Digital Camera Help
Old 04-15-2010, 09:24 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Digital Camera Help


I'm hoping one of you can lend me some advice to pass on to my Dad to help him buy a new camera. I remember when we were discussing the quality of the SSG shots a few of you mentioned that you were photo buffs!

I had lunch with him yesterday and I mentioned that I might be able to grab some advice for him and this is what he sent me. Any ideas?

i want a camera that will, first and foremost, deliver crisp pictures in automatic mode - I also want to get a decent zoom lens. I like the compact nature of the point and shoot types, but have concluded that they will not deliver the goods, so i think I need a DSLR camera.

The Henry folks were recommending (I think) the following: Nikon D5000. I gather this model has a better pop up light than the older models, will take video (which is a plus) and one can upgrade the telephoto lens. I don't recall what the recommended lens is - I want something that is versatile and will handle landscape shots as well as wildlife shots.

The above recommendation was in the $1000 price point range with an upgraded telephoto, which is okay. I would not want to pay much more that this. Any advice will be greatly appreciated.
Thanks guys!
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Old 04-15-2010, 09:33 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I bought a cannon powershot sx100 IS from walmart last year and love it.

Takes very good pics in automatic and it has a 10x optical zoom.

Best part was it was only $250 and it came with 4 rechargable batteries, charger, and a case.

Might be a little too little for your dad though, but I love the camera.
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Old 04-15-2010, 09:43 AM   #3 (permalink)

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the d5000 is a great machine. i have a d80 and i love it. any of the nikon d series should be solid for your dad. if he has any interest in movie modes, the d90 is awesome.

the cannon machines are excellent as well, but i'm just not as familiar with them.

imo, you can't go wrong with the nikon cameras. lenses get expensive, but that's the case for any good camera body. the beauty of the nikon series is that lenses are backwards compatible (to a point), so that if he had a reasonably modern nikon slr pre-digital, the lenses will still work on the new dslr.

i don't know if this needs to be said, but don't worry at all about the number of mega pixels. while that was once a concern we are now waaaay past the numbers that matter unless your dad is producing billboard sized finished products. 12.3 or whatever the d5000 is at these days is big-time overkill. in this vein, the d3000 might be a good option. it's at 10.2 megapixels (more than he will need) and is a fair bit cheaper than the d5000. i don't think there are any other substantive differences.
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Old 04-15-2010, 01:16 PM   #4 (permalink)
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This is going to be my next camera.

Canon EOS Rebel T2i EF-S

I did some research a few models and talked to a friend of mine who's a pro and this is the one that he recommended. I had an Olympus DSLR (E-Volt 300) that served me well before but I've decided to jump over to Nikon or Canon this time. One thing that my buddy mentioned is that Canons are often the easiest to sell later on when you want to upgrade.... you can usually get about 70% of the value of the cam. back. And you have a world of accessories and lenses to choose from due to the name. 18MPs doesn't hurt too.

$999 right now at Futureshop..... but there's a 15MP model too that's $829.... well within the pricerange.

Last edited by TORaptor4Ever; 04-15-2010 at 01:19 PM.
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Old 04-16-2010, 03:05 AM   #5 (permalink)
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panasonic lumix g1
nikon d90
any of the last three rebel models
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Old 04-16-2010, 05:50 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Canon EOS Rebel T1i 15.1MP DSLR Camera With 18-55mm IS Lens Kit


I recommend this camera because it is very user friendly compared to the Nikon's. This also shoots 1080p video which most SLR's don't even shoot.
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Old 04-16-2010, 06:18 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I wanna get the Canon Rebel too!
But I don't know what lens to get.
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Old 04-16-2010, 08:08 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I'd stay away from the D5000, two recalls, and though Nikon has claimed they remedied these issues, anytime a model has power generation problems it's red flag for me.
You need to know what you're doing if you get a DSLR.
The problem I have with Canon and Nikon is that they market DSLRs like point and shoots and so a lot of consumers just keep the camera in the automatic modes and you tend not to get the most of the camera that way. You're throwing money away and your pictures aren't that smashing. And it looks like that what's your dad is looking for.
If you're dad is interested in learning the basics of photography (aperture, white balance, shutter speed, light volume etc) then I'd say go DSLR because you can grow as a photographer with a machine that gives you more creative control.

There are a number of models out there, that aren't DSLR's that give supreme picture quality, fit into the focal range your dad is looking for, and take really good video, all with a censor and processor capable of incredible picture generation and intuitive automatic modes.
Here's one: Panasonic Lumix FZ-35 (I've shot with the FZ-28 and it's a wicked camera)
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ38 / FZ35 review: verdict, FZ38 / FZ35 vs SX20 IS vs SX1 IS vs HX1 | Cameralabs

If he's completely adamant about a DSLR and his price point, I'd try to get my hands on a Nikon D60 or even D40 for the cash, and spend more on the lens. I'd say a D60 or D40 with Nikon's 18-200 lens (their best selling lens of all time) would give him the versatility he's looking for for wide-angle shooting and some good telephoto action. You need to think about lenses with DSLR's. Nikon's probably still the best lens maker for the money. Canon makes nice lenses but you've got to look at their "L" line and you're getting into the thousands there.
Also, don't get caught up in the megapixel hype. On DSLRs that don't have a full-frame sensor (which are all the one's listed above by me and everyone else), it really is pointless to have anything higher than 8-10 megapixels. Cramming more megapixels onto the smaller AFS sensor means the pixels themselves are smaller and you tend to get more noise in lower light conditions because of it. Not enough light can saturate itself onto the sensor. 6 megapixels is plenty for anything most people want to do, and unless you're a pro doing a tonne of post-production shit then again, you don't need 12, 15, and 18 mp. It really is a case of trying to rope people in with useless features.

Also, while I find video intriguing on a DSLR (because of the interchangeable lens component) there's a lot of focal issues. They tend not to handle movement very well, and with some cameras, depending on the frame rate you're shooting at, you get a kind of wipe when someone or something moves in front of the lens because of the lens' inability to focus fast enough on the movement. But the video is still pretty good for stills and landscape stuff.

If he does decide to go Canon, then I'd recommend looking at the T1i, or even the XSi (no video but cheaper) and going with a kit lens that comes with it (18-55) and then purchasing the 70-200 4L lens for his telephoto stuff. That one usually ranges between 699 and 749, and he's got two lenses going here but that's a pretty solid combo and that L lens is a tank and is really sharp.

I still think it's worth checking out the Panasonic FZ-35, or even it's predecessor the FZ-28. Both do HD video, have a kick ass intelligent auto mode, and take great pictures. They're smaller than a DSLR, you're not changing lenses, and you've got the wide-angle covered for landscape stuff, and a tonne of optical zoom (18X) and good optical image stabilization.

DSLR, go Nikon D60 or D40 body if you can find one, or even the D3000 body and get the 18-200 lens which goes for close to 749. There's no video here, but with a bit of a learning curve and some effort, he'll be taking smashing pictures in no time and might not ever need another lens. He can upgrade the body down the line if need be, but like I said, be weary of the whole megapixel discourse.

Hope this helps. I used to sell cameras and this was the advice I'd give people looking to spend in and around a thousand bucks. But weren't sure about DSLR. There's lots of point and shoots out there that take great pictures. Any questions then ask away man.
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Old 04-16-2010, 09:46 AM   #9 (permalink)
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This has been INSANELY helpful. Thanks guys, I really appreciate the help! He doesn't really know what he is doing but this will definitely get him where he needs to be!

Will let you know if he has any other questions.

You guys are amazing!

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