"PS. I see there are some 6MP cameras selling for close to the 8MP cameras. Would I ever want to buy a lesser MP camera for the same price? Thank you. Cindy" Sure you would - depending on what other features you want in a camera. Image quality, ease of use, presence or absence of features such as wide-angle, high-powered zoom, etc. all figure into a purchase decision.
Also, not everyone needs 8mp (or 6, or 4, etc.). Why purchase more mp's than you need? Unneeded mp's just means more data to store, and fewer shots on a memory card.... PhilR...
Hi Cindy, have you considered a Drebel for about $617 new at buydig.com or less then $500 for a slightly used one off Ebay. And either a good fast prime lens 85mm on up. Or a good zoom lens I have the canon 70x200mm F4L and get great shots with it even in low light conditions you also have a AWB setting for florescent light or you could use a gray card and set the WB before you shoot indoors at the meets. Here's a couple of shots with the 70x200mm F4L lens these where all shot with the Canon 20D but you would get very similar results with the Drebel 6.3 mp which I owned before the 20D.
Here's one taken indoors.
And outdoors bright light.
And with a 2GB kingston ulta CF card $127 after rebate from newegg.comright now you can shoot pics all day till your trigger fingers tierd..
I just logged onto this site! Found your 3 photos - all of them were gorgeous! Thanks for sharing them!..
I just logged onto this site! Found your 3 photos - all of them were gorgeous! Thanks for sharing Attachments:.
Stars glowing from ceiling.JPG..
Now to share a couple of my photos with you - 1.4 pixel, I might add! Attachments:.
Thank you PhilR for taking the time to respond. I was always led to believe that the more MP's meant better picture quality. I always try and get the highest resolution and sharpest pictures possible, ultimately looking for clarity and detail. Thanks again for sharing. Cindy..
Thank you Ken for sharing all your knowledge and gorgeous photos. Those are the very quality of photos that I have dreamed of being able to take myself. I am going to look into the Drebel like you suggested. Does it compare to the new Canon XT? I was a little confused when you were talking about the lens. I don't really understand what it all means, and when you would want to use one over the other, but with everyones help and input, I'll learn! Thanks again for sharing. Cindy..
Thanks for posting your pictures Pam. They were lovely. You said the crane was taken with a 1.4MP camera, were the stars also? If you are getting that good of pictures with a 1.4MP camera, I can only assume that it must be my lighting conditions that make my photos appear so bland and flat. Thanks again. Cindy..
You may want to check the Digital Cameras forum, go to the Sony section, then the F707/717 discussion forum for some added hints on using the camera you have. Some of these folks have been using them for quite a while and get stunning results. (A little aside: the resolution has limited impact on quality of the picture providing you don't try to go too large on the printing or viewing for the resolution used. Resolution is just one part of the whole system that goes together to get the end result, camera, optical quality, signal processing in camera, post-processing, etc., all have big parts in the process, as with photographer experience.) I'm afraid what you've run into aren't problems easily solved. An indoor sports activity typically has two strikes against it from the start. Lighting is often worse than it appears - people adjust by both opening their pupils to admit more light and by "seeing' light in the color they expect.
You might be able to adjust "white balance" (and I'd bet someone on the Sony forum could explain the process if it's available on that camera) but sometimes there are even mixes of types of flourescent tubes so "auto" or "flourescent" settings may still look rather "off." Also it's probably dimmer than it appears. When you combine this with moving subjects that need faster shutter speeds to stop action, you find that higher iso's need to be tried. And you are right. They often look noisier or give less quality than you'd want. One of the alternatives is to use flash.
One other advantage to flash is that it can help correct the color. Programs like "Noise Ninja" can be used to reduce the visible noise. Realistically, these measures may not get you where you want to be. You probably are looking to get to a dslr to really get the improved sensitivity and performance you want. The dslr will provide you several great advantages.
You will probably find that 400 and even 800 are quite usable. The dslr also will let you use faster lenses - the aperture of the lens allows in more light. Typically these "faster" lenses are more expensive than the general range of "consumer" lenses. But there is one standout in almost all camera lines - the 50mm f1.7 or f1.8 lens. These lenses generally cost well under $100 new and even less on the used market.
Nikon has just released the D50 (I don't know that it's hit the stores yet, it's that new) and I'd expect that it will be a good value as well. I see no reason not to check the Pentax and Olympus offerings - check the reviews, if you aren't going to be diving headlong into huge systems, I think they would be worth a look. The Konica Minolta 7D is a very good camera, steeper than the entry level cameras but I think the differences are worth the price but if I were really looking to hold the budget, the "entry" KM camera is maybe, just maybe, going to be out, maybe September (no real offical confirmation on dates or features). The Canon 20D is faster in continuous shooting than the others but also more expensive. The current Nikon "kit" lens that can come with the D70 is better than the cpmparable Canon but more expensive.
Combined with the 50mm, you'd get the flexibility of the zoom range and the speed of the 50...
Thank you Craig for taking the time to write such an informative post. I will look into 'Noise Ninja' as you suggested and see if that might help. You are right about no flash being allowed at most gymnastic functions, as the flash can be distracting to the gymnasts. On the occasions where I have used the flash, the subject is well lit, but the background becomes unnaturally dark and noisy besides. Due to what I believe to be the fluorescent only lighting, I have taken over two thousand pictures and only have a handful that I believe are worth keeping. I just can't seem to get the sharpness and depth that I see with other peoples pictures.
I don't fully understand the difference between a 'fast' or 'slow' lens as you referred to. After I purchase a dslr, I would then purchase a 50mm f1.7 or f1.8 lens? Should I just buy the camera body alone, and then the lens? Finally, even though I know that there is no one single 'best camera', could you tell me what you would buy yourself if you had a budget of about $1000.00 and were going to use it in primarily my conditions? Thank you and everyone else that has been so helpful. Cindy..