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D3, d700, or something else for low light family kid pics

jpelizza

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I have a d7000 with 18-200 mmvr, 35 1.8, 50 mm 1.4, sb 700 flash. My issue is pics with low light with 18-200 not good, the primes are better but with them moving around tough to get shot. I'm thinking of a 24-70 mm with either a d3 d700 or something else. I've ruled out the d800 36mb beast too many pixels, memory eater I think any help??? I know it's a bit overkill for kids pics but I hate not sharp photos and they are only little once.
 
The D3s is one of the best low light cameras ever made, but I don't know what it costs or how much you want to spend... I've seen shots at ISO12800 out of that thing that look better than my camera at 3200.
 
I think a <$400 flash would be more beneficial than a $2000 or $4500 body+$2000 lens would. Look at either an SB 600 or an SB 800. They both allow you to bounce the flash off of the walls or ceilings, and you'd be able to use your 18-200 no problem. If its family pics, you family wouldn't mind the flash most likely
 
I think a <$400 flash would be more beneficial than a $2000 or $4500 body+$2000 lens would. Look at either an SB 600 or an SB 800. They both allow you to bounce the flash off of the walls or ceilings, and you'd be able to use your 18-200 no problem. If its family pics, you family wouldn't mind the flash most likely

OP has an SB700..

Flash is the ideal low light solution, but it isn't always appropriate. There are many situations where I avoid using flash, either because it's not practical, not respectful, or simply is not the look I want for the shot. But yeah, in a situation where you can use flash correctly, it will you get you better results than any crazy body.
 
I guess I left out the focus issues. I leave it most of the time on afa auto. Many times it focusing not where I want it too. If I have it in afs single point the kids don't sit still enough for that, hence why I was thinking of d3 as it is suppose to be superior af than my d7000. And yes I use the an 700 all the time to bounce the light off ceilings it does help for sure.
 
The best part of an external flash isn't necessarily the light it puts out...ok, well, maybe the second best part is the focusing grid it projects. When you half press the shutter, are you seeing the red grid projected? It is insanely helpful, and should alleviate your focus issues. From what I understand, your D7000 should be able to provide more than adequate results for what you are trying to do. Sure, a 24-70 2.8 would be nice, but with your current gear, you should be able to get great results.

Care to post a few examples of some shots that you are proud of, and some that you aren't so proud of. Maybe we can help you with what you currently have.

If you still want to upgrade, the D700 has come down in price quite a bit and is a phenomenal value, but I think you would see more of an improvement with the 24-70 than you would the D700.
 
D700 and a Nikkor 24-70 2.8 with proper OCF lighting gear is a wonderful thing indoors.
 
I agree the 24-70 seems to be the first move for now. I will try to load a few pics though thanks
 
I agree the 24-70 seems to be the first move for now. I will try to load a few pics though thanks

Yeah you'll get the low light performance but also a host of other "better" performance attributes. That lens is incredible
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Getting good photos of small kids indoors is not always "easy". It requires knowledge, understanding, skill, and often some actual physical effort. You have two good primes, the 35 and the 50, for lower-light usage indoors. BUT, as with any prime, YOU will need to move closer, farther, bend down, crouch down, sit down, move left,move right, etc,etc., in order to get "the best" possible photos of your kids. When my son was little, I spent hundreds of hours photographing him, indoors, and outdoors, from close and from far,and from intermediate distance. Natural light, natural light + fill flash, all-flash, bounce flash,panning, studio flash indoors, you name it. And the thing is this: the best photos often result from really "working at it"...leaving you a bit sweaty, maybe a bit out of breath.

Yes...they are only little once. If you want great kid pics, you'll need to use all your tools. One suggestion I have is to elevate your ISO level to around 500 or 640, and to use flash to fill in shadows. One way to do this is to meter for indoor lighting conditions, then set the flash to MINUS 2.0 stops or even as much as MINUS 2.7 f/stops.
 
Derrel said:
Getting good photos of small kids indoors is not always "easy". It requires knowledge, understanding, skill, and often some actual physical effort. You have two good primes, the 35 and the 50, for lower-light usage indoors. BUT, as with any prime, YOU will need to move closer, farther, bend down, crouch down, sit down, move left,move right, etc,etc., in order to get "the best" possible photos of your kids. When my son was little, I spent hundreds of hours photographing him, indoors, and outdoors, from close and from far,and from intermediate distance. Natural light, natural light + fill flash, all-flash, bounce flash,panning, studio flash indoors, you name it. And the thing is this: the best photos often result from really "working at it"...leaving you a bit sweaty, maybe a bit out of breath.

