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First DSLR advice needed

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neoraptor    60

So far I've been using point and shoot cameras but i find them limiting and not very good at low light conditions.

I've started reading the tutorials at http://www.cambridgeincolour.com so I can understand what I'm looking for.

Obviously lenses are as much (or even more) important as (than) the camera itself and I'll need different ones depending on the scene.

Here is the kit I've chosen so far :

Nikon D5100 + Nikon AF-S DX VR Zoom-Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G + Nikon AF-S DX VR Zoom-Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6G IF-ED + Nikon CF-EU05 SLR System Bag + SanDisk SD Ultra 4GB HC

There is a kit with Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR instead of the two lenses above

Is it a bad idea to buy a kit?

Are those lenses good (landscape/portraits)?

Is Canon 600d better?

Will it produce decent video too?

etc. Please advice

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Andre    9

Get the 18-105 kit and a 35mm f/1.8.

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Argote    73

I agree with Andre, the 18-105 will surely be a better quality lens even though you'll be limited at the telephoto range (though honestly, one doesn't really use telephoto that ofter unless you're into sports or wildlife) but the addition of the wide aperture prime will be nice.

As for D5100 vs. 600D both should be fine, 600D is supposed to be a bit more configurable for video but the sensor on the D5100 is very nice for stills.

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neoraptor    60

I agree with Andre, the 18-105 will surely be a better quality lens even though you'll be limited at the telephoto range (though honestly, one doesn't really use telephoto that ofter unless you're into sports or wildlife) but the addition of the wide aperture prime will be nice.

As for D5100 vs. 600D both should be fine, 600D is supposed to be a bit more configurable for video but the sensor on the D5100 is very nice for stills.

Is the 18-105mm good for everyday use (both portraits with shallow dof and landscapes) and will it replace both 18-55mm and 55-200mm (not going for sports/wildlife)?

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new_mike5    0

I would recommend getting the kit with the 18-105, it is convenient to have the zoom range without stopping to change lenses, and carry only the camera with you.

I've been using the 18-105mm with a D90 for my casual photography ever since I bought my DSLR and still find it the most general purpose. It is the only lens I took with me to uni. It may not have the nice bokeh of a 1.8 but will the job. Another reason I would recommend it is that it will introduce you to different areas of photography. You will then be able to buy more specialist lenses according to the area that you like ( portrait, macro, etc.)

I've included some of my photographs taken with the lens (please note the photographs have been modified):

At 18 http://flic.kr/p/8EeG72

At 105 http://flic.kr/p/8gdwCV and http://flic.kr/p/8kigtV

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Andre    9

18-105 at 105mm f/5.6 at close range (1-2 meters) should give you a nice blown out background for close up portraits, given the subject is far away from the background. For landscapes, in general, you would want to shoot at smaller apertures (ie f/8 or f/11) to have as much in focus as you can.

Overall, 18-105 is a good start. Do consider a fast prime lens, ie 35/1.8 DX or maybe even 50/1.4.

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neoraptor    60

adding this as possibility (relatively same price range)

Canon EOS 600D + Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II + Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II

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TFindley    5

I dont know much about the Nikon's, so I'll only comment on the Canon. The 600D is a very capable camera. The 18-55mm lens will be a good starting lens as its got IS. I'm surprised you're not adding a Telephoto lens instead of a 50mm prime though.

A note about the 50mm f/1.8 II - Its made of plastic (with glass elements ofcourse). The build quality is good enough but its classed as a disposable lens. Dont expect it to be the same as the 18-55mm. The f/1.8 will give some great shots with amazing DoF (Depth of Field). Much more so than the 18-55mm will. Just remember that with prime lenses, YOU need to move to achieve the zoom. It changes how you shoot.

The 600D does come with two other kit-lens options. With a 18-135mm IS, which like the Nikon with 18-105 will give you a much better range. Or as a 18-55mm IS and 55-250mm IS kit. This will be the most expensive of the options.

If you want a good landscape lens, then forget the 50mm. Its a portrait lens, through and through. Look at the 24mm f/2.8 (?353.00), 28mm f/2.8 (?163.99) and 35mm f/2.0 (?217.90) options. Remember none of these are USM or IS lenses. http://www.the-digital-picture.com have reviews of all three and most other Canon lenses.

The Nikon bag, Personally I wouldnt bother with. Get a LowePro Sling Shot bag. They're the most typical starting bag. They offer a very good range of features and a pretty good carrying solution. if you're specifically after a shoulder bag, then maybe look at the LowePro Passport Sling. Ultimately it depends if you want a pure photo bag, or a bag that can be used for more than just the camera.

If you're going to continue looking at the Nikon cameras, then the 18-105 sounds like the best option. i've no idea how it compares optically, but it offers a much better range.

If you want someone to tell you whether to go Nikon or Canon, then my advise would be to go play with both in your local camera store and see which you prefer. Personally I went for Canon as I prefered the handling of the 400D (back when I bought my first DSLR). Whichever you choose now, stick with.

Remember that when buying camera gear, invest heavily in Lenses! The body is worthless after a couple of years, however the lenses can go on to be used on many future cameras.

