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-   -   Sony a230 or Pentax k2000 ? (https://forums.steves-digicams.com/what-camera-should-i-buy-80/sony-a230-pentax-k2000-158933/)

anthony_b Aug 25, 2009 6:23 PM

Sony a230 or Pentax k2000 ?
 
Which of these two entry level units would be more suitable for a newbie like me. I'll mostly be shooting photos of the kids at the parks,beaches and family events.

TCav Aug 25, 2009 7:14 PM

For what you say you want to do, I don't think it makes much difference which one you choose. They are both very capable cameras. What I think is most important for you to decide is which one you like. If you can't comfortably hold the camera, if you can't find the controls and commands when you need them, you'll miss some shots and be disappointed with the camera.

mtclimber Aug 25, 2009 7:33 PM

anthony_b-

TCav gave you a good answer. Either the Sony A-230 or the Pentax K-2000 will do a good job. But I am going to be the "devil's advocate" here.

Just suppose you could get the image quality you are looking for in a point and shoot, super zoom camera, would you still be headed for a consumer level DSLR camera with multiple lenses? Perhaps it is a matter of camera technique? IMO, the DSLR camera is not always the ultimate solution.

Just a few thoughts. Tell me what you think?

Sarah Joyce

AndySX Aug 26, 2009 5:52 AM

I agree with both previous posts, but in addition to what mtclimber said; these cameras won't exactly slip in your pocket and your requirements don't exacly scream DSLR.

I suppose it depends on what your expectations are of the resulting images. A compact will be fine if your just going to be making regular 4"x6" prints, but if you'd like to use the images for canvases or large prints then an entry level DSLR wouldn't be a bad choice.

I'm looking at the A230 to make my jump from compact to DSLR, my brother owns an A200 and loves it but is looking to move up to something better. I can get some brilliant results from my IXUS 860 IS (with CHDK installed) but even at ISO 80 the noise and fringing is plainly visible at full resolution.

If you're interested you can find a few examples of the IXUS here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/andysx/...7614349260746/

You may also want to look at the recently announced Canon S90 when it's released, it should give G10 performance in an IXUS form factor which sounds really promising :)

Hope thats been of some help.

JohnG Aug 26, 2009 9:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AndySX (Post 995201)
A compact will be fine if your just going to be making regular 4"x6" prints, but if you'd like to use the images for canvases or large prints then an entry level DSLR wouldn't be a bad choice.

Here's where I'm going to disagree. When you talk about KIDS, you are often talking about fast moving and often spur-of-the-moment shooting. Try to take those photos for a week with the best digicams and then do it with a DSLR. There's a big difference. The on-time or wake-up time of DSLR is faster, focus time is faster and shutter lag is faster. With kids you can't pre-focus in many instances. A friend has the Canon SX10 - a top notch superzoom camera. And I have countless friends/relatives with various pocketable digicams. Every one of them struggles with getting the photos - especially indoors where it seems to take about 2-3 seconds to take a photo - during which time the child has invariably moved. With a DSLR (and flash in low light) you easily have sub-second response.

NOW, I would agree with your statement when you're talking posed shots vs. shots of them playing. In good light, you'd be hard pressed to tell the difference between a 4x6 from a DSLR vs. a good digicam (assuming deep dof in the DSLR shot).

Now, having said that - there are a couple downsides to a DSLR:
1) size / weight
2) changing lenses
3) depth-of-field. With the larger image sensor and longer physical lenses, a DSLR photo has shallower depth of field. This means less of an image is in focus. So when the focus is on an object OTHER than your intended subject, the resulting photo with a DSLR looks worse. Because the digicam has deeper DOF, the image is more forgiving if you focus on the wrong thing. This causes many newbies a lot of consternation. To many of us, that shallow DOF is a good thing. But to people that just want to point-and-shoot it can be frustrating.

