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Which brand is the best in dSLR camera?

by pkbothers / January 16, 2010 4:54 AM PST

I am planning to buy a high end dSLR camera. Please help me to choose one. Right now I am thinking to invest around $2000 including lenses. I am not a professional photographer but want to take quality photo in future. Please help.

1. Which brand?
2. What interchangeable lenses
3. What megapixel
4.Any other recommendation

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it can vary

1. Which brand?
Well, that can depend on what features you find appealing, whether you plan on staying with this as a small hobby or a serious hobby.
2. What interchangeable lenses
This varies on the type of photography you plan to do(sports, landscape, portraiture, street, wildlife, etc.)
3. What megapixel
Megapixel is really something you don't have to worry about. Any current DSLR has more megapixels than 99% of the consumers need.
4.Any other recommendation
There are many other things to consider, such as maybe a polarizing filter, tripod, external flashes, a bag, photo processing software, etc. The "other" things can take a big hit into your budget and depends on your photography and needs.

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How about Samsung NX10?
by brianken2 / January 18, 2010 9:29 PM PST
In reply to: it can vary

There are many DSLR cameras in the market.
You may check Samsung NX10, one of the cameras displayed in CES 2010.

Samsung announced the NX10 interchangeable lens camera. The compact NX10 is armed with a large 14.6 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor along with a 3.0 inch AMOLED monitor, pop-up flash, and an electronic viewfinder.

Samsung will make an 18-55mm OIS, 50-200mm OIS, and a 30mm pancake lens available with the launch of the NX10.

The use of a 3.0 inch AMOLED monitor, a technology that should make the display brighter and easier to use in direct sunlight. Compared to a traditional LCD, the AMOLED technology should consume less power and put up faster refresh times.

Samsung has included 720p HD video capture capability in the NX10. It will record HD videos in H.264 codec.

Unfortunately, NX10 will be available this Spring.
If you need a camera right away, you may just ignore my recommendation.
If you are interested in NX10, following is the link you may refer to:

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Preview Video Clip of NX10 by WhatDigitalCamera
by brianken2 / January 26, 2010 8:03 PM PST
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There is no "best".
by Papa Echo / January 16, 2010 12:03 PM PST

There is no "perfect" camera. Every model and between brands has its own pros and cons. A profrssional would have more than one or two high end camera bodies and various lenses and use them in combination according to needs and circumstances. I suppose this does not answer your questions.

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D-SLR budget
by hjfok / January 16, 2010 5:09 PM PST

Your budget will be best spent on an entry level D-SLR, and one or two quality lenses. $2000 will not be adequate for high end D-SLR, it is barely enough for one high quality lens.

Investing in lenses and accessories will improve your photo quality and creativity more than getting a more expensive camera body. An external bounce flash is a very important accessory, get two if you have adequate budget (use one as main light and the other as a fill or background light). Other useful accessories include tripod, polarizer filter, etc.

Lens choice depends on what you like to shoot, but almost everyone will need at least a general purpose lens and a tele. Get a large aperture bright zoom lens if your budget allows.

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Just over 2K
by SX10 IS / January 18, 2010 5:13 AM PST
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Alternative option
by hjfok / January 18, 2010 10:41 AM PST
In reply to: Just over 2K

The 24-105mm f/4L IS lens is very good but it does not have much wide angle (on an APS-C size body) or tele.

You can consider getting a cheaper body like Canon xsi with the EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS and EF 70-200mm f/4L for similar package price. The 17-55mm f/2.8 IS lens has excellent quality and has better low light performance than the 24-105mm f/4L IS lens, with shallower depth of field. And the 200mm will give you a more useful range for sports and wild life than 105mm. The Canon XSI is slower than the 50D, and ISO tops at 1600 rather than 3200. But I will rather get a lens with f/2.8 than to have ISO 3200. Having more lenses will increase your photo capabilities more than having a more expensive body.

This is just a suggestion about what you can buy if you pick a less expensive body, and to illustrate the reasoning. The Canon 50D is an excellent camera and the 24-105mm f/4L IS lens is also very good.

