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Old Dec 2, 2008, 2:36 AM   #1
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Hello All.

I have been using a Sony W1 for a few years and It has served me quite well, though it cant really produce the clarity and quality I need or would like. Id like to take this hobby a step further and possibly get a DSLR.

I will shoot mostly Outdoors, but also in very dark places. So I need a versatile camera. This site, which shows many pictures gives a decent idea of what I plan to shoot.
http://phasor.industrialnewyork.com/locations.shtml

So there may be shots above ground, but there may also be some shots in those pretty dark places.

I can at max spend $700 with lenses, so I am on a budget compared to many here. I am open to all brands, though have had goos customer service experience with Canon before. I like good customer service and warranty, they are big for me. But again I am open to other brands.

Thank you, and if you need any more info please feel free to ask.
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Old Dec 2, 2008, 6:15 AM   #2
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For cityscapes, the kit lens might be sufficient, but not for low light. For that, you'll need a fast prime. For a budget of $700, that might be tough.

Canon has the XS (10MP, 'Live View', 18-55mm stabilized lens,<$500) and can get the Canon 50mm f/1.8 (not stabilized, <$100) for the low light shooting.

Nikon has the D60 (10MP, 18-55mm stabilized lens,<$550 after rebate) and a 50mm f/1.8 (not stabilized, ~$100), but it won't autofocus on the D60.

Olympus has the E-520 (10MP, 'Live View', stabilized body, 14-42mm lens, <$550), but any of their large aperture lenses will put you over budget.

Pentax has the K200D (10MP, stabilized body, 18-55mm lens, ~$600), but a large aperture lens will put you over budget, even off the used market.

Sony has the A200 (10MP, stabilized body, 18-70mm lens, ~$500) and the A300 (10MP, 'Live View' stabilized body, 18-70mm lens, ~$550), but a large aperture lenses will put you over budget, unless you go to the used market. Minolta 50mm f/1.7 lenses are available for less that $100.

I think the Sony A300 and A200 have the edge here, if you don't mind going to the used market for a large aperture lens, since the stabilization is in the body, any lens will be stabilized. But the Canon XS is a good deal.

An important part of selecting a camera is how it feels to you. If you can't hold it comfortably, if you can't find the controls and commands when you need them, then you'll miss some shots. I suggest you go to a good camera store and try these out and see what fits.

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Old Dec 2, 2008, 9:09 AM   #3
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Vinny-

This is just a suggestion, but my first thought is that you might get a lot more flexibility and be able to handle all your needs with an ultrazoom camera like the Panasonic FZ-28 which offers you everything from a 28mm wide angle format to 500+mm of telephoto power, along with the ability to shoot excellent photos at ISO 800 all in one small convenient package.

You could save money too!

Sarah Joyce
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Old Dec 2, 2008, 10:06 AM   #4
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In some ways I like mtclimber's suggestion of a Panasonic. However in dark areas with lots of shadows I understand you can get noise even at low ISO. I am struggling with that question now as I am looking for a P&S to replace my old Canon SD500 my son has "borrowed" for some school projects. I have been considering the Panasonic LX3, f2.0-2.8 lens, ISO of 80+ (~$450) (at wide angle lens "nose" projects a shadow, however it has a hot shoe for an external flash) but the lens only goes 24mm to 60mm which may be too restrictive for you.

Along the same thinking as TCav, you might consider a slightly older new camera - out of production. Pentax K100D Super is a dSLR, 6MP, good for low noise and its available new for around $460 new or K100D about $260 in excellent condition used (KEH.com). This would leave enough for a Pentax SMC 50mm f1.4 lens for around $200. So your getting low noise, a fast bright lens along with image stabilization. The kit lens 18-55 f3.5-5.6 is available for as low as $60 - used as low as $40 in excellent condition.

One thing to consider in the areas that your looking to use a dSLR is changing the lenses. Dirt, grime and dust do not help. Then there is the question of toting the equipment around (camera and a couple of lenses), may not be as easy as your current camera. Using a P&S may be better. On the other hand if you go for a dSLR and a bright fast zoom lens, your lens costs rise quickly, and there are usually is not a good wide selection of "all around lenses" that are fast.

So that totals (about worst case) to about $710 plus what ever tax and shipping.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listi...p;linkCode=asm

http://www.nextag.com/Pentax-SMCP-FA...34/prices-html

http://www.buydig.com/shop/product.a...p;sku=PKDA1855

http://www.keh.com/OnLineStore/Produ...p;GCC=&KW=

http://www.keh.com/OnLineStore/Produ...p;GCC=&KW=
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Old Dec 2, 2008, 10:33 AM   #5
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Interested Observer-

Noiseat high ISO settings on Panasonic cameras is just about a thing of the past thanks to the Venus IV processor. Here is a FZ-28 sample photo at ISO 800.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Dec 2, 2008, 12:10 PM   #6
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TCav wrote:
Quote:
For cityscapes, the kit lens might be sufficient, but not for low light. For that, you'll need a fast prime. For a budget of $700, that might be tough.

Canon has the XS (10MP, 'Live View', 18-55mm stabilized lens,<$500) and can get the Canon 50mm f/1.8 (not stabilized, <$100) for the low light shooting.

Nikon has the D60 (10MP, 18-55mm stabilized lens,<$550 after rebate) and a 50mm f/1.8 (not stabilized, ~$100), but it won't autofocus on the D60.

Olympus has the E-520 (10MP, 'Live View', stabilized body, 14-42mm lens, <$550), but any of their large aperture lenses will put you over budget.

Pentax has the K200D (10MP, stabilized body, 18-55mm lens, ~$600), but a large aperture lens will put you over budget, even off the used market.

Sony has the A200 (10MP, stabilized body, 18-70mm lens, ~$500) and the A300 (10MP, 'Live View' stabilized body, 18-70mm lens, ~$550), but a large aperture lenses will put you over budget, unless you go to the used market. Minolta 50mm f/1.7 lenses are available for less that $100.

I think the Sony A300 and A200 have the edge here, if you don't mind going to the used market for a large aperture lens, since the stabilization is in the body, any lens will be stabilized. But the Canon XS is a good deal.

An important part of selecting a camera is how it feels to you. If you can't hold it comfortably, if you can't find the controls and commands when you need them, then you'll miss some shots. I suggest you go to a good camera store and try these out and see what fits.
How much of a difference is there between the lower end Rebel XS and the Higher end rebel models.
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Old Dec 2, 2008, 12:35 PM   #7
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Vinny77 wrote:
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How much of a difference is there between the lower end Rebel XS and the Higher end rebel models.
The only higher end Rebel is the XSi, which is 12MP vs. 10 for the XS, and has a fasterautofocus system. But it, plus a fast prime, would put you over budget.
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