Which DSLR?

Created by tom032792 on March 15, 2012, 6:46 p.m.
  • I have always enjoyed taking pictures, and I took a photography class in high school and enjoyed that. I started college this past year, and I am really considering trying to use the money I have saved plus some that I'll get for the holidays to get a DSLR, and possibly take a photography class in college, in addition to using it to photography family events and my sister's band competitions and such. I have begun looking at reviews of them online, however, and don't really know which one would be best for me. The most important thing is budget and image quality, but hd video would be a nice bonus, if not entirely needed. I have absolutely no more than 600, and lower is better (without sacrificing too much. I don't want to look back in a year or two and wish I'd spent a little more on something that I would be happier with. The one I buy now needs to last).  
     
    Also, it needs to come with a lens to get me started.   
     
    I have looked at the canon T1i, and the Nikon 3100, and lean toward the canon due to my good experience with them in the past, but the XSi is also a contender as well due to the lower price.
     
    Any help is much appreciated.  
     
    *after looking at the prices for the D3100 online, It appears to be out of my price range, so that one does not seem to be an option*
  • XSi if you don't want video, T1i if you do. Even the XS would be fine if the words "spot metering" mean nothing to you.
  • So you wouldn't recommend a brand besides canon? I know they're one of the better ones, but I didn't want to pass up a good, other brand camera either. 
  • @tom032792: 
     
    Canon and Nikon are really the only two worth considering at that price point. Picking between the two of them is pretty much Pepsi vs. Coke. I use and like Canons, so I recommend them.
  • Fair enough. Do you happen to know how much a decent telephoto lens is? just so I know for when I want one down the line?   
  • @tom032792: 
     
    You can get a perfectly serviceable one for around $250. Canon lenses tend to be a little cheaper than Nikons since the focus drive motor is built into the body and doesn't have to be included in every lens.
  •  Ok. Thanks for the help. Now just to watch prices and decide between the canons. I have a canon sx110 right now, and really have been pleased with that, I just like the added flexibility and better image quality of a dslr.
  • @lane said:
    "XSi if you don't want video, T1i if you do. Even the XS would be fine if the words "spot metering" mean nothing to you. "

    The XS doesn't have spot metering?  Sadface. 
      
    I'm a pretty big Nikon fan, Canon's feel too heavy to me.  But, Nikon doesn't really have anything competitive to the Rebel for that price range.  And, like lane said, Canon and Nikon are really the only two you should be looking at for that format.
  • @Helushune: 
     
    Nope, their entry-level cameras traditionally have never had it. It's the one knock against them imho.
  • @lane: 
    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canoneos450d/page3.asp
    Looks like the EOS 450D has it to some extent and I would probably take one of those over the D60.
  • @tom032792 said:
    " Fair enough. Do you happen to know how much a decent telephoto lens is? just so I know for when I want one down the line?    "
    The Canon 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS is probably the best entry-level telephoto for the EF-S mount on the market. You can get one for about $350 new. I've got one, and I'm very pleased with it.
  • @Helushune: 
     
    It does. That's the major selling point between the XS and the XSi, besides a couple more megapickles and two more AF points.
  • @lane: 
    Well then...  Shows how much I know about Canon model numbers, I guess.
  • @Helushune: 
     
    It's kind of confusing, since they market a lot of the EOS xxxD cameras under the Digital Rebel branding in the US. Here's a quick and dirty table showing it all.
  • Not sure what the definition of 'cheap' would be but the 70-300mm EF f4-5.6 wasn't a bad lens to start with on a crop sensor especially. It's no white lens but if you're looking at those then you really should re-evaluate the camera body you're purchasing.
    EDIT
    Below is a sample of the 70-300 on my old XSi compared to the 5Dmk2.
     
      
    I don't have a one-to-one but both were taken at the same focal length... Of course the aperature, ISO and exposure are completely different but that's life I suppose.
  • Thanks for the suggestions as to possible lenses for the future. I like the 55-250mm one cause it picks up where the kit lens leaves off, but I have plenty of time to decide on that.  
     
    Do any of you know if the kit lens for the xsi and t1i is the same? Is it decent?
  • @tom032792: 
     
    All the consumer-level Canons come with that lens. It's decent, but once you get a 50mm prime lens you'll probably never put it back on.
  • @lane said:
    " @tom032792:   All the consumer-level Canons come with that lens. It's decent, but once you get a 50mm prime lens you'll probably never put it back on. "
    Seconded though get the 50mm f1.4 ... The f1.8 is crap.
  • @simian: 
     
    IS NOT.
     
