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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    24

    Post Getting ready for a new D-SLR camera purchase...

    The deadline will be on the 22 of July, 2007. (I will be having a deadline to meet)

    Greetings members and guests of this forum, I am from the east;

    I can see that this forum have a very good facility of camera advises and lens advises; I got attracted to post my "Which camera to buy" questions in here as a result.

    Peace.

    I am honestly looking at the few D-SLR camera models below;

    The Canon EOS 400D, Sony Alpha-dSLR-A100, Pentax K10D, Nikon D80, and the Canon EOS 30D.

    It is not a coincident that the D-SLR models above are also arranged from the cheapest to the most expensive in my country.

    My photography criteria might be a bit demanding...

    Please read the following "very carefully";

    I want a D-SLR camera model that will be able to withstand the consistent wear and tear of travel photography. (I travel a lot, and I bring my camera along everywhere I go...)

    I want the very same D-SLR camera model to be able to perform well under less than ideal lighting conditions. (Note; especially the image quality at very high ISO numbers, and the speed and accuracy of the auto-focus feature.)

    That is it. Just those two very important or critical areas above; they are very significant areas and they matter a lot to me in my photography.

    I hope that you all would be able to advise me on those few D-SLR camera models above.

    I like the Canon EOS 400D and the Sony Alpha-dSLR-A100 because they are the cheapest in the list with quite impressive features or superb image quality; they would allow me to spend more of my money on the lens as well: A higher quality lens.

    I like the Pentax K10D because it is really like a high end semi-professional D-SLR camera, feature and quality wise, with a truly excellent price tag. I like it's weather sealing, high quality true glass pentaprism viewfinder, shake reduction, dust buster, interchangeable focus screens, special exposure modes, high quality 100,000 cycle shutter mechanism, and the digital depth of field/white balance preview. (There is just a lot going for this great camera.) This camera also leave quite a lot of space money wise, for the lens; a better lens.

    I like the Nikon D80 because it is just as high quality as the Pentax K10D with a high quality true glass pentaprism viewfinder, two command dials, a large and high quality LCD monitor, truly nice menus, solid build quality, 11 focus points, viewfinder grid-lines, 32 custom features, Kelvin white balance feature, white balance fine-tuning, nice shutter release sound, good set of external controls, useful scene modes, interesting flash functions, sophisticated auto ISO feature, useful noise reduction control, ISO 3200, very clean and pleasant looking images at large ISO numbers, D-Lightings, B&W mode with color filter selection, filter effects, and the feature which allows you to combine two RAW images into one etc...There is just so much going for the Nikon D80 as well...(That is why I like it so much). For the lens part, the Nikon D80 still leave me with enough money for a good enough/high quality lens.

    Finally, I like the Canon EOS 30D because it is a serious D-SLR camera with truly excellent performance and excellent image quality. The Canon EOS 30D have been renowned for it's truly superb image quality at high ISO levels. This camera has been used for sports for it's powerful 5 frames per-second continuous shooting speed, and auto-focus performance. I also like the fact that this camera have a truly durable magnesium-alloy metal body. The Canon EOS 30D also have a durable shutter mechanism of 100,000 cycles. The only problem about this most expensive option in my D-SLR camera list is that; the Canon EOS 30D would be putting a strain on my budget for a good enough lens.

    I am really not sure where to go now. I have a budget (After the conversion) of about USD$1500 actually (initially increased from US$1000).

    I also have a deadline to meet. (By the 22 of July, 2007; I must have my D-SLR camera, complete with a lens, ready for a photographic assignment.)

    I sincerely hope that you guys in this great forum will be able to help me out in this matter.

    Best regards.

    Benjamin F.Y.

    Regarding the lens criteria, I would need very good edge to edge sharpness, versatile enough, USM motor would be desired, good enough build quality, and a mount with rubber seal would be good. If possible, an internal focusing/non extending lens design would be nice.

    I might sound mad after the above, but I would also really like a lens with a really durable build quality (Such as those Canon L lenses); to last a really long time...(Only if it is possible to include this aspect in).

    I would be shooting candid portraits at close range, close actions, family activities, church activities, college activities, indoor stage performance at close range, street activities, environmental decays, model shootouts, studio works, landscapes, and abstracts...(There would be plenty of indoor shootings without flash most of the time).

