Can't decide between these DSLRs! Need some help :) Update! **I Ordered**

Discussion in 'Photography Board' started by ilovepete, May 25, 2011.

  1. ilovepete

    ilovepete DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2010
    Messages:
    1,868
    OK so I am still considering a DSLR. I've been doing a ton of reading the last 2 days (and gotten some help from you guys!). I want a nice one, but I am a beginner. I don't know how to work them but I'm hoping to learn. My main concerns are shutter lag & fps, easy of use, and size/weight of camera. I know these cameras that I am considering can all take great photos so I'm not as worried about that, but of course photo quality is important to me. I have done all the number comparisons using a few websites (some I got here!). All of them are pretty similar in the numbers I'm seeing, though some are obvious above others in areas but I don't see 1 that just sticks out above the rest for me.

    I seem to find pros and cons with all of these. I can see them all being good so what I would really like is some opinions on the best value on these. Which ones are the best value for their price tag given my main concerns and beginner level (though I do want to learn and grow)? For example is the jump in price worth the .3 increase in shutter lag and 2 extra fps, etc. (I know there are other differences as well).

    These are the ones I am considering right now, feel free to give suggestions, too:

    Canon EOS 60D
    Canon EOS Rebel T3i (EOS 600D)
    Canon EOS T2i (Rebel T2i, Canon 550D)
    Nikon D5100
    Nikon D7000
    Sony Alpha DSLR-A580
    Sony Alpha SLT-A55V

    Also, if you saw my other thread, I have not completely ruled out the Lumix GF2 or similar like Sony Nex 5 but I'm trying to focus on a "real" DSLR right now and see what would be best for me. :)
     
  2. Avatar

    Google AdSense Guest Advertisement


    to hide this advert.
  3. photo_chick

    photo_chick Knows a little about a lot of things, a lot about

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2007
    Messages:
    5,006
    Shutter lag is not going to be noticeable with any of them. To me it's not even an issue to consider.

    You're really nit picking the specs, which is good, but have you been to the store to play with them? You don't want to spend all this time agonizing over the decision then get the thing and find out it's just plain awkward to hold. The best value for you is going to be the camera that does what you want, fits your hands and is within your budget. And that won't be the same for everyone.

    You might also want to give Pentax a look, too. They make great cameras for a great price as well.
     
  4. Pea-n-Me

    Pea-n-Me DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2004
    Messages:
    23,400
    Go with the one that feels most comfortable to you - to hold, to use, to carry.

    Is there a reason you're not looking at the Olympus PENs?
     
  5. ukcatfan

    ukcatfan DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    May 11, 2001
    Messages:
    5,268
    The models to look at are the K-x and K-r. You should notice that for the money, the Pentax and Sony models give you more in the specs. It is nothing against Canon or Nikon, but they have a business model to give a little less to encourage quicker upgrades.
     
  6. ilovepete

    ilovepete DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2010
    Messages:
    1,868
    So with both of you saying go to the one that feels best, does that mean there isn't enough of a difference between these for a beginner to be stressing over it? What about in the future, will I regret choosing a lower priced model as opposed to one with more features that I don't think matter now but may in the future?

    We are actually going to be physically looking at them tomorrow in store. I was just trying to get some ideas before doing that of ones to strike out or take a closer look at.

    As for the Olympus I ruled it out for some reason but can't really recall what it was now. I think at that time I was only comparing the Lumix GF2 with it and I preferred the GF2 at the time, I think just from comparing the numbers and price, but honestly I can't recall the exact reason right now so I'd be willing to look at that one again. Same with the Pentax mentioned, I guess I just didn't hear as much about that brand so didn't even try to find one in the same range as the ones above, I will look into them as well.

    It makes me feel better to know that I won't be able to tell the difference in the shutter lag numbers, etc. But if not, why is the price difference so great between all these? I realize they have different features but sometimes the price differences don't seem to reflect that, at least on paper. Maybe when actually using it, they do, but that's the part I need help with since I am not experienced at all. Also like I'm seeing the Sony AFF has a fps of 9.04 yet the T2i has one of 3.64. They are both roughly the same price, though?

    And what about battery life? I never really considered it much until yesterday and now I am thinking that may be a major factor. The last thing I want is for the battery to give out on an all day outting, ya know? I guess there is always the back up. But again like there seems to be such a wide range on these and it doesn't really correlate with price necessarily.

