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Old Oct 15, 2007, 2:06 PM   #21
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Thanks for clarifying!
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Old Oct 15, 2007, 9:15 PM   #22
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To add a bit to the 6 mp vs. 10 mp debate - I happen to have both the Pentax K100 (6 mp) and the K10 (10 mp) cameras. I've posted the same full framepicture taken with both cameras and the same lens, then resized them to post here and you can't tell the difference between them. You cansee the differences when you do 100% crops. Pictures from the 6 mp camera print very well up to 8" x 10" (I've never done anything bigger than that so can't speak to posters). I do find the extra mp useful for birds, wildlife, also for tiny macros where my macrolens might be a limitation. As far as basic image quality goes, I don't see a big difference between the two cameras, and often use them interchangeably (keep a long tele on one camera, a wide angle on the other or macro on one, zoom on the other, etc.).

So unless you are planning on doing lots of birding and wildlife I wouldn't think you'd "outgrow" a 6 mp camera any time soon. Just my experience but the quality of the lens has far more to do with the image quality than the difference betweenthe megapixels, especially when it comes to dSLR cameras.That's why I think buying the D40 over the D40X would make more sense, and then use the money saved to buy a better/dfferent lens. You might or might not find yourself wanting more advanced features that than what the D40/D40X cameras have, buteven that's not a sure thing, and would apply to both cameras, regardless of the megapixels.
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Old Oct 15, 2007, 9:46 PM   #23
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Hear! Hear!

There's a lot to be said for getting a 6MP dSLR instead of a 10MP dSLR, but only if you put the money saved into a better lens.
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Old Oct 24, 2007, 12:14 PM   #24
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I'm also trying to decide between the Nikon D40X and the Canon EoS-400d/Rebel mentioned in this thread and unfortunately the more I read the less clear things become!

With the Canon, lots of people say don't buy the kit lens, buy something else, but few go on to suggest a good alternative. Any suggestions would be welcome, but remember we're talking about a general purpose lens, and as a beginner, it shouldn't cost the earth; if I get bitten buy the bug then I'll invest in fancy lenses later.

With the Nikon, the thing about having to be careful about which external lenses to get if you want autofocus concerns me. It says lots of money to me, and like I say I want kit to get me started initially.

Whichever way I go I think I'll be after 2 lenses initially, something general purpose such as the 18-55mm kit lens, and a zoom lens too. I'm not too worried about stabilisation at this stage, I'll use a tripod.

Any thoughts on any of my ramblings will be greatly appreciated.
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Old Oct 24, 2007, 12:30 PM   #25
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Matt,

As a new entry into SLR photography - whichever brand you go with, my advice is to buy the least expensive kit lens you can get (insert gasps here by Nikon and Canon people :P)

The reason being - you haven't developed your own personal needs yet. Your personal needs will determine where you want to spend the lion's share of your money in the future. You may discover you want a quality wide angle. Or a quality telephoto (and let me warn you - there is not a quality BOTH lens) or you may find you like the idea of wide aperture primes. The point is: until you determine your own style, don't invest heavily in lenses right off the bat. Save the money and get an inexpensive kit lens. Then a month or 2 or 6 down the road when you figure out what it is that kit lens isn't able to provide you can buy a quality lens that fits your needs. Some people come into DSLRs knowing the type of photography they want to do and thus it makes sense to advise them towards specific higher quality lenses right off the bat.

Ok, now on to the next point - you said you wanted to buy 2 lenses a 18-55 and a zoom lens. I could make a crack that the 18-55 IS a zoom lens (Ok I just made the crack) - am I to assume you mean a telephoto - something longer than 135mm for the second lens?

If so, you need to provide some details.

1. What is it you want to photograph with the longer lens.

2. What is your overall budget.

Both are important as they may not be compatible. For instance wanting to photograph grizzly bears and only having $150 to spend is probably not compatible.
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Old Oct 24, 2007, 12:58 PM   #26
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Hi John,

Thanks for the speedy reply and better still I'm glad to hear what you say about not buying the most expensive lenses from day one! It's not to say that I don't appreciate that a $1000 lens takes better pics than a $150 lens, but in the hands of a newbie, it's probably overkill spending huge bucks immediately. I've probably got widely conflicting aims of what I want to use the camera for, but here goes anyway. The first two occasions that spring to mind when I might want to use the long zoom would be an indoor concert and some motorsport. Before you throw your hands in the air in horror, I'll clarify that I don't necessarily want close-ups of the drummers eyes and equally for the motor racing I'd be close to trackside, so I won't need $8000 lens to get the subject at the sort of size that I'd like on my photos.

