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Old    Hate2party (slipknot)      Join Date: Aug 2001       11-05-2006, 8:02 PM Reply   
I am a beginning amatuer photographer. I saw a camera that I want to buy today. And it's at Costco of course. It's a D80 with an 18-55 lens and a 200mm lens. The whole package is 1299. Is this a good camera to start with and is the price average or better than average. I was going to go with a Rebel Xti at first but saw this deal and may pull the trigger. thanks for any help.
Old    nautielove (nautielove)      Join Date: Sep 2006       11-05-2006, 8:29 PM Reply   
hi,

just bought a xti and i wasnt to impressed with it... i even tried it with their reputable "L" lenses (17-40L) and the 70-200 L...)

maybe i was doing something wrong but i couldnt get sharp action pictures and they were consistently 2 steps underexposed and indoor lighting pictures were really yellow unless you went to custom bracketing (pita)...

its good that you are researching this because i am really bummed i bought the canon xti( i have always been a nikon guy) but this is for my wife...needless to say i sold the xti on fred miranda and will be picking up a canon 30d..

costco is a pretty good idea since you can try it and if you dont like it, they have a very liberal return policy...i would also consider a local camera shop too...
Old    Walt (Walt)      Join Date: Jan 2003       11-05-2006, 8:38 PM Reply   
What is this Nikon that you speak of ?

Take a look at the cost of Nikon glass before you pull the trigger.

NL,
If you weren't getting sharp pics it was most likely operator error. Even my old rebel was fairly sharp with good glass.
Old    nautielove (nautielove)      Join Date: Sep 2006       11-05-2006, 8:46 PM Reply   
i would buy that on the sharpness... but after doing some reading, underexposure is a quality control issue and the indoor lighting issue is a design flaw..

because of the canons rebate, i can get the 30d for $200 more and get spot metering...


(Message edited by nautielove on November 05, 2006)
Old    Walt (Walt)      Join Date: Jan 2003       11-05-2006, 9:12 PM Reply   
NL,
A light meter might be a good idea and shoot raw so you can tweak your white balance.


Costco is the way to go no matter what camera you end up buying.
Old    nautielove (nautielove)      Join Date: Sep 2006       11-06-2006, 3:16 AM Reply   
btw, if you dont mind spending a little more the nikon d200 is a killer camera.....
Old    Hate2party (slipknot)      Join Date: Aug 2001       11-06-2006, 8:24 AM Reply   
are these lenses decent?

http://cgi.ebay.com/Nikon-D80-Digital-SLR-Camera-w-3-LENS-1GB-BRAND-
NEW_W0QQitemZ130043964356QQihZ003QQcategoryZ43456Q QrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem


these lenses are good as well?

http://cgi.ebay.com/Nikon-D80-Digital-SLR-Camera-w-NIKON-LENSES-4GB-FLASH_W0QQitemZ130043953702QQihZ003QQcategoryZ4345 6QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

how much quality do you actually loose with Nikkor vs Nikon vs. Sigma, is that like saying an Xstar versus a Moomba (maybe not quite that range of difference, right?)




(Message edited by slipknot on November 06, 2006)

(Message edited by slipknot on November 06, 2006)
Old    Rich Dykmans (richd)      Join Date: Oct 2003       11-06-2006, 8:32 AM Reply   
10 mp cameras are hard on glass in the sense that they show every irregularity. If you're just going to print at smaller sizes and don't pixel peep those lenses would probably be OK but if you like to blow your images up either in print or on screen you may not be happy. There are gems in the Tamron / Sigma lines but I'm not aware of any that cost below $300-400 each.

The other thing you'll usually lose with ultra cheap lenses like that is decent AF speed and/or accuracy, especially in low light. Heck I've owned a few sigma lenses even in the $300-400 price range that just would not focus on my Canon bodies.
Old    Hate2party (slipknot)      Join Date: Aug 2001       11-06-2006, 8:39 AM Reply   
In my very limited knowledge, Sigma and Nikkor would be fine for a beginner or a lens that acutally comes with the package, I think they were NIkkor that came with the package. Once I figure out what everything means and stands for I can then pay bank for something that I know will do the right things that I want and expect it to. Thanks for the help guys.
Old    Mikeski (mikeski)      Join Date: Aug 2003       11-06-2006, 12:42 PM Reply   
Slipknot,

