CarolineCherryFeatured By OwnerNov 10, 2012Professional Photographer
Canon 1000D and occasionally 20D, 30D and my boyfriend 7D. I've also had a play with the Canon 1100D and I've gotta say, obviously there's better [heaps better!] but the low end Canon's can get you some great results
Nikon D50 (DSLR) I bought this one because it was the biggest camera in the price range that I could afford. What I like about it: - Top LCD - Easy to use - Price - Good enough image quality for my purposes Dislikes: - Still a bit too small for my hands - Looking through the viewfinder is like looking through a tunnel
Samsung EX-1 (compact) I bought this one to use during hikes, vacation and as my everyday camera Likes: - Portability - Good enough image quality for my purpose - Solid feel
rustyironmongerFeatured By OwnerNov 9, 2012Hobbyist General Artist
I use a Nikon L120 entry-level automatic superzoom with a Kiwi Hardware adapter that will allow it to run 62mm filters or camcorder lenses with a 62mm attachment and filters to suit. Quite low-budget, low-tech and crude, but I have produced good-quality images with this setup.
I am looking to upgrade to a bridge camera around Christmas and eventually to a DSLR once I master shooting without automatic features and improve my composition skills.
I own two Nikon Camera. The first one I got is Nikon D5000, I got it after my daugther was 6 months and I was frastrated by my point and shoot camera coz it is just not able to capture my daughter fast movement indoors. Then I bought 35mm f1.8G DX on it, and it fulfil my purpose well. Then when my daughter was 2 years old, I feel I need to improve my photography skills so I take a online photography class this April and update my camera to Nikon D700 on Late July (well at that time I don't know D600 will be released. ) Below are the thoughts about my two camera.
Nikon D5000: pros: small and light weight, easy to handle ( I have small hands), with 35mm f1.8G lens, it give me great pictures. Image quality is not bad at all. And the price is cheap.
cons: it doesn't have inbody auto focus, so I have to buy the lense that can auto focus, it limits your lens choice. e.g. 50mm f1.8D would be manual focus on D5000. Another big issue is you can't fine tune white balance, you can't adjust K to get your whitle balance. But most of the situation, sunlight mode is enough.
Nikon D700: pros: great grate low light performance. Image quality is great too. Never regretted I bought it. Cons: Heavy and big! It is painful to carry it around, but now I seems get used to it. Auto white balance is on the yellow side, not flattering for Asian people. I can't use my 35mm f1.8g on it, since it is DX lens, but I love that lens so much! I bought 50mm f1.4D, well the focus speed is not as fast as 35mm f1.8g.
That's all, I own DSLR only two years, and 1.5 years I bascially have no knowlege about exposure. Yeah I used to use A mode. Just starting this April, when I have my photogrpahy class, I start to use M mode and get to know the basic knowledge of light, exposure, color, and emotions...Well, now I take photography as my love.
I'm using a Canon EOS 500D. The picture quality is amazing. Could be regarded as an entrance to professional photography device, dunno, but it sure as hell can produce very good images. I'm more of a hobby photographer, but I got confused for a professional way to often, must be the device, because I don't have any photography education.
georgewjohnsonFeatured By OwnerNov 5, 2012Hobbyist Photographer
Just a hobbyist but I've been using a Canon 5D MkII for the last 12 months, prior to that I've owned Canon 300D, 450D and 550D.
I ultimate reason for going with a 5DM2 last year was that I dislike digital noise and artifacts, I know they are a fact of life but I like to limit them down as much as I can. When I had the 550D I'd zoom into 150-200% and I hated the lack of detail and noise. The second I started shooting with 5D down at ISO 50 and ISO100 I was blown away by how much cleaner and sharper the images looked. I know the 5DM2 is made for high ISO usage but I'm a slow outdoor shooter so I'm never in any fast moving situations. Shooting purely landscapes I wanted something that could give me much better clarity in deep DoF scenes when needed.
I wanted a camera that could take a beating, heading out into the British countryside full of rain, mud and bugs you need something that's going to keep going as long as you do. While the weather sealing on the 5DM2 is not wonderful it's way better than the mid-ranges I've had before, I once managed to wreck a 450D after water got inside it. I've stood in the pouring rain for an hour with rain splashing all over my 5D and lenses and it's not let me down once. You wipe down and try to keep under cover but it's not always possible, so you need something that can take it.
Love the battery life. Went off on a 4 day shooting trip last year, got there and realised I'd forgotten my damn charger! Only had 2 pairs of batteries for my battery grip, so I wound down all the power saving settings and I think after around 1500 shots I had used about 3/4 of the battery life on just one pair, that includes a lot of 5-10 second early morning exposures too.
