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Old Jun 6, 2007, 11:39 AM   #11
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Very nice shot beejygirl-

It is always nice to hear camera buyers that are pleased with their purchase and having fun using their camera.

Sarah
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Old Jun 7, 2007, 6:27 AM   #12
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Others have indicated that DSLRs have an an advantage here and I concur. The main reason is the video lag to the viewfinder.

Here's a couple of sequence photos from a DSLR.




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Old Jun 7, 2007, 6:29 AM   #13
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Sorry, Double post deleted.
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Old Jun 7, 2007, 12:08 PM   #14
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I have read Steve's review on the Nikon D-40, perused a few others and then read the Canon Digital Rebel XTi (EOS 400D) review - and was totally bowled over by the latter! The "self cleaning sensor" appeals to me enormously as well as the sports shooting modes, 10 megapixels (I like to crop), wireless remote (fave G5 feature)- and everything really! Then I checked in here and realised that it is the camera Beejygirl has. I'm smitten!

mtclimber - thanks for your further two posts, you are being extremely helpful and encouraging! :-) I really appreciate your input.

From my reading and your posts I understand that I will be able to handle the jump to a DSLR so reservation (1) is out! Reservation (2) is practically out too, thanks to your feedback mtclimber and Beejygirl.


Beejygirl - thank you so much for your posts and photos, your enthusiasm is contagious! :-)

I live in southern Spain and in spring and summer months my beach walking gear = bikini + multi-pocketed doggy bum-bag + moving leashes around my shoulders to avoid weird tan marks! *LOL* In the winter we could be twins though! ;-)


fldspringer - thank you! Gosh, those are the kind of shots I'd love to take.

===========

So now I am really leaning towards the Canon XTi and hope to hit the shops tomorrow so I can hold one in my hands. I'm hoping this will be positive as I've realised that the only way I'm going to get the shots I crave is with a DSLR. So I'd better like it! *LOL*

My next question then is the lens... My budget for a DSLR + lens is more generous than what I initially stated for the zoom. I wouldn't balk at $1500/$2000 - it is important that I have a piece of equipment that can give me the results I crave (once I learn how to use it) i.e. I'd rather spend a little more than be disappointed or need to upgrade sooner, further up the line.

Should I look into your lens suggestions mtclimber or would these change in the light of my camera preference and comments above?

Thanks again for the feedback, I really amenormously grateful.



"





I really want to improve the detail and sharpness of my photos, and be able to get in closer! Many times I'm just too far away.

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Old Jun 7, 2007, 12:58 PM   #15
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St Iletto,

First let me say those shots you posted are very good (and as others here will attest - I don't say say that very often about action shots). You have great framing, caught nice action and the shots are well framed and have good sharpness. In short, I think you're doing better than a lot of people I've seen with $2000+ in DSLR gear. One hurdle you'll have in DSLRs though that hasn't been mentioned though is focusing. DSLRs focus much better/faster than digicams but they require a bit of technique to use because you have pre-defined focus points (you'll see them in the viewfinder). With a digicam, you often have a LOT of leeway for mistake in focusing - because much of the image is in focus. With a DSLR you don't have as much margin for error. SO, initially some people have some problems adapting their technique to ensure focus points are on their subject (easy to do when the subject is stationary - more challenging when it moves). Because of the shallower depth-of-field (i.e. how much in front and in back of your focus plane is actually in focus) errors in focusing on a DSLR are more evident. Looking at your shots, you already have skill - so I'm sure you'll adapt quickly. I still absolutely agree it's the right move to go DSLR but just wanted to warn you about this little tidbit beforehand.

I think it should be fairly easy to get you set up. I think you'll find the 400D to be an exceptional choice for your action shots - the 9 focus points and the servo tracking of the camera make it great for your purposes.

