Another Fellow Possibly Upgrading *EDIT* + Current Question

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qaz
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Another Fellow Possibly Upgrading *EDIT* + Current Question

Post by qaz » February 21st, 2013, 4:43 am

I'm possibly considering upgrading my current camera (Olympus E-500) to something a little better/more current. I'd say the budget thor the camera itself is around $700, give or take a little. I'm not too particular about brand, but Nikon and Canon seem to have the best options, and im open to buying a jsed one, as long as its in great condition. Ive seen pictures I really like with the canon EOS XTi, the D300, and the canon 7D. Any advice on which lenses to get would be welcomed too, but I'd rather not spend too much on these (aka not more than the camera itself)

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Antonsrkn
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Re: Another Fellow Possibly Upgrading

Post by Antonsrkn » February 21st, 2013, 9:02 am

Ive seen pictures I really like with the canon EOS XTi, the D300, and the canon 7D.
Haha yes these bodies are all capable of taking great photos but I would say that its probably the photographer rather than the camera bodies that are responsible...
Any advice on which lenses to get would be welcomed too, but I'd rather not spend too much on these (aka not more than the camera itself)
Big mistake, the lenses are what you really want to invest in not the camera body....

Canon or Nikon are both a safe bet, I doubt you will regret going with either one but. Figure out what kind of photos you will be taking and what your needs are, read reviews online, shop around, make your decision.

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Re: Another Fellow Possibly Upgrading

Post by qaz » February 21st, 2013, 6:11 pm

Thanks Antonsrkn! If you were to narrow the body choice down to three cameras within the budget I said, what would they be?

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Re: Another Fellow Possibly Upgrading

Post by Antonsrkn » February 21st, 2013, 9:31 pm

I would love to be able to give a definite answer answer to your question but its a really tough one for me. If I was getting a new body it would have to be a Nikon body just because I have accumulated a considerable amount of lenses and gear that wouldn't work with other bodies. Then I have to admit that I have been asking myself which body I want to upgrade to, I have been shooting with the same camera body (a Nikon D80) since 2008, and I'm getting worried that it might be reaching the end of its life, I'm still not completely sure which body I would pick. I'm on a limited budget as I am planning on spending up to 6 months in Asia during the second half of 2013 and the more $$ I have, the better my chances of making it over there as planned are. But I'm paranoid that my camera is going to fail while i'm there.

For myself I have looked at the Nikon D7000, a new one costs more than your budget but maybe you could find a used one for that much. The D3200 is another one I have looked at. I looked at the D5100, and it seems like a good camera but I would prefer one of the other two. I want to upgrade with my next camera body but many of the options are prohibitively expensive.

Sorry I can't say anything about other brands such as Canon, I know they have great cameras but I haven't familiarized myself with them at all just cause its not an option for me. Don't stress out about the decision too much any DSLR around that pricerange you go with should be pretty awesome. In conclusion, I'm definitely not the best person to ask about which body to get.

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Re: Another Fellow Possibly Upgrading

Post by fvachss » February 22nd, 2013, 3:01 am

On the Canon side there's a pretty big difference between the two models you name: the XTi is an intro level camera that, while capable of taking fine photos, is now several generations out of date while the 7D is newer, more capable, but considerably larger and more expensive. My best advice would be to go a camera store and handle both a 7D and the current generation of digital Rebel (either a T3i or T4i) which is the same line as the XTi. One will probably fit your hand much better than the other. Apart from the ergonomic difference the current Rebel and the 7D have the same imaging sensor and can take pictures of equal quality, but the 7D has a more sophisticated autofocus system and a more robust and weather resistant body. Whether these advantages are worth the increased size, weight and cost is something only you can decide.

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Re: Another Fellow Possibly Upgrading

Post by chrish » February 22nd, 2013, 4:28 am

If I was going to upgrade because my old camera is out of date, I wouldn't look at camera like the 7D. You would be replacing your 8 year old technology (E500) with a camera that using 4 year old technology (7D). The 7D is an excellent camera, but there have been a lot of innovations in the last few years that it doesn't have. Consider that you will be buying a camera body that you will want to use for 5 years or more.

I think you should do a lot more research before you jump in. If I were to ask you why you were limiting yourself to Canon and Nikon, what would your answer be?

