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Old Oct 14, 2009, 10:30 AM   #121
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one thing i would like to say, despite my talk of per-pixel-sharpness, etc. at the end of the day, modern dslr's are just pretty darn amazing, all of them. among the better performing models, the actual difference in a real world print is pretty minimal. they all do a fantastic job. thats why i always temper my arguments with the advice to just find the one who's features fits your photographic style, and one you feel comfortable shooting with all day long. my canon 50d fits my hand perfectly, and the controls are all familiar and easy to find, that means alot to me, and i weigh it as heavily or more heavily than pixel-peeping image analysis.

that being said.

the xsi sensor is amazing, and at 1600 it probably at the pixel level demonstrates a little less noise than the t1i (less densely packed sensor, makes sense), however when looking at a print size, that difference goes away.

your question on the t1i and noise removal. keep in mind it offers 4 levels of noise reduction, letting you pick the 1 that best fits your aesthetic style or the demands of your particular photo shoot. the xsi just has on/off.
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Old Oct 14, 2009, 10:43 AM   #122
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Originally Posted by Hards80 View Post
one thing i would like to say, despite my talk of per-pixel-sharpness, etc. at the end of the day, modern dslr's are just pretty darn amazing, all of them. among the better performing models, the actual difference in a real world print is pretty minimal. they all do a fantastic job. thats why i always temper my arguments with the advice to just find the one who's features fits your photographic style, and one you feel comfortable shooting with all day long. my canon 50d fits my hand perfectly, and the controls are all familiar and easy to find, that means alot to me, and i weigh it as heavily or more heavily than pixel-peeping image analysis.

that being said.

the xsi sensor is amazing, and at 1600 it probably at the pixel level demonstrates a little less noise than the t1i (less densely packed sensor, makes sense), however when looking at a print size, that difference goes away.

your question on the t1i and noise removal. keep in mind it offers 4 levels of noise reduction, letting you pick the 1 that best fits your aesthetic style or the demands of your particular photo shoot. the xsi just has on/off.

very good points, thank you. So, just to clarify...the t1i lets you turn noise reduction off for jpg, not just RAW?
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Old Oct 14, 2009, 10:50 AM   #123
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NOW, the question becomes: Which lens?
I have been reading the 50D vs t1i post (which turned into a different question LOL), and seeing where some lenses are way better than others. Is there any way to know this, other than asking those who have used them? It is so confusing to me!

I am all about fast focus, even in low light. I am not a pro, but I hate missing shots because of the camera trying to focus (or shutter lag, for that matter). It's my biggest beef with my N80. That, and its bulkiness.
I do not need a big zoom at this point, though I would probably want to add it later. I mostly used my 50 mm (film) lens in the past, and on my P&S it seems I do zoom but mostly just to 100mm, according to Jim C analyzing the samples I posted (don't know if that's in digital terms)

So, for general photography from a picky amateur with these requirements:
Fast focus even in low light
Sharp images
Not too bulky
definitely need IS (I tend to be shaky)
Bright lens (I take lots of low light photos)

What would you recommend? I know the next question is budget, and I am finding that my budget keeps going up the more I learn...ideally I wanted to spend less than $1000 for the body (t1i) and one lens. Is that realistic with my pickiness?!
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Old Oct 14, 2009, 11:04 AM   #124
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Javacleve-

With most folks, a cost effective combination for starters, is the kit lens, and the Canon 18-55IS. The kit lens is a good lens, a "nifty fifty" (a Canon 50mm F 1.8 lens) which is perfect for casual portraits and the like, coupled with the highly rated canon 55-250mm lens (sells for around $240.00) is a great starter combination.

All of the lenses are fast to focus, cover a nice range in 35mm terms of 28mm to 300mm, and offer the biggest bang for the buck. You can often pick up the nifty fifty on e-bay for a great price. That is where I got mine.

After you gain more skill and experience with your DSLR camera, you may indeed branch out to more specialized lenses. However, lenses don't loose their value and the three starter lenses are always in demand, and thus, very marketable.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Oct 14, 2009, 11:14 AM   #125
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Thank you, Sarah. So, is that 3 lenses you are recommending (the kit, which is a 50mm, the 18-55 and the 55-250)?
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Old Oct 14, 2009, 11:15 AM   #126
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Now, on another thread John G brought up the depth of field issue with DSLRs compared to P&S...now I'm concerned that I will not be happy with a DSLR because of that? How do you compensate for that? I understood with film cameras, that the aperture was the thing, and so I could take that into account (and made use of the DOF preview at times)...what about with digital?
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Old Oct 14, 2009, 11:36 AM   #127
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With a $1000 budget, I'd probably look at these options:

Canon T1i, used Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8
Sony A500, used Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8

That would give you a focal range on the Sony that you'd have using a 36-105mm on a 35mm camera (multiply by 1.5x to see how they compare). Personally, I use a lens starting out at 24mm most of the time on my Sony A700.

