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Old 31st March 2014, 10:03   #12601
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Default Help me choose a Semi-pro DSLR

Background: The photography bug hit me the first time in college. The home had tonnes of books on photography and a Minolta X-370s Film SLR. This, and a similarly inclined friend (toting some Nikon F model) meant we spent a good time travelling on shoestring budgets and taking good photos. What the Minolta could produce with standard 35mm film and some basic photgraphic sense, was stunning.

College got over, the friend moved out of town. Professional studies became a priority and the brief romance with serious photography ended. For the last 14 years, I've been using Sony prosumers (H5 and HX200V) which are the idiot's way of convincing himself that he isn't entrusting all camera controls to the err, camera. Quality of photos were never a priority. They were just a means to compliment the text on my travelogues.

But for the last 6 months (which incidentally involved 2 trips to Bharatpur and one to the stunning Tirthan Valley), the bug has bit again. Lots of catching up on digital photography (the basics are the same, really) and shamelessly asking friends for their DSLRs whenever I'm on a trip. So I finally decide I want a semi-pro DSLR. A body that will be a keeper (to be enhanced with a lens environment over the years) and won't make me feel shortchanged for features within a year of purchase. The primary use will be landscape photography, followed by birding.

My budget is between 75-100K, within which I want the body, one normal kit lens and one superzoom. Here are my choices in order of preference:

1. Sony A77 - Yeah, I know its a DSLT, not R. A lot of trust on the brand, considering my familiarity with the H-series and the Minolta before that. The EVF on the camera is a thing of beauty. Comes with in-body image stabilization, so don't have to search around for lenses with IS/VR. The 55-300 lens has good reviews. Most importantly, my old Minolta 35-70 and 70-210 lenses can work on the Sony. I can basically just buy the body and the 55-300 zoom (which comes for 19K).

A brief test in urban confines showed some good results, though I found the menu options quite overwhelming. Naturally, such high end cameras need familiarization before I can get them to perform at full potential. Third-party lens support (Tamron/Sigma) for Sony also doesn't seem to be so active in India.


2. Canon 70D - I took along a friend's Canon on one of the Bharatpur trips. Just a personal opinion, but Canon SLR menus seem the easiest to figure on the fly, as well as give (relatively) the best results when you're shooting in direct JPEG mode. A photgrapher-friendly setup without additional bells and whistles.

Came back thinking of going for the 60D, but really fell for the 70D's touchscreen setup controls (used to think its a gimmick before I tried it) and AF system.

What's the downside? Canons will need Image Stabilization lenses. The 55-250 IS isn't enough for birding, and the 70-300 with IS is 46K! Unless I settle for the 60D, it really takes my budget beyond 1L.

The image (seriously downsized) below is of a Black Drongo I took in Bharatpur. The 55-250 is at full-zoom for this shot. While sharpness is retained, a little more zoom would be better, no?

The DSLR Thread-img_0481.jpg

3. Nikon D7100 - Pick up a comparo anywhere on cyberspace, and the Nikon D7100 seems to be the universal choice of weapon in the segment. Unfortunately its the most expensive of the lot, and I've always had issues figuring out options on the Nikon menu system.

Nothing else really. While Pentax claims to have beefed up their network in India, their country head of Sales told me higher-end cameras are not available to demo in Delhi!

So thats the story. Look forward to expert reviews/views on what to go for.

Last edited by predatorwheelz : 31st March 2014 at 10:05.
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Old 31st March 2014, 11:22   #12602
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@predator, you have done your research well. Pick up a new body and kit lens, look at the forum for used super zooms. If you don't mind using used glass. There are quite a few very good lenses that comes and goes in the used market.
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Old 31st March 2014, 12:15   #12603
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Default Re: The DSLR Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by predatorwheelz View Post
My budget is between 75-100K, within which I want the body, one normal kit lens and one superzoom.
Canon 70D
Nikon D7100
Nowhere near an expert, but was in market for DSLR last week. I would suggest that you also look at

Canon 700D and Nikon 5300.

