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DPChallenge Forums >> Hardware and Software >> Confused: Canon or Nikon?? Which one and Model??
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10/24/2010 05:11:42 PM · #1
Hello -
I've owned 2 high-end point-n-shoot cameras, both Panasonics. I am not completely
satisfied with the performance of either (maybe the problem is me?) Most pictures seem "fuzzy" and night-time (football) pictures are impossible in Auto and even Manual Mode (including ALL variations of ISO settings).

I'm contemplating upgrading to a DSLR (Christmas is coming so I have some time to
research.) I would be very grateful for any advice from experienced users on this site. I have a few issues and a BIG QUESTION.

First is price - I am a semi-retired grandfather living on a fixed income, so this will probably be my last "big" purchase. High-end DSLR's unfortunately are not an option.

Second is subject - my pictures are primarily scenic/landscapes or wildlife. I would prefer greater and more defined detail in my photos. Also, the ability to open up a whole new area of evening/nighttime photography.

I have read so many online reviews/opinions about which DSLR is best for the price and the subject being photographed that I have become thoroughly confused. It appears the best(at least the most popular)cameras are either a Canon or Nikon, but which one IS best? I would really appreciate any help/advice you may give me
(and I realize this is advice only).

So, the BIG QUESTION: If you could buy ONLY one DSLR, including lenses (between 400 to 800 dollars), which one would it be and why?
Thanks for your help/advise.
Medinfo2000

10/24/2010 05:25:06 PM · #2
Which ever one feels right in your hands. The controls on one will feel more natural than the controls on another.

Nikon is backwards opposite to Canon when it comes to things like direction to turn the zoom or focus ring on a lens.

One may have buttons on the back and/or top of the camera but another will have those options in a menu selection.

ETA: One is not better than the other.

Message edited by author 2010-10-24 17:49:21.
10/24/2010 05:33:29 PM · #3
No doubt... Canon and 40D :)
10/24/2010 05:35:27 PM · #4
By the way, I would check the DPC images taken by either brands, and check amazon ratings. As far as I know 30D has 100% good ratings as of now. 40D is advanced version of 30D, which is an excellent camera.

If you want Nikon though, I would suggest you to check out D200 or D300.

Leo
10/24/2010 05:39:14 PM · #5
Originally posted by medinfo2000:

It appears the best(at least the most popular)cameras are either a Canon or Nikon, but which one IS best? I would really appreciate any help/advice you may give me


That depends, do you want an Apple or an Orange? Seriously though as far as brands go both are great so I wouldn't worry too much on wether the camera has Canon or Nikon written on the front. Research models from both and base it on that. As far as Canon, since that is what I am most familiar with, I really enjoy the 7D but that may be a bit high. I have heard great things on the 50D though. I would look into that and then I would look at a nice ultra wide zoom and a medium telephoto such as the 18-135. Won't get you close for wildlife but the longer lenses go up quite a bit. Maybe even look at a cheaper camera (Rebel XS or T2i) and spend more on the focal ranges you want.
10/24/2010 05:45:35 PM · #6
Here are my 2cs:

Shooting in low light benefits from a larger sensor AND large aperture lenses. Full frame sensors are great for both landscape and low light, but as you said that a high-end DSLR is not an option, this leaves the choice in the cropped sensor camp. Cropped sensors are still much better than PnS's in low light so that's not a big letdown.
A few things to have in mind:
1) Don't limit yourself in the Nikon/Canon camp. Pentax, Sony and Oly all have good DSLRs and often at lower price compared to Nikon/Canon.
2) DSLR is NOT the only option. In fact, for a former point-and-shoot user a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera is likely to be a great alternative. You get DSLR quality sensors in the body of a large compact. These include Olympus Pen, Panasonic GF1, Sony Nex 3 and Nex 5, Samsung nx100. You might want to research them.

Out of the Nikon/Canon cameras you will likely want to choose betwenn Canon 550d/t2i and Nikon d3100.
As far as lenses go, you'll probably need at least a couple in order to cover both landscape AND low light. Alternatively, a decent constant aperture (f2.8) zoom may suffice, especially if it does have vibrations reduction.
10/24/2010 10:14:17 PM · #7
Also, consider buying used. My husband got a great used camera that is almost new for half what he paid for my same one new.

