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Please help me find a good digital camera

Hi!

So my dad has asked me to find him a digital camera. Neither of us are experienced photographers, but he wants something that is really good. He wants a camera that can take great night and distance shots for pictures of restaurants in different lighting. He plans to also use the camera to take photographs of food he sells at his restaurant for display purposes, and for internet advertising. He also wants to use it on a day to day basis for vacations, etc. His budget is around $1,000. A friend of mine said to buy the Nikon D90. However, I don't know the difference between a camera like that versus other cameras. Please help!

Thanks!

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canon sx 200 is

In reply to: Please help me find a good digital camera

has 12x zoom, , I used it at a cocnert, great pics. Was only able to get this camera on line. Maybe in stores by now.

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Something to think about

In reply to: Please help me find a good digital camera

The Nikon D90 is a good choice.
But it may crowd your budget a bit if you get into costly lenses.

A tripod will be needed for taking those food shots, and a tripod will let you use less expensive lenses for those night and indoor shots.

For indoors you will want a wide angle lens, so that you can get more area into the photo.

..

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Nikon D5000

In reply to: Something to think about

Thanks for the help! Do you think the Nikon D5000 will be a good fit for my purpose? I only ask because it is cheaper than the Nikon D90.

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Camera choice

In reply to: Nikon D5000

The Nikon D5000 is adequate for most beginners. The main limitation is that the D5000 lacks AF motor and cannot autofocus some Nikkor lenses. But this is usually not the problem, there are enough compatible lenses with D5000 for most beginners to choose. The D90 does not have this problem, can use all current Nikkor lenses.

Certainly D-SLR will do a very good job of low light and indoor photos, much better than a PS camera. But for commercial advertising, you may want to consider hiring a professional. The professional look of a photo comes from a professional photographer, not just by using a professional camera. It may take a beginner a while to master the manual controls to produce professional quality photos. Indoor lighting can be a little tricky when a combination of lighting is used for decors.

I usually don't take photos of my food, but I got one quick snapshot of my son's birthday cupcakes (before they devour them) to show you the advantage of using a D-SLR versus a PS camera:
http://i165.photobucket.com/albums/u45/hjfok/Matthew%205th%20BDay/IMG_0023-1_1.jpg
I use a Canon D-SLR with flash, this is a close up shot taken indoor with minimal light (they were getting ready for lighting candles). This is an advantage of using D-SLR because you can have a shallow depth of field effect with blurry background, selective focus of what you want to show, and non-direct flash. I use bounce flash with a flash diffuser, to soften the light. This brings out better color of the food (without the reflected light from direct flash of the built-in flash).

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