Recommendations for DSLR under $1,000

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by wtdedula, Apr 13, 2007.

  1. wtdedula

    wtdedula TPF Noob!

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    Hello All;
    I would like your thoughts on what would be a good Digital SLR camera for under $1,000 ? I purchased the Nikon Coolpix 5700 about 5 years or so ago but but doesn't seem to be too well suited to the the way I am using it based upon feedback received on this and another forum as well as my own personal experiences.

    I need to take pictures frequently in exhibit halls, and museums which freqnently have limited or subdued lighting and I need to take close-up pictures of people (kids usually) watching an image on a projection screen or plasma TV.

    Here is a few examples of the types of pictures I need to take frequently ...

    http://news.webshots.com/photo/2935738230030076408rcklej?vhost=news

    http://rides.webshots.com/photo/1404669655030076408VXpdIJ?vhost=rides

    The Canon Digital Rebel Xti and the Nikon D40 and D80 seem like incredibly popular cameras so I am looking at one of these three unless anyone has a different recommendation. Someone commented that the 5700 is pretty useless at any speed higher than 200. Also, I get the impression that the 5700 doesn't really use all of the features of a external speedlight. Also, even though the 5700 has a automatic mode, I have never been able to get a good picture from it (Inside an exhibit hall) in the 5 years I've owned it. When using the external speedlight indoors with the 5700, I always 100% of the time get an overexposed image even in "Auto" mode.

    Thanks for any advice you can give me regarding the best under $1,000 DSLR camera for the particular usage I am planning.

    Tim
     
  2. MikeR

    MikeR TPF Noob!

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    I have an Original Digital Rebel and thought about upgrading to the Xti. The only thing that stopped me was the fact that the camera body is small. It would be great for someone w/small hands., and others my like the fact that it is small, But after having a larger body for years (including film cameras) I did not like the feel of it in my hands. However it is loaded with features. I'm now waiting for the 30D to be replaced, then I will upgrade, buit it will cost more than the Xti.
     
  3. Peniole

    Peniole TPF Noob!

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    Have you had a look at the new Olympus E-510 specs. Droool.

    10MP four thirds system new NMOS sensor
    Live view (the only manufacturer I know of that has this on a dSLR)
    Dust reduction
    Shake reduction
    Plus all the other refinements of it's predecesor the E-500.

    $999 for the 2 lens kit
    $899 for only the 14-42mm kit
    don't remember how much for the body only.
     
  4. Zatodragon

    Zatodragon TPF Noob!

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    Well, Shooting subjects with a projected screen or tv will be tricky for any kinda camera body. I'd probably look for something with Nikon's dSLR's or Sony's Alpha. Nikon D80 is an incredible camera with lots of features that will perform solid. Plus nikon has a huge library of lenses to help for what ever situation you come across. The body feels nice and full in the hand too!

    Sony's Alpha has the anti-shake in body, which is a big plus, and the DRO (Dynamic Range Optimizer) which will help get you a more balanced exposure in most cases. The only down side to Alpha is that after 400 iso, it does get more noise than comparable models.

    But the dSLRs they have out today are all rated pretty good, so it will be hard not to find one that won't work well for ya. The last bit of advice i could give ya is to think what future needs you will have for the camera and see if any of the companies can assist you with that.

    Happy Hunting!

    Oh, and about taking pictures dealing with a screen of sorts, i might try using an accessory flash you could bounce off a ceiling. I haven't tried doing that with illuminated screens just yet, but that might help out quite a bit.
     
  5. wtdedula

    wtdedula TPF Noob!

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    Hello all;
     
  6. wtdedula

    wtdedula TPF Noob!

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    Lets try this again;

    Hello All;
    Thanks for all of your helpful suggestions and recommendations for various cameras.

    I am curious what is the difference between my Coolpix 5700 camera and a DSLR camera ? I originally thought I was getting a DSLR camera when I bought the Coolpix because it seemed to have so many manual settings but folks say it's not considered a DSLR.

    Zatodragon, I did consider bouncing light off the ceiling since my Speedlight will do that but most of the ceilings are way too high at the various conference centers and museums that I take pictures at that this doesn't work at most.

    I am really leaning so much toward a Nikon D80 except that I cringe at the fact that the current camera I have is also a Nikon and I can't seem to do anything well with it even after much book reading and experimenting.

    Are there any really, really good books that explain well how to use DSLR cameras well ?

    Tim
     
  7. Zatodragon

    Zatodragon TPF Noob!

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    ahh, Well there are a few major points of difference between your coolpix and a dSLR. A dSLR has fully interchangeable lenses to suit different needs, has a much larger physical sized sensor, and when you look threw the view finder, your seeing the actual reflected image from the mirror in a dSLR, not a digitized image. Light meters are usually a bit more accurate in a dSLR too.

    Now, your camera does have a lot of manual functions, but a dSLR will have even more available to you. You'll also find the actions of a dSLR prolly to be faster.

    I think the D80 could be right up your ally, but if you want to make sure, see if you have a kits/ritz/wolf camera shop close to you. If they are anything like the one down here, you have 14 days after you purchase it to bring it back for a full, 100% cash refund. No restocking fee's like best buy a few of the other stores. But ask em before ya buy ;).

    Also, if a ceiling is out of reach, you might try aiming the flash behind you at a wall if it's close enough. I'm gonna be pretty blunt in saying that you might not find as much of a difference your wanting with the kind of pictures you want to take with a dSLR than the 5700. It will be more in the technique than equipment i think. I could be wrong.

    If you don't mind the people being a little dark, but the screen properly exposed, a fast, wide-aperature lens on a dSLR could do the trick. like the nikon 50mm f/1.8 D series you can find just about anywhere for about 100 bucks.

    Hope some of this info helps!
     
  8. Zatodragon

    Zatodragon TPF Noob!

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    And i just thought of another way to try and help explain this!

    The science of everything is if a portion of the picture is too bright or too dark, one could say it's not balanced lighting. So, in order to get something to achieve that balance, you either have to lighten one side or darken another. The light on the screen is much lower than a head-on flash exposure, but its still much brighter than the ambient light around it. The trick will be trying to find that perfect balance. Hope i didn't confuse you or myself there! ;) Good luck!
     
  9. scsomike

    scsomike TPF Noob!

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    i'm really new to this but i'll try to contribute. i was looking at the e-510 as well, however many friends told me to shy away from them since the lens choice was pretty limited and quite pricey. the canon xti (400d for the euro's) also has the self cleaning/dust removal like the e-510.

    i personally am still torn between the xti and the d40x.
     
  10. cosmom3

    cosmom3 TPF Noob!

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    Also a newbie to the photography world, I'm currently torn between the Xti for ease of use and capabilties, and than the D20.

    Still looking for a solution to this problem. :madass: ;)
     

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