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Old Feb 15, 2011, 2:40 PM   #11
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Yeah, I know. I'm great about getting down to two cameras or two options (lens vs. flash) and then I stall. I'm just terrible about making that final decision. BTW I said in my other thread that I saw some great deals on the Canon site for refurbished T1i with 200 and 300 zooms. Checked today and they are gone. Does anyone know: Do you have to jump on a refurbished deal immediately or it will be gone? Or maybe I dreamed those prices. Very disappointing. I kind of figured I could take my time and they would be there forever. And no, the $1000 lens thing doesn't make me feel better. I'm quickly coming to the revelation that photograpy can be a terrifically expensive hobby.
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Old Feb 15, 2011, 3:38 PM   #12
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jimsh...I know how you feel! I've been looking at cameras for over a year. In the beginning, I didn't exactly set out to buy a dslr. I wanted a nice point and shoot that could do everything. I know now that it doesn't exist, so I came to the realization that the only way to get the type of photos I really wanted in a wide variety of settings was to take the plunge. The thing that tipped me over the edge towards the Pentax was finding out that I can use my dad's old lenses. In reality, I'm not sure if I'll ever dive into those lenses anyway, but I am happy with my camera. The way I look at it is that this is my first dslr. The Pentax k-x is inexpensive, highly rated and offers me everything I want/need right now. In a couple years, I may have learned something else that will cause me to sell my Pentax and go in another direction. But I certainly can't predict the future. There's always the chance that I'll grow sick of carrying a bigger camera around with me, and with the Pentax, at least I won't have sunk too much $$$ into a hobby that I never really get into. I'm sure that whatever you choose, you will like a lot, but you still may second-guess yourself. I guess that's the way we humans operate sometimes!
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Old Feb 15, 2011, 4:47 PM   #13
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I've spent a lot of money on my system since last march. a big driving factor was i didn't want to keep producing pictures that may look ok now, but later on I'll recognize as substandard. so, good flash, better lenses. for acscoggins who is really pleased with his new pics compared to his former p&s, you might give this some thought. ask those more experienced or knowledgeable how your pics look. and listen to the answer. if these are family pics, it would be beyond sad to look back in 20 years and say 'if only I'd known".
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Old Feb 16, 2011, 9:24 AM   #14
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I've spent a lot of money on my system since last march. a big driving factor was i didn't want to keep producing pictures that may look ok now, but later on I'll recognize as substandard. so, good flash, better lenses. for acscoggins who is really pleased with his new pics compared to his former p&s, you might give this some thought. ask those more experienced or knowledgeable how your pics look. and listen to the answer. if these are family pics, it would be beyond sad to look back in 20 years and say 'if only I'd known".
Very good point. So, if you were me, and had a limited budget (don't want to spend more than $650 right now...can spend more on lenses and such in the future) what would you have bought? I got the Pentax k-x with two lenses (18-55 and 50-200) for $560. Should I have spent $650 on a canon or nikon with one lens, with the idea of adding more in the future? My main subjects are my kids...involved in sports, dance, plays, etc. We also do a lot of hiking, so I would take some wildlife photos, too, but only casually. I have 30 days to return my pentax. I'm open to other ideas. I do love it, but I also understand that I'm comparing apples to oranges, b/c of course it's WAY better than my p&s. Oh, one more thing, I'm a she, not a he. :-)
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Old Feb 16, 2011, 9:37 AM   #15
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Very good point. So, if you were me, and had a limited budget (don't want to spend more than $650 right now...can spend more on lenses and such in the future) what would you have bought? I got the Pentax k-x with two lenses (18-55 and 50-200) for $560. Should I have spent $650 on a canon or nikon with one lens, with the idea of adding more in the future? My main subjects are my kids...involved in sports, dance, plays, etc. We also do a lot of hiking, so I would take some wildlife photos, too, but only casually.
What I would tell you is this: you may not be able to achieve everything you want to achieve with that budget. Sometimes what you want to do and what you can afford to do do not intersect.

