Looking for a DSLR

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Jonesee, Nov 3, 2009.

  1. Jonesee macrumors newbie

    Nov 3, 2009
    I am looking to buy my first DSLR; I have traveloled to many times and not had quality photos, not enough depth, exposure etc.

    I have been looking at the CANON 40D and ESO 30D and a couple Nikons.
    I need a camera that can meet my needs for what I would be using this camera for; there is a lot; but I need it to meet all of these needs; the less accessories the better; however I am aware that what I need can not solely be met with just the main camera body. I am not good with the technical terms, or not sure what features would meet these needs so be as specific as possible please and thank you!

    I am going to Africa and New York, taking a roadtrip to LA and shooting photos at dance battles and head shots. There will be lots of landscapes, lots of potraits and action shots (dancers dancing, and driving in a car taking quick shots.

    here is what I need:

    a>Allows me to take depth (I can see the valleys and the mountains beyond it; I've had cameras that just blur it into one and you can't get that depth in their)
    b> Produces high quality portrait photos (that crispness and detail)
    c>Action shots (I'll be sitting in a car a lot with my camera out the window, or taking pictures of running herds and people dancing along with sports.
    d>a camera that can take a nice landscape picture; wide.
    e>Night shots with little to no light, but I don't want everything to be washed out
    f>Night photos in cities that are swarming with street lights, headlights and flourescent neon signs.
    g> I need a camera that captures sunsets, sun rises, rainy days, etc.
    h>I would also like todo some macros.

    I am new to photography but I want a good camera that I can build my kit on.

    I will be learning how to do it from friends who went to school for photography, forums and classes as well as exploring my camera myself.
    I need a camera that does not take batteries but a battery rechargable pact and that has the ability to hold lots of memory!

    A general questions: What is usually included with a general kit?

    my budget for the body camera itself is about $1000CAD or less.
    or around $1500 for a camera, extra len(s) etc.

    If something exceeds this budget please let me know anyways; I cant really afford it but if I gotta I will post pon some other things I was planning.

    Please let me know
    Thank you for all your help in advance!

  2. mattkickflip macrumors newbie

    Nov 8, 2008
    Sadly your asking for everything and you only have $1500! I don't think I have everything I want and I'm about $5000 into DSLR gear.

    So, if you get into this, you'll realise some of the universal truths.
    - it's the photographer not the camera that makes the difference.
    - You'll spend more on lenses than you will on bodies (and lenses hold their value much better)
    - There's no such thing as a perfect camera.
    - Photographers get good at what they do by going out and doing it, not reading about it on the web.

    The range of styles you want to shoot require a kit of several lenses. Once you've established what lenses you really need for each shot, you can decide how badly you want to take the picture and spend the money on the lens. Consider used gear. I'm very fond of my mid-range f2.8 zoom, it cost around $300 and does 90% of the modern equivalent costing $1500!

    I know Nikon and for the outside price on your budget, I'd recommend the 2 lens deal on the D90 from Adorama or a similar supplier. also get yourself the 35mm f1.8 for low light work. If you wanted to be daring, get the d40 (now out of production) and buy yourself lots of things like tripods, lenses and flashes. If you get on well with teh d40 you'll have loads of experience of different gear and an idea of where you're going when you invest in your next body.

    I read Ken Rockwell's website and listen to the "This Week in Photography" podcast. Favourite photography book is "Hot Shoe Diaries" by Joe McNally.

    Good luck.
  3. sarge macrumors 6502a


    Jul 20, 2003
    I just bought a Canon 7D and I love it. I think of digital camera bodies as little computers, which means in 3 years time they are obsolete, so the lens is where you want to spend your money ( and what the camera manufacturer is hoping you'll do too).
    This Canon7D is $1899 so just a tad over your budget but it does come with a lens. The lens is fair and it will shoot both wide angle and telephoto - it is meant for someone just starting out in photography.
    BTW, this camera also shoots amazing quality video (w/sound) which you'll probably find yourself using more than you might think - especially in some place cool and hard to get to like Africa. You might as well conduct interviews while you're at it, right?



    you could buy something like a 40d and spend the rest on a very decent wide angle zoom like this (I own it and am very happy w/the results):


    Good luck and Happy Hunting!
  4. Rickay726 macrumors 6502


    Dec 29, 2005
    New Jersey
    ill sell you my rebel xt for a good price if your intrested. its a great camera to start with.
  5. mofunk macrumors 68020


    Aug 26, 2009
    You can go with 40D Canon or D90. Add maybe one lens like a Sigma 24-70mm or 28-70mm. Either a Tamron or Sigma. That should cover most of your list.

    Canon 40D has its advantage over d90, shutter speed.

    D90 has its advantage over 40D, ISO higher.

    Check for used gear on fredmiranda.com there are a few Canadian sellers there.
  6. wheelhot macrumors 68020

    Nov 23, 2007
    huh? what you mean? are you referring to its continuous FPS instead?

    I don't recommend a 7D or D300 for beginners, its way too advance and it will feel overwhelming for newcomers, Canon 40D/50D,Nikon D90 and below is good for newcomers.

    Well for nightshots and sharp people, I'm guessing you can solve that with a 50mm f/1.8, that should be okay at night and being a prime, it will be sharper then consumer super zooms. Not to forget that for the price, you can consider it the sharpest of its class.

    I would suggest a general zoom lens 17-55 lens and if you got extra money, go for the constant aperture zoom cause it will help you when the lighting is not favorable.
  7. jvalente macrumors member

    May 22, 2009
    Sydney, Australia
    depends if you just want a decent camera or want to get into photography as a hobby

    i'm a massive nikon fanboy, I like the overall design of their cameras better, and even though canons still absolutely own nikons when it comes to landscapes on a tripod, a nikon is better at pretty much everything else.

