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Author Topic: Hello. About to buy first DSLR, have a couple of Q's..  (Read 7485 times)

armand

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Re: Hello. About to buy first DSLR, have a couple of Q's..
« Reply #20 on: November 21, 2014, 01:46:58 PM »

I like the dress vs tripod analogy. Might come handy down the road  ;D

rpsphoto

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Re: Hello. About to buy first DSLR, have a couple of Q's..
« Reply #21 on: November 21, 2014, 01:51:52 PM »

You can also rent bodies and lenses to test drive before purchase. I think it's worth a few $$$ and a little time to find the best fit.
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Best regards,
 Bob CEO, CFO, EIEIO, Ret.

ErikKaffehr

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Re: Hello. About to buy first DSLR, have a couple of Q's..
« Reply #22 on: November 21, 2014, 03:25:26 PM »

Hi Paulo,

Good points!

I can mention that I was shooting with Hans Kruse in the Dolomites West workshop. Hans was shooting both Nikon D800 and Canon 5DIII and pretty much said that the Nikon had a clear edge in image quality, but I still felt that he preferred the Canon. Maybe Hans felt usability was better on Canon.

I guess both cameras were good enough! The other participants shot Pentax K3, Canon 5DIII, Sony A7r, Fuji XT (or what it is called), we all got great images. All those cameras are certainly good enough!

Best regards
Erik

I have been using Canon EOS for more than 20 years, so I do understand about familiarity:)

The truth is, these days, any camera, DSLR or mirrorless, FF, APS-C, or 4/3 sensor size, will be able to give you high quality results. Camera technology has reached a pretty high level. So you should choose a system based on your requirements.

From what you say, any mid-level DSLR, new or used, will be able to accompany your growth as a photographer in the mid-term, say for 5 years. For example, have you looked into a used Canon 60D? Pretty good camera. Have you looked into Pentax at all? They make great cameras, quite a lot of them are weatherproof, for example, look into a used K5/K5MKII; Pentax also make great lenses.

As expected, a few people have mentioned the advantage of Sony sensors married to the Nikon cameras, and supported that with DXO ratings. Fine, I will not argue that. Just bear in mind that camera and sensor technology is just one step in the whole processing image workflow, and you need to perfect all of the steps. Of course it helps to start with good data to work with, hence the advantage of Sony sensors.

But, IMO, today, as a landscape and travel photographer, I feel my Canon 6D and 16-35 f4 L lens are extremely good. This new lens is really good, and so far I have not been limited by the sensor on my 6D. How many shots do you really take where you need to open up the shadows 3 or 4 stops? Just to put things in perspective.

Things do keep changing, so maybe in 5 years time, I will be using a Sony FF mirrorless, who knows. But they do need to come out with more lenses...
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Erik Kaffehr
 

Incastone

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Re: Hello. About to buy first DSLR, have a couple of Q's..
« Reply #23 on: November 21, 2014, 06:06:37 PM »

There's lots of good advice here.
Down the road I'm sure I will be using a mirrorless, at least as a 2nd/alternative camera. After seeing the shots of the Guinness Storehouse I was really interested in the Sony, and love the concept but too expensive for me to consider starting with, more's the pity.
 
I'm not so stupid though as to think that spending more money (if I had it) would get me that kind of photo. I understand of course that cameras don't take great photos, people do. I have experience with audio production so am fully aware of just how important certain things are in the grand scheme - no point having a fancy body with a crap lens, and no point having any of it if you don't have technical ability, and no point having technical ability if you can't identify a great image before releasing the shutter.

4/3rds is also something that really appeals, but print-wise I'd rather have the larger sensor and pixel count of the 7100. Maybe thinking about printing is getting ahead of myself, but might as well hedge my bets, so to speak! I reckon I would outgrow something like a 60D within a year, and I can't afford to outgrow anything that quickly.
I promise I will not scrimp on things like tripod and lenses. I've always spent as much as I possibly could on project critical items in the past. I've thought nothing of dropping over a grand on a pair of studio monitor speakers for example, when 300 quid 'would do', because I know where the pressure points are.

I will buy primes for my first lenses, and now after consideration of comments here, will probably get the FX type.

