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Callunna
Revolving Grey Blob


3044 Posts
Posted -  08/09/2011  :  18:15
... more like dreaming if I'm being truthful but say I had £800 - £1000 to spend on a new camera, what would I buy?

I've narrowed it down to the Canon EOS 600D or Sony A55 but there may be other models out there which are better.

I would want just one zoom lens to cover a wide range, because I can't be doing with faffing about changing lenses and probably dropping them, although I'm aware such a lens will adversely affect the picture quality to a small degree. But I'm not going to be turning professional photographer so it doesn't matter too much.

I would also need to include a good bag/case, plenty of memory and battery power in that price, perhaps even with a tripod thrown in. 

And would I dare buy it on tinterweb or should I play safe by going to a local shop? 


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Big Kev
Big


2650 Posts
Posted - 08/11/2011 : 12:29
rom http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canoneos600d/

Once again the EOS 600D doesn't officially replace the 550D, but instead slips comfortably into the range between it and the more enthusiast-orientated 60D. The two cameras look near-identical from the front - the 600D is just a fraction taller and wider, due mainly to the swivel-and-tilt screen, and it's a fraction heavier too (by about 40g / 1.4 oz). It's also now got a more obvious grip area for your left hand below the model badge.
Naturally, though, that articulated LCD results in more substantial changes on the back of the camera. The unit is hinged from the side, in signature Canon fashion, and takes up more space than before. So while the rear layout stays the same as the 550D,the 4-way controller's a little smaller and some buttons have moved across to the right. This in turn impinges slightly into the rear grip area, so Canon has created a highly sculpted channel to guide your thumb away from accidental button presses, and help provide a positive grasp on the camera. Note too that there's no space any more for the sensor below the eyepiece that the 550D uses to turn its display on and off.

One less easy-to-spot change is that the functions of the 550D's 'DISP' button have been divided up. The 600D now has an 'INFO' button in its position, which is used to cycle through the various information display options. There's now a separate button on the top-plate labelled 'DISP', which simply turns the screen on and off, effectively taking over the function of the 550D's eye sensor.

£529 with 18-135 lens on ebay from Hong Kong


Big Kev

It doesn't matter who you vote for, you always end up with the government. Go to Top of Page
Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 08/11/2011 : 12:51
Kev, I find the swivelling LCD very useful and have it on my G11 too. I wouldn't want the eye sensor of the 550D and prefer the manual DISP solution on the 600D.


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Callunna
Revolving Grey Blob


3044 Posts
Posted - 08/11/2011 : 13:18
Thanks BK. Very interesting website (snapsort.com). 

As you can imagine, my poor ole brain is quite addled after reading a multitude of reviews for just about every dslr in the £500-£800 price range. Many of the features described go way over my head.

Is it worth paying an extra ton for a flip-out screen and an extra on/off button? Anyone with any sense would say No. 

Looking at the comparison, it would seem the 550 has a faster startup, is around 30% smaller, has 10% less shutter lag (very important, I reckon) very slightly larger viewfinder, is 20% thinner, has marginally better image quality and is 10% lighter.

So it's just the swivel screen really where the 600 has the edge. Could I live without a swivel screen? I think I might survive. 

However...

Compare the Canon with the Nikon D90, and the Nikon comes out tops, with better battery life, more focus points ...  plus loads of other better features. And even though it's only 12mp, they reckon the image quality is better - which is what it's all about, as I'm sure we all agree?

So then you can't resist finding out what the snapsort website folk would go for ... and it seems they fancy the Nikon D7000 at £789 with a score of 100 (against the Canon 600D's 69 and £595)

Or the Nikon D5100 (96, £483)

See what I mean? I'm going to explode with all the possible variations. But hmmm, the latter looks very interesting at the price. I think I'll do a bit more research... Go to Top of Page
Big Kev
Big


2650 Posts
Posted - 08/11/2011 : 18:32


quote:
Tizer wrote:
Kev, I find the swivelling LCD very useful and have it on my G11 too. I wouldn't want the eye sensor of the 550D and prefer the manual DISP solution on the 600D.


I'm the opposite, Tizer. I can't get on with an LCD screen. I've always used a viewfinder and am probably too set in my ways...


Big Kev

It doesn't matter who you vote for, you always end up with the government. Go to Top of Page
Big Kev
Big


2650 Posts
Posted - 08/11/2011 : 18:36


quote:
Callunna wrote:
Compare the Canon with the Nikon D90, and the Nikon comes out tops, with better battery life, more focus points ...  plus loads of other better features. And even though it's only 12mp, they reckon the image quality is better - which is what it's all about, as I'm sure we all agree?

So then you can't resist finding out what the snapsort website folk would go for ... and it seems they fancy the Nikon D7000 at £789 with a score of 100 (against the Canon 600D's 69 and £595)

Or the Nikon D5100 (96, £483)

See what I mean? I'm going to explode with all the possible variations. But hmmm, the latter looks very interesting at the price. I think I'll do a bit more research... 


I wasn't impressed with the first of the Nikon autofocus lenses. I bought a Nikon body, with an af lens, back in the '90's and it seemed very slow to react. I would hope they have improved since then...