So, whenever you're talking kids, a DSLR still provides a very tangible benefit - even at 4x6 prints. But you do have to deal with the downsides. AND, most importantly - the camera is still just a tool. You have to know how to use it properly. For example, if your subject is moving and you don't enable the DSLRs focus-tracking and don't have a high enough shutter speed (or flash) you'll still get poor shots. So, the DSLR definitely has more potential - but it is NOT a magic point-and-shoot. You have to know how to set it up in challenging situations (low light, moving kids etc) to get the right results. Left in full auto you can get great results in easy shooting situations but in tougher situations (which is why most people buy a dslr vs. a digicam) you'll still get poor results until you learn principles of photography. It is NOT a matter of "how do I use my camera" - no more than driving is about "how do I use my car". How long do you study a car manual? Not very long. That's the big secret - photography is the same way. Want to take good photos? Learn photography.

I say all this because there are a number of frustrated new DSLR users out there. They're frustrated because they expected the DSLR to be a magic point-and-shoot camera. It isn't.

anthony_b Aug 26, 2009 9:33 AM

JohnG and Sarah, thank you so much for responding. Sarah, you made a good point, if I can get the same image quality from the Panny FZ35 I would go for that instead (even though carrying a bigger camera would not be a big deal for me). I would just hate to have buyers remorse after laying down money on a camera if it doesn't meet my expectations, and I was just assuming that with a dslr set to "auto" I would get better IQ in various situations. IQ is the most important thing for me (I'm more of a Home theater guy, and I'm always the first to jump into HD, lcd/plasma, blu-ray), so getting the best image displayed and printed would be the ideal situation...When it comes to prints, the most I would do would be 8x10.

I also, forgot to mention that the entry level slr's are about the same price these days as the highly regarded p/s cameras...I know that down the road slr users would get extra lenses, but for my needs that would not be a concern at this time

TCav Aug 26, 2009 9:53 AM

The advantage of a P&S digicam is that you don't have to customize it; the disadvantage is that, if you want to, it's tough or impossible.

The disadvantage of a dSLR is that you have to customize it; the advantage is that it's not tough and rarely impossible.

mtclimber Aug 26, 2009 11:10 AM

Finding the Really RIGHT Camera
 
Good Morning, anthony_b-

As you might have read before, I shoot with both digicams (point & shoot cameras) and DSLR cameras. Quite honestly stated, they each have their advantages and disadvantages. IMO it comes down to selecting the best camera that fits your shooting style and the expectations you sincerely have for your images.

So at the end of the day, we are very much like shoe fitters in this Forum. Our job is to find what is most comfortable for the OP (anthony_b) in this case. When a poster says their expectation is to get "WOW" level image quality, while shooting a DSLR camera in the fully automatic mode, makes me listen a lot more carefully. Why you might ask? Because one of the inherent advantages of a DSLR is the fact that a DSLR produces those great images when the photographer makes use of all those DSLR features to essentially tailor, or customize (as TCav mentioned) the DSLR camera exactly to the photo environment. A person, sincere as they might be, shooting in the full automatic mode with a DSLR camera, does NOT do that.

When you are shooting a DSLR camera in the fully automatic mode, you are essentially making that DSLR camera, a larger, heavier, and in most cases, a more expensive point and shoot camera. It is like purchasing a Lexus and then just coasting down hills and never using the engine, the air conditioner, and the many other features that make that Lexus what it really is.

In the last 12 to 18 months, we have all read about point and shooters who envisioned a DSLR as the absolute silver bullet in terms of obtaining the "WOW" level in image quality. The continuous stream of "WOW" images did not occur after they had their DSLR cameras for several months. They were let down and disappointed, JohnG mentioned that fact.

Andy also raised another important point, a DSLR is the better answer, if you are to going to make large prints and exhibition prints. Today, less that 25% of all photos taken are ever printed. Large canvases and large prints represent less than 2% of all the photos taken.

I would prefer to address the problem from a different direction, if that would be acceptable. Let's take an in-depth look at which cameras you have used in the last 24 months and attempt to determine, with your assistance, anthony_b, why the cameras used did not produce the desired image quality for the subjects you were shooting. Then knowing that, we can do a much better job of spec'ing out what the next camera really ought to be, based anthony_b's evaluation of the photos actually taken, anthony_b's experience level, and exactly what steps should be taken next, in terms of planning, equipment, and how the photos are shared with family and friends.

