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bodega
11-06-2010, 12:13 PM
Well I have decided to give up on my film camera. I have a Pentax ZX-30 that I have loved with a 28-200 lense. It is starting to have issues and developing film is getting to be more and more difficult. So time to join the masses and get into something new. We have a great digital point and shoot for just basic use, but I need something for those special shots, especially long distance ones.

I stopped by a local camera shop to look at digital cameras and the one the salesperson thought would meet my needs was the Canon T2i with 18 mp and a 18-135 lense which is the same as the 28-200 lense capability I have now with my film camera.

Since we have had other camera shops close in the area, I don't have another one to go to for comparison and I certainly won't rely on Best Buy product specialists (yeah right! oldest son was one, so I know that joke!) for their expertise.

Any suggestions for a decent digital camera, with a minimum 18-135 lense. Something I really would like is a good viewing screen, that is decent size and that can be seen in sunlight. The latter may not be possible. Weight is also a consideration.

Price can be from $700-1200. The Canon at the camera store was $1100 but at Best Buy is was about $300 less. Good pictures, ease of use, good lense, comfortable to use and carry are all first over price.

Lastly, is there one that can do colored shots along with black and white shots? I do like black and white photography but haven't checked to see if this is possible with digital cameras. It isn't with our point and shoot camera.

Loonbeam
11-06-2010, 05:08 PM
I'm very happy with my new Nikon D90, but it might be a bit out of range because it comes with the 55-200 lens in the kit so you would need to also buy the 18-135 or equivalent. But it does a great job. Ned and I both buy from BHPhoto - here's a link to the 55-200 kit. http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/619460-REG/Nikon_D90_SLR_Digital_Camera.html

As far as black and white, since you will be going digital you can either use a monochrome mode on the camera (the d90 has) or take in color and use software to convert to BW or a BW color blend.. The D90 (and most digital SLRs have more options than you will ever probably get to..



Well I have decided to give up on my film camera. I have a Pentax ZX-30 that I have loved with a 28-200 lense. It is starting to have issues and developing film is getting to be more and more difficult. So time to join the masses and get into something new. We have a great digital point and shoot for just basic use, but I need something for those special shots, especially long distance ones.

I stopped by a local camera shop to look at digital cameras and the one the salesperson thought would meet my needs was the Canon T2i with 18 mp and a 18-135 lense which is the same as the 28-200 lense capability I have now with my film camera.

Since we have had other camera shops close in the area, I don't have another one to go to for comparison and I certainly won't rely on Best Buy product specialists (yeah right! oldest son was one, so I know that joke!) for their expertise.

Any suggestions for a decent digital camera, with a minimum 18-135 lense. Something I really would like is a good viewing screen, that is decent size and that can be seen in sunlight. The latter may not be possible. Weight is also a consideration.

Price can be from $700-1200. The Canon at the camera store was $1100 but at Best Buy is was about $300 less. Good pictures, ease of use, good lense, comfortable to use and carry are all first over price.

Lastly, is there one that can do colored shots along with black and white shots? I do like black and white photography but haven't checked to see if this is possible with digital cameras. It isn't with our point and shoot camera.

Ned
11-06-2010, 06:23 PM
B., I'm thinking Nikon D7000, but I want to take a look at available kits. It just started shipping. I also want to make a comparison for you with regard to features. I will have a few less Mega-Pixels, but that's not a full measure of a camera.

My Nikon D700 is a pro DSLR and has fewer Mega-Pixels than the Canon you were shown, but it's still a far superior camera.

I'm on an emergency now, so it might take until Monday to get to you on this.

Question please ... other than travel photography, what do you plan to do with it. Were there shortcomings with the Pentax, and your lens, which you want to overcome from a photography aspect?

bodega
11-06-2010, 07:16 PM
I had no shortcomings with my Pentax when it was working correctly. It has been an excellent camera and is about 9 years old.

I take lots of shots of buildings and landscaping. A few family photos, but the point and shoot camera is usually used for that. But with this new ditigal camera, since I don't have to worry about paying for bad shots when someone moves, I might use it more for taking pictures of my granddaughter.

Now I was told that the Canon can not do black and white. I haven't checked into that but that is what the sales person at the camera shop led me to believe. I do like black and white photography for some of my pictures.

