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Kmcrither Oct 9, 2008 3:29 AM

Hi, I am new to Steves Digicams this is my first post.

I am finaly upgrading to a DSLR for my Airplane Spotting which i enjoy and love so much.
I have been looking at the Sony A350 and the Canon 40D, I will also need a long range lens and a short range lens. My budget is about £500, and i am looking for a good DSLR that i can get my pictures onto and after ben edited.

Thanks in advance, Kriss.

peripatetic Oct 9, 2008 7:39 AM

You won't find those cameras in your price range I'm afraid, except possibly second hand.

All is not lost however, from (for example) there are a few options that might suit you:

Sony A200 + 17-80 kit lens (£270) + Sigma 70-300 APO (£160) = £430 which leaves some cash for memory cards, etc.

Pentax K200D + 18-55 + 50-200 kit = £480.

Olympus E420+ 14-42 + 40-150 kit = £430.

TCav Oct 9, 2008 8:34 AM

peripatetic wrote:

Sony A200 + 17-80 kit lens (£270) + Sigma 70-300 APO [emphasis mine. - TCav] (£160) = £430 which leaves some cash for memory cards, etc.
While the Sigma 70-300 APO is a good lens in all other respects, the gears in the autofocus mechanisms are stripping on Sony dSLRs. The Tamron 70-300 Di LD is slightly better, slightly cheaper, and more important, doesn't strip its gearson Sony dSLRs.

In addition, the Olympus doesn't have a very good autofocus system, and so may not be suitable for action shots. But a viable method for shooting aircraft in flight is to switch to manual focus, focus to infinity, and anything within the depth of field, including presumably the aircraft,will be in focus. I've used this technique many times with great success. See So, anything happen over in your neighborhood today? for some examples of mine.

Also, if you get a chance at some prop planes or helicopters, keep the shutter speed low enough to get some motion blur on the blades. Say about 1/250.

Kmcrither Oct 9, 2008 8:41 AM

I know they arnt in my price range and i don't mind buying second hand. I think the reason my limit is so low is due to me only being 14 and its m parents that are paying. But thanks for the help.

TCav Oct 9, 2008 8:48 AM

Kmcrither wrote:

I know they arnt in my price range and i don't mind buying second hand. ...
Buying a used dSLR is a gamble. If you do, make sure you get a warranty, not just a guarantee.

Kmcrither Oct 9, 2008 8:52 AM

I am sure it will have one, thanks.

Saichiez Oct 10, 2008 1:17 AM

Wow, sounds like the cameras are much more expensive where you are. I just sold my Canon 40D at a significant loss (about $350) because the value went down so much in the 4 months I had it.

Fortunately, I was able with the money I did get, to buy the Sony A350 and lens and pocket $200, even at the loss figure.

The reason for the sale and the switch. The canon was a literal TANK. Huge!!!!

The Sony is much smaller and appears to me to give me equal, or better, quality over the 40D, with two more Megapixels of resolution.

I watch craigslist and eBay and see an awful lot of 30D and 40D canons selling used. I think many are finding the same thing I did.... it's too heavy to pack around for hobby or advanced amateur use.

I note that you are young, which implies strong and enduring, so maybe a camera 1.5 times the size and weight of the Sony A350 is not an issue. And regarding the Sony A200, it's getting good reviews but it's no A350 for sure.

Just some thoughts that may not have been raised for our consideration.

Alan T Oct 10, 2008 10:28 AM

Kmcrither wrote:

...upgrading to a DSLR ...My budget is about £500, and i am looking for a good DSLR ...
You might find it useful togo to the near the bottom of the page at...

...,which is the website of my local camera shop. Steve there (a different Steve) has done minireviews from his own experience of some of the cheaper recent dSLR models. They've only recently started stocking them, but now they feel there are some quite good ones that they mightbe able to sell to their impecunious Wrexham clientele.One of them might suit you.

Alternatively you could save lots of money by going for a superzoom. If you search for the posts round hereof ac.smith, he photographs lots of planes with a Kodak Z612.


I have a Z712, and I'm shortly getting a Z1015 as well. The top of the web pageI mentioned discusses the issue of superzoom vs cheap dSLR, if you have a small budget.

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