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  #1  
Old 09-01-2012, 06:31 PM
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My mission: get a DSLR by 14 Sep

Wife's birthday is coming up and she asked for a new camera. She has an incredible eye for photography, especially with the kids. As such, I'd like to get her a new DSLR but my knowledge is pretty basic.

Initial research has it narrowed to a few models: Canon T2, T3 and Nikon D5100.

Cnet reviews of the T3 were good EXCEPT for its speed...something to the effect of it not being a good model if you're taking photos of kids and pets that move quickly. No reference given for the T2.

Nikon gets rave reviews from friends, to include the version my wife borrowed and fell for.

We have four lenses from previous 35mm bodies that will fit Canon. But these lenses are between 13 and 20 years old. (the older models may not be compatible, but they're still in the closet and free)

I found one website with the Nikon for $535 including the stock lens, a tripod, case, cleaning kit and LCD screen protector. Seems like a great buy, but eliminates the option of using old lenses we still have. Is a good lens from 12 years ago obsolete compared to a mediocre one today?

Thoughts on the three models? I'd like to get it ordered and here by the 14th. Any and all help is appreciated!
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  #2  
Old 09-01-2012, 07:40 PM
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I have a T2i that I took with me to Alaska, it was great. It took me a couple of months to get back up to speed, since my last SLR was film, but it was worth it.

As a camera, it is very fast, very flexible, and easy to use. It takes great pictures if you go off of the programmed modes, and make the decisions yourself regards to aperture or shutter priority, and keep your white balance right, and pick the appropriate ISO.

It takes about 4 shots per second in hold-down mode, and with a fast card, I have hit about 20 shots in a row (calving glacier), without running into to buffer slowdown.

Whether your older lenses will fit, well, IDK.

Too, I upped the kit lens to an 18-135 (~28-126 film equivalency) to not have to change lenses so often.

Here is a link with recent photos. https://skydrive.live.com/redir?resi...PXVaDRLVCCU9dA

The very-rectangle shot is a photo taken off of a video, shot by the T2i. There are a couple of pictures in there taken with other cameras, and I think you can see which are which, on the side of the screen.
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Last edited by Kamdog; 09-01-2012 at 07:42 PM.
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  #3  
Old 09-02-2012, 06:22 AM
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Those we're great shots! Any complaints on the T2 with shutter speed for high action shots?
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  #4  
Old 09-02-2012, 08:10 AM
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Using the right combination of shutter speed, aperture, and ISO, the whale bubble feeding pictures, the groups of whales with their mouths open, were shot at 640 and 1000 to freeze the action, and it was a fairly low light.


What is very versitile about this camera, and probably the comparative Nikon, is that I can use either the aperture, shutter speed, or the ISO as the variable. I have other shots where I manually selected an F stop of 8, for depth of field, a shutterspeed of 1000 to stop the action, and set the ISO to auto (kept track of it in the viewfinder) and got good photos.

I went with the Cannon because I couldn't get the lens I wanted with the Nikon.
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  #5  
Old 09-02-2012, 10:12 AM
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With zoom lens that rival primes, you shouldn't have to invest in one or two zooms if you decide to go the Nikon route. Be careful, new Nikons are coming out, D600 http://nikonrumors.com/2012/08/23/ni...acements.aspx/ Nikon has updated their full frame cameras at reduced prices!!!!!!!!!!!

The D7000, a great cropped camera has dropped from around $1200 to $1000, Nikon D700 is still the best consumer full frame camera at around $2300.
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Last edited by Dave 330i; 09-02-2012 at 10:15 AM.
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  #6  
Old 09-02-2012, 06:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave 330i View Post
With zoom lens that rival primes, you shouldn't have to invest in one or two zooms if you decide to go the Nikon route. Be careful, new Nikons are coming out, D600 http://nikonrumors.com/2012/08/23/ni...acements.aspx/ Nikon has updated their full frame cameras at reduced prices!!!!!!!!!!!

