Best digital cameras ~$1000?

Discussion in 'Australia Photography' started by Jeßus, Sep 5, 2008.

  1. Jeßus

    Jeßus Guest

    (Might prove to be a constructive/useful thread - you never know!)

    My (somewhat aging) Nikon 5400's focusing on anything but wide angle is
    not the best - more often than not, everything is out of focus.

    So it seems like a good time to buy a new camera... the Nikon is about 5
    years old now anyway.

    Budget-wise, I suppose around $800-$1200.

    Looking for suggestions on the best SLR and non-SLR digitals within that
    price range.

    I really liked the 5400, as it offers full manual control (this is
    important)and was still fairly compact.

    I'm leaning towards an SLR - if only for lens interchangeability but
    will still consider non-SLR models with the right features.

    Jeßus, Sep 5, 2008
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  2. Jeßus

    Noons Guest

    Jeßus wrote,on my timestamp of 5/09/2008 2:11 PM:
    Just got this one: small.jpg
    and I am veeeery happy!

    Just kidding. I suppose you're in Australia?
    If so, then try one of the online resellers: they
    do good prices and offer usually a one year warranty
    required by law. I got my d80 that way and it hasn't
    missed a beat since.
    dslrs at that price range, quite a few with kit
    lenses. What makes a dslr a good idea is the possibility
    of multiple lenses. If you are not planning on going
    for that at all, then just skip dslrs and go for a Fuji S100
    or similar. Plenty of material to look at in dpreview
    and other sites.
    Noons, Sep 5, 2008
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  3. Jeßus

    Jeßus Guest

    Yep, Australia.
    I'll shop around - I'm leaning much more towards an dSLR for the reasons
    you have outlined. Most of my film cameras were Contax SLRs - but I know
    better than even look at any digitals Contax may make due to the cost...
    I used to be quite serious about my photography years ago but not so
    these days (thankfully), so something like a nice, basic dSLR and a
    couple of lenses should see me right.

    Jeßus, Sep 6, 2008
  4. Jeßus

    Noons Guest

    Jeßus wrote,on my timestamp of 6/09/2008 10:27 AM:

    Heaps of good stuff around. There are good kits from
    Pentax, Nikon, Canon and Oly. Even Sony is getting into
    the kit game. Same basic rules apply as back in the film
    days: if you're going for a system slr, pick the lens system
    first then the camera body. Any of the brands I mentioned
    fall into that category, with pixel-peeper level differences
    between them, quite frankly.

    If I had to nitpick between them, I'd say Pentax does a good
    job with raw and lousy with jpg, Oly is the opposite and has very
    good but very expensive lenses, Canon has utter crap cheapo stuff
    and rip snorting good - but expensive - top of the line, Nikon
    has very good bodies while still improving on lenses while Sony
    has the best lenses in the Zeiss range - at a clear price
    premium. And before anyone else jumps in, don't forget Sigma
    with the foveon sensor: still one of the best ideas for digital.
    There: just to make it easy for you! :)

    Seriously: go to a big dealer and get to handle examples
    of each of the above, pick two or three. Then go to
    dpreview or cameralabs and see the details of each of those.
    Then pick the one you feel comfortable with. Go out and
    make lots of photos: hope it works out for you.
    Noons, Sep 6, 2008
  5. Jeßus

    Doug Jewell Guest

    I'll second that - they are all good cameras these days -
    range of lenses is probably the key difference.
    Good thing about Pentax/Samsung (same thing just rebadged)
    is that the kit lenses are better than other brands.
    Pentax/Samsung is the only kit 18-55 that doesn't have a
    rotating front element, has a metal mount, has a hood with
    recess for adjusting polarisers. Optically it's a solid
    performer for a kit lens too. There's a lot to like about
    the Pentax kit. The cameras are well featured for the price.
    Autofocus is a little on the slow side (compared to Canon
    for example), but is very accurate. The bodies are very
    customisable and handle extremely well.
    My main dislike of the Oly gear is that it is technically at
    a dead end because of the small sensor. This will always
    keep it one step behind the other brands which have larger
    sensors. Oly cameras have more noise at higher ISO's than
    the others. I'm not impressed with their menuing system and
    performance either.
    I wouldn't say the cheap stuff is utter crap - it's not
    fantastic sure but I wouldn't say utter crap. The cameras
    themselves, even at entry level, are quite well featured.
    Probably the only lens I'd call utter crap is the standard
    18-55 kit lens. Get the 18-55IS though and it is quite
    acceptible (although still with annoying rotating front
    element, and plastic mount).
    I would say forget about any Nikon body below the D80. The
    D40/D40x/D60 take ok photos, but they are so badly crippled
    that I would steer well clear. They can only use auto-focus
    on a handful of lenses, and lack key features such as
    exposure bracketing. D80 upwards though are very good cameras.
    Sony bodies are quite solidly made, and very well featured
    for the money. There is a slightly limited choice of lenses
    though. Oh and BTW, there are only 4 Zeiss lenses for Sony
    (and of those 4, it would appear that at least the 85/1.4 -
    probably others - is actually a Minolta design). There are
    more Zeiss lenses available in Nikon and Pentax mounts than
    in Sony mount.
    The concept of Foveon has potential, but current
    implementations leave a lot to be desired. Plus, regardless
    of the sensor, the Sigma SLRs have a few other warts in
    their operation.
    I agree with this - don't spend too much time measurebating
    over the specs. All current cameras have a few areas where
    they fall short of perfection, but at the same time they
    will all deliver excellent results. I would consider how it
    feels in the hand and how it feels for you, to be a far more
    important consideration than whether it's better than some
    other brand by some poofteenth of a measurement.
    Doug Jewell, Sep 7, 2008
  6. Jeßus

