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Old Oct 10, 2010, 6:12 PM   #11
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The sony A500 is a good camera, but it does not offer HD video if that is something you would want in your camera. The Pentax is a very well established company. And like old boat guy link, it is a very well respected company in the camera world.
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Old Oct 10, 2010, 10:09 PM   #12
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If I do get a zoom lens, is kit lens more than enough usually?

When does someone really need massive zoom?
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Old Oct 10, 2010, 10:16 PM   #13
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With the pentax 2 lens kit with the 18-55 and 55-300. It will give you a zoom range of 28-450mm on a 35mm eq, or about 17x zoom.

If you need more, it will get expensive.
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Old Oct 11, 2010, 4:54 AM   #14
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perhaps its better to ask what you want to take photos of - the kit lens that comes with most cameras is really most suitible for landscape to portraits - if you want to photograph wildlife thats when your likely to need the longer focal lengths so you can see the animals larger in the image without having to perfect you stealth skills and sneak upto within a couple of meters of them

i'd be tempted to suggest you get the newer pentax k-r but it is slightly outside your budget

http://www.amazon.com/Pentax-K-r-3-0...6790673&sr=8-4

dont worry comes in black too but i love the white stormtrooper model
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Old Oct 11, 2010, 5:46 AM   #15
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My advice is go to shop and hold them this may well determine which one to go for, if feels comfortable and the buttons and switches are easy for you then thats a good part of the battle done when you use it.If it feels uncomfortable then its much harder to get used to.
Get a short list of makes and models and go try them.
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Old Oct 11, 2010, 7:47 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John.Pattullo View Post
perhaps its better to ask what you want to take photos of - the kit lens that comes with most cameras is really most suitible for landscape to portraits - if you want to photograph wildlife thats when your likely to need the longer focal lengths so you can see the animals larger in the image without having to perfect you stealth skills and sneak upto within a couple of meters of them

i'd be tempted to suggest you get the newer pentax k-r but it is slightly outside your budget

http://www.amazon.com/Pentax-K-r-3-0...6790673&sr=8-4

dont worry comes in black too but i love the white stormtrooper model
My biggest priority is intimate portraits of people indoors or outdoors at night in low light because any camera can do daytime outdoor pictures in good light. I do not need a super long zoom but I did catch myself thinking what is the difference between 18-55mm and 18-200mm and I do not think the cost is worth it to upgrade.

Anyways I have been looking at the D3100 from Nikon or T1i from Canon. I have also been looking at the D3000, XSi and A500 which I am beginning to like since I do not need video.

I was thinking about pairing it with a 50mm f/1.8 lens (which would force me to move around to get a better perspective which I liked), but was told at 1 meter, the subjects face would totally fill the frame. I really want fast shutter speeds - ideally 1/60th or faster in low light even if I am close enough as say other side of a table. So maybe I do have to get the kit lens if I want a little less closer perspective but I do not want to give up a higher aperture.

Is there any lens solution to my problem? Since the glass will eventually be the expensive part and will lock me into a system, I think I have to consider the lens first and the camera second so any more options you may be able to suggest?
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Old Oct 11, 2010, 8:36 AM   #17
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Lilacfire-

The Sony A-500, while it does not have video, does offer a huge value. I would initially get it with the 18-55mm kit lens and then add a used 50mm F 1.7 Minolta lens which works perfectly on a Sony DSLR. The 50mm lens will cost less than $80.00 used. That is another money saving value. The A 500 can use all of the old Minolta A format lenses.

And the A-500 is high ISO capable which fits your requirements well and capable of great image quality. It does particularly well with portraits, as you can see in the attached sample. Just click on the link please.

http://anchorse.smugmug.com/Other/So...9_6fATG-X3.jpg

Sarah Joyce
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Old Oct 11, 2010, 8:44 AM   #18
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Note that the Nikon D3000 uses a Sony 10MP CCD Sensor, and it's not the best for higher ISO speed use; and the XSi is limited to ISO 1600.

The Nikon D5000 (or newer Nikon D3100) and Canon T1i would be better choices in their lineups.

If you want a wider prime compared to a 50mm, I'd probably look at new Sony 35mm f/1.8 DT lens (around $199) for an A500. It's in stock now at sonystyle.com and should be on dealer shelves soon.

