Jump to content

Almost ready to buy my first DSLR but need some final advice

  • Please log in to reply
8 replies to this topic

#1 Guest_davidjh2_*

  • Guests

Posted 11 February 2013 - 07:14 PM

I'll probably be buying my DSLR camera in the next month or so. I think have it narrowed down to 2 cameras. I was going to stick with Canon but after reading reviews on the models I was looking and the reviews on some comparable Nikons I'm startign to have 2nd thoughts.

My first choice the Canon EOS Rebel T3i 18 MP with the following lenses: EF-S 18-55mm IS II Lens + Canon EF-S 55-250mm IS Lens.

The camera gets good reviews for an entry level camera and seems like it will do what I want it to do which is mostly nature photography. Both lenses get solid marks and again are great entry level lenses. I doubt I'd need more in the way of lenses unless it's macro lens and given their price that's something for the futureafter I learn how to use the camera a lot better

My 2nd choice is the Nikon Nikon D5100 16.2 MP with the following lenses: 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 VR & 55-200mm f/4-5.6G IF-ED AF-S DX VR Nikkor Zoom Lens

Despite being lower in megapixels the Nikon compares well against the Canon and the lenses compare just as well or possibly even better then the Canon lenses.

At the entry level will I really notice the difference between these 2 cameras? The Nikon seems to offer some better features but I'm realy not sure I'm understanding the tehnical side of the reviews that well.

#2 Guest_Uland_*

  • Guests

Posted 11 February 2013 - 10:39 PM

I use Canon and unfamiliar with Nikon so I can't help sway you in brand choice.
I can offer one bit of advice since I'm operating under the assumption you want to take photos of fish....
Set your budget and get the very best lens you can afford and ignore the camera body.

Good glass is far more important than a good camera body....get a used body if you must.

I'm really fond of the canon 60mm macro lens. Has great detail and easy to use for fish under a foot and a half.

#3 Guest_davidjh2_*

  • Guests

Posted 12 February 2013 - 01:39 PM

It's easy understand why it's important to buy a good quality lens. I tell people the same thing about computers I always say to buy the best you can afford so it will last you longer and give you better performance longer. My problem is that I need a decent/good general purpose lens and a decent/good telephoto lens just to be able to take the kind of pictures I want to take. I did find a decent macro lens that I can probably squeeze in it's a little cheaper then the 60mm you mentioned. It's a Canon EF 50mm f/2.5 Compact Macro Lens.

This does go against your advice though since now I would have 3 middle of the road lenses that I will most likely replace in the next couple of years. I'm getting a headache

#4 Guest_IsaacSzabo_*

  • Guests

Posted 12 February 2013 - 04:27 PM

I think you are on the right track, and Uland offers great advice. The differences between the T3i and D5100 are small, and both cameras will produce great photos. I'm sure you would be very happy with either one. The resolution (megapixels) difference between the two is insignificant, and it should not factor into your decision at all. The D5100 actually offers better image quality (lower noise, better color depth, better dynamic range, better low-light image quality). The T3i has slightly better video, including a 60p mode that's good for slow motion video. But, like I said, the differences are minor, and you will be very happy either way. If you choose to go with Canon, I would suggest also looking at prices for the T2i. It is the same as the T3i but with a fixed LCD instead of an articulating LCD. If you go with Nikon, I would suggest also checking the prices for the D5000 or D90. They are not quite as good as the D5100, but they may be a better choice if it saves you some money.

Now, as Uland said, a good lens is more important than a good camera body. An older camera with a good lens will produce better images than a new camera with an inferior lens. However, you do have to start somewhere, and it is nice to at least have the basic wide angle to short telephoto focal lengths covered. As you mention above, a couple of inexpensive zoom lenses like an 18-55mm and 55-200mm will get you started and cover most normal situations. To save money, I would recommend checking the prices on the slightly older versions of these lenses that lack image stabilization (IS for Canon, VR for Nikon) but are otherwise the same optically.

As Uland said, with your interests in crayfish, fish, etc, you should really get a macro lens as soon as possible. The level of sharpness and detail for small subjects that a macro lens provides is far beyond what you can get from a normal lens. The Canon 60mm macro that Uland mentions is a wonderful lens. The Canon 50mm f/2.5 macro is a great option as well. It is certainly not a middle of the road lens optically. It is super sharp just like the 60mm, and the images it produces will just be just as good. Where the 60mm is better is that it has faster and quieter autofocus, and it can focus closer. I would definitely recommend trying to spend a little less on the camera body and normal lenses so that you can afford to buy a macro lens as well.

