View Full Version : Photo experts SLR help needed

01-31-2008, 04:37 PM
We are getting ready to upgrade to a SLR (as it stands right now). None of our family or friends are "camera" people. In our family, I am the one who does all the picture taking at the get togethers. The current kodak point and shoot, isn't cutting the mustard any more. I would love to hear your opitions on what is out on the market today. I have read so many reports, my eyes can't take it any more. Have played with several different camera at the stores and talked to the sales people.

Here is what we are looking for and the uses:

10+ pixels
fast shutter speed
auto focus
image stabilization

Will be used for family photos at holidays and vacations. Kids activites that we will use at - marching band, track, base/softball, basketball, dance recitals/competions, and cheerleading.

Your personal likes and dislikes are all wanted. DH knows that this isn't going to be a cheap purchase, but to start out would like to stay under $2000. He knows I could, and if I had an open budget, would get the best out there.



01-31-2008, 05:00 PM
Hi! We have the Canon 30D and we LOVE it... we debated the Canon Digital Rebel, but the extra $ was worth the upgrade for the extra features... We also have a fancy upgraded lens and flash... If you have any specific questions, PM me and I will refer you to the camera expert (my DH)... Spending the $ and getting a good SLR was sooo worth it! Point and shoot pictures look like :ack: to me now!!

01-31-2008, 05:08 PM
double post :oops:

01-31-2008, 06:09 PM
I have the Nikon D70S and I love it.

The biggest thing that I would look out for is that you don't want something that does far more than you'll ever use it for. Definitely go a little bit more than what you would use but make sure to get what you will actually use. I would also not get one that is huge and so heavy to carry that it's hard to bring it anywhere.

01-31-2008, 08:57 PM
This is what my photographer boyfriend had to say:

Check out the Canon 40D, it's fairly new, but quite a good camera. I think that Canon has had an edge over Nikon in image sensor quality since they started making digital SLR cameras, but Nikon has a great advantage when it comes to lens availability. Although, once you shell out the cash for a good Canon L series lens they are usually better than Nikon.

Now, for your wishlist in a camera:
1. 10MP+, most new DSLR cameras can do this, or close. Really, once you get to about 6MP you can make a fairly large print in good quality. The difference in what you would see in a print between 8 & 10 wouldn't be that great. Go for better sensor quality rather than higher megapixels.
2. Fast shutter speed - how fast are you wanting it? For the most part, shutter speed is always going to depend on how much light you have. The more light, the faster you can go. The main thing to consider here is the aperture of the lens (the wider, the more expensive, but the more light), and the ISO speed (the higher you go the faster the shutter speed you can get, but the more noise your image will have--compare ISO noise between Nikon and Canon).
3. Autofocus.... check. The only manual focus lenses would be available for Nikon, but that would be an old lens. Nearly all lenses are auto/manual (using a switch).
4. Image stabilization is usually going to be lens based and not something in the camera. Look for lenses that usually have something like IS in the name for this feature. Also, IS only gives you about 1 or 2 stops of light difference (sorry if that doesn't make any sense, it would take too much time to explain).

Oh, beware of salespeople. They can try to sell you anything. Your best bet is to do a lot of research online and go to good sites that do side-by-side comparisons. Then decide for yourself and probably order the camera online. Make sure you purchase it from a reputable dealer as well, because there are a lot of sites online that have prices that are too good to be true, and they usually are. If you would like, PM me for a list of good review sites as well as places to purchase the camera.

Whew, I know he can be kind of long-winded! :blush: Hope this helps!

02-01-2008, 09:13 AM
Another :thumbsup: for the Canon 30D. Bought it last summer and I just love it.

02-01-2008, 09:55 AM
I recently bought the Canon Rebel XT. It has 8 MP and I LOVE it! I am trying to actually get into the hobby of photography, and have outgrown a point and shoot. I researched and decided that the Rebel was what I needed, for ease of use and for a good learning camera. So far, its been amazing!

