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Potographing downhill racing and riding, camera choice?

Transcend

My Nuts Are Flat
Apr 18, 2002
18,045
0
Towing the party line.
Hmm thanks guys...this is all helping alot. Honestly the main reason the 20D is staying in my thoughts are the 5 FPS burst mode and getting it used at a decent price with most things I'll need (Batterys, tripod, ect.). But the XTi seems like a pretty good camera and the only major flaw being its size...which odly enough, is because its to small.

So heres a tricky one...What are the differences in the XTi and XT? The XT I can get alot cheaper and get a good flash and lense but I'm not sure. And how big of deal is it to have that fancy sensor cleaner? I have no idea what difference that will make for me. (I'll be shooting alot this summer in dusty and dry places, if that matters?)

Thanks again for all the help guys, I'm taking everything into consideration.

EDIT: Also, is a pack like this decent? This one

The size deal isn't so odd when you consider that those of us complaining about it are used to lenses that weigh twice what that camewra weighs or more. The heavier body helps to balance things out, besides being much more tough.

The XT is essentially the same camera as the 10d, with a plastic body. The XTi is essentially the 20d. They lack a few other feature, but as others have said, you won't notice them right away, and possibly at all if all you really want to do is get some decent shots. If you start to experiment with certain things, you will notice.

Those fancy sensor cleaners don;t do much. They vibrate the sensor, which knocks off SOME dust. IT falls into the sensor box and usually ends up back on the sensor in not too long. I have a $4000 camera body, i wipe the sensor with a pec pad on a spatula and some special cleaning solution. It isn't a big deal as so many people make it out to be, it just takes common sense (ie: don't push so hard that you scratch or break the low pass filter).

None of the cameras mentioned have weather sealing, so that isn't an issue. The only ones that would is the 1dsmk2 or the 1dmk2 (which are $8000 and $4000 respectively).

edit: those lenses in that kit (and most of those kits actually) are complete crap. Don't waste your money. get a body and kit lens or 50mm 1.8. Save, get something nice. Camera bodies come and go, glass is an investment.
 

muddy beast

Turbo Monkey
Nov 26, 2005
1,819
0
Alright, thanks transend...I understand things a bit better now.

Is a website like this legit? The price seems way to low...Here.

And if I buy just a body XT or XTi what lense and or flash should I look at? I typically dont use much zoom on my point and shoot when taking pictures, but I do get blur and lighting problems. So a good stabalizer and auto focus is neccesary, and a good flash would be nice too.

Thanks.
 

Transcend

My Nuts Are Flat
Apr 18, 2002
18,045
0
Towing the party line.
Not legit. Stick to bhphoto.com and adorama.com or keh.com if you want used. Most of those other places are bait and switch. The camera business is notorious for it.

All those cameras have AF the XTI probably being the best about the 10d, 20d, XT and XTi. It has the newest tech of those cameras. None will have a stabilizer ( i assume you mean IS in Canon and VR in nikon), which won't do any good at all with what you want to shoot anyways. They are in lens functions for these brands, and in general, will not help at all with action photos. They help stop hand shake if that is a problem for you.

A budget flash would be the canon 430ex. I prefer the 580ex as it has manual controls, but it is much more expensive. A great starter lens is the 50mm F1.8. It is about $70, completely plastic construction (besides glass, obviously) and is incredibly good quality for the price. I have one and have shot a few full page ads and catalogue shots with it, ironically enough. I can't help much with lenses in your price range, as I just don't know enough about which ones are good and which ones really, completely suck.
 

Kornphlake

Turbo Monkey
Oct 8, 2002
2,639
0
Portland, OR
I've got the Quantaray version of the 70-300mm lens in that kit, it's made by Tamron (or is it Sigma, they all cost the same amount and seem to be identical other than the piece of rubber on the focus and zoom ring?) It's an okay lens if you don't take pictures that have much contrast, I've tried to get a lot of wildlife pictures, specifically birds and with a bird hiding in shadows with a bright sky behind it there's a ton of purple fringing, so much that I haven't been able to correct it completely with software. It does take pretty good pictures if there isn't a lot of contrast though, at least good enough that the average person wouldn't notice. Focus is pretty slow and it hunts a lot in low light (which may be compounded by my 6 year old camera body.) I'll sell you the lens for $70, I think that's about half what I paid for it last Christmas.
 

binary visions

The voice of reason
Jun 13, 2002
21,653
402
NC
That kit you linked to is garbage. The "wide angle lens" is a screw-in addition instead of a real lens, you'll get lousy image quality with that. The filters are no doubt the cheapest filters around. The tripods are going to be worth virtually nothing.

