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Old 04-17-2013, 03:56 PM   #11 (permalink)
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CF for professional cameras will never die. They are more stable and in terms of performance stomp even the fastest sd card into the ground
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Old 04-17-2013, 04:32 PM   #12 (permalink)
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My D300 has a single CF slot but I use a SD/ CF Converter and have never had a buffer issue with it but it's only 12.3MP. My D800 has dual slots, one SD and one CF. I have experienced buffer issues when shooting bracketed but it's a 36MP camera so the files are quite a bit larger. It's not as bad with a CF card.

However, you have to weigh the need for higher write speeds vs the cost of media. I'd personally prefer to have 2 32GB SD cards that write slower than a single 32GB CF card that writes faster.
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Old 04-17-2013, 05:13 PM   #13 (permalink)
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So much more to think about now that cameras are digital. My old olympus OM-G seems VERY simple by comparison.

I'll look into the rent thing. Thanks!
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Old 04-17-2013, 05:20 PM   #14 (permalink)
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by chance did you rent this? LOL
More Cowbell - Take your photography or videography to the next level with more cowbell
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Old 04-17-2013, 10:50 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Also Sony apparently uses an electronic veiwfinder in the alpha, horrible choice on their part, makes manual focusing less precise.
Actually, the new SLT's with the electronic viewfinder make manual focusing a breeze.

Current SLR's can't see DOF in the viewfinder below 2.8. So if you're shooting a 1.4 manual focus prime wide open, you're seeing the DOF @ 2.8 and critical focus is impossible without using the focus confirmation dot.

With an EVF, you're seeing exactly what the lens sees.

OP, bottom line is all of the suggested camera's are good, and you'll get similar performance from all of them.

Sounds like your wife will be fine with a body and kit lens to start, and all of the companies (Nikon, Canon, Sony, Pentax) have good offerings. All of those companies also have very similar entry level glass (telephoto and cheap primes), so don't worry about that either.

Nikon and Canon both have great lens lineups, but Sony has some awesome Carl Zeiss glass and Pentax makes amazing prime lenses.
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Old 04-17-2013, 10:54 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I love my d3100. I use my 50mm 1.8 religiously.
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Old 04-18-2013, 12:24 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I went through a number of cNet reviews and one complaint that seemed to come up with Alpha's is image color quality when using presets (like portrait, landscape, etc.) maybe this would push her to learn manual settings though.

Any thoughts, recommendations or feedback you could provide would be appreciated.
My old roommate had one, no better or worse then any entry level Nikon or Canon.

With any dslr the scene modes are always going to be crappy, I always laugh when I see people using these or full auto settings because the pictures they take will be far worse then a decent point and shoot. Same goes with any kind of pop up flash on some dslr's.

The number one deciding factor imo for brand is to choose the brand your other photographer friends use. That way you can borrow their glass

Another thing I always recommend for anyone starting out is to buy a 50mm prime lens and body seperate instead of with the kit zoom lens. She will need to learn the basics of arperture control and the few extra stops on a prime lens will come in handy until she can invest in an off camera flash setup. As any photography person will tell you its not the body its the glass. That prime lens will take better pics then a kit lens on a thousand dollar dslr.
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Old 04-18-2013, 01:02 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I have a Sony A77 and my wife has a Sony A390. We love them. The A77 has the EVF and it is wonderful. There are more lenses in Nikon and Canon but who has the money for them all? Sony's line of lenses are good and sigma, tamron, Carl Zeiss and many other lens manufacturers make the Alpha mount lenses. I like the control layout on the sony cameras. There is a lot of reference to Sony's other products (DVD players for example) but Nikon makes scanners, microscopes, and sport optics, Canon makes printers, medical equipment, copiers, and other things. I have had a crappy Canon printer but that in itself is not enough for me to run from their cameras.

It all comes down to personal preference. What do you or she like. I like my Sony products, but I have owned a canon rebel and printer, nikon riflescopes, and a crappy sony DVD player.
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Old 04-18-2013, 10:14 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I have to agree with aaronlecain above me, I switched out of Canon to an A77 and the EVF is fantastic. I honestly can't imagine going back to an optical viewfinder. The EVF displays exactly what your camera 'sees' so that the image you take is the one you see. Also having every bit of information including a histogram in the viewfinder is mighty convenient.
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