Looking for a Camera

Started Mar 16, 2013 | Questions thread
Mahmoud Mousef Senior Member • Posts: 2,604
Re: Looking for a Camera

Rose Williams wrote:

Thank you for your help, Mike!

My budget is around $500. Preferably less, but if I find something I really like, I'd be willing to spend more.

I already have a good quality, compact point-and-shoot that I've enjoyed for the last couple years, and I want to upgrade from that, so I think I'm looking for a DSLR. I'd like to be able to change lenses, but I mainly want something that has a good regular lens for basic shooting.

Also, another thing it must have is a good macro setting. I want to be able to take good close up pictures.

I'm sensing another job for the Panasonic DMC-LX7. Good macro, better in low-light than what you were previously using too I bet. No AA, no crazy zoom but 3.8x should suffice, especially from that fast F1.4 - F2.3 lens. Under 300 USD. Pick up a spare battery and add a flash unit for bounce flash and be happy.

Forget dedicated macro lenses for your budget: it will do macro well. Get that flash unit though; it's probably the single most important thing you can do for your photos.

Failing that, a Panasonic DMC-G3 (~ $350ish). Purchase external external flash gun and learn to use it manually. Purchase spare battery if you want one. The EVF (electronic viewfinder) is not to everyone's tastes, though they do give new opportunities where an optical viewfinder can't match it. The Panasonic uses an EVF, like all mirrorless cameras.

Both cam and flash will be under $500 and should improve your picture-taking tremendously.

Faiing that, get a DSLR for a better optical viewfinder in lower light (but more clunky 'live view' implementation), and the usual larger body size associated with DSLRs. Forget AAs unless you want to buy a DSLR that takes them; just get a spare battery.

Test out in a store to see what you like.

Buy expensive macro lenses later if you find the kit lens don't get close enough. Buy inexpensive (manual) external flash for your cam first and learn to use it though.

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