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Digital camera - what kind do you have?

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  #1  
Old 08-19-2007, 02:20 AM
Craig Walters's Avatar
Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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Re: Creative interpretations: Flowers from Carnation, WA

also, danny, what camera do you use? i'm thinking of getting a digital and am asking around to see what folks are using and if they like it or not.
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Old 08-20-2007, 07:06 PM
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DannyRaphael DannyRaphael is offline
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Re: Creative interpretations: Flowers from Carnation, WA

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Originally Posted by Kraellin View Post
also, danny, what camera do you use? i'm thinking of getting a digital and am asking around to see what folks are using and if they like it or not.
As a former Nikon 35mm film camera user, went with Nikon D70s a couple years ago to preserve lens investment. Solid build. Does almost all I want it to.

That said IMO choice of lenses more important than camera body...
* High-end body + so-so lens = so-so pics
* OK body + very good lens = very good pics

Canon's get rave reviews, too.

It's kind of a "Less Filling" -- "Tastes great!" / Ford vs. Chevy type of debate. Both companies build amazing picture taking machines.
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Old 08-20-2007, 07:11 PM
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Re: Digital camera - what kind do you have?

CK: Relocated and retitled this for more visibility. Good topic; don't want it to get buried in an arty thread!

=====================

What about the rest of you RP -aholics?

What are you using? How did you decide?
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  #4  
Old 08-20-2007, 08:01 PM
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Re: Creative interpretations: Flowers from Carnation, WA

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Originally Posted by Kraellin View Post
... danny, what camera do you use? i'm thinking of getting a digital and am asking around to see what folks are using and if they like it or not.
What do you think you will use your camera for, Craig? That is the recommended thing to ask before giving any recommendations to someone asking about camera choices, and I know it's good advice, but I think a lot of people don't really know what they're likely to use it for until they get one. So I'll ask some other questions also:

What camera(s) have you used before and what did you use them for?

Pictures of family? -- kids sports, family gatherings, indoor activities or outdoor activities, Family portraits?
and/or

Travel photos -- taking photos of family in front of different locations, photos of buildings (inside/outside), photos of different landscapes in your travels?
and/or

Landscape photography or wildlife photography or competitive sports, etc.?

The main thoughts are figuring out whether you need/want an interchangeable lens DSLR model or a fixed lens model and what focal lengths you would usually shoot at -- wide-angle lens for landscapes, telephoto for wildlife or birds, mid-length for portrait shots. Fast lenses for high-speed competitive sports or serious wildlife/birds, or slower lenses acceptable for landscape scenes that don't move.

Do you own any interchangeable lenses already or would you be starting clean and able to choose whichever system suits you rather than needing to adopt the system which uses your current lenses?

For non-interchangeable lens cameras, Canon, Fuji, Panasonic, Olympus, Sony and others offer some useful cameras. For interchangeable lens DSLR cameras, Canon and Nikon have been the best sellers for years, with Pentax offering some good choices, and a few others vying for a share.

I used Nikon film cameras, and if I buy a digital SLR, I will probably buy a Nikon although I have sold most of my lenses. The new Nikon D40 is highly rated (if you don't have older Nikon lenses) or a used D50, D80, D70 or a new D200 if you have $1600 for the body alone and more to buy the lenses.

Canon DSLRs are very popular and highly rated also, with the new EOS 40D going for $1300 (body only w/o lenses) or the still available 400D (Rebel XTi) for $720-$800 with a kit lens attached ( EF-S 18-55 mm ).

I used an Olympus C-2100UZ (ultra-zoom) non-interchangeable lens camera for years and still use it for near infra-red photos. I bought a Fuji S5600 a year ago - also non-interchangeable lens ultra zoom that shoots raw format to save me from the over-zealous noise reduction of Fuji. Fuji has a couple of famous small non-interchangeable lens cameras that shoot in low-level light at high ISO with little noise - the F31fd, F30, and older F10. The newer models haven't been reviewed yet and some folks are worried that Fuji has piled on too many pixels on the same small sensor to allow clean photos from the new models, but we'll find out soon enough. These cameras are great for shooting indoors or at night and trying to capture little kids gleefully running around your yard.

Canon's S5-IS and Panasonic's FZ50 are popular cameras with certain weaknesses -- noise at high ISO, slow focusing -- cameras that can take sweet photos within certain limits.

Digital cameras are a lot less expensive now than just a few years ago, and they are all capable of making good photos within certain limits. If you are going to shoot in sunshine outdoors, and take photos of still objects - you can buy an inexpensive camera and be very happy with the image quality and love the ease of shooting digitally. If you are going to shoot fast-moving objects and/or shoot in low-light situations - then you may need to spend more time and money selecting your camera or camera and add-on lenses.

Janet Petty shoots a Canon Digital Rebel, and I know she's happy with its abilities, and I'm sure there are others who will offer their experiences to help give you some useful ideas. One other important suggestion -- handle some of the different cameras available at the stores near you to get an idea of size/weight/handhold etc. -- some will just seem to fit your better than others.
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Old 08-20-2007, 08:03 PM
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Re: Digital camera - what kind do you have?

