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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 1:57 pm 
I am purchasing a new camera, and I have no idea what to even look for. Up until now I have had a point and shoot digital camera. The camera I am currently looking at is - Panasonic's Lumix G3. Is this a good recommendation for a beginner, & I mean beginner. Please anyone who is experienced please help. The price and size, look are perfect.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 2:02 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 5:23 pm
Posts: 827
Location: Boca Raton, FL, USA
In order to decide what camera is best for you, the most important thing to consider is what types of photography you shoot, or intend to shoot. Snapshots? Travel? Landscape? Architecture? Sports? Action? Indoors? Low light? Flash? Street? Handheld low light? Pets? Portraits?

Each of these puts different requirements on the camera, and will help hone down to what type of camera system would be right or wrong. There are many photographers for whom really any camera would suffice - so it comes down to personal preferences, likes, and price. But some types of photography won't be well served by a particular type of camera or a particular model lacking in a feature or ability needed.

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Justin Miller
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

Galleries:
http://www.pbase.com/zackiedawg


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 5:57 pm 
My wife & I both enjoy photographing natural images, such as, mountains we are hiking but not necessarily landscape shots specific some pictures are up close, we are also making this purchase because we want to be able to photograph both children during college years, graduation, inside and out. I would say 85% of our pictures are of people indoors for birthdays, weddings and so on, the remaining 15% are some landscape, some pictures of arches, creeks and rock formations. We want to spend a max of $550.00, actually a bit less if possible. That limits us considerably i am sure but that's what I have set aside.

Any thoughts :?: :?


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 8:37 pm 
The Nikon 3100 is an excellent beginner camera, but with the kit lens the retail is $600.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 11:10 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2009 2:29 am
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I'm tempted to say "if you can pick up a G3 for under $550, grab it because that's a pretty good deal." However, I don't think your needs--i.e. indoor candids--would be well served unless you'd be willing to spend at least another $350 for the 20mm f/1.7 lens. (And maybe even another $400 on top of that for the Olympus 45mm f/1.8 when it comes out (later this week?).)

For your budget, I'd recommend a Canon S95 or Panasonic LX5 - Mark


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 12:40 am 
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Location: Boca Raton, FL, USA
Your budget will make things very very tight. First off, any DSLR will give you far better high ISO results than any P&S camera, so even the cheap entry models on sale will work - check out Sony A390 or A500, Canon T1 or T2, Nikon D5000, D90, or D3100, or Pentax KX.

To really get a very decent and capable low light camera, you'd likely want to step to at least the Sony A500/550, Pentax KX or KR, Canon T2, or Nikon D5100 if at all possible. But they'd all still do better than P&S cameras by a mile - and with a cheap fast prime (you could get a 50mm F1.7/1.8 for any of them for under $200 - some even cheaper than that), you'll be in good shape for indoors.

Also might be worth considering the mirrorless cameras, like the G3 mentioned above. The G3 is decent in lowlight - again better than P&S by quite a bit, though not quite DSLR standards. Another worth a look is the NEX3, which is as good as a DSLR at high ISO, and on sale for superb prices if you can find one - usually at or under $400 with kit lens. The NEX system doesn't have as wide a lens selection, but with the high ISO ability even the kit lens becomes usable indoors, and there are a few new lenses debuting this month including a fast 50mm prime.

The big factor isn't getting a great camera for your budget, but getting one AND a decent fast lens alongside the prime lens.

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Justin Miller
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

Galleries:
http://www.pbase.com/zackiedawg


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 9:44 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 3:52 pm
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Location: The Netherlands
Id say a Sony DSLR (A550, quite nicely priced) with a used Minolta 50 1,7. The Minolta lens shouldnt cost you more than $50-60.

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Ruben

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: Thu Sep 08, 2011 11:45 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2009 2:29 am
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If I may, the OP said:

Quote:
Panasonic's Lumix G3 ... price and size, look are perfect.


So he'd like something around the same size as the G3 (or smaller, I would assume), that can shoot decent indoor candids, that costs no more than $550.

Mark

P.S. And as long as I'm posting, to my eye, the LX5 is around two stops slower than the G3. Looking at that another way, the F2.0-3.3 lens on the LX5 is roughly equivalent to an f4.0-6.6 lens on the G3, which is not all that far off from the G3's f3.5-5.6 kit. In short, bump up the ISO one stop on the LX5 and the results should be similar.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 12:12 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 5:23 pm
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Location: Boca Raton, FL, USA
On the same order, it might do well to take a look at the Sony A33, which is smaller than most DSLRs, and a little bigger than the G3. It also has very strong performance in low light, good high ISO capability, plenty of cheap fast lenses available on the Alpha mount, and built-in stabilization with both electronic viewfinder and tiltable LCD. With the A35 out, the A33's can be found on closeout - and they only just came out within the past year, so they're not exactly old!

And consider the Sony NEX system - the NEX3 is available on closeout (since the C3 is now out) and has the same excellent APS-C sensor with very good high ISO performance - though the NEX system has a more limited lens selection, they have recently added 3 more to the original 4 and at least one is a reasonably priced 50mm F1.8 for faster needs. Either way it has a big ISO advantage that can make up for slower lenses if sticking with the kit lens. I've seen them under $400 with kit lens, leaving room in the budget for a faster prime to supplement it.

The G3 is a fine choice too, if it can be found with the right lenses in the OP's budget. It has a good selection of fast small primes, but they're going to cost over the kit lenses, which will be challenging the budget a bit.

_________________
Justin Miller
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

Galleries:
http://www.pbase.com/zackiedawg


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