Here's what I posted in the other thread about why we went with our Canon 40d (which we absolutely LOVE!!!!) I did also love our pentax and am hoping that the newer ones have a light meter through the view-finder. If so, that could be a consideration for you. (and it can come in different colors! I so want a purple camera!)...anyway, here's my other post:

Hey there,

We started with a Pentax k100d. A lot of that was for budget reasons. We already had SD cards, we liked that it used regular batteries, and we liked that it could use any pentax lenses ever made (pretty much). (We got some great deals on old lenses). What we didn't know was that there was no light meter through the view finder. Not that great, but I learned a lot about anticipating what would happen.

When we were looking to expand we went to a camera shop that had a day with all the reps from each place and we were able to play with all the different equipment. Basically we abandoned Pentax because we knew we were going to want to rent lenses and at that time no place rented out Pentax lenses. So, we played with both the Nikon and the Canon.

It boiled down to the fact that we really liked the way the Canon felt in our hands. They way the lenses played and the camera fit. We researched more after that, but still liked how it felt. My dad bought a Nikon, so I played even more with that before we bought our Canon, but that still didn't sway me to the other side. My hubby bought me a 40d for my birthday a couple of years ago. He likes it so much that he just bought a used 40d a couple months ago when we needed a second body for a workshop at Yellowstone.

Each person is different, and you need to use the equipment that you feel comfortable with.

WriteHeart
Julie
10/25/2010 01:42:10 AM · #8
Canon or Nikon, just make sure you get a 50mm f1.8. It will be around $110 from Adorama.. best hundred you will ever spend in photography.

10/25/2010 02:05:58 AM · #9
Canon people will say Canon and Nikon people will tell you Canon. Both are excellent these days. I would determine a budget (which you list)and go try to handle the ones within that range- see which feels the most comfortable to hold and use. Used will get you a lower price but the newer technology will get you the better low light sensitivity. You can ignore the number of pixels they have- that is really of little importance as far as distinguishing what is a better DSLR.
10/25/2010 02:06:01 AM · #10
Originally posted by apercep:

Canon or Nikon, just make sure you get a 50mm f1.8. It will be around $110 from Adorama.. best hundred you will ever spend in photography.

I'd disgree - the OP said that he most enjoys shooting wildlife and landscape, and the 50mm wouldn't suit either. I would suggest the Sigma 70-300 APO DG (?) for wildlife - I used to own this, and remain pretty impressed with its performance for price.
10/25/2010 05:49:34 PM · #11
Thanks to everyone for their input. These messages will give me a place to start and a lot if info to research. I knew I could count on fellow DPCer's. Thanks again.
10/25/2010 06:56:27 PM · #12
fyi, you could get a canon xs or a nikon d3000, both with a extra 75-300mm lens for about $600-650. they have been running specials for the past few months.

i have the xs bit opted for the 55-200mm.

after reading reviews i opted for the canon, but i have a friend that loves their nikon d3000.

the camera really doesn't limit my talents, which are raw... and it has taken some amazing shots.
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i dont have the need or finances to justify anything more than what have, but i do plan in a couple of years to sell the xs and upgrade to a better model, but that wont be until i feel i need some of the features of the better models.

the kit lens isnt bad. it took the above photo, but if i had to do it again, i'd opt for the body only and spend the money on lenses i wanted, of course i know what i want now.

good luck.

Message edited by author 2010-10-25 18:57:44.
10/25/2010 07:01:29 PM · #13
Originally posted by mike_311:

and it has taken some amazing shots.
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You have taken some amazing shots. That same camera in the hands of someone who doesn't know what they are doing couldn't make those shots. Van Gogh could hand me the brush that he used to do Starry Night and I couldn't come close to what he did.
10/25/2010 07:13:02 PM · #14
that's my point, the OP doesn't need to spend a tons of money on a dslr. just something that fits their needs.
10/26/2010 05:09:28 AM · #15
Originally posted by JeffryZ:

Canon people will say Canon and Nikon people will tell you Canon.

lol...
10/26/2010 05:11:12 AM · #16
Originally posted by jminso:

Van Gogh could hand me the brush that he used to do Starry Night and I couldn't come close to what he did.

