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  1. #1
    Veteran Member gsganzer's Avatar
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    Default DSLR camera recommendations

    My wife is showing interest in photography and is interested in getting a DSLR camera. Any one have any experience and can recommend a camera? I've had some folk recommend a Canon T3i, Sony A37 or a Nikon D90

    I don't know enough about them to make an intelligent decision.
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: DSLR camera recommendations

    I'm partial to Nikons due to their durability. Not familiar with the D90 but the D5100 is a good entry level DSLR. The D3100 is ok too but has less features. There are comparison charts that you can access from a google search - just search for "Nikon D5100 compared to a ......" and you can get a chart of features. The T3i is a decent camera - my son has one and is happy with it but I like the Nikon better. I know it is subjective but it feels more comfortable. My favorite camera of all time was my old Nikon F (35mm) that I bought in 1970 and used for 20 years while in the military and 10 years as a contractor. I sold it to a journalist from NY for more than I paid for it in 2001. Probably belongs in a museum now but I kinda wish I had it back.

  3. #3
    Veteran Member troutsqueezer's Avatar
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    Default Re: DSLR camera recommendations

    Most tractor drivers are going to be partial to the camera they own, or have owned. DSLR's (or SLT's) are many and varied. What is suitable for me may not be the one for you. For something like this, it is best to research on-line using websites that have good reputations. I'm sure there are folks here who are knowledgeable but none have the time and resources to put together something that will give you a comprehensive picture of what is out there. One of the best sites can be found here: Digital Photography Review

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  4. #4
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    Default Re: DSLR camera recommendations

    I've been involved in photography for 40 years. I have a Canon G11, Nikon D50 and Nikon D7000. I have Minolta film cameras. Of course Sony bought them out and I wasn't sure if they would continue with the camera line, so I switched. Canon and Nikon are the standard. Of course DSLR's are expensive, much more so than film cameras. Until she really knows what she wants to do, I would suggest something like the Canon G11 (G12 now). You can easily get $3000 or more invested in DSLR's real quickly. Don't get hung up on megapixles that much, especially starting out. Anything over 10 MP is fine. The size of the sensor is actually more important, but I won't get too deep. Get a camera with a viewfinder like the G11 or 12 and let her experiment. If she really gets into it, then she will have a better feel of what DSLR she will want. She may want to pick up a film SLR to practice with also, since they are so cheap now, just to get a better feel of how an SLR works and what can be done with it. If she only wants point and shoot, a G12 type camera is more than enough. Good luck.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: DSLR camera recommendations

    Focus on a good camera body, put your money in lenses. (no pun intended)

    We have always had Nikons. We still have our 10 year old ++ (original battery) Nikon D50. Last I checked over 20k pictures went through it.

    A good camera I am not afraid to drop or go missing. Easy for everyone to use. I think it is classified below their professional series.

  6. #6
    Veteran Member Mickey_Fx's Avatar
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    Default Re: DSLR camera recommendations

    What kind of experience and camera does your wife have? Does she think this is going to be a long term interest? Hate to see someone spend the BIG $$$ and find out a couple yrs down the road this hobby is not what they thought.

    If your wife is moving out of the point and shoot stage and wanting something that offers a lot more, one possibility it to look at a cross-over, bridge models. These have most of the features you'll find on a DSLR but they don't have interchangeable lens. They can be had for a few hundred $ so if the interest doesn't last, you're not out the >$1k plus for decent lenses. Also gives the wife time to refine what she wants in a better camera.

    I know where my interest are and have found these bridge models fills the bill for me. My current camera has useable features my sister's DSLR camera doesn't have such as electronic level.
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  7. #7
    Super Member houstonscott's Avatar
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    Default Re: DSLR camera recommendations

    Before you buy explore the new 4/3 camera's. The olympus penn leads in this area and is the new cutting edge stuff in camera's. If you travel and size and weight are important, these 4/3 camera's you might find blow away a big heavy SLR's and are replacing them in many cases. Look at these hard before you buy an SLR.

    HS

  8. #8
    Super Star Member TripleR's Avatar
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    Default Re: DSLR camera recommendations

    Agree with Mickey_fx, my daughter uses a high end Canon as she uses it on several projects and my son uses one just below it for his college projects. I use a Canon EOS as it works well and I don't do a lot of specialized stuff though I have quite a few options. You can spend a boat load of money on these things when a cheaper model will meet your needs.

