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Author Topic: Camera (Body Only) or Camera with Bundle Kit  (Read 5050 times)

Glennard

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Camera (Body Only) or Camera with Bundle Kit
« on: January 03, 2013, 01:35:40 PM »
Hi everyone, this is my very first post so please be gentle. I just recently became a father of a 5 months old baby, and me and my wife likes to take our son for his photoshoot every 3 months. Well, having your child photographed by pro does not come cheap so instead of doing that, I'm going to purchase my very first DLSR camera, debating on Canon 60D or T4i, although I really want the Canon 6D or better yet the Canon 5D Mark III (out of my budget) and learn the basics of photography. So, I just want peoples opinion on what's smarter for point and shoot person to entry level photographer on what to purchase beforehand. Is it better for me to buy a camera with bundle kit or just buy camera (body only) because a friend of mine told me that its very important to have great lens. I also want to know peoples suggestions on what lenses I would need for portrait/low-light landscape/cityscape photography. I've read a few must have lenses, Canon EF 50mm f1.8 (for the low price) & Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM (for quality).

Thanks everyone, appreciate it!

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Camera (Body Only) or Camera with Bundle Kit
« on: January 03, 2013, 01:35:40 PM »

Dylan777

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Re: Camera (Body Only) or Camera with Bundle Kit
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2013, 02:14:44 PM »
1. If budget is not a huge problem, 6D + 50mm f1.8 or f1.4 is a good start. Add more lenses when you ready.

2. 60D or T4i, I would take T4i for couple reasons. Newer camera and auto focus in video mode. For the lenses, 50mm might not be wide enough for indoor on crop. It will be great for candid portrait shots. The 17-55mm f2.8 IS would be my #1 choice for T4i.

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neuroanatomist

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Re: Camera (Body Only) or Camera with Bundle Kit
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2013, 02:15:23 PM »
Welcome!

Well, having your child photographed by pro does not come cheap so instead of doing that, I'm going to purchase my very first DLSR camera, debating on Canon 60D or T4i...

That was actually one of the reasons I bought a T1i, several years ago.  (But, photography was a big hobby for me many years ago, in the pre autofocus SLR days, so the T1i was also a trial to see if I wanted to pursue photograhy as a hobby, beyond family pics...and the answer there was yes, which explains my current gear list.)

If you get the T4i, the 18-55mm kit lens is a good idea - adds relatively little to the cost.  The 18-135mm lenses offer similar IQ (i.e. decent, not great) over a broader zoom range.  While the cost differential between the T4i and 60D is not huge (when considering something like the 6D, anyway), it would help to know what you have in mind for a total budget.

The 85mm f/1.8 is a great lens for tight portraits on an APS-C camera.  In general, you have the right idea about spending more on a lens.

The other thing to consider is lighting - you mention portraits, and while a fast prime is great for candid and outdoor portraits, have you gone to a 'chain' photo studio (Portrait Simple, etc.), and checked out what they use?  Usually an APS-C body with a kit lens like the 18-135mm - and that works well.  Why?  Because with control over lighting and the background, you can shoot at the sweet spot for those lenses on APS-C (f/6.3-f/8) where they are optically quite good.  When you buy an expensive prime lens (L-series, but the 85/1.8 is close) you're paying for the ability to shoot wide open and get sharp images.

At a minimum, I'd recommend a 430EX II flash so you can bounce the light off the ceiling indoors.  You could consider a portable backdrop setup for your house, more lights, and some softboxes.

My point is that there are many options, depending on what kind of images you want.  But usually, lenses (especially for outdoor portraits) and lighting (especially for indoor portraits) will mean more for your final images than the camera body you choose.

Personally, I started with a T1i, EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS, 85mm f/1.8, and a 430EX II. 

Shots like the ones below were taken on a FF camera with an L-series lens, but you would not be able to tell if they were taken with a Rebel and 18-135mm - they were taken with a zoom lens set to f/9 or f/10 (the 'sweet spot' is a bit narrower on FF vs. APS-C), with three lights in softboxes (one monolight and two Speedlites) and muslin backdrops on a portable stand.

   

These two were outdoors with an 85mm prime on APS-C (T1i+85/1.8 on the left, 7D+85/1.2L II on the right).  The wide aperture helps to isolate the subject from the background.  You can't tell that the background on the left image is a dirt path - that's why subject isolation is a good thing!

