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Old Feb 7, 2005, 7:53 PM   #1
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I have need of a dslr for a single purpose: Pics of a dance company in theaters shot during rehearsals. Dance lighting is not like theater lighting as it's mostly sides not front. I need results comparible to this (first was shot with a Rebel so ignore that one):

http://www.bmdc.org/press

I use the pics mostly for press and promotional materials.

These were mostly taken with a 20D or 1D but I can't always rely on this volunteer photographer to show up so I need a backup camera that I can use myself when needed. (I have a lot of experience shooting dance with film slrs so I'm not just a point-and-shooter.)

Looking at my library of digital pics most are shot between 800 and 1600. Rarely is 3200 needed but rarely is less than 800 ok. I need fast shot-to-shot, naturally, and good AF tracking.

So I've been doing a lot of research. A 20D would absolutely cover all bases but with the rebates a D70 is $500 less. Not insignificant for a non-profit. Plus a better kit lens. I figure I'll also get a workhorse f1.8 50mm.

So honestly all you D70 people. Can the D70 hack this job? Is noise really acceptable at 1600? Can I really rapid-fire when needed withoug losing the perfect shot? If all you did was this job would you use a D70?

JM
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Old Feb 7, 2005, 8:16 PM   #2
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D70, ISO 1600, 50mm 1.8......Let me know if it cuts it.....
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Old Feb 7, 2005, 8:17 PM   #3
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Ive got more....
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Old Feb 7, 2005, 8:21 PM   #4
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Thanks brandofamily, i saw those in another post (where they were smaller) and they are compelling. Maybe a bit grainier than the 20D but acceptable. I didn't see any comment on shot-to-shot or tracking fast action, though.
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Old Feb 7, 2005, 9:50 PM   #5
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1st, the lighting in my pics seems much darker than the ones from the site you referenced. Mine were shot 1/125 shutter at 1.8 appature ISO 1600. Stopped action well I think. I probably could have gone lower ISO w/ decreased shutter and still done fine, but I have not had the camera very long and was afraid of not getting enough light but still stopping the action. I really don't think the noise level is noticable, atleast to me. And for printing purposes I doubt it would really show.

As far as continuous bursts, if I shoot JPG fine, large size...I can shoot at 3 fps until card is full. The buffer has a counter on it that shows frames until full. I have shot continually while watching the counter, just for test purposes, and found it never ran down to zero, unless I switched to RAW format. Tracking has not been a problem for auto focus. Camera stay right there all the time.

I hope I've been of some help.

By the way, I bought this camera for the same use that you have described.
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Old Feb 8, 2005, 11:00 AM   #6
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You can look at the exif data of the picture to get some hint.

The photographer Richard Termine use a Nikon D100 which is about the same as the D70.

Raymond Gniewek use a Canon EOS-1D Mark II (not a Canon digital Rebel) which is a pro camera ($5000) that is considered to be one of the very best camera available currently.

For fast action dance the D70 will be pushed to the limit. It will be difficult to maintain a shutter of 1/400even at ISO 1600.Probably the Canon 20D with it's lower ISO noise and maximum ISO of 3200 would be better at those kind of shot. Or if your banker is a good friend get a Canon EOS-1D MarkII.
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Old Feb 10, 2005, 9:48 AM   #7
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Noise should not be a problem if you fork out another $30?? for Noise Ninja.

Here is the above shot with ONLY default settings - Every camera has it's own noise profile which does a much better job then the Quick clean up with defaults.

You won't see a TON of difference but it all helps

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Old Feb 10, 2005, 12:21 PM   #8
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Actuallly I do see a ton of diff. Look at the foreground where the spot is hitting the black marley floor. much cleaner.

At the same time, i just got a message from the photographer who used the D100 as mentioned above. His words were "I've since switched to Canon, get the 20D it is worth it." Of course he's a pro using it for a primary while this is more for backup when our regular pro can't make it to our gigs.
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Old Feb 10, 2005, 1:44 PM   #9
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I have a Nikon D70 and if i would buy today, I would go for the Canon 20D.The D70 is still an excellent camera and is probably the best buy in it's price range but the Canon 20D has the edge currently. You should wait to see the new weapons thatwill be announced at the PMA starting february 20.
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Old Feb 11, 2005, 10:10 AM   #10
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Camera are now like computers - Buy onwe noe and it will be outdated in a year.

I would buy a D70 over a 20D but they are used for different things.

Image quality and overall ease of use are about the same. The 20D costs more because it's more solid, bigger, heavier and has a much higher frame rate for sports. The D70 is smaller, lighter, a little easier to adjust quickly in the field and costs less.

I suggest the D70 for portability, use in fast-changing conditions and fill flash and the 20D for sports or places with extremely low light.
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