New to dSLR,£700 budget, what do you recommened?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by parajba, May 20, 2010.

  1. parajba macrumors 6502

    Apr 19, 2008
    Hi everybody,

    I'm relatively new to dSLR, I owned a Canon 35mm in the past and a Canon Ixus 40 P&S, very good P&S imho.

    I would like to buy a new dSLR, I always liked photography. Did a few courses in the past but have still lots to learn.

    I narrowed my search to the following cameras:

    - D90 with 18-105 VR kit (£719 with cash back)
    - D5000 with 18-55 VR kit (£479)
    - Canon 500 with 18-55 kit (around £600)

    I'm not interested in other brands, it has to be either Nikon or Canon. Non interested in 2nd hand either.

    I checked many (many!) on-line reviews and they all seem to suggest that the D90 is a very good camera.

    The D90 with 18-105 VR kit lens is my favourite right now. I don't have any lenses right now, so the AF or the brand is not a problem for me.

    I also understand that it'll be replaced soon. Do you think I should wait until the D90 successor is out to get an even cheaper price on the D90?

    I'll have a baby in 3 weeks and this is one of the reason why am thinking of getting a decent camera...

    Thanks for your help!
  2. leighonigar macrumors 6502a

    May 5, 2007
    What do you want to do with the camera? I am most familiar with Nikon stuff, but people seem to often suggest that the EOS 550D has the best video mode. Is this important? It might be if you're having a baby. I know this isn't one of your current options.

    Have you held these cameras? When I got my first DSLR I went into the shop thinking 'the EOS 300D has good reviews, and it's cheap, I'll get one of those'. I came out with the Nikon D70 because I preferred the body and the lens (and also in those days the Canon was SLOW). It is definitely worth finding somewhere with the cameras. Jessops generally have them if you're not near a good independent store.

    The D90 is a great camera, fab quality, great screen, etc. I don't suppose you can go wrong. Unless you don't need the money they D5000 will likely take shots of identical quality, and you could always invest in, say, the 35mm f/1.8 DX for some top-quality prime action. Also, do consider your lens needs, the D90 and the 18-55 VR might be nice. I'm sure you know the D5000 lacks the in-body focus motor.

    Oh, if you're shooting indoors, a good flash doesn't hurt! I don't take so many indoor shots so I have a cheap Jessops brand flashgun that works fine with I-TTL on my DSLR, but the nikons like the SB600 have significant advantages particularly with cameras that have commander mode, like the D90, for off camera work. Realistically the SB400 would probably be fine.

    It's all trade-offs, cheaper camera and another lens and a flash? More expensive camera but no flash? etc.
  3. kernkraft macrumors 68020


    Jun 25, 2009
    I'm not suggesting to settle for the entry-level DSLRs - EOS 1000D and D3000 - but you certainly have allocate a part of the budget to some decent lens. In the end, even more expensive bodies will struggle to take good pictures without the right lens.

    What is the next one up from the 1000D? Would that be the 550D? If it's worth the premium, I would just settle with that. That'll probably leave you with at least £50 for lens ( :) ). I think at entry-level, there is no HD video, but if that's not a consideration, some of the cost of more expensive cameras will be wasted.

    EDIT: I think the Nikon is better, if you are willing to leave the tutoring for the camera. If you have more experience in photography and you get excited by real viewfinder and the like, you might prefer the Canon. I've always had a soft heart with Canons and Nikon seems to struggle to improve on the D40 (?) in this range from some years ago...

    EDIT2: What's the difference between the 500 and 550? The 500 seems to be priced pretty well compared...

    EDIT3: Amazon UK has some great reviews and one of them highlighted the differences between the two. Now I want a 550! But I was slightly wrong about the price, it won't leave you with much for the lens...
  4. TheSVD macrumors 6502a


    Sep 3, 2008
    The Jolly Ol' Midlands, England
  5. parajba thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 19, 2008
    Thanks for your adice, I tried both cameras and the Nikon feels superior. Good solid quality built. The Canon (450/500/550) feels like made of cheap plastic and feels actually like a posh P&S. Even the viewfinder (pentamirror on the Canon whereas pentaprism on the D90) is way superior on the D90. The D90 feels better in my hands.

    I checked 100s of reviews, dpreview, amazon, many others. D90 is in a different league they say. Viewfinder on D90 is superior to the one in 450/500/550D.