Bunch of purple and blue swirls with yellow blobs on top. Not that hard really... ;-)
10/26/2010 07:42:58 AM · #17
Looked at B&H for your budget, I found this:
Canon EOS Rebel T1i Digital SLR Camera (Camera Body) $570
Canon Zoom Telephoto EF 75-300mm f/4.0-5.6 III Autofocus $160
from //www.bhphotovideo.com

I shoot sports, and generally I don't shoot at f/2.8 because the short DOF misses some of the action.
So the higher F-stop should not be an issue.

I have not used the body or lens myself, but have recommended them for photographers on a tighter budget.
Though I did buy the nifty fifty - 50mm f/1.8 - I do not recommend this lens. Noisy, slow, hard to use manually.
Perhaps I am spoiled by L glass, but I was not impressed at all. I never use it.

Definitely go to a camera store or even a pawn shop, hold the cameras in your own hands, we are all different.
Good luck, and enjoy your newest adventure! (but not your last)

I agree with JeffryZ too:
Originally posted by JeffryZ:
Canon people will say Canon and Nikon people will tell you Canon.
(Seems an obvious choice!!)
10/26/2010 08:02:34 AM · #18
I would go with the 55-250f4/5.6 IS over the 75-300mm f4/5.6 becuase the 55-250 has built in image stabilization, the 75-300 does not.

amazon has the T1i with the 18-55 kit lens and a 55-250mm IS lens.

//www.amazon.com/Canon-T1i-18-55mm-Lens-55-250mm/dp/B002V1SMVK/ref=sr_1_19?s=photo&ie=UTF8&qid=1288094039&sr=1-19

$834, pretty good deal.

I used the 55-250 IS lens when i took these:

from waaaaaaaaaaay out in left field.

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Message edited by author 2010-10-26 08:03:28.
10/26/2010 08:48:30 AM · #19
Ford or Chevy? Coke or Pepsi? Mac or Windows?

6 of one = half a dozen of the other. Both are great, just depends how user friendly each one seems to you.
10/26/2010 03:31:01 PM · #20
Originally posted by JH:

Originally posted by JeffryZ:

Canon people will say Canon and Nikon people will tell you Canon.

lol...


OOps!
10/26/2010 04:52:14 PM · #21
Does Zenit still make cameras? You can throw it at a tank and the tank will break, not the camera. :)
10/26/2010 05:09:37 PM · #22
Just to weigh in with a very different option:

The Canon S90's low light performance is pretty shockingly good, as a matter of a fact, I find nighttime street photography to be very doable, largely because the lens is f/2.0 at the wide end..

But in reality, you're asking about shooting one of the most difficult situations, namely - fast action in super low light - I've recently been exposed to the full glory of the 1D mk IV, and it's certainly a very nice camera, but I was quite surprised at how bad it performed in super low light conditions, granted, it's quite a bit better than my 50D, but nowhere near as good as I had expected..

What I'm saying is this: Even a shit-ton of money can't work miracles, so don't worry too much about the details, as either a very modern P&S (low resolution, 10mp or so), an interchangeable lens mirrorless, a 50D (or any xxD), or even a used 5D (~$1000) all will work well.. The bigger factor to consider here is if you do go with a SLR, then you'll need to carefully research the lens(es) you will want, as I've got way more money in glass than I do in bodies, and I still want more glass...
10/26/2010 05:29:23 PM · #23
Canon 40D. Hands down.
10/26/2010 09:45:34 PM · #24
Canon and 40D
10/29/2010 03:51:39 AM · #25
Originally posted by yelopq:

Canon and 40D


LOL.. You are quite knowledgeable about camera LSDR's aren't you?

Message edited by author 2010-10-29 03:51:50.
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