There are good sub $600 cameras (with kit lens) around now with 2012 or newer technology (mirrorless, seamless autofocusing Live View, HD video capability).

I have owned and used DSLRs with technology from 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, and now 2012 :oops:. The difference is profound. In the last three years there has been a significant change in the technology and cameras from 2010-2012 are very different beasts than those from just a few years earlier. My 2012 model camera is an mid-level camera that cost under $600 and it is far superior to my 2007 model body which cost $1600.

Canon still hasn't caught up when it comes to Live View and their flash technology is just catching up with the others. Their lenses are a little cheaper than Nikon and Sony. Nikon tends to have a slight edge in high ISO image quality, but Canon and Sony are close enough that you wouldn't notice the difference.
Pentax has recently been denying the rumors that they are getting out of the DSLR business, but I'm not sure Pentax owners are convinced.

And I will reiterate Antonsrkn's point - don't spend your budget on a camera body, save it for lenses. Good lenses make more difference than a high dollar body.

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Re: Another Fellow Possibly Upgrading

Post by qaz » February 22nd, 2013, 4:52 am

Thanks all! It seems that lenses are the most important aspect here, so what would you recommend for those? I'm probably looking for something that can take good field guide shots of small herps, something that can take good field guide shots of larger herps and also that can be used for general purposes, and possibly a wide angle. I wouldn't have too much to spend on the lenses so nothing crazy expensive haha. And for a macro, because I'd most definately get a macro, which would be better: 60mm or a 100mm? As for the body, I do like the T4i. I checked one out in the store today, and compared it to a Nikon D3200. Does'nt seem to be too much of a difference, they both seem like great cameras.

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Re: Another Fellow Possibly Upgrading

Post by RobertH » February 22nd, 2013, 9:18 pm

I am going, or rather have gone, through much the same analysis as you. After a lot of research and asking myself what I really want and need, I have decided to buy a Nikon D5100 ($499) and a Sigma 18-250mm macro ($399).

What I realized along the way is that though many of the available options are indeed very similar as you said, there are also important differences. To figure out what the exact differences between different models are, I found this tool very useful:

http://snapsort.com/compare/Canon-Rebel ... ikon-D3200

Snapsort will give you a quick comparison like the above for just about any pair of cameras. Personally, I wouldn't assign much, or any, weight to their scoring because the scoring seems rather subjective and in any event may not reflect YOUR preferences. But Snapsort did help me narrow down my options very quickly.

At that point, it was just a matter of deciding what was most important to me. In my case, for example, high ISO performance and superior IQ trumps better video capability, a touchscreen and a higher resolution monitor (that's how the Canon T4i and Sony a57 got eliminated). I also will not buy any camera without a fully articulated monitor (I find it indispensable for effective hand-held macro photography low to the ground). That ruled out some otherwise pretty awesome cameras, including two more Nikons, the D7000 and the D3200.

In fairly short order, I arrived at the Nikon D5100. It's got pretty much everything I want (though I wish more manual controls were available and did not require menu access, e.g., ISO, white balance, AF/MF), and it's within my budget. If money were no object, I would probably get the new D5200.

To get in-depth information about any given camera, I read the dpreview for that model, which goes into great detail and also draws some useful comparisons to other, competitor models, e.g., http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikon-d3200.

Your choice of lens is just as subjective. I, for one, do not want to tote around a lens bag, at least for now. So, I am willing to settle for one walk-around lens with a large focal range and reasonably good IQ. The Sigma 18-250 macro fills my needs perfectly. But you may feel very differently, and want to have a dedicated lens for each occasion (wide, zoom, macro and more). If so, you not only will have to carry around much more weight and change lenses in the field, but will also have to spend much more money - or compromise on IQ and other features (e.g., image stabilization, autofocus). At which point you might as well get one reasonably good lens like the above Sigma and for less money than 3-4 so-so lenses (even if used or refurbished). Or so it seems to me.

Btw, I found a used D5100 at my local camera shop just today, that I would be able to buy for only $350 incl. tax. I'll probably do just that. The camera looks brand-new, has been checked out by the shop (Samy's), and comes with a 30-day warranty (plus I can buy an additional 1 or 2 year warranty). In other words, you may want to go to your local camera shop and check out what they have to offer. I was surprised both about their low prices (same as anything I found online) and how much used gear they have for sale.

