Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digicam Help > What Camera Should I Buy?

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old May 15, 2010, 4:49 AM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 2
Default Want to get girlfriend an entry level dslr!

So I just learned exactly what an slr camera is Friday and I've spent the last two nights researching. Needless to say, I can't learn in two nights what all of you have learned with years of experience.

I've read through hundreds of threads on this forum, yet still can't decide.

So....

I think she'd primarily be taking pictures of mountains, lakes, rivers and wildlife during our hikes. Secondarily, I'm sure she'd like to use it for pictures of us and her family. Lastly, she's a big zoo fan. So animals at the zoo indoor and outdoor. Video isn't a must

I've been looking at a few;

Sony A230/A330
Nikon D5000
Canon XS/XSi/T1i

Not set on those, but I have leaned toward them for reasons unknown to me. I'm not a huge fan of the Pentax mainly due to aesthetics.

Is it worth the extra money to go from say the A230 to the T1i? From what I've read here, the lens is really the most important part. I'd like to stay under $750 and if there really isn't a good reason to spend more than $500, that would be even better.

Thank you all for your help!!
CRoperator is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old May 15, 2010, 5:47 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 584
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by CRoperator View Post
I've been looking at a few;

Sony A230/A330
Nikon D5000
Canon XS/XSi/T1i

Not set on those, but I have leaned toward them for reasons unknown to me. I'm not a huge fan of the Pentax mainly due to aesthetics.
There has been a lot of 'which DSLR?' threads on the forum lately, so you
probably have as much information as you need to make your choice.

Any of the cameras in your list would be suitable. The one that jumps
out is the T1i, but this is also the most expensive one. My first choice
would be the T1i. I already have one and I am very pleased with it. My
second choice would be the D5000 which I don't own, but I have used
one a couple of times. I have never handled the A230/A330, but it would
be my last choice because it received less than favourable reviews when
it was launched. Most reviewers felt that it was not as good as the
previous A200 model.

You have already ruled out the other obvious candidate (Pentax K-x).
Also look at four-thirds cameras from Olympus (E-600/E-620) and
Panasonic.

Maybe you should spoil the surprise and discuss it with her before you
buy? You may find that her priorities are different to yours.
corkpix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 15, 2010, 6:01 AM   #3
Super Moderator
 
Mark1616's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 7,452
Default

I would personally consider at superzoom camera as you will need a couple of lenses to cover the types of photo you mention. Also if you are going on hikes then you will find the reduced weight and size can mean the difference between wanting to bring a camera or leaving it at home.

I use a mix of dSLRs for when I want the best quality as well as a small compact point and shoot and a superzoom (Canon SX1) which goes most places with me. It is true that a dSLR will give better quality in basically all situations but if you don't have the camera or right lens with you then there is not a lot of point having it. A superzoom will mean that yo have a vast range or focal lengths covered in a single package rather than needing to pack a couple of lenses.

I'm not saying don't get a dSLR but it is good do consider all the options.

I agree that potentially spoiling the surprise is worth it as camera handling can also be a major consideration, so if the camera is not comfortable for her to work with (too big for example) then she is unlikely to get the most out of it.

As for options, you will do fine with any of the cameras that you mention in the list.

One last thing, when you say wildlife, are you talking a bird sitting in a tree, a dear or other animal you spot while our, or are you thinking birds in flight as the latter is a very different subject to try to shoot.
__________________
[SIZE=1][SIZE=2]Any problems with a post or thread please use the report button at the bottom left of the post and the team will help sort it out.
Mark1616 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 15, 2010, 8:17 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
TCav's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Washington, DC, Metro Area, Maryland
Posts: 13,572
Default

DSLRs and the associated lenses can get big and heavy, and if she's taking it on a hike, she may not thank you for it. I'd get her a superzoom.
__________________
  • The lens is the thing.
  • 'Full Frame' is the new 'Medium Format'.
  • "One good test is worth a thousand expert opinions." - Tex Johnston, Boeing 707 test pilot.
TCav is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 16, 2010, 12:39 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
shoturtle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Frankfurt AM
Posts: 11,348
Default

If she does not want to carry a large camera, look into a compact EVIL camera. It gives you dslr quality and control with a megazoom size and weight.

