What DSLR to go for?

Discussion in 'Mirrorless Digital Cameras' started by printedspace, Dec 27, 2010.

  1. My main subjects to shoot will be Art, Wall & Floors. What DSLR do you think we should go for?
    At first I thought the 5d mk 2 then I started looking at the 60d, then Sony came into play and then Pentax.
    What do i do?
  2. You clearly need to consider Nikon! ;-)
    Seriously, the body is just part of the story, really....
    1. Go to a store, hold them, see if button placement makes sense to you, whether the handgrip suits your hand etc. A camera needs to make sense and be comfortable to hold.
    2. Define a budget, and calculate more for lenses than for the body. 21 or 24 Mpixels full frame with a lousy lens is no better than 12 Mpixels with a great lens for a lot of things. So, balance the budget and do not look at the body specifications only.
    3. Define which focal length lenses you need and want. Check which brand may deliver something really special in those ranges (i.e. Pentax limited series primes could sway a decision, a 18-55 kitlens is the same for nearly all brands).
    4. Check if there are or may be very specific lenses you need or want. For example, tilt & shift lenses, you are simply better off with Canon or Nikon.
  3. The user already has a Canon 20D. I fail to see the point of this question given the other recent flood of equipment-based questions the OP has posted.
  4. How big prints do you need to make? You might not need a DSLR. As for tilt and shift lens cannot one do the same with, and to greater degree, in editing these days with a good programme? For deep focus there is HeliconFocus when dealing with static subjects.
  5. Kristian,
    One great thing about the rapid improvement in digital is that even older digital camera prices are low, too.
    One thing that's nice about the Nikons is that *some* models of Nikon have a lot of usability with older lenses. That's what swung me into the Nikon brand - all I needed to buy was the body itself.
    But that usability isn't a given with every Nikon lens / body. Some Nikon bodies have a focus motor in the body, some in the lens, and I'm not enough of a Nikon fan-boy to tell you which does and doesn't.
    Point is that some Nikon dSLRs can use a LOT of older lenses.
  6. Thanks for all the info guys this has been an eye opener. One thing I'm looking at is tilt and shift lens to shoot off a
    boom looking square down at floor subjects. Hd video shooting would be good for site visits after installation of our
  7. Rob, I've had the 20d for near on 7 years, things have moved on a lot in 7 years. Please explaine the negativity,
  8. Your multiple posts asking the same question with no apparent concern for the actual answers.
    Also, your 20D aged a year between posts.
  9. DSLR posts are purley DSLR and MF were purley MF questions, thanks to photo.net forum we have now 100% ruled
    out MF and are sticking with DSLR.
    We will continue shooting DSLR and work the images up in PhotoShop.
    So. Just for the record, we need a NEW DSLR body and a NEW tilt and shift lense. MF is now out.
    We print from 3ft sq to 200ft sq.
    Sorry Rob if you feel a couple of my questions have carried the same theme.
  10. I said 6 years and then actually calculated the date we started the company and worked out it was over 6 years. Have
    you also done a company's house search on my company? lol
  11. If shooting perpendicular to the floor, why do you need tilt and shift?
  12. If shooting perpendicular to the floor, why do you need tilt and shift?
  13. Kristian, Some people on P.net can be sticklers but I'm sure no one still here for long means any offense. I think you have to do some basic analysis of your needs. Your years of 20D experience have given you a very good basis. Do you want or need full frame or would another much better crop frame better serve your needs as a much improved 20D (something like a 7D or 60D). Will the lens(es) that you want to use be better on a full frame camera like the 5D Mark II or will they work better on the crop frame camera. What is your budget since money is always an object? All the current versions of DSLR are very high quality imaging machines capable of producing outstanding images. The differences are in viewfinder size, available lenses and what use the sensors can make of them, your budget and which camera interface works best for your application. Best of luck!
  14. Thanks Gil, I'm actualy off work at the moment with the bank holidays here in the UK so I've been working off the
    iPhone, hence the lac in responce to all the fantastic replies on PNet including yourself, I will respond to all coments in
    full tomorrow when I get back in to the office.
    Kind Regards,
  15. My main subjects to shoot will be Art, Wall & Floors ...​
    I browsed your store's web site. Nice!
    So, I don't think blowing the budget on the camera body is the best use of funds. You'd probably be better served with a 550D and spending the rest of the monies on lighting, stands, jigs, computers and such.
    I'm guessing you could also on occasion use more resolution than the camera has to offer. Take a look at the current generation of stitching software. Many good ones are open source and thus free to use. Most of these will also have very good facilities for stitching flat art. I've done a few up to 500MP or so. If printed, it could well have covered a wall with more detail unconstrained by viewing distance.
  16. Ok, Ill start at the bottom and work my way up the responses, Thanks for all your hard work and help.
    Robert, Thanks for your kind comments about Printed Space. The budget for this i think will be ongoing. We already have a photo studio for product shots and fine art reproduction shooting. New Mac Pro's and new lighting will be a feature of all the new items required for 2011. Stitching software is also something we are looking at. I would love to see a full file @100% to see how it looks. Sounds Interesting.
    Gill, I'm sure that is the case, I have been shooting DSLR now just over 6 years. We have also been doing hi res scans and Large Format printing for interior design also for just over 6 years. So when it comes to colour and quality output we know what we are doing. The photography side is something i need to get back on top of as things are moving on rapid from technical prospective. Full frame or cropped frame i'm unsure about at the moment as I've only ever used crop frame in the past. I do like the idea of getting the 5D mk 2 just for the pure size in pixels and if the budget can stretch to it i would seriously start looking at it. Once again thanks for your reply.
