New to D-SLR... need a new camera!

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Church Rat, Jun 8, 2007.

  1. Church Rat

    Church Rat TPF Noob!

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    Hey all,

    I'm new here and also new to DSLR cameras and photography. I'm looking for my first DSLR and right now I have my eye on the Sony Alpha. I saw it at Circuit City and from the description it seems to be what I'm looking for. I want to be able to take excellent shots at indoors concerts, night time landscapes, macro, and portrait. Right now I use a P&S camera (Casio Exlim) but it is very limited in how far I can zoom and very grainy when taking night time and concerts pictures. Not to mention no features to change aperture priority or shutter priority. I like the fact that I can go on Manual mode with a DSLR, too.

    I'm taking a class online that introduces me to Composition, Depth of Field, and the Rule of Thirds, etc... Right now I really just want to be a hobby photographer. It would be great if there was a camera that I can use to take a variety of pictures in day, night, and indoor lighting settings. I want to be able to take sharp crisp pictures from near by and from far away.

    I would like to find a camera that has interchangeable lenses, but it's really not a top priority. I see that Sony actually has a good number of lenses, and since I'm just starting out I don't want to go too overboard on lenses.

    My budget would be around $500-800, if anyone else has suggestions on any other DSLR camera.

    Thanks.:)

    Church Rat
     
  2. Peniole

    Peniole TPF Noob!

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    When you mean low light, would you be doing high ISO handheld or high shutter speed shots, or would you be doing long exposures/tripod shots?

    If the former don't read on.

    If the latter, as a good value for the money I found the E-500 8MP to have very good low light capability if you keep it below ISO800, and the noise reduction is quite impressive (it actually takes a second exposure with the shutter closed and substracts the hot pixels from longer exposures). Plus it has dust reduction. (two lens kit 14-45mm and 40-150mm can be had for around $650, so you have some left over for a bag and CF card), if you have a little more cash the E-510 adds in body IS and 10MP (better sensor? yet to be fully reviewed).

    One warning it does get nosier at ISO800 or above (it has a smaller sensor area than APS-C), but the four thirds system keeps the lenses more affordable, for future expansion. One thing you mentioned is zoom, this camera has a 2x crop factor, so it's 150mm lens is actually a 300mm equivalent, this however also means that you need expensive fisheyes for really wide angle views.

    Here's a few threads with low light shots I took...

    First low light shot I took in my camera (not perfect, but no noise), just the first image the other two are from my old P+S
    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=77900

    Notice this one was a 1.2s exposure no NR applied.
    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=83571

    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=81504

    Hope this helps. NB: I don't work for Olympus but the feel of the camera (quality built) and of course images produced have won me over.
     
  3. ANDS!

    ANDS! No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Get a Nikon D50 used for 400 bucks from BHPhoto.com, and then pick up a prime lens with the kit lens.

    The Sony Alpha is a whole lot of camera for someone "new to d-slr".
     
  4. Church Rat

    Church Rat TPF Noob!

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    That would be high shutter speed shots. I would do high ISO but everytimie I try it the pictures just don't come out right. They are always very grainy and noisy. I'll be taking the concerts pictures handheld and the cityscapes and landscapes using a tripod. How does one achieve long exposure without blur ouccuring? I know I still have a lot to learn in the basics area.


    I really have my heart set on the Sony Alpha! I know that the D50 was suggested to me, but I really would like to have a non-entry-level DSLR camera, and the Sony Alpha has all what I am looking for. The auto sensor cleaning, the image stabilizer, and interchangeable lenses. I noticed from reading a few posts that the old Minolta lenses are complatible. I was testing the Sony Alpha at the local Circuit City for about an hour or so. I really would hate to buy a camera from there though because 2 different Circuit City's that I went to the people working there were no help at all. They have no clue about what they are selling or how to use it. I would rather go to Ritz Camera, except the warranties that they carry are way over priced. $108.00 for a one year warranty! Outrageous!

    One of my questions to the Circuit City employee was: "When the camera is in Manual mode how to you get it to focus properly, do you have to change the f-stop/aperture?" And they clearly had no idea what I was talking about, so the answer I got was. "Yeah, I'm sure that's what you have to do, but I don't know how to do that on this camera, let me find someone for you who does." Well, 20 minutes passed by and I'm still waiting for help. In that time I already figured out how to use most of the features. Anyways, I just left knowing that that is the camera I'm going to get. I'd rather not buy a camera that fragile and expensive online, so I may be purchasing it from Ritz Camera or if I have to...Circuit City. I just really want that camera! :mrgreen:

    Thanks for your help, I'm sure I'll have more questions later on.
     
  5. Seefutlung

    Seefutlung TPF Noob!

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    Presently, Canon has the best image quality at high ISOs (800, 1600, 3200) of any camera maker. I think you will be very disappointed with the Sony shooting concerts.

    In LA I suggest Canoga Camera ... internet pricing at a local store. Then Samy's.

    Canon 20D, ISO 3200 - No, Zero, Zilch, Nada, Noise Reduction Applied

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Seefutlung

    Seefutlung TPF Noob!

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    Sony Alpha at Canoga Camera $799 (canogacamera.com)

    another ISO 3200 -
    [​IMG]
     
  7. Church Rat

    Church Rat TPF Noob!

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    What settings did you use to take those pictures? It's stunning!
     
  8. crownlaurel

    crownlaurel TPF Noob!

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    The Sony Alpha a100K is currently on Ritz.com for $699 but I don't know if that's online only or if they have that discount in stores.
     
  9. ANDS!

    ANDS! No longer a newbie, moving up!

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  10. Seefutlung

    Seefutlung TPF Noob!

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    I shoot mainly available light ... and I like shoot in low light situations ... just to make things interesting ... most of my galleries are filled with higher ISO images. The band was shot at the Conga Club in LA more snaps taken at 3200 and 1600 can be found here:

    http://www.garyayala.smugmug.com/gallery/1494699#71689256

    The above settings were ISO 3200, 1/200, F/2.8. @ 70mm

    ISO 1600
    [​IMG]
     
  11. Church Rat

    Church Rat TPF Noob!

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    Thanks everyone for your help. I've decided to go with Nikon D80 because of the reviews it's got. Not to mention that link with the noise comparison between the big 3 camera makers. That was a big deciding factor too! :thumbup:

    So, I am really happy with my purschase and I cannot wait to get out there and shoot! I'm really looking forward to my upcoming road trip too!

    By the way, I did go to Samy's Camera in Pasadena to buy it. I bought the Tamron 18-250 mm lense. They also gave me a 1GB SD Card, a Tripod, and Camera Case, for free! I'm sure it all added up in the end though.... But, they sure do know their stuff! :D
     
  12. Seefutlung

    Seefutlung TPF Noob!

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    ^5

    Good Luck and Good Shooting

    Gary
     

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