Please recommend a new 35mm camera for me to buy

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Carlo Medina, Jun 13, 2002.

  1. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Hi All,

    I'm looking to retire my old 35mm Olympus Stylus and was looking for a new camera, probably another 35mm as I don't want to spring for a good SLR. I toyed with an APS but I think the small film = extra grainy pics (I like to get 5x7s and sometimes larger sizes where it would show up) has steered me from it.

    Can anyone recommend a good 35mm auto that's less than $200 - preferably around $150? Please recommend one that's currently available, not a model that's 2+ years old that I would have to hunt around.

    My main qualities I look, in order of importance:

    1. Picture quality - first and foremost, above all others
    2. Good red-eye reduction
    3. Non-poking-out flashes (i.e. could break off)
    4. Nice zoom (to 110mm or more)
    5. Build quality
    6. Auto loading (but I think most all of them are nowadays)

    It's been a long time since I've bought a camera so if there's anything important you think I'm missing (in terms of quality) please bring it up.

    Many thanks in advance!
     
  2. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Oh, and have people heard of this "delay" that plagues Canon point and shoots? Like you press the button but it takes a while for the camera to actually take the photo?
     
  3. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    That's called "Shutter Lag" and all cameras have it. I really doubt it is more of an issue with Canon than any other. Someone may have been giving you a sales job.

    As far as the camera, you should be fine with anything from one of the major manufacturers, Canon, Minolta, Nikon, Olympus and Pentax. Just find one in your price range that is comfortable for you to operate. In the long run, that will probably be most important to you.
     
  4. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    John, I was actually reading it online (the Canon delay) and then I asked a coworker why he changed from Canon to Minolta and he mentioned the same delay--and he's not the kind to use the net to research any of this. He was just talking from personal experience. So I think there's a little validity to this. He did say the Canon took significantly longer than the Minolta, and they were both about the same price range.

    Was at Best Buy today and wasn't impressed with the stuff they had in the store. I might have to try a photo specialty shop, but I am afraid their prices will be considerably higher...
     
  5. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    Well, anything is possible. I am more inclined to think that if there is a real difference, it is most likely isolated to a certain model or a couple models rather than the whole line.

    When the camera takes too long to take a picture it usually has something to do with the auto focus. The point and shoots usually use IR autofocus, which is normally pretty quick and decisive. There may be some that use what's called "phase detection" autofocus, which is what SLRs use, and it can sometimes be indecisive and delay releasing the shutter. When you compare cameras, make sure they are all set to autofocus and not manual focus. If a salesperson is getting a "spiff" (or additional commission) on a particular camera or brand, it is amazing what they will do to make that one seem better. Still, in the end, if you are uncomfortable with Canon. there are plenty of others to choose from.

    As far as photo retailers, there may be a price difference, there may not. Even if there is, it may not be as much as you think. The specialty stores often have kits that include a case, databack, battery, film and/or other things at a combined price that makes them very competetive. I used to be a tech rep for Minolta and I have been to photo stores all over the country. If you tell me where you live, I might be able to give a recommendation.
     
  6. Andrej Dolenc

    Andrej Dolenc Stunt Coordinator

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    As far as the small point'n'shoot type cameras, another brand worth looking at is Yashica. We bought one for my dad a few years back and it hasn't failed to impress yet - really high quality lens on it.

    Another point to consider, if picture quality is of utmost importance, you'll always get better picture quality if you go for a non-zoom lens. Even small point'n'shoot cameras with a great, fixed wide-angle lens will make some really impressive pictures that you can blow up to 8x10 or so.

    Andrej
     
  7. Peter McM

    Peter McM Supporting Actor

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    Just bought a new Minolta Maxxum XTsi--about $299--but if their P&S (no, I don't mean pan 'n scan![​IMG] ) units are of similar quality, you should be happy with Minolta.
    Which leads me to another question: Which is better film--Kodak or Fuji? Does one tend to produce more faithful color and/or sharper image than the other?
     
  8. Tom Meyer

    Tom Meyer Second Unit

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    For film, it depends. For Kodak, I'd stick with the Royal Gold Select line as the "Max" consumer line isn't *that* much cheaper and can give inconsistent results. For most people, the ASA 400 film will be just what you need. With Fuji, try the NPH (400) or the Superia Reala (100). The Superia Reala gives slightly more saturated colors than the NPH but the NPH is designed to give better skin tones. They have other very good daylight film as well.
     
  9. Tom Meyer

    Tom Meyer Second Unit

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    oh, and if you're going to buy a new camera, check out www.bhphotovideo.com . They can't be beat on prices.
     
  10. Peter McM

    Peter McM Supporting Actor

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    Thanks, Tom.

    I've been using 200 film for outdoor and general indoor shots, but I've heard 400 can be somewhat grainy in appearance, and low light film like 800 is worse still. Any feedback?
     
  11. Brian Perry

    Brian Perry Cinematographer

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    Peter,

    For bright outdoor shots, you should use 100 speed for the best color. If the roll will be used for a combination of inside/outside shots, 200 or 400 is fine.
     
  12. Michael St. Clair

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  13. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    John, I live in West Los Angeles. The one that advertises here all over TV is "Bel Air Camera and Video"

    Any other recommendations? Can you vouch for that particular store?

