First time dslr buyer need advice

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by TechZone, Jul 31, 2014.

  1. TechZone macrumors member


    Dec 27, 2004
    Hi everyone, I have been using my Canon G12 last few years. I want to upgrade to a dslr. I like to shoot landscape, portrait & in general family photos. Video does not matter to me. My budget is around $1100. Since I don't own any lenses, I can chose either Canon or Nikon. So far I like two bodies almost same price level. I don't want any kit lenses.

    1. Canon 60D
    1. Nikon D7000

    Lens option (Used )

    1. Sigma 17-70mm f2.8-4
    2. Sigma 17-50mm f2.8

    I am not sure which combination I should get. If u have any other options please let me know.Thanks in advance.
  2. swordio777 macrumors 6502

    Apr 3, 2013
    Scotland, UK
    Both cameras are excellent. The best thing to do would be to try handling each and see which you prefer.

    The image quality of all DSLRs has gotten so good in recent years that you'll barely be able to tell the difference between the images they produce. If you've never owned a DSLR before, it's more important to find a camera that you feel inspired to pick up and actually use.

    Also, if any of your friends have a DSLR you might want to invest in the same system as them. Down the line you'll be able to try out some of their lenses & gear before spending your own money on building your kit.

    If you're looking to shoot portraits, the 17-70 will be a more flexible lens. But if the 17-50 is cheaper, you could buy that & invest the rest of your money into an 85mm lens for portraits.

    Hope that helps.
  3. TechZone thread starter macrumors member


    Dec 27, 2004
    Thank u for your advice. I played with both cameras in bestbuy. I like the button layout of D7000 & the tilt screen of the 60D. I never thought it's gonna be this hard to buy a camera. All of my friends own point & shoot camera. Should I get the 17-70mm & 50mm f1.8 on the side just for portrait?
  4. leuchtturm macrumors newbie

    Jul 31, 2014
    Nikon D7100

    I use the Nikon D7100 for almost a year now and Im very happy. Very user-friendly, fast and very stabile.
  5. swordio777 macrumors 6502

    Apr 3, 2013
    Scotland, UK
    I wouldn't recommend a 50mm f1.8 with either of these lenses.

    Don't get me wrong - a 50mm is a fantastic lens to have, and you'll definitely want to buy one further down the line. But if you're only going to have two lenses at the start, I wouldn't overlap them. If you buy the 17-50 f2.8 then you won't have much need for a 50mm f1.8 as well.

    Instead, think about buying the 17-50 f2.8 zoom and something a bit longer. Maybe an 85mm f1.8 or a 105mm f2.8. That'll give you much more flexibility. (Personally, I love 85mm on a crop sensor for portraits.)

  6. TechZone thread starter macrumors member


    Dec 27, 2004
    85mm is a great option but it's out of my budget right now.
  7. Nickwell24 macrumors regular

    Nov 13, 2008
    Like others have said, get whichever camera body feels right in yours hands. The difference between Canon and Nikon is marginal at best. I'm a Canon shooter, but I've seen reports of Nikon having better photo quality - although most of these stats you won't notice by eye.

    Your glass is where you'll see a big difference. We shoot similar styles, I also shoot mainly landscapes and portraits, that being said, in your shoes I'd start with the 17-70. You'll end up shooting most of your portrait shots around the 70mm range but have the 17mm for landscapes.

    Eventually I'd suggest looking at the 70-200 f/2.8 sigma or tokina for general walkaround/portraits, As well as the 11-16mm Tokina for landscapes.

    Another valuable investment is books. If you're looking for a good author on photography books I highly recommend Scott Kelby's books and Tony Northrup's. After reading them I noticed a night and day difference in my photos. Good luck and welcome to the world of DSLR
  8. mclld macrumors 68020

    Nov 6, 2012
    The Canon 18-55 kit lens is one hell of a value, as is the 50 1.8, 55-250 and the 40 2.8. Dont fall into the lens snobbery trap
  9. mofunk macrumors 68020


    Aug 26, 2009
    I love pairing the 50mm prime lens with a zoom lens. It's a great lens to have in your bag. Sometimes I just shoot with the 50mm because it challenges me to be creative.

    The kit lenses for both of these cameras are nice. If you are sold on shooting in low light I would just pick up the 50mm lens and then decide later on your next lens. Or just get the 17-50mm f/2.8

    I chose Nikon system over Canon because I just found that I could navigate through the menu easier.
  10. paolo- macrumors 6502a

    Aug 24, 2008
    Very hard to guide you as I'm guessing you aren't a very experienced user and about to drop a nice chunk of cash.

    Both bodies will get the job done. Mind you, even as a Canon shooter, I'd go with the Nikon.