I like the easy access to the settings. I often head out before sunrise and you're trying to get the shot right the last thing you need is to be looking at a huge bright back LCD opening up your irises in the dark morning, it can take 30 seconds to re-adjust to the dark scene, that's time wasted not shooting a shot. With the 5D you can simply feel all the controls to adjust ISO, white balance, focus point, etc on top of the camera without even looking at them and without blinding yourself in the dark.
The only thing that always let's the 5DM2 down is the auto-focus, it's absolutely bloody awful. I hardly ever use it unless I have no choice it's the one flaw that let's down a seriously good camera and hopefully something they've corrected in the 5DM3.
I personally use a 5D Mark III professionally. I have a back up Canon 60D when I need a crop camera when I need a tighter crop while using telephoto lenses or when I need an articulated screen. (Seriously, the articulated screen is quite useful, but I don't think they'll be incorporating it into professional full frame bodies any time soon)
Most of my friends use a 5D Mark III or a 5D Mark II. I love everything about the camera from the 61 focus point, to the awesome low light performance to the really quick 6 fps with a low shutter lag. It's not as insane as the 1DX of course, but the performance is good enough for most people. I do commercial fashion photography, portraits and weddings so 6fps is more than enough.
There's really nothing that I don't like from my camera. Well maybe except that I wished they had an articulated screen. But I can trade that one feature for all the awesome other features from the 5D3.
I have students too and I always tell them it's more about the photographer rather than the camera. But I tell them I personally prefer Canon cameras. If they prefer other brands, so be it.
I also think it's almost impossible to ask a professional photographer which camera they prefer without them being biased one way or another. No camera is perfect and it's always a trade off between one brand/model over another.
I have to agree about the screen. When I shoot live events, I use the eye piece, but sometimes you need that low angle shot... on cameras that don't have that screen, you have to use the shotgun method (pointing and hoping you get it right) but with the articulated screen you can nail it. But I do agree, no matter how useful that option is, I doubt we'll see it on a flagship camera any time soon. Internet trolls will bash a pro camera with an articulated screen and that will hurt sales, especially when you already sell so few of your high end cameras.
Oh okay. Then yeah, Nikon for digital and Pentax and Vivitar for Film. Vivitar and Pentax lenses are compatable which is why I buy them. Plus, Pentax's are reliable as all hell. The youngest film camera I have is 28 years old and it's still in perfect working condition.
I use the Nikon D7000, and absolutely love it. I have never used a full frame camera, so I don't know what I'm missing, but if you're going to use a crop sensor camera I think it's hard to go wrong with the D7000. A lot of what it takes to take quality images is related more to the glass than the camera though as most of you already know.
I started out with a SONY DSLR A200..It came with kit lens e.t.c and honestly, seemed to be the best and cheapest option for me. Since then I've stuck with Sony completely, moving on to a DSLR A55 and a DSLR A57 now, both of which suit me fine.
The A57 is what I'm using right now. It actually exceeded my expectations. The A200 was disappointing after the A100. Sony decided to remove features from the A100 when making the A200. The A350 was pretty good.
If you are willing to recommend older cameras which are available on the used market, these might be some good options:
These are all cameras I currently own and use (at least occasionally):
D70 - my oldest dSLR. A good student camera. 6mp and available for under $200. Don't underestimate this camera, I've taken images which I've had prints hung in a gallery with this camera. Coupled with an inexpensive lens, this is a great starting point camera. I still use this camera when doing demos - especially if I hand around the camera, for the price I don't worry as much if someone drops it. Overall, decent general camera. Older autofocus, so a bit slow for sports (but usable in a pinch). Can use both AF-S and AF lenses. Fully functional (and easy to use) manual settings (Command and subcommand dials). IMO, better than many of the newer, higher megapixel offerings from Nikon. Limited on low light performance - Image starts to degrade at iso400 - with careful exposure and 3rd party noise reduction (such as noise ninja) usable to 1600 for newspaper publication.
D2h - A sports/photojournalist camera. 4mp is limiting, but the AF accuracy and acquisition time is still excellent. A good camera for the student sports/photojournalist student. The low mp count is actually an advantage for students - it forces them to as tightly as possible (not a lot of room for cropping). Coupled with an older 80-200/2.8, this combination is still useful for regular newspaper work. Terrible high ISO. Past iso 400, I recommend shooting RAW and converting in post - when 3rd party noise reduction software is used, up to ISO1600 is possible with proper exposure. This camera does not tolerate underexposure!
