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Old May 7, 2010, 8:37 AM   #1
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Default First DSLR

I've been reading on this topic for the last week, but still i haven't been able to make a choice.

I'll start by saying that i'm a student. So I am on a quite tight budget. Sub 1000$ for a kit is a must.

I'm interested majorly in sports photography. Indoors (Basketball, handball) and outdoors (Football, soccer). I also need to make good portraits at parties, in low light conditions (Adding a flash?)

I've been looking at the Canon 1000D (XS), Pentax K-X, and Nikon 5000D.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.


PS: How important is warranty? Is it worth the extra 100-150$?

Thanks
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Old May 7, 2010, 10:07 AM   #2
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ishay-

Welcome to the Forum. We're delighted that you dropped by.

Users who are new to DSLR cameras is a popular topic. However, I must caution you that indoor sports, like basketball require upgraded equipment that will no doubt, very quickly exceed your $1,000 budget. indoor sports require wide aperture, long zoom lenses as well as the need to quickly and accurately focus in a lower light environment. Those are the two biggest reasons making indoor sports more expensive to shoot.

The Canon XS/1000D, Pentax Kx, and Nikon D-5000 DSLR cameras all come with consumer level low/narrow aperture lenses with very low zoom capability making then good for family shots, and well lighted photos, using short range flash when necessary.

So based on your plans, you are going to need the DSLR body (around 1/2 of your budget) with at least two specialized lens for sports and low light portraits which could take another $1,000, plus a good external flash, another $$350 to $450.00 in cost. That totals $1,950.00. So you are going to have to re-think some of your subjects and/or budget.

Good luck in your search.

Sarah Joyce
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Old May 7, 2010, 10:44 AM   #3
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For shooting indoor sports, Pentax doesn't have any appropriate lenses, and the lenses that Nikon has won't autofocus on the D5000. So that leaves Canon. Canon has an 85/1.8 (~$380) and 100/2.0 (~$435) for shooting indoor sports that aren't outrageously expensive, and can also be used as portrait lenses, though the 100/2.0 might be a little long. And if you intend to capture more than one person in these "portraits", then the 85/1.8 might be long too. You could also get a 50/1.8 (~$100) to do that, but it would be too short for indoor sports.

For shooting outdoor sports on a budget, you could get some good shots with the Tamron 70-300 Di LD (~$165.)

Canon's entry level dSLRs have the best AF system for shooting sports/action than anything else in your price range. The XS would be a good place to start, but the XSi would be better, and the T1i would be better still.

If you're in the US, Adorama has refurbished Canon dSLRs that have a 1 year store warranty instead of the 1 year manufacturer's warranty, and that could help you save some money.
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Old May 7, 2010, 10:53 AM   #4
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First of all- thank you for your response.

As I am a working man, money should come by at a certain point. 1000$ is the amount I currently have.

My concerns were about the equipment needed, for my needs- does one camera body outperform the others? or is it all about lenses?

About the low light portraits- I understood from previous research that the prime 50mm 1\8 should meet my requirements, am I wrong?

Many thanks for taking the time to answer all my questions.
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Old May 7, 2010, 11:09 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ishay View Post
My concerns were about the equipment needed, for my needs- does one camera body outperform the others? or is it all about lenses?
The tactic I use is to look first for lenses that can do the job, then find camera bodies you can hang them on. For the indoor sports, that's easy; only Canon and Nikon have lenses appropriate for that function. Unfortunately for you, the least expensive Nikon that can use those lenses costs $900. So that narrows your selection quite quickly. The bonus, however, is that, of the three, the Canon is the best for shooting sports/action anyway. So, it's about the system. If your budget could accomodate it, the Nikon D90 would also be an excellent choice, along with the Canon 50D.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ishay View Post
About the low light portraits- I understood from previous research that the prime 50mm 1\8 should meet my requirements, am I wrong?
For environmental portraits, couples portraits and small groups, the 50/1.8 is a good choice. For individuals, it's too short and can distort your subject's features.
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Old May 7, 2010, 11:33 AM   #6
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It brings me to another question, still quite related to the original topic- assuming i buy, lets say, the XS. Is it a good investment? or will I have to upgrade it in a couple of years?

