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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EOS Digital Cameras 
Thread started 15 Jun 2013 (Saturday) 13:55
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Advice on a first dslr camera purchase

 
kcbrown
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Jun 17, 2013 22:31 |  #31

50D is better than 40D at high ISO, but you'll pay an extra $200 for that roughly 1/2 stop difference. If that $200 means getting better glass, then you're better off with the 40D than the 50D. The major thing the 50D has that the 40D lacks is in-camera autofocus calibration, which allows you to adjust out any systemic autofocus errors due to miscalibration of the body or of the lens.

The 40D isn't bad at extreme ISO. Here's ISO 5000 (ISO 3200 pushed 2/3 of a stop) from a 40D:

IMAGE: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8124/8685533440_a4e70abce3_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/n2185x/86855334​40/  (external link)
img_9017-1.jpg (external link) by n2185x (external link), on Flickr


The primary problem at higher ISOs is banding (something the T3i and up, 60D, and 7D do not exhibit), and that's something that can be taken care of in postprocessing via software such as Nik DFine.


Getting good results at high ISO is as much about the postprocessing as it is the camera's capabilities.


When compared with the likes of the T3i, the 40D's autofocus is going to be noticeably better, and the camera itself is faster. But its high ISO isn't as good. So you'll need to decide whether you value high ISO more than autofocus capability, or vice versa. Given the above, I'd probably go for autofocus capability, because a shot that isn't in focus isn't worth anything at all no matter how clean the noise. And as a bonus for the autofocus capability, you also get additional money to use for glass, which can make an enormous difference if you're judicious in your choices.

"There are some things that money can't buy, but they aren't Ls and aren't worth having" -- Shooter-boy
Canon: 2 x 7D, Sigma 17-50 f/2.8 OS, 55-250 IS, Sigma 8-16, 24-105L, Sigma 50/1.4, other assorted primes, and a 430EX.
Nikon: D750, D600, 24-85 VR, 50 f/1.8G, 85 f/1.8G, Tamron 24-70 VC, Tamron 70-300 VC.

  
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stpix
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Jun 17, 2013 22:42 |  #32

mackenzie wrote in post #16040636 (external link)
Thanks

Here is a chart showing sensor size. The Cybershot is probably a 1/2.3

http://en.wikipedia.or​g …laid_inside_-_updated.svg (external link)

You can see the huge difference between that and an APS-C. Megapixelsvalonevdo not tell the whole story, they have to be considered in the context of sensor size.


7d T3i EF-S 10-22 EF-S 17-55 EF-S 18-55 EF-S 60 Macro EF-S 55-250 EF 400 mm 5.6 L EX 430
http://stpix.smugmug.c​om (external link)

  
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LPMM
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Jun 17, 2013 22:57 as a reply to  @ post 16037903 |  #33

kcbrown wrote in post #16040823 (external link)
50D is better than 40D at high ISO, but you'll pay an extra $200 for that roughly 1/2 stop difference. If that $200 means getting better glass, then you're better off with the 40D than the 50D. The major thing the 50D has that the 40D lacks is in-camera autofocus calibration, which allows you to adjust out any systemic autofocus errors due to miscalibration of the body or of the lens.

The 40D isn't bad at extreme ISO.

^^^ Very true. I am not sure what a 40D goes for, but I picked up a pristine gripped 50D with 4 batteries for $425 last August. Probably a deal and a half, but I took my time and I found it on the forums. Same with my lenses, I bought them here and on FM.

To the OP, either one would be a great camera and do the job very well, keep an eye out for a clean example. As mentioned earlier by kcbrown, with a 70-200 f4 you would have a great combo, it is a great piece of glass that you'll keep longer than the body.

kcbrown wrote in post #16040823 (external link)
Getting good results at high ISO is as much about the postprocessing as it is the camera's capabilities.

Great point above, and the OP should look for the mini reviews from forum member TeamSpeed, he has great tips for getting the most out of high ISO images. I sure picked up some great tips.