The bag will be cheaply made...

95% of those package deals are junk.
 

muddy beast

Turbo Monkey
Nov 26, 2005
1,819
0
Yeah ritz is my "local" camera shop.

Way to pricy if you ask me though. I can get brand new XTi's $200 less then ritz offers them online/ebay.
 

binary visions

The voice of reason
Jun 13, 2002
21,653
402
NC
I hate Ritz. I'd support a local mom and pop store even to pay a little more, but Ritz is a bunch of crummy, minimum wage teenagers who don't give a damn about the product and just want to get you in and out of the store. I won't even shop online at Ritz.

Just my experience, of course, but I've been to probably 5 Ritz stores and that's how they've all been. Bunch of idiots who will say anything to get a sale and have no interest in ensuring the customer is satisfied with what they buy.
 

muddy beast

Turbo Monkey
Nov 26, 2005
1,819
0
well I went to best buy (it was convient) to get a feel on the Canon XTi, I love the feel of it...personally. My smaller teenager hands fit on the grip pretty well and I see no reason to complain.

So it looks like in a month or so I'll be getting an XTi, just need to figure out where and how. Weather I get a lense kit or body and buy a lense or flash...w/e.

suggestions are still welcome though.

EDIT: My best bet would be to buy a camera on ebay from someone I take it? Anything to look for when buying a "new" camera from someone off ebay? (Not one of thoughs kit deals...)
 

muddy beast

Turbo Monkey
Nov 26, 2005
1,819
0
Alright, heres a revive...

So I have my money, about $700 to get a Canon XTi on ebay thats has likely been used a few times or just a buy and resale or something. In adition to my money, my 16th b-day is in less then 2 weeks and I want to get an accessory for the XTi. I have been thinking flash, since I ride in forests which are usually dark (perticularly the speedlite 430EX since its affordable). BUT, another option would be to buy another lense with the $300 I have avalible (probly off ebay so if you see something feel free to post a link).

Down to the point, as most of you have figured out I'm a noob in DSLRs as of right now but I intend to become a serious hobbiest of photography with time so I have no idea what to buy. I always have trouble with blur in my fast pictures (jumping usually) and I want to change that, I also usually have fairly dark pictures that I end up editing to brighten it (but its because my P and S cameras flash is to slow so I dont use it). Do you guys think I should buy a better lens for the XTi in the $300 range on ebay, and if so what type of lense would fit my need? Or should I get the 430EX speedlite, assuming it can keep up with say 2-3FPS or atleast keep up with the camera for a fast shot?

P.S. I dont use ALOT of zoom and I will be getting the kit lense, so I was thinking a lens along the lines of 25-70(So I have the option to zoom alot for my vacations and what not, sorta all around good lens but I'm OK with less zoom, I just want good quality pictures for an Amateur). And here are some pictures I have taken in the past that proved to be a problem shot (good timing but bad lighting, blur, ect.).







Edit note: Also, I did not take these pictures...as they are me. I simply set the camera up, tell my friend were to stand/sit and tell him when you press the button (it works fairly well).

thanks again guys, you all have been alot of help for this noob! :-D
:imstupid:

Something like this?

Or this?
 

Kornphlake

Turbo Monkey
Oct 8, 2002
2,639
0
Portland, OR
The first picture just wasn't exposed correctly, your camera metered off the bright sky in the background instead of the rider in the foreground, it probably would have been a blurry shot if it were exposed to lighten the rider and the sky in the background would have been over exposed, this is one of the situations where you really have to use a flash to get a decent exposure, a powerful off camera flash or light box is about the only thing that could have saved the first picture. Read the instructions on your camera and figure out how the metering works, you should be able lock the metering and recompose the picture to force the exposure, for example if you didn't care if the sky was over exposed you could meter off the shadows, lock the exposure and then recompose the shot to include the sky in the background.

