bazcaz wrote:Hi guys, I am in the market for a new DSLR camera $1000.00 max, I used to have a Canon SLR camera (film) and about 5yrs ago switch to a Kodak digital camera, the Kodak is ok for general use , but I really miss the WYSIWYG, especially for portrait expression photos etc.
I have browsed this forum and many links looking at reviews, but to be honest am more confused than ever over which is the best, yep I know is down to personal preferences, Size/Zoom/Make/Lens quality. the list goes on, what I am asking I suppose is a recommendation from a personal experience, of any of you that own a DSLR camera that would the general entry level DSLR, from all the reviews I have at this stage thought the Olympus E-520 might be a good choice, any thoughts.
Barry, we should get together, I love spending other people's money! I try to help people at another forum on beginner angles to DSLRs, sometimes with success and thanks but often the barrage of fanboi and over the top reactions from fellow forum members (everyone's an expert on the internet) dilutes the benefit to newcomers.
I have several perspectives with regard the brands in my photo blog but here are some for you.
1. Every one of the entry level models in the established brands can do a fair job. They are not vanilla or generic though, each one has strong points and some weak points. But the ability outshines the inability.
2. A DSLR can be and is a fairly personal choice - however, the newbie does not know what to look for and sometimes has the wrong criteria or asks the wrong questions. Also, cameras are not computers. Computers can be measured in cpu speed, hard disk capacity etc... and there are no hidden features. DSLRs are artistic tools - their perception and fit to personality inspires the shooter. And there is a balance of gross features which outweighs clinical measurements of MTF, CA and curvilinear distortion.
3. If you already have had a film SLR, then this is not you but for newbies who started with Point and Shoot and never went through manual settings and the Zone System, I say that the photo is 80% shooter's skill, inspiration, commitment and 20% equipment. You can prove one camera has technically X amount of sharpness or noise worse than another camera, but I say that the difference is X multiply the 20%.
Disclosure: I shoot an Oly 510, since this time last year.
Disclosure: I don't print.
Brand Perceptions: http://anandasim.blogspot.com/2008/08/b ... tives.html
Most beginners buy a kit - that is a body and one or two kit lenses - then they may buy a couple more lenses and stop.
Most beginners buy at the entry level price range. Some people with money bags buy mid range DSLR or semi pro DSLR.
Current Aussie deals:
All brands are hitting the entry level price range hard.
Olympus 420, 520
Nikon D40, D60
Pentax K200D, KM
Canon 1000D or higher
Sony A200, A300
A sweet price range is say below AUD 900 at this time. With TWO kit lenses. If you hunt and peck, you might go AUD 1100 for slightly better cams and slightly better lenses.
Oly 420 is pretty small but no IS. Oly 520 is sweet spot priced with two kit lens, has IS in body. The Olys are small, light and there are 5 Oly lenses that are sharp, light, small, affordable but not f/2.8. There are excellent pro lenses but they are big, heavy and expensive. Oly JPEG look straight out of the camera is very nice. Each lens has to perform because except for a few Sigma and a few Leica/Panasonic AF lenses, that's the catalogue. Grainy image noise above ISO 400. Can take a lot of second hand manual focus lenses via eBay adapters but viewfinder is small, not easy to focus. LiveView LCD. Kit lens are said to be the best for that price range. The Oly is a FourThirds design. The sensor is 4:3 unlike the others which are slightly larger APS-C 3:2 ratio. This means that independent lens makers like Sigma, Tokina, Tamron make one lens with different fixed mount for the other brands easily but not for Olympus. The smaller sensor also gives the Oly deeper DOF by a stop compared to APS-C
Pentax K200D (I like the grip) and Pentax KM (I feel not as nice to hold). Big and clear viewfinder for manual focussing and has AF confirmation for manual focus K mount and screw mount old lenses. Body is weathersealed (K200) but few lenses are. Pentax famous for primes. Pentax and Sigma work a lot together so many of the lenses appear to be Sigma. No LiveView LCD. IS in body.
Nikon D40 (only 6.1MP) and D60 are the smallest Nikon bodies. No LiveView LCD. No in-body IS. The D60 has a newer, sharper kit lens. Not sure but retailers may be selling the second kit lens tele which does not have IS in lens to hit the price range. The D40 said to have low noise at high ISO because it is 6MP. Out of camera JPEGs supposed to be good. Certain modern Nikon lenses won't autofocus because both of these lack in-body autofocus motor. No auto bracketing of eposure. No DOF button (I think). Nikon have a large catalogue of lenses. Nikon is the second in market share and regaining the Pro world.
Canon 1000D - cheaper than the Canon 450D. Canon usually have good image quality and low noise at high ISO. The Canon kit lens has improved from allegedly being one of the worst in that range. Canon are the largest in market share and have the Pro market. They are famous for their "L" lenses to satisfy the Pros but may not be the typical beginner price range or weight.
Sony bought over the Minolta DSLR business. They have bought market share by aggressive pricing, marketing. Their A200 often leads the price attack. The kit lenses are alleged not to be the best but they have a large catalogue of second hand Minolta AF film lenses, current Sony branded lenses and Carl Zeiss top quality lenses. The A200 does not have LiveView. The A300 has LV and that screen can be tilted, the trigger pause is low because of an additional sensor to focus during LV. However, the A300 viewfinder (A200 as well?) is relatively darker. From nowhere, they are number 3 in market share but a distant third. The Sonys have IS in body.