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Canon EOS 650D and Nikon D3200 - Has the game changed?


User_Removed 4 4.6k 1 Scotland
14 Jun 2012 4:44PM
With the recent announcement of the new Canon EOS 650D and the relatively recent Nikon D3200, has the game changed significantly for newbies taking a first step into the world of dSLR photography?

The spec of both those cameras is so advanced, even by the standards of just 5 years ago, that the idea that an "entry level" camera was merely a stepping stone to a rapid career of upgrades must now be in question. Both Canon and Nikon now seem to have entry level cameras that, conceivably, could meet the needs of the newbie for several years to come.

Not sure where it leaves Pentax et al - but even their newer cameras are quite well-specced.

I guess the main focus of attention might now switch to the degree (and the speed?) with which CSC cameras will evolve to provide a serious level of competition to the dSLR at entry level. Some might say that stage is already upon us.

.

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mikehit e2
5 6.8k 11 United Kingdom
14 Jun 2012 4:54PM
I agree with you LF.
My wife bought the 600D about the same time as I bought my 7D and if it was not for the whizz-bang AF in the 7D I was thinking it would be hard to justify the cost of the 7D. Even then the 600D has the same AF as my 30D which, with the 100-400L lens, was still able to get a lot of good bird-in-flight shots. The money we spend for a better keeper rate. For the amateur I wonder if the Canon range has now been effectively reduced to 2 cameras: the 650D and the 5dMk3 (which is no longer restricted in use by its AF).

Maybe digital cameras now are where film cameras were 20 years ago - a mature technology where you updgrade for facilities and not image quality.
kodachrome 3 474
15 Jun 2012 9:03AM
How interesting, digital technology is racing ahead at a fast pace. I can remember using a Canon AE1-P manual focus back in the 60/70's and my FD lenses were top notch, then along comes a camera that can read the film ASA [ISO] and set the metering accordingly, then the auto load/wind/focus and other super AF and metering facilities appeared.

None of this gave you better image quality over the older manual focus cameras, it was made to make things easier for the user who was unwilling, or found things just too complicated or just couldn't be bothered to set up the camera. They in effect made the SLR available and more attractive to the consumer market.

Mike, your last comment is about right, however, its interesting to note that in the Nikon advertising blurb for the 3200, it says 'Proffesional quality pictures with very little imput needed from the user. This is the degree of automation that DSLR's have reached.
Very high quality pictures can be had just using it as a point and shoot. This was not achievable a few years ago.
alansnap e2
10 529 22 United Kingdom
15 Jun 2012 9:57AM
You can think of it as film getting cheaper. When we used film the camera was a box with a fancy shutter in it. The sensor we chose (film) performed to a spec for grain and detail depending on design and ISO rating. If you used Kodachrome or Velvia grain was effectively non-existent and the quality was dependent on the glass.

Now days the "film" is built in to the camera, and the higher the spec of the camera the better the glass has to be - I use a 5D MkII so I use L Series lenses. Pros certainly think of the camera as the new film. Something to be used and changed before their lenses. So if you want to future proof then buy the best lenses you can afford even with a beginners camera. Divide the body cost by about 10 (the cost of film and processing) and once you get beyond the answer you get, your body is free (e.g.a 600d at 450 is 45 films, A 5D MkII at 1500 is 150 films. Then decide when you want to upgrade - lenses or body.

At around 550 to 600 what the 650D and 3200 do is provide high enough spec and quality at a good price to enable the upgrade process to focus on lenses. Even when I was not earning a lot, I would use 40-50 films a year, so these are cost neutral in 18 months. I think LF is right the spec is so good that for newbies these will last several years, so I would advise buy this and the best standard lens they could afford. Once cost neutral point is passed and there is some budget buy better lenses first, and then think about the body.

Alan
kodachrome 3 474
15 Jun 2012 11:28AM
There has to be a point where a happy equilibrium is reached on COST/MP/SENSOR/LENS performance for the consumer. Nikon said once that 12mp was the best compromise for their then standard kit lenses. Some of these high end lenses [to get the best out of the sensor] cost more than the body. From a consumers point of view that is not the way to go if you want to sell lots of bodies and lenses to the mass public.

The subject of lens performance and very high pixel count is a black art to me and its a subject that could be discussed and explained in simple terms on this forum to people like myself who are a trifle thick when its comes all things digital.

