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Thread: New Camera Advice PLEASE!

  1. #1
    rwfarnell's Avatar
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    Rob Farnell

    New Camera Advice PLEASE!

    I am looking to upgrade my present camera system and I’m looking for advice.
    Here is the situation that I’m in now:

    I have a Pentax K10D with 2 lenses (18-55mm F3.5 and a 55-300mm F4) and a battery grip.

    The enjoy taking all kinds of pictures. However my son is now in high school sports (soccer, Lacrosse and swimming) and most of the activities’ take place at night and with difficult lighting. So my main goal is to get newer camera that does well with fast action and low light.

    I am willing to move completely out of Pentax to a Canon or Nikon if it would be best for what I’m trying to accomplish and within my budget.

    My budget is this:

    About $800 ($500 and around $350 for the trade in of my current kit at B&H and Adaroma)

    The main cameras that I’m looking at now are:

    Pentax K-r, Canon T2i, and the Nikon 3100d

    Does anyone have any suggestions for me?

    Speed and low light are most important.

    One last note: a friend of mine has a 70-300 mm lens for Canon that he would let me use till I was able to get a second lens or another lens that would go with the 18-55mm lens that comes with most camera kits.

    Thanks Rob
    rwfarnell@yahoo.com
    Last edited by rwfarnell; 7th March 2011 at 04:13 PM.

  2. #2
    tbob's Avatar
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    Re: New Camera Advice PLEASE!

    Low light performance (speed and low noise) is something you will find difficult to achieve in a D format camera. The problem only becomes worse as the mega pixel count rises and each pixel becomes smaller and can gather less light (the analogy of a bucket versus a teacup in a rain shower; the bucket has a larger surface area so will collect more rainwater (photons) in a given time). So when you have 12 plus megapixels crammed onto a small sensor the light collecting ability drops off considerably, you actually get better low light performance in a 6 megapixel D format than a 12 megapixel D format. Clear as mud?

    Unfortunately full frame digital SLR's are slightly over the $800 price. Slightly like three to four times.

    Life sucks

  3. #3

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    Re: New Camera Advice PLEASE!

    Quote Originally Posted by tbob View Post
    The problem only becomes worse as the mega pixel count rises and each pixel becomes smaller and can gather less light (the analogy of a bucket versus a teacup in a rain shower; the bucket has a larger surface area so will collect more rainwater (photons) in a given time). So when you have 12 plus megapixels crammed onto a small sensor the light collecting ability drops off considerably, you actually get better low light performance in a 6 megapixel D format than a 12 megapixel D format. Clear as mud?
    This is something that's often said, but I think people often also forget that for a given area of a print, the smaller the area these "noisier" pixels represent, and thus the more the noise is averaged out; same goes for images down-sampled for online display. So a higher pixel density camera may look noisier than a lower pixel density camera when "pixel peeping" at 100%, but one needs to keep in mind that if printed at the same resolution, you'd be talking about different sized prints, so it wouldn't be an apples with apples comparison.

    My suggestion when it comes to noise is - provided that the shot is exposed correctly and not excessively cropped - is "simply don't worry about it"; it does by far the least damage to an image when the alternatives are camera shake / motion blur and/or insufficient depth of field.

    Case in point ... shot this @ ISO 1600 on a 1Ds3 (which is somewhat dated and nothing special with respect to high ISO performance). Does the "noise" detract from the photo particularly? Personally, I don't think so.

    New Camera Advice PLEASE!

  4. #4
    pwnage101's Avatar
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    Re: New Camera Advice PLEASE!

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    This is something that's often said, but I think people often also forget that for a given area of a print, the smaller the area these "noisier" pixels represent, and thus the more the noise is averaged out; same goes for images down-sampled for online display. So a higher pixel density camera may look noisier than a lower pixel density camera when "pixel peeping" at 100%, but one needs to keep in mind that if printed at the same resolution, you'd be talking about different sized prints, so it wouldn't be an apples with apples comparison.
    Another way of thinking about it is the following:
    Smaller buckets collect less water, but more buckets collect more water.

  5. #5
    Sonic4Spuds's Avatar
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    Re: New Camera Advice PLEASE!

