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What camera should I get for College?

Posted: Mon, 6th Sep 2010, 12:19pm

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StupidLikeAFox

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Im just starting college and taking a photography class and need to get a camera.

I was thinking about getting the Canon EOS 500D because it films in HD as well so I can use this for my film work.

Any Reccomendations?

Budget about £400
Posted: Mon, 6th Sep 2010, 3:53pm

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danielgwood

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The Canon EOS 500D is indeed a very sweet camera. However, depending on lenses it may not be the best choice - you say you have a budget around £400, though the 500D with an 18-55mm kit lens is about £500.

Do you need to purchase lenses or do you already have some that are compatible? These are usually far more expensive than the camera body itself. Obviously it depends on your photography class and what branches of photography you plan on exploring, as to what lenses you may want.

Here's an introduction to the world of DSLR lenses, if you aren't familiar with them: http://www.digital-photography-school.com/an-introduction-to-types-of-dlsr-lenses.
Posted: Mon, 6th Sep 2010, 3:59pm

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Simon K Jones

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One thing to be cautious with the 500D is that it really doesn't do HD video 'properly'. At 1080P is will only shoot 20fps, only going up to 30fps at 720. If you want a Canon with proper HD video capabilities, check out the 550D.
Posted: Mon, 6th Sep 2010, 4:42pm

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B3N

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The Nikon D40 (now labelled D3000) is the standard camera at our college. I don't think you'd have to worry about having to have your own personal video camera seeing as most colleges allow you to hire/book their cameras out for a night or two.

ut the Nikon D3000 is a great camera, especially if you're new to the photography scene or advanced. smile
Posted: Tue, 7th Sep 2010, 1:13pm

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danielgwood

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Indeed the D40 is a solid choice, and at the lower price band means you can invest in lenses or software also. I have a D60 myself (to be honest its pretty similar to a D60 - see http://jamesfryer.blogspot.com/2008/07/d40-vs-d60.html for a comparison).

@StupidLikeAFox: I'd be interested to know which you choose, and what kinds of things they teach on your course.
Posted: Tue, 7th Sep 2010, 2:28pm

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StupidLikeAFox

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Hey guys thanks for your help! Ill be picking one soon probably!

And danielgwood, keep you updated razz!
Posted: Tue, 7th Sep 2010, 6:50pm

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B3N

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Hehe, indeed, best of luck in college.
I'm still in it myself, initially intended to spend two years in it, but after this two year course I'll have spent five years studying media biggrin

Good luck. smile
Posted: Wed, 15th Sep 2010, 2:08pm

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StupidLikeAFox

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Okayyyy I pumped up the budget, hearing alot of good things about the Canon 550D?
Posted: Wed, 15th Sep 2010, 5:16pm

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Serpent

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Rating: +1

If you don't have Canon lenses or Nikon lenses yet, you might want to consider the newly announced Nikon D7000. That will be the ultimate all-around camera right now, which would be perfect for a college student. Issue is, it's new, and you won't be able to get it for quite the price the 550D has. It has autofocus during video though, which makes the Nikon great for run-and-gun shooting and vacation stuff. The 550D will have everything you need for it to be a film camera, the Nikon is just a bit more up-to-date and it fixes the rolling shutter issue that most HDSLRs have currently (actually all really). If you don't know what that is, it's pretty much considered one of the biggest flaws.

They improved in pretty much every other area as well, ISO for video and photography, accessible LCD viewing, allowed record time, megapixel count, etc.

Don't be afraid to still go with Canon. DSLR camera bodies don't lose *too* much value over time, if you compare it to a camcorder, or something like a car. If you can't afford the Nikon, the Canon is still fantastic, and you can always upgrade the body later. The current issues or flaws that have been fixed by Nikon don't make or break it as a functional video camera. Both have great glass range, but I prefer Canon glass and Canon's ability to stay up-to-date and revolutionize in an awesome package. Whichever you choose may by the SLR and lens company you will be choosing for the next 10 years to the rest of your life. I'd personally wait slightly for the next Canon, to see if I wanted that, or if it knocks down the 550D or D7000 price at all. Remember that that could be another 6 months or more for the next Canon SLR release/announcement. Basically if you got "stuck" with the 550D, you'd be stuck with an amazing camera. Better than anything else you can get under $1,000, and now one of the top HD prosumer camera options.

Do keep in mind, and some people don't realize this until it's in their hands: vacation videos won't look good on the 550D unless you have an LCD-viewer and you use manual focusing. Otherwise things will be out of focus, and out of focus on the 550D, or any SLR, can be very noticeable and drastic, even at a wide angle if you really aren't paying attention. Whereas the D7000 you really wouldn't have to pay too much attention.
Posted: Wed, 15th Sep 2010, 7:11pm

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StupidLikeAFox

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Hey very helpful serpent! Ill check out the D7000 but reckon ill still be going for the 550D! Plus 1
Posted: Wed, 15th Sep 2010, 9:00pm

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swintonmaximilian

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One thing to consider is that the Nikon won't take the same variety of old manual focus lenses as the Canon, because a lot of them will sit too close to the Nikon's film plane, sensor, whatever. So, if you do decide to go with old glass to build up lenses (lots of fantastic options at great prices if you go this way), then the canon would be the one for that. However, these old lenses, while being optically on par and in many cases superior, are fully manual, so autofocus is impossible. Something to think about.

Max