Most cost-effective way to get into the DSLR game?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by richardsfault, Oct 1, 2005.

  1. I am researching options for putting together a DSLR lens and body
    package for $1000 - $1250.

    I have heard too many bad things about the Canon Rebel kit lens to
    consider it. OTOH, the Nikon kit lenses seem to be well-received.

    Possible options:

    D70 with 18-70 kit.

    D50 with better-than-kit alternate lens

    Rebel with better-than-kit alternate lens

    Rebel XT with better-than-kit alternate lens

    I am not as confident in other DSLR brands. Should I be considering

    What are some good third-party lenses, and what should be avoided.

    Past experience indicates that Tamron lenses are good. Is this still

    I have also heard that one should be careful with Sigma.

    In comparisaon to the D-70, what is lost with the D-50 and gained with
    the D70s?
    richardsfault, Oct 1, 2005
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  2. "A disturbing new study finds that studies are disturbing"
    Buy the DRebel XT body only and pick up the EF 28-135 IS lens. That should
    put you right at the top end of your budget. That said I'd spend the extra
    $100 and get the XT kit. The kit lens isn't great but it can produce some
    good pictures under the right circumstances.
    Robert R Kircher, Jr., Oct 1, 2005
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  3. On Sat, 01 Oct 2005 10:09:37 -0500, richardsfault

    Get an XT body and the Canon 50mm f1.8, plastic fantastic.

    With the money you save you can get a second lens.

    A good basic lens.


    "Blessed be you, universal matter, immeasureable time,
    boundless thee triple abyss of stars and atoms and
    generations; you who by overflow and dissolving
    our narrow standards or measurement reveal to us
    the dimensions of God."

    Pierre Teilhard De Chardin
    John A. Stovall, Oct 1, 2005
  4. richardsfault

    Nobody Guest

    If you decide on Rebel XT - new Canon rebates are supposed to start soon
    (Oct 15). Search DPREVIEW.COM for details
    Nobody, Oct 1, 2005
  5. richardsfault

    Lourens Smak Guest

    If you want the most bang for the buck you should definitely look at the
    Olympus E300 two-lens-kit, and the new E500, which will be in stores
    next month, and will also be available in a 2-lens kit.

    Lourens Smak, Oct 1, 2005
  6. richardsfault

    ken.strauss Guest

    Or consider the D70s + Sigma 18-125. I have been very pleased with
    mine. The Sigma lens actually "feels" better mechanically than the
    Nikon kit lens. Perhaps I was just lucky...
    ken.strauss, Oct 2, 2005
  7. richardsfault

    Bill Guest

    I have the Rebel XT and I've seen the kit lense, which isn't very good
    in my opinion.

    The Nikkor 18-70mm is a good lense though, and makes the D50 or D70s an
    attractive option, especially if you can't afford to get more lenses at
    the same time or simply want one general use lense.
    Good choice.
    If you get the D50 with the 18-70 "kit" lense, it's a good choice.
    I feel the basic Rebel lacks too many features to be a viable
    competitor. I don't like that it lacks one-shot mode and forces the user
    to deal with it's AI modes. Plus other issues.

    However, if you don't need those extra features, then getting it and a
    good lense is a great cost saver.
    The XT is a great little camera, but unless you don't need the
    wide-angle end, the cost of a decent lense pushes it up a bit too high.
    I would suggest the 17-85mm IS as a good walk-around lense, but I think
    the lense cost blows your budget.
    That depends on your needs. The Olympus, Minolta brands are fine, but I
    feel they are not as diverse as the Canon and Nikon models.
    Unfortunately I've rarely had good experiences with third-party lenses,
    so I tend to recommend and stick to the like-branded lenses.
    Have you read the reviews and comparisons?

    Try these:

    The last one wasn't mentioned in your post, so I added the 20D for
    comparison's sake.

    Now I have to state that I'm slightly biased toward Canon because I own
    some expensive Canon glass, so I had to go with an XT for compatibility
    reasons. But having said that, if I was shopping around for a new DSLR,
    and had no investment in lenses, and was new to the field, I'd probably
    buy the Nikon D50 or D70s with a Nikkor 18-70mm lense to start out.

    The only thing I don't like about Nikon is the lack of mirror lockup for
    longer exposures.
    The only thing I don't like about Canon is the partial metering instead
    of spot.

    I suppose I could live with either models. :)
    Bill, Oct 2, 2005
  8. richardsfault

    Stacey Guest

    Not enough info, what are you going to shoot and under what conditions are
    most of your shots going to be taken.
    Stacey, Oct 2, 2005
  9. The most cost effective solution? Buying used, of course.

