Just getting into Photography: DSLR Help!

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Wacky Jackson, Apr 7, 2010.

  1. Wacky Jackson macrumors member

    Wacky Jackson

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2010
    Location:
    California
    #1
    Well, recently I have been getting more and more interested into photography. (This is my first post in the photography section of this forum). And looking to upgrade from my canon point-and-shoot. I am looking for a dslr that will be good for a beginning at (semi-)serious photography. I narrowed my options to two the: Canon Rebel XS and the Nikon D3000. I am leaning towards the Nikon because the bigger screen but Canon does have live view and video. And I do prefer the feel of the d3000. Any recommendations? Also which company, Nikon or Canon has a better selection, and quality, of beginner lenses for somebody like myself. Also Thanks.
     
  2. puckhead193 macrumors G3

    puckhead193

    Joined:
    May 25, 2004
    Location:
    NY
    #2
    I don't know about the XS but i think the rebels have an internal focusing in the body so you can use non AF lenses where the nikon does not.. (hence why i got the nikon d90)
    I think feel is more important so I would stick with the nikon. It depends on how much you think you will use the video. For me I have no interest in video as I have a camcorder.
     
  3. Wacky Jackson thread starter macrumors member

    Wacky Jackson

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2010
    Location:
    California
    #3
    Would the quality of pictures generally be similar between these two? If so should I just look at what features I like better?
     
  4. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #4
    You'll get good results from either body. Canon and Nikon are #1 and #2 respectively, and together hold >80% of the market- pretty close to one another share-wise. Sony is #3 with about 12%, and everyone else is in the single-digit margins. They both offer fairly equivalent lens lines, though Nikon has traditionally done better with low-end lens quality I don't think there's really anthing between them these days at the low or the high end.

    You should decide what's important to you long-term. Nikon's got a better wireless flash system, Canon more lens choices in the lighter/cheaper f/4 range. There is no bad choice though, just good and gooder for you. Keep in mind that ergonomics change a bit over time, so hold a camera one and two levels up from these bodies to see how much the ergonomics carry through the line- that way when you upgrade you won't be surprised.

    All of Canon's lenses have built-in AF motors, where Nikon has relied on in-body focus for a lot of its lens line- so if you think you need AF and you might be buying used lenses, that should be a consideration- if you're buying new lenses it's pretty-much a moot point at this stage unless you want some specific lens for a particular purpose, IMO people obsess too much over the corner case details- but I'm a Nikon shooter, so there may be some bias there.

    Let me reiterate though, you can get great pictures with either body- especially once you move away from factory default settings- so don't obsess too much over which to choose- you'll be missing taking pictures for no good reason, no matter which you choose.

    Paul
     
  5. Wacky Jackson thread starter macrumors member

    Wacky Jackson

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2010
    Location:
    California
    #5
    compuwar.

    Wow. Thanks for all that info. I will make sure to look at the higher end bodies of each company for future reference. Thanks a lot.
     
  6. FrankieTDouglas macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2005
    #6
    I wouldn't base a decision partly on LCD screen size. At most, it's used to check focus and the histogram. A very minor player in the specs of a camera.
     
  7. jackerin macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #7
    The XS/1000D does not have video. I would still recommend that over the D3000 because of the CMOS sensor.

    Go to a camera store and pick them up. How do they feel in your hands? Is one more comfortable than the other? How about the button placement? You will have to spend a lot of time with it to get to know it, so having it fit nicely in your hands is a good feature.
     
  8. Ish macrumors 68000

    Ish

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2004
    Location:
    UK
    #8
    I bought a Canon XSi recently and am very happy with it. Still learning where everything is as I haven't been able to use it that much. Live view on a DSLR isn't quite like using live view on a P&S. There's a description of it here, but there are plenty of descriptions on the web.

    I wasn't bothered about video and I liked the fact that there are a number of buttons on the XSi that are short cuts to various menus, whereas in the Nikon I looked at, many of the functions were only accessed through the menu. Lots of people prefer it that way though. I'm not planning on upgrading in the forseeable future so it mattered to me.

    I did prefer the feel of the Nikon, but I prefer using the Canon. Everything is very much down to personal preference.
     
