View Full Version : Another Question

07-11-2008, 03:07 PM
I know, I know, you're all probably getting sick of me by now =( sorry for so many questions but this is.. maybe the last one. I was told I should invest in a DSLR and so I sold some stuff and I now have about $900 to spend on one. WHOO!! now I've been browsing around on digicombos.com and I've found good deals on the Canon XTi, the Nikon D60, and the Olympus E-510 so my question basically is, which of these cameras is best for a person with the following needs:
a durable camera (I'm 16... stuff happens but I'm not gonna be beating on it)
the ability to shoot anything (I take pictures of people, antiques, cars, etc.)
affordable lenses that can be bought for it (I dont get money alot)
good functioning in the dark
Image stabilization
good black and white photos (I will be lending it to a b&w photographer)
accurate reproduction of colors (always important)
good to learn on (this is my first DSLR)
flexible (I'm not sure what I like to shoot yet)

Please help me out... if you do maybe I'll go away, haha.

07-11-2008, 06:34 PM
come to think of it the Sony A200 is on my maybe list too.. gah! help me narrow it down?

07-11-2008, 07:52 PM
The Olympus line is relatively inexpensive to start out with (though they do make some very expensive lenses), and it has stabilization in the body so any lens/camera combo will have that advantage. It has a somewhat smaller sensor that may be a bit noisier (grainy) than other brands, among other things.

The D60 comes with a stabilized lens, but not all Nikkor lenses are stabilized and you usually pay a bit more for that feature, and not all of them have the built in focussing motor, so you might have to manually focus with some lenses. Some people like that, though.

I like Canon (from my film days) , and their cameras are pretty good. You'll have to buy stabilized lenses if you want that feature. Some people complain the XTi is too small for their hands.

Remember, you'll need to get a memory card or two, some type of bag, and perhaps a spare battery. Oh, and a big rocket blower like a Giotti "rocket blower" (not a tiny little bulb blower that you get with lens paper for $3.99) because... digital camera = dust spots. I don't use filters but many people think you need some protection on the lens at least, so figure another $100 in "stuff" beyond just the camera/lens purchase.

Good luck!

07-11-2008, 07:57 PM
thanks for the info. I'll probably try to get ahold of them and at least see them first... though that might be hard here as we have NOTHING. Like I said I've been looking at digicombos.com which offers alot of things WITH the camera so no problems with getting most of that stuff. (tripod, lense cleaner, filters, bag, 1gb memory card, screen protector, etc.) I've pretty much got it down to the three you covered... I'm just giving myself a headache trying to make the decision.

07-11-2008, 09:27 PM
You can't go far wrong with Canon, but you also consider Pentax's K200D and the older K10D.

Pentax's bodies are weather sealed. They have better kit lenses IMO. Fairly good high ISO performance. In body image stabilization: which means any lens you attach to it automatically becomes stabilized too. And the body is designed so that it is back-compatible with any Pentax K lens ever produced, and there are supposed to be 20 million out there in circulation. You might be able to score good deals on some of them and keep within budget.

07-11-2008, 10:13 PM
agh! lol now I'm back to four cameras!! your sposed to be helping me NARROW the field!

07-11-2008, 10:33 PM
you can go back and forth for all eternity.
whats you budget ?
what do you want to do particularly ?
what sort of conditions do you want to shoot in ?
are you the sort of person who will be changing lens' or do you want a do-it-all lens ?

personally, i would ditch the a200 off your list. unless you buy the a700 the rest of the sony dslr line up is not up to speed.

07-11-2008, 11:18 PM
budget= under $1000
I want to take pictures, anything, everything, random- I'm an artist thats what I do
varying conditions but probably normal outdoor and indoor lighting mostly
I would like a do-it-all lens to last me until I have the budget for more

yeah it's been ditched but now pentax k200d is on it.

07-12-2008, 12:39 AM
this is a pretty good deal for under $1k

or maybe a d60 body only + 18-200VR nikkor lens. if you can find it somewhere.

the pentax k200 and canon xti are both very good aswell. can;t really go wrong. alot of it will come down to what you prefer the feel of.

or, if you wait till sept you can pick up the canon 1000d

and add the canon 55-250IS lens which will be under $1k for the lot aswell.

Phill D
07-12-2008, 01:58 AM
Rooz is right go and try them out somewhere if you can. His B&H suggestion must have been pretty good its now out of stock!!
I recently bought an Olympus E510 with twin lens kit that covers much the same range as Rooz's suggestion, nice and light, handles well plus it is well under your price limit in the US (B&H $650). In fact you could get the new E520 version within your price range as it's being discounted already :(

07-12-2008, 02:09 AM
If I were you, I would skip telephoto and superzoom lenses to start with. The pictures in your gallery don't show any tendency toward telephoto. In general, I regard wide-angle photos as the domain of artists and I think other people do to. Telephoto is usually reserved for wildlife and sports, neither of which you do much from what I see. So, I suggest looking at normal to wide lenses to start. A large (f/2.8) aperture lens would be nice for artistic purposes.

