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 Posted: Thu Feb 14th, 2013 03:00 pm
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Tony Duronio
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Walking through Meijers today I passed the camera dept, Window shopped and saw they had a Nikon D3100 on sale for $479. After a google search, it appears that the price is average, except from my brief conversation with the salesman, this one in the case was a bundle package which included another lens....not sure what type....

With the Grand baby coming in 30 days or so Grandpa wants to get ready. This camera also seems to have a very good video set up.

Any one have any thoughts on this camera?

TIA, T

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 Posted: Thu Feb 14th, 2013 07:27 pm
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stew77
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The Nikon D3100 is a pretty good entry level DSLR if Still Photos are your main priority.  That price seems good especially if it includes two lenses.

Where I think it will let you down is if you are also wanting to shoot VIDEO (and with the grandbaby coming along in 30 days or so, I expect that you will want to shoot a fair bit of video).thumbsup.gif 

These 'mirrored' DSLR cameras that utilize phase focus are awesome for still photos, but are really in their infancy for competing with 'mirrorless' cameras like the Panasonic GH-2 or GH-3 which use contrast focus for both Stills and Video.  The Nikon 3100 is said to have a pretty noisy autofocus that you can hear on your video duing playback.  It has also been mentioned in some reviews of the Nikon 3100 that the autofocus looses focus easily on objects that are in motion during video (like moving grandkids...those little guys just won't stay still subtlelaugh.gif).  I picked up a Panasonic GH-2 a little over a year ago, and have been extremely happy with both the Still and Video performance, so a mirrorless camera in the Micro-Four-Thirds format or similar might be something worth looking into if BOTH Stills and Video are equally important to you Tony. 

My 2 cents....

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 Posted: Thu Feb 14th, 2013 10:56 pm
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Tony Duronio
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Great information Chris I will check into the Panasonic.
thankyou.gifyou rock.gif

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 Posted: Fri Feb 15th, 2013 02:33 pm
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bigrustypig
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A grandpa with shaky hands won't help any, TD. For those quick grab shots, an entry level DSLR is not quick on the draw and many of those priceless moments will be lost.

My suggestion is for you to stick to the P&S, and there so many of them out there that are small, quick to operate, shoots good video, amazingly sharp lenses and best of all, grandpa can just slip it into his pocket for handheld, self-pointed videos. You can't do that with a heavy and bulky DSLR.

For the P&S, the modern ones from a lot of brands are great and have few differences. I shoot with Canon IXUS series and Canon S90 and haven't used my big DSLR in 3 years.

Hope this helps. grandpa

dog smile.gif

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 Posted: Fri Feb 15th, 2013 04:17 pm
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stew77
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Jeff read my mind...thumbsup.gif .... as another extremely important aspect of buying your next camera is how much kit you want to be stuck with carrying around with you.  As Jeff pointed out, not having the camera with you because it is too large to comfortably haul around will mean that you get no picture at all!

The Micro Four Thirds models from Panasonic (GH2 included) and others are quite a bit smaller than a traditional DSLR due to the fact that they don't have that flip mirror housing built into the body due to the different technology.  Some micro four thirds models are considerably smaller than even my Panny GH2 (some offer exchangable lenses while others only offer a built in zoom lens...another thing you'll decide on). If you determine a fully pocketable camera is a must have, then you are definitely looking at the P&S category though.

I carry a P&S around for that reason (especially when traveling on vacation) and have been extremely happy with the Canon lineup of P&S models.  Jeff's S90 is a great one with the S100 and the newest S110 being the absolutely latest model.  The disadvantage of P&S is that they typically have a small sensor 1/2.3" or slightly larger 1/1.7" in the higher end models which can lead to challenging low light performance and sluggish response in general compared to the large sensor models.

I am actually looking at picking up another P&S camera this year, and have been highly impressed with the reviews I've been reading on the Sony RX100...a relatively pocketable camera with an excellent Carl Zeiss built in lens and a "much-larger-than-usual P&S" 1" sensor.  Close to the size of the Canon P&S models (a bit thicker) while having a much larger sensor with great Still and Video performance.  It is quite pricey though for a P&S.

So many choices out there...I think the biggest question is deciding how much kit you are willing to have to carry around to get those shots.

More than my 2 cents worth I guess Tony...

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 Posted: Fri Feb 15th, 2013 05:27 pm
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Tony Duronio
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Again, thank you guys for the information. I have read how really good the P and S's are and Jeff makes an excellent point, I will be more in need of a here and now camera that is easy to carry.

I will explore the suggestions given, you guys are greatthumbsup.gif

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 Posted: Sat Feb 16th, 2013 06:41 am
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mcwright
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Canon point and shoot models are generally quite good. I have a couple. But, my camera of choice is a Panasonic DMC-ZX3 with Leica lens. It takes great pics with auto mode. It has a 12X zoom also. It is no longer made, You might look at their current models in the $300 range.

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