    Video is about the same in both cameras, the 1080 in the Canon is not real as it's only at 20fps! I'll def shoot some videos, 720 @ 24fps (D90) or 720 @ 30 fps (500/550D) is sufficient.

    Why do you say so? any reason? And what kit lens? Please justify your replies otherwise they don't contribute.
  6. leighonigar macrumors 6502a

    May 5, 2007
    Feel is very important. And yes, a pentaprism is much nicer. This is also an advantage of the D90 over the D5000.

    You're right for the 500D, but my understanding was that the 550D had improved video, and could save in a more sensible format than the Nikon. Additionally it has a microphone in jack. The Canon can also record for longer before it hits file size limits.

    He probably just likes the camera. The standard zoom is the 18-55 IS. It's a fine lens.
  7. CrackedButter macrumors 68040


    Jan 15, 2003
    51st State of America
    Could be unwise to discount other brands when Olympus for example offer more bang for your budget, meaning you'll be able to buy a flash or a second lens. Disclaimer: I'm a Canon shooter but I use to shoot with Olympus.

    But if you are still not interested, I would like to know what the reason is for discounting everything else but Canon and Nikon.
  8. parajba thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 19, 2008
    I just don't like the way Pentax and Olympus feel in my hands...
  9. El Cabong macrumors 6502a

    Dec 1, 2008
    It's very important that a camera feels right in your hands, so the D90 is probably your best bet. Waiting for a new model is time better spent learning how to use your new camera.

    As far as other/better lenses, the 18-105mm is great for general purpose use, but if you can cough up another 100 quid (going by prices), you could get the excellent 50mm f/1.8 AF-D (which can't autofocus the D5000, but can on the D90), or for another 200, you could get the also great 35mm f/1.8 DX AF-S (which can on both). Nothing like some shallow depth-of-field for portraits of your new baby.
  10. acearchie macrumors 68040


    Jan 15, 2006
    You want to be careful with your figures.

    The 550d offers very similar video to the 7d offering 1080p at 24,25,30 fps and 720p at 60,50,30,24 fps.

    This could be a big difference.
  11. parajba thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 19, 2008

    True! Apologies! I assumed the 500/550D video recording capabilities were identical.

    I checked the Canon 550D with 18-55 kit and it seems pretty good, although the only comparison I found on-line with the D90 says that the D90 is still better.

    The 550D with 18-55 kit costs £699, very tempted. But the kit lens is sub-par, in particular with an 18MP sensor! A decent Canon 17-85 lens would add an extra £400.

    So the question is:

    1. D90 + 18-105 VR £719
    2. 550D + 18-55 IS £699

    The movie quality of the D90 would be sufficient for me (720@24fps).
    I still believe that the build quality/feel of the D90 is better than the 550D, the plastic used in the 550D feels a bit 'cheap'.

  12. Gold89 macrumors 6502

    Dec 17, 2008
    Do you need video?

    If not the best option imo would be a used Canon 40D with a Sigma 18-50mm f2.8 or Tamron 17-50mm f2.8.

    For all important baby shots you NEED a decent portrait lens, on a crop body the 50mm f1.8 is cheap and can produce great results, especially stopped down a little. I would emphasise this as the most important thing you need to buy for your needs along with a standard zoom. :)
  13. pdxflint macrumors 68020


    Aug 25, 2006
    Oregon coast
    Go for the one you really want, (I'm not recommending any brand) or you'll always be finding fault with the one you chose instead... I've learned from experience. Look, feel, ergonomics, construction... they're all part of the personality of the camera, which is just a tool, but those real and intangible differences can affect your enthusiasm and motivation to use this tool. Image quality is basically a push for stills, and I wouldn't get too excited about 1080p HD video unless you've got a huge amount of storage, a really good video editing program and a souped up computer. Especially at higher frame rates... it'll eat up space really quickly. Unless you're planning some serious filmmaking you'd be probably as well off with some small dedicated HD video camera, and get the dSLR that operates the way you want it to for still photography.