Good luck with your search,

Robert

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Re: Another Fellow Possibly Upgrading

Post by qaz » February 23rd, 2013, 5:15 am

Thanks RobertH. I guess I'm in between 4 choices now: the T4i (I do like the touchscreen, as well as the built in HDR), the D7000, the D3200, and the D5200. I'm considering knocking out the D7000, simply because it's somewhat old compared to the others, but I'm not sure about that yet.

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Re: Another Fellow Possibly Upgrading

Post by jason folt » February 24th, 2013, 8:43 am

Nikon D7100 just got announced. I haven't seen pricing info yet though. The D7000 is/was a great camera. It is missing the pro body build I like but takes wonderful images. As stated, it is older tech now. I would expect good things from the D7100. It will probably be priced around $1100 though. Both seem out of your price range (900 for D7000 and up). I would imagine the 7D is also out of your price range. That being said, you could probably pick up light used models now for cheaper, but it still doesn't leave you much room for lens. Honestly, it is very hard to get into a DSLR and 1 quality lens for less than $1000.

Jason

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Re: Another Fellow Possibly Upgrading

Post by qaz » February 24th, 2013, 10:35 am

Well, I would be able to spend a little more, perhaps. It could also be on sale for the spring (is what the guys at the camera store said on Friday). Out of the ones I mentioned, and maybe the D7100, which would be you guy's 1st choice?

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Re: Another Fellow Possibly Upgrading

Post by Norman D » February 24th, 2013, 11:52 am

Check local craigslist ads for camera bodies, lenses and flashes.

I got a barely used Canon 7d for $600.

xTi models are pretty cheap on there. Some of the better deals are package deals with a body/len(s)/batteries/memory cards. Many times people want to get into photography and spend a bunch of money and barely use the equipment - so they sell it off pretty cheap.

Make sure you test things out. Though I have never had issues with any gear I purchased off craigslist.

Good luck

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Re: Another Fellow Possibly Upgrading

Post by qaz » February 24th, 2013, 1:32 pm

Thanks Norman D, but I'd much prefer to get the camera in person. I know some Craigslist stuff is pretty good, but I'd Rather stay safe.

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Re: Another Fellow Possibly Upgrading

Post by Norman D » February 24th, 2013, 3:35 pm

qaz wrote:Thanks Norman D, but I'd much prefer to get the camera in person. I know some Craigslist stuff is pretty good, but I'd Rather stay safe.

:?

Ok, just trying to give some other options to save money.

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Re: Another Fellow Possibly Upgrading

Post by qaz » February 24th, 2013, 6:32 pm

The more i think about it actually, i may look into that if I decide on one of the more expensive models.

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Re: Another Fellow Possibly Upgrading

Post by chrish » February 25th, 2013, 7:19 am

RobertH wrote:To figure out what the exact differences between different models are, I found this tool very useful:

http://snapsort.com/compare/Canon-Rebel ... ikon-D3200

Snapsort will give you a quick comparison like the above for just about any pair of cameras. Personally, I wouldn't assign much, or any, weight to their scoring because the scoring seems rather subjective and in any event may not reflect YOUR preferences. But Snapsort did help me narrow down my options very quickly.
That's an interesting tool, but has some real "issues". For fun, I compared my current camera (Sony A57) to the Nikon D3200 and found that the Nikon "outscored" the Sony by 3 points (77 to 74). But when you look at their scoring, you see that Sony was penalized 1.9 points because the Snapsort people didn't know the shutter lag value and then the Nikon got 10 extra points for being more popular (????). So if you take out the popularity contest score and the things they didn't research, the Sony outscores the Nikon by 8-9 points.

The Sony vs the Canon T4i gave the Sony a 74 to 66 win even after the Canon was given a 12 point bonus for popularity and 3.8 points for shutter lag (again the Sony was penalized because they didn't have the data). Remove those and its a 24 point a$$ kicking.

I'm not suggesting you buy the Sony, but I'm suggesting you should certainly look at its bang for the buck. And any lenses, flashes, etc you would want as a herper are available for the Sony, Pentax, Canon, and Nikon mounts.

