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

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Oct 8, 2009, 11:04 AM   #11
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 350
Default

JimC, thank you for your suggestions--that's the problem I am finding, the pictures aren't always comparable between different models...
However, one review I read said the Sony A700 started losing image quality at ISO400 (even though it is capable of going higher), which is what I saw on the A230. So I'm really confused now, because so far 2 people have suggested that I look at this camera for the lowlight conditions I am shooting in.
javacleve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 8, 2009, 11:08 AM   #12
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 350
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by littlejohn View Post
John that was a well thought out post, very informative. I for one appreciate the time you invested in creating it.

Your point #2...was worth the entire read, IMHO...I assume there is a math formula somewhere for this. Is there also an example that you know of that illustrates this? For instance how much difference does 2 time more light make in a photo? (once you get up of the floor from laughing that is...)
That's a great question, because it is not linear, in lightbulbs at least (twice as many watts doesn't look twice as bright to the eye). But, I think you can say that twice as much light will allow you to go to the next faster shutter speed (say 1/500 instead of 1/250), so that's where you will gain an advantage for sports photography in low light.
Each f stop increase on a lens halves the light, if I recall correctly.
javacleve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 8, 2009, 11:09 AM   #13
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 629
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by javacleve View Post
JimC, thank you for your suggestions--that's the problem I am finding, the pictures aren't always comparable between different models...
However, one review I read said the Sony A700 started losing image quality at ISO400 (even though it is capable of going higher), which is what I saw on the A230. So I'm really confused now, because so far 2 people have suggested that I look at this camera for the lowlight conditions I am shooting in.


LOL....quit reading reviews

Just kidding...but perhaps point out which reviews you are reading. I am new here and to this, but I do know that reviews can be, lets say biased. I have experienced that in other things..I can't say that happens in the camera world, but perhaps other here can confirm whether the review is valid or not...just say'n..
littlejohn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 8, 2009, 11:10 AM   #14
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 629
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by javacleve View Post
That's a great question, because it is not linear, in lightbulbs at least (twice as many watts doesn't look twice as bright to the eye). But, I think you can say that twice as much light will allow you to go to the next faster shutter speed (say 1/500 instead of 1/250), so that's where you will gain an advantage for sports photography in low light.
Each f stop increase on a lens halves the light, if I recall correctly.

Awesome..thank you...
littlejohn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 8, 2009, 11:11 AM   #15
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 350
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by littlejohn View Post
LOL....quit reading reviews

Just kidding...but perhaps point out which reviews you are reading. I am new here and to this, but I do know that reviews can be, lets say biased. I have experienced that in other things..I can't say that happens in the camera world, but perhaps other here can confirm whether the review is valid or not...just say'n..

Oh, I hear you, believe me...that's why I am posting here!! But the review which said the A700 started losing quality after ISO 400 was in Consumer Reports (don't laugh! at least they have a chart comparing all the models in the same way--and, it was confirmed on the A230 when I found the review photos I posted earlier, so I'm inclined to think they have a good point on this topic)

OK, found this comparison on photo.net (attached photo)...to me, the Canon looks better! They said they were comparable, with the Sony having slighter better resolution on the 2.5 (which I can see what they are talking about upon further examination--but at first impression, I like the Canon). The Canon looks just crisper to me. What am I missing? Am I just doomed to never be a good photographer because I am blind to the proper things?!
Attached Images
 

Last edited by javacleve; Oct 8, 2009 at 11:25 AM. Reason: add photo
javacleve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 8, 2009, 11:23 AM   #16
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 350
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by javacleve View Post
One more clarification: the reviews on the Canon T1i haven't impressed me, or is there another "Ti" model that I might be confusing with this one?
I think I'm thinking of the XTi??? It's all too similar!
javacleve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 8, 2009, 11:31 AM   #17
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

Quote:
Oh, I hear you, believe me...that's why I am posting here!! But the review which said the A700 started losing quality after ISO 400 was in Consumer Reports (don't laugh! at least they have a chart comparing all the models in the same way--and, it was confirmed on the A230 when I found the review photos I posted earlier, so I'm inclined to think they have a good point on this topic)
Very few reviews have comparisons using the new version 4.0 firmware for the A700 (where Sony improved noise reduction algorithms). Even some of them that managed to update samples didn't update all of them for the new Firmware. Here's one that does have samples using V4 firmware.

http://www.ephotozine.com/article/DSLR-group-test-11857

I've used both the Nikon D300 and Sony A700 (which is my primary camera), and IMO, you're really not going to see any difference in IQ between them in real world conditions at higher ISO speeds.

