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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 2:10 pm 
Hi everyone.

First, I've been enjoying this website across the board for a few months. I'm a "researcher" and have been trying to decide the best camera, but I figured, why not ask those of you out there who use these things really often.

So- my budget at the time is around $1000 (US). It could expand up by $200-$300 if it really made a difference. I'd really like to have most of what I need when I make this purchase (i.e. extra battery/filter/flash/whatever else I need?)

Here is what I'd be using this for in general-

Family vacations. My wife and I travel a decent amount across the states, and also some international as well.

Family. I'd like to use it for taking stills of my family and extended family- those nieces are too darn cute ya know?

Nature. My wife and I like to be outside, hikes or bikes, and would like to take it along.

Sports. I am a serious volleyball coach, and would like to use it to take stills of action during the matches. So I'm hoping for a decent fps in continuous shooting to capture player movement.

Students. I'm also a 3rd grade teacher and would like to use it in the classroom and outside during recess for class slideshow purposes.

Pets. Yeah I have cats. They really are my wife's (right guys?)


Sooooo. I've been looking at Canon T2i, Nikon D90, Canon 60D as a stretch, and if it REALLY made a difference Nikon D7000. I would also listen to buying a less expensive body with more expensive lens if it fit into the budget. I am one of those people who will devour the instruction manual when I get it, and will spend a ton of time learning every part of it.


Thanks in advance, I realize this is LONG!


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 2:23 pm 
I forgot to mention- video capabilities really wont make that big of a difference to me. I have a camcorder that I use for video purposes. It would be a nice add-on, but not a deal breaker or something I have to have a certain way.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 2:37 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 3:52 pm
Posts: 2177
Location: The Netherlands
Id say a 500D with dual lens kit (18-55 and 55-250 with IS) or the excelent D90 with the two kit lenses (dont know exactly which they are).
There are of course Sony, Pentax and Olympus which make DSLRs too, but I dont know their types and models very good...

Welcome on the forums though!

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Panasonic DMC-FZ18, Panasonic DMC-FZ28, Canon G5, Canon 350D, Canon 50D + BG-E2N
Tamron 17-50 2.8, Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM,
Canon 18-55 II plus lots of Minolta MD/M42 lenses and bodies


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 2:57 pm 
In addition to suggestions already made, you may want to consider:
Olympus e-620 2-lens kit
Nikon D90 w/18-105VR
Canon 50D w/18-85 USM
Sony A55 w/kit lens
Pentax K-x 2-lens kit

All should be around your budget and will suit you fine as a first-time DSLR - but may be a bit more camera than you are ready for. The notion of going down in body and up in lens is a good idea -- maybe a used D80 and a couple of used lenses would do the trick as well.

My personal preference would be either the Oly or Nikon.

In the end, the best test will be to get your candidate cameras in-hand at a proper camera shop where you can not only get up close and personal with the equipment, but also get some expert advice from the sales consultant.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 3:10 pm 
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Location: Osijek
well i don't know about the other brands but i myself have been looking at canon 50d and nikon d90 and for what you say i think canon might be better bcs of weather sealing (biking and stuff) with 18-135 mm kit lens, not sure about the price atm but worth a look..

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 5:58 pm 
That's why one has to get the cameras in one's hands. You buy the one that fits you best. I like the 50D quite a bit -- in fact think it's a superior camera in many aspects to the 60D - but still think that the D90 might just be the right camera for the op. ymmv. :D


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 6:23 pm 
Thanks to those who have replied. I do plan to go to my local photo shop this Friday after work. Very knowledgable staff there- but can be very busy. I have taken more looks at the 50D at the recommendations here. I really like what I see, the video review and the overall review. Should I be at all deterred by the use of compact flash and not SD/SDHC? Perhaps some thoughts on that could help move me in the right direction. I love the quick fps, as well as the build quality as I would like to take it with me as mentioned biking/hiking/out.

Here is something that bothers me- the AF button. On the 60D it has the AF as a half push of the shutter release. So...how annoying will that be and will I be able to get over it. I guess that's only one I can answer.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 7:52 pm 
Compact flash tends to be more robust in terms of the actual casing of the product than SD. Many cameras still run with CF so I wouldn't worry about that at all.

