Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digicam Help > What Camera Should I Buy?

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Aug 24, 2011, 11:04 AM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 3
Default DSLR advice for growing family

Hi All.

I finally can afford my own DSLR and I would love some advice. I've spent about a week reading countless reviews and forums. There don't seem to be a lot of bad choices.

My budget is about $1000 out the door with lens/lenses. I'de love it if there was a surprise cheaper model out there too. The budget could be stretched a bit if necessary. Having waited so long to get one, I don't want to out grow my camera. I probably wouldn't be able to replace it for a few years. Are there any fabulous new camera in the works (in this price range) that I should wait for?

I am partial to Nikon, having used a D70 at work for years. I can sail through the settings and am very comfortable with it. I am also willing to try another brand with your very high reccomendations.

I want a camera and set-up that would be sufficient to take high quality children's portraits. I have two kids and twin nieces on the way. Once I sorted it all out, I might even try taking other kid's photos to supplement my income. (Any editing software suggestions would be wonderful too.)

I would also be taking family activity photos: outdoor soccer and swimming shots, indoor cheerleading and dance shots, vacation vistas and architecture shots, etc. These would end up in photo books and the family blog...no poster sized anything.

I want a quick, sharp picture every time. I have had years of dissapointment since the world went digital. I know my way around Photoshop. I am willing to take a photograpy class or two.

Video quality is a bonus, not a must. It would mostly be used for quick clips of the kids and their activities. No one wants to see more than a couple minutes of any kid activity.

I do not have any old lenses or equipment to grandfather in. I am going to need advice on those too. Should I be looking at a lesser/cheaper camera with better lenses?

I went and "test drove" the Nikkon 5100 and 7000 and a local store. My gut wants the metal body of the 7k. I need you all to help me with the logic or clue me into another brand/model.

Thanks so much!
mesoplodon is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Aug 24, 2011, 11:28 AM   #2
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 3
Default

Is a metal, weather sealed camera a must living in very humid South Florida? Will a plastic model stand up to an occasional bump and splash? We do a lot of outside activities.
mesoplodon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 24, 2011, 11:34 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
tacticdesigns's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 998
Default

Hi mesoplodon,

Your situation sounds a lot like mine.

As you say, there are a lot of good cameras out there.

One of the things you will probably be up against is that a lot of cameras come with the standard 18-55mm lens. It gets you started, and you will probably find the 18mm nice and wide, but you will probably find the 55mm end a bit short.

You can get another lens like the 55-200mm and switch between them. But then that means switching a lot when you want to be at about 55mm.

One option is to not get the 18-55mm lens and get a 18-70mm or 18-105mm lens as the kit lens instead. It will cost a bit more, but then you will have more reach with it. This might be able to postpone getting the 55-200mm (or 70-300mm) lens. But when you get the other lens, then it may mean less switching between them.

Of course, I say this and I went ahead and got the 18-55mm lens with my Nikon D5100, but that is because I'm planning to get a couple of faster lenses so I wanted to minimize money on the kit lens.

You mention taking pictures of kids.

One of the nice things I like about the Nikon is the built-in autofocus assist light. I find it works really well at letting the camera focus on my kids as they are running around at get togethers, where lighting is usually bad, especially with regular lenses. The other camera that has that is the Pentax K-r, which is the other camera that I want.

As for shooting indoor cheerleading and dance, it may still be hard. It's difficult because of the lack of good lighting. I am getting some faster lenses to try to deal with this, but that's about $1200-1300 worth of lenses I'm planning to get. The Nikon D5100 and D7000 both go up to ISO 25600, which may make it possible to shoot with regular lenses, although with some digital noise. Of course you can back off the ISO a bit and have a bit more motion blur. You may want to look a bit more into this. My general thought on noise is, yes it may be a bit noisey, but if it means getting the shot vs. not getting the shot, its probably worth it.

[EDIT: Oh, yeah. I was originally looking at the Nikon D7000, but when I looked at everything I wanted, I realized I didn't have the budget for the D7000 this time around. I wanted to spread the budget around to different things, so decided I'd go for the D5100. In the end, fitting everything into my budget was what made me decide the D5100 over the D7000.]

Take care, Glen

Last edited by tacticdesigns; Aug 24, 2011 at 11:43 AM.
tacticdesigns is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 24, 2011, 11:50 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
tacticdesigns's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 998
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mesoplodon View Post
Is a metal, weather sealed camera a must living in very humid South Florida? Will a plastic model stand up to an occasional bump and splash? We do a lot of outside activities.
Don't know the answer to that. But my strategy this time around is . . .

1) Got a waterproof point-and-shoot camera to use when the weather is bad, we're at the beach or in our pool.

2) Got a protection plan with my Nikon D5100 that's suppose to cover things like water damage, impact damage, dust and sand damage, etc. (So the stuff that a manufacturer's warranty would not cover.) The gentleman at the store said that he even had someone bring in the camera that they accidentally drove over and it was replaced with this protection plan.

Take care, Glen
tacticdesigns is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 24, 2011, 11:51 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
wave01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: North West England
Posts: 1,749
Default

Hi as you are comfortable with nikon then you need to make the choice d5100 plus an extra lens? or d7000 and just one lens. I would go for the d5100 in a few years you can upgrade the body but the life cycle of lenses is a lot longer
wave01 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 24, 2011, 11:51 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
TCav's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Washington, DC, Metro Area, Maryland
Posts: 13,572
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mesoplodon View Post
... indoor cheerleading and dance shots, ...
Nothing else you wrote would make me suggest any one camera over another. This makes me caution you that a lens appropriate for this type of activity will cost you more than what you've got budgeted for your entire kit. But if that's on your list, you should get a camera that will accomodate it. I suggest you stick with Canon. Their entry level bodies have better AF systems than anything else in their price range.
__________________
  • The lens is the thing.
  • 'Full Frame' is the new 'Medium Format'.
  • "One good test is worth a thousand expert opinions." - Tex Johnston, Boeing 707 test pilot.
TCav is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 24, 2011, 5:35 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
shoturtle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Frankfurt AM
Posts: 11,348
Default

I concur with TCav, and the canon also gives you a excellent lens path if indoor cheerleading and dance is something you want to dive deep into. I shoot dance with a pentax at time, and it does a okay job but they lens AF speed can be an issue at time with their big aperture lenses. But the canon AF is way better for that with a good USM big aperture lens for AF tracking in low light.
__________________
Super Frequent Flyer, no joke. Ex Patriot and loving it.
Canon Eos 60D, T1i/500D, Eos1, Eos 630, Olympus EPL-1, and a part time Pentax K-X shooter.
shoturtle is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 2:50 AM.