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Old Jan 14, 2007, 4:15 PM   #1
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I am looking for a new camera. I have no desire to get into changing lens or buying different types of lens. I want a good camera, at least a 10x optical zoom. i like the feel of a DSL...but I know I won't use the extra features....But there is this tiny part inside of me that wants it....now does that make sense? I know that I won't get into lens. I need something fairly light weight. I currently have a fuji s5100 and love the feel and weight. IT goes everywhere with me. But it has taken a lot of abuse and needs to be replaced.......so am I doing hte right thing and taking the route of a point an shoot with some bangs and whistles?
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Old Jan 14, 2007, 4:43 PM   #2
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spinning wrote:
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I am looking for a new camera. I have no desire to get into changing lens or buying different types of lens. I want a good camera, at least a 10x optical zoom. i like the feel of a DSL...but I know I won't use the extra features....But there is this tiny part inside of me that wants it....now does that make sense? I know that I won't get into lens. I need something fairly light weight. I currently have a fuji s5100 and love the feel and weight. IT goes everywhere with me. But it has taken a lot of abuse and needs to be replaced.......so am I doing hte right thing and taking the route of a point an shoot with some bangs and whistles?
Sound to me like you absolutely....need to stick with digicams.

DSLR's introduce the need to do several things to get the best quality they do and would give you. First, the best quality lightingmeans a separate flash unit and you reallyneed two lenses at the minimum, one for wide to normal and one to extend youroptions to the tele end.

After that, you'll quickly find out you need a little more than a point & shoot mentality to get the best results. You'll have to learn the various options the camera gives, when a certain metering pattern will give better results, when it makes sense to use straight program and when you want to use program shift to adjust the settings to give the results you want, and then, to top it all off....you'll find out it takes a certain amount of work on the computer later,evenwith JPEG's straight out of the camera, to adjust the images and get the best results.

What has your camera you currently have NOT been able to do that you would like it to do? Digital SLR's, given equal proficiency will produce better results. The sensors arebigger, the nicer lenses are better, the separate flash units are better, every thing about them is better, but if you really aren't into what it takes to use one, you are not better off.
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Old Jan 14, 2007, 5:26 PM   #3
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What my current camera can't do.....

speed!

I need something that can capture my kids sports. It did a nice job, I have gotten some amazing swim team pictures outdoors but poor indoors.

Spring board Diving shots. The continuing shooting feature on my fuji s51000 isn't always in focus even when I bump it up. Also when I bumped the speed it took better pictures but increase grain. SO that is something else I would like to have less off. I have figured out how to fix that problem on the PC.

Baseball pictures. Our kids play usually around dusk or late afternoon. So the light isn't always great.

Also I am looking for something that is good in low or natural light.

Back in the day I did have a minolta SLR with all the lens and the external flash. I used it all the time. But I just don't know if I want to get back into it. BUt I know with what I want to take pictures of a DSLR is the ultimate way to go. But then how practical is it to carry all that stuff around DIsney world and other fun type places?


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Old Jan 14, 2007, 5:47 PM   #4
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spinning wrote:
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But then how practical is it to carry all that stuff around DIsney world and other fun type places?


I carried an Olympus E-300, 3 lens DSLR outfit to Paris France for 12 days this past May 28-June 10. Based on what I came back with, from low light to wide angle shots in cathedrals andatplaces like the Eiffel Tower, Chartres, Invalidesand Versailles I would never be satisified carrying just a point & shoot...

http://gmchappell.smugmug.com/gallery/1547796

and for shooting sports, band activities and natural light shooting, a good DSLR outfit will be just as good as that 35mm SLR outfit you used to have, with the exception the zoom lenses today are better than ever...









But the Digital SLR systems does require you doing quite a bit of the work the 35mm lab used to do in terms of getting the images "finished". There are few, if any,DSLR's geared towards giving the users images that are finished right out of the camera. You need to be prepared for that. I see a lot ofstuff like the post belowfrom new DSLR users. I posted a response.

http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...mp;forum_id=36

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Old Jan 14, 2007, 6:23 PM   #5
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spinning wrote:
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What my current camera can't do.....

speed!

