So, it's time...

Discussion in 'Reality Check' started by Shaylou, Feb 23, 2009.

  1. Shaylou

    Shaylou
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    I've been wanting a SLR for years now, but just won a trip to Iceland (work incentive contest) so my wonderful husband informed me that I HAD to have the SLR before I go (in about 6 weeks).

    I know there are two general camps on this forum, Nikon and Canon. My brother has always sworn by Canon but I am open to Nikon (though Tanya's switchover made me wonder about Nikon's quality).

    Any suggestions on a good starter camera? Are the package deals I see at FS and BB reasonable ways to start down this path? I know that I can continue to add to the collection of lens, flashes, PWs etc over time (as I did with my old film SLR), so I am just looking for a good camera and lens combo to start with. It will be used for travel, and possibly portrait work as well in the future.

    I know that this is a pretty general question but I have read so many reviews online that my brain is melting! :confused: HELP!
     
  2. SheOfManyChildren

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    Go to a store. Hold them both. Choose one.

    :lol: Seriously though.
     
  3. pcphotos

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    what she said.

    Plenty of people switch teams everyday.
     
  4. Shaylou

    Shaylou
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    Yeah, I know, I know. :lol:
     
  5. Gordon S.

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    You mention you had an SLR previously so this may not apply so much, but I can't stress it enough, especially for a once in a lifetime trip, SPEND TIME WITH THE CAMERA FIRST.

    When I bought my first DSLR it was the day before a trip to Calgary where I spent a bunch of time hiking in the Rockies. I had no idea what I was doing with the camera (not that I do now :) ) and the pictures were TERRIBLE. There's a steep learning curve to DSLRs, even ones with good automatic modes. You'll want to be comfortable with it at at least a basic level (Understanding the basics of exposure, shutter speeds and aperture) before you go.
     
  6. C. Mike Hunt

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    If you go the Nikon route, avoid FS/BB - Nikon's website doesn't list them as authorized dealers and you might have warranty issues. http://nikon.ca/en/GreyMarket.aspx

    You can find package deals that are just as good at Carsand/APS/Blacks.
     
  7. Cheddar

    Red is the New Green

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    If you are not going to buy from a specialty shop, save yourself money and aggravation and check out costco. Buy it now, decide in 11 months that its not for you, and they take it back, no hassles.
     
  8. Shaylou

    Shaylou
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    Thanks for the tips. I do want to get one sooner than later, so I can have lots of time to get comfortable with the controls, settings etc. before my trip. It would suck to be trying to figure out stuff on the fly and miss the one-in-my-lifetime chance for decent photos of Iceland.
     
  9. nb132

    Drunk Batman hates you

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    When do you leave? A year or so? A once in a lifetime chance gone wrong due to last minute'ish' purchase of a dslr could be catastrophic.
     
  10. SheOfManyChildren

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  11. nb132

    Drunk Batman hates you

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    fffffffffffffffffffffffffuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu shields.

    oh, wow...6 weeks...well....get something like YESTERDAY and shoot pretty much constantly from now till then.
     
  12. HatMan

    Pentaxian Extraordinaire

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    Personally, I think you'd be doing yourself an injustice if you didn't at least look at a Pentax K200D or K2000D. The K200D is 10.2 MP and can be had with a couple of kit lenses for under $800. The K2000D is also 10.2 MP but isn't weather sealed and comes in a kit with a flash and lens for about $600.

    If you have the money to spend, but a K20D. The kit sells for around $1200, but it's best in class at 14.6MP and has features that friends with 1D MkIIIs and 40/50Ds stop and say, "really?"

    I could go on and on, but I'll let the Canon / Nikon folks beat me to a pulp now for even suggesting an alternative... ;)

    Oh, and I wouldn't buy anything until the third week of March when the new Henry's store opens in Bayers Lake. Expect some big grand opening specials...

    BTW, you mentioned your old SLR. What was it? You may be able to re-use some of your classic glass...

    Good luck with your choice.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2009
  13. Ryan

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  14. HatMan

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    Thanks for the compare Ryan. Never thought to do that...

    A couple of little things that I've grown to really enjoy with my K20D are:

    1. The built in shake reduction - every lens is IS
    2. Ability to colour calibrate the LCD
    3. Built-in Sensor Dust Mapping
    4. Built-in Wireless Flash Control
    5. Extensive Weather sealing
    6. "Catch In Focus" function
    7. In-Camera DNG RAW format (no conversion required)
    8. 30,000,000 lenses available from original K mount up to current KAF2 Ultrasonic

    What I don't like... I'll be honest...
    1. Local support - but I think Henry's will help change that
    2. Speed. Although it's great most of the time, I'd like more than 3 fps

    Sorry... That's all I can think of. Although I really like the feel, some think it's a bit heavy with the battery grip, but according to DP Review, it's actually 22g lighter than the 50D.

    Anyway, give one a try. At least it will give you a fair alternative. And ask someone who isn't getting paid commission. Since the K20D is much less than some of the competition - hence lower commissions to the sales person.
     
  15. Shaylou

    Shaylou
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    I am a fast learner :kekeke:

    Thanks for the suggestion--the first film SLR I used was a Pentax. Not so sure I can wait till Henry's opens though, cause that wouldn't give me much time to learn (fast learner or not!).

