What camera offers the most bang for the buck?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by papayafish, Aug 31, 2007.

  1. papayafish macrumors newbie

    Aug 29, 2007
    Hey all,

    I'm trying to get into digital photography after three years of working just with b/w film. Inasmuch as film photography has been satisfying, I want to move into the digital age.

    So here's what the dealio is. I've been using a cheapish Canon A630 which as served well for just getting acquainted to what it would be like to digitally shoot. It allows me to manually set the f-stop and speeds, which trumps the pathetic "auto" setting.

    Now I want to head off into the dSLR range to complement my Canon A-E1 film slr, but alas, it's such a stressful thing to look through and pretty expensive.

    My budget is about $800 max, although, if I could get a decent dSLR for cheaper, I'd be thrilled.


  2. 66217 Guest

    Jan 30, 2006
    I would recommend staying within Nikon or Canon.

    With Nikon you have the D40 ($600) and the D40x ($800). The only difference of the D40x with the D40 is that it has 10 megapixels, shoots faster (3 fps instead of 2.4) and lower base sensitivity of ISO 100.

    You could also consider getting a D80, but it is a little out of your budget. $1000 (body only). The major difference between the D40 and the D80 is the build quality and that the D80 has a buil-in autofocus motor. And also that the D80 is a more professional camera (it has some extras that for beginners are not important, but for professionals are essentials).

    From Canon you could get the Rebel XT (around $700) or the Rebel XTi (around $800-900). I would really recommend the XTi over the XT. The XTi has some features that could make them a better option for you instead of a D40 also.

    I suppose you already have some Canon lenses, so buying a Canon dSLR would be a plus. Also, the Canon XTi has buil-in autofocus motor, and other functions that make it look a bit more professional. They normally compare the XTi with the D80, not the D40.

    I would suggest reading www.dpreview.com, they have a lot of info there.

    I hope this helps you,:)
  3. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus


    Jul 24, 2002
    No it doesn't (I have one sitting right here). All Canon EF or EF-S lenses have built in autofocus motors. So no Canon EOS camera has ever needed an autofocus motor...
  4. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

    Dec 23, 2006
    In my imagination
    Used 30D for $800 maybe. Give you film speed and good resolution. Other than that, the stuff Roco and others have mentioned.
  5. OllyW Moderator


    Staff Member

    Oct 11, 2005
    The Black Country, England
    The Canon AE-1 uses FD mount manual focus lenses which don't fit the new (20 year old :D) EF & EF-S mount EOS auto focus cameras.


    I had one of those in the early eighties which I also mainly used for black and white, it was a nice camera at the time but I prefer my 350D (XT) :cool:
  6. J'aime macrumors member

    Jun 9, 2007
    My two cents would be for the canon XT body + a nice lens. If you buy the body only it should only be 400-something, then you could spend 300-400 on a nicer lens than the kit.
  7. cube macrumors G5

    May 10, 2004
    You can get an ubercool camera for $700:


    If you buy the 50-200 at the same time, you get an extra $100 rebate, which brings the total to $838 for K10D + the two lenses.

    If you want just the basic kit it should be a bit cheaper from Dell after the rebate (which they don't talk about). The 50-200 is more expensive there, so you save nothing if you go for the full deal.

  8. miloblithe macrumors 68020


    Nov 14, 2003
    Washington, DC
    Are you quoting prices including kit lenses?

    body only at bhphotovideo:

    Canon XT $480 ($550 w/kit lens)
    Canon XTi $629 ($720 w/kit lens)
    Nikon D40 ---- ($525 w/kit lens)
    Nikon D40x $636 ($700 w/kit lens)
    Nikon D80 $875 ($980-1150 w/kit lens)
  9. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Jun 25, 2002
    Gone but not forgotten.
    If you really want the most bang for your buck, it's not going to be Nikon or Canon. Pentax and Olympus offer better value and more features.

    If you just have to have a Canon body for some reason, don't buy the kit lens. Buy the 50mm f/1.8. It's not a piece of rubbish.
  10. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    I would also not discount the Fuji series cameras. The camera world is not just Nikon or Canon to the open minded individual. The post just above me is correct though. If you must have Canon because that is what your film rig is (I have Nikon digital because my film rig is Nikon) then ditch the kit lens and go for that 50mm for sure. Actually, I'd pick up a 35mm instead so you can at least get that 50mm feel on your digital camera with the crop factor.
  11. 66217 Guest

    Jan 30, 2006
    It is always good to learn something new.:)

    Also, should we expect that Nikon would eventually switch to all lenses having auto focus motor?