I just picked up the D80 after shooting with the D50 for a little over a year. There are a few things I like better about the D80 but the D50 did the job 95% of the time for much less money. I bought the costco package and sold the lenses with my D50 on e-bay. I don't like the 55mm break point. I have the 18-200VR lens and love it. The purists will complain about the noise and distortion but it's a great lens for shooting in and around a boat. I like being able to give it a twist and shoot what's happening in the boat then twist it out to catch what's happening behind the boat or in the boat across the way. Being able to catch these shots that I would lose if I had to change the lens is worth the extra price. Although the 18-200VR is still very hard to get.

If I were starting over I would make a decision between two packages based on budget. I would suggest a D50 with the 18-135 zoom for about $800. If you can go to $1800 I would step up to the D80 with the 18-200VR.

I should also add that lots of people are critical of the 18-200VR lens. You will find in almost all cases that those critics are basing thier opinions on specifications. It's a fantastic lens to hold and use on a daily basis. If you are trying to shoot something to put in a frame or publish, it may take a little after the fact tweaking.

I should also add that I have been shooting with Nikon's all my life. The Canon's are great but I was all thumbs with them so I stuck with Nikon. They sell way more Canon digital camera's than Nikons.
Old    Mikeski (mikeski)      Join Date: Aug 2003       11-06-2006, 12:49 PM Reply   
One more thing...

I have an older 70-210 Nikkor AF lens that takes fantastic wakeboarding photo's. I am selling it on e-bay, it will probably go for just over $100? This non-D lens is probably the best deal for a SLR friendly sports lens in the world, they are readily available in the $100-150 range. Get the D50 basic kit with the 18-55, 18-70, or 18-135, then add the 70-210 and you will have a great setup at a super low pricepoint.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&ih=005&sspagename=STRK%3AME SE%3AIT&viewitem=&item=150053265274&rd=1&rd=1
Old    Bakes (bakes5)      Join Date: Aug 2006       11-06-2006, 3:39 PM Reply   
I know and understand budgets but I would save up for a couple more months and go with the D200 over the D80. You can get a body for about $1600. I think the D80 bodies go for about $1K. Most of your money is going to be spent on glass, lighting, memory, extra batteries, photoshop CS2, bags, tripods etc.

My nikon underexposes a little...but I think that is the point since it is easier to bring details out of the the shadows than if the shot is overexposed. Pretty easy to bump the exposure up if you want.

Lot of reasons to get the D200 over D80....See www.KenRockwell.com

Anyways, I got the D200 over the D80 and have no regrets.

Later

Troy
Old    Phantom (phantom5815)      Join Date: Jul 2002       11-06-2006, 7:33 PM Reply   
I have both the Nikon D80 and 200. I also have the 18-200mm vr.

The price of all nikons just dropped. As of today they a new camera a D40. Why I have no ideal. It's 6.1 megapixels smaller and a downgraded version of the D50.

D80 over exposes while the D200 underexposes.
D80 3 fps
D200 5fps - much better for sports.
I'm debating on getting rid of the D80 with the 18-70mm kit lens that came with the D200.
I also have a D100 that's been serviced and upgraded that I'm looking to unload, possible with a 70-300mm lens and/or with the 18-70mm.
Anyhow if you're looking to shoot wakeboarding or sports the D200 is the better camera. Otherwise you can look into getting a D70 or D70s instead of the D50 as well.
BTW- if you're looking into getting a VR lens, the D200 responds much better than the D80. Also if you plan on shooting RAW format, research the software. Nikon software sucks for RAW format when dealing with the D80.
One more thing - with digital photography pretty much demands larger memory and ramm. So I would make sure your computer is also upto date.

(Message edited by phantom5815 on November 06, 2006)
Old    Rich Dykmans (richd)      Join Date: Oct 2003       11-06-2006, 8:04 PM Reply   
"since it is easier to bring details out of the the shadows than if the shot is overexposed."

Convential wisdom says expose to the right on your histogram (over expose) until you just start to blow the whites and then bring the exposure back down in RAW or by using levels in post. That's what gives you the most detail in the shadows. A good example is shooting a back lit rider, if you don't overexpose some all you end up with is a shape with no detail even if you push the blacks. It's easier to fix the blown out sky IMHO.

