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01-22-2011, 05:27 PM   #1
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Help choosing a system for someone else

My sister has an 18-month-old and is disappointed with her P&S. With tax return time coming soon, she's looking at investing in an SLR system.

I really love the rendering of the FA50, especially for indoor kid shots (and so does she). I want to guide her toward a K-x kit and add an FA50, but that's almost $900 at B&H, and I think she was hoping to spend more like $500 (but flexible)

The Rebel XS with 50/1.8 is $620. Now, you and I know that the $240 gap is also a big difference in quality. But I don't know if I can convince her to stretch that far. And a kit lens isn't going to be a huge jump up from her P&S. Plus, she probably has pre-determined Canikon leanings, as do most people.

She is mainly interested in getting nice shots of her daughter. She's not a photographer, but, hey, I never intended to get into the hobby this deep before I had kids either.

Is Pentax the best choice in this case? If so, thoughts? Lens alternatives? I don't think she'd be ok with a manual lens.

Thanks.

01-22-2011, 06:11 PM   #2
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How about this White K-r and the 18-55 kit lens . With its good high ISO, she does not need too fast lens .

Pentax K-r Digital SLR Digital Camera White w/ 18-55mm Lens | BeachCamera.com
01-22-2011, 06:19 PM   #3
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Maybe one of the B&H K-x's with the Da L 35mm 2.4, it's pretty fast and great quality from what I read here.
01-22-2011, 06:34 PM   #4
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I considered the DA L 35, i just didn't know about the FL, plus it's 2.66 stops slower. Anybody have any first-hand experoence with it and kids?

01-22-2011, 06:54 PM   #5
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How about a high end point & Shoot. Heres a review of a few. Enthusiast Compact Camera Group Test (Q4 2010) Review: 1. Introduction: Digital Photography Review
01-22-2011, 07:03 PM   #6
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Depending on what she has for a point and shoot, an upgrade to a very good one such as the new Canon S95 and recently announced Olympus XZ-1 may be much more to her liking. The S95 is F2 on the wide end, has a convenient range, and is $400. XZ-1 is F1.8 on the wide end, can take an electronic viewfinder via the hotshoe for another $200.

Another viable option may be a mirrorless system, with micro 4/3 as the established players. The very well regarded Panasonic 20mm F1.7 is $315 at b&h and could be added to any olympus or panasonic body she likes. Still probably a bit more than she was looking to spend.

Jumping to an SLR requires a bit of a commitment to ensure the results aren't actually worse than before. Accurate focus and sufficient depth of field with a 50mm 1.4 and artificial lighting isn't a point and shoot affair.
01-22-2011, 07:18 PM   #7
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Yeah, not everyone needed to buy dslr. Some people might end up frastration using dslr. Have u give your pentax to her to try? Let her using for several days, take some pic, see if she like it..
For example, when I bought kx, my mom said no no...the photo she took with kx is even worse than her p&s. ..well..that is possiable if operate wrongly..
01-22-2011, 07:47 PM   #8
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I agree with Liukaitc that not everyone enjoy using SLR, especially just for "family photos". Have you look into Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5? All the non photo enthusiasts in my family love DMC-LX. I end up owning three generations of DMC-LX. They are great for candid photos and even for publication work.

01-22-2011, 08:02 PM   #9
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Thanks a ton for the suggestions. She has a pretty recent mid-grade P&S, a Canon she paid about $300 for about a year ago, not sure of the model. I'll definitely look into a couple of those higher-end P&S options, and M4/3 never crossed my mind.
01-22-2011, 08:07 PM   #10
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I think the Kx kit lens will be a noticeable upgrade from her P&S. I say she gets the Kx, shoot with the kit lens for a bit, save up and then buy a nice lens.
01-23-2011, 12:04 AM   #11
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If she isn't happy with results from a mid-grade Canon compact I doubt an upgrade to a hi-end compact, or a DSLR, will help. Is she being unrealistic about what to expect? Does her technique suck? A book or two on photography might help more, or a course.
01-23-2011, 02:40 AM   #12
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Give her your camera for a few days and see if she manages with that. It's easier that way to decide between dSLR and something else.

QuoteOriginally posted by lavascript Quote
I considered the DA L 35, i just didn't know about the FL, plus it's 2.66 stops slower. Anybody have any first-hand experoence with it and kids?
Slower than what? That should be a lens with an f-stop below 0
01-23-2011, 06:09 AM   #13
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Her trying the K-x with kit lens is a good idea. Crank the iso up to 1600-3200 so she needn't use flash & see what she thinks.

I've yet to see a P&S that is fast enough for a typical home's interior lighting levels.
01-23-2011, 06:49 AM   #14
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Forgot to ask - why, specifically, isn't she happy with the results from her current camera?
01-23-2011, 07:17 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by cats_five Quote
Forgot to ask - why, specifically, isn't she happy with the results from her current camera?
Excellent question, one that should have been addressed. She complains about her photos looking grainy and/or blurry, and she doesn't like how the flash washes out faces and darkens backgrounds.
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