    Yes, I was quoting with lens included. But it seems you got some better prices there.:)
  12. seenew macrumors 68000


    Dec 1, 2005
  13. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

    May 7, 2004
    Sod off
    I picked up my Canon Rebel XT for $560 with the kit lens. B&H photo is selling the body only for around $490.

    I would also recommend the Pentax K100D. It's just as good as the Canon and Nikon cameras IMO, and has built-in anti-shake.
  14. cube macrumors G5

    May 10, 2004
    The same rebates apply to the K10D and the K100D. The K110D and the Super have no rebates.

    This puts the basic K100D kit at $409. The Super has dust removal and ultrasonic lens support (so it's more future-proof), but it's not such a good deal at the moment, and for a bit more you get the K10D which is 10MP and weather sealed.

    The K10D is in the Nikon D200 league. It just doesn't have a metal body.
    To get weather sealing on Canon you have to go all the way to the 1D.
    It was a great deal when it came out and much more so now.
  15. regan2 macrumors member

    Feb 2, 2005
    hyde park, ny
    you'd be hard pressed to find a difference between the canon and nikon offerings in that price range. for me, it was the nikon d40. the kit lens is completely adequate and enjoyable.

    the d40x, if you consider it, is said by many to not be worth the upgrade. save your cash for a new lens.

  16. papayafish thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 29, 2007
    Wow, this is kind of over-whelming. Thanks so much! I'm going to take some time to look through all of these. It probably won't be an immediate purchase, but I like to research ahead of time. Again, thank you!
  17. taylorwilsdon macrumors 68000


    Nov 16, 2006
    New York City
    The 350D aka Rebel XT was recently on sale for $369 for the body only. Thats the best bang for your buck by any count.
  18. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Jun 25, 2002
    Gone but not forgotten.
    You should probably read the other 40 or so threads on trying to buy a new dSLR, also, but you might have to request threads from 1 year ago or newer to view all of them. There is a lot of good advice (and some not so useful) available here.
  19. cube macrumors G5

    May 10, 2004
    Maybe by megapixel count. Only.

    The K100D body goes for $329 after rebate. It has spot meter, 11-point AF and image stabilization.

    The Pentax rebates go on until September 30. But probably some others will come for the holidays, as these have been coming and going in the last year or so.
  20. apple_iBoy macrumors 6502a

    Oct 28, 2003
    Philadelphia, PA
    after deliberating between Nikon and Canon for several months, I ended up going with a Sony Alpha A100 with a 18-200mm lens.

    No complaints at all.
  21. colorspace macrumors 6502

    Jul 5, 2005
    Sony DSC-R1

    You probably won't hear much about this camera, but it has one GREAT feature, the most important one I think, the Carl Zeiss lens is AMAZING and you can find these used for cheap.

    In the original dpreview.com review of the sony this stands out:

    "Superb 24 - 120 mm F2.8 - F4.8 lens is worth the $999 alone"

    Several other pages pointed to the fact that to get similar quality from Canon or Nikon you would pay at least $1,500 just for lenses (no body). And now these can be had for $500 or so...
  22. filmamigo macrumors member

    Sep 17, 2003
    K10D has a metal alloy body with a polycarbonate skin -- still pretty tough.
  23. compuwar macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2006
    Northern/Central VA
    I'm pretty sure that the base ISO of all the Nikon DSLR bodies is 200, with ISO 100 being done in electronics.
  24. jaduffy108 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 12, 2005
    From a Nikon fan...

    I would have to suggest the Canon XTi for under $800. The D80 is where Nikon gets "interesting" IMO....and the D80 is going for $875 these days. In case you're open to expanding the budget..the D80 with a 18-70 lens from bhphoto.com...$1200. Killer combo.

    Check dealmac.com. I saw new XTi's going for $679. Also sites like fredmiranda.com are a good source for used gear.

    good luck

    Edit: I like Digital Skunk's idea...but get a used 20D for even less!

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