Others have said that MP is not that important. Unless you were going to make 11x14, you don't need anymore than an 8. I researched the Rebel and many people have said they've made an 11x14 from the same Rebel I have, and its been crisp and clear.

Canon makes the Rebel XTi which has 10 MP, so there's that. These are all digital as well. Most of the dSLRs have a switch for auto settings with auto focus, and completely manual, like white balance and focus. You will find that the dSLRs have manual Zooms, and the lenses that come with the body kit usually do not have that great of a zoom, so you are going to have to buy another lens compatible in the zoom you would like, so keep that in mind with your budget. Look for package deals at dealers like Best Buy, Staples, Circuit City, etc.

Like BouncingTigger said, your shutter speed will be based on the amount of light you have and your ISO speed. Most advanced P&S have an ISO setting, so you can see what happens when you increase your ISO. You will get a pretty grainy picture, especially for darker shots. On the SLR, you can manually change settings when you increase your ISO to help get rid of the noise, but its usually inevitable to have noise.

I love my Rebel. It can be as auto as you want, working as a really nice P&S, or you can go completely manual. Its easy to use out of the box and takes AMAZING pictures.

Happy Picture Taking!

02-01-2008, 10:14 AM
I have a Canon Rebel XTi. I love it. It's super easy to use out of the box.

I've had it for about a year now and I'm still learning to use all the advanced features (night, no flash, etc.)

Magic Smiles
02-01-2008, 10:17 AM
I bought the Olympus E 510 along with 4 lens in November and love it. I too just graduated from the point and shoot cameras. The E510 is not too big or bulky to carry around. The pictures that I took with the E510 turned out great for me and I just set it to auto as I did not have time to learn the camera before our Dec 07 trip. I know that others are partial to Canon, but I have never had any problems with Olympus cameras and now own 4.
Bouncing Tigger said "Image stabilization is usually going to be lens based and not something in the camera." I could be wrong, but I think that the image stablilization on the Olympus is in the camera body.
We also bought the Olympus Stylus 790 SW point and shoot in Dec 07. This little camera is waterproof and also takes video. We got some good footage on both Kali River Rapids and going down the water park slides.
I found that shopping for cameras can be so confusing. You also have to keep in mind that some stores (and salesclerks) are paid by the manufacturers to push their cameras, so you don't always get the complete honest lowdown on a camera. My step daughter used to work for a major camera store and told me this.
Good Luck as I know that shopping for new cameras these days can be overwhelming.

02-01-2008, 02:03 PM
Nikon D70 user here and I Love it!

I do find it is big, especially with the camera case and a second lens, but the quality of pictures make it worth it.

02-01-2008, 02:24 PM
Another Canon XTi user here! LOVE IT!

When I was shopping for a SLR cam last year, I found several I really liked. To me, it came down to the XTi (the 30D wasn't out yet), Nikon D80 and the Pentax k10d.

I would have gotten the Pentax, but it was out of stock at the time and they were not sure when they would be getting it back in. I have been told that Sony has a twin the the Pentax, but not sure about it. Never even seen it and never check it out.

I suggest going to your local camera store and just trying them out. They are all very similar and it really comes down to what feels right to you.

Enjoy your new cam once you get it. You will never touch a Point and Shoot again!

02-02-2008, 10:19 AM
The most expensive camera will still take average photos if your technique is poor. Composition is the key to good photographs and that's all up to you. Learn to photograph in manual mode. Do an Internet search or better yet buy a book about photography technechniques, the same rules that applied to film cameras applies to digital, just the recording medium has changed. :photo:

Good luck.

02-02-2008, 10:36 AM
Most SLR digital cameras will give you a quality photo. I use a Canon EOS Rebel for my crimes scene photos and do not like it as well as my Fuji S5100. The fuji takes very good photos in low light situations in the auto mode with no flash. I must use the flash on the Canon.

The S5100 has been discontinued but as a replacement I think the S6100.

Speed of the camera in taking action photos takes a tripod which help to eliminate fuzzy or blurry photos.

The S5100 cost me around $250 as opposed to the Canon which cost over $500.

I hope this helps.:mickey: