DSLR for a young family

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by vonbonds, Jan 24, 2008.

  1. vonbonds

    vonbonds TPF Noob!

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    Hi all,

    This is my first post on this board but I have been lurking for a bit. My wife is expecting our first child and I of course want to take a bazillion photos when she gives birth :). I have a Canon G2 and have used my brothers Panasonic FZ5 quite a bit. Both are nice cameras (his FZ5 is really nice) but I want a DSLR for the ability to take quicker photos (between shots, my Canon feels really slow) and to have a camera that I can grow with to take great photos of my family. I will be interested in the obvious photos of the family in the house, outside playing and eventually school plays and whatever sports they (hopefully we can have 2 children!) get into.

    I have been looking at the Olympus E-510, Nikon D40x and the Canon EOS 40D. Obviously the 40D is level above the other two but sometimes it is fun to dream. I just went to Ritz Camera to touch them all and see how they felt. They all felt nice of course but the Canon stood out for its heft and size. I am sure that is because it is built with quality materials but for my needs coupled with the price I ruled it out for me. Between the Olympus and Nikon I think the Olympus E-510 fits my needs perfectly.

    I have read that when buying SLR cameras with a lense in the package it is usually a bad idea as the kit lense is usually of poor quality. From the reviews of the Olympus E-510 two lense kit they seem to be pretty good and worth getting.

    I guess I am just looking for people to confirm my thinking that the Olympus E-510 is the right camera for me and my generic needs. I know there is no perfect camera and the "Four Thirds" technology leads to more noise at higher resolutions and it isn't great in low light but I think I can work my way around that.

    If I should look at cameras too please make a suggestion. Also no matter what I get should I get an external flash (if so what)? On top of getting a camera I am thinking about getting an iMac to deal with the post processing as I plan to shoot in RAW mode. I have never owned a Mac before but from what I hear it is a great tool for photography editing. On top of that I used to be a UNIX admin so the BSD based OS should feel like heaven to me over a PC :).

    This first post has been a nice ramble...I will stop here and hopefully read the replies!

    Tom
     
  2. Emerana

    Emerana TPF Noob!

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    I have 2 toddlers and I can tell you, when the kids get up and moving, a big camera is cumbersome. Maybe being a dad it wont be such a juggling act. I have an xti and I like that it is smaller then the 40D and really just almost as good. I have a friend with a 40D and it just seems too big to deal with while chasing a toddler.

    Congrats on the baby! being a parent is the best ever. My 1 year old started walking tonight!! and my 2 year old just learned to count to 10. It is such a joy!!
     
  3. Emerana

    Emerana TPF Noob!

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    oh if you get a canon you should get a 430ex speedlite (bounce off the ceiling or wall so you dont blind your child) and a 50mm f/1.8 ( perfect lens for taking baby photos)
     
  4. hamster

    hamster TPF Noob!

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    If you like how the olympus feels in your hand, you won't be disappointed. It's a nice camera, and the lenses are very good for kit lenses.

    I use an E-500, and it's been great for portraits and candids of my son. He's a fast little bugger too.
     
  5. Mav

    Mav TPF Noob!

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    I'd seriously consider a Nikon D80 also. I have one and it's great. I have a D40 non-x and it's great too. Most kit lenses are fine, but just won't perform in low light very well. You should try to avoid using the flash with newborns (their eyes are still developing) so you'll need a FAST lens, especially for the delivery room. DO NOT USE direct flash on their eyes. Bounce is ok, but I'd still try to avoid and shoot natural light as much as possible. I used my D80 and the 35mm f/2 lens (smaller f/number = larger maximum aperture and more speed) and got a ton of great photos w/o a flash. You'll still be up at high ISO a lot even with a fast lens in dim light with a baby that doesn't know to hold still, so good high ISO performance is still needed. Canon, Olympus, or Nikon really doesn't matter. The LENS is what matters, and that said, you'll have a much greater lens selection to choose from both new and used with Nikon or Canon, along with better high ISO performance. The rest is all up to you.

    I started with a Mac Mini and upgraded to a 24" iMac for Christmas. Love it! The 24" screen is great for photo work, and the color accuracy is great too. I use DxO for post-processing images and don't even need to screw around with RAW for the most part.
     
  6. Happy Hour

    Happy Hour TPF Noob!

