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Old Sep 30, 2010, 5:34 AM   #11
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AF with AF Lock or only MF could be an option for fast moving objects, also a tripod, gorillapod with ballhead in low light would make your shots easy and clear.

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canon T1i or T2i a slightly better option as it has more lens option.
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Old Sep 30, 2010, 5:39 AM   #12
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The problem with the Pentax solution is that often even an f/2.8 lens isn't fast enough for shooting inside a gymnasium, and Pentax doesn't have any lenses that will work in that situation. Sigma has an 85mm f/1.4 lens that should be ok, but it's quite expensive.

Canon has a good selection of fast medium telephoto lenses and a better AF system for low light. If the "indoor shots in a gym or auditorium" and possibly the "swim and dance" are a real priority for you, you'd be much better off with a Canon T1i or T2i. Anything else will fall far short.

But if you can forego those shooting environments, then the Pentax K-x would be a very good choice.
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Old Sep 30, 2010, 11:46 AM   #13
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Thanks for the comments ... unfortunately as I said, the KX remains out of my budget right now being well over $800 even before I start looking at extras.

Just for argument's sake, let's say I decide that I should just go right to an entry-level DSLR, since the price difference isn't that dramatic from say the HS10 or the FZ100. The two in my price range are the Nikon D3000 or the Canon EOS Rebel XS. And they have the advantage of being available at stores within an hour's drive from me. (The Olympus PEN E-PL1 is close to my price as well but it seems like I would have to buy a viewfinder as well which puts it that much more expensive, so unless it is REALLY worth the extra, I'm looking more at the other two.)

Is one better than the other, or does it mostly just boil down to personal preference?
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Old Sep 30, 2010, 12:17 PM   #14
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Once again, for "indoor shots in a gym or auditorium" and "swim and dance", a good low-light dSLR, like the Canon T1i or the Pentax K-x, is really your only option. If you can forego those requirements, then anything else will work about equally as well.

But since the reason you want to upgrade is for "indoor shots in a gym or auditorium" and "swim and dance", then you will likely be just as disappointed with them as you are with your current camera.
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Old Sep 30, 2010, 9:26 PM   #15
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Kaayryn-

I think that we have to look at two factors that seem to affect your camera decision. The entry level DSLR camera seem to be beyond your fixed budget.

That means that you are going to have to find your solution within either an entry level DSLR camera or a point and shoot camera. That is the first decision that you have to make.

Once that decision is made, we can move onward smartly.

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Old Oct 1, 2010, 12:20 AM   #16
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Thanks for taking the time to read this, I appreciate it!


I may have been too hasty earlier. When I went looking I couldn't find the Pentax for under $800. Now that I've done some more digging and followed the recommendations of a career photographer friend, I've found it more within my budget, and in purple, no less!

This morning I also spent some time talking to another photographer (hobbyist, not pro), and getting acquainted with his Nikon D90. Needless to say, THAT one is out of my league but we did have a good conversation about the D5000 and he explained some lens lingo to me that I wasn't familiar with, most important perhaps was his explaining that for indoor shooting I could likely get what I want if I got a prime lens besides the kit lens. (Christmas gift idea for hubby, perhaps?) Nikon also has the distinct advantage of a discount program since my husband is military.

And then there is the Canon Rebel XS or possibly XSi that I could manage, but the higher models are out of reach unless I can find one used.


So the debate seems to be currently between those three, with the Nikon and the Pentax holding a bit of a lead. It seems to be a universal opinion that the point-and-shoot cameras are going to let me down, and for the sake of maybe $200 more I might as well bite the bullet. (And hubby IS deployed over our tenth anniversary and wants me to have a nice present in his absence....)


Clarifying my priorities a bit, now that I've had time to better wrap my head around all of this... not to mention get the kids to bed and clients taken care of so I can focus better...

#1 - Every day pictures of kids and life, indoor and out. We live across the country from our families and need to keep them updated with a steady supply of current pictures.

#2 - Being able to take printable portrait shots of the kids that I can easily have enlarged to 5x7, 8x10 and occasionally larger but not to poster-size. (Again for the far-off family but also to compensate a bit for the cost of the camera by eliminating trips to the portrait studio!!)

#3 - Indoor events where I'm farther from the action, ie my kids playing indoor soccer, performing on stage at church, or at playgroup across a long room from me. We're in a cold climate (northern Alberta) so we spend a lot of time indoor.

#4 - Outdoor sports. Soccer, occasionally baseball, motocross and car racing. Kids' running races. That sort of thing.

