Virgin post: Dilemma of a newbie...


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diiva

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Jan 11, 2009
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#1
Hello everybody. This is my first post but I been reading CS forum (on and off).

Facing a dilemma that some of you might have gone thru before. I'm currently using a compact p&c Canon Ixus 800IS. Pretty happy with the outdoor and travel shots but indoor shots are bad (either harsh flash or blur image when I turn off flash).

I am thinking of taking it to the next level (partly also because my first baby is due soon) and produce better photos. So looking at two areas: 1) get a prosumer p&c (eg Canon G10) and do more ps (which I know nuts about) or 2) get a dslr and learn to take better pict and do some ps.

I consulted a friend who is into photography and his advice is just get a prosumer (for me). Reason is: 1) dslr is a huge investment and using only kit lens images might be on par on worse than some prosumer, 2) master ps and can get desired shots from prosumer, 3) probably easier to use a p&s to get shot on kids rather than lug a dslr around.

My other thoughts are 1) since I already have a p&s (though not prosumer grade) getting an entry dlsr might be able to get creative shots (like bokeh), 2) price of entry dslr is pretty close to prosumer, 3) G10 seems slow from review and more suited for landscape and posed photos rather than moving objects (maybe I should look at other prosumer but currently only research on G10).

Usual photo objects are people and travel (though this would be on hold for at least 2 years since baby coming).

Your thoughts?
 

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Pokka

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Aug 17, 2002
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#2
From the looks of it, it seems you're slightly inclined to buy a dslr. I would say if your finances approves you of purchasing a dslr, go get it!
 

ZerocoolAstra

Senior Member
Mar 13, 2008
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#3
Some of the reasons why a DSLR would be better suited for your requirements (i'm only stating the more relevant reasons):
1) larger sensor produces photos with lower noise levels at high ISO (useful in low light).
2) auto-focus response is much faster and more accurate on DSLR.
3) Power-up is much faster
4) Battery life is much longer
5) Can mount flashgun to achieve bounced lighting

My opinion is that even DSLR with kit lens will produce much better shots than PnS/Superzoom, provided both are used to their maximum potential.

Bokeh is another matter altogether. Although the DOF is narrower on a DSLR's kit lens compared with Pns/Superzoom, you won't really get the nice out-of-focus effects on the background. For that, you'll need more exotic lenses with larger maximum apertures. The cheapest additional lens to achieve a narrow DOF is probably the prime 50mm f/1.8 (<$200).
 

zac08

Senior Member
Feb 21, 2005
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#4
Personally...

since you've mentioned shooting a new baby, I'd ask you to start with a DSLR and a simple 30mm fast lens (35mm f2, 30mm f1.4) or 50mm fast lens (f1.8 or f1.4) without flash.

Babies eyes are relatively weak against direct flash light and may be harmed by it in the long term. As such, most would actually reccomend shooting with natural light.

Look around and consider your budget carefully too. If you choose Nikon, do note that the beginner cameras like D40, D60 does not have a focusing motor on the camera body and thus cannot use the cheaper lens of the AF or AF-D variety. You might do better with a camera model like the D80 or D90 which allows you to use a larger range of lenses with AF function included.

And before your kid is born, do practise first... your next best choice is your wife. Shoot more, practise using the gear and you'll do better when your kid is born.

Also read up on the various formats, jpg and raw. Which you'd find better results with and which you would handle better, for quick simple developing or for keeping, etc...


Cheers,
 

zcf

Senior Member
Apr 10, 2005
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#5
for indoor and baby shot. I would say even the lowest end DSLR is still much better than a prosumer P&S in term or image quality and high ISO bnoise performance.

If you really want to consider prosumer P&S, do consider Panasonic LX3, as it has a bigger apperture lens, and better ISO performance than Canon G10 in low light or indoor shoot.
 

virus530

New Member
Oct 3, 2008
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#6
function included.

