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Old Sep 4, 2006, 7:20 AM   #1
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Hi all,

I have been taking pictures using fixed-lens/P&S cameras for a few years now. I'm hoping to satrt using a DSLR within the next few months, as I may be taking a few courses on the subject to get me started.

THIS IS NOT A WHICH CAMERA SHOULD I BUY from a newbie THREAD! :roll:


Instead its a practical question. I have NO experience with SLRs, and one new feature I've been noticing is the Image Stabilizer. I'm about to buy either the Sony A100 or the Canon EOS 400D (when it is released), but my choice depends on whether Image Stabilisation is best built into the camera or the lens.

Firstly, by your humble opinions, is Image Stabilization very important?

Secondly, which type is best? I don't have alot of money to spend, but understand a good lens is very important. My concern is that the Sony Carl Ziess Lens' and Sony Alpha Professional Lens' are very expensive. The Sony can use Minolta/Minolta MountLenses, and I may buy even the older models and get the IS on them via the camera.

Obviously the Canon requires you to purchase their special IS Lens, which are also expensive.

So, should someone without a huge budget buy the Canon and pay for the IS Lens (Please note I don't know much about what an expensive or value lens is in monetary terms), or get the Sony with a cheaper lens?

I want a good all-rounder.

Thanks in advance for any of your advice,

Pavan :-)

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Old Sep 4, 2006, 7:29 AM   #2
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Pavan, NOT puting down Canon, Sony etc., but any reason why you have not considered Pentax!?

Visit that forum in the dSLR section of this board.
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Old Sep 4, 2006, 7:48 AM   #3
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Hi,

No reason in particular, I've had a few Pentax cameras over the last 8 or so years, and never really liked them. I guess you could say I'm going by past experience, although none of this is with Pentax SLRs.

Thanks.
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Old Sep 4, 2006, 8:34 AM   #4
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In lens stabilization is generally considered to be better performing, but as you know the lenses are expensive. Once you buy them, you will always have IS for all you're future bodies. In camera does work pretty well, but is generally considered less effective (only slightlyso), but all your currentl lenses have the benefit of IS. On the other hand, if body styling changes and IS is removed (not likely), then you lose IS.

The question is not easy to answer..I own one VR lens, and don't use it very often, and since I do alot of action shots, IS doesn't really help me that much. If VR/IS is important to your shooting and you're on a limited budget, its hard to beat in camera AS.
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Old Sep 4, 2006, 12:05 PM   #5
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Unless you have serious problems with holding a camera steady, I don't think image stabilization should be your reason for buying one camera over another.

I've never experience in-camera IS, so maybe it is truly amazing. I have several IS Canon lenses and I like them. At times it is very handy and make the picture better.... and at other times it doesn't help at all.

I would instead choose by things like:
- How it fits you hand. Button placement, depth of the grip, stuff like that.
- How expensive it is.
- Does it have good quality lenses at the focal lengths you need?
- How large and heavy it is. Some like a heavier camera, others don't.
- How good the sensor is (too much noise? How about bluming?)
- Does it offer the features you want (in this case, most DSLRs are the same feature wise, so this is more of a moot question now adays.)

If the image has too much noise at ISO 200, I wouldn't care if it has IS or not built in. It isn't producing images up to the quality I demand.

Eric
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Old Sep 5, 2006, 5:52 AM   #6
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Hi.

Thank you for your replies and advice.

As a 'newbie' (I hate that term), I'm not to sure on issues such as what focal lengths I would use, or which ISOsettings I would work at etc. Everything I know about such things is what I've read, therefore Ican't really make my decision based on this.

As someone starting out, what would be the most important factors?

Better still, what basic features (please bare in mind I do not want to change the camera body for at least 4 years) should I look for? i.e. ISO range between what values? What is the basic focal length/lens I should use?

IS seems to be a fairly vague topic at the moment, and I've only just realised other people are asking the same questions as me.

Are Canon IS lenses alot more expensive than good Sony/Minolta Lenses? Would the Sony make a better purchase in this sense? Or are Sony lenses overpriced, meaning the canon IS lenses would work out as the same thing?

Thanks.
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Old Sep 5, 2006, 4:37 PM   #7
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Navap,

Do you have any notion of what types of things you would like to photograph? And under what conditions? This could drive you towards one camera or another.

For instance, if you want a general, all-purpose family camera for parties, vacations, etc. just about every DSLR out there will be fantastic.

If you want to do a LOT of wildlife shooting or sports shooting, then certain cameras are going to be better choices than others.

I agree with Eric. Image Stabalization is nice to have but hardly in the top 5 criteria IMO for which camera to buy - especially if you're not shooting in situations that require it. But, you may want to specialize in situations that DO benefit from it. The key is getting the right camera for YOU. I have a Canon DSLR and 2 Canon lenses with IS - it's nice but I'd say out of the over 50,000 shots I've taken I've needed the IS for maybe 50. Other folks may use IS much more frequently.
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Old Sep 5, 2006, 5:31 PM   #8
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You want to get into photography, but you don't know what you want to photograph? I don't believe I've ever heard anyone say that before. No idea AT ALL???

No everyone needs a DSLR. While they are generally better than
the vast majority of point and shoot cameras, image quality is not the only factor that matters. Yes, that sounds wrong but its true.

For example, maybe you want to carry your camera all the time. A DSLR is just too big to do that for most people. Or better yet, you want to keep it in your pocket or purse. Then size matters more than picture quality.

And we won't get into the issue of money. Many people just can't justify or rationally spend that much money.

I would suggest that you get the kit lens that comes with the camera (either the 30D or Rebel XT.) Its cheap, fairly good quality and a simple focal length that yous hould be able to mess around with. Take lots of pictures with it and figure out what you want to photograph and from there you'll know what you need in a lens.

Eric
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Old Sep 6, 2006, 4:06 AM   #9
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Hi all,

I didn't mean I don't know what I want to photograph, I meant I couldn't really look at specifications of cameras and lenses and decide which would be best. I will be focusing on Landscape and Urban photography, so generally not subjects with alot of fast movement.

I think using a basic kit lens to play about with is a great idea, especially if it has enough range to experiment with. Though with this I have one other question....is the Sony Kit Lens as bad as people say it is? I read in one review that you would be better off using a normal p&s than using the Sony A100 Kit Lens. Is this comment abit extreme? Or is it fair? Andis having noiseat ISO 400 Plus bad for Landscape Photography? I will probably be shooting alot of pictures at Night or at Dusk.

If I need to spend time learning/experimenting, should I stick with a Canon Kit Lens and go from there? Especially since the noise generated at high ISOs is alot less?

Thank you all,

Pavan.
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Old Sep 6, 2006, 10:38 AM   #10
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I use a Pentax K100D which has shake reduction built in. It allows me to take low light pictures handheld, which is useful when I don't have my tripod. It's NOT a replacement for a tripod, but you can get an extra stop or two on the aperature, which can make the difference between getting a shot or getting a noisy shot (or not getting it at all).

Granted, that's not a common shootingsituation, but I find that I like lowlight, landscape/building shots and the in-body shake reduction is a cheap addition that I enjoy. It will help with all still-life shots. Action shots can't use it.

If money is no object, I do think that the in-lens option is better, but for the price of one IS lens, I got a camera body with shake reduction, and have money left over for a zoom.

Russ


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