Old 12-14-2007, 10:34 AM   #1
alleghenymountains
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Default suggestions for a new camera, mine is old

Greetings everyone. I REALLY need a camera that will take photos decently. I use an old sony mavica that uses the little cds. Hey,it was free, what can I say. It does fine until I go to shoot things like........ TRAINS. Even with photoshop I can't fix my photos well enough to pass the bar.
So here it is, what do you suggest. And I do take LOTS of photos. I'd say my interest in photos has been native plants and amphibians and reptiles in the woods. I spend time doing field research for a project so the mavica has done alright in close up work.
But now I want to get something that will take pictures like my dad's 35mm camera that I used for years, it had manual adjustments, you could change lenses, filters, the whole nine yards. In theory I could just go see him, he'd let me borrow the film camera. However I'm spoiled with the idea of digital.
Any suggestions?
Should I sell a kidney and get an SLR? Or does a good non-slr exist?
Thank you
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Old 12-14-2007, 10:43 AM   #2
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If you want to hold on to both of your kidneys, there are plenty of pretty good point-n-shoots out there. If you'd really like to save some money, I've heard good things about the Canon S3 IS, which you can get used on eBay for about $250ish. I know Brandon Smith shoots with the S3 IS, and he's gotten some excellent results out of it.

If you've got some more money to burn, take a look at the Canon Rebel XT or the Nikon D40 - if you already have access to some lenses that would fit either of those, you've already saved quite a bit.

I'm pretty happy with what I've been able to do with my old point-n-shoot, a Sony DSC F707. That said, I can't wait to get a "real" camera, which will be happening pretty soon (Rebel XT).
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Old 12-14-2007, 12:06 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ottergoose
If you want to hold on to both of your kidneys, there are plenty of pretty good point-n-shoots out there. If you'd really like to save some money, I've heard good things about the Canon S3 IS, which you can get used on eBay for about $250ish. I know Brandon Smith shoots with the S3 IS, and he's gotten some excellent results out of it.
You can also get so called 'bridge' cameras (or super zooms) for not much more than the higher end point and shoots. I currently use a Fuji Fineipix S9500 - this is discontinued, but the current equivalant is the S8000. These models have most of the features of a DSLR like the various metering modes, manual or auto focusing, ability to shoot RAW, in fact most things except the ability to swap lenses.

I used mine to test the waters of digital photography without breaking the bank. Having had it for a year or so, I now plan to move to a DSLR next year
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Old 12-14-2007, 12:40 PM   #4
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Not to support specific sellers on Ebay, but I got a D40 kit from Cameta Camera or something like that. I was iffy about risking a $600 investment to the trusts of an Ebay purchase, but I have been very satisfied since I did that. The kit came with the body, 2 Nikkor lenses (18-55, 55-200), and a few other little extras. They advertised the camera as a former floor model and said that it had been inspected and refurbished to fix any flaws. I haven't found any other than operator error. It came with a Nikon either 30 or 90 day warranty (don't remember which now), but Cameta picked up the remainder a year making the warranty between both places the same as a Nikon warranty for a new camera.
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Old 12-14-2007, 07:41 PM   #5
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I usually advise superzooms for people like you, but since you've had experience with film SLRs I think I'd reccomend a Nikon D40 or a Canon Digital Rebel XTi. They're both excellent entry-level DSLRs, and won't set you back more than a grand
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Old 12-14-2007, 07:48 PM   #6
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For the price of a quality used 300D or 350D, it would be hard to overlook those. Get used to them, invest in glass, and you'll be ahead down the road when you want the latest and greatest...
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Old 12-14-2007, 09:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alleghenymountains
(...) However I'm spoiled with the idea of digital.
Any suggestions?
Should I sell a kidney and get an SLR? Or does a good non-slr exist?
Thank you
Sure, here it is: SONY Cybershot DSC R1
Not sure, if the price matches about what you intended to invest, because its as expensive as many of the SLR's are.
I'm working now for one and a half year with this camera and very satisfied. It is very versatile, does RAW has 2 memory card slots ... You have to know that for train pictures you will not have a so strong tele lens and the digital will work, but limits you in quality. For instance I continue with this looking with an eye to Sony's new SLR but the «Dust-Problem» really keeps me away from buying and with this Bridge-Camera you'll never have to handle that. - Greetings !
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Old 12-14-2007, 09:42 PM   #8
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What kind of camera does your father have? It's possible his lens would fit a DSLR today unless his gear is really, really old. Like Mitch Goldman old, you know. That way, you could get either a Nikon D40 or a Canon 400D (Digital Rebel XTi) and the kit lens for relatively little and then borrow his lens.


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Old 12-15-2007, 12:31 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alleghenymountains
Greetings everyone. I REALLY need a camera that will take photos decently. I use an old sony mavica that uses the little cds. Hey,it was free, what can I say. It does fine until I go to shoot things like........ TRAINS. Even with photoshop I can't fix my photos well enough to pass the bar.
So here it is, what do you suggest. And I do take LOTS of photos. I'd say my interest in photos has been native plants and amphibians and reptiles in the woods. I spend time doing field research for a project so the mavica has done alright in close up work.
But now I want to get something that will take pictures like my dad's 35mm camera that I used for years, it had manual adjustments, you could change lenses, filters, the whole nine yards. In theory I could just go see him, he'd let me borrow the film camera. However I'm spoiled with the idea of digital.
Any suggestions?
Should I sell a kidney and get an SLR? Or does a good non-slr exist?
Thank you
I budget would really help in answering this question. From what you have described above I would stay away from a point and shoot as you are not going to get the flexability you described with you dads 35mm.