  9. #9
    Gold Member SLHawkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: DSLR camera recommendations

    Definitely go online and research what fits your desires/requirements. The difference between megapixels within a camera range are minimal. I am very pleased with both my Nikon CoolPix D7100(~$500; though, I recommend going with the D7700 due to the rotating flip screen) and my recently purchased Nikon D5100 (~$900 bundled with case and telephoto lens from best buy). The D7100 is my 'compact' camera when I am on the go and working in the field around the farm. It has the scene settings and effects, as well as, video capability. It has setting for Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, or completely manual. The D5100 is for when I want to do more deliberate/sophisticated photography. It has a few more scene and effects settings. Neither camera is complex. But, you must read and practice to become proficient with it. Talk to any experienced photographer and they will all tell you-if you want to get better, take more pictures. Plus, you can find all sorts of tips and tutorials on youtube. The lens cover is a little weak on the D7100. However, Nikon did cover the repair under warranty. hopefully, the improved it on the D7700. If you have any specific questions, drop me a note-Hawk
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: DSLR camera recommendations

    Some very good advice so far.

    For very good Nikon reviews and advice, Thom Hogan's Nikon Camera, DSLR, Lens, Flash, and Book site. Hogan really likes the 4/3 cameras.

    What camera to buy, like buying tractor, depends on the usage. DSLRs are computers to which lenses are attached. Lens technology moves at a very slow pace compared to DLSRs. DSLR's are adding functionality at a rapid rate while lenses pretty much stay the same. I have lenses from SLR's I bought in the early 90s that I am still using on my D800. I bought a new zoom lens a few years ago which covered the range on a prime lens I owned. I think I payed $700 for the prime lense in the mid/late 90's and I used it as a trade in for the D800 DSLR. I think I cut about $450 for it as a trade in. I might have gotten more selling on Craigslist. About the time I bought that $700 lens I bought a F100 SLR. I think I paid $1200 for the F100, but when I sold it, I got $200. I should have sold it much sooner since I would have gotten more money for it.

    I just sold a D700 that was three years old to buy the D800. I think I got about $1500 for the D700 but I believe I paid $2,500 for the camera when new.

    Cameras will drop in price/value very quickly. The value on a lens, especially pro quality lenses, drop very slowly.

    I don't like Canon. They burned me and my father years ago which is why I used Nikon today. If I had bought Nikon back in the 80's, I would still be using the lenses I bought back then on today's DLSRs. However, other people will swear at Nikon like I swear at Canon.

    Nikon released some less expensive F/4.0 lenses that seem to be pretty good if a F/2.8 lens is not needed. Canon had/has a better F/4.0 set of lenses compared to Nikon.

    I only have two zoom lenses and three primes. Primes are light and cheap compared to zoom lenses. It used to be that primes also provided much better image quality but on today's top of the line zoom lenses I don't think that is always true anymore. Over the holiday, I used all of my lenses except one AND I used a rental lens. Two of those lenses I bought back in the mid 90s to use on an SLR. Depending on your wifey's needs I would seriously look at prime lenses. They are much cheaper, lighter and provide excellent image quality.

    You might also want to consider renting, LensRentals.com - Rent Lenses and Cameras from Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Sony, Leica, and more. I have used this company a couple of times this year and they have impressed me. You rent the equipment, I always buy the insurance, and they ship it to you with a return label. You use the equipment and when done, box the equipment back in the box, slap on the label and drop the box off at the shipping company. Pretty danged easy.

    Besides a camera and lens, you need to consider photo processing software. When I first moved to digital, my photos were ok. No worse than film. When I FINALLY figured out to use my photo software, I was very happy. Which image processing software to use, causes bigger "fights" than Canon vs Nikon or Green vs Blue vs Red tractor colors. I use Nikon Capture NX 2. It does what I want it to do for the most part but it has not had a major upgrade in years. People are worried that Nikon will not provide an update but who knows. Nikon has always been and still is very secretive about future products. The lens I have been renting is very long in the tooth and it is shocking that the lens has not be upgraded. I searched some photo websites and people were swearing that the lens would finally be updated in by Christmas. Christmas of 2009! Rumors this year were the lens would be updated by XMAS 2012. Still no lens.

    Anywho, which image software you use is important too. Photo editing can make or break an image.

    Image quality on even SmartPhones is pretty danged good if the equipment is used within reason. What camera to buy really depends on what problem is being solved. I worked on a photo project last spring and one of the best images was taken with a very cheap consumer all in one camera/lens. The lady was in the right place at the right time.

    What does the wifey want to do with the camera?

    Later,
    Dan

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