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#1 of 43 JamieD

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Posted May 26 2004 - 04:23 AM

So I've been using the Nikon D100 lately. (6mp SLR).. It wasn't mine though.. Are there options out there which will produce similar quality for bargain price? (I've heard great things about Canon) I can't even look at the images from my 2MP camera anymore. Posted Image
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#2 of 43 Kris McLaughlin

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Posted May 26 2004 - 04:37 AM

Check out the Canon Digital Rebel. 6.3MP, and very affordable as far as DSLRs go (~USD$900). I love mine!
//km
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#3 of 43 Thomas Newton

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Posted May 26 2004 - 06:19 AM

Nikon has an "entry-level" D70 digital SLR out.

It's a bit more expensive than the Rebel ($1300 with Nikon zoom lens, as compared to $1000 for the Rebel kit). Reviewers like it a lot, in part because they claim that it has very low lag.

There are a few eight-megapixel all-in-one digital cameras with flash shoes (e.g., Canon PowerShot Pro1, Sony DSC-F828(?)). They're about the same price as the Digital Rebel. One advantage is that you can use the LCD screen to compose the picture before a shot (this is not possible on a SLR). Another is that some offer very long zoom ranges (10x) with surprisingly fast lenses (by SLR zoom lens standards).

Disadvantages of the high-end all-in-one cameras include an inability to use interchangeable lenses, and smaller physical pixel sizes.

#4 of 43 Max Leung

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Posted May 27 2004 - 06:04 AM

Careful with the zoom ranges listed by digital camera manufacturers...these are DIGITAL zoom, not optical zoom!

Typically non-SLR digital cameras offer 2x-5x optical zoom, with digital interpolation for the fake 10x-14x zooms...
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#5 of 43 Thomas Newton

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Posted May 27 2004 - 09:10 AM

Quote:
Careful with the zoom ranges listed by digital camera manufacturers...these are DIGITAL zoom, not optical zoom!

I'm talking about digital cameras with long optical zooms. Most of the current 8 megapixel "prosumer" crop have zoom lenses with 7x to 10x optical zoom factors. I think that the Olympus has a smaller zoom range, but maybe a better-quality lens (going by the review on the dpreview site).

I'm pretty sure the zoom range comes from a combination of small sensor size (normally a BAD thing, but presumably it reduces the bulk of the required lenses) and "large" (for point-and-shoot) lenses. (The Sony looks and feels very much like a digital camera grafted onto a traditional 70 - 210 mm SLR zoom lens ... only the optical zoom is longer.)

One thing I have noticed about prosumer digital cameras that seems a bit odd is that you can't stop down smaller than f/8.

#6 of 43 JohnRice

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Posted May 31 2004 - 10:59 AM

Quote:
One advantage is that you can use the LCD screen to compose the picture before a shot (this is not possible on a SLR).
HUH?

So, you can't see what you are shooting with a digital SLR? I'm sure that's not what you meant to say, but it is what you seem to be implying. Digital SLRs either have an optical viewfinder or an electronic one, both of which certainly allow composition of a shot.

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#7 of 43 Tom Meyer

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Posted May 31 2004 - 03:59 PM

Quote:
HUH?

agreed. I HATE HATE HATE using LCD screens to compose shots. Totally unnatural if you're coming from a film SLR background. Electronic viewfinders generally look like crap as well. Also, I think a standard TTL viewfinder offers a very important feature that built in zoom/LCD screens doesn't -- depth of field preview. For this reason alone I would never buy one (I have a D70).

Quote:
Disadvantages of the high-end all-in-one cameras include an inability to use interchangeable lenses, and smaller physical pixel sizes.

Smaller sizes ? My dad's Sony F828 produces larger files (14MB 3264 x 2448 vs. 5MB 3008 x 2000 RAW) than my D70, which would be expected as it's a 8MP camera vs my 6.3MP.

#8 of 43 JohnRice

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Posted May 31 2004 - 04:54 PM

Besides, generally the SLRs which have electronic viewfinders (I believe the Nikon D100 has one) also let you use the back LCD for composition, so there is no reason it is not possible with an SLR.

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#9 of 43 Thomas Newton

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Posted May 31 2004 - 04:56 PM

Quote:
HUH?

So, you can't see what you are shooting with a digital SLR? I'm sure that's not what you meant to say, but it is what you seem to be implying.

That's not what I said. I said: "One advantage is that you can use the LCD screen to compose the picture before a shot (this is not possible on a SLR)." The pronoun "this" refers to the option to use the LCD screen.

Quote:
Digital SLRs either have an optical viewfinder or an electronic one, both of which certainly allow composition of a shot.

The optical viewfinder functions because of the mirror/prism arrangement. This same mirror/prism arrangement prevents any light from getting to the electronic sensor while the picture is being composed. No light = no signal for the camera to display on the LCD monitor. Thus, in a review of a DSLR, one reviewer made note of how you did not get to see the picture on screen until after you had taken it.

