Ready to level up to my first DSLR

Ellendale, DE(Zone 7a)

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.

Thanks so much!

Thumbnail by timmijo
Powder Springs, GA(Zone 7b)

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.

Eastern Long Island, NY(Zone 7a)

This might help too...

Pine City, MN(Zone 4a)

Going to be tough to try and get a decent lens and a good DSLR cam for $500.00.

BTW, I have a Canon SX10IS, (NOT A DSLR), I can zoom in while shooting video. I think the newer models (I think I've had mine at least a year, maybe two) have HD video.

Ellendale, DE(Zone 7a)

Does anyone know if modern DSLR's can make use of old K-mount bayonet lenses? I have four lenses already. They had been used with an old Sears Program 35mm camera and are in excellent condition.

Also, does anyone know much about the Canon G11? I heard from a professional photographer that while it might not be a big step up from my point-and-shoot Sony Cybershot, it takes nice photos.

Any replies are most appreciated. Thanks.

Goldthwaite, TX(Zone 8a)

I have a pentax ist D DSLR, and all the old pentax bayonet lenses fit and will make good pictures, but do not autofocus or auto set the proper f-stop chosen by the meter.

Pine City, MN(Zone 4a)

Timmijo, I always read reviews and user forums before I buy a new camera. They have good reviews and forums at and, in my opinion.

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