can 55-200mm replcae 18-55mm ? What are the effects at closeups or portraits ?

Hello friends, I am going to buy a decent excellent DSLR canon and I am  confused very much.I don't know what to buy and what can be the best combinations, like :

1>Canon 1100D or Canon 550D

2>Nikon D3100 or Nikon D5100

                              which 1 of them is best ? for enthusiast like me, I am not a pro but like to have skill like a pro.

3>Lens 18-55mm IS or higher

         At first, I already decided to choose among 550D and D5100 because they are the leader in Entry level with excellent features and performance(ISO).But later on,reading too many online articles I was scattered.Some say  550D has a slower flash,catches the eyeblink(eyes-closed often) and D5100 has user unfriendly ergonomics , too much program for head bangings(lol) and a bit expensive also.

Later on, I thought why not buy a bit cheap dslr - Canon 1100D and add-up some gears like tripod,extra battery,macro or tele lens,etc..with saved amount.And again, I started to doubt , obviously the image quality (1100D) will be weaker than 550D or D5100/D3100..since its megapixel is less(12.2 mp) and lower movie setting(720i).Any suggestion will be helpful! Please use less technical words, I am from Asia and new to DSLR thing    : )

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Total comments: 10
Dima R
By Dima R (Jul 18, 2012)

The reason to get D5100 and not D3100, is that as your skills grow you will think that you need a "better" camera body very soon.
With D5100, you will be happier for longer time

Dima R
By Dima R (Jul 18, 2012)

Hi, I was i your shoes not too long ago, and here is what I learned.
I would be talking in terms of Nikon, since I know it.
try to stretch your budget and get D5100, with the kit lens. And start learning. You would like it, and will learn basics very quickly. After you learn the basics, you will know what additional lens you need.
55-200 is an older lens. 55-300 is the one becoming popular. Now, that is a great lens. But, Think of it as special purpose lens. It will not let you take better shots than 18-55. It will allow you to take shots of subjects further away. If you will think that you need it, get it after you learn the basics.
It may happen, that after learning the basics, you will like to do landscape or street photography. And for that reason, 55-300 is not too good. For portraits I would suggest getting "prime" low light lens. 50 or 60mm with maximum aperture at f1.8. Again, once you learn the basics of aperture and general photography, you will know why.

1 upvote
By Landscapephoto99 (Feb 24, 2012)

Buy a Sony A65 and get Tamron 17-50 / 70-200 f2.8 lenses. You get excellent IQ, 24MP / excellent color depth / as well as image stabilization on every lens since it is in body. That means you can take a fast prime, open it all the way and shoot in dark environments.

By sawantprasad (Feb 21, 2012)

HI Satyam,

Looks like u too are new to this site just like me. :)

Well I was in a similar situation a few days ago. I hav decided to buy a Nikon D3100 along with a standard 18-55 lens & a 55-300mm lens. Here's why..
1) I was not really bothered abt image qaulity as all I want to do with this DSLR is learn how to use the ISO, aperture & sutter speed combos. The guide mode in D3100 is a great tool for newbies
2) The difference in price of 3100 & 5100 allowed me to go for an extra telephoto lens whc completes the package.
3) Nikon was always my fav. I never used any camera other than nikons so there was no way I was looking into the canon range of cameras whn it was time for my first DSLR.

At this level I dnt think we can differentiate between the difference in the image quality of a better & a not so good DSLR. Also most of the recent cameras give decent results. So the only thing limiting us would be our own skills at this level.

Hope it helps...

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
ras enam
By ras enam (Jan 10, 2012)

I came to this article expecting something completely different. Still a good set of questions posed that us amateurs/beginners always want to/ should ask.

I personally just finished my order for a D5100 :) and should be getting it by the month end, would be getting it much faster but I live in Barbados and shipping and handling or local retail can and will be a biatch.

As for the lens question, I use both on my cousin's camera that I currently borrow from time to time, and will continue to borrow his 55-200 until i save some more money and buy either that same lens of the more expensive 18-200.
Its like Marty said both lens are useful and each has its own purpose, so both is always a good idea.

By Marty4650 (Dec 15, 2011)

The title of your article has very little to do with the content.

I will deal with each question separately. As far as which camera (the content of your post) then that is entirely up to you. Both are very nice cameras and both have very similar capabilities. Just select whichever one serves your needs best. I don't think you can go wrong with either one.

As far as the question in your title goes... the longer lens would be better for portraits and closeups. The best focal lengths for portraits tend to be between 50mm and 90mm (on an APSC camera, which both your choices are). Also, a longer lens allows you to take closeups from farther way, which can be useful when taking closeups of things that don't like a lens in their face. Like animals, birds, insects, or children.

But the 18-55mm is a very useful lens, and is great for everything else. So I say, get both.

My question for you is....why did you make this an "article" rather than a post in the Beginner's Forum?

By AnandaSim (Dec 17, 2011)

I agree Marty. The forum is for Q & A like this.

By vistaspmajor (Nov 21, 2012)

Hi Marty,

I just recently purchased a D5100 and am new to photography. I'd like to dig into your comment "The best focal lengths for portraits tend to be between 50mm and 90mm ". Why exactly is that so? Do different focal lengths affect image characteristics in any way apart from of course zooming in and out?



By Bhoothnath (Dec 14, 2011)

Hi 550D n 5100 both good cameras u choose
What make u like I prefer nikon

Philip Schick
By Philip Schick (Dec 4, 2011)

I am new to trhis great website. I have a cannon 299T speedlite. I was told it was not usable with a new cannon digital camera with a top shoe I have to choose between cannon and Nikon. If the speedlite will work with a new cannon I will buy a cannon camera.Please help, Phil

Total comments: 10