The Dungu’s guide to dSLR cameras

If you are a professional photographer or pretend you are one (which most of us do), you may want to skip reading this. If you do not know what dSLR stands for, then please proceed.

I had tried out three of the current favoruite brands of dSLR cameras. So, I am going to jot down why I changed my mind about getting a dSLR camera.

First model : Olympus E300
Price quoted : RM3.6K come with two free lenses
Pro : Freebies, I am a sucker for freebies!
Con : If something comes free, it means something is wrong with the something. Hence, my antennae stands on erect. I tried sniffing out the reason from Olympus/websites. But of course, they said their model is the best, most value for money, latest technology and all that jazz. A competitor told me the reason. Hence, I give it a miss. Sorry, I cannot quote the reason on my website.

Next model : Nikon D70S (D70 is a discountinued model)
Price quoted : RM3.5K
Pro : I have this thing for men with huge Nikon cameras. The longer the lense, the more attractive. Certainly, my atm will not let me indulge in such fet*sh, no?

Con : Just one hold of the camera, I know it is not for me. My palm is too small and when I hold the camera, the part between my thumb and the rest of the fingers feel like koyak (torn). This monster is too heavy. I cannot imagine holding the camera and perching on some trees branches, trying to balance the camera and myself. (hahaha, my ambition is to be a mata-mata gelap to tangkap basah/private detective catching cheating spouses)

Finally – Canon EOS350D
Quoted : RM3.8K
Pro : I am in love with my 4 years old Canon A10 which is so durable eventhough it belongs to my 2 yrs old toddler now. Toddler took great pics, btw. Therefore, I figure out Canon must produce great cameras. I have the leaflet with me and had been studying the specifications like I understand. Pssttt…I know nuts about technical things, ok?

However, this model is light and easy to handle. The built in lense is built in higer compared to Nikon and therefore, has a bigger coverage of focal length. Sort of like the spotlight that has a longer pole shines further, geddit?

Con : I tried out the camera a few times. I love taking macro shots. So, I grabbed something available at the counter and wanted to take huge, close-up photo of it. *deflates sound* I cannot get the kind of result I expect. The salesman told me I need to buy another RM600 macro lense if I want to see giant ants, for e.g. Then, I ask about hotshoe, tripod, wide angle lense, yadda yadda and *sniff, sniff* I may need to fork out at least RM6K.

As a sour-grape note – because the camera is light, it feels less ‘solid’ compared to Nikon and Olympus.

Conclusion : If you can afford it, splurge. If you can only afford the basic stuffs, think twice. Once you get your hands on the camera, the urge to acquire more lenses and accessories is very tempting. If you cannot afford those accessories, you may end up feeling dissatisfied. The higher end digital cameras are sufficient.

Where am I getting? I am STILL WAITING for my Minolta Z3 to come back to me. It has given me enough satisfaction with what it offers. In these few weeks when I had to eat humble pie and rely on my Canon A10 (1.3MP, 3x digial zoom) while the Z3 is in the repair shop, I found out that one does not need expensive cameras to take great pictures. It lies with how you see the world, what is in your heart, how you feel about a certain object/subject and how passionate you are in sharing that story with others.

11 thoughts on “The Dungu’s guide to dSLR cameras

  1. mm canon is light.thats one of the selling point.

    and yup u need to get the lenses.but u can get 2rd party ones,like sigma n stuff,so not that expensive.

    its like an investment la i guess.

  2. Ok, this going to be a loooonnngg comment.
    1. stay away from anything that are not Nikon or Canon. Why? because anything non-Nikon/Canon are pretty exclusive, and not popular. Price is cheap, and resellable value is high. Imagine Nikon/Canon is like local cars – Low price, high demand, good resellable value. If one day you get tired of your Nikon lens/body. You can sell it easily with a pretty decent price. The market has great demand and great response. Not to mention on the other hand, you can get 2nd hand lens/body easily as well. Your investment in Nikon/Canon will assure you that you won’t lost a lot. In fact, Last time I sold my D70 kit lens was over RM1200k. I don’t lost much.

