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Old Oct 4, 2010, 6:41 PM   #1
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hi and thanks for taking time to read this... I'm sorry if I'm asking questions people have already asked....
I've been taking pictures for years but haven't taken a class nor do I understand much of the lingo/technical stuff. But I'm working on it.
I'm using a canon elph now and want to switch for a couple reasons...
I can't focus on one object in a frame.
I can't take pictures in the evening hours or night time without flash.
There's no viewfinder.
I can't hang it around my neck.
I travel a lot, like taking portraits, landscape, scenery, macro, architecture... all kinds of things. Is there something under $500 I could buy that is versatile, captures light and COLOR well and has focusing options? I want to become more involved with the process, you see. I enjoy blogging and fashion blog photography. Ideally, a camera that I could use a single VERSATILE lens with and then upgrade parts of it as I become a better photographer?
Any ideas/suggestions/scoffing welcome
ALSO - is there any great BOOK anyone recommends to beginning 'graphers that includes technical and artistic advice? THANK YOU SO MUCH!
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Old Oct 4, 2010, 6:54 PM   #2
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are you looking to move all the way up to a dslr?
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Old Oct 4, 2010, 7:04 PM   #3
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I think so, yes.
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Old Oct 4, 2010, 7:33 PM   #4
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For 499 dollars you can look at one of the best entry level dslr on the market, the pentax k-x. It has excellent high iso performance, for low light shooting. It also shooting HD video. 3200 is good, and 6400 is not to bad. Adorama.com has it, just need to add it to the cart to see the 499 price.

If you need more then the 3.5x zoom of the 18-55mm lens it comes with. You can add a longer lens later on like the pentax DA 55-300. Which is a good general photography telephoto zoom. And if you really need even better low light performance you can add a prime lens, they do not zoom but have very large aperture. Like the pentax FA 50 1.5.

The wonders of a dslr is you do not need to buy everything in one shot. See what the kit lens lack and adjust from there with an additional lens.

On the book and educational point. Since you are making the jump to a dslr. The dummies books are good, and the dslr shooting for dummies is actually very well written and is excellent book.

http://www.amazon.com/Digital-SLR-Ca...dp_ob_title_bk
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Old Oct 4, 2010, 7:40 PM   #5
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Welcome to the Forum. We;re pleased that you dropped by.

I would suggest considering a super zoom camera like the Panasonic FZ-35 or FZ-40. That would put you at the $350 budget mark. A camera such the FZ-35 would meet all of your requirements. The FZ-40 will give you 24X zoom, spanning from 25mm to 600mm. That covers from a great wide angle all the way out to a long 600mm. The FZ-35 and FZ-40 cameras are very user friendly cameras, in contrast, there would be a much steeper learning curve with any DSLR camera.

However, if you decided to go with a DSLR camera, Your $500 budget barely gets you in the door, and then you also just get a 3X optical zoom kit lens (18mm to 55mm). For example the highly rated Pentax Kx is currently selling for $465 to $480 with the kit lens. If you want a longer zoom, that is an extra $300+ lens you have to purchase. That quickly raises your budget in a big way and you still cannot zoom out as far as the Panasonic FZ-40. So you may want to re-consider the DSLR decision.

Sarah Joyce

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Old Oct 4, 2010, 7:53 PM   #6
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none of the megazoom will give you the ability to shoot in low light, which is one of the things you are not happy with. As they do not perform well past 800iso. So you will not be able to take photos in the evening or at night without a flash.

Here is an example why the megazooms will not perform for low light. This is what happens when you are out of flash range in low light where the highest iso you want to shoot at is 800.

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/pa...ed-advice.html
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Old Oct 4, 2010, 8:05 PM   #7
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Here is what you can expect with high iso with the kit lens at night shooting.

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/ge...canon-t1i.html
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Old Oct 4, 2010, 8:23 PM   #8
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Shoturtle-

That link that you posted takes you to a post by Finch and they are from the very first time he had ever used his FZ-35. I know you cannot provide any actual FZ-28 or FZ-35 photos because you don't own those cameras, nor the new FZ-40 and FZ-100 cameras.

I do own the FZ-28 and FZ-35 and have shot hundreds of actual photos that I have taken. For example, here is a hand held example taken without flash with the FZ-28, with the ISO set to ISO 800.

http://anchorse.smugmug.com/Other/Pa...6_7E8jy-X3.jpg

And here is another night photo taken right in your own New York City, shoturtle:

http://anchorse.smugmug.com/Other/Pa...0_DFffQ-X3.jpg


The difference is what an experienced photographer can do and what so poor guy taking photos for the very first time with a brand new camera. So we have to really play fair when posting links. Any link should show the actual/real image quality of the camera, please.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Oct 4, 2010, 8:28 PM   #9
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the point is if you read the op's requirement, that low light without a flash is important. So none of the megazooms will perform well without the flash at night or evening. That what it is like in low light at 800iso. Not even close to being a good photo. And even in a shorter range. Unless the shot is a pose shot, even minor movement at 800iso will blur.

Your first shot is spot lighted, so there is enough light to get a faster shutter speed. And the city shot had enough light form the signs to give you a higher shutter speed to prevent the blur.
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Old Oct 4, 2010, 8:36 PM   #10
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This shot was taken with my olympus point and shoot. And it is a bad low light camera. But the shot was not that bad, because of the city lighting.
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