Not another, what should I buy question...

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by kristyiclaremore, May 8, 2006.

  1. kristyiclaremore

    kristyiclaremore TPF Noob!

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    Ok my husband is going to buy me a digital camera in the next couple of months. Due to the fact that my Sony CD Mavica MVCDC350 has limited me in the photographs I want to take. He will buy me any camera I want with in the price range of no more then $600.00. He would prefer less but would go that high. What Im looking for is this:

    1. More mega pixels,(current camera has 3.2) If I get a good shot I want to be able to print a large print of it for my wall. [poster size]

    2. I need more Zoom or can stay in the price range with lens that have good range. (current camera has 3X optical) [also not sure how to tell what the lens range is can anyone tell me in grade school terms what they mean] I wanting to get great pictures of birds and around here they dont seem to land much on the ground. I usually get specks when I take photos now and would like details like maybe even eyelashes if the have them :)

    3. I also have a love for macro photos. I do tend to take photos of bugs and flowers most often. I have had great luck with the camera I have and hope the next would be the same or better.

    4. I have recently got more into photography and plan to someday (soon I hope, but doubt) Get enough experiecne to open a shop. or charge for services. So I need a camera that will provide me with quality pictures. (Which I know is mainly up to the photographer not the camera)

    5. Also I notice when I take a full body shot of people I dont get close enough because I lose the body shot if I zoom in but cant see the eyes well if I back up is this something I can do on any camera and not doing it right or do people use a type of lens for this.

    Ok I'll stop there I belive I thats all the qualities Im looking for in a camera. If there is one out there that can do all this in that price range maybe a little bit more. Can someone help me on this?

    Thanks you,
    Kristy :heart: :hugs:
     
  2. Rob

    Rob TPF Noob!

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  3. Big Mike

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

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    It sounds like a Digital SLR would be right for you. The image quality will be much better than a non-DSLR, the biggest reason being the size of the sensor (the chip that actually receives the light). This is even more important the the number of Mega pixels.

    Although, a DSLR with the kit lens will not have a huge range of zoom like some digi-cams. With a DSLR, you have the ability to completely change then lens to something that better suits the task at hand.

    $600 might just be enough to get a DSLR. Maybe a little more with the lens. Look at the Canon Digital Rebel XT or the Nikon D50. Pentax has a DSLR model in that price range but I don't recall the model number.

    It may seem like a lot for a digital camera but a DSLR is a much, much better camera than anything else in that price range. Also, you will be buying into a system (like Canon or Nikon). The lenses that may purchase in the future, will all be part of that system. DSLR cameras and especially the lenses will hold their value...while typical point & shoot digicams loose almost all their resale value.
     
  4. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    Agreed. Apart from anything else you're very unlikely to get the poster-sized prints you're after at the quality you want with anything less than an SLR.
     
  5. benhasajeep

    benhasajeep TPF Noob!

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    I disagree on the have to get DSLR for better pictures. But I do agree that if in the future you want to do professional work. You will have a much easier time with a DSLR just becasue of the ability to change lenses and accessories.

    There are some very good P&S digital cameras and they will allow you to take very very good pictures. But they do have limitations. The lens being the biggest. Though you can buy adapters you are basically limited to its built in range. If your style of photography falls into the cameras range it just may well be suited for you.

    The next percieved shortfall of p&s is they normally have a smaller range of ISO. Same as a film camera. With an increase of iso, you can use slower shutter or smaller aperature (larger number). But again, it deppends on your use of the camera. If you are always in a studio with lighting or in daylight. You will not need higher iso's offered by the DSLR's.

    The p&s cameras have smaller sensors. I don't know anything about sensor size. But they say the smaller ones are not as sensitive as the larger sensors. They may have the same megapixels but the belief is the larger seneor with larger pixels will collect more light. I have no clue.