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Laurent
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Craign
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Jun 19, 2013 05:55 |  #34

Great deal from Adorama. They ship to Canada. http://www.the-digital-picture.com/News/News-Post.aspx?News=7153 (external link)


Canon 7D Mark II w/Canon BG-E16 Battery Grip; Canon EOS 50D w/Canon Battery Grip; Canon SL1; Tokina 12mm - 24mm f/4 PRO DX II; Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS; Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS; Canon 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS; Sigma 85mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM; Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS; Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM; Canon Extender EF 1.4x II; Canon Extender EF 2x II; Canon Speedlite 430EX II Flash
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Jeff_56
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Jun 20, 2013 15:37 |  #35
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Don't get a T3. It's very "entry level" and lacking in features and quality of the better cameras.

This is as far as I wanted to go in this thread. Every review I've read lately says the T3 about the same noise level as the 18mp Canon cameras at higher ISO settings. Is it a pro camera? Of course not. But it's the only Canon camera that fits your budget.

I've done pro video work for years. I decided to buy a still camera just for a pastime recently. I didn't want to spend a bunch of money because I spend that on video equipment (and audio equipment). I figured I would try out a T3 to see how well it worked and take it back if I didn't like it. I still have it.

There are a couple of very minor tricks to making the slow and ineffective auto-focus a non-issue. Basically you use manual focus. You can get close with the auto-focus while you have time to work with the camera. It takes a lot of light to make it work quickly. That's the real problem with it. Also it is MUCH slower when using the view screen. Use the viewfinder. Once you get the focus close it isn't that hard to keep up with it manually. At longer distances you don't have to make that many adjustments. And most auto focus systems have issues anyway unless you spend thousands instead of hundreds.

Use the sports view setting or better yet learn how it sets up the camera and use one of the true control modes to set it up yourself so it won't decide it needs a flash on a player 30 yards away (flash is useless at that distance unless you have a really bright flash which will likely blind the players).

I know these things are a bit complicated but if you want to take good photos with a cheaper camera that's how it works. The biggest reason you would want this camera is what I mentioned before. It has almost as little noise in the images as the higher priced 18meg cameras with the same processor when you're using a high ISO setting. And for sports you want a high ISO setting because it allows you to use a faster shutter speed and still get the depth of field you want. I know it's complicated but I know a thing or two about cameras. I learned to use them before there was any such thing as auto focus and very few cameras had auto exposure and mine wasn't one of the ones that did. We got by with ISO 1000 and lower before that speed of film even came out. I remember when 400 was standard for sports. Cameras have come a long way.

I'll put it this way. I have the very setup you described. I can sit on my front porch and take photos of cars driving down the road at 55 mph and the road is a good 100 yards away. I get no blur at all and the images are fairly clear even at that distance with cars going that speed. I don't think those skaters will top that speed and if you're shooting from 100 yards away please get closer. :) BTW I'm not spying on drivers. I don't keep the photos or look at what the people are doing. I just test my camera that way. :D

The only limitation on this camera I might see that could affect you is that it is slower than other cameras in how many photos it will take in a second. We're talking maybe 2 more images per second for other cameras close to the same price range and that's likely to actually be just 1 more frame per second. Unless you are bound and determined to get that perfect photo of a slap shot it isn't going to matter that much to you. If it does, get a video camera.

That's another thing that you may not like. It doesn't take full HD video. It's limited to 720. Most cable tv shows 720 video or even less and calls it HD though. Personally if I want video I buy a video camera. They traditionally don't work that well together on the same camera. The lenses need to be designed differently. But that's me and my video experience. Most people wouldn't notice that much difference.

