Originally Posted by Jenny Cruiser
I've been really happy with my Sony Alpha. It does most everything I need it to, and didn't break the bank. My kit was around 2k new and I got it used for<500 four years ago. I don't think anyone here gives a shiznit about Sony though. You prolly can't go wrong w/Wes' suggestions. You may be happier with a decent point and shoot for that money though. If I were getting into it today I'd be looking for a deal on a D7000. That's an entry level DSLR. You'd be happy with that for a long time. I'll be getting out of entry level limitations as soon as Nikon makes up it's mind on the replacement for the D700. Keeping the Alpha too.
Sony has some cool tech they put in their cameras. The Alpha's semi-transparent mirror that allows the use of phase detection focusing, but lets the light still hit the sensor without the mirror moving, is REALLY trick. It lets them squeeze crazy frame rates out of the camera that you don't get until you're in a >$4k Canon or Nikon. Best of both DSLR and mirrorless.
2004 UZJ100 - stockish for the time being.
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Sold - 2010 Tacoma, lifted, locked, armored