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Old Oct 24, 2009, 2:56 AM   #301
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Originally Posted by javacleve View Post
A brief update and one more question (I hope I haven't tried your patience too much by now! )
The question: I forget now, was there some reason we had ruled out the Sony A700?
The A700 is a fine camera with a lot of useful features for what you want to do. But the selection of large aperture medium telephoto lenses is small and expensive. The 85/1.4 is $1,370 and the 135/1.8 is $1,470. Compare that with Canon's 85/1.8 for $440, 100/2.0 for $450, and 135/2.0 for $1,070.

Originally Posted by javacleve View Post
I piqued the interest of the guy at the camera store tonight, and so he has one coming so that we both can try it out. We read dpreview and it sounds like it might just be the solution for me...of course, it remains to be tested and handled...and it does seem to have more noise at the higher ISO, but still tolerable.
There is a fast zoom lens for $1800, which is in the same ballpark as the Nikon and Canon equivalent lenses that have IS. Granted, there are Tamron and Sigma lenses for the Nikon and Canon, but they won't have IS. You all say that's not important for sports work, but it could help me go with slower shutter speeds if necessary, instead of wider aperture and/or higher ISO.
If you could use a slower shutter speed, you wouldn't need a dSLR. You want to use a fast shutter speed for you subject, which is why you need large aperture lenses and higher ISO settings. The faster shutter speed not only prevents motion blur from subject movement, it prevents motion blur from camera shake. Therefore you don't need image stabilization for shooting your gymnastics.

Originally Posted by javacleve View Post
The body with kit lens goes for $1100, so that's $200 more than the T1i, but he said it is a better build of camera (magnesium alloy).
He's right. But they have been discontinued and are getting very hard to find.

Originally Posted by javacleve View Post
In the Nikon lineup, he suggested the D5000 as being a less expensive body, which would allow me to afford the better glass more quickly. But I forgot if there was any flaw with that one? It did feel more comfortable than the D90 to me, although not as comfy as the ones with forward-set shutter release buttons (the Nikon makes me stretch my finger more than the Canons, for example).
Yes. Primarily, the D5000 doesn't have an internal AF motor, so the large aperture medium telephoto lenses you need would be manual focus only. Also, the AF system isn't very good for sports/action.

Originally Posted by javacleve View Post
Olympus E620 obviously has the fatal flaw of focus trouble in low light and noise at higher ISO. I tried it out in the store and it did "hunt" at times. I did get to see the IS in action, though, and it really worked! I took a zoomed picture in the store's low light (I think 150mm); the shutter speed said it was 1/40...and it came out clear unless you magnified it 5 times. Not too shabby!
Ok, but was there a little girl flying across the room in the picture you took? You want to take photos of your daughter performing gymnastics. For that, you need faster shutter speeds. When you use faster shutter speeds, you don't need to wory about motion blur. In order to use fast shutter speeds, you need larger apertures and higher ISOs. A camera with a maximum ISO setting of 1600 (like the XSi) means you can only use lenses with a maximum aperture of f/2.0 or larger (numerically smaller). A camera with a maximum ISO setting of 3200 (like the T1i) means you can use lenses with a maximum aperture of f/2.8.

You can go with the XSi, but your lens choice is limited to fast primes. If you go with the T1i, you could use a zoom like the Sigma 50-150/2.8 or the 70-200/2.8 from Sigma, Tamron or Canon. If you go with the Sony A700, you can go with a fast zoom, but the fast primes are very expensive.
  • The lens is the thing.
  • 'Full Frame' is the new 'Medium Format'.
  • "One good test is worth a thousand expert opinions." - Tex Johnston, Boeing 707 test pilot.
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