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Old Nov 19, 2012, 3:53 PM   #1
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Default Wife wants FAST possibly simple camera

Probably something heard a lot on these forums, but our Sony Cybershot is maddening when trying to capture two constantly moving kids with blink and you missed the perfect (and only) photogenic moment. So, the wife says she wants the fastest camera we can afford to get quick shots for start up and shoot, flash on, autofocusing on moving targets, rapid fire shots - all the type of things that are generally slower on point-and-shoots.

She doesn't care how big or bulky it is, and we don't need video or insane resolution or necessarily the latest and greatest model. However, while she says she's willing to learn a more professional-type dSLR if it means she gets the speed she wants, I don't want her to get frustrated feeling like she's slowing down the process having to do a lot of fiddling to get the camera ready.

I'd prefer to spend under $1000 but could stomach up to $2000 if that's what it takes to get lightning-fast results and have several camera-frustration-free years ahead of us. Does anyone have any model specific suggestions on this? Also, if anyone knows of an easy way to compare speeds on multiple models at once, that would be helpful too.

Thanks!
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 6:50 PM   #2
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Speed and speed of capture involves several factors.
Fast start up,simple interface for fast adjustments,fast processing,fast drive modes,fast autofocus system within the camera and a fast focusing lens- much to ponder...!

Most DSLR's start up pretty quickly these days so that's the last thing to worry about.
Most camera's offer upwards of 3fps and a decent buffer- even at the budget end of the DSLR scale- and upwards of 5fps for a mid range dSLR- which I personally think if fast enough for most applications.
Autofocus systems- or rather their competence- varies from one model to the next and from one brand to another, as does the AF performance of their lenses.
At the budget to mid range area, I've personally found Canon models to offer the best all round speed- and frankly,I've never missed a shot with a Canon- even with some older models. With regards the higher end of the DSLR spectrum I couldn't comment as I've rarely had the luxury of using one for any length of time.
Often overlooked is the layout of a given camera- and is a big factor in overall speed and image capture- it's no good having fast performance if you take too long with adjustments..! The more direct access to commonly adjusted parameters- via buttons- as opposed to trawling through menu's, the better.
The function/layout factor is a very personal issue/taste- and whilst I prefer Canons layout/menu system, many others prefer Nikon's,Sony's,Olympus's,Pentax's etc...

In other words,given your budget, I'd get down to a good camera store and start getting personal with some models. See which system feels best to you and go from there...

Last edited by SIMON40; Nov 19, 2012 at 6:58 PM.
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 8:07 AM   #3
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To add on - look at the Canon 650d. Canon recently moved the focus system of the xxD (60d) line down to the new 650d. So, you're getting a very good focus system in a low end camera. It's worth noting though that most DSLRs have poor flash recharge performance for built in flashes. So, you're going to really want an external flash for those indoor shots - besides, a bounced flash looks better anyway. That's the key component in any DSLR you buy for your needs. It adds bulk but the picture quality and recharge speed are greatly improved.
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 8:24 AM   #4
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remeber when buying a DSLR you buy into a system so make sure that system fits your needs get a short list and go and try them out make sure the buttons and menues are right for you dont settle for i will get used to it. take the kids and see if you get a shot of them
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 6:09 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnG View Post
To add on - look at the Canon 650d. Canon recently moved the focus system of the xxD (60d) line down to the new 650d. So, you're getting a very good focus system in a low end camera. It's worth noting though that most DSLRs have poor flash recharge performance for built in flashes. So, you're going to really want an external flash for those indoor shots - besides, a bounced flash looks better anyway. That's the key component in any DSLR you buy for your needs. It adds bulk but the picture quality and recharge speed are greatly improved.
Thanks for the info on the flash. I never realized having an external flash would have an impact like that. Does using the LCD (Live View I think?) instead of the optical viewfinder while taking stills have an impact also?
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Old Nov 21, 2012, 3:12 AM   #6
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The live view will have an impact- in that most live view auto-focus systems are slower than using the viewfinder.
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Old Nov 21, 2012, 3:49 AM   #7
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it quicker to use a view finder rather than live view. also using a view finder gives extra stability rather than holding a camera and looking at the screen. by using an external flash get used to using it bounced and with a diffuser, i use a gary fong light sphere and get good results.
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Old Nov 21, 2012, 7:59 PM   #8
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You're not going to get much faster than a Sony A57. It can also auto focus faster than any DSLR in it's class when it comes to video.
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