It's interesting to hear people talk about deciding what kind of work I'll be doing. I thought I would do it all  ;D
If I had to theoretically describe my 'photographer personality', it would have to be travel, because I left England 15 years ago and have been living/working/traveling abroad ever since.
I WISH this passion had been kindled earlier, because I have what I think are some unique images but shot on 5-8Mp compacts, using more luck than knowledge in terms of exposure and in some cases, focus :/ With subsequent cropping they're unusable for anything other than web, and even then not great quality, which is a crying shame, because I love some of these images. Better late than never I suppose :)
Here's a couple more. Sorry about being an exhibitionist but these have only ever been posted on FB and I have a pathological need to share :)
 
I don't have any preference for landscape, portraits, nature, or animals, I love capturing them all equally. I've gathered I need about 3 lenses - a 50mm, something between 80 and 100, and I'd like a macro lens too for serious close up stuff. I do have a thing for black and white though, but who doesn't?













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dwswager

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Re: Hello. About to buy first DSLR, have a couple of Q's..
« Reply #24 on: November 23, 2014, 12:03:00 PM »

I want to just add this.

I have been shooting a D7100 for a little over a year having previously shot the D300.  I have always had this unhappiness with the D7100 which I must admit is irrational.  I was a D400 waiter and Nikon wrapped the D7100 in the 'enthusiast' body style instead of the 'pro' body style.  But when you actually take stock of the D7100 with it's 24MPs, no OLPF, 51 point AF (15 Cross Type sensors), and all the other features, it is a truly remarkable camera at it's price point ($1200 list, $949 w/ current discount).  And the fact that there is not a Canon body, Full Frame or APS-C) that beats the sensor system performance except at high ISO, it tells you how irrational my unhappiness has been. 

Nikon did choose to limit this camera, however.  While 6fps is fine, the buffer is too small and since it uses dual SD cards the actual data writing slows it some more (I use Sandisk 95mb/s Extreme Pro SD while in my D810 I use Lexar 1066X (160mb/s) CF).  SD just can't match CF for write speeds.  I shoot sports with it and while, I can work around, this without much issue, having this in the 'pro' body with the additional buffer and CF that would go along with it would make this a killer all around camera!

The more I exercise the D810, the more I come to appreciate just how special the D7100 actually is.  Hope the wife lets me keep it!
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Incastone

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Re: Hello. About to buy first DSLR, have a couple of Q's..
« Reply #25 on: November 23, 2014, 12:19:12 PM »

Hi dw, thanks again for chipping in so much, especially as you use a 7100 yourself.

Could you explain the sd card thing to me please? I just assumed that it had 2 slots so that when one card is full the camera just starts writing to the other one?
Now I've read what you just wrote, it sounds like it uses one card as a buffer in burst mode, is that right?
With the specs of the 7100, it would be irrational for me to choose an inferior body just because I didn't like the layout so much. I can get used to a layout, I wouldn't like having to get used to 30% less shots per charge or whatnot, so if I go with a mirror, it will be the 7100.

I don't and won't ever shoot sports, wildlife will be the fastest action thing I shoot (which still needs fast speeds but I imagine sports needs sustained fast burst modes and more than 6fps). 6fps will do me fine. I've never shot burst so 6 is luxury :)

I can get the 7100 for the equivalent of about $800 new with 3 years accidental damage insurance here - no brainer really.

If someone could convince me that a 16Mp 4/3 camera would be a better bet than 24 CMOS bearing in mind I will want to print large without stitiching loads, then I'm still tempted to investigate that route more.
I would prefer modern mirrorless to 4/3 but can't afford it.
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mcbroomf

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Re: Hello. About to buy first DSLR, have a couple of Q's..
« Reply #26 on: November 23, 2014, 02:48:16 PM »

No further comments on the body, but a question/suggestion about your lens choice.