Really though both Nikon and Caanon in cam metering is really pretty close these days, usually within a 1/3 rd stop so it's really not a huge deal either way.
Old    Bakes (bakes5)      Join Date: Aug 2006       11-06-2006, 8:59 PM Reply   
I hate the back lit rider. Just don't look as nice IMO.

Anyways, here are a couple of shots any bozo with cheap glass can make with a D200 (one backlight the other not).

Upload
Upload

Here is a 5 FPS sequence shot
Upload

Anyways, I love the D200 and am looking to do many more sequence shots...now I just got to save up for the 70-200 2.8 VR lens.

Later

Troy
Old    Rich Dykmans (richd)      Join Date: Oct 2003       11-07-2006, 6:31 AM Reply   
I agree with you about the back lit rider. I was just throwing that out as an example of what I was talking about in overexposing as most people have shot a back lit rider at one time or another and realized that the shadows just turn black unless you overexpose. Of course that's what makes for great silhouettes.

I like 5-6 fps sequences like yours above, you don't end up with too much happening like you do at 8+ fps. I used to turn the speed down on the Canon 1D I had to 6 fps to get the frame spacing similar to yours above. BTW if you have photoshop you can use the healing brush to eliminate some of those frame transitions.

That D200 was very tempting when it came out given the IQ of that 18-200 VR. That would be a great travel setup.
Old    nautielove (nautielove)      Join Date: Sep 2006       11-07-2006, 8:25 AM Reply   
i really think the camera body has something to do with these long range action shots... those look really good with a cheap lense.

i was out last week with canon's cheapest body (xti) and some of the best L lense's (70-200 and the 17-40)... the ones of the 17-40 were okay, but focusing the long range shots with the 70-200 was really hard...

i ordered the 30d and will compare this weekend...
Old    Rich Dykmans (richd)      Join Date: Oct 2003       11-07-2006, 10:51 AM Reply   
You can't tell much about photo quality resized down to 1000 pixels (along with the amount of compression Dave requires to get under 150kb). However the second shot (and somewhat the first) look very soft to me. But that may be OoF due to camera shake given the amount of telephoto being used.

Pixel peeping at 100% crops is the only way to really tell how good your lenses are.

BTW regarding the XTI, I just picked one up and even though I can see small differences in it's dynamic range vs my 5D it's every bit as sharp using my L lenses - maybe you got a bad body. It is underexposing by 1/3rd to 2/3rds of a stop as you pointed out though. It's going to be fun to take skiing etc where a nice small/lite body is greaat to carry all day.
Old    Rich Dykmans (richd)      Join Date: Oct 2003       11-07-2006, 10:52 AM Reply   
One more comment about the XTI, it has the 30D's AF system and I'm finding it to be very good as well, seems as fast and accurate as any of the Canon bodies I've owned short of the 1D.
Old    nautielove (nautielove)      Join Date: Sep 2006       11-07-2006, 11:31 AM Reply   
rich,

i'll post some pics comparing the 2 bodies...i may have gotten a bad body (i could be a crappy photographer but matt (photographer) checked everything out and it was really hard to get a tight focused picture...
Old    Rich Dykmans (richd)      Join Date: Oct 2003       11-07-2006, 12:27 PM Reply   
Here is a shot I took from the boat yesterday with the $75 Canon 50 f1.8, looks pretty focused to me!

Upload
Old    Bakes (bakes5)      Join Date: Aug 2006       11-07-2006, 3:29 PM Reply   
Those focus on those shots are definitely a little soft as mentioned....but not too bad for the first action shots ever from someone who did not know the difference between aperature priority and shutter priority a month ago.

They were both taken with the cheap($175-$200) 55-200mm kit lens (which I recently found out get terrible reviews) that I got with the D200. Also, I had not figured out the cool little trick where you disable the shutter button focus and move the focus function to the AF-On button.

The second one was done at 55mm focal length...this is what it looked like before cropping
Upload

The first one was done at 85mm

Anyways, lots to learn. I am "happy" with my D200 and cheap glass for now. I don't think I would be as happy with a D80 and better glass....but that's just me.