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I always suggest Nikon
by Flatworm / January 29, 2010 10:05 PM PST

Most DSLR cameras have similar features, capabilities and quality at similar price points (you pay a small premium for Nikon). There is, however, a difference in the lenses available.

The lenses for Nikon cameras tend to be superior in design and optical quality to those for Canon and other brands. Unfortunately, they also tend to be more expensive. But particularly in the telephoto end of the lens spectrum, Nikon lenses are considerably (sometimes to a large degree) more compact and lighter-weight than the others for given focal ranges and apertures without sacrificing optical quality (indeed, they are generally of superior optical quality) or durability. This gives you a lighter, less unwieldy camera that can result in getting shots you might otherwise miss.

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have to disagree
by kalel33-20416052469708587370302374692233 / January 30, 2010 3:49 AM PST
In reply to: I always suggest Nikon

I had this debate with someone in a past forum post, and I gave information for 10 of the top pro and consumer lens from Nikon and Canon. They were not lighter or smaller and the other person couldn't find any lens that supported his theory that Nikon was lighter and/or smaller. This seems to be a myth that has been spread across the web, without any base in reality.

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by kalel33-20416052469708587370302374692233 / January 30, 2010 3:51 AM PST
In reply to: have to disagree

You won't find reviews stating that Nikon lens are optically superior to Canon or vice versa. This has been another myth spread throughout the forums on the internet.

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Start small
by mwooge / January 30, 2010 1:25 PM PST

Since you aren't a professional and don't know what you want, get a mid-range camera that'll accept different lenses. By the time you're an "expert" it'll be time for a new camera anyway and you'll know what you want.

Try buying a used camera.
Find and join a local camera/photography club.

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Which dSLR to buy
by radwjw / January 30, 2010 1:29 PM PST

Keep in mind that whatever camera body you buy that is the brand whose lenses you will have to purchase in the future. I suppose that you will get the full range of answers for this question. However, I would submit that over 95% of professionals use one of two brands: Nikon or Canon. These two brands totally dominate Photographers who take photo's for a living or are serious amatuers. You may get other brands suggested here or from other sources, but they are wrong. Only Nikon and Canon over the last 40+ years have practiclly cornered the majority of the high and middle-high end market. For a reason: no other brand provides consistently high grade optics, choice of lenses, reliability, versatility, etc. It's not even a race to be honest; third place is occupied by the remainder of manufactures all attempting to split up the last bit of pie. At my last professional seminar sponsered by Kodak I took an informal survey and found about 55% Canon's, 50% Nikons, and a smattering of all the rest. Sony seemed to be the only other brand seen occassionally.
That being said, you will find that proponents of either Canon or Nikon arguing all the time as to which is the "best". For all but the most advanced Photographer you will not be able to tell the difference. Then it comes to price, ergonomics, specific use of camera, etc. You can spend anywhere from $250 up to $5000 for a camera/lens combo for either of these two brands. I might mention that re-sale value is also important: listing a Nikon or Canon for sale will garner more interest by far that trying to sell any other used camera. "Photography" recently did a used camera market survey on used dSLR's and Canon and Nikon retained twice as much of their original value than any other brand, across the entire spectrum of price. Good luck.

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Which Lens to buy for Canon 7D
by pkbothers / January 30, 2010 10:38 PM PST
In reply to: Which dSLR to buy

Finally I am planning to go for Canon 7D (body only) but confused to buy which a lens which will solve my purpose. Again I am not a professional photographer but want a good lens which will give me good quality photo in a day to day life. Please suggest which ZOOM lens is fit best for my purpose.

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What do you want to do?
by wizard.of.oz / February 1, 2010 8:39 AM PST

If you really want to buy a mid or high end SLR, you should already be at least semi-serious about photography. Otherwise, you won't get as much out of your purchase as you should. If you're just looking for something to take snapshots of friends, then do yourself a favor and either get a high-end compact or maybe a low-end SLR.

Now, let's assume you are at least semi-serious about photography? What type of art do you like to produce? Sweeping landscapes? Portraits? Sports shots? Birds/wildlife? Gritty street/personal shots? Architecture? Macro/closeups? All of them have different answers for what type of lenses are best for you.

