need help finding a camera


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Mar 15, 2012
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East Coast, USA
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we have a point and shoot camera, works just fine for all around use. However, I want to get something nicer. Not going pro, just want something for special occasions like the big family vacation coming this summer. Looking at maybe a DSLR, or a mirrorless. need to stay under $ 1,000, and the lower the better (i know, isn't that always the case). At this point, I think I need a general lens (18-55 or equiv) and a telephoto zoom lens. Not sure that I would need anything other lenses, at least not in the beginning.

uses would be general family stuff - kids sporting events, family occasions, general indoors / outdoors stuff, and then the big vacation (Portugal) coming up. lots of neat architectural subjects on the vacation, as well as beach.

This will be my first "real" camera, so something simple and versatile would be preferred - something a noob like me could operate.

Questions are:

1) good recommendations for camera. (currently considering a Canon T2i or a Lumix DMC-GF3, which I know are very different cameras)
2) where to buy: why not buy from online retailer

mind is spinning after doing some online research. Lots of online retailers that seem to put together a slightly different package on various cameras. However, I wonder why not buy from one of them - even of many of the trinkets are crap, there still seems to be value. I mean, a cheap case is better than no case, right ? price seems to be same-ish as the local Costco.

One worry I have - lack of detail on the specific lenses at the online shops. I mean, if the functional description and specs match, are there still gradations in terms of quality that would matter to an amateur like me ? I assume so, but then I wonder if my eyes would notice the difference ?

thanks for your input on either or both of my questions.
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Well, coming from a person who spent quite a bit of time researching which camera to buy, I would say go for the Canon T2i for serveral reasons...
1. Basically the same as T3i, but cheaper (only difference is the swiveling LCD display screen)
2. Compared to the Lumix, you will have a wider array of equipment choices to pick from later on (lenses especially)

Here's a link comparing the two (I thought it was quite helpful)- Canon T2i vs Panasonic DMC-GF3

I've purchased camera equipment from B&H and I think it's quite reliable and I think others would agree with me (plus its cheaper usually)

Here's another link you can just go through the options with the packages with the camera and such- t2i
A more specific deal (T2i + kit lens)- Canon EOS Rebel T2i Digital SLR Kit w/ EF-S/18-55 IS 4462B003

I would stick to either Nikon or Canon for your DSLR cameras...
The Nikon D3100 is also comparable to the T2i in quality if you want another option-
What I would do, I'd get a T2i with kit 18-55 lens, and then get EF-S 55-250mm as your zoom lens. Should be within 1000 bucks and it will cover from wide to tele.

I only buy my gear online because my state has almost 10% sales tax. So buying online lets me avoid it. Plus free shipping is always nice.

With sites like Amazon, and you can't go wrong.
5D Mark III for the win
Canon Powershot G1X
thanks guys. not sure the 5D Mark III is (or ever will be) in my camera budget...
i can also vouch for the canon t2i and t3i. great for filming with the kit IS lens it can come with too. the only disappointing thing ive noticed about it is the nonintuitive button/dial system which can become a hassle once you decide to shoot on manual.
Since low light is a concern have a look at the Fuji Film F50fd another alternative would be one of the above recommend cameras. Be sure to get optical stabilization.
Buy it at a speciality store. Get the information, get the support and keep them in business.

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