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Old Mar 29, 2010, 8:33 PM   #1
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Default Yet Another "What Camera" Thread

Hi everyone,

Yet another thread like many others. I've read all the others but would still like some input regarding my situation.

I am looking for a camera because my fiance and I are about to get married and we would like to have a nice camera since neither of us have one. In addition I would like to give a shot at photography as a hobby so I am hoping there is a versatile enough camera out there for us. We would like to be able to take just general snapshots of family/friends at get togethers indoors and outdoors. We would also like the option of shooting some little league soccer and/or basketball games if the need arises. From a hobby perspective I would really like to be try to shoot landscapes, buildings, people, whatever. What I would really be interested in doing is learning HDR so I'm not sure of one camera is any better than any other for something such as that. Also I would like to shoot a lot of night shots. I've looked at threads from others who submitted their nightscapes and I envied those folks having the talent and ability to take such outstanding photos. I really loved the ones where the stars were obviously visable over a cityscape. Those pictures were fantastic.

Sorry for that messy explanation. I know it was all over the place.

We do not have any preference on brands. We just want something an amateur can use but also something advanced enough that it can grow with me as I learn the hobby more in depth. I have been stuggling with buying a cheaper camera and investing more in a better lense but not sure how wise that is. Our budget is about $800.

So, I hope some folks here can offer me some guidance and insight.

Thanks in advance for any and all assistance.
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Old Mar 29, 2010, 9:01 PM   #2
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Well with the sport, the canon would be the best option because it has the best AF system in the entry segment. It will also give you the most lenses options. I would get something like the T1i, with one lens it is about 730 dollars. So it is one of the more expensive models. Also with the low light needs for indoor and night shooting it has the 12800iso so it will come in handy. I shoot this one personally.

With the HDR, the pentax K-x would be the only one in this segment. It is also a great low light camera with the best low light sensor at 12800iso. You will not have as many lens option as the canon. But it is 700 dollars with a 2 lens 18-55 and 55-300. It also has in body IS, so any lens you get will have the IS option. If you get into sport shooting it seem like you only have one option, the sigma 70-200 2.8 HSM. But this would be the lest expensive sport dedicated lens out there. Very user friendly for new dslr user with a good menu system and art filters.

The nikon d5000 is a decent camera, but if you find yourself growing in photography and develop a liking for prime lenses, it will not give you as much options as the canon, closer to the lenses of the pentax in options. It has good iso upto 6400. I think growth wise the d5000 may be a bit restrictive.

The Sony A380 is also in your budget, but I find it's view finder a bit lacking. It is a okay performer, but not stellar. If you move into the next tier, the A500 is allot better camera, but also a bit more, the body alone may be right at your budget. But with the sony, you get the best live view in the market. Also it is a good hdr camera.

The Olympus e620 is the smallest of the dslr, as it is a 4/3 sensor. So it makes for the best travel companion. It is not a great low light camera, but it gives you the best kit lenses on the market, as you do not really want to go past 1600iso with it. It is also one of the easiest camera to learn on, as it has a menu system that most point and shooter can fall back on if you are lost on the setting. Great menu system and many art filters. It is also one of the least expensive with 2 lenses. You can get the sigma 70-200 2.8 HSM for the oly also, so you can get a relatively inexpensive sport lens for it too at 800 dollar down the road.

If you are looking for something that will get you on your way right out the box, the pentax k-x or the olympus e620 will give you the 2 lenses that you will need to start right away within you 800 dollar budget.

Each system has it's advantages and disadvantages.

With the HDR, you will most likely rather do it in post production work as it gives you way more control doing it on the computer vs letting the camera do it. Just need to get the HDR software.
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Last edited by shoturtle; Mar 29, 2010 at 10:22 PM.
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Old Mar 29, 2010, 9:31 PM   #3
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Thank you for the detailed response!

A couple of things that might narrow down the best option. The sports shots are probably the least important to us. It would be nice to have the ability but something we could remove from consideration just the same. Considering this would that eliminate the Canon in your opinion?

Regarding the HDR, I had no idea any cameras came with a setting like that. My intent was to use software to add that affect. So similar to my previous question, taking the HDR out the equation, would that in turn remove the Pentax in your estimation?

Follow-up question regarding HDR; since I am planning to use software to achieve this affect, will any of the cameras you listed allow me to do HDR with software? I just know I have to be able to take 3 consecuitive shots then layer them with software but I want to make sure all of these cameras will allow me to take those three shots.

Thanks again. I really do appreciate it.
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Old Mar 29, 2010, 9:43 PM   #4
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The canon T1i is a great camera, but it will not be a out the box system that will fit your needs at your 800 dollar budget. Until the T2i, it was the gold standard in the entry market. But since we have a budget to work with, it would push the T1i out of the running due to price.

I shoot the Pentax K-x on occasion as I recommend it to my brother for his first dslr, as budget was a concern. And honestly it is a great camera. Even an actually has slightly better image quality in low light then the canon. AF system seem slightly behind the canon but ahead of the nikon and sony in your budget range. Some will say the lack of the AF point lights is a bother, but you still get AF conformation. And as I like to chose my points, it does not bother me not having the af points light up.

All the camera I listed will do a 3 shot bracket with different exposure from -2 to +2 EV is steps of 1/3 you decide how big the steps are.

But I think getting 2 lenses right away will let you get more shooting in, as having only the short zoom can leave you missing a shot.
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Last edited by shoturtle; Mar 29, 2010 at 10:17 PM.
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Old Mar 29, 2010, 9:51 PM   #5
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What is the difference between "AF point lights" and "AF conformation". I am assuming the AF refers to "auto focus". Can you tell I'm new?????
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Old Mar 29, 2010, 9:53 PM   #6
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if you don't need to shoot sports. then really you are not that limited in your camera selection.

the Pentax KX is really a nice camera for the entry level market, has great image quality, particularly as the light falls, and has a good feature-set as well. and for your price you could get the 2 lens kit (and do get the 55-300 kit, it is better than the 50-200)

the oly 620 is another nice option. it won't keep up in lower light quite as well, but it offers a really nice build construction and a wealth of features at this price point. if you don't shoot much low-light this is a good option. (not that it does poorly in low-light, just not quite as good). it is also a very compact system.

the canon t1i and d5000 are really pushing your budget, both would put you right at the 800 mark with just a 1 lens kit and memory card. but are both great cameras with good systems and good availability of used lenses due to the popularity of canon and nikon.
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Old Mar 29, 2010, 10:07 PM   #7
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The AF point is that part of the lens where the camera actually focus to, there are 11 that the camera can automatically chose if you set it to auto it could chose on or multiple at once. But you can also chose which point you want to chose. I find that auto focus on the wrong area especially if I want to take a off center shot, having the subject to the right or left. And the camera decide that there is something in the center so it focus on that instead. So for landscape, cityscape, and nightscape. I choose my points.

Oh yeah, for nightscapes, you will want to use a lower iso and longer exposure time. So all the camera will have no issues with that kind of shooting, but you will need a tripod. And don't get a cheap on for a dslr, you want a stable one.
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Last edited by shoturtle; Mar 29, 2010 at 10:18 PM.
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