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Old Dec 10, 2008, 2:29 PM   #1
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Hi, I am deciding between the Canon Xsi and the Nikon D80. I would buy the D90 in a heartbeat but it's too much $ for me I love taking(posed and candid) shotsof my kids and that is the main purpose for this camera. I have a Canon powershot (A620) right now that is just not giving me the clearest photos when I don't use the flash. {I have used film SLRS in the past and know I need a DSLR camera.}

So, the big question is....without spending a lot on lenses (perhaps buying the kit) which camera do you think I'd be happier with taking pictures with the combo of natural lighting and moving children? If I were to buy just the D80 body...what would you recommend for lenses? Would I be better off just blowing the budget and getting a D90 because I won't be happy with the older model D80 for very long?

Thanks very much!
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Old Dec 10, 2008, 2:47 PM   #2
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Well, for available light phtography the lens is going to be of greater import than the camera in this case. The only consideration from the body perspective (given these 2 bodies) would be auto-wb performance under different lighting. I suspect they both do decent but best results would be from RAW files.

You should realize though that "natural Lighting" and "moving children" can mean you MUST use flash. I enjoy available light photography and I do a LOT of low light sports work - most without flash. But when it comes to my 2 year old son playing in the house in the evening, ISO 6400 and f1.8 lenses aren't really enough. I use flash. I recommend an external flash so you can bounce and/or diffuse it to make it softer.

Both kits offer a relatively inexpensive 50mm 1.8 lens - that's probably the cheapest way to get started in available light / shallow dof photography. After that the prices jump up there so you need to be sure of what focal length YOUR style of photography requires. Last thing you want to do is spend $300-400 on a prime lens and find out the focal length is too long or short for the type of work you want to do. And given moving kids and potentially indoor spaces the "zoom with your feet" approach won't work as well as it does for many other styles of photography.

If your kids are still, either camera with a 2.0 aperture lens should do great for portrait type shots in indoor lighting. If you've got sunlight coming in you'll be able to freeze the motion. But motion and just indoor household lights you'll have to use flash.

You'll be quite happy with either camera.
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Old Dec 10, 2008, 2:54 PM   #3
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Thank you for taking time to answer. I also read your other reply to someone who was looking for a dslr for taking their childrens pictures and that was quite helpful.

....Now to decide...
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Old Dec 10, 2008, 3:07 PM   #4
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Onething I might add to your equation is that you mentioned using film SLR cameras in the past. Do you still have the camera and lenses? If so, they may be useable on a dSLR (it depends on the make and type of lens) and that might influence your decision.
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Old Dec 10, 2008, 4:48 PM   #5
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I did read in another thread on the subject that the XSi kit lens is better than the one that's included with the Nikon. So that might influence your decision.

But if you're in love with the D90, I say 'go for it.' Yes, it's a few hundred bucks more than what you were hoping to spend, but what better excuse could you have forblowingmoney than preserving memories of and for your children? When you look at it from that perspective, the money you spend on the camera is a very small price to pay.

And the video function on the D90 might be worth the extra dough when it comes to capturing the antics of your kids.
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Old Dec 10, 2008, 5:13 PM   #6
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John G mentions flash, and the D80/90 has a significant advantage in that area. These cameras allow you to fire speedlights off camera wirelessly with control over exposure. Yes the flashes are slightly expensive, but the nikon flash system is the best out there, and will allow you to get creative in your use of light with complete control. The kit lens with both the d80 and D90 are both pretty sharp, and are more than adequate.
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Old Dec 10, 2008, 8:26 PM   #7
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Natural light and moving kids would work if your light source is bright sunlight or you have bright spot lights. :-)
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Old Dec 11, 2008, 10:12 AM   #8
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designermom-

If it must be a DSLR camera, and you are photographing children, your existing light performance will be very marginal. IMHO you should plan on purchasing an external flash with the DSLR and learn to use that external flash and your DSLR very well to have the kind of photos, that you seem to have in mind.

An external flash can be very effective for both portrait and candid photos.

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Old Dec 13, 2008, 11:30 AM   #9
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Thank you for all your advice.

I haven't bought one yet.....but hope to get out there next week on my Christmas break.
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Old Dec 13, 2008, 12:17 PM   #10
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Designermommy-

You might add the Pentax K2000 to your "want to see" list as well. Along with their kit lens they even include a free external flash. Also the Canon XS is well priced and worth a good look. Have fun shopping for cameras next week.

Sarah Joyce
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