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Old 05-18-2013, 01:38 PM   #1
FortForever
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First DSLR recommendations?

I really want to buy a DSLR. I have never used one, but have looked at them for a couple of years now.

Although I enjoy photography in general, the main things I will want to use this camera for are photographing dark rides & moving grandchildren.

Any suggestions for a first time user that would be appropriate for the things listed above, as well as general photos?

The more inexpensive, the better, but willing to consider most price ranges.
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Old 05-18-2013, 02:25 PM   #2
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I purchased a Nikon D5100 as my first DSLR. I bought it through Amazon and it came with a 18-55mm lens. A little while later, I bought a Nikor 50mm.

The kit lens would allow you to do most of what you would like to do and since money sounds like at least a marginal concern, I would maybe lay off getting another lens for a while.

That said, the 50mm would lend itself well to dark rides.
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Old 05-18-2013, 03:01 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lhermiston View Post
I purchased a Nikon D5100 as my first DSLR. I bought it through Amazon and it came with a 18-55mm lens. A little while later, I bought a Nikor 50mm.

The kit lens would allow you to do most of what you would like to do and since money sounds like at least a marginal concern, I would maybe lay off getting another lens for a while.

That said, the 50mm would lend itself well to dark rides.
Thanks, I will go check it out.
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Old 05-18-2013, 03:03 PM   #4
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You can't go wrong with any DSLR on the market right now. It's a matter of finding the features you want in a body that fits well in your hands at a price you can afford.

The standard 18-55 variety kit lens would cover you for general shooting. However dark rides are a different story. Shooting dark rides is some of the toughest shooting there is. You're in the dark on a moving ride shooting moving subjects. You need the right equipment. Usually this means investing in a fast prime lens for your camera.
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Old 05-18-2013, 03:18 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by photo_chick View Post
You can't go wrong with any DSLR on the market right now. It's a matter of finding the features you want in a body that fits well in your hands at a price you can afford.

The standard 18-55 variety kit lens would cover you for general shooting. However dark rides are a different story. Shooting dark rides is some of the toughest shooting there is. You're in the dark on a moving ride shooting moving subjects. You need the right equipment. Usually this means investing in a fast prime lens for your camera.
This is my ultimate goal, so I will eventually spend the money I need to get there. In the meantime, what would it take to photograph grandchildren that are are on the ride, but in the same car with me? Would the standard 18-55 lens do well for that?

I want to photograph my grandchildren on different rides (dark ones included) over the years as they grow up. I could do that now with a flash, but don't want to be obnoxious.

Since I love to take pictures, I also want to get into it as a hobby now that my kids are grown and I have more time (and money.)
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Old 05-18-2013, 04:04 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FortForever View Post
This is my ultimate goal, so I will eventually spend the money I need to get there. In the meantime, what would it take to photograph grandchildren that are are on the ride, but in the same car with me? Would the standard 18-55 lens do well for that?

I want to photograph my grandchildren on different rides (dark ones included) over the years as they grow up. I could do that now with a flash, but don't want to be obnoxious.

Since I love to take pictures, I also want to get into it as a hobby now that my kids are grown and I have more time (and money.)
It looks like you're looking at a long term investment so my advice would be to try to get the best gear you can afford right now. First off I would get a body that has good high ISO performance since you are looking to do a lot of dark ride shots. I also wouldn't get the kit lens and I'd invest in a faster standard zoom.

Here's a suggested list for a Nikon system:

Nikon D5200 DSLR Body-only - $700:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...lr_camera.html
Standard zoom - Tamron 17 - 50 mmG ED-IF AF-S DX f/2.8 - $474 after rebate:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc..._XR_Di_II.html
Fast prime: Nikon 35 mm f/1.8 - $197
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...mm_f_1_8G.html

IF you have the funds to splurge then I would look at the following:
Nikon D7100 body
Nikon 17-55mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S DX
Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM


Maybe the Canon/Sony/Pentax shooters could come up with alternatives.
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Old 05-18-2013, 04:20 PM   #7
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Dark rides-- you need a prime lens with 1.4 or 1.8 aperture.

As to camera system, you won't go wrong with Canon, Nikon, Pentax or Sony.

I shoot with Sony so can speak most knowledgeably about that brand. It has some unique features compared to the others, pros and cons.
Current Sony models -- A57, A58, A65, A77 technically are dslts not dslrs. They look the same and mostly act the same with a few key differences:
-Electronic viewfinder instead of optical viewfinder. Some see this as a pro, some as a con. You can really judge exposure, histogram, etc , right through the viewfinder which is nice.
-The electronic viewfinder drains battery-- so you don't get the same battery life as other brands.
-Seamless live view. Can easily switch back and forth with the LCD screen while keeping full functionality, which you can't do on other brands.
-low light ISO doesn't quite match up to Nikon and Pentax, about the same as Canon.
-full video autofocus, not always the case on other brands
-Of the 4 big brands, only Pentax and Sony use in-body image stabilization. Means you don't need stabilized lense--- all lenses become stabilized. Even old cheap used lenses. Great for low light, as even primes become stabilized.
-on the A57, 65, 77-- burst shooting is much faster than rivals. Where most consumer level dslrs shoot at 4-5 frames per second, the listed Sony models shoot at 10-12 frames per second. Great for sports and kids who don't sit still.

So those are some of the pros and cons of Sony.

