Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digicam Help > What Camera Should I Buy?

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Oct 14, 2009, 1:42 PM   #151
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 350
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnG View Post
Let's take sports out of it for a second. And let's go back to what you want to take photos of - indoors of family stuff. I would suggest for those needs a 24-70 2.8 is probably not a great solution as a lens. For several reasons:

1) f2.8 often won't be bright enough indoors - especially if your subject isn't completely motionless. So often we want to capture 'moments' not posed shots. People move slightly during those moments. At f2.8 that often leads to blurry shots - even at high ISOs. And those high ISOs lead to noise. So, in my experience, f2.8 is a poor solution for indoor family style shots.

2) 24mm focal length on an aps-c sensor. In smaller rooms you might not be able to get the wide shots you really want. That's why 17 or 18mm is a better choice - a 17mm lens has the same field of view as a 27mm lens would on a film SLR.

3) DOF - as mentioned, wide apertures mean shallow DOF. Sometimes you actually want several people in focus and not just one.

This is the reason why I recommend external flash as the solution. You can bounce the flash and have natural looking photos - don't have to worry about subjects being blurry because of movement, don't have to shoot at high ISOs, don't have to be constrained by shallow DOF.

A standard kit lens and external flash will get you MUCH better results for general indoor picture taking of family situations. You can add a wide aperture lens (1.8 or 1.4 prime) down the road to get shallow-DOF. But out of the gate you'll get much more bang for the buck with an external flash.

Here are some photos that illustrate what I'm talking about. These are standard family type shots - made possible by external flash. I love available light shots but I think a 24-70 2.8 lens is the wrong solution.
So, all of those photos were taken with bounce flash?
My concern, as I've said before, is whether I really will use the external flash. It just seems to throw my balance off with the camera, and makes me have to carry around a bigger camera bag to lug it with me...
With my N80 I have a bracket-mounted flash with the optical sensor and I never use it. It was recommended to me because it is BETTER for portraits than having the flash mounted on the camera. Yes, it IS indeed better--but it goes unused nonetheless.
Herein lies my dilemma.
But I do appreciate your input, John, and you make excellent points.

May I ask, how do the dSLR flash units compare to the digicam built-in flashes? As far as recycle time, distance the light goes, etc.? I know there are many different models of flashes available, so I'm asking about the on board and/or lower priced, small externals
javacleve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 14, 2009, 1:45 PM   #152
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 350
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnG View Post
Actually - any DSLR with kit lens and external flash will get you good indoors shots. No need for three cameras. Now, Canon, Nikon and Sony all have good flash systems. So that's good.

With the kit lenses you have image stabilization which you want in all 3 systems.

I think the curve-ball was the discussion of having an f2.8 as a walk-around. Without the external flash it's not going to solve your needs. And that curveball led into the anti-shake discussion. Even though I have f2.8 lenses -you want to know how many times I use them for my family shots? ZERO. Why? Because I think they're a poor tool for the job for the reasons I stated. A lot in photography is about using the right tool for the job. A 24-70 2.8 without flash just isn't the best tool and you'll spend a lot of money to get less quality shots than you could get with flash and a kit lens.
The reason I said 3 cameras is that there are other situations in which I take photos besides indoor family events (although that is certainly a large percentage)...so it sounds like I need a special "tool" for each type of photography I want to do! Something small, light, quick, decent for everyday (family indoor photos)...something with a wider aperture and IS for lower light situations without flash (indoor museums, events)...something with a long zoom and wide aperture for sports...something for macro (flowers) etc. etc.
javacleve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 14, 2009, 1:46 PM   #153
Super Moderator
 
Hards80's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Cleveland, OH
Posts: 9,046
Default

no need for 3 systems.... just going to need to spend some money on glass... :P
Hards80 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 14, 2009, 1:47 PM   #154
Senior Member
 
mtclimber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Oregon, USA
Posts: 18,143
Default

javacleve-

Like JohnG, I am also a big proponent of a good external flash. Add an external flash to the three lens I suggested and you have essentially upgraded your DSLR camera kit, as you can easily see when viewing JohnG's wonderful photos.

An external flash is an excellent investment.

Sarah Joyce
mtclimber is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 14, 2009, 1:48 PM   #155
Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 8,529
Default

All those shots were taken with a bounced flash. And yes, it's bulkier. That's the trade-off. But, they have benefits you alluded to: more powerful, faster recycle time, better af-assist beam, ability to use Flash Exposure Compensation and they're BOUNCABLE. How's the red-eye in these photos? HOw 'bout the flash burn? All benefits of bouncing.

But photos are the key. For those suggesting something like an 24-70 f2.8 is a good solution for your family shots indoors have them post inoor interactive family shots like the ones I did. Especially ones taken at night. See how those images compare.
JohnG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 14, 2009, 1:49 PM   #156
Super Moderator
 
Hards80's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Cleveland, OH
Posts: 9,046
Default

family indoor - any lens (kit lens)with a bounce flash (as john has so nicely illustrated)

indoor no-flash stuff - just buy a nice fast prime and use your feet to zoom (50 1.8 is like 75$)

sports - 70-200 2.8 etc. (this is where the money will go)
Hards80 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 14, 2009, 1:50 PM   #157
Super Moderator
 
Hards80's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Cleveland, OH
Posts: 9,046
Default

also, modern slrs are just damn good. there is really no fatal flaw you speak of. with the right glass and good technique you can get good results regardless.

very hardcore sports shooting, some systems (nikon, canon) do better. other than that though, any system has good cameras and good glass to do what you need.
Hards80 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 14, 2009, 1:52 PM   #158
Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 8,529
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hards80 View Post
family indoor - any lens (kit lens)with a bounce flash (as john has so nicely illustrated)

indoor no-flash stuff - just buy a nice fast prime and use your feet to zoom (50 1.8 is like 75$)

sports - 70-200 2.8 etc. (this is where the money will go)
BINGO - same answer regardless of system. 24-70 is too short for the gymnastics and not bright enough for family shots. It's only a good solution for the museum work really - and a 1.8 lens is even better at less cost.
JohnG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 14, 2009, 1:54 PM   #159
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 350
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hards80 View Post
also, modern slrs are just damn good. there is really no fatal flaw you speak of. with the right glass and good technique you can get good results regardless.

very hardcore sports shooting, some systems (nikon, canon) do better. other than that though, any system has good cameras and good glass to do what you need.
I guess what I am hearing, though, is that there isn't a lens that really does what I want it to do (they either don't have IS, or they aren't bright, etc.), and everything is steadily getting bulkier and pricier.
Maybe it's all relative, and you all are comparing dSLRs to each other, but going from my P&S, perhaps I'd be thrilled with any of them (other than the sports factor). I did have experience with film, though, so it's not like I'm solely a P&S user. I'm just hooked on the convenience of it, I think (other than the shutter lag).

ETA: For example, the bright fast prime you are suggesting--doesn't have IS
javacleve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 14, 2009, 2:01 PM   #160
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

You're never going to have a perfect solution.

with a $1000 budget, you'll need to compromise.

My suggestion would be a camera body with a more usable ISO 3200 (and the Canon T1i or Sony A500 would be good candidates in this area), combined with a used 24-70mm f.2.8 AF lens.

That would give you almost exactly the same zoom range you have with your L14, with much faster shutter speeds due to a brighter lens and higher usable ISO speeds.

It's not perfect. But, I don't see how you'd do much better with a $1K budget.

If someone else has a better compromise with a $1K budget, please speak up.
JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 6:19 AM.