    Stefan Patric, Oct 2, 2005
  10. richardsfault

    Skip M Guest

    I'm not sure it matters. If he doesn't/can't be more specific, then your
    beloved E-300 with attendant pair of lenses should be good for him. Unless
    he wants higher frame rates, in which case his budget is insufficient.
    Skip M, Oct 2, 2005
  11. He should bother with any Olympus as it's 4/3 sensor is a dead end.


    "What About Four Thirds?
    Though I know these are fighting words, I'm afraid that I regard the
    4/3rd concept is an evolutionary dead-end. A -2X sized sensor may have
    made some sense five years ago when 35mm sized sensors were nearly
    astronomical in cost. But now this differential has shrunk
    dramatically, and will continue to do so. The promised smaller size of
    camera bodies due to the use of smaller sensors is modest at best. For
    example, the Olympus E-1 is only 150 grams lighter than the Canon 5D.
    True, Olympus lenses are smaller and lighter, but this hasn't turned
    out to be all that compelling a sell."

    Read the rest of it.


    "A combat photographer should be able to make you see the
    color of blood in black and white"

    David Douglas Duncan
    Speaking on why in Vietnam
    he worked only in black and white
    John A. Stovall, Oct 2, 2005
  12. See my site for the type of shooting I have done on film and plan on
    doing with a DSLR:

    Someone mentioned frame rates. As a manual-winding, manual-focus film
    shooter, I am not well versed with "rapid fire". I am sure that having
    a DSLR will push me a bit in that direction, but I don't see frame
    rate as being a big issue.
    richardsfault, Oct 2, 2005
  13. I am researching options for putting together a DSLR lens and body
    With film cameras, the basic idea is to put as money as you can into a
    good lens. With a dSLR, you have to pay more attention to the camera,

    I would start by figuring out how much resoultion you need (7MPix will
    give you a good 8x10, a medicore 11x14, etc.). Then once you get the
    body you need, put the rest into a lens.

    I'm a big fan of Canon's line, because of their IS lenses, FWIW.

    Dr. Joel M. Hoffman, Oct 2, 2005
  14. Someone mentioned frame rates. As a manual-winding, manual-focus film
    With many cameras, after a few shots, you can end up waiting many
    seconds before the camera is ready to take pictures again. In other
    words, many dSLR's are much slower than manual winding. In some
    circumstances, that can be a real impediment.

    Dr. Joel M. Hoffman, Oct 2, 2005
  15. Here's what I recently did. I bought the D70 with the 18-70 kit lens
    and added the 55-200 Nikon DX lens. The two lenses give a good range of
    focal lengths. I haven't used the 18-70 kit lens much so far, but it
    appears to be fairly well-regarded. I've been pleased with the 55-200
    also. These lenses are not fast (optically) but are fine for use in
    bright daylight.

    Because of the D70s, the D70 is being discounted now (incl. rebate from
    Nikon) and I found the differences between the two to not be that
    important for my purposes.
    john_doe_ph_d, Oct 2, 2005
  16. richardsfault

    Skip M Guest

    In that case, burst is an important spec. The Canon 20D, for instance, will
    cache 25+ images before having to take a break. Of course, at 5 frames per
    second, that's a 5 second burst...
    Skip M, Oct 2, 2005
  17. richardsfault

    Skip M Guest

    Even when I used FD mount Canon stuff, I had winders or drives on my
    cameras. They came in handy for sports, but that's about it, unless
    shooting a bird in flight caught my fancy...
    That being said, and a quick look at your website, I'd say that, with your
    budget, the Oly system might be a good one for you. The E-300 or the new
    E-500 and the two lens kit will come in well under budget. The Canon
    RebelXT, Nikon D50/D70 and Minolta 5D/7D, with a couple of lenses will be
    over that mark.
    Skip M, Oct 2, 2005
  18. richardsfault

    Stacey Guest

    Looks like mostly daylight shooting in good light, no need for 1600ISO
    shooting? Take a look at what I'm shooting with, an E300. Should easily fit
    in your budget (2 lens kit?) and has really good color saturation which
    your film shots seem to have. No sensor dust worries and some nice optics

    Here are a few samples shot with mine.
    Stacey, Oct 3, 2005
  19. richardsfault

    Stacey Guest

    "So, it seems that the need for full-frame is not as great as it was, and
    that reduced frame is meeting the needs of many photographers, especially
    now that wide-angle issues limitations are no longer what they once were.

    With this in mind, I now increasingly believe that 1.5X or so cameras are
    the new 35mm, and that 24X36mm digital is going to remain an expensive
    niche market for pros and perfectionists - much as medium format used to be
    with film."

    So which time was he wrong? All the anti-4/3 people here are amazing.
    Stacey, Oct 3, 2005
  20. David J Taylor, Oct 3, 2005
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