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Re: Another Fellow Possibly Upgrading

Post by Antonsrkn » February 25th, 2013, 10:59 am

The difference is profound. In the last three years there has been a significant change in the technology and cameras from 2010-2012 are very different beasts than those from just a few years earlier. My 2012 model camera is an mid-level camera that cost under $600 and it is far superior to my 2007 model body which cost $1600.
Yeah I was playing around with that snapsort site and comparing newer models to my Nikon D80, i love my D80 but it was beaten into the dust by just about every new SLR. I need to upgrade.

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Re: Another Fellow Possibly Upgrading

Post by chrish » February 25th, 2013, 11:48 am

Again, I'm not sure that I believe in the way the snapsort website compares things, but if you look at their top 24 DSLRs, and then set a threshhold of under $1500, you find their ranking from best to worst is:

Pentax K30
Pentax K5-II -
Sony SLT-A65
Nikon D5200
Nikon D5100
Nikon D3200
Sony SLT-A57
Canon Rebel 4Ti
Sony SLT-A35
Nikon D7100
Pentax K5-IIs
Nikon D400
Canon EOS 60D (barely in at $1499)
Sony SLT A-37
and somehow the Vaporware Canon EOS 3D comes in as their 24th best DSLR even though it doesn't exist yet - :lol:

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Re: Another Fellow Possibly Upgrading

Post by jason folt » February 25th, 2013, 7:44 pm

That website is worthless. Along with Chrish's previous gripes, the Nikon D400 also doesn't exist.

JRF

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Re: Another Fellow Possibly Upgrading

Post by RobertH » February 27th, 2013, 8:52 pm

Just to be sure: That's why I put a disclaimer about the scoring at snapsort. It's necessarily bogus, if only because the only photographer can decide how much any given feature, or combination of features, is worth to him or her.

I found Snapsort useful only to quickly compare any two models side by side, to determine which camera has which features as compared to another camera, e.g., flipout screen, number of mega pixels, ISO performance, etc. Without a tool like Snapsort, I would have had to print out specs for each camera under consideration, lay them side by side, and then compare data. Possible, but cumbersome.

So, just ignore the stupid scoring and use it as a convenient shortcut in the way I suggested. I suspect the scoring is just to generate controversy thereby increasing website traffic and name recognition. And at least on this forum, their strategy seems to be working. ;)

Robert

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Re: Another Fellow Possibly Upgrading

Post by chrish » February 27th, 2013, 9:55 pm

Robert,

A more objective side-by-side comparison page is dpreview. Under their buying guide is a side by side comparison page where you can compare the features of up to 5 camera at once.

http://www.dpreview.com/products/compare/cameras

And here's their comparison of the same two cameras.

They don't choose a "winner" but they do give the facts.

I don't think the snapsort page was without value, but it took a little bit scrutiny to tease out the good data from the somewhat subjective data. I actually think it is a useful tool as long as it is used with both eyes open.

Chris

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Re: Another Fellow Possibly Upgrading

Post by Martti Niskanen » February 28th, 2013, 10:12 am

chrish wrote: And I will reiterate Antonsrkn's point - don't spend your budget on a camera body, save it for lenses. Good lenses make more difference than a high dollar body.
^ Definitely this. Bodies come and go, but a good lens will remain good for a long time. Spend as much on the lenses as possible. Furthermore, consider buying used. If you don't want to chance buying off Craigslist, then check out used bodies and lenses offered by authorized camera dealers. Don't know how it works in the US, but here these tend to have been serviced and come with a warranty.

Which lenses to get depends on your needs, but if you photograph herps, you'll need a good macro lens. I won't get much into that as there are lots of threads about them already. The search icon is your friend.

Personal experience in case you go for Nikon (which is no better or worse than other brands), I've been shooting with a Nikon D300 for a few years. Love it, but it is quite dated by now. It's solid, well built and hardy. Buy used and it should be decent value. I bought a 90mm Tamron as my macro lens, and even though I like it a lot, I still wish I'd gotten the 105mm Nikkor.

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Re: Another Fellow Possibly Upgrading

Post by qaz » March 6th, 2013, 12:38 pm

Thanks for all the help guys. I guess I'll do some more research, and some hands-on, in-store tests.

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Re: Another Fellow Possibly Upgrading

Post by Erik Williams » March 6th, 2013, 12:38 pm

what lenses do you already own?

Olympus zuiko makes some very very nice lenses...

