$500 budget is the sony H-5....

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by bullitt5561, Aug 24, 2006.

  1. bullitt5561

    bullitt5561 TPF Noob!

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    I have a $500 budget and I am looking at the Sony H-5. It seems like the best bang for the buck. I like to take pictures at car shows, pro sporting events, wildlife, golf swings, golf course scenery. Is this the best camera for me? what else shoudl I look at. Thanks in advance for any help you can give me.
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Welcome to the forum

    Is $500 your absolute budget limit? The reason I ask, is that you could get a much, much better camera for not too much more.

    The H-5 is one of the "SLR-Like" or super zoom digital cameras. They are usually pretty good cameras and can help you take really nice photos under optimum conditions. However, one big downside is that all these "SLR-like" cameras have a very small sensor. (Except the Sony R1). A small sensor means that the images will start to get noisy (grainy)...especially as you turn up the ISO setting.

    A Digital SLR camera, however, has a much bigger sensor. This means better image quality and much better performance at higher ISO settings.

    I don't know about the H-5 in particular, but most digi-cams I have tried have a noticeable shutter lag. You press the button and the camera waits before it can snap the photo. This is very annoying, especially when shooting sports, wildlife, golf swings etc. DSLR cameras act more like film cameras and have a very low shutter lag.

    While the H-5 has a nice looking Carl Zeiss lens...that is the only lens you will ever be able to use on that camera. With a DSLR, you have the option of buying new & better lenses. Plus, lenses can be kept while you upgrade the camera in the future. On top of that, lenses hold their value very well. In 5 years, the H-5 will have been replaced or upgraded at least 5 times. It will still be a decent camera...but if you had to sell it, who would buy a 5 year old camera when new & better ones have been out for 4 years? A good lens, is still a good lens...as long as they are still making cameras to use it.

    Still, a DSLR is not for everybody but at least give it some thought. For not much more money, you could really have a great camera.

    Have a look at the cheapest models. The Canon Rebel XT, the Nikon D50, the Pentax K110D etc. You could even get a good deal on an older used model.

    As always, it's best if you can go into a store and try out the different models. Hold them in your hands and see how they feel.

    Good luck.
     
  3. kilgtfish

    kilgtfish TPF Noob!

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    I think the key thing here is that you said you have a 500 dollar budget. If you go the slr route you can forget about that budget. You may be able to get a body and a couple of cheap lenses for less than 1000 bucks, but you will soon find yourself falling victim to lens lust. There is always another lens that seems like it would solve a particular optical problem. Image stabilization lenses will probably be on your list before too long. Faster and faster lenses will soon become your goal also. I have been down that road, and when I was younger I could carry 45-65 pounds of gear in a backpack on a long hike. Nowadays I am extremely happy with my H5. Image stabilized 2.8-3.7 Zeis lens that zooms out to 432mm, low shutter lag, fairly good focus speed(of course you will get faster focus speeds with the 1000 dollar quality lenses that you will need for the slr), a high resolution 3 inch lcd, and a high resolution viewfinder. The noise at higher iso's is something that Canon has definitely got the edge on all the competition, but if you compare noise levels between the H5 and those cameras you will see that the H5 does very well up to 400 and some reviews even state that 800 is usable. With todays noise removal software I would think that most folks would be satisfied with the images they get from the H5. Don't get me wrong....if you have to have a camera that will capture fast moving low light sports then the H5 will not do. You will have to spend several times your 500 dollar budget to meet those expectations.
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Welcome Kilgtfish, you bring up some good points.

    Yes, an SLR system can and usually does get expensive. Often, people are not content with just one or two lenses...but at least they have the option to upgrade or to stick with just one lens. The problem with an 'SLR-like' is that when & if you do decide to upgrade...your only options are cheap lens adapters (filters) or chucking the whole camera.

    DSLR prices are getting lower all the time. Photokina is coming in September which means new cameras...which means lower prices on existing models. $600-$750 will probably buy a DSLR and lens.
     
  5. kilgtfish

    kilgtfish TPF Noob!

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    Oh no! Mike, after reading your post I felt the draw toward an slr again. Even though it's great to have a very light camera bag, I still every now and then yearn for a D60 or D70 with F2.8 IS lenses that focus lightning fast. I swear...this hobby creates junkies out of us. I've had fully manual mechanical Nikons, later automatic mechanical slrs, then the mostly electronic slrs, then 6x6 medium format cameras(some twin lens, some slrs), and now digital cameras. And you know....it's funny......nowadays I see snapshots posted by new camera users that rival the best shots I ever got with any of those past camera systems. However, given my financial situation, even if slr's are getting cheaper.....I'll have to wait until they are free.:mrgreen:
     
  6. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    :lol:

    Most of us (meaning the type of people who hang out on Internet chat forums) are gear heads. It gives us something to talk about...and the more people talk about this stuff...the more we all want to upgrade or get new stuff. It never ends. But that's part of enjoying (or agonizing over) our wonderful hobby. When I was into golf, I was always wanting to buy newer and better equipment..same deal with cars...or whatever.

    We get a lot of people asking for recommendations for $500 cameras etc. I usually give the same advice that I give here. Most people who stay on this site for a while...usually get bitten by the DSLR bug eventually. Probably better to get one right off the bat, and let your system grow with your love of photography.
     

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