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Old Aug 13, 2010, 7:34 PM   #41
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Getting multiple subjects within the shallow depth of field of an f/1.8 aperture must be tough.
If you actually paid attention I mentioned shallow dof and available light. Which of course is not group shots. Which is why I also mentioned flash work. It's also why I posted photos so the OP and others could see I have some actual experience when I post my opinions on how to shoot indoor family work. It's also why I addressed in words and photos all those shooting situations. So, because you seem to have some difficulty with the concepts of indoor family photography let's re-cap:
Shooting a group? You need flash:


If you want shallow DOF and you're in tight quarters (and thus can't use long focal lengths) and you don't have a lot of available light, you use both flash and wide apertures:


Of course if you have a lot of available light you don't need the flash but wide aperture is still beneficial:


And, if you have kids moving inside with not a lot of available light you need to use flash to freeze the motion blur (and avoid poor colors and noise associated with high ISO):


Hopefully I cleared up your confusion TCAV. If not let me know and I'll try to explain it a different way.
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Old Aug 13, 2010, 7:41 PM   #42
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also forgot - even posed shots with a few people I'll err on the side of too much dof - I'd rather have everyone sharp than more background blur with faces blurred to boot:


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Old Aug 13, 2010, 8:41 PM   #43
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If you actually paid attention I mentioned shallow dof and available light. Which of course is not group shots. ...
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... I skip right over 2.8 when doing my indoor family work ...
Perhaps, when you said "family" you meant one "family" member at a time?

Which would imply that you only "skip right over 2.8" when shooting individuals indoors. ... which wouldn't be a "group shot".

When you said "indoor family work", I presumed you were talking about shooting multiple family members.
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Old Aug 13, 2010, 9:28 PM   #44
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Perhaps, when you said "family" you meant one "family" member at a time?
Its about time to lay low Tcav. You are up against a professional photographer and then post pics that verify everything he is saying. I don't really understand why you continue the fight when its already game over. This thread is no longer serving the OP's question and this is the last post I'll make on this thread. Hope I'm not alone.
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Old Aug 13, 2010, 10:04 PM   #45
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I'm not a pro. John is. John's shots are very nice and he does this for a living. I don't, but some of mine are ok too. All I'm saying is that, since the OP wants a large aperture lens to shoot indoors, he might also be able to get by with available light for a few of those shots. And if he gets a stabilized system, he might be able to get by with available light for a few more.

If the OP were interested in shooting a wedding, I'd say he should get a flash. In fact, on multiple ocassiona, I have said exactly that. But for casual use, good results can certainly be obtained with available light, and if the OP is getting a lens that's appropirate for it anyway, why shouldn't he try?

I'm not saying he shouldn't get a flash. I'm saying that, since he's getting an available light lens anyway, he could take advantage of available light. If, when using a kit lens at its maximum aperture of f/5.6, the shutter speed comes out to be 1/30, that's too slow. If, instead, the lens has a maximum aperture of f/2.8, the shutter speed would be 1/120. With the kit lens, the OP would need a flash, but with the faster lens, he wouldn't.

What am I saying that's so objectionable?
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Old Aug 13, 2010, 10:08 PM   #46
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We are beating a dead horse here. Flash does do a better job giving similar situations.

Personally I will take 1 stop in aperture over a stop in iso or shutter speed.
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Old Aug 13, 2010, 10:19 PM   #47
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Let me clear up a misconception - I do not do photography for a living. I did sports photography as a side business although not so much anymore. The family shots I posted are what they are because I sought out advice on the web in this forum and others. I paid attention to people who shot what I wanted to shoot - whether they shot with my brand of camera or another. When someone did a thing well I listened to their opinion on how to do it and what equipment was beneficial and WHY. It's always tough to sort through the many opinions on the web - that's why it's important to pay attention to the photos. If a person can take a good photo of a bee and I want to shoot bees their opinion is worth listening to - it obviously worked for them.

The last comment I'll make is to reinforce my earlier statements that success in buying DSLR equipment lies in understanding what your requirements are and what features in equipment best help you fulfill those requirements. Spend your money on the wrong equipment and you find yourself broke and frustrated. How do you know what equipment features best match your requirements? By listening to the people that shoot what you want to shoot and demonstrate through their photographs that they achieve a level of quality you want to achieve or can be happy with. I agree this horse is dead - if the OP is still reading - I wish you good luck in your search. I'm out.
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Old Aug 13, 2010, 10:28 PM   #48
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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...
For the blur on macro shot of insect, you will want a larger aperture macro lens, not a zoom lens that does close up shooting. As they do not have f2 to f2.8 apertures.

And since product support for pentax may be an issue in HK, I would go with the canon option without second thought. If you want to save a bit on the camera. Look at the 500D. It gives up only some HD video features but shoots just as well as the 550D.

But since you plan on shooting insects, I would go with at least a 90mm macro lens. You may still find the older canon ef 100mm 2.8 USM Macro lens for about 500 dollars. Not the L lens. It is a excellent macro lens and does a great job on insects.

Also since you are in HK, you may find a great deal on nissin di622 flash. They make a good and inexpensive flash for canon, and can be user updated like my metz 48 via USB.
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Old Aug 14, 2010, 12:45 PM   #49
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Let me just throw something into the mix here.

Saif said he wants the camera for macro and family shots, however he also said it's his first DSLR. I started off wanting a DSLR for almost the same reasons but it's now a 5th limb and I use it for everything (whilst the Sony HX1 which is much easier to take videos with, remains in the cupboard).

I would bet my last dollar that Saif will end up doing the same thing ... in which case in-camera IS is a very nice feature to have allowing you access to a much wider (and cheaper) variety of lenses. Especially handy when you get those long zooms (or primes) out.

Saif - my tip for a truly excellent macro lenses (and great portrait lens too) is the Tamron 90 Di 1:1 (available to fit any of the 4 brands mentioned). Just google it or scour the forum to find truly outstanding shots from it. Since you should be using flash 95% of the time shooting portraits indoors then 2.8 is also plenty of glass.

BTW although I bought a Velbon macro focusing rail I've found that I rarely use it, and in fact if it is bugs you are planning to shoot then you rarely have time to set up a tripod or maneuver it into situ. 98% of my macro shots are hand-held and I use a home made 'black box' diffuser from the built-in flash to the end of the lense.

The HD video is a nice feature to have but honestly, although I thought I would use it a lot I think I have only used it twice in the 8 months since I bought my camera / lenses.
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Old Aug 15, 2010, 10:40 PM   #50
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Thanks all for your advices... after reading lots of pros and cons... i think i will go for canon 500d ... so i will save some money and fund it in the Macro lens... till now 2 recommendation ... Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 USM Macro Lens & Tamron 90 Di 1:1 ....

Canon.. becoz the service center is easily available ...

Will let you know of my purchase .. and even post some photos...

rgds
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