Old 05-24-2008, 01:02 AM   #1
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Default Good starters SLR?

Hi looking for a good SLR for a beginner going from compact to SLR. Looking from 450-800 dollars.

Thanks
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Old 05-24-2008, 01:20 AM   #2
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Rebel XT, XTi or XSi. About as easy as it gets. The field is your classroom.
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Old 05-24-2008, 01:36 AM   #3
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Or if you like Nikons....go with a D40 (6MP) or a D60 (10 MP). I have the D40x (which was replaced by the D60) and for the most part, I really like it. One key feature is that it is small and light weight. I moved up from a Nikon 5700 P&S and the size and weight increases were not that large. For the $800, you could get one of these small Nikons and the 18-55mm and 55-200mm VR lenses.

Just my $.02.
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Old 05-24-2008, 01:39 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimThias
Rebel XT, XTi or XSi. About as easy as it gets. The field is your classroom.

Heard good about Canon, but not liking its reputaton for high ISO noise. Thanks though
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Old 05-24-2008, 01:41 AM   #5
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Nikon and Canon are the only brands I would choose......As Jim mentioned the new XSi (12mp) is a very nice cam as so the new Nikon D60(10mp) both are in the $800 ish range. While the XT(8mp) XTi(10mp) and the D40(6mp) or D40x(10mp) are in the $450+ range. Any of these will do very well for your starting out. Im personally not the Ford vs Chevy, Nikon vs Canon guy, because I like both(well...maybe not chevy's no offense if you own one) but it just depends on your personal preference.

Not saying buy one from Ritz Camera (though they helped me a lot) you can try out just about every slr avalible and there replacement plans are great.....anything and I mean anything that happens to your camera even if its your fault they will replace it for free.

I personally would avoid other brands such as Olympus and off brand lenses such as Quantaray. Pentax(the only thing i would own besides my nikon or a canon) also makes good slr's but there pretty expensive....and the entry level pentax has low megapixels like the D40 6mp....just depends on how much you need to crop a photo really.

Hope I was of some help.
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Old 05-24-2008, 01:56 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by River Rails Photography
Heard good about Canon, but not liking its reputaton for high ISO noise. Thanks though
You are kidding, right?
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Old 05-24-2008, 01:59 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by River Rails Photography
Heard good about Canon, but not liking its reputaton for high ISO noise. Thanks though
Youre always going to have noise at high ISO...heck I even have it on my $1200 D80...with noise reduction turned on. You shouldnt really have to go over ISO 400 when it comes to train photography though.
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Old 05-24-2008, 02:32 AM   #8
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I picked up the Nikon D60 a few months ago and I love it. It's light weight, easy to use, and is pretty rugged.
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Old 05-24-2008, 02:34 AM   #9
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Don't get a D40 or D40x. I hate the buggers. Get a Nikon D60 as mentioned or something from the Canon rebel line.
As for ISO...the person who said Canon has a reputation for bad noise is on crack. It has the best high ISO performance, Nikon being second. In the recent Nikon D300 and D3, however, they've put a lot of software noise reduction, so they look great. The main point of debate on that is whether it looks better than a Canon shot that's been noise reduced.
Anyways, don't worry about that. Either a Canon or Nikon will do great for railroad photography.
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Old 05-24-2008, 03:12 AM   #10
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Don't forget about Pentax! They make very good cameras, and they're less expensive than Canon or Nikon in order to stay competitive. I have the K100D, but I've also heard good things about the K10D, and recently have come out with the K20D and K200D, though I don't know too much about them. These also have built-in image stabilizer for all lenses, which has helped me out immensely in low light situations, allowing me to shoot at lower ISOs in low light situations.
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Old 05-24-2008, 03:13 AM   #11
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I'l give a few examples of ISO in Nikon....most of the time its just fine grain and easily removed with Photoshop Lightroom

ISO 400...on a half sunny evening....I need image stabilization I know was some noise but not a lot.

Image © Wayne Stumbo
PhotoID: 235848
Photograph © Wayne Stumbo



Just a Few in ISO 200

Image © Wayne Stumbo
PhotoID: 236471
Photograph © Wayne Stumbo


Image © Wayne Stumbo
PhotoID: 234947
Photograph © Wayne Stumbo


Image © Wayne Stumbo
PhotoID: 231095
Photograph © Wayne Stumbo


I have noticed noise in darker areas of the photo not so much in the places in the picture where theres light....ive also noticed haze and heat distortion adds to noise with my camera for some reason.
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Old 05-24-2008, 03:19 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slopes09
Don't forget about Pentax! They make very good cameras, and they're less expensive than Canon or Nikon
I must have been thinking of the K20D then. I have an old Pentax K1000 film SLR with a 70-200 lens....it doesnt take very good pictures but its older than me and still works.
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Old 05-24-2008, 03:24 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by River Rails Photography
Heard good about Canon, but not liking its reputaton for high ISO noise. Thanks though
I have used the Rebel XT since March 2005 and have no complaints with it. I like it so well that I just ordered the XSI version yesterday. I think starting out the Canon Rebel series is great for both the beginner & seasoned photographer.
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Old 05-24-2008, 03:26 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by River Rails Photography
Heard good about Canon, but not liking its reputaton for high ISO noise. Thanks though
Yeah, every entry-level dSLR is going to have noise at high ISO (>800). I've never had to shoot anything rail-related >ISO 800. Here's an excerpt from dpreview on the new Canon XSi:

