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Old Feb 21, 2008, 12:53 PM   #1
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I am planning to buy a DSLR and kit on a budget of 1200dollars. I take the odd photo for a local theatre, generally full body shots of cast and the odd in-rehearsal shot. I am also into general travel photography. I am bamboozled by choice and do not really know what system to go for. I am tempted by in-body image stabilisation on the one hand but am worried that the marques offering this do not offer the same comprehensive range of lenses, etc. Every photography magazine I open is dominated by canon and nikon. I am interested in a relatively portable model and am not averse to wide-ranging zooms. Some of my shots will be for A3 posters and I therefore am somewhat interested in the pixel count and image quality. I have been thinking about the K10d and a tamron 17-50 2.8f but am told the white balance is a problem indoors. Otherwise its the evolt 510, canon 400d or a nikon (not sure whether d40x or d80). I have too much choice and am so bogged down in scientific minutiae that I will never end up buying anthing. Furthermoreif I go for a nikon or canon and get a cheapie f/1.8 lens, which have good optics, is this f stop giving too shallow depth of field togetmany keepers. Will it only have the front of people's faces, for example, in focus?
Help!!! My budget should include flash, etc., if deemed appropriate. I am sure you knowledgeable folks are plagued by people asking such questions but anyway ...


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Old Feb 22, 2008, 6:56 AM   #2
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I have used the K10 in a number of situations similar to what you mention, and generally have not had a problem with white balance if I take the time to properly set the camera up (i.e. doing a custom white balance). The other thing, of course, is correcting in post-processing if WB becomes an issue in a given setting, such as many gyms in which I shoot low-light sports and the WB keeps changing due to fluctuations in the lighting. This is a shot taken at a Christmas band concert in which the stage lighting was very poor. Taken with the K10 and a DA*50-135. (no flash)

(Shot taken from the first row of the audience)
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Old Feb 22, 2008, 8:13 AM   #3
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White balance is only a problem if you never takea camera off of "auto white balance", and that goes for any camera. I used to routinely set a custom white balance with my old Sony F717 - it only takes a second or two. Since all of the dSLR cameras have some way to set a custom white balance, I don't see this as being a particular problem. Besides, if the lighting is really strange, you can always shoot raw and change it through software (though this isn't my first choice as I'm not that good getting exactly what I want).

I happen to have bought Pentax (I have both the K100 and the K10) and have no desire to change brands. However, any of the dSLR cameras you are looking at are capable of taking excellent pictures. The only camera I might take off your list is the d40x. If your budget can stretch to the d80, it would be your better choice as the d40x can't auto-focus with as many lenses as the d80. The K10 is being discontinued (replaced by the more expensive K20) so it will be a great buy until stocks run out.

Best thing to do is go to a camera store and handle all of the cameras. Ergonomics play a huge role in camera selection and there's no point in buying a camera you won't use because you don't like it.
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