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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-11-2008, 01:44 AM Thread Starter
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Ready to step up!

Looking for my 1st digital camera (1st real camera)

Budget $600-$800 (camera only, not worried about lenses. I know that's more money and a diffrent subject)

Want the option to change lenses.

Want something that won't be obsolete in 1 year.

have no clue what memory format is best.

Want the camerato be able to take GREAT pictures. the photographer should be the weak link here.

What do I get?

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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-11-2008, 03:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ofc.Ponch View Post
Looking for my 1st digital camera (1st real camera)

Budget $600-$800 (camera only, not worried about lenses. I know that's more money and a diffrent subject)

Want the option to change lenses.

Want something that won't be obsolete in 1 year.

have no clue what memory format is best.

Want the camerato be able to take GREAT pictures. the photographer should be the weak link here.

What do I get?
The obsolete thing is just bunk. A GOOD dslr should last you at least 5 yrs. And if you are looking for one that isnt 'replaced' every 6 months, your 600-800 for the body is wayyy too low. I dont forsee the Nikon D3 or Canon 1dMkIIIs to be replaced anytimes soon, but those are $5K+.

Memory card format. Personally I prefer compact flash since MOST Canon and Nikon's use them other than the D50/40/60/80.

You should be able to pick up a new Nikon D80 or Canon XTi (XSi may be out soon) body for what your price range is. Nikon or Canon. Both are damn good. Just depends on how the body feels to ya. Really only difference is, Nikon still uses the same mount it has used since the 50's. Canon uses a newer mount (94 or so for the EF mounts?).

Only reason I didnt stick with Canon when I entered the dslr world was the canons buttons were so damn small and close I couldnt hit one without hitting another. Also the D70 felt better than the Eos digital rebel.
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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-11-2008, 09:56 AM
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The Canon XSI is now at Ritz and I'm sure everywhere else, but it's $900. The opinion of most people is, if you get either a Canon or Nikon, you'll get many years of use out of the camera. I'm partial to Canon, I have a 40D and love it. My brother in law has an XTI, and he thinks it's great too. Nikon is a fantanstic product as well. I'm sure that Sony and Olympus are also fine. What do you plan to use the camera for? That will play a big part in what camera best fits your needs. Go to Ritz or somewhere similar and tell the salesmen what your looking to accomplish. Get a few different models in YOUR hands that are in YOUR price range. Only you can decide what feels best in your hands.

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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-11-2008, 10:37 AM Thread Starter
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General stuff, family photos.

Will get 75% of action though shooting firearms and close up shots, 6"-12" away, of small parts. Needs to be great at taking close ups!

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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-11-2008, 10:50 AM
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Costco has some package deals on the Canon XTI and Nikon D40 in your price range. Bonus is you have 90 days to decide if you like it.
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-11-2008, 10:54 AM
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For getting close ups, there are lenses that can get close.

You can search tech specs on different lenses like here to find out the "minimum focusing distance"

that one posted is pretty much the standard that comes as a package from what I understand with a minimum focusing distance of .9ft which is, what? 10 inches?
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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-11-2008, 11:00 AM
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I have been meaning to get a macro lens.. Lately all the closeup shooting I have been doing is with the P/S... My Point and shoot has a nice macro mode on it.. for the SLR I have to get back about a foot.. zoom in and then crop...

Just a side note.. Macro lenses aren't a really common lens, and as such aren't exactly a cheap lens... Most likely the macro is going to cost a good % of the body cost.. and probably more than a nice p/s that has macro...

Certainly not trying to talk you out of anything.. Just pointing that out..

I would think the best thing you could do for shots of the parts would be a lightbox as well..
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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-11-2008, 11:05 AM
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For what you want to do, just about any SLR will work great and you would be exteremely happy. For the close up work, invest in a decent macro (close focus) lens. You can get a really nice macro lens for a few hundred bucks.

edited for additional content...

The downside to a P/S with macro function is that it doesn't have the ability to grow with the shooter. You're stuck with whatever focal lentghs the manufacturer thinks you'll use. As your skills and needs grow, most P/S's will be money wasted because you'll end up spending more money when you buy an SLR and lenses that you should have bought in the first place. At least that's what I think

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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-11-2008, 11:09 AM
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Macro lenses get maybe a couple inches closer than a standard zoom, don't be fooled by a macro lens. The 105mm Nikkor Micro only gets close as 1 foot...

Macro is about reproduction ratio equaling 1:1, meaning if you took a 4X6 print off of a macro lens, it should be life size of what you shot... :2cents

I don't think we should get any deeper and confuse the hell out of the guy. Get a used D50 for a good price, and a decent lens... you should be happy and will be able to get decent close ups with a little cropping.
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-11-2008, 11:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mort82 View Post
I don't think we should get any deeper and confuse the hell out of the guy. Get a used D50 for a good price, and a decent lens... you should be happy and will be able to get decent close ups with a little cropping.
True

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post #11 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-11-2008, 11:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mort82 View Post
Macro lenses get maybe a couple inches closer than a standard zoom, don't be fooled by a macro lens. The 105mm Nikkor Micro only gets close as 1 foot...

