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Old Feb 27, 2008, 4:18 PM   #1
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Looking for an entry level DSLR to grow with. Mostly take landscape/scenic shots while traveling to create photo-books right now, but also will need to take pictures of new family as we grow together (wife/kid(s)). Currently use Fuji F31fd in either shutter priority (or night mode) to take sunset/night shots or aperture priority to take creative landscape or people shots, but also use the preset modes as well on occasion.

Sample images I have taken can be found here:

I currently do have a Maxxum 7000 35mm with Minolta Maxxum AF lens 28-85 + hood and covers, Minolta Maxxum AF lens 100-200 + hood and covers, Vivitar 55mm Sklylight, Vivitar 55mm Polarizer, and Promtaic FTD 4500AF Flash. Just getting tired of film and enjoy digital much more with the instant feedback in case I screw something up.

Not really too concerned about starting an all new system with Nikon or Cannon to be honest as I am not sure my current lenses are good enough to warrant getting a Sony; also not too concerned about the anit-shake feature in the body versus the lenses, although maybe I should be for family lifestyle shots especially if inside...although I am not opposed to flash use like some.

Really looking to spend less than $600 to get a body and kit lens, then learning and growing and purchasing new glass and bodys as needed over the years. I know it all really comes down to feel in my hand, but both the Nikon and Canon fell good, so I dont know what to do. Any input would be great. Thanks.

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Old Feb 27, 2008, 6:08 PM   #2
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If you are starting a new system, you might also want to check out the Pentax K10. It's being replaced by the recently shipped K20, and camera stores are selling off existing stocks at prices within your price-range. It has the advantage of having weather sealing, something you'd have to spend quite a bit more to get with either Canon or Nikon. It's also got more advanced features than the Nikon and Canon cameras at its current price range.

On the other hand, if it were me, I'd get a Sony. While your lenses might not be the best (I have no idea, I'm judging them simply on what you said in your post), they are yours. You'd end up having to spend even more than your $600 to replace them. I don't regret at all choosing Pentax because I had some old, basic Pentax lenses, a couple of them I'm still using.
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Old Feb 27, 2008, 8:39 PM   #3
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If you want to use your existing lenses, they'll work with any of the Sony DSLR models (A100, A200, A300, A350, A700).

They're not worth a lot. But, the 28-85mm if/3.5-4.5 is not a bad lens from most reports. It's just not a real popular focal range now.

That's because you'll have a narrower angle of view (more apparent magnification) for any given focal length lens on a DSLR (because the sensor is smaller than 35mm film).

To see how they compare, just multiply the focal length by 1.5x. IOW, a 100mm lens on a DSLR would give you the same angle of view that a 150mm lens would on a 35mm camera (100mm x 1.5 = 150mm).

For example, your 28-85mm on a Sony DSLR would have roughly the same angle of view that a 42-127mm lens would on a 35mm camera (lenses will appear to be around 1.5x longer on a DSLR with an APS-C size sensor). That's why most of the "kit" lenses with DSLR models start out at around 18mm now.

The A200 would be over budget though. It's selling for $699 with an 18-70mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens (and it's not sold as a body only). I'm starting to see a few vendors discounting it. But, it's a brand new model (just started shipping this month), and not all vendors have received shipments yet. So, it may take a little while before you start seeing more discounts on it.

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Old Feb 28, 2008, 11:15 AM   #4
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Your Minolta Maxxum AF Lenses are fairly good, albeit not very fast so they aren't very popular or worth very much. Also, as JimC says, the 28-85 is an odd focal length on an APS-C sized image sensor. The 28mm focal length will have an angle of view equivalent to a 42mm lens on your Maxxum 7000. That's not really wide enough for most things. And from your photos, I think the 100-200 (35mm film equivalent of 150-300) would probably not get a lot of use.

But you could suppliment that with the Sony kit lens. The problem is that even the least expensive Sony dSLR puts you over budget. It would beunfortunate to discard those lenses if you choose not to use them,as they wouldn't fetch much on eBay.

But since you're willing to start over, and if the $600 budget is firm, I think mtngal's suggestion of the Pentax K10D is a good one. The Pentax, like the Sony, has sensor shift image stabilization in the body, and Pentax has a slightly better selection of standard and wide angle lenses that I think you seem to favor.
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