Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digicam Help > What Camera Should I Buy?

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Apr 24, 2008, 11:40 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 6
Default

We have 4 little ones, ages 1, 3, 6, and 8.

I want to capture great memories for my family wihtout depriving their college funds.

I want a camera suitable for indoors, family parties, school events, and sporting events.

So far, I've looked into the Nikon D40 and the Canon XTi. I'm looking for other suggestions and lens suggestions.

I did own a film based SLR camera a while back, so I want more than you get with the point and shoot cameras.

Thanks for any/all advice!
frank10 is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Apr 25, 2008, 12:14 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
2many's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Costa Rica
Posts: 533
Default

My advice, since you dont want to break the bank, and you would like some of the bells and whistles, like image stabilization, and dust removal, and a camera that shoots really sharp photos Sony A200. You get it with the 18-70mm kit lens which is good for some photos. Then you can decide what other lenses you might want.
2many is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 25, 2008, 9:26 AM   #3
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 6
Default

I will look into that one. Thanks!
frank10 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 25, 2008, 12:03 PM   #4
Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 8,529
Default

frank10 wrote:
Quote:
We have 4 little ones, ages 1, 3, 6, and 8.

I want to capture great memories for my family wihtout depriving their college funds.

I want a camera suitable for indoors, family parties, school events, and sporting events.
OK, let's talk about what camera features will benefit these specific types of shooting.

Family parties: you'll want a standard zoom lens - available in every system. More importantly, an external flash will provide the most flexibility. Built in flashes for all cameras are pretty poor in comparison.

As a second option you can go with high ISO and fast prime lenses. You can get some great natural light photos that way - but there are WAY too many photos you'll miss. Especially with kids that wont hold still so 1/15 or 1/30 exposure at f1.8 will capture the image.

School events - that's a much tougher situation. There is no one size fits all here. A lot depends on whether you are allowed to use flash and whether you are even close enough for a flash gun to be effective. If flash is not allowed or just isn't going to be effective because of distance etc, then it becomes more challenging - you very often need fast lenses - f2.8 or even faster. Anti-Shake can be beneficial but is not a substitute. You'll still find you need 1/60 or 1/125 to reduce motion blur of a human in a play say. So anti-shake with an f5.6 lens probably isn't going to get you those speeds. But it will help you if you have the fast lens to get those speeds. The IS will reduce your camera shake.

Sports - this can be the toughest of all. This is probably the single area which is impacted the most by the camera system you decide upon. The two biggest aspects that affect sports shooting success are: the focus system of the camera/lens and appropriate lens availability. Canon & Nikon dominate sports shooting - about 95% of pro sports shooters use one of those two systems. They have the best auto focus systems and the widest selection of lenses available. Sony's recent cameras appear to have some very good focus systems in them. Still haven't seen a body of evidence that indicates how they stack up to Canon & Nikon for sports work. One or two reviews but not enough sports shooters using the cameras yet to draw conclusions. But it looks very promising. The challenge is in lens availability. If you want to buy NEW (i.e. not used) lenses they are tougher to get than the Canon / Nikon lenses. They have some excellent lenses but they're harder to find. And they get expensive quickly (for instance the Sony 70-200 2.8 is $2000 vs $1100 for the Canon 70-200 2.8 non-IS). Pentax and Oly still can't compete in the sports category IMO though. They're making strides - but I haven't seen any evidence yet they're in the same league. They are absolutely fantastic systems for other types of photography and will have no problems meeting your other stated goals. But Canon & Nikon for certain and no Sony are better systems for sports shooting.

Now, the other challenge becomes - what sports? You're unlikely to have much success shooting bothfull fieldsoccer and grade school basketball with the same lens. The soccer requires reach (think 300mm lens) and the basketball requires wide apertures (2.0) and high ISO (1600-3200). So if you have both indoor and outdoor sports you'll need at least 2 lenses eventually.

But that's the whole thing with DSLRs - you don't need to buy everything right off the bat. It's a system. You add on to it as you need.

