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Old 09-06-08, 09:34 AM   #1
rankin116
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Suggestions for a DSLR?

I'm thinking it's time for a new camera. I have a 35mm Minolta SLR that I like, but I think it's time I make the jump to digital. My girlfriend has a point-and-shoot digital, and I can't stand it.

I don't know much about cameras, so I guess I would be looking for something somewhat basic. Maybe in the $500-700 range. I was looking at B&H today, and there are so many to choose from, can some of you more experienced photogs point me in the right direction? What features are absolutely necessary and what are some that might be considered frivolous? Are there any that would work with older Minolta lenses? How many mega-pixels are too few?

How about these:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...R_Digital.html

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...al_Camera.html

There's so many on there I could link to, but I won't. So what do you all think? Thanks!
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Old 09-06-08, 09:38 AM   #2
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For a proper single lens reflex I would recommend you stick with either Canon or Nikon, just for the lens selection alone.
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Old 09-06-08, 10:03 AM   #3
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If you have a bunch of minolta autofocus lenses you might want to look at the Sony DSLRs (and check for lens compatibility). Otherwise, I agree with Alleng....
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Old 09-06-08, 10:35 AM   #4
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Cannon and Nikon make good cameras but you don't have to stick to them to get a good camera. To be honest its hard to pick out anyone who makes a bad camera these days.

Having said that I'm a fan of Pentax digital camera's. Vibration reduction on the body is a great feature as is automatic sensor cleaning and good weather sealing. The K200D is a bargain buy. Sensors are getting bigger all the time. 6 MP is honestly enough but 10 MP seems to be more or less standard now. You really don't need more than 10 MP.

See some digital camera review sites. http://www.dcresource.com/

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Old 09-06-08, 04:51 PM   #5
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I have the Nikon D40X with the kit lens 18-55 mm and the 55-200 VR love it.

The D40X body is the same as the D40 and it's really comfortable to hold and reach all of the buttons, as well as focus the lens (although both lenses auto focus). It's a great entry level camera with tons of lenses available. I have my eye on the Nikon 50 mm f/1.8. You have to manually focus it, but it's a prime, and it does meter through the lens.

There is a Nikon forum I visit for extra info, and they have a section about the D40: here is the link

Have you handled the D40 in a store, or a friend's? Definitely go to a store and play with them for a bit and see what you like.

Here's what one of the photos from my D40X looks like:


The D40 has fewer pixels but plenty for printing, cropping and oohing and ahhing.
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Old 09-06-08, 09:36 PM   #6
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You can get good deals on the D40 these days. There are differences in all of the brands and models, but all of the brands make good products. I would advise sticking with Nikon or Canon, but that is not to imply that there are problems with the other brands. (I have a D70s that I've had for 2 years with no problems.) You could just go buy the basic D40 kit or the equivalent Canon kit and be in good shape.
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Old 09-06-08, 11:38 PM   #7
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nikon d700
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Old 09-07-08, 07:04 AM   #8
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A couple of years ago I was choosing between Canon EOS400D (Rebel XTI) and Nikon D40. Before I even entered the B&H store, I was certain I would be walking out with the Canon but I decided on the D40 instead. For me, it just felt better.

Recently I also bought Nikkor 18-200.
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Old 09-07-08, 08:29 AM   #9
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the only thing i dont like about the D40 is you cant buy Af lens'. They have to be Af-S lens = EXPENSIVE. Not to mention the D40 feels REALLY small in my hands. I love the way my D50 feels, plus i have lens' that are 10 years old and still work perfectly with this body. Used D70's can be had for the price of a new D50 which is a GREAT deal
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Old 09-07-08, 09:46 AM   #10
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I have a 70-300mm minolta lens that I would like to keep. Thing is the Sony cameras say they will work with minolta maxxum lenses, but I don't have that kind. I guess I could bring it into Wally world and see if it fits the Sony body.

Anyway, I will be doing some more research, including trying to find what I could sell my current camera for and go from there. Thanks for the help everyone.
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Old 09-07-08, 10:46 AM   #11
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I use Pentax bodies (*ist Ds, actually) because I have a film background using Pentax lenses, and the old K mount lenses fit on the new bodies without issue. (compared to Canon and Nikon, where the older lenses do not fit onthe modern bodies) You can get some great, cheap lenses on BHphoto.com if youare willing to learn how to shoot with manual focus primes. There are great advantages: much better control over your photos, for example. You choose what the lens focuses on, and don't have to battle the camera to focus on it. You zoom with your feet and select the aperture you want, without letting the camera weigh in with what it thinks the right setting is. Not to mention, primes generally are faster lenses--my slowest lens is f2.8, compared to most zoom lenses which are f3.5 or f4, two or more stops slower. That means I can shoot at ISO200 while they have to shoot at ISO800, introducing more grain, to shoot at the same shutter speed as I am. Finally, the older lenses are quite often extremely well made, and you can get them cheap. My 135mm f2.8, my primary lens nowadays, was purchased for $25. I already had the 50mmf1.7 and the 28mmf2 lenses from my old film bodies, but the same lenses can be purchased for $50 or so.

