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DSLR-Camera?

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DSLR-Camera?

Postby Andi » Mon Jan 31, 2011 7:42 am

I am not happy anymore with my small point and shoot and my a bit larger 'Bridge'-camera, so I think about getting a DSLR.
Is anyone here from the FBTB-members using a DSLR Camera?
If yes, do you think it would be possible please, that you are sharing some experience?
Last edited by Andi on Thu Feb 03, 2011 5:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: DSLR-Camera?

Postby MisterFubar » Mon Jan 31, 2011 8:26 am

I bought a Canon Digital Rebel(300D) shortly after they came out in 03 and love it. The main reason I went with Canon is I already had a few lenses that were compatible with it. It's been all over the world with me and survived a couple of wars and with the exception of some scratches and the rubber grip coating being all but gone it still works like new. It's capable of taking excellent pictures when you take the time to do it right but it also takes really good pictures on any of the auto settings. You can spend a fortune on lenses, but unless you plan on making money with the camera or just like having the best of everything some of the lower/mid lenses will work just fine.

I'll probably be upgrading soon, not that there is anything wrong with mine, I'd just like to be able to do video with it as well.

You can't tell from my Flickr stream but I used to be very into photography. These days I just don't take the time to setup good pictures. One of these days I'll set up a little studio in a corner of the house somewhere so I can take some proper pictures, until then everyone will get to see hastily thrown together pictures with poor lighting.

I'm almost willing to bet that I took more pictures with my phone last year than I did all of my cameras combined, and for vacations or weekend trips the big camera usually stays in the car in favor of something that will fit in my pocket.
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Re: DSLR-Camera?

Postby Draykov » Mon Jan 31, 2011 3:23 pm

I can vouch for the 300D. That's still my main camera until I set aside a grand or so for a higher end Canon. As starter cameras go, you could do a lot worse. The auto features compensate rather well for folks not used to setting up shots under manual settings. I think its main drawbacks compared to higher end cameras are it's relatively slow FPS (Continuous Shooting Speed = 2.5 frames per second) and its auto white balance. The 6.3 megapixel effective image sensor resolution is small compared to more expensive models, but is perfectly adequate.

it's plenty of camera for a beginner though and has the potential to take some really nice, professional-level shots, particularly if you're willing to invest in some nice Canon lenses.
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Re: DSLR-Camera?

Postby Andi » Tue Feb 01, 2011 4:43 am

MisterFubar, Draykov, thanks so much for your replies.
Do you also photograph Lego with your Canon 300D? Or only landscapes, people, stuff outside, during vacations?

How can I find out what a good lens is? I definitely can't afford a 2000 Euro lens, or recently I even saw a 8000 Euro lens for a Nikon.
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Re: DSLR-Camera?

Postby Draykov » Tue Feb 01, 2011 2:57 pm

A lot of the stuff in my Flickr account is shot with the Rebel and most of my stuff in my PBase gallery as well. You can check the EXIF info on each photo to see what it was shot with.

As far as lenses, it really all depends on what you want to do. The stock 18-55mm zoom that comes with most 300Ds is fine for starters. For aircraft, I'm usually pretty far back from the runway, but they're still moving pretty fast, so I also got an EF 300mm f/4L telephoto lens. For close ups in low-light, I picked up the very affordable Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L.
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Re: DSLR-Camera?

Postby Andi » Thu Feb 03, 2011 5:52 am

Does anyone have experience with a Sony Alpha?
A retail assistant in a shop yesterday, tried to push me really hard into the Sony direction.
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Re: DSLR-Camera?

Postby dWhisper » Sun Feb 06, 2011 11:14 am

A DSLR body is only as good as the lenses you can put on them. You simply can't go wrong with Nikon or Canon, the two biggest players in the market, and own somewhere around 75% of the space. You can find far more parts and accessories, new and used, for either of those.