    The t2i is the one that I would go for, especally because of the offered borrow of the lens.

    -Sonic

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    Re: New Camera Advice PLEASE!

    Quote Originally Posted by pwnage101 View Post
    Another way of thinking about it is the following:
    Smaller buckets collect less water, but more buckets collect more water.
    So it evens out

  7. #7
    tbob's Avatar
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    Re: New Camera Advice PLEASE!

    This is sort of disjointed as I had to leave (quickly) before finishing my post with the crucial final thoughts.

    The cost factor is usually prohibitive, what you really have to determine is how desperately you want or need really good low light performance. Unless you need to spend the extra money (using the decision chain: do I want it?>do I need it?>Can I afford it? No at any step and no purchase) go with the t2i.

  8. #8
    tbob's Avatar
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    Re: New Camera Advice PLEASE!

    web site with some info on light gathering, there are tonnes info on this with a quick search

    http://www.opendigitalphotography.co...otography.html

  9. #9
    ktuli's Avatar
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    Re: New Camera Advice PLEASE!

    Rob,

    Another thing to think about is selling your equipment yourself (craigslist/ebay). I know getting the trade-in with B&H or Adorama is tempting (and I have nothing against them running a used equipment business), but one thing you have to remember is that they can't give you full value for your equipment because they have to turn around and put a mark-up on it to make a profit (they are running a business after all).

    If you want to squeeze every last bit out of your gear to offset the cost of the new stuff, do some research to see what places like Adorama/B&H would sell it for, then drop your price a small portion, and see what you can get. If you end up not being able to sell it, you can always fall back on the trade-in value.

    Enjoy your new gear!

    - Bill

    PS: I'd vote for the T2i, but that's just because I shoot Canon myself. I also think Canon or Nikon will give you more lens options in the future for fast glass to help with the speed/low light situations (but again, I have no evidence to back up that statement, but it is definitely something I'd look into if I were you).

  10. #10

    Re: New Camera Advice PLEASE!

    Quote Originally Posted by ktuli View Post
    Rob,

    Another thing to think about is selling your equipment yourself (craigslist/ebay). I know getting the trade-in with B&H or Adorama is tempting (and I have nothing against them running a used equipment business), but one thing you have to remember is that they can't give you full value for your equipment because they have to turn around and put a mark-up on it to make a profit (they are running a business after all).

    If you want to squeeze every last bit out of your gear to offset the cost of the new stuff, do some research to see what places like Adorama/B&H would sell it for, then drop your price a small portion, and see what you can get. If you end up not being able to sell it, you can always fall back on the trade-in value.

    Enjoy your new gear!

    - Bill

    PS: I'd vote for the T2i, but that's just because I shoot Canon myself. I also think Canon or Nikon will give you more lens options in the future for fast glass to help with the speed/low light situations (but again, I have no evidence to back up that statement, but it is definitely something I'd look into if I were you).
    I agree with the above quote my best friend just yesterday got a used (in awesome condition) Canon 5D which is a full frame which will do a better job for low light situations for you, she paid $600 for it. I can't say what an amazing deal that was but do your homework try selling yours first see how much money you can get and then maybe you can increase you amount that you can spend.
    Also If you go with a cropped sensor camera I love the Nikon 90D. It has a slightly larger sensor but also less Mega pixels I believe it has 12.3 in comparison to the T2i which if I'm not mistaken has 18 mp. Which ever way you go... good luck and happy shopping.

  11. #11
    rwfarnell's Avatar
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    Rob Farnell

    Re: New Camera Advice PLEASE!

    Thanks to all, for the help and advice.
    I'll keep you posted.

    Thanks again,
    Rob

  12. #12
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    Re: New Camera Advice PLEASE!

    Quote Originally Posted by ktuli View Post
    Rob,

    .....getting the trade-in with B&H or Adorama is tempting (and I have nothing against them running a used equipment business), but one thing you have to remember is that they can't give you full value for your equipment because they have to turn around and put a mark-up on it to make a profit (they are running a business after all).
    You're absolutely correct; you can expect to receive approximately 70% of the Adorama expected re-sale value (could be a little more for a unit in exceptional condition, short supply - or if you are looking to trade up).

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