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Old Jun 8, 2009, 8:51 AM   #1
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Default Casual photographer with big budget?

I'm a casual photographer and just want to be able to take great quality photos & record the best possible video of both indoors & outdoor environments. I have no technical knowledge of photography. I can spend $1000ish or more. What should I buy?

Once again I require the camera to be able to take photos as well as record video of the highest quality possible.

Being rugged, durable, long battery life and car mountable are all great advantages.

Thanks in advance!

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Old Jun 8, 2009, 9:17 AM   #2
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For $1,000 the Nikon D5000 or the Canon Rebel T1i are your best bets. I don't know if either are car mountable. The Canon has better video capability.
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Old Jun 8, 2009, 10:59 AM   #3
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For $1,000 the Nikon D5000 or the Canon Rebel T1i are your best bets. I don't know if either are car mountable. The Canon has better video capability.
Hi, I understand the Canon Rebel T1i records HD 1080p video at only 20fps? Anything that can do this at ~30fps & still have all the features or more than the Canon Rebel T1i? I can stretch the budget if it's the best out there
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Old Jun 8, 2009, 11:42 AM   #4
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I believe the Canon EOS 5D Mark II has better video, but it's also almost $3,000.
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Old Jun 8, 2009, 12:12 PM   #5
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What are you really trying to shoot as it might be that a dSLR is not the best route for video?

I have a Canon 500D/T1i and a Canon SX1 both of which do video with different capabilities. I'm probably getting the Canon 5D mkII in a weeks time as I've got a few weddings booked this year and feel like an upg to the original 5D.

The T1i works great but I probably grab the SX1 for general video as it is more convenient with good AF during video.

Another important consideration is lenses as this will affect the results you get so ensure you are budgeting for them.
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Old Jun 9, 2009, 1:59 AM   #6
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If good video and pictures are important to you, you should also have a good look at the Panasonic GH1.

A very interesting camera!
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Old Jun 9, 2009, 3:29 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inspectordhar View Post
I'm a casual photographer and just want to be able to take great quality photos & record the best possible video of both indoors & outdoor environments. I have no technical knowledge of photography. I can spend $1000ish or more....
....take photos as well as record video of the highest quality possible...rugged, durable, long battery life...car mountable...
You haven't mentioned the importance (or not) of weight and bulk. Given the 'rugged and durable' requirement, it's likely there'll have to be quite a lot of weight and bulk. If you can tolerate that, the still images will be best accommodated by a dSLR and lenses, and the best way to get high quality video would be to have a separate, purpose-designed HD camcorder.

However, getting the best out of a dSLR for someone with "no technical knowledge of photography" is not easy, and will require substantial investment in time and brain power, and possible frustration, as well as the money.

On the other hand, if weight and bulk need to be small, and training time & effort are in short supply, a good quality superzoom 'so-called point and shoot' camera, some of which have good video capability, might be a better buy.

There'd be a great deal less of a learning curve, because of the range of intelligent automatic functions, and much more instant flexibility, at the expense of some ruggedness, flexibility, versatility and image quality.

Good luck!
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Old Jun 9, 2009, 3:54 AM   #8
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If good video and pictures are important to you, you should also have a good look at the Panasonic GH1.

A very interesting camera!
I was going to suggest that option but thought it was going to be too much over budget, but it is certainly something I would consider.
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Old Jun 9, 2009, 6:21 AM   #9
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On the other hand, if weight and bulk need to be small, and training time & effort are in short supply, a good quality superzoom 'so-called point and shoot' camera, some of which have good video capability, might be a better buy.

There'd be a great deal less of a learning curve, because of the range of intelligent automatic functions, and much more instant flexibility, at the expense of some ruggedness, flexibility, versatility and image quality.

Good luck!
That's something to consider. The new Panasonic ZS3 (TZ7), a compact superzoom, has been getting rave reviews, including a very positive review from Steve, who said that its image quality is "outstanding". It has a very sharp, high quality Leica lens, a long zoom, a very wide angle view, excellent video and sound capability and excellent build quality. It lacks manual exposure controls, but if that's not a problem for you it could be the camera that meets all your needs.
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Old Jun 9, 2009, 7:38 PM   #10
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I agree with Andy. A smaller camera like the ZS3 would probably be much easier to mount than a full sized DLSR. I hope your car has good shock absorbers. Where in/on the car do you plan to mount the camera? I mounted a Fuji F50fd compact point and shoot camera on a flexpod tripod and the taped the tripod on top of my dashboard on the passenger side. I recorded a video of 30 minutes or so. The problem is if you mount it inside, it will pick up sounds that you may not want to record (like yourself breathing or your turn signal or ...), and if you mount it outside, you will pick up the sound of the wind rushing by it. I suppose you could custom build a clear plastic or glass case and mount it on a ski rack or something similar. There are people who record highway scenery for a living. Maybe you can get in touch with one of them.

Just one last thought. My windshield gets splattered with flies and mosquitoes on long drives. Occasionally, it gets nicked by pebbles thrown up by vehicles in front of me. I would hate to have an expensive DSLR lens subjected to such hazards.
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