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Discussion Starter #1
My wife and I are looking to pick up a midrange DSLR and don't know where to start. Our budget is under $1000, but willing to spend a little more if the return is worth the extra investment. I know there are many photo buffs here and basically looking to steal a little of your wisdom.

Any help is appreciated. :)
 

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Got my wife a Nikon D90 for her bday last year and she absolutely loves it. That and a few photography courses have enabled her to take really amazing shots.

There is a thread about it somewhere here on DH.
 

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Does this discussion not belong in the area called "Portable Electronics: Digital Cameras, Camcorders, ebook Readers, iPods, MP3 Players and GPS"????

We looked at the alternatives, and brought a Sony A55. Very nice, great images, very happy with it.

Do you have any existing gear? If so, that can influence your decision. Getting a body that will use your gear can cut the cost of starting. My girlfriend has an older Minolta film camera, and I have a Nikon setup.

That brought our decisions to either the Sony line, or the Nikon line. We went with Sony because the Nikon D7000 was just too large and heavy and expensive for what we wanted.

I would suggest looking at places like Digital Photography Review (dpreview*com). There are lots of reviews, lots of discussions, and lots of information to help you make a decisions.
 

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All of the major makers have excellent products in the range you are looking at. One factor to seriously consider is how the prospective purchase feels in your and your wife's hands - the grip, weight and where the controls are with respect to your fingers etc. I went with Nikon over Canon in part because, to me, the Canon just didn't feel right. When you leave the full auto mode, you don't want to be fumbling around making any of the myriad possible adjustments trying to capture a fleeting image. Another factor to consider is the range and price of other lenses you might want in the future.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the great advice. Neither of us even knew where to start looking for info, we just don't trust manufacturer's or store websites and don't know any friends who are into photography. We didn't want to go into this purchase blindly.
 

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Keep in mind the lens is the most important part of the equation. Many first time users buy the best DSLR they can afford. The problem with that is the manufacturers (Canon, Nikon, Pentax et als.) usually bundle a cheaper lens with the body. So these people have a top of the line body with a not quite so good lens. As a first time DSLR buyer I'd recommend buying the entry level DSLR and save money for better lenses when you become more adept at using the camera. The better more expensive bodies don't necessarily take better photos, they just have better features like more focus points, bigger lcd, higher frames/second burst rates. The entry level will be more than enough camera for first timers. there is a learning curve with a DSLR - most users are initially disappointed. They expect pro results but don't get them because they need to learn the fundamentals of depth of field, exposure and others (coupled with the fact their top of the line body came with a not top of the line lens).
Once you get the fundamentals of photography down pat you’ll know better how the kit lens is limiting what you want to do and you can buy a better lens if so desired.

DPREVIEW.COM is a great site for gear and a good forum for questions. But DO look at the photos of the person offering advice. There's some poor adivce there but it is easily determined by looking at the poor photos taken by that person.


Cheers
Phil M.
Office drone/photo-enthusiast
some of my photos
 
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