Got addicted to Nikon in the film era. They carried over that good feel and very intuitive interface to digital. Am now on my 4th digital Nikon with the prefered shooting machine being my D200. When you are choosing a lense, if you have the extra money, I would check out the new VR or vibration resistant technology (Canon has an equivalent). I can shoot a full 4 stops slower without a flash than I could with the conventional lenses. If you would like some really comprehensive, unbiased reviews, check out http://www.dpreview.com
Regards, Murray
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Old 08-20-2007, 11:30 PM
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Re: Creative interpretations: Flowers from Carnation, WA

Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ Swartz View Post
Janet Petty shoots a Canon Digital Rebel, and I know she's happy with its abilities, and I'm sure there are others who will offer their experiences to help give you some useful ideas. One other important suggestion -- handle some of the different cameras available at the stores near you to get an idea of size/weight/handhold etc. -- some will just seem to fit your better than others.
I've also used Minolta cameras (film and digital), and I've used the Canon 30D a bit. My hands are smaller; and I found the 30D too heavy and bulky for my personal use, especially since I carry around a 100-400 lens a lot of the time. From what I hear, the newly announced Canon 40D is one SWEET camera. Reviews can be found at dpreview and lots of buzz at fredmiranda. Amazon leaked the specs, which can be found at Amazon.

Like CJ said, it all depends on what you want to accomplish. My personal theory is go for the gold and expand your horizons. It saves upgrading when you outgrow the smaller stuff.

What Danny said about great glass is very true. A camera is really nothing more than a box that lets a bit of light in for exposure. If the glass isn't good, it is like looking through eye glasses with petroleum jelly smeared on them...sort of defeats the purpose of having the glasses.

Hey, anybody wanna take some pictures?

Janet

Digital UPDATE Sept 26, 2007: I've upgraded to the new Canon 40D because I literally wore out my Rebel. So far, I've had absolutely no regrets. The extra 8 ounces on my old, arthritic wrists is a bit of a stretch. An inexpensive wrist brace is helping that out. The pictures and ease of use are very well worth the change to a "better" camera.

Last edited by Janet Petty; 09-26-2007 at 04:04 PM. Reason: Digital UPDATE
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  #7  
Old 08-21-2007, 09:40 AM
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Re: Digital camera - what kind do you have?

When I made my digital decision, I was going from a very old Minolta S1 (circa 1967), so I didn't have to worry about keeping anything from the old system. I spoke to several pros who do work similar to where my career is heading, and found that they were all passionate about what kind of camera, but few really knew why. It seemed if they started shooting with Nikon, then they loved the brand.

Only one person offered me a real "why" - Mark Beckelman (http://www.beckelman.com/). He prefers Canon. His reasoning was simple - Canon makes Canon cameras, inside and out. Nikon makes Nikon and Fuji bodies, and Sony makes the sensors for almost everyone, except Canon. That made enough sense to me.

He recommended the 5D, but that was waaaay too precious for me at this stage of the game, so I went for the 30D. While I do wish I could have held out for the 40D (for the additional MP), I think in a few years, I'll go the route of whatever replaces the 5D. Of course, then I'll also need new lenses because my 18-85mm is not made for full frame, but that's the price we pay for buying cheaper now.

Whatever you choose, remember that it's (nearly) for life. When you upgrade in the future, you will end up replacing only parts of your system, not the entire thing, so you'll stick with a brand. They are so competitive, it's hardly a worry that one will really surpass another in quality, so look at feel and button and menu placement as a prime objective - how intuitive is the camera for you to use. In 3 months, will you still be fumbling through menus to change your ISO?

Good luck!
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Old 08-21-2007, 10:26 AM
Diane Diane is offline
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Re: Digital camera - what kind do you have?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DannyRaphael View Post
CK: Relocated and retitled this for more visibility. Good topic; don't want it to get buried in an arty thread!

=====================

What about the rest of you RetouchPRO -aholics?

What are you using? How did you decide?
I use Canon 20D , Canon Macro 100mm lens, Canon 75-300mm lens and Sigma 50-500mm lens. I have SLR Minoltas but did not want to get the Konica-Minolta DSLR, it was heavier than the Canon 20D. Sometimes I do wish I had bought that K-M dslr because I have a lot of lens for Minolta.
If I ever strike it rich (yea right) I don't even play lotteries lol , I would get a Nikon.
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Old 08-21-2007, 11:29 AM
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Re: Digital camera - what kind do you have?

My first SLR was a Petri. I used that for quite a few years. Then I graduated to a Canon FT. During that time I bought my film in bulk and loaded my cassettes. I even did my own developing and slide mounting. That was in the days of my misspent youth.

I finally graduated to digital a few years ago. Since my Canon was so old the lenses wouldn't work with the new digital cameras so I bought a Nikon D70. It's a great camera and does everything I want to do. I still use the stock lense that came with it. I am thinking about buying a 18-200mm VR lense for it in the near future. When I get it, I will make it my regular lense for most of my shooting.
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Old 08-21-2007, 11:31 AM
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D Thompson D Thompson is offline
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Re: Digital camera - what kind do you have?

Cameras come & go, but the glass in front of it is what counts. Buy into a system. Since you don't have an investment in glass, then your choices are wide open. I'm pretty much stuck on Canon. I had used the Canon A1 film for years and even tho I had to get all new glass when I went digital I stayed with Canon. When the 20D was released I knew I had to make the switch. It had everything I wanted and needed and still does, although the new 40D looks tempting, but will still keep the 20D as a backup. IMO Canon has a little better quality image at higher ISO's. Nikon has some good features and a friend loves his D200 and it is an awesome camera.

Good luck in your search.
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