Canon 350d vs Minolta 5d for shooting in dim light at partys

Discussion in 'Mirrorless Digital Cameras' started by m_rten_svensson|1, Nov 2, 2005.

  1. Hello.
    My name is Marten and I have been asked by my student union to find a
    replacement for their old Canon G3.
    Without a doubt we will go for a DSLR, and as it turns out, I have
    narrowed it down to two competitors; Canon 350d and KonicaMinolta 5d.

    Photos taken will be published online and in a paper / magazine. The
    papersize will then be A4 (210x297mm). Online the sizes should be
    normal monitor-resolutions, like 1024x768 or something (no problems in
    other words).

    The big thing here is that we want to capture guests at dinners /
    partys in dim light. What we need then is obviously accurate
    autofocus, flashexposure and skincolors. The AS of the Minolta should
    be very nice, but since most of the pictures is taken with flash
    anyway, I am not sure it is such a great advantage. It is just good
    for the pictures where we do not use the flash (although those photos
    would have potential of being the best ones?).
    I have no idea of how good/bad the Minolta is @ ISO 800 - 1600 but
    Canon is good up to ISO 1600. If you do not want to use the higher
    ISOs with the Minolta, then there is a draw between the AS of Minolta
    and the high quality of high ISOs of Canon?

    Then there are the normal use like portraits, some landscape, stuff
    like that. Both cameras should be excellent in those areas.

    Since we are not even close to professionals, we think that the
    standard kit-zoom will fit our needs. And if we later discover that we
    need better lenses, well, it is just to pick up a better one.

    Then there is the 8 MP of Canon vs the 6 MP of Minolta. Although 6 MP
    should be enough, an extra 2 MP makes cropping a bit easier.

    So bottom line, I can not make this decision on my own. And there is
    no way to test the cameras either.
    That is where I need your help. What do you think?

    Thanks in advance

    Marten
     
  2. Read this
    Minolta 7d review by Mike Johnston in photo.net
    For me as well the Minolta's at the moment are the best cameras for low light. 1600 iso are very usable (print till A4, for more use noise ninja). And 50mm 1.4, 28mm 2.8 all stabilised.
     
  3. "If you do not want to use the higher ISOs with the Minolta, then there is a draw between the AS of Minolta and the high quality of high ISOs of Canon?"
    I don't thing so. For most things, AS on the Minolta is worth more than one stop of higher ISO. But the Minolta is pretty good printing at 1600 too. For low light, AS, IS, VR, OIS, or what ever you call it, is great, and Minolta's AS system makes it available on every lens.
    Also, to greatly improve flash pictures in most venues, underexpose the ambient lighting a stop or two and add full exposure with flash. That way the background doesn't go black and shadows aren't too dark. Doing this often requires slow shutter speeds, and this is where Minolta's AS system really can help.
    The difference in resolution is not critical with what you are doing. 6MPix is plenty to allow you to crop. 8MPix is better, but is only about 16% higher linear resolution. Rarely enough to show.
    I shoot Canon, so I really don't know what to recommend for a Minolta. But if you do opt for the Canon, the cheap 18-55 kit lens is acceptable, and good for the price. The 17-85 USM IS is better in that it has more range and adds IS. Optical quality is marginally better. Sigma's 18-50 f/2.8 is a better lens than either, especially for low light photography. Last I looked it wan't offered in the Minolta mount.
     
  4. Look here: this is ISO 800 at 0.8 sec.
    I had the leaf in one hand, against a lamp in the kitchen (one arm extended).
    An in the other hand I had the camera, I do not have tripod.
    So there is a DOF thing going on but pretty good for beeing hold at 0.8 sec whit one hand in a uncofortable position.

    http://www.photo.net/photo/3847223&size=lg
     
  5. AS is amazing in low light
    here is a hand held shot with high iso low light

    http://www.photo.net/photodb/photo?topic_id=1481&msg_id=00Dqv4&photo_id=3799925&photo_sel_index=0
     
