Urban planning community | #theplannerlife

+ Reply to thread
Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Anyone recommend a DSLR setup for taking planning photos?

  1. #1
    Member
    Registered
    Jun 2009
    Location
    cyburbia
    Posts
    2

    Anyone recommend a DSLR setup for taking planning photos?

    Hi all,
    The simple point and shoot camera no longer fulfills my student planning needs as well as casual urban picture taking. Does anyone recommend certain dslr cameras and lenses? Picture Noise, lack of zoom, and the need for a wider angle has been my main concerns with the current point and shoot.

    So far I've looked into purchasing a canon 50D dslr, however I have no idea which lenses will suffice.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Cyburbian cellophane's avatar
    Registered
    Jan 2009
    Location
    louisville, ky
    Posts
    285
    http://digital-photography-school.com/
    http://www.dpreview.com/

    i just bought a 40D with the 28-135 kit lens and its great. i have read quite a few people that say the 40 takes better pictures than the 50 but i havent put them side by side personally.

    you can buy a 40d with lens for a decent price now. if you dont mind refurbished you can get some great deals (this is what i did)

  3. #3
    Cyburbian boiker's avatar
    Registered
    Dec 2001
    Location
    West Valley, AZ
    Posts
    3,895
    Nikon D40 takes great pics and comes with an 18-55mm kit lens that is great for street scenes/wide shots. Pic up a zoom lens that goes to at least 200mm and you'll be set for close-ups and detail shots of stuff that is just a bit too far away.

    Don't let it's 6 megapixel resolution scare you. The large CCD sensor in the SLRs makes the pics look far better than any point and shoot 12 megapixel. Lastly, if you really want good images, invest in HQ lenses. The "glass" makes the most difference in pic quality.
    Dude, I'm cheesing so hard right now.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian cellophane's avatar
    Registered
    Jan 2009
    Location
    louisville, ky
    Posts
    285
    Quote Originally posted by boiker View post
    Don't let it's 6 megapixel resolution scare you. The large CCD sensor in the SLRs makes the pics look far better than any point and shoot 12 megapixel. Lastly, if you really want good images, invest in HQ lenses. The "glass" makes the most difference in pic quality.
    the image sensor size is pretty important. most people get bumrushed by "more megapixels" which is great, but doesnt really matter if your image sensor is only the size of a pinhead.

    and as boiker said, its all about the lens. an awesome lens on a 40 year old camera will take better pictures than a crappy lens on last week's model.

  5. #5
    Member
    Registered
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Perth, Australia
    Posts
    16
    I have the Nikon D40X and have been very happy with it. I bought it cheap and thought that the 200mm lens would be really handy, but I have to admit I use the 18-55 much more and usually go as wide as possible and crop back for the useful pics.

  6. #6
    Member
    Registered
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Perth, Australia
    Posts
    16
    Meant to mention 2 other things - D40X is 10 mgapixel, but if you can afford the D60, do it, as the D40 and D40X rely on inbuilt lens motors, whereas the D60 has it's own motor (apparently). So you can buy cheaper lens later for the D60 and a wider variety and is not much more expensive a camera.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Woolley's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    133
    Canon 40D seems to be the preferred choice of 5 people I know. Can't wait till I get mine

  8. #8
    Cyburbian JimPlans's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Gone to a better place (in my mind)
    Posts
    407
    I'll be contrarian here and recommend you check out Pentax. I have a K100D Super that I am very happy with, and it was very reasonably priced.

    When I was checking out DSLRs, I ruled out Canon pretty quickly based on my bad experiences with Canon SLR film cameras. I ruled out Nikon, well, because I've just never liked Nikon cameras. I always thought they were clunky and overpriced. Both the Nikon and the Canon in my (low) price range felt plasticky and cheaply made.

    My two main choices were Pentax and Olympus, because I've always been happy with their products and, in Pentax's favor, I had a Pentax film SLR whose lenses were interchangable. While I liked the Olympus in a lot of ways, its viewfinder view was too small and I didn't like the focus-by-wire aspect of the lenses.

    One of the nice things about Pentax is that older lenses are compatible, so if you have or can find a good quality film camera lens you can use it with few problems. Also, Pentax has a very nice line of fixed focal length lenses, including wide angles (though they are not cheap).

    My 2 cents.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    The Cheese State
    Posts
    10,074
    Quote Originally posted by Warwick View post
    I have the Nikon D40X and have been very happy with it. I bought it cheap and thought that the 200mm lens would be really handy, but I have to admit I use the 18-55 much more and usually go as wide as possible and crop back for the useful pics.
    That's a very important point. The planning pictures we often take try to get a large area in the shot. Often, we do not have the ability to back up to get everything to fit. Think of taking a picture across a street as an example. If the building or object you are shooting is small you may not have a problem. If it is a 2-3story building or bigger, you will get a lot of distortion. A wide angle lens will cut down on this.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  10. #10
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Posts
    47
    I have the Nikon D70 and primarily shoot with the kit lens (18-70 mm). This provides enough for wide open shots, but doesn't give the distortion you can get being more open. If you're shooting mostly architecture, you don't need to go much larger than this range of lense (in terms of zoom) unless you're doing detail shots.

    My business partner just got the 18-200 VR, but it's pricey. It'll be a nice addition down the road so I won't need two lenses (one for street scenes and one for people in plaza/ detail shots, but I don't often hit the range of needing the 200mm.

    I haven't looked into the Pentax brand, but have felt the Nikons felt much more sturdy than the Canons (especially the Rebels).

    To help with keystoning distortion, PhotoShop now has the perspective tool to help correct it, or there's other stand-alone programs such as PTLens that corrects keystoning and barrel distortion.

+ Reply to thread

More at Cyburbia

  1. Taking a non-planning job
    Career Development and Advice
    Replies: 15
    Last post: 14 Sep 2011, 2:05 PM
  2. Replies: 7
    Last post: 23 Apr 2011, 7:08 PM
  3. Replies: 3
    Last post: 10 Apr 2008, 1:24 AM