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System choice

reefman 5 7 United Kingdom
28 Jun 2012 11:42PM
New system help
I'm new to the hobby though have always had a keen interest but always made do with a compact.

I've done some, actually quite a bit of research and have narrowed my camera choices to either the Canon 650 or 60d. Other than general family stuff I want to do some wildlife and landscape work as well as macro and capturing my reef aquarium inhabitants. Other dslrs on my shortlist were the Nikon 5100 or the new 3200.

Whilst I'm not really interested in video I guess its a nice addition to the 650d but not sure of the hybrid a/f system for stills work but as this is the latest model though it would be a better bet than the 60d which I understand isn't the easiest camera for a beginner to get to grips with. I would welcome any views on my thinking and decision

I've a budget of between 1250-1500 to get my kit together and assuming about 600 for either of the above bodies then I have a number of lens choices but really cant decide.

Tamron 17-50 (non VC) 2.8 or the Canon 15-85 250 v 478

less flexibility on the Tamron but better IQ? against high price of Canon

Tamron 70-300 zoom (heavy??) or Canon 70-300 IS USM or Canon 50-250mm 330 v 250 v 150

Is either of the 300s worth the premium over the 50-250?
If I went with the tamron 17-50 with either of the 300s would the gap between 50-70 be a major issue


either the tokina 2.8 100mm Macro at 310 or

tamron 90mm macro 350

Please help as I've reached information overload and getting more confused by the day and really want to get my camera over the weekend


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Carabosse 15 41.1k 270 England
28 Jun 2012 11:44PM
DSLRs are not the only choice for interchangeable lens cameras, these days. Have you considered any of the compact system cameras from Olympus, Sony, Panasonic etc?
reefman 5 7 United Kingdom
28 Jun 2012 11:48PM
I did look at the new Pentax 1200 but very expensive and from what I've seen IQ not as good as DSLR, similarly focusing not as great either as well as low light performance
Carabosse 15 41.1k 270 England
28 Jun 2012 11:55PM
Have you looked at the Olympus OM-D EM-5?

There's a long discussion here with many photos, plus comparisons with mid and upper end DSLRs, posted. It's a camera I own myself (I owned a Canon 5D Mk II previously).
For value for money look at pentax k5 which also has cashback offer on at moment google pentax k5 versus the other cameras you are looking at
mikehit 8 8.0k 13 United Kingdom
29 Jun 2012 9:28AM
I started with the Canon 30D and still think it is an excellent camera even after upgrading to the 7D - I bought the latter because of its superlative AF for wildlife and action. But there are times the camera stays at home simply because of its size and weight. And for this reason, if I was starting now I would be highly likely to go for MFT camera and for the money you have available I would get the OM-D based on the quality of images on the thread CB linked to.
The MFT cameras use a different AF system to DSLRs which make them less suitable for moving subjects (they can do it but just not as well), as alluded to by Brian1208 on the OM-D thread (on 25-June) who says that his DSLR still has a place for birds in flight but for everything else the OM-D seems to do just fine. And if you are out with the kids, believe me portability is a huge bonus.

The advantage of the OM-D is that if you get seriously into wildlife you can buy the DSLR later and still have the OM-D as a compact back-up.

But back to your OP: the Canon 70-300 is more solidly built than the 50-250 and the Tamron equivalent and the AF is better. But the 50-250 has one extra stop on the IS. I have used the 70-300 over a few years and think its quality is excellent - many reviews say that up to 200mm it is close to the 70-200L (which I also have) and I won't argue with that! I would say that it is worth the additional cost but you will not be disappointed with the others, either.
The Tamron 17-50 is a fantastic quality lens and has constant f2.8 if you like to do photography that ha a narrow depth of field. But the 15-85 is a much more flexible lens - and additoinal 2mm at the wide end makes a huge difference indoors or for scenery and up to 85mm is a very good focal length for portraits. Plus the 15-85 has 4 stops of IS and the picture quality is still very, very good (it is probably better than you are!). I have the Canon 17-55 and the gap between 55 and 70mm on my zooms is no problem at all but of course the 15-85 overlaps nicely.

