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Old Feb 12, 2010, 6:28 PM   #1
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Default D3000, XSi, D5000, K-x, T1i

Hey all. Long time reader, first post.

I'm a poor college kid who has previously just borrowed a DSLR when I HAVE to have one, and my parents just surprised me with some money for my 21st!

This, of course, means that I have to decide where to start building my kit. I've done quite a bit of research, and here's where I'm at. I currently have ~$500 US with no income, but I will receive a stipend for my work at the end of the semester, as well as my tax refund.

I plan on shooting mostly landscapes, college events, and some moto-cross.

Scenario one: Buy a cheaper body now, end of semester stipend goes straight to a lens.

Contenders:
Nikon D3000 (~$450 with basic 18-55mm lens)
Canon XS (~$500 for same kit)

I think the D3000 wins this pretty handly, but it gets more complicated...

Scenario 2: Mid price body that I would have to wait until beginning of summer to buy, w/ mid-late summer lens purchase.
Contenders:

Canon 450D/XSi (~$550 for basic kit)
Pentax K-x (Also ~$550 for basic kit)

Scenario 3: More expensive body that I would have to wait until mid-late summer to purchase, lens upgrade ETA: Maybe never. Might squeak it in at the end of the summer, if not, then school happens and then I graduate and THEN student loan payments happen.

Contenders:
Nikond D5000 (~$650 for kit)
Canon T1i (~$750 for kit)

Please help? I have to many options and not enough knowledge. I've shot with both Canon's and Nikon's, and although they have a distinct feel/menu system, I really like both. Never shot a Pentax. Also, the types of lenses I would buy are generally cheaper in the Canons. Also also, since the D3000 has no in-body AF motor, will that keep me from using newer lenses and upon future body upgrades make my lenses obsolete?
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Old Feb 12, 2010, 6:40 PM   #2
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Default I like the Pentax K-X

You can get some versions (colored - red, blue, etc.) for about $500 at various etailers.

I like this camera. It has very good low light performance. It has in camera HDR multiple image merging. It has a decently fast burst mode for the price. It is somewhat small compared to all but the 4/3 and micro 4/3 DSLR's. It has lots and lots of custom modes. If you want to pay 60 to 125 dollars more, you can get the camera in a two lens kit (55-200mm or 55-300mm). Oh, yeah, it also has in camera image stabilization.

Check out this site and dealsofamerica for good deals on DSLR's.
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Old Feb 12, 2010, 6:41 PM   #3
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If you are looking for grow long term, the d3000 and d5000 has a handicap compare to the others. Because the there is not inbody motor. It limits you to only AF-S and AF-I lenses. Which is okay, but to get a good 50mm prime, it is very expensive compare to the canon and the nikon d90 with prime that are about 100 dollars.

If you want low light performance the T1i and the K-x would be the leaders of the group. The K-x has the best sensor, but the T1i has the better AF system that will be able to get an AF lock when the K-x or the d5000 might not.

XS and D3000 are pretty equal, not to much difference between them. But the XS will take all eos lenses. So if do plan to expand in the feature with lenses.

I would go with either the pentax K-x or the XSi. The Xsi gives you more lens choice. The pentax gives better low light performance. Both are execellent camera and worth the extra 50 dollar over the XS. Also the pentax will give you IS on what ever lens you get.
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Last edited by shoturtle; Feb 12, 2010 at 6:44 PM.
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Old Feb 12, 2010, 7:07 PM   #4
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Thanks for the responses! I found the Pentax kit for $470 at B&H Photo, so that puts it with the D3000 price range. Would it be more advantageous to wait and get the XSi and wait for lenses, so I have the extra focus speed needed in the occasional action shot, or just get the Pentax and hope its AF is fast enough?
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Old Feb 12, 2010, 7:27 PM   #5
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If you want to shoot sports, the Canon T1i has the best autofocus system for that, followed by the Pentax K-x and Canon XSi. The Nikons on your list would be the least capable cameras for that. If you want to save some money, Adorama sells a Factory Refurbished T1i for $600. It doesn't come with the regular factory warranty, but a 1 year warranty with Adorama.
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Old Feb 12, 2010, 7:34 PM   #6
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My dad JUST now told me about Adorama. Found the XSi refurbished for $470, which puts it with the K-x exactly, if those refurbished units are reliable. Oh geeze. Why is this so complicated?
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Old Feb 12, 2010, 8:07 PM   #7
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schwartzengruber-

Check with Adorama. Usually while the Canon refurbs have a 90 day warranty, Adorama extends it to 12 month, equaling the normal Canon guarantee. Keep in mind that the XS(1000D) and the XSi are being replaced by Canon. At $(US) 470.00 that is a good buy, and the XSi is a high performer, but it is a good buy only as long as you are satisfied with a soon to be outdated DSLR camera.

Personally, I feel that the Pentax KX, which has a great high ISO capability is the better buy, and it is the current model. So a lot will depend on your shooting habits.

Have a great weekend.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Feb 12, 2010, 9:29 PM   #8
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adorama has a 1 year warranty, they get them directly form canon. And does have a 1 year warranty. I have brought referbs form them in the past, and never had an issue.

The pentax K-x is a very good camera, just a few steps behind the T1i in AF. But will be great for all your other needs. I have shot the 2 camera side by side, and for the occasional sport shot, it should be fine.
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Old Feb 13, 2010, 7:45 AM   #9
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The warranty on refurbished cameras from Adorama is with Adorama, not Canon. If anything goes wrong, you need to send it to Adorama, not Canon. That might be inconvenient, but that's why it has a good price now.
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Old Feb 13, 2010, 4:45 PM   #10
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I chose the KX over the Xsi.....and so far don't regret it.

That said, look at it this way....you WILL out grow the KX, the XSi the T1i, even if you don't improve ..technology will. The thing that WON'T change is the lens. So buy the system you like...get good lenses. You'll upgrade the body and be able to utilize the lenses you previously owned.
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