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

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Jan 15, 2010, 1:09 PM   #1
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 34
Default First Time DSLR - Pentax K-x, Nikon D5000 or Canon EOS 450D / Digital Rebel XSi

I am a complete DSLR novice. I have been using point and shoot cameras.

I write a weekly column for that appears in the entertainment section of a local Chicago paper and now recently need to also take photos. Typically in clubs where there would low light (I would say stage light but that isn't so, think of performance areas in bars).

I had been thinking about the Fuji S200EXR, but have recently started to also realize that perhaps I should instead consider a DLSR.

The cameras I'm thinking about are:

Pentax X-y
Nikon D5000
Canon EOS 450D/Digital Rebel XSi

As I said, I really know nothing other than point and shoot and I have a need for good low-light performance and the ability to take photos with and without a flash. I'm very concerned about the lag time between being able to take pictures.

I hoping I could get some opinions, suggestions as to the line up of DSLRs I'm thinking about.
iankh is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Jan 15, 2010, 1:24 PM   #2
Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 8,529
Default

OK,
Trying to get some background here. Spending more money helps get better low light results - not just on body but also on lens. So, here are some questions:

1. Is this really business use or personal? I.e. are you going to be paid for the photos you take by the publication? Or is this unpaid work? Not so much the article but the photos.
2. Are you treating this as a business expense or a personal expense? These questions go to whether or not it is worthwhile to invest more $$ as a business investment. In other words - if you're not going to be getting paid then spending more money doesn't really earn you any extra money so there's no business reason to invest more in the purchase.

3. can you be more specific or show examples of the types of shots you want to get. For instance, are you taking pictures of performers? Of people in the crowd? Of the bar itself? All of the above? This helps determine what type of lens is best suited - as none of the kit lenses for any of these cameras are going to get the job done.
JohnG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 15, 2010, 1:25 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
TCav's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Washington, DC, Metro Area, Maryland
Posts: 13,543
Default

The selection of large aperture lenses that will autofocus on the Nikon D5000, is short, and the ISO on the D5000 doesn't go very high.

The Pentax K-x is a good choice, and Pentax has a good selection of large aperture lenses for it.

The available ISO settings on the Canon XSi don't even go as high as on the Nikon. I think you'd do better with the T1i.

For what you want to do, I think the Pentax K-x and the Canon T1i would do about as well. For better results, you'd need to spend a lot more money.
__________________
  • The lens is the thing.
  • 'Full Frame' is the new 'Medium Format'.
  • "One good test is worth a thousand expert opinions." - Tex Johnston, Boeing 707 test pilot.
TCav is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 15, 2010, 1:30 PM   #4
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

Welcome to the forums. I think you probably mean the Pentax K-x versus the Pentax X-y. ;-)

Quote:
...Typically in clubs where there would low light (I would say stage light but that isn't so, think of performance areas in bars).
If you want to take photos in bars without any stage lighting with no flash, that can be pretty tough, especially given the lighting I often see in bars around here.

You're going to need higher ISO speeds (higher than you'd going to get with the Canon you're looking at) *and* a very bright lens, and some practice waiting for the least amount of movement when you take your photos (during longer notes, etc.).

Out of your three choices, I'd probably lean towards the Pentax K-x and budget for a bright prime (fixed focal length versus zoom lens) to go with it. Perhaps something like a Sigma 30mm f/1.4 EX DC HSM (around $439) or Pentax FA 50mm f/1.4 Autofocus lens (around $359 after discounts right now at some of the popular vendors around).

The Nikon would probably be my second choice (and would have better Autofocus in low light compared to the Pentax). But, the Pentax is going to have lower noise at higher ISO speeds, which would probably make me lean towards it for that kind of shooting environment.
JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 15, 2010, 1:41 PM   #5
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 34
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnG View Post
OK,
Trying to get some background here. Spending more money helps get better low light results - not just on body but also on lens. So, here are some questions:

1. Is this really business use or personal? I.e. are you going to be paid for the photos you take by the publication? Or is this unpaid work? Not so much the article but the photos.
2. Are you treating this as a business expense or a personal expense? These questions go to whether or not it is worthwhile to invest more $$ as a business investment. In other words - if you're not going to be getting paid then spending more money doesn't really earn you any extra money so there's no business reason to invest more in the purchase.

3. can you be more specific or show examples of the types of shots you want to get. For instance, are you taking pictures of performers? Of people in the crowd? Of the bar itself? All of the above? This helps determine what type of lens is best suited - as none of the kit lenses for any of these cameras are going to get the job done.
It would be paid work (though not much) in addition to my column.

Regarding the types of shots it would be both performers and people in the bar. The people in the bar shots are posed shots and not just shots of the crowd.

The performers are typically moving around and not sat still playing. Think more cabaret type singers (fast songs lots of movement, slow torch songs not much movement).
iankh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 15, 2010, 1:42 PM   #6
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

P.S.

Unless you know you're going to have more room to work with (which you may not have in a smaller bar area if you want to get more band members into the frame at the same time)), I'd probably lean towards the wider Sigma (30mm f/1.4 EX DC HSM), versus one of the less expensive 50mm lenses.

If you can use a flash, that would open up your options.
JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 15, 2010, 1:46 PM   #7
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by iankh View Post
The performers are typically moving around and not sat still playing. Think more cabaret type singers (fast songs lots of movement, slow torch songs not much movement).
Just because you want to take photos of moving performers in a bar with low light, doesn't mean you can take photos of moving performers in a bar with low light (at least not without motion blur, if you can't use a flash).

There are limits to what you can do with currently available gear. ; -)

You'll probably need to learn to time your shots when performers are not moving as much. There are some "tricks" to that.... waiting for pauses or longer notes, watching performers carefully and trying to time your shots so that you catch the movement just as they're changing directions when leaning back and forth (where they're relatively still), etc.. But, if you don't want to use a flash, and you don't have any stage lighting to work with (as in what you'll find in some of the very dim bars with live music), don't expect it to be easy. ;-)
JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 15, 2010, 1:52 PM   #8
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 34
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimC View Post
P.S.

Unless you know you're going to have more room to work with (which you may not have in a smaller bar area if you want to get more band members into the frame at the same time)), I'd probably lean towards the wider Sigma (30mm f/1.4 EX DC HSM), versus one of the less expensive 50mm lenses.

If you can use a flash, that would open up your options.
Yes, I can often use a flash, I do now with my point and shoot. The performers don't mind because it's in their best interest to get themselves in the paper.
iankh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 15, 2010, 2:05 PM   #9
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 34
Default

Great input. Keep it coming.

I had never even considered the lens and how that contributes to the equation. I know that must seem very obvious and displays my ignorance, but I've never had to think about it until now.

I mean I was aware of lenses, but having settled on point and shoot, did not give it much thought. Even when I took photos with film about 17,000 years ago, I did have a 35mm camera, but it was a Minolta with a fixed lens (a hand me down from my brother who bought it in 1968!)
iankh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 15, 2010, 2:06 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
shoturtle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Frankfurt AM
Posts: 11,348
Default

I agree that the body you should get is either the pentax K-x or canon T1i. My brother's hobby is swing dancing in clubs. And he tested his new K-x this weekend. And it did a pretty nice job with a metz 48 flash with the kit 300mm lens.

I have shot photos for him in the clubs using a 85mm 1.8 with the same flash for the canon t1i. And had a bit better result with the brighter lens.

So either body will work. But for better results. A fast prime will help out more.
shoturtle 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 1:30 PM.