I would strongly recommend looking for a used 20D I have seen several used ones go for between $400-$500 which is insane considering it was a $1500 camera new. You should be able to find a kit lens for $50 and might even be able to find a 20D that comes with one.

This camera should last you a long time and get you some very nice pictures.
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Old 12-15-2007, 01:19 AM   #10
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Thank you all for your input, because it is a very flooded market for digital cameras and trying to pick out which one is ok is hard and hearing what works from those in the field is the best way to really know, thank you.

My father's camera is a Yaschica FX-3 super. He got it when I was young and I've used it off and on for 20 years. I haven't used it since probably 2002-2003.
I think that is when the Sony came into the picture.

I almost always have the sony with me. I'm always taking pictures.

If the lenses would fit, maybe get an slr without the lenses, I think I saw one at bestbuy for 599?

I'm going to keep reading everyone's suggestions thanks you very much.

BTW, the one thing I don't like about the Sony Mavica (other than the stupid little cds) is the fact that it is automatic. I miss the hands on of the film camera.

Aaron et al.. who described buying a used camera, that might be an excellent option.
I'd say this purchase will take place within two months. Have to gather money and find the right camera. I don't want to rush out and buy something that I end up not liking, since I'll be using it ALOT, especially when I am doing field research, that is like 4-5 times a week and I'm always finding landscapes, interesting natural features, reptiles, amphibians, deer, birds, old structures, etc.. to photograph. Not to mention trains!

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Old 12-15-2007, 07:40 AM   #11
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Well, that uses Zeiss T-lenses, so they wouldn't fit onto any of the cameras mentioned above...
The Canon Rebel (300D) Rebel XT (350D) Rebel XTi (400D) used 20D or a Nikon D40 with kit lenses would be a good choice, I think. If you get one of the Canons body only, I'd reccomend the 17-85 EF-S or the 28-135 EF. Good image quality and zoom range on either of those.
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Old 12-18-2007, 05:04 PM   #12
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My main experience lies in birds phototgraphy - though now I am attempting trains.

I would seriously suggest a good quality secondhand Canon Rebel (300D) or Rebel XT (350D) both of which will take fine photos to start off with. Why?

Because new cameras drop their value fast. Rather put your money into good lens, which hold their value.
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Old 12-18-2007, 06:31 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin W-S
I would seriously suggest a good quality secondhand Canon Rebel (300D) or Rebel XT (350D) both of which will take fine photos to start off with. Why?

Because new cameras drop their value fast. Rather put your money into good lens, which hold their value.
I'm also a big fan of used, and the argument for lenses over bodies, so do this or the Nikon equivalent (or other brands, for that matter). Vis Canon, I would suggest the XT because the difference in price is small (about $100, it seems, maybe a bit more) and the XT is much more responsive in terms of time between shots. It's small in the hand, check one out first.
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Old 12-19-2007, 02:45 AM   #14
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Default Also looking for recommendations

I am in the same boat looking to upgrade from a 3.2 megapixel Olympus with 10 time zoom via lens and 3x via digital manipulation. I used to use an old Minolta SRT-201 which was an all manual SLR back in the day. I changed to the Olympus since the cost to go DSLR was too great back then.

I have looked at a friends D400 and liked it a lot. I also looked online at a review about the Olympus E510 which is there equivalent model. But, it has an active back screen, ie works like on my point and shoot. It also has the image stabilization built into it. $500-600 is my budget for a body. Any other suggestions?

I will also be needing to buy some lenses for whatever I buy. What sort would you recommend? ie brand/model. I am probably wanting a Wide to Normal zoom and then a normal to telephoto zoom.

Thanks!
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Old 12-19-2007, 03:01 AM   #15
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Starting out, I would go used. (I'm not starting out any more and I still buy used!) You looked at the (Canon) 400D (XTi in the US). Take a look at the 350D, excellent camera, leaves room for another lens or something else.

Someone else can give the Nikon equivalents. Olympus, Pentax, Sony make SLRs too, don't know much about them (Oly is a smaller "four-thirds" sensor format, also used by Panasonic, I think). Also, their used markets are thinner.

Canon lenses: the "kit" lens is an 18-55. I've used it, I have RP pix with it, but I prefer the Sigma 17-70 if you have the extra $$, sharper and more tele (and semi-macro, which I never used). (Basic theme - spend just enough on the body and put the rest toward good lenses.) That's your wide - short tele. For a longer tele zoom (70-200, 70-300, etc.), no particular recommendation, I moved from the 70-300 to the 70-200 L with no regrets but that is $$$$.
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Old 12-19-2007, 10:42 PM   #16
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The Nikon D40 with lens is down to $470 at Adorama and probably other reputable mail order houses. The 18-55 kit lens is excellent. In my view 6 MP is more than adequate. I have had one for six months and been very happy with it (it replaced two F100's). If you have the bucks, I would spring for the 18-200 VR lens. All that being said, my guess is you can also find a good point and shoot that will do almost as well. Try Ken Rockwell for some good advice on both SLR's and point and shoots.
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Old 12-19-2007, 11:03 PM   #17
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Definetley get the D40. about $450 NEW, great image quality, and being a SLR you can upgrade when you have the money. the 18-55MM II lens that comes with it is adequate, and you can pick up a decent Nikon 70-300MM F4-5.6 for another $100, giving you a good range.
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