For general shots that kit will perform as well as any kit from any manufacturer near that price point. So don't worry about that. But, it will also have some of the same challenges:
Sports - what sports? Be specific - what level of play? Where will you be shooting from? This will help determine whether an f5.6 200mm lens will do the job or not.
Plays/recitals - you're going to be challenged again by that f5.6 - you'll be shooting at very high ISOs - the benefit is you have stabilization and for much of that type of thing you can get shots at 1/60 - 1/100 shutter speeds (as opposed to say basketball where those types of shutter speeds won't work). They'll be OK but not great. You'll need wider aperture lenses to get better. The K-X high iso performance is as good as the competition so you're no worse off there than any other system. But don't expect miracles with that type of lens in low light. Depending on your expectations you may or may not be happy.

And, with those lenses - your indoor family stuff will require flash - so if you do a lot of parties you'll see a big improvement down the road when you add an external flash.. But this would be true no matter what system you bought into.
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Old Feb 16, 2011, 10:36 AM   #16
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Yeah, I took some pictures at my son's basketball game last night, and while they were okay, they weren't great. I figured it was the limitation of the aperture in the 200mm lens. I'm guessing that even if I exchange this kit for the one with the 300 mm lens, it won't be much better. My kids are still very young...early elementary age. They play baseball, basketball, football right now...but they are constantly trying new sports...we've even done hockey with one of our sons. I am not worried too much about getting "professional" quality shots...epecially in gyms, rinks, stages, etc. HOwever, I would like to know if there are lenses that I should consider down the road that would improve the quality of those types of shots. I'd like to at least be able to get some good baseball and football pictures, since those sports are outside. Will the lenses I have now do the trick? Can they do reasonably well to get the high-speed action shots? Keep in mind that I'm talking about 8 year old speed...not Olympic athlete speed. I've read that the canon autofocus speed is quicker than Pentax. However, I'm only a mom who wants some good shots of her kids. And I'd rather save for my kids college funds than have the best lenses.

My dad has an old Pentax flash from his 35 mm film camera. It's probably 20 years old. I'm going to check it out this weekend and see if it could work for me. Otherwise I do plan to buy a flash in the future. Probably not until next fall/winter, though. With spring and summer approaching, nearly all my photos will be outside.
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Old Feb 16, 2011, 11:39 AM   #17
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I personally would let the pics during actual games go. they require fast expensive lenses and really aren't that great anyway. for family sports memories, i would get a cheap camcorder.

even tho you say you'll be taking pictures outside, b'day parties and other get-togethers are usually inside. a cheap flash that can bounce will make those photos high enough quality for most people. (that old flash may damage your camera. things have changed. unless you're sure, don't try it).
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Old Feb 16, 2011, 11:57 AM   #18
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I personally would let the pics during actual games go. they require fast expensive lenses and really aren't that great anyway. for family sports memories, i would get a cheap camcorder.
I'm going to have to disagree. No question about it - better lenses make better sports photos. But the notion that in-game photos aren't great to have I must disagree with:
















I could go on, but I think you get the idea. I guess I'm not big on camcorder action - I never seem to want to watch a whole tape - but a photo - that can be looked at for decades to come.
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Old Feb 16, 2011, 12:02 PM   #19
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And the equipment cost to get those great shots? Skill level required? The op has a pretty strict budget. She probably has a camcorder already. Adding a cheap flash will make most indoor pictures better than passable.

You mention watching a "whole tape". Of course not. that's torture even for the parents. I take 30 to 40 second clips, merge them all and copy to dvd with chapters using a simple dvd recorder. you could get a whole year of highlights on 1 dvd. Now that would be fun watching (again, as a parent).
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Old Feb 16, 2011, 12:06 PM   #20
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Of course photography takes skill Frank. no argument here. You and I just disagree on whether or not as a parent it's worth pursuing taking photos of sporting events. And that's OK - not everyone has to pursue the same types of photography. The truth is - the OP isn't going to be able to shoot anything they can think of with that initial purchase. That doesn't mean you don't have mid and long term shooting goals. Because you don't value sports photos enough to make achieving them part of YOUR goals doesn't mean the OP should throw that goal out the window too.
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