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Old Nov 3, 2009, 3:25 PM   #1
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Default Please help me decide - I am going insane :)

I want an entry-level DSLR. I have used several point and shoots, but now that I have kiddos, I want to take some better quality pics. Every time I think I make a decision, I read a review that sways me from one or another.

Right now, I an deciding between the Panasonic Lumix G1, Sony A230/330 or a Canon t1i. My budget is about $750-ish. I really wanted the Sony a350 bundle that they had a few months ago for $699, but that deal is long gone...

So, PLEASE direct me to the right place. Thanks so much!
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Old Nov 3, 2009, 3:33 PM   #2
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Well, they all have their advantages and disadvantages, but on the whole the crop of entry level dslrs available today is quite good.

The Pana G1 is definately the size winner (due to not being a true dslr, it has an electronic viewfinder, albeit a good one), its quite a bit smaller than any of the other options. It doesn't quite match the high iso (lowlight) performance of the better offerings, but still is much better than a standard P&S.

The Canon T1i is always a good choice. Offers good high iso performance, hd video, and compatibility with the extensive canon lens selection.

The new Sony's offer in-body image stability and some rather nice features. The A230 is one of the cheapest DSLR's you can get today, and offers alot for the price.

You may add Pentax's KX to your choice list as well. It offers a ton of features for the price and offers inbody image stability and so far its looking to have good high iso performance, definately worth a look.

I would also give Olympus's E620 a hard look as well. The jpeg engine that Oly uses is quite fantastic, giving good results out of camera. It also offers in-body stabilization and a ton of features for the price.
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Old Nov 3, 2009, 3:40 PM   #3
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Wait - so you are giving me MORE choices!?! ARGH!!! Are you wanting to send me over the edge?
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Old Nov 3, 2009, 3:46 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kristinmcd View Post
Wait - so you are giving me MORE choices!?! ARGH!!! Are you wanting to send me over the edge?
Have you been down to your local camera store yet? Keep in mind most of today's DSLR's are good performers. So in order to help narrow down your choices you should really try each one out for a little bit. See which one feels best in your hand, around your neck, over your shoulder. See which one's menu and features are most natural for you. This will help you quickly discard some choices and enamor you to others.

Also, giving us a little more information on your shooting needs. We know its for your kids. Are they in sports/gymnastics, are you wishing to shoot in these types of venues. Or just general family stuff?
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Old Nov 3, 2009, 3:51 PM   #5
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Unfortunately, I have not ventured out to the camera store. I was hoping to buy it through Amazon/eBay with free shipping. I guess I need to actually bite the bullet and see what feels comfortable. I have small hands so that's one reason why the Panasonic spoke to me.

As for pics, right now, it's just general family with some T-Ball starting in the spring. That and a trip to the beach as well. No fancy schmancy stuff yet. I saw that Wolf Camera is doing a Sony A230 bundle for $599.99 with free photo classes, so that sounds very tempting.
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Old Nov 3, 2009, 3:57 PM   #6
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kristin-

Here is a way to make this selection a lot more easy.

(1) Focus on the DSLR cameras that have in body image stabilization. Nikon and canon do not have image stabilization. Instead it is their choice to seel you more expensive lenses with IS buit into those lenses. Pentax, Olympus, and Sony have IS built into the camera body.

(2) Consider if camera size is a priority for you. The smallest cameras mentioned are the Panasonic G-1, followed by the Pentax Kx model and the Olympus E-620 cameras.

(3) Consider what priority you want to assign to the "Live View" feature. If you have to have "Live View," Sony has the very best implementation of "Live View." Personally, "Live View" and video clips are not a big deal for me. So, I invested in the Sony A-230 two lens kit. In retrospect, I like the color fom the E-620 a bit better.

(4) In as much as you will be doing lots of photos of children, does the facial tone colors matter to you. The facial color as well as color in general generated by the Olympus E-620 is beautiful and has received very high marks.

(5) Consider if you are going to shoot video clips with a separate video camcorder, or your DSLR camera? Only two of the discussed DSLR cameras, the Canon T-1 and the Pentax Kx can take video clips.

Good Luck.

Sarah Joyce

Last edited by mtclimber; Nov 3, 2009 at 4:00 PM.
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Old Nov 3, 2009, 8:07 PM   #7
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Thanks so much. I looked at the Pentax and I really like it! Hopefully I can make it to Wolf Camera this weekend and check it out in person.
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Old Nov 4, 2009, 8:30 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtclimber View Post
kristin-

Here is a way to make this selection a lot more easy.

(1) Focus on the DSLR cameras that have in body image stabilization. Nikon and canon do not have image stabilization. Instead it is their choice to seel you more expensive lenses with IS buit into those lenses. Pentax, Olympus, and Sony have IS built into the camera body.
I am going to respectfully disagree here. First, there is nothing the OP stated that suggests anti-shake is a top priority. Even if it is important the kit lenses with Canon and Nikon have anti-shake. And consumer grade zoom lenses are available with anti-shake at same price points to the competition. It's a complete myth you'll pay more for lenses in Canon & Nikon land. The possibility is there because there are a lot of lenses to choose from. But by the same token that is also an advantage.

Not to say all manufacturers aren't capable of meeting your needs but I believe Sarah's assertion is misleading.

I agree with Dustin's advice to handle the cameras. One word of caution though - lenses are a bit of a premium for the G-1 (i.e. not as many lens offerings yet as the various DSLRs have).

Tough to make a wrong choice though.
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