Buying First DSLR – An Experience

Nikon D7000Passion of photogtaphy was in me from very childhood. After using some cameras like Mini Queen etc. my father bought me my first SLR camera which was Russian made Zenith. Used it mostly when I used to go to tours with my parents. One thing always bugged me was the shutter lag. Later I bought Fuji Finepix S1500. I still faced the saem problem other than very good picture quality. Though another problem was low light performance of the camera. Specifically in dusk and under flash when the object is far away from my camera. So this time my criteria was low shutter lag, good performance under low light and high spped photography like high burst rate.


According to my criteria I shortlisted and selected the following cameras to throughly compare them. So I focused on following products.

  Canon EOS 7D Canon EOS 50D Nikon D7000 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ100
Canon EOS 7D Canon EOS 50D Nikon D7000 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ100

Basic Information

Buying options        
Announced

Sep 1, 2009

Aug 26, 2008

Sep 15, 2010

Jul 21, 2010

Body type

Body type

Mid-size SLR

Mid-size SLR

Mid-size SLR

SLR-like (bridge)

 Sensor

Max resolution

5184 x 3456

4752 x 3168

4928 x 3264

4320 x 3240

Image ratio w:h

3:2

3:2

3:2

1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9

Effective pixels

18.0 megapixels

15.1 megapixels

16.2 megapixels

14.1 megapixels

Sensor photo detectors

19.0 megapixels

15.5 megapixels

16.9 megapixels

15.1 megapixels

Sensor size

APS-C (22.3 x 14.9 mm)

APS-C (22.3 x 14.9 mm)

APS-C (23.6 x 15.7 mm)

1/2.33″ (6.12 x 4.51 mm)

Sensor type

CMOS

CMOS

CMOS

CMOS

Processor

Dual Digic 4

Digic 4

Expeed 2

Venus Engine FHD

Image

ISO

Auto, 100, 200, 400,
800, 1600, 3200, 6400, (12800 with boost)

Auto, 100, 200, 400,
800, 1600, 3200 (H),6400(H1),12800(H2)

100 – 6400 in 1, 1/2 or
1/3 EV steps (100 – 25600 with boost)

Auto, Hi Auto
(1600-6400), 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600

White balance presets

6

6

12

5

Custom white balance

Yes (1)

Yes (1)

Yes (5)

Yes

Image stabilization

No

No

No

Optical

Uncompressed format

RAW

RAW

RAW

RAW

JPEG quality levels

Fine, Normal

Fine, Normal

Fine, Normal, Basic

Fine, Standard

Optics & Focus

Focal length (equiv.)

 

 

 

25 – 600 mm

Optical zoom

 

 

 

24×

Autofocus

Contrast Detect
(sensor), Phase Detect, Multi-area, Selective single-point, Single,
Continuous, Face Detection, Live View

Contrast Detect
(sensor), Phase Detect, Multi-area, Selective single-point, Single,
Continuous, Face Detection, Live View

Contrast Detect
(sensor), Phase Detect, Multi-area, Center, Selective single-point,
Tracking, Single, Continuous, Face Detection, Live View

Contrast Detect
(sensor), Single, Live View

Digital zoom

No

No

No

Yes (4x)

Manual focus

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Normal focus range

 

 

 

30 cm (11.81)

Macro focus range

 

 

 

1 cm (.39)

Number of focus points

19

9

39

 

Lens mount

Canon EF/EF-S mount

Canon EF/EF-S mount

Nikon F mount

Unknown

Focal length multiplier

1.6×

1.6×

1.5×

 

Screen / viewfinder

Articulated LCD

Fixed

Fixed

Fixed

Fully articulated

Screen size

3

3

3

3

Screen dots

920,000

920,000

921,000

460,000

Touch screen

No

No

No

No

Live view

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Viewfinder type

Optical (pentaprism)

Optical (pentaprism)

Optical (pentaprism)

Electronic

Viewfinder coverage

100 %

95 %

100 %

 

Viewfinder magnification

1×

0.95×

0.95×

 

Photography features

Maximum aperture

 

 

 

