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  #1  
Old 10-01-2010, 12:07 AM
wmac wmac is offline
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Limited budget and camera choice

Hello everyone,

I worry that posting such messages might be against forum rules. I wish it is not and I am not breaking the rules. Anyway here it goes.

I have had 1000D and a A200 each for almost 1 year. Now I don't have anything (I gave them to my sister) except a Canon 50mm F1.8

A- Now I have a budget of 1200RM-2200RM and want to get the most out of it.
B- I can select one of the 3 below options or just buy a cheap body and a relatively better lense (like Tamron 17-50).

I guess these are my options (I don't have brand preference, C or N , both are OK):

D200-D80
- The price for D200 is around 1900-2500 (sometimes 2200+ along with grip) on photomalaysia
- The camera is likely to be very old (4-5 years perhaps)
- D80 can be bought as low as 1500RM (body) and these are a bit newer.
- The photo quality is exactly the same as D60 and almost the same as sony A200. All these cameras have the same CCD: D200, D80, D60, A100, A200
- D60 has newer software but D200 and D80 have better body and more focus points
- The group of cameras I mentioned have a photo quality comparable to Canon 400D and 1000D and a bit lower than 40D
- You can have same photo quality with a D60, 1000D, 400D or even A200. And you pay 1000-1200RM with lower camera age
- The whole trade off is about features and body, not that much about photo quality

D90-D5000
- The above two are 12M CMOS and one level higher in photo quality than the previous series with VERY much lower noise (ISO1600 has a noise equal to ISO800 on above cameras, i.e. 1-2 stop better light , or 1-2 stop smaller F on lense).
- 700p Video on both
- Used D5000 full (with kitlens) can be obtained around 1850-2200RM. Body only around 1600RM+ (with a few months of remaining WARRANTY), less age and higher photo quality
- D90 used body is 1900-2200 (based on SC)

550D
- Uses a 18M CMOS with very much lower noise in equal ISOs. ISO3200 on this has the same noise of first class (i.e. D200 etc) with ISO800. So you can use a lens with at least 2 F stops smaller for same light.
- 1080p video
- Body is cheap plastic, and does not feel any comparable to above ones.
- Body only costs 2100-2200 used with 2.5 YEARS! of remaining gurantee (new one has 2+1 years). I have a 50mmF1.8 lens , so I should pay only 2100 for now.


The trade off is :

Better body and Features + High SC and very old <---> Totally cheap body + Very new sensor and much higher photo and video quality


What would you do with a 1200RM-2200 RM budget???!! I wish forum friends can help me a bit with the decision. And PLEASE do not refer me to read and like the reviews (I have read each one for at least 10 times.)

I just need very PERSONAL opinions with a few reasons. That's more than enough for me and I'll appreciate it.
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  #2  
Old 10-01-2010, 01:16 AM
chinlai chinlai is offline
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I have used both the D80 and the D90 (still using), and I would recommend the D90 for its much improved ISO handling capabilities over the D200, and D80. With the new D7000 I believe the second hand price of the D90 will go down further soon..
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Old 10-01-2010, 10:03 AM
Cottonteil Cottonteil is offline
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What would you be using the camera for mostly?

The Nikon D3100 can be bought new for around 2k. And you don't need to worry about second hand items with an unknown past.
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Old 10-01-2010, 10:15 AM
wmac wmac is offline
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3100 is almost fine with me except that I like the cheap 50mmF1.8 which needs in-body motor and the other thing is the lack of almost ANY shortcut button on the body.

After 2 years of photography I guess I am entitled to a few more shortcut buttons
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Old 10-01-2010, 10:32 AM
Cottonteil Cottonteil is offline
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You don't have any other choice but to go the second hand route then. If you still want to keep using your 50mm, it has to be a midrange Canon with those button functionalities. That already narrows down your choices enough to choose what you need for that budget.
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Old 10-04-2010, 01:00 AM
wmac wmac is offline
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Thank you very much for suggesting D3100.

I actually obtained that camera and I am really happy. The specs almost match D90 (in some parts exceed that) and the high ISO noise is very very good. In my tests even ISO3200 photos are quite acceptable.

I would say the noise level in ISO3200 matches ISO800 noise in 1000D, A200 and D60. It may even match 550D.

The only shortcoming in comparison to D90 is the body, which is Ok with me. D3100 has some additional controls on the body in comparison to D3000, D5000 and D60.

In general it is a dream camera for that budget.
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Old 10-04-2010, 11:39 AM
Cottonteil Cottonteil is offline
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Glad you got what you needed.

If you still need a prime standard lens, the 35mm f/1.8 AF-S is relatively affordable. It feels quite cheap and plasticky but actually performs very well optically.
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Old 10-11-2010, 12:36 AM
wmac wmac is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cottonteil View Post
Glad you got what you needed.

If you still need a prime standard lens, the 35mm f/1.8 AF-S is relatively affordable. It feels quite cheap and plasticky but actually performs very well optically.
Thanks again for your very good suggestion.

I was also thinking to buy an AFS 55-200VR (which is only 650RM) and either 35-F1.8 or 50-F1.4. But I guess on a DX body the 35mm is more suitable. 50mm will become a 75mm and will be too narrow.

I appreciate your help.
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