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Old Apr 29, 2007, 7:52 PM   #1
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I have read a number of posts/replies on this website, and although I am intimidatedby the amount of knowledge and the lingo, I am going outon a limb in hope of not sounding too ridiculous!You all seem like experts!

I am very much a beginner when it comes to photography, but it is a hobbie I would like to spend more time on. I need help breaking down all the details to help me understand what I am reading so I can determine what Ishould buy.

I am looking for a camera that I can grow into. We have two very young children whom I always take pictures of, but I need something that provides me with better quality (we have a Sony Cybershot and are not pleased with it.)

The types of photos would range from close-ups, long-shots (as the kids grown and become involved with sports), and nature, so I'll need to get an additional lens (I am assuming).

I am considering a Canon Rebel XTi or Nikon D80; however, like I said, I really don't know what I am reading. Those are twothat keep coming up in my searches.

Can someone help me?
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Old Apr 29, 2007, 9:26 PM   #2
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As a beginner, I'd say either of those cameras is a safe bet. However, I don't think you even need to spend that much on a first DSLR and would recommend you go with the XT over the XTI. The Nikon D40 might also be a good, cheaper alternative to the D80, but personally I don't care for how stripped down it is feature-wise. That may or may not be a problem for you, it's difficult to say at this point. You could also try looking for the older D50.

For getting started, I'd suggest you get the kit lens (or maybe something higher quality in the case of the Canon) and a 70-300 zoom, or perhaps just one in the 18-200 area to cover all your bases without the need to switch lenses.

Once you get used to those lenses and the camera, you'll begin to feel out where you think your limitations are and will be able to make more informed decisions when you want to add more lenses and accessories to your collection. Those zoom lenses will do ok in most circumstances, but be aware that shooting sports is one of the most difficult and costly aspects of photography, depending on just how serious you want to get.

I personally shoot with a Pentax camera, but in my opinion Pentax isn't the best way to go for a complete beginner, unless you're more of an art student, or someone on a budget who doesn't mind using manual focus lenses to cut costs. Olympus may also be an option worth considering as I've heard they have very high quality lenses, great ergonomics and are a good bargain, but I don't know much about them myself.
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Old Apr 30, 2007, 6:35 AM   #3
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Either camera will be a great camera that should allow you considerable room for growth. Also, with the largest collection of modern auto-focus lenses both the Canon & Nikon systems offer great flexibility for your future growth. These systems, controling about 99% of the pro sports market also have the best auto-focus systems and while the consumer level cameras don't have all the same abilities the pro models do, they do inherit some very good aspects. Also both systems have quite a few lenses with their own focus motor making them generally faster to focus than situations where the camera's focus motor does the work. So when you do get into shooting your kids sports (or wildlife) those autofocus systems and faser focusing lenses will come in handy.

I agree with Corpsy - start off with just a single lens for now. Learn and grow with it and buy future lenses based upon ACTUAL need and not PERCEIVED need. That is: when you find there's a type of photography you're trying to do that cannot be accomplished with your current lens THEN look at additional lenses.

I also strongly encourage you to hand-hold both cameras in a store before you make a decision. How they feel and operate in your hands could sway you one way or the other.
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