OT Camera choices OT

We've decided to upgrade from a point-shoot camera to one with a bit more
capability . I'm looking at entry-level DSLRs around $500 and under, and
have kinda narrowed it down to 2 choices .
One's a Nikon D3200 bundle with 2 tripods , cases , and "3 lenses" which
translates to a single lens with a wide angle and a doubler attachments . 24
MP CMOS sensor and priced at $419 .
The other is a Sony SLT A58K at 20 MP , $459 and it has only 2 lenses , a
18-55 and a 55-200 mm , but also has a spare battery . A few less doodads
than the Nikon bundle , but the lenses and spare battery kinda sway me . Oh
, and another plus is that Minolta lenses will fit this one , though the AF
may not function on older lenses .
I also looked at a Canon EOS Rebel at 18MP and $469 , reviews were less
than flattering - one reviewer recommended the Nikon !
I'm hoping one or more of you has direct experience with the first two ,
either one or both .
Reply to
Terry Coombs
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Hmm ... be careful that "bundles" are often the camera is the stated brand, and the accessory lenses are third-party, and often quite cheap. Given that attachment lenses degrade quality of the image anyway.
The D3200 looks like a proper DSLR, with fully interchangeable lenses. It seems to normally (from Nikon) come with the "18-55mm VR Lens" which should be a pretty good lens covering the wide angle to very mild telephoto range -- assuming that the camera has the usual cropped sensor (1.5 x smaller than the original 35mm 24x36 film size. Cameras with the larger sensor tend to be a lot more expensive, and that would turn that lens into a very wide angle to slightly longer than normal.)
Depending on what you want to do with it, you may want longer prime lenses, not adaptors.
No experience with the other cameras, so I won't comment on them, But I'm currently using a Nikon D300s, and (not counting a number of older Nikon *film* cameras), I've preciously used a D70, and an interesting N90s film camera which had been converted to digital by an add-on back by Kodak for the AP news photographers -- before Nikon sold its first digital SLR (DSLR).
Not with the specific D3200, but with some of the Niknon DSLRs, and have observed many sales flyers for Niknon bodies with poorer quality third-party lenses -- so be careful there. (Though a third-party lens can be better than no lens covering the range you need, and you can always get a better lens later.
Note that the lens specified to come with the camera has VR (Vibration Reduction), which helps take shake out of hand-held shots with slow shutter speeds -- though that is a lot less of a problem with the shorter lenses like that than with varying sizes of telephoto. The one lens which I would *love* to have is the 70-200mm f2.8 Nikon with VR,but it costs more than the camera body -- and my D300s was significantly more expensive than the model you are looking at as well.
Good Luck, DoN.
Reply to
DoN. Nichols
I'd go with nikon, only on the basis that's the system I picked and understand, and it has obviously worked for many decades. Unless you're sitting on a pile of old minolta lenses, there's really no reason to try to be compatible with them.
There's little profit margin on a camera body itself, so the junk that gets tossed in with it as part of a kit can tend to be fairly low-grade to just usable. I've not seen the two tripods in the vendor kit for the Nikon, but they're probably nothing really solid, and might be skipped for just getting one good one.
Oddly, sometimes the price this stuff just right where it's cheaper to toss junk away and keep the good stuff in a kit than to not get the junk in the first place.
These days, an extra battery is not really needed for most cameras- they really have exceptional battery life. Feel free to check camera reviews on this. If I'm on a trip, I bring my charger, you should anyways.
Stick with name brand lenses too- phoney looking knock off lenses are just that. tamrom, sigma, etc are all nonsense.
Reply to
Cydrome Leader
Minolta Maxxum lenses should all work directly, and some pretty darn good older lenses can be had at good prices. Dyxum.com is a site dedicated to the Alpha mount and is a great resource should you go with the Sony.
Jon
Reply to
Jon Anderson
My youngest has a Sony A77, nice camera. Ditto the above on the lenses.
If you know what you want to do with one, it would make a lot of sense to look at lens prices and performance reviews to decide which direction, because the glass is damned expensive.
