Best camera for under $500??

Old 06-15-2011, 04:00 PM
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Default Best camera for under $500??

Wife is looking at a Nikon D40... Is it a good camera or is there a better bang for the buck?

We are not photographers but have 3 kids and want a nice point and shoot camera.
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Old 06-15-2011, 04:30 PM
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Also, where is the best place to buy a camera..
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Old 06-15-2011, 04:52 PM
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IMO thats the best SLR in the price range, but it is no longer made. You might find some old stock somewhere--love mine. I was in the same shoes...this is not a point and shoot really. For that go grab a little Cannon.
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Old 06-15-2011, 05:03 PM
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Got a Nikon P7000 from Amazon last Christmas. About $400 now. Very similar to a Canon G12 Powershot.

Both of those have bigger sensors than regular point and shoot cameras but smaller than DSLR's and EFF interchangeable lens cameras. They make great images but are slower than the DSLR's and EVF's.

For a few $ more there are some interesting choices in the Panasonic Lumix G2/G3- Olympus EPL!/2 and Sony Nex3/5 class. is a great site for camera stuff. I buy most of my electronics and camera stuff at Amazon. No sales tax and usually no shipping with good prices and service.
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Old 06-15-2011, 05:13 PM
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Here is my take. I tend to go over board on everything I buy. so I have a nikon d90. With a bunch of lenses. It is a pain to carry around, always trying to switch lenses. etc.
So a couple of months ago I bought my wife a panasonic ts2 dc( I think) it is waterproof, drop proof, etc. It also shoots video in high def.

We throw it in the bag and take it to the beach, shoot videos under water, etc. Don't lug the big camera around any more.

So far it has done everything we need it for, for kids. Now if you are going to be doing some high end shooting then look at the nikon's but you will find your self thinking man lugging this thing around and changing lenses is a pain in the a$$
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Old 06-15-2011, 05:39 PM
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According to Consumer Reports:

Just over $500 - Nikon D3100 or Nikon D5000

Under $500 - Sony DSLR-A390L
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Old 06-15-2011, 06:15 PM
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If you're happy with 8x10 enlargements then Canon G12. Imo, there are only only two sources for photo gear-B and H and Adorama.
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Old 06-15-2011, 07:23 PM
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Pentax k-x if you don't need weather resistant. I have a k-x and a Pentax k10d (old technology dlsr) and the k-x really produces for an entry level dslr. They are now out of production but you should be able to find one on Amazon still.
they come with a 18-55mm "standard" lens and a 55-300 tele that is fantastic for the money.

The great thing about Pentax over Canon or Nikon is that the shake reduction is in the body of the camera so the lenses are much cheaper. You can also use lenses produced over the last 50+ years......Cannon and Nikon are not reverse compatible.
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Old 06-16-2011, 09:57 AM
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Sanyo Exacti. Just bought one from Musicians Friend and they price matched me down to $115. Slips into your shirt pocket. 10MP stills, Full 1080 and 720p video with 16 bit 48k audio and stereo mics built in. Also has mini hdmi out to TV. For that price, everybody gets one!

Here are some things I shot recently.
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Old 06-16-2011, 10:04 AM
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got an Olympus ?? 800, for the wife has 155 mm zoom, and a fast shutter...$299 most places, got it at cosco on line $269.....with case, 4 meg memmory lithium batt, charger...real happy with it
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Old 06-16-2011, 10:20 AM
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I don't think you can go wrong with Nikon or Canon. I use a D700 but that is outside your stated budget. The point and shoot Nikons take great pictures.
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