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Camera options for 500?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Okay so basically I have spent a lot of time on this forum looking at everyones photography and a bunch of the camera threads and I decided that photography is a hobby I could really enjoy.

I am looking to spend up to 500, hopefully less on a camera and everything. What would be my best option for 500, wether it be point and shoot or DSLR.

I realize it is not that much if I did want to get in the SLR realm, but I will most likely try to find everything used.

Some requirements I have is software that will work with a Mac, just to connect and transfer photos to the HDD where I can play with them on Aperture 2. Also I would prefer if it were Nikon if it was a DSLR, but doesn't matter to me if point and shoot.

I am going on a 3 week vacation to Europe in about 2 weeks or so and I would love to get my camera gear before then.

Thank you for all the help, if I do not invest in photography the money will go to me OmegaII fund
post #2 of 15
Easy:

Amazon.com: Nikon D40 6.1MP Digital SLR Camera Kit with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED II AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor Lens: Camera & Photo

Edit: I didn't see your option for used equipment. You certainly have more options that way.
post #3 of 15
One of the best (imo) compact point and shoot cameras out right now is the Canon SD850. After getting a case, LCD protector, and memory card, it comes to be around $250. You could always get two of them!
post #4 of 15
I would go SLR. The D40 is a good option!
post #5 of 15
I'd go for the Canon SD870IS myself. Very compact, so you'll always have it with you. I've taken ten times as many great pictures with my SD750 as I have with my Nikon D50 in the last month simply because I have the Canon with me.
post #6 of 15
I tend to plug the Olympus 420 with their new pancake lens, probably because I want one but it's a DSLR that you can easily take anywhere. it's not brilliant in DSLR terms, nor is the lens, but if the compact package means you'll be using it more often, theres a lot of sense in that. and no P&S will come close, even if you use it in full auto mode. only thing you don't get is a stylish design, or the ability to take videos (but who cares about either anyway?)

for a more capable dslr, go D40. I got one because I was on an even smaller budget (only to spend a couple hunder on a 1970s film slr kit :P it's the way things go...). it takes great images, it's light enough to carry around. and only the Oly 4290 is smaller.
post #7 of 15
If you're buying new, the Nikon D40 kit with the 18-55mm is a great way to go. We gave my father one for Christmas last year and it takes great photos.

But if you're open to buying used/refurbished, you might want to look at the Nikon D50. Those have almost all the features of the D70 and, unlike the D40, you can use many more Nikon lenses. The D40 only takes the newer lenses, but the D50, like the others, will use almost any Nikon AF lens.
post #8 of 15
My mother travel a lot with a Canon Rebel XTi(DSLR 10 Mpx) and when she saw my Nikon Coolpix P5000(point and shoot 10 Mpx), she wished she had this one while travelling. The point is when you travel you don't want to carry too much stuff.

If you plan to travel a lot, I'd go for the point and shoot option. If this is going to be your only trip and then you'll mostly take pictures at home, go for a DSLR.

I do prefer the DSLR feel while taking pictures but something more compact is better while travelling and the Nikon I got offer a lot of control over the camera(nearly the same as the DSLR) but you won't be able to change lens.

Happy shopping
post #9 of 15
I'd like to come home from traveling and look at the beautiful pictures I took, rather than being disappointed at the noisy mess of a point&shoot. but that all depends on what you think is important, and if you do or don't mind taking with you. 95% of the world would rather have a point&shoot, doesn't mean you should
post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Braver View Post
I'd like to come home from traveling and look at the beautiful pictures I took, rather than being disappointed at the noisy mess of a point&shoot. but that all depends on what you think is important, and if you do or don't mind taking with you. 95% of the world would rather have a point&shoot, doesn't mean you should
Noisy mess? Have you used one recently? The latest-gen Canon P&S are rather clean up to at least ISO400, and to be honest it's rare for me to have to shoot them above that.
post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arainach View Post
Noisy mess? Have you used one recently? The latest-gen Canon P&S are rather clean up to at least ISO400, and to be honest it's rare for me to have to shoot them above that.
Thanks. I nearly replied to Braver with the same kind of answer but I wondered if I were the only one not seeing such "noisy mess" in the pictures I take with my p&s camera.
post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the suggestions, I guess so far what I have come up with is if I go DLSR Ill get the D40, and Point and Shoot Ill get the canon.

I am debating which way to go :/ I could always spend the money left over from the P&S and put it into my headphone set up
post #13 of 15
Still, the D40 isn't exactly a huge camera, and I'd be much more satisfied with the flexibility of a DSLR (be it in terms of lenses, manual modes, noise performance, or general image quality) than with the fully automatic nature of a P&S. Granted, I've seen some stellar pictures from some unlikely candidates, and Canon has significantly refined their compact series in the last few years; but if you can afford better, and don't mind a little weight, I see no reason to avoid something like a D40 or a D50.

If you went with a D40 kit, however, I'd shop around to try and score the upgraded VR lens rather than the standard 18-55 - yeah, VR comes in handy, but you really want the newer lens just because it is, fundamentally, a better lens. If you went used and bought a D50, however, I'd probably buy a 35mm f/2 standard lens and call it a day.
post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arainach View Post
Noisy mess? Have you used one recently? The latest-gen Canon P&S are rather clean up to at least ISO400, and to be honest it's rare for me to have to shoot them above that.
yes, very recently used a G9 among others. basically, noise starts to appear right at ISO 80, the likes of which you'll only see at ISO 800 and up in DSLRs. all P&S have more noise than DSLRs and their reduction methods kill detail. it's just not the same league. but in the end it all depends on what the OP thinks is acceptable.
post #15 of 15
If you're looking for Pixel perfection, yes, the DSLR will be better. I won't deny that I consider shots from my D50 at ISO800 excellent and at ISO1600 usable. But I've made 12x16 prints side-by-side off my D50 and SD750 at ISO400 with comparable levels of contrast and neither one seems noticably noisier in the print. It's only when viewed at 100% on a screen (which no one does) that there's any difference.
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