F2.8 – F5.2

Minimum shutter speed

30 sec

30 sec

30 sec

60 sec

Maximum shutter speed

1/8000 sec

1/8000 sec

1/8000 sec

1/2000 sec

Aperture priority

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Shutter priority

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Manual exposure mode

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Subject / scene modes

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

Built-in flash

Yes (Pop-up)

Yes (Pop-up)

Yes (Pop-up)

Yes (Pop-up)

Flash range

12 m

13 m (ISO 100)

12 m (at ISO 100)

9.5 m

External flash

Yes (Hot-shoe, Wireless plus Sync connector)

Yes (Hot-shoe, Wireless)

Yes (Hot-shoe, Wireless)

Yes (Hot-shoe)

Flash modes

Auto, On, Off, Red-eye

Auto, On, Off, Red-eye

Auto, On, Off, Red-eye,
Slow sync, Rear curtain

Auto, On, Off, Red-eye, Slow Sync

Continuous drive

Yes (8 fps)

Yes (6.3 fps or 3 fps)

Yes (6 fps)

Yes (11 fps)

Self-timer

Yes (2 or 10 sec)

Yes (2 or 10 sec)

Yes (2 or 10 seconds)

Yes (2 or 10 secs)

Metering modes

Multi, Center-weighted,
Spot, Partial

Multi, Center-weighted, Spot

Multi, Center-weighted,
Average, Spot

Multi, Center-weighted, Spot

Exposure compensation

±5 EV (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)

±2 EV (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)

±5 EV (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)

±2 EV (at 1/3 EV steps)

AE Bracketing

±3 (3 frames at 1/3 EV,
1/2 EV steps)

±2 (3 frames at 1/3 EV,
1/2 EV steps)

±5 (3 frames at 1/3 EV,
1/2 EV, 1 EV steps)

 

WB Bracketing

Yes (3 frames in either blue/amber or magenta/green axis)

Yes (3 frames in either blue/amber or magenta/green axis)

Yes (2 or 3 frames in steps of 1, 2 or 3 mired)

 

Videography features

Format

H.264

 

MPEG4

AVCHD

Audio channels

Stereo

No

Mono

Stereo

Clips

Yes (1920 x 1080 (30, 25, 24 fps), 1280 x 720 (60, 50 fps), 640 x 480 (60, 50 fps))

No

Yes (1920 x 1080 (24 fps), 1280 x 720 (24, 25, 30 fps), 640 x 424 (24 fps))

Yes (1920 x 1080 (60 fps), 1280 x 720 (60, 30 fps), 848 x 480 (30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps), 320 x 240 (30 fps), 320 x 240 (30 fps))

HD Modes

1920 x 1080 (30, 25, 24
fps), 1280 x 720 (60, 50 fps), 640 x 480 (60, 50 fps)

 

1920 x 1080 (24 fps),
1280 x 720 (24, 25, 30 fps), 640 x 424 (24 fps)

1920 x 1080 (60 fps),
1280 x 720 (60, 30 fps), 848 x 480 (30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps), 320 x
240 (30 fps), 320 x 240 (30 fps)

FPS

1920 x 1080 (30, 25, 24
fps), 1280 x 720 (60, 50 fps), 640 x 480 (60, 50 fps)

 

1920 x 1080 (24 fps),
1280 x 720 (24, 25, 30 fps), 640 x 424 (24 fps)

1920 x 1080 (60 fps),
1280 x 720 (60, 30 fps), 848 x 480 (30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps), 320 x
240 (30 fps), 320 x 240 (30 fps)

Storage

Storage types

Compact Flash (Type I or
II), UDMA, Microdrive cards

Compact Flash (Type I or II), UDMA

SD/SDHC/SDXC

SD/SDHC/SDXC, Internal

Storage included

None

None

 

40 MB

Connectivity

USB

USB 2.0 (480Mbit/sec)

USB 2.0 (480Mbit/sec)

USB 2.0 (480Mbit/sec)

USB 2.0 (480Mbit/sec)

HDMI

Yes

Yes (HDMI mini)