Macro is about reproduction ratio equaling 1:1, meaning if you took a 4X6 print off of a macro lens, it should be life size of what you shot... :2cents

I don't think we should get any deeper and confuse the hell out of the guy. Get a used D50 for a good price, and a decent lens... you should be happy and will be able to get decent close ups with a little cropping.
From the level of tech I get from this guy when he speaks of guns.. I can't imagine this elementary level camera discussion is gonna confuse him...

I wasn't pointing towards getting a p/s over an SLR.. Just outlining what I have been doing.. Macro is not my reason for having a p/s.. I have one as it's nice to have a little camera you can carry around with you... The SLR is great but it's a bit much at the bar or dinner or whatever... My little p/s is water proof so I can take it everywhere and not worry about it.. While I try to baby my SLR...

As far as Macro goes I know many people also flip their lenses.. This is not something I have done, but my brother in law does it... So I suppose information on how to do that is out on the internet for the looking..

One other thing that isn't being discussed.. Call it a soft tech here is size..
I have friends with the d40 and the xti.. and they are much smaller.. I have pretty big hands and I can see how they could become uncomfortable after a long period of time... I don't know if this is a point of importance or not.. but something worthwile to have in the back of your mind when you go check cameras out... That and I like the magnesium/steel body of the larger frame cams as well...

I imagine it would be similar to the difference in a p2000 and a socom - well.. I suppose my camera would be p2000 to full frame USP... The Mark 3 would be the SOCOM.. (hope that puts my point in better perspective )
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post #12 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-11-2008, 11:49 AM Thread Starter
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I shoot a SOCOM so I don't mind using overbuilt bigger things as long as it gets the job I want done, and by done I mean overkill. I also don't mind being "That Guy" at family parties with the camera strap around my neck and a big camera snapping pics.

While my wife and kids have enjoyed and contine to enjoy their Nikon Coolpix 4800 and Kodak 8meg Easy share I look atthem as junk and nothing more than disposable p/s systems.

I also notice the diffrence in picture quality between them (the cameras listed above) and my neighbors 4meg slr (don't know what brand he has).

If I have to sacrifice size for the quality I'm looking for that's ok. The main pictures I end up takng will be with the camera on one of the few Bogen tripods I have for other optics I own. Although I will not jump into photography the way I am into firearms I will take the time to learn the things I don't know in oder to b eprofivient at using the camera.

I've held a few Nikons and am comfortable with them. I've also held a few Cannons and they also posed no problems. I don't browse camera forums and am very impressed with the pictures you guys take here so I have nothing but confidence that this group of guys can help me find the right camera.

Keep the info flowing I can sort through it and thanks in advance!

Also, if you have any pics of your chicks that you've taken with your cameras that you want to post in order to show me picture quality I would be more than happy to look at them!

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post #13 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-11-2008, 11:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gconsier View Post
I like the magnesium/steel body of the larger frame cams as well...
That was one of the selling features that made me lean towards the camera I got.

Ponch, as I mentioned before, the best thing you can do is go and look at and touch some of the cameras at your specific price point. Whether you end up buying from a store or online really makes no difference, but their is no other way to see what feels best to you. I also wanted something that I wouldn't "grow out of" in a year or so and something that felt the most natural for me to control. You don't want it to be a pain in the ass to take a picture because your not comfortable with controls.

Comfort with control functions is the reason I bought an HK over a SIG when I was shopping for my first hand gun. The slide release on the SIG was an uncorfortable reach for my thumb. My hand felt right at home on the HK...

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post #14 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-11-2008, 12:09 PM
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I have a D50 for sale with an 18-55 Nikon lens and a 70-300 Tamron lens. It is all in great shape and in perfect working order. I almost have no need for the camera as I have upgraded to a D300 and various other very expensive lenses, so it is basically just sitting around right now.

If it is something you are interested in, I can sell you all this for well under your budget.

Send me a PM if you may be interested.

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post #15 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-11-2008, 12:30 PM
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Taken with a D50:
"moonlight"


Taken with a D80:


as requested:


and with the D300:
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post #16 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-11-2008, 12:31 PM
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I recommend taking Vtecetr up on that deal.
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post #17 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-11-2008, 12:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ofc.Ponch View Post
I shoot a SOCOM so I don't mind using overbuilt bigger things as long as it gets the job I want done, and by done I mean overkill. I also don't mind being "That Guy" at family parties with the camera strap around my neck and a big camera snapping pics.

While my wife and kids have enjoyed and contine to enjoy their Nikon Coolpix 4800 and Kodak 8meg Easy share I look atthem as junk and nothing more than disposable p/s systems.

I also notice the diffrence in picture quality between them (the cameras listed above) and my neighbors 4meg slr (don't know what brand he has).

If I have to sacrifice size for the quality I'm looking for that's ok. The main pictures I end up takng will be with the camera on one of the few Bogen tripods I have for other optics I own. Although I will not jump into photography the way I am into firearms I will take the time to learn the things I don't know in oder to b eprofivient at using the camera.

