OT - Camera advice

Discussion in 'CycleChat Cafe' started by Rhythm Thief, 1 Sep 2007.

  1. I'm going to be buying a digital SLR in the next few weeks. I'll have around £800 to spend and was thinking of a Canon 40D or a Pentax K10D. I've just found a Nikon D200, with a lens, for £700, which I rather like the look of. Any advice from all you experienced David Bailey wannabees?:ohmy:
  2. Brock

    Brock Senior Member

    I've no helpful experience of such smart cameras, but just in case you're not aware of it, I've always found www.stevesdigicams.com a great resource for camera reviews and sample pictures.
    Nikon D200 here
    Don't wanna buy me one while you're at it do you?
  3. domd1979

    domd1979 New Member

    http://www.dpreview.com/ has a lot of detailed reviews, although they haven't reviewed the Canon 40D properly yet, as it appears to have only just come out!

  4. Melvil

    Melvil Guest

    I am another fan of DPreview...in fact I used them today to buy a camera (a nikon).

    If I had your budget I might take a serious look at the EOS 40D and also the Nikon D80 (which gets a very good write-up in DPreview)...they are both very good cameras...at some point it just comes down to personal preference. What kind of pictures will you be taking with the camera (do you have lenses already) and how much will you use it? (The more expensive ones will last longer, given heavy daily use).

    The K10D has issues with image sharpness, I'm told but has a very good feature-set on the other hand and is weather sealed so good if you're out and about.....

    If you can, go to a shop and ask if you can give a selection of them a tryout...if they are any good they should agree - and then they can burn you a CD of the shots you took with the different cameras and you can see for yourself.
  5. Melvil

    Melvil Guest

    Oh, just read your post again - a D200 for £700? That sounds like a very good deal indeed but would you need additional lenses?
  6. Cab

    Cab New Member

    Of those the Nikon is the best bit of kit.

    Have you considered the Sony alpha 100?
  7. Not yet. I don't know much about modern digital cameras, so am open to any suggestions. I think the Nikon is the way to go though.
  8. PapaZita

    PapaZita Veteran

    St. Albans
    I've got the Pentax K10D, and it's a very good camera. I recommend it. I've been a Pentax user for many years, and I wanted a camera that would be compatible with the lenses that I already owned, so I didn't really investigate the Canon and Nikon offerings enough to be able to make a comparison. I'm sure they're pretty good too.

    An interesting feature of the Pentax is the "shake reduction", which is built into the body and so works with any lens. It works really well. Pentax's lenses are also superb. I've seen pictures from the new range of DA* zooms, and they look great, although they may stretch your budget a bit. For fixed focal length lenses, any from the 'Limited' range are hard to fault. Even the entry level lenses, such as the 18-55, are better than you have any right to expect, for the price. That's not always the case with budget lenses from other manufacturers.

    Melvil mentions issues with image sharpness. This is really nothing to worry about. It something that affects the JPEG images from the camera, and it's true that they can be marginally less sharp than JPEGs from other makers' cameras. Pentax have just been a bit conservative with the amount of in-camera sharpening that they do. It's easy to add a bit more on the computer if you need it, much harder to remove it when you've got too much. If you shoot RAW (and if you're bothered about such small differences in quality then you probably will) then you'll do the sharpening yourself on your computer anyway.

    Perhaps you should also consider the Pentax K100D "Super". It's only six megapixels compared to the K10D's ten, but it has similar shake reduction, takes all the same lenses, etc. (I think only the new 'Super' model is compatible with the ultrasonic focusing feature on the new DA* lenses). Since it has fewer megapixels it has slightly better noise performance in low light, if that's important to you. And of course it's cheaper, so you can spend more on lenses.

    It's probably clear that I'm a bit of a Pentax fan. However, I second Melvil's suggestion that you go and try them all out in a shop. Technically, they're all good. Pick the one that feels nice in your hands (consider an add-on grip if that feels better to you), and with a viewfinder that you like. Especially if you wear glasses - check that you can see the viewfinder clearly.

  9. Keith Oates

    Keith Oates Janner

    Penarth, Wales
    I'm also no camera expert but a friend of mine who's a professional camera buff says you can't go wrong with Nikon. So if I was in the market for one that's what I'd buy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  10. andrew_s

    andrew_s Guru

    The 40D is over budget and not yet available - warehouse express are taking pre-orders at £900 body only, for October. As far as I'm aware nobody has reviewed an actual real 40D yet, so how good it is is a matter of speculation. It should be better than a 30D, which wasn't as good as the D200.