In general, you can pick lenses that are mediocre for a lot of tasks, or ones that can do fewer tasks but do those really well.

For any particular photograph, there are two properties for a lens: focal length and aperture. A smaller focal length is wider-angle, and a larger focal length is narrow-angle. Small focal lengths also amplify perspective, while large focal length make the image seem flatter. 50mm has the same level of perspective as the human eye. A zoom lens can select from a range of focal lengths.

Aperture is the amount of light the lens lets in. A small (wide) aperture like 1.8 or 2.0 lets in more light but has less of the image in focus. A high (narrow) aperture like 8 or 10 lets in very little light but has most of the image in focus. Either your camera chooses the aperture for you or you choose it from the controls on the camera. Lenses are rated by the widest/smallest aperture they allow. A minimum aperture of 4 is good, and a minimum aperture of 2.8 is better because it gives you more flexibility.

If you're really into wide-angle landscapes, you really want a lens that can do well under 30mm (full frame sensor) or 17mm (crop sensor). In the Canon world, the good lens for that is 16-35/2.8L. It also works well in confined spaces and low light, like wedding receptions. But, the perspective distortion from 16mm makes people look funny, so you have to be further away.

If you want to do people/street photography, you want 50mm-100mm. Though I've also been able to get a lot of good outdoor reception shots from across a gathering with 100-200mm. The advantage there is there's no camera nearby so people relax. Image stabilization also helps here, since you might have to react faster and move around a lot.

If you want sports or wildlife photography, you want 300mm or greater. Be aware that a high end 400mm lens is more than your entire budget.

The kit lens for a 7D is a 24-105/4L IS. I have that lens, and it's very good for portraits and street photography and good for landscapes. I actually have that lens on my 5D most of the time, with a crop body and a 70-200/4 for mild telephoto shots and some primes for lower-light shots. I don't do sports or wildlife photography, or I'd want a still longer lens for that.

For most general-purpose people shots, the 24-105 that comes with the 7D works very well. Since the 7D is full frame, that's wider (with less distortion) than the 17-88 mentioned before on a crop body.

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how could everybody miss?
by kintzele / February 1, 2010 9:44 AM PST

To make it very short...Pentax K-7. I just purchased one at xmas time. It is terrific. Also shoots 720P in HD. You can't miss.

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Canon 7D is NOT a full frame sensor
by RSHotrod / February 1, 2010 10:27 AM PST

I own a Canon 7D and you have to use the 1.6 crop factor to figure the lens equivalent MM factor. I also own the 17-55MM F2.8 IS lens and the 24-105MM F4.0L lens and other than the 24-105MM having less flare (probably more related to the wider angle of 17MM than the lens itself). In real world use I see very little difference in photos made with either lens, however the lens that is mounted most often for everyday use is the 17-55MM. I also have a number of telephoto lenses including the 70-200MM F2.8 IS L but for your budget range I would recommend the 70-300MM F4-5.6 IS USM. This is probably the best buy of any Canon lens. The only drawback to this lens for me is the realitavely slow focus speed (relative to the 17-55MM and L lenses) but I have a very high success rate with this lens. I have one other comment related to the "which camera question". If you are interested in taking pictures in low-lite situations then you might want to consider going with Nikon cameras since this seems to be only real advantage it has over Canon, at least for non-professional photographers.

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by jadon1234 / February 6, 2012 8:18 AM PST

buying the 7d isnt neccasary and its a lot harder to use then any of the rebel series. I have a rebel xti and it doesnt limit me. and since your not profesonal you defintly dont need the 7d. Remember its the photographer not the camera. i would suggest getting one from craigslist or ebay because this is your first camera.

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Some thoughts from the age of film
by Razzl / February 1, 2010 9:53 PM PST

Sorry to come to this discussion a little late. I agree with the respondents who pointed out Nikon and Canon's dominance in the field. In the era of film this was not as significant and lots of pro's went around with their Leica's or Minolta's happily snapping away, but digital camera's require a whole supporting environment of lenses and software which only mega-corporations seem to be able to put together. The non-CaNikon manufacturers seem to be falling further and further behind the big 2 in features and sophistication, as well as supporting software.

