Old 01-16-2007, 09:35 PM   #1
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Default Digital SLR

Hey everyone, I am new to the forum and I have a question. I have a descent digital camera right now, but would love a digital SLR. The only way I could ever get one is as a gift. I turn 18 in April and graduate high school in May, so maybe if I get lucky I could get one. The question is though, which one!? I think I have narrowed it down, and the two I like the best are: Nikon D70 or Canon Rebel XT or XTI. I just wanted to see if anybody's got either one or knows alot about cameras to help me make my decision. Thanks guys!
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Old 01-16-2007, 10:01 PM   #2
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Hi, Welcome to the forums!

I myself shoot with a Nikon D70, have been doing so since summer of 05, and it as been perfectly reliable, and it takes great pictures! I guess the only real drawback is that it is only 6 MP (megapixels) , where as the Canon rebel XT has like 8...note sure about the XTI... It's more....

Nikon just recently came out with a succesor to the D70, its called the D80- and it has 10 MP, definetly worth a look if its in your price range....

Nikons are known for being built really well, and the D70 is no exception, mine is not showing any signs of it age, and is rock solid.

Here are some of my recent D70 shots, hope this helps!

Image ©
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PhotoID:
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Old 01-16-2007, 10:44 PM   #3
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Both the Nikon and Canon cameras are more than fine, in terms of image quality and capabilities. So I would choose on other considerations, of which the most important is ergonomics. Get the one that feels best in your hand and whose controls make the most sense to you. And consider buying used; there are some great bargains out there. If you buy used, look for a camera with few "shutter actuations," the number of times the shutter has been clicked.
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Old 01-16-2007, 11:09 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattmp36
Hey everyone, I am new to the forum and I have a question. I have a descent digital camera right now, but would love a digital SLR. The only way I could ever get one is as a gift. I turn 18 in April and graduate high school in May, so maybe if I get lucky I could get one. The question is though, which one!? I think I have narrowed it down, and the two I like the best are: Nikon D70 or Canon Rebel XT or XTI. I just wanted to see if anybody's got either one or knows alot about cameras to help me make my decision. Thanks guys!
Welcome, Matt! Curious question to start with: what kind of camera do you have right now?

I received a Canon XT or 350D (the "professional" name) last May as an early HS graduation gift from my parents; that sounds familiar . I thought I'd be switching between my Fuji S7000 and the Canon for at least a few month but that turned out to last 20 mins! I fell in love with the camera and the freedom it allows right away. Everyone tries to compare the quality but it ultimately depends on post processing or editing IMO. You certainly can't go on RP to compare the out of camera quality between the two because 99.999% of the shots have been touched up in some way. I know the only drawback with my XT which is correctable on the camera itself is a slight blue tint. All I have to do is go into Photoshop and increase the red and decrease the blue an even amount and its like how I saw it. One MAJOR advantage I have found between DSLR's and regular P&S (point and shoot)cameras is the quality of the photos taken in poor weather. Most P&S don't distribute the light evenly and the sky becomes very washed out or the subject will be very dark and you can rarely find a happy medium unless you set it manually and do a few test shots. Still you will not see the shot on a computer screen until you are at home or at the hotel or sometimes back at your car.

Sunny:
Image © Andrew Blaszczyk (2)
PhotoID: 165607
Photograph © Andrew Blaszczyk (2)

Cloudy/foggy/rainy:
Image © Andrew Blaszczyk (2)
PhotoID: 171752
Photograph © Andrew Blaszczyk (2)

Night:
Image © Andrew Blaszczyk (2)
PhotoID: 165191
Photograph © Andrew Blaszczyk (2)

Artsy:
Image © Andrew Blaszczyk (2)
PhotoID: 169163
Photograph © Andrew Blaszczyk (2)

It does it all!

One word of advice though: Read the manual when you get one of the cameras and have some spare time to learn just what they are capable of. I learn something new about it almost every trip even though I've flipped through the manual so many times its falling apart! Most of the younger shooters usually just try to wing it and they seem to get stuck in a rut and get frustrated.

Another suggestion is to go to a camera store and play around with both for a few minutes; see which you're more comfortable with.

Good luck and keep us posted!
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Old 01-16-2007, 11:46 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Blaszczyk (2)
One word of advice though: Read the manual when you get one of the cameras and have some spare time to learn just what they are capable of. I learn something new about it almost every trip even though I've flipped through the manual so many times its falling apart! Most of the younger shotoers usually just try to wing it and they seem to get stuck in a rut and get frustrated.
Good advice! Your remark about the book falling apart made me laugh as my D70 book is packed with little strips of paper and folded pages to remind me where stuff is!

