Looking for a good, cheap, DSLR

Discussion in 'What Camera Should I Buy?' started by unknown555525, Mar 18, 2008.

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  1. unknown555525

    unknown555525 Member

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    Budget

    * What budget have you allocated for buying this camera? Please be as specific as possible. I'm looking to spend under $700 initially, (including all other costs, tax, shipping if I buy online etc.) then upgrade the lense in the following months If I feel its neccisary

    Size

    * What size camera are you looking for? Or does size not matter at all to you?
    Doesn't matter

    Features

    How many megapixels will suffice for you?
    8 minimum

    * What optical zoom will you need? (None, Standard = 3x-4x, Ultrazoom = 10x-12x)
    This doesn't matter all that much because I plan to upgrade it to fit my needs later anyhow. Enough to get a good feel for DSLR's.

    * How important is “image quality” to you? (Rate using a scale of 1-10)
    10 This is by far the biggest factor, the reason why I want to move to DSLR's to begin with.

    Do you care for manual exposure modes (shutter priority, aperture priority, manual)?
    I require FULL control over all focusing, AP, shutter speed etc.
    General Usage

    * What will you generally use the camera for?
    Everything

    * Will you be making big prints of your photos or not?
    yes definately
    Will you be shooting a lot of indoor photos or low light photos?
    yes, and this is also a very big factor.

    Will you be shooting sports and/or action photos?
    Yes, ALOT.

    Miscellaneous

    Are there particular brands you like or hate?
    I've used a Nikon DSLR before and loved it, but never owned one myself and never used any other brand before so I can't really pass judgement.

    Are there particular models you already have in mind?

    Yes, out of the ones i've seen in this price range, I'm really liking the cannon EOS rebel XTi. But I won't be buying this until sometime mid april anyhow so if there are any better ones out there, or ones coming out soon within this same price range with an included stock lense kit, I would be willing to wait.

    (If applicable) Do you need any of the following special features? (Wide Angle, Image Stabilization, Weatherproof, Hotshoe, Rotating LCD)

    Being a DSLR I'm assuming I can get a wide angle lense later, other than that, no.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 27, 2015
  2. usapatriot

    usapatriot Well-Known Member

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    Have a look at the Sony Alpha A200 with 18-70mm lens which starts around $599.

    The Pentax K200D is a another choice, but it starts at $799 with a kit lens.

    The Canon Digital Rebel XTi is set to be replaced by the Canon Digital Rebel XSi this month or the next (meaning that they will ship) but will cost $899.
     
  3. camfreak

    camfreak Active Member

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    I suggest having a look at a Nikon d40. it is quite cheap. And also it had great reviews from other sites. but the bad thing about this camera is the pixel count. So I suggest sticking with the Rebel XTI.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2008
  4. jcverheijen

    jcverheijen Active Member

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    I don't think you can go wrong with any of the current or upcoming DSLRs. Whatever you chose will be fine (Canon, Nikon, Sony, Olympus, Pentax).

    Since you will do a lot of indoor photography, you will need a fast lens, image stabilization and/or good (low noise) performance at high ISOs. I think the Canon's are generally considered to be the best high ISO performers. Sony and some others have built in IS. With Canon and Nikon you could buy an IS (VR for Nikon) lens later. Both Canon and Nikon are starting to produce more affordable stabilized lenses. Optical stabilization in the lens is generally considered superior to stabilization built into the body of the camera (but it will add additional costs for each lens you buy).

    For sports, you will need a fast lens (f/2.8 or faster) and/or good performance at high ISO.

    None of the kit lenses are going to be fast. So to start out, I think your best bet may be to buy a camera with good performance at high ISOs. The Canon XTi is a good choice, it is cheap too (prices on Amazon fluctuate, but every now and then this can be had for well under $600 with kit lens). Get it with the kit lens, buy a cheap ($80) 50mm prime f/1.8 and see what you will need before you upgrade anything. The 50 mm f/1.8 should be good for indoor portraits and should give you a feeling for what a faster lens can do. This et up should cost you ~$650.

    The kit lens can be sold later for just about the same amount that you pay for it now. There are plenty of upgrades, it will depend on what you need. Consider the new IS 18-55mm kit lens ($180, has good IS and is sharper than the original kit lens) or if you want a faster lens get the Tamron f/2.8 17-50mm zoom (~$400). The Tamron is probably better for sports (much faster) although you may need more range. Fast, long lenses are more expensive though. You may want to look at the Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 for your sports needs. Another good choice for telephoto is the new Canon 55-250 IS. It is a bit slow though, but may be good enough for outdoor sports.
    Finally, expect to see many like new 18-55 IS kit lenses for sale in the near future. This lens will be shipped with the upcoming XSi camera as the kit lens, and many of these lenses will be offered for sale by folks who are upgrading their kit lens.