Given that modern consumer cameras and modern consumer lenses probably outperform a vast majority of photgraphers (even those who have been at it several years) I would say 650D+15-85+Canon 70-300. Or save a bit and get the 600D.

But that OM-D is still mighty tempting.
29 Jun 2012 12:34PM
I bought the 60D second hand and am very pleased with it. I had a 30D before and images are noticeably "better" with the 60D. Also it seems to work much better with my 17-50 f2.8 Sigma OS. Feels Solid enough even though its now made out of a mix of plastic and metal rather than all metal as the 30D was.
reefman 5 7 United Kingdom
29 Jun 2012 8:20PM
In my earlier post I meant the Olympus not pentax the OM-D EM-5 I woudn't be buying one to keep later when switching to DSLR as I have my compact for that

Might need to seriously consider the K5 too what are lens options for this

Wish I could find some comparison test with the 600d an 650d
mikehit 8 8.0k 13 United Kingdom
29 Jun 2012 10:16PM
The 650D has barely been annouced so reviews will not appear for a month or so. If you want to buy the camea this weekend you will have to go for the 600D or take a punt. The only thing you can say is that the 650D will have more facilities but I sincerely doubt you will notive a significant performance improvement regards sharpness or colour rendition.
reefman 5 7 United Kingdom
29 Jun 2012 11:13PM
How will the hybrid a/f impact on action pics/wildlife? better or worse

Will using USM lenses rather than the new stm lenses compromise a/f speed for stills?
Just been reading that the 18mp sensor isn't great (old) on Canon

K5 and the spec seems pretty impressive and some great pluses but is the a/f really slow and no use for action?

Some say the viewfinder is too dark and lens ranges are limited too
reefman 5 7 United Kingdom
30 Jun 2012 4:50PM
Managed to get my hands on the 60d and I found it quite heavy compared to the 600 and less intuitive to use. So it looks like the 650d is my choice spoke to a canon rep in store who put my mind to rest over the a/f system with non STM lenses. Just need to find one to try. Also tried the Pentax but just didn't like the feel.

As for lenses I've decided on the Canon 15-85 and Tamron 70- 300 zoom

Still trying to decide on the macro erring towards the Canon 100mm (non L) but the Sigma 105mm or the Tamron 90mm are still in with a shout
steve_p 12 1.2k England
30 Jun 2012 8:28PM
Just shows how tastes vary! I had a 600d for some months . However after using a 40D I found the controls awkward by comparison. I now have a 60d. The 650d hasn't actually reached the shops yet. But a 600d will give you the same handling control wise.
Go for the 100 canon macro you will find, as I have, it is very sharp!
ARI 15 515 United Kingdom
1 Jul 2012 9:57AM
the other macro lens to concider woul be the sigma 150mm. very sharp. new incarnation out recently so the older version may have had a price drop.
reefman 5 7 United Kingdom
15 Jul 2012 5:24PM
Well I've gone and done it and the 7d with 15-85 is ordered with the Tamron 70-300 plus a 16gb Sandisk 60mb card

I now need a bag and possibly a replacement for the neck strap - are there any other things I need from the off

Thanks to everyone for your comments all much appreciated and I'm happy I've made the correct decision
16 Jul 2012 12:49AM
If you don't already have it, a tripod needs serious consideration.. And I'm not convinced anyone has yet arrived at the holy grail of cheap, solid and lightweight in the same sentence.
For a camera bag, there's a move towards those that don't look like a camera bag, containing hundreds of pounds worth of photo gear.. For example Think Tank do some bags that just look like shoulder "messenger" bags yet hold an amazing amount of stuff..(explore them on youtube..)..Tamrac too I believe..probably others.

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