I'm thinking of getting a DSLR, need help!

  six-h 15:42 09 Oct 2008

I'm wondering if it's best to wait till January for the best bargains, but just browsing I saw this: -click here
I'm not in the "hssutton" class of photographer, so I need help evaluating it!
What I've picked up by reading his postings is that Nikon/Canon are the mutt's nuts!
And where price restricts, go for glass over pixels.
This seems to tick a lot of my boxes, but I'd really like a swivel screen.
I suppose at this price point, it would be cheeky to ask for a test drive!
What does the team think!

  ventanas 16:12 09 Oct 2008

click here
Quite a bit cheaper.

But everyone who responds is probably going to recommend the maker they use. Mine are Nikon, so obviously I prefer them. But the new Canon EOS5D mk11 looks something else.
Personally I would not bother with the D40, it's far too basic and lacks pixels. Go for the D60 click here with two lenses, or what is going to be my Xmas present, a D90 to add to my D200 and D300.
Just bear in mind that the lenses are what are known as "kit" lenses and will never be as good as the pro models. But they will be good enough for most uses, and they are a heck of a lot cheaper.

  hastelloy 16:15 09 Oct 2008

but Nikon are up there as well. Try click here for a better price. Go to somewhere like Jessops and try different cameras. You need to feel comfortable with it. You are right about the lens being the important feature and the sensor is as important as the number of pixels. Also, if you get into it, you may want to go for a telephoto zoom lens at some time - not all cameras will allow lens cahnges (and its not a cheap option).

  hssutton 17:00 09 Oct 2008

"I'm not in the "hssutton" class of photographer"

I know quite a lot about photography, but I'm not sure about the "class" bit especially when out with some of my photographic friends.

So just a quick point, all of the latest crop of DSLRs will give excellent results, so go for the one that feels the most comfortable in you hands.

I'm in the opposite camp to ventanas, but the camera I'd recommend is the Nikon D300, but this could be out of your price range.

I have the Canon 5D mk11 mentioned by ventanas on order from RGB click here.

The Nikon D80 is still available @ £400 click here and it's a very good camera. This has just recently been upgraded to the D90

  BrianW 22:47 09 Oct 2008

so do make all the usual checks on how it handles, if it feels natural to you etc but then read up about the costs of lenses, flash-guns etc for your preferred system. Its unlikely that you will stop with just one lens! :)

You are buying into a wonderful market at the moment with so many good systems available (and despite what you may read - very few "BAD" cameras)

One thought is that you can save a lot of money by going for the last model - not the one that has just hit the street. As you said - if you buy good lenses (second hand canon "L" from someone like click here are usually better value than a new "hobbyist" lens) You may even decide to go for a better standard second hand body too - the "keen" ones amongst us will often trade in a nearly brand new body just to get the "Latest and Best". So, there could well be some good Nikon D80s or Canon 30Ds sitting waiting for you to buy them.

Have fun

  six-h 23:08 09 Oct 2008

Thanks for all your comments and advice, it's already got me wanting more than I can budget for!
What attracted me to the PC World offer was that it came with both 18-55mm Nikor DX, and a Tamron 55-200mm lenses.
Which would I suspect give me almost the range I used to have back in the 70's with a 28mm, 50mm and a 135mm lens, and a 2X converter (not often used).

I'm certainly enamoured of the D80, but couldn't justify the cost,(sadly) especially when you factor in a couple of lenses.
Speaking of which, "wharehouseexpress" seem extreemly reticent to give details of the supplied lenses in the "Body plus" offers.
I take it they are not likely to be up to much?

hssutton: -
>>I know quite a lot about photography, but I'm not sure about the "class" bit especially when out with some of my photographic friends.<<
You can't kid me...I've seen Harry Sutton's Gallery :))
If I could take just one picture of that quality every once in a while, I'd be a very happy bunny!

I guess I'll just have to keep looking, and maybe seek your further advice when the sales are on next year!

  six-h 23:28 09 Oct 2008

Thanks Brian,
What's a canon "L"?
The page you link to show equipment well beyond my total budget ( X many!)
Used kit is probably the way I could afford the quality I would like, but I don't have the experience to be able to tell if I was buying a "pup"!

  BrianW 10:29 10 Oct 2008

sorry "six-h", "L" lenses are canon's professional range (in simple terms)

The benefit of using the likes of Mifsuds is that there kit comes with a good warranty so you don't need to worry about getting a "Pup". They are extremely helpful over the phone (or face to face if you happen to live in Brixham!)

One thing to consider - buying "affordable" lenses now can result in more costs later as your skills increase and you realise you are limited by those lenses. I know - I made this mistake several time before I realised how much I was spending on replacements.

(have a look at my site click here if you want to see what sort of work I do)

  hssutton 12:15 10 Oct 2008

The D40 is probably the best selling DSLR out there due mainly to it's price point.

Rest assured it's capable of excellent results, however be aware, this camera does not have a built in AF motor, so a large number of third party lenses will be manual focus only.

I'm not absolutely 100% sure of the lens being sold by PC World, but I think the Tamron 55-200mm is one of them, so check it out before buying. click here

click here

Brian is of course correct about "L" lenses, these are what I use, but bear in mind they cost around £1000 each

  six-h 00:26 11 Oct 2008

Thanks for sharing that Brian!
I can understand why it is that you and Harry get such stunning results.
The excellence of your equipment of course is a large factor, but you both have such a flair for what makes a great picture!

I certainly couldn't justify the cost of kit like yours, as it's unlikely it would turn up shots like that in my hands!!

I've been looking at the Sony A350 with the 18-70mm lens.
It would be about the top limit of my pocket, though I would I think find the lens a little short sighted!
I'm really not a fan of the Sony corp. but might make an exception if this camera pleased me to handle.
What do you think of it, not for your own use, but as a first (and probably last!) dslr for an inexperienced guy like me?

  hssutton 10:56 11 Oct 2008

I've been using the A350 for the past few months courtesy of the Sony Corp. They now want it back, so back it goes to Sony on Monday.

The camera performs well giving very good results with virtually no noise at low ISO.

Live view is also quite good especially when shooting overhead or low down due to it's articulated LCD screen.

There are several images in my Sony gallery click here

I find the handling and balance of the camera a little off putting, but as this would be your first and maybe your last DSLR it should suit you down to the ground. It's exceptionally lightweight in fact you do not realise you are carrying it around.

I think you may find the 18-70mm lens a little limiting, so ideally you would also want the 55-200. I do realise this increases the cost by approx £140, but if you want to use it to shoot birds or airplanes then you would need a minimum of 200mm. The 14mp will allow you plenty of room to crop effectively increasing the focal length.

I would advise before buying that you actually handle the camera

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