    Noons Guest

    Doug Jewell wrote,on my timestamp of 7/09/2008 8:49 PM:

    Pentax and Samsung seem to have same bodies, but the lenses
    in the case of the Samsung get the Schneider-K label.
    Are they really different - as in high quality S-K - in the
    Samsung or is it just a label?

    Yeah, but I'd kill for those 4! :)
    Been playing around with a Sonnar 180/2.8 and
    a Flekkie 50/4 on 6X6 and the darn things are
    absolutely mind-blowing. Will post some examples
    on the Sonnar later. I'm getting totally sold on
    this Zeiss stuff. Only Leica makes better stuff,
    IMHO but it hurts the wallet big time!

    Thanx for the additional comments.
    Noons, Sep 7, 2008
  7. Jeßus

    rb Guest

    Doug Jewell wrote:
    so for someone with legacy MF nikon glass, who doesn't want to put out
    the readies for a full frame sensor D3, how does something like the Fuji
    S5 Pro stack up against it's Nikon equivalent?

    rb, Sep 7, 2008
  8. Jeßus

    Noons Guest

    rb wrote,on my timestamp of 7/09/2008 10:51 PM:
    you gonna open up a can of worms with that one!

    If you listen to dpreview, it's worthless.
    If you listen to anyone who has actually used it,
    it's one of the best things since sliced bread.
    go figure?

    have a look at Thom Hogan's review: his is probably
    the best balanced out there. I'd say: a 6MP camera
    on steroids. But which can handle highlights like
    no other camera can. Is it worth the switch from
    a D200? For me, no. For wedding photographers,
    apparently so: they are by far the biggest buyers of
    the thing because of the excellent skin tones.

    I'd look at a D200 - runout prices soon - or even
    cough up for a D300? epay for a D700?
    Noons, Sep 7, 2008
  9. Jeßus

    Doug Jewell Guest

    The samsung lenses are identical to the Pentax lenses except
    for the text written on them and the colour of the stripe on
    the body (Pentax Green, Samsung Blue), and _possibly_ in the
    anti-flare coatings (my pentax branded stuff gives a vibe of
    being a little more flare resistant than the samsung branded
    stuff, but I haven't scientifically tested it). The SK name
    is just that, a name. Mind you, even the kit lenses are
    probably worthy of the SK name - they aren't stellar
    performers, but considering the price bracket they are
    playing in, optically they outperform all of the other
    budget kit lenses, and the build quality is superb. You pay
    many times the price to get equivalent build quality in
    anything else.
    Doug Jewell, Sep 8, 2008
  10. Jeßus

    Jeßus Guest

    Thanks for the detailed reply Noons.

    That is a bit of a worry what you say about Pentax and the way it
    handles jpg, as thats the format I use 95% of the time. Something to
    look into...

    I have none of my old film gear anymore (wish I kept all the
    Contax/Zeiss gear in hindsight) so can consider any of brands.

    Jeßus, Sep 8, 2008
  11. Jeßus

    Jeßus Guest

    Quite a few years have passed now, so I suppose the technology has
    matured to the point where they're all quite good now.
    That is useful info to me, as I was never much of a Pentax fan in the
    'old' days. I also still like to use polarisers, so based on what you
    say, this is another plus for Pentax these days.

    The only thing that bothers me is what Noons says about Pentax and jpg

    Hmm... noted!

    Thanks for the input :)
    Jeßus, Sep 8, 2008
  12. Jeßus

    Mr.T Guest

    And even more so, I would say it depends far more on how you use it, just
    how good your actual photo's will be.
    Many photographers can instantly turn the greatest camera into a "piece of

    Mr.T, Sep 8, 2008
  13. Jeßus

    Noons Guest

    Jeßus wrote,on my timestamp of 8/09/2008 2:27 PM:

    Keep both raw and jpeg - I think pentax can do that - for
    those 5% when you really need the raw because you're not happy
    with the in-camera jpg.

    Note: I said the differences are really in the "nit-pick" or
    "pixel-peeper" territory. dpreview has some good examples
    of the possible problems with in-camera jpg. Unless those become
    a real worry for you, I wouldn't fuss too much.

    you naughty boy!
    Noons, Sep 8, 2008
  14. Jeßus

    rb Guest

    cheers, the article made for an interesting read.

    rb, Sep 12, 2008
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