DSLR cameras

Hi everyone!
Trying to choose our first DSLR for our big trip next year.
For landscapes, waterfalls, action shots, a good all rounder.
We are looking at either Canon 700D or a Nikon D5300???
Does anyone have either of these? All feedback welcome. Thanks!
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Reply By: The Landy - Saturday, Aug 23, 2014 at 19:59

Saturday, Aug 23, 2014 at 19:59
Either of those will do the job well, mind you we only use Nikon camera's and lenses, so I'll say Nikon with my bias!

But having said that, what makes a great shot is composition and thinking about the shot, so if you are doing a big trip and want to ensure some great photo's take the time to do a course to understand your camera, whichever one you choose. And a course covering things like composition, the courses will be a far better investment in terms of return than the camera you choose...

And good luck with it!

Where are you off to?

Cheers, Baz - The Landy
AnswerID: 538095

Follow Up By: Tas-tourers - Saturday, Aug 23, 2014 at 20:07

Saturday, Aug 23, 2014 at 20:07
Hi. Doing a basic course to get some tips on exposure etc.
Leaving Tas next July, straight to Cape York then zigzagging our way back down the eastern half of big island.
FollowupID: 822380

Reply By: Bushranger1 - Saturday, Aug 23, 2014 at 20:25

Saturday, Aug 23, 2014 at 20:25
I have had my Canon 700D for 6 months & love it.
Bought the 100mm Macro lens with image stabiliser as well for some great close up shots as I like to get close up to small orchids & insects.

My daughter & I have had 3 Nikon SLR's suffer premature failure between us so we have both moved across to Canon cameras now. Shame really because the Nikon's took great shots but the electronics failed & were not worth the cost to repair.

AnswerID: 538096

Follow Up By: Tas-tourers - Sunday, Aug 24, 2014 at 07:21

Sunday, Aug 24, 2014 at 07:21
That's concerning as its a lot of money to throw away. I guess its like buying a car, sometimes you get a lemon. Thanks for letting me know. Katrina.
FollowupID: 822399

Reply By: Member - graeme W (WA) - Saturday, Aug 23, 2014 at 21:25

Saturday, Aug 23, 2014 at 21:25
Hi Tas-tourers. I use a canon 600d because i believe canon lenses after much research for the type of photography i do are better lenses. For example the canon 100mm macro lense is a wonderfull lense for orchid shots and you can see some of the photos on this site under wildflowers. The only thing i dont need on that lense is the is as most of the time the camera is on a tripod and therefor the is is turned off. The non is 100mm lense will do all you need for macro and also makes a great portrate lense. For birding the 400mm prime non is a fantastic lense ,crisp , clear and auto focus for birds in flight is very fast. A good tripod will finish the package and carbon fibre examples are avalible one the webb for a fraction of the price you would pay in au. I recently borrowed a mates sigma 100mm to 500mm and not one of pics was up to standard and nothing like the clarity from the canon lense. Saving for the 400mm prime now. Learning your cameras sweet spot is part of the fun and once mastered selecting the manual settings for the conditions will also improve your shots.
cheers Graeme.
AnswerID: 538098

Reply By: Jackolux - Saturday, Aug 23, 2014 at 23:19

Saturday, Aug 23, 2014 at 23:19
I use Nikon cameras and Im perfectly happy with the results I get .
Nikon or Canon it makes no difference its all down to the operator ,
AnswerID: 538099

Reply By: Member - Mark (Tamworth NSW) - Saturday, Aug 23, 2014 at 23:59

Saturday, Aug 23, 2014 at 23:59
I have a 3 year old Cannon 550D and am happy with it. I can't help you with brands, instead l ask do you really need a DSLR or will a point and shoot do, as some of them now do fantastic jobs?
Light and composition are probably more important to good photos

Unless you plan to learn how to use the DSLR and then use it regularly, then I would argue a DSLR is over kill. I have done photography courses but as I don't use the camera often enough, I find I easily forget what I have been taught.
If you are planning to make photography a bit of a hobby, well different story and you will love what a DSLR can do.
Enjoy what ever you do
AnswerID: 538101

Follow Up By: Tas-tourers - Sunday, Aug 24, 2014 at 07:15

Sunday, Aug 24, 2014 at 07:15
Thanks for the tips. Our trip is 7 months long with a lot of adventure stuff, hoping to sell an article or two to a magazine for pocket money which requires DSLR.
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Reply By: Member - Boobook - Sunday, Aug 24, 2014 at 06:41

Sunday, Aug 24, 2014 at 06:41
It doesn't matter which you buy from a camera point of view, there will be better and more pixel versions in 18 months anyway. However your decision locks you into a system of Nikon or Cannon forever. While you can't really go wrong with either camera, the best advice I can give is look at the lenses and see if there are any particular lenses that suit your intended purpose. Same for proprietary accessories. If only one brand has it then that should be a major influencer.