  9. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #9
    Um, what is it exactly about a CMOS sensor that you find so compelling?

    First of all, camera manufacturers use CMOS simply because it's significantly cheaper than using a CCD (scientific applications still almost all use CCDs because they're more accurate out of the box.) While the amount of ancillary processing to get good noise-free images has all been concentrated on CMOS in the consumer space recently, there's nothing inherently "better" about a sensor being CMOS vs CCD. Once you add the image processing circuitry, the differences are pretty-much moot for everything but some very small corner-cases.

    I've displayed and sold images from both CMOS and CCD cameras- and for the life of me, if I didn't know which image was from which particular camera body, I'd have no way at all of telling which is which based upon a professional print.

    My first DSLR was a Fuji S2Pro, with a CCD imaging sensor. My second was a Nikon D200 with a CCD imaging sensor. My third and current backup body is a D2x with a CMOS sensor, and my current camera is a D3x with a CMOS sensor- but that's simply because the economics (remember, the sensor is still the single most costly component in a DSLR) make it attractive to the manufacturers to use CMOS- if CCDs were cheaper, we'd see more CCDs.

    I can print a D200 print and a D2x print, and I can guarantee that you wouldn't be able to tell which was from CMOS and which was from CCD. If the image didn't show the slight resolution difference (and not all do) I'd put money on the fact that you couldn't do more than guess which was which. In fact, faced with two dozen prints from the D3000 and XS both taken out of default settings, I doubt you'd be able to tell which were which (Nikon for some reason doesn't apply as much sharpening or punch to their default JPEG settings.)



    Paul
     
  10. jackerin macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #10
    Ah, so that's the reason why Nikon only uses CCD in their cheapest DSLRs. It's just not economically feasible to use the higher quality CCDs in their pro line.

    Seriously though, that was quite a over-reaction to my simple recommendation based on preference. And you're right, you *could* show me two images and I couldn't tell them apart. That doesn't mean that I can peruse the test results from reviews and not have a preference as to which is cleaner. I just don't like the high ISO results from the D3000. Now, you can tell me that I have never used it and it's a lot different in practice, but I have to decide my purchase on some grounds, and it's often through reading tons of reviews. I chose to mention CCD versus CMOS because noone had brought it up before; my biggest reason for going Canon is the lack of worry about lenses but I didn't want to repeat a point that has already been made.
     
  11. HBOC macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    Location:
    SLC
    #11
    Also, Canon has their OWN CMOS sensor. They have been developing it for years and years. Also, i wouldn't base your decision on a camera based on what size the LCD is. I mean you are not going to post process your images on the camera screen. A 1DS (that is from 2002) that has a 1.8 inch screen will render better results than an XS or XSi.

    Also, the camera is a tool. As is glass. They are all going to take pictures. It is up to the person behind the lens to utilize the tools, so to speak. And you cannot compare the colours from one manufacturer with their own lens versus another manufacturer with their own lens. It is isn't exactly Apples to Apples, so to speak.

    You need to figure out how serious you are going to be about photography. To be honest, the XS is not that great. Yes, it is cheap, but you will out grow it super quick. You would be better off buying something used, maybe a 40D or 50D and getting better glass. Go to best buy and feel the difference between the XS and the 50D (or 7D, basic same body).

    My history of cameras has been kinda weird. I went from a Canon P&S film in the early 1990s. Then i got my EOS-3 in the early 2000s (2002). Then bought a Fuji S602Z (still had the EOS-3). Years later, i got an EOS 650 and a 30D, sold the S602Z. I then sold my film bodies and the 30D. Went w/o a camera for a while (got into school), then bought a Samsung P&S, sold for a Canon G9, sold that last summer for an XSi, then just got rid of that, along with my lenses for a 40D+17-40L, which i will probably end up selling the 40D for a 5D and upgrade to a 24-70L .

    My point is that i went through a lot of worthless and wasteful purchases, lol. I sold the XSi because i needed better AF, solid build, the dedicated wheel and top LCD, at the "sacrafice" of 2 megapixels. I sold the G9 because i missed a DSLR and got frustrated by the limitations of the P&S, even if it shot RAW and had manual controls.

