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Digital SLR Cameras ?!?!

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by BurningSkies, Dec 27, 2005.

  1. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    So, I was very lucky this holiday season, and wound up with a check for $1000.00 and a note saying that I should spend it on something fun. I've spent over 5K on bass gear in the past year and really am not dying for anything besides my in-the-works custom Dingwall...

    The other creative endeavor I enjoy is photography, and I've been thinking about digital SLR cameras for the past year. I yearn for the control that a SLR provides along with the freedom of multiple lenses. I've loved my lil' Olympus Z3000 camera for about 5 years now, and I've been waiting for DSLRs to get into 'retail' range. It seems like there are only say, 4 or 5 options in the sub 1K range for camera w/basic lens...but the 'other' DSLR thread didn't really answer my questions.

    Resolution? I know that the Nikon D70s is probably better in build quality than the similar Canon and Olympus cameras, but I'm leaning towards the Canon right now because of the higher resolution (8+ megapixels as opposed to the 6+ of the others). My gut instict is to go for the better photo resolution, as low-res prints just make me cringe. I do print to 8x10 and sometimes larger and have been considering a large-format printer too. Is 8+ just overkill, and will I be happy with 6? I hate to buy into obselete tech and spec!

    Interface? Getting around the camera quickly and efficiently is important to me when I'm shooting. I've always loved my Olympus for that reason...I can tweak the parameters without hesitation. With a DSLR I'll have more options, but I'd prefer to be an artist, not an engineer.

    Features? I don't need ridiculous stuff, but I'd like something that is pretty flexible. I'd like pretty full control over the functions of the camera as I like to shoot low light situations and will also be looking into a decent macro lens in fairly short order. I'd hate to be locked out of things like infinite shutter speed. I guess everything is pretty automated these days anyway, but I grew up and still have a Pentax K-1000!

    So, what do you all think? Keep me under $1K with body and one 'basic' lens.
  2. kserg


    Feb 20, 2004
    London, UK

    Thats the next thing on my list... right after a new bass (fender jazz) and new head (trace elliot pre-gibson all tube or mesa boogie 400+) next on my list is a good camara... Stupid school bills are holding me down:(

    My bro just bought a Kodak P850... good camara... but i want something better:) One thing i've noticed is that some camaras lag like crazy... That would be one thing i would look out for... by time i take a shot with that kodak everything changed 10000000349324 times over... sometimes they take way too long to take a shot...

    But yeah... i am acctually intrested in what people have to say about this too:)
  3. 43% burnt

    43% burnt an actor who wants to run the whole show

    May 4, 2004
    Bridgeport, CT
    I'm gonna be making the jump to DSLR soon too. From the research I've done and photographers I've talked to Nikon is pretty much the standard. If you wanna go nuts the D200 just came out and is sick. But its gonna run over your price range. I think the D50 or D70 would be a fantastic camera ro start with. My buddy is pushing me to go Nikon, he swears up and down its the way to go.

    On the other hand...I've had nothing but good experiences w/ Canon products. I currently have a Canon G3 which has been excellent, but it has its limitations. Which Canon are you looking at the Rebel xt? The price is sweet, and the res is very high.

    Tough call...I'll sit back and wait for some of the more knowedgeable folk to chime in. But in the mean time heres an older thread on the subject.

    Check out Dpreview.com It's a great resource with more info on digital cameras than you could ever need. :D
  4. kserg


    Feb 20, 2004
    London, UK
    Thats the one i was looking at... looks nice:D
  5. 12bass


    Jan 2, 2003
    Victoria, Canada
  6. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    I'm still using a relatively ancient Nikon D1, and used to shoot professionally with Nikon 35s. IMO, both Nikon and Canon are generally great.

    In the true budget range, I'd stick to the Nikon D50 - it seriously outclasses the Canon DigiRebs in build quality. If you consider the D50, take a pass on the usual kit lens (an 18-55, I think) in favor of the Nikkor 18-70 kit lens from the D70 - it's much higher quality.

    Jump up a little in price, and the playing field levels out. The Nikon D70s and the Canon 20D are both great. IMO, there's no practical difference between 6 MP and 8 MP unless you're a measurabator. I get great publication quality 8x10s from my D1 at less than 3 MP.

    Canon has a distinct advantage over Nikon in the area of mid quality glass. Nikon generally offers two product lines - amateur and pro. Canon also offers prosumer stuff which splits the difference.