Matt,

You also might consider reading this thread: http://www.railpictures.net/forums/s...ighlight=Nikon

Good luck with your decision!
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Old 01-16-2007, 11:59 PM   #6
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Hmmm, winging it sounds familiar......

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Old 01-17-2007, 12:09 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Blaszczyk (2)
Welcome, Matt! Curious question to start with: what kind of camera do you have right now?

I received a Canon XT or 350D (the "professional" name) last May as an early HS graduation gift from my parents; that sounds familiar . I thought I'd be switching between my Fuji S7000 and the Canon for at least a few month but that turned out to last 20 mins! I fell in love with the camera and the freedom it allows right away. Everyone tries to compare the quality but it ultimately depends on post processing or editing IMO. You certainly can't go on RP to compare the out of camera quality between the two because 99.999% of the shots have been touched up in some way. I know the only drawback with my XT which is correctable on the camera itself is a slight blue tint. All I have to do is go into Photoshop and increase the red and decrease the blue an even amount and its like how I saw it. One MAJOR advantage I have found between DSLR's and regular P&S (point and shoot)cameras is the quality of the photos taken in poor weather. Most P&S don't distribute the light evenly and the sky becomes very washed out or the subject will be very dark and you can rarely find a happy medium unless you set it manually and do a few test shots. Still you will not see the shot on a computer screen until you are at home or at the hotel or sometimes back at your car.

Sunny:
Image © Andrew Blaszczyk (2)
PhotoID: 165607
Photograph © Andrew Blaszczyk (2)

Cloudy/foggy/rainy:
Image © Andrew Blaszczyk (2)
PhotoID: 171752
Photograph © Andrew Blaszczyk (2)

Night:
Image © Andrew Blaszczyk (2)
PhotoID: 165191
Photograph © Andrew Blaszczyk (2)

Artsy:
Image © Andrew Blaszczyk (2)
PhotoID: 169163
Photograph © Andrew Blaszczyk (2)

It does it all!

One word of advice though: Read the manual when you get one of the cameras and have some spare time to learn just what they are capable of. I learn something new about it almost every trip even though I've flipped through the manual so many times its falling apart! Most of the younger shooters usually just try to wing it and they seem to get stuck in a rut and get frustrated.

Another suggestion is to go to a camera store and play around with both for a few minutes; see which you're more comfortable with.

Good luck and keep us posted!
Thanks guys, I appreciate your comments. Andrew, I have a Kodak P850. It's a pretty good point and shoot camera. I have been into photography for about 3 or 4 years now and got started because of my aunt. She gave me her old 35mm film Pentex camera. That thing was fun! I loved having all the manual features. That camera gave me a workout compared to the camera I have now! I want a digital SLR because of the manual options and the speed. With my camera I have to guess where the train will be by the time the camera takes the picture! The only thing holding me back is the price of the SLRs. I am currently in a photography class at my school. I plan to go to college and maybe take a photography class there too. So I will learn more about my camera, but I still would love a SLR. I was kind of leaning toward the D70. I saw lots of good deals, but it is only 6 mp. I also saw the older Canon Rebel XT had 8 mp compared to the newer one with 10 mp! I currently have 5 mp on my camera, so anything is an upgrade from mine, but I don't know if I will ever need 10 mp. How big of a difference will 6 mega pixels be from 8? Like before I like the Nikon and Canon, and now I guess it comes down to how much mega pixels I want.
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Old 01-17-2007, 01:14 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattmp36
I like the Nikon and Canon, and now I guess it comes down to how much mega pixels I want.
Not only that, but as someone stated, also, how it feels in your hand, what features it has, how easy it is to work with, ect...

Good luck!
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Old 01-17-2007, 03:23 AM   #9
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If possible, see if you can "test drive" a few of your top choices (either in the store, or a friends?) . You'll be able to figure out a lot of things just by playing with the camera. Ergonomics and user-friendly menus/etc are key, of course. Any of the mid-level DSLRs will do what you need them to in terms of "horsepower". You can find DSLRs like the Nikon D50 for less than $500.

