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Old Aug 22, 2009, 7:52 PM   #11
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OK, well here's the thing. I'm going off to college in about a month, and I'm not going to have a lot of spare cash to drop on lenses. I also have two other expensive hobbys that also take up any spare cash, and the 750 i have to spend on the camera is a graduation gift. Soooo, the idea is that i don't want to spend any more than 800 MAX on the camera + the lens. I'm assuming i'm going to be getting 1 lens, and thats the lens i'll have for a while.

I just read something that said that you should think more about the lens than the body because the body will become obsolete relatively fast. Is this true?

Would getting canon's 55-250 ($270)....

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16830998812

....along with a $500ish camera body be a good idea?
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Old Aug 22, 2009, 8:15 PM   #12
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If cost is more of a priority than low light level capability the consider this a Nikon D-40 with the 18-55mm lens (www.amazon.com $419.00) with the Nikon 55-200mmVR lens (www.cameta.com $189.00)(www.amazon.com $200.00).

Sarah Joyce

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Old Aug 22, 2009, 8:35 PM   #13
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I don't think the D40 is such a good idea. I think it won't focus fast enough for sports/action shooting, which is what you want to do.

The Canon XSi is much faster to focus, and it paired with the Canon 55-250 IS might suit you well.
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Old Aug 24, 2009, 9:16 AM   #14
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The bottom line is - you're probably not going to be able to do everything you want for the money you have to spend.

Dirt bikes in the woods - very likely you'd have to use an external flash if there's good cover. If cover is sparse, you could get away without one. Even if you're using a panning technique (and thus slow shutter speeds) you might have focus issues with a f5.6 lens.

On a track, 5.6 is fine in good light and 250mm should work fine for you.

The low light work is going to more interesting. If you're wanting to take shots in dorm rooms and such - flash is going to be your friend. Trying to take photos with available light and a fast lens like the 50mm 1.8 is doable but difficult. You need sunlight or a strong light source and even then you can get motion blur from your subject moving slightly - and you have a very shallow depth-of-field (refers to how much of the image is in focus) - so it's a poor approach for photos of multiple people.

If you want to go Nikon I would suggest the D5000 it has an upgraded focus system. In Canon, the T1i (problem with the XSi is it only has ISO 1600 and if you want a lot of available light type photos then ISO 3200-6400 can be beneficial).

But that won't leave you much money if any for a 2nd lens. Something might have to give.
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Old Aug 24, 2009, 9:42 AM   #15
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Quote:
I also have two other expensive hobbys that also take up any spare cash, and the 750 i have to spend on the camera is a graduation gift. Soooo, the idea is that i don't want to spend any more than 800 MAX on the camera + the lens.
Sony A230 with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 DT AF lens *and* 55-200mm f/4-5.6 DT AF lens for $629.99

Sony HVL-F20AM Compact External Flash for $129.99

Total: $759.98

P.S. -- if you have any problems finding the two lens kit and flash (the flash is backordered at some dealers), http://www.adorama.com has them in stock now at the same prices you'll find on sonystyle.com ($629.99 for a kit with the A230, 18-55mm and 55-200mm lenses after $120 instant rebate; $129.99 for the HVL-F20AM flash).
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Old Aug 24, 2009, 2:19 PM   #16
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I'm going to play devil's advocate to Jim's post. DP Review just released their review of the A230's older brother the A380. One of the big downsides of the Sony entry level cameras is their high ISO performance. It appears Sony is still using older CCD technology in these entry level DSLRs and as such, their high ISO performance isn't as good. I'm also hesitent to recommend SOny as a good sports camera because of it's AF system - particularly continuous focus. I've seen some decent results from the A700. And, in the newer cameras Sony has claimed the AF is improved. And I know Jim will say it competes with Canon & Nikon but the fact remains I have seen NO first hand evidence from sports shooters this is, in fact the case. So, at best, theses entry level sony models are unproven in the field of sports use as far as I can tell. Canon in particular and Nikon above the 40d/60d are proven sports performers.

So a lot depends on how much you plan to advance in sports shooting. If it's just a very small part of what you want to do - then I wouldn't worry about how Sony stacks up. It will do just fine. But if you want do to a lot then my advice is go with a more proven track record.

But take a look at the DP Review of the A380. That's a more expensive model that doesn't seem to get favorable marks vs. the Nikon D5000 or Canon T1i.

Just some food for thought that shopping purely on price isn't always the best approach to buying into a DSLR system.
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Old Aug 24, 2009, 2:55 PM   #17
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John:

You should know by now that I always recommend that users stick with the 10MP dSLR models in Sony's entry level lineup.

The 10MP models like the A200, A230, A300, and A330 have lower noise levels at higher ISO speeds compared to Sony's 14MP models like the A350 and new A380.

The 10MP sensors also place less demands on the lens quality needed for best results. In addition, you get smaller file sizes with the 10MP models, placing less demands on in camera processing speeds, write times to media for each image, etc.

Also, given the OP's budget, we're not talking about more expensive models like the Nikon D5000 or Canon T1i.

You'd need to compare models like the Nikon D40 (or perhaps D60 if the price was right), and Canon XS to come up with kits with prices close to what you could buy the A230 kit I recommended, if you want a kit with a decent focal range coverage and a basic flash.

If you want to see a comparison of IQ between some of the entry level models like the Canon XS and Nikon D60 with the Sony A200 (the 10MP model preceding the new A230), try here:

http://www.anandtech.com/digitalcame...oc.aspx?i=3434
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Old Aug 24, 2009, 5:07 PM   #18
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I had the D40 and was very disappointed with its limited DR. The camera tends to compensate for the shadows, blowing up the highlights. Besides, this is an old model (and the very first of the series) and it has other significant limitations. I'd stay away from it (even if you find a bargain).
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Old Aug 24, 2009, 6:36 PM   #19
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JIm,

But given the OP is interested in low light and action photography, sometimes saving a few $$ up front is a very bad long term investment. Budget and Requirements don't always mix well. IMO, it's best to know where the gaps lie BEFORE you spend the money. It's absolutely legit to adjust your specs after you see those gaps and live with the gear that fits within your budget. But I've run across quite a few people that were disappointed in a DSLR investment when they found out after the fact they had to spend more money to accomplish everything they wanted to.
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Old Aug 24, 2009, 6:45 PM   #20
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DSLRs (just like the old SLRs) is definitely not for everyone. It never was and never will be. In the old days, lenses were much more expensive than they are today. There was no "budget" lens. They were all very costly. So, many people would buy a SLR with the kit lens (always a 50mm) and stick with it. Today, DSLR prices have come down significantly, however, at the same time, the quality of P&S has gone up considerably and one can get a good quality P&S with exceptional range for a fraction of the cost of a DSLR + a lens that will offer an equivalent FL.
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