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By dmagnan
Posts:  608
Joined:  Sun Apr 18, 2010 6:37 pm
My girlfriend is into photography, and is considering picking up an entry-level DSLR. She's doing her research right now trying to find one. I know there are lots of people on the forum that are into photography, so I figured I would try to help by asking on here. Does anyone have something they really like, or really want? Any advice is appreciated. Thanks!
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By Steve_D
Posts:  3913
Joined:  Tue Nov 18, 2008 5:06 pm
I can't give any direct comparison from personal experience because I've owned only one brand of digital SLR camera, several Olympus cameras. I love my Olympus E3. But Nikon and Canon owners tend to look down on Olympus it seems, I think because of Olympus's more compact 4-thirds lens system, which I (and a lot of others) like a lot.

My previous non-SLR camera was a Canon, and I was very frustrated with the color, which almost always had an undersaturated bluish tint, like a light haze of blue-gray smoke over the entire scene. No on-camera controls got rid of that blue-bias, not even the white balance settings, so I had to edit each and every photo outside the camera on the computer for color correction. Olympus color on the other hand is nicer and as accurate as the standard color-filter bayer array on the CCD (light-sensitive surface behind the lens) will allow, it seems to me.

I'm very happy with my Olympus digital SLR, but I'm sure there are Nikon and Canon users in the Forum who will recommend their brands as well. For lots of comparative reviews and lots of (often heated) opinions about the various digital SLR's, visit and its forum.
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By dantt99
Posts:  5045
Joined:  Sun Oct 17, 2010 4:48 am
Steve, you called me! I was just about to say :P
I personally find that Canon is the best brand of cameras, and won't buy anything else. They take great quality pics, have very nice lenses, from long range shots to great macro lenses. I personally don't like Nikon's, and Canon's are a no hassle, easy to use camera that take fantastic photos!
If you didn't notice, I'm just a touch biased ;)
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By Steve_D
Posts:  3913
Joined:  Tue Nov 18, 2008 5:06 pm
dantt99 wrote:I'm just a touch biased
Everybody has their preferences. It's great to have choices! :D

Another camera I've become interested in is the Sigma SD1 (not yet available, and will be WAY too expensive). Sigma makes excellent lenses. I bought one for my Olympus camera (Sigma makes some lenses that work with the 4-thirds lens system). Like several previous Sigma digital SLRs, the SD1 has the unique and very interesting Foveon light sensor that actually meters all three major frequencies of light (red, green, blue) at every single pixel location. In other words, the Sigma foveon system actually sees in color, not in black and white like Canon, Nikon and Olympus with their Bayer-array sensors, which merely use transparent colored filters in a kind of checkerboard arrangement on the sensor in order to try to guess what the real color should be in the pixels surrounding each pixel. It's clumsy. While the Foveon sensor is not perfect (ask any fanatic Canon or Nikon (CaNikon) user), it sees color more accurately and measures it for every single pixel without having to resort to interpolation, which seems very nice to me.

At any rate, there are several major and quite a few less-bought but probably no less effective or useful or satisfying alternatives for digital SLR's. So David, just have fun learning about them and choosing one! And don't worry too much about making a bad choice. They all copy each other in may ways anyway, and they all work pretty good. Besides, it's not the camera that takes a great photo, but instead the photographer. :D
By Briar
Posts:  43
Joined:  Fri Feb 26, 2010 3:24 pm
IMHO, focus the majority of your funding on lens selection... with the major brands, camera bodies are backwards compatible for quite a few years.

So while you may find the body becomes "obsolete" in 5 years the lenses you buy will stay with you for many years and bodies to come.

Plus a high dollar body with an el-cheapo lens still takes crappy pics.... good glass is where your money will go if your wanting sharp images with ambient light and good Bokeh.

With all that being said, I've always chosen Canon or Nikon, with Canon being my usual first choice

Here is a great website that rates Canon lenses: ... enses.html

(one exception to the rule is the low cost Canon f1.8 50mm @ 125USD-ish, lovingly known as the "nifty fifty"

Vendor recommendation:

Image below was taken with the "Nifty fifty" mounted on a Canon 25mm extension tube:
A very versatile, low budget combination... without the tube it's a great portrait/general purpose lens... with an extension tube it does very respectable "macro" shots.

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By Steve_D
Posts:  3913
Joined:  Tue Nov 18, 2008 5:06 pm
Another camera I have been interested in is Panasonic's Lumix line of micro four-thirds format cameras. They are like Digital SLRs except that they don't have the flipping mirror (I'm using "flipping" in its literal sense, of course!). :) Instead, the optical viewfinder has been replaced by a direct view of the light sensor itself, either by way of the LCD screen on the camera's back or in many cases, an integrated or optional electronic viewfinder.

These cameras are very compact and relatively lightweight because of the lack of the mirror and the glass pentaprism (and the room inside the camera that they require) and at the same time, these micro four-thirds cameras offer the great lens choices (instead of a single fixed lens like most compact digital cameras) and lens interchangeability of digital SLR's. In addition, they are generally a lot cheaper than full-sized digital SLR cameras. They are a very interesting development in camera technology.

Check out DP review for micro four-thirds cameras by Panasonic and Olympus.
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