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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've never used a camera any more sophisticated than an inexpensive point and shoot or my iPhone. I'd like to be able to take nice photos of my tanks, fish, shrimp, etc, so I'm looking for some suggestions for a DSLR camera for a beginner. Any good brands/models that are easy enough for a beginner to get a handle on? I'm not looking for top of the line, most complex, most sophisticated equipment, but something that is easy to learn and takes good aquarium photos and close up photos.

I read the Beginner's Guide to Aquarium Photography sticky and it was very informative. I'll definitely have to refer back to it from time to time.

Thanks in advance for any help!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'm looking at a couple bundles for the 70D. One of them comes with a .45x Super Wide Angle Lens with Macro. Another bundle comes with .43x Wide Angle Lens. Doesn't say anything about macro.

Would the .45x Super Wide Angle Lens with Macro be the one I want?
 

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I'm looking at a couple bundles for the 70D. One of them comes with a .45x Super Wide Angle Lens with Macro. Another bundle comes with .43x Wide Angle Lens. Doesn't say anything about macro.

Would the .45x Super Wide Angle Lens with Macro be the one I want?
That sounds like an adapter that goes on the lens that the camera comes with and allows you to widen the view or do close-ups. It might not be bad but generally speaking those type of things decrease Image Quality. The true macro lenses for your camera I believe are the 60mm and the 100mm. Those won't come in a kit you need to buy those separately. The true macros are also fast lens (low F number) that allow you to take pictures with less light and fast shutter speed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
That sounds like an adapter that goes on the lens that the camera comes with and allows you to widen the view or do close-ups. It might not be bad but generally speaking those type of things decrease Image Quality. The true macro lenses for your camera I believe are the 60mm and the 100mm. Those won't come in a kit you need to buy those separately. The true macros are also fast lens (low F number) that allow you to take pictures with less light and fast shutter speed.
Oh ok, thanks. Yeah this is definitely an adapter that screws on to the lens.

This bundle appears to be only $200-$300 more than a body only (plus one lens, maybe). The bundle comes with like 19 or so things, including tripods, bags, memory cards and readers, and a bunch of other stuff.

Would it make sense to buy the bundle, and then buy the true macro lens separately? Rather than buy the body only for a couple hundred less, and then the macro separately? (Hope this question makes sense)

Edit to add: Oh my, those macro lens ain't cheap!
 

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You'll definitely want an overall lens for most of your photography. Those cameras usually come with I think the 18-135 or an 18-55. Those are good for most general photography and then you buy more glass (lens) for what your interested in like macro, larger telephoto, etc. Yes glass can run more then the camera depending on what you want to do. The 60mm Macro is a very good lens and not crazy expensive. I've had that lens and used it for many fish pics. Many of the macros also are great for portrait photography where you blur out the background and focus on a person or face. Those other items that you mentioned like tripods, bags, memory cards, etc are usually low-end stuff that they throw into a bundle. Not to say they'll bad, but you can buy those separately as you feel you need them and get better quality. But if your on a budget it might not be a bad deal.
 

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I'm looking at a couple bundles for the 70D. One of them comes with a .45x Super Wide Angle Lens with Macro. Another bundle comes with .43x Wide Angle Lens. Doesn't say anything about macro.

Would the .45x Super Wide Angle Lens with Macro be the one I want?
I always check dprview for advice.. ;)
2016 Roundup: Interchangeable Lens Cameras $500-800: Digital Photography Review
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/2016-round-up-interchangeable-lens-cameras-under-500

Personally, I've always used Pentax products but have a definite "want" for Nikon. Just have too much in glass for Pentax at the present..

DSLR's r like cars and computers.. high depreciation and short technology turn around..

Glass is forever (well sometimes. unless they screw you and change mounts..)

https://www.keh.com/shop/cameras/digital-cameras/dslr/nikon.html


Point is pick up a used body but good glass..
http://www.nikonusa.com/en/learn-and-explore/article/gnhy8b3m/macro-lenses.html

http://www.adorama.com/NK5018SE.html?gclid=CKT7l_j3ss0CFYQ2gQodOdINEg
http://www.adorama.com/NK4028U.html?gclid=CJHR0ZH4ss0CFUI6gQodwEkMdA
http://www.adorama.com/INKD5500BKR.html?gclid=CMOOybr2ss0CFZQjgQodAUwO5w
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
This bundle comes with a 18-55mm lens, a 55-250mm lens, a telephoto lens (58mm 2x), the super wide angle with macro (adapter), 58mm UV protector filter, auto power slave flash, 8GB & 16GB SDHC cards, tripod & table top tripod, 3-piece filter kit (UV,CPL, FLD), camera case and a backpack, memory card wallet, uSB card reader, and LCD screen protector.

