Advice on 1st DSLR

Thread: Advice on 1st DSLR

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  1. #1
    Member Mako's Avatar
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    Advice on 1st DSLR

    Greetings all!
    this might be too broad a stroke but I am ready to make my 1st dslr purchase and would love to get your opinions as to which manufacturer/models to target. Up till now have been shooting all digital on a canon G9 and have shot with Canon and Pentax most my life.I do own and love a Nikon F3 as well. My friends insist that a Nikon D90 is the way to go.
    Interest include portrait,nature,weddings/parties, macro.
    Price range 1500-2000.00 w/@ least an 18-55 lens for starters. I've researched and read plenty and basically I find as much pro's and cons about any given brand.
    There it is folks hope to get some good thoughts.Cheers!

  2. #2
    Sinn Moderator gaopa's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on 1st DSLR

    I am a Nikon shooter, a D300. The D90 is a fine camera and would serve you well. The 18-55 "kit lens" is a good starter; however, you will want to move on from there.

    Canon also makes fine cameras. While I don't know about specific models, a good camera store can provide information on various offerings.

    A good honest source for photo equipment is B&H Photo in NYC. Their prices are competitive and their service to your door, without tax, is excellent. I have bought from them for years.

    Happy shooting! Bill P.

  3. #3
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    Re: Advice on 1st DSLR

    I'm a Nikon shooter too. I have the D80 and hoping to upgrade to the D300/700 soon. I don't know much about Canon, but would say that Canon or Nikon is your choice. I went for Nikon because I like the 'feel' which is strange to say, but just real quality. The kit lens is a really good work horse. I still have my 18-70 and use it daily. Another easy hit is the 50mm 1.8 which is very cheap to pick up and a fantastic lens. Have fun

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  5. #4
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    Re: Advice on 1st DSLR

    I am a NIkon user as well.

    bought my first DSLR which was a D50 about 1.5 yrs ago. I just upgraded to a D90 back in Nov. I simply LOVE it.

    So far I have the kit lens 18-105 vr, 50mm 1.8 (highly recomnd for portraits) however I want to get the 1.4 and a 70-300mm for when I go out to the track. I also picked up a SB-800 flash and a gary fong light sphere.

    I am in no means even close to pro-am... Im still in the amature stage but love the camera and all the stuff I have. I think with the budget that you have, you can like but all of the stuff I listed and be set for years to come

  6. #5
    Member ColdHit's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on 1st DSLR

    If you have that kind of money saved up, I would go with the Nikon D300. You wont have to upgrade to a new body at least for the next ten years.

    For a Kit lens I would try to get the 18-135mm at least, unless you already have other Nikon glass. Also consider getting one (or a couple) of those SB flashes. They work well on remote.
    ...It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live!

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    Re: Advice on 1st DSLR

    I would the advice above is very good. Unless you already had old Nikon or Canon glass laying around the decision is yours brand-wise. I shoot Nikon and have most of my life but I wouldn't bad-mouth Canon either.

    I currently use the D300 and have been very happy with it. That said, at your budget and with what you want shoot, I would suggest the D90 and spend the rest of your budget on lenses that way you're not endlessly frustrated by not having anything.

    Consider the following lenses:

    Your D90 kit lens or the slightly nicer 18-135 kit lens that comes with the D300. That one lens can shoot just about everything you listed.

    Macro, there's one series of lenses for this, the Nikon Micros. Back in the day I had a 55mm Micro. I now have one of the newer 60mm Micro (but not the latest version). I love it, love it, love it. I use it all the time.

    For the fun of it, if you have an extra c-note to blow, buy the Nikon 50mm 1.8. It's cheap. It's ridiculous sharp. It's a beautiful short range portrait lens and it's small. If you need something really fast, the 1.8 does like nothing else can for that kind of money.

    Consider getting a nice tripod with a horizontal boom. If you're serious about weddings get (at least) an SB-600 flash, if not the new SB-900 flash and a wheelbarrow load of those wonderful Sanyo rechargeable batteries from Costco.

    Good luck and enjoy your purchase.

  8. #7
    Member GuySie's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on 1st DSLR

    As said before, Nikon and Canon are both decent brands with a lot of glass to back them up. The realistic guys on both sides won't badmouth the other, knowing fully well that there's not much left to brag about.

    IMHO for a starter there are two important things to realise:
    - You're investing in glass, not in the body. The body will die, it will probably be sooner than expected, and it will be a sad moment. But you will buy another body to replace it and still have access to the hundreds of dollars of lenses you bought. That is the main choice you're making when going into dSLR world, what brand of lens am I going to buy from now on? You don't want to switch after you sunk $3000 into that stabilized tele....

    - Your friends with dSLR's are a major source of help. If you're still inexperienced with just a kitlens, nothing will help you along as much as a friend with the same or a similar cam. You can get practical tips and - most importantly - borrow equipment when you need it for a shoot or just want to try it out, to see if you want to buy it yourself.
    I'm a Canon shooter myself and in my group I've mainly got Canon shooters, two or three Nikon shooters and a lone girl with a Sony. I'm not saying they're worse photographers, but they just can't profit from our experience and equipment as easily as the Canon shooters can.

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    Re: Advice on 1st DSLR

    i am in the same boat as the topic starter, am looking at the D90 for the body and am happy with Nikon and Nikkor lenses but the question in hat lenses to go for.

    i was looking at the 18-200mm for a multi purpose lens, one that would do for most situations and save frequent lens swaps, then i was also thining the 1.4 50mm as i would like a lens for more close up work that allows alot of depth of field and that would be good for low light etc.

    the other question is do i go dx format on the lenses or not? if i go dx am i losing out if i went d700 down the line?



  10. #9
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    Re: Advice on 1st DSLR

    I am a Canon user, and with the release of the 50D, the 40D price has gone way down.

    If you are starting out, I would maybe stick with the latest EOS XSi, but since the 40D is just that much more 'heft', I would just go for it.

    I purchased my 40D body for just a little over the EOS XSi. It is solid, and does not feel like a toy.

    But really....a good lense goes a long way than does the body.....just my opinion.


    Best,
    Ilham


  11. #10
    Member Gianna's Dad's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on 1st DSLR

    +1 on GuySie's comments about buying the lenses more than buying the camera.

    The Nikon and Canon cameras are the best. I went with a Canon XS - it is almost the same as the XSi, but about $150 cheaper. I bought the 50mm f1.8 (nifty fifty) lens and I have the kit lense 18-55mm IS.

    The Canon is considered more difficult to use than the Nikon D-series. I can second that...it is a great camera, but it takes a LOT of practice and sometimes I get very discouraged. The Nikon would have probably been a better choice for me, but here I am with the Canon XS. I'll get the controls down soon enough.

    With the kind of money you are willing to spend, you can get a good camera and an excellent set of lenses, including a great macro lens. Good luck! Just remember - the lenses are most important.

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