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looking to buy a new camera SLR

Discussion in 'Riders with Cameras' started by steampunk, May 22, 2011.

  1. supamodel
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    supamodel Secret Aaaaaagent Man Staff Member Moderator Supporter

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    The 18-55 sells ok on the used market, as does the 55-200. Makes the changeover to an 18-200 not so bad :).

    But I know the feeling of pain about the lens prices. I bought an oldschool push-pull 80-200/2.8 last week, time for some sweet portraits (and pre-focussed bike stuff. It focusses painfully slow - even more so if you don't use the 4 focus limit positions and let it rack the entire range). I couldn't justify $1.5k for a used 70-200VR ($2k new) or $3k for a new 70-200VRII.
     
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  2. Jdeks
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    Jdeks Gone into the West

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    Agreed 100% - the Nikon one really is an exception.
     
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  3. Peanut
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    Peanut Member

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    Why? It's the best way to leave stuff you can worry about later till later... When has cropping ever done harm?
     
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  4. Lurch
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    Lurch Capt. Sense of Direction Administrator

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    Pentax... Shake Reduction + Autofocus drive in body = cheaper lenses.
     
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  5. Skratchy
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    Skratchy Member

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    Lurch, I do believe that no-one is paying any attention to you. You haven't said the magic words "Nikon" or "Canon".

    Yes the pro's might use those cameras, but is that because of the availability of parts? Does it really have that much to do with quality difference?

    If you aren't a pro, but want a decent camera, look around at all brands, and look for good deals. My KM 5D Dynax was $400 with an 18-70mm and 75-300mm twin lens kit. Second hand, and virtually brand new. Brilliant camera, and the first with in body shake reduction. The auto focus is in the body too. Makes the body more solid/heavier, but more stable IMHO.

    So yeh, just look around at other brands as well.
     
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  6. supamodel
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    supamodel Secret Aaaaaagent Man Staff Member Moderator Supporter

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    Ok, I'll bite. Body shake reduction isn't as effective at anti-shake as in the lens. I want focus drive in the body to work with the older, cheaper primes etc that I have bought, but not solely rely on it. In-lens focus is very nice, too. Quiet on my macro, for instance, is brilliant at not shitting off bugs. An older (in-body) driven 105 macro tends to annoy the crap out of bugs.

    I might have gone Pentax or another brand if I was starting today... maybe. But what I like is brilliant flash metering (I fkn hate having to think about shit which is unrelated to the shot I want to get), wireless flash out of the box (which I've had since 2004, with my D70), brilliant macro (and I don't mind paying for a professional macro lens - it's been worth it, though mine was a present. But I'd have bought it anyway). Last but not least, I did want compatibility with all my lenses I had.

    I own, oh, one of those lenses now. I sold the rest and bought other ones.

    Finally, I happen to think a D80+18-200VR is a pretty fkn decent all-round kit for a second-hand body and a new awesome lens which is going to compliment any (DX) body bought to replace the D80 in the future.

    It's all personal preferences. I can snap good shots with the $90 P&S MIZ bought and it's a great camera. Composition, and shooting what suits whatever lens you have etc is the key. Gear is secondary. But I am coming from the perspective here of someone who can comment on the gear Steampunk has been looking at getting second-hand. And, IMHO, if looking at Nikon stuff, and if one is happy with how Nikon menus and controls are laid out(1), I would look for a D90 body if I could find one cheap, or a D80 body, and an 18-200VR. It is, IMHO, the perfect solution to meet steampunk's budget and would be a brilliant system that would allow him to grow and branch out later. Work out what shots he wants: if more is done on the lower end, get an UWA to suit. If more is done in the middle, look at at least one equivalent focal length prime which is faster and shaper. If more is done at the tele end, then decide on a budget and look for a more uber lens to suit that length.

    (1) A tool which gets out of the way of the user is pretty much the perfect tool. It's used to get a job done; getting out of the way makes getting that job done easier. Some things work better for some people than others.

    EDIT: I would also add that lens price isn't something I worry too much about. Some of my Nikon lenses have been expensive but they'd sell second-hand for about what I paid for them second-hand. I just wait for the right lens to come up at the right price.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2011
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  7. Someguy
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    Someguy Super Elite Awesome Member Supporter

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    I prefer the 15-85mm (24-135ish on an APS-C sensor) focal length. I've never really had need to shoot longer than that on a crop body, but I have found the extra 3mm at the wide end very useful. I haven't used the Nikon 18-200 but the general consensus is that it's a pretty good lens.

    And as Super said, anti-shake on the camera body is not as effective as the lens based systems.
     
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  8. supamodel
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    supamodel Secret Aaaaaagent Man Staff Member Moderator Supporter

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    My shots with my 18-200 cluster in 3 spots:
    18-35: landscapey stuff, portraits by other people borrowing my camera/space constrained portraits.
    50-80: my worklog shots, portraits I take when I have room to step back (throws the background out a bit more), 'stuff' where I like a bit of a shorter perspective
    150-200: bike shots, e.g. some I'll bother to put up later of the TGR boys at Wakefield.

