View Full Version : considering an SLR - Canon Rebel or Nikon D40
10-09-2007, 05:36 PM
it appears these are entry level dSLRs - feel free to correct me. I am really trying to understand. It seems I cannot meet my indoor sports needs with a Digicam, so I am checking out the feelings on these 2 camera models.
How far will they zoom compared to a 10x zoom digicam. I don't understand the "f" numbers they give regarding zooming. Do I need to purchase another lens to be albe to zoom to optical 8-10x?
Any beginner, mother-types have either of these cameras? I don't need to shoot for sports illustrated - just want acceptable indoor/outdoor/vacation shots?
Oh, and, do they have macro ability?
Just starting to research this today, so pardon my elementary questions.
10-09-2007, 06:31 PM
Both will zoom as far as your wallet allows. The level of zoom is determined by the lens that you use. Longer lenses cost more money. The cost grows exponentially with the zoom level.
Macro ability is also determined by the lens. There are specific macro lenses that you can buy for either. You can also adapt a normal lens for macro use by putting hollow tubes (called extension tubes) between the camera and the lens or by putting a closeup filter on the end of the lens.
Be aware that, while DSLRs excel at taking pictures of indoor sports, the equipment to do that well is expensive. A great indoor sports lens is a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens. It has a good range for inside a gym and can capture fast action in the relatively low light of a gym. One of these lenses costs more than $1,000.
Keep asking questions and determine all of the equipment you need to get the shots that you want. That will help you understand the total system costs, not just the cost of the camera body.
You should also be aware that there are other DSLR makers. While Canon and Nikon are the two largest sellers, Sony, Pentax, and Olympus are all popular and have their own particular selling points.
I bought a Nikon D40 with an 18-135mm zoom lens packaged as a kit at Beach Camera for $699 a month or so ago for my wife. She had only used a Point & Shoot before and found the controls very simple to navigate. She wanted something simple without having to worry about changing lenses much and came back with some very nice pictures on our recent Disney trip. There are a few Nikon lenses it is not compatible with but for her purposes it suits her just fine. It is a very compact and light weight dslr which is also what she wanted. The 18-135 Zoom is I guess what a 7.5x would be in P&S terms. You could opt for an 18-200 lens for more money but I think you will find that with the increased quality of the images (with whatever brand you choose) vs. a P&S you will be quite happy.
Not sure what exactly you have in mind for indoor sports- if you can use a flash then another few hundred dollars will get you a speedlight- if not then as Mark indicated a quality telephoto you can use in a poorly lit facility can cost a lot. And as for Macro- again- not sure what exactly what you have in mind here. If you are looking to take a picture of a flower or something similar in size that would be fine- if it is something much smaller like a tiny insect then another seperate lens would be needed.
Hope this heps some. :)
10-09-2007, 10:00 PM
I'm talking macro for ebay photos - need close ups with some items.
indoor volleyball & basketball - would not use flash
10-10-2007, 09:25 AM
You probably wouldn't need a dedicated macro lens for eBay photos. If you can't get close enough to fill the frame with the item and still focus, you can crop and still have a very sharp photo that's plenty large enough for any eBay use. A good macro lens can be a few hundred, too. I'd take that money and put it into a different lens.
Like Mark says, there are five companies making entry-level DSLRs. Canon and Nikon are the "big names", Pentax and Sony offer image stabilization with all lenses, and Olympus has the smallest DSLRs due to a smaller sensor. There are other advantages and disadvantages to each, too, but they're all very good and you likely won't regret buying any of them.
Also, there are two Rebels available (XT and XTi) and a couple D40s (D40 and D40x) - just to complicate things.
10-10-2007, 11:58 AM
Its kind of hard to compare the zoom on a point and shoot to the zoom on a dSLR by just using the 10x number. All the 10x means is that the longest end of the lens is ten times longer than the short end. So you could have one P&S camera that has a range of 20mm-200mm and it would be a 10x. Or you could have another P&S camera with a range of 40mm-400mm and it too would be a 10x zoom because the longest end of each is 10x longer than the shorter end. One camera would zoom in twice as far as the other but the one with more reach also won't be able to go as wide so your indoor shots or landscape shots will suffer.
A dSLR will definitely give you better quality, but that added reach will come at a price. Most dSLR cameras will come with a lens in the 18mm-55mm range giving you about a 3x optical zoom. If you want something longer you usually have to pay up. And with lenses, you get what you pay for.
If you could give us an idea of your budget, we can help you find something that suits you. In the end, you may find that if you want as much reach as you can get on a limited budget, then the Canon S5IS may be best. If you have a sizeable budget and want the best then we might suggest a canon 40d with a 70-200 f/2.8 IS. Or the right answer could be somewhere inbetween.
But if you really want to get decent indoor sport shots, your only choice is the dSLR with a fast lens.
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