    I just want a camera and lens that would be able to handle those photographic situations above well that's all. (I know that the photographer will play a major role as well.)

    All in all, I want to hear your suggestions in here. (Please please please!)

    All the best!

    [+][-][~][#][$][%][&][!][@][*][^][?][=]

    I have some lenses in mind (Taken from PhotoZone);

    Pentax SMC DA 12-24mm f/4 AL ED [IF]

    Pentax SMC DA 16-45mm f/4 ED AL

    Canon EF 17-40mm f/4 USM L

    Zeiss ZA 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5 DT

    Tamron AF 17-50mm f/2.8 SP Di II XR
    Last edited by Ben777; 07-11-2007 at 02:31 PM. Reason: Added some lenses and changed some lens criteria.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    6,590
    I chose my 350D for its compact size, because I take it along everywhere. It is very durable (2 years of tossing it around in bags and what not without a hitch, snow, light rain), and might be a candidate just for its small size and weight.

    About the lenses you list...
    The Canon 17-40 f4 L USM surely is a durable lens, with fast USM. But it will not fit on a Nikon D80 .
    The only lens you list to fit on a D80 is the Tamron 17-50. And to be frank, durable is not a word that enters my mind, with that Tamron.

    The Sigma 18-50 f2.8 EX DC Macro is a better lens. Better build quality, sharper, even edge to edge. I know that on photozone the author claims the Tamron has the edge, but I blame the authors momery for that.
    If you look at the actual test data, you see that the Sigma actually scores better.
    Also, the Tamron is less contrasty and has some serious CA issues in the corners, the Sigma is superior there. And not the kind of CA one can correct in some RAW convertors either.

    The Pentax 16-45mm f4 has CA, but you can actually correct it when needed. So it may be a good choice on a Pentax.

    For a Nikon, Sony or Canon a Sigma 18-50, for a Canon a 17-40 f4 L.

    By far the fastest and very accurate AF, with the 17-40 f4 L.

    The Tokina 12-24mm f4 the twin of the Pentax 12-24mm f4, but for Nikon and Canon mount.
    Interesting 'alternative' for Canon: Canon EF 10-22mmm f3.5-4.5 USM.
    Canon EOS 350D, Tamron SP AF 90mm F/2.8 macro, Sigma 18-50mm F2.8 DC EX, Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 L USM, Tokina AT-X124 Pro 12-24mm F4, Soligor 1.7x C/D4 DG Teleconvertor, Manfrotto 724B tripod, Canon Powershot S30

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Formerly South Wales. Now South Carolina.
    Posts
    7,147
    I have both the XT and the 30D.

    I would suggest you do not choose the XT/XTi. I used the 30D for a wedding and while I could have done it with the XT, I would have been struggling to get the camera to respond quickly enough due to the control layout not being as ergonomic. The viewfinder is also darker than on the 30D which makes a huge difference.

    The Nikon D80 has an excellent reputation as did the previous D70 and D70s as a rugged, reliable workhorse.

    The Pentax tends to suffer from image quality problems. Some models have banding in the images. I would not recommend the Pentax.

    The Sony is an unknown quantity. Most places here stock only Canon and Nikon.

    I am surprised you did not include the Olympus camera as that's quite interesting. However, it's not - like the Sony or Pentax - really a mainstream professional workhorse.

    In your situation I would try for the 30D but if that was too expensive then I'd go for the Nikon D80, personally.

    In terms of travel, all cameras will take a battery grip that takes AA batteries. I believe there is one for Nikon but that it's not actually made by Nikon. The Pentax takes AA batteries as standard. One last point - AF on the Pentax is very slow.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Northern Colorado, USA
    Posts
    2,225
    The D70/D70s only had third party grips. The D80 grip is the MB-D80, and should be around $135. It takes either one or two D80 type batteries, or 6 AA batteries.
    Eric Lund
    Nikon D200
    Nikkors: 17-55mm f2.8, 18-200mm f3.5-f4.5 VR, 70-300mm f4.5-5.6 VR, 35mm f2, 50mm f1.8, 55mm f2.8 AI-S micro, 105mm f2.8 VR micro
    Other Lenses: Tokina 12-24 f4, Tamron 75-300mm f4-5.6 LD macro
    Stuff: Nikon SB800, Nikon MBD200, Gitzo 1327 Tripod w/RRS BH-55LR Ballhead, Sekonic L-358 meter

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    24

    Post Thanks a lot guys!