    This is all predicated on APS-C, btw.

    If I have time:
    * landscapes are better with my 12-24 (generally 12-15 ish)
    portraits are better with:
    * 30 (torso or full body)
    * 50 (torso to head shots)
    * 85ish (head shots - farther background)
    * 105 (head shots - closer background so need a bit more length to help throw the bg out of focus more)
    * 130 ultra headshots FLAWLESS VICTORY HEADSHOTS

    and action shots should be better with the 80-200, as long as I bear in mind focal speed (it's glacial. newer ones aren't).

    all that lens swapping malarkey does get annoying, so the 18-200 does do for most things :).
     
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  9. Lurch
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    Lurch Capt. Sense of Direction Administrator

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    *shrug*
    I shot the whole shoot on Thursday night at 1/3 sec hand held
     
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  10. supamodel
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    supamodel Secret Aaaaaagent Man Staff Member Moderator Supporter

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    I'm not saying it doesn't work. It also isn't enough of a killer feature to make me think it is the thing to have, either.
     
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  11. Peanut
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    Peanut Member

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    Get a second cheap/backup body and carry two if you're in gold photo territory - makes life infinitely better. And less swapping of lenses means less sensor dust on long trips ;)
     
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  12. supamodel
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    supamodel Secret Aaaaaagent Man Staff Member Moderator Supporter

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    I still use my D70 for that reason. Well, two reasons: 1/500 real actual flash sync is neato, and, as a backup. It's a good macro body.

    and after talking about lens swapping malarkey, I do tend to stick to a focal length. If I have the 50 on, I'll shoot stuff that suits that. If I have a 12-24 on, I'll shoot stuff that suits that, etc.

    sensor dust: a ghetto man's way of adding 'texture' to a picture prior to post-processing.
     
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  13. romanocan
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    romanocan New Member

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    What I would advise you to do first is to find a shop where you can hold and test different models and brands of cameras (there are only 2 places in the world I was able to do so: B&H in New York or most of electronic shops in Japan…). Bring your own memory card and take some pictures so you can have a look at them on your computer at home. If the shop does not agree with that, it means they’re not worth getting your money.
    But don’t forget: a good camera is a camera you use, carry with you everywhere you go (that includes on the bike) and enjoy using. If you buy the top of the line camera with the most expensive lens and just leave it at home because you’re afraid someone might steal it or you might drop it, then it is just a useless piece of equipment.
    Unless you’re a pixel pepping maniac who find more enjoyment in blowing up photos at 300% on his monitor than going out and just take pictures, don’t worry too much about megapixels and other technical details. Pictures you’ll get out of today’s cameras will look great, whatever brand you choose. Anyway there will always be a trade-off. And do look outside the Canon/Nikon brands, there are some fantastic cameras out there. If you are also keen on video, check Panasonic. Their latest models are amazing. If you’re into smaller and lighter cameras, micro 4/3 (Panasonic/Olympus) is well worth a look. Pentax also. Avoid Sony by all means (I guess too many bad experiences as their stuff seems to be equipped with a timer. The day the warranty is over you can be sure it will break down).
     
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  14. romanocan
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    romanocan New Member

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    One more thing: if you shop online, B&H is the MECCA for all professional photographers. On their website they have helpful review posted by users. Adorama is very good also. If you’re on the market for a second hand camera/lens, try keh.com. They are one of the biggest second hand dealers on-line. I found their ratings to be quite conservative. Good luck, it’s a jungle out there ;)
     
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  15. Peanut
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    Peanut Member

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    Not that it helps, but Best Buy in the US lets you do that as well - except their stuff is usually broken while B&H have all their demo models in good shape... I think it's because there aren't many unsupervised kids messing with stuff at B&H... I once saw a 6 year old or so take the lens off a top end SLR and start playing with the mirror with his fingers in Best Buy...
     
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  16. steampunk
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    steampunk Member

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    proably gonna go with a nikon d7000 with 18-200mm lense if jb will match georges in sydney ($2460) and add on a 5 year warranty for $250. then just need a filter two 16 gb sd cards and possibly a spare battery and I'll be very poor again. XD
     
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  17. Peanut
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    Peanut Member

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    That's a good lens - a mate of mine rode a bike from china to london and that was the only one he took. Versatile!
    Think hard about extended warranties, especially now that the ACL has come into force: http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/06/07/3238030.htm
     
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  18. Lurch
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    Lurch Capt. Sense of Direction Administrator

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    Get a K-5 - you know you want to :p
    hehe
     
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  19. supamodel
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    supamodel Secret Aaaaaagent Man Staff Member Moderator Supporter

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    The 18-200 is pretty much all I take on work trips. As I mentioned in other posts in this thread, most superzooms suck but it is actually a very, very superb lens. I often supplement it when I have the ability, but, if I had to have one lens - it would be it.
     
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  20. Lurch
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    Lurch Capt. Sense of Direction Administrator

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