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Author Topic: Low-end DSLR  (Read 6348 times)

Jeremy Roussak

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« on: January 19, 2009, 06:35:10 am »

Hi,

A friend of mine is looking to buy his first DSLR. He's a hiker and wants to take it on his treks. He'll shoot mostly landscapes, entirely for fun. His budget is limited. He's not really interested in second-hand kit.

A quick browse indicates that the Canon 1000D/18-55 kit is pretty much exactly in his price range (up to about 400, including a card or two and the usual basic accessories). I use Canons and would have no hesitation in recommending the brand, but I don't know this model. It has a decent review at DPR, for what that's worth.

Does anyone here have experience of it? What are the comparable Nikon/Sony models and how would they compare?

I've advised that his first step should be to drop into our local Jessops and play with each.

Any suggestions gratefully received.

Jeremy
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DarkPenguin

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« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2009, 11:04:10 am »

Is that the 18-55 or 18-55IS?  Edit: I wouldn't go for the 18-55 version.  Get the IS.

I don't have that camera so I can't say.

If he is a hiker he should consider the panasonic G1.  Very small particularly if he buys the telephoto lens.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2009, 11:04:38 am by DarkPenguin »
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Ken Bennett

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« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2009, 08:27:14 pm »

DP is right, the IS version of the Canon kit lens is much better.

In my very humble opinion, any of the intro level DSLRs from the major manufacturers would be an excellent choice. Some of them have in-body IS, which means it works with any lens (Olympus, Pentax), though those might be higher cost.
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Equipment: a camera and some lenses.

BernardLanguillier

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« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2009, 08:56:45 pm »

I would personnaly go for a Nikon D90 and second hand Nikkor AF 35 mm f2.0.

Cheers,
Bernard

BJL

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« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2009, 09:15:46 pm »

Quote from: kikashi
Hi,

A friend of mine is looking to buy his first DSLR. He's a hiker and wants to take it on his treks. He'll shoot mostly landscapes, entirely for fun. His budget is limited.
I see no need for great speed, extremely shallow DOF or massive resolution, and an interest in a small, light, not too expensive kit. So why not start by looking at the smallest/lightest/cheapest kit, the Olympus E-420+14-42? Or for a bit more, the smallest/lightest kit options with stabilization, the Panasonic G-1+14-45 and Olympus E-520+14-42. Then decide if bulkier alternatives offer sufficient compensating performance advantages.
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mike.online

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« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2009, 10:20:32 pm »

new is great (i bought new when i got into it...) but i would suggest he/she reconsider a gently used body. there really are some fantastic deals on cameras at a higher level than the rebels. If you can find them the 20/30D's are still fantastic cameras for the price, imo.

aaykay

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« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2009, 10:24:52 pm »

I would skip the dSLRs and go for a Panasonic G1 in this particular situation.  The AF is supposed to be as fast as any of the crop of lower-end dSLRs, the mount offers lens interchangeability and is smaller/lighter than any of the dSLRS.
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250swb

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« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2009, 03:16:50 am »

From the criteria given the ideal cameras would either be the Panasonic G1, or Olympus E520 and 14-42mm (28-84mm equiv.) kit lens. Both of these cameras are light, inbuilt IS, excellent image quality, and the kit lenses are near or better than some other manufacturers 'best' lines. In addition they have a good range of features that can be accessed once the learning curve wanders from 'Auto'.

Steve

Jeremy Roussak

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« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2009, 03:40:59 am »

Thanks for all your help. It turns out that he was a bit less interested in my advice than I thought, and a bit keener to get moving. He played with a few (Nikon, Canon) in the shop and then bought a Sony Alpha 300 with their 18-70 at lunchtime yesterday.

Jeremy
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DarkPenguin

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« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2009, 08:50:50 am »

Quote from: kikashi
Thanks for all your help. It turns out that he was a bit less interested in my advice than I thought, and a bit keener to get moving. He played with a few (Nikon, Canon) in the shop and then bought a Sony Alpha 300 with their 18-70 at lunchtime yesterday.

Jeremy
That's one I wouldn't have bought.
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Jim Pascoe

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« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2009, 01:36:14 pm »

A bit late for the poster and his friend I know, but I would give another vote to the Panasonic G1.  I bought one a few weeks ago and it is a great little camera.  Shame that some b******
broke into our house last week and stole it along with a lot of other stuff.  I will be getting another as soon as the insurance money comes.  In fact I will buy another one irrespective of the insurance!
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aaykay

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« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2009, 02:43:05 pm »

Quote from: kikashi
Thanks for all your help. It turns out that he was a bit less interested in my advice than I thought, and a bit keener to get moving. He played with a few (Nikon, Canon) in the shop and then bought a Sony Alpha 300 with their 18-70 at lunchtime yesterday.

Jeremy

As a Sony A900 shooter, I am happy that he went with the A300, even though I advised earlier to go with the G1.    The kicker is that in the future if he decides to add a prime lens (50mm etc), it will be stabilized on the body, unlike say if he had gone with a Canon or a Nikon, where there is not stabilization with such primes.

Also, unlike other Live-view systems, this one (being based on a secondary sensor), employs the fast phase-detect AF system, in addition to having an articulated LCD (good for overhead shooting, unlike a static LCD which is useless for such purposes).

