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Old Jul 2, 2012, 1:32 PM   #1
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Default Need help with DSLR choice

I am somewhat new to the camera world. I have used a Canon t3i and really like it but am not sure what I should buy at this point. I am interested maunly in shooting pictures of my kids swimming and after that family photos. My budget is about 800. I was looking for a while at getting a t3i bundle with the 18-55mm lens and a 75-300 usm lense to go along with it. Then I talked to someone who told me not to waste my money on the 18-55 and just get a faster (f1.4 or f2.8) 50mm lense. I know that I will have some trouble shooting indoors swimming with the 75-300 but want something to at lease get started with as I do not want to drop 1500 on an f2.8 zoom lense. ANy help is greatly appreciated.
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Old Jul 2, 2012, 5:14 PM   #2
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I would say that the Canon 18-55 is about as good a kit lens as there is, if you can handle the relatively small aperture at the long end.

But since you're starting from scratch, there's no reason to immediately settle for a Canon. The key issue is which system will have the lenses you need to get the results you want. I think a large aperture, medium telephoto lens for your indoor sports (swimming) would be a better idea than the 75-300 (which isn't a very good choice, whatever you'd be shooting.) Everybody makes a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens which should do well, but they can be very expensive. Canon also makes a 70-200mm f/4.0 which you might be able to get away with. Tamron makes a 70-200/2.8 that's pretty good, for $769, but it's not stabilized, which is something you should consider given what you'd be shooting.

But even at that, there are other ways to get image stabilization besides the lens. Both Pentax and Sony have image stabilization in the camera body, so you could save a lot of money on lenses by paying for it just once. The Sony A37 and A57 both use a very good 16MP image sensor that is also used by Pentax in its K-5, and by Nikon in its D7000 and D5100 (though the Nikons are not stabilized.)

So the Tamron 70-200/2.8 mounted on either a Sony or a Pentax body should be able to provide you with excellent results for the least amount of money. And you can supliment that with a Tamron 17-50/2.8, which is an excellent, large aperture substitute for the 18-55 kit lenses that come from either Sony or Pentax.

The key difference between the Sonys and the Pentax is that the Pentax uses an optical viewfinder while the Sonys use an electronic viewfinder. Otherwise, their features are similar.
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Old Jul 2, 2012, 6:56 PM   #3
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Great info. Thanks. I know I need that f2.8 lense for indoor swimming so that seems like a good option. I just was not sure about the off brand lenses so good info. I am not familiar with Pentax. I will have to do some research. Does the model you speak of have video capabilities?
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Old Jul 2, 2012, 7:12 PM   #4
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I am able to get a discount with the Canons so is there a comparable model you would suggest?
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Old Jul 2, 2012, 7:26 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pharmacist25 View Post
Does the model you speak of have video capabilities?
Yes, the Sony A37, Sony A57, and Pentax K-5 can all record full HD Video.
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Old Jul 2, 2012, 7:37 PM   #6
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Quote:
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I am able to get a discount with the Canons so is there a comparable model you would suggest?
It would have to be one heck of a discount. The lenses I mentioned are not stabilized, and you'd benefit greatly from image stabilization. Since Canon only does stabilization in the lens, you'd have to get stabilized lenses which would be a lot more expensive.

The Tamron 70-200/2.8 sells for $769, while a stabilized version of an equivalent lens from Canon (MFR P/N: 2751B002 G) sells for $2,299. The Tamron 17-50/2.8 sells for $449, while a stabilized version of an equivalent lens from Canon (MFR P/N: 1242B002) sells for $1,099. The Tamron lenses are available for Canon cameras, but they wouldn't be stabilized, and their stabilized versions aren't as good.
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Old Jul 2, 2012, 8:00 PM   #7
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I understand. Thanks for the help. It is appreciated.
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Old Jul 2, 2012, 8:16 PM   #8
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Canon's stabilized 70-200/2.8 is better, optically, than Tamron's unstabilized one, but Tamron's unstabilized 17-50/2.8 and Canon's stabilized 17-55/2.8 are about as good.
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