Help me choose a digital SLR!

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by taylorwilsdon, Nov 22, 2008.

  1. taylorwilsdon macrumors 68000

    taylorwilsdon

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2006
    Location:
    Bay Area
    #1
    Hi guys,

    I pop in here once in a while but I'm mostly on fredmiranda for photography stuff. This is a long post but if you can help, I'd definitely appreciate it :)

    I've had the suspension go (rear wheel bearings cracked, front struts broke and check engine light came on for a reason I can't afford to fix yet)... I replaced the fan clutch, all the belts, the full suspension (shocks, springs, rwb) and I still need to put on new head gaskets and replace the power steering hoses... but I digress. To pay for the repairs, I sold my camera. I did this with the idea I'd buy a new one.

    So, I should be able to swing it in a month or so. Now I need to figure out what to buy. On the brighter side of things, I get a chance to re-tool my kit.

    I'm hoping for some suggestions.

    Here's a little background that I hope will be helpful:
    My kit was a Nikon D300 with the Nikon(s) 28-70mm f/2.8, 17-55mm f/2.8 and the Tokina 12-24mm f/2.8. I sold it for more than I paid for it so its not all bad.

    Something important of note - I have access to a stable of Canon lenses. These are the 24-105mm F/4, 24-70mm f/2.8 and the 70-200mm f/2.8 IS; the latter being my favorite.

    The problem is, I GREATLY prefer the images I get from Nikon than to the Canon. I have a 40d provided to me but its terribly miscalibrated and its nearly impossible to get a good image out of it. I have no desire to use it.

    I like to shoot:
    Very wide - I like landscape photos, but I don't take them nearly as much as I'd like.

    Very tight - when I shoot people and sports, I always crank the 70-200 to 200mm. That's usually the only way to get good background separation from the distances I shoot at; while at f/2.8. I also like tight crops on objects. Filling the viewfinder is good, which is why lenses like the 50mm and even the 85mm (sometimes) bother me.

    Artsy - I'm not good at it, but I like artsy shots. Long/dragged exposures, flash-freezes, so fourth.

    I want to try:
    Pet photography. I don't have a single good action shot of my pooch because I generally don't use long lenses. The 70-200 would be great except the damn 40d can't hit focus for its life and the other body I have to use is a 300d :(

    Gear Ideas
    Firstly, Nikon:
    D90 body / ??? lens. I'd like to try something different. 80-200 f/2.8 pp maybe. The problem with this is that I feel like I'm throwing away the nice Canon lenses.
    D300 - Would like something a little lighter/smaller, but its so damn comfortable. D300 is my favorite camera of all time, but again I feel like I'm wasting the other lenses.

    Canon:
    1d Mark II - Old tech, but everyone and their grandma loves it. AF should be way better. Big and heavy :( Very good bargain at $1000 or less used.
    5d - I love every picture I've seen from the 5d but the general thought is that its very slow. Seems like a good bargain at $1000-$1200 used, hopefully it will drop more when 5dmk2 hits.
    XSi - Cheap as hell and I've seen good pictures from it. This would let me buy some exotic lenses (I want to try the 100mm macro and 135L). I can pick one up for around $375 new, which would be awesome.

    I KNOW I'LL GET COMMENTS ON THE PRICES SO RIGHT NOW, THESE ARE FROM EBAY WITH LIVE CASHBACK.

    So, help me out. Body ideas are great, lenses too. I'm not against trying other systems. Cheaper = better. The ability to use ISO3200 is great because I hate having to figure out the exposure to push it. I've gotten lots of usable shots at ISO6400 from the D300 (hi1 or 3200 exp-1 recovered). I would expect the same from the 5d, less from others but I could make due. I shoot for publication print and the resulting prints are always smaller than 10x8".
     
  2. osin macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2008
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #2
    so why can't you ask them (fredmiranda people) what they have to say...?

    oh, that's right! they have enough of this kind of questions...
     
  3. wheelhot macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2007
    #3
    Hmm, well if the reason why you prefer Nikon over Canon is because of the image quality and since you mention that your 40D is terribly miscalibrated? Why don't you just reset back all the body settings to default?

    From what I heard and seen the 40D is a very good camera.
     
  4. taylorwilsdon thread starter macrumors 68000

    taylorwilsdon

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2006
    Location:
    Bay Area
    #4
    Calibration doesn't mean settings. We just can't afford to take it out of service long enough to send it to Canon (bodies get 100k clicks a year, but my personal one won't).

    I've owned many of these cameras, never a 40d because nothing about it appeals to me (nasty low resolution screen has always turned me off) but have owned 30d, perfectly calibrated, and I prefer the files (RAW and JPG) that newer model Nikons produce (can't stand the D70 though).

    To the other dude, that's helpful... I actually got some great suggestions on FM but because I mentioned I shoot some sports there, they all said 1dm2.
     
  5. PCMacUser macrumors 68000

    PCMacUser

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2005
    #5
    It sounds like you've already made up your mind. Enjoy your new Nikon.

    As for the Canons, I shoot with a 40D and 24-70mm f/2.8L, and it produces stunning images. If I could afford to upgrade to a 5D MkII, I definitely would. I hate having to use a 1.6x cropped sensor (although it's handy for telephoto).
     