    HARRUMPH.
     
    E: Certainly not for a lens you can find for under a hundred bucks, anyway.
  • @tom032792 said:
    " Thanks for the suggestions as to possible lenses for the future. I like the 55-250mm one cause it picks up where the kit lens leaves off, but I have plenty of time to decide on that.   Do any of you know if the kit lens for the xsi and t1i is the same? Is it decent? "
    The kit lens (18-55mm, f/3.5-5.6) is fairly decent for the price, being less than $200. I've found it's not great on the wide end (lots of chromatic aberration, not crisp), but it's not a bad lens for general purpose stuff. If you want to get a better standard-type zoom lens, you'll need to spend a lot more.
     
    @lane said:
    " @simian:   IS NOT.  HARRUMPH.  E: Certainly not for a lens you can find for under a hundred bucks, anyway. "
    Definitely, I also recommend the 50mm f/1.8. It may have a cheap build, but it'll allow you to do indoor shots without flash that aren't possible with the kit lens. Especially indoor portraits. It's a good lens to start with, and not a weighty investment.
  • @CROM said:
    " @tom032792 said:
    " Thanks for the suggestions as to possible lenses for the future. I like the 55-250mm one cause it picks up where the kit lens leaves off, but I have plenty of time to decide on that.   Do any of you know if the kit lens for the xsi and t1i is the same? Is it decent? "
    The kit lens (18-55mm, f/3.5-5.6) is fairly decent for the price, being less than $200. I've found it's not great on the wide end (lots of chromatic aberration, not crisp), but it's not a bad lens for general purpose stuff. If you want to get a better standard-type zoom lens, you'll need to spend a lot more.
     
    @lane said:
    " @simian:   IS NOT.  HARRUMPH.  E: Certainly not for a lens you can find for under a hundred bucks, anyway. "
    Definitely, I also recommend the 50mm f/1.8. It may have a cheap build, but it'll allow you to do indoor shots without flash that aren't possible with the kit lens. Especially indoor portraits. It's a good lens to start with, and not a weighty investment. "
    Good point. I probably would have gone that route if I wasn't coming from a robust but aint SLR setup where I had better quality lens. The kit lense on my XSi was the first thing I upgraded ( 18-55mm -> 17-85mm ) since the build and image quality drove me batty, especially the CA when shooting wide.
  • just a thought, but what about the pentax k-x? it seems to get a decent review from dpreviews, and its about the price of the xsi, but has hd video too.. any thoughts on this?
  • @tom032792: 
     
    Pentax makes fantastic cameras. The problem is finding lenses and accessories for them since their market share is way behind the others.
  • would that be a good lens for zooming needs? I'm not the worlds pickiest picture taker, (I probably won't zoom to the actual size of the image and look at the pixels to tell quality) but I don't want to be hampered down the line by the camera either.  
     
    http://www.google.com/products/catalog?q=pentax+lenses&hl=en&prmd=ivs&resnum=3&um=1&ie=UTF-8&cid=12663585466424812791&ei=5i-_TPrmKYWClAftvIHhBw&sa=X&oi=product_catalog_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CGQQ8wIwAA#     
     
    this camera almost seems to be too good to be true.. Is there some catch I'm missing (besides lenses and such. I don't think I'll be buying tons of them anyway, just a few more as time goes on)? What would you guys recommend?
  • @tom032792: 
     
    It should be fine for everyday duty. There's nothing wrong with Pentax at all, they're just as good as the others. If you feel comfortable pulling the trigger knowing you may have a harder time filling out your kit down the road, there's no reason not to go for it.

  • Absolutely nothing wrong with Pentax cameras.  I have an older Pentax 35mm SLR and love the thing next to my Nikkor FTn and Nikon N80.  Like lane said, the Canon's going to have everything under the sun and then some when it comes to options, the Pentax is not.  However, that's not saying the Pentax is bad by any means.

  • I have also always had a thing for shooting, especially landscapes/scenery, at night. The pentax seems to do best in low light, at least compared to the other ones. I think my grampa may also have some old film pentax lenses... I wonder if any of them would be compatible.