D300 - 12mp good general camera. Coupled with the battery grip gives 8fps performance. AF is good (although I still prefer the D2 series AF performance. Much better Hi ISO performance. Images very usable at ISO800 - usable at 1600 and can be pushed to 3200 in a pinch.
D700 - See the D300 except full framed and about a stop better ISO performance.
D2x - 12mp - This is my go-to studio camera. Great low ISO performance - terrible above 400. I'll say that again, this camera is almost useless past ISO 400. With good light, this camera produces striking images. Most of the images in my DA gallery were shot with my D2x. Available used for around $1000 a great deal.
Aside from my D70 and my first D2h, all the rest of my cameras were purchased used (as well as most of my lenses) - I tend to buy cameras one generation old (far cheaper than being the 'latest and greatest').
I am a student and I have a Canon 500d and I love it. Because its not too heavy, simple and easy to use. There are basic settings to use which I used mre when i first started out. But there are also more advanced settings which you can adjust, which i use more now because i'm more used to the camera. Plus, there are so many lenses i can add to it. It's just a greater starter camera, i love it
I’m a commercial photographer, so I tend to work with more expensive gear. At the moment, my workhorse is a Mamiya 645 AFD with a ZD digital back. By the end of 2013 I’m hoping to trade that in for – at a minimum – a Phase One P30+. I like this system because it’s a good compromise between optical performance and handling. It’s bigger and heavier than any 35mm DSLR, but once you get used to the size and weight it handles pretty much the same. It’s not as fast, nor does it handle low-light situations well at all, but since the majority of my work is done with strobes of one sort or another, neither of those things matters all that much to me. The big benefit for me is the size of the digital sensor. Even though my present digital back is only 21.3 megapixels, the images it produces have more detail than images shot on my assistant’s 5D Mk II (although, the lack of an anti-aliasing filter in my camera may also have something to do with that). I’m looking into leasing a Canon 6D as a backup for those times when I need more speed. I have a couple of older Canon lenses that I inherited, and I can borrow a lens or two from my assistant when I need one that I don’t own.
You're the first person on this site that I've heard of using a medium format camera. I'm sure there are others, but they don't hop onto the forums too often. I have to agree, the Phase One camera parts are looking very good these days.
DuncanJBerryFeatured By OwnerNov 4, 2012Hobbyist Photographer
I teach digital photography as an activity to middle school students. My school has a number of low end dslr's and flip cams. I prefer the low end Nikons because they are durable and easy to use. The Canon Rebels are OK also. I own a Canon Rebel XT-i and am planning to get a Nikon D600 or better when I have the $$.
Really what it come down to is: durability, cost, ease of use, ability to fully manual, and your comfort with the camera. (not to mention decent battery life) I avoid point and shoot cameras because you can not teach the fundamentals without full controls. For the fun of it, I also have toy cameras, Holgas, and other formats with film.... good luck
p.s. rcooper's post fills in the choices nicely, but I would not pay over $600 US for a student camera.
I have owned a number of cameras, and the only advice I can honestly give anymore about choosing a camera is: the first camera you buy won't be your last - so make it a cheap one
that said, an entry-level DSLR (from any manufacturer) is a fine choice, as it does *most* of the things a camera ought to do. it'll also (through its abilities and deficiencies) teach you what you personally want out of a camera - and thereby direct your future purchasing decisions.
cameras are an iterative process of purchasing, learning, and re-purchasing. there is no camera in the past or today that can meet the expectations of everyone.
Well, I don't know how practical that would be. I'm a collector and I have something like 130 cameras right now. I have SLRs, TLRs, rangefinders, ranging cameras, zone focusing cameras, pinholes, and a couple of DSLRs. In addition, I repair and restore cameras so I've handled quite a few more, but the thing is that new cameras don't come in for repairs. The ones I work on are all older models. That said, I like the Nikons most when it comes to DSLRs. They just feel more substantial and Nikon currently has a momentary advantage in sensor technology. Their consumer grade lenses are also marginally better. Canon has marginally better professional grade lenses though, and given a few months, they will probably have a sensor as good as or better than Nikon's (the Nikon/Canon scales tend to swing back and forth quite a bit). Canon's entry level cameras are also slightly lighter than Nikon's. When comparing Nikon and Canon DSLRs, it's six of one and half-a-dozen of the other really. Both are excellent. Pentax makes a model or two that is also quite respectable. Really, what you want to do is look at these three brands and decide on which is going to be best for you based on other things than the body -- mostly lenses. Will you be shooting sports professionally? If so, the Canon L-glass is very hard to beat. Are you going to be shooting Portraits? If so, the Nikon Gold Ring portrait lenses are as good as the L-Glass. Canon's entry level DSLRs are not as durable as entry level cameras by Nikon or Pentax, but once you get beyond flimsey entry level cameras, they are all about as durable. Basically, I'd tell them what kinds of lenses they'll need to do various kinds of photography, tell them the difference between pro grade lenses and consumer grade lenses, and let them look up the prices for those lenses. Then they can make up their own minds.
