Being from the UK I am not that certain about US prices, but I assume that the xti body with a CF card and case is going to cost about $600, which leaves you about $400 for lenses. You are not going to meet all of your requirements for $400, so you will have to compromise..
For family indoor shots something like to 17-55mm kit lens will do provided you don't need to photograph fast moving children and pets. However, the optical quality is quite poor and you will probably want to upgrade from this fairly quickly. Canon has just announced an IS version of this lens which might be better..
Another alternative for low light head and shoulders shots is the Canon 50mm f1.8 which is very good optically and cheap..
Ideally you want an external flash for indoor shots, but that is outside your budget..
For the sports events you really need something up to 200mm. IS is not particularly useful because you will need a high shutter speed to freeze motion. For the outdoor events you don't need anything fancy, but indoor sports without a flash requires a fast lens, e.g. the Canon 70-200 f2.8, which is well beyond your budget. So indoor sports is where you will probably have to compromise. You might just have to use a high ISO setting and accept the noise that will come with it..
Here are some suggestions, some of which might be slightly over your budget..
1. Canon 17-55mm kit lens and Canon 70-300 mm IS (which is a good quality lens and should last you a long time)..
2. Kit lens + Canon 50mm f1.8 + 75-300 (non IS, cheaper but not so good optically)..
3. Sigma or Tamron 18-200 to cover the whole range. Not so good optically as the 50mm f1.8 or the 70-300 IS, but a reasonable compromise. If you can afford it, you might want to go for the IS version of the Sigma..
Personally I would I would up the budget a bit and go for the Sigma 18-200 IS plus the Canon 50mm f1.8. These are both lenses that you would probably find useful for some time to come. The Sigma is just about an ideal travel lens..
I hope that this is of some use to you.Chris R..
If you went with Nikon, you could get the 18-200VR. About $1200 for a D40 and the lens...
Unfortunately "good all around lens" is an oxymoron unless you are willing to spend much more money. There are a few good zooms that can serve as all rounders, but they are never cheap, and they all make optical compromises..
My philosophy for DSLR's is to never try to make them an "all around" camera. The real reason for owning a DSLR is to be able to change the lens so you have the best one for the job and can make superior images as a result..
Why not take that approach? It may mean you need some patience, but your images will be exceptional. Get the body you like and one GOOD and fast lens that does at least some of what you want very well. Photograph what you can, and save up to get another lens that will cover what you are unable to capture with the first one..
You will end up with a superior set of lenses that will do justice to the capabilities you bought when you decided to move to the DSLR, and I think that you will spend less money in the long run by getting good glass right from the start..
Nothing is enough for the man to whom nothing is enough...
Not enough money..
It actually is hard to take good photos of sports events indoors..
To shoot sports indoors you need what's called a "fast" lens, whiinc means that it has a l;arge aperture. large in this contest is f2.8 or bigger, which, confusing I know, means a smaller number. So, f2.8 is fast, f2 is faster, f1.8 is even faster, and f1.4 is faster than all the others..
Zoom lenses that are f2.8 are expensive, and telephoto zoom lenses that are useable for reasonbly tight shots from 100 feet are even more expensive..
The lens for indoors might, in fact, be quite different from the outdoor lens..
Inside, you might be able to get pretty close; I've used a 50mm lens to photograph grade sev en volleyball, but outdoors for sports on a big field, 50mm is not very long, meaning you get a lot of field and not much kid in your shot..
The Sigma 50-150mm lens is a good indoor-outdoor sports compromise, with the kids on the half of the field closest to you, but you'd need another lens for most of your non-sports pictures of family and friends..
Winter's coming do you have outdoor shots left to take?.
An XTi body, and a Sigma 18-50mm f2.8 lens might come in around your thousand dollar mark, and work reasonably well for indoor sports when the light is bright in the gym. When spring arrives, you can spend money you've saved to buy an outdoor sports lens..
So when do you need an IS lens. Stiil shots? Indoors or outdoors?..
For the Canon 50mm f/1.8, how close can you get to your target. Can this be used to take family pictures indoors at 8-10 feet. I was also looking at the Sigma 17-70 mm f/2.8. I know there is a big price difference but which would be better for taking people pictures. Would I be able to use the Sigma for indoor sports?..
On a digital camera, 50mm is short telephoto. Not generally useful for family photos..
Consider the 17-85IS...
Kenny A wrote:.
So when do you need an IS lens. Stiil shots? Indoors or outdoors?.
Generally any time you are photographing still subjects in low light hand held. As an example, if you are using a 200 mm lens on a Canon xti, you need a shutter speed of about 1/300 to avoid blur caused by camera shake if you are hand holding. IS can increase this shutter speed to about 1/50 or better. This means that you can take the shot in much lower light..
However, if you are shooting sports you probably need a shutter speed of at least 1/300 just to freeze the motion of the athletes, so IS isn't much use.Chris R..
Kenny A wrote:.
For the Canon 50mm f/1.8, how close can you get to your target. Canthis be used to take family pictures indoors at 8-10 feet..
No. You would need to be 15-20 ft away if the group is standing up. 50 mm is good for head and shoulders shots..
I was alsolooking at the Sigma 17-70 mm f/2.8. I know there is a big pricedifference but which would be better for taking people pictures..
The Sigma because it is much wider angle - significantly wider angle than your Olympus. This is much more important for people shots than the difference in maximum aperture compared with the 50mm f1.8, although there will be some situations where there is insufficient light for the Sigma but you can still use the 50mm. This is why the 50mm f1.8 is a good additional lens if can afford it..
Would I be able to use the Sigma for indoor sports?.
No - it is too short at the telephoto end. The maximum telephoto is only the equivalent of 112mm on a film SLR compared with 190mm on your Olympus, 2/3 of the zoom.Chris R..
Use an IS lens when you would use a tripod, if you had one..
Subjects must be still, so this is bad for sports..
Good outdoors in the evening to take pictures of the outside of a castle, for instance..
You have the factors when buying lenses:1. Inexpensive2. Good IQ3. FastYou can choose only two..
Rule of DSLR System purchases:1. Come up with a budget.2. Triple it..
For indoor sports, $1000 won't even buy you a lens...