Best SLR camera?

Old Nov 21st, 2007, 11:27 AM
  #1  
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Best SLR camera?

We are looking to buy a new SLR camera and need suggestions. We just want something that takes good pictures and that if something happened to it, it wouldn't be too much of a loss. Any suggestions for good, reasonably priced SLR cameras?
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Old Nov 21st, 2007, 11:36 AM
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Digital SLR or 35mm SLR?
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Old Nov 21st, 2007, 11:37 AM
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Are you looking for a 35mm SLR or a digital SLR? As you may know a digital SLR is going to be much more expensive than a film camera, so maybe that disqualifies it as something that "wouldn't be too much of a loss."

Otherwise, I think the type of camera is less important than the glass you put on it. All modern cameras will have all the whizzy features you'd ever want and more. But, when it comes to lenses, Canon and Nikon pretty much rule. I think it would be hard to go wrong with a basic 35mm SLR from either company.

You might also consider a cheap used digital SLR like a Canon Digital Rebel. Even the original 6.3 Megapixel model (my previous camera) will produce fantastic large prints. I have framed prints hanging from this camera and a 3 Megapixel camera as well as a few 35mm prints. They all look pretty much the same. It's always amusing when people have to ask, "Are these film or digital prints?" I love playing the "guess which ones are digital?" game. People are almost always wrong. The digital ones look quite good.
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Old Nov 21st, 2007, 11:39 AM
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And what's "reasonable?" Further, why an SLR?
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Old Nov 21st, 2007, 12:30 PM
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MaureenB
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I agree that you can't go wrong with Canon. Decide what features you want, and research prices. Very easy. Good buys on eBay, too, if you read the offers carefully to get a new, unopened boxed camera.

I wouldn't buy a used camera, because I think people can treat them roughly so you might be buying someone else's problem camera.
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Old Nov 21st, 2007, 01:22 PM
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I wouldn't buy a used camera, because I think people can treat them roughly so you might be buying someone else's problem camera.

I don't know, Maureen. Hey, runr3, you wanna buy my Canon 20d? Problem free for three years now. And I'm itching to step up to the 40d.
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Old Nov 21st, 2007, 02:10 PM
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Why an SLR? Good reasons: much faster reaction time; plus, real photographers like to see action "live" through a viewfinder, not just on an LCD screen. I recently bought my first point-and-shoot digital (a Canon SD750) and while it's ultra-convenient for carrying around in any situation, I still hate taking pictures with it. I feel so constrained - it's so limited. With my Canon 5D (or the rebel) I can snap way with much more control and precision. I would NEVER trade my digital SLR for a P&S digital.

While it's possible a used digital camera might have problems, it's much more likely that someone is simply upgrading. The first Canon Digital Rebel was only 6.3MP; the latest is about 10MP and is smaller than the original. Or people will upgrade to the 30D or 40D (40D is really nice). I don't think it's automatic that a used digital is going to be defective. Just spend some time playing with it and trying it out. (Don't be afraid to upload an image or two to your laptop and look carefully at it.)
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Old Nov 21st, 2007, 02:11 PM
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Sorry, but personally I do exactly the opposite what MaureenB suggests.

If I want to buy new, I'll buy from a reputable dealer with US warranty. Not from ebay.

If I want to save money, I'll buy used on ebay or on "classified" section of other photo websites from individuals.

But I like the question raised by beachbum. Why a dSLR? What are you trying to do? Are you going to keep expanding on your system to add other lenses and accessories?
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Old Nov 21st, 2007, 02:36 PM
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Oh, I know the reasons for an SLR, Andrew. But from what runr3 says s/he is looking for, an SLR might be a waste of money.

I recently bought a P&S digital too: a Leica d-Lux 3. Takes great photos, but I hate not having a view-finder. So I don't use it much.
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Old Nov 21st, 2007, 02:53 PM
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This is my guaranteed procedure for buying a new digital camera. I've given this advise to many people now and so far I haven't had one person come back and say they got the wrong camera.

1. Go to betterphoto.com and click on Resources > Your Camera. You have a choice of taking a visual or text quiz. Either one will work. Answer the questions and you will get a list of about 10-15 cameras. Write down the models of the 5-7 that rank highest for your needs.

2. Go to dpreview.com and check out the reviews for each of the 5-7 cameras on your list. Cross off all cameras that get less than a Recommended. Cross off any camera that turns you off as you read the review. This will reduce your list to 1-3 cameras.

3. Go to a store and try out the cameras on your list. Buy the one that feels the best in your hands (or whoever's hands will be taking the photos).

