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kfulweiler Sep 30, 2010 5:27 PM

I want to do more than I can with my p&s
I have a kodak dx6490 that I bought as my first digital camera. It has been a good p&s for me but it is getting really slow to process and focus. Also, I'm itching to do more. In particular I want to be able to take pics with different depths and get that neato blurring in the backgrounds etc. (Is is obvious I'm not a photo pro :crazy1: ). I've been reading a bit and starting my research and I wanted to get some opinions from those who know more than I. Is there a newer p&s that has the capabilities of playing with depth of field? Should I look at an older (used) model DSLR? Is there something in between I don't know about? I would like to keep the price under $500 if possible. Okay... lay it on me :D

mtclimber Sep 30, 2010 6:16 PM


Welcome to the Forum. We're pleased that you dropped by.

The blurred background effect is something that is part of DSLR cameras and their photos. You can rarely get it consistently with a P+S camera. So, you will have to consider an entry level DSLR camera if that blurred background is a real priority.

So you might want to begin looking at DSLR cameras.

Sarah Joyce

shoturtle Sep 30, 2010 6:59 PM

You will most likely need to move upto a dslr or Evil camera for that back ground blur your looking for. To be able to achieve it with a point and shoot, you will need a long zoom and allot of working room. Around the house, you really will not be able to do that with a point and shoot.

kfulweiler Sep 30, 2010 7:20 PM

In my reading through the forum I found the Sony A230 recommended for value buy (new at Walmart). I've seen the Pentax k-x recommended as well but it is twice the cost. How about a used/refurbed Canon 1000d or Nikon d3000... would I be a complete fool to buy one "used" off ebay? Can you recommend a reputable resale venue?

shoturtle Sep 30, 2010 7:26 PM

if you go with a referb canon, I would suggest getting it from adorama, you get a 1 year warranty. While all other pleases for referb only gives you a 90 days warranty. They do sell on ebay.

The camera body is just part of the solution to your need, the other part for the back ground blur will be a big aperture lens, The canon has the 50mm 1.8 that is about 90 dollars. While the sony you can get the 50 1.8 for about 150 dollars. And the Nikon you have the 35 1.8 for 190 dollars. These lenses will be what you need to get the back ground blur effect.

mtclimber Sep 30, 2010 7:44 PM


In all honesty, the Sony A-230 is an excellent starting point. They are cheap on E-Bay and offer a great starting point at very little cost above a P+S camera. The Sony A-230 offers you a chance to sink your teeth into DSLR field. Thast is where I began in fact.

Yes, you can jump to the A-390 and take advantage of the LiveView track, but it will be more costly. The A-230 uses a CCD imager, but it is able to go to ISO 1600 and even ISO 3200 with some noise.

The Sony 18-55mm kit lens and the Sony 55-200mm kit lenses are cheap on E-bay, at around $100.00 each so you can get a good start at a minimal cost. Canon, Nikon and Pentax will be progressively more expensive.

The choice is yours.

Sarah Joyce

shoturtle Sep 30, 2010 7:50 PM

if you are looking for used, ebay is okay. But if something is is broken, then it gets expensive with the body. I would go the referb route, over uses on the body for the warranty and small piece of mind.

I would get used lenses on ebay. The 50 1.8 for the canon on ebay is about 70 dollars. So depending on what you are looking for, the sony is not always the cheapest, nor does canon and nikon get progressively more expensive.

kfulweiler Sep 30, 2010 8:32 PM

What about IS does the Sony offer it either in camera or in lens?
An ebay seller called Quick Ship Electronics has Sony A 230 (seller refurbished) for cheap (>$100). They offer a 60 day return warranty. Anybody have any dealings with them?

shoturtle Sep 30, 2010 8:38 PM

All the brands offer IS, canon and nikon puts it into the lens. Pentax, olympus and sony puts it into the body.

I would check the seller reviews. And check if they are sony factory refreb or if it is 3rd party referb. That does make a big difference. Because if it is 3rd party referb, sony will not service it.

[email protected] Sep 30, 2010 9:04 PM

Another option is to look at Craigslist.

I've seen some used DSLR's for $200-400.

If you don't have any experience buying a used DSLR, you might want to have an experienced photographer to help you check the camera out.

I bought a used Canon S5 IS in very good condition (not a DSLR, mind you) with batteries, case and charger for $115 a year ago.

I won a Steve's Photo of the Day with the S5 IS, so you can get a very good deal on a used camera if you know what your doing (or know someone who can help you).

kfulweiler Sep 30, 2010 9:24 PM

I've flagged a few on ebay to watch and see what happens. I think I'll try to go to a camera store tomorrow and handle a few. The refurbs I've found on ebay are 3rd party refurbs so that is a little worrisome since they would basically be throw aways if they tore up. Decisions, decisions...

mtclimber Sep 30, 2010 9:28 PM

The Sony A-230 has Image Stabilization in the camera body. It is a good camera.

However, I would be very careful/wary on any price with the Sony A-230 with 18-55mm kit lens included that was below $(US)250.00. Below that price there is a "hook" in there somewhere.

Sarah Joyce

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