Digital SLR camera?

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Alan in Little Washington

Alan Schaffter
Corporate Member
I have been shooting many, many pics for the article I'm doing. My old 2.1 MP Olympus with wide angle lens is fine for the process shots, but now it is time for the "lead photo" which will require pics taken with an 8 to 10 (or more) MP digital camera. My wife has an 8 MP pocket camera, but that won't hack it at all. I need something a bit more substantial- like a digital SLR, with good wide angle capability.

I don't want to spend the money for a very expensive ($1K - $5K) professional unit and would like to keep the cost under $500.

So my question is- is there such a thing as a really good, 8-10+ MP, SLR, digital camera (Nikon, Canon, etc.) in the $500 range and what would that be?
 

FredP

Fred
Corporate Member
unfortunately I don't believe you will get what you are looking for in a 500 or less camera. My wife has the cannon digital rebel slr and it will do the job but it was expensive with the wide angle and zoom lens at additional cost. They make a newer model that is cheaper but from what Ive heard the picture quality isnt any better than the rebel. the additional lenses are over 100 dollars each maybe more. If you want pro quality well...........
 

thrytis

New User
Eric
I won't touch on the "really good" bit as choosing cameras can be as bad as discussing religion, but a Canon EOS Rebel XS can be found with an 18-55 mm lens for under $500. It is 10 Megapixels. If you watch a deals site such as SlickDeals, you'll find SLR kits popping up for under $500 regularly. You probably can find a Nikon around that price too if you prefer that.

One thing to be careful of if buy a camera online is some places will sell you a grey market camera (bought outside the USA and imported and lacking the manufacturer's warranty) without telling you.
 

FredP

Fred
Corporate Member
Alan,

This is actually a very nice DSLR in your price range

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/571144-REG/Canon_2762B003_EOS_Rebel_XS_a_k_a_.html

You may still be able to find a Rebel XT, an 8 MP version of the above camera for around $350. This is the camera I use.

George

PS: Darn, just a few seconds too late :dontknow:
wow... the price has come way down on that one.:icon_thum thats a great camera for that price. I didn't see a wide angle lense listed for it but I think the lenses that fit the other cannon digitals will fit. the wide angle lense is going to add about 150 to the total if I remember right.:icon_scra
 

DIYGUY

New User
Mark
Watch out Alan, once you start down the path with a DSLR it is a slippery slope that is almost as bad as WWng!

For Xmas I bought my son the Sony Alpha 300 which was all over the net with a single lens in your price range, and for another $50 or so in a twin kit version. Well, when he got it I was so impressed with it that I bought one for myself! I don't think you will find anything in the price range that comes with such a complete range of features and functions. I was able to avoid the full burden (and keep my SWMBO happy) by selling my previous DSLR to cover half of the cost.

Do a little research and start here: www.dpreview.com. Here is another good site as well: www.dcresource.com. Be aware that both of these sites are rather Canon/Nikon centric, but still have good stuff to read. Don't forget to factor in the cost of your editing software - which you likely already have. These cameras can take pix in RAW format quite readily and that will rapidly chew into that HDD that you thought you would never run out of room on.

Good luck - have fun - let us know what you ultimately go with ..
 

Alan in Little Washington

Alan Schaffter
Corporate Member
Thanks guys! A lot of good advice so far, keep it coming.

A few follow-on points/questions:

18-55 mm seems to be a popular basic lens for many of these. It appears the low end (wide angle) does not seem to be as wide an angle as 18 mm was on a 35mm film cameras?? Comments?

Batteries- ability to charge them internal or external or both? Power pack? - I will do most of my shooting in the shop and would like the camera powered by an AC adapter so I can leave it on and set between shots. Comments?

Internal (ultrasonic?) cleaners to keep senors clean. Any better than others?

Mark, editing software is not a problem- I have a full-up, slightly older version of PhotoShop, but most mags etc. where I would send the pics, don't want any manipulation done before you send them the files. I was also reading somewhere that RAW is different between camera manufacturers.

My biggest problem is viewing and selecting. I have been doing that on my laptop because of convenience, but it does not provide the resolution I really need. My desktop is a dinosaur. I need a new, faster computer, with lots of RAM and HDD space and a super video driver and super-hi res monitor, but that's not going to happen. I wonder if the video section of my laptap will drive a high res monitor? Hmmm, I need to check that out.

FYI, instead of flash, I picked up a couple very large 105W (500W incandescant equivalent) CFLs and built reflector mounts for them. They seem to be working fine and provide a 5000+K daylight color temp, draw minimal current, don't put out the heat like floods or halogens, and allow me to get more even lighting.
 

tjgreen

New User
Tim
Second the nod for dpreview.com, great site with tons of technical info. I bought my first dSLR (a Nikon D70, which I loved) with their help.

First things first: how wide is wide enough? Most dSLRS sold as kits come with a zoom that starts at 18mm. That's considerably wider than most point and shoots (somewhere around 24mm-36mm), but not super wide - you might want to go try one out at your local camera store to see. If that's not wide enough, your price tag just went up - the really wide lenses are pretty pricey. Or you can just buy the body and rent a WA lens, if you need to stay on a budget for now. Some good rental stuff online.

Assuming 18mm works, my recommendation if you're not too up on camera stuff: stick with either Nikon or Canon. They've been around the longest, and if you get into it, there's a lot more equipment available - you can buy new/used lenses and bodies from Nikon, Canon, or a bunch of 3rd-party vendors.. For new cameras, the Rebel XS and the Nikon D40 are comparable in price and performance, and both come with an 18-55 zoom in the kit. As far as pixel count, dpreview covers this in depth, but the short and skinny: depends on how big you want to go with your final image. If web publishing only, don't worry about it. If printed at 8x10, any dSLR at 6MP or higher is probably just fine. dSLRs have a much bigger sensor than a point and shoot, so 6MP on a dSLR is actually a whole lot more information than a 10MP P&S.