Quote:
Trademark Canon CMOS noise free images, remain detailed even at high sensitivities
and
Quote:
The new sensor is superb, and from a resolution point of view puts the EOS 40D to shame without losing any of the high ISO performance that has been Canon's trump card for so long.
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/CanonEOS450D/page34.asp

So, not sure what reputation you're talking about...
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Old 05-24-2008, 11:38 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRMDC
You are kidding, right?

YEs, I obviously was lol, hence the wink. My Father owned a rebel film for 5 ( hes still on film) they take nice pics
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Old 05-24-2008, 11:40 AM   #16
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And, also, i am looking at a different camera ow. Im currently thinking about the Sony Alpha A350 for about 700 on b&h. its sounding nice
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Old 05-24-2008, 12:36 PM   #17
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Nikon and Canon, both are great companies making great cameras. Go with what suits you. The best advice I can give you is to go to a camera store and talk to someone there, feel the various cameras in your hands. Take 'em for a test drive standing right there. Even if you plan to buy on-line.


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Old 05-24-2008, 12:42 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by River Rails Photography
Heard good about Canon, but not liking its reputaton for high ISO noise.
All but the D300 +D3 Nikons have more noise than Canons, Don't worry about it all good at 200 ISO's Buy what works for you. In fact IF your looking at cheaply getting in to one the Canon XSI can't be beat. But Nikons are good to. look at the lens, the one you want a Nikon, can you afford paying 100+ just to have the Nikon name on it? They both have junky glass out there, Made cheep for the PnS guys that wont blow them up or care.
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Old 05-24-2008, 06:03 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Watain
I must have been thinking of the K20D then. I have an old Pentax K1000 film SLR with a 70-200 lens....it doesnt take very good pictures but its older than me and still works.
I hope it's not the same 70-200 I had! What a load of junk...
Pentax is doing really well with the new digital Ks, I wouldn't mind having one of those! While in-body IS is not my thing, if you don't want to scrape out an few hundred dollars extra on a lens for IS, it's really handy.
Lens selection is the main reason I went down the Canon line.
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Old 05-24-2008, 08:48 PM   #20
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Default Why I chose Nikon

Quote:
Originally Posted by River Rails Photography
And, also, i am looking at a different camera ow. Im currently thinking about the Sony Alpha A350 for about 700 on b&h. its sounding nice
I believe a Canon or a Nikon would be your best bet for trains, I saw an online reveiw about the XTi vs the D80 vs the Sony A100. The sony A100(although not the A350) Did the worst overall, the XTi had the best High ISO noise preformance, The Nikon has an Optomize Image feature where you can customize sharpness, saturation etc. I believe they also mentioned something about the scene mode settings being the easist to use on the D80, and the images being sharper or more vivid or something like that.

Thought IMHO its all about personal preference. I just liked the way my Nikon felt, just felt more solid bigger and better built than the Rebel. I enjoy the image quality the optomize image settings leaves less to be done in Photoshop. The only thing I dont like about it is the lens thats on it.(no image stabilization).....so thats why you save up for better glass like the 70-300 Nikkor VR lens.


[quote=I hope it's not the same 70-200 I had! What a load of junk[/QUOTE]

Not shure if it is, its made by Takumara or something.....no lens creep here more like lens ring flies back and makes a loud slap sound. So yeah it is a piece of junk.

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Old 05-24-2008, 11:37 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Watain
You shouldnt really have to go over ISO 400 when it comes to train photography though.
ISO 800 on this one:




By the way, that's a new paint job. It USED to look like this:

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Old 05-25-2008, 03:19 AM   #22
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I guess it just really depends on lighting. I never use over 400 ISO but thats just me.
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Old 05-25-2008, 02:04 PM   #23
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Thanks for the help everyone! I think I might go with this one
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Old 05-25-2008, 02:18 PM   #24
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Nice. I was in CostCo recently and was surprised by the price difference between the Canon XTi and 18-55 IS and 55-250 IS (I think) for $1050 or so and the Nikon D60 with 18-55 VR and 55-200 VR for $875 (also online). I've had the feeling for a while that Canon is not responding competitively in price; I wonder how long they can continue to do that.

BTW, I see that CostCo online is selling the Canon 40D for under $1000!

EDIT: never mind on the last. B&H has it for $940, same $200 instant rebate. I guess there is a promotion going on. Still, that is a tempting price. But I'm happy with my 20D.
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Old 05-25-2008, 10:30 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by River Rails Photography
Thanks for the help everyone! I think I might go with this one
Thats a good deal and a great camera. The body by itself on my cam is like $729....so you will be getting a good deal for that. You should already start saving for better glass.
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