I need something that can capture my kids sports. It did a nice job, I have gotten some amazing swim team pictures outdoors but poor indoors.

Spring board Diving shots.
Quote:
Baseball pictures. Our kids play usually around dusk or late afternoon. So the light isn't always great.

Also I am looking for something that is good in low or natural light.

Absolutely no doubt about it - there isn't a digicam on the market that can come remotely close to what a DSLR can do in these situations. Not REMOTELY close.

But, it isn't easy and it isn't inexpensive. Your dusk baseball games will require a 2.8 aperture lens - the least expensive such option for any camera system is the third-party Sigma 70-200 2.8 lens (at around $800 it has mounts for Canon or Nikon). The Canon or Nikon versions are $1100-$1700.

BUT, and this is a big but - 200mm on a 1.5 or 1.6 crop sensor is still too short for baseball - even when shooting on the field. I currently use a Sigma 120-300 2.8 lens as my field sport lens (about $2200).

And, shooting good sports work requires a lot of practice and a lot of post processing. So you have to be willing to do both - if you're not, you're throwing money away buying a DSLR and thinking you'll get good sports shots without the practice and without post processing.

Swimming/diving - if it's bright enough, that same 2.8 lens can be used. If it's not, an external flash is usually the next step.

I'm going to give a word of caution here - anyone suggesting a digicam can shoot these sports - please ask them to post their sports shots. I've seen a lot of claims made, but only a handful of sports shots from the latest high ISO digicams (Fujis) - and none of them are what I would consider acceptable.

















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Old Jan 14, 2007, 8:26 PM   #6
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Your shots are amazing! The baseball ones are just wow! We are still at the younger levels . I am going to post a few pictures. I think most of these are straight out of my camera. I do very little editing.









This one was taken close to dusk with a huge rain storm on it's way.









I do like these shots. And I am proud of them. I know any camera I get I will have to pratice and take many many pictures before I feel comfortable. I plan to go out next week to the camera store and hold all of them. I found one store that has the Fuji s9000. So I can really look at it.

I do thank everyone for their advice and opinion. It is most helpful.


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Old Jan 14, 2007, 8:40 PM   #7
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"And, shooting good sports work requires a lot of practice and a lot of post processing. So you have to be willing to do both - if you're not, you're throwing money away buying a DSLR and thinking you'll get good sports shots without the practice and without post processing."



I think this is a big factor to think about......
what needs to be done after I get the picture on the PC. What exactly must you do? this could be an entire thread on it's own.

I have a friend who has a rebel camera. And I have never been impressed with any of her shots. They are never super crisp and clear. Some are good. But we will be at the same school function taking pretty much the same pictures...and I can't tell the difference. Now if some one was using that camera and really knew what they were doing.....it would be a different story. So I guess I have now ansered my own question. For me it isn't worth it yet.......not to say I won't want something in the future. But for the level my kids are in their sports. I think I can go with something less expensive and difficult to use!
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Old Jan 14, 2007, 9:09 PM   #8
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spinning wrote:
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I have a friend who has a rebel camera. And I have never been impressed with any of her shots. They are never super crisp and clear. Some are good. But we will be at the same school function taking pretty much the same pictures...and I can't tell the difference. Now if some one was using that camera and really knew what they were doing.....it would be a different story. So I guess I have now ansered my own question. For me it isn't worth it yet.......not to say I won't want something in the future. But for the level my kids are in their sports. I think I can go with something less expensive and difficult to use!
Your friend sounds just like the guy who posted the forum discussion I attached aboveregarding how his Olympus E-500 was always soft. Even juked up to maximum amounts, the perameters on DSLR's are not as strong as digicams. Makers assume users of digicams want to do little to no post-processing of images. Digital SLR's impose the need of usersto do more than that.