Lens choice depends on whether you require a 'one lens solution' - i.e. when on your walks on the beach do you want to take shots of both dogs/wildlife AND wide angle shots? If so, then you are looking at one of the newer crop of superzoom lenses (like a Sigma / Tamron 18-200). These lenses are convenient but not the best quality. If you are more interested in the action shots and can forgoe the wide angle for the beach walks then I would suggest a 2-lens solutio. One lens for your walk-around and one for your action shots. For the wildlife/action here are my two suggestions:

1. Canon 70-300 IS USM. This lens has great reach - 200mm can be a bit short (even on a crop camera) for wildlife. This lens has great optical quality for a lens in this price range and performs very well. It also has IS (canon's anti-shake)

2. Canon 70-200 f4L USM. Same price as the above lens. It's 200mm shorter and lacks IS, BUT this lens has outstanding image quality, much better build (metal) and sealing than the above lens and has faster focusing. Now, for your purposes the loss of IS shouldn't be a problem. In your stated conditions you'll have shutter speeds plenty fast enough to hand-hold this lens at 200mm. For other purposes that might not be the case - but for YOUR stated purposes, it won't be an issue.

Both lenses are about the same price. The 70-200 is definitely better built and has the bonus of constant f4 and faster focusing (important for action shots). But the 300mm has the reach you'll need for your wildlife shots. Even 300mm is short (I use a 100-400mm lens and that's even too short at times).

So there is no clear cut winner here - both have pros/cons but in the $500 price range there isn't another lens I'm aware of that will compete wih these two in both image quality AND focus speed (focus speed is important here - so canon USM and Sigma HSM lenses - lenses with their own focus motors have a distinct focusing advantage over lenses without these motors). Either will produce better results than a superzoom for the canon cameras from what I've seen/heard of the superzooms (which are relatively new). But it means you need 2 lenses. You then need another lens as your walk-around lens. There are several threads on the forums here discussing that topic. Canon's 17-85, 28-135 and some of the third-party 18-70 type lenses all make great walk-around lenses.

Good luck!!
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Old Jun 7, 2007, 1:26 PM   #16
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St Iletto-

Thanks for the post. I think that the choice of the Canon XTi is a very logical one. It is a very easy camera to use. While at the same time it is very capable of great photos.

You spoke of cropping, so that would lead me to believe that you would like some zoom as well. Here is a possible idea to tink about. Why not purchase the XTi body only and then an inexpensive all around lens such as the Sigma or Tamrom 18-200mm lens. That would effectively prove a lens range, expressed in 35mm ters of 27mm to 300mm with the Canon XTi.

If you wanted a little better quality lens, with IS,consider the Canon 28-135mmIS lens (about $(US) 400 here in the USA). The Sigma 18-200mmOS kens will be out in mid July and that is another option. OS, which stands for Optical Stabilization is Sigma's trade name for Image Stabilization. That lens is scheduled to go on sale here in the USA for about $(US) 550.

The most important thing is to get started with the XTi so you can become really at ease and familiar with the camera, while at the sametime getting a better idea of what zoom range lens best targets the kind of photos that you like to take.

Here is a sample photo taken with my XTi and the Sigma 18-200mm lens.

Sarah
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Old Jun 7, 2007, 7:17 PM   #17
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St Iletto-

Here is another XTi + the Sigma 18-200mm len sample photo.

Sarah
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Old Jun 7, 2007, 7:18 PM   #18
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'Sorry double post!

Sarah
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Old Jun 7, 2007, 9:51 PM   #19
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Some very fine doggy action pics in this thread - impressive stuff.

St Iletto, not to throw cold water on your choice of the Canon XTi, but if the "dust removal system" is a key factor in your choice of the camera, you may need to re-examine that. According to this article (http://pixinfo.com/en/articles/ccd-dust-removal/), the Canon's "dust removal system" is virtually useless - as is, apparently, Nikon's. This doesn't mean the XTi still isn't a great camera, but I figured I'd just let you know.
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Old Jun 7, 2007, 10:18 PM   #20
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flippedgazelle-

I have a lot of miles on my Canon XTi and I still have not had to do a single cleaning. IMO it is a very impressive camera.

Sarah
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