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Old Nov 25, 2007, 6:58 PM   #11
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As a 72 year old female that carries a camera case (a Sumdex video bag for camera plus extra lens and external flash) in place of a conventional purse, I can relate to your situation. However, when I was in a big name university, it was 1957, not 2007, so things have probably changed a good deal since my days back in 1957.

Perhaps I can put forward a useful suggestion or two. As a Professional Digital Camera Instructor, I was recently given an Olympus E-400 to use/on loan along with the Zuiko 14-42mm lens, the Zukio 40-150mm F 4.0 (short) lens, and an Olympus FL 50 external flash. That set-up really works very well indeed. It is a very nice combination.

I was ever so pleased with the much smaller size of the E-410 camera and it accessory lenses and flash. Together, they make a very effective, but considerably smaller photo package to carry about. Perhaps, a kit like that might work for you quite effectively, considering your desire to learn and your need for a very compact kit. I have attached an E-410 sample photo for your serious consideration.

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Old Nov 26, 2007, 5:32 PM   #12
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I actually went to Ritz Camera and Best Buy this weekend to look at the cameras on my list.

At Ritz I played with D40, D40x, 410 and 500. The 410 seemed light but awkward to hold, the 500 was more comfortable grip-wise but definitely too heavy, and the D40/x was comfortably in between.

At Best Buy I played with the D40/x and the Canon XT and found them very comparable. The Best Buy sales guy seemed to think the canon was better, but everybody else seems to think the D40 is better. Not that I trust the Best Buy sales people, but I figured asking couldn't hurt, though I walked away more confused than I walked in.

Based on visiting the stores I limited my list to the D40, D40x, and XT.

Assuming I went with the D40, since that seems to be the suggestion I'm getting most, how do I go about choosing accessories and such and try to stay near my $550 budget? What are the first things I'll need to get, besides camera and kit lens? I already have a bag from my fslr that should do if I want to buy other things first.
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Old Nov 26, 2007, 5:43 PM   #13
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jboschan wrote:
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Assuming I went with the D40, since that seems to be the suggestion I'm getting most, how do I go about choosing accessories and such and try to stay near my $550 budget? What are the first things I'll need to get, besides camera and kit lens?
A memory card (or cards) for one thing (and make sure to get the right type for the camera you buy).

I'd look at places like http://www.newegg.com for good deals on larger cards.


You may also want to get a USB 2.0 card reader if you don't already have one. They're relatively inexpensive anymore. Make sure the card reader supports the type of memory you buy. For example, many multi-card readers don't support newer SDHC cards.

A spare battery may not be a bad idea either.

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Old Nov 26, 2007, 6:52 PM   #14
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The Nikon D-40 is certainly an excellent choice. The photos right out of the camera are excellent and do not require a lot of post processing. The camera with the kit lens will keep you within your budget. Later you might want to add either the SB-400 or SB-600 Flashes and the Nikon 55-200mmVR lens, a bargain at around $(US) 200.00.

Here is a photo sample taken with the D-40X, the 55-200mmVR lens, and the SB-800 flash. It will give you an idea of what the D-40 family can do.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Nov 30, 2007, 9:38 AM   #15
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I have been researching entry level DSLRs a lot myself. The three you have it narrowed down to are all very good cameras. Like some here have noted already the Nikons require a different set of lenses due to the in-lense auto focus motor. This will limit your lense selection in the future if you want to upgrade to other lenses. You will have a hard time finding good deals, especially used lenses that will work with the D40/x. But I am still leaning towards the nikons myself. I did not like the way the Canon felt. The D40 and the D40x felt much sturdier, but thats my opinion. If you can afford it I would step up to the D40x just to get the extra mp. A lot of people here will say it doesn't matter but for the small price difference you might as well and then you will have better cropping and enlarging options. Also don't worry about certain people here giving you a hard time. I feel the same way you do about p&s vs DSLR. Why not get into it. Then you will have lenses next time you upgrade the body. Sure they are not the best lenses with kits, but next time after you buy a lense or two you will still have that kit lense to take along. Well anyone of the three will be a good choice.

JW
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