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Digital Camera Deal For Serious Photographers


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If you're really serious, though, you might want to consider one of the digital cameras that uses a full frame sensor. These puppies have digital sensors that are the same size as the exposure area on a strip of 35mm film (24mm x 36mm). For those who are accustomed to working with film cameras, this is huge, because it means that a 50mm lens actually behaves like a 50mm lens. (Instead of behaving like an 80mm lens, as it does on cameras with APS-C sensors -- like the 7D.)

Canon's 5D Mark II has the full frame sensor, 21 megapixels, and seems to be a bitchin' performer. While it's quite a bit more expensive than the 7D, it's very cheap for a full-frame-sensor camera.

On the other hand, if you're just wanting to make the leap from point & shoot up to a digital SLR, you might consider one of the Pentax products, like the K20D. Pentax provides the very best value out there in terms of features per dollar. In particular, their SLRs are weather sealed and have in-camera stabilization instead of in-lens stabilization. That means that you don't have to pay for image stabilization with every new lens. Of course, even the latest Pentax bodies are 100% compatible with every Pentax lens ever made. So if you have an old kit, your lenses are still good to go on these cameras. Unfortunately, the APS-C sensor will make them all perform with a crop factor of about 1.6.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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