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Old Jan 2, 2010, 8:48 PM   #1
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Default Best DSLR for under $600 right now?

Hello, i am looking to buy a DSLR or a compact with manual controls for under $600. I previously owned the Nikon D40 and was very happy with the camera except for the noise levels above ISO 400. I'd like for the next camera to have better pictures at high ISO, as well as a good lens kit.
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Old Jan 2, 2010, 8:58 PM   #2
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If you've got other lenses for your D40, another Nikon dSLR can use them as well. Many of the current entry level dSLRs should do better than what you experienced, but if you really want to take photos in lower light without jacking up the ISO setting, you could try a large aperture lens. Tamron's 17-50mm f/2.8 will fit your D40 and will allow you to take photos at up to a quarter the ISO value you're using now.
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Old Jan 2, 2010, 9:05 PM   #3
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I no longer have the D40, so i'm up for anything that performs well in dark light. I'd also be open to a camera that can use older prime lenses like the Sony A series, but not sure if they're any good.
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Old Jan 2, 2010, 9:19 PM   #4
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There are three factors that affect exposure:
  • Shutter Speed - The length of time the image sensor is exposed to light.
  • Aperture - The amount of light that is permitted to pass through the lens to the image sensor.
  • ISO Value - The sensitivity of the image sensor to light.
If you've had to resort to higher ISO values to get proper expsures, but object to the amountof image noise, you can use slower shutter speeds, larger (numerically smaller) apertures, or a flash. All kit lenses have aperture ranges like the kit lens you got with your D40. If you want to take photos indoors in available light, my first suggestion would be a large aperture lens. Prime lenses like the 50mm f/1.8 lenses that almost everybody makes, would work well for that, and they tend to be among the most affordable lenses available.

To help you select an appropriate dSLR, can you elaborate on what type(s) of photographs you want to take?
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Old Jan 2, 2010, 9:57 PM   #5
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Mostly people, but occasionally some scenic stuff.
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Old Jan 2, 2010, 9:59 PM   #6
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are these people in low-light situations, or more controlled lighting? are the scenes outdoor landscapes in good light, or darker cityscape?
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Old Jan 2, 2010, 11:50 PM   #7
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How about an all-around performer?
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Old Jan 3, 2010, 12:11 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shubonker View Post
How about an all-around performer?
That's a very generic statement. All the entry level dSLRs are good all-around performers. However, they each have their strengths and weaknesses. Your best course would be to carefully evaluate the most important features to you. List them out. Tell us what's of highest importance to you. Then, the very knowledgeable people here will help you in selecting a model that most closely matches your desired features. Then, of course, it's up to you to decide if the ergonomics of that model are also acceptable to you and that you'll actually use it.
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Old Jan 3, 2010, 12:56 AM   #9
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I know there are other good entry level cameras, but I am recommending the Pentax K-X. Very good low light performance. Read its review on dpreview. Costs in the mid 500's from reputable etailers. I have it. I love it.
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Old Jan 3, 2010, 1:31 AM   #10
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Ok then my primary use would be for taking photos of people in all lighting conditions. I would like to eventually be able to buy a flash for it that is reasonably priced (around $300), or even an older flash unit that will be compatible and keep cost down. Long battery life is important to me.

I have considered the k-x but feel like the AA battery is a nuisance unless i buy rechargeables which may not last very long between charge.
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