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Old 12-01-2009, 03:19 AM   #1
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Default Let's Talk Cameras

My wife takes lots of pictures. We have had several $200-300 digital cameras. Most are OK, but do not take decent pics in some indoor situations (gyms, skating rinks, etc....)

She wants something a bit fancier $500-700 price range perhaps with better indoor capabilities and possibly ability to change lenses. What is out there that fits the bill.

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Old 12-01-2009, 03:21 AM   #2
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IMO nothing in the $500-700 range will get you there...

I've been happy with my crappy point and shoot $200 digitals with more features than I'll ever use, and have spoken extensively with a semi-pro who says you need ~$1500 to get into the DSLR game....Canon D40 or better....

and beware of gray market deals on the internet...I almost fell to one of there scams awhile ago....

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Old 12-01-2009, 03:39 AM   #3
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the only thing in the $500-700 range that might get you there - is one that i own and i love. Pentax DSLR..

Our family is mainly Canon as that was all the previous and current cameras that my wife owns, however I shot on a Pentax 35mm SLR and had a full bag full of lenses that would be compatible with the DSLR. ( B&H has the K2000 with a 18-55 & 50-200mm for right now under $600 - They are a very reputible merchant in the photo industry.

One thing I would suggest you get with any DSLR - a decent flash for it. This will help you in those darker situations as well as help you with balancing out the light in normal situation.

Hope this helps some.
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Old 12-01-2009, 03:47 AM   #4
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there are several cameras that will get you close. canon rebel line and several nikons will get you started, but a DSLR alone wont get it done entirely. A better flash will work for places where you can use the flash, but better lenses will do more for you than anything else. These are costly, though. Lenses that open to f2.8, especially the ones that are 2.8 through the zoom range run lots of $$. Lenses with IS are good, but they really don't help in low light if you are trying to stop action.

YOu can always upgrade the lens later, though. A DSLR will be more responsive and do more than a point and shoot any day.
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Old 12-01-2009, 05:51 AM   #5
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Here's what I can offer:

Get a decent camera, and get GOOD lenses. If you take care of them, the lenses will be with you for the next few upgrades.

Are you going to use a DSLR to it's full extent? I had a 35mm Canon, and that's what I went for with my digital. I paid $1000 for a camera body, $1400 for two pro line lenses, and a bunch more stuff.

Mostly it sits in the bag because I don't need/want to haul around 10# of camera gear. Sure, when I'm in the mood to shoot, I grab it and go. But for day-to-day I really want a pro-p&s. Something like Canon SX20

Smaller and lighter than my 10# bag. Much cheaper as well.

And B&H is a great place to get your gear. Completely stand up, and great prices.

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Old 12-01-2009, 06:07 AM   #6
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I would look to for gently used gear. I have used KEH before to purchase lenses and cameras (both film and digital) and have never had any issues with them.

You can pick up last year's model on the cheap and then save your $$ for faster glass or a nice flash.

Shooting indoors (especially when it comes to gyms and rinks) can be tricky because the light is not always bright enough or even enough to really be useful. Look for a camera that handles higher ISOs well, buy faster glass (like the 50mm 1.8) or buy a powerful flash to bring your own light to the party.

Good luck.
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Old 12-01-2009, 06:08 AM   #7
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I've got a Canon SD970 IS. It was about $320 and I love it.
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Old 12-01-2009, 07:53 AM   #8
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I've had a Sony Cybershot 6MP for about 3 years now-haven't had a better camera since. You can probably find them on ebay/CL, etc. Just make sure you look for models with the Carl Zeiss lenses (clarity is leaps & bounds above most standard-issue lenses).
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Old 12-01-2009, 09:00 AM   #9
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I do astrophotography...Pictures of nebulas and galaxies and such. Canon offers a better signal to noise ration in that regard. My wife uses the same camera I use (Canon Xt) for terrestrial shots. The Canon does much better when equipped with a better than stock lens. For my stuff, I use a William Optics SD 66 Semi Apo, or a Celstron C8 (both are astronomical telescopes) ...both of which have excellent optics. My wife uses the stock lenses, 18x55. I can get better contrast and dynamic range with my scopes, likely due to the better light gathering properties and better optical qualities than the stock lens. Get a decent lens and you will do well.

keep in mind, more megapixels does not always translate into a better photo. In my field, 8 MP has been found to be a good comprise between detail and workability of the actual file. Unless you have a really hot sh*t computer, more than 8 MP will get cumbersome when you are attempting processing the file..

realistically, most digital photos require a little massaging to really pop the will need a robust computer and robust editing software to get there....
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Old 12-01-2009, 09:26 AM   #10
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DSLR's won't automatically result in better pics.

Seriously, the Canon SD series are great little cameras for ~$300. I can't say enough great things about these little buggers and they're fantastics in indoor/low-light situations. I've bought them for my mom and siblings.

If you're dead set on getting a DSLR, I suggest going out physically holding them in your hands. Get whatever feels comfortable. I've amassed a lot of Nikon lenses over the years and so I've stuck with Nikon by default, but you can't go wrong with Canon or Nikon. I have no recent experience with other brands, so i can't really comment on them.

If you're gonna buy online, buy from or They have the best prices and if you find a camera cheaper anywhere else, chances are it's a scam.

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