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Old Oct 29, 2006, 9:22 PM   #1
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The back story (you can kinda skip right to the question if you wish): Years ago, I went from owning a no zoom Canon A310 to a Fuji FinePix S5100 because I came to a conclusion that I needed something a bit more serious yet reasonably priced to learn photography a bit better and sometimes make prints. The Fuji served me a good year and a half now, but after using someone's FinePix S7000 (with a bigger screen and better feature set), getting a Zenit E from my grandfather to experiment with and playing with dSLRs in stores in general I decided that I need to upgrade again. Problem is, I feel vaguely familiar with the dSLR market and want to make good upgrade without putting large dents in my pocket afterwards.

The Question and Requirements
: So I am asking for suggestions for worthwhile and budget-minded dSLRs or at very worst, top-of-the-line prosumer (if seems like I am asking too much with the following). Here are the boundaries:

1. Less than $1000 for body + lens , very much like to see something at $900 or less.

2. I enjoyed the 10x zoom (37-370mm) on my Fuji with the range of apertures it had (something like f/2.8 to f/8), but was just as happy with the 6x (35-210mm) s7000 includes. Bottom line is, I want decent quality all-around 1st lens that would allow me to have some similar zoom ranges as those fujis with decent image quality just to start me off until I can buy more lenses.

3. 6MP and up. I want to invest in something that wouldn't feel outdated soon and that hasn't been replaced by some 'update to the lineup' already.

4. I need a camera for a good amount of people and portrait photography, some macro work (nothing too serious) and a bit of landscape (even less seriously than macro). I do a lot of post-editing, so RAW and good image quality from the camera itself is a plus. I also often print 4x6s and on rare occasions 8x10s, so the image quality needs to hold up in that regard.

I was originally considering the Canon Rebel XTi with the kit lens, but there is a lot of bad being said about that lens out on the internet. It seems like otherwise the Rebel XT would be an expensive option with their lenses and I get lost in Canon's lens lineup. I know they are considered at the top of the line by many, so I very much like to come back to their products. If you can recommend any XTi-compatible lens for me too look at that would satisfy points #2 and #4 in the list above, I'd be really happy as well. Besides all that criteria, I am open to anything.

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Old Oct 30, 2006, 9:15 AM   #2
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I'm not a camera genius or anything like that. But, what I did was went and played with all the camera's in the store. I personally did not like the feel of either of the Rebels they felt plastic and they didn't feel comfortable in my hands. But, I have very small hands. The Nikon felt to bulky

Then I played with the Sony Alpha DSLR and fell in love! It felt a little heftier then the Rebel it fit my hand perfect. Add to the fact that I had liked my son's Minolta and I truly felt like I came home.

The big selling point for the Sony was the in camera stabilization. Any old minolta af lens works on it. You don't have to buy expensive stabilized lens. The kit lens takes excellent pictures very sharp and clear. I do find that some of my pictures are about one stop over exposed on full auto but that can be fixed.

My biggest suggestion is to go to the store and play withh all of the camera's you are thinking about and then go back again and make sure you still feel the same the next time about the one you think you want.
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Old Oct 30, 2006, 9:34 AM   #3
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There isalso one rather "professional" sounding memberin another forum, who was alsovery fond of the Sony Alpha A100's ergonomics & handling. He even said that he prefers it over the Nikon D80's; which I know is also very good. In fact, most of the Nikon dSLR cameras have superb ergonomics and handling.
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Old Oct 30, 2006, 11:54 AM   #4
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Unless you plan to shoot a lot of sports and need a fast burst mode (and future more professional models to grow into), I'd also suggest taking a look at Pentax K100D (or K110D for an even cheaper option, but without image stabilisation). I just got mine about a month ago and absolutely love it. The kit lens seems good enough for a DSLR beginner at least, and I also got the Pentax 50-200mm lens in addition, which is not very expensive and also seems rather nice to me, the few times I've taken it out.

I don't think you can go wrong with any of the "entry" level DSLRs though that are available now, whether you go with the Canon Rebel line, Nikon D50, Olympus offerings, Pentax or the Sony, as far as image quality and available features go. I'd suggest, as others here have, to pick them up and see what feels the best in your hand, and just generally pay attention to the ergonomics - what might feel great to some people, might not fit your hands/eyes, and vice versa.

I picked the Pentax over the competition for two reasons: main reason was the viewfinder (my eyesight isn't too good, even with glasses, and I knew I was going to need the biggest and brightest there is available among the entry level models), and for the in -body image stabilisation (I found it useful in my Panasonic FZ5). And the price was very competitive, being more or less equal to the Nikon D50 and the Canon 350D (Rebel XT, I think), which are both a little older models in comparison (although I did give the D50, especially, some serious thought).

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Old Nov 1, 2006, 9:23 AM   #5
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Get any Dslr u want ... which has the lens u need .. like the lower consumer level Compacts .. the dslrs have reall small differences in quality .. the only differences are in burst speed or shutter speeds or flash sync Etc. but the picture quality is almost same.
Due to the competition all companys perfect their Dslrs to the limit .. so u cant go wrong with a Dslr.

The quality depends on the lenses that u are using ....

I have a Rebel Xt ... with the kit lens ... i have shot lots of portraits ... with exellent results ....

Wat other people do is they compare the kit lens which costs less than 100$ ... with other pro 500$+ lenses ... which are supposed to be good ... infact they should be good for the price ....

If u want a cheap lens get the canon 50mm F/1.8 lens .. which u can get for less than 80$ ... and it has excellent quality ... u can check the reviews ... and with the 1.6X crop factor which the Canon Xt has the lens will be around 75mm ... which is good for portraits ...

Hope this helps ... good luck
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Old Nov 1, 2006, 11:53 AM   #6
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I agree, canon kit lens gets a bad rap. if it were me, I would get the body, like 350d/XTi (more 350d as you can get it cheap now that Xti is out) and 50mm f1.8 for potrait stuff. For longer stuff, can't help as I only have used expensive glass.
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