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Old Dec 6, 2004, 12:51 PM   #11
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wow what a topic.........replies are so long i fell asleep:?
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Old Dec 6, 2004, 12:59 PM   #12
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MichaelL wrote:
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wow what a topic.........replies are so long i fell asleep:?
I think JimC finally met his match: someone who posts just as long :shock:
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Old Dec 6, 2004, 1:03 PM   #13
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Sivaram Velauthapillai wrote:
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MichaelL wrote:
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wow what a topic.........replies are so long i fell asleep:?
I think JimC finally met his match: someone who posts just as long :shock:

BAWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA:blah:
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Old Dec 6, 2004, 1:20 PM   #14
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I sure do appreciate everyone's detailed expert explanations. This is great! I just wish I had asked for this information before I bought the Panasonic DMC-FZ20.
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Old Dec 6, 2004, 1:25 PM   #15
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hope you don't take some of the fun pokin here serious........i persnally enjoyed reading your posts.

it's all about fun right?
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Old Dec 6, 2004, 1:30 PM   #16
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Yeah, I don't mind the fun poking. I realize that I have obsessive qualities when it comes to shopping for cameras and other electronics I'm just an extremely thorough and detailed person and I like to have as much information as possible before I make a decision that involves spending money.
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Old Dec 6, 2004, 1:33 PM   #17
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LOL..........you are not alone.................i spent 4 days researching for a golf ball once
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Old Dec 6, 2004, 1:35 PM   #18
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I've been learning a few things reading the post. One suggestion, though, to Sivaram Velauthapillai -- that long URL you posted is making me have to horizontally scroll the page, and I have my monitor set at 1280x960 resolution. I have a suggestion. rather than typing the entire URL in the post by hand, you could do this:

Here is the URL for the above comparison.

Basically, I did {URL=very_long_link}link text{/URL}.
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Old Dec 6, 2004, 1:40 PM   #19
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I had a problem with horizontal scrolling when I was using Mozilla Firefox. It seems to work better in Internet Explorer.

Okay, I'm driving up to Norfolk, VA in about an hour to go see the Pixies! I'm going to try using the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ20 again though I went ahead and requested an RMA# from BuyDigitalDirect.com.


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Old Dec 6, 2004, 2:04 PM   #20
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LOL -- decisions, decisions, huh?

I can understand your wanting to get something quickly. But, I'd be careful not to rush into a decision, without a thorough understanding of the pros and cons of camera and lens choices.

You may decide that you don't like lugging around a larger and heavier solution (especially since you're used to a small and light model like your Minolta S304).

Is a concert setting the only time you really need good low light performance, and do you really need a long zoom very often? I'd also ask yourself how high the quality needs to be. For example, are you going to be displaying the photos for web viewing only, or do you need muchlarger prints, etc.

Keep in mind that you can buySuper Zoom models like the Pansonic series cameras that have sharp lenses that work fine in many lighting conditions, and give you one heck of a lot in optical zoom, for less than one high quality lens costs to get you close to their long end with a DSLR model (and the DSLR will be larger and heavier). Heck, the Panasonic DMC-FZ3 is a small light model, with that's under $400.00 now with f/2.8 throughout it's long focal range witha stabilized lens. It's fine for 8x10" prints.

So, many users keep both types of cameras -- one that's smaller and lighter for use in most condtions,so that they're not lugging a larger camera and lenses around, while using the DSLR when they need the benefits a DSLR offers (as in your low light concert photos).

Now, for your depth of field questions... Depth of Field (the amount of your image that is in focus as you get further away from your focus point), is based on Aperture, Focal Length (actual not 35mm equivalent), and Focus Distance.

So, the closer you are to your subject (focus distance), and the larger the aperture (represented by smaller f/stop numbers), and the longer your focal legth, the shallower your depth of field.

Shallow depth of fields are often desirable to make your subject stand out from distracting backgrounds. You see this technique used quite often (which is why a bright lens is desirable for this use -- to help blur backgrounds using larger apertures).

You can't get this effect easily with a non-DSLR model, since the actual focal lengths of their lenses are much shorter for any given 35mm equivalent focal length. In other words, the subject occupies a dramatically greater portion of the frame for any actual focal length with a non-DSLR model. As a result, you have dramatically more depth of field with a non-DSLR model for any given 35mm equivalent focal length, apeture and focus distance.

