Shooting conditions includemercury vapor lit gyms (bball, vball), fall soccer and x-country, andspring track/field; as well as stage productions (stage only littheatre); as well as various outdoor and indoor lighting situationsand my own personal trips..
Any DSLR will be good enough if the lens is good enough..
I have leaned towards one of two choices: Nikon D80 or Canon40D. Not in the same boat, I know. Oh, and the XTi just feels toosmall in my hands, although it is ridiculously affordable..
40D has better build, speed, noise performance, Raw conversion software, CF cards. It all depends on whether one is ready to pay for above. However cost premium for these may be too much to justify..
I canjustify the dSLR price as long as I can get the most for my $ acamera which will allow me to work in all conditions very well, acamera I can learn from and grow with, somewhat not-so-steep learningcurve, most compatible with software and varied lenses and lensmanufacturers, a more affordable lens line, etc. etc..
That sounds like Canon might be the way to go. How about Sony A200 or Pentax K10D?.
Oddly enough, I can appreciate a simple p&s for it's convenient sizeand portability. The 717 was about as big as a dSLR and I often feltI was wearing a purse when it was cased at my side. However, I wantto do more and capture more from my photos..
The AF assist in the 40D sounds annoying, but softness of Nikonphotos is annoying too..
AF light helps on closer distances (1-2m). It can also be annoying. AF won't be a problem under normal indoor lighting..
Which direction should I leanD80 or 40D (kinda like Nikon or Canon,Coke or Pepsi, Vanilla or Chocolate, right?) Which is a better 1stdSLR for my experience and needs?? Also, lens kit or no?.
New 18-55mm with I.S. is good enough for general purpose and terrific value at $200. You may buy more lenses later if needed..
Best Wishes, Ajayhttp://picasaweb.google.com/ajay0612..
The great thing about making choices is that you have so many choices....the previous response to your post suggested a third alternative to Canon or Nikon. Interestingly you already know the Sony brand with your Sony P&S (point & shoot) so may I suggest you check into the Sony A200 DSLR?.
You can get specific information on this camera by clicking on this link:.
I do not work for Sony but I am a Sony customer. If you choose the Sony A200, the only other thing you'll need to purchase is a Memory Stick Pro-duo OR a Compact Flash. The camera body and kit lens (Sony calls it a standard zoom) costs $699..
NOTE: the total cost of ownership is not just the camera. You also have to think about stuff like a computerif you want to do post photo processing, software to edit your photos (Sony includes software to do this work), a photo-quality printer, and maybe a subscription to a website to post your photoswhich would assume you would have an ISP (internest service provider)..
And if you get bit by the equipment bug, you should also consider extra memory cards, an extra battery, a tripod, an external flash pack, additional lenses, dust cleanup kit...ad infinitum!Matt..
You should know that your requirements mirror typical photojournalism needs..
Wow. These forums, as great as they are, at times, overwhelming ininformation. Here is where I am at. I am a middle school teacherand coach and am responsible for many yearbook photos as well as aseparate end-of-year photo slideshow. Shooting conditions includemercury vapor lit gyms (bball, vball), fall soccer and x-country, andspring track/field; as well as stage productions (stage only littheatre); as well as various outdoor and indoor lighting situationsand my own personal trips..
I have leaned towards one of two choices: Nikon D80 or Canon40D. Not in the same boat, I know..
Between THOSE TWO cameras, you only have one choice, that's the Canon 40D. Your most troublesome shooting situations are the indoor sports and the theater. I had a D70, now shoot with a D200 and while it's a wonderful camera (and shares the CCD with the D80) the Canon products produce more pleasing high ISO images. That being said, the D300 would be a perfectly acceptable alternative..
The newspaper I work at shoots Nikons (old D2Hs, though one of the photogs is evaluating the D3 and D300 now and I've seen some amazing stuff from both in tough lighting situations) On several tough lighting situations individual photographers will break out personal gear (typically Canon) to shoot. One uses a 1Ds something or other, another uses a 40D. Another freelancer who's a friend o f mine also uses a 40D under tough lighting situations and his stuff is gorgeous..
Also, lens kit or no? Given myshooting scenarios, what are the top 3 lenses I should look into?Oh, and buy online or local (my choice would be Abt Electronics herein Illinois.).
You have no idea how much some direction here will help me. Thankyou - Tom.
ABT has a nice web site, prices are basically in line with everyone else. I don't see a whole lot of lens options though. The 28-135 appears to be a decent starter. I can't tell from the ABT site if it's got image stabilization or not but the only ones I've seen listed at B&H do have IS. But, to be honest it's a decent starter and would probably work for your outdoor sports providing you're spending a lot of time on the field, following the action and don't sit in the stands. Depending on how wide you shoot, it may not be wide enough for personal use..
