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digital camera w/lenses

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My mom has expressed interest in having a nice digital camera (I think the kind you can change lenses on), but I am kind of clueless on these (I have a nice camera, just not this kind). I am working on finding out the specific one she saw (my great aunt had one with her on a family trip we went on but I didnt pay attention to what kind, features, stuff like that-we got back and my mom told me that is what she most wants for Christmas but wont tell my stepdad because she says they cant afford it). My mom took photography classes about 30 years ago, so she knows some stuff, but obviously technology has changed a lot. I am not sure I can afford one either (definitely not the $1500 ones I wish I could get her), but I could really use some help here finding an awesome deal!!!! Any help/suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
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How much are you wanting to spend? That could aid in getting some prices for you and ideas.


There are several options, the kind with changing lenses are digital SLRs and some of the basic models start around 400-500. You'll want to look for a kit, something that includes the camera body plus a lens. You can buy the bodies alone, but without a lens you're stuck. The cheapest site I've found for camera deals is B&H Photo out of New York. Great prices, free shipping in most cases.

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The style of camera is called dSLR (as in Digital Single Lense Reflex).


For a low-priced model with two lenses (18-55 mm and 55-200mm -- basically a 3x lense and a 6x lense) you are looking at about $600 (for starters).


Two thing she should be aware of:


1) Only the newest high-end dSLRs have live preview on the LCD (for all other cameras you need to look through the small viewfinder).


2) Only the newest high-end dSLRs have a mode to take movies.




Although not quite the same thing, a less expensive option would be a SLR-like camera (also called a bridge camera, as in it's a bridge between a point-and-shoot and a dSLR).


Those are between $250 - $300 with one permanently fixed lense that can typically zoom up to 20x (500mm equivalent). They can shoot movies and photos (some models can even shoot 720p high-def movies). They have manual and fully-automatic modes and everything in between.


I'm after a bridge camera myself and could give you a few recommendations and links if that would be a route you'd be interested in...



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i have a dSLR -- canon rebel xti -- it's two years old and i love it. i paid $1K for it and the updated version is selling for under $700, i think. i would highly recommend it, especially for a woman, because it's a smaller, lighter camera than the equivalent nikons. i've seen reviews by men who gripe about how small it is, but for women, it's a perfect fit for their hands.


if she has any old lenses from an old film setup, she might want to take them into consideration. i had old canon lenses and they all work on my digital slr.


i would think your mom would be fine with the kit lens at first, until she gets used to things. a better lens could be next year's present :)


i also recommend B&H. cheaper than any brick-mortar store you're likely near. very good service as well, and they know what they're talking about.

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www.newegg.com, www.amazon.com and www.jr.com are all reputable resellers too.


Be sure to check www.resellerratings.com on anyone you buy from (online). There are a ton of dealers selling "gray-market" cameras which are cameras made for a company other than the U.S. that are imported here but will be denied any warranty coverage by the manufacturer.


It's one thing to find a good price, but if it's 1/3 less than everyone else, something is wrong.




Not to steer you/your mom into a bridge camera, but they are smaller/lighter than dSLRs too.


If your mom had a Minolta camera, her SLR lenses could be fitted to a Sony camera with an adapter ring (readily available on ebay). When Minolta got out of the camera business, they sold their designs and lineup to Sony.


Otherwise, you need to match brand for brand (Nikon SLR lenses on a Nikon dSLR body, etc.)

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I love my Olympus E500 :D (I went with it over the other brands because the lenses are specifically made to be used with digital camera's and because all the connections were metal not plastic), Dh paidover 1K for it (with 2 lenses) a few years ago...I see the same kit now for about $600-$700...not going to get much lower than that for any decent digital SLR right now. :no: but if you really are into taking pictures they are worth every penny! :yup:
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I have the Sony Alpha a300. It has the live view and is rated very well on this. It also has anti-shake technology inside the main body, so you can get a steadier shot. Sony bought the Minolta camera division several years ago and the old minolta lenses fit on it. I paid $600 with the "kit" lens.


My sister bought the Cannon XSi a few months ago and loves it to death. She paid around $700 for it. It has live view also. But Cannon's anti-shake is in the lenses, which can cost over $1000 each. It seems to be about the same size as my Sony.


My suggestion is to look at the brand of camera she prefers. Stick with that one. Generally, an upgrade on one of these cameras is to get a newer technology (like live view) or to get extra abilities (which most people don't use.) Also, since you are concerned about price, a 10 Megapixel camera will take high enough quality pictures to print a 8x10 photo. If you are wanting larger than that, then buy the higher Pixel cameras. Otherwise, you can get by with the lower resolution ones....therefore cheaper.

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...Also, since you are concerned about price, a 10 Megapixel camera will take high enough quality pictures to print a 8x10 photo. If you are wanting larger than that, then buy the higher Pixel cameras. Otherwise, you can get by with the lower resolution ones....therefore cheaper.

Here's a handy chart that shows the maximum recommended print size for a given pixel size:



One thing that the chart doesn't take into account is the fact that the larger the print size the further away you will be from it when looking at it. For instance, a 4x6 is usually viewed at arm's length, but an 18x24 print hangs on the wall and you stand away from it to see the whole thing.


One thing the chart does show -- 35mm print film is still king for larger prints. You would need a 18-20 Megapixel camera to be able to make large prints of the same caliber as a 35mm SLR. :razz:

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