See this handy online DOF calculator. Plug in a camera model, aperture, focal length (actual, not 35mm equivalent), and play with the focus distance and aperture values to get a better idea of how this works.

http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html

See my last post in this thread for a dicussion of DOF:

http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...mp;forum_id=65

And yes, if you want the best macros, you'll need a Macro Lens (preferrably a 1:1 lifesize macro lens). This will cost you even more, and you'll need to use much smaller apertures (requiring slower shutter speeds) to get anywhere near the ability of many consumer (non-DSLR) models. It depends on whether you're trying to photograph a bee or a flower how well you can do (depth of field is shallower at closer focus distances).

You can get extension tubes to allow non-macro lenses to focus closer, though (but a dedicated 1:1 Macro lens is a better solution for closeups).

As for lens choices -- well, I don't know what the 18-55mmkit lens and the 75-300mm you're looking at are worth unless I spend a bit of time doing some digging. But,given the benefits of the rebates you'll get, if you go this route, you could always sell them later if you decide to go with a different solution. I did a very quick search on ebay and see one 18-55mm kit lens with a current bid of $117.00 now for a used one (and the bidding isn't over yet). I didn't look through the list for more.

So, given the cost of this lens with the kit, I'd probably get it (Canon doesn't sell it separately yet, and many may want a smaller and lighter zoom like this). You'll have to search to see what the completed ones sold for, and do the same for the 75-300mm if you want to get a better idea of how much you'd come out ahead this way. But, for the little more they'd cost with the benefits of the rebates, this solution sounds like a no brainer if you decide to go with a DSLR (since you could probably turn around and sell them at a profit).

But, I'd consider the alternatives carefully before rushing out and buying more lenses to begin with. You may decide that you can get by with less optical zoom, in a smaller and lighterlens for most uses. I'd make sure to try out lenses you're interested in first in a store, too (so you'll have a better idea of their size, weight, build quality, focus speed, etc.). I'd alsoask Canon users foropinions on potential choices in our Canon Lenses forum.

Heck, I've got a Nikon SLR that I use with nothing more than an old35-70mm f/3.5-4.5 zoom lensmost of the time with (it's my favorite lens). My latestdigital camera is a pocketable model, so thatI'm not lugging around a larger camera unless I need to. Each user with have different requirements, based on the shooting conditions they'll use a camera in and the type of subjects they photograph, and size and weight are very important to some users like me.

Yes, a monopod can help reduce blur from camera shake (but you'll still need fast enough shutter speeds to reduce blur from subject movement).

As for the 50mm f/1.8 (35mm equivalent focal length of 80mm on the Digital Rebel), you'll need to decide if that's a good focal length for your club environment. It's like being at a bit more than half zoom with your S304. You'd need to use your feet for zoom with it. However, it would give you a lot of bang for the buck if you need to shoot existing light (shutter speeds more than twice as fast as an f/2.8 lens for any given aperture, lighting condition and ISO speed). Actually, it works out to around 2.6 times as fast if you shoot wide open with an f/1.8 lens at ISO 800, versus the Panasonic at f/2.8 and ISO 400. Shots will be a tad softer shooting at wide open apertures (but this lens will still be sharp enough there for what it looks like you're doing, and I think the faster shutter speedsare probably worth it). This is a very good lens from an optical quality perspective.

Since you were able to take shots with your S304 at slower shutter speeds than you'd get with the Rebel and this lens/ISO speed, then this should be a big improvement. Some users can hold a camera steadier than others.

You could also go to ISO 1600 if you had to with it (and you'd have less noise at ISO 1600 with it, versus ISO 400 with the Panasonic). You'll want to clean up the noise with a product like Noiseware or Neat Image, regardless of which way you go for best results. I suspect that you'll have better light in some venues (this appears to have been to be pretty low with the shots you took at the last concert).

As for a prosumer model, you'll need to make that call. You could always try a model like the Minolta A1, Sony DSC-F717, Canon G6, etc., from someone with a liberal return policy to see ifone would work well enough for your needs first.



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