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Digital Camera help....


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#1 of 20 OFFLINE   Mike_Ped

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Posted February 18 2004 - 05:33 PM

oooooook....

Tis the time to buy a new digital camera and I figured I'd upgrade from 3 megapixel point and shoot camera to a SLR...

After doing some research, I think I've selected the Canon EOS D10 as the lucky winner. The problem I'm having is selecting an appropriate lense...

My issue arises from the fact that this camera has a lens magnification factor of 1.6x...

So, I'm looking for a lense that is pretty versatile (landscapes, group photos, etc...); or will I have to purchase multiple lenses?

Thanx for any feedback...
I will strike down upon thee with great vengence and furious anger, those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers...

#2 of 20 OFFLINE   Brett DiMichele

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Posted February 18 2004 - 06:08 PM

Mike,

Did you look at the Sigma SD10 when you looked at the
Canon 10D?

I shot a Canon 10D, Nikon D100 and Sigma SD10 plus played
with the Canon 300D and went for the Sigma.

Why? Because of the sensor! I wasn't locked into purchasing
a body solely because I had accumulated 30 years worth of
lenses so the Sigma SA Mount didn't "lock" me into anything
IMHO besides it's hard to say if Canon will keep the EF
Mount or change it in 5 years due to digital technology.

For me the Foveon X3 Sensor in the Sigma was what did it.
The full 100% Sized images out of the SD9 and SD10 Sigma's
blew me away but none of the other cameras (which all use
Bayer based Sensors) did not really blow me away.

With all that aside the Canon 10D is a very good camera no
doubt about it (as is the Nikon D100!). I just didn't care
for the way the controls were laid out on either and the
images out of the camera (only your eyes can decide).

Do not confuse the 1.6x Field Of View (FOV)Crop Factor as a
Magnification Factor. The 1.6 FOV does not impact the Focal
Length of the lens, meaning a 100mm-300mm is still a 100mm
to 300mm but due to the 10D and every other D-SLR (other
than the Canon 1Ds and Kodak 14N) having smaller than 35mm
Sensors the Image Circle of the Lens is larger than the
sensor so basically you are always shooting the center of
the glass on the lens it takes less glass to cover the
sensor.

If you want an exteme wide angle you are going to pay for it.
But once you step into the the D-SLR Market money becomes a
moote factor because ALL good SLR Lenses are $$$$$$ As are
Flashes and everything else.

You can use Sigma lenses on the Canon and I would highely
recommend you look at Sigma's EX (Excellence)line of glass
as there are many Sigma EX Lenses that rank as high as Canon
L Glass at 1/2 the price or less.

I personally went with a 100/300 F4.0 Constant EX and a
24/70 F2.8 Constant EX and a Prime 50mm Macro F2.8 but in
the near future I want a wider angle and also more Telephoto.

If you can I would suggest going to a store and extensively
handling each camera first and see if you can shoot it..
Any great camera shop should let you do this!
Brett DiMichele
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#3 of 20 OFFLINE   Mike_Ped

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Posted February 18 2004 - 08:55 PM

Thanx for the reply Brett...

Until now, the Sigma had not been brought to my attention. Thus far, I really like what I've read on their website. Some testing is in hand next!

Thanx again!
I will strike down upon thee with great vengence and furious anger, those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers...

#4 of 20 OFFLINE   Brett DiMichele

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Posted February 18 2004 - 10:44 PM

Mike,

I am just glad to give you some more options to make a well
informed choice. Also if you can hold off a few months the
Nikon D70 looks interesting ($999.00 for the body) and
outperforms the Nikon D100 ($1400.00 Body) in some respects.

And if you want to compare the output of all these D-SLR's
please follow this link.

http://www.pbase.com/cameras

And to see images from the Sigma SD9 and SD10 respectively
go here:

http://www.pbase.com/cameras/sigma/sd9

http://www.pbase.com...eras/sigma/sd10

Be sure to check out the galleries of Dominick Groab,
Laurence Mattson, Rick Decker, Champa Arounee and many
others!(The Sigma Galleries)

If on a high speed connection always view the original 100%
images.. All cameras look great when downsampled but it's
when viewed at 100% that will make or break the image quality
IMHO!

