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Old Sep 22, 2008, 2:59 PM   #1
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Hey I have a Canon A570 IS but im looking into getting into photography more seriously I'm really new to photography and I need to buy a good camera that in the range of 300 - 400 which I can play and learn more. Im not going to be a professional photographer but it is just a passion for photography I have ..
Please help me..
thanks in advance;
Siva.
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Old Sep 22, 2008, 3:15 PM   #2
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"the range of 300 - 400" rules out a dSLR.

Have you looked at Steve's Best Cameras?

Perhaps something in a 'Super Zoom' would work well for you.
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Old Sep 22, 2008, 3:41 PM   #3
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Oh ya i saw it thanks. I like the Sony Alpha DSLR-A200 (with 18-70mm lens) but since Im new to photography do you think it will be very hard for me to learn about the lens and shutter speeds. Do you think this camera is suitable for me.

Thanks.
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Old Sep 22, 2008, 4:38 PM   #4
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I think a couple points would be helpful. First, the entry level DSLRs all have auto mode as well as pre-fab (sports, scenery, etc) modes. So they really aren't more difficult to learn than a digicam. There are differences (like controlling zoom with a ring on the lens vs a button on the camera), like shallower depth-of-field (dOF refers to how much of the image is in focus - since the lenses ofDSLRs are physically longer and the sensors larger than digicams you don't get as much in-focus as you do with a digicam. Don't misunderstand the focus systems on DSLRS are MUCH better but what I mean is things in front of or behind the subject you're focusing on will be more blurred ). Also DSLRs tend to apply less processing to images AS A DEFAULT - but they all allow you to bump up the in-camera processing if you desire (sharpness, saturation etc.).

But they are certainly no more difficult to learn. The downside to DSLRs is they are larger and more bulky than most digicams, they generally cost more and you generally have to use at least 2 lenses if you like to cover a large focal range (i.e. think the 8x or 10x digicams). Manufacturers are creating more 'super zoom' lenses like an 18-200. But in a sense such lenses are a bit counterproductive to DSLR use. The benefit of a DSLR is you choose a lens that's best suited for the job rather than a jack-of-all-trades-but-master-of-none lens. But you do have the choice.

Having said all that, you can absolutely learn photography using some of the better digicams. Anything that allows you to use aperture priority, shutter priority or full manual will allow you to learn the principles of exposure (and ANY camera will allow you to learn composition and lighting). I would suggest that a camera with decent ISO performance up to ISO 400 and the above exposure modes would let you learn quite a bit. A camera with a hot-shoe for an external flash allows you to learn even more. To me those are more critical to learning photography than a superzoom. The benefit to superzooms is they're convenient - they cover a huge focal length - but they're not by definition better suited to learn photography. The one aspect that CAN be difficult to learn with a digicam is depth-of-field. Because of the difference in physical focal length of the lenses and sensor size it is more difficult to get a shallow DOF with a digicam. It can be done - you just need longer focal lengths. And sometimes that's not physically possible (i.e. you can't always zoom to 12x on a digicam - especially if your subject is 6 foot tall and only 15 feet away and you want their entire body in the shot). But for macro-type work (flowers, etc) you can often use a lot of zoom and get the blurred background affect.
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Old Sep 22, 2008, 4:56 PM   #5
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Yeah. What JohnG said.

Plus, the A200 is $100 over your budget.
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Old Sep 22, 2008, 5:26 PM   #6
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Thanks a lot TCav and JohnG ..
Ur suggestions are soo helpful Ya the Alpha 200 is a 100$ more than my budget but i thought it has more features then y don I go for it since it is a SLR i thought it will hav more options and features. Can you suggest any other cameras ,I know I have to do my own research but with soo many options available im really perplexed in choosing one. Can u suggest me some digi cam which has the features that you told me about and gives good picture..

Thanks a lot for ur patient replies..
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Old Sep 23, 2008, 8:41 AM   #7
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shivas86 wrote:
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... Ya the Alpha 200 is a 100$ more than my budget but i thought it has more features then y don I go for it since it is a SLR i thought it will hav more options and features. ...
One of the advantages of a dSLR is that you can customize itfor what you want to do (to varying degrees with different brands.)

