I'm looking to get a pro-sumer type digital camera, and I need some assistance from those who have knowledge in this area. Yes, I'm looking at you, queso
I figure with online retailers offering good incentives/prices for the holiday season, now is the time to buy. That, and I just found out I'm getting a Christmas bonus from my boss (competely unexpected).
Here are my criteria:
1) Professional quality - SLR-type digital camera with high megapixel count that takes really nice pictures and interfaces well with PC and Mac.
2) Ease of use - While I can take a good photo, and know how to work aperture/focus rings, I'm not a "technical" photographer - so I'm not looking for a ton of menu options, nor do I need a camera where I have to bring five different lenses and 20 filters. I'm not going to be in the field primarily to obtain photographs (this is a secondary consideration for my TV job) - so quick n' easy is the key, here.
3) Works well without a flash - don't get me wrong, I will use a flash when I can... but I'll be taking photos on location while our video camera is rolling, so flashes will disrupt (ruin) any footage we're getting. So I'm looking for "image stabilization" technology and the like to assist in taking good photos in low-light settings
4) Affordable - I need an "entry-level" price on this model. But one that doesn't sacrifice quality or reputation.
5) Portable - this will be coming with me on TV shoots, in remote areas in the field, so less bulky (i.e. not a ton of accessories) is optimal. SLR style is fine, and this is a smaller consideration, but I need to know that carrying it in a duffel won't ruin it (packed carefully, of course). Some durability is needed.
6) Resistant - pending weather conditions, and due to the nature of my job, having weather resistance and shockproofing is a good consideration
Use: I'm primary taking this camera into the field to obtain digital stills for my TV shows' support websites, marketing use... and yes, to take great pictures for my own memories & to share with others. I'm more "artistic" than "technical" when it comes to photographs, and often, I need to be quick on the draw (i.e. not a lot of "setup" time or "get the tripod out" time)
Can anybody help me with some recommendations? Links to good deals? I'd be most grateful!