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Old    E.J. (deuce)      Join Date: Mar 2002       02-21-2006, 12:04 PM Reply   
I have been researching getting my first digital SLR and thought that I had settled on the Canon 20D. Now as I continue to research and read, waiting for the possible replacement of the 20D at the PMA show(maybe saving me a bit of money), I keep reading about post processing or whatever it is called.

Long story short, that the photos that I am getting now with my Sony DSC V1 may/will be better than what I would get with a 20D or any digital SLR prior to post processing.

Is this true? I really donít want to do a lot of/any post processing. I just want to snap off a bunch of photos and print them out. Best case scenario, I donít end up with a ton of blurry shots(what I get now).

I mostly shoot hockey and wakeboarding.

Second, if a digital SLR is going to help my cause. Is the 20D the camera of choice for me? Or would I be better off with the D50, D70, Rebel XT, Pentax *ist DLÖ.or even the D200Ö.????

So if I go out and purchase the 20 D kit with the EF-S 17-85 IS lens, chances are that the number of ďkeepersĒ that I get is not going to be noticeably higher? Maybe even worse?
Old    Luke Tingley (cryptic22)      Join Date: Apr 2002       02-21-2006, 12:32 PM Reply   
If you donít want to do any post processing, just set the camera to shoot in JPG mode or set the camera on full auto. Then the camera will adjust the saturation, contrast, etc. in camera giving you an image that would appear more as if it came straight out of a point and shoot camera. There are several preset settings for JPG images as well as user customizable settings so you have quite a bit of tweaking leverage in camera without ever actually post processing a picture.

When/If you ever decide youíre ready to start shooting in RAW and doing post processing the camera can perform at that level as well.

I would definitely go the DSLR route over point and shoot, even if you are just going to leave it in full auto mode. The main reasoning for this is because of the lag time in the shutter release of most point and shoots. A DSLR has a much faster response when you press shutter release.

If you are going to be shooting action shots I would go with a 20D or a 30D. The 20D and 30D have more autofocus points than the XT and also have better frames per second, coming in at 5 instead of the XTs 3 or 3.5. Iíd stay away from the D200 for awhile as it has some banding issues that are being discussed pretty heavily on DPreview.com and Fredmiranda.com.

Old    Eubanks (eubanks01)      Join Date: Jun 2001       02-21-2006, 12:43 PM Reply   
The 20D replacement has been announced. The new 30D is cheaper and has some better features than the 20D.
http://www.dpreview.com/news/0602/06022114canoneos30d.asp

As Luke mentioned...even if you just shoot in auto mode with a DSLR you should still get good results. Chances are that once you get it you will be very interested in learning all the great aspects of using such a camera and won't shoot in automatic mode for long. Good luck! Pick up a nice zoom lens (70-200mm f/4 as an example) and read some articles on photography...and specificially, wakeboarding photography.

Old    Tiffanator (ladyboarder)      Join Date: Feb 2001       02-21-2006, 1:04 PM Reply   
Hi E.J. I'll try to answer a few of your questions. First off.. I have a 20D and shoot wakeboarding, basketball, soccer, and various buildings, portraits, etc. The amount of post processing you do depends on a few things... first... the shooting situation. If it is a hazy day, a little levels adjustment will really make your photo pop by making the black true black and the white true white. Saturation adjustment can make it pop as well. Second is how closely you nail the exposure. If you underexpose a picture, you'll need to use levels to bring the exposure up, same with overexposing. Third is the quality of file you shoot. The 20D will shoot various quality levels of JPEGs and it will shoot RAW. RAW files take more post processing because they aren't processed in the camera and compressed the way JPEGs are.

The whole truth is that digital has all but done away with the old ways of photography. Getting a really good picture doesn't take a lot of work anymore, many people just snap, while paying no attention to settings, then fix it up in the post processing. What did photographers do 20 years ago when there were no digitals? The SLRs we have now are on the same level as those cameras.

The difference in point and shoot versus DSLR isn't just about image quality. I have seen LOTS of awesome pictures taken with a point and shoot. What a DSLR gives you is the wider range of focal lengths (with a wide range of lenses), faster focus, less shutter lag, higher ISO capabilities, more custom functions, and larger file sizes among many other things.

Only you know if a DSLR is going to help you out. Can you live with the pictures your Sony gives you? Do you feel limited by that camera? Why drop big money on a new camera if you are satisfied with what you have? Hopefully you wouldn't be looking at a DSLR if you were happy with your camera, cause that would mean you have some major camera envy...

