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Old Aug 21, 2007, 5:56 PM   #1
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Hello,

Looking for guidance. Have been reading like crazy on the above subject.

I'm new to photography; I can take a picture if you ask and could probably figure out basic manual controls. I've always been interested in photography and am now willing to invest the time and effort to learn and enjoy.

Mainly I will be taking pictures at marching band competitions of the band(s) themselves and in particular the drum majors. These competitions take place from September through March. I've not a lot of time to make a decision. Also, I will be taking pictures of a small child and a newborn along with "regular" family pictures, or whatever catches my eye. I may like to sign up for a photography course at the local college, so am interested in learning/expanding on the camera I do ultimately purchase.

I'm considering the Canon SD800 IS, but see too there is a SD850, 870, 900, 950, 1000; let the confusion begin! I've also looked at Nikon D40 SLR and have read everywhere this is the best for those going from P&S to DSLR.

Should I start with the P&S and then work myself up to the DSLR and if so, any recommendations on which of the Canon models referenced above would be suitable for marching band photos in addition to "normal" photos?

Thanks for listening to me ramble and appreciate any and all guidance!

Juanita
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Old Aug 21, 2007, 7:26 PM   #2
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If you've not had a lot of exerience with a camera of your own, but think that, ultimately, you might get a dSLR, I think you might be better off with something a little more like a dSLR to start with, rather than a pocketable Point & Shoot digicams. Any of what Canon callls its "High-End, Advanced Digital Cameras", or comparable cameras from other companies,might be a better choice as a camera you can grow into. ANd it will give you a better idea what you might want in a dLSR when and if that time comes.

And the D40 is a fine camera, but a dSLR as your first camera is like jumping into a pool at the deep end. You might do well, but you might be disappointed with what you might perceive as a lack of progress after making such a large investment. What you describe as you goals for photography are not overly ambitious, but before you spend a lot of money on something that you don't know whether you'll be comfortable with, buy something a little more modest that might take you part of the way towards where you want to go.
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Old Aug 21, 2007, 8:53 PM   #3
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I agree with TCav that going for a dSLR as your first camera could be jumping off the deep end. I dissagree about the choice of an alternative, esp if you figure that eventually you will get a dSLR.

If you are not familiar with digital photography, one of the things you will want to figure out is how to use a photo editor. At least to the extent of cropping to a the print format (4x6, 5x7, 8x10, ...) and other minor adjustments. That process is the same for any kind of digicam (ignoring RAW).

So I think your "other" camera should be as different from a dSLR as possible: a fit-in-your-shirt-pocket camera. That kind of camera (light, small) will be usefull even if you get a dSLR (heavy, bulky) later. Won't do as good a job in many ways, but is more likely to be with you.
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Old Aug 21, 2007, 8:53 PM   #4
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Juanita19 wrote:
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Hello,

Looking for guidance. Have been reading like crazy on the above subject.

I'm new to photography; I can take a picture if you ask and could probably figure out basic manual controls. I've always been interested in photography and am now willing to invest the time and effort to learn and enjoy.

Mainly I will be taking pictures at marching band competitions of the band(s) themselves and in particular the drum majors. These competitions take place from September through March. I've not a lot of time to make a decision. Also, I will be taking pictures of a small child and a newborn along with "regular" family pictures, or whatever catches my eye. I may like to sign up for a photography course at the local college, so am interested in learning/expanding on the camera I do ultimately purchase.

I'm considering the Canon SD800 IS, but see too there is a SD850, 870, 900, 950, 1000; let the confusion begin! I've also looked at Nikon D40 SLR and have read everywhere this is the best for those going from P&S to DSLR.

Should I start with the P&S and then work myself up to the DSLR and if so, any recommendations on which of the Canon models referenced above would be suitable for marching band photos in addition to "normal" photos?

Thanks for listening to me ramble and appreciate any and all guidance!

Juanita
You might as well learn with what you really need. A digicam on a subject like thiswill only frustrate you with less than decent images and no real chance to learn how to takethe type picturesyou want to take.

Hopefully this isn't a situation where lots of people are counting on you as the only picture taker. You dosound totally lost in terms of what you need. The fact you're even thinking about a digicam tells me you don't have a clue what you'll be running into when you get out there to shoot these pictures.

First, if you really want images you or anyone else will really be happy with, completely forget about the compact digicam thing...they are completelyinadequate, especially if you get into evening photography. You need a DSLR and... really, a good quality lens where you can zoom as far as at least 300mm...400mm preferably.

