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Old    Jay (parkcityxj)      Join Date: Mar 2001       12-18-2007, 9:55 PM Reply   
I'm looking to get my first set up w/about $600-$800 to spend. I'll be mainly shooting snowboarding and other action sports. I'm torn from getting a new newbie camera like the D40 or Xti or a used set up like 20D or D70. Any suggestions?

(Message edited by parkcityxj on December 18, 2007)
Old    soulrider (projectely4)      Join Date: Apr 2003       12-19-2007, 7:03 AM Reply   
as i am a fan of nikon mainly because i like their lenses better, but i also feel like their bodies are easier to use for me compared to when i have tried the canon's but they are both good companies.

the only thing you may want to think about is if you go with a d40 it will only work with certain lenses. as your first dslr this probably wont be a problem since you most likely don't have any lenses as of now and most of the current lenses that many people are using today work on the d40.

also from my experience i feel the autofocus system is little more accurate in terms of missing the focus and still taking the shot.
Old    wardovision (caskimmer)      Join Date: Apr 2006       12-19-2007, 7:40 AM Reply   

also from my experience i feel the autofocus system is little more accurate in terms of missing the focus and still taking the shot.

why would you ever want to take an out of focus shot?
Old    Eubanks (eubanks01)      Join Date: Jun 2001       12-19-2007, 8:20 AM Reply   
You have $600-$800 to spend on the body or in total? As most will tell you the lenses are even more important that the body. A great action sports value is the 70-200 f/4...if you go Canon. You can get one used for $400-$500.

Just make sure you budget out the ENTIRE purchase and don't blow everything on the camera body. You'll still need lenses, flash cards, a case, a flash (maybe not right at first), editing software, etc. This is an expensive hobby!
Old    Scott (scott_a)      Join Date: Dec 2002       12-19-2007, 10:28 AM Reply   
If you're looking to take the best pictures that you can take, you should look into picking up a used D70 or 20D. The D40/XTi is pretty much the cheapest camera in each company's line, so the features aren't gonna be all that robust compared to a body that you can pick up used. The only people I would recommend a D40 or XTi to are those who are looking to take myspace pictures or wanna see how they like photography at a pretty recreational level. If you know you're gonna be taking a lot of photos with it and you want the best results possible, then definitely look into a used D70/20D.

As far as which brand to go with- it's all personal preference. Some will say that one brand has better lenses or autofocus tracking, but in the end neither will prevent you from taking some awesome pictures. If possible, try and drop into a camera shop and see which brand has a more ergonomical feel in your hand.
Old    Joe Umali (dakid)      Join Date: Feb 2001       12-19-2007, 11:17 AM Reply   
get a mac!

oh wait...

you can get a pretty good used set-up (like scott suggested) in your price range, maybe even less! i suggest checkin' out and check your local craigslist.
Old    J Jakober (jjakober)      Join Date: Apr 2002       12-19-2007, 12:22 PM Reply   
Have you checked out the Olympus E-510. Olympus kit lenses are considered to be some of the best in the business. You can get the 2 lens kit for around $600.00.
Old    Jay (parkcityxj)      Join Date: Mar 2001       12-19-2007, 1:55 PM Reply   
I've got the mac and CS3 ha.. I hear the D40 is an amazing camera from all the reviews I've read but the motorized lens it needs really limits you. It seems the Xti is good for sports and I can carry over lenses to the next camera but doesn't take as good as pics as the D40.

I think I'm gonna go the used route as I've seen D70's and 20Ds go for around $300-$500 on ebay and on craigslist. I'm kinda leaning towards the 20D as it has the metal case, better seals and 5 frames/sec. A used 20D does cost more than a D70 though.

I have a lot of pro snowboard photographer friends and they all are all using Nikon or Canon. Seems like a ford vs. chevy thing. Unfortunately they are all shooting w/D3xs and 1DS and have no clue about what's going on w/cheaper cameras these days.

What's a high number of "clicks" to avoid? I'm seeing used cameras with anywhere from 1,000 to 10,000 clicks. Is there number where they wear out or just beat?

It seems the progression from lens w/a couple of my friends is to start w/the standard lens, then a wide angle, and then a good zoom.

Is this Ken Rockwell guy trust worthy? I've read a lot of review on his site.

Thanks guys.
Old    E.J. (deuce)      Join Date: Mar 2002       12-19-2007, 2:28 PM Reply   
No suggestions for you Jay, but when you are heading out for a day at a park, give me a call and I would love to come up and snap off some photos. We will get some beers after.
Old    Scott (scott_a)      Join Date: Dec 2002       12-19-2007, 3:23 PM Reply   
How many clicks is considered high? That's really a tough question to answer mainly because I don't think Canon officially released the shutter life expectancy of the 20D. If I had to guess, it'd be around 100 thousand actuations ("clicks"). As you can imagine, that's a whole lot of pictures...and most people won't ever get near that number.

If you have the chance to check the camera over before you buy it, I'd make sure all the buttons are in good working condition and aren't sticky, and that the sensor isn't scratched. The only way to check the actuations is to take a picture and then run it through some computer software, so it's not as if you can just flip through the menu and find it.