    Just my opinion as a photographer with 30 years experience that embraces digital...
  7. +1
    I'm not a professional, but I have had to use lots of photos for my reports for the past 30 years. I used a Nikon F system for years until it was stolen. I replace it with a K1000 and then with a Canon. I would go with the Canon 20D unless you are going to get the very top of the line Nikkor lenses. Once you get past 4 or 5 megapixels, it is my impression that the lens is the most important component. For $1,000 you can get a 20D with a decent lens. Add other lenses later. Now if I had a $1,000 to have fun with, I would be ordering a Thunderfunk.
  8. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    The two that seem to be most readily availible are the D50/D70s and the Rebel XT. I'd love to be able to bump up another 500 bucks, but it really isn't going to happen right now. I have have the other half of the Dingwall to pay for, and since this is 'found' money I don't feel guilty spending it on a camera, but can't justify any more than that with several K to go on a bass. :(

    Does anyone have any 'dark horse' candidates that haven't been mentioned here?

    I feel a bit better about the Canon from these comments, and I also remember from the film days that Nikon's known for it's higher end stuff. The reviews on Dpreview are a mixed bag. I get the feeling that most people are reviewing the camera after using it for about 3 days...just like harmony central.

    Also, in a few months I can consider working towards a couple of nice lenses. I spend a lot of time shooting macro, so that would probably be my first thing.

    I thank everyone for their input, and keep the suggestions coming...I've not made a firm decision yet.
  9. I went through the camera bug a couple of years ago and wanted to spend around the same kind of money. Back then $1000 would just about get me a DSLR so I went with what is known as a "pro-sumer" (professional\consumer) and wound up with an Oly C8080. It's a fine 8mp camera with all the manual options of a DSLR but the lenses only have add on adapters. I think If I were to trade this in for a DSLR I would go with Nikon, but from the reading I was doing both the Nikon and Canon are great and have pluses and minuses just like fine basses.

    Here is what I have learned so far.

    8mp in not all it's cracked up to be. 8mp is great for printing big pictures but one of the downfalls is noise. Just like white noise in sound, in certain lighting situations noise will show up on your pictures. I am going to post a couple of links that should be very helpful that will be able to explain in more detail (a lot more), but it has something to do with there being more pixels and the quality and size of the sensor in the camera. I think the DSLR's have less of a problem than a pro-sumer but the sensors aren't any bigger, just a little better. The more mega pixel thing is still debatable but from what I have read, 6MP should be more than fine for 8X10's. On the up side about 8mp is that because the pictures are so large you can blow them up and crop them and not loose picture quality. Some say that the pictures are too large and harder to edit but I have not really had much of a problem with that.

    Most of the reviews you will read will list this as ergonomics. It's important because the more options you have, the more buttons there will be. The one big thing I don't like about my camera is that there are to many damn buttons most of which are redundant. Stick with a DSLR that will have more of an SLR interface with dials instead of buttons for everything. I think most of the DSLR's are set up this way for the most part.

    On the DSLR's features are great. they usually come with everything from full automatic mode (point & shoot) and when you feel inspired you can go full manual. There are also modes in-between that will let you set just the shutter speed and the aperture will be automatic, and vis-versa. Great flexibility. For low light situations what you are looking for is an ISO rating. Most DSLR's will have a high enough (400-800-1600) which is great for low light. ISO on a digi cam is the equivalent to the ISO on 35mm film. The better you can control your ISO, the easier time you will have with shutter speed in low light. Low-light = slow shutter speed. Slow shutter means bring a tripod or have blurry pictures. ISO will also help with noise.

    Also, within your $1000.00 budget you may want to consider an extra memory card and battery, also a proper case that will hold the camera and extra lenses.

    Here are those links:
    http://www.megapixel.net/html/cover.php This one I like the most, They have a lot of great articles and reviews, great gallery as well. most of all, just like this place they have a great forum. The camera's you are interested in are popular and are discussed a lot on their forums as well as the "more mega pixels" debate.

    http://www.steves-digicams.com/ This place is great as well, they seem to have a bit more reviews than most and also have a very good forum. Their layout on their forum is better, but I found myself going back to megapixel.net

    I say check them out, I know my research is going on two years old and I'm sure a lot has been updated on the newer models.

    Happy hunting.
  10. 12bass


    Jan 2, 2003
    Victoria, Canada
    As for why I would recommend the Rebel XT over the D50/D70S:

    - less noise from CMOS sensor
    - better high ISO performance (Nikon gets grainy)
    - cheaper, greater variety of lenses
    - One generation newer than D70

    From what I can tell, the Rebel XT basically performs as well as the 20D, but has a less robust body.