    Then I think well why don't I just get the "best" one on my list (for me I guess I'm meaning that would be the D7000 - but I know "best" can vary greatly from one person to the other). But do I need that much camera? Would I just confuse myself and not be able to use it correctly (being a beginner) and are there enough advantages in it to make it work the extra money, etc. I'm all questions right now! LOL

    Thanks so much, I really appreciate the input! :)
     
  7. ChiSoxKeith

    ChiSoxKeith DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2010
    Messages:
    2,174
    I agree with photo chic. It matters more how the camera feels in your hands. Which camera you are most comfortable carrying. Which camera's interface you "get"
     
  8. ilovepete

    ilovepete DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2010
    Messages:
    1,868
    Thank you. I am definitely noticing that in Sony at least, the money seems to go farther. I just never seem to see anyone with Sony so I guess I am just a little reluctant. But I've read a lot of info that they are really good so I am definitely considering them. In fact one of the top leaders for me right now is the A55 (the battery life is holding me back though! maybe the 580 would be the answer to that, I don't know). There is just a little voice in the back of my head that just keeps saying Nikon or Canon LOL I guess its just based on what I've seen/heard up until right now when I'm actually researching myself.
     
  9. ChiSoxKeith

    ChiSoxKeith DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2010
    Messages:
    2,174
    Most of those cameras are going to have rechargeable batteries. You will want a second one.

    I have one of the original canon DSLRs and I can fire off several hundred >300 on one battery charge. I know once I went to an air show and got north of 500 shots (no flash).

    What kind of shooting do you want to do? My canon shoots about 3fps and while I can shoot sports (HS football and baseball) I cam definitely see the benefit of getting one with higher burst rates.
     
  10. ilovepete

    ilovepete DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2010
    Messages:
    1,868
    Running children is a big one. :) I was saying yesterday, mostly "soccer mom use" :rotfl2: but in the future I may want to do more (still just personal use, though). We also go to Disney several times a year with very long days there and I definitely want to be able to use it there. I do a lot of documenting for our homeschool (of course I can use a P&S for that but I would love to have the pictures be really nice. Some food shots (I'm not a foodie but share recipes and such with friends and family and just think it would be fun). We like to watch the shuttle launches as well so I would do that (but that is coming to an end, I know...). Vacations, too. But mostly REALLY active kids and pets who I am always missing shots of because they won't stand still. Or they cut their eyes after like 2 seconds of starring at the camera before I can get the shot of them actually looking at it. That is about it, for now. :)

    And thank you about the battery info. If the back up is sort of a given that I'd need one anyway, then that isn't as much of a concern.
     
  11. DISfan0829

    DISfan0829 Earning My Ears

    Joined:
    May 20, 2009
    Messages:
    37
    What is your price range?

    Are you interested in a camera that can also do good video? If you are you should look more closely at SONY and Panasonic. They do the best jobs at stills/video because most of their models do not have mirrors.
     
  12. ilovepete

    ilovepete DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2010
    Messages:
    1,868
    To be honest I don't really have a budget. I'm open. But I want there to be good value in what I am getting, which is another reason Sony is really appealing to me (seems you get more for the price, but that may just be my perception). I guess if I had to give a number I'd prefer it to be under $1,200 with a decent lens included in that number, but I'd want one heck of a camera for that. I am frugal at heart. :) I don't mind paying for quality but I want something really good in return.

    I am interested in video. I don't do much with it other than short clips to document the kids, but I do want it to be video capable for sure. I'd like to be able to zoom while shooting video and to be able to shoot video in low light but other than that I'm not too picky on the video. I guess HD would be nice.
     
  13. DISfan0829

    DISfan0829 Earning My Ears

    Joined:
    May 20, 2009
    Messages:
    37
    I have had Nikons, 4 different Canon DSLR's and also have some Kodak point and shoots. I recently purchased my first Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ100. It is their top end point and shoot.

    If I were buying a new camera today I would get the Panasonic Lumix GH2. It is a mirror-less camera with interchangeable lenses with Leica optics. It is probably the best video/stills combo camera out there today.

    Canon and Nikon still have mirrors and that detracts from their video capabilities.

    Check out dpreview.com (http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/) They have very good reviews of various cameras.
     
  14. Pea-n-Me

    Pea-n-Me DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2004
    Messages:
    23,400
    And if that's going to bother you, then it is something you should take into consideration, because you will hear it a lot.

    Well, I'm an Olympus dSLR user so that ought to tell you something. And BTW, a PEN is on my Wish List. With an adaptor, I'll be able to use all of my Olympus lenses on the PEN and they will all auto focus. I can stick the PEN in my purse for the times I don't want to carry my large gear bag. Both my E30 and the EPL2 have the same 4/3 sensor. They fit my needs just fine and I am happy with the quality of my images. I don't get too hung up on specs.

    Only you can decide what your habits will be. But if you go too advanced too soon, you're not likely to enjoy using the camera OR be satisfied with your images. Camera bodies come and go, but lenses are forever is the general thought. Pick something that feels good to use and that you enjoy using, to start. You can always upgrade later. Digital technology is moving along pretty quickly anyway. They're now talking about a hybrid type camera which will be a cross between a dSLR and a mirrorless. So who knows what we'll be buying a few years from now.