Though, to be honest, I'd take a pass on it (I'm not recommending you skip it because I don't know enough about your budget/shooting needs beyond the available light)..
IS is almost worthless for stage productions (people move, IS doesn't help that) and inconsequential for sports photography. Check outhttp://www.sportsshooter.com and ask about lens choices there..
The one lens I can recommend you buy is a 50mm. Pick the F stop range according to your budget. You can use it for basketball and volleyball fairly easily and get wonderful available light photos, providing you don't sit in the stands (for volleyball, I 'd recommend standing as close as you can to the elevated ref)..
After that, it's up to you and your budget, Fixed-aperture F 2.8 zooms are ideal, as zooms go but primes give you more speed. Canon makes a wonderful 70-200 2.8 and a fixed aperture 70-200 4 (to which Nikon doesn't offer a counterpart) but for indoor sports you'd likely need the 2.8 (theater, maybe the F4 but for dress rehearsals, the 50 would be adequate)..
I'm a prime guy, which means I'd want to supplement the 50 with an 85, a 200 2.8 and a 300 F4..
Hope this helps more than confuses. If you opt for the D300, I'd substitute the 180 2.8 for my 200 suggestion and also toss the 80-200 2.8 (no VR) into the mix..
Happy shooting.'Nice pen, bet you write good stories with it.'..
I also think that the Canon 40D with the 28-135 IS lens would be an ideal kit to get you going, but you will also need something wider angle as well, so the $200 18-55 IS lens would fit that need..
For sports.the 50mm 1.8 is a good lens ($90).you'll also need the non-IS 70-200 f:2.8 lens.around $1300 US..
And.nix the tripod (can't use them for sports) and get a good monopod!.
I have a Bogen 680.very nice monopod at around $60..
Also, you might pay a little more by purchasing locally.but they may offer you some camera teaching that no online retailer will give you, plus quicker turnaround if you have any troubles with your camera shortly after your purchase..
And this just may be worth the extra few dollars you might save online..
J. D.Colorful Colorado.
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Remember.always keep the box and everything that came in it!..
I am only going to reply about lenses because I have different views to some of the other posters. I am also going to talk about Canon lenses, because those are the ones that I know, but I think that there are equivalent Nikon lenses..
I am going to divide your requirements into 3:1. Indoor sports and theatre2. Outdoor sports3. General purpose including your trips..
Starting with indoor sport and theatre, you need the fastest possible lens (i.e. one with the largest possible maximum aperture) that you can afford. This almost certainly means a prime since zoom lenses aren't fast enough - I am afraid that there is no DSLR equivalent of your F717 f2.0-2.4 lens. Since you are the coach I assume that you can get pretty close to the sports action. So a 50mm f1.8 ($75 at B&H) might be adequate. If you need a longer lens you probably want something like an 85mm f1.8 ($315).
For outdoor sports you probably need something longer but it won't need to be nearly so fast. The 70-300 IS ($549) might be adequate. The image stabilisation won't be so useful for sports but will be useful for general purpose use. More expensive alternatives are 70-200 f4 L IS ($984, there is an older non-IS version for $560) or the 70-200 f2.8 f2.8 L IS ($1569). My choice would be the 70-200 f4 L IS is you can afford it..
For general purpose photography you need a medium range zoom. It would be useful to have IS on this, so I would start off by suggesting the 17-55 IS ($175)version of the kit lens which somebody else has already mentioned. I don't recommend the 28-135 IS which some other people have suggested because the focal length range is most useful for a film camera or full frame digital and isn't wide enough on a 1.6 crop factor camera like the 40D. However, the 17-85 IS covers exactly the same equivalent focal length on the 40D and is being offered as a "Kit Lens" in some places with the 40D. There are quite a few other alternatives including lenses from Sigma and Tamron..
I upgraded from an F717 (which I loved) to a Canon 20D 3 years ago. I miss the swivel body of the Sony and the ability to take candid shots at waist level, but the DSLR has vastly superior handling and is lightening fast compared with the Sony..
Bets of luck with your choices.Chris R..
Good suggestion with the A200, however it is not out yet and there are no reviews for it. As the A100 isn't the best of dSLR's, I can only assume Sony learned from the A100 and improved upon it. I will seriously look into it once it hits the market..
As far as technology, I am an artist too and well versed in the Adobe products including PS CS2 (can't justify need for 3 yet.).