Final thought: have you considered a used setup? You can get an older Canon or Nikon with more features than either the Rebel XS or the D40 for less than $500. You might check out Keh.com, I've bought from them and been very happy: http://www.keh.com/onlinestore/home.aspx

Addendum to final thought: If you're in/around Raleigh, check w/ Peace Camera (on Peace St., imagine that). They sell both used and new, and their prices are pretty darn close to B&H or Adorama. Note: you can also check with Ritz or Wolf Camera, but in my experience they really, really like their cameras and price accordingly.
 

thrytis

New User
Eric
Thanks guys! A lot of good advice so far, keep it coming.

A few follow-on points/questions:

18-55 mm seems to be a popular basic lens for many of these. It appears the low end (wide angle) does not seem to be as wide an angle as 18 mm was on a 35mm film cameras?? Comments?

Batteries- ability to charge them internal or external or both? Power pack? - I will do most of my shooting in the shop and would like the camera powered by an AC adapter so I can leave it on and set between shots. Comments?
As far as lens size goes, the effective size depends on the sensor. I believe the Canon sensor uses a 1.6x factor (it is 1/1.6 the size of a 35mm frame), so an 18mm lens would be the 35mm equivalent of a 29mm lens.

Batteries are charged externally only i believe. You can get third party replacement batteries for $10-$15 if you need a spare.
 

Alan in Little Washington

Alan Schaffter
Corporate Member
What is the deal with Swoopo the advertiser at the top of the page? It is a link to some sort of auction site and they have some Canon and Nikons up now for cheap!
 

rcflyer23

New User
Kevin
My company buys from BH pretty often. Great to deal with. I can only vouch for what we use her at the office. We have been using the Canon D series which is essentially the same thing as the Rebels except a better CCD and the Frame is metal instead of plastic. We still have 10D is service and they spend their life at the speedways so they get pretty dirty. As far as maintenance we just clean the lenses and mirror occasionally and then have them cleaned at Canon every couple of years and they are doing great. The money isn't spent in the camera body it's in the lenses depending on what you want to do.

I believe that you can run that camera with an AC adapter so you don't have to rely on the battery.

I have also heard great things about the Nikon's, just make sure you decide who you like because most of the time the lenses are not interchangeable.
 

mbeach

New User
Mike
Hello.

Just to start. For a living I am a photographer and graphic designer. There are several options within your price range that will suit you fine. I do not think it is necessary to have a 8-10MP camera unless you will be printing larger than 24x30

With that being said... You could go with either Nikon or Canon. Canon is the leader in technology and putting more effort into their development than any of them. Nikon is not far behind Canon. Nikon is (to me) a user friendly camera.

I would recommend going with a package deal.... either the Canon Rebel, or the Nikon D50, D60, or D70.

If you have any questions once you find a camera, send me a link and I will let you know about the specs before buying.
 

Makinsawdust

New User
Robert
I agree with what Mike said about Nikon and Canon. You can't go wrong with either of these two because they are both what's considered "full line" camera makers. If a lens or a add on can be make/had for a camera there's one made for these two manufactures.
I prefer Nikon but that's just what I'm use to. Nikon takes great pains to make sure that older lens work on their newest cameras. That can save you money in the long run when you upgrade. Canon may be just as flexible but I have no experience with them.
Rob
 

toolman

Chad
Corporate Member
Alan:

The wife and I got a 10MP Sony 300 DSLR with a DT 18-70mm F3.5-5.6 zoom lens , a 75-300mm F4.5-5.6 lens, and a 4GB compact Flash PRO for under $1000.00 the first of Dec. 2008. They still are about the same now. This Sony I can use all of my Minolta Maxxum 5000I's equipment. :3dblob3: We got it at ASAP in Greenville, and Best Buy in Greenville Has it as well. here is a photo I snapped Wed. after the snow.







We are going to use it to take Wedding Photography..

Need more info PM me.
 

Alan in Little Washington

Alan Schaffter
Corporate Member
Everybody has provided good info but let me define my needs a little better. I am not (never quite was) a big photophile, so don't want a lot of whistles and bells. For vacation pics, etc. my wife's pocket 8 MP Olympus is just fine. But, I need a camera that will take decent shop project pics so a wide angle lens is of much greater utility than a big zoom/telephoto lens. The pics need to have enough resolution that a WW mag can crop, manipulate, etc. them to use for print publishing. If I start out at 8 - 10 MP then they can still get 300+ dpi or whatever they need after serious cropping. That is all I will use the camera for.
 

lottathought

New User
Michael
Hmmmmmm....
Let me give this a shot.

http://www.abesofmaine.com/item.do?item=NKD601855K&l=CJ



Nikon D60 Digital SLR Camera & 18-55mm VR Lens Kit - 25438 + FREE 4GB SD HC Memory Card! for $546.95 - $42 Instant Off in Cart - $10 Off Coupon FRIEND10 / LOYALTY10 = $494.95 + Free Shipping
10.75 million, a 23.6 x 15.8mm CCD image sensor, dust reduction system, and much more. Nikon's 18-55 VR Lens features ED glass element which achieves minimized chromatic aberration and superior optical performance, a hybrid aspherical element which ensures high resolution and contrast, a focus mode switch, and much more


Receive Free 4GB SD HC Memory Card! ($15.95 VALUE) w/Purchase. See Site for Details.
 
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