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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
my wife and i want to get a dSLR and take some photography classes. is there anything half decent in the 500-800 dollar range?
also we were wondering if theyre cheaper in the states? if so we might go down there for black friday in november, were not in a huge hurry.

also it doesnt need to be able to do movies we have a different camera for that already.
 

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Electronics are definitely cheaper across the line. But keep in mind when spending that kind of money down there, you "will" be paying the HST if you declare it coming back. Have a look on a few of the sites down there and take a look at the price difference. See if it's really worth it to you. If you go down on black friday chances are huge that you will save a ton of money. I'm a canon fan... but there's a few out there in that price range.
 

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Well to first warn you, photography is like aquariums. When you start off you get something small (Canon Rebel XTi : 5 g tank), then you either drop the hobby and never touch it again, and try very hard to get your money back (anyone looking to pay $50 for a complete 5 gallon tank setup? Only 2 months old!) or you end up wanting something better and bigger (Canon 5D with a $3000 lens, or 120 gallon tank with a complete Co2 System and sump filter)... there may be a few steps in between!

What camera I recommend depends entirely on what you are looking to do with it. For example:
- are you planning to do 'day to day' photography? like your kids plays, soccer gamers?
- are you planning to do nature photos, like birds and plants?
- are you planning to turn it into a business eventually?
- are you going to take to traveling? (this is rather important)

Also are you and your wife going to be taking the classes together (i.e. do you need 2 camera?).

When I say photography is like aquariums, i actually mean it. I have over $6,000 in camera equipment. But that doesn't mean you need it or would actually use it. So let us know what your dreams are with photography, and we can help you decide what is the best.

By the way if you are looking for any camera equipment reviews I HIGHLY recommend Digital Cameras: Digital Photography Review, News, Reviews, Forums, FAQ. This is a WONDERFUL website. Some of the stuff does get highly technical, but what is offers is a comparison between different cameras.

I personally have a canon, but a lot of profession photographers appear to prefer Nikon. Also once you decide on a brand, there is no turning back. All of the lenses are specific to each brand, so you can upgrade within brands, but not to another brand.
 

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also we were wondering if theyre cheaper in the states? if so we might go down there for black friday in november, were not in a huge hurry.
They are probably cheaper in the states, but I'm not sure its worth it. First you'll have to pay tax (if you are honest ;)).

There are a few local camera shops that let you rent the equipment, and then apply the rental cost to the cost of a new camera if you like it... I think this one (Beau Photo Supplies) and this one (Leo's Camera Supply Ltd.) are like that.

Also if something happens its probably easier to get it fixed up here during the warranty period (i don't know... I've never done it).
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
cameras are the type of thing tourists are expected to have so its doubtful i'll declare it ;)
i plan to take pics of the fish so eventually i'd want to get a nice macro lens but i'll start with just the camera, wife plans to take pics of nature and we plan to use it while traveling
we'll share the camera even if we end up taking classes together which im not sure yet. (im leaning more towards taking the aquarium photography class that chris linked here)
i'll check out the website thanks.

what are the differences between the nikon/canon mainly? i seem to see alot more nikons
or olympus and pentax and sony for that matter
so many to choose from lol
 

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I have a Nikon because I can get good prices on them and I like their 18-200mm lens. Having said that, that lens is clsoe to $1,000 by it self. I think one of the main consideration for DSLR is the lens. As you may want to upgrade the body as technology changes. I was told that Canon lens are generally cheaper. Some people like the colour of the Canon lens better. But that is personal preference and they are now programmable any way and could be touched up.

For the price range you are looking at, you probably get more bang for your buck with a Canon.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
whats the numbers on the lenses mean :/ im a noob

also why get the d90 over the d3100 or d5000 for example? those 2 seem more in our price range :/
 