Yes...they are only little once. If you want great kid pics, you'll need to use all your tools. One suggestion I have is to elevate your ISO level to around 500 or 640, and to use flash to fill in shadows. One way to do this is to meter for indoor lighting conditions, then set the flash to MINUS 2.0 stops or even as much as MINUS 2.7 f/stops.

Thanks for advice, what setting you use most often do you think, shutter priority?
 
I use shutter priority for almost NOTHING. Except for helicopters (Seriously!), and for on-the-go, walk-about, grab-shot, panning scenarios where I want a SPECIFIC shutter speed, and am not that concerned about the aperture. So, for me, I would say that I use shutter priority about 0.00001% of the exposures that I make. Honestly. To me it is like Spot Metering. And root canals.

I most often will use Manual exposure indoors, and then bounce flash. The key is often to elevate the ISO to 500 to 640, to help compensate for the loss of light due to bouncing of the flash. Example: Shutter speed of 1/180 second, ISO 640, lens at f/7.1. Indoors, living room.

In a room that has bright sunshine coming in from outside, I want the windows to look "right", so I might very well be at 1/200 second at f/13, at ISO 100, with flash bounced, at full power.

It all "depends". There is NO SET EXPOSURE most times, except when one wants windows with sunlight to look "right". I will use whatever exposure is needed. At times, getting a certain minimum shutter speed, or faster, is important, and that means getting the right exposure, in whatever mode, so that the needed shutter speed is achieved--in either manual mode, aperture priority, or shutter priority, or flexible programmed mode.
 
All off these scene modes your D7000 has:
Autumn Colors
Beach / Snow
Blossom
Candlelight
Child
Close-up
Dusk / Dawn
Food
High Key
Landscape
Low Key
Night Landscape
Night Portrait
Party / Indoor
Pet Portrait
Portrait
Silhouette
Sports
Sunset
Don't come with a D700 or a D3.
 
I use shutter priority for almost NOTHING. Except for helicopters (Seriously!), and for on-the-go, walk-about, grab-shot, panning scenarios where I want a SPECIFIC shutter speed, and am not that concerned about the aperture. So, for me, I would say that I use shutter priority about 0.00001% of the exposures that I make. Honestly. To me it is like Spot Metering. And root canals.

I most often will use Manual exposure indoors, and then bounce flash. The key is often to elevate the ISO to 500 to 640, to help compensate for the loss of light due to bouncing of the flash. Example: Shutter speed of 1/180 second, ISO 640, lens at f/7.1. Indoors, living room.

In a room that has bright sunshine coming in from outside, I want the windows to look "right", so I might very well be at 1/200 second at f/13, at ISO 100, with flash bounced, at full power.

It all "depends". There is NO SET EXPOSURE most times, except when one wants windows with sunlight to look "right". I will use whatever exposure is needed. At times, getting a certain minimum shutter speed, or faster, is important, and that means getting the right exposure, in whatever mode, so that the needed shutter speed is achieved--in either manual mode, aperture priority, or shutter priority, or flexible programmed mode.


thanks for all the help. most of the time i do use manual mode, and keep iso no higher than 800, most of the time its b/w what you recommend so i feel good about that. i guess when i grab the camera for a quick candid and don't feel like i have the time for manual mode i end up doing auto just so i get the shot in time but otherwise i use manual 95% of the time. i just got the sb700 a month ago so i have a little learning to do with it but i will try the minus 2 stops.

one more thing for anyone to answer if they want. my other biggest problem is white balance. i put it on auto most of the time, but i have fluresent lights in kitchen then in family room 15 feet away incandencents. i find my fiddling with white balance settings and missing shots as a result. i guess am i going to have to bite the bullet and start shooting raw so its not a problem or can i tackle it a bit differently? i do have a whibal card that i've been setting the balance too and it does help, but not when my kids move 15 feet to a new spot then i'm resetting it again. i'm still learning but any more tips would be great, thanks again!!!
 
All off these scene modes your D7000 has:
Autumn Colors
Beach / Snow
Blossom
Candlelight
Child
Close-up
Dusk / Dawn
Food
High Key
Landscape
Low Key
Night Landscape
Night Portrait
Party / Indoor
Pet Portrait
Portrait
Silhouette
Sports
Sunset
Don't come with a D700 or a D3.

Wow, I had NO idea it had scene modes...
 

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