Hello guys! I just want to ask some thoughts from you on choosing a camera (and the brand) - the good sides and the bad ones. Which one for you is better, canon or nikon? And which of these two would have a great product vs. price on a $500-$600 range and what is that model.
I'm looking into buying a DSLR some time in the future. What should I be looking if I'll be using it mainly on landscape, portrait and sports photography?
Canon, of course... hehe... The Rebel line is a good starting point. My wife has a Canon T3, its only 12 Mpixels, but the images are wonderful, she is fast and responsive. You start with the kit lens to get the feel of it, and eventually buy some more lenses after you realize what you really need.
For landscape a tripod is interesting, but you can leave this for later on, its better to buy a good one for a start, otherwise you will have to upgrade it later, I have a Gitzo, for instance. A set of ND filters from LEE is awesome for mirror reflexions at a lake and sunsets. They are very fun to use too.
Another important thing is a rain cover, I use one from Kata, and a good bag, I use lowepro with rain protection. Specially with a Rebel you need to protect it from the rain, but you shouldnt loose the opportunities of a rainy day. If you opt for Nikon the same thing apply, the major diference between the entry level DSLRs and the "big" guys is weather protection, so, dont take a chance on that.
For sports you will need a telephoto, the Canon 70-300 IS USM is not that expensive and you can cover it very well, but there are options of other brands, Tamron and Sigma, for instance.
For portraits the Canon 100 mm f2.8 macro is cheap and very good, you will probably need an external flash, 430 Ex, 580 EX or the new 600 Ex.
But, as I said, start with the basics, a Rebel and the lens kit.
You cant go wrong with either one of the brands, you will have a full line of lenses from them and other manufactures (Sigma, Tamron, etc...) and their constantly upgrading and launching new models of bodies, lenses, flashes, etc...
If you take a photography course, the teachers know their interfaces (Canon and Nikon), you will find tons of forums with other people using the same gear, so its the right path to go.
I´ve been a "Canonian" since the begining, the only complain was that I had two lenses that broke (a 24-105 and a 70-300) after some years of use.
But I still managed to trade them for newer ones since there is a large market for used Canon equipment and, believe me, lenses and bodies are electronic equipments, they eventually will broke, its part of the life. So its better to be with a gear that everydoby uses and its easy to trade.
I like Canon camera interface, its Windows software, I am used to it, its now a second nature for me. When I tried to use a Nikon, it simply felt that everything was in the wrong place (but I am sure a guy using Nikon will probably feel the same about Canon).
One last thing, take your images in RAW and learn (if you havent already) how to process them using Photoshop, Lightroom or whatever, its really important otherwise you will never get the results you want.
By the way, dont forget to invest in memory cards, RAW files are huge, and all the gear you will need to process, backup and save those files at home in your computer.
I dont think you can go very far wrong with any of the major players, dslrs are getting so good these days that there just isnt a bad one out there. The biggest problem is what is available at the time you decide to buy, the lead time from the announcement of a new body to it being on sale is pretty short and theres nothing worse than buying something only to find its been replaced a couple of months later, but one way to get a better deal is to buy the older model when the replacement has been announced. You should really get to a shop an handle the models you are interested in, see which feels better in your hands. Like afagundes says dont forget about all the extras, the costs can soon mount up but dont be too tempted to skimp, if you buy low cost gear its often low quality and you just end up spending more to buy the thing you should've bought in the first place. I remember buying a couple of cheap polarizers a few years ago for a job where ultimate image quality wasnt going to be too demanding, low res jpegs for web use and ended up with some crap that might as well have been cut from the bottom of a milk bottle.
Thank your your wonderful insights! I like canon too but I have a nikon camera at the moment. I have a canon powershot A1200. I like the interface better than nikon. I can switch settings faster in canon. I used to have a nikon coolpix L23 which, after a month of using, I sold because the images are very, very poor and overprocessed and there's no ISO control. Got the A1200 as a replacement.
The L23 interface is similar with the P100 interface. I was wondering if the A1200 interface is similar to an EOS interface.
It's a well known fact that after exactly 2 years the Canons just fall apart into pieces in your hands. On more than one occasion I saw people with Nikons pressing the shutter and their finger go right into the body. Don't buy either as they both make crappy cameras. In fact, serious photographers build their own cameras. I'm just wondering if this was a dream or did you really ask in a forum "Nikon or Canon?"
Various Nikon Lenses
Well... I am quite late posting here. If one wants to use the 50mm/1.8 lens with auto focus ability, canon may be a better option. If there is no auto focus motor in the Nikon body (as is the case of the entry level DSLR nowadays in Nikon) you may have to get a AF-S lens, which is many times costlier. I am not an expert in selecting lenses. Just found this when doing a research before buying my first DSLR and that is one of the factors that made me go for Canon. Not sure if there are any other cheaper options...
Canon EOS 1100D, 18-55mm III, 50mm f/1.8 II, Canon 80-200mm
If one wants to use old canon manual focus lenses on EOS body with infinity focus, one may have to use adapters with glass component in it. It is said to deteriorate the image quality. On the other hand, old Nikon lenses could be just mounted on the new Nikon body without any adapters. But, old Nikon lenses could be mounted on new canon body with an adapter without a glass component. That is interesting!
Canon EOS 1100D, 18-55mm III, 50mm f/1.8 II, Canon 80-200mm