I'd avoid Sony just on principle. They tend to overprice and under-feature, and tie up their devices in proprietary technology that doesn't work anywhere else. Not sure if that's still the case on their cameras, but their old point-and-shoots were just garbage because of their custom memory card.
If the above post didn't offend you, you're probably reading it wrong.
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Re: DSLR-Camera?

Postby Andi » Mon Feb 07, 2011 8:21 am

Well, regarding custom memory cards and Sony accessories - I own very much Sony products. Laptop, Point and Shoot camera, camcorder, TV, Walkman etc.

What lenses are a must-have? Especially for getting to know the camera?
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Re: DSLR-Camera?

Postby mr_joshua » Tue Feb 08, 2011 8:12 pm

Now I haven't gone over to the DSLR yet (my compact digital Canon does fine for quick stuff), but I love my 35mm SLR. The lens I cannot live without is my 100-300 lens. It picks up just about where my 'starter' lens drops off. It's perfect for clear close ups, and focuses in the rear (internally) so my polarizer setting doesn't get thrown off.

On that note, you'll definitely want to pick up a simple UV filter and a circular polarizer. Tiffen are the ones I use. The UV filter acts as a lens protector (mostly) when I don't need/want my polarizer. The polarizer can make a night and day difference when shooting scenery.
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Re: DSLR-Camera?

Postby Andi » Wed Feb 09, 2011 3:42 am

thanks for the advice with the filter. Never thought that I could need this. What exactly do these filters?
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Re: DSLR-Camera?

Postby mr_joshua » Wed Feb 09, 2011 1:29 pm

The UV filters are great for shots taken in fluorescent lighting conditions. They can remove a bit of purple haze/glow that you can get.

The polarizers are amazing at: Changing/Tweaking the shade of the blue sky (it can deepen or lighten the blue) and are great for shots where water is in the background. Without going into the deeper optical physics that are being manipulated, polarizers are good for just about any shot that might have an unwanted light reflection.
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Re: DSLR-Camera?

Postby lotsa blocks » Tue Feb 22, 2011 12:08 pm

I'm a pretty big fan of Nikon. This was done when I had the D40 using the standard kit lens. Having a DSLR is great but saving up for a good lens is a must!

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Re: DSLR-Camera?

Postby onions » Sat Feb 26, 2011 1:14 am

i strongly advise you to take a step back and rethink why you want to get a DSLR. I think the cheap cost of entry level DSLRs has spawned a whole generation of photographers that are getting more than what they actually need. A DSLR starter kit honestly doesn't offer that much more than a high end point and shoot. The real strength of a DSLR is being able to change lenses, which can cost anywhere from $100 up to $2000 and more. And if you're not prepared or even willing to entertain that idea, you're probably just better off getting a nice point&shoot.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to poo poo on your ideas, just trying to bring a little perspective on the matter. Not knowing what kind of camera you're looking to replace, it's hard to recommend a proper upgrade. What is it exactly about your old camera you don't like? I think knowing the answer to this question can help figure out what the shortcomings are and figure out a better replacement camera.

All that being said, if you're still intent on getting a DSLR I would stay away from Sony like they were Megablocks. Canons are number 1 in my book. And if you do decide to get a DSLR, try and get the most expensive one you can afford. I honestly can't recommend anything less than a 7D for crop cameras. But I'm a camera snob.

Again, rethink why you want a DSLR. I'd hate for someone to spend so much money on one when they can save some money and get a less expensive point and shoot and still do everything you want it to do, or worse, regret their purchase later.
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Re: DSLR-Camera?

Postby Andi » Sat Feb 26, 2011 4:06 am

I now have a Sony a580 since two weeks, and I love it.
It's amazing what you can do with it and with using different lenses. The photo quality is so much better than with my Point and Shoot cameras.
The Canon EOS 550D was on my list as well, but in handling, special features and picture quality I am much more satisfied with the Sony.
Lenses I have one from 18-55mm, a tele lens from 70-300mm and a macro lens. And yes, Ace, I do have no problems with changing the lenses. This is indeed the point of having a DSLR.
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Re: DSLR-Camera?