  6. osin macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2008
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #6
    Like PCMacUser just said: "It sounds like you've already made up your mind."
    I also got the same feeling. Whatever you will choose from Canon line you will always compare it to your previous Nikon experience... I would say stay with Nikon.

    If you are still thinking about Canon body => Since you add that you are shooting sports, you will need fast AF and large FPS. The second, 40D will deliver (6.5), fast AF is what brings down the 40D...
    Conclusion: you need one of 1D's (markIIN or III)
     
  7. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #7
    I'm going to echo the statements made and say stick with Nikon. Clearly you've had many cameras and continually sell them off to get something else after funds aren't so tight ... and the D300 was a winner to you, I say get another D300. My beef with the D90 is yet again we're getting more MP on the same sized sensor. I think you know just enough about photography to understand why anyone would have beef with that. ;)

    That said, the D300 sounds like the true winner and I would sacrifice a bit of weight for image quality hands down. In other words, the D300's size is well worth it. Having shot with large format cameras (4x5 - 8x10 - 11x14) the D300 feels like a feather.

    Car issues aside though, me thinks you need to have an emergency fund set up before you buy another toy. Just some friendly advice really since you gave us all the background on what happened to whatever car and so forth. :)
     
  8. wheelhot macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2007
    #8
    Oh yea, 40D shoots a 6.5 fps which make it a sports photographer heaven camera body so any other Canon or Nikon bodies that shoot as fast as this or faster?
     
  9. taylorwilsdon thread starter macrumors 68000

    taylorwilsdon

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2006
    Location:
    Bay Area
    #9
    Well, that's the thing. In ideal-world, I would probably pick Nikon but since I have all these great Canon lenses, it seems almost criminal not to use them.
     
  10. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #10
    With your budget why not get two camera systems? The digtial Nikon/Canon 35mm derived systems are very good for action, sports and portabilty and so on but are not well suited to landscapes and other fine art subjects.

    I'm now of the opinion that nothing beats 4x5 inch film in a view camera for subjects that can wait (like buildings and landscapes and table top still life) We don't tend to take many exposures either, just a few a day so the buck per shot cost of the film is very minor. Then when you scan the film you get a 300MB file that can easily make a 36" wide print. You can buy an entire 4x5 system for 1/2 the cost of a 70-200 f/2.8 lens. It's not expensive because they have been making this stuff for 100 years and the used market is flooded.

    Back to the Canon/Nikon queston. I'd go for a Canon body so as to make use of those nice lenses. With only a body to buy you could spend some real $$$.

    If you are shooting action and sports and you KNOW you will never need a print larger then 8x10 them look for a used D2Hs I can't think of a better action/sports body for the price.
     
  11. taylorwilsdon thread starter macrumors 68000

    taylorwilsdon

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2006
    Location:
    Bay Area
    #11
    There's a thought, Chris. Since it sounds like you know about that stuff, how much would someone have to pay to buy into a reasonably good medium format kit? I'm certainly not against using film.

    On the digital front, I think I'm going to buy a Canon 40d. For the price, it seems like there is really nothing comparable... I can pick up a new one for about $500 shipped, which means I could afford to try a nice prime like the 35L.

    Here's the very last picture I took with my D300 at the bank waiting to cash the money I got for it...

    [​IMG]
     
  12. luminosity macrumors 65816

    luminosity

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2006
    Location:
    Arizona
    #12
    Well sure. The D300 hits 6 frames a second on its own, and it gets bumped up to 8 with the vertical grip. The D3 hits 11 with the grip, and the D700 hits 5 on its own, I think.
     
  13. FX120 macrumors 65816

    FX120

    Joined:
    May 18, 2007
    #13
    The 1D mkIII does 10 out of the box, also.

    But for the price the 40D is the fastest camera you can find, the cost of a D300 + grip is well above the cost of a 40D.

    Also I don't know what the OP meant by the 40D having a "nasty low resolution screen", it's not nasty, it's one of the better looking LCD's canon has offered, and while it might be "low resolution", that doesn't mean it does a perfectly good job displaying the info you need it too.
     
  14. PCMacUser macrumors 68000

    PCMacUser

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2005
    #14
    The EOS 1V, although film, will do 10fps with the power booster grip. But I don't like the idea of burning through a roll of film in less than three seconds.
     
  15. luminosity macrumors 65816

    luminosity

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2006
    Location:
    Arizona
    #15
    The F5 is at 8 on its own, I think.
     
  16. JSF macrumors member

    JSF

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    Location:
    Edmond, OK
    #16
    Try this website.http://www.dxomark.com/

    You can compare 3 cameras against each other. Compares everything from dynamic range to iso sensitivity to tonal range.
     
  17. wheelhot macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2007
    #17
    Oh yea, can someone explain to me, why does when you add the grip and it becomes faster? more power?

    And thanks for the model guys, nowonder when I read the 40D review, the tester say its a sports photography fav model cause at the price you are paying its giving you a very good FPS.
     
  18. FX120 macrumors 65816

    FX120

    Joined:
    May 18, 2007
    #18
    So Nikon can charge more for the grip.

    The D300 is capable of shooting 8FPS by itself with a hack that Nikon "fixed" in a later firmware update...
     
  19. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #19
    The pro level batteries have a higher voltage than the little ones that come with the camera, which is why the D2 series focused more quickly with non-AF-S lenses.
     
  20. wheelhot macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2007
    #20
    Aah okay, thanks.

    lol...."fixed"
     

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