Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Searching for a DSLR

I am on the journey to find a good, affordable DSLR. This is like finding a wife. In that one i had God's help, i hope here also i get some. I am damn confused.

Once upon a time i was sure, i wanted a Canon DSLR. Only question was which one, which can be easily answered by looking at my bank balance.

Then confusion entered my life in the shape of my collegue, Nil. He is a good photographer. He also uses Canon S5 IS, my current camera. He was hell-bent on buying a Pentax camera. "If you can get the same quality at low price, why go for Canon?" This is his question. Monday, he went ahead and put the order for a Pentax K20D.Today, he showed me this comparison on a supposedly fair site:

Now, if i had to go from Canon to Nikon (not the one in the pic) there might not have been much thought -cos i have heard a lot about Nikon. But Pentax??

1) Havent heard much about this brand.
2) Searching about Pentax seems like learning a new language.
3) Many of my favorite photographers use Canon/Nikon.

In canon i had set my mind on 450D, but Feby has influenced me towards 40D. The logic was, why go for a camera with 3fps when you can go 6.5 fps.
But the 40D is almost 250-300$ more than 450D. And it comes with a kit lens i am not too impressed with.

The kit lens is Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Lens.

Then i looked at Canon EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens. This has an awesome focus range (11x) and can avoid lens changes in travel.
But it seems to have some at 18mm there is barrel distortion. (straight things look a little curved)
And the bokeh is also not nice.

All the good zoom lenses in Canon for general purpose seem to be very pricey. (Photography is not a cheap hobby)

I wanted atleast one good genral purpose lens and one good portrait lens. (Next in my wishlist is a good macro lens..may be a 100mm to take butterflies)
So the search for lens continues..

With 450 D, i could take these lenses:
450 D and 18-55 639.00
EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS 225.15
Actual price 864.15
Rebated Price 825.00

Choices with 40 D
40 D-Body 859
with 28-135 lens 1059

EF-S 18–200mm f/3.5–5.6 IS 575 (which is looking uninteresting now)

Portrait Lens Choices (i have limited myself to < 500$ lenses)
Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens 355
Canon EF 100mm f/2.0 USM 395
Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 USM Lens 384
Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Lens 320

Still searching for a General purpose lens...

One thing i have discovered is that Camera purchase doesnt have to be on Thanksgiving.
But Canon gives some discount during fall-winter (Nov-Jan) time. It may be prudent to take benefit from that.


  1. Regarding the camera selection, I would suggest you to go with a camera which was being reviewed and has a strong background. Most of the current flaws/issues with Canon/Nikon have been identified.
    When you select some brand like Pentax, you are on your own (May be with few ppl with you).
    Another issue is with the choice of lenses. With Canon/Nikon you have lot of proven lenses. Third party lenses will be mostly common. But you will miss the Canon own 50mm f/1.8 kinda lenses. While choosing a lens for Pentax, you will again have a confusion and will most likely stay away from Pentax lenses.

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  3. Think you should have included 50 mm f/1.8 (85$).
    Its a wonderful lens.

    The diff between 1.4 and 1.8 is not at all justified by the price diff (350$ & 85$)

    Am personally planning to buy 1.4 even though my lens current covers the mm.

  4. A good Macro lens will serve as a good portrait lens also (With Exceptions).
    One suggestion is Canon EF-S 60mm Macro(~400).
    Canon EF 100mm Macro is also good. But, its a portrait lens for full frame camera and for cropped sensors, it would act as a limited portrait lens.