For a Nikon, I'd look at their 35mm f/1.8 DX AF-S lens (about the same price).

Pentax has also announced an inexpensive 35mm prime (f/2.4 which is a little dimmer than the inexpensive Nikkor and Sony 35mm f/1.8 lenses) which should be selling for around $219 whenever it starts shipping (I don't think it's on dealer shelves yet).

For Canon models if you want a wider prime, I'd probably look at their 35mm f/2 (around $329) on a tighter budget, or perhaps the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 HSM (around $499) if budget permits. The Sigma is available for all of the cameras you're looking at.
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Old Oct 11, 2010, 8:57 AM   #19
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Quote:
...18-200mm
Bad idea. You'd have a lower optical quality lens (higher distortion, softer corners, etc.) with an 18-200mm (I'm assuming you mean the Sony or Tamron models). If you really want a "super zoom" type lens, look at the Sony or Tamron 18-250mm instead (still not as good as the 18-55mm kit lenses at focal lengths in common, but it's better than the 18-200mm lenses)

You may also want to consider an external flash for use with the camera you buy. That way, you can use lower ISO speeds with apertures that give you more depth of field, while bouncing the flash for more diffused lighting.
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Old Oct 11, 2010, 10:53 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtclimber View Post
Lilacfire-

The Sony A-500, while it does not have video, does offer a huge value. I would initially get it with the 18-55mm kit lens and then add a used 50mm F 1.7 Minolta lens which works perfectly on a Sony DSLR. The 50mm lens will cost less than $80.00 used. That is another money saving value. The A 500 can use all of the old Minolta A format lenses.

And the A-500 is high ISO capable which fits your requirements well and capable of great image quality. It does particularly well with portraits, as you can see in the attached sample. Just click on the link please.

http://anchorse.smugmug.com/Other/So...9_6fATG-X3.jpg

Sarah Joyce
Great picture Sarah, but was that taken with a 50mm? I think I might have to get 35 mm then because I can always move in closer to a subject but if there is not enough room to move back then I would be at a loss.

I basically want to capture the frame you presented from a little further back and preferably capture a candle burning on a table in front of it which makes it more personal for me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimC View Post
Note that the Nikon D3000 uses a Sony 10MP CCD Sensor, and it's not the best for higher ISO speed use; and the XSi is limited to ISO 1600.

The Nikon D5000 (or newer Nikon D3100) and Canon T1i would be better choices in their lineups.

If you want a wider prime compared to a 50mm, I'd probably look at new Sony 35mm f/1.8 DT lens (around $199) for an A500. It's in stock now at sonystyle.com and should be on dealer shelves soon.

For a Nikon, I'd look at their 35mm f/1.8 DX AF-S lens (about the same price).

Pentax has also announced an inexpensive 35mm prime (f/2.4 which is a little dimmer than the inexpensive Nikkor and Sony 35mm f/1.8 lenses) which should be selling for around $219 whenever it starts shipping (I don't think it's on dealer shelves yet).

For Canon models if you want a wider prime, I'd probably look at their 35mm f/2 (around $329) on a tighter budget, or perhaps the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 HSM (around $499) if budget permits. The Sigma is available for all of the cameras you're looking at.
Thank you Jim, 35mm sounds better but those prices are insanely high. I cannot justify them as I am not a professional and would not be making money back on them, nor do I have money to throw away. So 700 budget - a compromise will have to be made somewhere.. and ideally I would look to avoid the D3000 and Xsi then because of the reasons you mentioned which narrows it down to A500, D3100 and T1i.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimC View Post
Bad idea. You'd have a lower optical quality lens (higher distortion, softer corners, etc.) with an 18-200mm (I'm assuming you mean the Sony or Tamron models). If you really want a "super zoom" type lens, look at the Sony or Tamron 18-250mm instead (still not as good as the 18-55mm kit lenses at focal lengths in common, but it's better than the 18-200mm lenses)

You may also want to consider an external flash for use with the camera you buy. That way, you can use lower ISO speeds with apertures that give you more depth of field, while bouncing the flash for more diffused lighting.
I do not want to compromise on image quality. Distortion is a no no for me. A second is the idea of carrying lenses around.. and I am willing to sacrifice zoom. I would much rather pick up a Lumix FZ35 later on as a cheaper alternative to carrying a zoom lens as some of the outdoor pictures I have seen are stunning.
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