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JOHNWNovember 23rd, 2007, 2:16 pm
Chambersburg, PA

Posts: 452
Alright gentlemen (and ladies),
I find myself at a crossroads in my photographic adventures. For the past five years I have used a SONY DSC and have been very satified with it, however I have now gotten to the point where I want to be able to expand the varieties of lenses (read wide angle and telephoto) and filters I can use.
This naturally leads me to looking at Digital SLR's. My question to the members of this board are what makes and models would you all reccomend?
My key considerations are price, versatility, ease of use, availability of accessories. Pretty much in that order.
I've been looking at some of the Nikons and Cannon Rebels but really am not sure of the pros and cons of each.
"old habits are hard to kill once you have gray in your beard" -Old Red Barn
MartinlfNovember 23rd, 2007, 3:51 pm
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3192
Hi John, I don't know squat about cameras so I hope you'll get some helpful replies. I do recall (if memory serves) that there was a similar thread on this topic a while back, so it may be useful to do some hunting through old threads.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
JOHNWNovember 24th, 2007, 11:13 am
Chambersburg, PA

Posts: 452
Looked up the thread however I don't know that I fall in the "prosumer" category.
"old habits are hard to kill once you have gray in your beard" -Old Red Barn
KonchuNovember 26th, 2007, 5:55 am
Site Editor

Posts: 505
I've been considering a digital SLR for awhile. My thought has been that I should find something, possibly used, that can utilize the lenses and other accouterments that I already have, if possible. This is where most of my photography money has gone.

What kind of photography do you intend to do and under what conditions?
TbuggeythomNovember 26th, 2007, 9:02 am
Posts: 1I have been using a Nikon D80 as a primary.
I purchased it with 18-55MM Wide Angle Lens and have used my 28mm Macro Lens with a 1x extension to do most of my close up work.
This outfit will cost you about $1500 if you want to go that high.
JOHNWNovember 27th, 2007, 4:52 pm
Chambersburg, PA

Posts: 452
The biggest reason for the upgrade is terms of subject matter is landscapes/streamscapes. Although it would still do duty as a general use whatever the need calls for camera.
Unfortunatly my current digital does not provide for the use of varied filters of lenses, something I sorely miss from the bad old days of film when I was using Dad's Nikon.

If I wanted a point and shoot for the grinning idiot shot I would go with an Olympus All weather Stylus 790. They do really mean it whenthey say shock proof from 5 feet and waterproof to 30 (yes we actually tested it). You can get some truly amazing shots by just dunking the thing and pressing the shutter button. Although the wife does want a compact digital for Christmas, hmmmmmmm.
"old habits are hard to kill once you have gray in your beard" -Old Red Barn
TroutnutNovember 27th, 2007, 11:28 pm
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2732
I would go with a Canon Rebel. Partially I like Canon because I like their macro equipment better -- they have the best macro flash on the market and a one-of-a-kind closeup macro lens. You might not need that, though. I do really like their 10-22m EF-S wide angle and 17-85mm IS lenses, too. I'm not sure if Nikon has anything comparable or not, but the 10-22mm is especially cool because you need that extremely low focal length to get a good wide angle shot with the crop factor on these reduced-frame DSLRs. I haven't been following Nikon's lens selection in the last few years so maybe they've caught up, but I do know Canon's is really good. I also know Canon has been doing a good job keeping pace with the most useful new technology, like anti-sensor-dust systems.

I can't offer much more detail than that on the distinction between Canon and Nikon, because once you pick a system there's not much reason to keep up to date on the other one. But I DO very strongly recommend going with one of those two, because they're the most likely to be around indefinitely and they have the best selections of accessories. I also strongly agree with your choice to get a digital SLR rather than a point and shoot, because building a repertoire of lenses and filters will add a lot to your photography and you can upgrade as camera bodies improve without having to buy new accessories.

So go with a Canon or Nikon DSLR. If you want to follow my whim, get a Canon. Otherwise, you can read the endless back-and-forths about the issue online, or just flip a coin. :)

Oh, one more thing. If you do go with a Canon, the Rebel series gives you a great camera for the money. But if you can afford it, take a look at the 40D... don't be turned off by the fact that it's on the "prosumer" level and you're just starting. There are advantages to the slightly higher level cameras which you will enjoy even as a newcomer to DSLRs. The question is just whether those advantages are worth the money, and that depends on how much money you have. Lots of the advantages of the prosumer line are easy to enjoy -- big LCD screen, nicer controls. The difference in picture quality between the Rebel and 40D is so small it's irrelevant, but I prefer to use the bigger camera. (Disclaimer: I don't have the 40D yet, but I wish I did!) I would suggest trying out a Rebel and a 40D at a camera shop and seeing which feels more comfortable for common settings adjustments like aperture, ISO, etc.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
KonchuNovember 28th, 2007, 5:28 am
Site Editor

Posts: 505
I started out with Pentax products about 20 or so years ago, with the basic K1000, and have stuck with them as I've added and upgraded. I've seen that they have some digital SLRs available, but I seldom hear much about them. I've been reluctant to make a purchase for this reason. It would be nice to hear from someone with personal experience with the products. Canon and Nikon seem to be the most popular. Are the Pentax products particularly troublesome or are the others simply a better value or marketed better?
TroutnutDecember 2nd, 2007, 8:51 pm
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2732
Konchu I've never heard much good or bad about Pentax DSLRs, but they make a lot of other fairly good cameras and optics so they're probably. If I had a bunch of Pentax-only lenses and accessories and was looking for a DSLR I wouldn't hesitate to buy a Pentax. I think Canon and Nikon's dominance probably comes mostly from momentum in this market... once people are invested in accessories, they're not likely to change systems. The number of accessory options probably has something to do with it, too... I think Canon and Nikon have more lenses, etc. But I'm not sure.

Here are some sites where you can find very good objective equipment reviews and user opinions to check that there's nothing wrong with Pentax.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
KonchuDecember 21st, 2007, 11:03 am
Site Editor

Posts: 505
If anyone gets a chance, the July '07 Consumer Reports has ratings for digital cameras of various flavors, including SLRs and SLR-like cameras. Sitting in a library, looking at it now...

FYI, the issue also contains ratings for hot dogs and light beers.
MartinlfNovember 7th, 2009, 11:27 am
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3192
Bumping this one up too.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell

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