies you could even hope to afford, live view is not fast enough to use like a point and shoot. Also, once you start using a DSLR, you'll realize that holding it away from your face to shoot a picture is actually MORE difficult than holding it up to your eye. Holding it up to your eye helps steady the camera. This is MUCH heavier than a point and shoot.

    I started w/ a used XTi ($300) and I got other lenses, but the 18-55 IS will run you $150 new, $120 refurbished. That's about the best you can do with $300-400.
  5. toxic macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2008
    ^ yeah, forget about live view. the implementation is different for most SLRs anyway - it's a supplement to the viewfinder (usu. for tripod work), not a replacement.

    Olympus E-410 or E-420, Sony a250, Nikon D40, used Canon Rebel (doesn't matter which one). out of those, Olympus is probably your best bet - small and good image quality up to around ISO 400 (or 800, don't remember).

    if you're serious about photography, look at the Nikon D200 (not sure it's in your price range...) and Canon 20D. the Canon 30D is also good, but it sells for around $425 used. otherwise, don't worry about outgrowing whatever SLR you buy.
  6. jbernie macrumors 6502a


    Nov 25, 2005
    Denver, CO
    Too help us out a bit, what exactly do you have now? We need to use that a base so we can ensure you are actually improving on it.

    Not sure in the 300-400 range if you can get something you will truely be happy with long term. Maybe a Canon G10 or similar might be an improvement that is worthwhile?

    In addition, when doing the trip will it be more of a bus trip or similar where you are on the road every day and possibly in a new location every night or will it be more stable where you will have a few days at each location and the hotel will be home base during this time? dSLR are nice but sometimes simple portability will work better depending on the situation.

    What are your plans for the photos that you do take? Keep them on the camera/memory card? or download them to a netbook or other device as you go? Given most P&S have a video option and Europe has lots of things to photograph you may want to take an extra card or two to be safe. Though that could be covered by existing cards you have if compatible.

    Just taking a look at Amazon & 8GB memory cards, looks like you can get most of them for under $50 depending on which type of card you might even go below $20.
  7. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    You do not need Live View because you have glasses. Many viewfinders have a diaopter adjustment and you can set it for your prescription. I just dial in a +2 and I'm set.

    With your budget you are looking at used equipment.

    Think a lot about which lenses you want. With a limited budget you will get the most with maybe the kit 18-55 lens and one faster prime lens.
  8. FX120 macrumors 65816


    May 18, 2007
    Just a question, but at that small of a budget and those requirements, is there any reason you're looking at SLR's?

    You might be better served by something like a Canon Powershot G9 or G10, or a superzoom like the SX1 IS.

    Even then you're looking at the upper end of your budget once you buy a bag and memory cards.
  9. telecomm macrumors 65816


    Nov 30, 2003
    I wear glasses (or contacts when I can be bothered), and I don't find that using the viewfinder when wearing my glasses is a problem (my prescription exceeds the diopter adjustment on my D60).

    If you haven't done this already, go to a camera shop and play around with DSLR, you'll probably find that wearing glasses isn't a big deal.
  10. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    I second the suggestion for a Rebel XTi body and the 18-55mm IS lens. They can be had for fairly cheap nowadays and will last you a long time. You won't need a flash. It will put you over budget anyways.

    For a bag you can just put it in a backpack. 8GB memory cards only cost $20-$30 or so.

    Getting a powershot G9/10 or something from the SX series is one of my pet peeves of photography. They don't do anything better than a DSLR in terms of image quality in a package that's larger than a P&S. You can't expand them with lenses, and their aperture range is generally quite bad.
  11. leighonigar macrumors 6502a

    May 5, 2007
    I love this. I really do. Did he/she say why? My guess, something about the sensor being smaller. Pah. Olympus make some great cameras and actually the SLR that best fits your wish list and budget. And they have the best dusk-reduction system. It's not as if you're going to end up buying the more bizarre lenses in Canon or Nikon's line up and at any rate, Olympus actually have a hell of a selection now, with many of the lenses being more affordable and/or of better quality than Canikons at the same level.

    If you don't care about live view the field gets wider, I wear glasses and never use live view. The added distance imposed does make it a bit more difficult to see the whole screen, but it's still better than live-view, especially in bright sun. Until you're not bothered about live-view then I would maintain that the Olympus is best. And it's always the smallest.

    As the others have said, if you don't mind lower quality than an Olympus would provide you can spend similar money on a decent compact, like the Canon G10 or Panasonic LX3. These are still unpocketable.
  12. spacemanps thread starter macrumors regular


    Oct 14, 2008
    New Jersey
    okay well the reason i want a dslr is because..... i just do? ha. I have a cannon

    and i just feel like as i get older i tend to take more pictures of things i would like to save and maybe get enlarged... and i would like to be able to learn more and grow into my camera.

    I know every one says that live view really wont be used, but its something that i would like to have the luxury of, if need be. I mean i dont want to spend more then 3-4 hundred but my budget is flexible.