Let me guess... you are shooting auto mode on your point and shoot in an indoor hockey rink and getting blurry images. Know why? The aperature and ISO on your Sony aren't flexible enough to give you a really good low light performance. The camera is doing the best it can, but it has to drop the shutter speed considerably to not underexpose the image terribly. Want to know something else? You are going to get similar results with the 17-85 lens. I guess you want to know why... When you are in situations that are "stressfull" for the camera... meaning low light or extreme high contrast situations... don't shoot auto. As great as auto is for general shooting, it can't do everything. If you are in a low light situation you are going to have to crank the ISO up and the aperature number down to get a shutter speed that will freeze action. Now back to the lens... the 17-85 lens is a f4-f5.6 aperature lens which means the aperature is f4 at 17mm and goes up to f5.6 at 85mm. The MOST I stop my lens down for low light is f4, and that is only because I use an extender for soccer and it makes my largest aperature f4. Even then I have to use ISO 1600 or 3200 and clean it up with post processing.. which you don't want to do.
Oh yeah.. just in case you don't know.. lower aperature number = more light being allowed into the lens. Higher ISO number = more light being allowed into the lens by simulating a "faster" film = more noise. Stop down means closing down the aperature, which means a higher f number. Confusing I know.
Back to the lens... shooting at 17mm f4 you MAY be able to squeek by if you shoot ISO 3200 in a well lit arena. At 85mm f5.6 you have little chance of getting a properly exposed, sharp picture without using flash. Now you can use flash, but in my experience the popup flash on the camera either isn't strong enough to reach your subject, or it creates nasty shadows and a fake look.
Ok... I think I need to go back a few steps... shooting sports like hockey and wakeboarding you want the highest shutter speed possible to freeze the action. The reason you are getting blurry pictures is that your Sony isn't able to situate it's settings such that you can get a shutter speed high enough to freeze the action. For me with soccer and basketball 1/320 is the minimum I'll shoot, even then things like moving arms or running feet will be a little bit blurred. You really want to be 1/500 or faster.
Whoa... I got REALLY carried away.. sorry about that.. probably nice and confused now. I'll try to sum it up quickly. Yes, with the correct lens you will get significantly more keepers than you are getting now. The 17-85 probably won't do that for you with hockey, and it will be pushing it with wakeboarding because you really need more focal length. The 17-85 is a great walk around lens.. meaning if you were shooting flowers, sunsets, landscape shots or general "around the house" type stuff, it works great. For sports like hockey you need a good low light lens, for sports like wakeboarding you need more length.

Now for the fun part... my suggestion. The 20D is a VERY capable camera. There are guys making good money at photography using the 20D. I don't have experience with the Nikon line, so don't know about them. The Rebel XT is also a very capable camera, very similar to the 20D. Why did I go with a 20D instead of the XT? Glad you asked... I wanted 8 frames per second as opposed to 3, cleaner high ISO, faster focus, and of course being able to say... "yeah, I have a 20D." Ok, little camera envy there... What I listed above are pretty well the only major differences between the XT and 20D, if you can live with that... go for the XT, if you really want that AF performance, frame rate and high ISO capability, then the 20D is the way to go. Now.. for a lens. I know the 20D comes in a nice neat little package with the 17-85, but are you really married to that lens? If you are really wanting to get some good shots look into just dropping the cash on a 70-200 f2.8. Yes, they are about a grand used, but that is the go to lens for many, many professional shooters. It will work great in the hockey arena, then you can step right onto the boat and have the perfect lens for wakeboarding. It is fast and tack sharp. I use mine at least three times as much as any other lens I use.

Well... now that I have confused, annoyed and downright bored you to death I'll shut up. Feel free to shoot me an email if you have questions.. I'll try to answer them more efficiently next time.
Tiff
Old    Tiffanator (ladyboarder)      Join Date: Feb 2001       02-21-2006, 1:05 PM Reply   
Dang! Two people posted while I was writing my novel!
Oh well...
Old    E.J. (deuce)      Join Date: Mar 2002       02-21-2006, 1:27 PM Reply   
Thanks for the replies!

Yes Tiff, I have been bouncing the 70-200 F2.8 IS in and out of my "shopping cart." I got that piece advice from Rich D. here. Not married to any lens at present, but thought that the 17-85 was the better package choice.

So would you go without a package lens and just get the 70-200? Won't I need something in that smaller range?

I have messed around with settings of my point and shoot.... But I think that due to the lighting, I just don't have the ability to get great "moving" hockey photos with it. Truthfully, it has done a fine job out on the lake. Attached are a lake and rink photo(notice that he is still except for his L foot is starting to move).
Upload

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Old    Antbug (antbug)      Join Date: Jul 2004       02-21-2006, 1:29 PM Reply   
Tiff ~ Great post!

Question... How do you get your 20D to ISO 3200?