   

You also mention low-light landscape and cityscapes - for that, you're going to want a good tripod and ballhead.  Get a cheap one, it won't work well, and you won't use it.  I'd consider Manfrotto as a good compromise between quality and value, carbon fiber if you plan to carry the legs any significant distance. 

Also, take a class on learning to use your dSLR - get it out of green square (full auto) mode.  Check community colleges, also where I am the local Audubon society offers frequent dSLR intro classes.

Hope that helps...
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TexPhoto

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Re: Camera (Body Only) or Camera with Bundle Kit
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2013, 02:47:41 PM »
The bundle is almost always the way to go.  The lenses are a great place to start and are often a savings of several hundred $ vs buying the body and same lens separately.  Enough that you could sell the lens later and break even or close to it. The nifty fifty f1.8 lenses are so cheap, it should almost certainly be your second lens.

As you start down this path, try too keep photos as the goal and not gear.  Thee is nothing wrong with buying a new camera or lens and drawing inspiration, but few of us can afford every item we want.  Just don't avoid taking great photos because your pining away for the latest and greatest gear. (Be a Photographer First, and a gear hound second)

Good Luck.
 

tortilla

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Re: Camera (Body Only) or Camera with Bundle Kit
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2013, 04:47:55 PM »
I recommend the 60D, mainly because of the larger viewfinder and the second control dial. If possible go to a shop and play around with the 60D and the rebel. Image quality will be pretty much the same on both cameras.

And yes, your friend is right - a good lens is very important. I also advise against a kit lens. For portraits you'll want a lens with f/2.8 or slower to get shallow depth of field. The 50 mm 1.8 is a good start. I don't have experience with the 85 mm, but according to dxomark.com it is only better on full frame cameras (like the 6D) but not on crop cameras.

For your portrait work you maybe also want to use remote flash, this is a good resource about how to do that and which gear is needed: http://strobist.blogspot.de/2006/02/welcome-to-strobist.html

paul13walnut5

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Re: Camera (Body Only) or Camera with Bundle Kit
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2013, 05:57:08 PM »
+1 for bundle.

The 18-55 IS is not the worlds greatest lens, but in terms of greatness per £, $ or € -when bought as part of a bundle at least- it's right up there.

What you will get is a close focusing, sharp, compact, light (easy to handle) lens that will do a very decent job for you to get going with.

The kit lenses used to get a bad rep, and perhaps deservedly so, but from the IS versions onwards Canon raised their game a good bit.

I used to have a canon 17-40 f4L, but when I replaced my 400D with a 550D /18-55 IS bundle, I found that more often than not I was using the 18-55 over the 'better' lens.

The 18-55 is capable of excellent results, more than if you shoot in RAW mode.  There are better lenses, but you would need to spend close to a grand to really get any optical benefit over the same range.

You will be delighted for the first while, and you may even decide that the kit lens suits your needs.  If you reach it's limits you can always upgrade in the future.   But for the small premium over the body only, it's worth a punt, in my opinion.

You can augment your kit, upgrade your kit, if thats where your interest takes you, I personally would start with the bundle and take it from there.

The 50mm f1.8 is a decent cheap lens, and quite often folks second lens once they learn more about depth of field and aperture, certainly a prime is the way to learn about perspective..

But the kit lens will give you more keepers whilst you are getting used to the kit.  And for your circumstances its the captured moments that are more important than the kit, for now.

Welcome to the forums.

NB: Avoid twin lens kits, specifically anything with the 75-300 lens.  A bit of a dog that one.  A kit with the 55-250 IS isn't a bad idea, but as this lens can often be bought seperately quite inexpensively the twin lens bundles represent less great value than the single lens kits.  Walk, nay run away from the 75-300.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2013, 06:33:40 PM by paul13walnut5 »

Glennard

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Re: Camera (Body Only) or Camera with Bundle Kit
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2013, 09:28:27 PM »
Thank you everyone, i truly appreciate all the suggestions. I am in no rush to get one now but very eager as well on purchasing with one click away. Now just debating if I should wait for the rumored 70D or get the (most likely) bargained 60D (which is the one I'm leaving towards to more than T4i)