Good Luck and let me know how you make out. And if you have
any questions be they Sigma related or just D-SLR related
please email me at brettd@westol.com
Brett DiMichele
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#5 of 20 OFFLINE   Max Leung

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Posted February 19 2004 - 04:53 AM

For a moment I thought you were talking about the inferior Sigma SLR with the old foveon sensor, but that was the SD9, not the SD10!

However, keep in mind that if you get the Sigma, it is unlikely you will be able to use much of the Canon lens line. You will be locked into only using Sigma lenses!

Buying an SLR is buying into a system, like buying an operating system for your computer. If you get a Canon SLR, you can use any of the vast selection of Canon lenses, as well as many 3rd party lenses from Tamron, Sigma, etc. Canon SLRs are the best supported in the industry, IMHO.

You should take a serious look at the camera reviews at www.dpreview.com as well. You will see objective comparisons between the different cameras (ie. Canon 300D vs. 10D vs. SD9 vs. whatever else). Looking at galleries won't help you much, because image quality is very photographer-skill-dependent...

Educate yourself before taking the plunge!
Mahatma Gandhi, as you know, walked barefoot most of the time, which produced an impressive set of calluses on his feet. He also ate very little, which made him rather frail and with his odd diet, he suffered from bad breath. This made him...a super-callused fragile mystic hexed by halitosis.

Gamesh....

#6 of 20 OFFLINE   Dan D.

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Posted February 19 2004 - 08:26 AM

I agree with Max's commments about the Canon lens line and DPReview. DPReview is a particularly outstanding resource.

The Sigma/Foveon is an intriguing camera, but you are limited to the Sigma lens line only. Granted, Sigma does have some very good lenses, and some good values. Their line isn't as consistant quality-wise as Canon, and the truly high-quality EX models that compare favorably to the Canon L line are usually the most expensive relative to their competition. Sigma makes all of their lenses in a Canon mount as well as for their own bodies. The Nikon N70 is an interesting camera, though to date only vaporware, and was clearly pre-announced to prevent Nikon owners from jumping to the Canon Digital Rebel/300D. I'm sure it will be a fine camera, but you can almost certainly count on Canon to deliver a 10D and/or Digital Rebel upgrade (speculated for late summer) to counter it. Canon did the same to Nikon's not-yet-shipping D2H by releasing the 1D Mark II, a superior camera by nearly every measure. The point of my comment is not to snub Nikon, but just to say that the waiting game is tough to play in the digital world these days.

That said, let me address your original question. I am a 10D user and understand your desire for a good all-around lens. I can offer two suggestions, both of which I own and use extensively.

My first suggestion would be the Canon 28-135mm f3.5-5.6 IS. This lens gives you an effective range of about 45-216mm in 35mm terms (crop vs. magnification discussion aside). That's lacking a bit on the wide angle side, but provides a nice amount of zoom. The 28-135 has a great reputation for sharpness and quality. Best of all, you get Canon's Image Stabilization system, which is nothing short of miraculous in low light situations. I've owned this lens for over 5 years and it is still my favorite. It is also quite reasonably priced.

If you feel wide angle is more important than zoom, such as if you plan on focusing on landscapes or architechture, I suggest the Canon 17-40mm f4.0L (27-64mm equivilent). This is an exceptional lens and a favorite among 10D users. It is hard to surpass either the image quality or build quality of this lens. In the high-quality lens world, it's not that expensive, though pricier than the 28-135mm. One good thing about Canon L series lenses (and the better non-L Canon lenses) is that they hold their value very well, making swaps or upgrades far less painful.

One last note, whichever whay you go, you should avoid the "hyperzooms", i.e. lenses with a 8-10x zoom range. A 28-200mm or 28-300mm lens may sound great, but you have to make a great sacrifce to optics to pull it off. You are looking at some great cameras here, DO NOT go cheap on glass.

#7 of 20 OFFLINE   Keith Mickunas

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Posted February 19 2004 - 09:24 AM

I've got a 10D also, and I love it. I also use the Canon 28-135mm f3.5-5.6 IS lens. I still need to get a good wide angle lens, it is a pain with this camera, but other than that everything about it is good.

