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Old Sep 9, 2008, 4:24 PM   #1
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I dont really want to spend over $700 so please tell me which DSLR you would recommend based on this. I was looking into the Sony A300 but before i take the plunge i want to ask this question just to make sure i'm making the right choice. There is so much info and its too much for my newbie brain to process so i'm turning to the experts. This will be my very 1st dslr.

Anyway i take pics mostly of my kids running aroundbut i love seneary and nature pics.

I like live view and i'm looking for a camera that has a good live view because its what i'll be using until i get accustomed to the viewfinder which i may or may not use depending on how i feel about it.

I have a canon sd750 p&s and i'm basically wanting to upgrade to get better quality pics.

I wont be getting an additional lens anytime soon but maybe in the future.

What are my options??

Thank you.
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Old Sep 9, 2008, 6:21 PM   #2
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'Live View' narrows down your choices pretty quickly. And a budget of $700 narrows it even further.

Your choices are:
  • Sony A300 [/*]
  • Olympus E420 [/*]
  • Olympus E510 [/*]
  • Olympus E520[/*]
The Sony has the best 'Live View' implementation, and the largest selection of OEM, third party and used lenses. It also has the best autofocus system for sports/action/wildlife photography, and is the best at high ISO settings for low light situations.

The Olympus choices are the smallest and lightest models, and for equivalent angles of view, have the smallest and lightest lenses as well. But the selection is small, and often expensive.

The Olympus E420 is the only choice that does not include image stabilization, which reduces (if not eliminates) motion blur due to camera shake. The Olympus E510 is the only choice that can't autofocus while using the 'Live View'.

The Olympus E520 is the improved version of the E510 that can autofocus in 'Live View' and includes image stabilization.

The E410 and E510 are available in two lens kits that is within your budget, giving you a greater range than the Sony and the Olympus E520.

From a features and capabilities perspective, I'd say the Sony was the best choice, but the attraction of the Olympus two lens kit is tough to pass up.

A significant part of your decision should be howa camera feels to you. If you can, try to get to a camera store that has these models that you can try out for yourself. If you can't comfortably hold the camera, if you can't find the controls when you need them, you will miss some once-in-a-lifetime shots.
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Old Sep 9, 2008, 7:13 PM   #3
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I agree with TCav, but would like to point out something when it comes to live view that may influence your choice. It's to re-enforce his point about how important it is to try the cameras in the store before you buy. Take a 3 lb weight and hold it out at almost arm's length (about where you would havea camerawhen using live view)for several minutes. Put it down and then pick it up again, holding it out, repeat a couple of times. Now try holding it out andpretend to change settings, see how itfeels.Do your arms get tired? That's what it will be like using a dSLR camera using live view mostly, and the lighter Oly cameras would have a significant advantage over the Sony in this area (overall, I think I like the Sony better but haven't looked at the E520 yet).
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Old Sep 9, 2008, 7:25 PM   #4
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Debbie26 wrote:
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I have a canon sd750 p&s and i'm basically wanting to upgrade to get better quality pics.
Just to re-inforce what the other two are saying. If you want better quality shots you're not going to get them by trying to use live-view to capture shots of your kids moving around. The quality of your shots will definitely suffer. So, whichever camera you decide upon, the sooner you start using the viewfinder the better off you'll be. There are times when liveview can be beneficial but trying to use a DSLR like a point and shoot will seriously cripple your ability to capture good photos.
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Old Sep 9, 2008, 7:55 PM   #5
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Thank you all for your responses.

TCav thank you so much for taking the time to explain the specifics. That definitely helps. Thank you for helping me to make an informed decision.

I think the Sony will be the way to go. I understand about the Olympus being lighter but when it comes to the features, i like what the sony has to offer.

mtngal i can see that getting tiring, thinking about the weight,i will try to get to the store and do some comparisons. I looked at the A300 a few nights ago and it feels good but atleast now i know what to pay attention to so i'll go take a look at it again.

And this brings me to JohnG

Would you mind elaborating a little more on the lack of quality when using the live view? Why would that make a difference? Is it because i'm not seeing the true shot? I would love if you can give me some more info on this. I just find that looking thru the view finder i lose my subject especially when they are moving around so much. If i'm looking at the lcd, i can see them and find them thru the camera but i am looking forward to hearing more on this.

Thank you all again, i reallly appreciate it.
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Old Sep 9, 2008, 8:01 PM   #6
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Debbie26 wrote:
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I like live view and i'm looking for a camera that has a good live view because its what i'll be using until i get accustomed to the viewfinder which i may or may not use depending on how i feel about it.
Only these 3 dSLR models so far, depending on your view of what "good" is. ;-)

Sony DSLR-A300 or DSLR-A350

Olympus E-330 (discontinued for a while now, but you may be able to find one new)


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Old Sep 9, 2008, 9:15 PM   #7
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There are a few reasons why using LCD produces worse results for that type of shooting:

1. As mentioned, it is not a stable shooting position. A dslr is heavier than your current camera. Keeping a camera pressed to your face with your elbows in is a much more stable position - your using your skeleton - holding a camera out at arms length you're using your muscles - not nearly as stable. Again, you'll notice when you see the added weight.

2. Time - the LCD is slower than the speed of light. As you move around the LCD works slower than the speed of light - which is what you're using when looking through the viewfinder.

3. Focus speed. Liveview does not focus as well as using the traditional focus of the camera. I do not believe there is a DSLR yet whose live view focus speed is as fast as the focus speed with liveview off.

4. You're even more slow because you're eye and the screen are not moving in synch.

5. Pivoting - as you pivot to follow your subject when the camera is at your face it travels in a shorter arc. Hold it out and it has to travel further

The bottom line is this: your technique will make more of a difference than the camera. Your technique will be the limiting factor. You'll continue to miss important shots because using live view is too slow and too unstable to capture moving subjects consistently. Live view on a DSLRis best used for fine-tuning focus of static subjects - portraits or macro.

In the end you'll shoot how you're comfortable shooting. I merely suggest from experience that trying to use liveview for the types of shots you want will impede your rate of success.
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Old Sep 9, 2008, 9:56 PM   #8
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Jim thank you again.

John thank you for explaining, makes sense definitely. It will take some getting used to but i'm willing to give it a shot to get the perfect shot.
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