What do you think? I think that we might get a better fit.

Have a great day.

Sarah Joyce

anthony_b Aug 26, 2009 11:26 AM

Sarah, I totally understand where your comming from. But, if I can get a DSLR for the same price as the P/S and then in the future have the opportunity to learn and get more out of my camera, do you think I should still perhaps go with a p/s ?....I understand that maybe both cameras (p/s and slr) both set to auto would give me similar results but in the long run, I can always learn more about my new slr, right ?...My gripe is low light performance, I couldn't tell you the model numbers of my cameras at this moment, and I'm also unable to upload images now becuase I'm on my co's network...:D

TCav Aug 26, 2009 11:38 AM

Up until now, your stated requirements have been generic, and in that case, a P&S might do just as well for you as a dSLR. In your last post, you added another requirement when you said "My gripe is low light performance ...". That's the relm of the dSLR. You can use large aperture lenses, and, in general, you can get away with higher ISO settings.

That's the "customize" part I mentioned earlier.

mtclimber Aug 26, 2009 11:51 AM

anthony_b-

I shoot all the time, using point and shoot, super zoom cameras, at ISO 800 and have good results. But there is indeed a technique to be learned to do that. That is all part of learning the photo craft.

That being said, a DSLR will probably produce a somewhat better photo (better image quality) if you are using a fast lens suited to the distance you are shooting from, and also make the proper camera adjustments.

You see, anthony_b, taking good photos in a low light level environment is very much UNLIKE taking photos on a sunny afternoon at Grandma's house. Low light level photos take some adjusting of the camera to get the best image, and that is required whether you are shooting with a point and shoot camera or a DSLR camera.

Well that is good input, anthony_b! It sort of turns the whole discussion in a different direction. Perhaps we ought to discuss, at length, what is really needed to set up low light level photos.

You are busy so I will not blab on and on. Have a good day.

Sarah Joyce

TCav Aug 26, 2009 12:38 PM

I would also like to ask if there are other requirements you might have. For instance, do the kids participate in any organized sports? Do you think they might in the future? Indoor sports or outdoor sports?

Yes. It matters.

anthony_b Aug 26, 2009 1:16 PM

Tcav, I have two boys that play baseball and my older girl plays indoor voleyball. Plus school recitals and stuff. We live in Florida so we're outdoors a lot (beach, Disney, Universal Studios, zoo, parks)

JohnG Aug 26, 2009 1:30 PM

Just to summarize from a few of the OPs statements:
Quote:

I know that down the road slr users would get extra lenses, but for my needs that would not be a concern at this time
Quote:

My gripe is low light performance
Quote:

Tcav, I have two boys that play baseball and my older girl plays indoor voleyball. Plus school recitals and stuff.
I just need to confirm some things. I'm assuming you do NOT intend on taking many photos of your kids in sports. Please correct me if this is not the case. No DSLR with kit lens and no digicam on the market is going to take good indoor volleyball photos. Recitals can be tricky things too. Sarah has some good digicam examples from cruises with stage lighting but that's completely different than many school auditoriums. So, for recitals I thiink again you'd be disappointed with any digicam or DSLR with kit lens.

If low light is causing you angst, please provide the specific low light situations you want to take photos in. As mentioned, technique is important but so is the right equipment for the job. For example - if you want photos at volleyball - most times flash photography is prohibited. In most gyms I shoot in, you need an F2.8 lens and ISO 3200-6400 to get decent shots. No digicam is capable of delivering the goods and no DSLR kit lens will do a good job either. There are also a numer of other considerations if volleyball is what you want.

If it's indoor parties or kids playing then a good external flash is what is needed (on either a digicam or DSLR)- built in flashes aren't very good even on DSLRs. And those same high ISOs / wide apertures you might use for sports are poor choices for indoor parties and kids playing because the lighting isn't good enough to stop subject movement and you often want more depth-of-field than an aperture of 2.0-2.8 can give you.

There are other types of situations where a tripod is the most appropriate solution for low light.

So, my point is - there is no single 'low light solution' that works for everything. What works for a stage show on a cruise won't necessarily work in a school auditorium which might not work in a gym with faster movement which is different than a living room with kids playing or a party going on which is different than city scapes at night.