As for what kind of camera I prefer to use, I like film and my favorite small format cameras are a Canon A1 and a Pentax K1000. They are rugged, dependable, high-quality cameras that are easy and quick to use, they offer a very high degree of image control, and in 30 years of photography neither has let me down even once. I also have an old Nikon D40, but I rarely use it. If I need to shoot something digitally, my old Canon A630 will do the job 99% of the time and it's easier to use.
Simply the best all around camera I've had the pleasure of working with, even better than my old 1Ds3. It offers Canon's top of the line focus system (same AF module as the 1Dx), with 61 focus points, with over 40 of those points being highly sensitive cross type points that work very well in very low light. It has cross type points near the thirds sections, making it very useful: no more focus recomposing. The AF system is also faster and more responsive than the 1D4 system. There are some complaints about the system though, it officially supports AF of lenses who's aperture is f/5.6 or faster. It doesn't support f/8 focusing, not officially anyway. Workarounds are available, such as taping the pins on the teleconverter, and from what I've seen, they seem to work pretty well (haven't tried it myself though). My other complaint with the AF system is that it's very hard to see the points in dark environments, or with a dark colored subject in AI Servo mode. A fix for both of those problems is supposed to be released in the April firmware update, and has already been released for the 1Dx.
It offers 6fps, making it usable for sports and wildlife, but of course, it's no where near as good as the 1Dx for those situations, which offers a whooping 12fps!
It's a great low light monster, with even ISO 25k being useable for smaller prints (such as wedding photos).
It has a silent shutter mode, which helps me blend in, and not disturb in the wedding ceremony.
Dual card slots, with the ability to use one card as a backup: this is a lifesaver! I've had cards fail on me before, and it's great knowing that the images are backed up on another card the moment they are taken. This is especially important when you're covering a once in a lifetime event, such as a couple's wedding.
Despite what DxOmark states (honestly, have they ever given anything besides a Nikon a really good score?), it's DR isn't all that bad. If you know what you're doing, you won't have a problem most of the time. Although I did encounter some noise in the shadows in very high demanding scenes, which is something to note, but to be honest, I just use HDR in those situations. Would be great if it offered a somewhat better shadow recovery. Which, to be honest, is my only real complaint with this camera.
That's the camera I've been recommending to my more advanced students. Every time I see photos I just love from pros, I keep seeing that camera attached.
What do you mean it won't focus lenses above f/5.6? Do you mean it won't work with a lens that won't open larger than f/5.6 or if you have a f/1.4 lens you can't open it larger than f/5.6? I've never heard of anything like that before.
It works fine with lenses who's aperture is above f/5.6 (even if you stop it all the way down to f/32, since Canon cameras focus with the lens at it's fastest aperture, and then stop it down the moment the photo is taken), if anything it actually works better with f/1.4 lens than an f/4 lens. It doesn't autofocus with anything smaller than f/5.6 though, which is common amongst wildlife photographers and birders using TCs. It doesn't support f/8 focusing like previous Canon models (something about sacrificing this for faster focusing with faster lenses or something, don't quite remember Canon's statement on this). However, if you tape the pins on the TC, it'll work fine, even if the aperture ends up at f/8 (haven't tried it myself, though, since I'm not into wildlife). That said, they already fixed this issue in the firmware patch for the 1Dx (which shared this problem), and they're gonna fix it in the 5D3 in the next firmware patch for this camera.
Hmmm, well, if you think about it, what's the percentage of people who actually shoot wildlife and birds in the entire photographic community? I think it was more a move to sell more of their new versions of longer telephotos than anything else. But they ended up getting pressure from the community.
It is a seriously bad move to make a camera that won't work with certain lenses just because of their aperture size. I know myself, when I've updated my camera, I've done so thinking about lenses I already own, not lenses I don't own and would need to buy.
It works fine with all their lenses (even with the 1200mm). It just won't officially work with certain lenses+TCs, unless you tape the pins on the TC. But like I said, they're fixing that in the April patch.
Since June 2011 I own a Nikon D7000, before owning a D3000 for 8/9 months. I really got interested about photography, I started to go out like everyday with the camera and I really enjoyed it, so I upgraded.
