Personal experience for what DLSR

Discussion in 'What Camera Should I Buy?' started by J_Kat, Nov 30, 2012.

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  1. J_Kat

    J_Kat New Member

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    I'm always amazed by posters in forums across the internet and their unending patience in answering the same old questions over and over.

    So I try not to be that guy asking those questions and do as much of my own research as I can. But I've gotten to that point where I just need direct expertise for answers to my specific requirements and any ones help would be much appreciated.

    I'm a fairly experienced amateur looking to buy a mid-range DLSR hopefully with a view to using it professionally. However I'm on the tightest possible budget and would want to spend no more than £700 max ($1100) for a quality body and lense (Although please don't refrain from recommending something outside that budget if you think I really need it, you never know what bargains are to be had around christmas!)

    The things I'm considering:

    1) My girlfriend owns a Canon 60D and I've quite a bit of experience with it. She also owns 3 quality lenses but is currently out of the country so we can't exactly share easily.

    2.) I have an old Canon EF 75-300 III USM for my analogue SLR. But by most accounts its far from luxury, would it be worthless on my new DSLR?

    3.)All the research I've done seems to suggest Nikon's are quite a bit superior to their Canon rivals in my price range, is this true, or just laboratory specs that don't amount to much real world noticeable quality difference?

    Features that are important to me/think I might need:

    Image Quality 9 out of 10 (Very important if I'm looking to go pro surely?)

    Low-light/High ISO performance:
    Love the capabilities of modern DSLR's but there's not much point having an incredibly high ISO if its awfully plagued with noise.

    I do like to get out there in some extreme conditions, how much difference does weather proofing make and would it really extend the life of my camera in such conditions?

    Vari-Angle LCD:
    Its a nice feature and I did find myself using it in some awkward situations on my gf's 60D (crouching and live view is much more preferable to lying full length in the snow!) but I can live without it if I have to.

    Pentaprism vs Pentamirror:
    I've only experience with the 60D's pprism, is their anyone familiar with both types who can tell me how important/detrimental the difference is?

    Cross type focus points:
    Similar to the above, how much difference do they really make?

    Built in focus motor:
    How much does the lack of one limit me on lenses, what are they price difference between said lenses.

    Sorry for the all the questions, along with the above I'd like to know, is my old telephoto and my girlfriend's camera reason enough to stick to Canon. A 60D given my familiarity with it would seem to make sense, but a stubborn silly part of me just wants something new and a bit more exciting to play with than what I already know.

    Finally, any advice on lenses would be much appreciated as that sounds like a whole other nightmare/minefield!

    Thanks in advance,

  2. KCook

    KCook Well-Known Member

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    My personal experience is with an old Sony and the Canon 50D, none with Nikon.

    For quickie lens ratings I like the "user" scores on these sites -

    FM Reviews -

    Lens Reviews -!

    A glance at those should give you an idea of the worth of the old 75-300.

    Current Nikon sensors have an edge at very high ISO. The full frame Canons close that gap some, and in older models Nikon did not always have this edge.

    Full frame bodies usually have a fair degree of weatherizing. Not so much in crop sensor bodies, except for Pentax. Of course the lens also needs to be weatherized. I think you will need to check the individual lenses for that rating, not make assumptions.

    All pro and semi-pro cameras already have a pentaprism, so the pentamirror question is moot.

    Cross type AF is better, but does not guarantee perfection by itself. You will also need to check reviews for how well the AF works in extreme low light, and with fast moving targets. Cross type or otherwise.

    Motorless AF lenses are most likely to be very old, or consumer grade. Neither of which will be of much interest to a pro. So another moot question.

    The Nikon D7000 certainly has a higher excitement level than the Canon 60D or 7D. Canon fans have been wondering why the 60D and 7D have not been replaced yet. Now we know with the new 6D and 5Diii. Canon is focusing on full frame instead of crop sensor.

    Pros almost always shoot full frame. So the "old" 5Dii and new 6D and 5Diii should be given consideration. At least as a future target, if not within budget right now. Nikon also has excellent full frame bodies, but I'm not particularly familiar with them, so I will leave those for others to comment on.

    Sports shooters lean toward Canon because the premium full frame telephotos are priced under Nikon. There are plenty of wedding photographers with Nikon, but I think Canon also has a bit of an edge there. For studio work the balance shifts to Nikon, due in part to Nikon's advanced flash system for strobists using off-camera speedlights. Canon shooters can also play this game, but have to resort to external controllers.

    None of the above info should be considered set in stone, just my impressions.

    Kelly Cook
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2012
  3. Andy Stanton

    Andy Stanton Super Moderator Super Moderator

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    I'll leave most of your questions to those with personal experience with Canon and Nikon DSLR's, (I have none) but there are a few issues I can address:

    Not if you buy a Canon DSLR, in which case it would be fully compatible.

    I'm sure there are plenty of Canon owners that would disagree with you. When you compare the Canon 60D with the Nikon D7000, some aspects favor Canon and some Nikon. Same is true with the Canon T4i (EOS 650D) and the Nikon D5100 (the new D5200 has considerably superior specs). Looking at the lower end DSLR's, the Nikon D3200 and D3100 are probably superior to the Canon T3 (EOS 1100D).

    You're very familiar with the excellent low light capabilities of your girlfriend's Canon 60D. All DSLR's in that price range have good low light ability with minimal noise until you get to very high levels, such as ISO 3200.

    If you intend to use it in dusty, wet or cold weather, consider the weatherproof models, the Canon 60D or the Nikon D7000.

    Then you're limited to the Canon 60D and 650D and the Nikon D5100 and D5200.

    Pentaprism uses a solid, heavy piece of glass, pentamirror uses lightweight mirrors to simulate a pentaprism but this makes the result more dim.

    Considering this, along with your desire for a weatherproof camera with an articulated LCD, the Canon 60D is the only choice if looking at only Canons or Nikons.
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