But 'out of the box', they are limited in the range the kit zoom lens has. The kit lens for the A200 has a range of 18-70mm (77° - 23° angle of view) which is longer than most, but not by much and not near the range that a superzoom digicam would give you. In order to go longer (which most superzoom digicams will do) or wider (which most superzoom digicams won't do), you'll need to get another lens. There are some good ones that are reasonably priced, but it will be an additional cost, beyond the $100 that the A200 has already put you over your budget.
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Old Sep 23, 2008, 9:18 AM   #8
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shivas86 wrote:
Quote:
Hey I have a Canon A570 IS but im looking into getting into photography more seriously...

Quote:
Ur suggestions are soo helpful Ya the Alpha 200 is a 100$ more than my budget but i thought it has more features then y don I go for it since it is a SLR i thought it will hav more options and features
At only $499.99 for a kit including an 18-70mm lens, I think it's a great deal right now in an entry level dSLR model. Of course, I'm probably biased, since I shoot with a Sony A700 right now. ;-)

With the Sony A200 kit, you're getting a 10MP dSLR model with better performance than you'd find in most point and shoot models (since the A200 can shoot at roughly 3 frames per second until a fast memory card is full, and it's got a nice 9 point AF sensor to help with autofocus in tougher conditions). The 18-70mm kit lens included would give you the same angle of view you'd have using a 27-105mm lens on a 35mm camera (you have to multiply the focal length by 1.5x with a camera using an APS-C size sensor to see how they'd compare), which is a pretty decent focal range for a "walk around" type lens.

If you want a longer zoom lens, you could always buy one later (you don't have to buy everything at once to get started). A dSLR also gives you a more flexible solution, allowing you to buy lenses that are more optimum for specific conditions (for example, a brighter prime or zoom lens for when you need to shoot without a flash in low light). Another benefit of a dSLR solution is that your lenses become more of an investment, since you can usually take them with you within the same camera manufacturer if you decide to upgrade to a newer camera body later down the road (although some restrictions may apply if the new body has a physically larger sensor size).

I'd try out some of the entry level dSLR models like this in a store and see what you think if you can stretch your budget that far and don't mind the size and weight.

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Old Sep 23, 2008, 8:33 PM   #9
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Guys thanks a lot.. I will research and come up with a short list I will also look into the super zoom .I like the Sony A200 but lookin at what you guys told most of it is a jargon to me no offense but i think the sony A200 is more advanced for me and Im not sure if I could all the features available. Its is soo confusing to decide a camera to learn photography...

meet you soon with a short list of cameras after doin a bit of research myself...

For now thanks a lot I really appreciate your help...

I really learnt a thing or two about cameras from discussing with you...)
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Old Nov 18, 2008, 9:01 AM   #10
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A few months ago I was in the same position as you...researching and deciding on a dSLR. Based on TCav's helpful feedback I weighed Sony, Pentax, and Olympus and settled on a Sony A700. However, looking back know with the benefit of hindsight, there is little reason not to have purchased the A300, which is much closer albeit a little out of your specified budget. I started out with a $500 budget and ended up spending $1,500 for camera body, lens, and accessories. (I'm currently looking for a durable tripod.)

If you look around on the web on sites like Flickr that allow you to search by type of camera, you'll find sample pictures taken with the A200, A300, A350 etc. You'll most likely notice that all of them are capable of outstanding photographs.

Also, based on TCav's advice I purchased a very affordable Tamron 300 mm Di zoom lens for about $159 through Dell's online site. For my budget and use it's very desireable. It gives you flexibility of taking Macro photos as well as some medium range wildlife, sports, and "events" photos for a very reasonable price. It would allow you to learn for less money and then once comfortable you can upgrade to the higher grade lenses later on.

I think you'll discover that photography can be as affordable or as expensive as you and your budget want it to be. I'm personally holding out for a 400 mm or 500 mm Sony "G" lens, although it might awhile (if ever) that this lens become available.
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