TCav Aug 26, 2009 1:37 PM

For sports/action, you'll need a fast AF system, and the two dSLRs you're looking at don't really qualify.

For baseball, a telephoto zoom lens that goes out to 300mm (on an APS-C dSLR) will cover the infield from the dugout; from the stands you'll need something longer.

For indoor sports, a lens with a maximum aperture of f/2.0 or larger (numerically smaller) will allow you to use a shuter speed fast enough to capture the action. Something with a focal length of 85mm if you're shooting from courtside would do ok, but from the stands you'll need something longer. Pentax has a 77mm f/1.8 which might work, and Sony has an 85/1.4 and a 135/1.8 but they are very expensive. Canon and Nikon have a better selection of lenses like this, and they're less expensive as well.

For recitals, the action isn't as fast as for sports, but you'll need something that goes out to about 200mm with an aperture of about f/4.0, so you can use a shutter speed fast enough to capture dance.

For baseball, the Pentax K20D or Sony A700 might do well, but for the volleyball, you should look at something from Canon or Nikon.

mtclimber Aug 26, 2009 1:37 PM

anthony_b-

Give us a rough estimate as to what percentage of your photos are taken under low level lighting conditions, please?

Low Light Photos are a priority
Family photos are a priority
Any problems with Flash Range?
Are sports photos on that priority list?

I am not being overly inquisitive, I am just trying to get a better bead on the best camera.

Sarah Joyce

TCav Aug 26, 2009 1:42 PM

Another piece of useful information might be your budget for this.

anthony_b Aug 26, 2009 2:12 PM

Budget is $500......Percentage of shooting

60% outdoors (sports or parks/beaches)
40% indoors (family gatherings, birthday parties)
10% indoors school functions / night outdoors


When it comes to sports, I'm not getting too complicated. I basically take photos of them batting or on the field. I was able to get decent shots with my p/s when they were close to the stands...

anthony_b Aug 26, 2009 2:19 PM

It seems like a Superzoom would be the fit for me I guess (Panasonic fz35). I'm just puzzled that it seems like you really can't do anything with the basic DSLR kit...I would imaging that I would get at least or better IQ then a regular p/s....Not to many parents in the stands have $2k worth of gear and are able to take some nice shots.

TCav Aug 26, 2009 2:59 PM

You can do a lot with a basic dSLR kit. You can do as well or better than a Superzoom, within the limits of the kit lens. The difference is where you go from there. No superzoom will be able to shoot your daughter's volleyball games. No superzoom will capture the action during a play at second base. No superzoom will be able to capture a low noise photo of a dance recital without a lot of motion blur. For those kinds of things, you need a dSLR and appropriate lenses.

mtclimber Aug 26, 2009 3:19 PM

And, TCav, my friend-

That will push the budget well over the proposed $(US) 500.00. There is a need for a lot of zoom here that will require an expensive DSLR lens, if you go to 400mm or over.

The alternatives:

Pentax K-2000: with the kit lens and the Pentax 50-200mm lens. That would give you 300mm worth of zoom.

Nikon D-3000:with the kit lens and the Nikon 55-200mm lens. That would give you again 300mm worth of zoom.

Sony A-200/230: with the kit lens and the Sony 55-200mm lens. 300mm again.

Canon XS with kit lens and the Canon 55-200mm len. 300mm again.

But in every case, 300mm of zoom becomes the limiting zoom available, which is less than the zoom available in a lot of super zoom cameras.

Sarah Joyce

anthony_b Aug 26, 2009 3:22 PM

TCAV, I hear you loud and clear...would a basic dslr kit give me a really nice picture of my kids at the park ?....that's all I need....Basically the best picture possible of my kids standing neXt to Mickey Mouse..LOL .....and that's what I'm trying to get too. In other words for $450 I can get an entry level dslr and can grow for years to come or pay $400 for a p/s Panasonic fz35 and have to sell it down the road becuase I've outgrown it....