What sports are your kids currently involved in? That will determine what lens(es) you would need right now. Worry about what you need for varsity football under the lights a little down the road.
JohnG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 25, 2008, 12:10 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
TCav's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Washington, DC, Metro Area, Maryland
Posts: 13,572
Default

With small children as well as sporting events, I think you'll need a dSLR with a fast autofocus system, and so, should drop the Nikon D40, D40X and D60 from consideration.

For indoors without flash, you'll nee a fast lens (f/2.8 or better). I use the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 ($400+) for exactly that purpose and am very pleased with the results. If you don't mind using flash (I do), the kit lens may suit you well. For outdoor sports, you'll need something like a 75-300mm. Sigma and Tamron both make good ones that are available for about $200.

For indoor sports (Basketball, Wrestling, Volleyball, etc.) you'll need a fast (f/2.0 or better)medium telephoto (probably 50mm to 135mm, (30mm to 100mm on an Olympus dSLR)depending on your vantage point.)

For outdoor family parties and school events, the 75-300 may work but it may be too long in addition to being too big and cumbersome. You may be able to use the kit lens, but it may be too short.

Any dSLR (except the Nikon D40, D40X and D60) can do all these well, but while the Sony dSLRs are very good choices, their only fast medium telephoto lenses are very expensive when compared to other brands.

An important consideration is how it feels to you. If it doesn't feel comfortabe in your hands, if you can't find the controls or the menu commands when you need them, then you'll miss some once-in-a-lifetime shots.
TCav is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 25, 2008, 12:12 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
TCav's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Washington, DC, Metro Area, Maryland
Posts: 13,572
Default

frank10 wrote:
Quote:
I did own a film based SLR camera a while back, so I want more than you get with the point and shoot cameras.
Do you still have the lenses you used with your SLR?

What kind?

It's possible that you could save some money (maybe a lot of money) if you picked a dSLR that can use those lenses.
TCav is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 25, 2008, 4:29 PM   #7
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 6
Default

I am grateful for all the above advice and information.

My SLR is an old Canon model. I'm assuming that the lens I had with it wouldn't work with their new dSLRs. I'll have to check my old camera and lens to see what type they are. I only had the fixed lens that came with the camera and a zoom lens I bought later.

We're heading into summer baseball season, so I really want to get my system by late may or early June. I do have a family party next weekend, but I don't think I'll be able to make an educated decision by then.


frank10 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 25, 2008, 6:13 PM   #8
Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 8,529
Default

frank10 wrote:
Quote:

We're heading into summer baseball season, so I really want to get my system by late may or early June. I do have a family party next weekend, but I don't think I'll be able to make an educated decision by then.

What's your budget? And what other sports do you expect to shoot?
JohnG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 25, 2008, 6:55 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 2,974
Default

Lots to consider as already stated in previous posts. I would look into the availability of lenses that would suit your photographic interests. Nothing worse than to decide on a system and find lenses that either are not available or just too expensive for your budget.

All of them do reasonably well with their respective camerakit lens/combo starter. A dedicated flash for that system is the way to go rather than something third party. Flash definitely adds flexibility in your photography when more light is needed.

Also, keep in mind that the camera bodies for digital are not like the film bodies. They are basically sophisticated computer imaging devices and don't have the life expectantcy that film bodies have shown to have.

Lens is the investment. Better to start with a system that has lens availability to suit your needs and enjoy the camera/lens kit combo you choose and save for that next lens, rather than buying something to fill that focal length void which will soon disappoint and end up either being sold for much less or given away or becominga dust collector.

Mahalo,

Tom
vIZnquest is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 26, 2008, 9:12 AM   #10
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 6
Default

JohnG wrote:
Quote:
frank10 wrote:
Quote:

We're heading into summer baseball season, so I really want to get my system by late may or early June. I do have a family party next weekend, but I don't think I'll be able to make an educated decision by then.

What's your budget? And what other sports do you expect to shoot?
I'm looking at a budget of around $700 for a camera and initial lens. Then, I'd buy additional lenses at a later time.


frank10 is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 7:44 PM.