I am getting really confused, so i'll ask straight up- what should i do with my money? Should I buy the XS with a couple of lenses, or should I invest in a camera body at first? I am talking long term...as I don't see myself making large amount of money anytime soon.

I apologize for all the mess I've made with my questions, but i am quite confused...
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Old May 7, 2010, 11:53 AM   #7
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Ishay,

Sports shooting is one of those areas where it's about EVERYTHING - not just lenses. There are several keys to successful sports shooting:
1) Right camera body - (AF tracking ability, High ISO performance, burst rate)
2) Right lens (fast focusing, sharp, wide enough aperture for intended sport, right focal length)
3) Technique/skillset - sports shooting is NOT a point and shoot thing. Even with the best gear you have to learn proper techniques to be successful. It isn't rocket science but it's more difficult than people think.
4) right access/shooting position. Even with pro gear and good skills if you're not in the right position you're not getting good results.

Understand it will be difficult to shoot all the sports you listed well with only $1000. You have to understand that going in. You can't increase your budget, so you have to manage your expectations.

You mention the canon XS - I would suggest that it would be a poor investment if sports shooting is what you want to do. It has a stripped down autofocus system and it's limitations will make your learning a bit more frustrating.

I think you're better off spending money on a T1i body and less expensive lenses (Tamron 70-300 and canon 50mm 1.8) for initial sports work. It will put you over budget by about $100 but that's the best you can do starting off.

The 50mm 1.8 means you'll be limited to 15 feet of coverage for your indoor work.
The 70-300 will give you 40 yards of coverage outdoors, but because it's f5.6 you'll only be able to shoot in bright daylight.

Neither lens is fast focusing so that will limit you. But you can't afford fast focusing lenses. HOWEVER, having the good body will allow you to upgrade in a year to better lenses so you can start getting better results.

There's enough of a difference between the XS and T1i that it's worth the initial investment in the T1i - FOR THE SPORTS WORK.
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Old May 7, 2010, 12:11 PM   #8
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So, T1i is a body I can have and continue to work with for years to come, in contrary to the XS. Thank you for this valuable piece of info.

Well, then I guess I know what I'm off buying. I won't be able to buy anything until next week or so- so if anyone stumbles upon this topic and has anything to add, please do.

I really want to thank you all for your kind responses and patience, I will definitely be back for more.
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Old May 7, 2010, 12:24 PM   #9
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Shooting sports indoors is the toughest thing you said you want to do, so setting that asside for now, and getting some experience with a better camera body and shooting some outdoor sports will get you started.
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Old May 7, 2010, 6:13 PM   #10
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The posters above are all not only excellent posters, but excellent and knowledgeable photographers too and I wouldn't want to contradict any of their advice.

However I'd like to point out that you are not restricted to using lenses from the brand of camera you buy. The Pentax is a better build than either the Canon / Nikon, is environmentally sealed and it has in-camera SR that will definitely come in handy in low light, as well as enabling you to buy lenses that don't have in-lense vibration control because in-body means every lens has it (saving you lots of $$$) ! For me that would be a massive plus point over Canon / Nikon for the shooting you want to do.

I think you need to go somewhere that stocks all three brands and put them in your hands. Personally I find every new camera feels strange at first but you soon get used to them, so talk of ergonomics is irrelevant (for me) ! The Kx is small and light though - generally a plus.

Yesterday I went to a BBQ and used a Pentax K7 (more expensive than the Kx but actually low light performance is generally accepted as being better in the Kx) and a Tamron 90mm 2.8 Di macro, I didn't use flash ... even after the sun had long disappeared from view. I'll post a sample tomorrow as it's already 06.00 in the morning here ! This lens turned out to be an excellent portrait (and low light) lens and offers much more besides. Although maybe a 50, 55 or 70 would be better for parties. Pentax has tons of older lenses that can be had for great prices and fit all their new DSLRs.

There is also an option to new lenses to save money if it is tight and you don't have much budget remaining - you could buy used from the likes of Adorama / Keh / B&H / respected forum posters on forums such as this. I have never been disappointed in any used lens I have bought but, of course, you could be, so buying from a respected source will help a lot.
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