As for my overall budget, I'm talking UK pounds here, the camera's with kit lens are typically selling for 400 to 450 UKP, so if we forget about that for now, I guess for my long zoom I'd like to keep within another 200UKP which I guess translates to around 300-400USD.

Thanks again,

Matt.
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Old Oct 24, 2007, 1:05 PM   #27
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Matt, here's some bad news. Indoor concerts = low light. So you're unlikely to use the same lens for those concerts that you would use for motorsports. For motorsports you could get a cheap Sigma 70-300 for < $200 USD. To get a better lens you jump up to the $560 USD level.

But those types of lenses have apertures of 5.6/6.3. No where near fast enough to get you indoor concert shots. Indoor concerts can be tough lighting - which means 2.8 or often 2.0 /1.8 - and when you get to 2.0 or 1.8 that means prime lenses. Which means you need to be really close - like 30 - 40 feet from the stage at worst. Otherwise you'll get a lot of motion blur because a 5.6 lens even at higher ISO may need 1/15 shutter speed - and without image stabilization you can add camera shake to the mix. My advice is: unless you're going to shoot a lot of concerts, let this one slide by the wayside for now. It's a tough thing to accomplish. Jim C does a bit of this type of shooting. Hopefully he'll feel his ears burn and jump in here.
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Old Oct 24, 2007, 1:31 PM   #28
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I know what you're saying about the concert shooting, having played about with a compact with long zoom in the past - it's not that you can't get some good shots, but the number that end up in the trash is a lot higher than those worth keeping. I'll probably still take my camera along to concerts, but I know that the results are likely to be patchy at best.

I think that the leap to a $500+ lens at this stage is probably too much, but I will give it some thought. Part of the problem being that what you describe as a $500 lens, will probably end up being a $700+ lens as we get overcharged for everything in the UK. I'll check out the Sigma lens that you mention.

Thanks again,

Matt.
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Old Oct 24, 2007, 2:07 PM   #29
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What kind of indoor concerts?

You can probably do fine for concerts at larger venues with well lit stages with an f/2.8 or even f/4 zoom. I'd avoid the inexpensive f/3.5-5.6 or f/6.3 70-300mm zooms for that purpose. Get closer seats or move to the front if standing, and use a brighter zoom or prime to get some keepers.

For example, here's a shot at a Mother's Finest concert at night outdoors using a Konica Minolta Maxxum 5D at ISO 800 with a Vivitar 70-210mm f/2.8-4 APO Series I Autofocus Lens at 85mm, 1/160 second, with the aperture set to f/4 (stopped down a bit from the widest available aperture of f/3.2 at 85mm with this lens). Manual Exposure, Incandescent (Tungsten) White Balance



If you're talking smaller venues with virtually no stage lighting, that's different. ;-) You may need higher ISO speeds and a brighter prime (fixed focal length versus zoom lens) to get some keepers.

For example, here's a recent shot with a Sony DSLR-A700 at ISO 3200 and 1/40 Second, using a Minolta 100mm f/2 Autofocus Lens at f/2.5, Manual Exposure, Incandescent (Tungsten) White Balance



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Old Oct 24, 2007, 2:38 PM   #30
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P.S.

That first photo taken with a Konica Minolta Maxxum 5D was when I was using a $79.95 Lens for the first time (a Vivitar 70-210mm f/2.8-4 APO Series I Autofocus Lens). I got that lens brand new in the box with warranty from CametaAuctions (a reputable Ebay vendor) for a "buy it now" price of $79.95 a while back. :-)

See this thread for a few from the same Mother's Finest Concert taken with this combination (Konica Minolta Maxxum 5D, Vivitar 70-210mm f/2.8-4 APO Series I Autofocus Lens):

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/fo...amp;forum_id=5

For more ISO 3200 images taken with a Sony DSLR-A700 (a.k.a., Sony Alpha 700 ) and a Minolta 100mm f/2 Autofocus Lens, see this thread:

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/fo...mp;forum_id=84

I'd let members know more about the types of concerts you want to shoot at.

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