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Old Feb 8, 2008, 11:43 AM   #11
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Angel L. wrote:
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Very limited capture (5 jpeg and 3 raw) What a shame!
After that, it depends on the speed of the card, as is the case with all cameras.

Angel L. wrote:
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I am leaning toward a K10D.
Good choice, but it puts you over budget, unless you can go with the kit lens and get the f2.8 walk around lens later.
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Old Feb 8, 2008, 11:56 AM   #12
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I did not know the burst capabilities of entry level dslr"s were similar. So if I get a fast card I can continue to burst? If that is the case the super suites my needs just fine. I do not need more that 6 mp anyway.

How is the high iso performance on the super?
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Old Feb 8, 2008, 11:59 AM   #13
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Adorama and B&H are out of stock on the super??

Also the

70-300mm F4-5.6 APO DG MACRO (sigma) out of stock)


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Old Feb 8, 2008, 12:14 PM   #14
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Angel L. wrote:
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Adorama and B&H are out of stock on the super??
An alternative might be the Sony A100 (body only) that B&H has for $550. That gives you what you want and keeps you under budget. And they also have the Tramron, Sigma and Sony 75-300 lenses in stock.

The A100has taken some heat for relatively high noise at high ISO settings, but that's while using the default settings. And with fast lenses, you generally don't need to use high ISO settings very often.
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Old Feb 8, 2008, 12:19 PM   #15
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Everything is a compromise.

You're not going to get a great solution for $1200 that meets all your requirements. So, you have to decide which is least important.

Your stated shooting requirements:
  • Daytime Baseball[/*]
  • Indoor low light kids
[/*]
You have translated those shooting situations into the following technical requirements:

Requirements are

1. usable 1600 iso

2. stabalization

3. 3 fps burst

4 Fast AFS

5. 2.8 walkaround lens



First, I'd like to address a potentially faulty assumption. That is that a 2.8 lens is going to get you your indoor shots of kids. A 2.8 lens inside a typical house will get you portrait style shots of either one person/child or two posed together. Assuming you have either sufficient light OR they are sufficiently still. Unlike your digicam, when you're using a DSLR the depth-of-field (DOF) at 2.8 is narrow - especially given distance-to-subject likely encountered in a house. So at 2.8 if kids are playing it's very likely only one of them will be in focus. That's the first problem.

The second problem is the notion that 2.8 will give you a fast enough shutter speed or IS will help. That's often very faulty - people don't hold perfectly still. And if you're like most families, you dont always want to take shots in daylight by a window. So there's a light problem. Bottom line I can tell you from experience F2.8 ISO 1600 alone you will miss a LOT of family type shots.

So, the 2.8 will be nice for shallow-dof portraits but if you're expecting to capture a lot of other types of shots indoors WITH PEOPLE - ESPECIALLY KIDS you're in for a surprise. If it's normal family stuff and NOT portraits, you're much better off with a bouncable external flash. You can use that in day or night. AND you can get as deep a DOF as the situation requires so you can actually get MULTIPLE PEOPLE in focus.

So no matter what system you go for I would strongly suggest an external flash will be of more use for your stated shooting requirements than a 2.8 lens would. I use both. As you know I shoot a lot of sports so I routinely use 2.8 and 2.0 and 1.8 lenses. But as a father I have found that in too many instances they are completely the WRONG TOOL. There just isn't enough light to get fast enough shutter speeds AND deep enough dof for many family shots.

Now, you also want to shoot baseball. One of your stated requirements is fast AF. And you're correct to require that. BUT, what you need is FAST ACCURATE CONTINUOUS FOCUS. Just because a camera may be quick to acquire a subject doesn't mean it's good at tracking it. AF speed is also one of those things that is not easily measured BUT it is comparitive. So people who have only used slow focusing cameras may think it's fast but in reality it is slow. Just ask JimC - how much of a difference there is between the A700 and his km5d. Jim may have debated the km5d was fast until he got a taste of what fast AND ACCURATE is.

Having said that - Canon and Nikon have the most proven track record for Continuous focus speed and accuracy. Sony's A700 sounds very promising too. The few people that I've seen that use it are getting good results. But there just aren't as many sports shooters using it as there are Canon or Nikon. But from everything I've seen, neither Pentax nor Oly are in the same league yet. So, what I'm saying is if all else was equal - the nikon or canon cameras have better forus systems than pentax or oly as far as continuous focus is concerned - so they're a better baseball camera. BUT, all else isn't equal. Pentax and Oly offer AS solutions. They offer inexpensive kits with better kit lenses. And the IQ for other shooting situations will be just as good.

