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Old Feb 1, 2007, 3:25 PM   #11
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Of course I would take your current lenses into consideration. The 35-80 isn't a very high quality lens as far as build quality (lots of plastic, cheap construction) but it has decent optical quality. You probably won't find yourself using it much. The 28-200 would work well as a walk around lens in good light, and will give you decent telephoto at the bargain price of free.

But, when you buy an SLR you need to be aware that you are not just buying the camera and kit lens, you are buying into a system and a community of users. Needless to say the Nikon and Canon user community makes up a vast vast vast majority of SLRs (not just digital SLR's). This means:

Greater used lens availability (Take a look at keh.com's selection of used Nikon Autofocus glass in digital and 35mm and compare it to what can be used on the Pentax)

More accessories.

Larger knowledge base.

In your position I would take the D50 and run with it. The 18-55 kit lens is actually very good as far as kit lenses are concerned. The 28-200 tameron will cover your moderate telephoto needs just fine until you decide you need higher quality glass in the range. For shooting your kids indoors... errr... I mean... photographing your kids indoors the very first accessory I suggest you buy one of the speedlight hot shoe mounted flashes, it will give the ability to capture high quality indoor shots in many more situations then the most expensive glass can. Flash photography is an art in and of itself and you can get some very nice no-flash looking shots with a proper hot-shoe flash (pop up flashes are just nto adequate, no matter how good or powerful). After the flash you can drop $100 on the 50mm 1.8D for a super cheap low light lens.

(D50 + 50mm 1.8D no flash)

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Old Feb 1, 2007, 5:42 PM   #12
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Please help me out a bit, won't you? Why are you running two simultaneous threads? Several folks have mentioned using a hot shoe mounted flash on your DSLR camera, and That is a good idea.

However, the Sigma flash for the Pentax K100D costs about $150 plus shipping cost. For the Nikon who has done a much better job with sophisticated flashes and small flashes, you could use the SB-400 which is their most automated flash that works very well with the D-40 and the D-50. It vsells for about $130 plus shipping.

Well, you probably have popped into brain overload, based on how much info we have all fed into your original post. Please don't be concerned, just take your time in deciding and understand that all three of your three possible DSLR cameras will produce excellent results.

This is also the time to re-think things if you feel that the cost is mounting upwards too quickly. There are point and shoot cameras with a much smaller budgeted expense that might also handle your requirements, and give you more calmness and peace of mind.

I have attached a photo taken in a very dark garage where I added just the camera's built-in flash, NOT an expensive external hot shoe mountedflash. Keep in mind that as long as the camera to subject distance is less than 12 to 14 feet, the camera's built-in flash will fill the bill nicely.

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Old Feb 2, 2007, 10:58 AM   #13
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Thanks to everyone for all the very helpful information and for spending the time to answer a beginner's questions. Sorry about the two threads. This is the first time I have posted to a message board and I didn't realize the confusion that would cause. I have read and considered everyones responses on both threads and posted myresponse on the otherthread. Thanks again! Erin
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