    And finally, on the subject of 1080p vs. 720p-- 720p HD video isn't exactly crappy. I've got a 63" plasma 1080p HDTV and several of the major networks here in the US don't even broadcast their HD programming in 1080i, but instead use 720p. I suppose it's to save on bandwidth, but FOX for one, and I think CBS also, broadcast in 720p and yet the video quality is still extremely good on a huge screen at 720p. So, don't feel that you have to have 1080p video capability to create good HD content viewable on a large HDTV. It's nice to have, but ask yourself if it's really secondary to your still photography.
  14. parajba thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 19, 2008
    Still photography is primary, video is secondary, 720@24fps is plenty for me, I agree.

    Just found a London shop (I live in London) that sells the 550D + 18-135 IS for £799.

    I was under the impression that the 550D was a little bit more portable than the D90, but I was actually wrong, the diff *body* is around 150/200 grams.

    I'm more inclined towards the D90...I'll also get a 50mm lens for portraits. I read somewhere that the 500/550D are more of an evolution of a fancy P&S, whereas the D90 is in a different segment (higher).
  15. blockburner28 macrumors 6502


    Jun 27, 2009
    New Orleans
    550D is a series camera man. image quality might be better then the D90
  16. Grasher macrumors member

    Jul 16, 2009
    +1 We've just had our second child and a 50mm 1.8 or better prime should be on the same shopping list of necessities as nappies, a pram and a cot. Don't neglect this on your camera shopping list whatever you do.

    Be sure to practice with whatever you get before the baby arrives too, as the window for getting newborn shots is pretty tight! Trust me that these are shots you won't want to miss.
  17. TheNewDude macrumors 6502a

    Mar 17, 2010
    There are a lot of people here suggesting a lot of different things, so i'm going to keep my "suggestion" very short.

    1. D90 is a couple of years old now.
    2. D90 is a heavier camera than the EOS 550. Imagine carrying it around all day.
    3. EOS 550 is only a couple of months old, and uses a lot of the good technology from the 7D.
    4. Make sure you check the dates on the reviews you read. What was good a few years ago (D90), might not be as good as some of things out now (550).
    5. Bottom line, both are EXCELLENT cameras. You won't regret you decision either way!
  18. compuwar macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2006
    Northern/Central VA
    It doesn't matter. You'll be able to get great images with either one. Seriously, it really won't make that much difference, so just pick one.

  19. aross99 macrumors 68000


    Dec 17, 2006
    East Lansing, MI
    I think you should get the one you really want. You seem to be pulled towards the D90, and since both cameras are excellent, why not get the one you want, with a longer lens to boot?

    I would tell you to maybe wait a bit for the replacement for the D90, but you can play the waiting game forever, and based on your needs, you can't wait.
  20. cherry su macrumors 65816

    cherry su

    Feb 28, 2008
    Go to the store and get a feel for all three of them. The D90 is a bigger camera than the other two, so that may sway your decision.
  21. jdavtz macrumors 6502a

    Aug 22, 2005
  22. boatski macrumors regular

    Oct 16, 2008
    I know you're over there in Europe and I'm not sure if this rebate still applies, but Canon has a deal going now where you can get a $400-$500 rebate if you buy a select Canon camera and a Canon printer. You could sell the printer and use the money for a better lens.

    This sale is on Amazon and Adorama for sure, but like I said I'm not sure about Europe.
  23. jbg232 macrumors 65816


    Oct 15, 2007
    I'm a canon shooter myself because I need certain canon lenses which nikon doesn't offer but my father-in-law has the D90 and it is also an excellent camera. The truth about both the 550D and the D90 will produce fantastic images. Maybe the D90 beats the 550 slightly in high-iso performance, maybe the 550D beats the D90 with video capabilities. Either way you'll be fine. One thing I will say is that it is true that there are better lenses than the base ones that come with these cameras but in my opinion most good photos are not taken with good lenses but with good photographers behind those lenses. Either of the kit lenses that come with the camera will be MUCH better than anything you have used before and once your skills in the DSLR world are set that's when I would start to worry about the typical stuff like getting a tripod, flash, and different lens. In the meantime though either the D90 or 550D will be awesome to start off with.
  24. Gold89 macrumors 6502

    Dec 17, 2008
    OP have you considered buying second hand, a quick browse on talkphotography has a 5 months old D90 and 18-105 for £550, a substantial saving. :)
  25. TheNewDude macrumors 6502a

    Mar 17, 2010
    The OP stated that he did not want a used camera at all!

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