JohnG Aug 26, 2009 3:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TCav (Post 995329)
You can do a lot with a basic dSLR kit. You can do as well or better than a Superzoom, within the limits of the kit lens. The difference is where you go from there. No superzoom will be able to shoot your daughter's volleyball games. No superzoom will capture the action during a play at second base. No superzoom will be able to capture a low noise photo of a dance recital without a lot of motion blur. For those kinds of things, you need a dSLR and appropriate lenses.

BINGO. This is it in a nutshell. Beyond the 'difficult' stuff, don't miss the point about the kit lens. That is usually a very limited focal length. So even for the basic shots, you'll have a lot less reach than with say a superzoom. So, if the kit lens is 55mm at long end (78mm equiv) then that DSLR & kit lens will take photos as well as any digicam with zoom extended to the equivelent of 78mm. But if the digicam can zoom to 500mm equiv and the DSLR only 78mm then the digicam has an advantage from distance in good light (i.e. taking a photo of your kid standing in the field).

JohnG Aug 26, 2009 3:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by anthony_b (Post 995336)
TCAV, I hear you loud and clear...would a basic dslr kit give me a really nice picture of my kids at the park ?....that's all I need....Basically the best picture possible of my kids standing neXt to Mickey Mouse..LOL

Assuming you learn a few things - like positioning your subjects with relation to the sun or using fill flash to eliminate shadows etc.

mtclimber Aug 26, 2009 4:10 PM

This brings us back possibly to the basic underlying factor here. yes, folks want a fully automatic camera, while asking in the very same breath, asking for the very best image quality. That is a contradiction in terms.

Getting that very best image quality requires, in most cases, learning something of the photo craft. Images just don't get recorded by that automatic camera and look great unless a little photo knowledge is applied to the photo environment, or if the result is a pure accident.

I think that was the point that JohnG was addressing as well.

The budget and the need for long zoom sort of dictates a super zoom camera, but the low light level requirement, skewers that again. If we eliminated the low light level photo requirement, which is 10% of all photos taken, and made the assumption that photo would be taken in good light or supported by a good external flash with some power when photographing groups, indoors, parties, dances, and similiar events, then the Canon SX-10 with its hot shoe is a logical candidate. But you must also keep in mind that the SX-10 is also somewhat ISO limited.

An FZ-28, a Sony H-50, and even a Kodak Z-1012 that can easily take good photos at ISO 800, and then meeting the flash requirement by using a good slave flash like the DigiSlave 3000 would work. The FZ-35 is still a question mark as we have not yet seen a professional review on that camera.

I think it is now up to anthony_b to give us some input.

Sarah Joyce

anthony_b Aug 26, 2009 4:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JohnG (Post 995338)
Assuming you learn a few things - like positioning your subjects with relation to the sun or using fill flash to eliminate shadows etc.


Boy, this has really taken the fun out of getting a new toy.

mtclimber Aug 26, 2009 4:43 PM

anthony_b-

Please don't be upset. We honestly are really trying to help you. In doing so we have to ask questions and pose some conditions. Have we in some way gone wrong. I am sure that no poster here has that intent.

Sarah Joyce

TCav Aug 26, 2009 4:47 PM

You can spend a little money now, and chuck it when you outgrow it, or you can spend a little money now to set the proper foundation for what you ultimately want to do.

You can get a superzoom to do the snapshots.

... or ...

You can get a Canon XSi with the kit 18-55 IS lens ($632) for the snapshots, and later, you can add a Tamron 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 Di LD ($170) for baseball, a Canon 85mm f/1.8 ($439) for volleyball, and a Canon 70-200mm f/4.0 ($649) for recitals, for example.

Doesn't that sound like fun?

JohnG Aug 26, 2009 4:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by anthony_b (Post 995358)
Boy, this has really taken the fun out of getting a new toy.

Again, the intent is not to take the fun out. But cameras aren't magical. You keep saying your primary objective is high image quality. The #1, BY FAR, issue with image quality with any camera is the person behind the camera. I've seen people drop $4,000 on camera equipment and still take lousy pictures. I've seen some amazing shots from digicams because the people using them had an understanding of lighting and composition.