My daughter graduated high school in Spring, 2006, was in marchingband for 4 years and I drove to several competitions. Never once would any availabledigicam at that time havebeen adequate, because, while some now zoom way out there, you'll also find yourself shooting alot at ISO 1600 because something tells me you won't be using a 400mm or 300mm f2.8 prime lens to be doing these shots, especially in the evening games.

While she was in school, I had a Canon 10D the first couple of years, with my main longlens being the 100-400L Canon zoom for closeups, and a 17-40 f4L for wide shots. I then switched later to the Olympus systemand used a slightly shorter set of lenses, but they still zoomed to a 35mm equivalent of 400mm.You need the fastest, best quality lens YOU CAN AFFORD...don't buy a nice camera and go cheap on the glass. You WILL regret it..













Make the best out of your opportunities...do yourself a favor andget yourself some good equipment. Today, my girl is still in band at college, but it's *slightly* harder to get close and the band is *just a little* bigger, making it hard to find, much lesstrack her..



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Old Aug 21, 2007, 9:22 PM   #5
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Greg-

Imust tell you that I am very impressed by your post. Bradley and I have raised eight children, all now adults. None the less, I can do nothing but applaud your efforts within this post. You truly have gone the extra mile. It is very well done. And yes, I do see a lot of posts, just look at my own post numerical count, and you can see thatI personally look at lots of posts.

You have shown, very, very, well how a Dad can really make a difference in their children's graphics presentation. I am sure that your loved ones are truly cheering you onward. But dare I ask the question: could yolur children do those stunning graphics works all on their own?I truly don't want to be a party pooper, but i doubt that they could.

So yes, it means that you are indeed very, veryskilled. And I honestly respect that! It looks beautiful! but how involved is your child? Now wait! Take several momements, relax, breathe, and then, please relax again, won't you.Now please be brutally honest with me, and I am really depending on you, Greg,

Can your children do work like this? I honestly doubt it. If they can, they are indeed very unusual, and graphically talented children. They are within the top 1% of all the graphically talented kids out there.I cannot do it. but then I guess that does not matter. does it! Anyway, nice job Greg! ButI truly do not think that they did it!

Sarah Joyce.
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Old Aug 21, 2007, 9:37 PM   #6
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Juanita19 wrote:
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I've always been interested in photography and am now willing to invest the time and effort to learn and enjoy.

Juanita
The key phrase I think.

Get a DSLR now & make yourself learn it (you will later anyway, why waste money now on something you'll outgrow)? Get a good fast lens (it will cost way more than the camera & is the major "investment". Also a good photo-editing software program (you can use a student discount if your kid is in school). Don't skimp on the basics & use the Internet to read, study & learn.
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Old Aug 21, 2007, 9:40 PM   #7
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I think my daughter spends all her extra time sending text messagesto her friends acrosscampus...

She did do a very cute calendar at Christmasfor me of images she took during the Fall semesterand her band trips her freshman year in college, and seemed to enjoy recording everything she did, so I upgraded her Olympus Stylus Verve to a Fuji F40 for this year. Hopefully she won't lose the charger to this camera like she did the other one.
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Old Aug 21, 2007, 9:54 PM   #8
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Greg-

You and I have been here on this forum for a good long time. No, drubbing here, but I think you did a really great job.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Aug 21, 2007, 10:06 PM   #9
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I'm with Gregg. A digicam just won't be up to the task.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"I will disagree with your premise though that the D40 is the easiest DSLR to learn - the fact is they're all fairly easy. They all(entry level models anyway)have auto mode, P mode, AV, TV and manual mode and all the entry level models set this via a dial I believe. The D40 is no easier to learn than a Pentax, Oly or Canon. It's not to say the D40 wouldn't suit your needs - I think it would - just that you shouldn't be scared off by another camera because you think it's too advanced.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"But, as Greg indicated you really need to invest in a quality lens to do the job. That means spending between $500 and $1000 on the lens alone. Cheap lenses will have difficulty focusing in the low light conditions and the soft images from those lenses combined with the noise from shooting at higher ISOs will cause you grief.
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Old Aug 21, 2007, 10:46 PM   #10
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mtclimber wrote:
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Greg, now be honest, won't you!

Is it so difficult to be honest. you are not fooling anyone

Sarah Joyce
I'm hopeful that some day she will want to learn more, but 'tis not the case today or in the past. I love to do this stuff. She has been there giving me her opinions about what pictures to use and where to put them, but I'm the one doing the clicking and cloninginPhotoshop.

I was thinking about thisrecently as I was scanning through the various images I took of her in band during high school. It may have been 4 years, but a high schoolfootball season only lasts around 2 1/2 months a year, so you wind up having only about 10 months out of four years to capture as much as you can. Once it's over, you've lost the chance forever.
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