This is very different from the operation of a camera like the Sony F-828 or the Canon Powershot Pro1, where you can use the LCD screen to show the view through the lens before the camera takes the picture. On that type of camera, the viewfinder and the LCD screen are alternative monitors for the same source of image data. A tradeoff is that there is no option to use an optical viewfinder to compose through the lens (and most EVFs are sub-VGA resolution).

Quote:
Smaller sizes ? My dad's Sony F828 produces larger files (14MB 3264 x 2448 vs. 5MB 3008 x 2000 RAW) than my D70, which would be expected as it's a 8MP camera vs my 6.3MP.

I said "physical pixel size", not file size.

Physical pixel size is a function of sensor area, divided by number of pixels. If your camera has a bigger sensor and fewer pixels than the F828, it has a bigger pixel size. From what I have read in reviews, bigger pixels are better pixels: they have higher signal-to-noise ratios.

#10 of 43 Ari

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Posted May 31 2004 - 05:03 PM

Quote:
Disadvantages of the high-end all-in-one cameras include an inability to use interchangeable lenses, and smaller physical pixel sizes.


Quote:
Smaller sizes ? My dad's Sony F828 produces larger files (14MB 3264 x 2448 vs. 5MB 3008 x 2000 RAW) than my D70, which would be expected as it's a 8MP camera vs my 6.3MP.


Non-SLR digital cameras oftentimes have a higher pixel count than dSLRs but their sensor size is smaller. The Sony 828 has a 2/3" CCD sensor (8.8 x 6.6 mm) while the D70 has a 23.7 x 15.6 mm CCD sensor, more than 6 times larger than the Sony.

Pixel count isn't everything....for now a 6.3MP dSLR beats an 8MP prosumer hands down.

#11 of 43 Tom Meyer

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Posted May 31 2004 - 05:24 PM

Quote:
Pixel count isn't everything....for now a 6.3MP dSLR beats an 8MP prosumer hands down.

which is exactly what I tried to tell my dad before he bought the 828 ! Posted Image

There *is* one advantage that I can think of for a LCD/EVF -- it would let you compose & focus while using an opaque infrared filter.

#12 of 43 JamieD

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Posted June 01 2004 - 12:09 AM

I have to agree with the "disadvantage" of not being about to review the image with white balance tweaks and stuff before I took the picture, but I just fell in love with the camera. Thanks for the suggestions, guys, keep em comin!
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#13 of 43 JohnRice

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Posted June 01 2004 - 06:56 AM

Quote:
That's not what I said. I said: "One advantage is that you can use the LCD screen to compose the picture before a shot (this is not possible on a SLR).
OK, since you're going to be so precise with your phrasing, I notice you conveniently ignored where I said..."I'm sure that's not what you meant to say, but it is what you seem to be implying." I just wanted to be sure people didn;'t misunderstand. Plus, it is possible for a DSLR to have an LCD preview, since not all of them have mirrors and optical viewfinders. Just because not all models are designed that way doesn't mean some can't be and aren't. Maybe I also misunderstood the statement "this is not possible on a SLR." Not only is it possible, some have this feature.

As far as the physical size of the pixels, sure that can matter, in more way than one. Not only can the sensors themselves give better results, but the larger the sensor (with the same pixel count, to keep the variables to a minimum) the less reliance on the quality of the lens. There are also other variables like the possibly lower cost to produce sorter focal length lenses, but let's just keep things simple.

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#14 of 43 Thomas Newton

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Posted June 01 2004 - 08:34 AM

Quote:
I just fell in love with the camera.

I know the feeling ... I look at the reviews of the Nikon D70, and the pictures some have posted, and I sense a $2K threat to my savings account! Posted Image

#15 of 43 Ari

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Posted June 01 2004 - 10:58 AM

Quote:
Plus, it is possible for a DSLR to have an LCD preview, since not all of them have mirrors and optical viewfinders. Just because not all models are designed that way doesn't mean some can't be and aren't. Maybe I also misunderstood the statement "this is not possible on a SLR." Not only is it possible, some have this feature.


While it is possible for a DSLR to have an LCD preview, none have it yet. The only way to do this would be to have a "proxy" sensor before the mirror/prism. This sensor will have nothing to do with capturing the exposure but will only be used for the preview. Entirely possible but no one has done it yet.

By definition, an SLR has the mirror/prism before the film (or in the case of digital, before the sensor). The mirror/prism is there to reflect a TTL image to the viewfinder.