Correction... The 20D is only 5 frames per second . The only Canon body that fast is the 1D Mark II and it's 8.5 fps.
Old    E.J. (deuce)      Join Date: Mar 2002       02-21-2006, 1:37 PM Reply   
Note, when I said package choice, obviously I was not saying it was a better choice than the 70-200....but better than the "first" package lens with the 20D.... The $1300 package lens, not the $1600 package....

If that makes any sense to anyone....

Oh...and though I do have camera envy, I just snap A LOT of pictures. My wife uses a lot of film and I fill up my friends & family's e-mail boxes with photos. So I get frustrated when I snap off 50 pics at a hockey came and get 3 photos to send out. In conclusion, I could live with the P&S for everything besides the hockey.
Old    Luke Tingley (cryptic22)      Join Date: Apr 2002       02-21-2006, 1:46 PM Reply   
The 70-200 F2.8 is a great lens and you will love it. That being said I would definitely pick up another lens that is a little shorter for every day shooting. If money isnít a huge issue, Iíd pick up the 17-85 kit & the 70-200. If the money is an issue, Iíd pick up the 70-200 & a 50 F1.8 and just buy the camera body. The 50 F1.8 can be found in the $90-100 range. It's a fast/light little lens that is good for carrying around when you just want basic snapshots.

The 17-85 is a decent lens, but not nearly long enough on its own. Also, at 5.6 itís too slow for low light conditions. It also has a tendency to vignette really bad in the 17-20 range (at least my copy did) and required post processing to fix this.


(Message edited by cryptic22 on February 21, 2006)
Old    Tiffanator (ladyboarder)      Join Date: Feb 2001       02-21-2006, 2:49 PM Reply   
Ant Bug... thanks for pointin gthat out, typo... or perhaps some wishful thinking.... I REALLY want a 1D Mark II... oh how I want that camera! A buddy of mine has the 1D and he "shows off" by randomly machine gunning about 30 shots at 8fps.

When you are adjusting the ISO, the "H" setting is 3200 ISO. There's something about the camera can only really go to 1600 ISO, so to get 3200 it pushes the 1600 to 3200, thus the "H" and not "3200".

E.J. those shots look good coming from a point and shoot. I understand what you were saying about the kits. I have the original kit lens that came with my 300D, the 18-55. I rarely take it out of the bag anymore. It is a decent lens... for somethings. If you get the 70-200 you will want something in the shorter range for general shots. I wasn't sure if the lens that you got would be your only one for a while, and given your two sports, the 70-200 beats the 17-85. I'm with Luke on the 50 1.8, whenever I'm doing just random shooting I'll choose that one over my 18-55 unless I need the wider angle. If you don't have the dough to get the 17-85 and the 70-200, the 50 may be a good choice, and at $70 you can't beat the deal.
Lets see if I can upload a few taken with the 70-200...
Basketball gallery: http://photobucket.com/albums/a144/Tiffanator/Basketball/

Wakeboarding Gallery: http://photobucket.com/albums/a144/Tiffanator/Wakeboarding/ Don't forget to look at the sub-albums listed at the top...

Wakeboarding 70-200 f4
Upload

Night time soccer 70-200 f2.8 with 1.4x extender
Upload
Old    Antbug (antbug)      Join Date: Jul 2004       02-21-2006, 4:21 PM Reply   
Tiff ~ Thanks for the tip.
Old    Mattato (mattyboyr6)      Join Date: Jul 2003       02-21-2006, 6:07 PM Reply   
Alot of very good advice. However Tiff I am curious as to why you would suggest the 70-200 2.8 over the f4? I have both and my 2.8 sits at home most of the time do to its heft. The f4 works great for wakeboarding. The only time I would have really liked to have the 2.8 was at a HS football game that was at night. But I only shot that once for a friend.

I'm not too familiar with lighting conditions at most hockey arenas and perhaps they are dungeunous which in that case the 2.8 would be needed.

EJ as for post proccessing I have a friend that shoots motorcycle track days and prints the photos for sale at the track. He does no post proccessing. Just bumps up the sharpnes and saturation.

As for me I love my 20D.
Old    Rich Dykmans (richd)      Join Date: Oct 2003       02-21-2006, 8:53 PM Reply   
The 20D is going to be sold for a while longer and it will be cheaper then the 30D. The 30D has some nice features that I would want but that a new DSLR user might not appreciate for a while (ISO in VF, ISO in 1/3rd stops and spot metering)

For EJ - I would say the 20D is a definite upgrade over the Sony but only if you take control and start shooting manually, AV or TV mode so you have some shutter control. The shutter response time is going to be big difference between the Sony and the 20D as well as the high ISO performance I would imagine.

