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  1. #1
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    Which Camera handles not perfect lighting condition th best

    Hello !!

    I love photography and I have an old canon EOS Elan camera and I finally want to make the jump to the digital cameras.

    My old camera really struggles with darkness or not perfect lighting conditions, so the next digital camera I buy (sometime next week) I want to make sure that the NEW camera can handle difficult lighting conditions so the shots turn out as good as possible.

    My budget is about 3K, and I reviewed the Canon 50D, Nikon D90, Nikon D300 and Nikon D700 and so far I am in favor of the 1year older model Nikon D300, which seems to get great reviews wherever you look. That doesnt mean I have to purchase the most expensive camera as long as the camera will do the job by taking perfect pictures in difficult lighting conditions. I love, landscape, wildlife and in general portrait pictures and I take lots of pictures, just love it.

    Anyway, I wanted to ask experienced digital photographers that could give me any tips on the subject.

    Thanks for the help.

  2. #2
    Check out our D300 Pro Review! deckcadet's Avatar
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    Re: Which Camera handles not perfect lighting condition th best

    The D700 is just about the best camera in the world right now for shooting in low light, as its full frame 12-megapixel sensor has an ISO range of 200-6400 with boost up to ISO 12,800 (actually perfectly usable) and ISO 25,600 (which is usable for smaller applications with appropriate processing).
    But the D300 will give you more bang for your buck. The D90 uses a variant of the same sensor, and it isn't too much worse in low light, as you can still go up to ISO 6400 with very good results. The D90 will also give you the option to shoot video.

    I have not been impressed with what I have seen out of the 50D.
    Harrison
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  3. #3
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    Re: Which Camera handles not perfect lighting condition th best

    I had the elan 2 e and I just got the rebel xsi and love it! The best part is that I can experiment with all the different modes and get the best lighting for it. I will say that a fast lens like the 50mm1.4 will help a lot with that situation not so much the camera body has as much affect on lighting. If you are comfortable with the elan body and its button layout then go for the canon 40d or 50d because they are essentially the same body.

    I would suggest that you look at the rebel and consider some very nice lenses to go with it


    good luck, bob

  4. #4
    Senior Member brmill26's Avatar
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    Re: Which Camera handles not perfect lighting condition th best

    Since you already have a Canon, it would be wise to stick with Canon so that you can use your old lenses. There are many options depending on exactly what you want. The XSi is an incredibly competent camera for just about anything you want. The 40/50D are both great cameras, and if you really want the cleanest image possible in absolutely terrible light, the 5D (old or new MKII version) would be your best bet.
    Brad

    Canon: Rebel XTi, 70-200 F/4L, 50mm F/1.8 II, Promaster 19-35mm F/3.5-4.5, Peleng 8mm fisheye
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    120 Film: Ricohflex Diacord TLR, Firstflex TLR, Zeiss Ikon Nettar 515/2 folder
    35mm Film: Nikon Nikkormat FT2, 35mm F/2.8, 50mm F/1.4, 135mm F/2.8

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  5. #5
    Be serious Franglais's Avatar
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    Nikon

    Quote Originally Posted by flashmax67

    I love photography and I have an old canon EOS Elan camera and I finally want to make the jump to the digital cameras.

    My old camera really struggles with darkness or not perfect lighting conditions, so the next digital camera I buy (sometime next week) I want to make sure that the NEW camera can handle difficult lighting conditions so the shots turn out as good as possible.

    My budget is about 3K, and I reviewed the Canon 50D, Nikon D90, Nikon D300 and Nikon D700..
    When I look at the poster's question I see that he has problems in dark conditions with a FILM camera. To me this indicates that his prime concern is either focussing (most likely) or exposure.

    A nice friendly vendor-neutral reply - cameras have made great progress and any of the cameras you mention would be better than the Elan.

    As for what I think - Nikon put their top-of-the-line autofocus system in the D300 and D700 whereas Canon use a more basic system in the 50D (and 5D, 5DMk2). Enough said.
    Charles

    Nikon D800, D7200, Sony RX100m3
    Not buying any more gear this year. I hope

  6. #6
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    Re: Which Camera handles not perfect lighting condition th best

    Thanks for the tips.

