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Which dSLR for landscape photos?

by peterbrownjr / July 27, 2008 5:42 AM PDT

I'm debating on which camera to upgrade to for large landscape prints, and I'm new to SLRs in general. I'm between the Pentax K20D, Nikon D300 and the Canon EOS 5d. I'm leaning towards the EOS 5D mainly because of the large sensor size and it looks like the cheapest full frame SLR. Any other suggestions for cameras that would be well suited for large landscape prints?
I'm also completely ignorant about lenses, and I am thinking of buying from EBAY because I see a lot of packages which include around 5 lenses for a pretty good deal. Let me know if I'm wrong about that.

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Dang, going in head first aren't you

I've never seen anyone jump to a 5D to begin with. No matter which one you buy, you'll need a lens that can work well with landscape. The 17-40 lens for Canon would be your best bet with the 5D. You'll have to get used to the depth of field compared to a point and shoot. Point and shoots usually do better for new people to photography, with landscapes, due to the smaller sensors which will increase the depth of field. This way it makes it easier to have everything in focus.

If you have that type of money then you could look at the Nikon D700 that just came out or Canon should have a replacement for the 5D shortly, since it's a three year old camera.

Actually if landscape is going to be the main subject then the Sigma DP1. Here are some links that might help you on this one.

some sample landscape photos
http://www.panodrom.com/archives/56

This article compares it to the 5D and E-420
http://www.seriouscompacts.com/2008/04/dp1-shootout-pt-3-supplement.html

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thanks
by peterbrownjr / August 6, 2008 9:36 AM PDT

Thanks very much for this info. I was looking at some reviews of the Sigma, but I am still leaning toward an SLR.
So having a larger sensor decreases your depth of field?
Will having the 17-40 lens compensate for having a larger sensor?
I am a little bit confused because I thought that having a larger sensor would result in a higher quality print at a larger size, right? I can't remember if I read an article correctly or not, but is it true that lenses are not able to maximize the quality of the sensors currently being used in professional cameras?
Anyway,my goal is to make very large landscape prints and maximize quality. Thanks again for these responses.

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yes
by kalel33-20416052469708587370302374692233 / August 6, 2008 10:10 AM PDT
In reply to: thanks

A larger sensor gives better image quality in the right hands. I can give you some sites on depth of field if you need it, but I have to say, if you don't know how depth of field, or it's implications, works with different size sensors then you're going to need to do some learning on photography.

The reason you buy a DSLR is not to get better image quality, it's to have more control. If you don't understand how depth of field, aperture, exposure, etc. works then the end product will not look as a good as someone who does understand those things and able to get the most out of a camera(point and shoot or DSLR. In the end, the quality of photo will be determined by you and to a less extent, the camera.

No matter what camera you buy, you will have to invest in a nice tripod, and the filters that jump1127 recommended(which you need to make sure to get quality ones).

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thanks
by peterbrownjr / August 6, 2008 11:08 AM PDT
In reply to: yes

yeah, i'm familiar with all of these concepts in photography... I have used a camera before and taken a few photography classes.
I think my biggest question is quality of image size.

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then
by kalel33-20416052469708587370302374692233 / August 6, 2008 11:49 AM PDT
In reply to: thanks

If you understand photography concepts and how a DSLR works, then you will have no problem shooting the 5D, and it would be best for the price with full sized sensor. Also the filters discussed(don't go cheap on them), 17-40 lens, and an excellent tripod. That will add about $1000 on top of the camera.

The only thing that I have against the 5D is that it could use the contrast based AF with live view. The live view for Canon isn't very good for normal use, but for macro, landscape, and studio work it can perform above the viewfinder and phase based AF.

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Since you planned to shoot landscape
by jump1127 / July 27, 2008 4:51 PM PDT

it's not just the camera, DSLR, you're looking at. Get the right lenses, right timing, understand lighting are also the must. Shooting landscape will mostly require a throughout depth of field unless you decide to shoot a shallow dof, such as some macto photography.

Using a full frame DSLR, such as Canon 5D, requires some pretty good lenses; otherwise, soft-edge or vigneted pictures will be your results. Lighting is also relevant. Besides, GND, CPL, ND filters will be very helpful for controlling a broad dynamic range and high contrast shots.

Visit www.photo.net for some landscape pictures. You don't really need a full frame DSLR to do the work properly.

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Yes it is a good camera
by JayMonster / August 7, 2008 3:38 AM PDT

The Canon 5D is an excellent camera for landscape photography. It is also currently (and likely to remain) the least expensive Full Frame sensor camera on the market.

Full Frame sensor camera since they do not crop the edges of the lens, are far better at getting the widest angle possible. But this comes at a cost.

You need lenses that are solid and top quality. Many lenses are good in the center, but weak around the edges. With cameras that have an APS-C sensor this is not an issue since you are photographing with the "sweet spot" of the lens. However with a full frame sensor, you need glass that is quality from end to end.

I would be leery of getting bargain glass off of eBay (or anywhere else) when you dealing with a full frame sensor, because if that glass isn't top notch from end to end, you are just wasting the fact that you have a full size sensor and might as well just go with a 40D.

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For landscape photography, I would look closely at
by Kiddpeat / August 8, 2008 5:20 AM PDT

the Canon TS-E 24mm which will allow you to correct perspective and to take wide angle panoramic shots (the shift function provides a unique panoramic capability which makes the lense able to operate much wider than 24mm). These are excellent lenses, but they are manual focus only, and are usually used on a tripod.

Naturally, a full frame camera will provide the best results for landscape shots. The 5D is a good starting point.

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