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Old May 14, 2007, 7:11 PM   #1
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OK, this may really make me sound like the newbie that I am. I realize that they are probably not considered to be in the same class.

Here is my challenge:

We are moving up to a DSLR. My wife currently takes most of the pictures. Her primary subject is our children (currently 4, 2 and due this past Saturday). Our current digicam (Lumix FZ5) takes fairly nice pictures but we really want the improved speed and control of a DSLR. Since we will no doubt be taking many of ourfuture pictures in low light situations, we can not fathom giving up image stabilization.

We have looked at the 30D (packaged with the 28-135 IS lense), the D40X, the E-500 and E-410. We have considered the XTi but have only found it bundled with the 17-85 IS lense. If I am going to spend $1300+ for a single lense set-up, I am inclined to lean toward the 30D with the 28-135.

We were planning to wait until the E-510 hit the streets to make a final comparison. However, if I can get some input that might sway me towards spending the extra money on the Canon then why wait? For amateur and family pictures, will I ever realize the true value of the 30D? In low light situations, will I see speed difference? I hate to make it sound like "money is no object" because it clearly is, but I do not want to spend the next couple of years wishing I had made a few more months worth of payments on this camera.

Thanks in advance,

Lee


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Old May 14, 2007, 7:40 PM   #2
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Three things:

(1) If you haven't yet done so, take a look at the Pentax K100D and the K10D. Both have image stabilization built into the camera body. With the Canons, you will have to buy a stabilized lens to get image stabilization. They are costly. The K100D is now being sold for less than $500 online with kit lens.

(2). There is a multiplier of 1.5X, 1.6X, or 2.0X for most of the medium to low end digital DSLR's. If you get a 28-135mm lens, that means your widest angle shots will be taken at 42mm equivalents. It's ok overall , but a little too narrow for most group portraits and landscapes. It's good for telephoto shots, however.

(3) Until now, Canon DSLR's have been better (more noise free) than Olympus DSLR's in low light (high ISO's) without flash.



Good luck!
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Old May 14, 2007, 8:25 PM   #3
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robbo wrote:
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Three things:

(1) If you haven't yet done so, take a look at the Pentax K100D and the K10D. Both have image stabilization built into the camera body. With the Canons, you will have to buy a stabilized lens to get image stabilization. They are costly. The K100D is now being sold for less than $500 online with kit lens.

(2). There is a multiplier of 1.5X, 1.6X, or 2.0X for most of the medium to low end digital DSLR's. If you get a 28-135mm lens, that means your widest angle shots will be taken at 42mm equivalents. It's ok overall , but a little too narrow for most group portraits and landscapes. It's good for telephoto shots, however.

(3) Until now, Canon DSLR's have been better (more noise free) than Olympus DSLR's in low light (high ISO's) without flash.



Good luck!
Thanks for the rapid response. I will have to check out the Pentax. Hopefully they have one somewhere local for us to put our hands on.

Regarding the multiplier, this is something that has already confused me. I have seen some lenses listed with an equivalence and others without. On the Canon web-site, they list the EF-S 17-85 as being equivalent to a 28-135. The EF 28-135 does not list an equivalent. Do these 2 lenses have different effective focal lengths on the same Canon camera? Olympus states that their 14-45 is equivalent to 28-90 on a 35MM camera. So does that mean something different than the Canon equivalent? My Panasonic says it has a 36-432mm equivalent lense. Are these equivalents all truly standardized? This is killing me!

Clearly I have a lot of reading to do on this forum. Hopefully I will have a better understanding of all of this. I want to make a purchase, it would be great to do so sooner than later, but I also want to make an educated purchase.

Lee

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Old May 14, 2007, 9:07 PM   #4
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Hmmm, The old standard against the the new kid on the block. In fact, the new kid has yet to arrive on the block yet.

To be honest, there is a little apples vs oranges comparison. The 30D, while maybe dated, is a bit more "pro" than the E510 is. It shows in more frame per second in sequential shooting, a deeper buffer, and better flash ability. It has been a great camera and will continue to be one.

The E510 will offer in camera stabilization and the high ISO noise problem seems to largely been cured. The E510 has very decent kit lenses, but the 28-135 is good too. The Oly will havemore coverage with the two lens kit (both wide and tele), but the Canon is a very strong camera.

Some of the decision may come down to what your looking for in a camera. The Canon will weigh twice as much and will be less nimble in handling. Adding lenses that are stabilized will also nip at the pocketbook.

Hmmm, I don't know which.
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Old May 15, 2007, 4:19 AM   #5
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On the 30D you must multiply the actual focal length of the lens by 1.6 to give a 35mm equivalent focal length.

So the 17-85 IS is precisely the lens designed to cover the same equivalent focal length as the 28-135 was on a 35mm film camera. On the 30D you have to multiply so the 28-135 gives an 35EFL of 45-216. That IMO is not nearly wide enough for your intended use.

The quoted focal length on your P&S is also 35mm equivalent, the actual focal length is probably something like 5mm-11mm.