Also how it feels in your hand, and the user interface.

AnswerID: 538102

Follow Up By: adriang - Sunday, Aug 24, 2014 at 14:43

Sunday, Aug 24, 2014 at 14:43
Hi Boobook,
I agree with most of what you say but do not fall for the idea that more pixels is better. The more pixels the bigger the file size, but not necessarily better resolution, go for better quality lenses any day, over more pixels.
Nikon and Canon are without doubt, the best DSLR's available, it's only a matter of personal preference, which ever feels the best to you but always go for the best quality glass you can afford.
FollowupID: 822425

Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Sunday, Aug 24, 2014 at 15:45

Sunday, Aug 24, 2014 at 15:45
That's what I thought I was implying. Start with the lenses and buy into a system that has a good quality range.

At any rate I think you will find more pixels DOES mean better resolution, but not necessarily better quality.

FollowupID: 822426

Follow Up By: olcoolone - Sunday, Aug 24, 2014 at 19:28

Sunday, Aug 24, 2014 at 19:28
Pixels make little difference in the low end market, What makes a bigger difference is the processor they use in the camera and how it processes the image (noise and colour saturation is a big image quality killer). On cheaper consumer grade DSLR's most people would not be able to tell the difference with a cheap and expensive lens....... Most cheap lenses are OK in the middle of the focal range, some cheap lenses will distort the image and colour at the start and end of their focal range.

Full frame and processing power is the main thing that makes professional images look so good....... Plus experience, big memory cards and a bit of photoshop.

Buying a $600 body and using a $2000 lens will not make it a professional quality outfit nor will buying a professional camera and lens...... But a good body and OK lens will.

For me on my canon 5D I use a Tamron 18-270 lens for travelling due to the convenience of not having to change lenses all the time...... If in dust I use a Canon 70-200 IS due to being dust and water proof and for other photos my other L series lenses.

Learning how to use the camera and how to take photo's is more important then camera bodies and lenses.
FollowupID: 822436

Reply By: Member-Heather MG NSW - Sunday, Aug 24, 2014 at 06:45

Sunday, Aug 24, 2014 at 06:45
I'm a happy Nikon user although I don't have the model you are thinking of buying. Either will do the job, depends on whether you want to buy Canon or Nikon.
Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt. John Muir

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AnswerID: 538103

Reply By: WBS - Sunday, Aug 24, 2014 at 07:17

Sunday, Aug 24, 2014 at 07:17
My camera choice was a Nikon D90 which is a bit dated now but it has been a great camera. I have a clear bias for Nikon. The Nikon D7100 is slightly up market model these days that I like and would consider if I was in the market today.

My choice of camera was also based on the lens that came with it. Mine came with a 15-100mm zoom lens(image stabilised). I did not want to be changing lenses out in the bush to get the best shot as dust is the enemy of any DSLR camera, so a zoom lens was the compromise. At the time Canon did not have a similar lens. With hindsight I would have been wiser to get a 15-200mm zoom lens as the 100mm zoom doesn't quite have the zoom I sometimes require.
AnswerID: 538104

Follow Up By: Tas-tourers - Sunday, Aug 24, 2014 at 07:26

Sunday, Aug 24, 2014 at 07:26
The message I am getting here is I need to look into Lense capabilities and uses a bit more. Researching the camera bodies did my head in as I'm not techie lol.
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Follow Up By: Graeme - Sunday, Aug 24, 2014 at 08:16

Sunday, Aug 24, 2014 at 08:16
I was given some older Nikon lenses which require a motor in the body, so after my D80 started to die I looked around and ended up with the D7100 which is a fantastic camera. With the D80 I also bought other lenses so I was locked into Nikon. I am extremely happy with what I have got, I only wish I brought the camera to where I am currently working in Papua; will bring it on my next rotation.
My photography is mostly scenes, flowers and birds and the 18-200 zoom catches most of that but an 18-55 is also used due light weight and if zoom is not required. For low light I use a 50mm 1.4.
The discussion re brands is simply a Holden/Ford one; they both do as advertised and simply come down to personal choice as in the right hands both take fantastic photos.
FollowupID: 822405

Reply By: Bushranger1 - Sunday, Aug 24, 2014 at 07:53

Sunday, Aug 24, 2014 at 07:53
Like some people have already said it would be great if you could do a could do a photography course to learn the manual side of your camera.
You can get some great effects if you know how to manually set the exposer/focus parameters of the camera.
In fact I very rarely use the auto functionality of my camera.