And before your kid is born, do practise first... your next best choice is your wife. Shoot more, practise using the gear and you'll do better when your kid is born.
To TS,

Quoted from Zac is a very good sugguestion.
I also got into the hobby because of my new born.
My only regret is that I never start earlier.
Mainly because I missed out those shot that I can take of my wife when her tummy is big.
So you may wan to consider getting it ASAP if your baby is going to be due in 2 mths.
Not too sure if they allow you to bring DSLR into delivery room.
I would definitely bring mine in if they allow.
 

estel

New Member
Jul 17, 2006
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#7
5) Can mount flashgun to achieve bounced lighting
prosumers can also mount flashes but you'd better not use flash on newborn baby, bounced or not. Its still bright light, it's still flashing, and the poor baby can't complain even if it doesn't like it.

TS if you want to start small, you can buy a second hand or entry range DSLR with a kit lens and a lens (assuming Canon) such as 50mm f/1.8. That combination would enable you to get decent pics with room lights as well as travel and people photos. Good luck!
 

diiva

New Member
Jan 11, 2009
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#8
Thanks guys for the post. Gonna borrow a friend's dslr over the weekend and get some hands on before deciding...
 

sin77

New Member
Nov 28, 2004
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#9
you may also consider Nikon D90 for its superior iso performance as an entry level DSLR.
Somemore it can take video of your kid.

But having dslr means it is bulky and heavy.

But if u use a compact p&s camera, it is almost like useless in most of the indoor low-light condition.
Perhaps then, you should get Panasonic LX3 or Fujifilm superccd F20, F30, F31fd.
 

CYRN

Senior Member
Nov 14, 2002
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photoevangel.com
#11
Babies hate big black DSLR with long lense! consider this instead (plus your wife may grab it and you have reason to buy another thing)

Go for Panasonic G1 <-- not dslr, but can change lense!

http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showthread.php?t=457329
http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showthread.php?t=454132
while better then P&S.. I dun recommend G1 for this case... LX-3 would be better.
 

Octarine

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 3, 2008
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#12
Babies eyes are relatively weak against direct flash light and may be harmed by it in the long term. As such, most would actually reccomend shooting with natural light.
I have read this now a couple of times whenever somebody is asking about shooting babies. Is there any scientific reason or is this just "better be safe than sorry"? Pictures of babies are taken every day around the world but so far I haven't heard of any case where a baby's eyes were harmed by flash.
Found a few links that I would consider serious enough:
http://photo.net/canon-eos-digital-camera-forum/00JlBZ
http://www.cyh.com/HealthTopics/HealthTopicDetails.aspx?p=114&np=122&id=1974 (Scroll down to "Taking Photographs")
http://www.nyip.com/ezine/people-and-pets/babyphotos.html
From all this I'd say: use flash, but whatever you would not like (direct, straight into eyes etc.) the little one won't like either.
 

diiva

New Member
Jan 11, 2009
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#13
Maybe not directly at the baby's eye. I mean it might not be harmful but after strong flash, we sometimes experience "bright spots" which might irritate and shock the baby?

Just my guess...
 

zac08

Senior Member
Feb 21, 2005
11,755
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#14
I have read this now a couple of times whenever somebody is asking about shooting babies. Is there any scientific reason or is this just "better be safe than sorry"? Pictures of babies are taken every day around the world but so far I haven't heard of any case where a baby's eyes were harmed by flash.
Found a few links that I would consider serious enough:
http://photo.net/canon-eos-digital-camera-forum/00JlBZ
http://www.cyh.com/HealthTopics/HealthTopicDetails.aspx?p=114&np=122&id=1974 (Scroll down to "Taking Photographs")
http://www.nyip.com/ezine/people-and-pets/babyphotos.html
From all this I'd say: use flash, but whatever you would not like (direct, straight into eyes etc.) the little one won't like either.
One simple guage... can you take it even with our adult eyes reacting to the flashes??

Next, their bodies are still growing, do you want to risk their eyesight?? Right now, there are plenty of kids growing up short-sighted due to bad reading habits, tv, computers, etc... do you want to risk adding flashes as one of the contributing factor??