You might just use the kit lens to start with, then buy your next lens in the future based on what you learned about your shooting habits.

I notice artistic people tend to use Nikon D40's a lot, because they are inexpensive and non-technical, exactly what artsy types need. It is also the most widely known camera among students and beginning art types in general. The D60 has more bells and whistles, and of course the stabilized lens (and is more expensive). See if you can get a wide angle lens in your budget, possibly the Sigma 10-20 or other Nikon people could tell you what is best and cheapest.

I really like the Canon XTi, but you would need a stabilized lens for it which might be sold separately. Of all the cameras you listed this is my favorite to look through the viewfinder. Also, be sure to try it first to see how it feels, it is square and plasticky. This is more of a photographer's camera than an artsy camera (in my opinion), though I think it is the best camera body purely for its photographic capacity, though not nice feel or lenses.

Get the Olympus E-520 with the 14-54mm f/2.8-3.5 lens, and you will possibly have the best set-up of the group. The camera is about average for the group, but the lens allows the afore-mentioned larger aperture and produces better quality images than those lenses mentioned so far (you might not notice). It would be very good together with the in-body IS for low light. Both together should run $900. The downside of Olympus is that while their normal and telephoto lenses are better and cheaper than other manufacturer's equivalents, their wider angle lenses are few and expensive.

The Pentax K200 is water-proof and supposedly has better quality construction on camera and lenses. I also like the AA batteries. I don't know much about Pentax, but it seems like a good camera. It has the potential for IS on wide angle lenses.

Sony A200. Get it with the Tamron 18-50 f/2.8 lens and this would be a nice camera, approximately the equal in price and capabilities of the Olympus mentioned above. Like Pentax, it has the potential for IS wide angle.

If you haven't done so, read the reviews of these cameras on this website. They will tell you way more than we can. The E-520 review isn't up yet, you should get a good idea of it by reading the E-420 review and adding IS.

07-12-2008, 02:23 AM
I looked through your site again. Those are some very nice pictures, and I think best three you choose are very good. I am thinking the Olympus 14-54 lens would be best for those shots, and the E-520 supposedly has the most accurate colors. Though the Tamron 18-50 would be very nice for those types of shots too. You might also be able to get that in Pentax mount where it would be stabilized just like on the Sony.

Of course, there's nothing wrong with the others either. Yup, it is complicated. I agree, the best way to narrow it down would be to get your hands on physical cameras.

07-12-2008, 11:22 AM
So, you are 16. You don't really know what you want to take pictures of and you aren't crazy rich. Maybe you should reconsider and look at something like a $200-$300 superzoom camera and a decent tripod. You can get something with a wide range lens, IS, manual controls and have a lot of fun until you figure out what you really want to specialize in or if you are even going to stick with photography.

If you were my kid, I'd lean you towards the Panasonic fz18, Canon S5, or the Fujifilm s8100fd. I really like my fuji S700,too, but it doesn't have IS. Sure you have $900 you saved up, but that doesn't mean you have to spend it all to have fun or take good pictures. Just a thought.

07-12-2008, 11:33 AM
but here's the thing, my dad is funding this. I know I want to stick with this. I've been using other peoples' cameras for nearly a year. I know I want to stick with this and if I get a superzoom now I don't know when I'll have the cash for a DSLR. I'm not your average 16 year old... not to brag.

07-12-2008, 12:18 PM
Hey, I'm not trying to insult you or anything. Just giving my opinion. If your dad said he wants to buy an SLR for you, then go for it. I just wanted to make sure you didn't think that was the only way you could be a "real" photographer or take good pictures.

As far as SLR's the opinions above are probably more educated than any I could give you. Really, an $800 SLR is an $800 SLR. They are going to be pretty much even across the board as far as pictures they produce. Maybe on gives you better lenses, while one has more features built into the body. Just go test them out and one will probably start calling your name.

07-12-2008, 02:45 PM
well I've decided the olympus is out due to lack of affordable lenses. that leaves me with three: the pentax, canon, and nikon...

07-12-2008, 03:25 PM
but here's the thing, my dad is funding this. I know I want to stick with this. I've been using other peoples' cameras for nearly a year. I know I want to stick with this and if I get a superzoom now I don't know when I'll have the cash for a DSLR. I'm not your average 16 year old... not to brag.

Nice Dad. When my kid was 16 I was saving my money to send her to college.

07-12-2008, 04:30 PM
yeah well... nice isn't the word I'd use. He's probably trying to make some stuff up to me.