Levels, curves, sharpening, re-sizing, contrast control, etc, etc. If a digital SLR user doesn't know what these are ornever bothers toadjust them, I can show you a DSLR user who is disappointed in their images.
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Old Jan 14, 2007, 11:38 PM   #9
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Experienced photographers won't say one is better than the other - it depends on the situation. I was so happy my "fisher price" sony point and shoot produced above-average shots that were comparable to my film SLR. At the same time, no p&s has the speed of a dSLR/SLR. In sports, a millisecond matters, but on a vacation, you can use a pin-box camera to get the right shot cuz you have time frame it.

The other major thing to consider is budget. A super-zoom lens vs a dSLR lens - huge price difference. I personally have a problem buying a $1000 lens but never using it, unless i worked for a newspaper - sports section!

BTW those sports shots were top notch!

Ask yourself how frequently you'd use the zoom lens. Is it for a trip? If it is not frequent, and you shoot wide-angle or 35mm, it might be that an entry-level dSLR would produce better shots. Also, do you have the time and patience to learn about what an SLR can do for you?
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Old Jan 15, 2007, 7:42 AM   #10
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spinning wrote:
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I think this is a big factor to think about......
what needs to be done after I get the picture on the PC. What exactly must you do? this could be an entire thread on it's own.
Quote:

I have a friend who has a rebel camera. And I have never been impressed with any of her shots. They are never super crisp and clear.
Quote:
So I guess I have now ansered my own question. For me it isn't worth it yet.......not to say I won't want something in the future. But for the level my kids are in their sports. I think I can go with something less expensive and difficult to use!
There's a mouthful in here

Greg hit the major points in an excellent reply. So far, DSLRs were not intended to be point and shoot cameras. Manufacturers assumed a DSLR user would do post processing.

Every sports image I have goes through: cropping, levels/curves, USM (this is what makes dslr images sharp and gives POP)

A lot go through selective dodging (to highlight eyes and faces) and anything shot in ISO 400 or above goes through noise reduction software.

As for your friend - well there are 2 major parts here. 1st part is what Greg said - post processing. But the second part is even more important - THE PHOTOGRAPHER. Framing, timing, proper exposure - these are all things the photographer needs to do. Notice I said proper exposure - hey, auto mode is good in a number of circumstances but certainly not all.An experienced photographer recognizes those situations and makes adjustments. The better your photo is out of the camera, the better off you'll be. I disagree with the "I'll just fix that in photoshop" mentality. Get it as good as you can in-camera then PP will make it GREAT!

Finally, there's nothing wrong with saying - I don't want to put in the work to do sports photography - it isn't easy. I shot a gymnastics meet yesterday and 4 different parents asked me about sports photography and the equipment. I tried to explain the same thing - 1) for low light sports you need expensive lenses not just the camra and 2) sports photography takes a LOT of practice because of the tiiming required and the shallow DOF and 3) plan on post processing all your sports images. Contrasted with at least 3 other parents I saw there with their entry level DSLRs and kit lenses - spent $800 on a camera completely incapable of doing what they needed it to do (because they knew nothing about what was required from a lens and didn't know how to use the camera outside of sports mode). So, for now, concentrate on the daytime ball games and outdoor swimming - you'll develop your timing and framing. And, if and when you're ready for the work/expense required to get the low light shots you can step up to a DSLR and already having a good eye, transition more smoothly. Again, let me caution you though - be careful about buying another digicam and thinking it will get you those indoor swimming shots or dusk time baseball shots - it wont. The people that tell you it will probably have not used it in those circumstances

By the way - you should be proud of your shots. You have a good eye and good timing. I think if you spent a little more time learning post processing though with a tool like photoshop elements (lesss than $100) you could really improve some of them - the diving shots are all a bit flat - very little contrast, color and punch. Very typical for outdoor shots with a sky involved - but easily improved with a few seconds of post processing. Just a thought!

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