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Old Jul 15, 2010, 4:30 PM   #1
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Default New dSLR. Assistance Please.

Hi! I'm looking at purchasing a higher end camera. I currently own a Sony DSC-W290. I think it takes ok photos, for a p&s. I really find that I'm pushing the upper limits of what I can do with it and that since I've gotten my iPhone 4 that I am not using the Sony at all. The phone can, in most lights, take equal if not better photos.

I have given some thought to possibly making photography my career and therefore need to purchase some better equipment. At this point I'm looking for a entry level dSLR to "learn the chops" and so I can take some photography classes. I know it will probably be many years before I can become a professional but I wanted you to know I am currently looking towards that as a goal. I believe that I may want to shoot children and families, mainly outdoors, not really studio work. I know I may change my mind though.

So on top of the Sony, my husband also has a Pentax SLR with one or two lenses. He's had this since probably early 2000-very late 1990's. I don't know what type of shape the lenses or anything is in, I would need to pull it out of storage. I am on an *extreme* budget so I would like, if I can, to use those lenses. (If its worth it, ya know?) I will pull them out later tonight and tell you what type they are.

Now on to the part I know you guys need: What I want to shoot? Well I have a 8 month old son and I want to shoot him. I would say split 50-50 on outdoors/indoors. I also would like to shoot the lake, wildlife and buildings in my backyard. I also need it to shoot hd video. If I can get one capable of shooting tennis as well as certain portions of triathlons. I know sports can be tricky so if I cannot it is not a deal breaker.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and to help me. I appreciate it!

Lauren
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Old Jul 15, 2010, 4:35 PM   #2
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since your husband has a pentax slr, you want to consider getting a pentax dslr. All the lenses you have will fit and work with the current pentax. What lenses does he have.

Also what is your budget, the pentax k-x is a great dslr, and it is priced very attractively. Know what lenses he has will help figure out it you need just the body, or weather you should get the kit lenses.
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Old Jul 15, 2010, 4:46 PM   #3
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Welcome to Steve's.

If you are serious about photography as a career (it's a hard one for sure that only a few of us do part of full time), then it is best to start looking at the system that will allow you to grow into the shooter you want to be.

For a beginner then you can go with pretty much any manufacturers entry level bodies and glass, but once you start to invest in a system it is hard to switch due to price.

Now I will probably hear that there are pros using all brands, and that is true, but you need to be sure that for you, you are not limited by not being able to get the lens you want, or that you need high ISO and the system doesn't perform well in such environments, the AF is not up to your needs for sports etc.

Obviously, the big 2 are Nikon and Canon currently, they do produce the best high end kit (not counting medium format), they are basically the safest bet for a good growth in photography. This is not to say that other manufacturers won't close the gap but currently this is where we stand.

Between Canon and Nikon I personally put Canon ahead at entry level, pretty split mid level depending which cameras you put against which and then at the top end I would give it to Nikon. A couple of years ago Nikon were behind and in a couple of years then Canon might take the lead again but honestly it is very close and I can get all the shots I want with my Canon lineup. It is more to do with the person behind the lens than the kit apart from extreme conditions. While I'm selling photos I'm happy and Nikon doesn't give enough extra to make me jump ship and lose a lot of money.
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Old Jul 15, 2010, 5:23 PM   #4
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The Pentax isn't a great choice for sports, but if that's not a primary concern, you can certainly save some money if you can use your husband's old lenses. When you check them out later today, make sure they work ok. If a lens has been stored for a long time, various things can happen to it.
  • Check all the rings (focus, zoom, aperture) to make sure they turn freely.
  • Check the optical elements to make sure they're not chipped, scratched, etched or damaged in any way.
  • Check the diaphram blades to make sure they'll dull (instead of shiny) and that they snap quickly as you move the actuator on the lens mount.
If all the lenses check out ok, list them in a post here, and we'll see if you've got anything that's good and will be useful to you.
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Old Jul 15, 2010, 5:26 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMacMum View Post
What I want to shoot? Well I have a 8 month old son and I want to shoot him.
I have often felt that way about my son, too...
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Old Jul 15, 2010, 5:42 PM   #6
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Posting quickly from my phone. My budget is probably between 400-600 dollars. I could stretch it if I need. I'm not against Pentax at all. From what I've read the k-x is a great camera. How would it fair for what I'm looking for?
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Old Jul 15, 2010, 5:45 PM   #7
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The k-x will do everything you need actually. It is not bad for action, and is a excellent low light camera. I shoot it next to my t1i and it compares very well.
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Old Jul 15, 2010, 7:41 PM   #8
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MacMum-

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

The key issue is to determine exactly which lens or lenses that you have available to use. We are operating under the assumption that you live in the USA. If you do not, please tell us.

HD video with a with a DSLR can be tricky. With your budget, you might be better served by using a dedicated camcorder.

Sarah Joyce

Last edited by mtclimber; Jul 15, 2010 at 7:43 PM.
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Old Jul 15, 2010, 8:22 PM   #9
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I just pulled the Pentax down and one (1) lens that was with it is a 35-80mm. It looked in fair condition. It seemed all parts turned, no obvious damage to the lens etc. I don't mind buying another lens if I need.

If video is not possible then I can live without it. Thanks for all your help everyone. Oh and I am in the US. I know the "mum" throws people off!
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Old Jul 15, 2010, 8:31 PM   #10
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The 35-80mm is a manual focus lens. All other things is auto. It is a decent medium focus lens.

I would go with the pentax kit with 2 lens, the 18-55 and 55-300 if you go with a pentax. But you will want a autofocus lens for regular shooting.
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