I've held a few Nikons and am comfortable with them. I've also held a few Cannons and they also posed no problems. I don't browse camera forums and am very impressed with the pictures you guys take here so I have nothing but confidence that this group of guys can help me find the right camera.

Keep the info flowing I can sort through it and thanks in advance!

Also, if you have any pics of your chicks that you've taken with your cameras that you want to post in order to show me picture quality I would be more than happy to look at them!
I carry the SLR to some parties.. but I found that a p/s is something I would like to have at least one of (for my wife and I) as she wont carry the slr around to places.. and I dont like bringing the SLR places and leaving it (Say a club or whatever.. Where the ps you can just tuck in a pocket.. The SLR is more of a commitment.. When you take it somewhere with you.. Plan on lugging it around everywhere you go.. Plus it's a bit much to pass around the table as people take drunken shots of eachother or whatever....

Like I said.. Wasn't recommending that way to go.. Just stating my experience with macro stuff.. Although it is a field I find fascinating and plan on getting more into....

I thought I would explain in pictures my analogy... Why? Because.. I feel like posting cool camera and gun pictures..
These are to scale in terms of size.. not 100% on build quality... I would say the quality goes up with cameras with size (in terms of fps/toughness/overall feel/ and... usually optics) Price does as well...
The USP to the SOCOM - 40D to USP is pretty accurate.. the P2000 to Rebel.. Not so much.. as a p2000 is more expensive than the larger guns..

As far as image quality goes... You probably wouldn't see much difference in any of them.. They are all that good... I like the 6.5 frames per sec out of the 40d over the 3 fps out of the rebel.. That said I do not use that option that often (fun for motorcycle races though) -- and the mark3 ups that to 10fps... (waaay out of budget though)


-
P-2000 ----------------------------------------------Rebel XTi

-
USP 45 ---------------------------------------------------- 40D

-
SOCOM (quiet mode ) ------------------------------------ Mark III (not quiet)

If you were to switch to nikon .. Replace the right side with d40 - d300 - d3
I think that's a pretty good way of comparing them.. They all do what they do well.. Some are just a bit more overbuilt than others

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post #18 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-11-2008, 01:19 PM
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Quote:
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and with the D300...
Did someone get themselves a new toy???

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post #19 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-11-2008, 01:22 PM
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Quote:
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Did someone get themselves a new toy???


Still learning. For the first couple days I couldn't figure out why it was going light/dark/light/dark/light.... fricking bracketing was on the programmable button. Getting it figured out. Finally, after using an F4s, this thing feels like a camera!
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post #20 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-11-2008, 01:51 PM Thread Starter
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I think I may be the owner of a D50. We'll see what the response is.

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post #21 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-11-2008, 02:16 PM
 
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D50 is a nice camera, can't go wrong. To top it off, I'm a Nikon fan so double approval from me!
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post #22 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-11-2008, 02:23 PM
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I'm a Canon guy, and I still think it's a good deal. You get a nice SLR body, a couple decent lenses and the ability to upgrade your glass, or entire system if you get really hooked, at any time if your needs/wants increase. If you get that for less than what you originally wanted to spend, you can't go wrong.

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post #23 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-11-2008, 02:29 PM
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I know I'm alone on this, but I still really like my Sony Alpha. It just does everything well. The new models look slick and I really like the onboard image stabilization. Any lense you add later on is stabilized without additional cost. The soon to be release A-350 with 14.2 megs with a body only price of $700 sounds hot. The A-300 at 10.2 for $500 isn't shabby either. I got to mess with an A-700 and was very impressed, but I'm easily impressed these days...

D50 is very nice too. Well when it gets down to it, any Nikon is nice.

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post #24 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-11-2008, 02:44 PM Thread Starter
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I'm a Nikon owner.
If I get hooked, then we'll spent the big bucks. If not I'll see if a D50 can snap a pic of a bullet about to hit it in timer mode.

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post #25 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-11-2008, 02:53 PM
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I completely recommend not buying anything until you've held it in your hands and played around with it for a good 30 minutes or so. I thought I knew what I wanted after researching online (Canon XTi or D70) then I went to some camera stores and tried them out.

I liked the operation of the XTi, but hated the interface and the small grip was very uncomfortable. The viewfinder on the D70 was too dim and the D-pad sucked. The list goes on. I loved the D40 from the feel, to the operations, to the button layout. I also liked the D80 but I didn't want to spend that much on the body, nor did I 'need' the extra stuff on it. I haven't regretted getting the D40 yet, and the money I saved on the body I've already spent on memory cards, lens, filters, covers, backpack, tripod, etc.

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post #26 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-11-2008, 03:04 PM
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Quote:
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If not I'll see if a D50 can snap a pic of a bullet about to hit it in timer mode.
Wait, you are buying my camera just to shoot it up???

Thats cool.

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post #27 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-12-2008, 08:49 AM Thread Starter
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I promise it won't suffer!

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