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Old Apr 24, 2013, 11:12 AM   #11
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When you say "event", what do you mean? A number of professional venues for sports or concerts have restrictions on camera gear that can be used. If you're just talking about high school or grade school events that's different. But, it would be a shame if you're planning on using the DSLR for pro sports or concerts and the venues in question won't allow you to use them
In talking about car shows, air shows, outdoor concerts, baseball games, etc.
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Old Apr 24, 2013, 11:12 AM   #12
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Adorama has:

Nikon D5100 DX-Format Digital SLR Camera Kit with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S DX (VR) Lens - Refurbished by Nikon U.S.A. for $489.

(They have others, but this one jumps out at me for being an very good deal on a very good camera.)
What about a sub 400 camera and lens? Is that asking too much?
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Old Apr 24, 2013, 11:16 AM   #13
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Concerts and baseball games can often have restrictions on camera gear. So be forewarned. Restrictions are different by venue and activity.

Airshows never have restrictions that I've heard of so you can happily bring a 600mm f4 lens if you like. But concerts may not allow DSLRs at all. A common restriction at events is "no lens longer than 6 inches" - which makes shooting with a dslr from any distance almost worthless.

Just something for you to consider before you spend your money.
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Old Apr 24, 2013, 11:26 AM   #14
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Concerts and baseball games can often have restrictions on camera gear. So be forewarned. Restrictions are different by venue and activity.

Airshows never have restrictions that I've heard of so you can happily bring a 600mm f4 lens if you like. But concerts may not allow DSLRs at all. A common restriction at events is "no lens longer than 6 inches" - which makes shooting with a dslr from any distance almost worthless.

Just something for you to consider before you spend your money.
Thanks for the warning.
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Old Apr 24, 2013, 1:31 PM   #15
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What would my options be if I moved down to 400? Is it not worth the drop?
No. Going down that far limits you to the 14MP Nikon D3100 or the 12MP Canon T3, neither of which are nearly as good as the 16MP D5100, especially for what you want to do.

Other options are a new Sony Alpha DSLR SLT A37 16.2MP Digital Camera Body With DT 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 Zoom Lens for $449 which uses the same excellent 16MP sensor in the Nikon D5100 (but it doesn't do as well in low light), a new Nikon D3100 14.2 Megapixel Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm NIKKOR VR Lens, 3" TFT LCD Display for $447, and a Nikon D3200 24.2 Megapixel Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm NIKKOR VR Lens - Black - Refurbished by Nikon U.S.A. for $479 (but it doesn't do as well for sports/action/wildlife.)
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Last edited by TCav; Apr 24, 2013 at 1:41 PM.
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Old Apr 24, 2013, 1:44 PM   #16
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My 10 pence worth... given your budget, I don't think there would be a great deal of difference in the final output of any of the camera's within your budget....
Maybe consider some features which may (or may not) be of value to you...
Consider the built in image stabilizers of the Sony/Pentax camera's- potentially keeping future lens costs down- and your prime lens of choice would be stabilized too..!
Would a tilt/swivel screen be of use to you,or would movie capture be something that interests you...?
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Old Apr 24, 2013, 2:44 PM   #17
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My 10 pence worth... given your budget, I don't think there would be a great deal of difference in the final output of any of the camera's within your budget....
Maybe consider some features which may (or may not) be of value to you...
Consider the built in image stabilizers of the Sony/Pentax camera's- potentially keeping future lens costs down- and your prime lens of choice would be stabilized too..!
Would a tilt/swivel screen be of use to you,or would movie capture be something that interests you...?
Movie capture might, but isn't critical. Tilt/swivel isn't something I think I would need, I have never had a camera with it...so who knows?

The built in IS system intrigues me. Is it something I should weigh heavily in my decision?
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Old Apr 24, 2013, 2:50 PM   #18
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The built in IS system intrigues me. Is it something I should weigh heavily in my decision?
It depends. Kit lenses and consumer grade zooms from Canon and nikon have anti-shake in the lens so it's a complete wash in that regard. Where in-body helps is if you use short prime lenses - this is where canon and nikon don't have anti-shake in the lens. BUT, keep in mind - anti-shake is only really useful at these short focal lengths if your subject is stationary and you're not using flash. So, good for taking interior shots of buildings/churches/museums. When you start taking photos of humans or animals - anti-shake is much less useful.

anti-shake at short focal lengths is very similar to focus tracking - for many users it's not extremely important. But for a small subset of photographic projects it is extremely useful.
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Old Apr 24, 2013, 4:02 PM   #19
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Built in IS is useful to negate camera shake (caused by the user) when hand holding your camera- at ANY focal length... of course,if your subjects are moving then fast shutter speeds are necessary,irrespective of focal length,thus negating the benefits of IS to a degree...
As for a tilt/swivel screen... I wouldn't be without one- great for "over the crowd" shooting (ideal at concerts... and IS would be good here too due to the unusual position of the camera...) or for low shooting,such as bugs on the floor,plants etc and generally useful for any awkward shooting position...
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Old Apr 24, 2013, 6:40 PM   #20
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The advantage of in-camera image stabilization over in-lens image stabilization is that you only buy it once. That makes the body slightly more expensive and the lenses slightly less expensive. Another important consideration is that, with in-camera image stabilization, every lens is stabilized, including 25 year old lenses on the used market. Since money is a big convern, the Sony Alpha DSLR SLT A37 16.2MP Digital Camera Body With DT 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 Zoom Lens for $449, which I mentioned earlier, is a good idea. It has the same image sensor as the D5100, but it's AF system isn't as good, and it has slightly more image noise. The LCD Monitor also tilts up and down.
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Last edited by TCav; Apr 24, 2013 at 6:45 PM.
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