I would also mention that in Pentax you've got a bit of a dychotomy if you're looking at K10D and K100D. And that is - the K10 has the better feature set, BUT, it has worse ISO 1600 performance than its sibling. Now, there are new cameras coming out in Pentax but I can't comment on that - they'r not here yet. Dont know how they perform - or even what they cost.

So here's my opinion:

Decide which is more important: sports or non sports. If it's sports then I think the Canon 400d or Nikon D80 are the choices. If it's non-sports I think you can get a lot more bang for the buck in the other systems. I rule out the Nikon D40 becuase you like to do a lot of indoor family shooting. So many of us that do that type of shooting often end up buying fast prime lenses. Those lenses wont autofocus on a D40/D40x. I also kept the Sony out of the equation because the A100 has slow AF as well as ISO issues. The A200 is a new camera and an unknown performer. The A700 is a good performer but out of your budget.

I would further say that if you're willing to compromise on the sports, Pentax probably offers a better solution for your indoor shooting needs. 1.5 crop camera vs. 2.0 crop allows a wider variety of lenses to be used indoors. And the iso performance is better.

All the cameras in question will do a much better job than you were doing with the digicam. So you can't go wrong. The only potential wrong step IMO is relying on high ISO and f2.8 for indoor family shots. From my experience that's a very limiting solution and a good external flash will get you more shots for less money than the 2.8 lens would. AND you wouldn't have to use ISO 1600.
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Old Feb 8, 2008, 12:26 PM   #16
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Angel L. wrote:
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I did not know the burst capabilities of entry level dslr"s were similar.
Any of the Sony DSLR models can take continuous jpeg images until the memory card is full at approximately 3 fps (A100, A200), or 5 fps (A700).

They've got the fastest write speeds to media in their class. For example, the Sony A100 can write at roughly 14MB/Second to an Extreme III.

The newer A700 is over twice as fast using some of the newer UDMA cards. I haven't seen any tests of the A200 yet. But, it most likely exceeds the A100.

The Autofocus speed and tracking algorithms are also improved in the newer A200 and A700 models. According to Sony, it's 1.7 times as fast as the A100. User reports I've seen so far for the A200 have been positive in this area (feels much faster than the A100). I know the A700 is much faster, because I've got one. :-)

See some discussion of the A700's performance in this thread:

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

We'll have to wait and see what the tests show for the new A200. But, Sony is claiming that it's 1.7 times as fast as the A100, with better predictive tracking algorithms.

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Old Feb 8, 2008, 12:58 PM   #17
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P.S.

The new Sony DSLR-A200 also has an available ISO 3200 if you needed it. Higher ISO speed samples I've seen indicate a huge improvement over the A100.

Reports coming in from some reviewers I know are also indicating much improved noise and detail shooting in raw, with support already in the newest Adobe Camera Raw.

Note that I'm baised, because I shoot with a Konica Minolta 5D and Sony DSLR-A700 now.

But, if it were my $1,200 budget, I'd get the new Sony DSLR-A200 2 lens kit at $899.

Then use it for a while until you decide what limitations your current kit has before buying anything else.

Note Sony's claims of AF performance in their press release here:

http://www.steves-digicams.com/pr/so...r-a200_pr.html

From what I've seen of the improvements in the A700, they've "got their act together" in the Autofocus Area.

Here's an article from a Professional Photographer that shoots with Canon that makes a good read on the improvements Sony has with the A700, including some sports photos. He discusses how the Olympus E-510, Canon EOS-20D and Sony DSLR-A700 compare. It's too bad he wasn't using the newer EOS-40D to see how it compares, too.

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/re...%20-A700.shtml

If the new A200 is anywhere near as good as the new Sony DSLR-A700, I think it's your best "bang for the buck" from what I've seen so far with your budget and stated needs (daytime ball games, indoor shots of family members).

The two lens kit would have you covered at $899. Spend the rest on an external flash (one of the Sony, Sigma,, Metz, Sunpak, and more all make compatible external flash units).

Buy more lenses later after you have a better feel for your needs as budget permits, if you want to expand your shooting conditions (night games, indoor sports, etc.).