Later

Troy

PS--> Most reviews of the 50mm 1.8 lenses are quite favorable...something about fast, sharp and inexpensive. When I am "done" buying lenses I will have the 70-200VR 2.8, the 10.5mm fisheye, the 17-55 2.8 once they make it with VR, and the trusty 50mm 1.8 prime.
Old    Rich Dykmans (richd)      Join Date: Oct 2003       11-07-2006, 4:58 PM Reply   
Actually that's not bad now that I see how much you cropped it.

The VR is nice to have, I just got a Tamron 24-135 to stay on the XTi and even though the IQ looks pretty good I already noticed some blur due to shake at 135mm. I'm so used to the IS working in the back ground I have to remember to watch my shutter now with non IS lenses at longer focal lengths.
Old    Clubmyke (clubmyke)      Join Date: Aug 2004       11-11-2006, 5:10 AM Reply   
just got the 30d body into day....incredible.... #$#$$@# incredible.

would suggest shooting with both. the difference between a midrange and a entry level is huge and the cost difference is small (the 30d was a $150 more than the xti and the same when a grip was added to the xti....i dont know this is true with nikon but it is with canon)

will give it a go this sunday..

(Message edited by clubmyke on November 11, 2006)
Old    Rich Dykmans (richd)      Join Date: Oct 2003       11-11-2006, 7:45 AM Reply   
Cool, where'd you get a 30D for $950? When I checked around they were 1100 plus.
Old    Mikeski (mikeski)      Join Date: Aug 2003       11-11-2006, 10:01 AM Reply   
There is quite a gap between the Nikons. The D50 bodies are in the $500 range, D80's are in the $900 range, D200's are in the $1400 range. Working with a limited budget I would start with the D50 and some nice glass. Definately one of the most practical ways to get into the DSLR world.

There is a trend for D50 users to upgrade to the D80, like I just did. Here is a good example of a used D50 with a new 18-135 lens on e-bay. This setup will probably sell for $600-700 which is a very good economical entry into DSLRs.

search e-bay for item: 190048644804

It's not mine, there is even a picture of a wakeboarder in his listing. I doubt he will get his buy-it-now, you can get that package new for close to that price.
Old    nautielove (nautielove)      Join Date: Sep 2006       11-11-2006, 6:38 PM Reply   
rich,

got a $200 canon double rebate when i bought a lens...b&h had the camera for $1149 less $200 and a 17-40 for $629 less $90..

the 30d is amazing....no problem catching action shots and the 5ps is incredible (sounds like a machine gun)... very responsive camera..

the biggest observation is the picture quality...it has that incredible "pop" that really stands out when just shooting regular pics.. the xti just didnt have it despite using very good lenses (70-200L & the 17-40L)

anyone have a late model 85 1.8 that they want to sell ?
Old    Joe Umali (dakid)      Join Date: Feb 2001       11-12-2006, 7:05 PM Reply   

quote:

the 30d is amazing....no problem catching action shots and the 5ps is incredible (sounds like a machine gun)... very responsive camera..




wait till you try the 1d. the 30d will seem like a pellet gun.

(Message edited by dakid on November 12, 2006)
Old    nautielove (nautielove)      Join Date: Sep 2006       11-12-2006, 7:12 PM Reply   
joe,

your comparing apples to oranges... there is only $150 between the xti and the 30d with the canon rebate...

btw, i was at the store and got a chance to handle the d80 and liked it alot more than the xti...nikon has some real winners this year..
Old    Joe Umali (dakid)      Join Date: Feb 2001       11-12-2006, 7:21 PM Reply   
apples to oranges? they're both digital cams. maybe red apples to fuji apples.
Old    Scott (scott_a)      Join Date: Dec 2002       11-12-2006, 7:55 PM Reply   
nautilove- don't be so quick to jump on Joe about comparing apples to oranges, because you just did the same exact thing when you said you liked the D80 more than the XTI. ;)

XTI~D50, sub $1Kish
30D~D80, ~$1,500ish
5D~D200, $3Kish
1D=D2, market
Old    nautielove (nautielove)      Join Date: Sep 2006       11-12-2006, 8:53 PM Reply   
i luv joe.. he is a great guy and has a great lady...i am waiting for him to make it down to so cal for some wakesurfing behind my 211..

uhmmmm, got my 30d & 17-40 l lense for $1548 ($949 for the body and $539 for the lens) with canon rebates from b&h... but i did buy a lens to get the canon double rebate.. the nikon d80 goes for $949 from b&h...

i am still calling his azz in fun on comparing a sub $1000 camera to a $3500 camera...it would expected the $3500 to better,..

