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Old Sep 30, 2009, 10:46 PM   #1
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Picking up a little from this thread..http://forums.steves-digicams.com/1004713-post1.html..

It occured to me that most of the 'what camera should I buy' questions always have the money qualifier. Of course money is always a consideration but..

Assume you were new to DSLR..
.If you could purchase any camera, (remembering you are a newby) and money was not an issue...and you have no brand preference....which would be your top 3 picks???

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Old Oct 1, 2009, 5:33 AM   #2
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Something APS-C (smaller and lighter, and with a larger selection of lenses, which are also smaller and lighter.) (... and cheaper, but that's not supposed to matter here.)

Something with a large selection of lenses and accessories. (I like image stabilization, and since image stabilization in the body means all lenses are stabilized, that puts Sony and Pentax at the top of that list.)

Something with good quality lenses. (Since Sony has Zeiss lenses, which run rings around anything else, that narrows the selection to Sony.) (... especially since money is not an issue.)

Something with good AF for sports/action/wildlife, and good professional level features.


So, my top 3 picks are:
  • Sony A700.
  • Maybe the Sony A550 or A500, but that remains to be seen.
  • ... I can't think of anything.
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Old Oct 1, 2009, 8:13 AM   #3
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The Sony A700 is a nice camera, I would have to say whatever replaces the A700 at some point is going to be one heck of a camera. Can't wait to see how they top this camera.

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Old Oct 1, 2009, 11:21 AM   #4
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Can't wait to see how they top this camera.
If recent trends are any indication, they probably won't.
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Old Oct 1, 2009, 11:45 AM   #5
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i agree, something small and light. possibly with video option.

Canon T1i
Panasonic GH1
Pentax Kx
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Old Oct 1, 2009, 12:14 PM   #6
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The answer is still "it depends". It really is.
You really still need to match strong points of a camera/system against your individual requirements. And, as is often mentioned, lenses and flash play a huge role. And here's a big surprise - you don't need experience to benefit from a quality lens. There isn't a learning curve there. So you still need to roster up requirements based on what you intend to shoot and what features are important to you.

Perfect example - TCAV mentioned image stabilization is important to him. To me it's not. We're going to consider completely different options.

Some people like live view - in 2 1/2 years with my current camera which has live view I've never even tried it.

Some people love video capability and others could care less.

Some people like small and others find small DSLRs more difficult to handle.

One person likes the lightweight plastic of some entry level DSLRs and others prefer heavier, better built cameras.

Some people shoot at high ISO and others don't.

Some people might like fullframe. Not necessarily more difficult to shoot. Others might just like the POSSIBILITY of full frame. Some systems have it some don't. If you like the possibility then Oly is probably the last system you would want to buy into. But if you like light-weight and great quality consumer priced glass then Oly might be on the top of your list.

More money opens up potential for mid-level cameras and better lenses but suggesting a DSLR solution without requirements isn't a great idea.
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Old Oct 1, 2009, 12:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
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but suggesting a DSLR solution without requirements isn't a great idea.
You have a 'wise' post and did raise some questions. I guess what I am asking is if 'you' were starting out what would you buy?

The reason for the original question is while everyone is different, each individual could say.."Knowing what I know now.....I would start with...." I think that would provide 'insight' based on each persons chosen field rather then suggestions.

(I think it was you who commented on something like that in a post by Sarah and macros...wasn't it? )
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Old Oct 1, 2009, 1:43 PM   #8
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OK, I'll play along then. If I were starting out again with the same desire to shoot sports in addition to the typical family stuff, my camera choices would be:
Note: assuming a person new to DSLRs, I've removed top cameras like the Nikon D700 because it has no 'scene' modes - jus AV,TV,M,P. A shame to remove it from the list, but with no prior DSLR experience (and by that I assume no prior SLR experience) it might not be good to give up those features.
1) Canon 7d with battery pack with 16-35 f2.8 lens, 70-200 2.8IS lens, 300mm f2.8 IS lens and 580exII
2) Nikon D300s with kit lens, 200-400 4.0VR lens, 70-200 2.8VR lens and 85mm 1.8 plus SB-800 flash with battery pack.
3) Canon 50D / Nikon D90 with above lenses

Why only Nikon and Canon? Simple - both systems have pro sports shooting bodies. No other system does. Sony has a winner with the A-700 but that's still a D300 / 50d/7d competition. Sony and Nikon also have the greatest array of lenses and as the dominate the professional sports shooting world (although I've seen some great NFL shots from the A700) I know they'll continue to produce equipment that benefits sports shooters. They are also committed to full-frame with a huge selection of quality lenses that will work on full-frame. Sony is a tight third now but still growing - the Canon & Nikon lens selection is more mature.
If money isn't an object, why wouldn't you want professional cameras? So, get your feet wet with one of the above and then go for D3, d700, 1dmIV (when it comes out probably next year).

Sports shooting is just one of those areas of photography where the gear makes a world of difference. For birthday photos you'd be hard pressed to tell the difference between the photos out of my $5,000 dslr/lens setup and a $600 entry level DSLR plus external flash on both.

If you were advanced and don't need auto then:
1) Nikon D3
2) Nikon D700
3) Canon 1dmkIII

So the only reason to buy a mid level DSLR vs. pro for a newbie with unlimmitted funds is the 'scene modes' - the training wheels.
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Old Oct 1, 2009, 1:50 PM   #9
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Quote:
So the only reason to buy a mid level DSLR vs. pro for a newbie with unlimmitted funds is the 'scene modes' - the training wheels.
Size, weight, ergonomics, control layout, menu design preferences, metering behavior preferences, image processing preferences, etc. Not everyone wants to lug a larger and heavier body around. ;-)
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Old Oct 1, 2009, 1:53 PM   #10
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Size, weight, ergonomics, control layout, menu design preferences, metering behavior preferences, image processing preferences, etc. Not everyone wants to lug a larger and heavier body around. ;-)
As I said Jim - my post was intended AS A SPORTS SHOOTER. If you're going to be using 300mm 2.8 lenses then a small body really doesn't matter. That's why that caveat was at the top of my post.
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