#5 Guest_davidjh2_*

  • Guests

Posted 12 February 2013 - 04:43 PM

You both offer a great argument for a macro lens. It's a good thing I never told my wife how much I was actually going to spend. I think I will look at the T2i since the articulating lcd screen really isn't a great selling point for me. If I can save some money that I can put towards a macro lens then I'd be happy.

Thanks guys

#6 Guest_chrish_*

  • Guests

Posted 01 March 2013 - 01:15 PM

When looking at macro lenses, don't disregard the 3rd party macros. They are as sharp as (and in some cases sharper than) the camera brand lenses and cost significantly less. The Sigma 105 macro and the Tamron 90mm macro are as good as the Canon and Nikon 105mm lenses. And now you can get them with IS/VR for still less money than the camera brand.

Also, don't overlook the other camera manufacturers. Sony and Pentax make some outstanding DSLRs that have features lacking in the Canon and Nikon equivalents. The image quality at high ISO is as good and they are image stabilized in the body, which means you don't have to pay for it over and over again with each lens!

Yes, Canon and Nikon are the most popular brands of DSLR in the world. But then again, Ford and Toyota are the most popular car brands. That doesn't mean Chrysler, Mercedes, Honda, etc. don't produce excellent cars. No one would be foolish enough to only look at the Ford Focus and Toyota Corolla because they are the best selling cars in the world and assume other cars were inferior, yet with cameras people do this all the time.

If you are determined to stay with Canon or Nikon, I would suggest Nikon. Their live view is better and their flash technology is better. Of course, Sony's flash and live view systems are as good as Nikon's as well, if not better. Canon is behind in these areas buy trying to catch up.

#7 Guest_Usil_*

  • Guests

Posted 01 March 2013 - 01:52 PM

The Nikon D5100 has recently been replaced by Nikon by the D5200. As a result the stores currently (but for a short time period until they are gone) have the D5100 camera on sale at a large discount. Two months ago you could buy the body for $419.00 and now that supplies are running out it has risen to nearly $500.00. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the D5100 but you know how manufacturers continue to put new products on the market to try to keep the public interested.

The lenses area a separate issue and most professionals indicate comparable quality for both Canon and Nikon. You won't go wrong with either choice but understand that selecting a lens locks you into the camera body.

As for a macro lens understand that they are a fixed focal length which allows no compromises that are inherent for a zoom lens which have to spread the quality over many focal lengths. Inherently, macro lenses have better resolution which is why they are used for closeups. In making a selection of a macro the one thing that you need to take into consideration is the distance that lens allows between the camera lens and the subject. If you plan to run around the fields shooting butterflies then you want that distance from the lens to the butterfly to be at least several feet to avoid spooking them. This example requires you get a lens with a focal length of 100mm or greater. If you only had a 50mm macro then you would have to be on top of the butterfly to bring it into focus. The 50mm is fine for plants and things that do not move.

As for the 19-55mm zoom I would prefer a longer separation, say to 150 to 200mm range but that would increase the price and I know you are balancing funds. Do make sure to get the low end of 19mm (or lower) in your zoom as this allows wide angles for landscapes and nature shots.

Here is ken Rockwells review of the D5100. http://www.kenrockwe...nikon/d5100.htm

Plus, while Nikon does not make a separate vertical power grip for the D5100 you can get one anyway (cheaply) that allows two batteries to be used which considerably enhances the shooting time. http://www.amazon.co...0?ie=UTF8&psc=1

And relatively new to the macro scene is the inexpensive LED ring light: http://www.amazon.co...0?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Good luck in the world of DSLR.


#8 Guest_davidjh2_*

  • Guests

Posted 27 March 2013 - 10:24 AM

Well I bought my camera last week and following Uland's advice I went with a lower end camera body, a Canon T3 and put the money i saved into a better telephoto lens the Canon 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS EF. The camera came with the 18-55 mm lens I had planned on getting.I also bought the telephoto lens used and saved some money but it came with the warranty card and is in perfect condition. I'm liking the the camera a lot and have taken some really nice shots already that I'll have to post some of. I didn't get a macro lens because I just couldn't afford one right now but maybe in the summertime I'll buy one.

#9 Guest_Uland_*

  • Guests

Posted 27 March 2013 - 03:04 PM

I just checked that camera out. It has plenty of features to keep you busy. For what it's worth, I started with the Rebel XT and never really "outgrew" the camera but conned myself into an upgrade anyhow. You will probably do the same at some point in time. In my case, I had used the Rebel XT enough to actually utilize some of the new features but it still comes down to "good subject and good light, usually results in a good photo". I'm glad you like the new camera.

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users