    I would suggest either the D40 (if you can still find it) or the D90.

    The D40 has the advantage of being cheap. I paid AUD$475, with a lens, which is absolutely nothing. you can get point and shoot cameras for more. the 18-55 that comes with it is excellent for everything except action at night.

    for low light stuff, you can get a Nikon AF-S 35mm f/1.8 lens, which will be awesome for portraits and freezing action too.

    The D90 has the added advantage of being just as good as a D300 in almost every way, including ability to work with lenses up to 50 years old. It has way better low light performance, and is definitely a major step up from the D40.

    For macro stuff, I highly recommend an adapter ring that flips your lens around, i.e. the back of the lens becomes the front of the lens. I can get magnification up to 4 times life size with my 18-55 and D40, and it only cost $10! Of course you lose autofocus and all metering functions, but macro usually needs this messing about anyway, even with a great lens.

    these adapter rings i speak of look like this:

    and some photos i have taken with ONLY my D40 and 18-55mm:


    And I do mean ONLY my D40 and 18-55. I don't even own a tripod. You don't need an awesome camera to take awesome photos.
  8. soLoredd macrumors 6502a

    Mar 12, 2007
    From my limited experience thus far I would recommend the 40D or even the 450D and then buy good lenses. As you progress with your photography and you find what kind of niche you want to get into and you decide to upgrade, you can either keep that first body as a backup or sell it, but your lenses will always work. I've found primes to be very good, I've had a lot of fun and great results with my 50mm f/1.8. It has allowed me to focus on composition and DoF, as well as seeing how exposure works. I found with my kit lens as I was starting out I would be so focused on what aperture I was set at because it is not constant throughout the 18-55 range. Even if you get a zoom prime, at least you can focus on getting the shot. And get an external flash. Best thing I've purchased so far.
  9. Sythas macrumors 6502a


    Oct 22, 2009
    Québec, Canada
    I think you should get a BRIDGE, not a DSLR... Those can do everything you want to do, they look like a DLSR, they are a lot better than a Point and Shoot and you start to learn how to take a picture, you can do macro, telephoto and wide landscape.... and then when you will have learn the basic you'll buy yourself a real DSLR with many lens...

    That's a nice one you could get below 500$


    Edit : oh and you don't have to change the lens in middle of something, you can do a macro of some bug and 2 sec later zoom on a bird...
  10. mep42 macrumors member

    Aug 4, 2008
  11. Phrasikleia macrumors 601


    Feb 24, 2008
    Over there------->
    I'm not sure I would recommend a 7D for a beginner either. I recently had a look at what is going on in the DPR forum, and it was enough to convince me that beginners and the 7D don't mix well.

    Anyway, any DSLR body can accomplish all that you need. It's the lenses that really open you up to creative possibilities and high quality, not the camera body. Put your money into a couple of good lenses (a high-quality zoom and a macro prime lens might be good for your needs), and you'll be in good shape. For $500 Canadian you can get a good camera body, leaving you $1000 for a couple of lenses.
  12. mep42 macrumors member

    Aug 4, 2008
    Just to add to the 7d discussion, the 7d does not provide any of the Dial modes like portrait, sports, landscape etc. It features only the creative modes, Green block, and aperture priority etc.

    If you don't have a solid base in photography, I would not recommend starting with the 7d.

    Thats just my $0.02

  13. Jonesee thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 3, 2009
    thank you

    thank you guys for all your help and insight!!! I bought a used DSLR Canon XSi with a zoom lens EF 75-300mm. It also came with the standard lesns kit stndard 18-55mm.
    It came with everything for $475 CAD!
    You guys really helped my hunting experience to be happy! cheers!
  14. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Mar 25, 2009
    Folding space
    That's the camera I wound up with after looking at almost everything on the market. Mine was used with 9500 exposures on it. Picked it up from my local camera shop for $500USD. Take a look at the Tamron lenses for Canon. They offer good quality at about half the cost of L lenses. Some have their flavor of Image Stabilization (Vibration Control-VC) and it works well. Have fun and show us your best in POTD.

  15. mtbdudex macrumors 68000


    Aug 28, 2007
    SE Michigan
    I'm a beginner with 3 week old T1i w/kit lens.

    Taken lots of picts, posted some.
    I've hemmed/hawed about returning it (Costco) for 7D.
    Played with 7D a BB, etc.

    You are right, I've decided to stay with the T1i, learn it/use it, get 1-2 good glass that is full frame compatible.
    If in 4-5 years I get upgrade-itis then possible full-frame time body with the compatible lens.

    My wife is happy also with that, some $$ saved.
  16. sarge macrumors 6502a


    Jul 20, 2003
    Actually, in addition to a fully automatic mode the portrait, landscape, and sports modes have just been renamed "creative" modes in the 7D. They are fairly easy to use and adjust and are just the sort of baby step introduction to learning the basics of photography. When someone says they want to learn photography I took that to mean they wanted to learn more than how to turn a dial to the proper icon.

    But I agree that the 7D may not be overkill for a 1st camera, which is why I suggested getting a used 40d and a kit lens.
  17. Jaiden macrumors member

    Apr 6, 2008
    I would recommend an entry level Nikon DSLR for a beginner. They tend to have an easier to use button format and smaller learning curve. A 18-135mm lens (or something around that range) would do well for your needs, even a 2 lens pack (18-55, 55-200) if you want that bit of extra range and are willing to swap lenses to your needs. As for night shots, you will need a tripod or sturdy flat surface to place your camera on for the long exposures which this requires.

    Best of luck,
    - Jaiden

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