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Old Dec 30, 2009, 4:06 PM   #51
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J
You really have me pondering over the lens restrictions now. Though, I'm not 100% I'll be able to swing the extra $100 for the T1i, and I like the pluses that the D5000 has over the XSi.

First thank you for asking very intelligent questions, I am learning a lot from all here. I too am finalizing a purchase and looking squarely at what you are looking at.

I purchased online from Futureshop (in canada) a XSi, which has arrived yet. I can return it to the local Future shop if I decide NOT to keep. I also see that Best buy has a similiar package but with the T1i for a difference of about $180. I am pondering upgrading just from what I've read so far (not only here) for the following reasons...some may help you decide as well...

1) the Xsi is lower iso..which may be a consideration in the near future.

2) the XSi is older technology..almost 2 years old the T1i is 6 months old.

3) The lens is the same, so I'm thinking..considering the cost of lens why would I cheapen out on buying a lower price body..particularly when the difference isn't really THAT much.

4) experience tells me...that long after I've forgotten what price I've paid, (or more importantly how much I saved), I'll remember the 'short comings' of my purchase.
IOW, that $180 is nothing compared to the 'shot that got away'

Its difficult to make a 'wise' purchase, and its just as difficult for those here to 'tell us' what wise is. We need to carefully consider what we are shooting, what we might be shooting, and what quality we will accept.

We also have to decide which camera will have the least amount of shortcomings that we individually are willing to accept.. (assuming that there is no perfect camera).

Many here are 'oldtimers' they already know what they like and don't like where me, I am still needing to discover that. Reading what old timers like and don't, the best i can do is say..Yes, I wouldn't like that or that doesn't matter etc.

In the end, whether its done on paper or subconsciously we need to have a rating matrix of our own. Picking items and assigning a rating to it. It looks complicated but in reality we all do it mentally. But sometimes we keep changing the mental ratings and that slows the decision making process..


ie: 1 is not important and 5 is very important
AF speed............... 4
higher ISO............ 2
lens availability...... 2
price (under 500)... 1
price (under 1000).. 5
ergonomics............. 4

and so on.....and if you make honest evaluations on each camera (reviews are very helpful here) and rate them your decision becomes easier.

For example I know the canon has fast AF..so its high
and Oly is slower so its low and considering I place AF higher on my list, I can reject it regardless of any other features and narrow my selection.

BTW when testing ergonomics...have the clerk place your top 3 on the counter without you looking. Pick each up with your eyes closed and rate the initial reaction...that way 'brand' and emotions are out of the picture..


sound confusing???....but its the quickest way to become un-decisive...actually the quickest way is to just go to the store and say I want a DSLR and i have 600 bucks....


(sorry mark..undecisive...is NOT proper grammar I know...)
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Old Dec 30, 2009, 4:07 PM   #52
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Here is the missing shot I should have added f1.8 at 1/160 sec at iso 6400
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Old Dec 30, 2009, 4:32 PM   #53
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OK, I thought I might take a stab at clearing up the muddied waters about this whole ISO thing. When deciding between two cameras - one with ISO 1600 say and one with ISO 3200 - you could ask, what does that buy me in the real world?

Here's what the practical implications are. The extra 'stop' of ISO let's you take the same exposure with twice the shutter speed. For example here's a shot of my son's first steps. This shot was taken at ISO 6400, f2.8 and 1/125:


If I only had ISO 3200, and used the same lens (which can't go any wider than f2.8) I would have had 1/60 shutter speeds. Too much motion blur. Here I've got just enough to show the motion but 1/60 would have been too much. So, if I only had ISO 3200 and wanted to capture this motion I would have had to use a different lens capable of F2.0. Using ISO 1600, f2.0 and 1/125 would have gotten me the same exposure. Here's the rub. Forcing me into that lens change would mean having to use a fixed focal length lens (my 85mm 1.8 or 50mm 1.8) which doesn't give me the same flexibility that my zoom lens does.

In my case, this concept extended further. Prior to my current camera when I only had ISO 3200, when I would shoot basketball I had to use my 85mm 1.8 lens to get fast enough shutter speeds. Great lens but because of the fixed 85mm I was restricted in the variety of shots I could take. With my current camera and ISO 6400 I can use a 70-200mm 2.8 zoom lens and get the same exposures. But I gain the benefit of that huge amount of flexibility a 70-200mm lens offers me.

