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Old Oct 18, 2009, 9:21 PM   #1
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Default Yet another first time buyer advice thread :0)

Members,

I would first like to introduce myself. My name is Steve and I am in my mid 20's and stumbled across this thread after spending hours online researching for my entry into DSLR camera's. This forum appears to offer some of the best advice I could find online and I wanted to start a thread to get some further assistance. I would like to thank whoever first came up with the question/bold format. Thanks in advance for your advice!

Budget
- USD $500.

Are you new to cameras?
- Yes, previous experience is limited to basic point and shoot.

Where do you plan on using this camera?
- The main reason I want to get a DSLR is I plan to travel to Europe and wanted a camera to shoot the various landscapes, sites and buildings both indoor and outdoor with a preference towards outdoor.


Do you plan on using this camera indoors or in low light?
- As I said earlier I plan to shoot both indoor and outdoor but will likely spend more time shooting outdoor (e.g. scenery)

Do you plan on taking lots of sports or other action photos?
- Not really.

Will you want manual settings and lots of features?
- I am aware almost all DSLR camera's have automatic settings for beginners so this may not be an issue. Auto focus will be a good feature as I will likely not be purchasing a tripod.

How much will you need to zoom?
- Zoom will be important.

How large will you need to make your prints?
- Prints will not be a concern as I plan to only save the pictures via electronic storage with only some great shots being made into prints.

Size
- Not a primary concern.

How many megapixels will suffice for you?
- Considering most of my point and click were around 2-4 it is likely that any DSLR will be a signifcant step up.

How important is “image quality” to you?
- Extremely important, it is the single most important concern in my purchase?

Do you need any of the following special features?
- Wide angle: Preferably, but not necessary - I suppose I can buy a wide angle lens upgrade/attachment if required?
- View finder: Preferably, but not necessary.
- Image stabilization: Very Important.

Are there particular brands you like or hate?
- In my research it appears that Nikon and Cannon are always discussed and ranked.

Are there particular models you already have in mind?

- Nikon D5000
- Cannon rebel xt
- Nikon D90

Would you like forum members to suggest accessories used often?

Yes, that would be really good haha.

-I actually ordered The Digital Photography Book Volumes 1 and 2 by Scott Kelby to get some knowledge beyond what the manual will offer
-I would imagine that some may buy additional batteries and large memory cards. I would certainly like the freedom to take lots of pictures, especially if I am abroad and need to save a lot.
-any other suggestions would be great.

I am really excited to get into photography as It has always been an interest of mine. When I was in high school and college I dabbed in some intro classes, and even developed some of my own photos in high school the old fashioned way but it appears digital has become the preference and easiest of recent.

steve

I have actually attached a wallpaper shot in Ireland at the cliff of moher which inspired me to finally jump into photography. I highly recommend the site for wallpapers and some great photos (sometimes altered).

site : http://interfacelift.com

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Old Oct 18, 2009, 9:56 PM   #2
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I'm just going to mention the Oly E520. For $550 you get two kit lenses (14-42 & 40-150) that are about as good as kit lenses get. It has in body stabilization, has a very good feature set, and is a tremendous value.

The Canon and Nikon choices have stabilization in lens. You would be limited to only one lens at the price lens, and may have trouble staying within budget at that.

Pentax is the other camera I'd consider. The K2000 with two lenses (18-55 & 50-200) goes for around $600. Also in body stabilization.

Not up to speed on Sony, but they have a value alternative that is also stabilized.

Greg
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Old Oct 18, 2009, 10:20 PM   #3
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Would you also be so kind as to recommend any accessories, I took a look at the Oly E520 kit on amazon and for $475 that's a great deal.

Would love others thought as well.
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Old Oct 18, 2009, 11:09 PM   #4
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Snowave-

Welcome to the Forum!

Yes, the Olympus E-520 two lens kit is a good value, but there is a reason for that low price. The Olympus E-520 has the least Dynamic Range of all the entry level DSLRs in the market today. if you really understand photography and nail the exposure you can slightly overcome that lack of Dynamic Range. It is difficult but not impossible.

Take your time and do some looking around and investigating everything out there in the market place. We have a current thread devoted to to "Entry Level DSLr Cameras and Above." Look at that thread. many of here are dedicated to helping you in evry way possible.

Have a great day.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Oct 18, 2009, 11:11 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtclimber View Post
Snowave-

Welcome to the Forum!