Insofar as button placement is concerned, you will get used to the positioning of the buttons over time no matter what camera you end up with as all cameras have their own "personality" in that area.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 10:04 pm 
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Posts: 827
Location: Boca Raton, FL, USA
Regarding your AF question on the 60D - I'm a wee bit confused on the issue you have with half-pressing the shutter to AF. As far as I know, ALL cameras, both P&S and DSLR, have the half-press indent to autofocus before fully pressing to shoot. There are some cameras that have a second button on the camera that allows you to autofocus separately from the metering...if that's what you are referring to...though I'd be very surprised if the 60D didn't offer a similar capability somewhere in the button arrangement or customization. Honestly though, if you're an amateur shooter, it would not likely come up often if at all that you would need to separate the metering and focus operations, and getting to know how to use half-press focus and metering, or when to use AE lock or AF lock separately, would be a high priority that would really help you.

As far as other cameras to consider - I think it would behoove you to look at, and more importantly, handle if possible, some other models that could very likely do everything you need them to do and more, for less than your budget. To be very honest, even the most entry level camera can handle all the types of photography you mentioned, and you likely won't get better photos from any of them with a few rare exceptions until your skill exceeds the camera's controls. 'Better' cameras aren't really about getting better images, as much as they are about getting better control, and providing more tools to make getting hard images easier.

I'd recommend taking a look at the following: Nikon D3100, Pentax KX, Sony A500/550 on the low side of your budget - plenty of room for a nice lens or a few used lenses. I'd recommend looking at the Pentax KR, Sony A580, and Sony A55 if you don't mind sliding up to around the $800 mark on your budget...you'll get some nice improvements and some excellent sensor performance. Or the D7000, 60D, or Pentax K5 if you don't mind bumping your budget up over the $1K mark.

The A580 is worth a strong look because it shares the same 16MP sensor that the more expensive D7000 & K5 use, but for $800 or under. It is fast, nice grip, solid performer, excellent high ISO, has the best live view system ever put on a DSLR, can shoot 5fps for sports with focus, or 7fps with fixed focus, has in-body stabilization, a tilt screen, and a cheap available backlog of lenses.

The Pentax KX was a real price leader - under $500, and packs a lot of camera for the budget, with good high ISO performance and a fast 4.7fps shooting.

Nikon and Canon are excellent and well known, and you won't go wrong with either. The models you are considering are mid-range and pricier, with nice build and features. Some advanced entry models will shoot as well, and for a lot less money, still likely delivering everything you'll need for years to come. And Olympus, Sony, and Pentax also make excellent cameras that can meet all your needs, and are worth a look...they all deliver some nice features for a great price, some things unique to them - what feels good in your hand, fits your budget, and has the features you need is the way to go, whatever brand name it has.

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Sony DSLR-A580 / Sony 18-250mm / Minolta 50mm F1.7 / Sigma 30mm F1.4 / Tamron 10-24mm / Tamron 150-600mm / Tamron 90mm F2.8 macro / Minolta 300mm F4 APO
Sony A6000 / 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 / 55-210mm F4-6.3 / 10-18mm F4 / 35mm F1.8 / 16mm F2.8 / via manual adapter, lots of Pentax K mount, Konica K/AR mount, and Leica M mount manual lenses

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2011 3:05 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2009 2:29 am
Posts: 733
jmeyers14 wrote:
Sports. I am a serious volleyball coach, and would like to use it to take stills of action during the matches. So I'm hoping for a decent fps in continuous shooting to capture player movement.


Assuming this is indoor volleyball (as opposed to outdoor/beach) you will also need a fast/bright (f2.0-ish) lens. These can get rather expensive, so don't forget to factor this into your budget. Although, since you'll be shooting from the bench, you may be able to get by with something "shorter" (~50mm) which should be cheaper than a telephoto.

e.g. Taken w/ a 135mm f2.0 lens from the 8th row

HTH - Mark


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2011 4:06 pm 
Thanks for the replies-

My plan is to go to my photo shop this Friday and see where that leads me.

Maestro--As far as the low f# lens--- I probably will be near the bench or just behind it. -----so something like a 50mm with a f2 (or even lower 1.4/1.8?) I noticed Sony has a few at a decent price in that area.

Zack- thanks for your lengthy response. I appreciate it.
I was hoping for my "main" lens to be something with a little expandability--18-105/135 to allow the ability to go beyond a standard 55mm length. Just starting out- I was kind of hoping not to be switching lenses a lot. That way I'll see if through experience i find a need for a 250mm length etc.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2011 4:18 pm 
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Location: Belgium
Another vote for the A580. While it has a slower continuous shooting speed than the D7000, it's a fairly small difference (6 versus 5 fps) and its buffer is more than twice as large (despite being a lot cheaper).

The A580 is at the moment what the Pentax K-X was: a bargain if you look at what you get as far as shooting speed and buffer are concerned.

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