I've found that the one feature set which firmly distinguishes professional models from general models is how flash is handled. True professionals who do photography other than journalism require various features for hooking up or triggering remote flash units with the camera; if you don't think you'll ever do that kind of indoor work then you've saved yourself a lot of money because you won't have to pay for the high-end professional models.

During the film era you also had the artistic professionals who wouldn't hear of using anything other than a medium- or large- format camera for all their work; basically it was "more molecules equals more resolution" just as with the megapixel wars of today. I haven't seen so much evidence of the obsession with large format digital cameras, perhaps because the cameras were an aesthetic as well as a technical choice and most of those folks are still using their film? In any event, megapixel-wars will soon spill over into sensor-size wars, and the most specialized "professional" cameras will have the biggest sensors.

A detail worth noting is the need for specialty lenses for certain work (perspective-control lenses for architecture, macro lenses for microscopic closeup work). Read up on those lenses before deciding which camera to buy if this is your specialty as one manufacturer may have the best lense for that purpose, or the lense may only fit certain models...

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Multiple flash/strobe controls for nonpro models
by hjfok / February 2, 2010 3:37 AM PST

You don't necessarily need the pro models for multiple flash/strobe control. Canon and Nikon both have remote transmitter that can control several groups of flashes and allow setting different ratio for each group. But this usually requires the transmitter and the flash units to have direct line of sight, works better indoors than outdoors. If you want something better, then you can consider the Pocket Wizard.

I use the Alien Bees strobes at home, with the Cyber Commander remote system that has built-in flash metering and remote programming of the strobes.

All these accessories do not require a pro model, can work with most Canon and Nikon D-SLRs. I don't know about the other manufacturers, but there are other third party remote triggering systems that can work with them.

But obviously the pro model has a lot more capabilities (better AF, metering, wireless data transmission, rugged build, fast performance, vast custom functions, etc) and can do high speed flash synch that the lower end models cannot dream of.

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A Pentax K7 may be your answer
by Robinwl / February 1, 2010 11:38 PM PST

Hi, I also was in the same dilemma. A few months ago. A restriction on the island hopping plane forbade taking my Telescope on board. My old Camera was a Pentax with KA Mount with the extension that took my Telescope.
(The cost of the new items should fit your budget)
So a dSLR Pentax K7 was my answer with a 300 Zoom lens (450mm with 35mm film) and a 2X converter, Antishake, self cleaning of sensor, water proof, Multi and time exposures on one frame, swappable Focusing Screen, with setting for remote Flash Units and built in flash. A stereo Movie camera [the limit for filming is the memory card, 8Mb is useful, with HDMI and stereo output (cable not supplied)]. The Camera is 14 Mpixal, but I use 6Mp for every day. All my old lenses fit, including the telescope to the K7, using manual adjustment including a 90 deg view finder. There are plenty of setting to customise to suit your circumstances, with a default setting if you get it all wrong, the Pentax K7 software can be updated using the USB and Memory Card.
I hope that will be useful.

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Best dSLR around $2000
by lyang / February 2, 2010 10:51 PM PST

I have been looking at dSLR's for some time. I was intrigued with the Canon 5D Mk II that White Photographer Pete Souza uses. It runs about $2,600 body only. I waiting for a large format Canon with the newest Digic 4 processor and was rewarded with the release of the EOS 7D whose reviews I have been following. It retails for $1699 but I got it for just over $1300 on (link to and I followed the CNET reviewers advice to buy the newer Canon 15-85mm IS USM zoom lens over the 17-85mm lens that comes when you buy the 7D together. I found the retail $799 lens for about $700 on Amazon and both were with free shipping so just a tad above $2000. Great Camera! and it takes stills while recording HD video! I believe this is the best deal out there for $2000 bar none. The 7D sets the new standard for high-midrange cameras

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D-SLR system choice
by hjfok / February 4, 2010 12:36 PM PST
In reply to: Best dSLR around $2000

This is just using the examples to illustrate how to pick a system from a photographer's point of view, rather than just reading specs and reviews without thinking about what you need. I don't mean to direct comments to anyone's particular choice.

