1. OCAU Merchandise now available! Check out our 20th Anniversary Mugs, Classic Logo Shirts and much more! Discussion here.
    Dismiss Notice

~$1600 DSLR Shootout

Discussion in 'Photography & Video' started by jozzas, Nov 26, 2006.

  1. jozzas

    jozzas Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2003
    Messages:
    80
    So I'm in the market for a DSLR at around this price. I know that this is a very Canon-biased forum, but has anyone had experience with any other brands at around this price? It seems like there are now a few alternatives to the 400D that are worth considering. I will be travelling with whichever camera I buy, and probably taking the kit lens (18-55 or whatever) and maybe a 50mm prime for low-light situations.

    A fair bit of reading has led me to the following alternatives. All of these cameras are roughly equivalent - 10MP, 2.5" screen, blah blah blah.

    Canon 400D:
    ==========
    Pros:
    - Price
    - Availability (body and lenses)
    - Low noise at high ISO
    - Dust reduction

    Cons:
    - Uncomfortable/small grip (I have big hands, can anyone confirm?)
    - No internal image stabilisation
    - no secondary LCD

    Nikon D80:
    ========
    Pros:
    - More features than the alternatives
    - Low noise (comparable to 400D)
    - Dust reduction
    - Good image quality (arguably the best of the lot)

    Cons:
    - Price is highest of everything here
    - No internal image stabilisation

    Sony A100:
    =========
    Pros:
    - Cheap
    - Internal image stabilisation
    - Dust reduction

    Cons:
    - Higher noise levels
    - Availability of bodies and lenses
    - Image quality seems slightly poorer all around compared to 400D/D80

    Pentax K10D:
    ==========
    Pros:
    - Internal image stabilisation
    - Dust reduction
    - Weather sealed - dust/water resistant, allows shooting in the rain. This could be good since I am travelling.
    - Cheap

    Cons:
    - Not released yet (I can't find an ETA anywhere. Anyone?)
    - Unkown image quality (assumed to be decent)
    - Availability of bodies and lenses

    I am really swaying towards the Pentax, even though I can't get one yet. It seems too good to be true. I also plan on heading to a store and handling each of them before I make a decision.

    If anyone has anything to add or remove from the pros and cons, post it up. What would you choose and why?
     
  2. mR_CaESaR

    mR_CaESaR Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2002
    Messages:
    2,917
    Location:
    Plumpton NSW 2761
    One thing to remember when you're buying a DSLR is whichever one you choose, you are buying into a system.

    That being said, you should look at what type of lenses/accessories you would most likely buy/want and then evaluate.

    No matter which camera you get, you will get some crazy image quality, but its not always about image quality, handling plays a big factor (actually it plays a major factor for a lot of people), features will also play a big factor, ease of use etc etc.

    If it were me and i had no canon lenses worth keeping, i would be looking into the D80. I haven't felt the 400D or the D80 but if the 400D feels anything like the 350D and the D80 feels anything like the D70, then the D80 will be light years a head in terms of build.

    Now, sony and pentax both have great looking bodies with built in stabalistion, dust remover, weather sealing (on the pentax), however how good are they're other lenses and accessories/flash system etc? (i'm not to sure as i don't really read into those systems).

    If you don't see yourself buying other lenses, the pentax paird with a tamron 17-50 would probably be a decent setup (or you could just look into a very expensive point and shoot with a decent zoom)

    1600 is not your final budget when you buy a dslr ;) :D :D, there will be a time where you will want more storage space, a tripod, a flash, more batteries, a new computer, a new screen for post processing, a bag, lenses hahahah it just doesn't stop :D

    edit: ooops i forgot to add, the second hand market for canon/nikon accessories are a lot more common then the rest, so if you do decide to go canon/nikon, you might find that you can some decent bargains.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2006
  3. DiZZ_19

    DiZZ_19 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2002
    Messages:
    1,917
    Location:
    Melbourne, 3039
    The D80 doesn't have any active dust reduction. Just the ability to take a reference photo so that Capture NX can remove it in post processing.

    What the D80 does have is the best viewfinder (big, bright with optional framing grid) of the lot and other such niceties that may appeal to you.
     
  4. cmetom

    cmetom Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2001
    Messages:
    575
    Location:
    Canada
    I've had a 400D for about a week now.