    I tried E300, IMO, it sucks. Best model, value for $? my ass. My advice is skip it.

    Nikon D70S is a solid piece, it came with a pretty decent kit lens. compare to 350D, 350D feels plastic, and it come with a low-quality cheap lens. regardless which made you go for. It doesn’t really matter as long as you are in Nikon/Canon, you are on the safe side.

    2. Lens plays the most important role. But be warned. when you venture into photography, very soon you will find that any good lens can costs a fortune, and more expensive than your dSLR body. be prepared to fork up more $ for good lens to meet your demand. Don’t get fooled by the “FREE lens” No such thing is free. Go survey around with different shops.

    2. Lens are varies from quality. Zoom range does not determine the price. it is quality of the lens that matter. 100-300mm F3.5 could cost only RM300. 70-200mm F2.8 could cost RM6k. Of course, quality of the result is superb. You need to experience it to tell the difference.

    Since you are in Penang, I recommend you go survey around in Penang Road. Two shops I recommend are: PhotoEasyCam at Komtar, ground floor, below staircase that facing the temple/bustop(towards Jetty). Another one is at one of the WW2 buildings next to Penang Plaza. Can’t remember the shop name. They have very extensible range of tripods.

    3. A dsr body is imporant with weight. It should be heavy. It is important because a solid lens would be better on heavy lens. trust me. those lens are heavier than the body.

    4. If you want wider, get a wide angle lens. suitable for scenery. I suggest you start with a prime lens – 50mm F1.8 (RM400+- only for this superior quality lens). You will love this lens.

    5. Since you are into macro photography. to achieve macro photography there are 3 ways.
    a. get a macro filter. cheapest solution. Cost RM1300 (varies from lens specs). impressive result. make sure you get those can produce 1:1 macro. add an extension tube to further magnify a macro. which is even cooler.

    6. Don’t buy too many things at once. I suggest you get the kit first. be it D70S or 350D. For accessories, I suggest you get additional batt, a 1gb CF Card (don’t bother about “free” cards), and additional 50mm F1.8 lens as starter. Worry about other accessories later when you get used to your kit.

    that’s all I can think of atm. good luck.

  3. lilian, try buying Fuji S5500..looks like professional SLR camera but its light and easy to use..and oh!’s cheap too..

    despite having all those SLR gadgets, i still used the automatic mode..

  4. Additional point to Kancil killer facts
    – Fuji DSLR share the same lens with Nikon
    – Macro …kikikikikkkik, I have told you so. But somebody told me that you can buy a converter lens and make a RM400 50mm F1.8 lens as a macro lens.
    – Thanks to D70s, D70 is going through price crash. budget buyer should go get a D70 instead of D70s.
    – Nikon D50 is cheaper. But I still suggest D70(not the s) if you can afford.
    – The camera is huge, you can’t hide it
    – It is difficult to do candid shot with DSLR

  5. they say it’s not the canggih-ness of the camera that matters. it’s the skill of the one handling the camera.


  6. moo_t:
    you only need a thing called macro extension tube. yes, it costs about RM400+

    I am not sure how much is D70 now.

    forget D50. it is a horrible edition. Not sure why Nikon wanted to make such lowend slr to kill itself.

    If anyone who buy an SLR, I don’t think he is interested to hide it.

    you use tele lens to do spy shots. 😛 and for candid shot people has no time react.

  7. KK & Moo_t – Wah, I learn from both of you more than reading all those manuals and books. Got no money to invest and no skill to use it fully. So back to my Minolta Z3.

    RB – Bad habit mah, if got branded lense, then want the branded wan. But no money leh.

    Lynee – Exactly, got big camera if no skill also useless hor.

  8. Since you own a Konica Minolta, you’re not considering the Maxxum 7D (Konica Minolta’s first dSLR)? :o)

  9. Bart
    Don’t tempt me. Hahaha.

    However, the shop guy advised us to wait for about half a year because he said all the brands are competing now and prices will drop further and more choices coming. People are into buying dSLR cameras. For status symbol, I guess, more than the actual usage.

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