(Message edited by nautielove on November 12, 2006)
Old    Scott (scott_a)      Join Date: Dec 2002       11-12-2006, 9:37 PM Reply   
Joe's a douche.

The pricing that I listed above is approximate list price. I don't particularly care to split hairs on how much anybody spent or anything else. Your body lists for $1,599 with a lens and $1,399 for just the body, so basically you pretty much got yourself an awesome deal...
Old    Joe Umali (dakid)      Join Date: Feb 2001       11-13-2006, 1:32 AM Reply   
i stand by my "red apples to fuji apples" comment.

mike, frankie and i will be back down to visit...she really misses socal/oc.
Old    Rich Dykmans (richd)      Join Date: Oct 2003       11-13-2006, 9:21 AM Reply   
One thing to consider if anyone is seriously looking at the D200. The original Canon 1Dmk2's are starting to sell for under 2 grand (even though the pristine ones still get around 24-2500. Even a beat up 1D will outlast any of the prosumer bodies regardless of brand and if you're really a serious sports shooter there is just nothing better IMHO.
Old    nautielove (nautielove)      Join Date: Sep 2006       11-13-2006, 8:01 PM Reply   
bring your board and i'll bring the nautie, walzer surfboard (insane ride) and the 30d..

heres a pic of tim & ryan at elsie..

Upload
Upload
Old    Joe Umali (dakid)      Join Date: Feb 2001       11-13-2006, 8:12 PM Reply   
mike, what are you using to resize your pics?
Old    nautielove (nautielove)      Join Date: Sep 2006       11-13-2006, 8:39 PM Reply   
mac image viewer (sucks)... any suggestions that i can for mac that will help retain the quality ?

thanks !!!
Old    Joe Umali (dakid)      Join Date: Feb 2001       11-13-2006, 8:42 PM Reply   
http://www.adobe.com/support/downloads/product.jsp?product=39&platform=Macintosh
Old    Samuel Sosa (unclesam)      Join Date: Nov 2005       11-14-2006, 12:05 AM Reply   
The best part and thing I wish I had with my D80 is the weather sealing of the D200... but if I could not afford good glass I could not see the extra expense to buying the D200. The 50mm 1.8 used on the cannon and the Nikon one are both awesome lenses. Very sharp. Here are some shots I have taken with my D80.


Upload
Upload
Upload
Upload
Old    Rich Dykmans (richd)      Join Date: Oct 2003       11-14-2006, 6:00 AM Reply   
Mike, try using a little less compression when you save (or re-save) them as jpegs. Keeping the file at 150 kb makes a huge difference in the quality. Your 2 shots have a ton of jpeg artifacts which are accentuated in the sharpened areas of the original shots. As Joe pointed out PS gives you the most control but iPhoto or Preview can do a decent job with some experimentation. The software that comes with the body will do a great job as well.
Old    nautielove (nautielove)      Join Date: Sep 2006       11-14-2006, 7:42 AM Reply   
thanks for the tips.. is there a way to keep the photo at 1000 and the file size at 150kb ?
Old    Joe Umali (dakid)      Join Date: Feb 2001       11-14-2006, 7:53 AM Reply   
yeah...use photoshop.

not sure about the software rich suggested though.
Old    Rich Dykmans (richd)      Join Date: Oct 2003       11-14-2006, 9:24 AM Reply   
I think your best bet for resizing if you don't have PS is the bundled Canon software. I figured out how to do a resize once with the bundled Mac stuff but don't remember now - it was kind of hidden in the menus somewhere.

I use Aperture now. Version 1.5 seems to do pretty good conversions from RAW with just the default settings and I'm seeing less jpeg jaggies now, more on the level of CS2. I just have an export preset which takes the RAW images straight to jpeg with the WW specs.
Old    Samuel Sosa (unclesam)      Join Date: Nov 2005       11-14-2006, 12:17 PM Reply   
if you use iPhoto you go to export.. its under file or edit... cant remember exactly.

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