I am not set on the Canon at all. It just gives me a base to go from. I do want the micro/macro lense and I don't want to have to change lenses. Done that before with a camera we had before the Pentax and don't want to deal with it. The current 28-300 lense I have now has been pretty good for my needs, so if the 18-135 is an equal comparison, that would be just fine for now.

jfrenaye
11-07-2010, 11:23 AM
A consideration, woudl any of your Pentax lenses be usable on a new camera? I know they might be limited in functionality (autofocus, VR, etc) but back in the day weren;t there like three types of mounts?

bodega
11-07-2010, 11:33 AM
A consideration, woudl any of your Pentax lenses be usable on a new camera? I know they might be limited in functionality (autofocus, VR, etc) but back in the day weren;t there like three types of mounts?
Good question John and one that came to me yesterday as I was looking at my current camera. The lense is by Sigma. My guess is no, but I don't know. It works with the current camera for auto focus....or it did, that is part of the problem on the older camera. Sometimes autofocus works, sometimes it doesn't. I can click to manual focus so the camera is still functional, just more of a pain and possible lost of a shot, as happened to me a few days ago on our trip to New Mexico.

jfrenaye
11-07-2010, 12:02 PM
My thought was that you might get a different kit that might have a differently abled lens for you and then when you need the perhaps manual capabilities of the older Sigma one you can use it. Lenses are so expensive it seems a waste (unless you sell it) to not be able to get at least some use from it.

Ned
11-07-2010, 12:22 PM
The Pentax ZX-30 uses a "Crippled" KAF mount. The only difference between the regular KAF mount and the crippled version is the removal of the mechanical stop-down coupler/indicator.

There used to be an adapter for these lenses, but they are very hard to find at this time, and they don't provide full functionality (No AF), which would take a lot away from the use of the new camera. I don't recommend using a KAF type mount adapted to either a current Nikon F mount or the current Canon EF mount.

Good question John and one that came to me yesterday as I was looking at my current camera. The lense is by Sigma. My guess is no, but I don't know. It works with the current camera for auto focus....or it did, that is part of the problem on the older camera. Sometimes autofocus works, sometimes it doesn't. I can click to manual focus so the camera is still functional, just more of a pain and possible lost of a shot, as happened to me a few days ago on our trip to New Mexico.

Ned
11-07-2010, 12:40 PM
Pentax cameras were excellent film cameras. Mrs. N.'s aunt was a professional photographer and produced fantastic images on her Pentax cameras over the years.

I think you'll find whatever camera you get you'll be using it for the family shots too. One of the aspects of the Digital Point and Shoots that everyone dislikes is the delay in taking the photo after you press the shutter release. The digital DSLRs don't have that delay.

By the way, you won't go wrong with either a Canon or Nikon DSLRs. They both are excellent lines. They have their pluses and minus, but they are very close at each level of DSLRs. In my opinion, they are superior to other brands of DSLRs such as Sony, Olympus, and Panasonic, and give you more for the money. Of course, there is the Leica, but that's out of all of our pocketbook range, save a very few people. The biggest problem with the lessor brands is lens quality, availability and range. I find the camera quality a step below Canon and Nikon too.

I'll have some suggestions tomorrow or later tonight which you might consider.

I had no shortcomings with my Pentax when it was working correctly. It has been an excellent camera and is about 9 years old.

I take lots of shots of buildings and landscaping. A few family photos, but the point and shoot camera is usually used for that. But with this new ditigal camera, since I don't have to worry about paying for bad shots when someone moves, I might use it more for taking pictures of my granddaughter.

Now I was told that the Canon can not do black and white. I haven't checked into that but that is what the sales person at the camera shop led me to believe. I do like black and white photography for some of my pictures.

I am not set on the Canon at all. It just gives me a base to go from. I do want the micro/macro lense and I don't want to have to change lenses. Done that before with a camera we had before the Pentax and don't want to deal with it. The current 28-300 lense I have now has been pretty good for my needs, so if the 18-135 is an equal comparison, that would be just fine for now.

Ned
11-10-2010, 05:55 AM
I've looked into this and first tried to come up with a list of your criteria B.


Budget: from $700-1200
DSLR
One zoom lens with a minimum focal length of 18-135 which is an approximate standard 35mm film/sensor of and equivalent focal length of 27-202mm.
Lens should have macro capability
Prefer not to have more than one lens
Good LCD screen to review photos even in sunlight
Not too heavy
Quality photos
Black and White photo option

Three cameras come to mind which can meet most of your criteria, but not all. I've not found any DSLR/lens combination which meets all your criteria.

The three cameras are the Canon EOS Rebel T2i Digital SLR Camera which you've already looked at, the Nikon D7000 DSLR Camera and the Nikon D3100 DSLR Camera.

The base price of the T2i is at $705, the D7000 at $1,200, and the D3100 at about $500, however Nikon only sells the D3100 in kits with their lenses, so we can knock out the D7000 right away as it will be well above your budget once you add a lens.

The kit price of a T2i with an EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens is $1,025. Nikon doesn't have an equivalent lens to the 18-135 themselves. Nikon's equivalent includes 2 lenses which would be the 18-55mm & 55-200mm VR Lenses at a price of $759. I know you want to have only one lens, but for the moment, let's set that criteria aside and do some comparisons.