I also know from first hand experience that those photos at the park and at disney can be some of the more challenging from a lighting standpoint. So if Image Quality is your number 1 concern, the solution isn't the most expensive cameras - it's understanding photography. Otherwise you could spend $4,000 and still get poor images.

On the other hand, if you spend $600 on a DSLR or superzoom and use the camera within it's limitations and learn a little about photography you'll be able to take some amazing photos. But if you think the camera's going to do everything for you then you're setting yourself up for disappointment.

We don't say these things to discourage you - just to help educate you BEFORE you spend your money.

mtclimber Aug 26, 2009 5:28 PM

Thanks, JohnG-

You have perfectly laid out was I was attempting (and not very well, probably) to point out in my post. Well done!

Sarah Joyce

JimC Aug 26, 2009 5:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by anthony_b (Post 995358)
Boy, this has really taken the fun out of getting a new toy.

Don't sweat it.

Chances are, any of the entry level dSLR kits will do just fine in the vast majority of conditions you'll use one in (family gatherings, etc.).

Then, after you've used a kit for a while, you'll have a better understanding of where your existing equipment may be holding you back, and you can make better informed decisions on any additional purchases you may need for the conditions you use a camera in more often.

Personally, a typical 18-55mm kit lens would work fine for most of the photos I take of grandkids, nieces, nephews, etc. at parties, family gatherings and more.

Heck... I went out with relatives Saturday afternoon, and didn't even bother to bring a zoom lens along. I just mounted a 28mm f/2 on my camera and used my feet for zoom. ;-)

I've got boxes and boxes and boxes of prints taken mostly with 50mm or 35-70mm lenses on a 35mm camera (and a typical 18-55mm kit lens is going to start out even wider). For most uses, those types of focal lengths are fine. We're getting to be a bit "spoiled" anymore with super zoom type cameras. ;-)

Where you may need something different is in more extreme conditions (like your ballgames, dance recitals, etc.). But, even then, you may be able to get some photos at closer distances without a lot of expense.

You're not going to be able to get great photos of everything in all conditions, no matter how much you spend. Any system has limitations. ;-)

But, you can still have fun and get good photos in most conditions, without spending a small fortune. Also, quality is very subjective. From my perspective, the content of the images (being able to capture memories of family, etc.) is more important than the technical details or how sharp someone's eyelashes look at larger viewing sizes. Most users never print at larger sizes anyway.

IOW, I'd get a starter kit within your budget and have fun with it. If you can swing a bit more, look at some of the two lens kits (for example, one with a 18-55mm and 55-200mm lens). Then later, if you see where your gear is holding you back in some conditions, set a bit of money aside for more lenses later as you can afford them (and the used market is full of lenses, too).

anthony_b Aug 26, 2009 6:30 PM

JimC, thanks....you captured the spirit of what I was looking for.....here are some samples of shots I have taken in the past.



http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/3852588972/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/3852591450/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/3852592732/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/3860563472/

Kriekira Aug 26, 2009 6:31 PM

Thanks
 
I just want to say "Thanks" to all the participants in this thread. I have learned while reading it :) - which is why I'm here.

TCav Aug 26, 2009 7:30 PM

I'd like to mention that, while the photos you provided links to could all be taken with any entry level dSLR, buying any dSLR, and then buying lenses and accessories for it, commits you to a system.

The problem with that is that some systems won't do some of the other, more esoteric things you want to do. For instance, your daughter's volleyball is a problem (photographically speaking), and if you start with the wrong system now, you might have to start over with something new when you decide you want to photograph that. It would be best if you started with something that could handle that now, even if you don't want to pay the extra money for the appropriate lenses now. Canon and Nikon have lenses that can handle what you ultimately want to do, so buying a Pentax or Sony dSLR might end up being a bigger mistake than buying a superzoom.

Both Canon and Nikon have inexpensive, entry level dSLRs, but I think the least expensive one that has a fast enough autofocus system for sports/action photography is the Canon XSi. You can certainly buy a lesser model from either Canon or Nikon and upgrade later when you start to get your sports lenses, or you can spend a little extra money now, and have something that will work for what you wnat to do now, and whose extra capabilities you won't use until later.

