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Old Aug 11, 2010, 3:06 AM   #11
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Hi All...

Yes.. flash is a necessity for indoor photos .. most of the time if not all. & TCav .. i would like to shoot macro with blurry effects too .... for insects .. and flowers .. and for my daughter... i checked Pentax K X.. its a nice camera .. but not so easily available in Hong Kong... and there is also no service centre... so here i am again... back to square one...

I need a DSLR to take good quality fotos.. and some not so expensive lenses for shooting Macros and Family with blurry effects...
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Old Aug 11, 2010, 3:12 AM   #12
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I can let go the HD video recording .. it is not so important.. for that i can buy a small camera like the Kodak Z950 as recommended for video shooting.... so just normal video recording function will do...
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Old Aug 11, 2010, 9:08 AM   #13
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Yes - and Greg's point is still valid for that - flash is more beneficial than image stabilization for indoor photos like that. ...
Yes, but he wants a shallow depth of field, so he'll need a large aperture. Whether he chooses to take advantage of it by using available light, or not, is up to him, but he still needs the large aperture. That rules out the kit lens. Certainly, if he'll be using flash for everything, he can use an unstabilized, fast, standard zoom on an unstabilized body (like the Canon.) But when he has other choices that are at least as appropriate in all other respects, and still provide stabilization to unstabilized lenses, why would he want one? ... especially if they're more expensive?
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Old Aug 11, 2010, 9:12 AM   #14
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... i would like to shoot macro with blurry effects too .... for insects .. and flowers ...
that will come ... IN SPADES ... whatever solution you select. In fact, you may be lamenting the extreme blurry effects of too shallow depths of field.
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Old Aug 11, 2010, 9:15 AM   #15
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... i checked Pentax K X.. its a nice camera .. but not so easily available in Hong Kong... and there is also no service centre... so here i am again... back to square one...

I need a DSLR to take good quality fotos.. and some not so expensive lenses for shooting Macros and Family with blurry effects...
That may rule out the Pentax, but if you can relegate all your video shooting to another camera, the Sony A550 & A550 are still in the running. I beleive Sony has an excellent distribution and support infrastructure in Hong Kong. And stabilized macro lenses are abundant and less expensive for Sony than for other brands.
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Old Aug 11, 2010, 10:00 AM   #16
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Yes, but he wants a shallow depth of field, so he'll need a large aperture. Whether he chooses to take advantage of it by using available light, or not, is up to him, but he still needs the large aperture. That rules out the kit lens. Certainly, if he'll be using flash for everything, he can use an unstabilized, fast, standard zoom on an unstabilized body (like the Canon.) But when he has other choices that are at least as appropriate in all other respects, and still provide stabilization to unstabilized lenses, why would he want one? ... especially if they're more expensive?
The point is that for the OPs stated purposes, anti-shake is not required. So it's a red herring. Adding it to the mix is like saying the OP must have full frame. The OP has need of wide apertures, macro lenses and good external flash capability. Sony and Canon are better fits for the OP in those categories (better flash systems than pentax).
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Old Aug 11, 2010, 11:09 AM   #17
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... but if you can relegate all your video shooting to another camera, the Sony A550 & A550 are still in the running. I beleive Sony has an excellent distribution and support infrastructure in Hong Kong. And stabilized macro lenses are abundant and less expensive for Sony than for other brands.
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The point is that for the OPs stated purposes, anti-shake is not required. So it's a red herring. Adding it to the mix is like saying the OP must have full frame. The OP has need of wide apertures, macro lenses and good external flash capability. Sony and Canon are better fits for the OP in those categories (better flash systems than pentax).
Agreed. I excluded Sony from my earlier recommendation because recording video was a priority for Saif S, but it seems that he's willing to forego that, at least in part.

And without spending a lot on a special macro flash, sometimes flash just doesn't work for macro. In which case, image stabilization for rmacrophotography is back on the table.
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Old Aug 11, 2010, 11:17 AM   #18
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And without spending a lot on a special macro flash, sometimes flash just doesn't work for macro. In which case, image stabilization for rmacrophotography is back on the table.
Can you elaborate on the instances where an external speedlight does not work well for macro? I do believe NHL uses that method - I don't think he has a ring flash but I could be wrong. But I'm interested to hear what you base that claim on that "sometimes flash just doesn't work for macro"
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Old Aug 11, 2010, 5:08 PM   #19
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Can you elaborate on the instances where an external speedlight does not work well for macro? I do believe NHL uses that method - I don't think he has a ring flash but I could be wrong. But I'm interested to hear what you base that claim on that "sometimes flash just doesn't work for macro"
To be more precise, what I said was:

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... without spending a lot on a special macro flash, sometimes flash just doesn't work for macro. ...
By that, I mean that when shooting 1:1 or possibly even 1:2, the lens barrel will block the light from an external flash. In situations like that, you need an additional flash or other light source more appropriate for the close focusing distances.
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Old Aug 11, 2010, 8:38 PM   #20
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TO the OP - I would suggest if macro is important, take a run over to fredmiranda.com and visit their macro forum. There are some extremely experienced macro shooters over there (more experienced than tcav and I ). It's always best to get input from people with hands-on experience with the subjects you want to shoot. The people over there will be able to give you a good idea of how useful a shoe mounted flash or image stabilization is for macro work - and they'll be able to do so for the different types of macro work you do.

For the family stuff, that I do do a lot of - I have both image stabilization and external flash. No doubt at all - flash is much more important to success - people don't hold still for those terribly slow shutter speeds to work wellm very often. Haing used both there's no doubt a good flash system and external flash will be of greater benefit for majority of family people shots than image stabilization.
And as I mentioned - flash and shallow dof are certainly not mutually exclusive. Some examples:
Strong backlighting - IS wont help with this - you get nice facial tones and catch-light in the eyes:


anti shake wont help enough to take this shot which requires narrower aperture:


it's nice to get natural skin tones and see eyes well indoors. high isos and anti-shake won't get you that without a window right in front of the person:


when people are moving and laughing and there's no window nearby anti shake and high ISOs won't be enough:


and, as mentioned - shallow dof and flash are not mutually exclusive:





good luck at night with simple lamp getting shots of kids at play relying on anti-shake, high ISO, wide aperture and 1/15 shutter speeds:


think you'd see these pretty blue eyes with no ambient light source here? Of course you could always make sure the kids play around the lamp:


anti-shake has it's place - but not really for your stated purposes - so I wouldn't sweat it. As a sports photographer I do a lot of available light work and I love it. But trying to rely on it, slow shutter speeds and anti-shake would cost me way, way too many family photo opportunities. Sometimes life happens at night or away from windows.
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