    I'm unsure how the lack of secondary LCD is a con, since the main (only) screen is quite readable in the sun etc, plus I have it up to my eye most of the time and just read the current settings from the viewfinder view.

    In terms of the small grip and overall 'feel' of the unit... I've moved to this camera from an Canon AE-1 SLR with no grip and plenty of weight, and I think the grip is fine - especially since it's entry-level (D)SLR - and love that I'm not holding something heavy.
     
  5. Bosk

    Bosk Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2003
    Messages:
    2,167
    Location:
    Ballarat, Victoria
    That's really all you need to know jozzas. (well said mr_caesar. ;) )

    If you're going to take up photography as a serious hobby you can expect to spend more, maybe far more, on lenses over the next # years. So the logical thing is to buy a brand of camera who's lenses appeal to you most.

    If it were me I'd stick with Nikon or Canon. Their reputations for great lenses are unsurpassed in the SLR world.

    Any of those cameras will give you great shots, the limiting factor is going to be your skill level more than anything else.
    Don't worry too much over which you buy. Just buy one and start shooting. :thumbup:
     
  6. sir_bazz

    sir_bazz Team Papparazi

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2001
    Messages:
    9,759
    Location:
    Mentone, Vic.
    According to people who know, the first shipment is in Melbourne and will be released by customs tomorrow, (Monday).

    Should be in the stores a few days after that but as numbers are small and pre-orders need to be filled, I wouldn't expect them to last very long.

    bazz.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    jozzas

    jozzas Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2003
    Messages:
    80
    Cool, thanks for the comments everyone, they are all useful. I'll have to head into a store and try them all out for myself.
     
  8. Ronza

    Ronza Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2004
    Messages:
    3,148
    Quoted for truth.

    I'm sure just about everyone on these forums started off with something small which we thought, at the time, was "the shit". I started out with Gibbon's old 300D and a few basic accessories. Since then, added about a "0" to the end of the money I've spent on the kit.

    It. Doesnt. End. Ever.

    Indeed, s/h Canon/Nikon are more prevalent which also keeps up the resale value should you buy new stuff. That said, Pentax has been around for yonks and there are an absolute plethora of suitable lenses you could put onto the front of a K10D (right Sir Bazz?)
     
  9. waikin

    waikin Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2004
    Messages:
    75
    Location:
    Perth
    1600 budget? hahaha.... well its something to start i suppose...

    considering i can get canon 30d for $1500 i would bump up the budget a bit and get that instead of all these others... if not i would definitely choose nikon d80 for the brilliant UNMATCHED viewfinder which is the same one as the d200 and framing your photo is one of the most important processes in photography anyhow. as for sony/pentax i'm sure they will be good enough for you if you are satisfied with one lens n body.... but if you want to build a system, definitely go for canon/nikon.

    more importantly, what do you shoot? are u looking for a one lens pure versatility option? i'd get the nikon d80 + 18-200 VR lens or the canon 30d + 24-105 IS lens. landscapes wideangles? portraits? sports? macros? nudes?

    forget the sd/cf card debate they are both good.
    n forget the prime zoom debate, for now. :p
     
  10. sir_bazz

    sir_bazz Team Papparazi

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2001
    Messages:
    9,759
    Location:
    Mentone, Vic.
    I've been a Pentax shooter for a long, long time and I can tell you that I have a more complete system than most keen photographers will ever need in their lifetime. Pentax currently have the largest "made for APS-C" range of lenses and there are almost 200 legacy Pentax lenses that will happily sit infront of the K10D without requiring an adapter.

    Pentax prime lenses have a history of being some of the best ever made by anyone and the current ones are no exception. Some of their consumer zooms are notably quite pedestrian but then again you could say the same for any of the other manufacturers as well.

    The only question mark for me on the K10D is the IQ. From the samples I've seen to date it appears to sit inbetween the Nikon and Sony for noise at high ISO. A good deal cleaner than the Sony A100 but not as clean as the Nikon D80. Nikon appear to have gone for a much stronger noise reduction parameter in camera but IMHO with the trade off of loss of detail as well. There have also been some reports from the US of banding at high ISO on the Pentax K10D but these reports seem to happen with almost every new camera release :).

    The viewfinders on the Pentax and Nikon are identical on specs and it may be of some interest to note that a recent Thom Hogan review tentatively rated the K10D above the D80.

    bazz.
     
