Since I don’t have enough AirMiles for a plane ticked for vacations in a place where there is no winter, I’ve decided to use them on a camera instead. I am not a professional photographer, but I would like to capture better photos than I currently can with my “point & shoot” camera. I will mostly be doing still photography, portrait, landscape, wildlife, architecture and night photography. Therefore I am looking for a single-lens reflex camera. Which should I choose? Please post your suggestions in the comments section at the end of this article. Here are the one offered by AirMiles in Canada:
Canon EOS Digital Rebel 18.0MP T2i with 18-55 IS Lens Kit
Their sales pitch:
The new flagship of the EOS Rebel line, Canon EOS Rebel T2i brings professional EOS features into an easy to use, lightweight digital SLR that’s a joy to use. Featuring a class-leading 18.0 Megapixel CMOS Image Sensor and increased light sensitivity for low light photography, the EOS Rebel T2i also has an advanced HD Movie mode for gorgeous Full HD movies. Able to capture up to 3.7 frames per second, it’s ready to go the minute it’s picked up. Advanced Live View, a new wide-area screen, plus features like Canon’s brilliant Auto Lighting Optimizer and Highlight Tone features ensure brilliant photos and movies, easily.
- 18.0 Megapixel CMOS (APS-C) sensor and DIGIC 4 Image Processor for high image quality and speed.
- ISO 100-6400 (expandable to 12800) for shooting from bright to dim light.
- Improved EOS Movie mode with manual exposure control, expanded recording, new Movie Crop recording in 640 x 480 and external microphone IN terminal for access to improved sound quality.
- Enhanced iFCL 63-zone, Dual-layer metering system; and 9-point AF system utilizing a high-precision, f/2.8 cross-type centre point.
- Wide 3.0-inch (3:2 aspect ratio) Clear View LCD monitor (1.04 million dots) for improved viewing.
- New Quick Control Screen button for easy access to frequently used settings.
- Improved layout with dedicated Live View/Movie shooting button.
- New compatibility with SDXC memory cards, plus new menu status indicator for Eye-Fi* support.
- 3.7 fps continuous shooting up to approximately 34 JPEGs or approximately 6 RAW.
Canon EOS Digital Rebel T1i with 18-55 IS Lens Kit
Their sales pitch:
In addition to admirable performance provided by a15.1 megapixel Canon CMOS sensor, DIGIC 4 Image Processor, 3.0-inch Clear View LCD with anti-reflective and scratch-resistant coating, and compatibility with the EOS system of lenses and Speedlites, the EOS Rebel T1i adds remarkable full HD video capture at resolutions up to 1920 x 1080. Operation is simple and easy, even if you are a beginner.
- New 15.1 megapixel CMOS sensor with DIGIC 4 Image Processor.
- Full HD video capture at 1920 x 1080 resolution with HDMI output.
- Live View Function for stills (Quick, Live and Face Detection AF).
- 3.0-inch Clear View LCD (920,000 dots/VGA) monitor.
- Auto Lighting Optimizer for superior highlight-shadow control.
- Wide-range ISO setting: 100-3200 (ISO expansion: 6400, 12800).
- Compatible with over 60 Canon EF/EF-S lenses and most EOS lenses.
Fujifilm Finepix HS10 Camera
Their sales pitch:
Experience the amazing shooting quality of the FinePix HS10. Wide angle 30x Fujinon manual zoom (24-270mm) brings your subjects closer and allows you to fit more in your frame so you can capture large group shots, clear macro close-ups and far away landscapes. Dual Image Stabilization (CCD Shift, ISO settings and Multi-frame technology) freezes the motion of subjects and avoids blur caused by camera shake to get sharp, blur-free pictures. Full HD movie capture at 1080p with HDMI port high definition recording for images suitable for full wide-screen display. 10 fps High Speed shooting makes it easy to capture sporting events or action scenes.
- Super High Speed Movie at 240fps, 480fps, and 1000 fps, capture breathtaking images for amazing slow-motion movies.
- High sensitivity up to 6400 ISO (M or S) for capturing subjects in dark situations.
- 10MP backlit CMOS Sensor for large prints up to 16×20.
- Large High Resolution 3.0″ Tilting LCD Screen + Eye Sensor EVF. The high contrast, tilting, eye activated LCD screen combined with the wide viewing angle makes composing and viewing images so much easier.
- CCD-RAW/JPEG shooting produces files that can be developed and post-processed on your computer. You can also choose to simultaneously record CCD-RAW (EXR) and JPEG files.
- Sweeping Panorama – automatically shoot panorama shots while panning the camera.
- Intelligent Scene Recognition automatically sets the correct shooting/scene mode to get stunning pictures every time.
- Wide Dynamic Range Mode captures details in shadows and highlights for high-contrast scenes.
- Tracking Auto Focus ensures focus is maintained even when subjects are moving.
- Intelligent Flash prevents wash-out subjects and dark backgrounds.
- Full Manual Control (PSAM for those who like to have full creative control and adjust the settings manually.
- Face Detection with Auto Red-eye Removal. Camera recognizes and tags familiar faces and stores pictures in separate folders.
- 4xAA batteries.
- Accepts SD/SDHC memory cards.
Nikon D5000 12.3MP Digital SLR Camera
Their sales pitch:
Are you looking for a real digital SLR that’s easy to use? Do you want mobility without sacrificing capability? Would you like simple operation and enough features to step forward creatively?
