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Old Jun 22, 2008, 6:24 PM   #1
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:? Don't be too jealous, but I'm goingon a nice trip to CR (volcanos, rain forest, jungle, animals, etc.) and would like to have some great pics. I don't do this every day, so I don't have the opportunity to practice photo skills, but have always looked for an excuse to get a nice camera. Narrowed it down online to the Canon XSi and the Nikon D80 and was quite surprised when I went to the store and saw the size/options of both--very intimidating and I do have some exposure to advanced cameras.

Would it be worth going ahead and getting the SLR and learning in the field or should I just stick with my Canon SD850 or is there something in between?? I need to stay below 1K--the Canon is about my limit. Just how much difference is there in quality?

Thanks for your opinion!!
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Old Jun 22, 2008, 7:11 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forums.

I moved your thread down to our What Camera Should I Buy Forum , since it sounds like your question would be better served there.

You may also want to give forum members a better idea of your budget (for both camera and lenses if you want to look at a dSLR solution). That way, you'd be more likely to get useful responses.

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Old Jun 22, 2008, 7:13 PM   #3
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Will do. Thanks for your help!
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Old Jun 22, 2008, 9:24 PM   #4
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I would say that the learning curve for a dSLR is quite steep, and while the final results will certainly surpass what you get now from your SD850, if your trip is soon, you may not have enough time to get familiar with a new dSLR to get the kind of photos you might expect.

Your SD850 is quite a capable camera, and should serve you well on your trip. But if this is a 'once ina lifetime' trip, you may regret not getting a better camera. If you go ahead with a new camera, you should make sure you have enough time to get familiar with a new dSLR.

The Canon XSi is a 12MP camera with 'Live View' (which lets you frame your shots with the LCD display, like your SD850), and it comes with a stabilized kit lens. (Stabilized lenses correct for motion blur due to camera shake.) That's a much nicer package than the D80.

There are other nice dSLRs available that may suit you as well. Can you tell us how you narrowed your choice down to the XSi and the D80?
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Old Jun 22, 2008, 9:42 PM   #5
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Thanks. I was afraid the learning curve might be steep after looking at them in the store. I started research with Consumer Reports and then narrowed it to the two at CNET.com. I am certainly open to suggestions, though.

Thanks for your input!
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Old Jun 23, 2008, 5:43 AM   #6
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Ok, there are five mainstream dSLR manufacturers, all of which make fine cameras suitable for general purpose photography that you might consider.

Can you tell us how much you intend to spend on a camera?

And, besides general purpose travel photography, what types of photos do you like to shoot? (i.e.: Landscape, Nature, Wildlife, Macro, Indoor Sports, Outdoor Sports, Cityscapes, Candids, Events, portraits, etc.)

Also, when do you leave on your trip
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Old Jun 23, 2008, 1:00 PM   #7
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i think this so called "steep learning curve" can be a bit overstated at times.



After similar considerations I recently settled on the pentax k100d super, The basics are quite easy to master (spend a few hours going through the manual, with the camera next to me). Most of what i read i have forgotten, but that doesn't matter, as there is an "auto" setting, which turns it into a advanced, high quality, point and shoot camera. There are a few more exposure settings which are useful, and as easy accessible as any P&S, and for the rest i have only gone slightly deeper into the camera to change ISO settings; otherwise just keeping everyting as it was set by the factory.

So, don't worry too much about it being too complicated, the average microwave can be more difficult to get right.....
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Old Jun 23, 2008, 5:52 PM   #8
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I'm leaving next week and need to keep it under 1K. The primary use would probably be for travel, which doesn't happen just a whole lot. Other than that family snapshots would round out the rest of the usage. Do you think I'm on the right track? Thanks!
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Old Jun 23, 2008, 7:40 PM   #9
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The XSi is a nice camera. And it definately has more bells and whistles than the D80. It has a 12MP image sensor that sets it apart from most other dSLRs, andit has 'Live View' which also sets it apart from most other dSLRs.

It comes with a very nice 18-55 IS lens which has optical image stabilization built in, and what you say you wnat to shoot can be handles by this lens. So you need not worry about the extra cost of image stabilization in extra lenses. Canon and Nikon both use optical image stabilization in some, but not all of their lenses, while Pentax, Sony and most Olympus dSLRs use sensor shift image stabilization in the camera body. If you were going to do things that might require multiple lenses, sensor shift image stabilization might be attractive, but that's not the case.

'Live View' is a 'nice to have' feature that is rarefor dSLRs, and if that's something you want, the XSI is a good choice. Sony's implimentation of 'Live View' in it's A300/A350 is better, I think, but the 'Live View' in the XSi is better than some others.

The XSI's 12MP is nice when compared to the 10MP in most other dSLRs, especially if you might do a lot of cropping and other post processing, but the Sony A350 is 14MP, which is better still.

So, based on this 'quick and dirty' selection criteria, the XSi is a very good choice, certainly better than the D80. But perhaps the Sony A350 is a better choice. And it's cheaper!

I wonder why the A350 fell off your list of candidates. Perhaps there were real reasons why it was removed, but maybe you should take a look at them in a store.
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Old Jun 23, 2008, 8:10 PM   #10
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That's great to know. I'll check it out. Thanks!
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