Best DSLR + lens combo for low light, indoor kid shots

Started Jan 16, 2013 | Discussions thread
GARY FONG INC Regular Member • Posts: 223
Re: Best DSLR + lens combo for low light, indoor kid shots

tedandtricia wrote:

Ok, I need a DSLR to shoot kids indoors. Compact isn't enough. I get it. Took me a few months of trying on my compact but now I get it.

I was told a DSLR with a fast prime, like 35 mm f/1.4 or f1.8, is a good approach. I'm figuring APS-C is more realistic at this point but would consider full frame if it'll make a difference. I assume most DSLRs have good enough sensors that you don't have to worry too much about ISO like you do on a compact. Of various DSLR bodies and lenses, when my sole primary intended application is low light kid motion shots, what cameras should I be considering? I'm thinking primarily in terms of AF capabilities:

- having more AF sensors to keep track of your subject, if you are not keeping your center AF point perfectly on your subject

- continuous AF once you lock on a subject

- can you get a DSLR to lock on the eyes of a child in motion?

- focus hunting issues in low light or low contrast situations

- focus release option

- OVF vs EVF (not sure if anyone except Sony is EVF)

- I am told center point AF is the best method for kids (shoot wide and crop)

- what other AF features matter?

I considered a Sony SLT/SLR at first. Except with an SLT, it would be -1/2 EV because some of the light is diverted to the AF sensor. In good light it probably is negligible but since my primary application is low light motion, I want to focus on cameras that EXCEL in low light (or are considered the least bad in low light). The Sony DSLR A580 is apparently better than the A57 with low light motion, but there's no real upgrade path for me in the future since Sony is going SLT. So I think I'm leaning away from Sony at this point.

So that leaves Canon, Nikon, and whatever anyone else suggests.

Also, if anyone knows a good link to a chart that maps out DSLR maker family trees for cameras so I can understand how different models compare with each other. I don't have the faintest clue, particularly with Canon and Nikon, how the Canon 60D compares to the 50D etc.

Also, which manufacturer has the biggest aftermarket of used lenses, good primes, good zooms, reasonable prices? Are Tamrons and Sigmas compatible with all DSLRs? I know zilch about lens basics at this point.

I own Canons, Nikons, Olympus, Pentax and Sony cameras.  I have to because testing equipment is my job.  And I choose Sony for shooting my children.

OK you will love this video because I'm showing how I use a Sony A77 with an 85mm f1.4 lens, wide open, at high speed drive with object and face tracking.

This combination is incredible for shooting children.  I shoot my twins and they're 15 months old, so they move around fast.  Using the object tracking follows the face (which it can do because of OLED) and nails so many more shots in a burst than my Canons, Nikons, Olympus or Pentax cameras.

click here to see video

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