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'Beginners' DSLR ?
Frizzl 
5/6/08 12:44:48 AM
Titan

Always been interested in photography, only ever had the chance to fiddle with small digital cameras of the family's though...

I do work at Myer now, and I sell the buggers quite a bit :) We've got the Canon EOS 400D for $999 with the twin lens kit at the moment... and at the price I'm quite tempted, especially as a beginner's camera at least.

We also have the Nikon D60 with twin lens kit for about an extra $150 or so.

Curious what people should suggest, things to look out for etc. ? (I can answer most basic questions I get from customers regarding the cameras, but as soon as we get into the DSLR stuff it gets a bit more tricky)

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Hentai Bob 
5/6/08 1:06:41 AM
Champion

I always suggest people read up on what the dedicated forums have to say on the cameras. Dpreview has a lot of reviews and a very good database of bodies and lenses with nice comparisons.

Link: http://www.dpreview.com/

It has a good buyers guide there as well and they seem to keep up to date.

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Athiril 
5/6/08 8:05:43 AM
Titan

Frizzl: if the 400D comes with the 18-55mm IS, then the lens is decent, if its the non IS version, then its poor :).

You can get a 450D with 18-55m IS + memory card kit for $1k from places that dont over price their items.

AFAIK the kit 70-300mm is poor, not sure if they have a new one out thats included in low price kits.

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LordBug 
5/6/08 8:28:56 AM
Immortal

Read up on the info and the specs and the capabilities of the camera.
Consider what you want, and what you need it to be able to do.
Hold it in your hand, and let the feel be the final decider.

All DSLRs take good photos nowadays.
Some just have different features and abilities.
Thus, ergonomics is king.

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Athiril 
5/6/08 9:31:16 AM
Titan

Personally I'd say features and lens choice would be king.

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stadl 
5/6/08 10:12:01 AM
SuperHero
Titan


Noone but you can decide if ergonomics are a significant issue for you. Like any tech purpose, some people value specific functions others specific forms.

One thing I'd consider careful thought about is whether you have any intention of taking the hobby past this first outlay. Getting a DSLR is great. But there's also a lot of people who get their SLR + twin lens kit, and maybe add a tripod, flash and a couple of filters down the road. At that point they are extremely satisfied with the results they are getting and have no intention of spending thousands of dollars on upgrades.

Other people expect to grow their system - to upgrade bodies, and buy more lenses. Those people should consider looking down the track to where they think they might be, and plan their starting steps that will lead them there.

It's important to consider where you think you're most likely to end up, because it effects the choices of brand and the initial lens set based on budget constraints etc. A first lens of a system builder might be quite different from the first lens of someone who has no plans to upgrade it down the track.

Back when I picked my D70 it was because of 3 reasons - superior ergonomics, faster shooting rate than the competition, better kit lens (which I now no longer use - in fact the only part of my original kit still in my bag is the memory card - which is a slower "emergency" card).

A friend who bought one about 6 months later picked it because there were a couple of Nikon lenses he really liked (and has since bought).

Another friend bought his Canon 400D because of the smaller size (ergonomics that suited him), and a particular Canon lense he wanted.

You'll get different answers depending on different people's approaches to building their kit. eg, I like Nikon, my experience means that even though I try not to make brand decisions for people, I understand it better, and there's a bias that's difficult to remove.

Other members here build their kit quite different to me, and some of the setups they go for are not how I approach my hobby - what's an issue for some people is a non issue for me, and vice-versa.

One thing I really like about this forum is that there are different views and approaches, but people are open about them and their biases. If you read through a few threads in here, you'll soon get a feel for the camps/perspectives that we all come from, we tend to recognise it and be able to point them out.

They hard part will be deciding what you'r position is, to see who'se biases and ideas ring true with your path.

Just remember, Nikon = the light, the path to greatness, and automatic increase of 10% IQ and sexual prowess. Canon = evil.