    I have an 8 mega pixel Canon DSLR and an 8 mega pixel Nikon point and shoot. At the extremems the Canon will definately out do the Nikon. But in normal average picture taking with say 8x10 prints. I am not so sure you can tell a difference with the naked eye.

    I useually leave a note at the end of equipment suggestions that people remember they can always sell their equipment and buy better if they find the need. With SLR and DSLR lenses that is the case they don't loose much value with time. However P&S and even DSLR's do loose value a bit faster due to the quick increases in the technology. P&S digitals will loose value a bit quicker than a DSLR but you still should get about half price after a couple years. I looked the other day at one of my old p&s digitals. In 6 years its avg selling price is about 1/4 of what I paid new. Thats not too bad for as fast as the technology is moving.

    So what I suggest is if you can afford to buy a DSLR and a good lens, Approx $1,000 to 1,2000 basically double your husbands limit. I say do it. In the long run you will be better off. As you will be able to use the lens on a new body in the future as you upgrade (as long as you stay with the same system). But if you really can't afford that. Get a high quality point and shoot camera that has the specifications that you will normally use. If you shoot alot of macro. Make sure it doesn't just have a macro mode. But look and see what its close focus is. What lens ranges does the macro work in. Etc. I would suggest pick 3 or 4 cameras that you think may have the features you want. Then do a very thorough comparision of them. Weed them out until you are at the last one.
     
  6. Rob

    Rob TPF Noob!

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    I should probably add that a good macro lens for a DSLR is probably about the same cost as your total budget!

    Rob
     
  7. kristyiclaremore

    kristyiclaremore TPF Noob!

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    Thank you very much. Im think a DSLR will be what I need to grow. The price tag is a little high but I think I probally should save up for it and then buy it, instead of splurging on a pns that I will grow out of.

    SO a Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT is the best for what I need?
     
  8. benhasajeep

    benhasajeep TPF Noob!

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    Canon Rebel XT or Nikon D50 will be closest to your current money goal. The Canon has more megapixels than the Nikon but the quality between the two seem borderline the same. I happen to have a Canon 20D and the Nikon D50. I have not copared the two of them side by side yet. The Nikon has one advantage that is can use more lenses (basically everything made since the 70's manual focus or autofocus). Some say Nikon has better top end lenses. Of course thats even more money.

    You are really picking a system. Not just a camera. As the lenses will follow you as you get better cameras in the future. Most recommend Nikon or Canon, and a few suggest Pentax.

    Read up on Nikon D50 and Canon Rebel XT. I think the Nikon is slightly lower in price. But they are both close.
     
  9. Johnboy2978

    Johnboy2978 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I'll throw my .02 in quickly. My first camera was the Sony Mavica cd500. It's a 5mp camera and worked beautifully. Had a nice lens, but only the 3x optical zoom that you complained of with yours. Actually, if it had a better zoom, I might not have moved up to the DSLR class. I was quite pleased with its image quality, also did pretty well w/ macros, and best of all stored pics on the mini cd instead of pricey memory cards.

    I now have a Pentax ist DS which I am very pleased with. You will find many here that are devout canon, or nikon users which is fine. I think Pentax gets overlooked a lot b/c of their lack of a multitude of lenses to choose from. I chose it b/c I already had manual focus lenses and since they haven't changed their mount, I can still use lenses on this new camera that are 30 years old. Pentax has about 5 (I think) different models w/ only slight differences. The ist D, ist DS, ist DS2, ist DL, and maybe a ist DL2? I was flipping through the shopping network last night and HSN.com had ist DL w/ lens for $559, which is a great deal I thought. In my opinion Pentax will stand up to Nikon or Canon in image quality, but they do have less lenses to choose from (let the feud begin), and I think they have some excellent glass in their prime lenses (just got a 50mm 1.4 prime lens for under $200). In the end, I think it comes down to personal preference. If you are going to spend the $ for a DSLR, go with a trusted name, and then play around w/ each brand in a store to see what fits best for you.
     

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