    Thanks
     
  14. Mark C Sherman

    Mark C Sherman Second Unit

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    Instead of Kodak or Fuji try AGFA HDC 100ASA. I shoot Weddings with this film and it is just Fantastic. Color Saturation is dead on. Stay Away from 200 ASA Film. If you are out side nice and sunny use 100asa, Inside use 400(depending on the flash)



    As far as the Camera Goes Look into A Canon Rebel SLR. I know that you didnt want to go that way But newer camera's have an auto feature that sets Everything for you. Shutter, F-stop and Focus. the one thing about P&S cameras is that you have no idea what the camera is focusing on since you are looking through a View finder and not the lens itself. If you look on line you may find some good deals on older rebels that should fit your Budget. later you can Always get better lenses and Flashes. Something you cant do with a P&S.

    I have done many Weddings Using My Canon ELAN(and a very large Flash Guide # 175 ) on the "AUTO"
    setting with no problems and No Complaints from the Bride and Groom.


    If you want to take pictures Use a P&S

    If you want to take Photographs use an SLR



    Good luck
     
  15. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    Carlo,

    I can't vouch for Bel Air personally, but probably about the most recognized place in your area is Samy's, though I'm not sure how far they are away from you. There is also a Calumet in LA, but I don't know if they carry P&S cameras. There must be dozens of smaller places as well. I would be able to help you more, but when I had the choice of going to LA or Connecticut on one business move, I chose Connecticut.

    BTW, there are quite a few very good P&S cameras these days. They aren't an SLR, you can't change lenses, you usually don't know your aperture and shutter speeds, they focus on what is in the middle of the frame but you can usually lock the focus and then recompose, etc, etc, but an SLR also isn't a P&S in many other ways. A skilled person can take a great shot with a P&S, just like an unskilled one can take terrible ones with the most expensive SLR. Maybe you will want to get an SLR, but it will be more expensive, larger, and less convenient in some ways. Each camera type has its own advantages and disadvantages.
     
  16. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Thanks John.
    The camera I'm currently investigating is the Minolta Freedom Zoom 140 - here's the Best Buy link.
    I looked at it in the store and was impressed with the zoom and viewfinder. It has this nifty feature with an red LED square that tells you what part of the scene the camera is focusing on, thus explaining why it might be out of focus (and thus you have to recenter the image to obtain your result).
    A little pricey at $189, but I'm going to do some web research (as well as beg you guys for your opinions on Minolta P&S) and maybe end up buying online if I can find a significantly cheaper price.
    Any comments on Minolta point-n-shoots? I'd especially be interested in your opinion, John, given your previous profession. Thanks!
    (Oh, and yes while some day I will get an SLR - and get more skilled at taking photos - I do currently want a P&S for its portability, no-brainedness, and convenience)
     
  17. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Oh, and one more thing John (and anyone who owns a Minolta P&S) - how is the red eye reduction?
    I ask because my Olympus has red eyes up the yin-yang and I just got back a group of photos that look like they are of Satan's family. [​IMG] My next camera will have to have decent (at least) red-eye reduction.
    Thanks!
     
  18. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    Carlo,
    Looks like a pretty nice one to me. I see B&H has it for $165 and in a kit with battery and case for $180. They are about the only low priced online place I can recommend other than Camera World, who you might also check.
    EDIT... Those links don't work. They must not be static product pages, but you can search for it.
    Ah yes, red-eye! The smaller cameras get and the longer their zoom lenses, the worse red-eye gets. One thing, red-eye reduction is just that, reduction, not elimination. It is caused when there is a large ratio between the distance between the lens and flash and the distance between the camera and subject. To put it simply, as the flash gets closer to the lens, or the subject gets farther from the camera, or both, you get red-eye. What red-eye reduction does is pre-flash a few times before taking the actual picture. It can be annoying to the subjects and sometimes they start moving before the picture is actually taken.
    Some cameras have a pop up flash, which helps reduce the chances or red-eye. You can also help the situation by moving closer to the people and zooming the lens wider to compensate. It will also help to have the room as bright as possible, so people's pupils aren't so big. There are no other magic tricks. Still, the red-eye reduction is better than nothing.
    Peter,
    regarding film. You could ask ten people that question and get 12 different answers, as we've already seen. I don't shoot color negatives much, but when I do it is often Fuji Reala. It gives generally appealing results, is sharp and has the advantage that you can use it under fluorescent lights without the pictures turning out green. NPH was mentioned and is intended as a portrait film, as is NPS. I have also used those. The down side for these is since they are intended for potraiture, they have lower contrast than you are probably used to and they are also fairly expensive and harder to find.
    Contrary to what you will hear a lot, one brand won't always be better than another or always have certain characteristics. The one film I use and rely on the most is made by Kodak. I need another film to use under different circumstances but that visually matches this particular Kodak film as much as possible. After extensive testing, I found a perfect match, that is made by Fuji, yet there are other Fuji films that look nothing like it.
     
  19. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Oho! I didn't know that about pop-up flashes! I always thought it was an annoyance and wanted it within the camera, but now you have me rethinking, John. How effective are those pop-up flashes? If you get a camera w/ red-eye reduction AND a pop-up flash will that be like a double-whammy at reducing red-eye?
    Maybe I should eye a Canon sure-shot since those tend to have a pop-up flash.
    What about this one?
     
  20. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    The pop-up flash on the Canon will allow maybe two or three more feet from the subjects before you get red-eye. So, there's that. One thing, the red-eye reduction just makes the red spots smaller by closing down the pupils of the subjects. There are also red-eye pens available, which are just fine tipped blue permanent markers. You dab them on the red spot, and no more red spot. I understand they actually work pretty well.


    I wonder what I did to screw up my links.
     

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