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Re: Another Fellow Possibly Upgrading

Post by qaz » March 6th, 2013, 12:39 pm

I have a zuiko 35mm macro, as well as the two kit lenses (regular and telephoto). I'm probably not gonna get another Olympus, as the other brands seem to have better options.

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Re: Another Fellow Possibly Upgrading

Post by Erik Williams » March 6th, 2013, 8:17 pm

PM me before you get rid of your 35 macro pleeezzzeee


Personally I think olympus is the way to go. The OM-D is pretty enticing...

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Re: Another Fellow Possibly Upgrading

Post by qaz » March 7th, 2013, 4:12 am

I was actually thinking of keeping the e-500 and accessories as an extra/backup. But if I ever do want to get rid of it I'll try to let you know :)

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Re: Another Fellow Possibly Upgrading

Post by qaz » March 19th, 2013, 3:02 pm

Well, because I don't want to start a new thread for this, I have a question for my current camera. I shot this with a 35mm macro, and I want to know if there is anyway that the shadow can be eliminated when I'm taking the picture (not after editing).
Image

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Re: Another Fellow Possibly Upgrading *EDIT* + Current Quest

Post by chrish » March 20th, 2013, 12:09 pm

The problem is that the lens is shading your light. The solutions are:

1. use a longer macro lens which gives you more subject:lens distance at the same magnifications. Your 35mm is equivalent to a 70mm lens on a full frame camera (or <50 on a Canon/Nikon/Sony APS-C DSLR). Most people prefer something ~ 100mm to avoid this problem, which would be a 50mm lens on your camera.
2. back off to let the light in and crop down to the magnification you want. Your camera is shooting 3200+ pixels wide. You can certainly crop the 800 or so you want out of that.
3. use a reflector to bounce light straight down onto the subject. However you have to be careful not to reflect it onto the camera lens because it will cause patterns on the lens element.

Chris

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Re: Another Fellow Possibly Upgrading *EDIT* + Current Quest

Post by qaz » March 20th, 2013, 4:04 pm

Thanks chrish. I really want a 100mm macro when I upgrade. That's high on my list. But I don't think I'm gonna spend the money for a lens I won't have for too long.

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Re: Another Fellow Possibly Upgrading

Post by qaz » May 8th, 2013, 3:49 am

OK guys, I'm in the home stretch. I am ready to get a new camera. I've decided the Nikon d7000, though a bit out of date seems to be an epic camera. Lots of the pros at my local camera store said they have and love it. As for lenses, I'm probably gonna get the Nikon 105mm macro and the 18-200 zoom. Does anyone have anything to add about this choice before I commit? Any more suggestions/comments about it?

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Re: Another Fellow Possibly Upgrading *EDIT* + Current Quest

Post by Antonsrkn » May 8th, 2013, 7:38 am

Seems like a solid choice to me, good luck!

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Re: Another Fellow Possibly Upgrading

Post by Martti Niskanen » May 8th, 2013, 8:58 am

qaz wrote:As for lenses, I'm probably gonna get the Nikon 105mm macro and the 18-200 zoom. Does anyone have anything to add about this choice before I commit? Any more suggestions/comments about it?
The 105mm Micro Nikkor is fantastic, but only get the 18-200 if you really need a superzoom. It's quite compromised to achieve the wide focal range and the resolution of your D7000 will be wasted on the not-so-good image quality the lens produces. I bought it with my first body years ago, but don't use it anymore due to the image quality.

edit: I'm sure you've already read lots of reviews, but have a look at this one if you haven't seen it before: http://www.photozone.de/nikon--nikkor-a ... 003556vrii

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Re: Another Fellow Possibly Upgrading *EDIT* + Current Quest

Post by qaz » May 8th, 2013, 3:38 pm

Would you recommend anything else as a substitute?

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Re: Another Fellow Possibly Upgrading *EDIT* + Current Quest

Post by Martti Niskanen » May 9th, 2013, 2:25 am

qaz wrote:Would you recommend anything else as a substitute?
Depends on whether you need a wide focal range as all superzooms are compromised. If you can manage with a narrower range, maybe have a look at f2.8 lenses at the 18-55mm range from third parties.

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Re: Another Fellow Possibly Upgrading *EDIT* + Current Quest

Post by qaz » May 9th, 2013, 5:28 pm

Well I would like one that has a wide focal range. It just seems better, and I like a big zoom.

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