I doubt there will be a problem with availability of lenses for these cameras. Canon makes a bunch, 70 or more I believe, and there are several other brands that I've heard good things about. Also, a good number of the accessories can be used on multiple EOS bodies. The 300D does have a series of lenses for it that don't work on the 10D, and I believe other EOS cameras, but that's the exception, not the rule.

#8 of 20 OFFLINE   Max Leung

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Posted February 19 2004 - 10:09 AM

I have the Canon 300D aka Canon Digital Rebel, with the kit lens (18-55mm I believe, equivalent to 27-88mm on a 35 mm camera). If I had gotten a 10D I'd be hard pressed finding a wide-angle lens without spending at least $500 US for one that doesn't suck. Then I'd have to find another lens to cover the same range as the Rebel with a kit lens. Posted Image

I have the excellent Canon 50mm 1.8 mk2 lens (~$70 US), the standard 18-55mm kit lens (adds $100 to a barebones Rebel...well worth it) that came with my Rebel, and the nice Canon 28-135mm IS lens (~$500 US). I'd love to have a 70-300mm lens, but for the moment I'll use my feet to zoom...

Digital SLRs can easily exceed HT equipment in costs, I can guarantee you that. Posted Image
Mahatma Gandhi, as you know, walked barefoot most of the time, which produced an impressive set of calluses on his feet. He also ate very little, which made him rather frail and with his odd diet, he suffered from bad breath. This made him...a super-callused fragile mystic hexed by halitosis.

Gamesh....

#9 of 20 OFFLINE   Ari

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Posted February 19 2004 - 11:07 AM

A happy 10D owner chiming in...

You've really got to decide what your priorities are (versatility vs. quality) and what sort of stuff you'll be shooting. Canon lenses have focal lengths of 12mm all the way to 1200mm and each one has its purpose. The subjects and the conditions you'll be shooting will determine what you need.

For instance, I have a Canon 17-40 f4L for landscapes and group portraits, Tamron 28-75 for general photography, a Canon 50 1.8 for low-light and portraits, a 100f2 for outdoor portraits and indoor sports and a 70-200 2.8 for outdoor sports and wildlife.

Dpreview.com is a good source of information and recommendations. All of the lens manufacturers (Canon included) make gems as well as lemons so it's best to do some research before buying.

#10 of 20 OFFLINE   Brett DiMichele

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Posted February 19 2004 - 01:41 PM

Yeah definatly do the research.. Hang around in the Canon
10D and 300D Forums on DPReview and read up Posted Image I know I did!


I just want to correct something about the Sigma's.. Yes
you are locked into Sigma lenses (over 40 lenses in the EX
Line which range from 8mm Fish to 800MM Primes) and when
compared to Canon L Glass they are generally half the price
and usually tie in MTF Testing.

There are also Pentax K Mount and M42 Adaptors that will
let you use Manual Leica, Pentax Screw, M42 and numerous
other types of vintage legendary glass and there is a
guy working on a Canon EF to Sigma SA adaptor but I am
pretty sure it turns the body into an EF Mount which is not
a problem at all because you can still get all the same
Sigma glass in EF Mount as well.

It's plain to see that Sigma users are the minority in the
Digital SLR camp but for some odd reason our galleries get
the most hits.. Dunno why Posted Image
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#11 of 20 OFFLINE   Keith Mickunas

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Posted February 19 2004 - 04:01 PM

It's nice to have those adapters, but B&H has a total of roughly 200 lenses from 5 manufacturers including Canon and Sigma that can be used on Canon EOS cameras. So if you buy the Sigma, and then get it modified to use EOS lenses, then you'll have the flexibility that the Canon has. And that's just in lenses, how are the other accessories?

Also, the Canon uses a CMOS sensor, not a CCD like most of the others. I don't know what Brett means by "Bayer based sensor" but I'm fairly certain Canon doesn't have it.

