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Digital Cameras: Suggestions?


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57 replies to this topic

#1 of 58 OFFLINE   Angelo.M

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Posted October 13 2003 - 08:26 AM

Love my 35mm, but I need a digital camera and have just begun to shop. Obviously, there are many to choose from. What are key/necessary features, things to look for or things to avoid? Price not an issue.

#2 of 58 OFFLINE   Keith Mickunas

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Posted October 13 2003 - 08:40 AM

Well if price is no problem, I'd have to recommend the Canon EOS-1Ds. It's an 11 megapixel camera and the sensor is the same size as 35mm film. It regularly goes for $8k, although some places have it in the $6k range. I've heard that a lot of photo-journalists use the Nikon D1, but I don't know much about those.

Seriously, you got to provide some parameters. The market is huge. What kind of camera do you have now? If you have one of the major brand SLR systems, look at their digital offerings. Canon sells a few digital cameras in a more reasonable price range that use all the EOS EF lenses. The same goes for Nikon, and I believe Olympus, Kodak and Fuji also.

#3 of 58 OFFLINE   Angelo.M

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Posted October 13 2003 - 08:51 AM

I have the Canon EOS Rebel 2000 now.

Parameters? OK, $1000 or less.


#4 of 58 OFFLINE   Curt_Dennis

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Posted October 13 2003 - 09:04 AM

I'd recommend the Sony Cybershot...the zoom is awesome and mine is a 5.2 megapixel. Takes amazing pictures and with enough light awesome movies too. It also has a Carlos Zies (sorry don't know how it's spelled) which is a great flash for all kinds of cameras. Here are some things to look for when looking for a digital camera:
1. Megapixel...the more the better
2. Zoom...Optical and Digital (the first digital cameras had very little and sucked)
3. Ease of the controls on the camera (the Cybershot F717 has awesome and easy controls)
4. File format
5. How big of a memory card can you use
6. What features does it have? Make sure you are comparing apples to apples. Some features aren't important to everyone, so look for what you need.
7. Can you add additional equipment to it...lens, flashes, etc.

#5 of 58 OFFLINE   Bejoy

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Posted October 13 2003 - 09:15 AM

Since you already own a Rebel, try its digital version. It goes for $999. Shop around and you may get it for less.

#6 of 58 OFFLINE   Keith Mickunas

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Posted October 13 2003 - 09:25 AM

I second the EOS Digital Rebel. You should be able to use the lenses and some of the other accesories you have. If you have a good assortment of lenses already, you can buy the Digital Rebel without a lens for $100 less. Go read Steve'sreview and check out the reviews and forums at DPReview.

#7 of 58 OFFLINE   ThomasC

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Posted October 13 2003 - 09:32 AM

I'd like some suggestions as well, I'm in the $300-$350 range, but willing to pay $400 if it's really worth the extra $50-$100.

#8 of 58 OFFLINE   Carlo Medina

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Posted October 13 2003 - 10:04 AM

Check out www.dpreview.com - very informative and thorough site.

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#9 of 58 OFFLINE   Rhett_Y

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Posted October 13 2003 - 10:15 AM

Sony F717....Hands down.......And now the new Sony the F826 I believe it is called.........

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#10 of 58 OFFLINE   Keith Mickunas

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Posted October 13 2003 - 10:37 AM

Quote:
Sony F717....Hands down

You can make that argument about a multitude of cameras depending on your preferences. My Canon EOS 10D's stats are better in every way over that camera accept in price. The Digital Rebel is roughly the same as the 10D, except that it's burst capability is about as low as the F717.

There are a number of things to consider with purchasing a digital camera. Such as:
  • Resolution
  • SLR or not
  • Zoom capabilities
  • Aperture
  • Shooting modes
  • ISO speeds
  • Shutter speed
  • Ability to use other lenses and accessories
  • Memory format, capabilities, etc.
  • Flash capabilities and connections for flash units
  • Capabilities of LCD display
  • Battery type
The importance of these features varies from person to person. I like Compact Flash because I already have some so I'd rather not buy a camera that uses something different. Likewise with the batteries, I have lots of nimhs, but the Canon uses a proprietary battery and the other features it has are more important to me. SLR was more important to me this time than on my first camera because I'm becoming more serious about photography.

#11 of 58 OFFLINE   Thomas Newton

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Posted October 13 2003 - 02:04 PM

Quote:
I'd like some suggestions as well, I'm in the $300-$350 range, but willing to pay $400 if it's really worth the extra $50-$100.

For that, you're looking at digital point-and-shoots in the three to five megapixel range.

Things to consider: optical zoom range (3x is a minimum, but you might be able to get 6x to 10x), lens speed, availability of manual controls, flash card type.

Definitely budget for rechargeable batteries, whether as part of the cost of the camera, or as add-ons for cameras that take AA batteries. Also budget for a carrying case, and for a flash card large enough to hold a decent number of pictures.

#12 of 58 OFFLINE   Curt_Dennis

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Posted October 14 2003 - 12:11 AM

Keith, sorry but the Canon you mentioned is NOT better than the F717. It is way more usually which is true, BUT it is also lower quality in megapixels, lower in zoom with the base camera, movie format is .wav and only 30 secs (which may or may not be a feature that you want). So how can you say your Canon is better than the F717? I personally like having a nice movie mode on my camera, because there has been times were having a movie was better than taking pictures. But, a camera is a personal thing and each person will like different things. At least Rhett and I agree that the F717 for $800 or under is an awesome camera.

