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Old Apr 1, 2014, 1:37 AM   #1
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Default Entry Level SLR Camera or a Good Point & Shoot Camera

Hi Everyone

I am Dr Kunvar Harsh Upveja from India . I am Amateur in the field of Photography but I am very much fascinated by photographs clicked with good depth of filed(blurred background pics) so I am looking for a SLR camera and at the same time have a very limited budget of Rs 25,000.
1. Either I am thinking of buying Sony Alpha A3000 (18-55 mm lens) DSLR- camera or any other suggestions of SLR which can fit in my pocket ?
2. Should I go for some good Point & shoot camera in this range rather than buying Entry level DSLR ?
3. How far does the body of camera matters in buying DSLR camera ? I mean if I want to upgrade this DSLR using other lenses. it would be possible with good efficiency or this Entry level will remain entry level only ?

Thank you in advance
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Old Apr 1, 2014, 7:44 AM   #2
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Dear Dr.harsh saab, SLRs don't fit in a pocket.
The photos with blurred background etc.are called bokeh effect.These are obtained with a lens with big aperture setting such as 2.8,1.8,1.4 etc. which are called 'fast' prime lenses.You may sometimes get bokeh with supplied 18-55mm kit lens at wide open apertures.
If you buy SLR you have to build a system around the body with many lenses which would be used for different purposes and kinds of photography.The lenses would be interchangeable,and you would need to change them. it takes time,money and great deal of effort to learn to use the DSLR system.
It would be wiser to learn the basics of photography along with buying a camera.You need to develop skills to be able to best use the camera.You should be willing.
Sony has limited lens choice and their lenses are often expensive.
I would suggest you consider buying a bridge super-zoom camera such as the Panasonic FZ150,FZ200 etc. Nikon,Sony and Canon,Fujifilm etc. also make brdge cameras.
In my own experience I found the Panasonic to be the best for me.
You can also buy compact mirrorless ILC cameras with a fast lens in the MicroFour Thirds (MFT) format mainly from Olympus and Panasonic.
They are smaller and lighter but not always pockatable.
Before you decide do more research and understand what skills need to be developed.
Buying a camera alone are not going to get you great photos but eventually you will start getting them.
It is a hobby worth learning and enjoying. Good luck.
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Old Apr 1, 2014, 10:27 AM   #3
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There are lots of ways to get a shallow depth of field in your photos, but the two methods that depend on your gear are a larger sensor and a larger aperture.

A larger sensor increases the DoF, but it also greatly increases the cost of the camera and the lens. I'm not familiar with what kind of gear you can obtain with your "limited budget of Rs 25,000", but I suspect that a camera with what is referred to as a 'Full Frame' sensor, will exceed it, and if not, it will limit your ability to obtain lenses to go with it. Cameras with so-called 'APS-C' size sensors, like the Sony A3000 you referred to, as well as a large number of cameras from Canon, Fuji, Nikon, Pentax, Sigma and other models from Sony, are almost as capable of doing want you want, and are a lot more affordable. The next step down is the micro4/3 size sensors in cameras from Olympus and Panasonic, which are still capable of producing shallow DoF images, though less so. Below that are all the P&S cameras, some of which can sometimes be coaxed into providing shallow DoF images, without taking too much of a chunk out of your budget, but that coaxing can be tiring and frustrating. It should also be noted that some P&S camera are capable of producing images with shallow DoFs via digital effects and are much more affordable.

The aperture (F-number) of a lens is a way to adjust the DoF in an image, but it should be noted that the apertures typically available with the conventional kit lenses, like the 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OSS Standard Zoom Lens that comes with the Sony A3000 you mentioned, isn't particularly good for what you want to do. There are more capable lenses that have larger apertures (numerically smaller f-numbers) that will help you reach your goal, but they add to the cost of your system.

The Sony A3000 you mentioned uses Sony's "E-Mount" lenses, some of which are more capable of what you want, but while the A3000 is quite affordable, the lens are more expensive than equivalent lenses for other cameras (like Sony's own lenses for it's A-Mount cameras.) On the other hand, those others are less likely to, as you say "fit in my pocket".
  • The lens is the thing.
  • 'Full Frame' is the new 'Medium Format'.
  • "One good test is worth a thousand expert opinions." - Tex Johnston, Boeing 707 test pilot.
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Old Apr 1, 2014, 4:21 PM   #4
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G'day mate

Firstly, I believe that 25000R is roughly $400 ... and most good / quality cameras are well over this fugure

Both the above comments are most helpful - @Wanaclick has an excellent suggestion for the Panasonic FZ200 and @TCav offers good advice for interchangeable-lens cameras

If your budget cannot extend to the FZ200, maybe one of the Fuji or Canon "pocketable" superzooms might do the job. They won't have the full range of features of either the Panny FZ200 or an SLR, but they will be in your price range

Hope this helps a bit
Regards Phil
Has Lumix mirrorless & superzoom cameras and loves their amazing capabilities
Spends 8-9 months each year travelling Australia
Recent images at http://www.flickr.com/photos/ozzie_traveller/sets/
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Old Apr 1, 2014, 4:28 PM   #5
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The best criterion for selecting an interchangeable lens camera, in my opinion, is to find the system with the best selection of high quality lenses that will do what you want within your price range, and buy a camera that can use them.

For shallow depth of field images, you need large aperture lenses. Some zoom lenses have apertures as large as f/2.8, but few have larger apertures. A notable exception is the Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 lens, but it is quite expensive and probably wouldn't leave much room in your budget for a camera.

While sometimes f/2.8 is adequate, your best results will be obtained with an f/2 or larger (numerically smaller) aperture. In your price range that probably means fixed focal length, or 'Prime' lenses. Here in the US, the Canon 50mm f/1.8 USM lens is the least expensive, large aperture, autofocus lens that will work on an inexpensive dSLR. Nikon, Pentax and Sony all make similar lenses that are slightly better, but all cost much more. Nikon and Sony have 35mm f/1.8 lenses that perform well and aren't very expensive. (Note that the Sony lenses I mentioned are NOT compatible with the Sony A3000 you mentioned. They are intended for Sony's A-Mount bodies, not the E-Mount bodies like the A3000. Similar lenses for Sony's E-Mount bodies are more expensive.) That's it for inexpensive large aperture lenses, so for the time being, you might want to confine your selection to Canon, Nikon and Sony.

Note that none of the cameras from Canon, Nikon, Pentax or Sony, that I'm talking about here, could be called "pocketable".
  • The lens is the thing.
  • 'Full Frame' is the new 'Medium Format'.
  • "One good test is worth a thousand expert opinions." - Tex Johnston, Boeing 707 test pilot.

Last edited by TCav; Apr 1, 2014 at 4:35 PM. Reason: Added note.
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Old May 13, 2014, 9:38 PM   #6
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Some wise guy said, do not invest in the body, but you should invest in lenses.. I don't whether this advice is still relevant or not..
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Old May 14, 2014, 4:55 AM   #7
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The Panasonic FZ200 might be a good choice, near you price range. At Amazon India it cost Rs 26.709,00 with a 4GB SD card.
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