The second picture is almost good, you need to learn how to pan to get good motion blur shots where the rider is crisp and clean and the background is blurry, a first curtain flash would help to freeze the rider too, you'd need a better flash than the pop up flash to have saved that picture, but with a little better panning technique (and some attention to composition, I'd like to at least see the rear wheel of the bike,) and a good flash it could have been a great shot. The flash would have brightened up the rider and bike to make the exposure more balanced.

The third shot looks pretty good for exposure, a flash wouldn't have helped much in this case but a tripod would have helped a ton. Notice how everything is a little blurry, not just the moving rider? If the camera had been locked down on a tripod the background would have been sharp and the rider would have been a blurry smudge, with a second curtain flash you could have frozen the rider with a motion blur behind him if that were your intent.

The biggest thing I notice about all these pictures is that the areas you are shooting are so dark you're forced to use longer shutter speeds because your point and shoot camera doesn't have a very large aperture. SLRs have a ton of lens options, including some with very large apertures, to get the kind of shots like the ones you posted the best place to start would be to simply use a larger aperture and faster shutter speed and maybe over expose a half stop or brighten the picture in PS. I'd suggest 3 accessories to go along with the camera, a flash, a tripod and a lens with an aperture in the 2.0 to 1.4 range. Most zooms won't have apertures that large unless you're spending thousands of dollars, but there are a couple of fixed focal length lenses that fall into your price range that might work for you. Personally I'd start with buying a good lens, but a tripod could really help a lot and would cost a lot less than a lens, a flash will be tough to learn how and when to use, you may want to hold off until you are a little more familiar with your camera and it's capabilities, otherwise you'll end up with a lot of pictures that look like they were taken with a flash, it's tough to get natural looking shadows with a flash that is filling the picture with unnatural light.
 

muddy beast

Turbo Monkey
Nov 26, 2005
1,819
0
Kornphlake, you are awsome!

Thank you so much for your help, I'll keep the over exposer thing in mind and what not. Problem was that I usually have a friend auto set the camera (press half way down) then just take the picture so it will take a shot immediatly, and I'm not the one finding a focus point :-/. But when I get my new camera I'll keep that inmind for my pictures.



Here is a picture I personally shot, just some random water crossing on the trails...if it gives you any idea of other pictures I shoot.

What lens would you suggest in the $350 price range? The less the better.

I was thinking something along the lines of this for general shooting, and the other one for fast riding shots in the dark? Any more affordable lenses would be nice though, but I want the best quality for the money + a zoomable lens (like the sigma bellow).
This one.

and maybe this one?

Thanks again, you guys help me way better then any d0uches at ritz could.
 

Kornphlake

Turbo Monkey
Oct 8, 2002
2,639
0
Portland, OR
The canon 50mm F1.8 is a good lens, it doesn't focus as fast as the USM lenses but it's dirt cheap, almost disposable (which is good because it has a plastic lens mount.) I don't have much experience with Sigma lenses but that one that you linked to looks like a good fast lens, you might be a little concerned about that website though, generally if the price is more than 10-15% less than B&H there's a good possibility it's a scam www.resellerratings.com has pretty mixed reviews of 47th st photo. www.photographyreveiw.com has a ton of reviews on a ton of lenses that might help you out a little. One other lens to consider is the Canon 28-80 F2.8-4 L, it's an old lens that you'd have to find used but it's got better glass than just about any other lens in that price range. Just about any Canon branded lens with a metal lens mount will be a decent lens, they tend to focus faster than the third party lenses.
 

Kornphlake

Turbo Monkey
Oct 8, 2002
2,639
0
Portland, OR
It's hard to go wrong with the 50mm F1.8, you get some overlap with the zoom, and unlike most other zooms the sigma zoom maintains a constant aperture throughout the zoom range so you're not a whole lot faster with the prime lens. You might consider buying a tripod instead of the 50mm lens, I have a feeling that more often than not you'll find that the shot you couldn't get with a 2.8 aperture wouldn't be helped too much by a 1.8 aperture, a tripod might make more sense.
 

muddy beast

Turbo Monkey
Nov 26, 2005
1,819
0
Only thing with a tripod is I really dont want to carry one around. I was thinking in the next couple months I might get one of thoughts tripod like stands with only one leg (I dont know what their called). But considering I walk around, hike, ride to most of my shots a tripod is just more of a pain.
 