The D7000, a great cropped camera has dropped from around $1200 to $1000, Nikon D700 is still the best consumer full frame camera at around $2300.
Thanks for the help, but $2k is too much juice for the use. Looking at entry level approach to DSLR. Although an incredible, amazing, talented and loving human, my wife won't realize the full capability of a $2k camera as a beginning enthusiast. Digital depot.com has a Canon T2i with 28-80mm lens and case for $299. But I know nothing of the website or its reputation.
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  #7  
Old 09-02-2012, 07:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dork Knight View Post
Thanks for the help, but $2k is too much juice for the use. Looking at entry level approach to DSLR. Although an incredible, amazing, talented and loving human, my wife won't realize the full capability of a $2k camera as a beginning enthusiast. Digital depot.com has a Canon T2i with 28-80mm lens and case for $299. But I know nothing of the website or its reputation.
When a price is too good to be true.......

I would do a thorough search for complaints on them.
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  #8  
Old 09-02-2012, 07:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave 330i View Post
With zoom lens that rival primes, you shouldn't have to invest in one or two zooms if you decide to go the Nikon route. Be careful, new Nikons are coming out, D600 http://nikonrumors.com/2012/08/23/ni...acements.aspx/ Nikon has updated their full frame cameras at reduced prices!!!!!!!!!!!

The D7000, a great cropped camera has dropped from around $1200 to $1000, Nikon D700 is still the best consumer full frame camera at around $2300.
Thanks for the help, but $2k is too much juice for the use. Looking at entry level approach to DSLR. Although an incredible, amazing, talented and loving human, my wife won't realize the full capability of a $2k camera as a beginning enthusiast. Digital depot.com has a Canon T2i with 28-80mm lens and case for $299. But I know nothing of the website or its reputation.
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  #9  
Old 09-03-2012, 04:05 AM
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I don't know what you budget is, but the D3100, D3200 and D5100 are all good consumer dSLR cameras. Here's a link: http://www.d5200.org

Regardless of the system you choose, purchase the camera from an authorized US dealer. B&H and Adorama are safe bets, but online dealers like Buydig.com, Beachcamera.com and abesofmaine.com offer good deals. They are all authorized Nikon USA dealers. Stay away from "package" deals because the included accessories are usually low quality.

I've been using Nikon gear since 1970 so I am a bit biased. I love my Nikon gear.

Regards...JL
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Last edited by SRFast; 09-03-2012 at 04:32 AM.
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  #10  
Old 09-03-2012, 06:56 PM
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Thanks for the help, all. Should know soon.

As an aside, I'm not sure how or why my post above got entered twice. That's a first. Hmmm.
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  #11  
Old 09-05-2012, 03:07 PM
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Have no exp with that site...reviews are mixed. And, dunno what lens they are pairing in that pkg you quoted. Most Rebel EOS T2i deals on the web, from reliable sellers are ~$600 with a Canon EF-S 18-55 lens. That lens is 'kit lens' for many of Canon's consumer oriented cams, and is 'decent' by most accounts/reviews. It may not have the 'reach' your wife may want for medium tele, like a 17-85 or longer zoom range on some lenses.

Shopping for lenses, separate or as part of a pkg will drive you crazy, esp for the newer cam buyer, imo.

Canon, Nikon, Sony, et al, all put out some remarkable products these days, esp aimed at the 'step up/step into' DSLR stage of photography. I am partial to Canon, but they are all good.

If it were me, I would shop in that ~$600-$700 range, and the T2i and it's equivalents are all good entry level cams. If your CEO is as enthused/good as you suggest, she will not be disappointed, and can always 'step up' down the road, esp lens-wise. But, that T2i body will do about anything she requires; it just isn't as rugged/hardcore as the $1000/$2000 bodies are.

That gift should delight any enthused, beginning/better than novice DSLR recipient, imo.

Agree with shop the real joints that were mentioned, and resist the 'add on' crap they will all try to sell you...maybe a high quality Skylight 1A or Haze filter just to protect the lens, but that can be bought after the fact, and good glass is good glass and filters, even HQ level, are always suspect, imo.

You might upsize the SDHC memory card; dunno what size mem comes with any deal you are looking at, but 16 Gig is decent, 32 is more pics than one can take in days unless one is shooting RAW. Brands of memory cards don't matter, in my experience..
My 50Cts...
GL, Ol'UncleMotor
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Last edited by motordavid; 09-06-2012 at 04:21 AM.
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  #12  
Old 09-23-2012, 10:06 AM
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Can we get an update?