But, the flip side is when I'm doing flash photography or most outdoor photography I don't need to go past ISO 800.

So, the practical implication TO ME is a higher ISO allows me to get faster shutter speeds with a given lens. And especially at these borderline cases where you go from one type of lens to another (from zoom to prime) is where it pays off.

I won't bore you with sports photos showing the benefit of high ISOs. I thought the First Steps was a very good, practical example for everyday use.
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Old Dec 30, 2009, 4:44 PM   #54
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Originally Posted by littlejohn View Post
First thank you for asking very intelligent questions, I am learning a lot from all here. I too am finalizing a purchase and looking squarely at what you are looking at.

I purchased online from Futureshop (in canada) a XSi, which has arrived yet. I can return it to the local Future shop if I decide NOT to keep. I also see that Best buy has a similiar package but with the T1i for a difference of about $180. I am pondering upgrading just from what I've read so far (not only here) for the following reasons...some may help you decide as well...

1) the Xsi is lower iso..which may be a consideration in the near future.

2) the XSi is older technology..almost 2 years old the T1i is 6 months old.

3) The lens is the same, so I'm thinking..considering the cost of lens why would I cheapen out on buying a lower price body..particularly when the difference isn't really THAT much.

4) experience tells me...that long after I've forgotten what price I've paid, (or more importantly how much I saved), I'll remember the 'short comings' of my purchase.
IOW, that $180 is nothing compared to the 'shot that got away'

Its difficult to make a 'wise' purchase, and its just as difficult for those here to 'tell us' what wise is. We need to carefully consider what we are shooting, what we might be shooting, and what quality we will accept.

We also have to decide which camera will have the least amount of shortcomings that we individually are willing to accept.. (assuming that there is no perfect camera).

Many here are 'oldtimers' they already know what they like and don't like where me, I am still needing to discover that. Reading what old timers like and don't, the best i can do is say..Yes, I wouldn't like that or that doesn't matter etc.

In the end, whether its done on paper or subconsciously we need to have a rating matrix of our own. Picking items and assigning a rating to it. It looks complicated but in reality we all do it mentally. But sometimes we keep changing the mental ratings and that slows the decision making process..


ie: 1 is not important and 5 is very important
AF speed............... 4
higher ISO............ 2
lens availability...... 2
price (under 500)... 1
price (under 1000).. 5
ergonomics............. 4

and so on.....and if you make honest evaluations on each camera (reviews are very helpful here) and rate them your decision becomes easier.

For example I know the canon has fast AF..so its high
and Oly is slower so its low and considering I place AF higher on my list, I can reject it regardless of any other features and narrow my selection.

BTW when testing ergonomics...have the clerk place your top 3 on the counter without you looking. Pick each up with your eyes closed and rate the initial reaction...that way 'brand' and emotions are out of the picture..


sound confusing???....but its the quickest way to become un-decisive...actually the quickest way is to just go to the store and say I want a DSLR and i have 600 bucks....


(sorry mark..undecisive...is NOT proper grammar I know...)
Agreed. I am guilty of forgetting how much something cost me after a month and wondering why i didnt just spend the money. This typically happens after the return period expires. With that being said, I have to ask the following questions:

1) If I over extend myself and get the T1i, I can use any Canon lens and have the ability of AF? Including a 50mm f/1.8 or 85mm lens as JohnG described, correct?
2) I've only heard of things I might feel I missed out on if I got the D5000 over the T1i. What might I wish I had if i do in fact go with the Canon T1i?
3) Is the T1i as user friendly as the D5000?
4) Is manual focus on shots that I would use a 50mm 1.8 or 85mm 1.8 really worth $100? I ask because I've never tried MF with that type of shot.

Aside from all this, a big factor may be that I would be buying the T1i sight unseen. There are no real camera shops in my area per se, so I would resort to going to Best Buy, or the like to need to try them in hand. Unfortunately, there are no department stores within 100 miles of my zipcode that carry the Canon T1i. Not really sure why I went this long without checking that out first.