And I have found that my 6mp sensor is great. Unless you are doing professional photography, you don't need anything bigger. If you get something bigger, that's great, but don't let people tell you that you need the latest and greatest sensor. I have sold prints with my 6mp sensor and $25 lens with a 3 year old $300 (used) camera.

All that said, both Canon and Nikon make great cameras and I would have no qualms shooting with any of them.

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Old 09-07-08, 06:38 PM   #12
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the only thing i dont like about the D40 is you cant buy Af lens'. They have to be Af-S lens = EXPENSIVE. Not to mention the D40 feels REALLY small in my hands. I love the way my D50 feels, plus i have lens' that are 10 years old and still work perfectly with this body. Used D70's can be had for the price of a new D50 which is a GREAT deal
Not quite true. Almost all non-AF-S lenses will work on the D40, but they will be manual focus-only. Plus, Nikon has several reasonably capable entry-level AF-S on the market. I would say this is a minor downside overall, especially considering you can get a new D40 with kit lens for only $450 if you catch it on sale.

The D70 is a capable camera, but it's a couple generations older. I know the image processor and meter are less capable, and I think the sensor is an older one, too. I have no doubt they're worth the money users charge for them second hand (especially since everyone is always so eager to jump for the latest and greatest whether they need it or not), but those a couple things to keep in mind. The D70 is also a little heavier but has a smaller LCD.

But don't consider my points against the D70 too heavily. "Obsolete" cameras are far from useless, as some sample photos will prove.
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Old 09-07-08, 07:06 PM   #13
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Here's what one of the photos from my D40X looks like:


.
hanlons point?
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Old 09-08-08, 08:41 AM   #14
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I have a pentax k10 d and love it........

some shots




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Old 09-08-08, 10:41 AM   #15
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hanlons point?
Yep! Took my bike and camera recently. Rode over to Ward's Island and back again a few weeks ago. The Hanlon's ferry is easier to get bikes on and off.
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Old 09-08-08, 11:41 AM   #16
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Another vote for the latest Pentax K cameras. The internal image stabilization works really well. I occasionally use a Sigma 50-500 and can hand hold it all the way out at 500 for shots I would never have thought possible. The beauty of the system is that it works for every Pentax lens made since 196? or so... whenever they switched from the screw mount. Furthermore, AllenG's comments are really out of date. Sigma, Tamron, and Tokina, the three main "third party" lens manufacturers are making all their latest lenses in the K mount. A further testament of the viability of the Pentax digital offerings is the fact that Zeiss is now making their lenses with the K mount.

You can find outstanding deals on the Pentax K10D and K100D since the release of the K20D and K200D.
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Old 09-08-08, 11:53 AM   #17
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I have a Canon 20D and it's amazing. Feels great, shutter speed is fast as hell, and can take EF-S lenses! BONUS
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Old 09-08-08, 11:55 AM   #18
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Another vote for the latest Pentax K cameras. The internal image stabilization works really well. I occasionally use a Sigma 50-500 and can hand hold it all the way out at 500 for shots I would never have thought possible. The beauty of the system is that it works for every Pentax lens made since 196? or so... whenever they switched from the screw mount. Furthermore, AllenG's comments are really out of date. Sigma, Tamron, and Tokina, the three main "third party" lens manufacturers are making all their latest lenses in the K mount. A further testament of the viability of the Pentax digital offerings is the fact that Zeiss is now making their lenses with the K mount.

You can find outstanding deals on the Pentax K10D and K100D since the release of the K20D and K200D.
+1 for the Pentax K100D. It's a great combinatino of features for the $. Also, the Pentax K series is (AFAIK) the only DSLR series to incorporate the image stabilization in the camera body, rather than the lens. This means that if you're using an older Pentax K series lens, you still have image stabilization, even if you don't have autofocus or autoexposure.
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Old 09-08-08, 05:12 PM   #19
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Yep! Took my bike and camera recently. Rode over to Ward's Island and back again a few weeks ago. The Hanlon's ferry is easier to get bikes on and off.
Cool... when i was in toronto back in June i went to the World Cycling Messenger Champs there.. pretty fun time!
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