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Old Dec 20, 2006, 3:02 PM   #1
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Ok, here's the deal. I'm a very novice camera user (when it comes to all of the advanced features of the camera). However, I've always had a passion for photography, so I'm looking to spend whatever holiday money I get this year on a new camera. My ultimate goal is to take amazing-looking up-close macro shots of wildlife, nature, and things of that sort. However, I also would like a camera that can take good pics of moving objects, for example at a football or baseball game.

Right now I have a good-ole P&S: a 5MP Canon Powershot A95. I feel that now is the time to upgrade. I've been researching cameras heavily for the past 3 days or so, and I am on the fence about whether to get a super-zoom or a D-SLR. I know that a super-zoom will ultimately be cheaper, but I know that a D-SLR will be better for me in the long run. I know that there will be a pretty steep learning curve for myself if I get a D-SLR (I've never used a camera of that type before).

So basically, I'm looking to spend about $700-800 for not only the camera, but accessories like lenses, a case, and a sufficient memory device. Thanks for the help!
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Old Dec 20, 2006, 5:14 PM   #2
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It all comes down to your own personal standards. There isn't going to be a comparison on the wildlife and sports shots between the superzoom and a dslr with appropriate lens. Two completely different levels. But, the key part of that phrase is "with appropriate lens". Football, baseball and wildlife all require at least a 300mm lens to get really good shots - wildlife often requires as much reach as you can get. I have a 100-400mm lens with my DSLR - given the crop factor, that's like 640mm - longer than any superzoom without it's own teleconverter (and I honestly don't know how well the superzoom TCs work) and that is still short in many instances.

So, bottom line is - to stay within that budget if you try to include a lens at least 300mm (and still have another lens for other use) you're probably going to have a very cheap lens. I'll let other adress the macro shots - I don't shoot macro so I won't give an opinion of quality comparison between the two camera types or the expense involved to get a decent macro lens for a DSLR.

But, just sticking with wildlife and the sports you mentioned - you'd have to spend quite a bit more than your current budget (considering the cases, cards and other stuff you want to buy ) to be able to accomplish those goals (probably in the neighborhood of $1300 for camera, kit lens and something like a 70-300 for close up animal and daytime sports shots) with a good degree of quality. If you wanted to buy the cheapest setup out there you could probably do something like:

Canon 350d plus kit lens ($630) plus Sigma 70-300 ($205) = $835. But realize the Sigma lens is not fast focusing and it's soft after 250 or so and limited to use in relatively good light - so it should only be a stepping stone until you have more funds.

Alternatively you could get the Nikon D50 and kit lens for $600 plus the 205 sigma lens.

Add in your other stuff and you're sitting at around $1000 with bare bones equipment and at least the 70-300 needing replacing downthe road if you are serious about your wildlife and/or sports shots.

So, if you stretch your budget you could get started with a dslr. But if that budget represents all you want to spend for the next few years then you might be better off with a superzoom.
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Old Dec 21, 2006, 5:03 PM   #3
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Ok thanks much for the advice...

Anyways, I just found out that my step-dad has some old Canon AE lenses. Now, being the newbie that I am, I shall ask: can I use those lenses on any other brand of DSLR? If not, I guess the logical thing to do is to get a Rebel XT.
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