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Old Oct 26, 2007, 5:04 AM   #11
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raverlv wrote:
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btw. are "kit" (18-55) lenses THAT rubbish? May be it is good idea to get just extra flash, and use kit lens.
No, they're not rubbish. They're a very good value. If you want to spend $300 or more you can get a better lens - but the kit lens usually only adds about $80-100 to the price of the camera so it's a great value.

The kit lenses get such a bad wrap because people new to DSLRs get a camera with kit lens and take bad photos. Of course it's the equipment's fault :-)- they know the camera is a good one so they blame the lens. By the time they get a replacement lens they've gotten better - AND they've already convinced themselves the new lens will be better - so it's a self fulfilling profecy.

I just wanted to show what you can expect from the different combos since the photos all have a different 'feel' to them. If you're happy with the bounce flash only photos - then yes using the kit lens and bounce flash will be fine.

Now, I will point out some VERY important things about any DSLR when you're coming from a digicam.

1. In their default settings, DSLRs apply a LOT less processing to pictures - less sharpening, less saturation, less contrast. They do this by design - so that the photographer can do his/her own manipulation in software afterwards. But, the good news is - all those things are customizable. So you can go into the DSLRs menu and bump up in-camera sharpening, saturation, contrast so it looks similar to what you get out of a digicam.

2. Focusing - with a DSLR you'll have to get used to using focus points - when you look through the viewfinder you'll see points or boxes - you just have to make sure one or more of those are over your subject - typically the point the camera is using will LIGHT UP telling you that's what the camera is focusing on. It's not difficult to get the hang of - but it is different than most digicams.

3. Depth of field - in the above examples of the prime lens - notice how the background is blurred? That's because a DSLR will have a much shallower depth of field (refers to how much of an image is in focus in front / behind the point you focus on). These are an extreme example, but the point is - when the focus is off with a DSLR it's much more noticable than if focus is off with a digicam. The GOOD news is the focus systems on DSLRs are much better - so if you pay attention to step 2 above you'll do fine. But when the focus point over the wall behind your subject is the one lighting up you'll know the picture won't look good - so you recompose the shot so the focus point is over your subject.

So it takes a LITTLE more work on your part initially - but after a very short while you'll get used to using the focus points in the viewfinder.

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Old Oct 26, 2007, 5:37 AM   #12
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Damn it! Just when I was thinking hat DSLRs are not for me, you JohnG, turned me again in doubt.

I've set a meeting with friend of mine, who owns Nikon D70, to take it with him to indoor-football game tomarow and I will try it out.

btw. right now Nikon D40 kit has very good deal here. Is it worth considering? I heard that it has no Image stabiliser (one has to get a lens with it). Someone told that Pentax K100D are nice and with built-in Image stabiliser.
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Old Oct 26, 2007, 6:01 AM   #13
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Yes, Pentax has in-body IS. Canon & Nikon use in-lens IS (or VR in Nikon's case) so you have to buy lenses with the feature on Canon & Nikon.

The k100 is a very nice camera and may be a good choice for you.

The Nikon D40 is a nice camera too, but they did 2 things to it to get the cost down that I don't like very much (they did several things but these are the main 2):

1. They pulled out the focus motor. This means you need to buy lenses with a focus motor in them. The Nikon AF-S and Sigma HSM lenses. Good news is these are great lenses. Bad news is they're more expensive so it limits your lens choices down the road if you want less expensive lenses. And, 99% of the short prime lenses (like a 50mm or 85mm) won't autofocus since they don't have focus motors. So you save money up front vs. another Nikon camera but you really hamper yourself down the road.

2. They reduced focus points from 7 or 9 down to 3. Those points are accurate but it gives you less flexibility again.

Also note: an indoor football game is COMPLETELY different than what you indicated you wanted to shoot. Getting quality shots in that environment will require great seats AND expensive lenses. So, if your friend has both that's fine. If he/she doesn't then the shots will be poor. In either case it's not indicative of what you'll get (i.e either you won't be using his $1700 80-200 vr lens for your shots OR if he's using a poor lens for the job you'll end up getting better results in your situation because it's not as demanding as the indoor football is). I would suggest trying the camera inside your house - preferably with a lens you're considering buying. That way you get a true feeling for what you can expect. No use using expensive lenses you won't be able to buy and then getting disappointed.