Kodachrome
Kako 8 141
15 Jun 2012 12:00PM
'Entry level' DSLRs have become extremely well equipped and offer very good performance to just about any level of user...however they are very expensive when compared to older 35mm SLRs
and their build quality is nowhere near as good, meaning that they offer a much shorter useful life. Also cleaning of the sensor means extra investment compared to a good lens cloth which was all you needed years ago. Lots of film cameras are still performing admirably after 20-25 years. I doubt there will be many sub 1000 DSLRs lasting more than 7-8 years. Same goes for lenses. Robust
metal and glass will outlast cheap lightweight plastics any time.
kodachrome 3 474
15 Jun 2012 1:20PM
My Minolta XD-7 and X-500, both manual focus 35-mm SLR cameras and from the late 60's/early 70's are working just great and I put a roll of Fuji reversal and Neg through them quite often.
They are built like a Swiss watch and as sturdy as the proverbial public toilet. There is not a DSLR view finder any where as bright or clear as these.
I still get a great kick out of using them. I picked up a superb Rokkor 50-mm f/1.4 for 25. This would have cost over 200 30 years ago.
26 Jun 2012 4:43PM

Quote: Re: Canon EOS 650D and Nikon D3200
Maybe digital cameras now are where film cameras were 20 years ago - a mature technology where you updgrade for facilities and not image quality.



That's true mikehit. I agree that you can't go wrong with most cameras these days. Photographers should worry more about their lenses than getting the "right camera"
4 Jul 2012 2:29AM
The only problem here is though the D3200 is nikons entry level DSLR, the 650D is NOT canon's entry level DSLR, that tag belongs to the 1100D, the 650D is up a notch in the consumer market and should be compared to the D7000 as its predecessor was always put up against the D90 which the D7000 replaced.

But yes the manufacturers have upped their game lately and this can only be good for us, its a shame though about the 60D which missed the mark with its plastic body parts instead of the usual metal from that range and omitting some of the custom functions such as micro focus adjustment was a bad move
mikehit e2
5 6.8k 11 United Kingdom
4 Jul 2012 3:59AM
Out of interest, why did a plastic body 'miss the mark'? In that respect you may as well say the Eurofighter 'missed the mark' because that is pretty much made of plastic.
rhol2 e2
3 311 1 United Kingdom
4 Jul 2012 8:34AM

Quote:Out of interest, why did a plastic body 'miss the mark'? In that respect you may as well say the Eurofighter 'missed the mark' because that is pretty much made of plastic.


Well said, modern high grade "plastics" ( a term often used in a disparaging way) are tough materials.

Also as far as I'm aware, DSLRs are built on a metal chassis, though their detractors seem to ignore that fact.

I'm certainly not trying to deride the classic film cameras of old, I have fond memories of using Om1s and perhaps my favourite the Canon A1. ( which some critics at the time saw as a "dumbing down" because of its auto modes)
5 Jul 2012 10:40AM

Quote:The subject of lens performance and very high pixel count is a black art to me and its a subject that could be discussed and explained in simple terms on this forum
Kodachrome


It is an often misunderstood topic.
Kodachrome delivered more resolution than most others films - with any film body or lens Smile
Similarly 24 MP (or whatever) delivers more resolution with any lens than lower MP.
One interesting detail about Kodachrome is, in it's latter years, other films exceeded it's resolution in high contrast light but none came to equal it's resolution in low contrast light.
In an era when many make lens buying decisions based only on photos of high contrast test charts, other often important image quality factors are not considered.
Apart from minor nit picking there is often negligible quality difference between 12 MP "high density" crop sensors and "lower density" 24x36 sensors to about 1600 ISO in the context of printing a 16x12 inch print.
24x36 (technology for technology) has a high ISO advantage. Not everyone can afford 24x36.
The OP is part making the point this years new crop sensor often beats 4 year old 24x36 high noise ISO.
Pixel density, like film grain, does not affect depth of field or diffraction. It can affect high ISO noise though in the example of the 36 MP D800 most reviews report by surprisingly little.
Providing you buy a decent DSLR pixel density for most as distinct all photography is not an important issue.
Going further an "entry level" D3200 has enough pixels to make a 20 inch wide print at 300 dpi without interpolation.
User_Removed 4 4.6k 1 Scotland
5 Jul 2012 11:10AM

Quote:
In an era when many make lens buying decisions based only on photos of high contrast test charts, other often important image quality factors are not considered.



That's an interesting point, Len.

I think the other consideration is that many lens-buying decisions (and camera buying decisions) are based on "tests" conducted by journalists and opinions expressed by journalists. Enough said!

Quote:None of this gave you better image quality over the older manual focus cameras,.....


I am quite happy these days using an old Nikon FM, with a small collection of Nikkor lenses.

Couldn't afford it and/or them years ago.

Purchases on ebay this year which haven't broke the bank. Grin

Keep on smiling! Smile
Canonshots 4 91 13 United Kingdom
19 Jul 2012 9:46PM
The question, as put, is a bit of a no-brainer. Of the course the game has changed. It has been changing ever since the very first consumer cameras reached the market and it will continue to change for the foreseeable future. There are periods when it changes slowly and periods when it changes fast, but the technology of photography is continuously developing.

The two cameras mentioned represent a particular stage in that development process, as did the Canon 350D when I bought one as my first DSLR back in 2006. Wait a minute - that was only six years ago! I wonder what its counterpart will look like in another six years.

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