Pete Keillor
Reply to
Pete Keillor
I've owned a Nikon D40 for about 7 years now and absolutely adore it. It had a built-in remote flash setup so it cost $3.02 to purchase a remote shutter control to make it happen. My cam before that was also a Nikon (995), so you know my choice. A spare EN-EL9 battery was $7. Both the Nikkor 18-55 and 55-200 lenses are outstanding/flawless. (Kits with the extra 55-200 lens are only ~$80 more. Just Do It.) One addition I'll heartily recommend is the Optech padded stretch strap. They take the strain out of walking long distances with a camera hanging around your neck. Two thumbs up! $15-34. It replaces that NIKON strap which says "Steal This Camera" to thieves. D3200 EN-EL14 batteries are under $10.
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Click on the right arrow button next to the menu bar saying 1. Introduction to get to the next page of the review. (The new UNintuitive layout sucks.)
My sister had troubles with her Canon camera after a couple years, but her boyfriend loved Canons. I've never owned one.
I've owned just 2 sony products, a CD recorder and a video camera. Both had major problems and Sony was not forthcoming with answers or help either time. It took me 3 months to get an updated driver for the damned CD, NOT through sony. I just won't own another sony product, period.
Shop NYC (Beach, Cameta, B&H, Adorama) for camera deals. They're usually the best combos with the lowest prices. I bought the 3yr Nikon warranty, which proved unnecessary. A well-padded camera case is the best warranty.
Reply to
Larry Jaques
Remember, he'll likely be using a tripod for long distance shots, so the VR is less necessary. I'm happy with the non-VR Nikkor lenses.
Lens envy is a universal problem, isn't it?
Reply to
Larry Jaques
Greetings Terry, A few weeks ago I was looking at new cameras, ones with interchangeable lenses. The search eventually led me to Nikon cameras and old Nikon lenses that will work with new cameras. It seems that there are a whole lot Nikon lenses that will work with the new cameras. Some need an adapter, some require slight modding and some will have automatic functions that won't work. But the high quality glass and mechanics in the lenses work fine. So I would suggest you look at Nikon cameras and see which older lenses will work with it. I have gotten some great deals on old lenses that I use on my film SLR Minolta. I'm pretty sure that my next camera will be a Nikon just because of all the lenses from the past that will work Eric
Reply to
etpm
Higher MP means better images when cropped - I'm no photographer and almost always have to cut something out . Storage space is not a problem , I have over a Tb of available storage space .
I'm still looking around , ebay , Amazon , anyone who sells on the internet . Looks like NYC has the most reasonable pricing ...
The spare battery was one reason I was leaning towards the Sony .
I've been looking up reviews , both user and professional reviewers as each focuses on different aspects . I do know that a good camera is going to cost around a thousand bucks minimum , but I just don't have that much to spend . The ones I looked at are all several orders of magnitude better than the Kodak 12MP point-n-shoot I have now . I expect this to be the last camera I buy , don't want to be unhappy with my purchase - and since the wife is the driving force behind this purchase and will be the primary user , she needs to be happy with it too . Research , research , research before I buy .
Reply to
Terry Coombs
Just be aware that most digital Nikons won't work with pre-AI Nikon lenses.
I have a half-dozen of the latter and found that they work better with my Sony NEX-7 than with most Nikons.
Get a good adapter, which doesn't have to be expensive. After much research, I went with the Fotodiox Pro.
Reply to
Ed Huntress
At some point the advice becomes counterproductive , and I don't want to add to the confusion, but here are a few things to throw into the pot.
Sony's electronic viewfinders reportedly are the best, although the Alpha 58 supposedly is not as good as the Alpha NEX-7 (which I have had for a year and a half), or the newer, expensive full-frame models. I got it for lightness and compactness, and it's somewhat quieter than an optical DSLR. But try it first. You may not like EVR. It takes a little getting used to.
My use is mostly photojournalism, so your considerations may be different. Gunner is quite right about pixel counts. Over 12 MP is mostly a marketing gimmick, except for extremely expensive cameras and lenses to match. There aren't a lot of lenses that justify 24 MP. Depending on who you ask, Kodachrome was equivalent to something between 10 MP and 20 MP.