No matter where you go people are always going to tell you that you should have spent more money. It is apparently a universal truth that no matter how much you spend someone will tell you it isn't enough unless of course you buy the very best if you can figure out what is the very best and you have to upgrade about once a month on one piece of equipment or another. You can spend many thousands of dollars and people will tell you it wasn't enough. Mainly it's people who have plenty of money and dedicate their lives to one pursuit or hobby. I have other hobbies where I spend far, far more money. I just bought a camera I thought would be good enough for me. I'm just posting here because I didn't see anyone mention a key detail which is the T3 has about the same level of noise at higher ISO settings as the T3i and the other 18mp cameras Canon makes. That's important for what you want to do.




  
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mackenzie
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Jun 20, 2013 17:19 |  #36

Jeff
Thank you for that answer. I have been doing a little research and for my purposes along with the budget I want to spend it seems like the T3 or the Nikon 3100 would be good choices for me because of what I have read about them at high iso.




  
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auto-clicker
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Jun 20, 2013 17:23 |  #37

mackenzie wrote in post #16033789 (external link)
Hi
I am looking at purchasing my first DSLR camera and was hoping someone could give me some advice on what to buy.

Ideal budget is around $600 but could go a little bit higher if it will make a dramatic difference.

Main use will be for kids ice hockey so from what I am reading I will need a 55-250mm lens to get close enough to the action as the default lens sold with most cameras wont be enough.

I have been looking at the Rebel T3 which fits the price point I had in mind perfectly in a bundle with am 18-55mm/55-250mm lense kit.

I was reading some reviews and while I dont understand much of the technical jargon they seem to feel a Nikon D3100 would be easier for a beginner to use and also should give me better action images in lower light like a hockey arena.

Right now I am using an old Sony cybershot camera that takes ok pictures for our use but the big issue is the lack of clarity and how noisy the image is when I use sportsmode in order to ensure the motion stays in focus.

I am not looking for professional quality images as they are just for our family but I would like to get as close to professional quality as possible without breaking the budget.

Could someone who has experience with the T3 let me know if I would be happy with the quality of pictures from inside an arena....or suggest a better alternative for me?

thanks in advance.

Have a look at the Nikon 3200 with 18-105 kit lense to start, it's just a little outside your $600 budget




  
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kcbrown
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Jun 20, 2013 18:00 |  #38

auto-clicker wrote in post #16049494 (external link)
Have a look at the Nikon 3200 with 18-105 kit lense to start, it's just a little outside your $600 budget

I must stress that getting an in-focus shot is much more important than getting a shot that is relatively noise-free.

You can always postprocess your images to deal with noise. While the camera is ultimately the limiting factor there, noise reduction algorithms have improved enormously in the last few years, and breathe new life into old images.

As such, while a camera such as the D3200 or the T3 might be within your budget, you're still going to be better off with an older, but faster and better camera, one which exceeds those other cameras in essentially all respects except for the LCD display on the back and the high ISO noise performance.

The camera doesn't just capture the image. It provides you with the tools to make it easier (or make it possible at all) to capture the image in the way you want.


The 40D can be had locally in the SF bay area for $300. I saw one for that at Keeble and Shuchat just a couple of days ago, and it looked like it was in excellent condition at that. That is massive amounts of camera for the price.


It would be one thing if this weren't your first DSLR. But because it is your first DSLR, you're better off spending as little on the body that meets your actual needs as you can and concentrating the rest of the money on lenses. A 40D paired with a decent lens will yield very good results, the kind you're looking for. You'll be far better served by that combination than by a bottom of the line camera and a kit lens or two, even if it's new.


"There are some things that money can't buy, but they aren't Ls and aren't worth having" -- Shooter-boy
Canon: 2 x 7D, Sigma 17-50 f/2.8 OS, 55-250 IS, Sigma 8-16, 24-105L, Sigma 50/1.4, other assorted primes, and a 430EX.
Nikon: D750, D600, 24-85 VR, 50 f/1.8G, 85 f/1.8G, Tamron 24-70 VC, Tamron 70-300 VC.

