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Old Nov 23, 2009, 7:30 AM   #1
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Default Canon XSi Which lens package is best?

Good Morning,
Have been doing a little research, price and features, and have come up with these 2 options for the XSi.
1) This kit comes with the EF-S 18-55 f/3.5-5.6 IS zoom lens(standard kit lens) and the Canon EF 75-300 f/4-5.6 III zoom lens. At $724.95.
2) This kit comes with the above mentioned 18-55 lens and Tamron 70-300 f/4-5.6 DiLD Macro Auto Focus lens. At $709.95.
Both kits are from Cameta Cameras.
Besides the zoom length and name brand am not sure which would be a better kit.
Thanks for reading and for your advice.
norma
p.s. This will be my 1st dslr have worked with film slr-Minolta(back in the 80's) My current camera is a Panasonic FZ-3. My shooting subjects mostly family, pets,vacations,and kids sports-HS softball and 12year old baseball. Not too much inside-limited basketball, birthday parties,etc. Not really looking at Sony for my old Minolta lenses are nothing special

Last edited by chopper123; Nov 23, 2009 at 7:38 AM.
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Old Nov 23, 2009, 7:41 AM   #2
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PLEASE IGNORE ABOVE MESSAGE. Not sure what happened to the rest of it. Will try again later.
Sorry..
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Old Nov 23, 2009, 7:42 AM   #3
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The Tamron is a better lens than the Canon lens. But, realize you're still buying a budget lens (retails for like $170). It's decently sharp for a budget lens but it's slow to focus for a sports lens. But you're not going to get a 300mm lens that's quick to focus for that kind of price. You'd have to shell out the $500+ for the Canon 70-300 IS USM to get a faster focusing lens.
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Old Nov 23, 2009, 10:04 AM   #4
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Thanks John,
Glad you could "get" the meaning of my message.

Just to summarize the rest, This would be my 1st dslr but had a slr-Minolta back in the 80's-not much to brag about lens wise.

My pics will be mostly of family, flowers, pets, scenery, and some sports HS Softball and 12-13 year old Baseball-mostly day games. Some indoor stuff Christmas,Birthdays, and some gym lit basketball. Really think the BB will be the only "moving subjest" the rest pretty much posed.

How about throwing the Pentax K2000 into the mix-no brand loyalty for me. Both come with the same DA L 18-55 and DA 50-200 lenses at $529 and $549.

Am also open to some suggestions-please remember I would like to limit my self at about $750 and lenses that are good for close and zoom.

Thanks so much,
norma
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Old Nov 23, 2009, 10:54 AM   #5
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Norma,

Just trying to set expectations. Pentax is a very good system. But not for action photography. The major limitation with them is their focus system - it just isn't as good as what you find in Canon (above the 1000d which has a stripped focus system).The XSi is probably the best entry level action DSLR on the market.

But, no matter what system you buy, when you're talking about 300mm lenses under $200 you can't expect the world. The Tamron lens you're looking at represents the best of breed in that type of lens. But it just isn't designed for sports use - it doesn't have a fast focusing motor. But no lens in any system for under $200 is going to meet that criteria.

Now, you will NOT, repeat, NOT be able to shoot basketball with any DSLR and kit lens. You have to understand, a DSLR is NOT a magic point-and-shoot camera. You can't buy a dslr with 2 kit lenses and shoot everything you might ever want to shoot. Low light sports is one of those areas where it just won't happen. IF you have floor access and can shoot from the baseline you could use a 50mm 1.8 lens ($110). That lens is really only good for about 15 feet of reach though when shooting action - beyond 15 feet and focus performance will be poor.

So, my advice is that you not be concerned out-of-the-gate with shooting basketball.

I would also add that for your indoor shooting needs - parties, etc. that you plan on buying an external flash like the 430exII. The built-in flash in any DSLR isn't very good - not much better than the ones in digicams. An external flalsh will provide more light, will charge faster (less time between flash shots) and will allow you to bounce the flash so the light bounces off the ceiling - creates a more even light - less shadows and less 'flash burn' on your subjects.
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Old Nov 23, 2009, 11:17 AM   #6
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John,
I know, or have read on these forums about the problems with kit lenses and low lit areas-so my expectations aren't to high. I do thank you for pointing that problem out thou.
Didn't realize the slow focusing on the Pentax, thanks for pointing that out too. Does the K-x preform any better? And before I bother you any more what is a good stat/spec to check in regards to the above mentioned focusing issue. Any perimeters between this and that? Hope that makes sense.
Thanks again for your informative replies.
Have a good Thanksgiving,
norma
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Old Nov 23, 2009, 11:52 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chopper123 View Post
And before I bother you any more what is a good stat/spec to check in regards to the above mentioned focusing issue.
Norma - unfortunately there really isn't any stat you can check. Performance in 'continuous focus' mode is not something 99% of reviews check. So, you're reliant upon actual real-world results from people who shoot sports or birds-in-flight type wildlife shots to test it out. In regards to Pentax - their flagship camera, the K-7, can best be described (as far as focus performance) as being a big upgrade over previous pentax models but it still falls short of the Nikon / Canon counterparts (Canon 50d, Nikon D90). I have not heard anything that suggests the K-X would have the same focus system as the K-7 - I would not expect that it does.

I can say the XSi has a better focus system than the Canon 20d I used to shoot with years ago. And I know the 20d did a great job and I've seen some quality work with the XSi (provided the right knowledge of the photographer and provided the right lens and provided the photographer was shooting from a good position).

But, unfortunately you're not going to see anything at Steves, DP Review or any of the other countless review sites which will tell you how a given entry level DSLR performs as a sports camera. That's simply too specialized an interest area for them to test.

Here's the skinny on different sytems and the focus performance (in alphabetical order):

Canon: Any DSLR from XSi and above will perform very well.

Nikon: D90, D300, D700, D3 are all outstanding. Top of the line really (D90 competes with canon 50d and d300 competes with Canon's 7d). The problem with their entry level DSLRs is Nikon downgraded the focus system to reduce costs. So while high ISO performance is excellent, focus performance not as good as Canon T1i / Xsi

Olympus: D3 has good performance in good light but no evidence it's comparable to the competition in low light. Sports shooting just isn't an Oly strong point - focus and high ISO performance just not as good as competition. Excellent in other areas - just not sports - especially in low light.

Pentax: K-7 looks like a very good choice for people already invested in Pentax. But reports so far are that it isn't as good as Canon 50d and Nikon D90 which it competes against. Existing models below the K-7 are significantly behind the competition in focus performance. Expectation is the K-X might be better than prior models but probably still not up to Canon Xsi / T1i

Sony: A700 competes well against Canon 50d / Nikon D90. Lower level models prior to current generation were significantly behind competition in focus performance for moving subjects. Sony claims the newer models are improved. They probably are. Unfortunately we just don't know how they stack up against Canon / Nikon because the new Sony models haven't been tested in the field in a sports capacity.
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Old Nov 23, 2009, 1:29 PM   #8
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John,
WOW!! Thank you SO much for that info. Its to bad that these companies don't address the sport test. Am sure that would be a major selling point for many moms and dads who like to catch memories like that.

really appreciate all your help
norma
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Old Nov 23, 2009, 7:35 PM   #9
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I agree that the Tamron 70-300mm is a better lens and the price is excellent. Currently Canon has a few promotions for those who want to buy their products. Please take a look before you buy the camera: http://www.usa.canon.com/consumer/co...=PromotionsAct
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