Grand total of $1249. Now, I've never used cameras like these, so is the Canon 70D easy-ish to learn and figure out? Maybe this bundle would be good to get started and comfortable with, and then like you said, expand to more glass for what I'm interested in?

Yeah, I saw some 60mm macros that were a lot less expensive than the 100mm.
 

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That's probably not a bad way to go. You can learn how to use the stuff, see what kind of pics you can get with the adapters, etc. All the other stuff you'll certainly use, like the tripod, SD Cards, case, etc. Lens hold their value pretty well, so you can always for example sell the 55-250 if your not using it a lot and put the money toward something else.
 

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I'm a Canon snob, so I'm bias. LOL

If you're a complete newbie to photography and DSLRs, a entry level Canon would work for you. They're not complicated and easy to figure out. If you want a camera to grow into, then go with the 70D.

If I had to suggest a lens, I'd say go with the 50mm. I have a 1.4 and it is my go-to lens. If forces a person to get close and think about what they are shooting before pushing the shutter button.

Whatever you decide to buy, go check out the camera first at a store somewhere. Not all cameras feel the same way in the hands, just as everybody has different sized hands. If you end up buying a camera that feels awkward, the button placement doesn't agree with your hands, ect... you won't enjoy using it and won't be willing to learn how to use it to it's fullest potential.


This is one of these things that is rarely mentioned in reviews.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks everyone. I'll head up to Best Buy tomorrow and get my hands on some cameras to get a feel for them.

I'm sure I'll have even more questions!
 

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One more thing about camera choice, then I'm going to bed for real.

Not all lenses are the same, nor are all of them forward and backward compatible. Not to pick on any specific name brand, but Nikon is notorious of selling new camera bodies and lenses made for that body only.

If you buy a Canon body and regular Canon lenses, the lenses will work on any camera body you buy going forward. I don't think the L-Series is backward compatible because the new Canon's are much faster than the older ones, but they should be forward compatible.

Not trying to push you into a brand, it's just something else that you should seriously think about, especially if you buy a body that you plan to keep for a few years. Also beware of used digital cameras as they do have a lifespan of about 300K photos. A friend of mine that is a pro photographer has to buy a new camera once a year because he burns through them. I wanted his 5D when he bought his 7D, but he killed it and Canon told him it wasn't worth the cash to fix it.
 

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One more thing about camera choice, then I'm going to bed for real.

Not all lenses are the same, nor are all of them forward and backward compatible. Not to pick on any specific name brand, but Nikon is notorious of selling new camera bodies and lenses made for that body only.
Really??
In 2003, Canon introduced the EF-S lens mount, a derivative of the EF mount that is strictly for digital EOS cameras with APS-C sensors released after 2003. EF lenses can be mounted on EF-S bodies but EF-S lenses cannot be mounted on EF bodies. In October 2012, Canon introduced the EF-M lens mount, a derivative designed exclusively for mirrorless interchangeable-lens cameras (MILCs) with APS-C sensors. EF and EF-S lenses can be mounted on EF-M bodies via the optional Mount Adapter EF-EOS M.[1]
not to even mention the switch from the FD to the EF mount which made all FD lenses unusable except by adding image degrading secondary optics
Point is they all can screw w/ you... ;)

Actually maybe this is where I should plug Pentax...;)

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/2016-roundup-interchangeable-lens-cameras-500-800/12

Another feature that is quite useful for still capture is the K-S2’s sensor-shift image stabilization. The K-S2 is mechanically compatible with countless Pentax K-mount lenses going back decades, which is a huge advantage compared to the other cameras in this class. And of course, all of these lenses become stabilized when mounted on the K-S2.
The K-S2 is built around the decades-old K-mount, which means that the camera can accept a huge number of automatic and manual-focus lenses dating back to long before the advent of digital imaging“
But it does have its share of warts.. someday..;)
For these reasons, the K-S2 is not the best camera to buy if you intend on photographing action or moving subjects in general.
 

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LOL! Good luck trying to use a mirror less lens on a regular DSLR. That would be from any company, not just Canon. The technology may change at a later date. but for now, mirror less is the fad for all the tech junkies out there that have to have at least one of everything.

EDIT: Apparently I'm supposed to show Pentax some love ( my first real film camera was a Pentax. I still have it...) I thought it was appropriate to go see what Kai had to say about Pentax's latest. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oy3d6sVV9_g

Yes, having the ability to change fonts on the wonky screen is something all of use Canon and Nikon users have been deprived of. What would I do without more Comic Sans in my life? I don't know if Comic Sans is actually on there or not, but does it matter?
 

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Some of the smaller dslrs / mirrorless cameras don't have all the features of the full size ones. In this case for fish/photography some of these don't have high-end AF and it could be a more challenging to catch moving subjects like fish, sports, etc. Some also don't allow you to use the camera's flash as a trigger to Off Camera Flash. Off Camera Flash is really important in many cases to capture high quality fish photos.
 

