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Which canon camera would be best for portraits ( bud=$400)

I have lot of craze for photography .. now i am thinking to purchase a camera to materialize my craze to practical hobby

can anyone suggest me best camera available ( preferable canon ) within budget of $ 400 .. and i have heard slr dslr .. what are they actually ?

please suggest me once as soon as possible

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Compact vs. DSLR

With $400, you could get a new compact, or a used DSLR. A DSLR is the kind of camera you see professionals using. The main advantages to a DSLR are a bigger imaging sensor...the thing that records the picture...and the ability to change lenses to suit the task. The disadvantages are that DSLR cameras are large; many people can't see themselves carrying one too many places. Buying lenses and other accessories adds up quickly. You can easily spend thousands.

A compact like the Canon S95 is what a pro might carry around in their pocket. It takes pretty good photos for its size, and has manual controls, just like a DSLR. The disadvantage to any compact is that they struggle with action and low light situations.

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Is sony fine ?

what if i change my priorities from canon to sony.
i think canon is bit expensive.Sony provide same thing with comparatively lower price.Does it make a difference ?
And which models of canon and sony are good in the prescribed range ?

one of my frinds was selling canon g10
how about it if i bought it?

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