DSLR reccomendations

Discussion in 'Other Systems' started by supermaxv, May 20, 2013.

  1. supermaxv

    supermaxv Mu-43 Veteran

    273
    Sep 20, 2011
    Before people start jumping on me, yes, I'm fully aware of the newer Micro Four Thirds cameras and what they can do, nor am I leaving the system behind (I have 3 bodies and a collection of lenses that I use very heavily for stills and video), this is about me exploring the hobby and seeing what other systems are like.

    So I am interested in picking up a DSLR and a nifty fifty to play with, mainly for fast AF, the OVF, usable and useful AF tracking of moving targets, good handling with external controls, decent buffer for fast burst shooting, and the inexpensive lens selection down the line. I am not interested in video at all (I have a GH1 for that), don't need more than 12 megapixels and do my own post processing so I'm not concerned with jpeg quality. The one model I've been eyeing is a Canon 40D because of it's rapid fire burst, build quality and relatively inexpensive cost of acquisition, but are there other models I should be looking at?

    Thanks!
     
  2. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 7, 2010
    I've mostly owned Canon DSLRs (from 30D to 7D), so my view is a bit narrow, but I think the 40D is a super high value option for what you are describing. Last I saw they were selling used for maybe $300.

    The Canon 50/1.8 is probably considered the king of the cheap nifty-fifties, but does not give you fast AF. Canon 50/1.4 has better AF; Sigma 50/1.4 best IQ (imo). I really like the 85/1.8 on the 40D, if that FL works for you.
     
  3. DeoreDX

    DeoreDX Mu-43 Veteran

    208
    Mar 13, 2013
    Alabama
    Nikon d300 or d300s. Pro body and AF system 8fps with battery grip. Maybe a d90 if you don't want to spend the money on a d300
     
  4. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    As long as high ISO isn't an issue, a 40D is fine. Tracking is good, too. For my money, though, if I'm going DSLR, I'm going FF. Not enough difference between APS-C and 43, IMO, but FF is more expensive (excluding the 5Dc)
     
  5. kwalsh

    kwalsh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    775
    Mar 3, 2012
    Baltimore, MD
    One word of caution - you aren't necessarily going to have fast AF with a nifty-fifty. Especially the Canon 50/1.8. In general, you'll find most of the lower cost primes have very slow AF motors. So if you want to experience fast AF on a DSLR be sure you pay attention to what lens you buy. Some are far worse than anything you've experienced in m43, and of course some are excellent. Be sure to pick wisely!

    I'm not sure what m43 camera you have, the smaller ones certainly lack a bit in external controls. That said, I shot Canon for awhile and was never impressed with the controls. I greatly preferred both my GH2 and E-M5 as far as controls went. This is a rather personal thing though. Some find even the GH2 and E-M5 just to small despite all the external controls, in which case a 40D would be excellent.

    It may be a "grass is greener" kind of thing, but these days I'd buy a Nikon instead of a Canon. The Canon sensors are underwhelming. Not sure about older used gear though, I was thinking D7000 or newer for the Nikon line.

    I think going with an older model as you are planning is an excellent idea. You should be able to pick up a 40D and a few lenses used and then resell them later at almost no loss.

    Good luck with whatever you pick up!
     
  6. Markb

    Markb Mu-43 Top Veteran

    532
    Jun 9, 2011
    Kent, UK
    Mark
    I'd agree with this completely. My other camera is a 5Dc and a 50/1.4. I prefer it to the E-P1 as a platform for my OM lenses too. I've nearly cleared out all the APS-C kit now.
     
  7. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    If money and size are not an issue, I'd recommend a D700. I went 6D because I know Canon glass better. I also don't like the older Canon controls, where each button on the top plate has dual purpose. It's clumsy. I like the 6D because the top plate buttons are dedicated to a single control. The D700 is even more so.

    Having said that, the OMD is just as controllable and configurable (maybe even more so) than my 6D.
     
  8. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    Full Frame or nothing is my vote as well. Which one? Depends on your budget and comfort with control layouts on various bodies.
     
  9. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    I'd second this recommendation. I have a D300, and if you are considering used, you could pick one up at a very affordable price. It's an amazing DSLR, with an outstanding focus system, and it is capable of sustaining long bursts at high FPS. You can also use it to pound nails into lumber if need be, it is that well built.

    Good luck,

    --Ken
     
  10. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 7, 2010
    The issue with full frame is cost and capability. Maybe the OP has a relatively large budget, but he mentions the 40D which is certainly on the low end of any budget. He also mentions fast AF and burst rate, like for shooting sports. Not something the 5D is known to be good at, which is the cheapest FF option in the Canon line.

    I don't know how Nikon options compare, but unless one of their old FF models is cheaper and better than a 5D I don't see how FF matches what the OP is looking for.
     
