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Old Oct 12, 2009, 12:48 PM   #91
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javacleve-

Only a suggestion, however, a lot of us here in the Forum, get a camera for a trial period. During that time you can really see how a camera performs and how our technique matches the camera's performance.

Have a great weekend.

Sarah Joyce
Sarah, I've noticed that...how do you go about doing this?
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Old Oct 12, 2009, 12:50 PM   #92
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Wow...lot's of info. here. I just want to make a few points. First, I don't believe in default settings. I think users should play with all settings, compare the results of each one and then pick the one the produces the most pleasing images for one's taste. The lens being used is also crucial in terms of IQ (which includes exposure and color saturation, not only sharpness as many people see it). Second, I find 200mm not long enough (unless the camera has a 4/3 sensor, which has a crop factor of 2x, making the 200mm a 400mm). Lastly, the A230 has a long shutter lag if DRO advanced is being used. DRO standard is not bad but I actually prefer to turn DRO off altogether. IMO, DRO causes more image issues than it actually helps. You can always bring up shadows in PP.
Thanks for your input! May I ask, what do DRO and PP mean? I don't own any processing software, other than what comes with the cameras and computers (some basic contrast adjustment, for example)
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Old Oct 12, 2009, 12:57 PM   #93
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I have to say that on this page, at least, I like the Olympus E520 images the best--for color and sharpness; it doesn't go to 3200 though

http://www.anandtech.com/showdoc.aspx?i=3434&p=7
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Old Oct 12, 2009, 1:01 PM   #94
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One thing we haven't discussed is the Olympus line. They tend to be more expensive so I have been discouraged from looking at them. ...
In general I think you'll find Olympus gives a tremendous bang-for-the-buck. I don't think they're more expensive especially since their kit lenses tend to be very very good. For general photography I've seen great results from them. But not in low light sports. They have higher noise levels at high ISOs (remember we're talking ISO 3200-6400 here) and I haven't seen anything to suggest the focus system is up to the competition FOR LOW LIGHT SPORTS. The E-3 might - but then, that's an expensive undertaking. If size is your big concern and you didn't care about low light sports shooting I think Oly would be a great system to consider. But I haven't seen but a handful of HS level or below indoor sports shots from Oly users. The few I've seen over the years were very poor. So, again, if you want to keep gymnastics in the though process - look for photos.
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Old Oct 12, 2009, 1:05 PM   #95
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In general I think you'll find Olympus gives a tremendous bang-for-the-buck. I don't think they're more expensive especially since their kit lenses tend to be very very good. For general photography I've seen great results from them. But not in low light sports. They have higher noise levels at high ISOs (remember we're talking ISO 3200-6400 here) and I haven't seen anything to suggest the focus system is up to the competition FOR LOW LIGHT SPORTS. The E-3 might - but then, that's an expensive undertaking. If size is your big concern and you didn't care about low light sports shooting I think Oly would be a great system to consider. But I haven't seen but a handful of HS level or below indoor sports shots from Oly users. The few I've seen over the years were very poor. So, again, if you want to keep gymnastics in the though process - look for photos.
sigh. This is what I'm running into, every system/camera will be perfect except for one major flaw!

one question: where do you find these example photos?!
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Old Oct 12, 2009, 3:11 PM   #96
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Javacleve-

You live in northeast Ohio. You have www.amazon.com available to you. Amazon has a 30 day no questions asked, no re-stocking fees policy. That certainly offers you an opportunity to exercise something akin to a trial period without any penalties.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Oct 12, 2009, 8:13 PM   #97
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Javacleve-

You live in northeast Ohio. You have www.amazon.com available to you. Amazon has a 30 day no questions asked, no re-stocking fees policy. That certainly offers you an opportunity to exercise something akin to a trial period without any penalties.

Sarah Joyce
hmm, well I guess I was thinking something that was really meant to be a trial period. I know it's costly for companies to have to handle returns, so I don't really feel comfortable doing that unless I really need to return something (if that makes sense? in other words, I don't buy just to try something out)
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Old Oct 12, 2009, 8:57 PM   #98
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I don't know if I've been clear about all of my requirements so I'll try to state them concisely here:
First, mostly I take photos of indoor events (my daughter playing, parties, etc.). I was looking to add gymnastics to that equation but, as we have discussed, that may need to be eliminated.
I also take photos of vacations (people, places--both indoor and outdoor).
Finally, I do like nature photography (flowers and animals, like at a zoo) so that involves macro and telephoto situations.
However, I don't favor zoom lenses for their weight and loss of quality. I primarily used my Olympus 50 mm/f1.4 macro lens, with the telephoto only if I knew I'd be shooting pics of animals.
My ideal budget is $1000 for the whole setup.
Desired qualities:
Built in sensor cleaning (so I'm not bringing the camera to the shop for dust)
Decent built in flash (I probably wouldn't carry around the add on one)
Good IQ in low light (high ISO)
Image stabilization
Bright lenses available
Not too heavy and bulky, or I won't use it (the Nikon N80 with 28-85 mm zoom lens is way too heavy and bulky for me)
Ability to turn off the noise reduction
Ability to grow (add lenses) in the future--quality construction and lens choice
Fast focus in low light, or usable manual focus (the Nikon N80 theoretically has a manual option but it's not practical to use)
Minimal shutter lag

So, if there isn't a camera that meets all of these criteria--the question is, which ones should I compromise!?
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Old Oct 12, 2009, 9:11 PM   #99
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javacleve-

A couple of things please.

Image sensor cleaning is no big deal at all. I teach it every semester and have each one of my students do it as well. IMHO you should never ever depend on a built-in flash unit. When you begin to use a good external flash you will begin to understand that an external flash is a wholly different world.

Most folks out there, us included, cannot afford to devote ourselves to just prime lenses and no zoom lenses. That has to be the issue that pushes up your individual budget the very most. almost every camera in the market today has the ability to turn off NR. So, this is a non issue.

We will say it again, there is no perfect DSLR camera out there. Anyone in the market today, has to be willing to make a few compromises.

Earlier in the day we covered both the PP and DRO terms.

Have a great evening.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Oct 12, 2009, 9:26 PM   #100
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javacleve-

A couple of things please.

Image sensor cleaning is no big deal at all. I teach it every semester and have each one of my students do it as well. IMHO you should never ever depend on a built-in flash unit. When you begin to use a good external flash you will begin to understand that an external flash is a wholly different world.

Most folks out there, us included, cannot afford to devote ourselves to just prime lenses and no zoom lenses. That has to be the issue that pushes up your individual budget the very most. almost every camera in the market today has the ability to turn off NR. So, this is a non issue.

We will say it again, there is no perfect DSLR camera out there. Anyone in the market today, has to be willing to make a few compromises.

Earlier in the day we covered both the PP and DRO terms.

Have a great evening.

Sarah Joyce
That's good to hear (about the image sensor cleaning). Everything else I saw indicated never to try it.

I understand what you are saying about the flash, but I just am being practical. In every case that I have needed an external flash, I have NOT USED that particular camera very often. I know it's not ideal. Really, I do. I just have to be practical, and know myself. Now, for special situations, I would use it -- for example, if I knew I was going to a wedding where it would be necessary. But in everyday situations, it just adds too much bulk, and I won't take it with me. I know I won't get the "ideal" photos in that case, but they will be sufficient for my memories, and better than what I am getting now with my P&S...and, I will still have the option to take the "better" photos when I wish to.
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