I think he will be a happy user, even though he may be better off in getting rid of that kit lens and going to the Carl Zeiss 16-80 f/3.5-4.5, which is sharp right from wide open.  Or the slightly cheaper 16-105.


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BJL

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« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2009, 03:07:23 pm »

Quote from: aaykay
... unlike other Live-view systems, this one (being based on a secondary sensor), employs the fast phase-detect AF system ...
Unfortunately, also due to using a secondary sensor, Sony's version of SLR Live View does not offer the zooming for precise manual focus (which seems to be the biggest attraction of live view in this forum), does not give 100% accurate framing, does not give accurate DOF preview with low f-stops (a problem shared with traditional SLR viewfinders but avoided by main sensor live view) and generally is less WYSIWYG than "main sensor live view".

This brings me back to thinking that the G1 being the best live view camera so far, as it reportedly combines AF performance as good as the phase detection AF of similarly priced DSLRs with an articulated sensor and the above-mentioned advantages of main sensor live view. If and when Panasonic improves the low light VF performance, I will be extremely interested.
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thomashoven

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« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2009, 04:40:52 pm »

I had the same question, and went with a Nikon. The 18 - 135 kit lens is a disaster - has been serviced 3 times and is optically not acceptable. Knowing what I know today, I would go for Canon in the budget SLR segment.

Thomas


Quote from: kikashi
Hi,

A friend of mine is looking to buy his first DSLR. He's a hiker and wants to take it on his treks. He'll shoot mostly landscapes, entirely for fun. His budget is limited. He's not really interested in second-hand kit.

A quick browse indicates that the Canon 1000D/18-55 kit is pretty much exactly in his price range (up to about 400, including a card or two and the usual basic accessories). I use Canons and would have no hesitation in recommending the brand, but I don't know this model. It has a decent review at DPR, for what that's worth.

Does anyone here have experience of it? What are the comparable Nikon/Sony models and how would they compare?

I've advised that his first step should be to drop into our local Jessops and play with each.

Any suggestions gratefully received.

Jeremy
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Rgds,
Thomas (www.thomashoven.com)

aaykay

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« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2009, 04:51:07 pm »

Quote from: BJL
Unfortunately, also due to using a secondary sensor, Sony's version of SLR Live View does not offer the zooming for precise manual focus (which seems to be the biggest attraction of live view in this forum), does not give 100% accurate framing, does not give accurate DOF preview with low f-stops (a problem shared with traditional SLR viewfinders but avoided by main sensor live view) and generally is less WYSIWYG than "main sensor live view".

I completely agree about the limitations of secondary sensor (I personally would not go for it) but look at who would be using the camera - does not seem like someone who would be able to benefit from the advantages of main sensor LV, but would definitely benefit from fast AF.  

Having said that, I also agree that the G1 would have been a far better fit for this same individual.
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Plekto

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« Reply #15 on: January 20, 2009, 05:45:05 pm »

Beat me to it   The Sony 300 is superb, really.  Toss on any old Minolta 28mm or 50mm lens for cheap and he's good to go.
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barryfitzgerald

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« Reply #16 on: January 20, 2009, 07:11:40 pm »

Funny how everyone got busy suggesting every other brand out there, bar sony.

Don't get me wrong, they have had some stick off of me (being a trad minolta user), but what is wrong with folks going out, to a shop..having a play, and making their own mind up??

Sure I could pick hairs with the sony..I don't like the jpegs, but then the G1 has worse DR.., the Canon has a dodgy grip, etc etc ;-)
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BJL

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« Reply #17 on: January 21, 2009, 02:36:14 pm »

Quote from: aaykay
look at who would be using the camera - does not seem like someone who would be able to benefit from the advantages of main sensor LV, but would definitely benefit from fast AF.
Only if fast AF is needed in combination with over-head or ground-level shooting where the LCD helps. Otherwise the OVF offers fast AF. For the hiking landscape photography mentioned, I do not see much need for overhead shooting, and ground level shooting is probably of stationary or slow moving subjects, not needing fast AF.

On the other hand, precise manual focus might be of some value: it is in my hiking photography anyway. And accurate VF framing is nice for those who wish to print most images directly, without PP: it helps to avoid the unpleasant surprise of something distracting appearing at the edges of the print that you did not see in the VF.
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Jeremy Roussak

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« Reply #18 on: January 22, 2009, 03:52:09 am »

He collected it yesterday and I had a quick play. It feels nice: too small for my taste and a bit plasticky, but not bad for the money and fairly responsive. The screen looks good, and the ability to move it around would be very useful indeed: why on earth don't Canon and Nikon implement something similar? I've not seen any results yet, though.

I think the points made about AF are valid: he won't be doing action photography.

Anyway, he seems very happy, which is of course the main point.

Jeremy
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tetsuo77

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« Reply #19 on: January 22, 2009, 05:56:29 am »

Quote from: k bennett
DP is right, the IS version of the Canon kit lens is much better.

In my very humble opinion, any of the intro level DSLRs from the major manufacturers would be an excellent choice. Some of them have in-body IS, which means it works with any lens (Olympus, Pentax), though those might be higher cost.


Im sorry, Bernard, but the D90 is way too far from Low End [though it is not such an upgrade from the budget DSLRs, which have plateaud].

900+ Euros for a body only, not really budget friendly.
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