JimC Aug 26, 2009 7:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by anthony_b (Post 995398)

Those all look like conditions where the entry level dSLR kits are likely going to do a better job than what you used. You're at close enough ranges for the kids playing ball in the back yard where faster focus speeds may be helpful using a typical kit lens. One of the photos looked like it had a Dynamic Range issue (where the detail in the building was a bit "washed out"). The dSLR models are going to be better in that area (where you have a greater range from bright to dark).

If it were me, I'd go with a dSLR versus a point and shoot with a $500 budget. You can always add more lenses later if you really need them.

As for the Sony A230 or Pentax K2000, that's a tough call. The Pentax has a relatively small internal buffer with relatively slow write speeds to media. It's probably using a Sony 10MP CCD sensor (as is the Sony A230 you're looking at). But, because of it's smaller internal buffer, it's going to slow down faster if you take many photos in bursts (as in sports photos). Chances are, it's Autofocus System isn't quite as good as the Sony's either. But, it's a well liked camera, and we have a terrific group of Pentax shooters in the forums willing to share their knowledge. If you're looking for users having fun with a dSLR (especially using budget lenses), look no further than our Pentax dSLR forum. Frankly, I wish more of our forums had a group of users as enthusiastic about their cameras and lenses.

Personally, I'd go with the Sony solution (and Sony has a really good deal on a two lens kit including the A230 with 18-55mm and 55-200mm lenses right now). But, I'm a bit biased, since I shoot with a Sony dSLR. lol

I'd try them out in a store and see what feels more comfortable to you.

JimC Aug 26, 2009 7:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TCav (Post 995401)
The problem with that is that some systems won't do some of the other, more esoteric things you want to do. For instance, your daughter's volleyball is a problem (photographically speaking), and if you start with the wrong system now, you might have to start over with something new when you decide you want to photograph that..

They all have pros and cons. For example, the entry level Canon models like the XS and XSi don't have an available ISO 3200 if you need to use it; and the Nikon models won't use a lot of the brighter lenses available (because their bodies don't have focus motors built in like the Pentax and Sony dSLR models).

As you know, I use a Sony A700 now. I have zero regrets choosing this system. Frankly, I would not swap my camera for anything made by Nikon or Canon short of the Nikon D3 (and even then, I'd have to think about it, since I wouldn't want to lug a camera that heavy around all the time), and in case you're wondering, I've taken thousands of photos with a D3 (as well as a number of other popular models like the Nikon D300, D5000 and more). ;-)

mtclimber Aug 26, 2009 8:03 PM

anthony_b-

JimC has given you some excellent advice. In the long run as long as you are willing to learn and grow in photography, the DSL is the logical next step. Congratulations!

Sarah Joyce

anthony_b Aug 27, 2009 11:45 AM

Thanks to everyone who offered there insights !!...Looks like I'll be searching for a deal on a Sony a230...but I'll also be eyeballing the Panny fz35 for it's HD recording too.

JimC Aug 27, 2009 11:51 AM

Chances are, you'd be happy with any of the entry level dSLR models from any of the major manufacturers (Sony, Canon, Nikon, Pentax, etc.) for most of the shots you take. I'd try them out in stores to see what you're more comfortable with (ergonomics, control layout, etc.). Not everyone likes the same thing in a camera. So, my preferences may be different than yours. ;-)

One nice thing is that you've got lots of choices anymore (of course, that can make it more confusing, too). :-)

As for the super zoom type models in a non-DSLR offering, you'll have to decide if that kind of camera is a better fit for what you want in a camera. Personally, I'd want a model capable of good photos at much higher ISO speeds with better Dynamic Range (and I don't use longer focal lengths much, since most of my images are capturing friends and family at closer distances). I'd also want the ability to use brighter lenses, have a faster AF system, have the ability to use an external flash, etc. But, some users prefer the convenience of a smaller camera and may appreciate more optical zoom in a smaller package. Many users have both types of cameras.

anthony_b Aug 27, 2009 1:09 PM

I've read in some areas that the Pentax doesn't due as well in lower light areas as the Sony....Plus I've had about two or three Sony Digicams in the past so I'm somewhat familiar with the menus...


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