I don't. ;)

Better safe than sorry.
 

aryanto

New Member
Feb 16, 2005
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singapore
#15
Octarine, would you do it with your own baby?

I have done it with my dog once, and he was left with emotional scar.
He knew that I was coming each time with fully charge flash due to the high pitch noise from the capacitor, and he ran and hide UNDER the cupboard!
It has clearing of 25cm and he still managed to fit in. He was medium size datschund.
I only have one good photo of him, the rest are doomed. One good photo to remember him after he passed away. :_(

I think babies will be more tolerant than dogs, but still..
 

zac08

Senior Member
Feb 21, 2005
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#16
For dogs and cats, i'd advise bounced flash (with snoot) to prevent the light from reaching to their eyes.

That way, they are more tolerant on you.

example here :


shadows underneath... and no bright green eyes...
 

Octarine

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 3, 2008
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#17
Octarine, would you do it with your own baby?
I will decide after evaluating the risks properly (if there are some). That's why I'm asking here and reading a lot of other articles and websites. I'm not into urban myths and FUD, I prefer facts and figures.
So far my online search gives the result that there is no harm using flash with babies. In the same way as none of us likes a blinding flash straight into the eyes we shouldn't do it with babies either (apart from the red eye effects). But bounce flash and diffuser create a light that's soft enough not to hurt somebody's eyes but bright enough to shorten the exposure time even for very active kids.
It even works for cats. Friends of mine tried to use PnS only with the result of annoying the cats. Using my external flash with diffuser didn't bother them at all. Not a single blink of a cat's eye.
 

simranjits

Deregistered
Apr 11, 2008
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#18
Dont forget to get a HD camcorder as well , video of kids are more interesting sometimes than photos , things like his first word etc , crawling , first steps etc.
 

zcf

Senior Member
Apr 10, 2005
6,741
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270 degree of Singapore
#19
I found that flash is very easy to catch baby attention for next shoot, though flash power were set to minimal or bounce.

Though I still don't think such a short period of flash is going to hurt baby's eye. Imagine our sunlight is even much powerful than the flash, yet most of us (probably including baby) may look at it once in a while.
 

V

vince123123

Guest
#20
Your main problem seems to be indoor shots.

For indoor shots, the advantages of a DSLR is better high ISO performance (for no flash shots). A prosumer may lose out in that respect.

However, I would say that if you have an external flash with a prosumer, you can pretty much solve a lot of the harsh flash problems that you encounter.

One other consideration is that if you intend to take photos of kids at play in the future, a DSLR will help you more as it has lower shutter lag. Of course the downside is the weight and bulk.


Hello everybody. This is my first post but I been reading CS forum (on and off).

Facing a dilemma that some of you might have gone thru before. I'm currently using a compact p&c Canon Ixus 800IS. Pretty happy with the outdoor and travel shots but indoor shots are bad (either harsh flash or blur image when I turn off flash).

I am thinking of taking it to the next level (partly also because my first baby is due soon) and produce better photos. So looking at two areas: 1) get a prosumer p&c (eg Canon G10) and do more ps (which I know nuts about) or 2) get a dslr and learn to take better pict and do some ps.

I consulted a friend who is into photography and his advice is just get a prosumer (for me). Reason is: 1) dslr is a huge investment and using only kit lens images might be on par on worse than some prosumer, 2) master ps and can get desired shots from prosumer, 3) probably easier to use a p&s to get shot on kids rather than lug a dslr around.

My other thoughts are 1) since I already have a p&s (though not prosumer grade) getting an entry dlsr might be able to get creative shots (like bokeh), 2) price of entry dslr is pretty close to prosumer, 3) G10 seems slow from review and more suited for landscape and posed photos rather than moving objects (maybe I should look at other prosumer but currently only research on G10).

Usual photo objects are people and travel (though this would be on hold for at least 2 years since baby coming).

Your thoughts?
 

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