The 12.3MP D5000, featuring Nikon’s exclusive EXPEED advanced digital image processing system technologies, leverages Nikon’s expertise and the innovative technologies found in its pro-level digital SLR’s that enable you to capture stunning images and HD movie clips with remarkable ease. The D5000 boasts a versatile 2.7″ vari-angle LCD display that can be viewed in its normal position flush against the camera or swung out, rotated and/or tilted for a multitude of imaginative shots.
- 12.3 MP
- 0.19-Second power-up responsiveness
- Split-Second Shutter Response eliminates shooting lag
- In-Camera image editing menu, customizable menu settings to suit users’ needs
- Active D-Lighting
- Simple retouch
- In-Camera RAW development
- Cross screen
- Colour intensifying filters
- Long-life rechargeable lithium-ion battery allows up to 500 images
- Date Imprinting
- Lens: 18-55mm with VR
- Compatible with SD/SDHC memory cards
- Battery : Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL9
Pentax KX Digital SLR Camera
Their sales pitch:
Small in stature. Big on features.
Designed with those new to digital SLR photography in mind, the K-x includes PENTAX’s innovative in-body Shake Reduction mechanism for sharper, blur-free images, 12.4 megapixel CMOS sensor, comprehensive Dust Removal system, HD movie capture and high-speed continuous shooting of approximately 4.7 frames per second in its ultra-compact body. These features, along with the user-friendly PENTAX-original Auto Picture mode and Live View with contrast AF and Face Recognition assure great results every time.
- High resolution 12.4 megapixel CMOS image sensor features sensor-shift Shake Reduction for stabilized image and video capture up to 4 stops max.
- Large 2.7-inch LCD features Live View with contrast, phase difference, and Face Detection autofocus (up to 16 faces).
- Capture widescreen HD video in full 720p resolution (1280×720) at 24 FPS cinematic frame rate, using any PENTAX 35mm lens. Mono sound with built-in mic.
- Highly compact DSLR body design allows for 1 handed operation and comfort when traveling while large viewfinder makes image composition easy.
- Powerful automatic modes, including PENTAX Auto Picture and scene modes, ensure the perfect shot in any situation, while helping new photographers learn DSLR photography.
- Creative processing and filter modes produce high quality finished images, while offering the ability to explore artistic freedom through unique special effects.
- Seven Custom Image modes let you change the picture style to match your creative vision. PENTAX exclusive B&W Infrared Custom Image mode to capture infrared directly in the camera.
- True HDR image capture blends 3 bracketed images into a single picture with outstanding shadow, highlight, and midrange detail.
- Fast 4.7 FPS at 1/125 second drive speed and 1/6000 second maximum shutter speeds are possible with the PENTAX PRIME II image processing engine.
- Responsive 11 point with 9 cross sensors SAFOX VIII autofocus system focuses quickly and accurately, and can easily track moving subjects.
- Capture up to 1,900 shots without flash, 1,100 with 50% flash, with universally available, easy-to-find AA lithium batteries (also compatible with AA NiMH rechargeable and alkaline batteries).
- Kit includes K-x body and the smc PENTAX-DA L 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL lens which covers the wide-angle to medium-telephoto ranges.
Pentax X90 Digital Camera
Their sales pitch:
Kick the megazoom category up another notch with the PENTAX X90 digital camera. Featuring an extra-wide zoom, longer battery life, and an electronic viewfinder, the X90 is the ideal bridge between compact and DSLR technology, offering SLR performance in a compact body. With a 12.1 megapixel CCD sensor, high-magnification 26x optical zoom lens with wide-angle to super-telephoto coverage, and an electronic viewfinder with diopter adjustments, this all-purpose model performs superbly and effortlessly in a variety of photographic situations.
- Megazoom 26X super-telephoto lens (26-676mm equivalent) ensures extreme flexibility for any subject near or far.
- 12.1 megapixel sensor is ideal for large prints or cropping flexibility.
- Effortlessly compose and play back images and video on the 2.7 inch LCD with anti-reflection coating, or through the electronic viewfinder with diopter adjustment.
- Triple Shake Reduction technology for sharp images, even in the most challenging lighting conditions.
- High speed continuous shooting up to 11 frames per second captures even the fastest action.
- Fast Face Detection technology quickly finds up to 32 faces for perfectly focused and exposed portraits.
- Capture even the smallest and closest subjects as near as 1cm with Super Macro mode.
SONY A390 Digital SLR Camera and Lens
Their sales pitch:
Transform your pictures from snapshots to memorable images with this Sony digital SLR camera.
Sony DSLR’s responsiveness, versatility and image quality helps capture those moments that other cameras often miss. The A390 makes shooting with a DSLR easy and fun with its compact and lightweight design, intuitive controls and Quick AF Live View.
Shoot easily and comfortably from virtually any angle or position with Quick AF Live View. The Sony A390 features a variable-angle LCD monitor that can be tilted up or down making it a snap to capture high-position and low-position photos.
- 2.7″ Clear Photo LCD Plus featuring Live View with Quick Auto Focus
- SteadyShot INSIDE in-camera image stabilization
- 14.2 megapixel resolution for ultra-fine detail
- Integrated on-screen Help Guide and Graphic Display
- Up to 2.5 fps continuous shooting
- HDMI terminal and BRAVIA® Sync compatibility
- Dual slot Compatiblity for Memory Stick® and SD media