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Unread 11-24-2008, 08:27 PM   #1
Raiji Magiwind
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Seeking Advice on New Camera

Hello everyone. I am in the market to try and upgrade to a somewhat better camera for the coming years. After a drop of my current digital camera at Youmacon 2008, the camera is now partially shot and hate bright light shots (IE won't take in bright light). Of course I was already looking to plan on getting a new one even before the con and had begun shopping around for ideas and prices.

My plan though is to go up into the SLR models as I want to expand on my photography. I defiantly want a semi-decent model if I can.

I'm looking for at minimum in the camera I want:

-6 MP minimum
-Various modes for adjusting for different situations (especially for 'sport'/moving shots, night shots and low light situations, since a lot of times I have to get shots in low light or dark spots. I occasionally like to also taken action shots)
-Stabilization balance (Steady shot -had to many shots jacked from folks bumping me just as I take that shot...><)
-Lithium Ion battery
-Decent internal memory would be nice, but if not, then something that uses a flash stick/card that easy to find (IE: SD cards or Memory Stick Duo's [like whats used by a PSP])
-Decent Optical Zoom (as many times have to take a shot of a photoshoot from distance and don't want it looking grainy)
-plans for future upgrade-ability or accessories like additional lenses or so on perhaps (A thought I may want to enter into on later)

I figure a minimum of $200 is what I will have to spend, though I figure I would seek the advice of fellow photographers on the SLR market and get your thoughts on what you might recommend as a starting out SLR model for someone looking to get more into a the serious aspect of photography. I would like to possibly eventually see about offering private photo shoot services and stuff at the cons I go to eventually, but want a better camera before I choose to do so...
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Unread 11-26-2008, 11:43 AM   #2
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You mention memory stick duos... the only SLRs that use that are Sony, obviously. These are very good cameras, and they have some very good and/or unique features. But there are things that are less desirable about them. Cost of Sony lenses tends to be higher, especially as you move up to more premium lenses. Non-standard flash shoe, which means it's that much more expensive to enter into radio trigger flash land. And Sony has weird policies on pricing for their authorized retailers (I've heard from my local camera shop how they simply can't go below certain prices, regardless of how product is moving).

Oh yeah... personally, I think a maximum price point is a bit more useful than a minimum price point. 200 bucks, you can get a used camera body, and that's that.
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Unread 11-26-2008, 05:15 PM   #3
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I'll be honest. Look to spend a minimum of $400-500.

And here are some of your requirements that just won't work out like you thought.

-Stabilization balance (Steady shot -had to many shots jacked from folks bumping me just as I take that shot...><)

No IS in the world will solve that problem. Its for hand shake. The only difference will be the near zero shutterlag.

-Decent Optical Zoom (as many times have to take a shot of a photoshoot from distance and don't want it looking grainy)

Eh it depends on the Lens you buy gets you the "zoom" you want. As far as being grainy. Its not just the lens itself that causes the grain. Its usually the lack of light and using a High ISO. DSLR's won't automagically fix this problem.
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Unread 11-27-2008, 08:42 AM   #4
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If you want compatibility with Memory Stick cards, you are forced to buy a Sony camera. The Memory Stick is a proprietary card for Sony products only. Sony cameras are definitely more expensive than other brands.

Image Stabilization/Vibration Reduction only attempts to stop camera blur resulting from non-steady hands. It cannot protect you from getting bumped. No technology will prevent blur from getting bumped.

Most entry-level DSLRs start at 6MP, so you have a good selection to choose from, if you forget about the Memory Stick requirement.

Most DSLRs have programmed modes for automatically helping you take a reasonable picture for portraits and landscape. You will need to read the camera manual on how to activate it. However, taking shots in low light and action shots requires a better understanding of picture-taking. A camera will not automatically make you good at that. If you want to do low-light and sports/action photography, it will get expensive as you will need higher-end cameras and lenses for some of those scenarios.

From your requirements, you are thinking in "point and shoot" terms. DSLRs aren't described in those terms, so you have to understand how DSLRs really work. For example, "Digital Optical Zoom" is a characteristic for point and shoot cameras. DSLRs use actual optical zoom in the form of the lens you buy for the camera.

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Last edited by Eriol : 12-03-2008 at 11:39 AM.
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Unread 01-02-2010, 12:17 AM   #5
Bruce Heinsius
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Originally Posted by Eriol View Post
For example, "Digital Optical Zoom" is a characteristic for point and shoot cameras. DSLRs use actual optical zoom in the form of the lens you buy for the camera.
There is no term "Digital Optical Zoom" with point-and-shoot cameras or DSLRs. The terms are used individually. Digital zoom is "artifical" zoom, which increases the size of grain and looks less detailed compared to optical zoom. It is similar to cropping in post. Optical zoom is done using the optics of the lens to change the size of the images.

You can get a decent DSLR camera used for under $400. The Canon 10D is quite old, but it is a 6 mega-pixel camera. You might find a very cheap price for it. You would get much better quality in low light with the Canon 20D. It is an 8.2 mega-pixel camera.

The stabilizer technology in DSLRs are in some of the lenses. It is going to add a noticeably higher cost.
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Unread 01-02-2010, 05:14 AM   #6
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There's already a thread about how to select a camera that's right for you:

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