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Bill@Interstell
07-30-2007, 09:03 PM
Any advice out there?

I've been thinking I'd finally take the digital plunge after resisting for years. I'm afraid I grew up with a dad who helped define photography in the analog world and digital just hasn't measured up to those standards until recently. At any rate, it looks worth playing with to me now so I've been shopping for a good mid range camera.

I've been leaning towards the Canon XTi since I thought a commitment to new glass was part of the equation and I really like the lens on my Canon XL2 video camera. Too bad that lens won't fit the XTi.

Then I discover the Sony Alpha can accept the Minolta lenses I already have on my film cameras. Dad always bought the bets lenses available for doing aerial work late in the day when light was low. That's a definite point in the alphas favor with a big if... see below.

The other camera under consideration is th Nikon D80. My brother bought one this week because he already owns a couple of Nikon lenses. I haven't used it, but I like the way the D80 feels in your hand.

Heres the more below part. Handling these cameras and the D5 and D1 in the store, I noticed that if you put the lens on manual and rack over to the infinity stop, it's gone past infinity. The sales guy gave me some jive about having to have lens compatibility for all applications such as analog bodies with infrared film. Seems like any good engineer could calculate the focal plain and put the sensor there couldn't they?

I have not gone back wit my lenses to check with the Alpha. Has anyone else noticed this or is everyone happy with the speed of their auto focus? I know the XL2 has problems finding something to focus on when the racers are on the opposite side of the race course on a clear day.

This ia also an issue for aerial work where you want to be dead on infinity.

I'm looking for feedback on the lens issue described as well as experiences with the XTi, D80 and Alpha.

T. Adams
07-31-2007, 07:19 AM
All the Canon lenses go past infinity. I'd go Canon, but I'm biased. I'd get a 30D also, the Xti is tiny, tiny, tiny.

RCoulter
07-31-2007, 09:01 AM
All the Canon lenses go past infinity. I'd go Canon, but I'm biased. I'd get a 30D also, the Xti is tiny, tiny, tiny.
+1, for sports and airplanes the majority of people use Canon. Just look anywhere at a sporting even, all you will usually see is a ton of white lenses. There will be a few Nikons, but thats the truth. :beerchug:

ignomini
07-31-2007, 12:11 PM
The salesman was basically correct. Lenses focus past the infinity mark to allow for a host of possible variations. This was true prior to the era of auto focus as well.

I used to shoot Nikon film cameras with good prime telephotos mounted on tripods. Went digital with a Canon 10D and a 100-400 IS. Got more keepers hand held on the first outing than I ever got with the old rig and a tripod. Haven't looked back. 30D and 100-400 IS is a great combo for airshow fans with less than unlimited funds.

Bill@Interstell
08-04-2007, 12:48 AM
Thanks for the advice guys.

I hear you about the 30D being much nicer to hold. The rigs I mentioned are just a bit small for my hands. I'm just not sure I want to settle for less than 10 megs.

I'm now leaning towards the Alpha as it turns out all my Minolta lenses fit on it just fine. I have a big investment in fast glass that the alpha can leverage. I took them down to the store today, and guess what... they are in focus at the infinity stop too.

I'm still torn as my intuitive choice would be to go Canon.

:dunno:

RCoulter
08-04-2007, 11:21 AM
It isn't all about megapixels. Its how well the camera can focus,noise,and more. Even though you already have the lenses, I wouldn't go the Alpha route. Like I said, there is a reason most people who shoot planes go with Canon, and even the odd Nikon ;) :) The glass is much better and the pictures just look better.


Thanks for the advice guys.

I hear you about the 30D being much nicer to hold. The rigs I mentioned are just a bit small for my hands. I'm just not sure I want to settle for less than 10 megs.

I'm now leaning towards the Alpha as it turns out all my Minolta lenses fit on it just fine. I have a big investment in fast glass that the alpha can leverage. I took them down to the store today, and guess what... they are in focus at the infinity stop too.

I'm still torn as my intuitive choice would be to go Canon.

:dunno:

Bill@Interstell
08-18-2007, 11:00 PM
OK, so the answer (as recommended) was none of the above. I shot my buddies wedding last weekend with his XTi. Not a bad camera, but it just isn't comfortable in my hands. So... yesterday I went out and bought a Canon 30D. They have a package right now with a 28-135 f3.5-5.6 lens. It's not L glass, but seems to be sharp on first inspection and has a pretty usable zoom range. I think I'm going to like it.

Thanks again for the advice. :thumbsup:

RCoulter
08-18-2007, 11:26 PM
Great choice! That is a great camera for aviation photography. That is a pretty good lens also. Enjoy the camera!
edit: Eventually you may want a lens like a Sigma 50-500 or Canon 100-400L. You may also want to check out http://photography-on-the.net/forum/index.php its a great Canon forum.

OK, so the answer (as recommended) was none of the above. I shot my buddies wedding last weekend with his XTi. Not a bad camera, but it just isn't comfortable in my hands. So... yesterday I went out and bought a Canon 30D. They have a package right now with a 28-135 f3.5-5.6 lens. It's not L glass, but seems to be sharp on first inspection and has a pretty usable zoom range. I think I'm going to like it.

Thanks again for the advice. :thumbsup: