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Old Dec 6, 2008, 1:38 PM   #1
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So, a while back I ad myself convinced to get a Nikon D40. Then I kind of forgot about it as I got busy with work and school. Now that the holidays are here I feel the itch to grab a new camera. A week ago I though I had my mind made up on just getting a FZ28. But now I am back to thinking a DSLR is the way to go.

I really don't want to drop more than $500 for the body and kit lens, but would go a little higher if it's justified.

I will mostly be shooting kind of spur of the moment stuff for the family and when taking walks outside and what not.

I would like something that will work, with the right lens of course, for shooting my son's football games.

I want good low light performance.

I am not a pro and this will basically be a general use tool as an upgrade to my p/s but I do enjoy photography and would like to improve my skills and want the best output possible for my money.

I have been reading a ton of these threads and reviews and stuff and right now I am leaning toward the a200, the k200d, or the xs. Any thoughts?
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Old Dec 6, 2008, 1:45 PM   #2
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Based on a current "I want a DSLR camera" thread, how important is camera size, weight,and bulk to you, to carry around?

If you have no problems with the camera size, weight, or bulk of your camera kit that will increase when you add additional lenses, the perhaps the Pentax K-200 is a camera to look at seriously.

That is the camera I selected after analyzing the various DSLR reviews.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Dec 6, 2008, 2:30 PM   #3
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weight and size are not an issue. Unfortunately pricing is. What is motivating me now is that the XS and the a200 are both available with the kit lens and a larger zoom lens for about the same cost as the Pentax and single kit lens.

Looking at sample images on imaging resource I preferred in most situations the XS to either and could not differentiate in most scenes between the Sony and Pentax. My gut is that I would be thrilled with any of them. I do like the in camera stabilization of the Sony and Pentax, and the sealing of the Pentax... I honestly expect that I will be having to make due with the kit lenses on whatever I get for a long time.

My grandpa has an older Minolta 35mm SLR that I was curious if any of the lenses would work on the Sony?

I realize that in the end I will be happy with whatever I get, and after a while and some lens shopping can always upgrade the body later if I choose. I just love to over analyze everything and second guess myself.

I know you, mtclimber, are a huge fan of the k200 from reading a lot of your other posts. I also no that the Canon and Sony models have their fans as well and that each has it's pros and cons.
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Old Dec 6, 2008, 3:05 PM   #4
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Well here another option, in as much as budget is a real factor to you. You can buy a Panasonic FZ-28 from B&H for $(US) 240.00 and it is a great 10mp camera with a 28mm (in 35mm terms) format all the way out to 500mm (in 35mm terms).

That could be a money saving option and it would do away with the need for additional lenses. Here is an FZ-28 sample photo.

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Old Dec 6, 2008, 5:13 PM   #5
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I shoot Pentax and love my cameras. However, Canon's more expensive cameras are superior for sports, and you mentioned that's one of your interest. The other thing is that you prefer the sample pictures of the XS. It sounds like getting the XS now with some lenses would be a great idea - in a year or two or three you can upgrade to a more expensive, more sports capable Canon camera and will have a selection of lenses to use on it.

Have you actually handled the three cameras? I'd do that before making a final decision (you might find that you are really uncomfortable with one or another of the cameras). Then enjoy your XS.
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Old Dec 6, 2008, 5:28 PM   #6
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Here's a few "deals" to consider.

The Olympus E-420 with a 14-42 AND a 40-150 lens for $509:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...al_Camera.html

If you want to get beyond entry level DSLR, here's the next "snack bracket",
a Rebel Xsi with 18-55 AND a 55-250 lens (both image stabilized) at $789:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...Si_a_k_a_.html

Feeling a little more "rich", take it to the next level with the Canon 40D (body only) for $839:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...R_Digital.html

For your situation, including your son's football games, the XSi is nearly a pro level camera, plus your getting two lenses for $789. It's your best "long term" deal at the moment.

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Old Dec 6, 2008, 6:03 PM   #7
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I have handled the Olys and don't like the feel of them at all. I have handled the Rebel XT and if felt good. Is there and significant change to the XS? I think BestBuy has the Sony, so I can get a feel for it there. I think Ritz might be the only place to try the Pentax...

I can get the a200 with the kit lens 18-70 and a 75 to 300 for about $550 or the XS with the kit 18-55 and a 75-300 for about $530. Although, with the XS the kit lens is IS but not the bigger lens. With the Sony having in body IS this is not an issue.

I am leaning toward the XS because I did like the test images a little better, but I do trust the Sony name for a lot of my other electronics and I am a sucker for being the oddball who goes different than the Canon/Nikon, plus I like the in camera IS.

Can anyone post some links to uncropped, unedited, images from any of these three cameras, preferably with the kit lens? It would be super great if you had kind of a variety of stuff including some action shots as well as maybe some low-light/night scenery or cityscapes. Thank you.
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Old Dec 6, 2008, 6:51 PM   #8
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Of the entry level cameras, the Canon XSi has the best autofocus system for sports/action/wildlife, so for your son's football, that's the best choice. It's $650, but with a $100 rebate if you also buy the 55-250mm IS, which normally goes for $240.

The problem is that 250mm is barely long enough for football if you're on the sidelines. (Of course, I defer to JohnG for what works and what doesn't.) And for night games,none of the lenses you're looking at are fast enough. So it's possible, even likely, that the lens kits you're considering won't work very well for what you want to do. The Sony is available with either the 55-200 (a nice lens, but not long enough) or the 75-300 (soft throughout its range and significant chromatic aberration at the long end) and neither is a good choice for you.

If you grandfather's older Minolta lenses are autofocus lenses, they will work with any Sony dSLR. That will give you a head start.


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Old Dec 9, 2008, 12:25 PM   #9
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So I finally made it up to Ritz to actually check some of these cameras out.

Within about a minute I had faigured out that the fz28 was not going to be it. It felt to small for my hand and the way my hand wanted to hold it naturally ended up smashing down on a bunch of the rear buttons.

The XS felt leaps and bounds better. they had a pentax k110 that the lady said would be the same basic body as the k200 but my palm didn't agree with the hand rest and it ended up jabbing my in the webbing between my thumb and index finger. The a200 was far and away the most comfortable and I think the best wat to describe it is simply to say it felt natural.

So, anyway, after playing with the different cameras for a while I found that I kept going back to the Sony, so much so that the lady started putting the others away and I really didn't even notice.

They, for once, seem pretty comparable to online pricing and I can get the a200 kit with the 18-70 lens and EITHER the 55-200 or the 75-300 for $549.00. Most of the online stores are only offering the 55-200 as an option on the higher end models if at all. From what I have read I think that will be the better lens choice for me to get started with.

I really do love the images I have seen out of the Canon, but I think that in 99% of the situations I will prefer the 9 step autofocus and in camera stabilization of the Sony to the few shots where I might have enough enlargement to see a quality increase with the Canon. In all of the comparrisons I have seen, I could not see a difference at a size that filled my monitor. It wasn't until I went full size until I could start seeing the difference.

Anyway, unless something drastic happens to change my mind I think I will be picking that kit up in the next couple of weeks.

Thanks to everyone for the opinions, information and help.
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Old Dec 9, 2008, 1:29 PM   #10
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Considering that the Sony 75-300 in that package ends up costing $50, that's a good deal. And when and if you decide to get something better, you won't regret the money you spent.

Good luck with it!
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