  11. supermaxv

    supermaxv Mu-43 Veteran

    273
    Sep 20, 2011
    Thanks for the input everyone, especially in regards to the nifty fifty's AF speed and the Nikon models to consider. Yeah, it may be a great camera, but with the 3 FPS burst, the 5d Classic is most definitely not what i'm looking for at all. I'm also not really interested in the depth of field and wide angle benefits of FF at the exclusion of fast FPS.
     
  12. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    D300 with a battery grip. I believe this combo can hit 8FPS, with quite a large buffer to allow you to keep your finger on the trigger. I do not believe there are more affordable used options with that speed and focus capability.

    Good luck,

    --Ken
     
  13. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    so it all boils down to you think you need high fps?...OMD does 9 fps

    K
     
  14. supermaxv

    supermaxv Mu-43 Veteran

    273
    Sep 20, 2011
    I am fully aware of the OM-Ds capabilities and as I already carefully explained, I am wanting to try out a DSLR, especially in regards to high FPS coupled with more robust, actually useable AF tracking (along with the other reasons that I already explained that an OM-D in no way addresses).
     
  15. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    You could always rent one to try it out. Just a thought. You do learn more in owning, though.

    If you are not after IQ or anything else, and just want a bigger body, better control and high fps, then the 40D is something you could try or the Nikon D3. Better make sure your PDAF lens doesn't front/back focus, though, as many of the old bodies don't have Micro adjust. The D3 or older 1D canon series (though they are huge) will have better AF tracking than the 40D.

    Also, IIRC the 40D AF isn't exactly all that in AF. Google 40D compared to a 5Dii, which is often criticized for it's AF. See here for example: AF 5D vs. 40D - Photo.net Canon EOS Forum

    or here: http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=649040

    Basically, if you need action shooting better than a 5D, I'm not sure the 40D is the answer. Better a 7D, or one of the bigger bodies already mentioned.

    Last point on Canon larger DSLR bodies other than the 60D or 6D. The four bottoms across the top plate do double-duty. canon_eos_40d_top. You press the button and then either move the rear thumb wheel or front finger wheel to adjust one or the other. I can't tell you how many times on my old 5Dc that I would adjust the wrong one -- frustrated me to no end. I like the 6D better, because the buttons are single-purpose, and I liked the Nikon D700 even better. The Nikon D3 or Canon 1D series would have better, dedicated controls than the more consumer-level 40D or even 6D
     
  16. Bhupinder2002

    Bhupinder2002 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Hi ..my two cents -- If I were in your shoes and on budget -I would consider
    1) Nikon 5200D - the best APS-C entry level DSLR at the mement - around 600-700 USD with kit lens
    2) Pentax K30 - WR body and best UI in DSLR and uses same sensor which was used in Pentax K5 and Nikon D7000
    3) Nikon D7000 - body around 700-800 USD
    4) Nikon D7100 - has all new bells and whistles
    5) If FF - Canon 6D is the value for money and body only is about USD1500-1600 USD.
    Cheers
    Bhupinder
     
  17. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    Fine... just trying to narrow your list of wants... so its high fps and good AF tracking. anything related to full frame is irrelevant to you

    In other words you are looking for a 'pro' camera?

    they don't come cheap.

    don't think a 40D will satisfy your lust... the 5d mk2 is no better in CAF than my OMD

    K
     
  18. supermaxv

    supermaxv Mu-43 Veteran

    273
    Sep 20, 2011
    K, i'm willing to learn, are you telling me that the C-AF TR (not C-AF) on the OM-D outperforms a decent Canon DSLR in Ai Servo mode in regards to tracking a target moving towards the camera (3D tracking, here)?
     
  19. Dom

    Dom New to Mu-43

    1
    May 20, 2013
    Bristol, UK
    Canon 40D View

    I'm actually currently moving from a Canon 40D to an OMD, primarily because the size of the 40D & kit meant that I never took it anywhere. However it is a very nice camera, now available cheaply second hand and there's lots of good lens for Canon's APS dSLRs. The same can be said of the 50D and even the 60D will fall in price soon enough once the 70D is out shortly.

    The 40D auto focus always served me well, and the ISO performance is good, but not great these days. I find the OMD only just beats the ISO quality of the 40D. Others may argue that, but the way the 40D handles lower light looks better to me.

    The lens choice makes a big difference. The 50mm f1.8 is often touted as a great lens, for it's price. Compared to a lot of other relatively inexpensive lenses I find it mediocre and I rarely used it. What I used a lot was the 35mm f2, which suited my shooting style, has great IQ and a really nice colour to the images. In comparison the 50mm f1.8 images always looked flat to me.
     
  20. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    not telling you anything of the sort.. just passing on my experience that I found that the general AF performance of the 5D Mk2 was not wildly different from that of the OMD... in both cases they often sucked!!

    I would like to point out that there was more than a 100 years of amazing photographs before the motor drive and autofocus came about....in the end its not the camera

    K