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Old May 11, 2010, 10:28 AM   #1
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Hi Folks,

Obviously I am very new here. I came across this forum while doing a search for help with which camera to buy.

Just a quick background. I am searching to an entry level DSRL camera. The photos I will be taking are of my daughter and other kids. My point and shoot is old and I think its time for an upgrade. I wanted a DSRL camera for the ability to switch lenses you get pictures where is is far away (cheer leading competitions, recitals etc).

The things that are important to me are 1) Taking fast action photos 2) Lower light, indoor etc, 3) Speed...i.e how fast the camera can take the next photo.

I was hoping to find a package deal and searched Best Buy and there are three cameras all the same price ($599). Can someone make some suggestions on the camera and extra lens that comes with it, does any of these camera have any functionality over the other. And what is the differences in the lenes. Any help would be appreciated.

Here they are

Option 1
Option 2

Option 3
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Old May 11, 2010, 10:44 AM   #2
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If budget permits, you'd be better off spending more for a system capable of the type of shooting you want to do.

IOW, I'd look at the Canon T1i or T2i; Nikon D5000 or D90; and Sony A500 or A550 instead. These models all have higher usable ISO speeds compared to the entry level models you're considering.

Lenses will also be very important for lower light. None of the lenses you're looking at are very suitable for that purpose (shutter speeds will be too slow, resulting in motion blur from subject movement in lower lighting without a flash).

You'll want a lens with f/2.8 available throughout the focal range for things like your dance recitals. For example, a Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG HSM (approx. $799 now), or a Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8 EX DG HSM (around $749 now), depending on how close you can get. You'll probably need to use ISO 3200 with an f/2.8 zoom in those types of conditions for a higher percentage of keepers.

An f/2.8 zoom will give you shutter speeds roughly 4 times as fast as you'd get with the lenses you're looking at when zoomed in much, since they have a widest available aperture of f/5.6 when zoomed in much, whereas the lenses I'm mentioning would have f/2.8 available (f/2.8 is 4 times as bright as f/5.6, allowing shutter speeds 4 times as fast for the same lighting and ISO speed).
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Old May 11, 2010, 10:49 AM   #3
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None of the cameras, and especially none of the lenses are well suited to what you want to do. Shooting sports/action is tough. Doing it indoors is especially tough. The first thing you need to look at is autofocus speed, and that is the undisputed relm of Canon. If you want to spend more for a Nikon D90 (~$900 for just the body) then the playing field gets a little more level, but Sony and Pentax are distant thirds in that race. You also need large aperture lenses, and again, Canon has the best selection of those, again, with Nikon a close second, and Sony and Pentax bringing up the rear. Lastly, for what the large apertures can't do for you, you need good high ISO performance. The lowest price dSLR where all those factors come together is the Canon T1i. Every other dSLR camera body falls short unless you want to spend a lot more money.
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Old May 11, 2010, 11:24 AM   #4
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thanks so much for the help.

This brings up some additional questions...you all are so helpful I hope you can continue to help me.

1) The cameras in the option listed...what would they be suitable for?
2) Using these camera will still produce motion blur? One of the shots I keep missing is when a girl is tossed in the air at cheer leading.
3) From the two replies so far..it seems like Canon is superior over Nikon and Sony..is that generally the case?
4) If my budget does not afford it...and I HAD to purchase one of the three option...which would be the best camera..not necessarily for the conditions I mentioned.

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Old May 11, 2010, 11:51 AM   #5
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Quote:
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1) The cameras in the option listed...what would they be suitable for?
They are all suitable for general purpose photography. But that's not what you want to do. What you want to do is quite difficult and quite specialized, and requires specialized equipment in order for you to have any chance at success. Using one of those camera for indoor sports would be like building a house with a cresent wrench.

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2) Using these camera will still produce motion blur? One of the shots I keep missing is when a girl is tossed in the air at cheer leading.
For sports/action, you need fast shutter speeds. The only way, then, to get proper exposure indoors is to use larger apertures (much larger than the lenses you listed are capable of) and then higher ISOs (much higher than the cameras you listed are capable of.)

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3) From the two replies so far..it seems like Canon is superior over Nikon and Sony..is that generally the case?
If you're prepared to spend more, then things get a little better for Nikon and Sony, but, yeah, to a great extent, Canon has the sports photography market sewn up.

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4) If my budget does not afford it...and I HAD to purchase one of the three option...which would be the best camera..not necessarily for the conditions I mentioned.
The Canon XS, but with the Canon 85mm f/1.8 or the 100mm f/2.0 lens. But if you HAD to, the XSi would be a better choice than the XS.
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Old May 11, 2010, 12:19 PM   #6
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Wow I am learning so much already.

Sony seems to be the only one with live view. Does that mean with the cannon I will need to shoot faster action thru the view finder in the Nikon and Cannon?
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Old May 11, 2010, 12:26 PM   #7
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Sony seems to be the only one with live view. Does that mean with the cannon I will need to shoot faster action thru the view finder in the Nikon and Cannon?
Actually, of the cameras you mentioned, the only one that doesn't do 'Live View' is the Nikon. But for dSLRs, and especially for shooting sports, you shouldn't use 'Live View' anyway. DSLRs and the lenses we're talking about are big and heavy, and holding them out at an arm's length will get old fast. You're going to want to use the optical viewfinder to brace and steady the camera against your forehead, especially when shooting for long periods.
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Old May 11, 2010, 12:59 PM   #8
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Thanks again...you are very helpful.

I think my choice is going to be the Cannon...maybe I can shop around for a T1i in my price range....if not then prolly the XS.


The lenses that come with the Cannon listed above...Canon - 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III Zoom Lens...

What is that lens suitable for....will that be able to take pictures there the subject is further away?
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Old May 11, 2010, 1:41 PM   #9
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The lenses that come with the Cannon listed above...Canon - 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III Zoom Lens...

What is that lens suitable for....will that be able to take pictures there the subject is further away?
That lens isn't particularly suitable for much. The Tamron 70-300 Di LD is a better lens that costs about the same. In a pinch, either could be used for outdoor sports or wildlife, but they don't focus very quickly so they're borderline for that. They're better for scenic photography (subjects that don't move much.) They're inexpensive telephoto zooms that can also do 1:2 macro work, but the Tamron is better.
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Old May 11, 2010, 1:48 PM   #10
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I think my choice is going to be the Cannon...maybe I can shop around for a T1i in my price range....if not then prolly the XS.
If you're in the US, Adorama.com sells refurbished Canon dSLRs at reduced prices. You get a store warranty instead of a factory warranty, but for the same 1 year period. Adorama sells a refurbished T1i with the kit lens for $600, which is $50 less than a new T1i without the lens.
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