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Old Nov 18, 2010, 3:39 PM   #1
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Default Need some Advice on my first DSLR camera

I have always used PS cameras and I seem to buy one every year hoping the next will give me better pictures, but I am not getting those crisp photos I want. So I have decided for my next camera to get a DSLR.

Now what i don't know, is pretty much anything lol. I am a graphics designer so I am advanced in photoshop and have been able to edit some of my pictures to get great quality, but still not as good as I would like.

What I generally shoot pictuers of is animals, and family, and some landscapes. Mostly of Horses, and I do need action shots some of the time. But I am wanting something that will take excellent pictures now while I learn how to use the DSLR, so I guess image stabalizing is important for me. My budget is around $800 for the camera, I will add lenses and such later one, and I am ok with buying used in good condition.

I have looked at the Canon 20d and the Canon 40d but just don't know what camera would best meet my needs? Any suggestions?

Thank you so much for any advice, I am sure I will be posting here a lot for advice when I get my camera.
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Old Nov 18, 2010, 4:31 PM   #2
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i would avoid going the used route. as you don't know what the camera has been through or how much longer it will last, plus if something breaks down, there is nothing you can do, you are just going to eat that money. plus the new entry level cameras are very good and come in at good prices.

i would look into an entry level camera with the kit lens to start with and learn the ropes with. and put the money saved below your 800$ towards saving for a faster action lens when you can put together the extra money. if you are going to shoot action, the canon and nikon systems are most proven in that area. but that holds most true in sports and real action, i am not sure how much action you are talking about. so for anything less than sports and such, any dslr will do just fine.

some models to check into.

Canon T1i
Nikon D3100, D5000
Pentax KX
Sony A500/A550
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Old Nov 18, 2010, 4:59 PM   #3
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Thank you I will look into those. The action shots I am talking about are horses in action, like Barrel Racing, Reining and that type of motion. And those are usually in low light areas like indoor riding arenas and such. I am wanting to attend some of these events and get picures of the competitors in action.
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Old Nov 18, 2010, 5:07 PM   #4
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yea, without knowing those events in particular, i am guessing you will need a nice fast telephoto, which aren't cheap.

i will have TCav take a look at this thread, i know he shoots horses. he would have a better idea than I.
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Old Nov 18, 2010, 6:42 PM   #5
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For any kind of indoor sports/action photography, you need a fast AF system and large aperture lenses. Barrel Racing is probably as fast a sport as you're likely to find, followed closely by Reining. So you'll be pushing the limit of what's possible.

You'll need a dSLR with a good autofocus system, like a mid-level Canon (50D, 60D, 7D) or Nikon (D300s, D7000), along with lenses that are fast to focus. Canon's ring-type USM, Nikon's AF-S and Sigma's HSM lenses would work. Since you're talking about indoors, you'll need a large aperture to make up for the lower light level. Something like one of the 70-200mm f/2.8 lenses would probably do well.

For this kind of shooting, image stabilization would not be necessary. You'll need fast shutter speeds to prevent motion blur due to subject movement, and that will eliminate motion blur due to camera shake which image stabilization is designed to prevent.

Considering your budget, you could start off with a Canon T2i or T1i, or a Nikon D90, which will save you some money, and you may find appropriate lenses used somewhere, but I don't think you'll get very far with a budget of $800.
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Old Nov 18, 2010, 6:48 PM   #6
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Thank you very much, I could raise my budget, I would just have to wait another month or so before I buy. I just want to know what camera you would recomend that is of a resonable budget and that would be good for a first DSLR to learn to use.

I can adjust my budget some, my mane focus is a good quality camera with ease of use that can take amazing photos.
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Old Nov 18, 2010, 7:13 PM   #7
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FYI, I just picked up a T2i with 2 lenses off Amazon for $857. They are having a promotion on the 1 lens kit plus a second lens free til Nov 24.
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