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Old Oct 1, 2008, 11:31 PM   #1
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Hello, my name is Rae and I have just gotten into photography. I bought a point and shoot Kodak c713 a few months ago and have taken many pictures. It seems the only thing I can manually mess with on it is the ISO, so I sort of know what that means but the rest of the terminology is still foreign to me. Anyway I'm ready to learn more, and with that, get a better camera that I can learn with.

My list in what I need in a camera:
  1. *DSLR
    *max amount I want to spend is 700
    *a camera that last a long time(I'm on disability and can't buy a new camera every year)
    *I enjoy taking action photos, either of sports or my cute pets(which are fast runners), I also take a lot of photos in low light rooms and evenings, So good *ISO with less noise is always nice.
    *Maybe a brand that has cheaper lens? Or at least a brand of camera that doesn't discontinue the lens as soon as the camera is out of date?*shrug*
Oh and another question, would it be a good idea to wait until Black Friday to buy a camera, are there any good sales on cameras during that day?

Thanks,
Rae
P.S. here is pictures I have taken, if you care to take a look http://www.flickr.com/photos/raezer/
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Old Oct 2, 2008, 5:51 AM   #2
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My local camera shop issues lots of useful information on its website and in a frequent leaflet. They've recently started offering more SLRs, as many folk are now asking the same question, and dSLR value for money is improving rapidly.

The page on the link below discusses the pros & cons of dSLRs vs 'hybrid' cameras, but if you look at the bottom part of the page it has 'mini test reports' of a range of them written by a chap who's tried them all out. He told me on Monday he's ordered the Canon 5D MkII for himself, but it's going to take a long time to arrive. See....

http://www.wrexcam.com/digi-CAMslr-PRICE.htm
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Old Oct 2, 2008, 7:17 AM   #3
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Rae,

A few thoughts on what you like to shoot:

sports - you'll need to be more specific. Which sports, what level of the sport (middle school basketball is different than HS is different than college div III dif from college div I diff from pro) and where are you taking the shots from? Taking shots from stands at local HS football is different than taking shots from the sidelines.

pets: if the pets are moving indoors the truth of the matter is even with high ISO you're not going to freeze their motion unless you have a very sunlit room. Which of course means you'd never be able to take shots at night - usually table lamps and such aren't nearly bright enough. So, the secret to freezing motion inside your house isn't fast lenses and high ISO - it's flash. Preferably an external / bounced flash. I do a LOT of sports work. So I shoot at high ISOs and wide aperture lenses a lot. But if I'm in my living room and my son or dogs are moving around I know from experience high ISO and fast lenses won't cut it. So I use my external flash. NOW, high ISO and wide aperture (fast) lenses are very useful indoors if your subject ISN't moving. Then you can get some nice shots. But if they're moving, you need flash.

But before making further recomendations I need more information about the sports shooting - and also what type of shots you want to be able to take. Taking a 'fan shot' where people are somewhat recognizable is one thing - taking stop-action newspaper style sports photos is something else entirely.
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Old Oct 2, 2008, 7:46 AM   #4
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It's a huge step to go from a Kodak C713, one of the cheapest, simplest cameras around, to a DSLR. I think it would make more sense to go for a versatile point and shoot that has manual controls so you can learn the technical side of photography.

I recommend the Canon A590IS, an inexpensive but high quality point and shoot camera with very good picture quality and full manual controls.
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Old Oct 2, 2008, 10:23 AM   #5
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I agree wth Andy. A Canon A590 would give you lots of chances for learning.

The problem with a DSLR and your budget restrictions and your desiresis this:

It's hard to get an entry level camera with a fast (bright) lens appropriate for most indoor sports for less than $700.

You can get a Sony A200 for $499 with kit lens. It has ISO settings up to 3200. However, I think it's kind of noisy at that setting. You would need to get a fast (bright) lens to be able to use lower ISO settings. That kind of lens costs a lot usually, often more than the camera itself.

There some superzooms with ok lowlight image quality. They usually have all kinds of manual settings. The other forum members will give you some ideas.

A DSLR is most fun to use when you have learned more about photography with simpler cameras first. Of course, you can learn with a DSLR, too, but it's easier the other way, I think.
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Old Oct 2, 2008, 10:55 AM   #6
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robbo wrote:
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I agree wth Andy. A Canon A590 would give you lots of chances for learning.


