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  1. #1
    Senior Member permanentjaun's Avatar
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    Camera geeks, tell me what camera to get

    I'm an amateur looking to step up from a point and shoot to a digital SLR. I'm looking to spend $500-$600 total on the camera and lens. Automated functions are always good, but it'd be nice to have manual settings to play with for more artistic shots. How many pixels do I really need? I want 10mp simply because that seems to be the # for the top amateur SLR's and also because it's a round number.

    Feel free to convince me I don't need 10mp although I do enjoy editing images. I have moderate photoshop experience, but will most likely be using a less powerful machine and will have to resort to either gimp or paint.net freeware for any editing.

    What do I get? Does brand matter? I'd like to be able to buy additional lenses for my camera. Perhaps get a less mp camera to be able to purchase an addition lens?

    Thanks for any help,
    Matt

  2. #2
    Senior Member skiahh's Avatar
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    I think most top "amateur" SLRs are at 12.1 now... or better.
    www.teamnavycycling.org
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  3. #3
    Senior Member permanentjaun's Avatar
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    In the $500-$600 range?

  4. #4
    Banned. timmyquest's Avatar
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    Nonsense...

    Use the link in this thread to get $200 off your ebay purchase.

    Make your way here and get a 20D for $450

    Take that extra money and buy one of these and/or one of these and be on your way to digital SLR heaven.

  5. #5
    Banned. timmyquest's Avatar
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    Oh and by the way, yes brand matters.

    Get yourself a Nikon or a Canon. Either one will do. Some may try to tell you that other companies are producing good stuff again. This is only a half truth. You can't get accessories for them like you can for nikon or canon. The used market for quality photo equipment is great. This camera will not make you a better photographer, in the same sense that pcad is still slow with his zipps but not as slow as with out them...

  6. #6
    Footballus vita est iamlucky13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by permanentjaun View Post
    Feel free to convince me I don't need 10mp although I do enjoy editing images.

    ...snip...

    What do I get? Does brand matter? I'd like to be able to buy additional lenses for my camera. Perhaps get a less mp camera to be able to purchase an addition lens?
    You don't need 10MP although you do enjoy editing images. There, I said it.

    Online sharing is typically less than 1 MP. Even a 20" widescreen is only 1.7 MP, and for printing, 10MP only allows you to go 30% larger than 6MP. Printing quality at 6 MP is excellent for an 8x10, and generally acceptable as large as 20x30. Pretty minor benefits for needlessly limiting your camera selection.

    Here's a few more pointers:

    http://www.digital-slr-guide.com/bes...gital-slr.html
    "The internet is a place where absolutely nothing happens. You need to take advantage of that." ~ Strong Bad

  7. #7
    Banned. timmyquest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iamlucky13 View Post
    You don't need 10MP although you do enjoy editing images. There, I said it.

    Online sharing is typically less than 1 MP. Even a 20" widescreen is only 1.7 MP, and for printing, 10MP only allows you to go 30% larger than 6MP. Printing quality at 6 MP is excellent for an 8x10, and generally acceptable as large as 20x30. Pretty minor benefits for needlessly limiting your camera selection.

    Here's a few more pointers:

    http://www.digital-slr-guide.com/bes...gital-slr.html
    I can print 20x30 with my "measly" 4mp 1D. There is more to it than shear sensor size. 8mp is enough...i promise.

  8. #8
    Senior Member AnthonyG's Avatar
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    All the entry level DSLR's are good camera's. There isn't a bad one amongst them.

    6MP is plenty. A 6 MP sensor produces an uncompressed tif file of 18MP in raw format to put it in perspective. Now having said that most entry level sensors are going to 10MP anyway which is HUGE. You most certainly don't need more than that.

    I like the Pentax DSLR's. Vibration reduction on the body is a great feature as is weather proofing. Package a Pentax DSLR with the Pentax 16-45 F4 ED lens from the start and you have a GREAT camera.