This D7000 goes well, you can feel the difference with the D3000, but I don't reccomend it to people who has just started (I think you should start with a basic DSLR, like a Nikon D3000/D3100/D3200, or a Canon EOS 1000D/1100D, because if not you may find it a bit too difficult at first and stop with it). Then if you see you like it and you want to keep learning, it'd be nice if you could upgrade to a Nikon D90/D7000, or a Canon EOS 60D or so, unless you are rich and you can afford something even more advanced. If you finally want to get some money from it, get a D800, or a 5D. That's just an opinion.
I like my D7000, at first watching so many buttons and so, having in count my D3000 was so simple, got me a bit confused. But I was interested on learning so I kept going out and exploring my camera and now I know it well. I don't think on changing it, to me it still serves. I specially like it has a wheel that allows you change easily the way of shooting (normal shoot, burst, remote control, etc) since I use remote controls often. Plus it has a connector that makes much easier putting a grip to it. The live view thing is also a point, but nowadays every camera has it. The live view level is SO useful as well. It also stands well high ISO levels and has an acceptable dynamic range (just some fill light in Lightroom and detail appears from the darkest shadows). I've tried to make some time lapse videos lately, and it having an intervalometer makes things much easier. Bad things? I don't know, the only bad thing is that it doesn't allow exposures of more than 30 minutes. If you want to get long startrails you have to make several pictures and then merge them with programmes like Starstax.
I'm shocked that as an amateur you're working with the D7000. So would you say it's complex because of a lack of experience or because it was just a new camera? Some cameras do have poorly done interfaces. How does it perform in low light in your opinion, you mentioned 30 minute exposures?
Oh well, I do some paid photoshoots and exhibitions and so on but I don't live from it, it's just my passion. I think it may be complex at first because you know, there cameras are more complex than a D3000 or so. It performs quite well, I like night photography and light painting and star traces' photography and I'm quite satisfied with the results, there's not much long exposure noise, maybe a bit of thermal noise if you do night photography in summer, like every other camera I guess. I also like low key still life photography and it doesn't go bad. Not much noise
I suggest going to a photo trade show and talking with as many reps as possible, since you are teaching students I suggest getting as MUCH information as possible about every various camera model so that you can give them as much info as possible. Here is a quick run down though for ya:
Nikon D5100 : Entry level Nikon DSLR about $500 US, 16mp, ok low light performance, swivel LCD, Cropped Sensor, plastic body, no built in focus motor Nikon D3200 : Slight step up, $600 US, 24 mp, weaker low light than the D5100 but better color depth, Cropped Senor, plastic body, no built in focus motor Nikon D7000 : Upper level crop sensor, 24mp, HD video, fairly decent dynamic range, plastic body. $1100 usd Nikon D600 : Entry level full frame camera, excellent image quality. $2100, 24mp, hd video Nikon D800 : Mid range fulll frame camera, very high resolution at 36.6 mp, slower shooting speeds due to big image files, weather sealed. $3000 Nikon D800E : Virtually the same camera as the D800 other than the removal of a filter on the sensor that makes it slightly sharper but can also open it up to problems with repeating patterns. $3300 Nikon D4 : Flagship top level camera, 16mp, fantastic low light performance, high burst speeds. Lots of advanced features such as built in wifi. $6300
Canon Rebel T3i : Entry level canon DSLR, 16mp, HD video, $600 Canon Rebel T4i : 18mp, better ISO performance, HD video, $800 Canon 7D : A bit dated tech, higher end cropped sensor, 18 mp sensor, recently had a free firmware update that vastly increased the camera's features. $1499 Canon 6D: Entry level full frame camera, released in a month from now. 20.2mp sensor, shows promise but very little review data yet Canon 5D Mk III : Likely the most popular pro level camera at the moment, Significan upgrade over it's predecessor, impressively good auto focus, 22.3mp sensor, strong low light performance. $3300 Canon 1DX : Flagship to pro level SLR by Canon, 18.1 MP, best in class autofocus, Insanely high burst speeds, $6800
hopefully that helps a bit. Since your deviant ID is of a Sony I will assume you know their models. I would also suggest taking some time to learn a bit about some of the new mirror-less options. The Lumix line is getting very impressive. Also take a peek at the medium format world just so you can talk about it. Hasselblad and Phase are probably a good place to start.
I also didn't include last generation cameras that can still be found new for sale such as the Nikon D3100, D90, D700, D3s, D3x etc and the Canon T2i or 5D MkII, 1DS, etc.