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Old Feb 8, 2008, 1:38 PM   #18
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Any news on the availability of the a200? Its not available in adorama.

JohnG. Thanks for clearing up the f2.8 applications in family conditions.

The a 200 looks promising, but 400d and d80 are going to expensive with a 300mm vr/is to acompany the kit lens and external flash.
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Old Feb 8, 2008, 1:44 PM   #19
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JimC wrote:
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Sony has a new DSLR-A200 two lens kit for $899 right now that should be shipping at any time (expected delivery date of February 29th):
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Sony DSLR-A200 with 18-70mm f/3.5-5.6 and 75-300mm f/4.5-5.6 Autofocus lenses for $899.99

This model is already shipping in some regions, and I'm hearing good things about it's improved Autofocus speed over the A100 from users that have received one. Ditto for noise levels (much better than the A100 at higher ISO speeds).
It should start hitting store shelves by the end of this month. It's been shipping in some regions outside of the U.S. already.

I'd suspect that Ritz (a.k.a., Wolf) Camera and Sonystyle.com will start getting them out the door first (both are taking preorders for the A200 now, and you can get a kit with the DSLR-A200, 18-70mm f/3.5-5.6 and 75-300mm f/4.5-5.6 lenses included for $899)

Sonystyle.com shows an expected delivery of February 29 if you preordered now, and they're usually conservative with their estimates (you're more likely to get it sooner).

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Old Feb 8, 2008, 2:30 PM   #20
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Angel L. wrote:
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The a 200 looks promising, but 400d and d80 are going to expensive with a 300mm vr/is to acompany the kit lens and external flash.
Let me say this - I agree a 300mm lens that takes quality pictures is expensive. But it isn't the IS that gives it quality. In fact for sports shooting, IS is the LEAST important behavior in a telephoto lens.

First = optical quality. Guess what, NO ONE has an inexpensive 300mm lens that gives you quality optics at 300mm. Let's get that out of the way. Any <$200 solution is going to have fairly poor 300mm performance. Next comes focus speed. Guess what? a lens with a focus motor is almost always going to focus faster than lenses being focused by the camera. Sigma HSM lenses focus faster than sigma lenses w/o HSM. Canon USM lenses focus faster than lenses w/o USM.

Take the IS off a canon 300mm 2.8 lens and it will still outperform any 300mm lens on the market for sports. The Sigma 120-300 2.8 and 100-300mm f4 lenses will crush any other 300mm zoom lens I'm aware of with regards to sports performance. And neither lens has OS. So, if the primary use of the 300mm lens is sports, IS/OS/AS whatever you call it is probably the least impactive feature with regards to getting quality results. Optical and AF performance are much more important. But you've got to pay for that. So, assuming you can't aford the $500-$600 to get a good 70--300mm type lens. The quality of the results you get will not vary depending on whether your solution is stabilized ASSUMING WE'RE TALKING SPORTS USE - your stated purose for the 300mm lens.

So, again, you have to decide how important those baseball shots are.

For what it's worth, here is the canon kit I would recommend for you:

Canon 400D with kit lens ($570)

Canon 70-300 IS USM lens ($560)

Canon 430ex $240

Total cost = $1370

but only if you want to put the money into the 300mm lens. If you ask me honestly - is it worth the extra money? I say absolutely. There is a quantum leap difference in the performance you'll see in the 200-300mm range (where most of your photos will be taken) with a lens like this vs. say a sigma 70-300.

I can't say whether the 75-300 Sony lens would perform as well. My gut tells me "no" it wouldn't.

I'm trying to look past the technical requirements here and address your actual shooting needs. For your stated needs I see a flash and 200-300mm performance being the big critical success factors outside the camera. If sports is NOT that big of a deal, THEN I would suggest going with a consumer grade 70-300 and put the money saved in the bank, buy camera & kit lens and buy the flash. After shooting for a while you can determine what you're missing. But, if the baseball is important then don't skimp so much on the 300mm lens. The resale value on a consumere grade 70-300 is very poor. So upgrading the 300mm lens down the road is going to be pricey.

Perhaps Jim could suggest a better quality 300mm zoom still in that $560 price range. After that, it's up to the $1000 Sigma 100-300 which is way over budget. But if Sony has a comparable 70-300 lens for around $560 that might be a good option.
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