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Old Dec 8, 2008, 8:53 PM   #1
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Now, I don't know a whole lot about camera's. I really would like a good camera, but am no where close to knowing what I should be looking for. Seeing as I don't know much about camera's I will just post what I need one for, and hopefully someone(s) will help.
  1. It will by no means be used for any form of professional photography.[/*]
  2. Most pictures will generally be of landscape, the sky, or animals. (so nature)[/*]
  3. I need something that will be able to stand up to: some bouncing around (walking, some accidental low-level drops), light rains, dust, and sand.[/*]
  4. I would like something that will take high quality pictures.[/*]
  5. I would like something that would be able to zoom in decently.[/*]
  6. I want something that has motion-stabilization (so if I'm running it doesn't screw the picture up)[/*]
  7. The screen doesn't have to have the ability to be moved, although it would be nice.[/*]
  8. Both the body and the lens would have to be under $1300 (Canadian).
    • Preferably it could be bought from Henry's.[/*]
    [/*]
My friend who has a good DLSR camera outlined each of the types, and it is definitely a DSLR that I want (not a P&S). He also suggested that it either be Nikon, Pantex, or Canon. However like I said, I really don't know much about camera's, just what I want one to do.

Much appreciated if anyone does help.
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Old Dec 8, 2008, 9:16 PM   #2
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TheBoxNinja wrote:
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2. Most pictures will generally be of landscape, the sky, or animals. (so nature)
Wildlife requires a long lens anda good autofocus system. Canon has a great selection of lenses and the best autofocus system in an entr level dSLR. Nikon and Sony are good, but Pentax doesn't have a very good selection of long lenses.

TheBoxNinja wrote:
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3. I need something that will be able to stand up to: some bouncing around (walking, some accidental low-level drops), light rains, dust, and sand.
Pentax dSLRs are weathersealed.

TheBoxNinja wrote:
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6. I want something that has motion-stabilization (so if I'm running it doesn't screw the picture up)
RUNNING?!?!?

You're kidding, right?

TheBoxNinja wrote:
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7. The screen doesn't have to have the ability to be moved, although it would be nice.
Sony makes the only dSLRs with articulating 'Live View' LCD displays, the 10MP A300 and the 14MP A350. Otherwise, in your price range, there's the Canon XS and XSi, and the PentaxK20D that have conventional 'Live View' displays.
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Old Dec 8, 2008, 9:42 PM   #3
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The biggest bang for your buck will probably be an Olympus E-520 two lens kit. The E-520 is an excellent camera and can meet your needs. However to get good results with the Olympus E-520 you will have to learn more a bout photography. Are you willing to do that?

A DSLR camera is not a camera that you shoot in the auto mode and expect to get excellent photos. DSLR camera such as the E-510 does not have much in camera processing. The expectation is that you, the user, are going to do some post processing. Are you willing to do that?

We are looking forward to hearing more from you concerning the selection process and your own expectations on what a good, consumer level DSLR camera can do for you.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Dec 8, 2008, 9:51 PM   #4
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The Olympus, as mentioned, is a nice deal.

The Canon XSi is a really nice DLSR, bordering on professional camera.

Here's a Canon Xsi with an 18-55 image stabilized lens and a 55-250 image stabilized lens at BH photo video for $790.

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

Purchase the above, and buy yourself a camera bag, a few media cards and a Canon lens cleaner and your still under $1,000.

Don't know if you can get the same deal at Henry's but consider having B&H ship it to you in Canada if you can't get as good a deal there.


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Old Dec 8, 2008, 10:06 PM   #5
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RUNNING?!?!? You're kidding, right?
hahaha ok, not actually running, but moving. Maybe taking pictures from a car, and I might not always have the ability to drop down and take a picture, thats all I mean.

Quote:
The biggest bang for your buck will probably be an Olympus E-520 two lens kit. The E-520 is an excellent camera and can meet your needs. However to get good results with the Olympus E-520 you will have to learn more a bout photography. Are you willing to do that?
A DSLR camera is not a camera that you shoot in the auto mode and expect to get excellent photos. DSLR camera such as the E-510 does not have much in camera processing. The expectation is that you, the user, are going to do some post processing. Are you willing to do that?
I would definitely be willing to learn more about photography, however I wouldn't exactly know how to go about that. This is definitely more of those hobbies kind of things.

For a lot of the time (when I figure out what to do) It would generally be a post-processing-scenario, however as I'm sure you know it isn't always an availble option to focus the camera, so I would technically need something with the ability to auto-adjust to some degree of good quality.