Ken Rockwell is pretty widely regarded as an assclown even by Nikon shooters. I wouldn't pay any attention to what he talks about on his website.
Old    Rich Dykmans (richd)      Join Date: Oct 2003       12-19-2007, 8:08 PM Reply   
There's a way to check shutter actuations using the get info and then exif data using CS2/3 but it's complicated. If you check the web you'll find the technique. One guy claimed over 200K on his 20D - I've heard 70-80K is about average. The 20D is more robust then the XTi and has 5 fps but I do like the sensor in the XTi a bit more then the 20D because it's a bit newer and puts out a nice 10 mp image. Don't mess with an older Xt though the XTi is a huge improvement over it.
Old    E.J. (deuce)      Join Date: Mar 2002       12-20-2007, 11:52 AM Reply   
By Rich Dykmans (richd) on Wednesday, December 19, 2007 - 7:08 pm:
Don't mess with an older Xt though the XTi is a huge improvement over it.

I hope the in-laws don't read that before......or after they open up their Christmas present.....
Old    Jay (parkcityxj)      Join Date: Mar 2001       01-03-2008, 12:24 PM Reply   
I ended up scoring a mint condition 20D for $500 on ebay with a 1 gig card, UV and Polarizing filters and lens hood. I have the stock 18-55 lens for the time being. Next on the list is 70-200 f4 lens.
Old    Scott (scott_a)      Join Date: Dec 2002       01-04-2008, 12:13 AM Reply
Old    Chris Anthony (cmawsr)      Join Date: Nov 2002       01-04-2008, 7:59 PM Reply   
Jay, you can't go wrong with a 20D and 70-200F4, I have and love this combo. If you start looking at a better wide angle(and you will...) look at the tokina 12-24 f4 it kicks a$$
Old    Rich Dykmans (richd)      Join Date: Oct 2003       01-05-2008, 9:42 AM Reply   
Chris, I'm interested in that tokina WA myself, Can you post some shots at 12mm from it. what's it's minimum aperture?
Old    Chris Anthony (cmawsr)      Join Date: Nov 2002       01-06-2008, 12:04 PM Reply   
Rich I believe 22, but I'll have to check that. Here is one of my favorites. I don't have it sized for this site. curves and sharpening for pp}
Old    Jay (parkcityxj)      Join Date: Mar 2001       01-06-2008, 3:42 PM Reply   
So the old school Canon 70-210 is considered the "poor mans" 70-200 f4.. Can anybody vouch for this? It seems this goes around $100-$150 used. I'd like to think I can save $500 or so on this older lens and get flahes, etc w/the money saved.

Fortunately I have a lot of friends that are pro snowboarders/skiers and have the opportunity to shoot with them. I'd like to think I can use my shots for work related stuff/web (I work in the snowboard industry) once I get better. Maybe one day I'll get good enough for mag submissions.

I shot some park rding the other day and was pretty surprised how my shots came out. I was shooting complete manual and winging it. I've shot a ton things around and in my house just messing w/the settings and I think I'm getting the hang of it.

What sucks though is I do friends that are real pro photographers yet they are all pretty secretive of their knowledge and willingness to teach me so I'm resorting to the web for info.

Oh, check out I've read some good stuff on there, you have to register to view pics.
Old    Rich Dykmans (richd)      Join Date: Oct 2003       01-06-2008, 4:53 PM Reply   
I've never seen one for sale but it's probably worth a look at $100. I think you'll find the AF slow and not real accurate on a lens that old. That's one of the original EF mount lenses.
Old    Barry Waste (barry)      Join Date: Apr 2002       01-07-2008, 12:10 AM Reply   
Hey Rich,
I ran into one and had the chance to play with it a little, I was amazed at how fast it focused. I would say it's as fast as my 70-200L 2.8, but it is noisy.
Sounds like an old slot car motor!
Old    Scott (scott_a)      Join Date: Dec 2002       01-07-2008, 1:49 AM Reply   
Jay- the web isn't a bad place to use for information. There's certainly more than enough good stuff to be found, that's for sure! And as good a situation as you might have with friends here and there, you probably won't get too many tips from any pros. Photography is their job, so they're probably not gonna be super stoked if you tell them that you wanna get good so you can start competing with them for work.
Old    Joe Umali (dakid)      Join Date: Feb 2001       01-07-2008, 1:56 AM Reply   
eh, you were willing to help me out whenever i asked. so, there are those out there that's willing to help.
Old    Scott (scott_a)      Join Date: Dec 2002       01-07-2008, 3:17 AM Reply   
Joe, if you're referring to me, then yeah. But for whatever reason, the wakeboarding side of things seems to be completely different. Over the years I've received all sorts of invaluable pointers and advice from a couple of different photogs. When I first approached Rodrigo for advice/help/whatever he was super helpful and stoked to answer my questions. It turns out that this is exactly how he learned, so he tries to pass on the love whenever possible. Garrett has also been super helpful when I've wanted someone to nitpick through my photos, too.

And if you pay attention to what Spencer Smith is doing you'll likely see him throwing props out to a number of photographers (including the same two dudes I mentioned above) who have helped him learn the craft. If I had to guess at a reason for the difference, it'd be because snowboarding is older and more mature and already totally full of dope photograpers. Wakeboarding, on the other hand, has maybe 5 guys earning a halfway decent living off of shooting photos...if that? So I think the guys that are at the top are more willing to help because they wanna see some fresh faces and new perspectives in print. And then you've got the people who are just down to help spread the stoke and help others out regardless of how good they are at photography. I'm always down to help when I can, and I know there are a bunch of others on this forum who are equally generous. And on the flip side of the coin, wheels and wax is the only photographic resource that I know of that deals with snow photography.

Sorry. Kind of rambling a bit...
Old    Chris Anthony (cmawsr)      Join Date: Nov 2002       01-07-2008, 6:47 PM Reply   
liar, you never help me out....


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