Buying new camera


TPF Noob!
Mar 30, 2009
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Ashland, Ky.
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I'm not sure if this is where I should post this, but it seemed like the most appropriate place.
I've been taking and editing pictures for several years. I've went through a few lower-end cameras and I feel I have established the basics. I try to learn and educate myself in photography as much as possible and I feel I'm ready to purchase more of a mid-ranged camera. I want something that is still simple to use but will still give me a high quality photograph. I am debating between a Point and Shoot and a DSLR. I am currently using a Sony Cybershot 6.0 megapixel camera, which I've had for three years. I use Photoshop Elelments for picture editing. Lately, I have had alot of request to do event photos, mostly for the people that I work with..weddings, birthdays..etc. I would love to get into this as a hobby, but I don't think my Sony is going to cut it. I plan on spending several hundred dollars on a new camera so I want to make sure that I am buying the right one for me! I don't need alot of fancy or technical equipment, just something simple that will produce great photos. I guess what I'm really looking for is a camera with good optical zoom, shutter speed and I prefer a battery pack to batteries! If anyone has any advice for me I would very much appreciate the feedback!
Well, you mention a good optical zoom, which indicates to me that you are looking at another P/S or bridge camera, and not a DSLR. I would not consider doing a professional event like a wedding w/o at least a prosumer if not pro DSLR body and matching backup body, several lenses, 2 flashes, etc. Doing an event like a wedding shouldn't be something that you just fall into. The camera itself will not 'produce great photos' on its own accord. The photographer and his or her skill level dictate the quality level of either snap shot or family heirloom.

A starting point for this discussion would be your price point as that will dictate the direction of helpful responses.
Well, you mention a good optical zoom, which indicates to me that you are looking at another P/S or bridge camera, and not a DSLR.

I disagree, the fact the OP knows the difference between optical and digital zoom would indicate she has a grasp of some important fundamentals.

If she's really enjoying photography then I'd say stepping up to a DSLR would be the best choice.

All the main manufacturers provide suitably equipment but as allways I'd reccomend you look at Pentax.

This is because in the starter to enthusiast and even semi-pro levels they produce a solid, dependable and extremely good value for money range of equipment that produce images that are at least as good, arguably better, than the competition.

The K200D is the Pentax I think you'd enjoy, it's solid with a good range of features. It's got the best build quality of it's price ranging ( matching it's pricier K20D sibbling ) and like all Pentaxes worked fine with any pentax compatable lens built in the last 50 years ( approxx ).
Pick a slightly used prosumer DSLR out by doing some reaserach, then watch your local Craig's List photo/video for sale forum for it to appear. You should be able to get a really good deal, a lot of people who weren't serious about photography have been off loading their prosumer DSLRs for extra cash. Research Research Research, figure out how much you want to spend and align it to a camera that fits that value, both Canon and Nikon make great DSLRs.
Thanks for the Pentax tip. I have to admit I had never heard of that brand before. It is getting good reviews and I'm going to include it in my search!
Okay, I've been researching cameras for some time and the more that I read, the more confused I become on which camera I should buy. I just thought that maybe I should elaborate on what the purpose of this camera will be. Mainly, it will be used for my family, my kiddies. Also, I would like to do some photography on the side, as more of a hobby than profession since I have had alot of request to do so. I don't need alot of fancy lenses and stuff, just something simple but would like to try out a DSLR for a change. I guess I should have specified that spending several hundred dollars on a camera to me means $300-400, not $600-900! I'm really getting scared that I am going to buy something that I don't like, or that isn't exactly what I need. I have a Sony now, and I have to say that I have been very pleased with it! Please, keep the suggestions coming, I am reseaching every suggestion to find the right fit for me! I appreciate any help that I can get!

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