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Old Jan 14, 2009, 7:57 PM   #1
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I am looking to purchase an new DSLR and have narrowed it down to these three. I am trying to stay under $500 and I am a beginner to the DSLR's. I have a newborn son and am looking to take pictures of him as well as nature, vacation, and sports photos. I am trying to find a camera that would suit my needs for the present as well as the future. Please give any advice as to which camera you feel is the best value for the price. Thanks
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Old Jan 14, 2009, 10:47 PM   #2
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bmclaff wrote:
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I am looking to purchase an new DSLR and have narrowed it down to these three. I am trying to stay under $500 and I am a beginner to the DSLR's. I have a newborn son and am looking to take pictures of him as well as nature, vacation, and sports photos. I am trying to find a camera that would suit my needs for the present as well as the future. Please give any advice as to which camera you feel is the best value for the price. Thanks
There are no bad cameras per se, and each of those cameras will do everything you want nearly equally well. I might give the edge to the Canon at the moment but that is strickly a gut impression rather than a real analytical reasoning.

Theissue at handis your budget, the scope of what you seek to accomplish and whether you are willing or able to spend more $ on lenses and flash.

Let's take sports for starters...

Are you trying to take "I was there" type pictures.

For example, apicture of Junior runningto first base while you are sitting in the bleachers. The "I was there" type pictures will show Junior and most of the players on the infield grass as thebasic kit lens is not going to focus tight enough toshow justJunior and cropping in will only degrade the photo. A cheap telephoto will tighten down on Junior for daylight shots reasonably well but will be horrible under the lights at night as the lens is not fast enough to focus and stop action in low light

.... The pro and semi-pro shooters on this board have equipment that is fast enough and long enough to stop action a baseball bat swinging at night at a highschool ball game without using a flash and print the picture at a large size in high quality.... big difference in $ between their equipment and the basic kit camera.



If you are tryingto do the "I was there" type photos... grab the Canon and add the $200ish telephoto lens some day in the future and you will have a solid photo kit.










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Old Jan 14, 2009, 11:00 PM   #3
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All of them will take good pictures, as will the Pentax (I shoot Pentax) and the Oly dSLR cameras. The Sony can use Minolta Maxxum lenses so you might be able to pick up some used lenses for less. The Nikon D60 doesn't have a focus motor in-camera so you have to make sure you buy lenses that have a motor in them (usually more expensive). If you are planning on doing a lot of indoor photos you probably want to think about getting a flash. Also, if you are going to be doing lots of natural light (no flash) indoor photography, you might want to look for a fast lens.

When you say sports - are you talking about taking your son's sports in a few years, or are you someone who's involved with sports now? Also, what sports? Is that going to be your primary use?

I don't shoot much sports but have found that each sport has its own challenges and what you need can vary. Sports are very demanding to get really right, though if you are going to be happy with casual snaps then it isn't as important. I'm sure a couple of sports shooters will be by soon and give more details about what you'd need.

As far as as nature and vacation - any of them would be all right. Nature will probably require at least one or two (or more) lenses above the kit lens - depends on how you define "nature". A birder is going to want a long lens, landscape often cries out for a really wide angle lens. Insects need some way of doing macro, which kit lenses (while they normally do fine for flowers) can't do by themselves. If you do landscapes, do you like hiking in all kinds of weather or in the desert? Then you might want to check out the Pentax K200 since it's weather sealed (not water proof).

After you have an idea of what lenses you will ultimately want you should go handle all of the cameras (remember, you don't have to buy your lenses all at one time, in fact, I recommend getting no more than one or two at a time - you need to practice and get to know them individually). All of the dSLR cameras feel differently and one might be too small/large/light/heavy/cramped etc. for you. The best camera in the world can't do much if it is sitting in your closet because you don't like using it.
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