#12 of 20 OFFLINE   Brett DiMichele

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Posted February 19 2004 - 04:36 PM

All digital cameras EXCEPT the Sigma use Bayer Sensors..

A Bayer sensor does not have full color pixel sets at each
photosite on the sensor. For example the 10D is listed as a
6 MegaPixel sensor but in reality it's 3 Megapixels of Green
which carries the most luminance data and it's 1.5 Megapixels
of Red and 1.5 Megapixels of Blue.

The Bayer sensor (Both CMOS and CCD are Bayer)use nearest
neighbor algorhythms to make an "educated guess" at what
color was between the pixels.

The Foveon X3 Sensor in the Sigma (which is CMOS by the way)
has 3 layers of stacked silicon each layer containing 3.5
Megapixels or "Photosites" and each layer captures one color.

Color light is absorbed into silicon at different depths and
this is why the X3 sensor works.. You can read more in depth
about the technology at http://www.foveon.com/ but here is
an image that may help.

Posted Image

I honestly don't see not being able to use Canon lenses as
a non selling point (to me..) Canon's best glass the L
series is horrendously overpriced and you know you always
want the best you can get.. At least I could afford the
Sigma glass I wanted! I paid $839.00 for my 100/300 F4
EX lens with the Hypersonic Motor (similar to Canon's USM).
I couldn't afford the same lens in Canon Posted Image

The EF adaptor is not yet ready for the SD's but once it's
done the way I understand you can't go back to the Sigma SA
mount.. Some would argue you don't have to because as has
been stated numerous times Canon does have a large lens
selection.

The only thing I find Simga lacking in lens wise is Super
Fast F1.2 to F1.8 primes. If I want to shoot a F1.8 lens I
have to get a K Mount or M42 Mount and pick up a nice
Flectagon F1.8 or a Zeiss F1.8 manual lens.

I am not arguing which camera is better because each camera
will appeal to a certain person but it sure is nice to know
all the options that are available to you!
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#13 of 20 OFFLINE   Brett DiMichele

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Posted February 19 2004 - 04:48 PM

Acessories..

Sigma offers numerous SD accessories and they are..

Sigma SD Power Pack/Grip which holds 8 AA Cell Rechargeable
Batteries or 4 CRV or 4 RCRV Cells (Lithium Ion) and sells
for $129.00 (half the price of the Canon Battery Grip) the
Grip also adds a Portrait Shutter Button which can be turned
on or off. The grip is a MUST have item because 4 AA Cells
in the SD10 do not last very long (about 300 shots with
2300 Mah NiMh's) with the Battery Grip loaded with 8 PowerEx
2200 Mah NiMh's I get about 1500 shots.

Sigma also offers an RS21 Remote for about $30.00 that lets
you trigger the Shutter and use MLU (Mirror Lock Up). They
also have a Remote Shutter Release Cable (D-Sub Mini Connector)
for about $45.00 that lets you trigger Shutter and MLU.

They also have a HotShoe to PC Synchro Terminal adaptor for
triggering Studio Strobes.

They also have numerous flashes the best one being the
EF500 Super SA-N which is meant specifically for the SD10
it has an AF Assist Lamp, 17mm Diffusor, Zoom Head and a
very hugh Guide number (Guide 95 at ISO 100 I think it is).

You DO need the Super SA-N Flash for the Sigma SD10 because
it does NOT have a pop up flash. The Super SA-N also can
be used as a Wireless D-TTL Flash if you have 2 or more
Super SA-N's you mount one on the camera and 2 or more off
the camera and the one on the camera transmits RF to the
slaves to set thier Zoom and Intensity.
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#14 of 20 OFFLINE   Dan D.

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Posted February 19 2004 - 11:46 PM

Quote:
I paid $839.00 for my 100/300 F4
EX lens with the Hypersonic Motor (similar to Canon's USM).
I couldn't afford the same lens in Canon


Which Canon lens are you comparing this to?

#15 of 20 OFFLINE   Brett DiMichele

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Posted February 20 2004 - 02:24 AM

Dan,

The only L comparisson would be the 100/400 IS L which is
$1300.00

Sigma now has the 80-400 EX OS (Optical Stabilization)
which is $1200.00 I beleive..