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we'll share the camera even if we end up taking classes together which im not sure yet. (im leaning more towards taking the aquarium photography class that chris linked here)
I personally wont' suggest that you take photography courses together with one camera. There is A LOT to learn about photography, and most of it has to be hands on. First, if you are taking an introductory course, you need to learn about all the functions that the camera has to offer. Unlike my old analog camera, the new digital ones have TONS of features and menus that you need to go through. Second, when you start taking photos, you won't want to share the camera! It might be more fun to take the classes separately anyway, its amazing how different people see the world differently. I bet you that even if you two took the same class, your photos will turn out completely differently.
By the way if you are going to take a photography class I highly recommend Vancouver Photo Workshop (Vancouver Photo Workshops). They have great instructors and tons of lighting equipment. (Plus as a student, I think you can get good rental rates)

i plan to take pics of the fish so eventually i'd want to get a nice macro lens but i'll start with just the camera, wife plans to take pics of nature and we plan to use it while traveling
If you are planning to do aquarium photos then i suggest you look into ISO's of each camera. Not sure if you've read some of the threads on the forum, but aquarium photography is pretty hard because of the lighting. In order to get a crisp photo without the fish blurring, you need to get a fast shutter speed, and a large aperture (the size of the aperture, or F-Stop, allows you to get more light into the lens, but the lower the F-stop of the lens, generally, the more expensive the lens). The alternative is to increase the ISO to a higher number. This allows you to 'multiply' the amount of light being detected by the sensor. The down side is the 'noise' that is generates. This is noise: Canon EOS 400D / Digital Rebel XTi Review: 17. Photographic tests: Digital Photography Review . As you increase the ISO you'll notice that the 'speckles' increase. By 1600 ISO it looks like Oatmeal. I find that for the XTi (which I had) by ISO 400 the noise was so bad it wasn't fixable (you can 'fix' it with digital software). Which is why I got rid of the XTi and got a 50D instead.

Nature photography is going to have different challenges... mainly because you are either doing landscapes, or close ups/zoom ups (like birds). These require completely different lenses than the aquarium (macro) ones. So at this point I think you are going to be investing in two different lenses.

Nikon and Canon difference? And the others? Nothing much really... At the level you are looking at all of them are probably about the same in quality. The cameras within the same manufactures will differ in quality too. (ok before I insult someone, let me rephrase. There are differences in quality between manufacturer's, but at the level you are considering, I don't think its a big deal)

Here is my suggestion. First for the body, go to a camera store, (you can go to something like futureshop, or broadway camera), and play with a few. Check out the price ranges and see what is off your list and what is on. Then go to DP review and check out the reviews. See if it meets your needs. Decide how picky you are about the photo quality ( I am super snobby about this :p... I demand the best). Make sure you differentiate between the quality of the camera and the quality of the lens.

When you figure out which body you want, then consider the lenses. Some of the cameras will have a package deal, (you can get a regular lens and a zoom lens with your camera, etc). initially I suggest you just get a regular lens (or whatever package make sense). Then take the course, and get the other lenses you are interested in (or rent them for the day... its super cheap to rent for a day or a week). Now lenses are another story entirely. We'll talk another day about this. ;)
 

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I'm happy with my Sony A380. I have only heard 1 person put it down, who was also the only person that criticized my Dodge Caravan when I purchased it earlier this year.


Steve
 

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whats the numbers on the lenses mean :/ im a noob

also why get the d90 over the d3100 or d5000 for example? those 2 seem more in our price range :/
The D90 is overall better built. The next one up will be in the professional series. I have not done a full comparison but I think it has the bigger battery and faster response time. It has no problem keeping up with except when the battery is almost drained. My niece who shoot also party time professionla actualy used that as her spare until she got another D700.

All said I don't think there is anything wrong with the D5000 if you want a Nikon.
 

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Just a thought, do you have any friends or family with a decent SLR? Maybe ask if you could try it out for a few hours as you are trying to decide what to get. Not only will you get a good feel for it, they will usually be able to tell you what they like and don't like about it, helping you make up your mind.
Whatever you learn and become aware of before buying will make you a better consumer
 

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I have a D90 and I love it. Just need more time to actually get into it now. The build quality on the D90 is substantially better than the D5000 but also much heavier. I do like the stability that extra weight gives you but after a full day with the camera around your neck or in a backpack, you do feel it. As for Nikon vs Canon, its just one of those preference things. They both probably do some different things marginally better than one another. Alot of my friends that do sports photography swear by the Canons but my professional photographer friends almost always use Nikon.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
im leaning towards the d3100 or d5000, guess i'll have to see what prices are like on black friday, just need something we can learn on now, itl be way better than my stupid little canon point n shoot im sure, getting fish in focus with that is such a pain.

or the canon XSi

which do u guys think is better?
\
also a friend said i might be able to get a used 40D for a decent price? would that be better than getting these new?
 
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