    I decided to stick with Canon, since I can use the 2 lenses and flash I already have and safe a few bucks.

    I am going to get the Canon 50D and put on a very nice 24-105mm (L) lense and think that will produce some awesome pictures. and with that nice lense, I am sure the autofocus should be real fast.

    I will post some pictures once I got my camera.

  7. #7
    Senior Member brmill26's Avatar
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    Re: Which Camera handles not perfect lighting condition th best

    Well, on your flash, the answer is a maybe. If you have a Canon brand flash, it may work depending on what model it is. Off brand models may or may not work, and *most importantly* some off brand and older flashes have trigger voltages that will literally fry your camera.

    No matter what model it is, it will be manual use only unless its model name ends in EX (ie, 420EX will work on your 50D; 300EZ will not).

    Here's a chart showing the trigger voltages of old flashes:
    http://www.botzilla.com/photo/strobeVolts.html

    If your old flash doesn't work with the camera but DOES have manual power adjustments, hang on it it, you can use it for off camera work like so: http://www.strobist.blogspot.com/
    Brad

    Canon: Rebel XTi, 70-200 F/4L, 50mm F/1.8 II, Promaster 19-35mm F/3.5-4.5, Peleng 8mm fisheye
    Lighting: Canon 430 EXII, Quantaray PZ-1 DSZ, Sunpak 333D, D-8P triggers
    120 Film: Ricohflex Diacord TLR, Firstflex TLR, Zeiss Ikon Nettar 515/2 folder
    35mm Film: Nikon Nikkormat FT2, 35mm F/2.8, 50mm F/1.4, 135mm F/2.8

    My Blog
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  8. #8
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    Re: Which Camera handles not perfect lighting condition th best

    Im using the canon 380ex flash with my rebel xsi and it works great!

  9. #9
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    Re: Which Camera handles not perfect lighting condition th best

    Even though I have one, I overlooked the Fuji S5 Pro when comparing low light performance. The clean low light images taken with the S5 compare favorably with anything produced today even though this camera is now 1 1/2 years old.

    It is still the camera to do weddings and such with, IMHO.

  10. #10
    Senior Shooter Greg McCary's Avatar
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    Re: Which Camera handles not perfect lighting condition th best

    The Olympus E3 has in body image stabilization. I can shoot at a 1/10sec while drinking coffee. How good is that?
    I am like Barney Fife, I have a gun but Andy makes me keep the bullet in my pocket..

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  11. #11
    Senior Member Anbesol's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon

    Quote Originally Posted by Franglais
    When I look at the poster's question I see that he has problems in dark conditions with a FILM camera. To me this indicates that his prime concern is either focussing (most likely) or exposure.

    A nice friendly vendor-neutral reply - cameras have made great progress and any of the cameras you mention would be better than the Elan.

    As for what I think - Nikon put their top-of-the-line autofocus system in the D300 and D700 whereas Canon use a more basic system in the 50D (and 5D, 5DMk2). Enough said.
    Lets not forget that Canon's basic system outperforms Nikons higher-end AF system. That said, I'll agree that any current digital SLR body will outperform the Elan in AF speed. Does he need that ultra-fast AF speed?

    So you bring up a good question though, what struggle is he having with low light? Is it something as easily resolved as higher ISO performance? Better contrast detection in AF? Flash, if you could detail a bit more about what you mean by 'struggling' in low light?

  12. #12
    Senior Member Anbesol's Avatar
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    Re: Which Camera handles not perfect lighting condition th best

    Quote Originally Posted by deckcadet
    I have not been impressed with what I have seen out of the 50D.
    Oh, so you haven't seen anything from the 50D then?

    Flash, if you have a good set of lens for your Elan, then stick with Canon, the 50D is a terrific performer, with the greatest pixel density on its sensor in the market, and a terrific noise performance to boot. Add to that a much more sophisticated AF than your Elan, and I think you'll resolve your low light struggle right there.

