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Occasional Contributor
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎11-16-2012

Lens or Camera first? Lens suggestions?

I am looking to jump into the DSLR market.  I am upgrading from a SX10 IS point and shoot which I use fairly exclusively in manual settings.  I am looking to get into many different types of photography including: landscape, time lapse, star trail, action sports (both indoor and outdoor), and a general goto camera.

 

I do not work as a professional by any means, nor do I get out every weekend to shoot pictures.  However, in the coming years, I will be doing a lot of traveling (camping, touring other cities, backpacking, etc) so it will get used a lot more heavily.  I am looking to try and keep the whole purchase under 2k.

 

I have read many posts across the internet on the subject saying one side or the other.  I also have read rumors of new cameras coming out in early 2013.  I have family members that already have canon lenses that I could borrow, I just dont know which ones they exactly have.  Eventually I would be looking to make my own collection though.

 

Cameras that I have been considering are the 7d,60d, or the t4i.

 

I like the shooting speed of the 7d and can afford the cost, but will have to settle with the kit lens that comes with it for a while.

 

I like the 60D because I have heard a lot of good reviews on the image quality and the pictures I have seen of sky photography.  (I know this has a lot to do with the lens as well).

 

Then the t4i because of it realatively inexpensiveness and I could buy an extra lens or 2.


I would like to keep my sx10 but can trade it in for the loyalty program maybe?

jfo
Super Contributor
Posts: 280
Registered: ‎11-12-2012

Re: Lens or Camera first? Lens suggestions?


@Ewellman wrote:
I also have read rumors of new cameras coming out in early 2013.

There will always be rumors of new camera coming out, so I think you just have to bite the bullet and buy when its a good time for you. 


@Ewellman wrote:

 

Cameras that I have been considering are the 7d,60d, or the t4i.

 

I like the shooting speed of the 7d and can afford the cost, but will have to settle with the kit lens that comes with it for a while.

 

I like the 60D because I have heard a lot of good reviews on the image quality and the pictures I have seen of sky photography.  (I know this has a lot to do with the lens as well).

 

Then the t4i because of it realatively inexpensiveness and I could buy an extra lens or 2.


I would like to keep my sx10 but can trade it in for the loyalty program maybe?


 

I think you have a pretty good evaluation of your options, and the benefits and tradeoffs of each model in terms of capability and opportunity cost.  Good catch also on knowing your family members and any lenses they have are an excellent resource to keep in mind.

 

My first question is to find out what they have.  If they have a wide assortment, I'd recommend that you can opt for a 'better' camera/body sooner.  Otherwise, I think its a great idea to start with a T4i.  In the whole scheme of things, its a very inexpensive body, and the money you save to put towards building up your own collection of great lenses will be worth it.

As a professional now, I started out with a T2i back when it was the newest T#i.  I used this as an opportunity to get used to the Canon user interface for the manual settings that I understood already (coming from a video background).  It sounds like you will have a similar situation.  Then, I worked on developing my creative eye, and using and understanding the capabilities of different 'cheaper' lenses (the kit 18-55mm and a 55-250mm telephoto, then soon after the 'nifty-fifty' -- you'll understand these references after your first few months with a DSLR). 

 

As I started hitting roadblocks due to lens capabilties/specs, I figured out what I couldn't do that I wanted, what lens could help me with that, and began investing in "good glass".  I borrowed a better camera/body a few times in the past two years, but it literally was not until last month when I finally upgraded from my T2i. 

 

Any decent body/camera will do when it comes help you with the to the most important part of photography: seeing good shots.  Better lenses give you more ways/options of "seeing". Arguably, a camera could too, but I think more accurately, it should be said that it just helps more consistantly capture what you see and are inspired by.

 

To use an analogy: its like learning how to drive.  You want something reliable and capable to start -- you learn the basic features of the equipment and also the rules of the road.  Then, you can get a "nicer" car and appreciate what makes it nice. (Lenses don't fit very well into this analogy... Smiley Tongue)

 

Occasional Contributor
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎11-16-2012

Re: Lens or Camera first? Lens suggestions?

 

Would you recomend either of these to start with?  I do a sport called kayak polo, so I usually have to stand on land and shoot out onto a lake (about 30-40 meters out)

Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM Lens

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM Telephoto Zoom Lens

 

or this being a little cheaper and then can get maybe 1-2 more on top?

Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM Lens

 

any recomendations?

Frequent Contributor
Posts: 68
Registered: ‎11-11-2012

Re: Lens or Camera first? Lens suggestions?

