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Hardware Thread, DSLRs for staff and student use in Technical; I'm undecided between a pair of low-end Nikons / Canons or getting fixed-lens Olympus models. These aren't for Art/Media - ...
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    DSLRs for staff and student use

    I'm undecided between a pair of low-end Nikons / Canons or getting fixed-lens Olympus models. These aren't for Art/Media - they have their own kit - they're loanable cameras. The Olympus ones would be harder to break (no chance of dirt getting in when swapping lenses) but a Nikon would allow us to use some of the Art depts kit if we wanted something exotic.

    I know what I'd buy for me, but the school can't afford multiples of that. So what have you bought, how robust are they?

    SD card media is greatly preferred (we have readers all over the place and built into most staff laptops).

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    kevbaz's Avatar
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    My personal camera is a Sony a200, fantastic camera and when turning on and off it does a lense shake to clear any dust etc, any dslr is not going to take a drop to the floor and survive intact, but as far as the a200 its very sturdy and robust with a nice comfy rubber grip.

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    pete (26th June 2009)

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    Another nod the a200 here - our ICT department have one and they love it!

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    pete (26th June 2009)

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    We've got a Nikon D40 and a Fujifilm S5 pro (based on a Nikon D200, so they both take the same lenses / flash) here. The D40's a good camera to lend to kids - it's small and lightweight. The D60's got 10MP as oppsed to 6 (although I doubt you'd notice the difference at any size under A3) and a dust removal system.

    The Fuji is a staff only thing. It's massive and lovely

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    pete (26th June 2009)

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    plexer's Avatar
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    Another vote for the A200 here lovely camera and even when coupled with a budget zoom gets cracking pictures.

    Ben

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    pete (2nd July 2009)

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    john's Avatar
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    I personally have an A200 as does joedetic and some other members I think and I love it, but not too sure about giving it to children to use, then again I've got some rather nice lenses for mine so maybe with the Sony original possibly, they they will poke the optics inside and break it would be my view.

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    pete (2nd July 2009)

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    use-IP's Avatar
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    Pleased to see so many votes for the Sony DSLRs, I recently made the same decision.

    I went for the A300, mainly because of the flexible viewfinder screen.

    The 200 and 300 series are soon to be replaced by newer models, so you should be able to find a bargain somewhere.

    I got mine from Jessops, collected in store but used a 20 off voucher from voucher codes.

    Some sample snaps here.

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    pete (2nd July 2009)

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    p858snake's Avatar
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    I would go with a fixed lens just for ease of use with teachers and such that aren't the must adapt with camera and lenses. Also don't forget, whatever you get and mark with staff only, students will still get their grubby little fingers on it. (*whistles* about using the portable data projector in primary school).

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    pete (2nd July 2009)

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    Thanks to the overwhelming Sony reccommendations, the ridiculously low prices (just shifting remaining stock - roughly 200 and a bit, depending on where you buy) and recommendation from our in-house camera addict, I went with the Sony A200.

    Cheers everyone.

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    mossj's Avatar
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    Also a Sony A200 owner, and I love the sound of the shutter! ... makes me know where my moneys gone!

    Consider getting a tough shell for it... That way it stands a small chance of surviving if a kid drops it.

    Only disadvantage with the current A200 is CompactFlash and NO live view

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    use-IP's Avatar
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    PC Pro reviewed one of the replacement Sony models today (A330).

    Their review here.

    They seem to think the current series offer better value for money:

    Our issue, as so often of late, is with the price of the new model. To some extent this is out of Sony's hands, global exchange rates being what they are. It's nonetheless a lot to swallow when a new, more expensive model is in some ways worse than the previous one.

    Sony has made a rod for its own back by creating an expectation of stunning value that undercuts the competition. The A330 is a perfectly capable DSLR, streamlined and easier to use than the previous generation. But beyond ease of use it offers nothing we haven't seen before. It's a good camera but it's currently too expensive to recommend over its predecessor, as long as you can still find one.

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    plexer's Avatar
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    I don't see compact flash as a disadvantage on the A200 and was shocked to see it replaced with SD in the new models.

    Ben

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    Quote Originally Posted by plexer View Post
    I don't see compact flash as a disadvantage on the A200 and was shocked to see it replaced with SD in the new models.

    Ben
    agreed entirely!! I was shocked to find SD and MS on the new one with no CF Then again my tech said today when a teacher came in, with her personal camera full of pics from a school trip, and presented us with CF cards he was OMG how ancient my card reader doesn't take them but mine does and I said my DSLR uses them as there ace.

    The A100 came with a CF to MS adaptor in the box which was good for those moving from a standard point and press sony to re-use there memory card which the A200 turned to an optional accessory but I dont mind using the CF cards and Microdrives.

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