Advice on first SLR camera
Thank you to anyone who can advise me on which camera to purchase to accomplish the following:-spend less than $700.

-take pics of my kids indoors (low, nasty gym lighting) playing basketball and competing in gymnastics-document a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Africa later this month.

I am not too tech literatejust reading the glossary on this sight kicked my butt. Again, I am thankful for any advice you can share.Christy..

Comments (10)

First question is; are you going to invest the time and effort to learn how to use a DSLR. It doesn't matter which one you chose it will take time and effort. If all you are going to do is shoot in auto mode save your money, don't go to the questions below and get a good point and shoot..

Second what is your budget?.

Third; when is the trip? It will take some time to do #1..

JimOlympus E-510 and a bunch of stuff to hang on it...

Comment #1

You could go into loads of detail on this one. However if you simply want low noise shots in a gym and a useful travel camera (presumably with just the one lens?) then I think you'll find just inside your budget amazon have a Nikon D40 (original 6mp therefore especially useful for your stated needs as it's not one of the latest over-crammed noisier sensors) with an 18-135mm lens..

You could go for one of the bridge-cameras (one lens DSLR-like) but I don't think you'll be happy with noise above ISO400 as it would limit your indoor shots..

John.Please visit me at:

Comment #2

I did not see the budget in your post. However 1 and 3 still apply..

JimOlympus E-510 and a bunch of stuff to hang on it...

Comment #3

Even a Canon 350D + 85mm f/1.8 which is about the focal length and speed you'd want for the indoor low-light sports is going to eat up the great bulk of your budget..

If you look at a Nikon D40/D40x, bear in mind that the lenses without focusing motors won't autofocus, and AF is sort of handy for a fast-moving sport like basketball..

Take the Speedlite approach and again, a decent flash can eat up a fair bit of your budget, and you'd need to verify that flash is (a) actually permitted, and (b) that it'll have enough power to reach from wherever you're shooting...

Comment #4

Jim, is there actually a point and shoot that can take great pictures of fast-moving objects in low light? I've tried 3 now and had no luck. But honestly, if there is one, that would probably be best for me. Any recommendations?..

Comment #5

ChristyKay1 wrote:.

Jim, is there actually a point and shoot that can take great picturesof fast-moving objects in low light? I've tried 3 now and had noluck. But honestly, if there is one, that would probably be best forme. Any recommendations?.

The Fuji F series is well known as low light high ISO wonders in the compact field. I bought the F40fd ($140) for my wife mostly for indoor realty shots and it's also outstanding for indoor social gatherings without a flash....but they are mostly of static or slow moving subjects..

You might look around in the Fuji forum for some sports/action samples to see if they'll meet your expectationsRegards,Hank..

Comment #6

At $700 you may be able to get away with indoor sports depending on where you can sit..

A Canon Xti with an 85/1.8 would be about $800, but then that's all you would have..

You can probable save a little and get the older Xt with the same lens..

Maybe go used, look for Canon Xt, Xti or Nikon D50. The only problem with Nikon is their 50/1.4 and 85/1.8 lenses are slow to focus..


Comment #7

Actually probably not for action..

Ok so this is the way I would look at it. You need something for the trip first and foremost because that will be a one time trip..

Second you need something good enough to take shots inside without a flash..

Below 700 bucks..

There are 4 choices that I see in this range not assuming a used camera..

Canon 350D with Tamron Zoom Normal-Telephoto AF 55-200mmCost 600.Olympus E510 with 2 lens kit Cost 650Olympus E410 with 2 lens kit Cost 550Nikon D40 SLR Digital Camera Kit with 18-135mm Lens Cost 650.

Of the 3 the Oly is the best value. However it does not take the best shots in low light. Look at my 510 High ISO test shots and see if the quality meets your desires. The MAJOR difference between the 510 and 410 is that the 510 has in body image stabilization which none of the others (Nikon or Canon) have. I find it very helpful BUT it is not a necessity to take good shots..


Both the Nikon and Canon are better in low light and excellent cameras. The Oly has better kit glass and features. If I were going to choose between the Nikon and the Canon I would go for the Nikon..

If you are interested in the details take a look at B and H photo on the web. They are a reputable retailer. You will need at least 100mm to get shots at the basketball games at no more then F5.6 and you will want wide angle for your trip as well..

What ever you do you should handle all the cameras with the lenses attached. Make sure you are comfortable handling the camera. Take the time to learn whatever you buy. It is a wonderful hobby but the quality of your shots will be directly proportional to the time you invest in learning your equipment..

JimOlympus E-510 and a bunch of stuff to hang on it...

Comment #8

I debated whether to answer your request, $700 is a problem, not insurmountable but you will definitely need to hang out in the lens forum and learn something about lenses..

Lenses are more important than the camera. So you need to purchase the lowest model of the Canon Rebel you can get. By the way, the lowest model is the one I own, it is the Canon Digital Rebel; it is not the XT, or the XTi, or the new model about to come out, the XSi. The older digital Rebel has 6.3 megabites on the sensor and will work well for you. Try to pick one up for around $200 - $250 on ebay, including the kit lens which isn't great but certainly will do..

Then figure out what you will need in a second lens, and hit the used areas of B&H and Adorama, these are mail order and internet compainies; they've been around for many decades and have a good reputation..

Here is a link to Adorama's used lens section:.


Here's a link to Canon lens reviews (and supporting companies like Sigma, Tokina and Tamron):.

Http:// I have no hope, irrationally I believe in miracles.Joni Mitchell..

Comment #9

The Adorama link was to Cokin a filter company. Here is the link to Adorama's used Canon "auto focus" lenses:.

Http:// I have no hope, irrationally I believe in miracles.Joni Mitchell..

Comment #10

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