    What i have cut it down to is the following camera.
    Rebel XT
    Rebel XTi or XS...

    i have been looking around for used cameras, and plan on going to a good camera shop i have heard a lot of good things about this weekend. But i do plan on going to bestbuy or something just so i can get a feel and see what i would like. I know they wont have some of the cameras i am looking at but i will get a better idea of the feel and look i want.

    online i have been looking at, and any one else suggest any others?
  13. toxic macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2008
    D40 > D60, i dunno anything about the D40x
    XTi > XT > XS, though you might find the 1.8" lcd on the XT on the small side

    47st photo, amazon, cameta...a few others i don't remember.
  14. duncanapple macrumors 6502

    Jun 12, 2008
    Two options - I see amazon has the D40 right now for $409. OR...

    I was lucky enough to snag a Rebel XS with the kit 18-55 IS lens directly from amazon (a trusted, authorized seller) in December for $460. I realize that's $60 above your budget, but I would consider upping it just a tad to get a brand new, current camera that also gets great reviews as well as later access to a huge selection of new and used lenses.

    I agree with the above too - the G10 is a good camera but a far cry from a DSLR. If you have a p&s you like the G10 wont give you much value imo.

    For your budget I would recommend the D40 or XS, both awesome cameras (though $50 more for the XS is prob worth it).

    Good luck with your decision!
  15. spacemanps thread starter macrumors regular


    Oct 14, 2008
    New Jersey
    so i reached out to a friend, and he has a d20 for 300... its in good condition...and a d10, he didnt mention price on it..

    so my choices increased by the d20.... what do you guys think?

    as for the xs, i don't like that it doesn't have auto focus....
  16. LittleCanonKid macrumors 6502

    Oct 22, 2008
    Huh? The XS has autofocus with EF/EF-S lenses (20+ year catalog), and the D40-60 has autofocus with AF-S lenses (also quite a library). There isn't really a modern DSLR without autofocus...

    At this point I would suggest to just bring a point-and-shoot. Unless you're willing to invest the time and effort into researching how to use a DSLR, it's just going to be a big brick that'll be stuck in Auto, and will probably be a bigger pain than you think. If you have enough time, go for it, but otherwise...
  17. spacemanps thread starter macrumors regular


    Oct 14, 2008
    New Jersey
    i know i have been debating this over and over again. i have wanted to learn more about dslr for a while now because its something i enjoy. Now the fact of the matter is will i use it to its potential. I honestly dont know... i have to try.

    Part of me thinks that i should get that used 20d, or find a XT body and just get a nice lens, there are just so many cameras, and ways to go. Im going nuts.

    I also have a month to do more research so i still have a lot more to do... and learn, part of me will only learn by using it..
  18. gnd macrumors 6502a


    Jun 2, 2008
    At my cat's house
    I think the worst thing you could do is go on your Europe trip in a month without using your first ever DSLR camera before hand. You do not want to learn how to use the camera on your trip. You have to learn how to use it before hand. Get the camera now and take at least 1000 photos before going on the trip.
  19. spacemanps thread starter macrumors regular


    Oct 14, 2008
    New Jersey
    haha yeah i wish it was that easy... i gotta choose one first.... !!! ugh! this is a hard decision.
  20. kallisti macrumors 65816


    Apr 22, 2003
    I will second this.

    My parents bought a new camera right before my wedding. Didn't take the time to really play with it before the big day. Every single shot was out of focus.

    Months later on a trip to their house they asked me to take a look and see if I could figure out why it never seemed to take sharp pictures despite having image stabilization built in. Taking some random shots I was puzzled why I wasn't hearing the AF motor and why things were blurry in the viewfinder. Turned out there was a little dial that switched between manual focus and auto focus. Parents had never noticed it before. Apparently it had shipped from the factory with it toggled to the manual mode. Oops.
  21. cube macrumors Pentium

    May 10, 2004
    Olympus makes great cameras and puts a lot of features in them.

    You shouldn't care if the sensor is a bit smaller than Canon/Nikon/Pentax/Sony. This actually makes for smaller bodies and lenses, and it's still DSLR quality well, well beyond what a P&S can do.
  22. leighonigar macrumors 6502a

    May 5, 2007
  23. toxic macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2008
    first, assuming this is Canon, it is 10D, 20D, etc.
    second, ALL Canon EOS SLRs have autofocus. Canon is not Nikon.
    third, forget the 10D/20D/etc.

    get an Olympus E-410/420 with kit lens, used Canon XT(i) and 18-55mm IS, or Nikon D40 with kit lens. do not consider anything else. if in doubt, get the cheapest body so you can get a telephoto zoom.
  24. jampat macrumors 6502a

    Mar 17, 2008
    imho you haven't thought this through enough, put it off until you can actually figure out what is important to you and what you want to shoot. The body is the least important part of the whole package and that is what you are fixating on (as almost all people new to DSLR do). Go to a camera store, take pictures with different lenses (and different manufacturers) and try to narrow down what you really like/need. If you are stepping up to DSLR to get nice bokeh, you don't have a chance in hell in your price range, if you want a longer reach than your current camera, again, very unlikely in your price range. The on camera flash won't be much better than your P&S. Basically you will have a bigger, heavier, more likely to get stolen and less likely to be easily accessible camera. Again, this is just my .02, but I expect if you go through with this purchase now, you will wish you had saved for a few more months and got a system that actually did what you want.

    Alternatively, buy a used system, play with it, take it on the trip and use that time to discover what you really need out of a camera. Come back, sell it for what you paid for it and buy what you need.

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