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 Buying a digital SLR camera soon *Need advice*

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windypops
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 6:16 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I've noticed that we have a very knowledgeable membership when it comes to cameras and photography.
I'm going to be in the market for a digital SLR soon and would like to get your buying advice.

I tend to lean towards Sony products and have been looking at this:

Sony Alpha A200 Digital SLR Review

Best deal I've found

I don't need any flashy (no pun intended) gimmicks, just a good reliable, budget SLR.

Over to you. Wink

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Roycropper
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 7:52 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Sony is a quality make, Ive got a Sony mobile and laptop.

I'm prejudiced towards the Canon SLR's, because I've got one, and because of the huge range of lenses, including Image Stabilised ones.

Given that most cameras come with a cheap and nasty lens by default, have a look at the Sony range of extra lenses and decide if there's the one for you. If so you may be better getting just a body, and the lens you really want. If you can't find the lens you want, maybe Canon is a better bet. Of course you may have no idea what lens you want until you suck it and see.

My Canon kit lens was replaced by an EFS 17-85mm IS lens, and has stayed in the attic ever since.

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callum
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 9:27 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I've finally decided to retire my 41 year old SLR and go digital, finally going for the Nikon D60 which does everything my film camera does but with the luxury of autofocus(!) and lens stabilisation.

The reasons for my choice?

Partly prejudice as my old camera is an Nikon, but that means I can also use my collection of manual focus lenses until such time as I can afford to update them to autofocus ones. Just have to manually set the aperture after I've got an exposure reading.

The D60 also gets good reviews and initial impressions are it is every bit as good as they say. I don't see any reason for concluding that I will be upgrading in the next 40 years.

I also considered the Canon XSi, Olympus E240, Sony A200 and Nikon D80. All round I concluded the Nikon offered better value for money, especially with the twin lens kit, and all round image quality just as good as the others.

Just one negative, it does not have a depth of feild preview which I find useful for close-up and portrait shots. However being able to quickly take 3 or 4 shots at different settings and compare the results on the spot basically allows me to do the same thing.

Shop around, and TRY BEFORE YOU BUY. I asked the store to have a couple of cameras charged up and ready to go and then spent about an hour and a half playing with several models wityh a salesman in two before buying. Hey, that's what customer service is all about right?

Make sure the controls are comfortable to use and intuative once you've familiarised yourself with them.

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windypops
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 10:04 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

^My last SLR was an Olympus OM20, must be about 20 years old. It's been in the draw for the last four-five years as film became harder to find.

I've been using a small Sony digital camera for snaps and waiting for the price of digital SLRs to drop from thousands to hundreds. I don't want to go much above £300.00 ($450.00). I'll check those out. The D80 is out of my price range.

@Roy. I checked the lens that comes with the A200 and it seems like it's well up to what I want for now.

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Mugatu
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 10:07 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I agree with Roy, I'm a fan of the Canon SLRs. You'll be able to get a wider range of lenses for a Canon or a Nikon, and also be able to get hold of them more easily. There's always dozens and dozens on ebay, and you don't have to buy new... people upgrade all the time and fund it by selling off their other stuuf, usually it's well looked after.

We've got the EOS 400D, I believe you can pick them up now (Body only) for about the same price you're looking at. A newer 450D has just come out which has pushed the price of the 400 down.

I also agree with Roy that kit lenses aren't all that great... not bad, but not great. 17-85mm is a good general choice... the EOS usually comes with an 18-55mm kit lens. We added to that a 50-250mm IS EFS (good for a bit of outdoor work to get in closer) and a fixed 100mm USM 2.8 macro for taking really close up stuff and portraits.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2008 12:01 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I'm not sure if it's available for the UK, but there is a deal where if you sign up and create a MS Live acct and use MS Live search engine, you can get 25 to 30% (depending on deal at the time) off anything from Ebay's Buy It Now. I've used the promotion to buy a few things so far. Granted you have to wait 60 days for MS to credit your paypal acct, but that is to make sure you don't return the item and get paid by MS.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2008 12:15 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I have one of these:

http://www.fujifilm.co.uk/consumer/digital/digital-cameras/d-slr-long-zoom/finepix-s9600/design/

I've pimped it before. It's more of a hybrid SLR than a true SLR. You can use it on automatic setting just like a regular digital camera or you can customise the settings yourself just like a true SLR.