    My old film SLR was a Minolta, so I suspect I am SOL on reusing any of those lens. Maybe the old flash though...
     
  16. Cheddar

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    I believe the Sony DSLRs will accept Minolta lenses or so I've heard.
     
  17. Cracker

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    You are correct!

    HatMan: Pentax is almost on par with Nikon for "commission" through the companies not the employers. Canon doesn't offer any at all.
     
  18. nb132

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    That's because canon cameras sell themselves, they don't need to offer incentives to retail companies to move units. :rofl:
     
  19. grahamr

    GrahamR :D

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    costco's policy is now 90 days on cameras, just as a quick FYI. :)
     
  20. HatMan

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    Did not know that. I also just found out that there is a Pentax rep here in NS! Gonna have to find him... :)
     
  21. Cracker

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    Will PM you his name. He is absolutly awesome! He is a Sigma rep as well.
     
  22. HatMan

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    As stated, I believe this is mostly correct. Sony bought Minolta a few years ago and changed the camera brand to Sony. Unfortunately - and I say unfortunately because they do have good quality and features - Sony likes things to not be outward compatible, so things like Pocket Wizards and many other accessories won't work with them. The IQ from the A900 is outstanding.

    I know Canon bodies can be fussy about which lens families work with different models. I don't want to pretend I know, but if you stick to the pro line "L" lenses, I think they are compatible with most of the current bodies.

    I can pick up a $30 adapter and use a 50 year old thread mount manual lens and use it on any of my three Pentax bodies. It was the main reason I went that way. I still carry a K1000 manual film camera and my 70-200 f2.8 will work - albeit in purely manual mode.
     
  23. Shaylou

    Shaylou
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    I've done a little searching today on this as well, and it looks promising. Now to haul out the old camera bag tonight and take a look at my lens (it's been ages since I picked up the old SLR). I know that they are manual lenses but if I can get more mileage out of them so much the better.

    Thanks for the tips, I wasn't really paying attention to Pentax or Sony since Canon and Nikon get so much press!
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2009
  24. HatMan

    Pentaxian Extraordinaire

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    Just happy to have an opinion - just ask the missus! ;)

    I also like going for the underdog and having a different opinion that the majority. I also don't want to get dragged into the neverending Canon/Nikon debate.

    Make sure you let us know what you decide on!
     
  25. C. Mike Hunt

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    Umm...yeah...OK...

    Last time I checked Nikon didn't need Avril Lavigne to sell cameras. :D
     
  26. Cracker

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    No, they have Ashton Kutcher.... Soooo much better!:hsugh::p
     
  27. Shaylou

    Shaylou
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    Tomorrow's my "shopping" day :eek3:

    I played around with a friend's Xsi this weekend, but am going to do what Tanya said and go to the store, hold them all (well, at least the ones in my price range!) and see which one feels best!
     
  28. Arod

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    ZING!
     
  29. Shaylou

    Shaylou
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    Picked up a Pentax K200D kit this weekend--thanks Mike for the suggestions on Pentax. I really like the feel of the camera and its features, especially the in body IS and the weather sealing :)

    Now to figure it all out. My poor husband knows he's not gonna see me much these next few weeks (unless I have the camera stuck to my eyeball). I will post some shots when I have time.

    Thanks for all the help, I really appreciate it.
     
  30. HatMan

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    And another one for the dark side! ;)

    Welcome to another new Pentaxian.

    Of all the great choices out there, I'm sure you'll be happy with the K200D. It's basically the same camera as my K10D (which is now my backup) with a few small tweaks.

    When you get back from your trip, make sure you check out the new Henry's in Bayers Lake. I have it on good authority that they have a wonderful used equipment section and there's lots of Pentax gear available reasonably priced.

    If I can help with anything on the camera, let me know. Once you get comfortable with all the functions, you're going to fall in love with the "Green Button"...
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2009
  31. SheOfManyChildren

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    Mike, any word if Henry's is going to be taking trade-ins? I would assume so?
     
  32. Shaylou

    Shaylou
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    Thanks--I was always a bit of a maverick, my brother will no doubt be dismayed that I didn't go with Canon but I am excited to be on the dark side :kekeke:

    I wanted to wait till Henry's opened but felt it would not give me enough time to get comfortable with the camera. I will definitely check out the used gear eventually.

    I appreciate the offer of help, I am sure I will take you up on it.
     
  33. HatMan

    Pentaxian Extraordinaire

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    I would assume so, but I'll see if I can find out for you.

    BTW, the "unofficial" soft opening in Bayers Lake is March 23rd... ;)
     
  34. HatMan

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    I think their opening would be a little too close to your vacation... :( but you've got a couple of weeks to get over the newness. You should also get to know the guys at the Camera Repair Center on Hunter St (off Cunard near the Conservatory of Music) as they are both Pentaxians and he usually has some used gear available for sale too. They had a 100mm MF macro lens today for $200 but I don't shoot enough macro photography to make it worth my while.

    My only suggestion would be to make sure you grab an extra set of Eneloop batteries, a travel charger and memory cards! I could get about 1200-1400 shots from my K100D with the 4-AA batteries outdoors. Indoors with flash, they should still be good for hundreds of images.

    Looking forward to seeing some of your images!
     
  35. SheOfManyChildren

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    Does the Cmaera Repair Center only have Pentax stuff for sale?
     

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