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Re: Camera (Body Only) or Camera with Bundle Kit
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2013, 09:28:27 PM »

greger

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Re: Camera (Body Only) or Camera with Bundle Kit
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2013, 09:35:41 PM »
Buy a bundle. You should look at the 7D with a  Canon 18-135 lens. Look for Reviews on this combo and see what people who have this combo have to say. I like good zooms because of the different focal lengths that they cover. I do a lot of
--- vs --- searches before I purchase new kit. Good Luck  :)

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dhofmann

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Re: Camera (Body Only) or Camera with Bundle Kit
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2013, 09:54:20 PM »
+1 on visiting http://strobist.blogspot.com, specifically read the "Lighting 101" article.

+1 on the 50mm f/1.8 and 85mm f/1.8. But I wouldn't bother with the EF-S 18-55mm lens. Instead, get the EF-S 15-85mm or the EF-S 18-135mm STM for better image quality (and video, if you get the T4i and the STM lens).

+1 on the Canon 430 EX II flash.
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paul13walnut5

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Re: Camera (Body Only) or Camera with Bundle Kit
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2013, 10:06:28 PM »
I would defend the 18-55 against the 15-85 and 18-135 on price alone.

The kit price over the body only is 10's of dollars.

Both the 15-85 and 18-135 cost significantly more, even as part of a kit, and they are still medium aperture plastic bodied lenses.  If you are going to spend that much more I would be looking at faster aperture Sigmas and Tamrons.

The 18-55 is brilliant value as part of a kit.  I just don't think that the other two are brilliant value at all.

Just an opinion.

Haydn1971

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Re: Camera (Body Only) or Camera with Bundle Kit
« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2013, 09:39:18 AM »
I would defend the 18-55 against the 15-85 and 18-135 on price alone.

The kit price over the body only is 10's of dollars.

Agreed, for the extra cost, the 18-55mm is almost a throw away lens and pretty good for the money.  I later upgraded to the 15-85 for extra width and reach when I had learnt the basics and felt ready to move on.  Still got the 18-55mm, which I'm about to sell with the camera it came with as a kit, perfect starter camera for a newbie.
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Glennard

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Re: Camera (Body Only) or Camera with Bundle Kit
« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2013, 10:01:41 AM »
what about Canon EF 24-105mm f/4? my photographer friend recommended this for me.

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Re: Camera (Body Only) or Camera with Bundle Kit
« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2013, 10:05:24 AM »
If your willing to learn about photography and cameras, I'd never buy crop again.

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Re: Camera (Body Only) or Camera with Bundle Kit
« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2013, 10:05:24 AM »

neuroanatomist

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Re: Camera (Body Only) or Camera with Bundle Kit
« Reply #13 on: January 04, 2013, 10:13:43 AM »
what about Canon EF 24-105mm f/4? my photographer friend recommended this for me.

Yes, if you're getting a 6D or 5DIII (or older FF camera), but not for an APS-C camera like the 60D or T4i.  If you're going to spend that much on a general purpose zoom for APS-C, get the EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS or EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS - either of those will deliver better optical performance than the 24-105L when compared on the same APS-C body, and will actually be general purpose zoom lenses (the 24-105mm doesn't give you wide angle on APS-C).
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Re: Camera (Body Only) or Camera with Bundle Kit
« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2013, 10:52:06 AM »
I'd say that the EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS is the best zoom lens out there for a crop sensor camera, but it's also more than you'll pay for any rebel body. The question is how much are you willing to pay for quality? And starting out, is a tiny percentage of sharpness worth spending hundreds of extra dollars for? For a professional, there's no doubt it's worth it, but for a hobbyist, you need to realize that you can get some pretty awesome pictures with a kit lens or a $100 50mm 1.8 prime lens. Don't let anybody make you think that you have to spend thousands of dollars to get a great shot. A good friend of mine just bought his first DSLR today... a t4i and 18-135 STM kit. My advice to him - learn the ropes of photography, light, and composition first. Then, if you still want to spend tons of money on upgrading your equipment, go for it.  But if you spend thousands on pro quality equipment for the occasional shot, and the equipment sits and collects dust for most of the time, it's probably not the best investment for you.
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Re: Camera (Body Only) or Camera with Bundle Kit
« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2013, 10:52:06 AM »