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headbandit
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headbandit

Hi! I’ve decided to invest in a better camera than my Canon Powershot (it’s a point & shoot). I have no idea where to start, and obviously you guys know a lot more about cameras than I do! So, I thought if I tell you what I’m looking for, you might be able to make some recommendations?

I want a camera…

-that has a self timer that will take more than 1 shot at a time
-has a continuous auto-focus feature
-can film video
-is preferably $600 or less

I don’t need something really complicated, these are my main interests…

Does my dream camera exist? Thanks for your help!

EDIT 8/28/2011: I’ve decided on the Canon Rebel T3, thanks to everyone for all of your recommendations!

posted over 8 years ago
tightsandtea
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tightsandtea

buy a remote shutter release—it’ll save you a lot of hassle, and you can take as many shots as you want free-hand.
most entry-level DSLRs released within the past few years have video, but the quality varies from camera to camera. I would opt for the Canon Rebel T3, unless you need more professional videos (it’s not full-frame, it’s 720p). it’s amazingly cheap for the type of camera, and any dslr is better than a point and shoot.
The cheapest video dslr is the T3, and it’s around $560 with the basic lens. the nicer version of that—the T3i—costs $849. the nicer dslr’s can run at around $1600 for just the body and no lenses.

I would look more at the lenses you’re investing in—an amazing lens on a cheap dslr makes a much better shot than an amazing camera with a cheap lens. Lenses will definitely push you out of your $600 max though, because I don’t think there are any lenses under $100, not even the cheap/cheesy ones. The kit lens is ok, but the photos won’t be as nice as they could be, and it won’t be that much of a difference from your point-and-shoot (compared to a nicer lens that is).

For lenses, I would DEFINITELY get the 50mm 1.8—it’s a great lens for that price. the f-stop is 1.8, and as a rule of thumb, the lower the f-stop the better. it’s fixed-focus so it can get you that nice blurry look that is quintessential of DSLR’s.

good luck :)

posted over 8 years ago
 
pandaphilia
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pandaphilia

try the canon xsi with a 50mm f/1.8 lens for the blurry background effect.

posted over 8 years ago
 
tightsandtea
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tightsandtea

I don’t think the xsi has video though

posted over 8 years ago
 
Catherinee
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Catherinee

Newamericanclassic’s suggestions were great… lenses are ultimately just as important as the body itself. A good lens makes so much difference – the 50mm f/1.8 is a great first lens (other than the kit one).

I would recommend the Nikon D3100, which I think runs a little under $600, and you can often find deals at Best Buy and such that include two lenses. I don’t know if it has video, though, since many entry level DSLRs don’t.

posted over 8 years ago
 
jgulman
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jgulman

all of this is great advice, so i don’t have much to add in the camera choice department. i am new to photography with an slr as well and wanted a “starter” dslr. my price range, however, was lower than yours and i thought that buying a nice megazoom would be sufficient for my needs. what i realized was that it was not any different quality from a point and shoot, it just had a pretty long zoom (36x= TOO MUCH, who needs that unless they’re trying to shoot birds in the sky?! and it was too slow for that anyways…).
what i decided on while returning my unnecessary megazoom was a USED dslr. if you’re not in the market for an expensive camera but still want quality and features, go to the local camera stores in your city and surrounding area, NEVER best buy, walmart, etc. the people at these stores actually know what they’re talking about, and you can explain all the features you want to them. people think that because these stores are small and self run that their prices will be higher. not the case. especially if you don’t mind buying the camera used. plus it’s nice to support a local business, right? they clean it up like it’s brand new, and usually they have models that are still being sold in stores (i just got a D3000 and love it). lenses can also be bought used, and down the road when you get more into photography you can switch out the body for a new model and save your precious lenses!
hope this looong post helps you out!

posted over 8 years ago
 
ohheycam
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ohheycam

The Sony Alpha series actually makes really good cameras and the ones I’ve seen were a little over 300. I have a Nikon D3000 myself that I’m in love with. Always look at Canon and Nikon as well. My photo club at school is mostly made up of Nikons & Canons but I have friends back home (NJ, for me) who shoot with Sony and their pictures turn out awesome! Try WalMart because that’s where I saw the Sony series I mentioned earlier. Ebay and Amazon will probably have some good deals. I got my Nikon on a military base so no taxes but it would have been worth it either way.

Also try looking at Olympus, that’s what I started out with years ago and I loved that camera. I agree about the comment about buying a shutter release remote. It really does make things much easier.
However there are some nice point and shoots that are styled like SLRs that could have everything you’re looking for so check into that too! Good luck, I hope this helps!

posted over 8 years ago
 
RayofSunshine91
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RayofSunshine91

i have a canon eos rebel t3…its a slightly older camera but its great! the rebel series is one of the best in photography. they arent that expensive, and they are frequently sold on ebay and amazon for cheaper. and all the lenses are interchangeable between models…including film and digital cameras

posted over 8 years ago
 
RebeckaYu
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RebeckaYu

Perhaps a canon rebel t2i? Since the t3i came out, they’ve had a significant drop in price. (it also has more megapixels than the t3i)
Lenses are a lot more important though..

posted over 8 years ago
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