Hey motordavid. I don't think I can ever spend two months on the road. But, I did take a 10 day RT from Houston to CA by way of Las Vegas, Yosemite, Gold Country, and LA to visit people. Driving through NM at 125 mph (GPS) on I-10 was fun. 4600 miles in all.
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Last edited by Dave 330i; 09-23-2012 at 10:10 AM.
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  #13  
Old 09-23-2012, 05:33 PM
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Sorry for the delay -- an update is certainly in order. Long story short, I got a T3 for a good price from a REPUTABLE local vendor for $495 with the standard proprietary lens and startup kt and love it.

My experience with digitaldepotonline.com will certainly go on the "Dude, WTF were you thinking?" list. After weeks of non delivery of the camera, being told the system didn't come with a battery or a charger, and them never answering the phone during business hours, I realized I'd been duped. They may be legit as a business, per se, but not one I'd ever recommend anyone doing business with. Buyer definitely beware. I had to dispute the charges with my credit card company as a result. It's not over yet, either...they have the chance to reply and I could find myself in a lengthy and drawn out dispute if things go poorly.

The camera works great. I've taken a fewest shots of the kids and dog to see how it responds and my only complaint is the lag between initially pressing the shutter button and the first shot. If you're on auto focus it takes a bit to think through everything and fire a shot. But after that first shot, everything is substantially quicker. I suspect working with a manual set up vs the AF will remedy that. I consider this basic learning curve more than camera failure.

My wife loves the set-up and didn't seem intimidated by it at all. I consider that to be a huge victory, and one of the subtle objectives going in. I'll post some pictures when I get the chance and am at the computer where they're stored. Big thanks to everyone for the help. In the end the purchase was a mystic mixture of price, availability and previous research.
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  #14  
Old 09-27-2012, 01:28 PM
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Here are a few of the first photos we took with the new camera. To say there's a learning curve is an understatement, but I was really pleased with how much the camera covered for my shortfalls. We intend to learn more along the way and get better with composition, framing and other disciplines vs just pointing and shooting. The photo where our dog has the ball in her mouth isn't all that great in terms of composition and the like, but I was really amazed that I could see the sunset in the slobber on the ball. Something about that was just cool to me. As for the flower photo, this shows how far I have to go in terms of macro shots. (not my forte by any stretch)
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Last edited by Dork Knight; 09-27-2012 at 01:30 PM. Reason: Overlooked a point
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  #15  
Old 09-27-2012, 01:55 PM
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Pictures saved by the cuteness of the dog.
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Swim upstream. Go the other way. Ignore the conventional wisdom. If everybody is doing it one way, there’s a good chance you can find your niche by going exactly in the opposite direction", Sam Walton.
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  #16  
Old 09-27-2012, 05:38 PM
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Pictures saved by the cuteness of the dog.
So true. Long road ahead of me. But at least the first steps are taken.
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  #17  
Old 09-27-2012, 07:21 PM
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Congrats on joining the DSLR world. Dunno if it's you or your wife shooting, but some comments:

- several shots are out of focus, not sure why, could be a lot of reasons.
- try to focus on the eyes of animals (and people)
- that's probably the reason for lag in shutter, it's probably hunting focus - a DSLR should have zero shutter lag.
- macro shots like the flower should be shot with high f number, so all of the flower is in focus - looks like you missed focus anyway, but keep that in mind. This is why a tripod is preferable for macro
- I recommend getting a fast prime, a 35mm f/1.8, if you shoot a lot of indoor family/pets, or 50mm f/1.4 or f/1.8 if you shoot more outdoors. This will solve any focus hunting issues in low light, and shots of kids and dogs will look much better with some subject isolation.

This kind of thing, a fast lens isolates the boring backgrounds:
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Old 09-27-2012, 08:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Chris90 View Post
Congrats on joining the DSLR world. Dunno if it's you or your wife shooting, but some comments:

- several shots are out of focus, not sure why, could be a lot of reasons.
- try to focus on the eyes of animals (and people)
- that's probably the reason for lag in shutter, it's probably hunting focus - a DSLR should have zero shutter lag.
- macro shots like the flower should be shot with high f number, so all of the flower is in focus - looks like you missed focus anyway, but keep that in mind. This is why a tripod is preferable for macro
- I recommend getting a fast prime, a 35mm f/1.8, if you shoot a lot of indoor family/pets, or 50mm f/1.4 or f/1.8 if you shoot more outdoors. This will solve any focus hunting issues in low light, and shots of kids and dogs will look much better with some subject isolation.
Good tips, thank you. This was definitely a case of excitement and wanting to get a couple of shots vs patience and reading a thing or two on technique. I am so thankful for the digital age -- I tried this hobby years ago in the 35mm world and gave up after paying for roll after roll of crappy shots. It was definitely not the camera's fault back then, nor now.

