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Old Oct 11, 2010, 9:27 PM   #1
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Default Best Camera For Shooting Kids

Hi, I am looking to upgrade my old Canon ELF P&S. I am an amateur and not sure if I should be looking at a DSLR or superzoom or something else. The most important things to me are quicker shots and photo quality. We have kids and I feel like I always miss the shot as I am waiting for the camera to reload.

Thanks for the help.

Dennis
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Old Oct 11, 2010, 10:09 PM   #2
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quicker shots and photo quality - my first thought would be a pentax k-x. you don't mention how far away those kids will be in general, so it's hard to know how the kit lens will work out for you. you don't mention a budget, either, but the k-x is on the low end of the spectrum pricewise. there are faster dslr's for more money.

also depending on how slow your old elf is, i suspect an olympus epl1 would be a good camera for you.
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Old Oct 11, 2010, 10:49 PM   #3
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Good points. I am trying to keep it around/under $600. I could go higher if it was worth it The kids are young still( 4 and 1) so it's not for sports yet and the distance away won't be too far.

Dennis
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Old Oct 11, 2010, 10:53 PM   #4
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I agree, pcake-

...on the Pentax Kx. That's a very good choice. However, I have found the Olympus EPL1, when using the LCD for framing, becomes too slow in focusing and shooting for my tastes. There are also some bargain prices available on the Sony A500 body. The A500 has a very strong LiveView implementation if you prefer framing with the LCD.

Just two weeks ago, I was able to pick up the Sony 18-55mm kit lens and the Sony 55-200mm kit telephoto both on E-Bay for $172 delivered, which really held down the cost on my A500 kit. The A500 uses the 12mp Sony imager that is used in the Nikon D-5000, so it also has plenty of high ISO capability as well.

Besides being both quick and having better image quality, a DSLR also has that very valuable hot shoe for an external flash, which gives much better flash performance and also allows bounce flashes which are really nice lighting.

Sarah Joyce

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Old Oct 11, 2010, 10:56 PM   #5
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Both are great choices and outstanding values for entry level DSLRs.

the pentax does a little better at high ISO, actually its one of the best at that. and has video

the a500 is no slouch either, and does better with live view if you prefer that framing method.

pick whichever one fits your style and needs, can't go wrong either way.
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Old Oct 12, 2010, 2:44 AM   #6
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I would also look at a canon g11/12 as these may fit your needs better than a DSLR. What I would do is look at some reviews look at the time it takes for the camera to come ready. What takes the time is composing the shot so this has to be added, so the shot you saw may still be gone.
What I used to do with my children was sit back a bit and watch them but the camera was ready once they forgot about you they played naturally and I got some really good shots over the years. I now shoot the grandchildren and I have two who just play they are great to take pictures of and one who doesnt like there picture taken I have to wait ages to get any shots. But taking pics of kids is hard you have to be patient. I would get a short list and go to a sho and see ho they perform and how they feel. Good luck
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Old Oct 12, 2010, 10:45 AM   #7
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Thanks. Looks like I can pick up both the Sony and Pentax for just over $500 with the lens kit. That being said and the prices being equal do you recommend one over the other?

Thanks again for all the help.

Dennis
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Old Oct 12, 2010, 11:31 AM   #8
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Dennis-

Like S/T I have been shooting with the Pentax Kx, the Canon T1i and the Sony A500 for about a month. My conclusion was that I like the A500 the best, and the Kx and the T1i were returned. So that was my choice. They are all good cameras. It is just a matter of which DSLR camera works best for you.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Oct 12, 2010, 11:45 AM   #9
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Great, thank you so much for the help.

Dennis
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Old Oct 14, 2010, 4:10 PM   #10
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For shooting kids, a shotgun works best. That way you can't miss.

Oh, you mean photographic shooting?!? My dad trained me and my sisters to the camera from an early age. He'd speak or shout, we'd stop for a moment, he'd shoot, we'd all continue. He used a Minolta Autocord TLR with a 75/3.5 lens, rarely with flash, and ASA (ISO) 100 Verichrome Pan B&W film. And he won prizes. Think about that: not-fast film behind a slow normal lens on a manual camera usually held waist-high in existing light. Oh yes, and hand-metered.

The moral: A high-ISO camera with super-fast AF glass AIN'T NECESSARY for good-to-great childhood photography. Outdoors, there's usually plenty of light. Indoors, you can turn on room lights, open windows and curtains, stay watchful for well-lit spaces and pauses in activity, boost the ISO. And practice practice practice.

I recently shot a party in a not-well-lit house with adults-to-infants scurrying about. On my K20D @ ISO 200-800 I mostly used my manual Zenitar 16/2.8 (US$175) and Soligor-Tokina 24/2.8 (US$9), with a Pentax M50/1.7 (US$50) for close shots in darker rooms, or further shots outside. Nothing super-fast. No flash. Lots of manual-mode-with-green-button metering. My newly-bought Pentax F35-70/3.5-4.5 (US$12) arrived after the party; it would have been a bit long for the small inside space but fine for shots of that steep little backyard in Bernal Heights, San Francisco.

That's all you really need, maybe even skipping the Zenitar and using a 18-55 kit lens. For shooting in larger outdoor spaces, a longer zoom or a cheap decent 135mm is handy. It can all be done on a pretty tight budget. Have fun!
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