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I assume it would be generally agreed that the quality of the lense is more important than the finer points of a camera body?
Is it worth buying the Canon L series or Nikon G series lenses (I think that i have got that right) if considering camera bodies such as the EOS 60D or EOS 7D or alternatively the D7000 or D300S?
Where can you find reliable reports on the quality of individual lenses other than here?
Unfortunately I am the sort of person who researches to the point where I am incapable of making my mind up what I want and then do nothing. This time i am determined to conclude my research and buy a new camera/lense etc. Previously I used a Canon A1 and Canon T90 and recently have been using a canon G( which i actually purchased for my wife! All my lenses are obsolete i gather so am open minded about the make. I intend to do family/holiday shots plus internal room shots of our \florida villa and maybe a little wedding photography after completing one of the recognised courses to get me up to date.
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Quality lens with a moderate body will always produce a better image than a poor lens with a brilliant body. I've found these lens reviews invaluable.
I have loaned my L series lenses to friends who have budget bodies and they've had their socks blown off. If they were to stick their cheap lens on one of my expensive bodies everybody's socks would be staying on.
I shoot with the 7D and love it. It does have a little more noise than I was expecting but I can live with it. I would certainly recommend the L series lens. I have a 70-200L F2.8 mkII and the results are incredible. Since then I have started selling my other lenses and saving for more L series. In a couple of months I will be getting a 28-70mm f/2.8L USM and a 24-105mm f/4L IS USM. Hopefuly that will complete the lenses that I want and use. You wouldn't go wrong with the 60D, only reason I didn't get it is because of the rotating screen. To most this is a perk but im clumsy and can see myself breaking it.
Any questions bout the 7D, just ask. I will do the best to answer.
Lens every time. For zoom lenses I can totally recommend the Canon L series - the AF is often quicker, IS often better, the picture quality all the way to the edge is better. And the general handling is so assured. You get a beter colour rendition out of the camera but this is something that can be recereated in post processing. But having a superb quality output of a crappy picture is no substitute!
If you doubt the lens vs body debate look at this guy's portfolio. He was putting L series lenses on the original Rebel body before he upgraded to higher spec bodies : http://www.juzaphoto.com/gallery.php?l=en&id=25#002748
Having said all of that, the non-L series have developed into a very high-quality range and will be as much as most people ever need, so whether the price difference of the L-series is worth the improvement in image quality is only something you can decide.
I started by saying 'for zoom lenses...'. If you want prime lenses then you can get excellent quality with non-L series and they can often match the quality from L zooms.
Speaking as a Canon user, for 'family snapshots' I would suggest the 600D (T3i) will give you fantastic image quality and a compact body that you are more likely to take with you. The 60D is a step up in functionality (not image quality because it uses the same sensor!) but is slightly bigger. And I think the 15-85 lens would suit both those family shots and the 'interior' shots. Even if you do progress to 'L' lenses, the 15-85 will still make an excellent lens for those days you want a light, compact lens for casual shooting.
I like the cameralabs reviews: http://www.cameralabs.com/lenses/Latest_DSLR_Lens_reviews.shtml
The Nikon entry-level bodies such as the D3100 share the sensor and processing engine with their more expensive brethren. Provided you don't subject it to environmental extremes or heavy use, the D3100 will give results that are practically as good as any Nikon.
Good lenses do allow a photographer to get good shots, and with few exceptions, you do get what you pay for, Fine lenses also hold their value.
Firstly I would just like to thank all of you for your comments and the time you took to reply to my "body verses lenses" enquiry.
Chris_L: Thanks for the link to the lenses that you found helpful. Will check it out. Noted your comments about quality lenses being the priority.
Wheresjp: I have been seriously looking at the 7D and will check out the lenses that you mention.
Mikehit: Really appreciate the information and your views. The link to the portfolio made my mind up for definate what a brilliant lense can do to a cheaper camera. It blew me away what this guy achieved but I bet the lenses cost an arm and a leg! I have held the 600 body and most of the ones i think i would consider and i felt that the body was a bit small for my liking. I really like to have something which I can get a good hold of. Do you know what i mean? I know it has a great reputation and a close friend just bought it. i will check out the 15-85 you mention.
Thewilliam: I think I want to go a bit higher in price than the D3100. i did have a look at the 7000.
Out of interest what bodies do you use if you don't mind me asking.
The photographs which i want to improve upon at our Florida home by the way can be seen if you take a look at www.tuscanpines.co.uk and you will see what i mean. many guests state that the villa is far better than the photographs look on the website and we find it very frustrating!
Lose the car from the drive, open the doors and windows (looks more welcoming). Lay the table, put some food in the kitchen, colourful bottles of olive oil, colourful fruits, peppers etc.
Even a book and a pair of sunglasses on a sun lounger can make the place look more inviting. Most of the shots need some dressing, the rooms are too bare.
Choose your shooting times more carefully, on some shots the front of the house is in shade and looks uninviting.
Mikemarita, you say you want to go a bit more expensive than a D3100. Do you see high price as a virtue? Professionals like me tend to think about what the camera needs to do so that we choose an appropriate tool for the job.
Many newbies think that an expensive camera will guarantee good pix, just as buying a Steinway or Stradivarius is a cast-iron guarantee of musical virtuosity, even for a raw beginner.
As has been said, lens every time. I've always used L series, starting with the 450D then the 40D and now the 7D. Always had good results and a great believer in Canon on Canon will give the best results
Quote: Mikemarita, you say you want to go a bit more expensive than a D3100. Do you see high price as a virtue? Professionals like me tend to think about what the camera needs to do so that we choose an appropriate tool for the job
Quote: I intend to do family/holiday shots plus internal room shots of our \florida villa and maybe a little wedding photography after completing one of the recognised courses to get me up to date
So your thinking about a 7D and L lenses, 7 fps with a little weather sealing and other advancements ?
I photograph and sometimes cover martial arts tournaments, my average working distance often as close as three or for feet using lensbaby`s, yet more often than not other`s use top of the range kit and work from twenty/thirty feet away with telephoto lenses, the auto focus can`t keep up or there skills are lacking.
I`ve just picked up a cheap and cheerful Panasonic G2, small and comfortable in the hands and balances well with the lensbaby`s, focusing speed is as quick as I can move my feet, head or neck
Think long and hard before splashing the cash.
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