Now, the newer Nikon D5000 and D90 have a little better noise reduction algorithms when you're shooting JPEG. It looks like Sony is using the same type of approach with the new A500 from samples I've seen (more elimination of chroma noise, while leaving some of the luminous noise -- just like Nikon tends to do). There are pros and cons to both approaches. IOW, for the most part, you're looking a battle between noise reduction algorithms. If you want more control (so you're more in control of the balance between reduced noise and retained detail), turn NR off and use third party tools (Neat Image, Noise Ninja, etc.). ;-)
JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 8, 2009, 11:35 AM   #18
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 629
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by javacleve View Post
Oh, I hear you, believe me...that's why I am posting here!! But the review which said the A700 started losing quality after ISO 400 was in Consumer Reports (don't laugh! at least they have a chart comparing all the models in the same way--and, it was confirmed on the A230 when I found the review photos I posted earlier, so I'm inclined to think they have a good point on this topic)

OK, found this comparison on photo.net (attached photo)...to me, the Canon looks better! They said they were comparable, with the Sony having slighter better resolution on the 2.5 (which I can see what they are talking about upon further examination--but at first impression, I like the Canon). The Canon looks just crisper to me. What am I missing? Am I just doomed to never be a good photographer because I am blind to the proper things?!

Hey i agree the canon looks better in that shot...I've explored dpreview for review and found them to be indepth and they take several photos in their comparisons.

The best suggestion I have is buy one and try it. snap a few photos save them and either take it back and try another one snap a few photos and compare which you like...what you like another may not its personal.

Plus how does the camera feel? a great camera may be uncomfortable and will stay home, while a so-so camera will come along and capture pics that you'll look at when you are a grandparent show the grandkids their mother...(at that point who cares how the pic itself is..you got the memory)
littlejohn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 8, 2009, 11:40 AM   #19
Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 8,529
Default

Javacleve,

I am going to state this bluntly so there is no confusion. Jim and I will continue to disagree on sports shooting solutions. I recommend only cameras I see with a proven track record and I believe Jim pushes the sony solution as often as possible because he uses the system. I think that is a disservice. Unless and until we start seeing low light sports photos from cameras below the A700 they are, at best, unproven performers for low light sports. At worst, they're still not up to what the competition can do. I believe I am consistent in this - as a camera proves itself I add it to my recommendations. But I respectfully disagree with the pushing of Sony based on solely the sensor.

Jim - if you want to say sony is cheaper, the problem there is - as I indicated I have seen no proof any dslr below the A700 is up to the task of low light sports. So, to get a proven performer you need the A700.
A700 body only at B&H = $850
Canon T1i = $706
Nikon D90 = $815

So, as an experienced sports photographer I stand by my advice - especially with regard to selecting unproven performers in ANY system. I also believe this is advice consistent with advice you will get from any competant sports photographer out there. Sports work is very demanding of equipment. For non sports work I think the Sony cameras are outstanding - lots of features to like. But the fact remains I simply haven't seen cameras other than the A700 field tested and the results from prior generation were NOT up to the competition. So sony still has to prove their models below the A700 are on par.

I'm sorry Jim if that offends you. But until you or other sony photographers have some actual proof of performance in the field - I will challenge a recommendation for Sony cameras for sports use. I believe I'm fair in this. The A700 has been proven and I include it as a recommendation. I jumped on board with Nikon offerings even though I shoot Canon because they were field tested by sports photographers. In all honesty, I don't want to see photos of books or test patterns or that to determine how a camera will perform for sports. If I want to choose a camera to shoot gymnastics I want to see some gymmnastics, volleyball, basketball photos. And so should any reasonable consumer looking at investing this much $$$.

And, I'll say this as well - you are welcome to view my sports photos at any time to judge whether I have any experience with regard to sports shooting and what affect equipment has on it. I'm very cautious to not make specific recommendations for camera solutions for types of photography I don't do. I won't tell you what camera system & Lenses to get for macro because I don't do it. So, when someone tells you what camera/lens to get for low light sports - ask to see their low light sports photos and see how much they speak from experience and how much they speak from conjecture.
And I know it offends Sony, Oly and Pentax users when I say the cameras aren't proven. Lots of angst. I angered a lot of Pentax users when I made those claims. Now the K-7 comes along and the people that use it see what a big difference an improved focus system makes. It has nothing to do with brand loyalty - I freely recommend Nikon solutions I think are up to the task. I exclude Nikon and Canon and Sony cameras I think are not up to the task on a case-by-case basis. For general family photos pretty much all DSLRs are created equal. For sports and low light sports especially, all DSLRs are far from being equal.
JohnG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 8, 2009, 11:40 AM   #20
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by javacleve View Post
I think I'm thinking of the XTi??? It's all too similar!
You really want to look at models with higher usable ISO speeds and better AF algorithms like the T1i for indoor sports, as JohnG already mentioned.

The entry level Canon models (XS, XSi, XTi) are going to be limited to ISO 1600.

For some indoor sports, provided you're using a fast prime (for example, a Canon 85mm f/1.8 USM), ISO 1600 may let you "squeeze by".

But, if you look at comments on shooting Gymnastics from some of our Sports Shooters like JohnG and Mark1616, you're going to need faster shutter speeds compared to other sports (meaning you'll want higher available ISO speeds). IOW, the XTi, XSi type models are not going to "cut it" for a high percentage of keepers. Ditto for the entry level Sony models (even though they've got ISO 3200 available, you really don't want to use it unless you have to).

Here's one recent thread on the subject in our Nikon dSLR forum:

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/ni...or-sports.html
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 9:52 PM.