#13 of 58 OFFLINE   Keith Mickunas

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Posted October 14 2003 - 02:30 AM

I said
Quote:
My Canon EOS 10D's stats are better in every way over that camera accept in price.

and I stand by that. I don't see how you can say 5MP is greater than 6MP. The lens capabilities are greater with the 10D because Canon makes over 50 lenses and several other companies make lenses for the Canon cameras also. Also, the 10D is a true SLR. It has several advantages over the F717. The aperature varies with the lens, so that provides a better range, as does the zoom capability. The fastest shutter on the 10D is 1/4000 vs. the Sony's 1/1000. The 10D can do up to ISO 3200, and some reviews have said it's got less grain than film at those speeds. It can do a 9 frame burst at 3fps.

The 10D doesn't do video. So aside from price and video, what is better about the F717? I won't deny that for under $1000 it is a great camera, but I will not say that any one camera is the best. Heck, the Nikon D1H will do burst shots of 40 images at 5 fps. While it's got a lower resolution than the 10D or F717, if I was doing lots of action photography, that'd be the camera I want.

#14 of 58 OFFLINE   DaveBB

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Posted October 14 2003 - 02:38 AM

I agree with Carlo, go check out dpreview.com. There's a lot, almost too much, information over there.

IMHO: if you've got Canon lenses and accessories go with the Digital Rebel.


#15 of 58 OFFLINE   JackMe

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Posted October 14 2003 - 02:55 AM

Sony has a $75 rebate on the 717 at the moment. This means it can be picked up for a total cost of less than $600. As to the fellow wanting to spend half of that, Nikon 3100, Canon A70, Sony P72, Olympus Stylus 300. Check them all (<$300) and base your decision on the factors that are most important to you.

#16 of 58 OFFLINE   Max Leung

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Posted October 14 2003 - 12:00 PM

Comparing the Sony F717 or any other non-SLR digital camera to a digital SLR is comparing apples and oranges.

It's like comparing a standalone DVD player to an HTPC.

If you're into serious photography, a digital SLR would work very well - more flexibility, more options - particularly for action/sports, long-zoom nature photography, and portraits (for money).

However, the high-end point-and-shoot type cameras like the Canon G3 and Sony F717 are excellent for many situations - great for party shots and pictures of static objects (landscapes, architecture, etc). They really suck for action photography though - the auto-focus is too damn slow, especially when you're indoors under household lightbulbs. Taking pictures of pets is damn difficult.

The higher-end P&S cams are great for learning photography though...you can use the manual modes when you outgrow the automatic modes. Lots of bells and whistles that appeal to everyone (movie and audio recording, over-the-top sharpness, contrast, and color saturation for minimal post-processing). Many feature swivel LCDs or swivel bodies for low-angle shots that are more difficult to achieve (and more obvious to onlookers) with SLR cameras.

Most people just use digital cameras to take pictures of people at parties, candids, and for the occasional vacation. They'd probably be happy with the pocket digital cameras...even a Sony F707 or F717 is total overkill for their needs. Posted Image
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#17 of 58 OFFLINE   Todd Hochard

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Posted October 14 2003 - 12:52 PM

Quote:
I have the Canon EOS Rebel 2000 now.
Another nod for the Digital Rebel.

I also have the Rebel 2000 35mm, and when I break my Sony DSC-S70 on purpose my Sony dies, I'm likely going this way.

Todd
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#18 of 58 OFFLINE   Tim K

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Posted October 14 2003 - 04:54 PM

I haven't heard anyone mention the SIZE of the camera or what it will be used for. I'm in the market for a digital camera and size is one of the most important factors for me. I want a 3MP camera with a 3x optical zoom that will fit in my pocket. I will probably go for the Olympus Stylus 300 which runs around $349. I have 3 friends with Canon digital elphs and while small, good cameras, all 3 have had to send them back to be repaired under warranty.

#19 of 58 OFFLINE   Dan D.

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Posted October 15 2003 - 03:48 AM

If you love your Rebel 2000 and you are comfortable with the $1000 price point, there's no question you should be looking at the Digital Rebel. It has one of the best sensors on the market (the same 6.3MP CMOS from the 10D) and you will be able to share lenses and flashes between both of your cameras. FYI, the $999 cost for the Digital Rebel includes the 18-55mm (28.8-88mm 35mm-equivilent) EF-S lens (this one won't be compatible with the Rebel 2000) designed for the camera. The body alone is available for $899 if you already have some good lenses. Keep in mind that there is a 1.6x multiplier with the Digital Rebel's sensor when considering lens focal lengths (e.g. a 28mm lens would be the equivilent of 44.8mm on the Digital Rebel) which is why the 18-55mm lens is attractive.

Regarding the above comments on the Sony F717... the F717 is a fine camera with one of the best built-in lenses on the market. That said, it still not going to match the quality of a serious SLR lens. Another issue with any Sony besides the F717's successor, the F828, is that you are stuck using Memory Stick, which tends to be costlier per megabyte and much less common than the more popular options like CompactFlash. As I said, they are fine cameras, but with the introduction of the Digital Rebel into that price range, it's tough to make an arguement against the SLR.

#20 of 58 OFFLINE   Jamie Doucette

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Posted October 15 2003 - 08:56 AM

Here is another site on digital cameras I like.

http://imaging-resource.com/
Jamie Doucette
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