  
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Mavgirl
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Jun 20, 2013 18:15 as a reply to  @ kcbrown's post |  #39

The T3 is a solid entry level camera. The fact is that some of us have shot with far less and had no problems achieving good focus. You can learn to use any AF system to your advantage and becoming adept at manually focusing when necessary can also serve you very well (I can MF faster than many of my lower end lenses lock on with my 50D and 6D).

Could the T3 limit you in some ways? Yes. But you can totally learn to work within and then around those limits. And once you've learned how to push that bare bones camera to it's limits you can carry those skills to your next camera you will be able to push that camera even further.


6D/50D/350D with too many lenses
Calumet 4x5, Pentax SV 35mm, Canon A-1, Rebel G and many more toys...

  
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kcbrown
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Jun 20, 2013 18:37 |  #40

Mavgirl wrote in post #16049610 (external link)
The T3 is a solid entry level camera. The fact is that some of us have shot with far less and had no problems achieving good focus. You can learn to use any AF system to your advantage and becoming adept at manually focusing when necessary can also serve you very well (I can MF faster than many of my lower end lenses lock on with my 50D and 6D).

Well, yes, of course. But the fact of the matter is that he's shooting action, and will probably be shooting with a relatively fast lens at that (meaning, shallow depth of field).

Could he manually focus with a T3? Sure. But he'll be up against a dim viewfinder and he'll be going at it with essentially no experience.

If there were a really compelling advantage of the T3 over, e.g., the 40D, then I would be more inclined to recommend the T3 if that advantage really were that spectacular. But it's not. And it has a host of disadvantages.

Could the T3 limit you in some ways? Yes. But you can totally learn to work within and then around those limits. And once you've learned how to push that bare bones camera to it's limits you can carry those skills to your next camera you will be able to push that camera even further.

That's true. However, he can learn those things just as well with a more capable camera as with a less capable one. The difference is that the less capable camera will not give him options. And options are what you want when you're trying to get the shot. It's better to have more capability than less, especially if all other things of import are equal. In this case, not only are they more or less equal (high ISO is the only real difference, but even that only differs by about a stop, which won't really matter until he's up above ISO 6400. As you can see from my previously posted example shot, the 40D does nicely at ISO 5000, just 1/3 stop below ISO 6400), but they come at a cost savings to boot.

The fact of the matter is that the 40D is the most camera he can get for the money in the T3 price range.

If he's to be saddled with a "basic" camera, then he may as well get a 20D for around $125, which is what KEH (external link) is selling one for right now (and it comes with a 6 month warranty to boot). It'll do very good ISO 3200 with the proper postprocessing, and people are still getting fantastic results with it (and its 30D sibling) to this day: https://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthre​ad.php?t=464354

Oh, think the 20D/30D can't do ISO 6400? Think again. ISO 3200, pushed a stop. No luminance noise reduction. Standard Lightroom color noise reduction (25). Processed in Lightroom 4. Reduction in blacks only:

IMAGE: http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5328/9095282595_3e73f38f9c_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/n2185x/90952825​95/  (external link)
IMG_5088-1.jpg (external link) by n2185x (external link), on Flickr


Yep, there are white speckles at 100%. That can be eliminated in postprocessing. Note how they don't show up much at sufficiently reduced size.

While the above isn't as good as what can be achieved by the current generation cameras, it's worlds better than what the OP can get with his current gear. And it's dirt cheap: $125 with a 6 month warranty!

The reason I recommend the 40D is because of its autofocus capabilities. But as I said, if it's just a basic camera he wants/needs, the 20D is a far better deal than the T3.

If you're just starting out in DSLR photography, there really isn't any reason to go with a new camera body unless you really need video, something that is generally better done with a dedicated video camera (because the out-of-the-box ergonomics for video in a DSLR are horrible, and you'll spend a big pile of money fixing just that).

