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Recommendation for a camera

by Twinmom224 / January 2, 2013 2:58 PM PST

I am looking to upgrade from my current Sony cybershotSony Cyber-Shot DSC-HX100V to an entry level DSLR. I have very active twin toddler boys and I want to take pictures of them in action without being too weighed down by a bulky camera.

I've narrowed down my choices to the following, according to my budget of around $800:
1. Sony Alpha 57
2. Canon EOS Rebel T3i 18 MP
3. Nikon D3100

I would greatly appreciate advice on which camera would be most appropriate to meeting my needs.

thank you

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All Answers

Best Answer chosen by Twinmom224

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by PistonCupChampion / January 2, 2013 3:45 PM PST

I'd probably steer you towards one of the DSLR's (or the Sony equivalent A57). The F3 is a nice camera, but it doesn't have a viewfinder, and its focusing system isn't as up to the task in low light as the others. The Canon and Nikon have the advantage of very broad systems behind them. If you like to use the rear LCD a lot though, they are quite slow to use in that manner. In that respect the Sony is a much better choice; it's as fast using either the viewfinder or LCD. The A57's viewfinder is electronic like your HX100V; the Canon and Nikon have optical viewfinders. If you haven't already, you should try both types out.

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Dslr recommendation
by Twinmom224 / January 3, 2013 1:35 AM PST
In reply to: DSLR

Thank you so much. I never even realized that the F3 did not have a viewfinder. I appreciate the feedback about the Nikon and Canon. I was just wondering what type of additional lense I should buy. What is the 18 to 135 mm lense equivalent in terms of number of x in optical zoom (I hope that makes sense)?

Thank you in advance.

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Lens Reach and Aperture
by PistonCupChampion / January 3, 2013 2:12 AM PST
In reply to: Dslr recommendation

Your HX100V has an equivalent 27-810mm lens. 810 / 27 = 30x. I say equivalent because the lens is in actuality 4.8-122mm..that's the true physical size.

A DSLR is normally sold with an 18-55mm kit lens. 55 / 18 = 3x. In equivalent terms (so you can compare it directly to the HX100V), the lens offers 28.8-88mm.

An 18-135mm lens would offer an equivalent 28.8-216mm, or 7.5x.

There are no DSLR lenses that offer the same amount of reach as your HX100V. The most currently available is made by Nikon (for Nikon DSLR of course); an 18-300mm lens, or in equivalent terms, 25x, 27-450mm.

One other issue you should be aware of is lens aperture. If you want to take indoor photos without using the flash, a wider aperture lens is more desirable. Long zoom lenses do not have wide apertures. A common choice for such use is a "prime" lens, or no zoom. 35mm or 50mm lenses with an f/1.8 aperture are the two most popular. Zoom lenses with wider aperture are available, but are usually very costly as the camera itself, if not more.

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Lens reach
by Twinmom224 / January 3, 2013 9:55 AM PST

Thank you so much for taking the time to explain this to me. You were able to make an amateur like me understand something about lenses that the salesperson at the Sony store could not explain well to me. I greatly appreciate it. I know what to buy now and can't wait to use it at my boys' birthday party next month.

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Clarification and Correction
by PistonCupChampion / January 3, 2013 10:51 AM PST
In reply to: Lens reach

You're most welcome.

Just to clarify, some of the numbers I wrote were for Canon APS-C DSLR only. Sony and Nikon APS-C DSLR sensors are a little bit larger than Canon's, so the "crop factor" is different. On a Sony and Nikon, an 18-55mm lens has an equivalent size of 27-82.5mm, and an 18-135mm lens has an equivalent size of 27-202.5mm.

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