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Old Jun 24, 2009, 1:21 PM   #21
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Look closely at the last photo posted by Mark.

See the shadows? The entire family is slightly backlight.

Any camera is capable of taking that picture. It is practice by the photographer and the proper camera settings that make the results possible.
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Old Jun 24, 2009, 1:29 PM   #22
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Yes I see what you mean with the shadows..

Last edited by Hustler68; Jun 24, 2009 at 1:46 PM.
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Old Jun 24, 2009, 1:45 PM   #23
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Yea I intend to practise a lot...

500 is the budget at the moment.. I would definetely purchase an external flash and a new lens for it in the very near future...

Its been nearly 5 years since I got married and as far as I can remember the flash was used Directly...

I just found the camera with the 18-55 lens and also a Tamron 70-300 lens and a 4 Gig Sandisc Ultra Card and a Carry case all for the price of 634.00.... What does that price sound like with that other lens?? or isnt it a very good one???
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Old Jun 24, 2009, 4:47 PM   #24
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Here's one solution I'd look at with a 500 budget.... a Sony A200 kit with the 18-70mm f/3.5-5.6 DT lens + a Sony HVL-F42AM Flash (or the more powerful and flexible HVL-F58AM if budget permits). It's only a a bit more than budgeted from what I can see of UK prices.

BTW, you can also use the HVL-F42M or HVL-F58AM off camera, wirelessly controlled by the A200's built in flash (something you can't do with the entry level Canon or Nikon models without using optional controllers or flashes in the camera's hotshoe to wirelessly control their available external flashes).

Here are some listings I found for that A200 combo at Jessop's, coming out to 538.97 for the A200 camera kit and HVL-42AM flash (just a little over your desired budget). I'm not familiar with vendors in the UK, so you may be able to do better.

Sony A200 with 18-70mm f/3.5-5.6 DT lens for 288.97

Sony HVL-42AM for 250

The 10MP Sensor in the A200 (and A300) places less demands on the lens quality needed for best results compared to the higher resolution 14MP Sensor used in the A350 you're looking at. Also, with any of the Sony entry level models, you've got ISO 3200 available if you have to use it (something you don't get with the Canon model you're looking at). I'd shoot jpeg fine + raw for more processing options if you have to use it. In addition, based on some of the tests I've seen, the photo quality doesn't get noticeably better when you move from the 10MP models to the the 14MP models when using the Sony 18-70mm kit lens. If you use a better lens on the A350, then you'd start to see a difference.

The A200 would also have a slightly faster frame rate compared to the A350 (it can shoot at 3fps until a fast memory card is full when shooting jpeg fine). That really wouldn't matter much unless you're shooting sports though (and even then, your timing plays the biggest role). The A200 also has a bit less noise at higher ISO speeds compared to the higher resolution A350. The optical viewfinder is better, too (only you don't get live view with the A200). Personally, I'd prefer the larger optical viewfinder on the A200 instead of Live View. If you really must have Live View, then go to the A300 or A350. They're the fastest focusing dSLR models available from any manufacturer when using Live View.

The longer 18-70mm lens included with the A200 kit would let you fill the frame a bit more from further away compared to the 18-55mm kit lenses if you can't shoot from as close as desired. The photo of the ceremony comes to mind, where a longer lens would have helped. But, none of the kit lenses are going to produce great results in lower light if you can't use a flash because of blur from subject movement, and your best bet would be to shoot from a closer vantage point if you don't have a longer lens anyway. Ditto for dimmer zooms like that Tamron 70-300mm you're looking at (even if it is stabilized on a Sony body, thanks to the body based stablization). Those lenses are just not bright enough for use indoors without a flash, since their widest available aperture is f/5.6 if you zoom in much.

That appears to be the main reason you're seeing motion blur in the photo of the ceremony you posted (some heads blurry, some sharp in the same areas of the photo). It looks like a dimmer lens was probably being used and the focus may have been a bit off, too (it looks like it may be a bit front focused to me). If not, the ISO speed was sure not high enough to stop blur from subject movement and/or the aperture wasn't opened up enough. Do you have photos including the EXIF (it's stripped out of the ones you posted, so we can't tell the camera settings used)?