I don't care for the fact that Sigma's 80-400 OS is an
external focus (gets longer the more you zoom) I hope in
the near future they offer something in the 100/500 range
with an IF (Inner Focus) system like my 100/300 and offer
it with OS Posted Image

There is no doubt about it.. IS, OS, VR are SWEET!
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#16 of 20 OFFLINE   Dan D.

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Posted February 20 2004 - 04:22 AM

Kind of what I was suspecting. The Sigma 100-300mm f4.0 has a great reputation to be sure, but there isn't really a direct Canon competitor. To be fair, you can't really say it costs half as much as a Canon L. For the additional $450, you are getting a very useful extra 100mm of zoom, plus 2nd generation IS which allows you to get some tough hand-held shots at full zoom. Seems like a justifiable cost, to me at least.

Don't get me wrong, I'm greatly impressed by some of Sigma's lenses, but I think the assertion that the Canon L line is "horrendously overpriced" is a bit unfair. In the case above, you are certainly getting what you pay for. Your more appropriate comparison above (the Sigma 80-400mm) also shows the price gap to be much narrower for like lenses. Another example is the highly-regarded Canon 70-200mm f4.0L. Like your Sigma, this is a constant f4.0 lens, and it has a lot of overlap in zoom range with your lens. It's a shorter zoom, but also $300 cheaper than the Sigma.

Again, I like Sigma. It was a tough decision between the Sigma 15-30mm and the Canon 17-40mm which I ultimately bought. I look forward to more Sigma OS lenses and updates of their non-HSM lenses to incorporate that feature. I just think your assessment of the Canon L line is overly harsh. They deserve the reputation they have earned, and you get what you pay for in most, though certainly not all, cases.

#17 of 20 OFFLINE   Brett DiMichele

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Posted February 20 2004 - 06:42 AM

Dan,

I can agree with that. It just seems like in some cases
thier lens prices are astronomical for certain white lenses
simply because "that's what the pro's use" but I guess
you can't get some of those big lenses elsewhere..

There are also reverse situations where Canon's 50mm lens
is WAY less than I paid for my Sigma EX 50mm Macro.

I know one thing.. I want Sigma's 300-800mm EX Posted Image But
$4500 just ain't in the cards... Ohh or how about that
Canon 1200mm L that costs something like 80K?

I love big tele's Posted Image
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#18 of 20 OFFLINE   Dan D.

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Posted February 20 2004 - 08:44 AM

Quote:
I love big tele's


Know what you mean! My father has the 600mm f4.0L (non-IS). It's a wild lens to work with, though really cumbersome.

#19 of 20 OFFLINE   Max Leung

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Posted February 20 2004 - 09:50 AM

Just an FYI...for those super-expensive lenses, you can always rent them! $20 a day sure beats $4000. Posted Image

What I like about the Canon digital cameras are their lithium ion batteries...I can get several hundred shots (at 6 megapixels, fine jpegs) out of my Canon Digital Rebel with a 1300mAh lithium ion. And they are dirt cheap on eBay. $20 for a compatible battery, compared to $80 US or more for the OEM! Posted Image

It seems that many cameras that use NiMHs don't have very good battery life.
Mahatma Gandhi, as you know, walked barefoot most of the time, which produced an impressive set of calluses on his feet. He also ate very little, which made him rather frail and with his odd diet, he suffered from bad breath. This made him...a super-callused fragile mystic hexed by halitosis.

Gamesh....

#20 of 20 OFFLINE   Brett DiMichele

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Posted February 20 2004 - 04:24 PM

Max,

And I certainly wouldn't argue that at all. One of my pet
peeves with the Sigma is the battery solution. 4 AA Cells
in the camera don't cut it.. And the power grip may make
the camera "too big" for some hands (It's about the size of
a Nikon D2h or Canon EOS 1D with the grip on).

I hope future bodies from Sigma employ some sort of LiIon
solution instead of AA Cells. But for now I will live with
AA's and 1500 Shots from my SD Grip or use an external
SLA (Sealed Lead Acid) which should be good for about 4K
shots Posted Image
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