AnswerID: 538106

Reply By: Member - peter w2 (VIC) - Sunday, Aug 24, 2014 at 09:02

Sunday, Aug 24, 2014 at 09:02
I would suggest you have a look at the mirrorless cameras now on the market, I think Samsung make it and they are getting good reviews and weigh much less,than the canons and nikons
AnswerID: 538109

Reply By: Les PK Ranger - Sunday, Aug 24, 2014 at 09:37

Sunday, Aug 24, 2014 at 09:37
Not sure of your budget, but find a camera you like, maybe 3/4 the way down the capability line (it will still take excellent pics), and look well at the 2nd hand market.
Semi professionals upgrade all the time, and prices are very keen . . . it's a bit like buying a good used 4WD already kitted out a bit, you can sometime get a lot of great accessories (lenses / fliters) for almost nix too :)
AnswerID: 538110

Reply By: B1B2 - Sunday, Aug 24, 2014 at 11:24

Sunday, Aug 24, 2014 at 11:24
G'day TT's,
When I moved to the DSLR Canon, the biggest surprise to me was in reasonable light, and on Auto, the flash would pop up. We were on a big trip as well just after buying it.
I quickly realised that the AV or TV needed to be put to use. I used it to take a shot of the Supermoon last week. You then realise you need to know where the controls are in the dark. Manual on the Canon requires practice.
The huge advantage is you can immediately download and see how you went.
I was given a polarising lens filter, I reckon it's like photoshopping, (cheating). The
clouds are so crisp and not what they are in real life, but i still use it.
Post some shots of your trip.


AnswerID: 538112

Reply By: Member - wicket - Sunday, Aug 24, 2014 at 11:45

Sunday, Aug 24, 2014 at 11:45
Before you decide on an SLR you should really have a look at the Nikon P600, check out the abilities of the lens.
AnswerID: 538115

Follow Up By: Member - wicket - Sunday, Aug 24, 2014 at 11:49

Sunday, Aug 24, 2014 at 11:49
oops , had better include the link
Nikon P600 link
FollowupID: 822415

Reply By: Chris M - Sunday, Aug 24, 2014 at 12:27

Sunday, Aug 24, 2014 at 12:27
With either Canon or Nikon you can't go wrong. I would suggest you handle both systems and see which one feels most comfortable in your hands. They both have a great line of high quality lenses available.
The most important thing is to learn your camera inside out, which ever brand you choose.
You'll get the best results from your camera if you use AV, TV or Manual modes. These modes allow you to control your exposure and get the best files possible. Learning exposure theory is important if you want the best out of your camera. Using your histogram will help you as well.
A camera course or two is a great way to get you heading down the right track. But once you've done the course don't put it back in the bag until you head off on your trip. You need to keep practising every day until using the camera becomes second nature.
Photography is easy but it takes a little time to wrap your head around the important aspects of it.
AnswerID: 538116

Reply By: Wayne's 60 - Sunday, Aug 24, 2014 at 17:35

Sunday, Aug 24, 2014 at 17:35
Hi Katrina,

As indicated in the previous posts, go with the camera that you feel comfortable with in auto mode, then learn to use it in the manual settings. Canon or Nikon or even Olympus will serve you well. One point to keep in mind, the pixel count is irrelevant if the lens between the camera and your landscape is sub standard. More expensive lenses will give better quality images and you can also add adaptors and manual lenses to your collection - in time. Some camera systems have lenses with Image Stabilisation (IS) others like my Olympus have in body IS, which means better lenses for less cost for the same result. Adding to this are your memory cards with their capacity and transfer rates, bigger and faster are expensive. Compact flash cards are (arguably) the best and the forgotten side is whether you will be taking your images in RAW format as well as JPEG.
As we do when on a trip, the down load to computer will become a nightly ritual and computer capability and capacity is another factor.
We carry two Canon 60D, an Olympus 620 and 520, both with a variety of manual and auto lenses.

Above all else, learn to work which ever camera and system you buy and enjoy your trip :-)

Wayne & Sally.
AnswerID: 538119

Reply By: Member - Cruiser74 - Sunday, Aug 24, 2014 at 17:38

Sunday, Aug 24, 2014 at 17:38
A lot of good advice here but it's worth checking out some of the new mirrorless systems that are on the market, especially the fuji range. Particularly the XT-1.

Fuji XT-1

These camera systems are much less bulky and produce equal to and even better than results to the DSLR's you are looking at. I shoot with a Canon 5DmkII and on a recent trip away a friend bought his Fuji with him and I was blown away by how good it is. The industry is moving away from big, bulky DSLR's towards this sort of camera. Granted, for some things you just can't beat a DSLR but for what you have described you are needing it for one of these baby's will be well worth a look. Read the independent review it speaks for itself. Good luck!


