Buying my first Digital SLR

Discussion in 'Photography Forums' started by CarlukeDave, Dec 18, 2006.

  1. CarlukeDave

    CarlukeDave
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    Good evening,

    This is my first post on here and it's probably a question that's been asked many times, but I'll ask it anyway.

    I'd class myself as a beginner photographer, I currently have a Fujifilm Finepix S5000 and I get decent results with it, but I'm looking to upgrade.

    I'm looking at a DSLR but would consider a fixed lens digital if it was highly recommended. I've read a few reviews and spoke to a few folk about the Nikon D40, most people seem to talk highly of it, as an entry level DSLR, but I read a few bad reviews on another web forum. I'm looking to spend around £500 or slightly higher, and want to get the right camera.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Dave
     
  2. RobDickinson

    RobDickinson
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    D40 is quite a 'cut down' dSLR, cant use some of nikons lenses due to having no in body focus motor.

    D50 is better but IMO lacks some performance & features (DoF preview etc) that I use on my 350d.

    But they will ALL take good pictures with decent glass (important) and the 3 main primary advantages of dSLR's are large sensor (better ISO performance vs noise), performance (time to switch on, shooting speeds etc) and interchangable lenses.

    If you can live without all that buy a fixed lens 'bridge' camera, dSLR's work out more expensive in the long run, typicaly spend 2-3 times as much on lenses as the body , easily.

    Saying all that dSLR's are ace, go to a shop and handle them, see which feels better, see which you get along with best & has controls that work for you. (ease of selecting ISO, apatuer/shutter speeds, white balance etc).
     
  3. CarlukeDave

    CarlukeDave
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    I'm also looking at the Canon EOS 350D (Black) with 18-55mm, Tamron 70-300mm +Bag +2GB Card, it's coming in at just over £600. Would that be a decent set up for a beginner? How would that compare with the Nikon D40?

    Cheers

    Dave
     
  4. RobDickinson

    RobDickinson
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    I prefer canon and have a 350d myself. Just depends what you want from a dSLR. I know its hard to understand what features you will need/want, many dont use the DoF preview at all.

    350D is a step above the D50 , step below the D80.

    The 18-55 kit lens is pretty cheap and nasty, OK to get going with. Dunno about the tamron.

    Go handle some and see how they fit in your hands.
     
  5. Soundgeek

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    Ahoy there Dave,

    I have the 350d and would recommend it to anyone looking for an entry level DSLR as would I the 400D. I would certainly recommend it over the 40d since the 50d is closer in features to the 350d than the 40d. Can't say much about the tamron lens but having owned the kit 18-55 lens (and still using it!) I can say that you will find it perfectly adequate to begin with. Also consider the 400d which generally isn't that much dearer than the 350d. Of course, there are many other good deals beyond canon but I am just sharing what I am familiar with.

    Good Luck!
     
  6. CarlukeDave

    CarlukeDave
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    Thanks for the advice, I'm not buying till after Christmas, so I've got a week and a bit to agonise over it yet!!

    Dave
     
  7. Pirate!!

    Pirate!!
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    Ahoy there!

    It's 'the can of worms' question matey! To be honest, unless you actually get the various makes/models in your hands to 'get a feel' and check out image quality, weight, ergonomics . . the list goes on and on etc . . you'l get an abundance of suggestions.

    For a 'bridge' camera (fixed lens, 12x optical zoom, image stabilisation etc) try a Panasonic DMC-FZ50 (or the discontinued FZ30) or look at the Canon S3-IS. As a 'beginner', I'm wondering if a dSLR is a step to far too soon. Maybe a bridge/prosumer camera option would be better.

    For a dSLR, that's much harder. I would suggest the following to start with:

    Konica Minolta Maxxum 5D
    Nikon D70s
    Canon Digital Rebel XT/350D
    Pentax *ist DS2
    Olympus E-500 Evolt
    Nikon D50

    And don't forget . . lenses. Some cameras come as 'body only' so allow for at least one lens or better still, two.

    Also . . spare batteries, camera bag, larger memory card, tripod, external flash and filters . . did I miss anything?
     
  8. clockworks

    clockworks
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    I'm a beginner, previously having a Fuji 7000 (and a dead Nikon 5700).

    I went for a Pentax K100D dSLR, and I'm finding it very easy to use. There are more options to play with, but the fully-auto modes give better results than my "compact" cameras. I'm experimenting with program and priority modes.

    The Pentax (and the Sony Alpha) have image stabilisation built into the body, and it really works.

    I paid £570 at Jessops for the complete kit - 18-55, 55-200, memory, bag and UV filters.
     
  9. mrtn

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    I would say go for the EOS 400d, i just bought it last week in Jessops, deal was:

    EOS 400d with 18-55mm kit lens
    Tamron 70-300mm (also tele-macro)
    2gb Ultra Sandisk Cf Card
    Canon Bag

    All of this for £700, i priced all this up seperatly when i got home i have saved around £150.

    The EOS 400d is an excellent camera, i have to say with it being my first dslr.

    Martin
     
  10. senu

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    Very much Better...No comparison:thumbsup:
    The 350D is not "cut down" although buying the 400D now is probably better though unless you can get the 350D for even less.
    The 18-55mm lens is usable but it is at best something to help to use the camera: As time goes on you will yearn for better:D
     
  11. beachy

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  12. lmccauley

    lmccauley
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    Yeah, I agree entirely with this. Can't see any reason to get the inferior D40 over the cheaper D50.
     
  13. RobDickinson

    RobDickinson
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    350D has several points that push it ahead of the d50. Higher pixel count, faster shooting, better ISO performance, better dynamic range, DoF preview etc. The difference is marginal and almost mute now the 400D is out which is most definetly d80 competition.

    Madness on the d40 pricing, I can only assume its high because the d50 has been out a while and is heavily discounted unlike the 40. I guess the 40 is cheaper to make so will be ultimatly cheaper.
     
  14. CarlukeDave

    CarlukeDave
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    Well, that's me done it!!

    Bought the Canon EOS 350D and the Tamron 70-300mm came to £606 with a 1GB card and a bag!

    Can't wait to get out and start playing with it now!!

    Thanks to everyone for all the advice.

    Dave
     
  15. Soundgeek

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    Congratulations Dave,

    I am sure you will find it a great piece of equipment. There are many on these forums who own the camera so feel free to ask about anything you want to know and I am sure people will be happy to help out.
     

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