Old 06-06-2011, 10:00 PM   #1
Nahant
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Default First DSLR- Canon 500D?

I've been looking to upgrade from a Fuji FinePixS700 for quite some time now and was wondering if the Canon 500D would be a good upgrade for a first time DSLR owner. Thanks for any advice.

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Old 06-07-2011, 12:02 AM   #2
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I have the 550D, which happens to be my first DSLR. I would highly recommend either the 500D or the 550D to upgrade to.
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Old 06-07-2011, 12:28 AM   #3
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I started out the same way, with my Fuji FinePix S700, then I upgraded to my Nikon D3000 which I love and does the job for a first time DSLR!
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Old 06-07-2011, 12:33 AM   #4
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Pretty much any DSLR is a fine upgrade for any P/S shooter. General principles: watch your budget, leave plenty of money for lenses, they are what make the difference in the long run, don't go crazy about specs, handling is important so if you can try the Canon and Nikon and whatever alternatives and see what works for you.
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Old 06-07-2011, 12:48 AM   #5
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I kind of wish I went with the D3100 instead since you can take video as well! http://www.bing.com/shopping/nikon-d...00&FORM=CMSMSP
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Old 06-07-2011, 07:49 AM   #6
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Canon or Nikon, cant go wrong with either.
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Old 06-07-2011, 02:28 PM   #7
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I would caution against making hasty buying decisions until you have a chance to think through where you are going with the hobby. I say this because I purchased a "starter" DSLR back in 2007 and within 6 months, I was disappointed with my decision. In my case, the camera was the Nikon D40X. From an image quality standpoint, it was a fine little camera, but it had lots of little limitations that just drove me nuts as time went on.

For one thing, it had just a 3-point focusing screen, which made it really difficult to compose with the viewfinder. I think that issue has been eradicated from all of the starter cameras. I believe they all start out with 9 or 11 now.

The next issue was what I call rate-of-fire. Three or four FPS just doesn't cut it when shooting steam engines and the position of the rods in the image matters. I have 6 FPS now and wish I had more.

Camera controls can be an issue when you need to make last-second adjustments. Many starter DSLRs don't have a separate thumbwheel for aperture. The thumbwheel/button combination is just too klutzy IMHO. I want a second wheel.

ISO performance is something to think about. I do a lot of expensive charters and you can usually count on the weather to be awful at least half the time. I could have the best lenses in the world, but I'm still going to get yucky pictures if I can't shoot ISO 800 without a lot of noise.

Speaking of weather, some degree of weather sealing is important too. Nothing like having your camera stop working just as that special move is approaching in a driving rain.

I guess if you only shoot single frames off a tripod on nice, sunny days, a starter DSLR might be absolutely fine. But if you ever envision yourself getting beyond that mold, you can limit yourself considerably by buying a starter camera.

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Old 06-07-2011, 06:22 PM   #8
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Thanks for the input. The biggest reason I'm looking at a starter is because of the cost of something higher up the scale. I have some money available right now, but not enough to buy anything above a starter.
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Old 06-07-2011, 06:51 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinM View Post
The next issue was what I call rate-of-fire. Three or four FPS just doesn't cut it when shooting steam engines and the position of the rods in the image matters. I have 6 FPS now and wish I had more.
I've managed to get 8fps out of the D300 with the battery grip, only downside is the 300 feels like a brick in the hand with a battery grip and a 24-70 f/2.8 mounted on it. lol


I will also add that if you know your going to want to purchase pro glass at some point, it may be a better idea to start out with a cheaper body. It would free up some money for lenses.
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Old 06-07-2011, 06:51 PM   #10
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Think about the lens you want first. Then get whatever you can afford after that.....maybe even a used body.
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Old 06-08-2011, 01:29 AM   #11
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maybe even a used body.
That's a GREAT tip. For what you've budgeted to get a "new" body, you might be able to find a somewhat older, used body that's still fully functional with more/better features in the same price range.
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Old 06-08-2011, 10:09 AM   #12
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That's a GREAT tip. For what you've budgeted to get a "new" body, you might be able to find a somewhat older, used body that's still fully functional with more/better features in the same price range.
this would definitely be the way to go, buy either a new lower end body or used mid range body and out the rest in lenses. Good quality glass will outlast any digital camera. Good glass will also hold 80-90% of its value. I have a Canon 100-400L IS thats nearly 8 years old and a 70-200 F2.8 thats nearly 7 years old and I could easily sell them for 10-15% less than what I originally paid for them. However, the one year old Canon EOS D30 which I purchased used for $700 in 2003 (cost nearly $3000 for original owner) can be had for $100-150 now. In the time I have had those 2 particular L lenses I have had 4 different DSLR's. Image quality and value of the L lenses can't be beat. Find a nice Canon Rebel series camera and dump the rest of the cash on some nice glass.