Hope that made sense.

Also remember - you can get a bounce flash for some digicams too. So if flash is the route you want to go you can do it much less expensively. The only caveat I'll make there is this - I typically use ISO 400 in my flash shots - so the background has some ambient light. You wouldn't use ISO 400 in a digicam with external flash. So the flash will have to do more of the work - so there will be a more prounounced difference between your subject light level and background light level - even when bouncing.
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Old Oct 26, 2007, 6:52 AM   #14
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I want to test his camera just to get more idea about what are DSLRs. He also uses default kit lenses, so it will give me idea of what to expect from it.

May be I will understand that photos are just marginally better and not worth the investment, or may be I will fall in love with dSLR.:roll:
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Old Oct 26, 2007, 7:32 AM   #15
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raverlv, you've gotten some good advice, and I can't add a lot to it, but there are a couple of comments that might be relevant. I moved from a very good P&S (Fuji s6000fd) to a Pentax K10d earlier this year, and just recently, I purchased a K100d for my son.

I can't talk about the kit lenses from other manufacturers, but the kit lens from Pentax is excellent. There have been a couple of threads recently in the Pentax Lens forum comparing the kit lens to some of the high-dollar alternatives, and the kit lens tends to come out at least the equal.

However, you mention test-shooting indoor football with a D70 and its kit lens.I'd be careful in basing conclusions about what camera to buy just on that setting. I don't know the lighting of the arena in which you'll shoot, but indoor sports shooting can be very tough without high-speed zooms (very expensive). Try the camera in some less demanding settings to be fair to it.

If you're going to be shooting indoor sports, a camera body that goes up to ISO 3200 or higher is a real asset. (The K10d, for instance, only goes to ISO 1600--the K100d to ISO 3200.) Even if you don't plan to invest in lenses over and above the kit lens initially, it's a good idea to look down the road to what your needs might be as you expand your photography. It's almost a cliche, but it's very true when people tell you that you're investing in a lens system when you buy a DSLR.

The Pentax system has some real advantages including built-in image stabilization on both the K10 and K100. That means you can take advantage of any K-mount lens ever manufactured and still get lens stabilization. The drawback with Pentax is lack of availability of long, fast zooms.
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Old Oct 26, 2007, 7:44 AM   #16
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Thanks Trojansoc, I'll keep your advice in mind.
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Old Oct 26, 2007, 11:41 AM   #17
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raverlv wrote:
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TCav - is there a fine indoor lense at around 300$? What specifications should I look for, if I want it to be good indoors? I'm already braking my bank with kit DSLR, and not sure that I can spend more.
There are a number of good ways to go, and some are less expensive than others. As JohnG points out, the Canon 50mm f/1.8 is a very good choice.

And it's not so much that kit lensesare bad. It's that, just like P&S Digicams, kit lenses are good choices for 'all around' applications. But if you've got something specific in mind, just as a P&S digicam might not be a good choice, a kit lens might not be a good choice either. And for indoor photography, neither a P&S Digicam, nor a kit lens would be a good choice.

And JohnG's examples of flash photography are good examples of what is possible. But I prefer not to use flash, so my experience is based on the use of available light. A 50mm f/1.8 is a good lens for portraits and small groups, but for indoor shots you should have something wider. To start, Canon has a 28mm f/2.8 (~$170), a 35mm f/2.0 (~$230) and a 24mm f/2.8 (~$290), while Sigma has a 28mm f/1.8 (~$270) and a 24mm f/1.8 (~$340). The shots I posted were taken using available lightwith my Tamron 17-50 f/2.8, but that's about $440.
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Old Oct 26, 2007, 12:59 PM   #18
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Kit lenses aren't necessarily bad, it depends on what you use them for (& indoor football isn't a good choice). I took these with a Konica-Minolta 7D & Kit lens using a single flash:




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Old Oct 27, 2007, 1:00 PM   #19
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I happen to agree with JohnG-

The DSLR option is going to give you a much more capable camera. Start by buying the Body and add a 50mm F 1.8 lens. Then when you are ready, eventullly add another lens to meet your photo requirements and the Canon EX-430 external flash.

A DSLR camera will last you a much longer time than a bridge or point & shoot camera. You are investing in your photo future.The Canon XTi/400D would be a much better choice than the XT/350D camera due to its much improved focusing.

Sarah Joyce
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