    The Rebel XT is another decent choice. It is ~$100 cheaper than the XTi and is a good performer. However, it has been said that the XTi has a better AF system, especially for sports.
     
  5. jetstar

    jetstar Well-Known Member

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    I would suggest the following models:

    - Nikon D40
    - Olympus E-410
    - Pentax K100D
     
  6. avisitor

    avisitor Well-Known Member

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    I'm going to go ahead and suggest the Olympus E-510. It has in body image stabilization (Sensor Shift). It's ISO performances is better than its predecessors (the E-500, E-300, etc). It also has this relatively nifty technology called Live View which allows one to use it like a point and shoot. You can compose the image on the LCD instead of using the viewfinder. Its a nice feature if you're going to ever let someone else use your camera. However, I think you'll find that you, yourself, will never use Live View. Also, the new kit lenses for the E-510 are better than the E-500s kit lenses and are better than most other kit lenses. The kit is 14-42 f/3.5-5.6 and 40-150 f/3.5-4.5 along with the body: $662.50 at Amazon.

    Also, when you're price shopping be sure to give all the majors a look including BH Photo Video, Adorama Camera (generally pretty cheap), Amazon, NewEgg, etc.
     
  7. unknown555525

    unknown555525 Member

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    Ok, thanks, I think I'll wait until I see some people's pictures with the rebel XSi next month because it sounds like it just continues to improve over the old one and should be worth it. Also while I don't mind at all using CF, the XSi uses SDHC which would work better for me since it will fit in my laptop.

    The sony alpha a200 does look nice, but reviews that show side by side comparisons with the XTi seem to show almost the exact same quality, but when you bump up the ISO it begins to show a LOT of noise, whereas the XTi was showing hardly any at the same settings.

    About the lense, well I don't think it will much matter if it can't focus quickly. I always prefocus any camera I use, or just manually focus.


    Oh, and no, I will never use the live-view. I can't see why I would, and I doubt very many other people aside from myself will even breath on it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2008
  8. jcverheijen

    jcverheijen Active Member

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    If that comment was in response to my comments about fast lenses, I apologize for the confusion. I was referring to the aperture and not AF. A fast lens (f/2.8, f/1.8 etc) allows you to stop the action when photographing sports. IS can not help you there.

    Regarding fast autofocus: that is something else to consider when shooting sports, wildlife, etc. If your subject is moving, you can't always pre-focus or use manual focus. If you know where your subject will be, (manually) prefocusing can be helpful (track, cars, skiing, pitcher/batter in baseball etc). In many other cases, one cannot predict where the subject will be (basketball, football, etc) and will have to rely on fast AF.
     
  9. unknown555525

    unknown555525 Member

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    No, sorry that was my own confusion. I thought f/ referred to how much light is being gathered. Where as a lower number indicates more light into the sensor. Thus allowing the shutter to be opened for less time taking a quicker picture.

    That is correct right? Then yea, I probebly will want a better lense. Do you or anyone know what lense the XSi will come with? I would like to get a decent f/2.8 or better. I can just simply buy the body only and buy a lense seperate, any reccomendations on one that might still keep the price under $700 total? or mabe a link to a site with ones that will work on the XTi ?

    heh.. but then again, I also want to do alot of macro shots, will I need a seperate lense? and if so what might be the costs?
     
  10. jcverheijen

    jcverheijen Active Member

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    Yes, that is correct. Lower f-numbers mean more light.

    The XSi will come with the 18-55 mm IS lens. This is not a fast lens (no kit lens is), I believe it is f/3.5-5-6. It does have image stabilization however, which should make it as good as a f/2.8 for stationary subject (image stabilization will allow you to take pictures at longer exposure times by reducing the blur). For moving subjects this will not help. That kit lens gets excellent reviews (it is much better than the "standard" 18-55 mm kit lens without IS). Zoom lenses with f/2.8 or faster are more expensive (starting around $350). Whatever camera you choose, I would buy it with the kit lens (you usually only pay $50-100 more for a lens that retails for $100-200 by itself). Then buy a cheap prime, like Canon's 50mm f/1.8 for $80. That is an excellent low light lens. With that lens and a kit lens you can get started and see what else you need later. When and if you decide to upgrade your kit lens, you can sell it for about what you paid for it (since you get it at such a discount in the kit).
     
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