If getting a Sony, pair the kit lens with the 35mm/1.8 which would be a great lens for Disney dark rides. And pretty affordable as well.
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Old 05-18-2013, 04:22 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FortForever View Post
This is my ultimate goal, so I will eventually spend the money I need to get there. In the meantime, what would it take to photograph grandchildren that are are on the ride, but in the same car with me? Would the standard 18-55 lens do well for that?

I want to photograph my grandchildren on different rides (dark ones included) over the years as they grow up. I could do that now with a flash, but don't want to be obnoxious.

Since I love to take pictures, I also want to get into it as a hobby now that my kids are grown and I have more time (and money.)
Flashes are prohibited. You'd still need a prime lens-- something with a 1.8 or 1.4 aperture. Possibly can get away with 2.8 aperture but that would be stretching.
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Old 05-18-2013, 06:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PythonFan888 View Post
It looks like you're looking at a long term investment so my advice would be to try to get the best gear you can afford right now. First off I would get a body that has good high ISO performance since you are looking to do a lot of dark ride shots.
Yes, I am looking for a long term investment. I can afford to spend about $2k initially and want to get the best I can afford.

We go to WDW often and dark rides are a necessity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by havoc315 View Post
Flashes are prohibited. You'd still need a prime lens-- something with a 1.8 or 1.4 aperture. Possibly can get away with 2.8 aperture but that would be stretching.
Oh, I absolutely know flashes are prohibited. People that use flash photography on dark rides are a huge pet peeve of mine. I wouldn't dream of doing it myself. I consider it obnoxious, selfish, and a blatant disrespect for the rules. I should have explained that statement further.

I was just meaning that a flash would actually work for taking photos of others in the car with you. I feel like most of the "flashers" in the dark rides are interfering with everyone's experience for nothing. I can't imagine their flash could light up most things they are trying to capture.

Okay, so pondering the statements of you two that I quoted I'm going ask a newbie question here....

Is the ISO determined by the body of the camera? And can't go any higher with different lens?

And the aperture decided by the lens? Does the body restrict that at all?

Sorry if these are really stupid questions.

I understand what both are, but have zero knowledge of the mechanics of a camera.
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Old 05-18-2013, 08:31 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FortForever View Post
Yes, I am looking for a long term investment. I can afford to spend about $2k initially and want to get the best I can afford.

We go to WDW often and dark rides are a necessity.



Oh, I absolutely know flashes are prohibited. People that use flash photography on dark rides are a huge pet peeve of mine. I wouldn't dream of doing it myself. I consider it obnoxious, selfish, and a blatant disrespect for the rules. I should have explained that statement further.

I was just meaning that a flash would actually work for taking photos of others in the car with you. I feel like most of the "flashers" in the dark rides are interfering with everyone's experience for nothing. I can't imagine their flash could light up most things they are trying to capture.

Okay, so pondering the statements of you two that I quoted I'm going ask a newbie question here....

Is the ISO determined by the body of the camera? And can't go any higher with different lens?

And the aperture decided by the lens? Does the body restrict that at all?

Sorry if these are really stupid questions.

I understand what both are, but have zero knowledge of the mechanics of a camera.
ISO is determined by the camera body. Aperture is set by the lens.
For dark rides, you really want an aperture of 1.8 or larger (which is a smaller number), and want ISO of 3200/6400 or higher. You'll get some noise at those ISOs though. All current model dslrs go to 6400 or higher, though each handles the noise differently. Full frame cameras handle noise the best, but I assume you are looking at APS-c cameras. Among those cameras, noise becomes an issue over 1600 on Nikon and Pentax. Over 800 on Sony and Canon. (For ISO, each doubling is 1-f-stop. So basic ISO settings are 100-200-400-800-1600-3200-6400.
Though this applies to the darkest of the dark rides. Something like Small World isn't nearly as extreme.
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Old 05-18-2013, 09:14 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FortForever View Post
This is my ultimate goal, so I will eventually spend the money I need to get there. In the meantime, what would it take to photograph grandchildren that are are on the ride, but in the same car with me? Would the standard 18-55 lens do well for that?

I want to photograph my grandchildren on different rides (dark ones included) over the years as they grow up. I could do that now with a flash, but don't want to be obnoxious.

Since I love to take pictures, I also want to get into it as a hobby now that my kids are grown and I have more time (and money.)
The 18-55 kit would do fine to photograph people on rides with you during the day. But at night or indoors you may find yourself needing something faster. That is a lens with a wider maximum aperture to let more light in. And to get them in the same car you will need to be a wider angle lens with a short minimum focusing distance. The minimum focusing distance is the one place the 18-55 kit lens has an advantage over some other standard zooms... it's minimum focusing distance is less than 10 inches, where other standard zooms tend to be around a foot or more. So you have to balance all the things you need because you probably won't find one lens that fits every requirement.
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Old 06-02-2013, 08:29 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FortForever View Post
I really want to buy a DSLR. I have never used one, but have looked at them for a couple of years now.
I was in your same situation a few years ago.

My first suggestion would be with whatever you chose is to buy from a photo shop which provides classes or find another place to take classes. (Online try Lynda.com) I had a Canon for several years and really didn't know how to use it. Finally sold it and went back to point and shoot, but I alway had that artistic desire for a better camera.

Finally took a class through Indy Photo Coach and learned so much....mostly that just because you have a big flashy camera does not mean you will take great photos. Without taking the class, I would probably still be shooting in auto mode and using my camera essentially like a point and shoot.
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