"There are some things that money can't buy, but they aren't Ls and aren't worth having" -- Shooter-boy
Canon: 2 x 7D, Sigma 17-50 f/2.8 OS, 55-250 IS, Sigma 8-16, 24-105L, Sigma 50/1.4, other assorted primes, and a 430EX.
Nikon: D750, D600, 24-85 VR, 50 f/1.8G, 85 f/1.8G, Tamron 24-70 VC, Tamron 70-300 VC.

  
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kcbrown
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Jun 20, 2013 19:23 |  #41

A comment about high ISO shooting under the conditions the OP wants to shoot in:

It's ice hockey. Darned near everything is white, or close to it. That means that noise in the shots will generally be much less apparent than in most situations, which means you can crank your ISO (or push your shots) quite a lot higher than you might otherwise. All that remains is proper postprocessing to make the blacks look good and midtones acceptable.


"There are some things that money can't buy, but they aren't Ls and aren't worth having" -- Shooter-boy
Canon: 2 x 7D, Sigma 17-50 f/2.8 OS, 55-250 IS, Sigma 8-16, 24-105L, Sigma 50/1.4, other assorted primes, and a 430EX.
Nikon: D750, D600, 24-85 VR, 50 f/1.8G, 85 f/1.8G, Tamron 24-70 VC, Tamron 70-300 VC.

  
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Mavgirl
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Jun 20, 2013 19:44 |  #42

kcbrown wrote in post #16049657 (external link)
That's true. However, he can learn those things just as well with a more capable camera as with a less capable one.

Less bells and whistles, yes. Less capable? Only if the photographer chooses to let it be less.

The fact of the matter is that the 40D is the most camera he can get for the money in the T3 price range.

A used T2i falls in that price range and many might see that as a "better" option than a 40D. It just depends on your point of view.


6D/50D/350D with too many lenses
Calumet 4x5, Pentax SV 35mm, Canon A-1, Rebel G and many more toys...

  
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kcbrown
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Jun 20, 2013 19:50 |  #43

Just for fun, I took that same shot and pushed it an additional stop, to see what ISO 12800 equivalent out of the 30D would look like. Here's what I get. No postprocessing changes other than the additional bump in exposure:

IMAGE: http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5482/9097687192_d0a39b82eb_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/n2185x/90976871​92/  (external link)
IMG_5088-1.jpg (external link) by n2185x (external link), on Flickr


You can see that this is really pushing the limits of the sensor, but it's still usable as long as your standards aren't incredibly high. A bit of touchup to the areas that are 1-2 stops below neutral would result in something that would look pleasing in a 5x7 print, I think (well, if the subject matter were better, at any rate. :lol:).


Anyway, the point here is that while the T3 may do better at high ISO, the older cameras are still quite usable at very high ISO, and are way cheaper.

"There are some things that money can't buy, but they aren't Ls and aren't worth having" -- Shooter-boy
Canon: 2 x 7D, Sigma 17-50 f/2.8 OS, 55-250 IS, Sigma 8-16, 24-105L, Sigma 50/1.4, other assorted primes, and a 430EX.
Nikon: D750, D600, 24-85 VR, 50 f/1.8G, 85 f/1.8G, Tamron 24-70 VC, Tamron 70-300 VC.

  
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kcbrown
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Jun 20, 2013 19:59 |  #44

Mavgirl wrote in post #16049827 (external link)
Less bells and whistles, yes. Less capable? Only if the photographer chooses to let it be less.

Yes, less capable. Remember, we're talking about the camera, not the photographer. The T3 will not do as well for tracking action as the 40D, nor will it get anything close to the same burst rate, etc. I suspect the shutter lag is noticeably longer as well, but I'd have to look that up. As a tool for making it possible or easier to capture images, the T3 is simply not as good as the 40D. Indeed, in terms of ergonomics, it's not even as good as the 20D, which is a far less expensive camera, but is roughly the same in terms of capability (the 20D is actually faster in terms of burst, at 5 frames/second).