    Doug, The only reason i thought Tilt & Shift was the way forward is that i thought this technique may be the best way to get a flat and 100% focus all around to make the image easier for stitching, but now i read your post i'm thinking that this may not be the best way forward, a macro lens has also been suggested.
    I will reply to page 1 from page one also, Cheers guys.
  17. Doug, The Canon / Nikon dilemma is one i have often. I remember my dads First ever Film canon Eos and was hooked. Although I was with his Audi, but now I'm thinking of shopping around at other brands. What i'm trying to say is it was probably a nostalgic thing. I will take a look at some of the Nikons before making my mind up.
    Walter, I have not forgotten about your comments. I'm just nipping out and then i will go through your comments one point at a time.
    Thanks again
  18. Hi Kristian,
    I like Wouter's suggestions except for the Nikon part :p lol
    I have been using a K100d for about 4-5- years now and before that a K1000 so I am a little biased towards Pentax. I recently tried a couple of Canon's and Nikons to see what all the who ha was and to be honest I had a very difficult time with the layout of the buttons. I am sure though long time Nikon and Canon users would say that about the Pentax if you could actually find one in a store to try.
    that being said I take better photos of objects than people and my K100 takes incredible shots. their lens selection is good too.
  19. Thanks Christopher, I will take a look at the K series and let you know my thoughts.
  20. OK, Back to Walters points. I will pop in to a store and take a hold of some of the new DSLR.
    Budget, Mmmm, I think its more like how much can i get away with spending on a camera body, new lights, Mac, lens, once i have convinced the wife / (Business Partner) that i need it all. Point taken about the body and lens budget.
    I will check and double check what lens i need before the BIG purchase. The large research in to lens's has started.
  21. The only reason i thought Tilt & Shift was the way forward ...​
    There is always the digital scanning back attached to a LF camera. This nets all the movements that a studio monorail camera offer, and a higher quality image file than that from a DSLR.
  22. Hi Robert, I looked at the option of digital back LF 2 years ago, and the results were fantastic, it's just down to the
    initial set up cost and the set up time on location. What are the costs for LF and digital backs at the moment?
  23. Kristan, have you googled digital backs for LF cameras? You should be able to find out those costs by doing some research. All people here could do is probably send you to links you can find. Google Leaf, Phase One and I'm not sure whom else. Sometimes, you can also rent these units.
    Good luck!
  24. You should contact the scan back manufacturer directly for pricing. My guess is that $10K USD would get you a mid-range configuration. Renting is always an option, but the practicality of such is of course location dependent.
    LF camera gear is dirt cheap now (on the used market.) A first rate kit is easily under $3K USD.
    You know, have you thought about going the film route? Run the numbers I suppose. It could make sense if the volume is low and the latency to post is tolerable. A 5X enlargement, easily done with commodity flatbed scanners, from 4x5 LF yields around 45 million very high quality pixels.
  25. You've expressed an interest, in other threads, in the use of a crane and remote focusing. While I like digital LF scanning backs, they're not suited to crane use: the normal movements of the crane will cause "tearing" of the scanned image. And there's really no manual focus solution to the use of LF on a crane.
    Really, for crane use, nothing compares to a modern, liveview DSLR.
  26. Boy, this is fun. Okay, for flooring have you tried just flipping a flatbed scanner upside down then hitting the scan button? Stitch together multiple scans for larger works. A netbook and an one pound USB powered scanner completes the kit.
    No perspective correction issues. No problems with lighting. You get essentially a digital contact print with all the superior image quality that it implies.
  27. Hi Robert, never Scaned the floor before. Don't think it will work for water images :)
  28. DSLR with perspective correction - you're down to Nikon and Canon. They are the only two DSLR manufacturers that make tilt lenses.
    Photographing art? You need resolution and the least noise. So, it's a full frame sensor.
    Canon 1Ds or a Nikon D3x. The Canon is 21.1 MP and the Nikon is 24.5 MP. The Nikon is 3.4MP better.
    So, you need a Nikon D3x.
  29. I suggest an inexpensive high resolution (12 megapixels or more) solution that does video well. You are basically
    limited to the Canon 60 D if you want the best range of tilt- shift lenses and usability. The fold-out screen will make
    that camera your best solution for shooting down at subjects on the floor. The Nikon D5000 is an alternative, but the
    Canon 17mm tilt lens is your best solution in tilt lenses with an APS-C size sensor. One thing that is nice about Canon
    is you will be getting a very capable camera, and the Canon 15-85mm zoom is a best-in-class lens. Nikon's 16-85
    just won't satisfy your needs like the Canon will. The canon body is very good quality for the price too. This gives you
    a high resolution two lens solution for $5,000. Add the 5 D Mk II body with a 45mm tilt lens, and you'll have a really
    great set-up for under ten grand.
  30. Look into using an iPad. You will probably need a networking
    accessory for your camera, but I believe there are solutions out
    there that will allow you to focus and shoot remotely through a
    wireless network or directly wirelessly or with a cable. You can even
    review and zoom in on the preview image to check focus. For a
    more expensive solution look at the Seitz 160 megapixel high-speed
    scanning back/camera.

    One advantage the more expensive equipment has is the higher
    dynamic range. I would start with the Canon 60 D though, because it
    will be much faster and more versatile (it does full HD video).
  31. Hi Scott, The IPad idea sounds like a fantastic idea, I will look into this strait away, the 60d looks like a great starting place after I've got use to the new setup with the 20d as a practice. I would eventually like to get to the stage were I'm shooting floors DMF. I'm also going to start looking for photographers around the world that will take this up. In December Cracked Mud became the biggest seller belive it or not.
  32. I didn't think of cracked mud Kristian (I had forgotten what you said in this post). I thought of leaves on a forest floor though . . . and a crevasse (that would be a cool and disconcerting image to have on a floor!).

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