If you want both a 80-100 and a macro as well as a normal lens then I suggest you look for something like a 90/macro and leave some extra money for a wide angle, perhaps in the 28-35mm range.  There are plenty of 90/macro lenses that will go to 2:1 and 1:1 with a 2:1 adapter or tubes if you need to go large.  Even if you don't shoot in the WA range much at the moment (you can make table using your exif data of all your best shots to see which FL are most used) then I suggest you invest in one and start trying to use it to expand your vision.
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dwswager

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Re: Hello. About to buy first DSLR, have a couple of Q's..
« Reply #27 on: November 23, 2014, 03:02:32 PM »

Hi dw, thanks again for chipping in so much, especially as you use a 7100 yourself.

Could you explain the sd card thing to me please? I just assumed that it had 2 slots so that when one card is full the camera just starts writing to the other one?
Now I've read what you just wrote, it sounds like it uses one card as a buffer in burst mode, is that right?

The D7100 has 2 card slots; both SDHC.  You can set it up in a variety of ways.  I have it write to the 1st slot and use the 2nd slot for overflow if I fill the 1st card and for videos if I take any.  You can have it write to both cards simultaneously so you have the same photos on 2 cards.  I would think a wedding guy might use that.

The SDHC cards are not buffer.  Buffer is the internal memory in the camera.  When you shoot in fast bursts, the camera writes the photo to the buffer and then when the buffer fills it starts writing out to the SD card and as it clears the buffer more images can be taken.  Since the SD Cards are slower than internal memory, once you fill the buffer you will notice the camera slowing down significantly.  So buy the fastest cards if you need continuous shooting.

Since we are on this topic, the number of images the buffer can hold is listed in manual.  Hence, you can take less RAW than JPGs.  This is what most shooters complain about.  The buffer isn't big enough if shooting RAW, but for JPG is usually fine.  Also, some options like JPG compression technique (Optimal Quality vs Size), Lens Correction, Noise Removal, etc. can impact the continous shooting at 6fps.  The options are really based on consuming processor cycles.  The way I shoot, I can typically get 9-12 Large JPGs in a burst if I want, but rarely end up shooting bursts over 5 frames.

With the specs of the 7100, it would be irrational for me to choose an inferior body just because I didn't like the layout so much. I can get used to a layout, I wouldn't like having to get used to 30% less shots per charge or whatnot, so if I go with a mirror, it will be the 7100.

My unhappiness really was based on prior experience with the pro style button interface.  I hate changing cameras precisely because once I learn how to make it jump through hoops, I don't want to have to relearn it.  Some items just aren't shown in the viewfinder on the Enthusiast layout.  ISO yes, but don't believe the shooting mode or White Balance is.  On the pro cameras you push a button and spin the dial and you see it in the viewfinder. In and of itself, the interface of the D7100 is fine, and the U1 and U2 settings are even better than the Shooting Banks on the pro cameras.

I don't and won't ever shoot sports, wildlife will be the fastest action thing I shoot (which still needs fast speeds but I imagine sports needs sustained fast burst modes and more than 6fps). 6fps will do me fine. I've never shot burst so 6 is luxury :)

I can get the 7100 for the equivalent of about $800 new with 3 years accidental damage insurance here - no brainer really.

If someone could convince me that a 16Mp 4/3 camera would be a better bet than 24 CMOS bearing in mind I will want to print large without stitiching loads, then I'm still tempted to investigate that route more.
I would prefer modern mirrorless to 4/3 but can't afford it.

At $800 new, it is a no brainer.  It is a seriously good camera for that amount of coin!  With good technique and the lack of OLPF, you can get really sharp images at the pixel level.  It is relatively small and light as well, but still comfortable.  I actually like big and heavy, but I usually have it on a tripod or monopod for long stints and not in my hands.  Guess a wedding guy or others that hand hold constantly heavy my get bogus.

BTW, if my wife makes me sell mine since I have the D810, I will have a Really Right Stuff L-Plate for sale.
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dwswager

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Re: Hello. About to buy first DSLR, have a couple of Q's..
« Reply #28 on: November 23, 2014, 03:08:25 PM »

No further comments on the body, but a question/suggestion about your lens choice.

If you want both a 80-100 and a macro as well as a normal lens then I suggest you look for something like a 90/macro and leave some extra money for a wide angle, perhaps in the 28-35mm range.  There are plenty of 90/macro lenses that will go to 2:1 and 1:1 with a 2:1 adapter or tubes if you need to go large.  Even if you don't shoot in the WA range much at the moment (you can make table using your exif data of all your best shots to see which FL are most used) then I suggest you invest in one and start trying to use it to expand your vision.