Older cameras are so much less expensive not because they are less capable, but because they are less featureful. And people often value newness over actual capability. That tends to drive the price of used camera equipment down, because people like to upgrade their camera gear when they don't really need to.

A used T2i falls in that price range and many might see that as a "better" option than a 40D. It just depends on your point of view.

It really depends on what the OP needs. Since he's shooting action, my opinion is that he needs better autofocus and, possibly, the higher frame rate, more than he needs the high ISO improvements, especially in light of the already-demonstrated high ISO capability of these older cameras.


"There are some things that money can't buy, but they aren't Ls and aren't worth having" -- Shooter-boy
Canon: 2 x 7D, Sigma 17-50 f/2.8 OS, 55-250 IS, Sigma 8-16, 24-105L, Sigma 50/1.4, other assorted primes, and a 430EX.
Nikon: D750, D600, 24-85 VR, 50 f/1.8G, 85 f/1.8G, Tamron 24-70 VC, Tamron 70-300 VC.

  
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Jeff_56
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Jun 20, 2013 20:51 |  #45
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The T3 is a solid entry level camera. The fact is that some of us have shot with far less and had no problems achieving good focus. You can learn to use any AF system to your advantage and becoming adept at manually focusing when necessary can also serve you very well (I can MF faster than many of my lower end lenses lock on with my 50D and 6D).

Could the T3 limit you in some ways? Yes. But you can totally learn to work within and then around those limits. And once you've learned how to push that bare bones camera to it's limits you can carry those skills to your next camera you will be able to push that camera even further.

How come it took me 900 words to say that? :( ;) Obviously there are better cameras than the T3. There are also things called budgets too. Buying used can be good but it can also lead to a total loss of money with no way or recouping anything.

My point again was that we managed to get good sports photos with film cameras shooting 400 ISO without auto focus of any kind and without auto exposure either. I think it's possible to get decent sports shots with a T3 with a modicum of effort. Will it be as easy as some other cameras? Nope. Will it work? Yep.

When people tell you that you should move up in class I always remember that I could have bought a lower class but I did move up. I could have bought a point and shoot for example. Some of them take very good photos. Heck I still have a 2mp P&S that took thousands of great images for me when my kids were in school doing sports. I'd say that in 2 years the cameras that simply must be bought now will be cameras that simply must be avoided.

I remember carrying that Sony 2mp camera around on a flash bar because it wouldn't pick up light well enough to get good photos at basketball games without a 100 ft. flash. I could have used that flash to blind the opposing team at just the right time if I wanted to be mean. But all I did was find a way to get good photos with the available equipment. DSLR's were still incredibly expensive at the time. My photos were good enough that the high school begged me for copies to include in their annual. I still have a 8X10 of my father in law in the living room of my house. People swore I couldn't get 8X10's from a 2mp camera back then before my FIL passed away. I'm really, really glad they were wrong. That photo looks excellent to this day.

Photography is about technique as much as it is equipment. I was lucky enough to take a very good photography class way back when and I still use what I learned back then (middle 1970's). I remember when I was taking the class that the photography majors said our twin lens reflex, medium format cameras we all used were total junk (the university provided them for the semester long class - 3 hours plus an hour lab a week for 4 months - the photography majors, which occupied the dark room most of the time we weren't there, were all using Nikons). I also have a Yashicamat Electro Range Finder too. It was supposedly better than the non auto exposure models and the Nikons were supposed to be even better. The more things change the more they stay the same. I ran across some of the photos I took in that class recently. They still look very good today. Medium format makes for great photos IMO. If you know how to make the cameras work any way.




  
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Advice on a first dslr camera purchase
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Photography-on-the.net Digital Photography Forums is the website for photographers and all who love great photos, camera and post processing techniques, gear talk, discussion and sharing. Professionals, hobbyists, newbies and those who don't even own a camera -- all are welcome regardless of skill, favourite brand, gear, gender or age. Registering and usage is free.