I'm going to use the examples above Pentax K7 vs Canon 7D. Both are good cameras. However if the budget is around $2000, then the Pentax may make more sense. Let's say I want to shoot low light actions, family photos, portraits and travel photos.

For Pentax K7, it has built-in antishake technology, and cost about $1122 with stand 18-55mm lens. I can add the Pentax 70-200mm f/2.8 lens for $730 and a AF 540 external flash for $384. The total will come out $2236. This will be a pretty good setup and quite flexible, able to do low light sports, great portraits, group photos, etc.

For Canon 7D, it costs $1699 and with the $799 15-85mm lens, it comes out almost $2500. The Pentax system above will definitely outperform the Canon 7D with 15-85mm lens in every category of photography that I listed I want to do above.

This is not to say that Pentax is better. Sure the Canon 7D can outperform the Pentax. But I will have to add the EF 70-200mm f/2.8 IS $2000, and the Canon 430ex flash $280 (or the 580ex $470). The Canon 7D will come out $4780. If your budget is generous and you don't mind spending more than twice the Pentax system, then you can get some better performance but it won't be twice the performance of the Pentax system. Nikon by the way costs about the same as Canon.

This is what I mean by knowing what you need and setting a budget. You should always try to get everything you need and stay close to the budget. That does not mean that you cannot take your time to build your system. It may take you a couple of years to build the Canon or Nikon system, but you will end up spending twice the amount at the end. And you may miss quite a lot of photo opportunities during the intervening two years.

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Best D-SLR
by hjfok / February 4, 2010 10:17 AM PST

If image quality and performance are the most important criteria in your purchase, then Canon and Nikon are slightly ahead of the others. But the other manufacturers may have additional features that you like or better value for your money. Remember that photo quality is more dependent on the photographer than exactly which camera you use. Performance difference between camera brands is small, whereas photographic talents and skills of the photographers vary widely. If you depend on technical reviews, specs and pixel peeping to decide which camera is better, then you are more of a geek than a photographer. First find out what type of photography you like to do, then read some expert articles and books to find out what aspect and specification of the cameras and lenses you need to achieve what you want. Then use reviews as a guidance to pick what will fit your need and budget. It is more important to get what you need than to get a specific brand. For example, if you want to do low light actions, you need a fast lens and preferrably with image stabilizaton. If you have limited budget, then a third party fast lens and a camera with antishake technology may fit your budget more than getting a Canon or Nikon plus an image stabilized fast lens. Focus on what you need rather than what you want. Buying brand names is mostly what you want, not what you need.

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Canon 7D with Lens
by pkbothers / February 7, 2010 1:13 AM PST
In reply to: Best D-SLR

Can someone please let me know which lens I shoud pick up for both indoor and outdoor shooting. Is Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM or EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM.

I am planning to by canon 7d body. Please help.

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by kalel33-20416052469708587370302374692233 / February 7, 2010 3:17 AM PST
In reply to: Canon 7D with Lens

17-55 F2.8 IS. The larger aperture makes it a better indoor lens, without having to use the flash.

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Indoor/outdoor shooting
by hjfok / February 7, 2010 6:01 AM PST
In reply to: Canon 7D with Lens

EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS is my favorite zoom lens, excellent for both indoor and outdoor photos, a EF-S lens with L class quality. I use this lens the most on my older 30D body. For sports, I use the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS, another excellent lens for indoor/outdoor shooting, and is my second most used lens on the 30D.

One thing you should know about the EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS lens is that it is not sealed like the L class lenses, so you may see some dust inside the lens after a while. But this does not show up in the photos and does not affect image quality. However it does make me question Canon why don't they just seal the lens and charge a little more, since customers already pay $1000 for this lens, and I'm sure most of us will not mind paying a little more for the seal.

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by vandersyde / February 7, 2012 3:11 AM PST
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Locking this thread
by snapshot2 Forum moderator / February 7, 2012 11:39 AM PST

This thread is two years old and starting to attract advertising.
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