Yes, the Olympus E-520 two lens kit is a good value, but there is a reason for that low price. The Olympus E-520 has the least Dynamic Range of all the entry level DSLRs in the market today. if you really understand photography and nail the exposure you can slightly overcome that lack of Dynamic Range. It is difficult but not impossible.

Take your time and do some looking around and investigating everything out there in the market place. We have a current thread devoted to to "Entry Level DSLr Cameras and Above." Look at that thread. many of here are dedicated to helping you in evry way possible.

Have a great day.

Sarah Joyce
Thanks for the suggestion. I'll go take a look over there. What would you recommend as a good first DSLR for my needs? (landscape, buildings etc.)?
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Old Oct 18, 2009, 11:27 PM   #6
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Snowave-

Most two lens kits are a good value, as long as you know what you are getting. You will get the "kit lens," usually an 18-55mm lens, and a mid level telephoto lens.

Beyond those two lens you are going to need the appropriate flash memory. Most entry level DSLR cameras today are using SD cards. You did not tell us hold long you will be in Europe, and if you will be taking a computer with you. For starters we will assume that you will be 30 days in Europe and you will be taking a laptop or a netbook computer with you, enabling you to download your photos as needed.

Therefore, I would suggest 3 to 4 2gb SD cards. You might ask why just 2gb cards, why not bigger? My husband and I teach digital cameras on cruise ships and we are "on the road" at least 10 months out of every year. The reason why you want to limit yourself to 2gb cards is simply this, if a card fails, and they occasionally do, you have not lost a huge investment and also not a lot of photos.

The built-in flash unit on any DSLR camera, just like it is on a point and shoot camera, is not very powerful at all. Therefore, an external flash is certainly a worthwhile investment to consider.

You are also going to need a good case to safely carry your DSLR camera, an extra lens, your external flash, and your needed accessories, including a plastic bag to shield your DSLR camera in the event of unexpected rain. You should also consider some filters. UV filters to protect your lenses and perhaps a circular polarizer to make those blue skies and white clouds look picture book perfect.

Beyond that, that balance of your accessories, will depend on your personal choice.

I am sure you will have questions, so please do not hestitate to ask, we are always here to help you.

Have a great week ahead.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Oct 18, 2009, 11:36 PM   #7
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Thank you yet again for the amazing advice.

I will be in Europe for probably 2 weeks and haven't though about whether or not to bring the pc, I imagine I will so I can load the images.

Excellent suggestion on the SD cards, never really thought about the possibility of losing some of the data and to minimize losses.

Would and external flash improve picture quality on shots taken of landscapes and larges areas/buildings? I would imagine it wouldn't have much of an effect or am I wrong?

I am still lost in terms of which camera to get, I like all the suggestions I Have been given but not sure which one is best for me. The Oly E520 that was suggested earlier right now is my first choice but i would even consider getting a more expensive model with a great lenses used if I knew what i was looking for haha.

Thanks again for the assistance. Hope your week goes well also.
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Old Oct 18, 2009, 11:43 PM   #8
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snowave-

Specific cameras worth looking at: Canon XS (the XT is outdated), Pentax KX/K-2000, Sony A-200/A-230/A-330, Nikon D-40/D-3000/D-5000, and Olympus E-620.

Every entry level camera has pluses and minuses. I have listed those that are a particularly good value, and have worthwhile features worth you consideration.

Sarah Joyce

Last edited by mtclimber; Oct 19, 2009 at 8:43 AM.
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Old Oct 18, 2009, 11:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtclimber View Post
snowave-

Specific cameras worth looking at: Canon XS (the XT is outdated), Pentax KX/K-2000, Sony A-230/A-330, Nikon D-40/D-3000/D-5000, and Olympus E-620.

Every entry level camera has pluses and minuses. I have listed those that are a particularly good value, and have worthwhile features worth you consideration.

Sarah Joyce
Thank you, I am reviewing these. For the oly it looks like a mp 10 vs. 12 is about 150 cheaper. I'll have to read up on the importance.

The Cannon XSi looks good too although i might best get the cheaper camera and buy a better lense.

The Pentax was compared with the Nikon D60 and reviewed as slightly supperior so I am leaning towards the Pentax.

Of course I'll continue to do my due diligence. Thank you for the advice. I can't wait to get into photography.
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Old Oct 19, 2009, 12:05 AM   #10
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I meant to ask, is there a big jump in improvement from the oly e-520 to the e-620?

http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listi...condition=used

The seller has stated she will include a tri-pod and all the original items for this used set. It may be smart for me to pick up this and perhaps buy an additional lense.

Your thoughts MT?
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