#16 of 43 JohnRice

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Posted June 01 2004 - 01:08 PM

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The only way to do this would be to have a "proxy" sensor before the mirror/prism. This sensor will have nothing to do with capturing the exposure but will only be used for the preview. Entirely possible but no one has done it yet.
A little knowledge really is a dangerous thing. There are Digital "SLR" style cameras, which use removable 35mm lenses which have no mirror and no prism. Instead, they have an LCD display where the prism and regular optical viewfinder would normally be. No mirror, therefore, no reason the sensor can't read constantly and display on either the viewfinder display or the rear display. Both would show exposure, color balance and so on, so then the rear display would not be of as much use except for viewing from more of a distance.


Quote:
By definition, an SLR has the mirror/prism before the film (or in the case of digital, before the sensor). The mirror/prism is there to reflect a TTL image to the viewfinder.
No SLR ever made had a prism before the film. It is out of the light path to the film. The light is directed to it by the mirror and then on to the viewfinder. Also, not all SLRs have a prism. Medium format SLRs often have waist level viewfinders as an option and they have no prisms, but the camera is still an SLR. There also have been some 35mm SLRs which didn't have a prism, but a waist level finder, but that is going back quite a way.

Digital "SLRs" with an electronic viewfinder are not technically SLRs since they have no mirror, but they will always probably be referred to as SLRs because 1) they look exactly like 35mm SLRs and use 35mm lenses 2) They look exactly like digital cameras (say, the Fuji S1) which are actually SLRs and also use removable 35mm lenses.


There are Digital SLRs which have an electronic viewfinder instead of an optical one. I'm pretty sure the Nikon D100 is one example, but I expect there are others. I don't keep up on every model out there.


Having said that, there is also a definite benefit to having an optical viewfinder on a digital SLR. For one thing, it doesn't have any lag and always has a clear image. I use a Fuji S2 for digital work and I am very glad it has an optical viewfinder. If I have any doubt, I can check the image, and particularly the histogram, on the rear display after I take the pic.

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#17 of 43 Ari

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Posted June 01 2004 - 01:57 PM

Just a minute...are we talking about honest-to-goodness digital SLR cameras here (Nikon D1, D2H, D100...Canon 10D, 1D, 300D...Fuji S2...Sigma SD9...Pentax*ist...) or are we including digital SLR-style cameras as well (all the other prosumers)?

Even though a camera may have interchangeable lenses and may look like an SLR, if it doesn't have a mirror it isn't an SLR.

As I said earlier, it is possible for a digital SLR (the real ones) to have an electronic viewfinder and have live LCD preview but I haven't seen it yet. The D100 has an optical-type fixed-eye level pentaprism.

I'm specially interested in an SLR with LCD preview, specifically a live histogram. Would be one major improvement I'd like to see in an SLR.

#18 of 43 JohnRice

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Posted June 01 2004 - 02:40 PM

Ari, it is technically correct that an SLR needs to have a mirror to genuinely be an SLR, though apparently it no longer needs a prism, but that distinction is completely pointless where digital is concerned. The Mirror is no longer required. Also, I guarantee you all those types of cameras will be referred to as SLRs whether they have mirrors or not.

Going by your requirements, it would also be pointless and far too expensive to make a true SLR with a live preview. It would and is perfectly reasonable to make an SLR shaped camera that uses interchangeable 35mm SLR lenses which has a preview. See how smoothly that rolls off the tongue.

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#19 of 43 Ari

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Posted June 01 2004 - 03:13 PM

I really don't know the advantage of having the mirror in an SLR but semantics aside, the fact remains that in terms of responsiveness and picture quality, the true (mirror-using) digital SLRs still come out tops (with the possible exception of MF with digital back). My big problem with non-SLR cameras is that there's a considerable lag when you press the shutter. It's improved a lot lately but it's still not nearly as responsive as an SLR shutter. The lenses of the prosumers are another shortcoming (deceiving DOF, slow focus), although things are catching up quickly.

My beef with the digital SLRs is that they are very susceptible to blown highlights (at least mine is). You really need to keep the histogram as close to the right without overexposing for it to work at its best. Of course bracketing is an option but I really like getting the exposure right the first time since there are times when there's only time to get one shot off. They recently introduced live histograms on some prosumers and that's one feature that would be really useful on a dSLR.

#20 of 43 JohnRice

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Posted June 01 2004 - 03:22 PM

Ari, my point is that I doubt shutter lag, picture quality and blown highlights has anything to do with whether a camera has a mirror. As has been mentioned, the digital models built on a 35mm SLR chassis have larger sensors (physical size, not resolution) and I expect that has a lot to do with everything you mention. there is no real need for mirrors anymore, so long as acceptibly good electronic displays are available.

FWIW, overexposing is always something to avoid with any digital camera. I have noticed they usually have a tendency to underexpose slightly on automatic.

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The Surround Part: Sherbourn PT-7030, Thiel SCS3, Emotiva XPA-5, Polk & Emotiva Surrounds.



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