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LOL! Good luck trying to use a mirror less lens on a regular DSLR. That would be from any company, not just Canon. The technology may change at a later date. but for now, mirror less is the fad for all the tech junkies out there that have to have at least one of everything.

EDIT: Apparently I'm supposed to show Pentax some love ( my first real film camera was a Pentax. I still have it...) I thought it was appropriate to go see what Kai had to say about Pentax's latest. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oy3d6sVV9_g

Yes, having the ability to change fonts on the wonky screen is something all of use Canon and Nikon users have been deprived of. What would I do without more Comic Sans in my life? I don't know if Comic Sans is actually on there or not, but does it matter?
Few need a FF DSLR camera..;) but it was a great running joke at Pentaxforums..
I always wondered what would come first.. cold fusion or a FF Pentax...;)
Pentax suffered major damage being bought by Hoya (and split off for cash later). Ricoh's acquiring of it may have finally helped a bit. Lost track after the Hoya gutting..
 

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This bundle comes with a 18-55mm lens, a 55-250mm lens, a telephoto lens (58mm 2x), the super wide angle with macro (adapter), 58mm UV protector filter, auto power slave flash, 8GB & 16GB SDHC cards, tripod & table top tripod, 3-piece filter kit (UV,CPL, FLD), camera case and a backpack, memory card wallet, uSB card reader, and LCD screen protector.

Grand total of $1249. Now, I've never used cameras like these, so is the Canon 70D easy-ish to learn and figure out? Maybe this bundle would be good to get started and comfortable with, and then like you said, expand to more glass for what I'm interested in?

Yeah, I saw some 60mm macros that were a lot less expensive than the 100mm.


Be careful with buying online. A lot of the online photo shops are very shady operations that will try to rip you off in various ways - one of the common ways is by selling you a imported ('grey market') camera, i.e. one intended to be sold in a market other than the US so it won't have a US warranty - then they'll call you up after you order it and offer to sell you their aftermarket warranty service - there are other methods . . . My general rule is that if the price is less than B&H or Adorama, it's probably too good to be true.


Also, regarding super bundles: they usually aren't a great deal because they usually are built around a few good pieces (70d, 18-55 IS and 55-250 are all good quality and good value pieces of kit), but many of the additional pieces are pretty junky quality that you will find you either don't use, or, in the case of the pieces you do use, are of such poor quality that you will want to upgrade soon.


I'd advise you to decide on a body (60d or 70d are both good choices), then decide what lenses you want and see what basic bundles are available with the lens and body you want, and just get the accessories you need to start out (bag, memory card, extra battery) - then start using your equipment and decide what other accessories you want - you probably don't need most of what's in that bundle. I have around $5k worth of gear, but it mostly comes down to body, lenses, tripod, and one filter (B+W CPL)- I don't use adaptor lenses or anything like that.


If you're going Canon (I'm also biased, shooting with an EOS-6D), I'd go with the 60mm EF-S macro for your fish. For other stuff, I had really good results with the Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 (non VC), but the Canon 18-55 IS is pretty good as well (and cheaper); if you want a longer lens, the Canon 55-250 IS and 70-300 IS are both good (the 75-300 is garbage), and the Tamron 70-300 VC is also good. If you want to start getting artistic, the Canon 50 f/1.8 is a great start.


-Justin

Bump:
If you buy a Canon body and regular Canon lenses, the lenses will work on any camera body you buy going forward. I don't think the L-Series is backward compatible because the new Canon's are much faster than the older ones, but they should be forward compatible.

All EF series lenses (including Ls) are compatible will all EF series bodies, which include every DSLR Canon has ever made. The only incompatibility is with EF-S series lenses, which cannot be used on full frame bodies. I used to have a 20 year old 50mm f/1.8 MK I, it worked great on my (then) brand new EOS-6D - a little slower than newer lenses with USM, but it worked just fine.


-Justin
 

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What are your thoughts on the Rebel T6i?
As far as I can tell the T6i should be comparable image quality to the 70D, and both should be a bit better than the 60D. That being said, all will be very good and it will probably be pretty difficult to tell any difference between them without getting very picky, although the 60D uses the 18.1 MP sensor that has been around for several years now, and the 24.2 MP sensor in the T6i is the newest APS-C sensor that they make, so it should be better. You won't notice significant differences in image quality without going to a full frame body.


What sets the XXD bodies apart from the Rebels is build quality and ergonomics. The XXD series has more physical controls, with the control wheel on the back, LCD on top, and more dedicated buttons. For slow, carefully staged shooting, this doesn't matter so much, but when shooting dynamic events, it is a huge help to know where all the controls are and be able to change almost any important parameter within two button presses. The XXDs are also a little tougher and larger than the Rebels, you'll probably notice this when you look at them in the store.


-Justin
 
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