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Best professional camera for beginner?

by dirtyllah / July 13, 2006 3:41 AM PDT

I have a Nikon Coolpix L3 but I'd like to move on to a professional camera that takes better pictures. What would you suggest for a beginner with under $1000?

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Looking at what you have...
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 13, 2006 5:59 AM PDT

Read other replies here about DSLR cameras and consider that one of my best pictures ever (my opinion) was taken with my old Epson PhotoPC. It had all of 640x480 pixels but the shot is still one of my favorites.

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Let me suggest...
by Technosarge / July 13, 2006 6:58 AM PDT

I'm using a Canon Powershot S2 IS. While this is thought of as a "pro-lite" model, it has really good features and performance:
- A 12X optical zoom gets you into the action, or lets you crop a shot in-camera instead of the PC. This is MILES better than the 3X of my former camera!
- Open/shoot/close! I LOVE the fact that this thing is ready to shoot just a bit more than a second after turning it on. That really helps catch targets of opportunity when a great shot appears and your camera is still in the case!
- I hate flash. I always turn it off, if the scene is bright enough to capture without it. If you use off-camera flash, say, a studio setup, maybe you don't mind, but the frontal lighting of a camera flash and the stark shadows are something I avoid. On the Canon, if you don't pop up the flash, it doesn't waste time complaining of the light, and it doesn't blurt light into that perfect scene; it just takes t he picture the best it knows how. On my old Olympus, I had to set a menu function and manually cancel it when I did want a flash. Ugh. Canon's method is 'way better.
- What helps on the no-flash is those last two initials of the camera's name, "IS". This baby is inertially stabilized, which compensates for some camera shake. That's also a big plus on long telephoto shots!

The current model is the S3 IS. It's very similar, but is even better in low-light situations. It's also black, if black cameras speak "pro" to you.

Finally - (drum roll, please) The Canon is an Editors Choice from Consumer Reports. And all the user reviews I've read give it high marks, too.

Check it out!

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by dirtyllah / July 13, 2006 7:52 AM PDT
In reply to: Let me suggest...

Thanks for the suggestions. I have another thing to ask, can someone point me to a website where I can learn photographer terminology?

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by snapshot2 Forum moderator / July 13, 2006 10:09 AM PDT
In reply to: Thanks
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You can't get a new professional, camera for $1,000.
by Kiddpeat / July 13, 2006 10:19 AM PDT

You can get some DSLR camera bodies at that price level, but they would still need lenses.

My suggestion is to look for used SLRs, digital or film, with one or more lenses on eBay. Watch for a while to get a feel for prices. Be sure you know what the new price is so that you don't pay a new price for a used camera.

The Canon 20D is a possibility right now since it has been superceded by the 30D.

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Took a test...
by dirtyllah / July 13, 2006 11:37 AM PDT

I took a test based on what is most important to me and my 1st recommendation was Sony Cyber Shot DSC-H5 and my second was Canon PowerShot S3 IS (Which is what I expected). Has anyone tried the DSC-H5 or know if it is any better than the S3?

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Chose some cameras
by dirtyllah / July 13, 2006 2:31 PM PDT
In reply to: Took a test...

After a bit of researching, I found some cameras I like. Canon PowerShot S3 IS, Sony Cyber Shot DSC-H5, and Canon Digital Rebel XT. All around the same prices. Which would you recommend for a beginner?

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You did say "professional", right?
by excelguru / July 14, 2006 12:22 AM PDT
In reply to: Chose some cameras

Get away from those Powershots. (I have nothing against Powershots, as I used to own one and they're great cameras.) I wouldn't even consider the Rebel XT, to be honest.

For your price range, you absolutely can't go wrong with buying a USED Canon 20D. Their prices are quite reasonable because of the recent introduction of the 30D. After that, you'll need a good "starter" lens, preferrably used to save some bucks. Search for a used 35mm or 50mm prime lens. You will discover that Canon-brand lenses keep their resale value remarkably well, so don't expect a huge discount from new. Stay away from the lenses with an "L" in the name, because they're expensive.

Hope this helps!

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Digital Rebel XT
by mopscare42 / July 14, 2006 1:23 AM PDT
In reply to: Chose some cameras

I have the Canon XT Rebel and it does everything the hobby photographer could want. If you want to make a living with it, this is not the camera for you.
It comes with a 18-55 mm lense which works well and most Canon lenses you can pick up will work on it.
The only thing I don't like on it is the built in flash as it is pretty weak under curtin conditions.
The Canon hot shoe flashes are very expensive so I picked up a Promaster 5550DX digital flash for less than $150.00 and it works just as well as the the Canon flashes.
With the 8 megapix you can blow up pictures to 11X14 and they still look great.
A very versatile camera with a lot of features.

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Rebel XT
by photog4fun / August 8, 2006 12:28 AM PDT

If you want to be able to change lens and grow with a camera, get a Rebel XT SLR. When it comes to "action" photography, the point & shoot cameras just can't compete with it.

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just say NO to the Rebel XT
by Geekapoo / August 8, 2006 3:50 AM PDT
In reply to: Rebel XT

Put one in your hands. Does it feel good to you? Many people do not like it (including me), saying it is too small.

Compare the user interface and menu set up for the Rebel XT with the Canon 20D (which I own) or the Nikon D50 or D70s. NO COMPARISON. I'd never buy a Rebel XT. Get the Nikon D50 or if you can afford it, the 20D. The price for the D50 should drop given the D80 is coming out in a week. Also, buy the 17-85 lens....good glass is overall the most important part of your purchase.


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by excelguru / August 10, 2006 7:30 AM PDT
In reply to: Rebel XT

I made a comment earlier about avoiding the purchase of Canon's L-series lenses because they're expensive. I should clarify myself somewhat because my comment reads badly.

Canon's L-Series lenses are worth the money. I own several. What I meant was that the lenses are bit much for you if you're just beginning. And they would ruin your budget. Get them later.

On a sidenote: The Rebel XT is a very nice camera, but should not be considered if you plan to do this for money. It simply doesn't compare to the 20D. No offense intended towards XT owners. Happy

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pro digital slr
by raeaqusn / August 14, 2006 7:05 AM PDT

at the beginning of the year i purchased and Olympus E-500 with two telephoto lenses 1. 15-45 mm 2. 40-105mm
it has all of the settings both manual and preset that you could want a amature or pro. the only thing that i found lacking is external flashes for this camera are expensive and so are macro lenses. but aren't they always.

you should check out all of the Olympus E series SLRs.

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