Basically, if you use a dimmer lens (as in the kit lenses included with the cameras we're discussing) in that type of environment without a flash, you can expect to see some blurry photos unless you're very good at timing them for the least subject movement (which can be tough unless you've had lots of practice). Even if you have decent skill shooting at slower shutter speeds with good timing, and you're within stablization limits or using a tripod/monopod, the subjects don't always cooperate, resulting in blur from subject movement. ;-)

So, I'd get a faster (a.k.a., brighter) lens, with wider available apertures (represented by smaller f/stop numbers) when budget permits. For example, a Sony or Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 (using the 18-70mm kit lens if you need anything wider, preferably with more than one camera body). A brighter prime or two would be a very good idea, too (28mm f/2, 50mm f/1.8, 85mm f/1.4, 10mm f/2, etc.). Then, worry about a longer lens later (going with something like a Tamron or Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8).

Note that f/2.8 is 4 times as bright as f/5.6 (the brightest aperture you have with that Tamron 70-300mm you're looking at when zoomed in towards it's longer end), allowing shutter speeds 4 times as fast for the same lighting and ISO speed. If you want to use a zoom indoors without a flash, you'll need f/2.8, and even f/2.8 may not be bright enough in some lighting (hence the suggestion to get brighter f/2, f/1.8 or f/1.4 primes).

But, I'd strongly discourage you unless you've got time to learn how to use your equipment and develop the skills needed, and can get lots of practice shooting weddings. Again, read through this recent thread on the subject:

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/ge...t-wedding.html

I'd also read through this 6 page article (paying close attention to the sections about skill level needed, spare equipment, etc.).

Wedding Photography 101 by Antony Hands

If you insist on going through with it, if nothing else, get a Minolta Dynax or Maxxum Autofocus film body with a used Minolta 50mm f/1.7 AF Lens on it and use it as a spare (making sure it works properly and you know how to use it). Make sure to buy some higher ISO film, along with a flash that works on it. You may also want to see if you can find something like a used Tamron SP 35-105mm f/2.8 AF lens in Minolta Autofocus mount (a.k.a., Minolta A, Dynax, Maxxum mount). That Tamron is not very popular on Digital because of it's focal range and you may be able to pick one up a good price if you're on a tight budget (with it's wider 35mm end giving you roughly the same angle of view on a Dynax 35mm Film camera that you'd have using a 24mm lens on a dSLR body with a smaller APS-C size sensor).

Also, just because you're not happy with the photos from your wedding, doesn't mean you're going to do any better without the needed lenses, flashes, skill level and experience. Even with the best equipment, you're still going to need to know how to use it.
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Old Jun 25, 2009, 8:29 AM   #25
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Right I think i've made my mind up and I have decided on the Canon 450D..

Hopefully I have made the right choice...

As I said in an earlier post I will be getting a new flash and a new fast lens in the not too distant future..

What would be the best fast lens to get?? Not too cheap and not to expensive..

Thanks again guys and look forward to hearing from you all soon..

All the best
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Old Jun 25, 2009, 9:28 AM   #26
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The 450D is a very good camera with fast AF (as long as you're using the optical viewfinder versus live view), with good noise control at higher ISO speeds. I'd make sure you try it out in a store to make sure you're OK with it's ergonomics. If not, Canon offers a vertical grip that can help out.

I'd probably lean towards a 40D (available at very good prices now) or newer T1i in the Canon lineup if budget permits, so that you have ISO 3200 available if you need it for shooting indoors without a flash in less than optimum lighting (ISO 3200 is missing on the 450D).

But, if you really needed higher ISO speeds to keep blur under control, you could always deliberately underexpose a stop with the 450D and "push" (brighten) the exposure later to simulate ISO 3200 (keeping in mind that noise levels will be higher using that technique, so you don't want to do that unless you have to).

As for a brighter general purpose lens, I'd probably lean towards the new Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 EX HSM lens if budget permits. This is a new redesigned 24-70mm from Sigma that includes HSM (Hypersonic Motor Focusing), and it's sharper compared to the Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L from tests I've seen (at a much lower cost compared to the Canon).

On the downside, a lens starting out at 24mm may not be as wide as desired in some conditions. I'd value having the longer reach to 70mm more instead (as long as I had another lens that goes wider when I need it), as compared to some of the wider f/2.8 zooms starting out at 17 or 18mm. But, others may prefer the wider zooms. There are pros and cons to any choice. In longer zooms, the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 (available with or without IS), Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 and Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 lenses would be some to consider (with the Tamron focusing much slower than the others).

Canon also offers a good range of brighter primes if you need something brighter than an f/2.8 zoom (which you may in some indoor conditions to reduce blur from subject movement when you can't use a flash).

You may want to start a new thread in our Canon Lenses forum, where you'll be more likely to get some input from Canon dSLR owners on the pros and cons of different lenses available in the Canon lineup.
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