    So in closing on my aimless rant, chose a body that you can grow into and will be comfortable with. Buying used is the best way to go, because when you reach that point of upgrading, you won't take a huge loss on the body (unless you buy a 7D or something brand newish, used). Lenses hold their value really well, and used is the best way.
     
  12. Wacky Jackson thread starter macrumors member

    Wacky Jackson

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2010
    Location:
    California
    #12
    I am not going to be getting too serious about photography. I just need a camera that will satisfies my needs as beginner. And later on a higher end camera once I learn the basics. And I don't want to spend too much on a camera because I do not know how serious I am planning on getting into taking pictures. Also how well does the Sony A230 compare to the canon and nikon beginning dslr?
     
  13. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #13
    You won't find any modern DSLR lacking quality-wise. The differences are more in what sort of photography you do- such as the number of focus points, as well as things like lens selection and accessories. If you do get serious, you're better off with Canon or Nikon in terms of overall lens selection- outside of that caveat, there's nothing inherently bad about the Sony cameras.

    Paul
     
  14. peepboon macrumors 6502

    peepboon

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2008
    #14
    I am surprised that no one has started a Nikon vs Canon war! Thank god!

    Any ways, I would try them both out. I bought a Nikon D60 which I dropped >_<;; waiting for a replacement. Why did I choose Nikon? I tried my friend's Nikon and I liked it. Also, if you have a good friend who is into photography, perhaps get the same make camera as them and he/she could teach you, etc.

    I was looking into a D5000 for the swivel screen and video mode but then thought to myself, I like video but I would only use it rarely. Think about it, how often do you use the video function on your mobile phone? Less that the camera right? Not many people liked to be photographed let alone filmed! lol

    With this in mind, I decided on the D90 for my upgrade. You have to look ahead too. If I stayed with my choice of the D5000, lenses would be expensive, splashing out the little bit more for a better camera means I can buy the older lenses without the AF-S feature.

    So yeah, think ahead, try them cameras out, look at the accessories you would want in the future and which one fits your budget the best, etc
     
  15. mynewromantica macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2009
    #15
    lenses first not body

    The first thing you shoudl be considering is your lens selection. Body technology changes constantly. Lens technology doesn't change nearly as often. You should first research what lenses you are going to get, Canon or Nikon ( or sony or pentax or sigma) then decide which specific lenses you will get from that brand. Then look at your budget and get the best body you can get in your budget. The lenses you can keep for years and years, the body you will probably replace in 3 or 4 years. Focus more on lenses.

    If you are looking for good quality lenses but cannot afford Canon or Nikon brand, Sigma makes some very good lenses for either Canon or Nikon.
     
  16. Wacky Jackson thread starter macrumors member

    Wacky Jackson

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2010
    Location:
    California
    #16

    Does Nikon or Canon generally have better lenses?
     
  17. HBOC macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    Location:
    SLC
    #17
    they both have their good and bad. Nikon has lenses that rival Canons' Ls. I don't think they have a marketing name, however..
     
  18. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #18
    Their lens quality is generally on par with one another these days, both at the low and high ends of the spectrum. Either one will have lenses that can satisfy anything but a few very special corner cases where one or the other has a specific specialty lens- nothing you'll likely need to worry about.

    Paul
     
  19. mynewromantica macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2009
    #19
    That depends on the lens. I don't know a whole lot about Nikon but I do know that have an line generally equivalent to Canon's L-Series, which are the best you can get.
    Their consumer grade or lower end lenses are not too great. If you are not planning on getting L-Series canon lenses or Nikon's equivalent, but want better than their POS consumer lenses I would recommend getting more for your money by going for a higher end Sigma. Much less than the high end "brand names" but much better than the low-end ones also.
     
  20. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #20
    This came up in another thread, but it bears repeating- not every "L" series lens is great, and both companies do actually make some non "pro" lenses that are great- especially for their price and when used within their limits.

