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Old Dec 23, 2008, 5:49 PM   #11
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And this one is for Mark, who wanted to see a 100% crop of the previously posted photo. Here you go Mark.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Dec 23, 2008, 6:10 PM   #12
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One of the least expensive dslr's out there is the Olympus E-420.

You can find some pretty good deals in kit form, with one or two lenses included in the kit.

The Canon line has the Canon F/1.8 50mm prime for under $100 USD new. That's a pretty impressive lens for low $'s (or pounds).

Having image stabilization, either in the lens or the body of the camera is going to help with night time photos.

Having lenses with a maximum aperture of F/2.8 or more is going to help too.

If you really get into photography in a big way, you might find yourself buying another, more expensive camera in four years or less.

So, it's important to remember that when you buy your next camera, you can take your lenses with you to that camera.

Therefore, think about the "system" your buying into. Do you want to own Nikon, Canon, Sony/Minolta lenses for the next 10 years?

So think about the possibility of an "upgrade path".

If your really not sure, you could buy a "superzoom" for a little while. They cost much less than a DSLR yet offer 90 percent of the performance of a low end DSLR.

Take the Panasonic FZ28 for instance:

http://www.steves-digicams.com/2008_...onic_fz28.html

At $275 USD, this camera is less than the price of a decent amateur DSLR lens, yet delivers good overall performance.

Anyways, lots to think about!
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Old Dec 23, 2008, 6:21 PM   #13
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Not wishing to steal the thread but that is a 100% crop? What is the full image?

To answer the question of would you miss ISO 100, that will depend if you want to try to get the shutter speed down in good lighting situations without stopping down the aperture a lot.
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Old Dec 23, 2008, 6:46 PM   #14
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Whether you miss 100 ISO does depend on what you want to do, as Mark pointed out. However, the quality at ISO 200 with that 6 MP sensor is excellent - I shoot Pentax and kept my K100, which has the same sensor as the Nikon D40 and sold the 10 mp K10 when I upgraded to the Pentax K20. It doesn't bother me at all to have the lowest ISO being 200 (you can always use a neutral density or a circular polarizer to cut light to use a slower shutter speed in daylight).

You might also look at the Pentax K200 - I think it has the same sensor as the Sony A200. It offers weather sealing which the others don't - not sure what it's selling for at the moment. The weather sealing, like image stabilization, will be important to some but not to others.

The bottom line is that all of the entry dSLR cameras can produce excellent pictures. The Nikon has some lens limitations because of not having a focus motor. Sony and Pentax both offer in-camera stabilization, which will be useful for some but not for others. Sony can use old Minolta Maxxum lenses. Pentax can use any lens ever made by Pentax, with whatever capability that lens was made with (a manual lens won't suddenly become auto focus/auto exposure). I've bought a couple of used lenses without problems, but you do need to know what you should look for before entering the used lens market (not everyone is honest when selling lenses).

Have you handled any of these cameras? There's quite a bit of size and shape differences, some people prefer one over the other.
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Old Dec 23, 2008, 6:52 PM   #15
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To be succinct:
  1. The Nikon D60 can only autofocus about half the new OEM and third party lenses for the Nikon mount, and only a handful of those will be stabilized. And almost no used lenses will autofocus or be stabilized. [/*]
  2. The Sony A200 has image stabilization in the camera body, so any lens will be stabilized, including lenses made 20+ years ago. [/*]
  3. The Olympus E-420 doesn't have image stabilization of any kind, and has the smallest selection of OEM and third party lenses and accessories in this group, and almost no used lenses.[/*]
And to allay your fears (or anybody else's), lenses are made of glass, and if they've been damaged, you can see it by looking at them and through them, and trying them. So the used market is a good source of reliable lenses, especially if you are on a tight budget.

And to correct a misunderstanding, image stabilization works by averaging the motion of the camera over a short period of time. It is not useful for time exposures, but I have had much luck with it as I take photos of Christmas lights in my neighborhood each year.
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Old Dec 23, 2008, 7:10 PM   #16
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To follow-up on Terry's mention of the E-420 camera, and its two lens kit (the ZD 14-42mm lens and the ZD 40-150mm lens and both are excellent lenses).

Here is a handheld E-420 photo taken with the ZD 40-150mm lens, and a bounced flash from the FL-36 flash.
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Old Dec 23, 2008, 9:08 PM   #17
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Hi Mark-

As you requested here is the original full frame image.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Dec 23, 2008, 10:46 PM   #18
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Bob,

I hope you read Terry's post very carefully. He made a lot of sense therein. I personally don't believe you are ready for a DSLR. With your stated budget, you can't afford one. Unless you're planning on buying used equipment, or the cameras are considerably cheaper where you live than they are in the US, you could only afford a body with no lens.

In your original post, you said you were unhappy with your Casio...

"Just recently I've noticed it's short comings, such as no proper zoom, low quality shots most of the time, no shutter speed control! "

What is the "proper zoom" you're looking for? Your Casio is probably either an f2.8, 3x or 4x zoom range. If you buy the D40 with a kit lens (normally 18-55mm), you get an f3.5, 3x zoom.. Is that an upgrade to what you already have? An 18-200mm lens for that D40 costs over $600 - are you willing to spend that much to extend your zoom range?

You don't need to buy a DSLR to be able to adjust shutter speed. Most decent P&S cameras have that ability...as well as aperture, ISO, etc.

And why are your shots ‘low quality most of the time'? Is it the camera? Are you doing something wrong? Do you think that a DSLR will automatically make you a better photographer? In what arena are your photos coming up short? Low light? Flash? Action shots?

I agree with Terry - you might want to consider a decent super zoom camera with full manual controls. Unfortunately, with your stated budget, you won't be able to buy a top end super zoom, but you will be able to buy one with enough manual controls to enable you to learn photography.

Good luck with your decision.

the Hun

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Old Dec 24, 2008, 1:09 AM   #19
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Funnily enough in the UK the FZ28 costs more than the Sony A200 or the Nikon D40! :lol:
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Old Dec 24, 2008, 5:29 AM   #20
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I wouldn't say you are not ready for a dSLR, but it is important to be aware of limitations of the entry size zoom lenses. There are some good manual control cameras out there in the P&S/bridge range which have already been mentioned but there are limitations to them mainly due to the smaller sensors so you can't learn to shoot as creatively.

I think the next important stage for you is to go and handle the cameras as this can also have a major impact on your shooting. If you find a camera comfortable then you are likely to use it a while lot more and if you are like a lot of us here you will spend many an hour shooting away.
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