Reasons:

1. Exactly same sensor + processor as 70D (Digic 5+ and Expeed 4)
2. So, same image quality as 70D and D7100
3. Cost is 50k
4. With these you can afford a 50K lens that would have decent aperture at 300/500mm
5. Excellent autofocus in 700D and Nikon 5300


Cons:
1. Missing autofocus motor in D5300, lens will have to have an autofocus motor
2. Missing features such as touchscreen in D5300, level in 700D
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Old 31st March 2014, 12:38   #12604
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Go with a body which has auto focus motor so you get a better choice of lenses.
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Old 3rd April 2014, 13:25   #12605
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I would rather go with the FF D610 rather than a D7100. The reasons are many, but what I think is important is
1. The DR is better by at least 1EV, which translates to one stop of speed advantage
2. FF sensors will give you wider panorama compared to cropped sensors, so your wide angles are wide. Consider that 18mm on a DX sensor has the same FOV as the 27mm on FF.
3. D610 has better integration with the older manual Focus lenses.

If you are not going to use lenses without motor and if you do not want to tether the camera to computer, then a lower end camera like D3300 can serve the purpose. This was the reason I got a D3300 instead of D5300 or the D7100, as I wanted the 24MP sensor with minimum frills. When I outgrow this body (and it will be at least a year hence), then I will think of getting the D610 or its successor. Till then D3300 with 24MP sensor and a burst speed of 5fps is good enough for me.
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Old 4th April 2014, 10:09   #12606
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I am planning to upgrade from Nikon 18-55 mm kit lens to 18-140 mm kit lens. I like the convenience of a single lens rather than going for a separate zoom lens, like 55-200 mm or 55-300 mm lens. Is it a worthy upgrade? Any other recommendations? Thanks

Nikon 18-200 mm looks attractive, but more than double the price of 18-140 mm.
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Old 5th April 2014, 17:12   #12607
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Originally Posted by PatienceWins View Post
I am planning to upgrade from Nikon 18-55 mm kit lens to 18-140 mm kit lens. I like the convenience of a single lens rather than going for a separate zoom lens, like 55-200 mm or 55-300 mm lens. Is it a worthy upgrade? Any other recommendations? Thanks

Nikon 18-200 mm looks attractive, but more than double the price of 18-140 mm.
The longer the zoom ratio, the less sharp it is at each end. The 18-55 is an excellent lense in that range and price. Getting a zoom with longer range, like 18-140 will drop the IQ, especially at the 140 end. As you get to longer end, the lenses become more expensive, especially faster ones. You may be better of, sharpness wise with a good 100mm to 150mm prime lense rather than a soft 200mm or 300mm soft lense. I have the older 70-300, which should be about 8K, but it is extreme soft at the 300mm end. Even at 200mm the sharpness I get is much less than my 50mm prime, when blown up on the 24mp sensor.

In short getting a zoom like 55-300 is fine if you are absolutely resolved in having only one lense. Otherwise having a professional grade zoom or prime lenses at long end is the only way to go if you care about the image quality, especially sharpness.
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Old 7th April 2014, 12:10   #12608
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Default Re: The DSLR Thread

For a DSLR beginner - how good is this kit; EOS 1200D Dual Kit (EF S18-55 IS II & EF S55-250 IS II)

http://www.canon.co.in/personal/prod...anguageCode=EN

Is there any other product - I should consider?
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Old 7th April 2014, 13:52   #12609
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Default Re: The DSLR Thread

I am aswell in similar situation ,however based on suggestion from most of my friends have decided to spend a bit more and planning to buy 60d with 18-135 lens kit .

Is international warranty valid in India for pdts bought in dubai, since yesterday i was at Canon store and they are claiming will honor only indian warranty ,confusing !
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Old 7th April 2014, 14:06   #12610
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Default Re: The DSLR Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by maheshramaling View Post
For a DSLR beginner - how good is this kit; EOS 1200D Dual Kit (EF S18-55 IS II & EF S55-250 IS II)
This is a pretty good kit. Just note that 55- 250 lens has some limitations, but those limitations are okay at this price point. Hard to beat the value at ~5k.

