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Old Oct 13, 2009, 10:47 AM   #1
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Default Here I go again which camera should I buy

I was on here a few years ago and got a P & S sony cybershot but now I want an DSLR Camera. I've been looking at Canon, Nikon and Pentax. I will only have about 600 for an entry level camera so which way should I go? I want to take action shots of my son and nature shots and maybe moon shots.
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Old Oct 13, 2009, 11:00 AM   #2
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For sports/action/wildlife shooting on your budget, Canon is a better option that the other brands. Nikon's newer entry level dSLRs, the D3000 and D5000, are likely to be better than their predecessors, but how much better remains to be seen. From Pentax there's the K7, and from Sony there's the A700, but they're both out of your price range. I would look into a Canon XSi, and maybe get a Tamron 70-300 Di LD later.

For moon shots, you really need a sharp, long lens, and those don't come cheap, unfortunately.
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Old Oct 13, 2009, 11:56 AM   #3
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I want to take action shots of my son and nature shots and maybe moon shots.
Please be more specific as to the types of action shots you want to take - what will your son be doing? How old is he? Will the action be indoors or out?

Also, be more specific about "nature shots" - There is a difference between close up of flowers, wide landscape shots, close shots of small birds. These could all be considered nature shots but they have different requirements.

These details will help us in determining which of your goals can be met with your $600 budget - and what limitations you might encounter with a camera/lens in your price range.
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Old Oct 13, 2009, 12:05 PM   #4
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Maryccc-

You also might be interested in the info contained in a new thread that just began yesterday (10/12) but already has 50 posts. It is called "Exploring Entry Leval and above DSLR Cameras.

We are doing a look at all of the Entry Level and slightly above DSLR cameras complete with photo samples and discussions on those cameras.

Have a great day.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Oct 13, 2009, 12:08 PM   #5
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My son is 6 but when he gets into sports I want to get good shots indoors and outdoors. Thanks for the help. I am leaning towards a canon.
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Old Oct 13, 2009, 12:52 PM   #6
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My son is 6 but when he gets into sports I want to get good shots indoors and outdoors.
OK - so the sports is not an immediate need. Realize though that when your son does get into sports you would potentially need to buy additional equipment. Let's take indoor sports - namely basketball and wrestling (most likely indoor sports for a boy)

For basketball, no kit lens in any system is going to get you good shots indoors. So at that time you'd need to invest in a better lens. Something like a Sigma 70-200 2.8 ($850). In some systems you could get started with a 50mm 1.8 for around $100 but you're very limited by the short focal length of such a lens - about 15 foot range. If you can sit on the baseline you can happily get shots for some time. If you can't then you need longer lenses which cost more money.

For wrestling you want a longer lens (something in the 150-200mm range if you're at the edge of the mat). But what really helps for wrestling is an external flash. This is becausee faces are pointed down a lot and the dark wrestling mats don't reflect light very well - so the most interesting part of your subject is in shadow. Built in flashes are very slow to re-charge. You can get some shots using them and an appropriate lens if you're right at the mat -but the limited power of the flash and it's recycle time will eventually leave you frustrated.

For outdoor sports - teeball, soccer, peewee football - those are all played during the day. A $200 Canon 50-250 or Tamron 70-300 would get you started and allow you to get good shots. As he moves up, you either get tired of shooting his sports or you can invest in better gear. The benefit being now that you'r in a DSLR system you can change one lens at a time or the body and still use any and all lenses / flashes.

Now, you only have $600 to get started - that's pretty much just going to get you a camera/walk-around lens. You won't be capable of shooting sports until you get additional equipment.

One good option to get started is the Canon XSi - $626 with kit lens at B&H. It's got a great focus system for entry level camera - best one I'm aware of on the market. BUT, it only has ISO 1600 capability. That means if and when you shoot a sport like basketball you won't be able to use an f2.8 lens. You would have to use shorter prime lenses like the $100 50mm 1.8, $440 85mm 1.8 or $460 100mm f2.0. To get ISO 3200 capability in Canon you need to step up to the T1i at $795 - $200 over your budget. The benefit to Canon is best sports focus ability in this low end of a camera in the market. And the largest selection of sports capable lenses on the market plus a body upgrade path all the way up to professional level if you want/need it in the future.

Other options:
Nikon - The problem with Nikon's entry level cameras is they've pulled out focus capability to reduce price. So, I wouldn't recommend anything lower than the D90 as a sports camera. Once you get up to the D90 then Nikon is just as good as Canon for sports and their top end is even better than Canon. The challenge with Nikon is - while bodies and glass are excellent, their sports-capable lenses tend to be a bit pricier than Canon. For the pros it's worth it right now because the pro end bodies outperform Canon. For the hobbyist it's a bit pricier to shoot sports in Nikon at the advanced ameteur level.

Pentax - The pentax bodies below the K-7 are poor sports performers. The focus system just isn't up to Canon & Nikon. You've also got less lens options. Even with what I'm seeing on the K-7, it apperas it's a great upgrade for Pentax users as a sports camera but still not as good as Canon or Nikon equivelent level models. If sports work is a big reason for going DSLR, I think that makes Pentax a poor choice. Great for other uses, just not for sports.

Oly - great cameras and great bang for the buck. But, with smaller sensors than other cameras their high ISO (1600,3200,6400) performance still lags behind. For those indoor sports that's important. In general, the optics are outstanding and Olys produce great shots. BUt I still haven't seen any evidence the focus tracking of Oly is on par with equivelent level Canon or Nikon cameras. So again, great system - but not ideal for sports work.

Sony - The A700 is a great sports camera. Prior to the current lineup of cameras though, the Sony models did not in my opinion perform as well as the competition for sports. The A700 competes well with the Canon 50D and Nikon d90/D300. Sony has some newer models they claim have improved AF and improved high ISO. But that's unproven in the field. A year from now or even 6 months from now we might have some sports photos from those cameras but we don't now. So I believe for sports work the Sony entry level is still a gamble.

At the end of the day any DSLR is going to do much better than a point-and-shoot will. But, long term it's still my opinion Canon or Nikon positions you better for growing your sports shooting than any other brand. BUT, you give up great features in Pentax, Oly, SOny entry level cameras if you go Canon/Nikon because of the sports. So you have to decide how important those lost features are and weigh those against the future benefit of being in a system dedicated to providing sports shooters necessary bodies/lenses.. No easy answers there I'm afraid.
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Old Oct 13, 2009, 1:29 PM   #7
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Thanks so much for the advice. I am leaning towards the canon now. Should I get the xs or the xsi or xti?
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Old Oct 13, 2009, 1:29 PM   #8
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What about Olympus SLR's?
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Old Oct 13, 2009, 1:31 PM   #9
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Thanks so much for the advice. I am leaning towards the canon now. Should I get the xs or the xsi or xti?
XSI without a doubt. Definitely a better camera than the others.

As to Oly - I think I mentioned them. Great cameras and system - just not for sports shooting (higher noise, not as advance focus systems)
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Old Oct 13, 2009, 2:13 PM   #10
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Ok thanks. I thought Oly was a brand I never heard of.
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