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Old Apr 3, 2011, 9:48 AM   #11
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Weather IS helps depends on the situation. It will help when your subject is non moving - so taking photos in a museum, low light landscape/cityscape shots.
this is exactly the type of thing i thinking, also ive been to see a few shows where the lighting they have used to light up say the stage has looked fantastic, so i have tried to take shots hand held with no flash to capture the colours, some shots have had very slight blur and i have wondered if IS would help eradicate this even more.

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Having said that, I thought it worth mentioning - are both you and the girlfriend planning on using the viewfinder to compose/take photos or are you planning on using the LCD? If you're planning on using the LCD, then Sony is really the only truly usable live-view implementation for general purpose photography. For other systems, using live-view requires a shift in technology used for auto focus and performance is slow.
im not sure if i have a preference, i have in my past used camera's with no live view, with my current camera i only seem to use this as it seems to be much better than the viewfinder, the other half however much prefers the live view.
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Old Apr 3, 2011, 11:11 AM   #12
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ive been to see a few shows where the lighting they have used to light up say the stage has looked fantastic, so i have tried to take shots hand held with no flash to capture the colours, some shots have had very slight blur and i have wondered if IS would help eradicate this even more
Now you're talking about good "available light" performance, which narrows your options considerably. Most cameras work well in good light, many work well with flash, but making the best of whatever light there is without augmenting it gets more specialised. You want two things - a camera that will give good performance with low light levels, which in jargon means a camera with good "high-ISO" performance with low "noise" levels, and a lens that lets as much light through as possible. Again, in jargon that is a "fast" lens, or one with a low "f-number".

In your position I think I'd buy a decent lower-end camera which has good reviews for the above things - look around and see what your friends use and ask them. You'll learn far more playing with that then you ever will from forums such as this. But you'll also spend more money. In short, there's no perfect solution to your needs, but there are lots of different ones from different manufacturers. Do note however that whatever camera you end up buying, you'll start to buy lenses and accessories for it that will probably not fit a camera from any other manufacturer. Often they won't even fit all models from that one manufacturer - you shouldn't buy anything at all until you understand that statement.

On the other point, that of live view, you'll find that live view isn't a major factor with DSLRs, at least not at present, and I suggest you don't give it much weight. One of my DSLRs has live view and I never use it. Many compacts these days of course only offer live view, as there's no viewfinder, which gives considerable problems when shooting in bright light outdoors.
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Old Apr 3, 2011, 12:33 PM   #13
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hi, thanks for the info, i have been looking at the Nikon D3000, is this the type of thing i should be aiming for ? im not to bothered about the camera taking video as i have a cam corder, if the camera i end up with does take video of a good standard then thats just a bonus.

as for what you said about lenses yes i do realise that not all lenses will fit all cameras and even different models by the same makers, in my mind i had decided better to buy something with lots of possible lenses available even though i will probably never need them than something with a few then be left annoyed that camera X does not have Z type of lens.
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Old Apr 3, 2011, 1:41 PM   #14
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You never mentioned your budget, but since you're considering the D3000, let me say that it probably isn't the best choice for "available light" requirement. There is one current sensor that seems to have the best dynamic range and lowest image noise, two factors that most define high ISO performance, and that is Sony's 16MP APS-C sensor. It is currently in use in Nikon's D7000, Pentax' K-r, and Sony's A580 and A55. The A55 has a fixed mirror in the light path, that it uses to syphon off 1/2 stop of light to feed the full-time Phase Detect AF system, so it doesn't do as well as the others in low light. Among the other three, the Sony A580 is the least expensive, and while Canon and Nikon have more lenses, they don't have more stabilized lenses, especially when you consider all the reasonably priced Minolta AF lenses on the used market.
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Old Apr 3, 2011, 3:56 PM   #15
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hi, ok thanks for the suggestions, im form the UK so i guess prices will be slightly different here, i guess i im looking to spend around 500.
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Old Apr 3, 2011, 5:22 PM   #16
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Because like HD, IS is the other major catch word. You can not use IS for true macro at 1:1, it will induce more shake to the shot when shooting on a tripod without a flash. I always turn off the IS when I use my oly system on a tripod. Also you will need to stop down allot to compensate for the thin dof when shooting macro. So for true macro, you will shoot at longer exposures down past 1 sec at times without a flash. And if you use a flash, then the flash will freeze everything that the IS really needed. Also it is a good way for the companies to make a little more money.

Also if you use the lens or hand held stuff, it is a nice thing to have. People have shot macro on tripods long before IS, and have done excellent job. And people still shoot macro with IS system, but need to turn them off before using on a tripod. There have been photos in the past where member wonder why they got strange results, and it was because the IS was left on when using the tripod.

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So why do you think the latest macro lenses from Canon, Nikon and Sigma have all been stabilized? Stabilized macro lenses cost 30-50% more than their unstabilized counterparts. That can be a lot of money if you're just going to put it on a tripod anyway.
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Old Apr 3, 2011, 5:52 PM   #17
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So why do you think the latest macro lenses from Canon, Nikon and Sigma have all been stabilized?
Perhaps because macro lenses are also general-purpose lenses. Typical macro focal lengths are ideal for portrait photography, for example. Of course, my macro lens is the Tamron 90, which does not have VR at all. So I am not all that concerned about VR on lenses with focal lengths less than 150mm or so. Nonetheless, the marketing direction is to put VR on everything, including wide-angle lenses -- which just strikes me as brain-dead.
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Old Apr 3, 2011, 5:59 PM   #18
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hi, thanks for the info, i have been looking at the Nikon D3000, is this the type of thing i should be aiming for ?
If memory serves, the D3000 does not have a live view. That will be a bigger concern for macro photography than VR. The way that I usually shoot macro is to go into live view, frame my shot on the live view, and then zoom as far as my live view will go to focus. This is pretty standard. If you manually focus (which is important with macro because the depth of field is so narrow), the live view is about the only reliable way to do so unless you invest in something like the KatzEye.FWIW
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Old Apr 3, 2011, 6:21 PM   #19
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Because like HD, IS is the other major catch word.
... and people who fall for catch words have money to burn?

A fool and his money were lucky to get together in the first place.

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You can not use IS for true macro at 1:1, ...
I never said you could. In fact, I said you couldn't.

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Originally Posted by shoturtle View Post
... it will induce more shake to the shot when shooting on a tripod without a flash. I always turn off the IS when I use my oly system on a tripod.
Do you know anyone that doesn't?

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Originally Posted by shoturtle View Post
Also you will need to stop down allot to compensate for the thin dof when shooting macro. So for true macro, you will shoot at longer exposures down past 1 sec at times without a flash.
Maybe! I've shot plenty of macro up to 1:2, and I've never used flash. And at about 1/4 second or longer, IS doesn't work very well anyway, shooting macro or not.

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People have shot macro on tripods long before IS, and have done excellent job.
I used to shoot macro with my Minolta SRT101, Rokkor 50mm f/1.4, and a Vivitar Bellows, handheld, without a flash, and I used to do prettry good too.

IS is a tool. You can try it, or not try. You may be successful when using it, and you may not be. I've tried using IS when shooting 1:2 macro, and I've been successful.

You should almost never refer to something in absolute terms.
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Old Apr 3, 2011, 6:30 PM   #20
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That is my point if macro, IS is not a major concern.
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