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Old Mar 11, 2008, 4:44 PM   #1
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Hello everyone,
I have decided to get a Canon dslr, it would be my first and Iam not sure to get the Canon xti for $520 (body), the 30d(800) or 40d(1150) body.
I will add the canon grip to the XTI, because it is too uncomfortanle without it.

What I'll be shooting or plan to shoot:
I'll be doing street/portarits in San Francisco, DUB car show, hopefully MMA, small rock concerts.

Circuit City has no interest until 2010 which I plan to do. I go fishing in baja, sometimes snowboard, and would like ro do surf photos someday, and I live in foggy SF.


Thanks, and can't wait to read the needed advice.

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Old Mar 11, 2008, 4:51 PM   #2
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Fishing. Snowboarding. Surfing. It sounds like you should be concerned about weatherproofing too.

Are you sure you want a dSLR? That can be a lot of weight for you to lug around, and a lot more moving parts that can break if you drop it.
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Old Mar 11, 2008, 4:59 PM   #3
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I would be photographing surfing and snowboarding. I won't be taking part in the actual sport itself. I will photograph others. As for fishing I would bring it along.
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Old Mar 11, 2008, 9:19 PM   #4
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No question the D300 is the best prosumer DSLR on the market for sports. Pro level focus system. The only better sports cameras are the d3 and canon 1d mkIII.

Having said all that, the camera is only part of the equation. You need the right lenses.

MMA - think 70-200 2.8 and 24-70 2.8.

Surfing - length is your friend - 400mm or more is definitely beneficial. Small rock concerts - think fast primes - focal length depends on how close you are.

So while the D300 is probably the best camera body below the pro series, you have to be sure you can still afford the right lenses. The next step down is the Canon 40D as far as sports shooting is concerned.

But for the various sports you're planning on shooting plus the bands you're looking at a very hefty investment (think $2000 plus) in lenses. So add that to the price of the body. It may very well mean you can't shoot everything you want to right off the bat and you may have to choose where to put your money and get good results vs. trying to buy consumer grade glass to cover the focal lengths but not have the IQ, focus speed or apertures necessary to succeed at the sports in question.

Can't help with the street photography though. Sorry.
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Old Mar 11, 2008, 9:41 PM   #5
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JohnG wrote:
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No question the D300 is the best prosumer DSLR on the market for sports. Pro level focus system. The only better sports cameras are the d3 and canon 1d mkIII.
I wouldn't be too sure about that. This is what Dave Etchells had to say about it's AF:

"In terms of the D300's ability to determine that it's properly focused when shooting the same target multiple times, its speed is a bit below average for a semi-pro model. The D300 required about 0.23 second for full AF when using Single-point (center) AF mode (our default full AF lag test), and 0.42 second when using the 51-point Auto-area AF mode."

http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/D300/D300A6.HTM

I'm digging around for it now, but I remember another reviewer stating that the AF speed was dissapointing for a camera in this class when using anything other than Center Point AF.

I'm sure it's good in comparison to entry level models. But, I wouldn't assume it's better than the higher end Canon models. For that matter, the Sony DSLR-A700 tests faster in most lighitng according to popphoto's test results.


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Old Mar 11, 2008, 9:51 PM   #6
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JimC wrote:
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I'm digging around for it now, but I remember another reviewer stating that the AF speed was dissapointing for a camera in this class when using anything other than Center Point AF.
I'm still looking for the other reviewer that mentioned sluggish AF for a camera in it's class when using 51 AF points. While searching for it, I did find this comment from a new D300 user that also shoots with Canon gear.

[*]AF System: The AF system of the D300 is very acceptable. I found it plenty fast enough in high contrast situations but it seemed a bit sluggish in low light (compared to the Mark III anyways).
[/*]

http://www.pbase.com/dreamndigital/nikon_d300

If I find the review I'm thinking of, I'll post a link to it, too.

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Old Mar 11, 2008, 10:03 PM   #7
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And another similar comment from someone that has used Canon gear (this time, from a 40D owner):

"To wit: The 40D has FASTER focus aquisition indoors with average lighting using either just the center point or all points on either camera. D300 with the 70-200VR and 40D with 70-200/2.8.

S-AF, center point only both were pretty fast but the 40D was faster. With all points on the D300 it was quite sluggish. It doesn't seem to have the processing power to go through them all quickly. With the 40D it doesn't make much difference. "

http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/613685/1

Here are some comments from Shawn Barnett (still not the ones I'm thinking of, but you get the idea):

"And though the Nikon D300 has 51 autofocus points like the Nikon D3, it is much slower at acquiring focus than the D3 is when in Auto-area AF. It's also slower than the competition, whose AF includes considerably fewer points."

http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/D300/D300A.HTM

What I'm getting from some of the reviewers I've seen comment on it, is that enabling 51 focus points is not what it's cracked up to be if you want faster AF, unless the camera's processing is up to it (i.e., D3 versus D300)

Again, I'm sure it's quite good. But, it's not class leading from what I can tell from remarks I've seen so far from reviewers.


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Old Mar 11, 2008, 10:54 PM   #8
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WoW!

I was losing hope in my thread, but it came through. Now that I am wirting a response I can't see your names but it seems the Nikon d300 is a monster of a camera, but I guess since I am not a pro I could use the extra $600 towards glass and get the Canon 40d.
I am not looking towards sony, because I want lens options

My most concern at this very moment would be portaits, small rock concerts, and capturing crazy things I see in this city. I love boxing and mma and hope to photograph that even at the small level. And I wanted the option with my purchase to do what I mentioned above in the near future. The 40d kit at circuit city comes with the 28-135 lens, what do you think about that lens. Should I try to sell it and use my kit lens from the canon rebel 2000, or does the 1.6x factor affect the 40d.

Thanx
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Old Mar 12, 2008, 7:19 AM   #9
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I'd handle the cameras and see what you think about size/weight/ergonomics/viewerfinder, etc. Ditto for the lenses.

You're going to need faster (brighter) lenses for low light (i.e., the type of lenses able to maintain f/2.8 throughout their focal range like JohnG mentioned) if you can't use a flash.

In budget choices, look at Sigma's offerings (available in popular camera mounts like Nikon, Sony/Minolta, Canon, Pentax). You can get a Sigma 24-70mm EX DG AF Lens for around $429 now. The Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG HSM Macro sells for around $800 now. The manufacturers f/2.8 zooms will be more expensive.

What kind of small rock concerts, and will they have overhead stage lighting?

If not (dim clubs with no stage lighting), you may need brighter primes (fixed focal length versus zooms). For example, 28mm f/2, 35mm f/1.4, 35mm f/2, 50mm f/1.8 or f/1.4, 85mm f/1.8





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Old Mar 12, 2008, 7:21 AM   #10
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JimC wrote:
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What I'm getting from some of the reviewers I've seen comment on it, is that enabling 51 focus points is not what it's cracked up to be if you want faster AF, unless the camera's processing is up to it (i.e., D3 versus D300)

Again, I'm sure it's quite good. But, it's not class leading from what I can tell from remarks I've seen so far from reviewers.


Jim, those were some interesting comments - I hadn't seen similar feedback from sportsshooters. But I guess a big part of it is sportsshooters dont use all active points. Still I'll have to look around for more sports folks who compare models and see what their take on it is. Everything I had seen so far from them was positive.

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