Postby onions » Sat Feb 26, 2011 9:18 pm

how's that grain treating you on high iso images?
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Re: DSLR-Camera?

Postby Andi » Sun Feb 27, 2011 3:48 am

Till now the highest iso I used was 1600. And there was no grain at all. At least not if there was at least a little bit of light, like lights shining out from buildings, cars, street lanterns, TV, leds built into the Lego Millennium Falcon. I haven't made a photo yet in complete darkness.

Edit: two photos as example. Can you see any grain there? Me not.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/hansolo401 ... 010872302/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/hansolo401 ... 010872302/
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Re: DSLR-Camera?

Postby onions » Wed Mar 09, 2011 11:00 pm

i don't know if those were taken in a controlled setting for the sole purpose to laud the camera's capabilities or just rushed through and snapped away. those pics aren't anything to convince me to reconsider my opinion on sony's cameras. the muddiness is no doubt a result of aggressive in-camera noise reduction and there's a distinct lack of sharpness anywhere. i'll chalk the last point to user inexperience. learning the controls of a DSLR to get the best possible pictures can take a while. i have no doubt you'll make the most out of your equipment the more time you spend shooting.

the most important thing though, is that you enjoy taking pictures with what you have. i'm just a huge camera snob. :-D
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Re: DSLR-Camera?

Postby Andi » Thu Mar 10, 2011 1:37 am

onions wrote:the muddiness is no doubt a result of aggressive in-camera noise reduction and there's a distinct lack of sharpness anywhere.


So what should I do, what would I need to make such a photo less muddy and sharper? When made as snapshot like this, in P mode. Without tripod or such.
Does that mean that every photo shot with a low-budget DSLR camera is crap because of the muddiness because of the aggressive in-camere noise reduction?
How would such a photo look like made with your camera?
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Re: DSLR-Camera?

Postby onions » Thu Mar 10, 2011 9:39 pm

Andi wrote:
onions wrote:the muddiness is no doubt a result of aggressive in-camera noise reduction and there's a distinct lack of sharpness anywhere.


So what should I do, what would I need to make such a photo less muddy and sharper? When made as snapshot like this, in P mode. Without tripod or such.
Does that mean that every photo shot with a low-budget DSLR camera is crap because of the muddiness because of the aggressive in-camere noise reduction?
How would such a photo look like made with your camera?


all cameras handle noise reduction differently, and i think on some you can even turn it off. the higher your iso setting the more aggressive the nr will be, or if its turned off, the grainier the image.

i took another look at the two samples you posted. i noticed that both were shot at 1/8th of a second which mean handshake most likely had a lot to do with the muddiness as even slight shifts of the camera will cause a certain amount of blur. i myself don't dare risk shooting at anything slower than 1/60th of a second, 1/50th if i'm feeling adventurous. once you do that, you'll either have to use a flash to compensate if there's not enough lighting or raise the iso speed assuming your aperture stays the same.

my ancient canon 20D has a max ISO speed of 3200, but i rarely shoot at that level because the noise is gross. 1600 is barely acceptable to me but until canon releases the 5d mark iii for me to upgrade to, i'm stuck using this camera.

low light photography's not easy to get a firm handle on. ultimately it takes practice practice practice to get the results you want with the equipment you have. and that's the great thing with digital. you can shoot thousands of pictures and it won't cost you a penny to see the results. just keep shooting.
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Re: DSLR-Camera?

Postby Andi » Mon Mar 14, 2011 9:11 am

I slowly get the feeling that a DSLR camera should not have any fancy features and functions, but should be a simple body with great lenses. Right?
There is no need that it has Panorama, high megapixel, a lot of special scenery programs, high iso with aggressive noise reduction, lifeview, EFV, and all that stuff.

btw, I returned my Sony. It is a dream to own a DSLR camera, but right now I cannot (really) afford this dream. Unfortunately.
With the Sony and the lenses I used, I could not really see a difference to the photos I made with my Canon Powershot or Sony Cybershot, so I guess it was not worth to pay 800 Euro for it.
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