I'm a Nikon guy....and have noticed that the Canons have things that I would like in the D70, but I personally prefer the Nikon interface. As has been referenced here, both brands will make quality cameras. Don't forget, the camera DOES NOT make the photographer!!
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Old 01-17-2007, 03:59 AM   #10
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Default Digital SLRs

Amen..as Matt said the camera does not make the photographer. I've shot with both Nikon & Canon in 35mm, but as far as digital..only Nikon. You really can't go wrong with either system. The one thing is don't buy cheap lenses. Canon & Nikon both have excellent glass, and even some of their "budget" lenses such as Nikons 70-300G are better than most off brand lenses. I'll admit..I'm not a camera snob. I'm a lens snob. If price is an issue, go with Tamron lenses for an off brand. They make some really good lenses. I used to have a Tamron 300mm f/2.8 that I'm still kicking myself for ever selling. Find yourself a good local camera shop, where you can compare and play with the cameras. They can give you some good advice as well. Good luck
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Old 01-17-2007, 08:28 PM   #11
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Thanks everyone for your help. I think I will choose the Nikon route and definitely go down to the store and try them out first, like others suggested. Check this out, I wanted the D70, but I found a cheap D80! Cheap Cameras!
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Old 01-17-2007, 08:48 PM   #12
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NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

http://www.resellerratings.com/store/Express_Cameras

Always, always, check up on an online camera store before buying. You are asking for trouble, big time.

Reputable vendors: bhphotovideo.com (B&H), adorama.com, buydig.com is well thought of and cheap but I have not bought from there myself.
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Old 01-17-2007, 09:11 PM   #13
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I've been wondering if any DSLRs allow you to shoot video. Do they?
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Old 01-17-2007, 09:16 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRMDC
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

http://www.resellerratings.com/store/Express_Cameras

Always, always, check up on an online camera store before buying. You are asking for trouble, big time.

Reputable vendors: bhphotovideo.com (B&H), adorama.com, buydig.com is well thought of and cheap but I have not bought from there myself.
LOL!

Check out their website and you would never guess this place was such a waste for the consumer. Look at all those "awards".

The prices look very suspicious as well.
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Old 01-18-2007, 11:23 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRMDC

Reputable vendors: bhphotovideo.com (B&H), adorama.com, buydig.com is well thought of and cheap but I have not bought from there myself.

i bought my D70S from beach camera (sister/parent company to buydig - i think).

i've also bought accessories from b&h photo, as well as adorama.

all three places are great to deal with. good prices, service and delivery.


when shopping on line, watch out for "grey market" cameras. these items usually have a slightly lower price than what you normally see on an identical item. these are models that do not come with u.s. warranties. as long as you understand what you are buying, and what you are not getting, the decision comes down to how comfortable you are not having a warranty on an expensive d-slr and lens.

personally, i like having the warranty. i think the D70S kit lens has a five year warranty.
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Old 01-18-2007, 12:11 PM   #16
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Yes, beach and buydig are sister companies, I've never understood why they do that.

Good point about the grey market, I've bought one or two lenses that way because of the cost savings - I view it as equivalent to buying a lens used, a little better, so if the price is good and used prices are high, I will go that way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jfusaro
i bought my D70S from beach camera (sister/parent company to buydig - i think).

i've also bought accessories from b&h photo, as well as adorama.

all three places are great to deal with. good prices, service and delivery.


when shopping on line, watch out for "grey market" cameras. these items usually have a slightly lower price than what you normally see on an identical item. these are models that do not come with u.s. warranties. as long as you understand what you are buying, and what you are not getting, the decision comes down to how comfortable you are not having a warranty on an expensive d-slr and lens.

personally, i like having the warranty. i think the D70S kit lens has a five year warranty.
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Old 01-18-2007, 03:11 PM   #17
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Quote:
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when shopping on line, watch out for "grey market" cameras. these items usually have a slightly lower price than what you normally see on an identical item. these are models that do not come with u.s. warranties. as long as you understand what you are buying, and what you are not getting, the decision comes down to how comfortable you are not having a warranty on an expensive d-slr and lens.

one more comment 'bout this....

if a user manual is important to you, the "grey market" cameras may come with manuals written in other languages.

i'd be in deep doo-doo if my D70S manual wasn't in english.
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Old 01-18-2007, 04:08 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfusaro
one more comment 'bout this....

if a user manual is important to you, the "grey market" cameras may come with manuals written in other languages.

i'd be in deep doo-doo if my D70S manual wasn't in english.
That would explain why I've seen English speaking users frantically trying to find manuals written in English or posted online for their new camera on camera forums.
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Old 01-19-2007, 02:02 AM   #19
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I've been wondering if any DSLRs allow you to shoot video. Do they?
No - a DSLR has a mirror that reflects the light coming through the lens to the viewfinder, and when you take a picture, the mirror flips up out of the way, exposing the light from the lens onto the digital sensor. For the same reason, you cannot compose a shot using the screen on the back of a DSLR - they are only for reviewing pictures and changing settings.