On the Canon, you'd have the roughly the same zoom range you'd have using a 38-112mm lens on a 35mm camera (multiply by 1.6x to see how they compare).

Your existing Nikon L14 has the same angle of view that you'd have using a 38-114mm lens on a 35mm camera. So, you'd have almost the same zoom range with a 24-70mm lens on one of the dSLR models with an APS-C size sensor.

You'd also have a higher resolution image with these models compared to your Nikon, and you'd have a lens that's 4 times as bright if you zoom in much, allowing shutter speeds 4 times as fast for a given lighting and ISO speed. You'd also have much higher usable ISO speeds with one of these cameras (allowing much faster shutter speeds for a given aperture and lighting).

You'd need to get close enough to use it. But, with a $1K budget, something like a 24-70mm f/2.8 may be your best bet in a single lens solution, allowing you to get a camera body with a more usable ISO 3200, combined with the flexibility of a brighter zoom lens. From comments I've seen from Sony dSLR owners, it's a relatively fast focusing lens (even though the older model doesn't have HSM). I doubt it's a lot slower in Canon mount. It's not going to be ideal for sports. But, it's a lot better than what you have now.

If you check the used listings at popular vendors of used gear, you can find this lens. Examples:

Canon mount:
http://www.keh.com/OnLineStore/Produ...BCL=&GBC=&GCC=

Minolta/Sony Autofocus Mount:
http://www.keh.com/OnLineStore/Produ...BCL=&GBC=&GCC=
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Old Oct 14, 2009, 11:52 AM   #128
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Now, on another thread John G brought up the depth of field issue with DSLRs compared to P&S...now I'm concerned that I will not be happy with a DSLR because of that? How do you compensate for that? I understood with film cameras, that the aperture was the thing, and so I could take that into account (and made use of the DOF preview at times)...what about with digital?
Well, the detailed answer is complicated - involves understanding something called the Circle of Confusion. Let me give the less technical answer. There are 4 components which contribute to DOF:
1) Physical focal length of lens
2) Aperture
3) Distance to subject

The same was true in film SLRs. What is different with DSLRs is Sensor Size comes into play. Take 2 Canon DSLRs - T1i which you're considering and the 5dII. Put a 100mm 2.8 lens on both cameras and stand 10 feet away. Take the shot. The first thing you'll notice is that the two shots have different 'fields of view' - i.e. your subject will appear smaller in the 5d shot. It will appear larger in the T1i shot. The 5d shot will also appear to have more depth-of-field ahan the t1i shot. Same physical focal length, same distance to subject, same aperture but a different result - all because of sensor size.

Now, if you alter distance to subject such that the framing is the same in both cameras (same field of view) - you'll be standing closer to your subject when using the 5dII. Take the shots and the framing will be identical but now the 5dII shot will have a shallower depth of field.

This is an example that highlights the role sensor size plays in the equation. When jumping from digicam to DSLR the DOF isn't affect as much by change in sensor size as it is by physical focal length. But both play a part.

Here's an online calculator - you can play with the settings to see how DOF changes. It's tough to do with digicams because the calculater requires PHYSICAL focal length value - NOT 35mm equivelent. So, a digicam may have an equivelent 480mm lens but physically the focal length is only 54mm (I'm pulling that number out of thin air no idea what the actual value would be).
http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html

Whether the DOF difference causes you a problem or not depends on your style of photography. BUT, the good news is this - if you shot with film SLR and you were OK with the DOF with that, you shouldn't have an issue with a DSLR. If you frame the shot the same with an aps-c sensor DSLR (like the T1i) you'll get deeper DOF than you did with your SLR for same aperture/focal length.
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Old Oct 14, 2009, 12:25 PM   #129
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Circle of Confusion is right, LOL
so, a dslr is better than a film slr but not as good as a P&S?? that doesn't make sense to me, but I believe you
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Old Oct 14, 2009, 12:39 PM   #130
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javacleve-

Just for clarity sake, the Canon Kit lens is now the 18-55mmIS. That is a zoom lit lens, quite typical. The Nifty-Fifty is the Canon 50mm F1.8 lens. It is a separate lens and not that it is also NOT an IS lens. But the Canon 50mm lens is very handy and bright, meaning that it has a wide aperture. Because it does not zoom, the Canon 50mm lens ia also called a prime lens.

I hope that helps.

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