Yes (Mini Type C)

Yes

Wireless

None

None

EyeFi

None

Remote control

Yes (N3 connector)

Yes (N3 connector)

Yes (Optional, wired or wireless )

No

Physical

Environmentally sealed

Yes (Water-resistant, Dust-resistant)

Yes (Water and Dust resistant)

Yes (Weather and dust resistant)

No

Battery

Battery Pack

Battery Pack

Battery Pack

Battery Pack

Battery description

Lithium-Ion LP-E6
rechargeable battery & charger

Lithium-Ion BP-511A
rechargeable battery & charger

Lithium-Ion EN-EL15
rechargeable battery & charger

Lithium-Ion rechargeable
battery & charger

Battery Life (CIPA)

800

800

1050

 

Weight (inc. batteries)

860 g (1.90 lb / 30.34 oz)

822 g (1.81 lb / 29.00 oz)

780 g (1.72 lb / 27.51 oz)

540 g (1.19 lb / 19.05 oz)

Dimensions

148 x 111 x 74 mm (5.83 x 4.37 x 2.91)

146 x 108 x 74 mm (5.75 x 4.25 x 2.91)

132 x 105 x 77 mm (5.2 x 4.13 x 3.03)

124 x 82 x 92 mm (4.88 x 3.23 x 3.62)

Other features

Orientation sensor

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Timelapse recording

Yes (by USB cable and PC)

Yes (by cable and PC)

Yes

No

GPS

None

None

Optional

None

Source – www.dpreview.com

{mosgoogle right} My main aim was to get a mid-level Dslr where I have the options of high speed as well as good image quality photography. I had a notion of slower shutter lag impacts capturing moments which are fast like wild life photograph or sports photography. But many people told me these are technical things which has less to do with good photography than anything else. I was still going after Canon 50D which was covering my most of the points that i wanted to have at this point of time in my first Dslr camera and the price was also reasonable.

Then I faced the problem of availability of the Canon 50D in the market as Canon had discontinued the model since then. So I focused on the other three cameras where Panasonic FZ100 was not a Dslr camera but otherwise very good in terms of performance, response and speed. But as I had an inclination towards bigger sensor that is why, even after considering the camera has external flash, raw shooting mode, 1080 Full HD movie support  and high zoom lens I went for the other two specially Canon 7D and Nikon D7000.

Now, while considering the two, my vote was towards much powerful Canon 7D which was expensive though. Only the body was costimg me 80,000 rupees. In addition, if I have to go with 18-135 mm kit lens then I have to spend almost a lakh which is 97,000 rupees. I thought of buying the camera in intsallments and use my old Zenith lenses using adapters with it. But then I learnt in the reviews that only a good body means nothing unless I have good lenses. So the performance of Canon 550D, a much entry level Dslr which also known as younger brother of Canon 7D, performs better than much costly Canon 7D because of absence of good lenses. So, overall with a good lens Canon 7D was crossing my budget, which I could have only able to afford incase some retialer allow installment payments. I went for that but Great Eastern Trading Corporation, Dalhousie asked me to get in touch with their finance partner Bajaj Allianz where my request got rejected for some unknown reason.

Lastly, I did some research about Nikon D7000 as well and found price has dropped a little and I am getting the camera and the 18-105 mm kit lense well under my budget qhixh is 65,000 rupees. So I went to Capital Electronics Esplanade, where i think i got the best offer on both the cameras. But they encouraged me about Nikon D7000 than Canon 7D where they stated its a professonal camera and as I am a new Dslr user , I will face problems handling it than much easier Nikon D7000. I also considered the professional features of Nikon D7000, like dual memomory card slot, SDHC memory card option and sligthly lighter body weight and dimension.

Finally, even I had in the mind to buy the much powerfull Canon 7D, I changed my mind due to the fact  Nikon D7000 costing me less with a kit lens to start with and save some money to buy a prime lens later on.

Still, this comparision was much more complex and lot more gone through my mind which is actually not possible to document in pin point details. Hope my thought process will help others to decide buying their first dslr camera in coming days.

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