Quo Fan

don't make me kick your ass
FYI, I bought my P&S camera from Cameda on ebay. They were a good seller, and I had no problems with them. Fast shipping and good communication.

I bought Splat's old Digital Rebel, and I can't tell the difference between the 6mp DSLR and the 8mp p&s. I'm much more creative with the DSLR, because it can do more. The p&s is more for riding photos.

Just my $.02
 

Kornphlake

Turbo Monkey
Oct 8, 2002
2,639
0
Portland, OR
Only thing with a tripod is I really dont want to carry one around. I was thinking in the next couple months I might get one of thoughts tripod like stands with only one leg (I dont know what their called). But considering I walk around, hike, ride to most of my shots a tripod is just more of a pain.
I hear you, I hate carrying around a tripod. One thing to think about is that you can always just leave a tripod strapped to your pack and just pull it out when you need it, most packs have a loop for an ice axe (don't ask me why, I've never used an ice axe) they work pretty well for holding a tripod too, all you do is slide one leg through the loop, then swing it upward and secure it to a strap above, I've carried a tripod on my camelback too by sliding it behind the side compression straps and cinching it down, sure it's a little bit of a hassle to carry but you can get much better pictures with it than without it for about 50% of the shots you'll take. Or you could get a flash and try to figure out how to get good results with it, once you figure it out let me know, I am usually more lucky than I am successful.
 

muddy beast

Turbo Monkey
Nov 26, 2005
1,819
0
Alright guys, thanks for all the advice and I'd like to fill you in on what I finally desided to buy/already bought.

-Canon XTi body (black)
-Tamron 28-75mm F/2.8 XR Di LD Aspherical (IF)
-Canon 50mm F/1.8 II
-Lowepro Slingshot 100 AW bag
-San Disk Ultra II 2 gig card
-67mm Tiffen UV filter



Next on my list is a decent light tripod, 430EX speedlite, and extra batteries.

I'll post pics of the goods + shots I take next weekend around the 21st. Wish me luck :-D
 

PatBranch

Turbo Monkey
Sep 24, 2004
10,461
7
wine country
If you need a tripod to shoot sports in the dark because you need a low shutter speed, the rider will just be a blur, while the rest is sharp. With that low shutter speed, you can just pan by hand, and get the rider sharp, while the rest is blurred, like the shot above. Awesome shot!
 

Strakar

Monkey
Nov 17, 2001
148
0
Portugal
for sports a tripod isn't need, unless you are after a very specific efect.

Here's an example. I used a tripod to get this photo (1/4s shutter, second-curtain flash sync).
 

muddy beast

Turbo Monkey
Nov 26, 2005
1,819
0
yeah I dont think I will be needing a tripod to shoot sports. The only reason I would like one is for any random scenic shots I may deside to take in the future or to put a timer on a get a picture of myself riding (done it before, you just run to your bike and start riding in the cameras view point...work OK).
 

berkshire_rider

Growler
Feb 5, 2003
2,557
10
The Blackstone Valley
Not legit. Stick to bhphoto.com and adorama.com or keh.com if you want used. Most of those other places are bait and switch. The camera business is notorious for it.
Add BUYDIG.com as another legit online retailer. I have purchased two P&S digi's and a Nikon D80 from them and the experience has been outstanding. All three cameras came exactly as described in the ads, and within 3 days of placing the order. When I picked up the D80 last month, it was slightly cheaper than B & H, and also included a 1gb memory card.
 

muddy beast

Turbo Monkey
Nov 26, 2005
1,819
0
Well all of my stuff has come in, bellow is a picture of my camera with the tamron lens and bag. I'm super happy with the camera and lens so far. And I havent had a chance to really try out the Canon 50mm, but I'm sure it will be great too. Thanks guys for all the help, I'm really happy with what I ended up with.



P.S. When I got my lens, I noticed it said Macro at the end of the name "Tamron 28-75mm F/2.8 XR Di LD Aspherical (IF)" and I havent been able to find any Macro versions. So I was wondering if this is just some random name addition, or if I got an older copy? Its all good though because I'm happy with it, but I'm just curious.
 

binary visions

The voice of reason
Jun 13, 2002
21,653
402
NC
Unlikely. All the 3rd party manufacturers tend to slap "Macro" on the end of the name because so few consumers actually understand that, conventionally, "macro" refers to ~1:1 magnification or greater.