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10-12-2010, 07:50 PM   #1
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Opinion needed for recommending 1st DSLR for a friend

Hi guys, I am not sure if this is the right sub forum for this topic, if mod think it would be better somewhere else please move at will.

Friend of mine is getting his 1st DSLR, and he's asking for my opinion on which one to get.

His only experience with DSLR was with my K-x with a Tokina 24-200 superzoom attached in P mode for 4 days and 1k+ exposures. He said he's happy with the feature of K-x and the picture he took with it, but he's got big hands so K-x is simply too small for him to hold comfortably.

He's budget is around AUD$1300, but can extend to $1600 if needed.

What he want is

1. Bigger body so he can hold it comfortably.
2. Not to heavy
3. Prefer twin lens kit for the money but love the convinience of superzoom.

He haven't the time to try anything out yet so he ask me to give some advice on what he can get for his budget.

I have come up with a few options base on my research and limited experience:
1. Canon 500D twin lens 18-55/55-250 kit for $1200 which includes bag/tripod/card etc(he saw this deal in his local store but I am not convinced this one is really good value for money)

2. My personal thought is K-7 w/ Sigma 18-200 for $1599, and other accesories on top. Problem is price of the BG4 is $435 so it will blow his budget, he will have to hold the camera himself to see if it fits without the grip...

3. Nikon D90 w/ 18-105 VR kit for $1472.00 and other accessories on top. I've no experience with this one so I don't know, spec wise I think it's fine.

4. Canon 50D with 17-85 IS USM for $1600. Saw this in my local camera store and fits his budget so I thought I'd mention it as well...

So, any thoughts? pros cons of each option?

10-12-2010, 08:48 PM   #2
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D90 + 18-105mm is a very nice proposition. D90's sensor is better than those of the two Canons and the k-7. (Sigma 18-200mm, on the other hand, isn't quite the best megazoom.) But since it's going to be his first dslr, why not a K-x? Or the new K-r?
10-12-2010, 08:53 PM   #3
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Option 3 is my favour as Nikon has the best meter & flash which will be a big + for newbies. D90 is good size too.

500D & K7 have small bodies and I am not a big fan of putting super zoom on top end bodies. IMHO money could have been better spent. There is nothing wrong with option 4 but #3 is better imho.
10-12-2010, 09:21 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by causey Quote
D90 + 18-105mm is a very nice proposition. D90's sensor is better than those of the two Canons and the k-7. (Sigma 18-200mm, on the other hand, isn't quite the best megazoom.) But since it's going to be his first dslr, why not a K-x? Or the new K-r?
I was originally thinking K-7 w/ 18-55 WR for $1300 then buy a Tamron 18-200 off ebay for $250 for convinience, in which case he will have a fully WR kit and something he can just mount and go.

Like I say, he said K-x is way too small for him.

10-12-2010, 09:34 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by wlachan Quote
Option 3 is my favour as Nikon has the best meter & flash which will be a big + for newbies. D90 is good size too.

500D & K7 have small bodies and I am not a big fan of putting super zoom on top end bodies. IMHO money could have been better spent. There is nothing wrong with option 4 but #3 is better imho.
So D90 got a bigger body than K-7? i didn't know that, thanks for the info.

He actually specifically asked for a superzoom because he's got experience with my K-x and a 24-200 superzoom and loved it, but maybe I should talk him out of it because I've been there and soon realised superzooms just don't do the resolution power of DSLRs justice.

So on paper, D90 w/ 18-105VR is the better option?
10-12-2010, 09:47 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by elpolodiablo Quote
So on paper, D90 w/ 18-105VR is the better option?
That would be my pick. It's a good zoom too with decent range.
10-12-2010, 11:56 PM   #7
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i use K-x but i played with D90 and i liked it (except the size, for me K-x works best). Your friend will be happy with d90's size, viewfinder (illuminated points, pentaprism) and LCD screed after having the K-x experience (also have AF assist lamp), but can find buttons position weird (i know i did after using Pentax, seems more convenient the way K-x have those). My friend liked more the unprocessed pictures straight from K-x than those from D90 on the other hand.
10-13-2010, 05:22 AM   #8
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But, in any case, avoid the 18-200mm. If he has to have a megazoom, tell him to get the Tamron 18-250mm (produced in all mounts).

10-13-2010, 05:53 AM   #9
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Add one more vote for Nikon D90... If you convince your friend to forgo the super zoom and go for Tamron 17-50/2.8 in its stead, you can count my vote as two .
10-13-2010, 06:06 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Boris Quote
Add one more vote for Nikon D90... If you convince your friend to forgo the super zoom and go for Tamron 17-50/2.8 in its stead, you can count my vote as two .
lol Tammy 17-50 f2.8 is indeed very nice, I would have bought one if I didn't get my DA35 f2.8 Macro.

I imagine it will work well with D90 too, but the VC version is over $700 so again it will be over his budget
10-13-2010, 06:11 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by causey Quote
But, in any case, avoid the 18-200mm. If he has to have a megazoom, tell him to get the Tamron 18-250mm (produced in all mounts).
for Pentax Mount it will work because of in body SR, but the 18-270 VC version is around $850....the total cost for a Nikon kit will be pushing $2k....
10-13-2010, 06:17 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by StepOne Quote
i use K-x but i played with D90 and i liked it (except the size, for me K-x works best). Your friend will be happy with d90's size, viewfinder (illuminated points, pentaprism) and LCD screed after having the K-x experience (also have AF assist lamp), but can find buttons position weird (i know i did after using Pentax, seems more convenient the way K-x have those). My friend liked more the unprocessed pictures straight from K-x than those from D90 on the other hand.
Thanks for sharing your experience, well it all comes down to how my friend like the camera in his hands I guess.
10-13-2010, 06:32 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by elpolodiablo Quote
for Pentax Mount it will work because of in body SR, but the 18-270 VC version is around $850....the total cost for a Nikon kit will be pushing $2k....
I didn't say "18-270mm," but "18-250mm" ($280 for Nikon on Amazon-US). The 18-270 is optically weaker than the 18-250mm.
10-13-2010, 06:39 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by elpolodiablo Quote
lol Tammy 17-50 f2.8 is indeed very nice, I would have bought one if I didn't get my DA35 f2.8 Macro.

I imagine it will work well with D90 too, but the VC version is over $700 so again it will be over his budget
There is still a non-VC version which has more than reasonable cost.
10-13-2010, 06:52 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by causey Quote
I didn't say "18-270mm," but "18-250mm" ($280 for Nikon on Amazon-US). The 18-270 is optically weaker than the 18-250mm.
Righto, thanks for the clarification, so price wise he will be fine, wonder if the lack of VC will make a difference though.
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