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Digital SLR suggestions...

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Eric Perry, Oct 2, 2005.

  1. Nikon D50 SLR

  2. Canon Digital Rebel

  3. other

    0 vote(s)
  1. Hey guys,
    I'm in the process of stepping up from my Nikon Coolpix point and shoot to a digital SLR.

    So far, I've kinda narrowed it down to the Nikon D50 and the Canon Digital Rebel. Any suggestions from the TalkBass masses?

    Also, any input on lenses? I'm leaning toward a Tamron 28-300mm XRF F/3.5-6.3 lens so far.

    Any input is greatly appreciated. Thanks guys! :)
  2. LajoieT

    LajoieT I won't let your shadow be my shade...

    Oct 7, 2003
    Western Massachusetts
    Sounds like you're on the right track, either camera is going to be fine. I'm a nikon user 20 years running, but I wouldn't say that either has much over the other. I AM a fan of the same manufacturer's lenses. The only thing I would suggest you think about is looking at the Nikon or Canon lenses instead of the Tamron. I think they are just a level above the Tamrons. That said, you would be better off getting the Tamron if it allows you to get a dedicated flash for the DSLR. IMO you need a decent flash that is designed for the camera if you're going to do ANYTHING that needs flash, the included little popup flashes are functionally useless.
  3. PunkerTrav


    Jul 18, 2001
    Canada & USA
    I personally believe that springing the extra money for higher quality glass will pay off greatly. By all means, you need at least a decent quality body, but good glass will make a huge difference.

    Both those cameras you listed are grea, high quality units. Can't really go wrong. Personally I'd chose the Canon as teh Canon lenses, I feel, are a higher quality.

    Just like anythign, YMMV. No matter what, you'll have a very nice set up that will shoot nearly any scenario. :D
  4. Thanks LajoieT.

    The reason I'm leaning toward the Tamron is a combination between cost, and multi-tasking. The Tamron is a 28-300 lens. Definitely a very usable zoom there. Plus it did get great reviews. In that price range, I cannot get that kind of range with a Nikon lens... At least not with one that got respectable reviews.

    I do agree with you in terms of usually sticking with the OE lenses, but the cost/performance ratio took over on that one!

    Anywho, thanks for the input! It's appreciated.
  5. Thanks PunkerTrav as well. Didn't notice your post till after I responded to LaJoieT. Didn't mean to leave ya out!
  6. PunkerTrav


    Jul 18, 2001
    Canada & USA

    No worries! :D
  7. burk48237

    burk48237 Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Oak Park, MI
    I lean toward Nikon too, more because I believe Nikon's lower end is a little more solid and durable then Cannon. Cannon has put plastic lens mounts on the old Rebels not sure about this one. In the pro end they are really close in quality and it's more a matter of personal preference.

    As far as glass, I would stay away from low-cost zooms that cover big focal lengths Wide angle to telephoto. I have a suspicion the edge to edge quality differences especially at "extreme apertures" could be significant. You would be much better off with the Cannon or Nikon glass. Why buy into the system and then put lower quality lenses on. The glass is the image, and probably contributes most if not at least 60% of your image quality. A 6 meg chip image with a bad lens won't look as nice as 4.5 meg image with a "tack sharp" lens. Tameron does make some good quality products but when you go from wide to telephoto in one lens your asking for optical problems, edge degradation, light dispersion issues, etc. I would suggest if your going to ask one lens to do that, get a good one! Also the Nikon/Cannon lens will hold up better.
  8. Hey burk, thanks a bunch for the input. I'm still trying to wade through the TONS of lenses out there to see what stacks up the best! Suggestions definitely noted, however! :)
  9. Tsal


    Jan 28, 2000
    Finland, EU
    The largest difference between the two is body size. Canon has smaller, bit cramped feeling body, where Nikon body is larger and bit more sturdier, offering good grip.

    Also, if you are going to buy a kit, Nikon has a better kit lense - Canon lense is designed for autofocus, so it doesn't even have a proper focus ring.

    If you end up on Nikon, I'd go for a second-hand D70 instead, which has a added scroll wheel for bit easier manual use.
  10. Hey Tsal, thanks.

    The reviews I have read actually rank the image quality a tad above the D70. Everything claims the 70 produces more underexposed images as opposed to the D50.

    Not sure how that is. What I do know is the 70 is several hundred more! :(
  11. burk48237

    burk48237 Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Oak Park, MI
    Don't see how, the light meter on the 70 recieves almost double the pixcel information and the rest of the specs are identical? What magazine was doing the test?
  12. This month's edition of PC Mag.

    Not totally sure, but I think I read that on www.dpreview.com (Digital Photography Review) as well.
  13. Just to clarify, I personally have no idea, regarding the underexposing factor. I'm just reiterating what I had read.