A "normal" (or non-SLR digital camera) allows light onto the sensor all of the time, which is why you can use the lcd on the back to compose your shot, take movies, and do all of that other fun stuff.

I'm pretty sure that's accurate, but it wouldn't be the first time I was wrong about something either
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Old 01-19-2007, 02:27 AM   #20
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I think there is now an Olympus DSLR with live preview.
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Old 01-19-2007, 02:40 AM   #21
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No - a DSLR has a mirror that reflects the light coming through the lens to the viewfinder, and when you take a picture, the mirror flips up out of the way, exposing the light from the lens onto the digital sensor. For the same reason, you cannot compose a shot using the screen on the back of a DSLR - they are only for reviewing pictures and changing settings.

A "normal" (or non-SLR digital camera) allows light onto the sensor all of the time, which is why you can use the lcd on the back to compose your shot, take movies, and do all of that other fun stuff.

I'm pretty sure that's accurate, but it wouldn't be the first time I was wrong about something either
Well, I guess that's the one advantage my point and shoot has over a digital. Now that you mention the mirror thing, I should have thought of it myself. i'm sure it's only a matter of time before they do away with the mirrors and come up with some other fancy way to take pictures with a DSLR and shoot videos too.

Come to think of it, I just thought of a way to do it. Some cameras allow you to "lock up" the mirror so camera shake is minimized during the shot. If you put this option on DSLR's, you could use the LCD for previews...and shoot video too. I'm a genius!
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Old 01-19-2007, 02:51 AM   #22
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I hate the grey market!! I started in photo retail right after high-school in 1978, and it was common for me to show someone a camera, explain all of the features, and then they leave. They'd buy it out of New York, then return it to me whenever it broke. Buyer beware. Most major camera makers have "suggested"selling prices. A store cannot advertise for a lower price than the suggested selling price, but they can sell it at a lower price in the store. It's a shame that the photo industry has changed so much in the past 15 years, because now there are not many good camera shops left. If you do your research, you can get good information on-line about cameras, but I'd recommend that you purchase any camera with a warranty.
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Old 01-19-2007, 02:53 AM   #23
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If you put this option on DSLR's, you could use the LCD for previews
There is a dSLR out there that allows for LCD previews, but the name/make escapes me...
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Old 01-19-2007, 01:04 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Rosnick
I hate the grey market!! I started in photo retail right after high-school in 1978, and it was common for me to show someone a camera, explain all of the features, and then they leave. They'd buy it out of New York, then return it to me whenever it broke. Buyer beware. Most major camera makers have "suggested"selling prices. A store cannot advertise for a lower price than the suggested selling price, but they can sell it at a lower price in the store. It's a shame that the photo industry has changed so much in the past 15 years, because now there are not many good camera shops left. If you do your research, you can get good information on-line about cameras, but I'd recommend that you purchase any camera with a warranty.
shopping for hi-tech toys has become a pain in the ...

you really have to be careful, and you MUST read the fine print.

it was nice when you could walk into a store and actually hold/try something before you bought it.

when i wanted to buy my nikon, neither of the local shops could get one.

some of the more reputable on-line places (new york/new jersey area) seemed to get them first. so, that's where i got mine.

everybody was selling them at the suggested selling price then, so cost was not part of the search.

after a while it becomes obvious that the good price being advertised means that the item is a "grey market" item, or a "factory refurbished" item. both usually have sub-standard warranties associated.

as i understand it, a refurbished item did not make it thru some inspection point/functional test somewhere in the assembly process. therefore, it has to be reworked to get it functional.

with all of the wizardry inside a d-slr, i don't think that i want one that had to be "fiddled with" to get it to work. thanks just the same, but i'll pass on the "refurbished" $1000 camera.
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Old 01-20-2007, 01:00 AM   #25
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Quote:
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Snip....... I have been into photography for about 3 or 4 years now and got started because of my aunt. She gave me her old 35mm film Pentex camera. That thing was fun! I loved having all the manual features. That camera gave me a workout compared to the camera I have now! I want a digital SLR because of the manual options and the speed.
Hi Matt,

If your aunties Pentax uses K mount lens have you thought about a Pentax DSLR? The current crop of Pentax cameras still use the Pentax K mount so you would be able to save some serious money by using her older lens' with the new body.

Have a look at this 10M2 pixel Pentax K10D review at Dpreview.

Christine.
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