Regarding Sony's 18 - 55 mm kit lens: The press seems to have piled on. As Sony/Minolta expert Gary Friedman says, it's mostly b.s. Most kit lenses work just fine stopped down a bit. Friedmen ran some pixel-peeping comparisons against a Zeiss megabuck lens and others, and, at f5.6 or smaller, the Sony kit lens performed as well as any zoom lens that sells for less than $1,000.
I've pixel-peeped my camera with the kit lens against my Nikon Micro-Nikkor, and the difference is there, but it wouldn't matter unless you're making really tiny crops.
You may want the zoom-to-200 mm megabuck lenses some day, and I can't help you with them. I use my kit lens for almost everything. I was big on interchangeable lenses for my photojournalism work, because my most-used lenses on my Nikons, shooting for magazines and books, were the 20mm, 24mm, and 55mm micro-Nikkor. But the anti-shake and convenience of an automatic lens is hard to beat. You need a good reason to use the old glass, and I now use the adapter mostly with the micro.
So think carefully about the lenses. Those old Minolta and Nikon lenses work great with some newer cameras, like Sonys, but giving up the automatic features really limits their usefulness, IMO.
I spend months of research before buying mine, so I realize it's a hard choice. But there are so many good cameras out there today that the bigger issue, IMO, is lenses. And that depends on what you're going to do with it.
Good luck!
Reply to
Ed Huntress
snipped Ed's advice
Thanks ED , more to chew on . The wife wants to be able to take a picture of a Cardinal sitting in the berry patch , about 50 feet away . the p-n-s we've got just doesn't cut it . I want it for similar uses , plus for shots of the g-kids maybe interacting with the chickens . She's been looking at one at Walmart but I can get more for less on ebay .
Reply to
Terry Coombs
Whatever you get, I hope you enjoy it. I held out for a long time and I'm glad I did. I got more than I'd hoped for.
Reply to
Ed Huntress
Gunner Asch on Mon, 23 Feb 2015 12:22:20 -0800 typed in rec.crafts.metalworking the following:
Seems to me that the smartphoones are replacing the instamatics and other point and click cameras for the "holiday snaps", birthdays, graduations, girls night out, and other snap shots. But for "good" photographs, out come the SLRs with solid state sensors replacing the film pack. -- pyotr filipivich "With Age comes Wisdom. Although more often, Age travels alone."
Reply to
pyotr filipivich
I had to look it up , first I've heard about it . From what I gather it is considered "business as usual" in that part of the world .
Reply to
Terry Coombs
I had an Argus C3 way back when ... and processed my own film , once or twice . It was fun and interesting , but other stuff became more fun ... my interest in guns and motorcycles has continued , the interest in photography has increased since I retired .
Reply to
Terry Coombs
These are exactly the sorts of shots my wife wanted, plus travel shots. Google the Panasonic DMC-FZ200, about $450. Fast f2.8 (at all zoom levels) 25-600mm Leica lens, full auto and manual controls, jpg and/or RAW formats, adjustable focus eyepiece and flexible viewing screen. Takes excellent stills and HD movies, even in very low light. Several very good tutorials on YouTube. Easy to travel with as there is no need for extra lenses. At fifty feet you could probably count the barbs on that cardinal's feathers.
Reply to
Larry Kraus
Gunner Asch on Mon, 23 Feb 2015 14:19:10 -0800 typed in rec.crafts.metalworking the following:
I came across a treasure trove of cameras at the "local" liquidator. Arrgghh. I wish I A) had the money to buy them, B) the time and money to use them. I used to do my own developing and printing. All black and white, and I've still got the negatives. But when the photo lab "went away" I slowly put away the "higher end" cameras, switched to color film, and went to Instamatics. Then I got my hands on a Digital Camera. I want a Real Camera, even if it is digital, because the ipod just really doesn't "work right" for me. Convenient as all heck, but I'm not really impressed with he quality. -- pyotr filipivich "With Age comes Wisdom. Although more often, Age travels alone."
Reply to
pyotr filipivich

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