    What I DO know is I can't even afford the D70! Hahaha!
  14. I don't have any experience with the Nikon, but I just got a Rebel XT a few weeks ago. I'm still playing around with it and learning about photography but it's a pretty cool toy!

    The main reason I got it was to replace my Canon S-400. It was a pretty good camera, but the difference from printing the pics from both cameras is outstanding.

    We just had a son a few months ago and we needed something to really preserve all those "Awww cute" moments!
  15. Tsal


    Jan 28, 2000
    Finland, EU
    Paid 600 or so for my second-hand D70 with a cheap Sigma 35-80mm lense. They are around if you look.

    I think you are confusing it to the upgraded D70s-model Nikon sells now - they are identical except for a larger screen in the S model, so if you want more bang for the buck, go with the "older" D70.
  16. WillPlay4Food

    WillPlay4Food Now With More Metal! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2002
    Orbiting HQ
    I have the initial Canon Digi-Rebel (not the XT) and this camera takes great pictures. :D I have the stock 18-55mm lens which I use for normal shots and a Canon 75-300mm I use when I'm out hiking. I concur with Burk that you want multiple lenses to cover such a large range (28-300mm). The advantage of DSLR is you can use multiple lenses. Of course the disadvantage is you'll pay extra cash for those lenses. :)

    Your best bet would be to find a place that sells both cameras and take some sample pics. See if they'll transfer the pics to a larger monitor so you can take a better look at the output. Or if you have access to a laptop and a card reader, bring them with you so you can see the pics on a larger screen. If you're going to drop $1K or so on a camera you want to make sure it's the right one for you.
  17. Hey WillPlay...
    Thanks for the input. I actually did something similar to what you suggested last week. I have access to both SD (Nikon) and CF (Canon) memory, so I hit up the nearest Best Buy and took loads of shots with each camera.

    After really checking everything out at home, I leaned more toward the Nikon. The shots seemed brighter, definitely more saturated, with less noise/artifacts. Granted the differences were VERY minimal at best! I also prefer the feel of the Nikon. I have big hands, and the smaller grip of the Canon feels as if it'd get uncomfortable quickly.

    The shots were all taken with the kit lenses.

    I've pretty much decided on the D50 so far. I am still leaning toward that Tamron lens I mentioned as well. The reviews are all excellent (for the Nikon... The same lens reviews with the Canon mount are not as stellar). The lens has actually won several awards, although I'm forgetting what they were offhand.

    Anywho, it will be another week or so before I actually make an absolute decision. I would welcome any other tips, ideas, words of wisdom, etc.

    Thanks again to everyone that has offered help thus far! :cool:
  18. LajoieT

    LajoieT I won't let your shadow be my shade...

    Oct 7, 2003
    Western Massachusetts
    Well I can agree with you on the D70 producing underexposed photos, I have mine almost always dialed into +.3 or +.7 on the exposure, epecially in flash shooting which is probably 95% of my work.

    What are you mainly looking at shooting that you are looking at that extreeme zoom range? 300mm on a 1.6 magnification chip (the digial chip is a good bit smaller than the traditional 35mm film frame) is a rather extreme zoom. I have the Nikon 24-120mm Vibration Reduction Zoom lens which is rather inexpensive (IIRC around $500) and does a great job. There are VERY few situations I get into when I need a longer zoom (I shoot sports practically never) and with the VR I can easily hand hold at 120mm at 1/15th of a second. I don't think I would consider any other lens if I could only have one and wanted to stay on a low budget.
  19. Hey LajoieT.

    I take alot of nature shots. Such an extreme zoom will allow me to get some shots I normally wouldn't be able to capture.

    I'm also on a crazy-low budget. I am getting (IF I ultimately decide) a great deal on that Tamron lense. I allotted myself a certain budget, and I'm underneath that with the D50 body, a 1GB Ultra SD card, and the Tamron lens. If I actually do grab this, I'll have a bit left over for the flash, which I agree is certainly a necessity.

    On a somewhat side-note.... Can you effectively counter the underexposure with the internal adjustments? Are you getting any more noise or artifacts when doing that?

  20. LajoieT

    LajoieT I won't let your shadow be my shade...

    Oct 7, 2003
    Western Massachusetts
    There is no affect on the image using the internal compensation, you're basically telling the meter to lie to the camera, so since the meter on my D-70 (esp. with flash which is 98% of my work) is notorious for wanting to underexpose. I tell it that I WANT it to overexpose, so my images end up properly exposed. The end effect is proper exposure without needing to use later image adjustments that produce artifacts. Of course nothing is ever fool proof, so my images do typically need some image adjustment, but they are closer to begin with than they would be. I also only shoot in RAW mode, which allows for another level of adjustment before you get into the range that causes problems. If you've got Photoshop CS, it's RAW interpreter is excellent, and I can do almost all of my adjustments right there.