The question about whether a digital SLR or a 35mm SLR is a big one. Also, why you want an SLR. I know many people who told me they want to get a dSLR. When I've asked them why, they've replied that they are unhappy with the results they're getting on the point & shoot and the guy at the store says they need a dSLR to get better results. When we sat down and talked it out, 90% of those people DON'T want to deal with a dSLR (and lenses, etc.). They just want to be able to get a decent photo of their child. Usually, just having them bring me their camera and showing them a few tricks, makes them much happier and their wallet a lot fatter.

SLRs are great, but they're not for everyone.
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Old Nov 21st, 2007, 02:54 PM
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P.S. Beachbum - didn't you say you were going to give me that 20D as a holiday gift?
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Old Nov 21st, 2007, 03:10 PM
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MaureenB
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Like I said, if you read the information carefully, to ensure you're getting a brand new, unopened-in-box camera, with a factory warranty, you can get a good buy on eBay on a camera. It doesn't matter where you buy the camera, so long as you get one with a factory warranty, the brand stands behind it if you have a problem during the warranty period. Unless you want to buy from a store in your town where you can go for training, advice on accessories, etc.

It's incorrect to assume that sellers on eBay are not reputable. You can read the feedback on them, and make sure you check their return policy. Also, pay with a credit card. That way you have assurance you'll get what you ordered.

I'm awaiting a Canon SD1000 right now, having done this very thing for a Christmas gift. I paid only about $30 less than retail, but I got a three-year extended warranty, an extra 1G memory card, and a camera case. It's like buying from MacMall on-line vs. Apple-- you get some freebies thrown in to sweeten the deal.

Buying on eBay does require you do your homework. Some people don't want to spend that much time on it, so it's not for them.
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Old Nov 21st, 2007, 03:14 PM
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If you are considering the SD1000, consider the SD750 instead. It's a little more expensive but it has a much larger LCD display - really nice. Costco today has this camera for only $219, a great price (I paid $40 more six weeks ago), plus they give you a 90 day return warranty on it.

By the way, memory cards are so cheap now that I wouldn't bother with only a 1GB card. 2GB cards for $20 are common now, and today I saw one on sale at Fry's for under $10. While you might think you won't take that many pictures, once you start shooting videos with it you'll quickly wish you had more space, believe me.
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Old Nov 21st, 2007, 03:42 PM
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Sorry to bring this OT, but MaureenB, how much did pay for that SD1000? A quick search on ebay, I found the lowest price is about $160 + $23 shipping for $183 total.

Now, why would I pay that instead of $170 on amazon with free shipping?

And many of those dealers on ebay sell grey market stuff. No Canon USA warranty. That's why they'll throw in a "1 yr", "3 yr" or whatever warranty from a 3rd party. I hope you won't have to use it, but it won't be as simple as shipping back to Canon USA.

Like Andrew says, a 1GB SD is basically free. I have at least a couple that I've gotten in the last 6 months for <$10 (after rebate). Is the case a Canon one, or 3rd party no-name one?

Sorry, not to burst your bubble, but if I want a SD1000, I'll buy one from a reputable dealer directly. I did not say any seller on ebay is not reputable, which is of course not true. I sell stuff there too. There are are non-reputable dealers outside ebay too.

But in this example, amazon.com is reputable and has an excellent price. Why not buy from them instead?
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Old Nov 21st, 2007, 05:54 PM
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MaureenB
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Not to belabor the point, but I know how to comparison shop! I paid what you noted, and I'm getting a USA Canon warranty, plus the extras I mentioned. I have a good return policy, plus the assurance of buying throuh PayPal and Visa. I bought from a reputable buyer.

I think the real point, as I have already said, is that it pays to do your homework and to comparison shop.

Now, let's get back to the OP's question, can we??
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Old Nov 21st, 2007, 06:08 PM
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B&H Photo has a $50 rebate on the SD1000 through 11/30. With their shipping, that makes the total price $150.

I look at all the different companies out there, but 95% of the time, I find the best price without risk at B&H. The other 5% of the time, I either buy locally or directly from Amazon (not through them from Adorama, etc.).
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Old Nov 21st, 2007, 06:56 PM
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Let's wait to see what the big guy leaves under the tree, toedtoes. ;-)
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Old Nov 21st, 2007, 07:41 PM
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Toed, the rebate applies to purchase of a photo printer plus any Canon camera, not to the camera alone. Thanks anyway.

There's always a better offer out there, after a purchase has been made! That's the nature of technology.
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Old Nov 21st, 2007, 07:43 PM
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Oops, sorry Maureen. I didn't read it closely.

Yes, after you buy it, it will always be found for less. However, with B&H I rarely feel like I got screwed in the deal.
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Old Nov 21st, 2007, 08:02 PM
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Nikon D40, if you are going to get an SLR. Check it out on www.cnet.com and it's on www.buydig.com for $477 last I looked. It's awesome!! Point and shoots are like convenience food, they serve a purpose. SLR's are for taking great photos.
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