The 17-85 is a pretty decent lens. Has good IS, a nice focal length range, good fast & quiet focus motor, pretty sharp on the telephoto end even opened up and plenty sharp stopped down at the wide end (most of the time you use a wide-angle stopped down to get good depth-of-field). It's a nice lens, but there are now good alternatives (without IS) from Tamron and Sigma.

However for decent indoor work you will need either a flashgun or a fast prime lens. Or preferably both.

My recommendation for you if you can afford it is as follows:

1. Canon 30D body only.

2. Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 lens. (Or Canon EF-S 17-85 IS USM).

3. Canon 430 EX flashgun. (With Stofen diffuser.)

4. Sigma 30mm f1.4 EX HSM lens. (Or Canon EF 28mm f1.8 USM).

Some people recoil in horror at the prospect of using flash with children, but flash is the best single way to control lighting indoors if you know what you are doing. The on-camera flash is nasty though. Apparently some babies and small children don't like flash but I have never had a bad reaction from a baby or child when it comes to flash - I always bounce the flash with the head pointed away from the child. Perhaps I've just been lucky.

For some of my family photos using 20D & 17-85 & 28 f1.8 see my flickr site:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/peripat...7594057501995/


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Old May 15, 2007, 7:28 AM   #6
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peripatetic wrote:
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So the 17-85 IS is precisely the lens designed to cover the same equivalent focal length as the 28-135 was on a 35mm film camera. On the 30D you have to multiply so the 28-135 gives an 35EFL of 45-216. That IMO is not nearly wide enough for your intended use.
The FZ5 has the 35mm equivalent 36-432mm f2.8-3.3 and that will be tough to match in a DSLR without spending some big money.

The 30D w/28-135 will yield 45-216 f3.5-5.6 so its range is limited at both ends and is dimmer.

The E510 will give a 35mm equiv 28-300mm between f3.5 and f5.6. It is wider, but missing some at the tele end from the FZ5. Its also dimmer.

peripateticsuggested a setup that is far brighter, covers 27-80mm, but you will not be getting change back from $2000. You would be missing a huge abount in the tele end of things. I'm not a huge fan of the 17-85 Canon lens option. While its not horrible, it does have some issues.

It may be best to invest in something like the E510 and both kit lenses. When you use it awhile and discover your most used range and desire a brighter lens in that range, you will be able to do so and still be cheaper than the 30D option.


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Old May 15, 2007, 8:16 AM   #7
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The Oly attraction is being small and light, and if you're into wildlife (birding) a 2x image stabilized dSLR is the way to go - Imagine a 120-300 f/2.8 zoom on such an Oly... before any 1.4/2x teleconverter!
-> nothing else come close :idea:
i.e. the price + weight (even when compared to a slower 600mm f/4 on a Canon)
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Old May 15, 2007, 4:00 PM   #8
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fldspringer wrote:
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I'm not a huge fan of the 17-85 Canon lens option. While its not horrible, it does have some issues.
I'm curious, you seem to have so much to say about Canon lenses; have you ever actually used them or are you going from internet reviews? And if reviews (as I suspect) which sites? You seem to make all sorts of strange pronouncements.
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Old May 16, 2007, 7:40 AM   #9
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peripatetic wrote:
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I'm curious, you seem to have so much to say about Canon lenses; have you ever actually used them or are you going from internet reviews? And if reviews (as I suspect) which sites? You seem to make all sorts of strange pronouncements.
I may come as a surprise, but I strongly considered an XTi before buying my E500. I had to come up with SOMETHING to overcome that kit lens, which I did use. I both tested (tried to get the lenses to mis-behave) and researched lenses to try to find a workable setup. I think every Canon lens I've commented on, I've taken a few pics with. Not many, but some.

The exception would come with the Olympus E410 kit lenses. I've never even seen one in person, but have looked at many full res pics taken by them.

So far as sites go:

http://www.photozone.de/8Reviews/index.html

While the tests are interesting, they are limited to one sample. At the bottom of the page there are user surveys. Choose the system, click "start query" and you see the results from others that use that lens. Check out a lensor two that you are familiar with. I find it to be within reason when it comes to results. Its not perfect, but it is a guide.
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Old May 16, 2007, 3:44 PM   #10
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I find the user gradings on that site to be so subjective as to be worthless.

As you say the tests are limited to a single sample, but well done. I very much like the tests on Slrgear.com.

But one thing that constantly amazes me is the fact that the more I practice the better my equipment seems to get. And just for reference, it is perfectly possible to get some very nice images even with the lowly Canon kit lens.

As it happens I don't like the Rebels of any generation, they are too small and light for my comfort.

I happen to shoot Canon but I really have no brand loyalty, I happen to think Nikon is cooler (bit like PC v Mac) but probably more expensive at a given quality level. And I have a very soft spot for Pentax. And I even quite like Olympus. I will never buy a Sony product on principle (though it has nothing to do with how good or bad their cameras are).

It just so happens that Canon has the right camera and lenses for my particular needs and budget at the moment.
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