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Old Oct 10, 2003, 9:52 AM   #1
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Default PRO - wanna-be ??

What would you suggest for someone who:

- has very little film and digital experience
- used an Olympus C-5050Z for about 3 months (in Full AUTO mode) and loved the out-of-camera results
- will print up to 8x10" prints on a canon i950
- no experience with Photoshop (or any other post-processing software)
- has no serious investment in any SLR lenses (willing to start from scratch)
- wants to get a D-SLR (body, 2 good lenses, external flash - already owns a 512MB Lexar 16x CF card) that can be used with ease but can grow into
- most pics will be of family members (indoor/outdoor) with the occasional landscape
- good performance in low-light conditions

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Old Oct 10, 2003, 12:09 PM   #2
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There are still more questions which need to be answered (althought you've already answered many of the common ones.)

Does weight matter? How much does cost matter? There are some very good (not "great" but very good) prosumer non-DSLR cameras out there. If weight and/or cost matters, you should think about going that route. They will have more MP, have more manual and semi-manual functions which you can grow into. Make sure they have a hot-shoe for a flash (I would bet most do.)

But if you really want a DSLR then there aren't many choices (in my opinion, of course. This will all be opinion.)

Canon and Nikon for lens mounts. Ignoring the really expensive or fairly controled environment cameras (1Ds, 1D, D1h, D2h) that leaves a few choices:
Canon: Digital Rebel (300D), 10D
Nikon: D100
Fuji: S2 Pro.

That is where I would start researching. The Digital Rebel is by far the cheapest way to get into the DSLR market. If you can deal with the quirks its a good camera. Of course, price isn't always the best first data point, but it is a meaningful one. From what you describe, your usage should work well for it.... or really any of them.

I only know the 10D well (and the D100 a bit) and the low light usage of the 10D is fairly good. I shot at ISO800 often and with neat image to remove most of the noise the results are good. I believe the D100 does well in low light, but I don't know from first hand experience.

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Old Oct 10, 2003, 12:39 PM   #3
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First, I think you should learn how to use the C-5050's manual modes. It's like saying that you've been driving a car with an automatic transmission for three months and now you want to buy a race car...many would say that you should buy something a used Honda with a 5 speed manual and burn out the clutch and wreck the transmission with that first.

Back to the C-5050, it has several manual modes, Aperture priority mode, Shutter priority mode, and full Manual mode...personally I'd suggest learning how those affect the picture before you jump into a dSLR. I just posted a reply in another thread here on beginner books about the Photocourse site which has a free book online which covers those basics and more. Not saying that there aren't dSLRs that can't do the full automatic mode, but it would be a better use of the camera if you learned a bit more about photography and the controls first.
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