  13. #13
    Be serious Franglais's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon

    Quote Originally Posted by Anbesol
    Lets not forget that Canon's basic system outperforms Nikons higher-end AF system.
    That's certainly not what I've heard. Most of the complaints about the 5D are about the AF system and the 50D has almost the same system. I certainly don't have any complaints about the D300.
    Charles

    Nikon D800, D7200, Sony RX100m3
    Not buying any more gear this year. I hope

  14. #14
    Senior Member Anbesol's Avatar
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    Re: Which Camera handles not perfect lighting condition th best

    If you have no complaints about the D300 AF system, then you certainly wouldn't have any complaints about the 5D or 50D AF system. Theres a reason Canon is the overwhelming choice of sports photographers. That said, the AF system on any of the mentioned cameras would outperform the Elan tenfold, I don't think we really need to be splitting hairs.

    Flash - curious, what 2 lens did you have for your Elan that you are carrying over?

  15. #15
    Be serious Franglais's Avatar
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    Re: Which Camera handles not perfect lighting condition th best

    Quote Originally Posted by Anbesol
    If you have no complaints about the D300 AF system, then you certainly wouldn't have any complaints about the 5D or 50D AF system. Theres a reason Canon is the overwhelming choice of sports photographers.
    The EOS 1 Series used to be the overwhelming choice for sports photographers. Now it's about 50-50 Nikon-Canon (judging by the Olympics). Canon have had a bad year with the autofocus problems on the crop-frame 1DMk3 and Nikon have had a good year with the introduction of the full-frame D3 and D700.

    The 5D/5DMk2/50D don't have the same autofocus system as the 1 Series and according to everything I've read the autofocus system isn't in the same class (which doesn't mean it's bad - I've seen shots of birds in flight done with the 50D which were very nice). Where have you seen that the 50D system is fantastically good?
    Charles

    Nikon D800, D7200, Sony RX100m3
    Not buying any more gear this year. I hope

  16. #16
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    Re: Which Camera handles not perfect lighting condition th best

    Yesterday I made my purchase from B&H Photo and I must say nobody beats their price and selections (my opinion).

    I bought the Canon 50D + the EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lense, which is a very good lense to say the least.

    The Canon 50D, feels solid in my hands and it can handle low light conditions really well with a higher ISO settings. I do feel this camer requires the better lenses. With this new lense the camera is just breath taking. I still have to figure out all the settings and will post pictures from my skiing trip soon.

    My other two lenses are Tamron AF 24mm - 70mm and Tamron AF 70mm - 300mm.

  17. #17
    Be serious Franglais's Avatar
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    Re: Which Camera handles not perfect lighting condition th best

    Don't forget your lens has an image stabiliser, which is another bonus in low light. You can put off the moment when you step up the ISO because the lens will avoid camera shake (to some extent). You can use a slower shutter speed than you would have done normally - like getting a sharp picture (of a static subject) at 1/30s when using the equivalent of a 135mm.

    I think that it was an excellent idea to get an "L" lens with the 50D. From what I've read you need the best lenses to match the high-resolution sensor. Do a comparison with your old film lenses and see if it's true.
    Last edited by Franglais; 12-16-2008 at 09:14 AM.
    Charles

    Nikon D800, D7200, Sony RX100m3
    Not buying any more gear this year. I hope

  18. #18
    Nature/Wildlife Forum Co-Moderator Loupey's Avatar
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    Re: Which Camera handles not perfect lighting condition th best

    Quote Originally Posted by flashmax67
    I bought the Canon 50D + the EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lense, which is a very good lense to say the least.
    Excellent choice - both of them.

    You will find that, with little practice, the 24-105mm will allow you to handhold the camera at EXTREMELY low shutter speeds.

    Please let us know if you feel that the 24mm is wide enough on the 50D. Also, you may still want a faster prime later if you want the ability to shoot in the kind of darkness that makes it hard to see clearly with your own eyes.
    Please do not edit or repost my images.

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  19. #19
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    Re: Which Camera handles not perfect lighting condition th best

    The camera and sensor size, of course, does make a difference, but what really allows you to shoot sharp pix in low light conditions is the light gathering capabilities of the lens. An F2.8 in longer lenses and a F1.4 on shorter lenses will not only allow you to get bright, sharp pix in low light, it will improve the quality of average light pix as well. You may have to pay more for the lens than for the camera, but if quality is what you want, that's what you need.
    The glass is very important.

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