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Old Apr 20, 2010, 9:05 AM   #1
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Default First dslr camera

Hello

My name is Oren, nice to meet you all.
Today I am using a point and shoot Sony T200 camera for still images, most of the time taking pictures of my kids and family.

I would like to study taking pictures more professionaly and go to a beginners course. For that I need a dslr...

My budget is about 600$ which means that I can buy Nikon D40, Sony A330 alpha etc' all with basic lens of 18-55

I would like to use you experience and knowledge and ask which model should I buy? More thoughts will be most helpful.

Thanks
Oren
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Old Apr 20, 2010, 9:29 AM   #2
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orenmd-

Welcome to the Forum. We're delighted that you dropped by.

You mentioned the Sony A-330, not the A-230. The A-230 is a less expensive DSLR with equal image quality to the A-330. The reason for the A-330 is to accommodate those users who desired LiveView. To get the LiveView feature on to the A-330, the viewfinder had to be make smaller, which make it definitely less useful.

You did not mention the Pentax Kx model which is an excellent value and would offer a better feature set than either Sony camera. It is also in your price range.

It is great to learn that you want to expand your photo knowledge and will be taking a course in perhaps Basic Photography. It the course given by your local Community College or State University?

Sarah Joyce
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Old Apr 20, 2010, 10:00 AM   #3
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What do you want to shoot?


In your price range, from Adorama.com, there are:
  • Refurbished Canon, Olympus, and Nikon dSLRs. "Refurbished" means that the cameras went back for service for some reason (i.e.: customer returns, store demos, package damaged in shipping, etc.) and come with a 90 day store warranty instead of the original factory warranty. That is, except for the Canon models, which Adorama gives a full 1 year warranty on, which is the same length as the factory warranty on new models.
  • Refurbished Olympus models are nice, but they generally don't do well for sports/action/wildlife or in low light situations, and are more prone to image noise than other dSLRs.
  • Refurbished Nikons are also nice, but they also don't do well for sports/action/wildlife. They also lack an internal autofocus motor, so many lenses that fit other Nikon dSLRs won't autofocus on these.
  • Refurbished Canons are a very good deal. They're good at most things, have a good selection of lenses and accessories, and have a full 1 year warranty, though it's with the store, not the factory.
  • The Sony A230 (10MP, on 'Live View') is the least expensive new dSLR that Adorama sells. It has image stabilization in the camera body, so the lenses for it are smaller, lighter, and less expensive than equivalent stabilized lenses for Canon and Nikon. It can also use Minolta autofocus lenses that were amde up to 20 years ago, so teh used market is a good source of lenses. It's not bad at most things, but Canon's entry level models are better at sports/action/wildlife shooting.
  • The Olympus E-520 (10MP, 'Live View') also has image stabilization inthe camera body, but unlike the Sony, it doesn't have a lot of available lenses on the used market. And again, they generally don't do well for sports/action/wildlife or in low light situations, and are more prone to image noise than other dSLRs.
  • The Canon XS (10MP, 'Live View') is about as good as the Sony at sports/action/wildlife, but it relies on image stabilization in certain lenses, and they tend to be bigger, heavier and more expensive than equivalent lenses for brands that have stabilization in the camera body. Also, there are few stabilized lenses in the used market.
  • The Canon XSi (12MP, 'Live View') has the highest resolution and is better than most of the other cameras I mentioned here, but like the XS, it relies on stabilized lenses.
  • The Nikon D3000 (10MP, 'Live View'), again, doesn't do well for sports/action/wildlife. It also lacks an internal autofocus motor, so many lenses that fit other Nikon dSLRs won't autofocus on these.
  • The Sony A330 (10MP, 'Live View') is identical to the A230 I mentioned above, except that it has 'Live View', and, unfortunately, a smaller optical viewfinder.
  • The Pentax K-x (12MP, Live View') also has image stabilization in the camera body, and has the highest ISO settings so it would be more appropriate for low light shooting than the other dSLRs I mentioned. It's also not bad at sports/action/wildlife, thoufgh not as good as the Canons.
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Old Apr 20, 2010, 10:02 AM   #4
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Hi Sarah

Thanks for the fast reply. I am thinking to go to the technology institute or to a private school (I am not leaving in the states).
Here for some reason the Pentax cost about 750$ so it is off the budget...

Thanks
Oren
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Old Apr 20, 2010, 10:07 AM   #5
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Since you don't live in the USA, Adorama's refurbished choices are out, but the rest of my post should still help narrow down your choices, based on what you want to shoot.
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Old Apr 20, 2010, 10:23 AM   #6
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You may also want to see if the Sony A450 is available in your area. It's lacking the tilting LCD you get on models like the A330, A500 and A550. But, it's a got the same 14MP CMOS sensor you get with the A550, and does better at higher ISO speeds compared to the 10MP CCD Sensor you'll find in models like the A230 and A330. Dynamic Range with it's 14MP CMOS Sensor is also very good.

The Sony A450 is not available in the United States. But, Sony is marketing this new model in some other regions (Europe and more).
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Old Apr 20, 2010, 1:01 PM   #7
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Hi

Thank you for the posts.
We do not have the A450 here only A550 and up which is step out of my budget.
So I think I need to decide between A330, A230, Nikon D40 and Canon 450D

Which one should I buy?
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Old Apr 20, 2010, 1:34 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orenmd View Post
We do not have the A450 here only A550 and up which is step out of my budget.
So I think I need to decide between A330, A230, Nikon D40 and Canon 450D

Which one should I buy?
Again, it depends on what you want to shoot?

The least capable is the D40, and the most capable is the Canon 450D, but if the types of photography you want to do require (or could benefit from image stabilization) then you might want to go with a Sony instead.

So, what do you want to shoot?
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Old Apr 20, 2010, 4:06 PM   #9
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Well, most of the pictures will be pictures of my kids and family. Also view (hiking) and city view but again, 90% will be my kids :-)
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Old Apr 20, 2010, 4:40 PM   #10
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The D40 would not be a good choice for capturing images of active children, but nothing you've said would sway me from either Sony or Canon.

I suggest you go to a good camera store that has both Canon and Sony dSLRs for you to try, and base your decision on how they feel to you.
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