    The D200 would normally also be over budget at around £1000 inc lens. Is your £700 one off a Hong Kong based website? If so, you should be aware that you may get charged import duty/VAT when it arrives, and that you are legally obliged to pay it even if customs don't catch the package on the way in. You pays your money and you takes your chances.

    At UK prices, the K10D is probably the best value, and has the in-body anti-shake which is well worth having. If you are thinking of getting extra lenses in the future, you should be aware that 3rd-party manufacturers like Sigma will release new models in Canon and Nikon first and other fittings later, so I'd recommend checking what's available now.
  11. andyoxon

    andyoxon Veteran

    I've still got my Nikon FE2 35mm & lenses, but use a Lumix (Panasonic) superzoom (compact, great 35-432mm, Leica Image stab, F2.8-3.3 lens, v.low shutter lag) at the mo. I've been thinking of going to dslr too.

    Nikon have just announced the D300 - a significant upgrade for the D200.

    If you compare the Nikon D80, D200, and D300 - it's clear that there is not much between the new D80 and older D200. The D80 is a lot lighter though.

    So I'm Nikon biased, but I reckon I'd personally get a Nikon D80, and then wait a couple of years before upgrading to the D300 (CMOS sensor). :ohmy: Though prices for the D200 will come under quite a bit more pressure now.

  12. DustBowlRefugee

    DustBowlRefugee Über Member

    Sussex, England
    I've had a Nikon D80 for a year and it's easily the best camera I've ever owned. I compared it to the others of a similar price and am glad I decided on the Nikon. You can get a good deal on a kit now too. Here's a photo I took on the summit of Mont Ventoux in June. Anyone know who they are????
  13. Jonathan M

    Jonathan M New Member

    Got to consider the availability of lenses, and basically Canon & Nikon have the widest range of lenses, both from the manufacturer & from aftermarket suppliers like Sigma etc.

    But I actually use the Olympus E500 DSLR. Was £500 with a short (17-45) zoom and a long (40-150) zoom. The Olympus uses the fourthirds lens system, which effectively doubles the focal length. One good advantage is that Olympus use a system that means the CCD is automatically cleaned ultrasonically each time the camera is turned on. makes a big difference as in nearly 2 years of ownership I have not had to clean the CCD, and not had any dust spoiling images, so it probably works well. The newer Olympus DSLR (is is the E410??) claims to be the lightest 7 smallest available - makes a difference if you inten to carry it on travels etc.

    I use a forum www.thephotoforum.com which encourages members to post & give critique of each others photo's. Very good 7 sound advice from members on there.
  14. Tim Bennet.

    Tim Bennet. Entirely Average Member

    S of Kendal
    I think Jonathan has good advice. If your budget is £700, then make sure you include all the 'bits' that make it worth owning a DSLR rather than a fixed lens pro-sumer model. If you don't get a second lens, what's the point of having interchangeable lens?

    I have had the Olympus E500 with the 14-45 and 40-150 zooms (28 to 300mm coverage in old money) for a while now. It replaced a very extensive film camera set up, including a multitude of lens. I thought it would struggle for it to be an exact replacement but I have been pleasantly surprised. There are a number of features of a DSLR (like switchable ISO settings from frame to frame) that compensate for what on paper looks like a lower specification (slower lens, etc).

    I think the replacement for my model (the E510) has sufficient upgrades (live view and image stabilising for example) for you to consider this rather than snapping up one of the original E500s, despite the ridiculous low price they are being offered at in some places.

    I have seen the E510 with both lens on sale at £660. It won't be long before the price will ease to allow you to get the camera, both lens, a second battery, at least 2GB of memory cards, a couple of filters and a copy of Adobe Photoshop Elements vrs 5, all for your £700 budget. If you learnt to get the best from that lot, your photography certainly won't be 'equipment constrained'! I think you would be hard to match it for £700.

    (NB, although the E410 is smaller and lighter, it does not have image stabilising, which is worth about 2 stops when hand holding. I think the small increase in size of the E510 is worth it for this feature.)
  15. Jonathan M

    Jonathan M New Member

    I certainly agree about getting a copy of Elements, good VFM, really easy to use, and there really isn't any point IMHO in investing in a halfway decent DSLR without some digital darkroom type software.
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