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Old Oct 14, 2009, 3:03 PM   #161
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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
The problem is the perfect camera DOES NOT EXIST. It just doesn't. If it did, there would be one single camera on the market. If any one camera system was the best at everything every other camera system would be out of business. There is a pro and a con to EVERY camera. A small, lightweight camera that can take photos of any subject in any lighting situation simply does not exist.

If you're happy with a point and shoot and simply want faster shutter response get a DSLR with megazoom. But then if you require fast aperture too you suddenly can't have just one lens - there isn't a 17-200mm f1.8 lens. Likely or not EVERY solution comes with pros/cons. You can't have everything in one body and one lens only. So, just like every other photographer in the world you have to prioritize what you want and make compromises.
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Old Oct 14, 2009, 3:05 PM   #162
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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 1Ti 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 $1K budget, please speak up.
It depends on priorities. My preference as stated would be for external flash because 24-70 isn't wide enough and not bright enough for the family stuff. Better results for less money but at the cost of the bulky flash.
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Old Oct 14, 2009, 3:09 PM   #163
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for a 1000$, i would be temped to get body+kit, an external flash, and one of the thrift-fifty (50 1.8s). regardless of brand.

then save up for more specialized lens (aka 70-200 2.8, etc)
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Old Oct 14, 2009, 3:11 PM   #164
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t depends on priorities. My preference as stated would be for external flash because 24-70 isn't wide enough and not bright enough for the family stuff. Better results for less money but at the cost of the bulky flash.
And by the time you add in the external flash and 18-55mm lens, you'd be further over the $1K budget than you would by buying the brighter Sigma lens to begin with, and you wouldn't have a good solution in conditions you couldn't use a flash in (because the 18-55mm kit lens would be too dim).

There are pros and cons to any solution, and the $1K budget and desire to get better photos indoors in gym lighting would stand out as being the most important considerations to me.
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Old Oct 14, 2009, 3:23 PM   #165
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It depends on priorities. My preference as stated would be for external flash because 24-70 isn't wide enough and not bright enough for the family stuff. Better results for less money but at the cost of the bulky flash.
What about Jim's solution PLUS flash? Then, I could use the brighter lens for many situations, but still have the flash for when it isn't really bright enough.
I agree about the long zooms--I have long given up on that for now, that will have to be a separate purchase in the future. I'm looking for something to replace my P&S, basically, then.
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Old Oct 14, 2009, 3:35 PM   #166
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What about Jim's solution PLUS flash? Then, I could use the brighter lens for many situations, but still have the flash for when it isn't really bright enough.
I agree about the long zooms--I have long given up on that for now, that will have to be a separate purchase in the future. I'm looking for something to replace my P&S, basically, then.
OK - let's look at that solution.
First, one of the reasons I believe Jim put forth the solution is with a mind toward gymnastics. 70mm is just too short. So it really doesn't help you there. Given the choice you're better off with a longer/dimmer lens so you could take shots during poses. In other words, if you can't get close you're better off sacrificing shutter speed for reach.

As discussed, f2.8 won't help for family stuff. AND, if you haven't already - go to a camera store and see how much bigger/bulier a 24-70 2.8 is compared to a kit lens. I don't mind it at all - I carry a brick of a camera around. But size/weight seems to be important to you.

I guess what I'm saying is the 24-70 2.8 is a solution in search of a problem. Too short for gymnastics, not bright enough for family stuff. Just not seeing how that specific piece of equipment addresses any of your problems - with the exception of museums. And how much are you doing that?

As much as I like wide aperture lenses there's a big reason I don't have a 24-70 2.8 as a walk-around. It isn't money - I could have afforded it. It's that it just isn't a great solution - limited focal range, added bulk, not fast enough for family stuff. Too many downsides for not enough upside. 24-70 is a great photojournalist and pro sports lens. But not good for your sports work, not good for your family work and a lot of bulk.

If you don't mind the bulk and can live with losing the wide angle a kit lens gives you then you will get a sharper lens. So, from a sharpness perspective it's useful.

And, of course if you do want to get snookered into the gymnastics aspect - the sigma 24-70 2.8 has two models - one with HSM and one without. The one without is a bit slow to focus - so it's a poor sports lens. The HSM version is better but of course you pay extra for that HSM motor.
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Old Oct 14, 2009, 3:57 PM   #167
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OK - let's look at that solution.
First, one of the reasons I believe Jim put forth the solution is with a mind toward gymnastics. 70mm is just too short. So it really doesn't help you there. Given the choice you're better off with a longer/dimmer lens so you could take shots during poses. In other words, if you can't get close you're better off sacrificing shutter speed for reach.

As discussed, f2.8 won't help for family stuff. AND, if you haven't already - go to a camera store and see how much bigger/bulier a 24-70 2.8 is compared to a kit lens. I don't mind it at all - I carry a brick of a camera around. But size/weight seems to be important to you.

I guess what I'm saying is the 24-70 2.8 is a solution in search of a problem. Too short for gymnastics, not bright enough for family stuff. Just not seeing how that specific piece of equipment addresses any of your problems - with the exception of museums. And how much are you doing that?

As much as I like wide aperture lenses there's a big reason I don't have a 24-70 2.8 as a walk-around. It isn't money - I could have afforded it. It's that it just isn't a great solution - limited focal range, added bulk, not fast enough for family stuff. Too many downsides for not enough upside. 24-70 is a great photojournalist and pro sports lens. But not good for your sports work, not good for your family work and a lot of bulk.

If you don't mind the bulk and can live with losing the wide angle a kit lens gives you then you will get a sharper lens. So, from a sharpness perspective it's useful.

And, of course if you do want to get snookered into the gymnastics aspect - the sigma 24-70 2.8 has two models - one with HSM and one without. The one without is a bit slow to focus - so it's a poor sports lens. The HSM version is better but of course you pay extra for that HSM motor.
I think Jim was also looking at the camera I already have, and how I use it (based on my samples), so he was recommending a lens to give me the equivalent coverage. True, it's not quite enough for great sports photos--but it is at least as good as what I already have (as far as zoom), with the added plus of being brighter. Now, the bulkiness could be a problem so I will definitely check it out in a store first. I would also go ahead with the HSM, just because I would hate to lose a shot because the focus is too slow, so why not go with it (other than budget)?
What do you mean by limited focal range, though? Are you saying just at the widest aperture, or even when stopped down?

Last edited by javacleve; Oct 14, 2009 at 4:05 PM.
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Old Oct 14, 2009, 3:59 PM   #168
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Let's compare the onboard dSLR flash to a P&S flash, too...is it worse, the same, or better (as far as distance)? Specifically, the xsi or T1i compared to the Nikon L14...

My thinking is that, while bounce flash will certainly give me better photos, I am hoping the built-in flash will at least do as good a job as my P&S, for those situations where I need to just grab the camera quickly...
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Old Oct 14, 2009, 4:02 PM   #169
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And, maybe, to bring this idea back up...I should just go with something basic for everyday photos (even another P&S? if there's one without the shutter lag issue?), and use my N80 camera for the more specialized situations where I would be calling on the better features of the dSLR, such as external flash or bright zoom lens?
Do I recall, John G, that you said there isn't a long enough, bright enough lens for gymnastics for the N80 anyway, though?
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Old Oct 14, 2009, 4:05 PM   #170
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the built in pop-up-flash is better than most p&s flashes, but of course much worse than a dedicated external flash.
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