#5 - Nature Photography - I just want improved results here and to be able to zoom in on things so I can get shots say of the birds out front without scaring them away by being too close.

#6 - Macro / Aerial - These are in the category of things I would like to be able to do and haven't really been able to get the results I want due to lack of the appropriate technology. Rectified by a camera with changeable lenses, no?

#7 - Just for Fun - I'd like to take a photography course sometime after this deployment is over, maybe learn things about night-time photography, etc. Can I assume that all dSLR cameras would be suitable for taking on a course?




Is one of these three cameras clearly going to serve me better and provide better results than the other two, or is it more like each one will have this or that better than the other and I need to choose which is most important?

(For whatever it's worth, I really don't care a lot about toys and in-camera special effects. They're fun but I have Photoshop CS3 for that kind of thing.)
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Old Oct 1, 2010, 12:33 AM   #17
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The US military gets good deals on canon as well, you may want to check if the canada canon have deals for service personal.

But with prime lenses, the d5000, d3000 and d3100 has a handicap compare to the d90, there is only one sub 400 dollar primes that will work on. The nikon AF-s 35 1.8, all the other low price prime lenses will not Auto focus on the nikons. You will need a d90 to uses those.

Your other need for action, you will need a long lens for soccers. Something in like a 70-300mm zoom. A good one with nikon or canon is about 500 dollars. And the canon has the edge over the nikon d5000 when shooting action in the entry level. As it has the bette AF system for tracking the action.

Check out www.dslrtips.com they have some decent dslr shooting workshops. As dslr shooting will take some learning to get good with it. Youtube also have allot of dslr shooting videos.

With macro, you can go cheap if you do get a long zoom lens. You can get a macro conversion lens for the long zoom. And it will give them decent macro ability. This is a good option if you are mostly wanting to do handheld macro work. Not needing 1:1 where you have to mount the camera on a tripod.
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Old Oct 1, 2010, 8:32 AM   #18
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  1. The Nikon D5000 doesn't have its own AF motor, so it can't autofocus lenses that don't have their own AF motor. Unfortunately, that includes the majority of reasonably priced prime lenses for indoor shooting. The least expensive Nikon body that can AF these lenses is the D90, which is a big reason why I bought it. It can go up to ISO 6400, so you might be able to use an f/2.8 zoom lens, but there's no way to know if that will work in the venues you want to shoot in without trying it first.
  2. The Canon XS and XSi only go as high as ISO 1600, which means that low light will be tough, even with a large aperture prime lens. And, again, there's no way to know if that will work in the venues you want to shoot in without trying it first.
  3. Pentax just doesn't have the kinds of lenses that Canon and Nikon have that will work for shooting sports/action indoors, but there are third party f/2.8 lenses that, together with the ISO of 12800 that the K-x can do, probably gives you the best chance of doing what you want, but those lenses start at about $650.
Any other camera can do all the other things you want. The real constriction in your choice of cameras is the indoor sports/action shooting.
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Old Oct 1, 2010, 10:46 AM   #19
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Ouch.... so basically with the Nikon are you saying that even though I can get the camera for a reasonable price, unless I get sweet deals on used AF lenses I'll be looking at spending at least as much again on lenses?

I think I'm ready to admit that getting decent photos from indoor shooting may just have to go. My budget constraints aren't going to let me buy all the gear that my wishes would want (my mom always said I had champagne tastes and a beer budget, and I guess that hasn't changed). I can live with that... concerts etc, that's what video cameras are for anyway, right?

I'm going to see if I can borrow a friend's XS this weekend and try it in a few different places, since that is the only one of the three where I actually know someone nearby who owns it.
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Old Oct 1, 2010, 12:14 PM   #20
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I mean you can get almost any lenses you want, that are appropriate for shooting indor sports, and most of them won't AF on the Nikon body you're talking about. Sigma's got the 50-150/2.8 HSM ($749) and 70-200/2.8 HSM that may work, and the Sigma 85/1.4 HSM ($899) that will work.

This is one of those rare instances when money is better spent on the body than on the lens. The Nikon D90 ($850) costs a little more than the D5000 ($630), but with it, you could use the Nikon 85/1.8 ($399) instead of the Sigma 85/1.4 or the Nikon 85/1.4 ($1,049).

As for the XS, your friend would also need an apporpriate lenses for shooting sports/action indoors. Canon has the 85/1.8 ($380) and 100/2.0 ($435), but since the XS tops out at ISO 1600, you might not get away with the f/2.8 zooms.
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Last edited by TCav; Oct 2, 2010 at 10:14 AM. Reason: sp
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