    I really appreciate your inputs.

    Is the build quality of the Tamron AF 17-50mm f/2.8 SP Di II XR lens really that bad coldrain?

    I thought that the Sigma 18-50mm F/2.8 EX DC macro lens have poor extreme border sharpness compared to the Tamron one above... (Based on the PhotoZone review of both zoom lenses; I compared both of those zoom lenses in the Nikon mount.) The Sigma one seems to fall apart in sharpness suddenly in the extreme borders compared to the Tamron one; which was really consistent from the center to the extreme borders in sharpness. (What I am interested in was whether the extreme borders of a lens can reach the "Very Good" sharpness territory in the Imatest graph or not; I am not concerned (Actually) about how sharp the center can be as long as it can be in the "Very Good" sharpness territory already.) Cheers!

    I personally feel that the Canon EOS 30D would fit my criteria well actually...

    I was also thinking about getting one of those wide F/2.8 zoom lenses for the EOS 30D as well...such as the Sigma one or the Tamron one discussed above...

    PhotoZone seems to have a slightly "De centered" copy of the Sigma 18-50mm F/2.8 EX DC macro lens as they said...I am not sure is it because of that reason the lens seems to have such erratic sharpness characteristics...(The extreme borders...).

    More suggestions or advises would be welcome.

    All the best.
    Last edited by Ben777; 07-12-2007 at 07:29 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    God's Country - Australia
    Posts
    10,424
    Quote Originally Posted by Ben777 View Post
    I really appreciate your inputs.

    Is the build quality of the Tamron AF 17-50mm f/2.8 SP Di II XR lens really that bad coldrain?
    yes, it is. i bought the tamron and returned 2 copies that were both faulty and ended up buying the sigma. recently another user here also bought the tamron 17-50mm and returned it after it stopped working soon after purchase.

    the sigma is much better built and is slightly sharper and has better contrast. i haven't noticed any border sharpness issues yet from f5.6 up to f11. i dont think i;ve ever stopped down much higher. at f2.8 to f4 the border sharpness is pretty much irrelevant anyway.

    the tamron is lighter, has nicer bokeh and focusses a bit faster.
    D800e l V3 l AW1 l 16-35 l 35 l 50 l 85 l 105 l EM1 l 7.5 l 12-40 l 14 l 17 l 25 l 45 l 60 l 75
    flickr

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Formerly South Wales. Now South Carolina.
    Posts
    7,147
    Personal observation - Canon lenses work better than 3rd party lenses. They're sharper, faster to focus, more accurate with focussing and generally better built. You get what you pay for. Pay pennies get a lens that looks like it;s made from a coke bottle. Pay more and get a Canon lens. Their USM focussing is very good.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben777 View Post
    I really appreciate your inputs.

    Is the build quality of the Tamron AF 17-50mm f/2.8 SP Di II XR lens really that bad coldrain?

    I thought that the Sigma 18-50mm F/2.8 EX DC macro lens have poor extreme border sharpness compared to the Tamron one above... (Based on the PhotoZone review of both zoom lenses; I compared both of those zoom lenses in the Nikon mount.) The Sigma one seems to fall apart in sharpness suddenly in the extreme borders compared to the Tamron one; which was really consistent from the center to the extreme borders in sharpness. (What I am interested in was whether the extreme borders of a lens can reach the "Very Good" sharpness territory in the Imatest graph or not; I am not concerned (Actually) about how sharp the center can be as long as it can be in the "Very Good" sharpness territory already.) Cheers!

    I personally feel that the Canon EOS 30D would fit my criteria well actually...

    I was also thinking about getting one of those wide F/2.8 zoom lenses for the EOS 30D as well...such as the Sigma one or the Tamron one discussed above...

    PhotoZone seems to have a slightly "De centered" copy of the Sigma 18-50mm F/2.8 EX DC macro lens as they said...I am not sure is it because of that reason the lens seems to have such erratic sharpness characteristics...(The extreme borders...).

    More suggestions or advises would be welcome.

    All the best.

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