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  • Talk about going on topic Kier. LOL!

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    • I thought I'd pop my head in. I don't want to start a Nikon versus Canon debate, but both companies make superb equipment that has its merits in different specific situations. I think Canon does have superior fps and high-ISO environments and that Nikon has better metering and control layout (which does matter). But for general all-purpose shooting, once you get into the prosumer lines of DSLRs of the two companies, you really can't go all that wrong if you buy new technology (for instance, I wouldn't buy a camera more than 20 months old as the technology progresses so fast). And because both companies make excellent gear, it really matters less about what camera you have and more about your skills and experience as a photographer that make the shots: tools are only as good as the person using them. Basically, unless you're already committed to a certain lens system, buy whatever you think will fit you best by reading an extensive amount of reviews. Also, make sure that when you do compare cameras, that you compare the right models (Nikon D200 vs. EOS 1DsMkII isn't a fair comparison as D200 isn't the most top-of-the-line camera offered by Nikon).
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      • Originally posted by daemon View Post
        I thought I'd pop my head in. I don't want to start a Nikon versus Canon debate, but both companies make superb equipment that has its merits in different specific situations. I think Canon does have superior fps and high-ISO environments and that Nikon has better metering and control layout (which does matter). But for general all-purpose shooting, once you get into the prosumer lines of DSLRs of the two companies, you really can't go all that wrong if you buy new technology (for instance, I wouldn't buy a camera more than 20 months old as the technology progresses so fast). And because both companies make excellent gear, it really matters less about what camera you have and more about your skills and experience as a photographer that make the shots: tools are only as good as the person using them. Basically, unless you're already committed to a certain lens system, buy whatever you think will fit you best by reading an extensive amount of reviews. Also, make sure that when you do compare cameras, that you compare the right models (Nikon D200 vs. EOS 1DsMkII isn't a fair comparison as D200 isn't the most top-of-the-line camera offered by Nikon).
        Absolutely right, I agree with you on all points except for the part about not buying kit older than 20 months - one can make a hefty saving over the price of the 30D by finding a 20D instead, the features that really matter are near identical as the 30D was really only a minor upgrade.

        But yes, all the current DSLRs from Canon and Nikon are excellent, it's just that my preference goes with Canon for the various reasons I've outlined.

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        • Hey Kier,

          You don't know how much I appreciate the time you have taken to share your knowledge and opinions and help me make a tough decision on a purchase. Everything you have said and showed me makes perfect sense, and to be honest, I had been sitting in the Nikon camp before I had made my initial post here. However, I am glad I asked you about the Canon's and the big plus for me was seeing your Kuramathi photo gallery, of which I was blown away with the quality and fidelity of the pictures. So with that said,

          I am now the proud owner of a Canon 30D w/ the 17-85mm IS USM Lens and love it! This camera is absolutely amazing and now that I have gotten a chance to play around in the menu system (which previously is why I liked the D200 because I thought it had a much better menu system), I now prefer the 30D's menu system with the scroll wheel. And everything I need seems to be very easily reached in the system and pretty intuitive. I took a picture this morning of my newspaper sitting across the room and was astonished that when pulled into photoshop, I could read the text on the newspaper clear as day, even zoom in on a word fullscreen. What I might lose from a telephoto lens with the 85mm zoomed I now know I can make up for with a cropped photo and probably gain at least twice the focal length just by cropping my point of interest.

          I still have a lot of learning to do, and I look foward to being able to jump right into it. Do you recommend reading the manual and learning from that? Or is there perhaps a book out there on Canon SLRs or even the 30D specifically that goes into a little more depth about how to use it properly in different situations?

          Here are the other accessories I purchased with the 30D w/ 17-85mm IS:

          1) 4 GB Lexar Hi-Speed
          2) Single-Coat UV protective Filter (the guy at the store said I didn't need a multi-coated filter because if I could see the difference between the two, he would be astonished. He said he shoots with single filter for half the price and he says the multi-coated filters are rip offs.. This true??
          3) Circular Polarizer UV Filter for shooting outdoors in sunlight.
          4) Cheap monopod.
          5) Lowepro Camera Bag

          Anything I'm missing here that you might suggest I pickup? I don't know anything about lens cleaning... do I need to get a lens cleaning cloth?

          I can't thank you enought Kier for taking the time to really help me understand how these things work and to realize what the really important factors of an SLR purchase were. I hope in the near future I can post some photos with my 30D. Thanks for the great recommendation, it is very impressive! Take care.

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          • You can get a Rocket Air cleaner for your lense and camera, they're not really that expensive though a lense cleaning cloth is always handy to have as well.

            If you can look at buying the grip (BGE2), it makes a huge difference to most of the cameras by giving you double battery capacity (you need to buy the 2nd battery) and it also provides some stability by giving you more camera to grip and is especially handy for portrait shots since there is a second shutter button on the grip.

            The 17-85 is a good all round lense, its what I use here at the moment only because the 70-300 was out of stock. If you can I'd also grab the hood (EW73B) for the lense, its a good way to protect it when you put the camera down and its also practical.
            Scott MacVicar

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            • Congratulations on your purchases, kevinmanphp, I'm sure the 30D and 17-85mm combo will serve you extremely well. It's been a pleasure advising you.

              Scott is absolutely right in his recommendations, a Giottos Rocket Blower is all but essential for cleaning your CMOS sensor and as for a lens cleaning cloth, I tend to use microfibre cloths you can pick up at any large supermarket - I use the cloth for shifting fingerprints or anything else that the rocket blower won't get rid of... just don't use a cloth on the sensor!

