Hey Taylor… this one is for you

Hey Taylor this one is for you…
A friend of mine asked me to recommend a DSLR camera for his new business. I imagine he will also be using his camera for other stuff besides work i.e. kids, sports, vacations, family gatherings etc. He mentioned that he would need a fisheye lens for his work. I think he may be better off with an extreme wide angle vs. a fisheye lens. A wide angle lens will have less distortion then a fisheye lens.

This is actually a fairly simple question. The two major manufactures on the market are Canon and Nikon. In 2003 Sony took over the Konica/ Minolta camera division. The Alpha 100 was the first DSLR to hit the market for Sony. To read Digital Photography Review™ follow this link Sony A100. Sony along with other known manufactures continue to make a nice showing in the trade magazines.


Nikon has just introduced the third camera in the introductory DSLR lineup the Nikon D60. The other two are the Nikon D40 and the D40x. I would choose the D60 over the other two in the series. The D60 is the latest and will have the most up to date electronics and software.

It was released shortly after the Nikon D300 and the Nikon D3, so you know it will have the latest and greatest for this price point.

Digital Photography Review™:
Nikon D60 (New)
Nikon D40x
Nikon D40

Staying true to form, Canon released in late 2003 a low priced consumer DSLR. Like everything, in the camera market, as time marches forward the prices drop and features are more plentiful.

Canon has the proven Rebel series from the film camera days. They stuck with the name because it was a big marketing hit with Andre Agassi being the ultimate rebel spokesman.The newest addition in the Canon Rebel series is the release of the Canon’s EOS Rebel XSi. This is so new that Digital Photography Review™ doesn’t have a review on it yet. But, I did find a review in the PopPhoto Online mag.

Digital Photography Review™:
Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi
Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT

I chose a Nikon for my personal camera, not because I don’t like Canon cameras, because I do, it was for the fact I already had Nikon lenses I could use with my Nikon DSLR. However, If I didn’t already have Nikon equipment I would have most likely bought a Canon. I like Canons lenses more.


Canon has slightly better quality lenses. For years Nikon led the pack in lens technology. However when Nikon switched from glass ground lenses to a poured/molded glass and plastic lenses they slipped off the quality scale. Nikon does use glass optics in the higher end lenses, but to make the lens more price friendly they are using the poured/molded glass instead of ground glass.

In the lower end lenses Nikon uses a hybrid of glass and plastic. This makes it lower priced for the average consumer. Also, the hybrid makes the lens much lighter. This is not to say that Canon and any other manufacture aren’t doing the same with their lenses, they are, and I am just saying that Nikon has slipped off their perch.

Keep in mind with the lower priced DSLR cameras, the digital chip or CMOS sensor are not full size. The DX CMOS chips usually have an image increase factor of 1.4 (Nikon) to 1.5 (Canon). What that means is when you add a 100 mm (non-converted) lens to a Canon camera you will be shooting the equivalent of a 150mm standard lens.

In case you wanted to know a full size CMOS sensor camera prices start at $4,999.99 for the body only. Yeah, I thought so…Two lenses I would start with, if you don’t get one included in a camera kit (packafe). I would purchase an Ultra Wide Angel Zoom with the fastest speed lenses I could afford. In this case fast doesn’t mean fast focus. It means the lower the f – number the more light passes through the lens and the lower ambient light I can shoot in without the aid of a flash. A f/2.8 lens is twice as fast as a f/3.5. (see: Get the F/Stop)

The other lens would be a telephoto zoom. Nikon has a new extreme wide to telephoto zoom lens 18-200mm for less then $1,000.00

If you want to save money on lenses you can buy a lens from a third market manufacture. Sigma, Tamron and Tokina all make lenses for all the major camera manufactures. Sigma Photo has the greatest selection and verity of lenses. Just so you know I buy the lens made by Nikon. Nikon lenses are designed and built for Nikon cameras. However, sometimes I cannot afford a Nikon lens and I purchase third maket lenses. My 70-200 f2.8 is made by Tokina. It cost me $560.00 used. If I would have bought the same lens from Nikon the price would have been over $1,800.00 new.

Digital Photography Review™:
Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED AF-S VR DX
Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 EX DC HSM

Where to purchase?

That is a good question. I am a big fan of buying local. Support your local dealer in your local town, city or pueblo. I like to keep my money in the community where I live. One the other hand I am no fool, if I can purchase the same product with someone else with at least a 10% savings, well sorry local guy, I got to do what I got to do. Also, if I can save and addition percentage from purchasing my equipment on the Internet (sales tax free), I think that is a no brainer.

If I buy online I go to B&H Photo first. B&H are
located in New York and they have a real good sales and support staff.

It is a mouth full of information to chew on. If you have any questions please drop me a line and I will answer them the best I can. My knowledge base is primarily Nikon and Sigma. However, it’s not always what you know as much as it is where to go to get the answers.

The Missing Link:

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