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LordBug 
5/6/08 12:06:40 PM
Immortal

Quote by Athiril
Personally I'd say features and lens choice would be king.



1. Key word - "Beginner"

2. A beginner won't know straight away if they want a massive dynamic range, or the ability for long exposures with mirror pre-flip, or good weather sealing, or low noise high ISO. As I said, all modern DSLRs output fantastic IQ. All the big names have got an offering of good glass. At the end of the day, no matter how good the kit, you can still take terrible photos. How it feels, and how you compose is what matters. A camera that you love to hold tempts you to use it more than one that doesn't feel right.

3. Some features which might be lacking can always be filled in with the wonders of post processing.

4. The gadget with the most features isn't much good if all of those features aren't actually required or used.

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Mademan 
5/6/08 12:09:31 PM
Charge
Plenty of second hand options out there, they would be my recommendations. The Canon 400D is a perfectly fine camera, but I feel its so called "run out" price at most stores is a bit of a rip. I'd be looking for Pentax K10D's, Nikon D40's or D80's, Canon 30D's, etc. I'd probably steer away from 20D's, unless they were $500 or so, their age may come back to bite you when the shutter craps itself.

One thing to take note of when testing a second hand digital is the file name. The number of the file will often be the number of the shot, and this can often give a clue as to the age of the camera.

I'd also steer away from kits, the lenses are almost always paper weights, except for Olympus. You could just as easily buy a body and a second hand lens, or a cheap new lens that's better, or more suited to your needs.

Finally, buying a camera in Australia is often an enourmous rip off, buy overseas if you intend on buying new. Buying the body overseas to avoid the $1000 tax threshold, then buying a second hand lens in Australia, is a great way to save money and end up with something better. But always shop around first. For example, Camera Action's current online price for a 400d is $700. Ted's is $900.


Edited by Mademan: 5/6/2008 12:17:25 PM


Edited by Mademan: 5/6/2008 12:19:58 PM

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stadl 
5/6/08 2:05:38 PM
SuperHero
Titan


I generally think kit lenses are fantastic value for money when bought in the kit. They are typically not great lenses (although Nikon's 18-70 is a solid performer), but for the price you pay in kit terms you get good value - typically they sell for half price when part of the kit.

Also some cameras use file numbering systems that loop after 10,000 photos. My old D70 would appear to have taken some 9000 photos when it is actually about 23000 (for the first few thousand I had it reset each time, then later changed it to not reset on a new card. It has then been rolled).

Most cameras will embed the real shutter actuation count into a custom part of the EXIF data for JPEGs. Google should reveal a tool to extract that for a given brand of camera.

Then of course you need to know what the expected life of the camera is. Predicted ratings range from about 20,000 to 250,000+ depending on the brand/models.

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World domination has encountered a momentary setback. Talk amongst yourselves.

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fliptopia 
5/6/08 11:34:53 PM
Hero
Guru


If I had my chance to do it all again I would have bought a Nikon D80. It's affordable and a nice all round camera. I went the D40 myself. It's a nice camera, but remember that anything at that pricepoint is all about compromise. Different cameras compromise on different things.

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CERA 
20/6/08 1:41:52 PM
Serf
hi Frizzle

cameras are really personal, especially digital SLR's. I suggest if you either know a few people with either a cannon or a nikon you take them for a day and go play. The reason why I suggest those two models is I know it is fairly easy to get lens's made by other companies which can be cheaper and just as good in the long run.

I ended up with a Nikon d70s and love it. I have got 3 macro lens's and a sb800 flash. the type of lens's you will need will depend on what sort of pics you want to take.

cheers

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Master_Scythe 
20/6/08 2:31:44 PM
Titan

wanna save 50%?

http://www.shopbot.com.au/default.asp?kw=Canon+400D&position=search

find a store that does imports.

Just realised how much i save buying imports lol. everythings made in china anyway.

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