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Old Aug 14, 2009, 6:47 PM   #1
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Default Canon Rebel XSi with EF 50mm f/1.8??

Hi,
Right now I am using a Panasonic Lumix with a 10x optical zoom. It is a very nice camera but I am becoming frustrated with its ability to take low light [no flash] pictures inside. I have a little 5 week old baby girl who is now the subject of my photos and I want a new camera to help me take great pics.

With that, my photography centers around taking indoor pictures of a baby, lots of food photos (i'm a food nut) and pictures of my dogs. I am big fan of having depth of field control so I think the f1.8 will be very handy for me.

My plan is to get a Canon Rebel XSi but rather than get the 18-55mm lens that comes with it I was thinking about getting one of the 50 mm f/1.8 lenses. I read that they are really nice lenses and very cheap. After a few years or so I would then upgrade to a telephoto lens to help out with taking sports photos etc. as the baby grows up.

I was in a local photo store and I was messing around with the 18-55 mm lens and I was not impressed at all with the zooming ability so I don't think I'd miss out on much.

Do you guys have any thoughts on my plan? Any pros/cons of only having a prime lens for a while?

Thanks!

John
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Old Aug 14, 2009, 7:31 PM   #2
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I think your plan is a good one. A 50mm fast prime on an APS-C dSLR body will be a medium telephoto, but that's ok for phtographing a small child. Later, when you want to take some group shots, you might want to look at a Canon 35mm f/2.0 or any of Sigma's shorter fast primes, or even the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 or the Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8.
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Old Aug 14, 2009, 7:35 PM   #3
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Not sure it is the best plan, yes it will give the ability to shoot in lower light but with a narrow depth of field. An external flash would be a really wise option to consider allowing nice soft bounced lighting. Not saying it won't work however I don't think it is necessarily the best choice.

If you are keeping the Lumix then you won't miss having the wide zoom lens too much, but with the kit lens and a flash you would be in a good position, add to that the 50mm f1.8 for when you want more shallow dof shots then you are set nicely.
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Old Aug 14, 2009, 8:53 PM   #4
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I don't have a lot of experience with flash (none, in fact) but wouldn't a bounced flash be tough when the subject is an infant or toddler?
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Old Aug 14, 2009, 9:20 PM   #5
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Bounced flash is doable with little kids. I use it on my fast moving kids. Natural light is nice but if there isn't enough light for a fast shutter speed to freeze those moving kids, then a fast recharging flash is your best friend.
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Old Aug 15, 2009, 4:29 AM   #6
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Get the XSi and the 50mmf1.8 but also get the 18-55 IS kit lens. They are the two best value lenses that Canon makes. Having only the 50 f1.8 will be very restrictive, and the kit lens doesn't add much to the cost.

You can use the pop-up flash on the XSi and get a little diffuser to fit over it for close-up work.

In my experience babies really don't mind flash. It makes them blink of course but it doesn't upset them. Over-protective parents sometimes complain of course. :-)
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Old Aug 15, 2009, 7:04 AM   #7
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Ok - thanks for some good tips. I'm heading back to the photo store today to see just how restrictive a 50 mm lens would be. I just did the math and getting the kit lens as well as the f1.8 50mm lens is only an extra 50 bucks or so as compared to the body only with the f1.8 50mm lens.

I'm assuming that the only thing that I would be using the 18-55mm [edit] kit lens for would be the 18 mm side of things? I really dont have a feel for what 18mm and 55 mm can do. When I was in the store it seemed that the difference was equivalent to taking a few steps forward that's why I was considering only getting the faster 1.8 lens.

speaking of the bounce flash ideas - my Lumix does have a hot shoe so I wonder if I could just save myself $700 and get one of those. I guess that would be the ultra budget friendly option, but wouldn't result in the best photos especially down the road when I plan to add the telephoto lens etc to the dslr.

It is a shame babies cost so much on their own - then I wouldn't be thinking twice
about dropping this much cash on a camera!!!

Thanks!!
John

Last edited by johnandscooter; Aug 15, 2009 at 10:20 AM. Reason: oops 18mm not 15 mm
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Old Aug 15, 2009, 9:22 AM   #8
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Here is one vote for the kit lens EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS plus a good flash. *not 15-55mm

I just bought the T1i with the kit lens and took some shots indoor using the build in flash and i was disgusted. The first think I got was an external flash.

I bought a sigma 530dg most features for the money around $219 but I got an older model that was not compatible with T1i. Sigma would fix it for free but I would have to mail it to them. I chose to return it to Amazon and got the Metz 48 AF-1 $225 which I can update via usb.

Anyways below are 2 picture from different days I am no expert not even close. This is my first DSLR and first time ever shooting in manual mode. I dont know if the lighting is done correctly or if am using the right ISO or shutter speed but I like how the 2nd pictures looks.

With build in flash


Metz 48 Af-1 *taking a bath in the sink



can you see pics now?

Last edited by elo; Aug 15, 2009 at 5:17 PM.
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Old Aug 15, 2009, 9:47 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TCav View Post
I don't have a lot of experience with flash (none, in fact) but wouldn't a bounced flash be tough when the subject is an infant or toddler?
Nope - not at all. I have a 3 year old son and I've been using flash his entire life. You just shouldn't use direct flash on a newborn. And the truth is, once they start to move around, available light shooting is extremely difficult. Not only for shutter speeds but because of the shallow DOF (and servo tracking has a tough time detecting and tracking suddedn movements).
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Old Aug 15, 2009, 10:26 AM   #10
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But shouldn't the dSLRs be able to take a photo in low light without a flash? When I say low light I am meaning near a window or with indoor recess lights on. It's not dark by any means. My current camera can't cut it. I would assume that I should be able to take pictures indoors without a flash with the higher sensitivity of the dslr. Maybe I am wrong?

I'm trying to keep the cost down. I can swing the Canon Rebel and maybe the 50 mm lens f1.8 as an addition to the kit but if I go an add a flash now we are talking near $1000 and my wife already thinks I'm nuts for wanting to spend $750ish.

elo - something went wrong with your pictures - I can't see them.

If anyone else has any bounce flash photos to share, please do. I'm curious to see what it looks like - preferably with a 18-55mm lens or a 50 mm F1.8 style lense - nothing too fancy so I can see what I'm getting into.

Thanks so much.

John
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