If you don't mind buying used, the 50D is an excellent camera and can be purchased for around $500 and free up some money for better lenses. 

 

I would recommend the 70-200mm f/4 IS over the non-IS f/4 and f/2.8, it is the newest and sharpest of the three. The 100-400mm would be a better choice for the kayak polo.

 

 

 

 

Occasional Contributor
Posts: 14
Registered: ‎11-16-2012

Re: Lens or Camera first? Lens suggestions?

I've owned the 70-200ƒ4 and if I were starting out today, I would suggest checking out the 70-300L. It's as sharp as the 70-200 and gives you that extra 100mm. The IS is superb. I can get sharp images hand held at 1/50 of a second at 300mm. I have 3 other L lenses and this is as sharp as any of the others including prime lenses.

Occasional Contributor
Posts: 14
Registered: ‎11-14-2012

Re: Lens or Camera first? Lens suggestions?

[ Edited ]

"There will always be rumors of new camera coming out, so I think you just have to bite the bullet and buy when its a good time for you."

 

That's true with ANY technology - Ipods, game consoles, computers, television sets - it will all eventually get replaced by a newer, sexier thing. Usually just as soon as you open it and lose the reciept. (:

 

As for the Lens or Camera question, honestly I think we've reached the point where cameras will not get much nicer until the next quantum leap in technology. The megapixel arms race is nothing but snake oil - really, beyond 12 or so megapixels you're not going to see much improvement unless you're blowing your prints up to billboard size - and too many megapixels can actually degrade the quality.

 

I would go with the lens first. Get yourself a couple of nice prime lenses (like a 35mm, and a 50mm) and perhaps a zoom lens (like a 70-300mm) and you're golden. With 2 grand, you could get a pretty sweet setup with just those lenses and a moderate camera body.

New Contributor
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎11-15-2012

Re: Lens or Camera first? Lens suggestions?

There are many ways that you can go. The one that I would not recommend would be to be stuck with the kit lens. Buy a cheaper camera than you can afford and then add some accessories that make you enjoy the camera more. If you don't like the design of the brand new cameras in your price range, look at used. A 40D is a great camera at a bargain price if you don't care about video. Another amazing deal out there is the 5D classic. Smiley Happy

 

Specific things to buy in my opinion would be a faster prime lens (50 1.8, 28 1.8 or 85 1.8 or a macro) that you think may fit your shooting style. Then get a flash. Something that you can swivel and point at a wall and learn to use bounce flash. 

 

Best of luck! Smiley Happy

Seattle wedding photographer Cory Parris
http://coryparris.com
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎11-14-2012

Re: Lens or Camera first? Lens suggestions?

[ Edited ]
fo wrote:

There will always be rumors of new camera coming out, so I think you just have to bite the bullet and buy when its a good time for you.


... and if you're on a budget, at least wait a couple of month until backorders are filled and the "early adopters premium" is cut from the price - the $2099 of the 6d seem to be set so it can drop under the psychologically important $2k barrier in no time to be more competitive to the Nikon d600.
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 14
Registered: ‎11-14-2012

Re: Lens or Camera first? Lens suggestions?

Most importantly these days is my Canon lenses. They will most likely outlive my Canon body and will be used on the next Canon body upgrade. I have my favorites but they all serve a use, I selected them for those purposes. I'll most likely be in a holding pattern with the 5D MkIII for awhile, it's a fine camera but a little more than your budget for now. I'm not going to suggest a camera but do some research on what features are important and if you want a crop or fullframe. I'm personally going to suggest more of your emphasis on the lens that would serve you well for your type of photography. As you progress in camera bodies the lenses can follow you. Additionally as you dial in your specific needs you can fine tune your lenses of choice. My camera bodies come and go with more frequency than the lenses. Someday in the near future I'll be upgrading to a 1-series body. I had the 1D X on a pre-order but as it kept being pushed further out for release I picked up the 5D MkIII which has a very similar AF system, almost identical, and will serve me well for many years to come. I'll be looking at the next generation 1-series in the future. If you like crop cameras and they suit your shooting preferences the 7D is a superb camera and will fit into your budget. Do consider a good lens with great IQ. The most important factor is the one behind the camera, great gear without the skills really won't suffice..

 

Regards, Will G.
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 23
Registered: ‎11-14-2012

Re: Lens or Camera first? Lens suggestions?

You can rent all three bodies for a week. Expect to pay between $55-$75 each. Try them all then decide what works best for you. Good luck.

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