              The EW73B lens hood is also well worth getting for the reasons Scott mentioned, though he did forget to mention the primary purpose of a lens hood - reducing lens flare! (internal reflections between the glass elements in the lens when a very bright light source such as the sun is present)

              Also find yourself a couple of spare batteries on eBay - they are much cheaper than the official Canon ones and some are actually better!

              For some reading material, follow the forums at www.dpreview.com and have a read of the articles posted at photonotes.org, and familiarise yourself with the EF lens 101 glossary, which is on the Canon USA site somewhere though I can't find it right now... and browse through the Canon Digital Learning Center.

              As for invaluable tips, always shoot in RAW format so you can correct exposure and white balance later, and shoot a lot. It's the best way to improve your technique.

              For future purchases, I always recommend that people get an external flash (the 430EX), which will make flash photography actually produce decent results.

              Also get yourself Canon's cheapest but possibly most versatile lens - the EF 50mm f/1.8 II, which is stupidly cheap, stupidly sharp and stupidly bright. It's an absolute must-have for any Canon owner and the huge aperture will allow you to hand-hold low-light shots that are simply not possible with any zoom lens. For a size comparison, take a look at this picture that show the EF 50mm f/1.8 II next to my EF 400mm f/2.8L IS USM monster:

              Click image for larger version

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              For your telephoto zoom I'd go for the EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM once places start to get them back in stock.

              So... got any pictures to post yet?

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              • Hey Kier/Scott,

                Great advice! I will certainly purchase a lens hood and microfibre cloth next time I'm out.. especially since I shoot outdoors in bright sunlight quite a bit.

                Those look like some great sites... I especially like dpreview.com... I bet whoever runs that site is worth a pretty penny. They go into so much detail, it's great. Thanks for the telephoto recommendation... that range would be the best focal range for my needs and I think you hit it right on the head with that.

                As for your 50mm f/1.8 II recommendation, I must pickup in the next couple weeks a macro lens. I'm guessing this is not the macro 50mm? I have been looking at the 60mm USM macro that has 1:1. How would this compare to the 50mm as they are along the same focal length and macro's let in good light?

                I'm a very green photographer... and am interested in going out today and shooting some pics. But I need to use mostly AUTO for just about everything right now because I need to take some time and learn about all the customizations and correct settings in different situations. I notice there is a "Full Auto" mode on the dial... and right above the square (full auto mode)... there is a 'P'. From reading the manual, it is to my understanding that this is basically the 'Full Auto' mode but with the ability to make some customizations to things like shutter speed, ISO, etc. So I can basically shoot on 'P' and use it for the general purpose full auto? And if I wanted to make a change, I can?

                And lastly...

                Do you guys always have your neck strap on your camera? If so, you always wear the neck strap?

                Thanks so much again. I will try to have some pictures up tonight. From the few pics I took last night of my family room and various items around the house.. I'm thoroughly impressed.

                Take care.

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                • The 50mm f/1.8 isn't really similar to the 50mm f/2.8 macro in anything but name and focal length. The f/1.8 lens is more than twice as bright as the macro, allowing you to shoot in seriously low light and to get a hugely blurred background in portraits.

                  Personally, I'd go for the Canon 50mm f/1.8 and perhaps look to Sigma for your macro.

                  Regarding P vs 'Green Square' mode on the camera - try to avoid green square at all costs, mostly because it gives you no control over focus points or exposure and it will only save in JPEG format, which is bad mkay? P mode is far more configurable, but you will need to manually pop the flash up if you need it, and you need to remember to set the ISO properly according to the ambient lighting conditions. Personally I shoot nearly all the time in Av or M mode, except when I'm shooting sports when I occasionally switch to Tv mode.

                  Regarding neck straps, yes, we all use them though I tend to wrap mine around my arm when I'm shooting and stick it over my shoulder when I'm just carrying it. Both Canon and Nikon make absolutely horrible straps and one of the first things you should do is get yourself an Op/Tech Pro-Loop Strap and put the Canon strap back in the box. The Op/Tech straps are slightly elastic and the subtle bounce they give when you are carrying the camera gives the impression that the camera is much lighter than it really is - which is great for me when I'm carrying around 18lb of 1D and 400mm lens!

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                  • Reading this last page has added at least 5 things to my shopping list ... grrrrrr
                    Christopher Padfield
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                    • Originally posted by kevinmanphp View Post
                      Now what the 18-200 would provide me is the convenience and assuredness that whatever comes up at a moments notice,
                      The 18-200 VR lens is an excellent lens for all around stuff - the VR technology is very nice and helps with those long shots. An excellent all around lens for about $900. (I have one along with a 17-55 f2.8 and 70-200 f2.8 VR lens).

                      Edit: I kept reading on and see you went with the Canon - an excellent choice. As I've said before, I'm a Bikon guy from back in the Nikon F5 days - so staying with Nikon meant not having to buy all new gear when I went digital. I love my D2X and admire the Canon line of equipment, but have no real world experience using it.
                      Last edited by DanaSoft; Wed 9 Aug '06, 9:14am.

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                      • Originally posted by chrispadfield View Post
                        Reading this last page has added at least 5 things to my shopping list ... grrrrrr
                        You're not getting an EF 400m f/2.8L IS are you?

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                        • Haha, I wish, I will have to make do with my Sigma 170-500 5-6.3
                          Christopher Padfield
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                          • Hmm... nice typo from me there - 'EF 400m f/2.8'. By my rough calculations that would weigh several hundred tonnes and the objective element would be about 100 meters in diameter...

                            Even less hand-holdable than the EF 400mm f/2.8

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                            • Given that Hubble's focal length is an effective 57.6m, I think you might need to buy a stronger tripod
                              Christopher Padfield
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                              • Stronger tripod and a bigger lens case than even this one...



                                ... I don't think that one is airline carry-on legal either, you'd probably have to put it in your checked luggage...

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