    Here's a web link devoted to the 16-45 F4 ED lens, http://www.pbase.com/cameras/pentax/..._16-45_4_ed_al

    EDIT: Ohh, with that page if you refesh it you get new images. There are thousands of images to browse. I'm a firm believer that a camera body is simply a tool to fit a lens to although in the digital age things are a little different. With digital you are effectively buying the film you will use for the life of the camera as well. The Pentax 16-45 F4 ED is a ******* of a standard lens at a great price.

    Anthony
    Last edited by AnthonyG; 10-06-08 at 05:30 AM.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Sangetsu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed in GA View Post
    Canon and Nikon make good equipment.

    But, there are other brands available that are worth your consideration.

    Don't overlook Pentax, Sony, Fuji and others.
    No, there are no other brands worth consideration. That may sound snobbish, but it's effectively true. People may use other brands, but for photographers, there are really only 2 brands, Nikon and Canon.

    Personally, I like Nikon equipment, I've been using it for 20 years, and I have no complaints. Canon also makes good equipment, but I would only rate their top level cameras as "excellent".

    I began photography as a hobby, and became more seriously involved with it over the years. I've upgraded from old manual focus film cameras to the new DSLRs, but much of my old gear is interchangeable with the newer cameras. I have a collection of 20 odd lenses, and most of them are old (and expensive) manual focus models. It's nice that the old lenses work on my new camera, with the exception of an old 6mm fisheye lens.

    You don't need 10 megapixels. Good quality 35mm film is equal in resolution to 4 megapixels, and 35 mm film is good enough to project the giant images at your local movie theater, need I say more?

    For under $600 you can get a new Nikon D40 kit with a good quality lens. Now that the new D90 is out, the D80 will probably fall in price significantly, though it might be tough to find one for $600 at the moment. You should look on Ebay for a low mileage D70s. It has all the necessary features, it's durable, has a decent LCD display on the back, and they can be had for cheap. You might even have enough money left over for a second lens.

  10. #10
    . botto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sangetsu View Post
    No, there are no other brands worth consideration. That may sound snobbish, but it's effectively true. People may use other brands, but for photographers, there are really only 2 brands, Nikon and Canon.

    Personally, I like Nikon equipment, I've been using it for 20 years, and I have no complaints. Canon also makes good equipment, but I would only rate their top level cameras as "excellent".

    I began photography as a hobby, and became more seriously involved with it over the years. I've upgraded from old manual focus film cameras to the new DSLRs, but much of my old gear is interchangeable with the newer cameras. I have a collection of 20 odd lenses, and most of them are old (and expensive) manual focus models. It's nice that the old lenses work on my new camera, with the exception of an old 6mm fisheye lens.

    You don't need 10 megapixels. Good quality 35mm film is equal in resolution to 4 megapixels, and 35 mm film is good enough to project the giant images at your local movie theater, need I say more?

    For under $600 you can get a new Nikon D40 kit with a good quality lens. Now that the new D90 is out, the D80 will probably fall in price significantly, though it might be tough to find one for $600 at the moment. You should look on Ebay for a low mileage D70s. It has all the necessary features, it's durable, has a decent LCD display on the back, and they can be had for cheap. You might even have enough money left over for a second lens.
    considering that you're using a misleading analogy, yes.

  11. #11
    Senior Member AnthonyG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sangetsu View Post
    No, there are no other brands worth consideration. That may sound snobbish, but it's effectively true. People may use other brands, but for photographers, there are really only 2 brands, Nikon and Canon.
    Ahh, Wrong. I was a professional photographer for a number of years and I owned and used Nikon, Konica and Bronica camera equipment on professional jobs. Real professionals use whatever camera equipment they desire. Its a tool.

    This notion that you either use Nikon or Cannon exclusively is petty nonsense. Sure they dominate the market for various reasons but to imply that you cant get good results from other camera's for professional use let alone try to imply that your cant get good results for personal use if you don't use Nikon or Cannon is just voodoo nonsense from those who don't know better.

    I mean if you want to be a SERIOUS PRO camera snob then your talking Leica or Hasselblad to start with. Nikon or Cannon is for the proletariat.

    Anthony

  12. #12
    . botto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AnthonyG View Post
    Ahh, Wrong. I was a professional photographer for a number of years and I owned and used Nikon, Konica and Bronica camera equipment on professional jobs. Real professionals use whatever camera equipment they desire. Its a tool.

    This notion that you either use Nikon or Cannon exclusively is petty nonsense. Sure they dominate the market for various reasons but to imply that you cant get good results from other camera's for professional use let alone try to imply that your cant get good results for personal use if you don't use Nikon or Cannon is just voodoo nonsense from those who don't know better.

    I mean if you want to be a SERIOUS PRO camera snob then your talking Leica or Hasselblad to start with. Nikon or Cannon is for the proletariat.

    Anthony
    correct.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by AnthonyG View Post

    I mean if you want to be a SERIOUS PRO camera snob then your talking Leica or Hasselblad to start with. Nikon or Cannon is for the proletariat.

    Anthony
    Leica? Blad? Pfft, old school status. Today you better come with Sinar or Leaf or Phase to be taken seriously.

    As for Nikon and Canon being the only choices? Hilarious.

  14. #14
    The "now retired" Old Guy Ed in GA's Avatar
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    My final post.

    The best way to buy the camera that suits you is......

    Go to a well rounded local camera store (Not Ritz/Wolf Camera) and handle every brand and type DSLR they carry. See how the various cameras feel in your hands. Check out the full ergonomics of each brand then, wait.....

    Go to various online sites and read the reviews of different cameras, www.dpreview.com comes to mind. See what they have to say about each of the models that 'you' find suit you best.

    The latest real improvement in cameras, in my opinion, is the image stabilization. There are two types available. In Body and In Lens. The decision of which best fits your needs, and finances, can only be determined by you. In Body works with just about every lens. In Lens works only with IS lens. Be prepared for those type lens to be quite expensive.

    auto-focus speed, FPS, Sensor size (mp) Type (Full frame, aps-c and there is a system called four thirds.), size, weight and what you intend to do with the camera are all considerations.


    Above all, try them and read about them. Make an informed decision based on your needs and not on what someone here or in a camera store tells you that you "need".
    Last edited by Ed in GA; 10-06-08 at 06:43 AM.
    "The problem with America is stupidity. I'm not saying there should be a capital punishment for stupidity, but why don't we just take the safety labels off of everything and let the problem solve itself?"

  15. #15
    Senior Member MrCrassic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by permanentjaun View Post
    I'm an amateur looking to step up from a point and shoot to a digital SLR. I'm looking to spend $500-$600 total on the camera and lens. Automated functions are always good, but it'd be nice to have manual settings to play with for more artistic shots. How many pixels do I really need? I want 10mp simply because that seems to be the # for the top amateur SLR's and also because it's a round number.

    Feel free to convince me I don't need 10mp although I do enjoy editing images. I have moderate photoshop experience, but will most likely be using a less powerful machine and will have to resort to either gimp or paint.net freeware for any editing.

    What do I get? Does brand matter? I'd like to be able to buy additional lenses for my camera. Perhaps get a less mp camera to be able to purchase an addition lens?

    Thanks for any help,
    Matt
    Note: I do my photography using Canon equipment, and know nothing about Nikon's line.

    If you use Craigslist or eBay, $400 can get probably get you at least a Canon Digital Rebel XT, complete with the Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 stock lens. If you're lucky, you may be able to find a Canon 20D (no lens) around this price.

    For $500, you can probably get a new Digital Rebel XT and definitely a used Canon 20D, possibly with a low-end or third-party lens. If you're lucky, you can find a Canon 30D (no lens) or a Digital Rebel XTi (possibly with a lens) at around this price.

    For $600, you can probably get a new Canon 20D (no lens) or used Canon 30D (no lens) and probably a new Digital Rebel XTi (with lens). If you're very lucky (and I mean very), you can find a Canon 40D at around this price, but definitely without a lens.

    Here are reviews of all cameras mentioned:

    Canon 20D
    Canon 30D
    Canon 40D
    Canon Digital Rebel XT
    Canon Digital Rebel XTi

    If you do decide to get a Canon lens, make sure you buy the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8! This is the cheapest lens in Canon's lens lineup, but it is also one of their best. It's a must-have!
    Ride more.

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  16. #16
    Senior Member MrCrassic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AnthonyG View Post
    Ahh, Wrong. I was a professional photographer for a number of years and I owned and used Nikon, Konica and Bronica camera equipment on professional jobs. Real professionals use whatever camera equipment they desire. Its a tool.

    This notion that you either use Nikon or Cannon exclusively is petty nonsense. Sure they dominate the market for various reasons but to imply that you cant get good results from other camera's for professional use let alone try to imply that your cant get good results for personal use if you don't use Nikon or Cannon is just voodoo nonsense from those who don't know better.

    I mean if you want to be a SERIOUS PRO camera snob then your talking Leica or Hasselblad to start with. Nikon or Cannon is for the proletariat.

    Anthony
    It's not the camera; it's the photographer (though the camera helps).
    Here's a list of manufacturers you can read up on that manufacture cameras for the amateur market. This will take some time, so enjoy!

    Nikon
    Canon
    Sony (Minolta)
    Olympus
    Pentax
    Panasonic
    Last edited by MrCrassic; 10-06-08 at 07:59 AM.
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  17. #17
    Banned. timmyquest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed in GA View Post
    Canon and Nikon make good equipment.

    But, there are other brands available that are worth your consideration.

    Don't overlook Pentax, Sony, Fuji and others.
    Their cameras are ok (yes...ok) but the resale value of this equpiment is not what it is for Nikon & Canon.

  18. #18
    Banned. timmyquest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by botto View Post
    correct.
    +1

  19. #19
    Senior Member permanentjaun's Avatar
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    Me = idiot.
    Last edited by permanentjaun; 10-06-08 at 07:10 PM.

  20. #20
    Banned. timmyquest's Avatar
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    He was talking about a 40D, not a D40





    You should know that Nikon is the one who puts the D first, not canon

    Unless of course you're talking about the D30



    Or the 60D



    Don't be confused though, that is much older than the 50D


    But when they made the 10Dthey moved the D to the back, which is newer than the D30 but not newer than the 30D


    So somehow we moved the numbers around to come up with a newer camera that both looks older and newer than the 30D and 60D yet is quite a bit older than the 50D which in fact is newer than the 30D but not younger than the 60D and in fact is a bit different than the D30



    And please, don't confuse any of this with the 450D, which is a different camera entirely


    It's confusing, i know but it probably proves a point...if you're paying attention. The bottom line is that all of these are great cameras, and if you can't take a good photograph with any of these then you are wasting your money and should probably buy a 35f...err, 35mm film camera

    My vote would be for an ae-1, cheap and plenty of accessories.
    Last edited by timmyquest; 10-06-08 at 07:41 PM.

  21. #21
    Senior Member permanentjaun's Avatar
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    Yea thanks. I was hoping no one would see my disastrous post. Now you've only confused me more. Gheesh. All I want is a good camera to document my travels in an above average fashion.

    What's the big difference in quality stepping up in those cameras? I assume more MP's and perhaps more options into ISO settings up in the 1/3200+ range. Anything else worth considering?

  22. #22
    Banned. timmyquest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by permanentjaun View Post
    Yea thanks. I was hoping no one would see my disastrous post. Now you've only confused me more. Gheesh. All I want is a good camera to document my travels in an above average fashion.

    What's the big difference in quality stepping up in those cameras? I assume more MP's and perhaps more options into ISO settings up in the 1/3200+ range. Anything else worth considering?
    Primarily, and in order of importance (to me).

    1. ISO performance. Huge leap from the D30 to the 60D, even bigger to the 20D, even bigger to the 40D, we'll see about the 50D

    The 60D and 10D (i believe) share the same sensor.'
    The 20D and 30D share the same sensor

    2. AF performance
    The 10D was the first one to focus, OK, but the 20D was the first to do it well, each model gets better, the 50D is fantastic in this regard. None of them are as good as the original 1D...which gets better with each model*

    AF sensors
    D30: 3 points
    60D: 3 points
    10D: 7 points
    20d-50D: 9 points

