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Old Dec 9, 2008, 9:51 PM   #1
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New to this forum and have enjoyed the posts and information out there. Now I'm hoping to get some direct assistance!

I'm looking for a little more than an entry level camera but not much. I used to take a lot of pics using a Canon AT-1 and AE-1 so that shows how long its been and what level I was at... But I'd like to get something in the $600 price range that will work for basic nature, family, travel type pictures and that I can grow into.

At this time, I'm looking at 3 packages - each comes with two zoom lenses, one in the wide-mid range and one in the mid to telephoto range. And each comes in at about $600 for the kit. The three are: Sony A-300X, Canon EOS XS and the Olympus E-520.

Based on what I've read in the forums, I'm leaning toward the Sony with Canon a close second. The things I "think" give Sony the edge is the in camera stabilization and the wide variety of lenses available. Otherwise they seem to be fairly equivalent.

Is there anything I might be missing in my analysis or that I might not be taking into consideration? Any other cameras in that price/quality range that I should also look into?

Thanks in advance for your help!
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Old Dec 9, 2008, 10:12 PM   #2
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One thing that becomes pretty important at this stage is how each of the cameras feel in your hands. Can you reach all of the controls easily? What's the grip feel like to you? I haven't looked at the XS, but I thought the Xsi's grip was a little too "cramped" for me. Others will love it. Which viewfinder is easier to see through - you will be spending a lot of time looking through it. The Sony A-300 has very good live view, but it comes at the price of a smaller viewfinder. Some people wouldn't mind it, but it would drive me nuts. There's no one-size-fits-all when it comes to cameras, so try all three cameras and see which feels better to you. The best camera in the world won't take that priceless picture if it's on your shelf because you find it too heavy/small/awkward to carry around with you all the time.
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Old Dec 10, 2008, 6:45 AM   #3
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I agree wholeheartedly with mtngal's suggestion. Once you've got your choices narrowed down this far, ergonomics is the most important factor in selecting a camera.

I will add that the Sony A300 is available in different two lens kits. One contains the 55-200, which is a good lens. The other contains the 75-300, which is soft throughout its range and has significant chromatic aberration at the long end.
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Old Dec 10, 2008, 10:09 AM   #4
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Agree with the others.

Of the 3 the Oly has the best kit lenses, Sony has in-body stabilization too but contrary to your indication Canon has the most available lenses - assuming you want AF.

All great cameras. See how they feel. All 3 would be up to the tasks you've set forth.

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Old Dec 10, 2008, 9:40 PM   #5
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Thank you all for the suggestions. I'll be trying these out this weekend. TCav, thank you for the info on the lens packages, I didn't realize there were different options and will look for the better lens.

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