Thanks again!
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Old 09-27-2012, 08:11 PM
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what lenses do you have from your previous canon 35mm?
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  #20  
Old 09-28-2012, 12:39 PM
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a DSLR should have zero shutter lag. Just want to correct the statement before it becomes fact. All digital cameras have shutter lag, which is the time between pressing the button and the camera capturing the photograph. DSLR have a significantly shorter shutter lag than point-and-shoot cameras do.

Part of being a good sport photographer is estimating what that lag is, which includes your reaction time to release the shutter. Try capturing something like this with a single shot...

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Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. Albert Einstein

Swim upstream. Go the other way. Ignore the conventional wisdom. If everybody is doing it one way, there’s a good chance you can find your niche by going exactly in the opposite direction", Sam Walton.

Last edited by Dave 330i; 09-28-2012 at 12:58 PM.
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  #21  
Old 09-28-2012, 01:04 PM
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a DSLR should have zero shutter lag. Just want to correct the statement before it becomes fact. All digital cameras have shutter lag, which is the time between pressing the button and the camera capturing the photograph.
A D7000 has 1/20th of a second shutter lag. That's basically zero. The football will move maybe a foot in that time. Your lag is just the slow reaction time of an old dude.
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Old 09-28-2012, 06:02 PM
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Dork Knight,
Congrats on your new T3...that crossed my mind, but your prev posts seemed focused on the T2i. Nice pics, and agree on the dog 'saving' the set.

Also agree on working on Focus. There are a few focusing settings in your cam: the multi-spot where things in 'general' are sort of in focus and the single point focus which is what many/most of us use, imo. I rec'd you read the manual, set it to single point focus and go shoot/practice.

That, and get the sumbitch off of Program or Auto, and shoot some stuff on AV, aperture mode.
It's digital, so it isn't like a pack of so-so prints, at 39Cts each, back in the '80s. Shoot, adjust settings, read the book, shoot some more!
But, it will come...hope you and your CEO enjoy it.
GL, mD



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Last edited by motordavid; 09-28-2012 at 06:09 PM.
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  #23  
Old 09-28-2012, 11:18 PM
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the discussion is blur, which is different from timing. my pictures are not blurred because my shutter speed exceeds 1/1000 of a sec. follow the simple rule for shutter speed 1/focal length and you will be OK.
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Last edited by Dave 330i; 09-29-2012 at 12:01 AM.
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  #24  
Old 09-29-2012, 05:40 AM
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the discussion is blur, which is different from timing. my pictures are not blurred because my shutter speed exceeds 1/1000 of a sec. follow the simple rule for shutter speed 1/focal length and you will be OK.
No one talked about timing except you. What's your advice here, buy a $2500 camera and $4000 lens so you can take boring sports photos at 1/1000?

This thread's not about you, Dave.
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  #25  
Old 09-29-2012, 07:30 AM
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Keep in mind that if you do autofocus without assigning a specific focal point in the camera, you will get the closest thing in focus. So, your dog's nose will be in focus rather than the eyes.

Next, the center focal point is usually the most accurate, so try to pick that as your sole focal point.

Get off of auto and experiment. Go with Aperture priority to fix your depth of field and to stay in the middle of the range to avoid issues with being fully stopped down or fully opened up. Go with Shutter priority when there is any action or using a long focal length. The standard minimum is the shutter must exceed the focal length, so if you are shooting at 250mm, you need to be at least at 1/250. But I always go for faster by at least another stop, even with lens stabilization.

Then there is ISO control, which controls the sensitivity of the light meter.


You have three exposure variables to master, so you should play with using each one as the variable. Fixed ISO, fixed F stop, variable shutter speed. Variable ISO, fixed F and fixed SS., etc.
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