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Old Dec 9, 2010, 4:40 PM   #1
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Default Nikon 5000 or Canon T2i

I have a friend that I loaned my Nikon D50 with the Nikon 35mm f/1.8 as it was sitting around unused for the Thanksgiving Holidays.

Now, she is trying to make up her mind between the Nikon 5000 and the Canon T2i probably with 18-55 kit lens.

She has an active 3 year old and a 6 month old. And she will be shooting family candids indoor and outdoor. She is tired of 'missing the shot' with p&s and will enjoy the upgrade to dSLR. Based on the pics from Thanksgiving, she also appears to have a natural eye and a steady hand.

Her husband is a local school coach and she might take pictures of him on the sidelines and of course, t-ball is in her 3 year old's future potentially. I told her she will need to add something with the telephoto range but that 'sports photography' is a very expensive proposition.

It has been a long time since I read about cameras and told her I am completely out of the loop but that I would post for her (since her old home computer is dying and will be replaced by Santa).

Her budget is $1,000 inclusive. Your input will be very helpful. (She has of course been given the caveat that she has to try them out to see which one feels right.)

Thanks,
M
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Old Dec 9, 2010, 7:07 PM   #2
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The Canon T2i has a better AF system for sports/action photography, but so does the T1i, and she can put the money she saves toward more and/or better lenses.
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Old Dec 10, 2010, 1:42 AM   #3
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Hi heres another vote for the T2i/550d you can now pick it up as a 2 lens kit 18-55 plus 55-250. My advice would be get a 18-55 kit and get an external flash.
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Old Dec 10, 2010, 10:20 AM   #4
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Another vote for 550/t2i i am a mom too and just bought it. Could not be happier..
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Old Dec 10, 2010, 11:25 AM   #5
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My advice would be get a 18-55 kit and get an external flash.
Agreed. The external flash pays dividends right now. A telephoto can be gotten a few months down the road. That really goes for either system.
But I might also suggest:

Beach camera is selling T1i with 18-55 and 55-250 for $800. Canon 430exII is $260. Throw in a memory card and shes at $1100. Not bad. Basically saving like $70 on the cost of the 55-250.

There are less expensive flashes but let me say this from my experience - I used to use a sigma flash and I touted for a couple years how good of a bargain it was. But the tolerences on the the bounce became very loose and the flash started working erratically. Since then I've been using a 580exII for the last 3 years and it's still flawless. I made the switch after seeing the build quality difference on the 430 a friend had. So I'm a bit put off now on third party flashes. Just my personal opinion but I think the quality of the canon and nikon flashes is worth a minor premium up front.
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Old Dec 10, 2010, 11:40 AM   #6
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Thats a good price.
As for the flash look at the nissin di622 its powerful and very easy to use.
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Old Dec 10, 2010, 12:14 PM   #7
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I don't know the Canon line, but if I were getting a kit for the expressed usage, I would forego the kit lens entirely. Given the budget, I would get a refurb D5000 (or a Canon of like vintage) and something like the Tamron 28-75 f/2.8. This would come in under the $1000 point (barely), and be a kit to conjure with. I really don't think that a flash is a reasonable substitute for a bright lens. If she wants candids of the kids, by the time she grabs her camera, attaches the flash, powers both up, and aims, the kids are gone. If she wants to shoot her husband indoors during a sports event, he'll have her thrown out of the gym if she starts popping off flash photos.

I don't know what the high-ISO performance of the Canons are, but the D5000 can be used to good advantage up to 3200 ISO or so, which, with a bright lens, should stop any action that she has enough light to see in the first place. Or so ISTM.
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Old Dec 10, 2010, 12:35 PM   #8
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and something like the Tamron 28-75 f/2.8. This would come in under the $1000 point (barely), and be a kit to conjure with. I really don't think that a flash is a reasonable substitute for a bright lens. If she wants candids of the kids, by the time she grabs her camera, attaches the flash, powers both up, and aims, the kids are gone. If she wants to shoot her husband indoors during a sports event, he'll have her thrown out of the gym if she starts popping off flash photos.

I don't know what the high-ISO performance of the Canons are, but the D5000 can be used to good advantage up to 3200 ISO or so, which, with a bright lens, should stop any action that she has enough light to see in the first place. Or so ISTM.
Ahh, one of my favorite topics TCav and I discuss this every couple of months or so. The above sounds nice but it doesn't quite fit reality.

First and foremost - 28mm on an aps-c sensor camera isn't very wide - I think it's too restrictive as an only lens. I would only recommend this AFTER you have a kit lens so you have a wide angle option available.

Second - the notion that an f2.8 lens replaces a flash for indoor family shots. It doesn't. The reality is - life doesn't always happen near a window. It doesn't always happen under a ceiling light. In short there are too many shots where f2.8 won't let enough light in. And then there's the whole idea of actually wanting some DOF - DOF to have the whole subject in focus or, God forbid, multiple subjects in focus. F2.8 is a very poor substitute for flash when it comes to family pics. It's nice to be able to step up to higher quality lenses when you can afford them but then you use those higher quality lenses with the flash.

As far as getting snaps of the kids - my DSLR has the flash on it indoors most of the time so I pick it up the flash is already mounted. I get the benefit of choosing f8 if I want it, get the benefit of shooting at ISO 400 instead of 3200 AND I get the benefit of freezing motion - something f2.8 won't guarantee me in my house at night.

Some examples:
My 4 year old was dancing in the living room the other night. No way would I have wanted to rely on high ISO and f1.8 apertures to get this shot (f2.8 would be completely incapable):


Here is another excerpt from an old thread:
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:


Nah, f2.8 lenses are great for improved optics and a little less dof when you want it (but if I want shallow DOF I skip 2.8 and go right to 1.8) but they're no substitute for flash.
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Old Dec 10, 2010, 12:55 PM   #9
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JohnG,

How can you say in Canon SLR for Volleyball Photography that f/2.8 paired with high ISO settings is ok for indoor sports/action shots, but say here that that it's not ok for indoor candid shots?

Just curious.
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Old Dec 10, 2010, 1:07 PM   #10
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JohnG,

How can you say in Canon SLR for Volleyball Photography that f/2.8 paired with high ISO settings is ok for indoor sports/action shots, but say here that that it's not ok for indoor candid shots?

Just curious.
TCAV - honest question. The answer is: based upon my experience (remember I shoot both so I'm not guessing I have actual hands on experience), a HS gym has a lot more light than a lot of houses. Most living rooms don't have overhead lights covering the entire area. So, the light levels are VERY different. Now, if you happen to live in a HS gym, then yes you'll have enough light. All I can say is that in my house, my 3 sisters houses, my parents house there isn't enough light in every room to capture shots. There are SPOTS where it's possible but you can't count on kids being in those spots. And honestly, I'll happily take the IQ of my flash shot using a lens at a sweet spot of say f6.3 vs. an ISO 3200 shot (with odd WB) taken wide open at 2.8.

You've posted your available light f2.8 shots before - if you'd again like to insist f2.8 is better than flash, post them again. That way people can judge for themseleves. "BETTER" is subjective - I admit. The OP could look at your nighttime/indoor shots and prefer their look to my flash shots. And that's great - it wont hurt my feelings at all.

So, let's start - two kids playing - let's see your f2.8 shot indoors at night where both are in focus and the OP can consider the colors, WB, sharpness etc of the two options:


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