  6. Personally, I would prefer to get the KM 5D and not use a flash too much. Its AS will allow you to shoot without a flash, but the 350D / DRXT would require an extra $400+ for an IS lens that would still have a relatively small maximum aperture. IMO, the KM 5D is perfectly capable of producing a nice A4-size print at its 1600-speed setting without having to use any sort of noise reducer. If you want, I will e-mail you a JPEG of one of my KM 5D pictures that I took at 1600 with the kit lens had printed at 8x10 inches (A4 would require just 3% greater enlargement) that I think is totally acceptable.
    And of course with the KM 5D, all lenses (well, with a single exception) become stabilized. That means you can buy the Minolta AF 50mm f/1.7 for $75 and shoot in very low light. Add a used 28mm f/2.8 for another $75 or so or a used 28mm f/2 for $200 or so (at least in the U.S.), and you're set.
    Now if you use a flash as the main light source most of the time (this is not true with fill flash), you're right, the AS is not likely to matter too much.
    Lastly, a full disclosure: I was all set to buy a DRXT / 350D, but the KM 5D came out at about the same price, with AS, and I bought the 5D. Yes, I already had some Minolta lenses from my film system, but I was ready to ditch them because I figured there wouldn't be a cheap DSLR with AS. But to me, AS is that great of a feature. In other respects, the quality and usability of the two cameras seems pretty similar.
     
  7. P.S.
    The Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 is available in the Minolta mount. This would probably be the best choice for an all-around lens for the KM 5D, especially if low-light shooting is a priority. Getting the KM 5D body only (without the kit lens) and buying the Sigma lens separately would add about $300 US to the total cost.
     
  8. In low light situation, full frame sensor will have the upper hand over smaller sensor sizes.
     
  9. M岴en, I assume you are from Sweden? (like me in that case), go to ebay.co.uk and you will able to fing good 50mm/1.7 at good price. Those are good lenses.
     
  10. But since neither the *Minolta* 5D nor the Canon 350 have a full-frame sensor, we don't have to worry about that.
     
  11. Cannot understand why people seem to think that DSLRs are the answer when there are 'complete packages' all in the one camera. The upgrade from the G3 is to go for the S2IS since "most shots are taken with flash". For a camera to be used by numerous people I suggest a much more suitable camera with no 'bits' to be lost between different hands. Or lenses to be unscrewed and permit dust in on the sensor. DSLR is fine for the experienced/pro but the Pro-sumer is better for the inexperienced through experienced.

    If the files go through a good editing programme in competant hands a 3Mp camera is quite suitable for the job in hand let alone 6 or 8Mp.
     
  12. JC uknz, what will be happen when you do not want to use the flash?
    The IS2 is pretty expensive here, 100usd more and I can by a DSLR.

    I would not doubt it.
     
  13. Don't listen to them :)

    Shooting at parties and concerts gets no help at all from image stabilization. People don't ever fully freeze for the shot, and flash is IMHO absolutely not an option at parties - people hate that.

    My advise is to see what lenses you can get for each system, because ultimately electronics are close enough and it's the lens that'll make all the difference.

    Does Minolta offer something like 50 f/1.4? Or 85 f/1.8? Or 70-200 f/2.8? How are they in low-light autofocus compared to Canon?


    Oh, and one other thing. Some people here might consider it heresy, but I personally think that the whole deal with Nikon D70 being inferior to Canon DR in low-light is utter BS. The only thing that is true in those reports is that _measurable_ noise on Canon bodies is lower.

    I own a D70 and played with my friend's 350XT for a while with similar lens, and I think that:
    1. D70 low-light AF is noticeably better than on DR, and
    2. The noise that you get from D70 is much less visually obtrusive (film-like grain) than what you get out of DR (color noise).

    This is not to start the holy war but to point out that you shouldn't dismiss Nikon D70, it's a very good contender especially at current prices.
     
  14. Everyone here has already expounded well on the merits of one camera vs. another. I'll avoid that part of the initial question. What I'd like to point out personally is the user-friendliness of the 5D vs. the 350D. Changing settings on the Canon is difficult at best, as nearly everything is accessed through menus on the sometimes difficult-to-read LCD display. The 5D, on the other hand, has nearly all of the often-used functions on the camera body in the form of buttons and dials. Spend an hour with the 5D and you know how to adjust nearly everything. An hour with a 350D is a lesson in patience and tolerance.

    Dmitry, the Minolta has nearly every lens you could want available for it. (Save for a few obscure lenses such as the tilt-shift.) 28mm f/1.8, 35mm f/1.4, 50mm f/1.4, 85mm f/1.4, 70-200mm f/2.8, etc, etc, etc. Add third party lenses (such as the Sigma 14mm f/2.8, 18-50mm f/2.8 or 20mm f/1.8) and the possibilities are nearly endless.

    That's my $0.02 on the situation, for what it's worth.
     

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