  11. richan3185

    richan3185 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2002
    Messages:
    1,831
    Location:
    Kalgoorlie
    Speaking of viewfinders, its one of my biggest gripes about the 350D. Its small and fairly dull...when comparing spec for them and the magnification which way does it go? same as something like a macro lens. So 0.9 would be larger than a 0.94? Also someone explain to me what the Eyepoint measurement is all about.
     
  12. waikin

    waikin Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2004
    Messages:
    75
    Location:
    Perth
    you cant go wrong with the weather sealed body, buy pentax!
    anyway a d80 is not too shabby either, either way dont worry about the gear n worry about taking pictures. they say bodies last 3 yrs and lens 10 yrs? so i'd say spend more on great lenses. maybe get a cheap secondhand d50 combined with a kickass lens
     
  13. brasher

    brasher Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2006
    Messages:
    849
    Just remember, Pentax Genuine AF Glass is not cheap.

    I learnt that the hard way.
     
  14. anthonyl

    anthonyl Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2002
    Messages:
    11,258
    Location:
    Brisbane
  15. OP
    OP
    jozzas

    jozzas Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2003
    Messages:
    80
    You say that, but neither is good Canon or Nikon glass. You seem to be able to get either really cheap and nasty stuff or higher end stuff, mostly with built in image stabilisation (which I don't really want to buy more than once).

    It seems to me that Pentax lenses are just harder to find.

    At this stage the D80 is out of my price range because I don't want to use it with a crappy kit lens. I am extremely tempted to place an order on a K10D with 16-45 lens. Anyone want to talk me out of it? :tongue:
     
  16. sir_bazz

    sir_bazz Team Papparazi

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2001
    Messages:
    9,759
    Location:
    Mentone, Vic.
    Hmmm

    In this country OEM Pentax glass is extremely hard to find and hence the main reason why many people don't know how large the Pentax system (past and present) really is. The sole Australian distributor of Pentax equipment is also the Australian distributor for Sigma lenses and they have always tended to promote Sigma glass at the expense of Pentax lenses.

    Don't expect to be able to walk into your local Ted's Camera store and buy Pentax primes off the shelf. It's just never gonna happen!

    You can however buy a large selection of Pentax lenses and accessories at online stores in the U.S like B&H and Adorama. Its generally a lot cheaper to import this way rather than to buy locally anyhow. Just not as convenient as buying from a local bricks and mortar store.

    bazz.
     
  17. OP
    OP
    jozzas

    jozzas Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2003
    Messages:
    80
    Maybe if (when) the K20D gains some momentum we will see it happening. Until then, I don't see buying lenses from overseas as a huge hassle, as most people buy online nowadays anyway. From what I have read and sample images that are starting to flood the net, the K20D looks like a winner at this price point (in terms of bodies at least).

    I wonder how it will fare in Australia, as Canon (and less so Nikon) seem to be pretty dominant.

    I just put in an obligation-free order at a local store for a K20D. If it handles as well as people say it does, I'll buy it in a heartbeat. I also had a go of the 400D and D80 while I was there, and the 400D felt a bit cheaper though they were both pretty good. I thought the Nikon was laid out a bit more logically as well, and I see what everyone was saying about the viewfinder - so much brighter!

    In the end it'll come down to personal preference, which is how I suppose it should be - they are all good cameras in their own right.
     
  18. jimmy

    jimmy Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2001
    Messages:
    2,089
    Location:
    Toowoomba, QLD
    you can get Canon 30D body only for less then $1600, i got mine for $1580 hk supplies on ebay. Fined a cheap $50 kit lens on ebay to fill in till you can afford something else later on. That's what i would do. After owning a 300D and using a 350 and 400D i would never go back from my 30D.
     
  19. OP
    OP
    jozzas

    jozzas Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2003
    Messages:
    80
    This is also extremely tempting. There's a sale on and everything. I wouldn't be able to claim back the GST under the TRS when I go overseas, but I think they try to avoid you paying it in the first place. Looks like I have to check this out now as well!
     
  20. mR_CaESaR

    mR_CaESaR Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2002
    Messages:
    2,917
    Location:
    Plumpton NSW 2761
    there is a 20D on sale for 1300 or so on the marketplace, pair it with a tamron 17-50 f2.8 and ur laughing
     

Share This Page

Advertisement: