Need help with chosing a DSLR Camera

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  • Hi Friends,

    I have been usin a norma AS500 Canon digital camera so far bu now want to move to a lil serious use with DSLR. Can you give your feedback which entry level DSLR (I'd prefer Canon or Nikon), I should go far?
    Please please please tell me.

  • Re: Need help with chosing a DSLR Camera
    Hi Hement, from the Nikon point of view you won't go far wrong with the D40 for an entry level camera or the D80 for intermediate. To see reviews you should go to Ken Rockwell's site Hope this helps?


  • Re: Need help with chosing a DSLR Camera
    The very last cameras in the world I would recommend are the D40 and the D40X. If you go to a camera store right now, 60% of the Nikkor lenses they have in stock will not auto focus on those two cameras and the ommisions are glaring. The only mid length prime lens which will AF on the Nikons is actually made by Sigma. You will have the choice of a whole bunch of low to mid level zooms which will work as well as some extremely expensive longer glass as well as some very good and very expensive fast zooms. The D80 is a much better bet.

    Personally, I am no fan of the entry level Canons, but many like them. I think by looking at only Canon and Nikon, you are missing out on the best entry priced DSLR in the market, which is the Pentax K100D. Pentax doesn't give you the range of choices in lenses, nor are they as easy to find, but you will get a camera that is better built and better featured than anything else within a few hundred dollars. Pentax does have some great prime lenses available as well and in the mid focal lengths, they can go head to head with anyone.
  • Re: Need help with chosing a DSLR Camera
    Sony A100 - roughly 650 USD:
    Steadyshot option in the body! Very crispy, intensely coloured images of very good resolution. Sometimes underexposure with muti-segment metering. Good continuous shooting w Jpg. Noisy at higher ISO (like most in this segment), not so good at looooong exposures.

    Pentax K10D - 800 USD roughly:
    Robust body w weather seals, well toned images, special exposure settings, shake and dust reduction, no buttons for white balances / iso sensitivity, images quite 'soft', more of a RAW machine.

    Olympus E410 / E510 - 600 and 700 USD roughly:
    (Biggest difference the in-body image stabilization and stronger flash of E510)

    Nikon D40X (10 Mpix opposed to 6 Mpix of D40 - and ISO3200 boost - 650 USD opposed to 500):
    Good AF, response, good image processing, amazing resolution and sharpness, faster continuous shooting than D40, No DoF preview, NO AF motor, no ISO and WB buttons.

    Nikon D80 - Roughly 850 USD:
    Excellent resolution, sharpness, very good built quality, vibrant colours, good metering, customizable auto ISO, lots of user settings, adjustable controls, noise at higher ISO and a high price - but good built quality.

    If you want to spend 500 USD, keep on saving money ;-). A K100D might go for 530 USD, but it's only 6.1 Mpix...

    If you want to spend 650 USD it's the Sony A100.
    The D40 is also 650 US, but 6.1 Mpix. The Olympus E410 would be an option as well, but with my Sony R1 fixed lense prosumer I've been so happy that my preference would be a Sony. They build and design the chips and know how to build the rest around it! Only downside sometimes the metering.

    If you go higher, it will be first the Olympus E510 (700 USD), then the Pentax K10D (800 USD) en just above that the Nikon D80 (850 USD). Do yourself a big favour and go for the D80 once you consider to save your money and go above 700 USD. I also do not see the D40x as an option due to lense compatibility.

    So Sony A100 for 650 USD and Nikon D80 if you want to spend more. Below 650, do yourself a favour and keep on saving money! :-) You'll really be happy with that decision later on. ;-)

    Hope it helps! Dennis
  • Re: Need help with chosing a DSLR Camera

    The best value for the money must be Nikon or Canon.

    About Nikon:
    If i were you i would completly forget the D40/D40x
    As have been said before... most lenses will not autofocus and the camera miss some really importat features... i think outrageous what nikon did ... but i'm no nikon fan either :D
    Check the D50 or D80

    Expensive ... super expensive lens ... don't believe the quality meets the price.
    You will hardly find any third parties (sigma/tonika) built for Pentax

    The desilution is proporcional to the expectation i had on this first serious camera: BIG!
    Ergonomical is a failure ... and the built in options are not that strong
    Sony promised promised and at the end built a very normal camera

    Seems a racional choise ... good quality, good features ... not many lenses aroud

    IMO is still the best choice of them all ... the 400D/rebel XTI
    Maybe the weekest kit lens of all prosumer DSLR's
    But also the brand that gives you more for less
  • Re: Need help with chosing a dSLR Camera
    Expensive ... super expensive lens ... don't believe the quality meets the price.
    You will hardly find any third parties (sigma/tonika) built for Pentax

    Nah the camera's aren't expensive they are even cheap! Nothing can compare to a K10D in it's grade of price..there is no dSLR that features what a K10D features for that price.
    The primes are indeed a little too expensive for what you get, but the optics of most lenses are fairly good, the primes aswell, 31mm, 77mm, 43mm, don't wonder why they are limited and pricey, they are masterpieces..)

    Don't for get that Canon has super super expensive lenses aswell. (70-200 F2.8's aren't cheap eitheR!! versions with IS cost you hundreds of dollars or euro's more than a non-IS version.)

    Finding third party lenses (sigma/tokina/tamron) for Pentax takes some more time than finding them for Nikon/Canon, but that's a logical thing. Once you've found it, your done. You only need a specific lens one time, not ten times. If you have it, you have it. I've found my Sigma's 10-20, 17-70, 70-300 APO with ease and for fair prices (that is, not much more expensive than for Canon/Nikon mount)

    Sony still keeps on promising, lenses still have to come. They promise a big platform, but until now, not much has moved there..

    Nikon based I would indeed say try to get a D50.

    Canon's kitlens is for sure the worst kitlens around..
    400D must be a good cam, but I would skip the kitlens for sure if I would by that cam now!
  • Re: Need help with chosing a DSLR Camera
    Expensive and super expensive?? The Pentax 50/1.4 is the least expensive of the 50/1.4s on the market and it is also typically rated the best. The Pentax 35/2 is another very highly rated lens that competes very well on price with what anyone else sells. The original Limited primes (31, 43 & 77mm) are all great lenses, but at a premium in price to be sure. However, the 31 & 77 specifically compete very,very well with what Canon and Nikon have in similar focal lengths and even higher prices. The new limiteds (21, 40 & 70) are also very good lenses, available at prices that compete very, very well with what the competition offers. They are a touch slow IMO, but the quality is excellent. Pentax's 16-45/4 is also optically excellent; imagewise it will go head to head with a Canon 17-40L, although the Canon's build quality and focus speed is no doubt better. The Pentax 14/2.8 also has been tested against the others and rated better; although it is not a full frame lens, which does make it easier to design and sell when compared to a full frame 14mm. It is much less expensive though.

    Pentax lenses or bodies are not "super expensive", they are miles from it. I just can't understand what you are basing your opinion on. I will be the first to say that Pentax is more difficult, because it is not as easy to find what you are looking for, but if you can find it, you will find excellent equipment at terrific prices.
  • Re: Need help with chosing a DSLR Camera
    A pretty good rundown Dennis. My only disagreement is you suggesting not to consider something because it is "only" 6mp. Unless you need to crop a lot, 6mp is plenty. I have done a number of very good quality prints at 18x12 inches from 6mp and have seen others which are even larger. More pixels does not necessarily make for a better image.

    Actually, for some styles of shooting (available light at high ISOs), the 6mp sensor will outperform the bigger resolution sensors.
  • Re: Need help with chosing a DSLR Camera
    Thanks a ton Darren for taking out time to reply at length. Infact the entire idea of focussing only on Nikon or Cannon was pretty stupid and thanks for pointing out Pentax, I'l surely keep this option in mind.
    thanks a ton again.

  • Re: Need help with chosing a DSLR Camera
    Dennis thanks a lot for such a detailed reply. I'll keep all this in mind. However you have not written anything about Cannon?
    Isnt it a good camera?