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Old 06-08-2011, 02:16 PM   #13
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I've managed to get 8fps out of the D300 with the battery grip, only downside is the 300 feels like a brick in the hand with a battery grip and a 24-70 f/2.8 mounted on it. lol
Heh, brick. Try an F3 with a motor drive and a 300mm lens. When I shoot with two, I'll have a D200 and a D300 around my neck, both with battery packs. If your camera isn't intimidating, you're using the wrong camera.
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Old 06-08-2011, 04:52 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DWHonan View Post
That's a GREAT tip. For what you've budgeted to get a "new" body, you might be able to find a somewhat older, used body that's still fully functional with more/better features in the same price range.
When you talk about a older style body, did you have any in mind? I considered the 500D to be older(ish), since Canon already came out with the 550D. When talking about used, I've never had good luck with used electronics, so I'm a little leery about buying a used body.
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Old 06-08-2011, 05:19 PM   #15
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This is what I'm looking at getting as of now:
http://www.buydig.com/shop/product.aspx?sku=E3CNDRT1IK
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Old 06-08-2011, 05:34 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lock4244 View Post
Heh, brick. Try an F3 with a motor drive and a 300mm lens. When I shoot with two, I'll have a D200 and a D300 around my neck, both with battery packs. If your camera isn't intimidating, you're using the wrong camera.
I agree lol, my current combo beats my crummy little D80 with a 16-85 any day of the week. But yeah an F3 with a 300mm tele lens, I would probably mount it to the roof of my truck like a .50 cal machine gun.
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Old 06-08-2011, 06:36 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nahant View Post
This is what I'm looking at getting as of now:
http://www.buydig.com/shop/product.aspx?sku=E3CNDRT1IK
I'd take the advice of some other people around here and go for a cheaper body and better glass. Check out KEH.com and see what you can get a body for there. You'll probably find you can get a 70-200 F4L lens for around $600 and a decent earlier model body for $300 or so.

Jon
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Old 06-08-2011, 10:17 PM   #18
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Nahant, I'd also concur with the majority here. Decide which brand you want to go with and invest in good lenses and a body they'll work with (Nikon F mount lenses, not sure what the Canon equivalent is). IMO, DSLR's won't last as long as an SLR, either through failure of the sensor, some other computer like component, or you'll buy something new with more advanced technology. Viewing the lenses as the constant and the body as the finite, you can't go wrong.

All of the lenses I used with my Nikon F3 SLR cameras I shot slides with are still with me and perform flawlessly with my D200 and D300 bodies. Having spent many thousands of dollars on my lenses, the ability to bring them with me into the digital age was paramount in the decision to go digital in late 2006.

I might also suggest only buying a Nikon or Canon as there are alot of used lenses out there that are in great shape (the more popular the brand, the choice you'll get in the used market). I've about 9 or 10 lenses and only my piece of crap 18-135 that I bought for work was bought new.
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Old 06-09-2011, 03:36 AM   #19
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Great info here, info that can only come from years of experience.

Cheaper camera, better lenses is right on.

Sticking with the leaders, Canon and Nikon also the wise choice.

Having used both my Canon 40D and a borrowed Nikon D700 recently, a general impression for me is Canon is a little more user friendly while Nikon is more intensely focused on giving the photographer more of what they will need.
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Old 06-13-2011, 02:01 AM   #20
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Quote:
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For one thing, it had just a 3-point focusing screen, which made it really difficult to compose with the viewfinder.

The next issue was what I call rate-of-fire. Three or four FPS just doesn't cut it when shooting steam engines and the position of the rods in the image matters. I have 6 FPS now and wish I had more.

Camera controls can be an issue when you need to make last-second adjustments. Many starter DSLRs don't have a separate thumbwheel for aperture. The thumbwheel/button combination is just too klutzy IMHO. I want a second wheel.

ISO performance is something to think about. I do a lot of expensive charters and you can usually count on the weather to be awful at least half the time. I could have the best lenses in the world, but I'm still going to get yucky pictures if I can't shoot ISO 800 without a lot of noise.

Speaking of weather, some degree of weather sealing is important too. Nothing like having your camera stop working just as that special move is approaching in a driving rain.
OK, Kevin, it's really bad form of you to insult my camera like that!! lol

That is very sound advice that I unfortunately didn't heed. Considering I get more broke as I age, I'm forced to beat my old started dSLR into submission! Just be sure to save financial room for decent lenses as others have said. If it's a body that has poor high ISO performance (like mine), a lens that shoots consistent f2.8 makes a world of difference.
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Old 06-14-2011, 05:30 AM   #21
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Thank you for all the help.

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