Quote:
Originally Posted by maheshramaling View Post
Is there any other product - I should consider?
Have a look at Nikon D3300.

Pros:
D3300 has a better sensor (1200D has same sensor that was released in 2011 models)
D3300 has much better low-light performance since it does not use a low-pass filter

Cons:
D3300 does not have a autofocus motor, so that limits choice of lenses. Lenses for D3300 will be costlier.
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Old 7th April 2014, 16:42   #12611
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Default Re: The DSLR Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by maheshramaling View Post
For a DSLR beginner - how good is this kit; EOS 1200D Dual Kit (EF S18-55 IS II & EF S55-250 IS II)

http://www.canon.co.in/personal/prod...anguageCode=EN

Is there any other product - I should consider?
For a beginner, limit your self to the 18-55 kit lense. As cameras go, the D3300 has a much better sensor - 24MP and better DR.

The low cost long zoom - 55-250 is very mediocre in IQ and quite slow, so I would avoid it. If you need a long lense - 200 to 300, get a prime. It may be more expensive, but eminently usable. I have the Nikon 50mm prime and a 70-300mm zoom. The images taken with D3300 at 200+ are pretty soft, and I find that those taken with 50mm are sharper and contain more discernible details. That is one advantage of those 24MP. On top of that most of the affordable zoom lense are quite slow in the 200+mm range, so you are limited to taking photographs in bright light only. Of course if you want "some thing" then you can shoot at ISO 3200 or more with an inexpensive zoom, at least you will have an image. But if you want quality then do not invest in the cheaper zooms which go to 200mm+.
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Old 7th April 2014, 18:06   #12612
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The low cost long zoom - 55-250 is very mediocre in IQ and quite slow, so I would avoid it. If you need a long lense - 200 to 300, get a prime.
I have a different opinion. 55-250 is definitely worth the 4 -5k extra. For a beginner, being able to click sharp images at 150mm is a big plus.

Certainly it would not measure up to 200mm prime, but that lens would be in range of 60k - 1 lakh.
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Old 8th April 2014, 22:24   #12613
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Need help with DSLR!

Background - Camera freak since childhood. Have clicked 45GB of pics with my Sony Cybershot since 2005.

Planning to buy a DSLR now mainly to click my baby daughter's pics and pics of cars as in grassfields.Among Canon 1200D and Nikon D3300, I have selected Nikon D3300. D3300 comes with Kit lens 18-55. My doubt is for my requirement, is the 18-55mm lens enough? Or should I buy the 55-200mm lens too in the combo offer, where 55-200mm costs 9k.

I know such questions have been answered before, just wanted to know based on my specific requirement, is the kits lens enough.

Sample pics:

My daughter -
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My cars -
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Old 8th April 2014, 22:30   #12614
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Default Re: The DSLR Thread

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Originally Posted by Karthik1100 View Post
Planning to buy a DSLR now mainly to click my baby daughter's pics and pics of cars as in grassfields.Among Canon 1200D and Nikon D3300, I have selected Nikon D3300. D3300 comes with Kit lens 18-55. My doubt is for my requirement, is the 18-55mm lens enough? Or should I buy the 55-200mm lens too in the combo offer, where 55-200mm costs 9k.
Check out D3300 against 600D/650D.

Along with 18-55, also get a 50mm Prime. That should take care for most for now.

Yes this is time, when you want to snap then when they are happily playing on their own !

Happy Snapping.
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Old 8th April 2014, 22:48   #12615
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
Check out D3300 against 600D/650D.

Along with 18-55, also get a 50mm Prime. That should take care for most for now.

Yes this is time, when you want to snap then when they are happily playing on their own !

Happy Snapping.
Thanks Amp. Yes, have decided on D3300 with Kit lens and 50mm Prime. There is 50mm f/1.8D at 5.5k and 50mm f/1.8G at 9k. Which one to buy?!

Also, can you guide me from where to buy these in Bangalore for best prices. GK V, EGK, Croma, Whizz, Ezone etc are some of the options.

Last edited by Karthik1100 : 8th April 2014 at 22:50.
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