A DSLR is most fun to use when you have learned more about photography with simpler cameras first. Of course, you can learn with a DSLR, too, but it's easier the other way, I think.
Not knocking digicams at all - and one may be an acceptable choice. But I do want to dispel this last statement as a myth. Learning photography on a digicam is no easier than learning it on an entry level DSLR. They both have scene modes, they both have full auto. Shutter priority works about the same on all cameras. Aperture priority works about the same on all cameras. Just because DSLRs have more settings in their menus doesn't mean you have to use them. Size, weight and price are an issue. But it's much more expensive to buy a digicam to 'learn the basics' before you buy the dslr.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"I'd also like to address another point - true many sports require more expensive lenses - but there isn't a digicam on the market that can do better than an entry level DSLR with even moderate lenses. For instance an canon xsi with 50mm 1.8 lens ($80) will outperform any digicam on the market for indoor basketball. Same type of camera with Sigma 70-300 ($180) will outperform any digicam shooting soccer in good light. Pro quality results? No. But much better than any digicam.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"I'm not saying the OP should buy a digicam. Just voicing my opinion that there are 2 misconceptions in your post.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"1. entry level dslr is just as easy to use and learn photography with as a digicam

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"2. entry level DSLR with even moderately priced lenses will outperform a digicam in similar situation. Given, of course, you're not in an impossible situation. Don't expect to go to a MLB game and shoot action from the nose bleeds with any camera. Don't expect to go to a HS basketball game and again sit at the top of the stands and shoot good shots with any but very expensive setup.

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Old Oct 2, 2008, 12:43 PM   #7
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I agree with JohnG about someone with little photography knowledge being able to get pretty good results out of a dSLR. For instance, my other half, who's never owned a camera, did really well recently on our trip to Yellowstone using my PentaxK100 (my second camera - I also have a K20) and a zoom lens. He knows how to turn the camera on, where the shutter is and how to operate the zoom. I also told him how to change lenses but after trying a couple of other ones, he settled on one and didn't want to change. Will he be able to get the BEST out of the camera all the timewith his very limited knowledge? Certainly not in a few difficult situations, but otherwise he does very well.

Besides, I remember way back when I was given my first film SLR camera - I didn't really have much interest in photography and my boyfriend at the time gave me one (to impress me ? I'm sure he's regretted that impulsive gesture many times, as it led to several other cameras and a number of additional lenses). I decided since I suddenly owned this thing, it would make sense to learn how to use it so I bought a photography book and read the manual. It didn't take all that much effort to learn the principles and start to take some pretty good pictures. It's even easier today, since my original SLR was manual focus/aperture priority only, no full auto settings.

There are a number of disadvantages to a dSLR (size and weight being very high on the list) and its not the right solution for everyone. But just because someone is a beginner doesn't mean that they shouldn't consider one.

As far as lenses go - buy the best you can afford. A lens can last a very long time - I shoot Pentax and am still using (on mydigital K20)the two lenses that came with that first film camera bought in 1980. Most of the other camera manufacturers have some backwards compatibilty with their lenses, some more than others (Pentax has the most - I have saved money by buying older, used lenses instead of new ones).
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Old Oct 2, 2008, 1:36 PM   #8
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Yes, I will admit that DSLR's can be used by newbies to good effect. However, consider the digicam alternative. The OP gets a Canon A590 for $150 or less ($129 at a few places lately). She plays with the camera a little, sees that it is better than her first camera in some ways, learns its ins and outs. In 3 months or 6 months, she figures she is ready for a DSLR. She sells her A590 on Ebay for $100. She gets Canon XSi or Xs, both of which will have dropped in price by that time.

Yes, you get a short prime lens cheaply, and yes, you can use them for sports shots indoors if you are close to the action.

I have a passion for superzooms, partly for budgetary reasons. In daylight, you can get some very good shots. No, not professional quality, but pretty good.

The other advantage of a digicam is that some people at social gatherings are intimidated by DSLR's and pose more comfortably for smaller cameras.


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Old Oct 2, 2008, 2:14 PM   #9
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I don't disagree that there are some distinct advantages to a digicam, but it seems like money poorly spent to buy one for only 3 months of use "to learn on", especially if that person is on a very limited budget. It's a fine idea to buy one as a complete solution (I was going to say "final solution" but in digital photography that may or may not be true as things change) - digicams do have some significant advantages and could be the only appropriate solution for some (just like dSLRs are the only solution for others).
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Old Oct 2, 2008, 7:09 PM   #10
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I guess part of the reason that I recommended a digicam like the A-590 is that the heading for the OP referred to herself as a total newb. She also says that she is on a budget and wants camera that she will use for a long time. Some people will say Canon Xsi, others will say Nikon D80 or D60, others will push for a Sony A200, a few like me will tout the Pentax K200d. There are so many good cameras at the entry level ...

I thought that getting an A590 and then selling it 3 months or even 6 months later would cost her maybe $50 (maybe less; it depends how much she spends now - it was on sale for $129 online at several places). In the meantime, prices for entry level DSLR's will continue to drop. In effect, she may be losing no money. The Pentax K200d I got less than 3 months ago has come down70 dollars in that time. The A590 is a much better camera than a Kodak C713. She can learn a lot from it. She can also continue to ask around about DSLR's, go to camera stores, and check to see how they feel in her hands. In short, she will have more time to make a better choice about what meets her needs best.

Either route has its advantages.Whichever she chooses, I am sure she will enjoy her photography.
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