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Old Sep 19, 2008, 9:54 AM   #11
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Thank you for the in-depth explanation JohnG. I'm learning a little more every time I visit this site.

The stuff you said about mindset and DSLR photography working as a system is starting to sink in. I will definitely pass your advice along and make some mental notes of my own.

I understand what you mean about convenience vs. quality. I had to make a similar, albeit smaller, sacrifice when I moved from my point-and-shoot (a Canon A85) to the prosumer model I use now (a Canon S2 IS). I realize the S2 is far from being a DSLR, but it's not a pocketable camera and it's more difficult to lug around at functions. But I was very pleased with the improvement in image quality (likely due to the image stabilization), so the trade-off was worth it. I'm sure that graduating up to a DSLR system will be a similar experience.

Actually, my S2 does a great job in indoor situations, using the on-board flash, provided that I'm close enough to the subject. Certainly the photos arenot professional grade, I'm sure someone could find fault with many of them, but they're very clear and they achieve the result I'm looking for: memories. I have to assume that my soon-to-be-purchased DSLR will only be an improvement.

Thanks for all your help.
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Old Sep 19, 2008, 12:45 PM   #12
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Boldstar-

I use the Canon EX-430 both with my Canon S-5 and my Canon DSLR Cameras as well. The results are excellent. As JohnG pointed out so well, indoors, an external flash is your real friend and your most valuable asset.

If you are willing to consider a used Canon 20D or 30D would keep you within your budget. A Pentax K200 would give you a new camera that remains within your budget as well. But in any event you should consider acquiring a good external flash with your kit.

If you liked the Canon S-2, the S-5 with the addition of a Canon EX-430 flash is a great combination if your are willing to stayat and below the ISO 250 setting. I wrote a Flash Tutorial for the Canon S-5 and the EX-430 flash and it is located in the Canon Digicam Folder. Here is an S-5 sample photo taken with the S-5 and theEX-430 flash from a distance of 20 feet.

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Old Sep 19, 2008, 1:25 PM   #13
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mtclimber wrote:
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If you are willing to consider a used Canon 20D or 30D would keep you within your budget...

If you liked the Canon S-2, the S-5 with the addition of a Canon EX-430 flash is a great combination if your are willing to stayat and below the ISO 250 setting.
Thanks for the input Sarah. I'll definitely check out your tutorial.

The budget I mentioned above was for a friend looking at entry-level DSLRs. I'm on the market as well, also trying to keep the price in a reasonable ballpark, but I think I've already decided on the Canon XSi. Going from the S2 to the S5 would be anti-climactic, in my opinion.

As I mentioned above, I've had some great results indoors with my S2, using only the on-board flash. Granted, most of my photos are of posing, non-moving subjects.So I'm finding it hard to believe that aDSLR wouldn't perform as good or better than my S2 in similar situations.

I do understand what everyone is saying though. I believethat an external flash would improve indoor image quality. When I do pick up my DSLR, I'll experiment for a while using whatever comes in the kit. Then I'll reach out for external flashes and more lenses when I'm starting to feel limited.

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Old Sep 19, 2008, 3:43 PM   #14
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Boldstar-

After reading about all of the focusing problems with the XSi over at the Canon Forum at www.dpreview.com, I decided to just stick with my Canon 20D.

Also you should keep in mind that the out of the camera photos from a DSLR will require some post processing. Be sure to physically handle any camera you might want to buy, before you actually make the purchase. Camera do seem to differ and part of really liking a camera is if it feels good to you in hand.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Sep 19, 2008, 9:57 PM   #15
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mtclimber wrote:
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Boldstar-

After reading about all of the focusing problems with the XSi over at the Canon Forum at http://www.dpreview.com, I decided to just stick with my Canon 20D.

Also you should keep in mind that the out of the camera photos from a DSLR will require some post processing. Be sure to physically handle any camera you might want to buy, before you actually make the purchase. Camera do seem to differ and part of really liking a camera is if it feels good to you in hand.

Sarah Joyce
Thanks again for the advice Sarah. I'll definitely check out the dpreview.com stuff. I had previously understood that the XSi's focus problemswere related to the live-view function, which is not a deal-breaker for me, but I'll do a bit more research. I'd decided on that camera mostly because of the price and the feel of it in my hands in the store, along with a familiarity with Canon menus, software, etc. But I'll dig a little deeper.


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Old Sep 20, 2008, 6:10 AM   #16
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I'd be careful about taking seriously anything you read on dpreview.

99.99999% of it is complete rubbish. And it's a nasty place too, lots of horrid people saying horrid things to each other.

Most of the users on dpreview don't know anything more than any of the other forums, actually usually less, but they think they are all the greatest photographers and gearheads in the world. If they can't get shot X they immediately blame the camera. Usually the problem is behind the camera not inside it.
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