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Which dSLR is the best choice?

by amyd11 / January 16, 2007 12:47 AM PST

We're saving for a new dSLR for my husband. "Semi-pro" is probably the best way to describe him as a photog. He designs lighting for theater and dance, and takes portfolio, archive, and advertising shots of performances. Good performance in low-light situations (under tungsten stage lighting) is a must, as is accurate depiction of light and shadow, and color saturation.

I'm considering the Sony AlphaDLSR-A100K and the Canon EOS 30D. The Sony we could afford now, the Canon would take a little more saving up . . .which might waiting until after his next show and therefore missing the opportunity to shoot that one.

The Sony offers 10mp versus the Canon's 8, but I'm concerned about the reviews noting noise in photos taken at ISO 1600. It states that the noise is manageable when taking raw shots and using the noise-reduction software, and that it might be acceptable for prints up to 11x17. He would not be likely to print larger than that, and usually not larger than 8x10.

The Canon goes up to ISO 3200 and the reviewer notes that shots all the way up to that limit are clean enough to produce good-looking shots.

"acceptable" and "good-looking" can be so subjective, so I'm not sure what he really needs here. Will the Sony give him impressive portfolio shots, or is it worth it to save a little longer and go for the Canon?

Thanks!

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Pixel count doesn't matter
by jnthnp / January 16, 2007 1:43 AM PST

As a general rule, 8 vs. 10 MP doesn't really matter. It's not something to base your decision on. However, It's normal for ISO 1600 to be noisy, and of the two cameras, the Canon handles noise the best. Another thing, the 30D is on a higher level than the a100. The a100 should be compared with Canon's 400d, and Nikon's D80.

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Thanks!
by amyd11 / January 17, 2007 6:19 AM PST

Thanks, all, for the info and recommendations. I think we're going to dismiss the other manufacturers and stick with Canon . . . we'll consider the Rebel XTi, but my gut says we'll wait and save up for the 30D. Lenses are going to have to be a later investment . . .

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low light photography
by kwokman / January 16, 2007 4:42 AM PST

taking pictures for stage performance will require fast lenses (high aperture) with long focal length, e.g. f2.0 at 100mm (not f2.0-5.6, 20mm-100mm because that only gives you f5.6 at 100mm) don't know if sony actually lets you change lenses. even if you could change lenses, i doubt that sony has any good selection of lenses. so canon is probably the way to go. if price is a concern, you may consider the lower priced 20d or rebel xt. also keep in mind fast lenses can easily cost more than the camera itself.

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Since Sony....
by whizkid454 / January 16, 2007 7:23 AM PST
In reply to: low light photography

bought out (Konica) Minolta, you can use Minolta's lenses as well on the A100.

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New DSLR
by tasuray / January 16, 2007 12:54 PM PST

Hi,
You can also think about Nikon 200D.

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Under low lighting circumstance,
by jump1127 / January 16, 2007 2:15 PM PST

Canon or Nikon seems to be the better choice than Sony Alpha 100, considering the noise. Regard the circumstance of tungsten lighting, you can correct the shot thru' processing, especially RAW. Canon is the best alternative, consider the following aspects:

1. More lenses and accessories for Canon and Nikon, for instance, over 40 Canon lenses to choose. Sony hasn't yet come out with that many lenses, you have to wait for a while in addition to the extreme prices of lenses.

2. At high ISO, Canon seems to produce the lowest noise level.

3. Canon provide RAW processing software, DPP - digital photo professional, along with the camera. Unlike Nikon which you must purchase the software separately.

4. For portrait result, Canon's skin-tone seems to be the right tone, pretty warm look. Nikon's tone is good for macro and lanscape type of picture, rather green and blue. So, for shooting people, you'll work a lot less processing thru' Canon.

So, you be the judge.

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Just Bought the Canon Rebel Xti
by nolarobert / January 16, 2007 4:11 PM PST

After reading about dSLR cameras for the past few months, I finally made my decision and bought the Canon EOS Rebel Xti. I just received it the other day so the only pictures I have taken have been on the fully automatic mode. The small sample of pictures look great on my computer 19" LED screen. I am using the jpg format rather than the raw but the details are just spectacular even when I blow the picture up for close detail. Sometimes that is not such a great thing. I never realized just how big my pores were on my nose until I got this Canon. So be careful what you shoot. I got the Rebel Xti for a good price, much cheaper than the competition from Nikon. I went with the kit camera base EF-S 18 - 55mm lens but I am greatly impressed by the plethora of lens out there on the market, new & used, that will work with the Rebel Xti. I have the strange feeling I have just bought myself an addiction but it sure beats heroin. So good luck on your search and enjoy shooting the world.

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An easy choice
by excelguru / January 17, 2007 3:30 AM PST

Between those two models, the choice is clear: Canon 30D.

I have the 20D (predecessor and virtual clone to the 30D), the wonderful 5D and several Canon lenses, so I have plenty of experience with Canon's products. For your needs, the issue is not really which camera model to buy. The issue is which manufacturer offers the widest selection of lenses for your needs. It's hard to beat Canon's offerings in that regard.

Speaking of lenses, you will need very fast (read: expensive) lenses. I'm thinking f/2 or faster. I have the 100mm f/2.0 and it's awesome. The 50mm f/1.4 might also be a very nice choice for your needs. Zooms will cost you a fortune because you'll want to stay at f/2.8. Canon's 70-200mm f/2.8L IS is to die for. It's not cheap, though.

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