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    have you looked at the Pentax K10D or K100D and the Sony A100 they are very reasonably priced I have a Sony A100 and i can't say enough good about it and my A700 is in the mail. but Everyone will say the same about there brand camera.Just a thought of why your are limiting your options to only those 2 brands. the A100 is on sale right now($500.00 or so) because the A200 comes out in 2 weeks. as far as kit lenses go they are practically free usually $100 more for it in the kit. being a Noob to the Slr market I highly doubt you will see the downsides of a kit lens. the main complaint I always here is a little soft around the edges of the pic. and i think that goes for the majority of kit lenses. My sister has the Rebel xti and only the kit lens and thinks it's the greatest camera and lens in the entire world!But comparing them to my pics they are a bit shy of good to me. But that is the difference of a noob and someone with experience. what ever camera you end up with I'd say get the kit lens, It's not allot of$$ and when you get more experienced with your cam you can get a different lens to add to your existing giving you a more broad range of options.
     
  7. vonbonds

    vonbonds TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for all of your responses!

    Even though I am 6'1" and *ahem* of a decent size lugging around the Canon 40D wouldn't be as big an issue for me but I agree, it is more than I want to deal with while handling a baby.

    Even though I mentioned just three brands it doesn't mean I am not open to others. I simply listed the three cameras I have researched the most. I will research all of the cameras listed here.

    Thanks for the tips on flashes with babies. I had no clue!
     
  8. Parkerman

    Parkerman TPF Noob!

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    If you choose to go with nikon, dont go for the D40x. just get the D40. Extra pixels arent worth it unless you plan to blow the pictures up. And if i were you, with the money that you would save with doing that.. I would buy it bundled with the kit lense.. [18-55mm] and a 55-200mm VR lense.

    I have the Nikon D40, my brother has the Canon rebel xti. Both are good cameras. If i remember right, the D40 weighs a bit less than the Xti, but dont quote me on that.
     
  9. Happy Hour

    Happy Hour TPF Noob!

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    i beg to differ! I read post after post about people saying the D40 is not for a noob. here is a post on that.
    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=99621&highlight=D40
     
  10. Parkerman

    Parkerman TPF Noob!

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    I read through that till about post 20ish.

    The only thing they are bitching about is that it cant AF with lenses without an internal AF motor, thats pretty much it. How that doesn't make it a good beginner camera, I fail to see.

    I will say this though. The D40 is not for someone who is going to want to invest money into a vast arsenal of lenses.

    Yet it with its base 18-55mm lense and the 55-200mm vr lense i was talking about is perfect for a beginner.

    As far as functions of it and the way it works, I find it easier to use vs my brothers XTi, that may just be because its my camera.


    But to say that a camera isn't for a "noob" because they can't upgrade lenses just seems silly to me. Its a great starter camera that will get you into photography, if you want to go further you could sell it and buy something else. But if you dont, its still just a great starter camera that can take wonderful pictures.

    Also, if you happen to come along a cheap lense that doesnt have an internal AF motor, just broaden [sp?] your photography skills and learn how to manually focus.
     
  11. Atropine

    Atropine TPF Noob!

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    Are you sure a dslr is the right option? When I read your post I sense that you are mostly looking for a good camera just to "capture the moment". A good P&S would be the better choice. Not only because it is faster to use than a dslr, but also because it is much easier to bring along. It will be there during those memorable moments you want to save in your photo album.

    You have a Canon G2 and you mention that it is too slow but you don't say much about the image quality or lack of functions. I would suggest the Canon G9. A great camera with lots of manual possibilities, and it's fast. It will probably do the job just fine and after a couple of years when you have explored that cameras manual abilities and maybe started to shoot in raw, the transition to a dslr will most likely be very smooth.
     
  12. passerby

    passerby TPF Noob!

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    I think I am with Atropine. For the kids the snap shooter is handier, you can have it in the pocket whenever it is needed. Slr is for planned shot I believe, it can not really be hurried until you are really trained. I am certain - facing the ever moving child you will sit on the "Auto" mode eternally.

    Just an opinion though. But yes by all mean have dslr. The olympus e510 has built in anti shake, so using any lense is guaranted stable shot. I was almost took the e 510, but than the nikon lovers persuade me in the end.
     

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