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Old May 2, 2009, 1:19 AM   #1
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I'm planning to buy an entry level digital camera and a lense or possibly two in the next several weeks and I'm looking for a little assistance. Here is what I'm trying to use it for: I'd like to take picture of houses and buildings at a distance of 20 feet all the way up to several thousand feet (vertically as well as horizontally), I'd also like to take pictures of nature (anywhere from 5 feet to several hundred feet) , family (indoors and out), as well as dogs in motion. I am trying to spend no more than $600 on the body and the lenses. Any ideas? Thanks in advance.
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Old May 2, 2009, 9:51 AM   #2
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bkramer3wrote:
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I'm planning to buy an entry level digital camera and a lense or possibly two in the next several weeks and I'm looking for a little assistance. Here is what I'm trying to use it for: I'd like to take picture of houses and buildings at a distance of 20 feet all the way up to several thousand feet (vertically as well as horizontally), I'd also like to take pictures of nature (anywhere from 5 feet to several hundred feet) , family (indoors and out), as well as dogs in motion. I am trying to spend no more than $600 on the body and the lenses. Any ideas? Thanks in advance.
A $600 budget for a dLSR won't get you very far, and most P&S digicams don't go wide enough to do what I think you want.

bkramer3wrote:
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... I'd like to take picture of houses and buildings at a distance of 20 feet all the way up to several thousand feet (vertically as well as horizontally),...
Are you talking about the size of the building or howfar away you'll be from them?

bkramer3wrote:
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... I'd also like to take pictures of nature (anywhere from 5 feet to several hundred feet) ,...
Groves of trees or individual flowers? Herds of elk, or a chipmunk upin a tree? Insects or birds in flight?
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Old May 2, 2009, 8:02 PM   #3
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Thanks for the response TCav,

I was actually speaking about both, I wasn't clear. I would like to take certain pictures where I am 20+ feet away from the building and others where I am at or near the base of a building looking upwards.

When I wrote about nature, I had in mind groupings of trees, shots of water from a beach; not small animals in those trees.

If it will be difficult to spend less than $600, I would say my priority is an entry level digital camera good for taking pictures of family that I could eventually add lenses to that would allow me to do the other things I mentioned. I read in another thread where you wrote the Nikon D40 body is relatively cheap and its lenses more expensive, you mentioned a certain other camera body that was more expensive but lenses for it were a little cheaper. It makes sense to me to spend a little more on the body up front knowing that if this interest takes off, I'll spend less on lenses in the long run.
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Old May 2, 2009, 10:04 PM   #4
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The tough parts for a P&S would be the indoor shots and the wide (tall) shots. P&S digicams have fairly dim lanses and don't do well at high ISO settings, and don't usually have an angle of view wide enough (tall enough, if the camera is held vertically) to capture a large (tall) building unless you can back up.

There are a number of good dSLRs that would fit your budget, but there are likely to be some shake ups in the product lines of a number of manufacturers, so now isn't necessarily a good time to go shopping, especially if you are at all interested in using a dSLR to record video.

But as the market stands right now, Canon and Nikon have the largest selection of both OEM and third party lenses and accessories, but the Nikon dSLRs in your price range have much fewer lenses available to them. Canon and Nikon rely on optical image stabilization in some of their newer lenses. Pentax and Sony have smaller selections of lenses, but they use sensor shift image stabilization in the camera body, so the selection of used lenses becomes very attractive. Olympus uses sensor shift image stabilization in some of its camera bodies, but its selection of lenses is small and some of their lenses are very expensive.

For longer focal lengths for nature photography, and indoor shooting without flash, you should seriously considerimage stabilizion.

In your budget, there are the following stabilizedsystems:
  • Olympus E-520 w/14-42mm lens (35mm film equivalent of 28-84mm), 10MP image sensor.[/*]
  • Sony A200 w/ 18-70mm lens (35mm film equivalent of 27-105mm), 10MP image sensor.[/*]
  • Pentax K2000 w/ 18-55mm lens (35mm film equivalent of 27-83mm), external flash, 10MP image sensor.[/*]
  • Canon XS w/ 18-55mm lens (35mm film equivalent of 29-88mm), 10MP image sensor.[/*]
  • Nikon D60 w/ 18-55mm lens (35mm film equivalent of 27-83mm), 10MP image sensor.[/*]
  • Pentax K200D w/ 18-55mm lens (35mm film equivalent of 27-83mm), 10MP image sensor.[/*]
  • Sony A300 w/ 18-70mm lens (35mm film equivalent of 27-105mm), 'Live View', 10MP image sensor.[/*]
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Old May 2, 2009, 10:19 PM   #5
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Thanks so much for the thorough response, I'm going to choose either a Pentax or Sony dSLR!
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Old May 3, 2009, 12:34 AM   #6
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Since you are interested in architecture and the Pentax, you might want to plan on buying the kit lens, then saving up to buy the Pentax DA 12-24 wide angle lens. It's very useful for architecture and broad vistas, but it's relatively expensive (it would equal your budget).
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Old May 3, 2009, 2:28 PM   #7
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Thanks! I'll look into it.
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