Quote:
The Olympus, as mentioned, is a nice deal. The Canon XSi is a really nice DLSR, bordering on professional camera. Here's a Canon Xsi with an 18-55 image stabilized lens and a 55-250 image stabilized lens at BH photo video for $790. [link] Purchase the above, and buy yourself a camera bag, a few media cards and a Canon lens cleaner and your still under $1,000. Don't know if you can get the same deal at Henry's but consider having B&H ship it to you in Canada if you can't get as good a deal there.
I will definitely look into that camera as a very high-up option, thank you.
---
Thank you very much to all of you for your help so far, it has been very helpful, and given me more to consider. Thank you.
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Old Dec 8, 2008, 10:16 PM   #6
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TheBoxNinja wrote:
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RUNNING?!?!? You're kidding, right?
hahaha ok, not actually running, but moving. Maybe taking pictures from a car, and I might not always have the ability to drop down and take a picture, thats all I mean.
Last spring I spent some time exploring the Florida Everglades and took some photos of alligators lying by the side of the road. I was shooting from the safety of my car but there were people (some with their kids) who were out of their car, taking pictures from as close as 6 feet away from the gators!:shock:

If I were in a situation where one of them started coming after me, I'd run as fast as could in the other direction, and taking a picture of it would be the LAST thing on my mind.:-)
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Old Dec 8, 2008, 10:35 PM   #7
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BoxNinja-

The long and short of it is this: It is very easy to takesome excellent photography courses at your local Community College. You are going to get out that DSLR camera, the exact effort that you make in learning how to use its many features.

So the hardware is al most irrevelent. The real issue is how much effort are you willing to put into perfecting your photography skills. My husband is handicapped and gets about on a scooter (for the past 10 years), so I really do understand very wellthe challenges presented to a handicapped person. However, despite his handicap he is today an expert photographer. So you see, BoxNinja, it can be done.

Where do you stand?

Sarah Joyce
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Old Dec 8, 2008, 11:00 PM   #8
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Quote:
The long and short of it is this: It is very easy to take some excellent photography courses at your local Community College. You are going to get out that DSLR camera, the exact effort that you make in learning how to use its many features. So the hardware is al most irrevelent. The real issue is how much effort are you willing to put into perfecting your photography skills. My husband is handicapped and gets about on a scooter (for the past 10 years), so I really do understand very well the challenges presented to a handicapped person. However, despite his handicap he is today an expert photographer. So you see, BoxNinja, it can be done. Where do you stand?
See but the problem is next year I will be going to University, which means I wont have the time or money to be able to take extra photography courses (I don't think universities offer photography courses, and we don't exactly have community colleges in Canada to my knowledge).

I actually do have access to people that do know photography though. My friend's dad is a professional photographer so I should be able to learn the general gist of it from there. However that still wouldn't be the scale of photography just... a guy with a good camera that knows kind of what he's doing.

That is however pretty OK with me. See so what I need is pretty good hardware that will allow me to do what I want, and take quality pictures (in comparison to... lets say a standard P&S digital camera) yet at the same time challenge me and allow the improvement of skill, when those skills become available to me to learn.

I'm pretty sure I just rambled on a bit but the point is: I need a camera that will be a good all around camera, that will accommodate inexperience until that experience is gained, yet still have the ability to be used well with experience.

(I'm not overally sure if any of that made sense)
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Old Dec 8, 2008, 11:10 PM   #9
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There may be photography clubs and courses at your university. You could also join the school paper as a photographer. Which university are you going to?
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Old Dec 8, 2008, 11:16 PM   #10
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The Pentax K200 and K20 are both weather sealed, which would come in real handy in light rain and snow as well as with sand (I live in the mountains, next to a desert, and love hiking and snow shoeing so I really appreciate the weather sealing).

They (along with Sony's dSLRs) have in-camera stabilization which works quite well for camera shake, but does nothing for motion blur. And there's a limit to how well they (or any anti-shake system) will work - it does fine if you are just walking along, see something you want to shoot and quickly raise the camera up to your eye and shoot off a couple of shots. While I've shot sunrise pictures out the window of a vehicle traveling at freeway speeds, they usually are marginal due to motion blur. You could use any dSLR for shooting out the window in good light since your shutter speeds would probably be fast enough to take care of camera shake.

Up until last year no dSLR cameras had "live view" where you could see the image on the LCD before it was taken. Without live view you use the viewfinder to shoot pictures. Sony is the only dSLR that uses a moveable LCD screen. Just my experience but I don't find Live View all that useful - I have the Pentax K20 and have only used it a couple of times. The LCD is hard to see in the bright sunlight. Imagine holding a two pound rock (or can of beans) out at arm's length, then fiddling with something on the far side of it (simulating using a zoom) while using your other hand to press a button on top for 5 minutes. If live view is a priority then Sony has the best system.

You mentioned being able to zoom decently, and you also stressed high quality pictures. There are some all-in-one type lenses, but all make compromises. It seems that the Tamron 18-250 is probably the best of this type of lens, but you would get much better quality by buying more than one lens - one to cover wide angle and one to cover telephoto. Most of the dSLR cameras come with lenses that cover the wide end reasonably well but aren't that long. Most people just starting out in photography will naturally "see" things either in wide angle (taking pictures of big vistas) or in detail (and would use a telephoto lens more). The good thing about it is that you don't have to buy all your lenses at once - buy the camera and kit lens at first, use it for a while until you decide what it's limitations are and then use the rest of the money for a second lens.

A good place to start learning about photography is your local library. Basic photography principles (aperture, shutter speed, etc.) haven't changed since film days. You can also find quite a bit of information on the web. The other thing to do is read the camera's manual, then go out and play with all the settings (make sure you know how to reset the camera to the default settings in case you change something and can't figure out how to change it back). You'll quickly pick it up if you spend the time to play with it.
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