    I also prefer the Canon color rendition. Nikons look a bit too cool for my taste.
  11. kserg


    Feb 20, 2004
    London, UK
    Rebel XT doesnt have video recording does it? Do any of the high class camaras do?
  12. 12bass


    Jan 2, 2003
    Victoria, Canada
    AFAIK no.
  13. kserg


    Feb 20, 2004
    London, UK
  14. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    As far as I know.
  15. kserg


    Feb 20, 2004
    London, UK
    crazy talk i tell you!
  16. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    Thank you Chunk-O-Funk... I spent part of my sleepless night looking at those sites you directed me to, and they'll both come in quite handy in the long run. I can't find anyone who says they have a problem with the 'noise' factor with the Canon due to the resolution. I do see people who don't like the build quality of either the body or the lens (which I can understand after handling a 35mm and then the DSLR).

    12bass, thank you for your input as well. Right now I see a place that has the Rebel XT for $870-something plus a rebate (75$). That would put it at about 1K with a 1 gig memory card. I am surprised that Canon doesn't include one as most other cameras do_Otherwise the Nikons are both around, at $800 and $1200 respectively. One of the benefits of the lower priced Nikons would be that I could probably squeeze in a second lense at time of purchase.

    I'm not really interested in shooting video...my ol' Olympus has a video feature and I've only played with it once and really don't see using a video feature any time soon.
  17. buzzbass

    buzzbass Shoo Shoo Retarded Flu !

    Apr 23, 2003
    Just bought my wife a Konica/Minolta Maxxum 5D, she like's it a lot. Got it for a good price & rebate too boot @ Circuit City, just last week. We went with that brand because she had a bunch of 35mm lenses and stuff from her Minolta Maxxum SLR, it all fit. Lenses, flash, everything. She's really pleased with it.
  18. I know that sooner or later I'll take the digital plunge, but for now I have two questions:

    1.) I have an old Canon F1 with a bunch of lenses (which I love); someone at a party recently told me that Canon now makes a digital SLR body which will accept my 1980s-era FD lenses, is this true?

    2.) Do any digital SLR lenses have very fast maximum apertures? I'm used to using prime lenses with apertures of f2.0 or faster.

    Lately I've been using Agfa Optima 400 speed film indoors with available light, camera on a tripod. (naturally ;) ) www.adorama.com/AGO40036.html

    It gives great results when used with a tungsten light source.

    Hey, Ken, how've you been? :) We haven't talked in a long while. I'm going to PM you in the next day or so.


    P.S. Heavy Duty knows photography - I've met him. ;)
  19. My dad uses a Nikon D70 (or 50, I forget which) for his professional photography stuff. I havn't seen a bad shot come from it.

    Its a shame that Panasonic doesn't make one, or else I'd be able to get you a discount on it.
  20. burk48237

    burk48237 Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Oak Park, MI
    Michael, When I switched to autofocus, I faced the same problem. To my knowledge your F1 (GREAT Camera) is a relic in the terms of Cannons support. Nikons, Will use the old Glass, including the old manual focus lenses, but you lose a lot of electrical interface functions, light meter, etc. To me the strength of the new product over the old is the ability to meter flash TTL, something no manual focus SLR did well. I made the switch from Cannon to Nikon several years ago when I switched to autofocus.

    As far as the new stuff, I bought a D70 last year and I am very impressed. I have a tough time seeing the difference out to 11 X 14 provided I shoot at slow ISO's and tripod everything (a requirement with 35mm IMO). I decided to go with Nikon over Cannon for two primary reasons. 1) Nikon doesn't compromise durability in even their consumer products. Their bodies are more durable, and have metal lens mounts. Cannon uses synthetic lens mounts on most of the Rebels (at least they use too). I do a lot of outdoor photography and my gear tends to take more of a beating. 2) Nikons pro glass is actually a little lower priced, in prime lenses like an 80-200 f2.8 for instance the Nikons seem to run a few hundred less.

    As far as the rest of your questions, fast aperture lens are available. But, you might check into some of the VR (vibration reduction) lenses. They enable you to hold the camera at much slower shutter speeds.

    Here's a sample of my D70 on a tripod (Sandhill Crane- Nikkor 80-200 f2.8 with polarizer)