    I'd suggest asking yourself what your real goal is (again, as I know you have been doing that!). Do you want to learn to use a dSLR? Or do you just want to get good images the easiest way possible? If it's the former, then pick out a dSLR from the ones you listed - they'll all be good. If it's the latter, then try the mirrorless. You can always add a dSLR if you really get into it. The Sony might make sense for that. Whatever you decide to buy, learning some basic principles of photography (exposure) and the ins and outs of the camera will help you get the images you want. You just have to put your time in either way (and it sounds like you're willing to do that!).
     
  15. Disneylove1228

    Disneylove1228 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2008
    Messages:
    500
    I got the canon t1i.... i know that it isn't on your list, but the updated version is... I LOVE my camera!!! :) it is amazing and does everything i want it to do! Take GREAT pics! Investing in some new glass soon! Can't wait :)
     
  16. ukcatfan

    ukcatfan DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    May 11, 2001
    Messages:
    5,268
    There are plenty of people with both Pentax and Sony. There are just more people with Nikon and Canon. They both hit the marketing machine really hard in the early days of digital and have built a lot of volume due to it. Sony is well, Sony. They are a huge company. Their DSLRs are actually the new versions of Minolta, a SLR camera company with much history and many used lenses in the market. Sony bought them and actually improved upon them. Sony would actually like to try to give C&N a run for their money and they very well could do it.

    Pentax has been in the photography business for nearly a century and were much more popular in the film days. They do not try to compete in the volume sales area. They are happy to make their cameras the way they want, pretty much sell all of their stock, and make a healthy profit.

    One interesting thing about the Pentax K-r is that it has an adapter available so that you can use AA batteries or the included battery. The K-x just takes AAs. That is the model I have, but I would suggest going up to the K-r since it still fits very well into your budget.
     
  17. ilovepete

    ilovepete DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2010
    Messages:
    1,868
    Makes sense, thank you! I already added them to the comparison I have going! :)
     
  18. photo_chick

    photo_chick Knows a little about a lot of things, a lot about

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2007
    Messages:
    5,006
    On upgrading in the future... here's my take. You can't outgrow a DSLR. As long as you have full control over shutter speed, aperture, ISO, focal length and focus there is nothing to outgrow. Sure, you can want more bells and whistles and technology will advance, but that should not stop you from getting the shot. There are ways to work around many situations and make the equipment work for you.

    On the burst rate... I shot football with a Rebel XT that does 2.8 frames per second. It was totally workable for me. Yes, I had to work within the confines of the camera, but I never felt like I missed a shot because of it. And it was always more than enough to catch my kids when they were just playing.
     
  19. ChiSoxKeith

    ChiSoxKeith DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2010
    Messages:
    2,174
    I totally agree that you can get some awesome shots with slower burst rates. But I've been lucky enough to get field access and I wind up standing next to the newspaper guys. I fire off two or three shots and they fire off like a gattling gun.

    [​IMG]

    A buddy of mine just got the Panasonic GH2. I have not had a chance to shoot it myself, but the sample images and video he has sent me are superb.

    Any of the cameras you have listed will be able to take great images. Figure out what matters to you most, and which one you like best once you get a chance to play with them. I would probably spend more for the glass than the body.

    I've just got the kit lens with mine and a non IS 70-300 zoom. (the above image was taken with a rented 400mm f/2.8).
     
  20. Bstanley

    Bstanley DisNoid

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2001
    Messages:
    1,231
    Abso-posi-lutely accurate.

    In fact I would probably leave out the probably :rotfl2:.

    IMHO There is a strong argument to be made that buying the less capable/less expensive body and using the money on the glass is the best way to go at the start. While you don't need 'world class glass' to deliver great pictures if you buy a couple of extra lenses - especially a telephoto lens - you might easily end up spending more than the price of the body.

    The good news is - if you buy good (or even break the bank and buy great) glass you never need to buy it again. As has been pointed out in the Sony/Minolta discussion, a great 15 year old lens from any of the top manufacturers is still a great lens when attached to their latest digital bodies.
     
  21. photo_chick

    photo_chick Knows a little about a lot of things, a lot about

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2007
    Messages:
    5,006
    Oh yeah. When you get a 1D with 10 frames per second it moves fast. And even my 50D with it's 6 frames per second is fast in comparison to my old Rebel. I'll admit it's nice to have but I do find that in the end I really don't end up with a higher number of keepers because of it though.

    Totally agree. I have some lenses from the 80's, when Canon first came out with the EOS mount, and they can still hang up there with comparable current offerings from Canon.
     

Share This Page