    3. Continuous shutter speed

    D30 3fps
    60D 3.3fps
    10D 3.3fps
    20D 5fps
    30D 5fps
    40D 6.3fps
    50D 6.3fps

    4. Sensor size

    As i've mentioned, my 1D is only 4mp and that is more than enough. Keep in mind, however, that the actual sensor is physically larger (1.3 crop vs 1.6) and thus, those 4mp are some of the biggest ever put into a DSLR. the large size of these pixels gives this camera a ton of leeway in terms of uprezing photographs. That said, the whole MP thing is vastly overrated

    D30 3.1mp
    60D/10D 6.3mp
    20D/30D 8.2mp
    40D 10.1mp
    50D 15.1mp

    Along the way some nice features have been added...it is safe to assume that with each model there has been improvements in the camera.

    If you go with canon, try to get a 20D, it's a headache free camera. It focuses nicely, it can shoot at higher ISO's fine and it has a great battery life. Any model ahead of that and you run into some areas that can be problematic. 10D and below, for instance, are very noisy at ISO 800 and higher. The on board flash is also not as useful.

    Look around at all the brands, you can certainly find a pentax that is good but i don't think you're going to find one within your budget that fills your needs/desires as well as Canon and Nikon, simply because all these other companies have been lollygagging about getting on board. And many of their first attempts are simply crap, so was canons..it just happened before everyone else tried. Also, honestly, it's only been about a year or two that Nikon has produced quality equipment. The most of their cameras in their line have sensors in them made by Sony, which for the longest time was their biggest bugaboo, poor ISO performance, primarily. Up until about the D40, Nikon SLR's were rubbish if you were looking strictly at the sensor. However, many love their ergonomics and the system itself...i have a hard time arguing that.

    *the 1dMKIII has some focus issues...most consider this release a major flop
    Last edited by timmyquest; 10-06-08 at 07:38 PM.

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    Get the camera that you can find a deal on used lenses. Its the lenses that cost and make the difference.

  24. #24
    Senior Member MrCrassic's Avatar
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    I also recommend the Canon 20D. I had the Digital Rebel (300D) before this, and getting this body was a huge step up.

    While the megapixels don't really matter, the 20D had many more features (and a better focusing system), had a faster continuous shutter speed, had better materials in the body, more metering flexibility, etc. I use it for my photography for the school newspaper, and I personally like it better than the 40D (mostly because the LCD preview is accurate and I don't need the feature set of the 40D right now. Live View isn't that cracked up really).

    Also keep in mind that expensive does not always correlate to better in your case. Personally, I think that if you start with something "basic" like the 300D (not the 350D, since the 300D is something of a crippled 10D...meaning you're kind of getting sort of a prosumer camera at a really sweet price). You'll definitely learn, and you'll find your limitations, which will make a camera upgrade much more sensible.
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  25. #25
    Footballus vita est iamlucky13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by permanentjaun View Post
    Yea thanks. I was hoping no one would see my disastrous post. Now you've only confused me more. Gheesh. All I want is a good camera to document my travels in an above average fashion.

    What's the big difference in quality stepping up in those cameras? I assume more MP's and perhaps more options into ISO settings up in the 1/3200+ range. Anything else worth considering?
    Don't overthink it too much. List any dSLR currently on the market and I can find an amazing image taken with it within a few minutes, and plenty of great images.

    Things that are nice to have, in order of importance (only in my opinion, but as many will agree with me as will vehemently argue):

    Functional, easy to use controls
    A big, clear viewfinder
    Comfortable, stable handling
    Good high ISO performance
    A clear, bright screen so you can tell if a followup shot with different settings is worthwhile
    Plenty of AF points (and no big AF complaints in reviews)
    Lots of megapixels

    I very deliberately put megapixels at the bottom and controls at the top. All the features in the world don't mean squat if you either don't know how to use them, or they're too much of a pain in the butt to bother with.

    Quote Originally Posted by AnthonyG
    I mean if you want to be a SERIOUS PRO camera snob then your talking Leica or Hasselblad to start with. Nikon or Cannon is for the proletariat.
    "The internet is a place where absolutely nothing happens. You need to take advantage of that." ~ Strong Bad

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