December 10, 2005
Great pics Melncal! thanks for posting those. Sorry about the typos above in my first post...i was in a rush. As far as the metering goes, i'm not an expert in this area and have only used the Nikons on a regular basis. there are several different modes which i'm sure all the cameras have. Basically, there is usually a 1. spot mode, where it meters one small area, 2. a center-weighted mode where the middle of the picture is weighted most, and then a 3. matrix mode which sort of averages all the areas.
You might check Samy's on Fairfax...they may rent these cameras out and you could try them out and see which one you like. i don't know how much they charge for this.
The other important thing is the lenses you buy....maybe more important than the camera. A lot of the cameras come with a "kit" lens...usually something like an 18mm-55mm or something close to that. Nikon and Canon lenses are more expensive but are good. If you haven't owned an SLR in a long time, you'll be surprised at how much plastic there is on the cheaper lenses. Sigma also makes lenses for Canon and Nikon and is a pretty reputable company. Remember with digital cameras there is a "crop" factor of about 1.5, because most digital SLR's have a sensor that is smaller than a 35 mm negative. For example, on nikons, the crop factor is 1.5...so an 18mm-55mm lens is actually an 27mm-82mm.
Nikon will be releasing an 18mm-200mm in late december...very versatile and has something called VR (Canons equivalent is IS (image stabilization)) which helps you stabilize the image. This is supposed to result is less blur at slower shutter speeds, thus sharper pics. This lens will probably be in the $750 range...pricey, but you may never need to buy another lens. they also have a 24-120 VR, which is about $439. If not, the 18-55 is a great starter lens, and i didn't know this until now, but there is a nikon 55-200 lens (but not VR). See the Kit below...B&H is a reputable on-line dealer.
Personally i like to buy my camers locally, so if there any problems i can take it right back...but this is a good site to get some general prices that are competetive.
Anyway, I think i got a little carried away. Oh yeah, if you take a lot of flash pictures, eventually think about buying a flash that mounts on the camera.
ONce again...you can't go wrong with any of those choices...the camera is basically just a tool...whatever you get just take a TON of pics and practice...the results will come.