Can anyone point me in the right direction? I'm looking to step up from my point-and-shoot Sony Cybershot model DSC-H3. It is an 8.1 megapixel camera. It's a great camera--it has served me well (see attached photo), but I am ready to go to the next level with a digital SLR.
I have about $500.00 to spend.
I'm after crisp, sharp photos (unless I am fuzzing them on purpose).
I do a lot of macro shooting (don't we gardeners all) and so would especially need macro capabilities = sharpness.
I also do action shots since I have two children in marching bands.
I love the movie camera feature on point and shoots except for the maddening fact that you cannot zoom in or out once you are "rolling". Are there DSLR's that take mini-movies with zoom capabilities once you are "rolling film" so to speak?
Any advice would be truly helpful. At fifty years old, it is time for me to go to the next level.
You might be able to get an entry level DSLR for that money but not much else. Not sure if any entry level will play video for that price but they seem to change every month. DSLRs cannot autofocus in Live View or Movie Mode (yet) but zoom should not be an issue if they do offer movie mode.
You will probably get the kit lens which is adequate but it is kind of limiting (no macro, no tele-zoom, not fast, etc.) It usually is better to pay a small fee to get the kit lens instead of buying it later where you will pay lots more for it.
Canon and Nikon are the biggest players with lots of lens and accessories but there are other players as well. Whatever you decide on, think of building a system over many years - especially lenses where they can be quite pricey. Later on you can add a better camera body and use the same lenses.