Image

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Connie L. Gus
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2008 1:03 am Reply with quoteBack to top

After spending thousands on Nikons, I've given up and suggest that everyone join my boycott. The reason that professionals use Nikon is that they are supplied the equipment for free. If price, size, portability and ease of use are not a an object, then Canon is the way to go. The library of lenses that a person can buy from them is staggering. The point of buying a SLR is interchangeability of the lenses but IS lenses are expensive. I went with Olympus with the 4/3 system and IS built into the body. The camera and lenses are smaller and I have carried the body, two lenses, small tripod, remote, batteries, charger, cables and external flash in my Olympus supplied bag on 10 plane flights this year alone. One of the lenses is a 300mm, which makes it equivalent to a 600mm in 35mm in the Olympus world and it all fits under an airplane seat with room for my legs. IS makes what would have been ridiculous in the past possible. What every you get, two neat features out there are live preview and face detection. One last point. Do not scrimp on memory. Get name brand CF at the highest speed you can afford and make sure that the memory has wear leveling.

Edit-
@callum-
I've got the first black body Nikon F2 imported into America. It has a 1972 production date in the serial number and I have a cartload of lenses for it. I like primes, so my favorites are a F2.0 for amazing detail and a F1.2 for its light capturing capabilities. None of my nice lenses will talk to my Nikon AF equipment. My electronic AF zoom lenses won't even talk to the zooms on the new flash units. I have a prime Nikon AF lens I have never taken a photograph with and never will.

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Dorothy
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2008 4:10 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I have the Olympus E-510 (got about 9 months ago). I was all for Sony before this one, and I really liked them, but when I went to dig SLR I had to change my approach a bit.

I do a lot of one-handed, no tripod photos of moving animals, so I needed something a little smaller and lighter--this was on the lighter end of the scale (at the time only the E-410 was lighter, and that has a lousy grip) Plus it has live view (though I have rarely used it) -- for under $700 you can get the two lens package, which covers a nice wide range with decent quality until better lenses are in the budget--and there are some really nice high quality lenses available when upgrading is an option. These pics were taken with the included lenses by an SLR newbie.

Image

Image

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2008 8:10 am Reply with quoteBack to top

windypops wrote:
^My last SLR was an Olympus OM20, must be about 20 years old. .....

@windy, if you have a collection of decent quality OM lenses, you may wish to consider staying with the brand.

There is an adapter which allows one to affix OM lenses to 4/3 mount E system Olympus cameras.

OM-Four Thirds Adapter:---> Clicky.

Manual focus only and some other limitations, but you'll be able to use most or all of your current OM lenses whilst you save for new AF stuff.

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windypops
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2008 4:38 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Thanks all, I'll check all your recommendations out at the electronic shops this Saturday. I'll not be making any purchase until after Christmas. I have a sneaky suspicion there will be some very good deals around in the new year.

@ SoN, I didn't think about that. Something else I should consider is, I'll be sharing the camera with a rather dainty lady. Olympus do seem to specialise in keeping the size and weight of their cameras to the absolute minimum which will be a boon for her.

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Billy Diamond
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2008 4:54 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

We've got a Nikon D60 which came with an 18-55mm stabilised lens and a 80-300mm (I think) Zoom/Macro lens, cost £400 from Jessops.com

I chose the D60 because it's a real SLR but still quite compact

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2008 4:58 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

If your looking for a *deal* on SLRs - a good place to keep an eye out for sales, coupons and other ways to get a better deal (mostly for US people) - www.slickdeals.net and www.fatwallet.com in thier forums people post all the time on things they find.

I've seen deals like Go to Best Buy, have them price match Circuit City, use 15% off coupon, order online using microsoft's live cashback for 15% back. etc..

They people there really know how to find a godo deal.

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