I would suggest something different.  Not sure a flat field macro would be all that spectacular in everyday use.   I don't do true 1:1 macro, but only close up.  I use either extension tubes (Kenko 3 tube set) or Nikon 5T and 6T diopters both usually on the 70-200mm f/2.8.  BTW, the 80-200mm f/2.8 is a wonderful lens.  It doesn't focus quite as fast as the AF-S models, nor track quite as well, but it is still dear to my heart.  I used it for 17 years and only sold it so I could put the TC-14e on 70-200mm f/2.8.  I waited 5 years for Nikon to upgrade the 80-400mm to lose the slow focus and 6 months after I bought the 70-200mm they did! Doh!
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Incastone

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Re: Hello. About to buy first DSLR, have a couple of Q's..
« Reply #29 on: November 23, 2014, 08:48:42 PM »

Even if you don't shoot in the WA range much at the moment (you can make table using your exif data of all your best shots to see which FL are most used) then I suggest you invest in one and start trying to use it to expand your vision.

That is a spectacularly good idea about the table, thanks for suggesting that!
The bridge camera I've been learning with has the FF equivalent of a 27-486 range. I never use it at full zoom because the image quality is awful when I do. I try and leave it as wide as possible and just get closer to the subject, so yes a wide angle lens is a must actually as I'm used to having that 27mm framing option (and wider would be even better).
I'm pretty sure I rarely go beyond about 100 in general but I'm definitely going to go through images now and check.

When I wrote about the fl I wanted I was working on the premise that primes are always going to be better than zooms, and if you do have a zoom, that a smaller range is always preferable. Maybe the real world difference isn't something I need to worry about just yet, or is it?

I should probably just say what I want rather than try to guess.
I want a nice portrait lens for animals and street photography, a good macro lens that will give me 1:1 or 2:1 without having to bolt loads of stuff onto it (unless there's a good reason why that's better, but it sounds like a load of faff!), and something that will give me enough reach for landscape (max 200mm I'm sure would be enough unless I start working for the CIA, right? Or wrong?!).

Lenses are becoming less confusing but there's still so much I don't have a grip on.
I won't be buying all these at once, and as suggested in an earlier reply, I will probably get FX lenses so that I can move them to a FF body in the future.
The portrait lens is probably the most important for now as I've all ready spent a lot of time in the city and environs I'm moving to (Granada) and I know that I don't need much magnification to get the shots I want, it's all right there.

If you guys think I would be ok with a 16-35 FX lens (which would be a 24-55 approx on the 7100 no?) that would cover my WA and portrait needs to start with, then I can save and get a nice macro and finally a tele.
Would something like a 24-55 equivalent really compromise me over a 50mm prime? Or should I really consider getting both?

Thanks in advance for your help (again)!
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dwswager

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Re: Hello. About to buy first DSLR, have a couple of Q's..
« Reply #30 on: November 23, 2014, 10:09:26 PM »

That is a spectacularly good idea about the table, thanks for suggesting that!
The bridge camera I've been learning with has the FF equivalent of a 27-486 range. I never use it at full zoom because the image quality is awful when I do. I try and leave it as wide as possible and just get closer to the subject, so yes a wide angle lens is a must actually as I'm used to having that 27mm framing option (and wider would be even better).
I'm pretty sure I rarely go beyond about 100 in general but I'm definitely going to go through images now and check.

There is one potential booger in the ointment trying this.  With zoom lenses it is commonplace to get lazy and just use zoom when really you should move closer or farther away and change focal length.  Most people zoom to get everything in the frame or to make the subject larger without thought to the perspective. A classic example is using a wide angle with a boulder or something in the foreground and mountains in the background.  Doing this, it is possible to diminish the mountains and make them look inconsequential.  A table of focal lengths gives you just numbers, but doesn't tell you if you picked the correct one!

A good exercise is to shoot the same shot, with the same framing from different distances and different focal lengths and then compare them.  There are times when you do want to accentuate the foreground and others when you don't.  The key is to know what you want and how to execute it properly.
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