    As for lenses, the 17-50 will be better in low light, have a shallower depth of field (nice for portraits) and probably have a nicer image quality. The 17-70 has a longer zoom range... I'd personally stick with the 17-50 as I never really need more reach. However, if you get a prime lens with the 17-70 you'd probably been golden. IMHO, the Nikon 35mm 1.8 one of the nicest lens to get when starting out, more useful than the 50mm.

    That being said, if you shoot lots of landscape, both those zooms might not be wide enough for your needs. - I'd consider starting off on a cheaper body to figure out what lenses you'll need and have a bit more money to go towards lenses. I'd even look into mirrorless cameras like the Sony a6000.
  11. TechZone thread starter macrumors member


    Dec 27, 2004
    I think I will get the 17-50mm F2.8 now & save up for a 35mm or 85mm later on. I am not a big fan of mirrorless camera. As far as camera body goes I still didnt decided yet.
  12. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Soon you WILL own some lenses. these means

    1) Once you choose Canon or Nikon you are kind of stuck with it. The next body you buy will be the same brand. So think ahead. Which companies products do you like best over all?

    2) what is the next lens you will buy? If there is some really nice Canon lens you want then you better buy the Canon body.

    3) If you want to buy used gear, Nikon is best because their lens mount goes back all the way to the late 1950's I can buy a decent macro lens for by Nikon for $60, can't do that with Canon.

    As a general rule, I think Nikon has the best ergonomics and tends to be conservative not making changes and sticking with what works. I think they have the best flash metering and metering over all. Canon usually winds the feature checklist comparison and adds new things quicker. Canon was first to have quite a few things that most cameras have now.

    But in the end if you take a photo and display it, no now who sees it will know what equipment you have. It hardly matters to the end result.


    I agree with this. You could save money. Buy the much less expensive Nikon 18-55mm VR II kit zoom. Make sure it is the "VR" version. Nikon's version oof this lens is VERY good and 100% suitable for Landscape and 80% of everything else. This will save you enough to buy the Nikon 35mm or 50mm f/1.8 prime lens.

    To decide between the 35 or 50, ... The 50mm is best for portraits of one person that are less then full body. the 35mm is wide enough to include more then one person in the shot when indoors. the 50mm is a more classic portrait lens.

    18mm is wide enough for landscapes 90% of the time and when it is not wide enough you shoot multiple overlapping shots and stitch them together.

    Niokn's entry level lenses are very good and you should not pass them up. Canon however has very good pro level lenses but goes cheap on their low end stuff.
  13. AlaskaMoose macrumors 65816

    Apr 26, 2008
    All depends on Nikon lens/body you use. While you can use some old Nikon lenses on Nikon cameras, autofocus depends on the location of the focus motor (body or lens).

    And no, Nikon does not have the best ergonomics and the rest of that... Both Canon and Nikon have ergonomics that are liked and disliked. I prefer the ergonomics of my Canon cameras. For example, with the 7D and 5DII, the button layout and controls are the same, except for the power ON button. The batteries are the same, and so their chargers.

    Both Nikon and Canon have flash systems that do exactly the same things. The flash difference is a thing of the past.



    As so the EF 40mm f/2.8 lens (pancake).

    If I were the OP, I would not listen to any of the Nikon nor Canon fanboys in this forum, and buy whichever of the two cameras he wants. Choosing one over the other is not going to make a difference, at least relating to taking good or bad photos. While I use Canon cameras, there is nothing wrong with the OP choosing a Nikon camera and lenses for it.
  14. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    Here is what you do:

    You go into the store.

    You check out the 60d and d7000.

    You sleep on it.

    You buy whichever one feels best.

    Oh. And you get either the nikkor 50mm 1.8 or the 50mm 1.8 from canon because nothing beats those simple beauties.
  15. TechZone thread starter macrumors member


    Dec 27, 2004
    Is it safe to buy a refurbished Canon 60D from Canon website. Saw 60D on sale for $449. Really good deal compared to the new one for $699. Also Cameta camera website has D7000 refurbished for $619. I am leaning towards the Canon since it's $449.
  16. AlaskaMoose, Aug 3, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2014

    AlaskaMoose macrumors 65816

    Apr 26, 2008
    Canon refurbished cameras are provided with the original 1-year warranty. I purchased a refurbished Canon 5DII directly from Canon, and when I pulled it out of the box, it looked like a brand new camera. No a single scratch nor mark of any kind. I have been using it for two years now.

    If you go with Canon, save your cash for some L lenses such as the following (without IS) :

    -EF 135mm f/2L USM (around $1,000+)
    -or EF 200mm f/2.8L USM II (around $800.00)
    -or EF 70-200mm f/4L USM

    Not L lenses:
    -EFS 17-50 kit lens with IS (a little expensive, but worth it)
    -100mm f/2.8 Macro USM
    -EF 35 f/2
    -EF 40 f/2.8 pancake (great little lens, and real cheap)
    --EF 50 f/1.4
    -EF 50 f/1.8

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