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Old Jan 18, 2006, 3:46 AM   #21
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mtclimber,

You make a very valid point that not all applications require SLR cameras. However, taking photos indoors of children WITHOUT flash really does require a decent investment in a nice camera IMO. The main reason I bought a DSLR was for taking photos of my baby and I really don't regret any of the money I spent when I look at the photos. They are worlds and worlds apart from what I was able to do with my P&S.

For normal usage a P&S is fine, the flash kicks in when required indoors, but seizures are horrible horrible things, and to trigger one for a photograph is not something any responsible parent would ever do. I am not an SLR snob, we have a lovely little Canon SD550 too.

IMO the noise on the photo you just posted is horrible, so dreadful in fact that I would never be happy with a photo of my child with that much noise in. Sure it's better than no picture at all, but it's probably 3 stops of usability behind the DSLR cameras. Combine that with the fact that you can put on a nice f2 prime on the KM5D and we're talking an enormous usability difference in low light.

Check out Mike Johnston's column on this site, in which he extolls the virtues of the KM7D, but which would apply equally to the 5D.

http://www.steves-digicams.com/smp/07032005.html

Unfortunately I don't have an ISO1600 shot easily to hand but here is a portrait of a little monkey (not mine) that I took at ISO3200 on the 20D. If you compare the noise between the two shots the advantages of the bigger sensor are very apparent.

You also neglect that for pictures of children you gain another massive advantage with the SLR - the ability to control DOF, and shallow DOF under natural light is very pleasing in portraits.

gobucks,

The KM5D with 18-70mm lens is $650 from B&H.
A 28mm f2.0 lens is $300 from B&H.

That would be my recommendation to start. A little later you could add a 50mm f1.4 lens for $250 if you found you wanted more light at the 50mm focal length. You might also find it possible to get some very good deals on prime lenses for the KM on eBay.

That camera with those two lenses will be capable of producing the most outstanding results under the conditions that you are operating under.
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Old Jan 18, 2006, 4:11 AM   #22
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And here is another portrait taken this time with my 28mm f1.8.

Natural light from a window, and it was very dull and pouring with rain outside, this one was taken at ISO800 if I recall correctly, there is no apparent noise in the picture at all.

Both pictures can easily be printed at 8"x12" without noise being a problem, I personally don't regard the results from the the f10 to be acceptable above ISO400.


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Old Jan 18, 2006, 9:04 AM   #23
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mtclimber, I appreciate the concern with my budget, but I am looking to upgrade from a standard point and shoot and meet the immediate needs for low light photos for my daughter and also set myself up for a camera to expand my photography skills and make more of a hobby.¬* DSLR is the only camera I will¬* be purchasing, even though the 5 and 8 megapixel "super zooms" look very interesting.
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Old Jan 18, 2006, 9:34 AM   #24
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How about the KM 50mm f/1.7 for $80?¬* What would be the differences/ benefits between this lens and the 28mm f/2.0?¬* I am not looking to get cheap because of the price, just educating myself on the different lenses.¬* Thanks.
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Old Jan 18, 2006, 9:39 AM   #25
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GoBucks-

I certainly understand your decision and the reason for making it. All I was attempting to do was look at the other options. There is a definite advantage to a dSLR in your case, but I was fearful of enthusiasm clouding the budget issue. I hope that you will understand.

Because you will be doing a lot of low light level photos, I believe that the K-M 5D represents a very good choice in dSLR cameras with it anti-shake technology. I will also be an excellent tool/camera to increase your photographic knowledge, as well.

Buy as your budget allows and add lenses, data cards and accessories gradually.

MT
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Old Jan 18, 2006, 9:41 AM   #26
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The difference is the focal length.

That f1.7 sounds great as a portrait lens and the price is good too.

Remember to get the 35mm effective focal length you must multiply by 1.5.

28 * 1.5 = 42mm = normal-wide (good for indoor shots of people)

50 * 1.5 = 70mm = short telephoto (good for tight portraits indoors)
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Old Jan 18, 2006, 10:01 AM   #27
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Both of the 50mm f/1.7 and 28mm f/2 are very good lenses for existing light use.

More often than not, I'll have a 28mm f/2 on my KM 5D when shooting indoors without a flash. It's a fine lens for this purpose, and it's "wider" compared to the 50mm f/1.7.

BTW, the current price for approx $300 at B&H is a "steal" for this lens. If memory serves, suggested list is something like $699 for it. I paid as much for a used 28mm f2, as B&H is selling them for new now.

Since you're on a budget, I'd get a 50mm f/1.7 for starters. It's a longer lens (so you may need to backup more to get everything you want in the frame, depending on how you want to frame your subject). Then, if you find you need something wider after using it for a while, look at something like a 28mm f/2 or 35mm f/2 as budget permits.

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Old Jan 18, 2006, 10:31 AM   #28
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Why not start with just the 18-70?

Look back through all your photos after the first month and then decide which you will find more useful between the 28 & 50.

In the long run you will certainly want both.

I find that I use my 28mm a lot more than the 50mm, because the 50mm focal length is very tight indoors.

I own the Canon thrifty-fifty and it's a fantastic lens for the money, I presume the same thing is true for the KM. At $80 it's too cheap and useful not to own.

Great thing about an SLR is that you can add to your lens collection over time as finances allow.




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Old Jan 18, 2006, 10:38 AM   #29
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peripatetic wrote:
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Why not start with just the 18-70?
It's a slow lens (maximum aperture is down to f/5.6 by the time you're at 35mm with it).

So, it would probably be my last choice for shooting indoors without a flash. With a flash indoors, or outdoors in daylight, it's fine (and since it only adds around $100 to the price of the camera when purchased as a kit, I'd get one if budget permits).

It's worth what they're asking for it for sure, and you'd have a versatile zoom when not shooting indoors without a flash.


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Old Jan 18, 2006, 7:19 PM   #30
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peripatetic wrote:
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....IMO the noise on the photo you just posted is horrible, so dreadful in fact that I would never be happy with a photo of my child with that much noise in.
I've got to ask, as you genuinely serious about this? The noise is, admittedly, detectable. And anyone who has an unlimited budget is certainly entitled to spend thousands of dollars on the equipment that would produce an equivalent image with no visible noise. But I'd like to urge everyone to take a good look at the image in question and decide for yourself whether the noise is "horrible... dreadful".

And please, bear this in mind as you read other recommendations.
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