Heading in the right direction? I need help with choosing a new camera

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by simplify, Feb 25, 2009.

  1. simplify

    simplify TPF Noob!

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    Hi!

    I'm new here and am needing a new camera, I was hoping ya'll could let me know if I'm heading in the right direction. Sorry if I've posted tooo much information, just figured more was better than less.

    I currently have a Canon powershot A95. It's still working ok but I am wanting to upgrade. My budget is around $500ish.

    I need something great for kids photos (fast shutter speed) and something that I can use to take pictures of very small items (I collect Japanese re-ment).

    I'm leaning toward getting a Canon XS and buying a macro lens (? don't know much about lens yet but from what I've read this seems to fit the bill) at a later time. Are there other options I should look at? What's a good resource for reading about lens?

    I plan on buying from my local camera store next time they have a sale.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. inTempus

    inTempus TPF Noob!

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    In your budget range you can either do the XS or the Nikon D40. I think the XS is the better of the two, but that's really a personal choice. Both have their pluses and negatives. Whatever you decide, once you start buying lenses you further commit yourself to that brand for the long haul.

    For what you want to do, the XS is a fine choice.

    As for pricing, I would check out Amazon.com, Adorama or B&H photo before buying locally. If you can beat their prices locally, that's outstanding. I've not been able to, so I shop from them almost exclusively.

    Be sure not to get taken in by any number of the scam sites that offer ridiculously cheap prices. If you buy from any vendor other than those I listed above, be sure to check them out on this site to get customer feedback on them. It will help prevent being scammed.

    Ratings and Reviews for Stores at ResellerRatings.com: Search: Showing All Stores

    Welcome aboard!
     
  3. Big Mike

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

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    Welcome to the forum.

    A fast shutter speed is not something that one camera does better than another...it's a matter of how much light you have and the exposure settings you can use for that light. The biggest factor in getting faster shutter speeds is having a lens with a large maximum aperture (a lower F number). The lens that usually comes with cameras like this, has a maximum aperture of F3.5 to F5.6...not very big. You could add something like a 50mm F1.8...which would give you the ability to get much faster shutter speeds in the same light.

    As for macro, a real 'Macro' lens is going to be rather expensive...probably more than your total budget. However, there are other things you can do. Firstly, I'd see just how close you can get with the kit lens...I seem to remember that the 18-55mm lens can get pretty close and you could probably just crop to make it seem closer.

    You could also try diopter lenses (close up filters) that screw to the front of your existing lens or extension tubes which go behind the lens and allow you to get really close.

    One thing to consider is that most 'point & shoot' (non SLR digital cameras) are pretty good at macro...meaning that they can get very close and are still able to focus. That is one of the only things they can do better than a DSLR (with standard lens) though.
     
  4. dcclark

    dcclark TPF Noob!

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    I suspect that the OP may mean "no shutter lag" when he says "fast shutter speed". After all, you don't want to see your kid doing something cute, and then have to wait for the camera to focus, as the kid wanders off!

    However, shutter lag really isn't a problem on any SLR: point, press the shutter release halfway down, then press it all the way down -- focus guaranteed. I'd recommend the Nikon D40 (or its replacement), just because it's so light. You won't mind carrying it around to take photos of your kids. :)
     
  5. Big Mike

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

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    That's possible. Many P&S cameras are quite slow with their shutter lag.

    Although...many people get blurry shots of moving subjects and know that they need a faster shutter speed to freeze the motion. However, they may not understand that it's not really the camera's fault and they assume a more expensive camera will have a 'faster shutter speed'.
     
  6. simplify

    simplify TPF Noob!

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    Thanks, I actually did mean shutter lag--with my current p&s, I am constantly missing the kids expressions and settling for second best.

    However, I'm glad you brought up maximum aperture as I could see that becoming a factor once they begin sports. And I will check out the lens it comes with, I'm guessing that I'll be in heaven compared to my current camera.

    I'll check out the nikon and those sites, at first glance it may be hard for my local store to beat!

    Thanks so much all, I really appreciate your time!
     
  7. HelenOster

    HelenOster No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    There are a few interesting articles on lenses, here:

    AIRC - Adorama Imaging Resource Center: LENSFEST 2008



    Sincerely

    Helen Oster
    Adorama Camera Customer Service Ambassador


    helen.oster@adoramacamera.com
    www.adoramacamera.com
     

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