Last edited by fbords; Dec 30, 2009 at 5:08 PM. Reason: added another question
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Old Dec 30, 2009, 5:06 PM   #55
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IAre there a lot of major differences between the D3000 and the D5000? I mean is it worth the extra couple of hundred dollars for the 5000 over the 3000? The pivoting screen of the D5000 isn't a necessity, nor is the video capability, and to be honest, the advertised ease of use is really the only thing steering me towards the D3000. I just dont want to be in a position of splurging on the D5000 and my wife and I being stuck with a hard to use camera.

**Edit** The primary use of this camera will be to photgraph our children, an active 2.5 year old an 8 month old, with some occasional landscape and macro sprinkled in.
Hey fbords. Thanks for dropping in to get help with your camera selection. We have a lot of very talented members here that can help out with that process.

I have not yet read through all posts in this thread. So, please forgive me if other members have already addressed these questions with better answers than I'm giving.

Frankly, I think you'd be fine with either model, as long as you realize you'll need to use a flash indoors for best results (preferably, an external flash that you can bounce for more diffused lighting, so that you don't have a "deer in the headlamps look" you sometimes get with a direct flash). That way, the flash is able to freeze the action, without as much worry about the differences in noise levels at higher ISO speed settings. Both cameras are going to take great images in good light (and a flash will help to provide that). Don't worry about the differences between 10Mp and 12MP. That's not important at all.

I'd suggest budgeting for the Nikon SB-600, which would work fine with either camera model.

Technically, the D5000 is a better camera. It's using a newer Sony 12MP CMOS Sensor that has lower noise levels as ISO speeds are increased compared to the Sony 10MP CCD Sensor used by the D3000. The D5000 also has a more advanced feature set. But, you'd be better off buying a good external flash and using it with the D3000, versus trying to increase ISO speeds enough to use the higher priced D5000 without a flash (which would require a brighter lens compared to the kit lens, and even then, your subjects would need to be relatively still to get an image without a lot of blur in typical indoor lighting).

IOW, if budget permits, I'd get the D5000 and a good external flash to use indoors. If on a tighter budget, go with the D3000 and a good external flash instead. It would be very hard to tell the differences in image quality between them if lighting is adequate (as you'd have using a good flash when indoors, or in outdoor lighting in daylight), even if "pixel peeping" at much larger viewing sizes than you'd be likely to print at.
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Old Dec 30, 2009, 5:46 PM   #56
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JohnG, another lens question. IF i were to stay with the less expensive D5000, would a Nikon 35mm f/1.8G AF-S DX Prime treat me well for portraits? I've heard good things about them and they're available for around $200.
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Old Dec 30, 2009, 6:15 PM   #57
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It will work and should give you the bokem you are looking for, but you will need to be closer to your subject for a portrait as compare to a 50mm or 85mm lens.
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Old Dec 30, 2009, 6:27 PM   #58
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It will work and should give you the bokem you are looking for, but you will need to be closer to your subject for a portrait as compare to a 50mm or 85mm lens.
about how far in feet for a 35mm?

Man, this stinks. I'm really interested in the caliber of the D5000 and T1i, but really want the option for less expensive portrait lenses. Part of me is considering an XSi for the price and lens options, but I feel like it falls behind the D5000 and what I'm looking for in features/quality. This thread has made me realize that the lens options are a priority (especially that $100 50mm), however, I'm still "on the fence" in regards to the T1i. The lens options are literally the only thing keepign me from getting the D5000 hands down. What are your thoughts?

Last edited by fbords; Dec 30, 2009 at 7:36 PM.
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Old Dec 30, 2009, 7:40 PM   #59
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about how far in feet for a 35mm?
It depends on what you want to shoot.

The 35mm f/1.8 has an angle of view of 44. At a distance of 5 feet, that's a rectangle 4' wide by 2' 8" high.

Compare that to 2' 10" by 1' 11" for a 50mm lens at 5 feet.
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Last edited by TCav; Dec 30, 2009 at 7:59 PM.
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Old Dec 30, 2009, 7:50 PM   #60
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It depends on what you want to shoot.

The 35mm f/1.8 has an angle of view of 44. At a distance of 5 feet, that's a rectangle 4' wide by 2' 8" high.
Would be portraits of my children mostly
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