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ybrett23    39

i personally have a nikon d5100, (after upgrading from the d3100) with the 18-55 lens and i purchased the nikon 70-300 vr, these are both excellent and enabled me to take some excellent photos at the singapore gp last year, certainly recommend this one :)

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Pink Floyd    15

keep in mind that you won't be able to use old lens with that camera. I mean, old lenses will not autofocus as that camera doesn't have the focus motor built in. That is one of the reasons why they can sell them that cheap. You will need AF-S Nikkor lenses to be able to focus.

For exemple, I have the old Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 but my wife can't use it on her D5100 because it won't focus.

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philcruicks    259

adding this as possibility (relatively same price range)

Canon EOS 600D + Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II + Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II

+1 to the canon...I believe most if not all Nikon use plastic rather than glass (which canon use) in the lenses

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Argote    73

keep in mind that you won't be able to use old lens with that camera. I mean, old lenses will not autofocus as that camera doesn't have the focus motor built in. That is one of the reasons why they can sell them that cheap. You will need AF-S Nikkor lenses to be able to focus.

It is more an issue of artificially segmenting the market than actual cost, adding a motor to the D3100/D5100 would hardly add $3 to the production costs but would make the jump from D5100 to D7000 harder to justify. Sony, Pentax (and I think Canon) have motors on even their "lowest-end" $500 w/lens bodies.

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chrisj1968    1,417

As a photographer, Get a system that fits your style of shooting. sport shooting? then you'll need one with fast frame rates. But remember, the equipment doesn't make the photographer

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ybrett23    39

As a photographer, Get a system that fits your style of shooting. sport shooting? then you'll need one with fast frame rates. But remember, the equipment doesn't make the photographer

here here :)

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TFindley    5

As a photographer, Get a system that fits your style of shooting. sport shooting? then you'll need one with fast frame rates. But remember, the equipment doesn't make the photographer

Agreed! Try them both. See what fits your constitution. :)

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neoraptor    60

Thanks all!

So far I've decided to get nikon 5100 + 18-105mm (plus some primes in future). Canon 600d seems to have better video capabilities but is more expensive here (especially the lenses for it).

One last thing - noticed nikon release the 5xxxx cameras around April, should i wait to see if there is a new model this year or there is no chance for this. If there is I can get the newer (with more features) or 5100 for less money. There is a rumor for 3200 coming soon

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nominak    982

So I don't have to make another topic of the exact same name... I was looking at getting the Canon EOS Rebel t2i if I get any significant amount of money from tax returns... I would use it for both video and photography, what would be a good lens in the $100 range to get for it?

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neoraptor    60

haven't seen that cheap lenses, Try getting it kit with 18-55mm thats the cheapest way

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ybrett23    39

Thanks all!

So far I've decided to get nikon 5100 + 18-105mm (plus some primes in future). Canon 600d seems to have better video capabilities but is more expensive here (especially the lenses for it).

One last thing - noticed nikon release the 5xxxx cameras around April, should i wait to see if there is a new model this year or there is no chance for this. If there is I can get the newer (with more features) or 5100 for less money. There is a rumor for 3200 coming soon

excellent choice you wont be disappointed, the next 5*** series wont be out till next year

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chrisj1968    1,417

So I don't have to make another topic of the exact same name... I was looking at getting the Canon EOS Rebel t2i if I get any significant amount of money from tax returns... I would use it for both video and photography, what would be a good lens in the $100 range to get for it?

I would, in your shoes get something along the lines of the t2i with a EF lens (not EF-S), EF lenses will give you much better results. now that being said, when you ARE ready to upgrade to a camera that's only able to use EF lenses, you have saved yourself that money for a lens and can splurge on the camera body. I went froman old Canon 400D(xti) to a 5DMarkII. so I didn't need to buy a lens for the new body.. i already had it .. just trying to save you some $$$

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Bassem    0

I'm not a Nikon guy myself (just a matter of preference), but I have used the D5100, great camera, can't go wrong with it. Also, I'd take the 18-105mm, I don't think you'll be needing the 55-200mm. Next step, get a cheap prime, a 35mm or a 50. However, if you want to go with Canon, you can probably get a pretty good deal on the 550D, I happen to own one and I can't complain, it shares the same sensor as the 600D, so image quality is basically the same. Unless you really want that flip-out screen and built-in wireless flash control, I'd go with the 550D + the 18-135mm.

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nominak    982

I would, in your shoes get something along the lines of the t2i with a EF lens (not EF-S), EF lenses will give you much better results. now that being said, when you ARE ready to upgrade to a camera that's only able to use EF lenses, you have saved yourself that money for a lens and can splurge on the camera body. I went froman old Canon 400D(xti) to a 5DMarkII. so I didn't need to buy a lens for the new body.. i already had it .. just trying to save you some $$$

Well I don't think I'd be upgrading for a long while, so I think I'll go the t2i with EF lens for now.

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chrisj1968    1,417

Well I don't think I'd be upgrading for a long while, so I think I'll go the t2i with EF lens for now.

also, you'll be working with a crop factor of 1.6 due to the APS-C sensor. long story. so with a crop factor of 1.6. so we'll say if you are using a focal distance of 200 meters. that being 200 meters on a lens that has 200 meters. with the crop factor of x 1.6, you actually will have an effective focal distance of 320 meters. that means, if you had a full frame sensor, I would be using a lens of 320 meters to be at the same level of focal length as you or vice versa

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