    Unlike Canon, Nikon doesn't label their "pro" lenses, though recently (Nikon's mount has been physically the same since the late '50's, so we have to tend to couch everything lens-wise in terms of time) they've put gold rings around them (but just like Canon's L glass, not every lens with a gold ring is a top-of-the-line lens.) I'll hold out the Nikon 80-400VR and Canon 100-400L as examples of good but not fantastic lenses that are marketed as "pro" lenses by their respective companies despite not being near the top in image quality and being variable aperture zooms. In both cases, I honestly think neither marketing department could live with a lens that had more than a $1000 price tag that wasn't marketed as a "Pro" lens- and perhaps they're right- their owners generally defend them vigorously (I've shot with both, they're good lenses, but certainly not great or anywhere near "the best.")

    But it does definitely depend on the lens in question- both companies make lenses that are the very best in their ranges. Both companies also make glass that's better used as a shooting target than to shoot with- nobody should always listen to any company's marketing department if they want truth!

    Paul
     
  21. flosseR macrumors 6502a

    flosseR

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Location:
    the cold dark north
    #21
    About the lenses, I have to point out that other companies also have, even though few, very excellent lenses. As an example I could hold out Zuiko Digitals 50mm f2 Macro lens. I used to own that lens with my first DLSR a Olympus E510. Amazing image quality with 0 distortion. In Sharpness it surpasses both Nikons and Canon's Macro offerings (even the L lens).

    I have to agree though that for the "consumer" level pricing, one would be better off evaluating some higher end Sigma as they performa AT LEAST on par in that category but are cheaper.

    just my 2 cents.
    //f
     
  22. eyewobbles83 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2010
    #22
    Really really long rant..

    Firstly, welcome to the wonderful world of photography.

    Secondly, the choice between Canon and Nikon has to be a personal choice and not based on what people say. So best piece of advice is; shoot with both. Most photographic retail places will allow you to do this... pop off a few frames with each and you will know very soon what your flavour is.

    My opinion - Canon. Lens selection is a big thing for me and their range is fantastic (google - the digital picture for info on Canon lenses). More than anything, like i said above...i enjoyed shooting with the Canon more, simple as that.

    I am about to buy my pro kit for wedding and fashion photography including;

    Canon 5D Mark 2
    EF 16-35 L
    EF 24-70mm f/2.8
    EF 70-200mm f/2.8

    If you have a bit more of a budget buy then 5D - such a perfect camera. FUll frame, 21MP and the rest.

    Anywhos i have talked for too long...ill leave u with this - buy Canon due to the lenses alone, cause thats the most important thing, not the body. Buy 'L' series canon lenses. And last but not least; if your budget is limited, spend more on the lens...over the years you will replace the camera body many times...lenses are forever...
     
  23. Afterthecalm macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2007
    #23
    So, for his first foray into D-SLR photography, in which he might not be into in a year, you're saying he should get a $2,500 camera?

    Bad advice
     
  24. flosseR macrumors 6502a

    flosseR

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Location:
    the cold dark north
    #24
    Bad advice is an UNDERSTATEMENT. Who the heck recommends a pro level equipment with a nice list of lenses that cost all together more than a car to a beginner???

    Seriously eyewobbles83, READ before post!!! but alas, this is typical there has to be someone who pulls this every time. He wants to get Photography not a contest about the best gear. Sometimes good enough is good enough, you know.
    So following your advice which, according to you it has to be a personal choice between Canon or Nikon - nothing else, he should go to Canon because he can spend upwards of 10k on gear?

    //F
     
  25. erwinrommel20 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2010
    #25
    just starting out


    If you really get into photography, you will upgrade your body and lens. It is only a matter of time before you do. All dSLR's take great photos, but until you start taking photos of your own and figuring out what you like and want in your camera system, thinking about your future system is futile at this point. Just go out and buy the cheapest dSLR you can find that looks good to your eyes and feels great in your hands. Then go out and just shoot photos, process them in your computer using all the great computing tools available, and repeat that cycle over and over until you either (1) get really good and comfortable at it that you want to upgrade to a better system or (2) you find that this isn't what you thought it was and you decide to pull out.

    It is all about the photographer, not the equipment my friend. Any cheap dSLR will do what you want right now, and don't worry about future upgrades. In time, you will replace all that you have now with better stuff down the line anyways.
     

Share This Page