The T2i's main features for comparison include:


18.0 megapixels
APS-C size (DX) sensor
ISO 100~6400
63-zone TTL full-aperture metering
Max. 3.7 shots/sec.
9-point Auto Focus system
MOV (image data: H.264)
1920 x 1080: 30p (HD)
1280 x 720: 30p
3" monitor
18.7 oz weight

The D3100's main features for comparison include:


14.8 Megapixels
DX (APS-C) size sensor
ISO 100~6400
3D color matrix metering II
3 frames per second max
11 focus points Auto Focus system
MOV, H.264/MPEG-4 Advanced Video Coding
1920 x 1080 24p (HD)
1280 x 720 30p
3" monitor
16 oz weight

Just looking at the cameras for a moment, the movie capability of the Canon is a little better than the Nikon, which is generally true of all equivalent DSLRs in the two product lines. While the number of megapixels in the Canon is more than the Nikon, the quality of the photos of each is equivalent. The light metering of the two is equivalent, as is their continuous shooting speed with the speed edge to Canon. The auto-focus edge in speed to focus and accuracy in more difficult conditions goes to Nikon. Both have equivalent noise characteristics.

I give the edge to Canon in the overall feature set between these two cameras.

Neither camera does Black and White photos natively, but changing their photos to Black and White in such easy to use photo editing software as Photoshop Elements is generally easy to accomplish, and better done than in the camera anyway. In my pro level DSLR I take all photos in color and convert to B&W in the computer when desired.

Let's look at the lenses.

The Canon 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS runs the equivalent focal length gamut of 29-216mm. It has optical stabilization (vibration reduction). It has a aperture (max speed of lens) capable of f/3.5 up to about 30mm from what I understand, and above that it's pretty much at f/5.6. It has no macro capability and can focus no closer than 1.5 feet.

The Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 VR runs the equivalent focal length gamut of 28-82mm. It has optical stabilization (vibration reduction). It has a aperture (max speed of lens) capable of f/3.5 up to about 30mm from what I understand, and above that it's pretty much at f/5.6. It has no macro capability and can focus no closer than 11".

The Nikon AF-S DX VR Zoom-Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6G IF-ED runs the equivalent focal length gamut of 82-300mm. It has optical stabilization (vibration reduction). It has a aperture (max speed of lens) capable of f/4 up to about 80mm from what I understand, and above that it's pretty much at f/5.6. It has no macro capability and can focus no closer than 3.5 feet, but with the power of the 200mm focal length it can fill the sensor with the subject focus near the minimum focus point, thus acting like a close-up (macro) lens. (I've taken wonderful close-up shots with my 18-200mm lens at 200mm on a DX body.)

The Canon kit keeps you at a single lens. The Nikon kit will force you to change lenses for the longer shots, but it's longer lens extends your capability considerably, with a slightly higher quality lens than the Canon, and the Nikon gives you more of a closeup capability, but at the cost of having a second lens.

Looking at the two kits as a whole, the Nikon kit is less expensive and has more of a closeup capability, but has to do it with 2 lenses. The Canon kit has the capability you specified in your focal lengths, and doesn't have the closeup ability that the Nikon has, but only will be using one lens to accomplish what it does. The Canon kit has an edge in the movie capability of the camera.

It's a shame that the Nikon D3100 doesn't have a kit with the Nikon 18-200mm lens which would then really come very close to fulfilling your specs totally and it would make it the clear winner, but it doesn't, so we can dismiss that idea.

When I look at your specs, and the way you've described your desires, and consider how you've used your Pentax in the past, plus looking at the specs of the cameras and lenses, I'd go with the Canon kit.

Which ever you go with, get a UV/Haze filter for your lens (lenses) and put it on to protect your lens from physical damage if you knock into anything. It's a protection which has saved me a few times.

Good luck with your final decision and enjoy your new camera.

bodega
11-10-2010, 09:45 AM
I have to leave the office in a few minutes, so I will read this later today. I so appreicate your time and research on this!!

Ned
11-10-2010, 07:33 PM
I've been at clients all day. I'm happy to help any time. I hope it helps you. If this brings up any questions, please don't hesitate to ask.

I have to leave the office in a few minutes, so I will read this later today. I so appreicate your time and research on this!!

bodega
11-21-2010, 12:10 PM
We have decided on the Canon EOS Rebel T2i. Our local camera store has it on sale for the same price as the website bhphotovideo shows and the camera store will assist with questions and training. The price is now $849. Thanks for all the assistance!

Ned
11-21-2010, 01:23 PM
Use it in good health. Have fun with it.

We have decided on the Canon EOS Rebel T2i. Our local camera store has it on sale for the same price as the website bhphotovideo shows and the camera store will assist with questions and training. The price is now $849. Thanks for all the assistance!