Big Kev

It doesn't matter who you vote for, you always end up with the government. Go to Top of Page
Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 09/11/2011 : 06:29
Kev, I must be old-fashioned and set in my ways as well. I've never considered using the screen, always the eyepiece. Regarding prices, if I remember rightly a new Nikon F body cost about £300 in late 1970s and Nikkormat slightly less but same quality. I bought the Fuji digital for £300 and when I was bought the Nikon Coolpix 8400 (never seen another one, I don't think they made many) for about £750 I gave the Fuji to Doc and it's still going strong. The 8400 is still doing what it says on the tin. The D200 new is about £1600 but I got mine for £400. I suppose on the whole that in terms of bangs per buck and current inflation, good cameras have never been cheaper. Quality always was expensive.

Question is, is it time I bit the bullet and get rid of my two Nikkormats (one is the EL auto version) and the old lens. Have they any value? I had the same dilemma with my wet darkroom and ended up giving it away to a lady at Higherford Mill (who promised to decorate my bathroom but never came back....) Is there a market for old cameras, lens and light meters? The meters are a history of my snapping. A Leningrad 4, a Weston Master V and a Lunasix 3!  The Leningrad was used with my Practika, now there was a basic camera! The Lunasix was used with the Leicas and Hassleblads.

Anyone want to step back in time? (I even have a bunch of Tri-X in the fridge....)


Stanley Challenger Graham




Barlick View
stanley at barnoldswick.freeserve.co.uk Go to Top of Page
Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 09/11/2011 : 08:25
I remembered a little story about the Leningrad meter as I was having a walk with Jack. In about 1980 Mary and I were on the Calmac Small Isles Ferry on the way to Eigg. We called at Rum first and as we were sailing along on a fine October morning I saw a young lady shaking her head with exasperation over the camera she had in her hand. I forget what make it was but when I got talking to her she was on a nature study trip to Rum and had discovered that the battery had failed in her camera. She had manual operation but no meter.

Poor lass was most upset! I didn't have a spare battery that fitted her camera but I told her there was a solution. I dug in the bottom of the camera bag and pulled out the Leningrad 4. I gave it to her with a quick crash course on using it, gave her my address and told her to send it back when she'd done with it. 

About three weeks later I got a nice letter from her, the meter and a voucher for some chocolate! She said that she loved the meter and was going to look for one because her pics were better exposed than they had ever been with her camera meter. Good result, a good deed and a nice ending. Would that life was always like that!


Stanley Challenger Graham




Barlick View
stanley at barnoldswick.freeserve.co.uk Go to Top of Page
Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 09/11/2011 : 10:21
Kev, on my  G11 I use the swivel screen all the time except odd times when the sun is so bright and at a difficult angle that I can't see it and then resort to the viewfinder (which is a simple type with no focus points etc, being a `compact' camera). But it's not just for composing the photo, it lets me check all sorts of settings. The swivel allows me to shut the screen with its face against the camera back when not in use, very important when I carry it in my pocket so much, without a case and ready for use. I can take candid `sideways' photos with the screen at an angle, or sit the camera on the ground with the screen pointingupwarsd and photograph a worm's view of a small flower or insect. I can even swivel the screen sideways and pointing forwards and take a photo backwards over my shoulder!

On the 600D I compose my photos on the viewfinder, unless I want to take advantage of the swivel screen function. But I use the screen a lot for changing settings, checking photos taken, histogram and so on. It's great being able to swing it out sideways on the hinge and that's how I use it most, then snap it shut against the camera back to protect it when not needed.

Using the screen on DSLRs for composing photos is not great because you have to go into `live' mode with the mirror clicked out of the way, and that slows it all up. The manufacturers need to develop the system better and shouldn't have introduced it so soon. It's heavy on battery juice too.


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Callunna
Revolving Grey Blob


3044 Posts
Posted - 09/11/2011 : 11:30
I've come across SLTs (Single Lens Translucent) cameras in my research: SLTs - Wikipedia 

These seem to attempt to address the problem Tizer describes. Sony seems to be the main protagonist with its a55: http://www.twin-pixels.com/sony-unveils-revolutionary-a55-slt-camera/Go to Top of Page
Big Kev
Big


2650 Posts
Posted - 09/11/2011 : 20:54
I believe the semi translucent mirrors tend to produce a darker image in the viewfinder...

Edited by - Big Kev on 09/11/2011 22:22:17


Big Kev

It doesn't matter who you vote for, you always end up with the government. Go to Top of Page
Callunna
Revolving Grey Blob


3044 Posts
Posted - 11/11/2011 : 17:42
Had a trip over to UK Digital in Clitheroe today. They were very helpful. They sell on eBay as well as from their unit on the A59 Industrial Estate and seem to have a reasonable amount of high-end kit in stock.

I could actually hold the Canon 600D and Nikon 5100 and get a proper feel for them, and it was useful to join in a discussion with another customer.

Found out that they get quite a lot of used kit in, as people part ex, and that last week they had a combination that sounded as though it would have suited me: Nikon D90 + 18-200 lens (I think).

So I've asked them to let me know if they get anything else in. This might be the way for me to go, ie get a higher spec camera from a nearby company who I can trust.

We'll see. Go to Top of Page
Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 12/11/2011 : 10:58
Sounds like a good approach! You're lucky to have a shop like that.


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Callunna
Revolving Grey Blob


3044 Posts
Posted - 16/11/2011 : 09:04
Although quite desperate now (fully charged batteries lasted 14 shots at the weekend!) I'm going to wait until after Christmas before taking the plunge, on the basis that prices are likely to be inflated at present, ready for the Xmas gift splurge.

There have been one or two tempting items on eBay recently, mind... Go to Top of Page
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