AnswerID: 538120

Reply By: Jackolux - Sunday, Aug 24, 2014 at 18:06

Sunday, Aug 24, 2014 at 18:06
Like I said above I use Nikon DSLR cameras . I have a D90 and a D5100 when I decide to upgrade next it will be to a Full Frame Body

I have 9 lenses , not all will cover a Full Frame sensor but that's another story
My favourite and most used lens is a Tokina 12-24mm F/4 ,

I take Landscape photos mostly and the wide angle works really well for me .

Don't let anyone tell you photoshopping is cheating . I do use photoshop , I believe all photos need some editing ,

Regards Jacko

AnswerID: 538123

Reply By: martycon - Sunday, Aug 24, 2014 at 23:58

Sunday, Aug 24, 2014 at 23:58
Some of the higher end Travel Zoom compact cameras may be worth a look. Many have lots of pixels, heaps of zoom, fair definition, and can record in RAW, which with a single lens from wide 28 to long 400mm zoom lens with full manual control available makes these a very convenient and competent touring camera. regards marty.
AnswerID: 538139

Reply By: Louwai - Thursday, Aug 28, 2014 at 13:34

Thursday, Aug 28, 2014 at 13:34
We favour Canon. I've been involved in astronomy for many years & almost every astro-photographer I know who uses a DSLR, uses a Canon.
In Astro-photography circles, they are regarded as superior to other makes generally in both functionality & durability.

I've had a Canon 350D for soooo long, & have just recently upgraded to a 5DmIII. Amazing clarity & depth. Not to mention all of the built-in functions.

I haven't used a 700D, but if I had to choose from only the 2 you mention, then that would be my choice.
AnswerID: 538260

Reply By: get outmore - Thursday, Aug 28, 2014 at 15:00

Thursday, Aug 28, 2014 at 15:00
I went to buy a DSLR but walked out with a mirrorless panasonic G6.
I dont think any camera will let you down for image quality these days so i bought it on features for price
in camera panaroma, HDR I use alot and when on the go you can wirelessly transmit the pics to your smart phone and upload them to photobucket for instand sharing/posting on forums etc . the camera can also be totally controlled by your phone for taking pictures or movies remotely of the phone
AnswerID: 538262

Reply By: Member - Des - Friday, Sep 05, 2014 at 10:08

Friday, Sep 05, 2014 at 10:08
Canon and Nikon dominate the DSLR market, but Pentax and Sony also make excellent DSLRs and since they have to try harder they generally offer more "bang for buck".

Pentax's entry level K-50 has weather sealing, and many of its lenses are also weather-resistant (labelled WR). You can safely use these lens/camera combinations in the rain - a big advantage for travelling. A K-50 with the Pentax DA 18-135mm WR and 55-300mm WR would be a great kit for about $1200. Add a cheap prime for low-light use (e.g. the Pentax DA 35 f2.4 or DA 50 f1.8, about $160), a macro lens (e.g. Pentax DA 100mm WR) and an ultrawide (e.g. DA 15 or Sigma 10-20 f3.5) and you have a semi-pro kit for a lot less than the equivalent in Canon or Nikon. For a wealth of info, see Pentax Forums

Whatever DSLR (or mirrorless interchangeable lens camera) you get, every time you change lenses there is a risk of dust getting in and settling on the sensor. This will often show up on your photos. It happens to everybody, even if you are very careful about changing lenses (which is difficult when travelling). Dust spots on photos can sometimes be removed with software, but it is a great nuisance. You absolutely need to have an effective means of cleaning your camera's sensor when necessary. I suggest a Dust-Aid starter kit, available from Camera Checkpoint in Dubbo. A loupe is also really useful to see where the dust spots are.
AnswerID: 538646

Follow Up By: The Landy - Friday, Sep 05, 2014 at 10:28

Friday, Sep 05, 2014 at 10:28
Hi Des

And to add on the dust issue, this will usually show up on images at f16 and above which tend to be landscape type photos with a large depth of field. So the combination of dusty travel, lens changing, and landscape photography falls into the ambit of many outback travellers.

Nikon recently put out a service advisory on the Nikon D600 which has had some problems in this regard above and beyond the “normal” problem of dust ingression.

Cheers, Baz – The Landy
FollowupID: 823173

Follow Up By: Member - Des - Friday, Sep 05, 2014 at 11:06

Friday, Sep 05, 2014 at 11:06
Spot on, Baz (if you'll pardon the pun).

I haven't bought into the question of DSLR v mirrorless v compact, because the OP specified a DSLR. But dust minimisation is a big argument for minimal lens changes, whether that means a compact camera or an all-in-one (superzoom) lens on a MILC or DSLR. For many travellers, the versatility of a good superzoom lens (e.g. Sigma 18-250 or Tamron 16-300, available in various mounts) outweighs the optical compromises (e.g. slow maximum apertures, lack of sharpness in the image corners, etc). For images in good light, the disadvantages matter less anyway, and the optical quality of modern superzooms is generally very good.
FollowupID: 823182

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