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Old May 8, 2010, 12:10 AM   #1
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Default Looking for a camera for my mother, could I get some help?

Hi everyone,
My siblings and I have decided to buy my mother a DSLR camera. This will be her first DSLR camera. She is an aspiring photographer, and generally works with flowers (is macro photography the correct term here?)
We are going to China this summer - it would be great if we could bring the camera along.

I think our budget is up to $1200, give or take a few hundred. I don't know much about cameras... I'll try to learn the terminology so that I won't be much of a burden

Any advice is greatly appreciated!
Thanks!
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Old May 8, 2010, 3:04 AM   #2
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Since macro(flowers and small things) is a key thing, with any or the camera you decided on, you will need a dedicated macro lens. Something in the 90 to 105mm range would do nicely. This will take up around 500 dollars of your budget. Besides the lenses form which ever camera brand, sigma and tamron makes very good macro lenses for pretty much all the big brands. And it will save you a little bit over the nikon, canon, pentax, sony, or olympus verison. The Tamron 90mm and the Sigma 105mm are both excellent macro lenses. Macro lenses also make for a great portraits lens.

Does she have a brand preference. As canon and nikon, you do not get Image Stabilization with all lenses. You only get that feature when you get an lens with that built in. Pentax, Sony and Olympus all have in body IS. So no matter which lens you put on, you will have that option available.

But since it seems macro and portrait may be the big thing with your mother. Pretty much any of the brands will work out fine for you. Is there anything else that you can think of they she may need in a camera system, low light performance, fast AF for action? How much experience does she have, does she have a idea of the system she wants. Do you want a entry level or a higher end camera?

Also I would get a camera with atleast the 1 kit lens, they are pretty good, and make for a good landscape, seascape, and night scape lens. As they are pretty wide at 18mm. If she needs more reach, I would get a 2 lens kit. They are not to expensive, but give you good reach out form 200-250-300mm depending on the brand and kit.

As DSLR you are not buying only a camera, you are also buying a system. Right now anyone will work. But canon, has the most lens option out there currently, follow by nikon, then sony, pentax and olympus.

I personally shoot canon, olympus and pentax. And they are all able to shoot macro and portraits without issue.
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Old May 8, 2010, 11:11 AM   #3
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Hi,
Thanks so much for replying. That was very informative!
I'm still trying to weigh the pros and cons of having a very feature rich camera. It would be nice, but on the other hand, my mother isn't much of a techie. With that said, I'd prefer getting a mid-range camera since she probably won't upgrade for many years, if at all.

Low light performance isn't much of a concern. The most action shots she does is of my sister playing tennis. But you're right, macro is the big thing for her. She is an amateur, and does photography/photoshop work as a hobby.

If it helps at all, she has a few photos up on deviantart
http://lypearls.deviantart.com/gallery/

Thank you so much for your help
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Old May 8, 2010, 1:07 PM   #4
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WhiteOut-

Your Mom does very nice work. Here is an alternative suggestion, based on your Mom's love for Macro work. Why not consider the Canon G-11. It has a spectacular built-in macro mode into the camera. Therefore, a specialized Maco Lens is not required.

The G-11 is famous for its image quality. Personally, after years and years of hauling around a large, heavy DSLR kit with multiple lens, I too am about to make the switch to the Canon G-11. I have studied it closely, and it is clearly a superior choice.

Sarah Joyce
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Old May 8, 2010, 1:37 PM   #5
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With the slight need for tennis, I would look at a canon XSi or T1i with 2 lenses. Both are great camera. You may also want to consider the pentax k-x. It has a pretty decent AF system, not canon level, but still very good for action. It was name the TIPA best entry level dslr for 2010. The 2 lenses kit is excellent that comes with the pentax. Having the longer zoom will help with those tennis shots. And the pentax zoom is a bit quicker then the canon kit zoom. I shoot it next to my T1i and it can whole it's own next to the canon.

Rignt now with your budget, you can get the pentax k-x with a 2 lens kit for about 700 dollars, and that would leave you room for a good macro lens. A sigma 105mm or tamron 90m.

Add to cart and it drops to 680 dollars on the pentax kit. Also the 2 lenses I listed are available for canon also.

http://www.adorama.com/IPXKXBK3.html

or either of these lenses.

http://www.adorama.com/SG10528DPXAF.html

http://www.adorama.com/TM9028NPXAF.html
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Last edited by shoturtle; May 8, 2010 at 1:41 PM.
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Old May 8, 2010, 8:54 PM   #6
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How does the Olympus E-620 compare to the Canon T1i and Pentax k-x?

myclimber - I'll take a look into the G-11, thanks!
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Old May 8, 2010, 8:58 PM   #7
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It is another very good camera and would do well for the shooting your mother does. It is just a bit smaller then the pentax k-x. And has some really good kit lenses also. For indoor shooting it is not as good as the T1i or k-x as it is a 4/3 sensor vs an APS-C with the canon and pentax. So if your mother shoots say indoor parties or grand children school events. It will not be as capable in the lower light situation. But in the good lighting, it is a great compact dslr. I almost bought one, but I went went a t1i and the olympus epl-1 instead for the camera's for my family.
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Old May 8, 2010, 9:05 PM   #8
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With the olympus, the olympus 50mm 2.8 macro or the sigma 105mm macro would handle the macro needs. The 105 will give you more working room over the 50mm.
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Old May 8, 2010, 9:13 PM   #9
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The G11 is a great bridge camera, but if your mom shots tennis every now and then. The short zoom of the G11 will really be an problem. Also she will not have a much Depth of Field control with the tiny sensor vs the larger sensors of the 4/3 and APS-C sensors dslr's.
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