I'm still amazed the 30D didn't get a bump in resolution but Canon is riding the High ISO performance wave and probably doesn't have a denser pixel 1.6X sensor yet that performs in that respect as well as the 20D's. The 20D currently has the smallest photosites of any of the Canon sensors and going smaller just creates more noise problems. I'm also thinking they stuck with 8 mp so they could get improved RAW burst performance (which they did). We probably won't see a higher res cam in the 10/20/30D series until digic3.

One more for EJ the 30D has picture styles so if you shoot jpeg you'll be able to have the camera process your shots in just about everyway imaginable!
Old    Tiffanator (ladyboarder)      Join Date: Feb 2001       02-22-2006, 7:03 AM Reply   
Mattato, if EJ was only shooting wakeboarding the f4 would be perfect for him. However, if hockey arenas are like most gyms I've been in, f4 just won't cut it without a flash or a low shutter speed/high ISO combination. I had the f4 for a while when all I shot was wakeboarding and it worked like a champ, lighter than the 2.8 and just as sharp. When I decided to shoot basketball and soccer I had to move up to the 2.8. Also, having the 2.8 allows EJ the option of adding a 1.4x extender and be able to shoot f4, which is what I do sometimes for soccer since I'll never be able to afford the 300 2.8. I have to bump the ISO to 3200 and don't get the shutter speeds I like, but it works.
Rich... I read over the specs of the 30D and must say I'm a bit dissappointed. I'm glad now that I went ahead and got my 20D instead of waiting to see what the "all powerful" replacement would be. After all of the hype on the dpreview message boards I figured it would be a 10MP, 7fps with automatic dish and clothes washing... I didn't see a whole lot of upgrades that I would have actually used. The new LCD and more ISO steps are nice, but it just doesn't justify the cost of an upgrade. My next upgrade with be a 1d Mark II *droooool*
Old    sperbet            02-22-2006, 11:17 AM Reply   
so is there going to be a price drop on the 20D? If so how much? Been thinking about getting the XT, but if the 20D drops a good amount in price it may be worth the upgrade.
Old    E.J. (deuce)      Join Date: Mar 2002       02-22-2006, 11:31 AM Reply   
Scott,

Looks like the 20D can be had now with the first package lens for under $1200 or without a lens for close to $1,100.

I am going to assume that will drop "at least" $100(maybe a bit more) to around 1K by the time the 30D is out(in April?).

Then it may be worth the few hundred more to get the 30D.....
Old    Rich Dykmans (richd)      Join Date: Oct 2003       02-22-2006, 9:00 PM Reply   
$900 is the price I see mentioned for the 20D in the near future.

I agree if you already have a 20D it's probably not worth the upgrade. The larger LCD is nice and if you're using your ISO a lot having it in the VF is essential. (I wouldn't want to go back after having it displayed all the time on the 1D and with a simple button push on the 5D) As these days it seems like I'm adjusting the ISO more then the shutter or aperture so having the 1/3rd stop increments are big for me as well.

But the 1D2 is really the ultimate sports camera and even if the 30D had 7 fps there would still be no comparison as far as the AF goes. Personally I never want to lug a 1 series around again but I'm not shooting much sports either.
Old    E.J. (deuce)      Join Date: Mar 2002       02-23-2006, 1:36 PM Reply   
Rich, what would you consider "near future?"

Old    Rich Dykmans (richd)      Join Date: Oct 2003       02-23-2006, 7:18 PM Reply   
When the 30D actually hits the shelfs thats what the street price of the 20D will supposedly end up at. The 20D has not offcially been discontinued but I believe the MSRP is now $1100.00 so the street price should drop too when demand drops off because of the 30D. This is still probably a good month away.
Old    Mattato (mattyboyr6)      Join Date: Jul 2003       02-24-2006, 6:51 PM Reply   
Canons web site no longer considers the 20D in its current line up.
Old    Rich Dykmans (richd)      Join Date: Oct 2003       02-25-2006, 7:39 AM Reply   
http://consumer.usa.canon.com/ir/controller?act=ProductCatIndexAct&fcategoryid=111
Old    sperbet            02-25-2006, 8:04 AM Reply   
How bout the XT? Will is also see a price drop?
Old                02-25-2006, 8:41 AM Reply   
I doubt the XT will drop much as a result.

There will also be a new sports camera in a few months priced between the 30D and 5D.(but closer to the 5D)

(my source is a lot more reliable then DPReview)
Old    Rich Dykmans (richd)      Join Date: Oct 2003       02-25-2006, 6:20 PM Reply   
That would not surprise me, Canon is saving all the speed and hight rez for that body I'll bet, there is a reason the 30D is just an incremental upgrade.
Old    Mattato (mattyboyr6)      Join Date: Jul 2003       02-26-2006, 10:07 PM Reply   
Well damn me. I was on the Canon web site looking at a page that supposedly listed all DSLR's and was surprised the 20D wasn't there. Or I was very tired and couldn't see straight.

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