Panasonic GF1 or Olympus EPL-1

for here need of landscape and zoo animal. The kit lens of either of these 2 camera, and adding a panasonic 45-200mm lens would cover it. The EPL-1 with the panasonic lens is about 750 dollars. 549 for the camera and kit lens, and about 270 for the panasonic lens. It is light weight and easy to use. It does feature a crawl, walk, and run user interface. From scene mode to iauto, to manual control.

On the DSLR front, I shoot a T1i. And out of all the list one, the big thing with this camera is that is out performs the rest in low light and Auto focus. Also with canon, you have access to the largest lens selection in the market. From good low price entry level lenses to super expensive pro lenses. The T1i was the entry level dslr class leader until the release of the T2i with better HD ability.

After that the XSi is a great camera, just not as good as the T1i in low light or the d5000. But again it is just as good as the T1i up to it's 1600iso max. And you get to use all canon lenses.

The D5000 is a good camera, will shoot landscape and zoo work just fine. Good low light, but limiting on the lenses. It can not work with all the nikon lenses. AF system is okay.

The sony A330 is a okay camera. The VF is really small, the AF is not as good the nikon, or the canon. But it does give good dynamic range, and has the best live view system.

The A230 is a base model, no bells and whistle. But will do the landscape job well. Much older camera from all listed.

All the DSLR will have a good kit lens wide enough for general landscape work, with their 18-55mm lens. But for the zoo work you will want to add a zoom lens just like the m4/3 evil cameras.
__________________
Super Frequent Flyer, no joke. Ex Patriot and loving it.
Canon Eos 60D, T1i/500D, Eos1, Eos 630, Olympus EPL-1, and a part time Pentax K-X shooter.

Last edited by shoturtle; May 16, 2010 at 12:50 AM.
shoturtle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 18, 2010, 6:15 AM   #6
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 2
Default

After reading the much appreciated feedback, I decided to take a different route for the gift. Thank you all for the input!

Although......

Spending as much time as I did researching cameras, viewing some great pictures and reading tons of info from this forum, I decided to get a dslr for myself. My T1i will be here tomorrow from Adorama (also recommended from this forum). I'm quite excited!!

I appreciate everyone's willingness to help here. I look forward to learning from all of you.

Thanks
CRoperator is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 18, 2010, 6:43 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
TCav's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Washington, DC, Metro Area, Maryland
Posts: 13,572
Default

Good luck with the T1i! It's a fine camera.
__________________
  • The lens is the thing.
  • 'Full Frame' is the new 'Medium Format'.
  • "One good test is worth a thousand expert opinions." - Tex Johnston, Boeing 707 test pilot.
TCav is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 18, 2010, 7:34 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
TCav's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Washington, DC, Metro Area, Maryland
Posts: 13,572
Default

I hope that this doesn't backfire on you. It occurs to me that your girlfriend may see that, for her birthday, you bought her an inexpensive camera, and yourself an expensive camera. That might not go over well.
__________________
  • The lens is the thing.
  • 'Full Frame' is the new 'Medium Format'.
  • "One good test is worth a thousand expert opinions." - Tex Johnston, Boeing 707 test pilot.
TCav is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 18, 2010, 10:17 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
shoturtle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Frankfurt AM
Posts: 11,348
Default

congrats on getting yourself the T1i, what did you end up getting the GF?
__________________
Super Frequent Flyer, no joke. Ex Patriot and loving it.
Canon Eos 60D, T1i/500D, Eos1, Eos 630, Olympus EPL-1, and a part time Pentax K-X shooter.
shoturtle is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:39 AM.