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silverwolf
01-17-2006, 08:52 PM
I'm a sucker for manual cameras. I found a love of photography when I was in high school (and lost it a few years). I have a nice manual SLR camera I got from a pawn shop. But I want a digital SLR now. I mainly just want to put pictures on my computer without having to scan or waste any exposures. Some picture I do take waste away in their package. I still want the quality and options of manual SLRs. Can I still get that in a digital? I think the good ones are around $800 aren't they? I'm feeling a bigger urge to get one. My camera is starting to feel obsolete. Can anyone explain the digitals to me?

KirkS
01-17-2006, 11:21 PM
I'm a sucker for manual cameras. I found a love of photography when I was in high school (and lost it a few years). I have a nice manual SLR camera I got from a pawn shop. But I want a digital SLR now. I mainly just want to put pictures on my computer without having to scan or waste any exposures. Some picture I do take waste away in their package. I still want the quality and options of manual SLRs. Can I still get that in a digital? I think the good ones are around $800 aren't they? I'm feeling a bigger urge to get one. My camera is starting to feel obsolete. Can anyone explain the digitals to me?
I know generally about the technology, but please don't expect any actual photography knowledge out of me. Again, this is a result of me reading slashdot and not reading anything practical or useful. I'm looking into getting a digital myself.

Basically, the cameras run by replacing the typical film you're used to with CCDs, which capture light incoming into them much like film. By transmitting that into magical beams of energy, you have a picture.

The issue with Digital Cameras versus the old Manuals tends to be the speed. Obviously, the inbuilt processor has to process the CCD info, which means they typically can be a lot slower than manuals. New technology makes it down to about .001 second per shot, but that varies.

If you're going for SLRs, expect to bend over and take prices up the rear. Because Digital SLRs are the new thing since they're now easily available to consumers, big companies are jacking up the prices. However, you're obviously going to get your money's worth if you get the "Good" one, but still keep in mind you will be walking around with an unusually thin wallet for a long time.

The big numbers tend to be in Megapixels and Resolution. Essentially, these define how many pixels per inch of the picture you will get. Generally speaking, you could attach the same lens to two different cameras with everything the same except megapixels and get two diametrically different shots. Huge pictures tend to capture detail better, but they also have the crippling disadvantage of being up to a megabyte each of space on your memory card. Different formats also vary, but it all ends up boiling down to raw pixellage.

At the end of the day, I've probably said nothing new to you. My user tag will probably always be "Absolutely not qualified". In any case, some sites you might want to use to get an idea of what's out there:
www.consumerreports.com (Note: Requires a subscription. I have one, PM me if you want the info on a specific camera.)
www.cnet.com (They sometimes under rate things)
www.dpreview.com/ (Actually really useful, believe it or not.)
www.digitalcamera-hq.com/ (So-so)
www.amazon.com (Generally, anything "Bestselling" is good to look at.)
www.pricegrabber.com (For finding median prices.)

Hope I helped!

staereo
01-18-2006, 01:04 AM
dpreview.com is the ultimate review source in english.

Im about to hit the sack, so Im not going to give this post all the attention it deserves. Dont wanna fall asleep typing.

A 'good' dSLR will run you thousands. The bright side? 'average' in terms of dSLRs is fantasmal in terms of digital cameras. You can get an entry level dSLR in the 500-1000 range. middle of the road will be 1000-2000 and high end dSLR will run you 3-8000. (35 mm equiv type dSLR)

The price jump has little to do with mp in the dslr world. At least in this spectrum. The big price jumps happen in terms of sensor size. That is, the crop factor of your image sensor. The full frame 35mm equiv sensors will crop at a 1:1 ration to a lens on a 35 mm film camera. an APS-C sensor like the one in my 20D will crop at 1.6 times the focal length crop of a 35 mm film camera. Often, this happens to also mean more pixels. But My 20d when I bought it was not MP wise much bigger than other dSLR on the market, yet it cost twice as much.

As far as speed, my camera takes 1/8000 of a second, and as far as FPS, mine bursts at... i think 5 fps.. i dunno about that one, but its fast enough.

The keys to buying dslr are much alike to buying any other camera. Find out hte features you use, and the picture you like taken by which camera, and get the cheapest one you can that covers all your bases.

The biggest difference one might find in dealing with a dSLR over another digicam is that you may want to find out which brand lenses you ae using. I want to use canon lenses. The EF line is usable by both the dSLR and the filmSLR. So I have 2 cameras, and 1 set of lenses.

So you may want to see if your camera can match to a digital equivalant, saving you money in lenses.

Ok, I really need some sleep, but poke around and ask questions. Its very probable that youll see me post in here again when Im more awake.

Bruce

Bandit64
01-20-2006, 11:40 AM
The body price should be the least of your concern, it's the lenses that are going to kill your finances.

Something like a used Digital Rebel(with the modified firmware)can be had for $500 reasonably easily. Hell, I'd sell mine for $500 on the spot. As has been mentioned, DPreview.com should be your source for info on the subject. The reviews they give are quite extensive.

stefaniecat
01-21-2006, 12:40 AM
I use the Digital Rebel, and have for about a year now. Before I purchased, I tried the Nikon and the Cannon, picked the Cannon hands down...

Read the reviews, then go to a store that lets you handle the equipment before you buy. There's nothing I can say about how wonderful it is that compares to actually handling a camera and feeling its paces.

staereo
01-21-2006, 03:48 AM
Read the reviews, then go to a store that lets you handle the equipment before you buy. There's nothing I can say about how wonderful it is that compares to actually handling a camera and feeling its paces.

This is VERY VERY important. I use a 20D, and made sure to do this before I bought. Ultimately your own opinion of, as stefanie says, how it feels in your own hands; as well as how *you* like the images that the camera records are 2 of the strongest factors you should use in buying your camera. After all, you are the one who will use it.

Bruce

The-Real-Link
01-24-2006, 12:36 AM
I can only agree with Bruce there. Although I'm also looking to advance into DSLR level photography in the future, nothing beats doing research and getting to a store to experiment with cameras in person! When I changed over to the Canon (non DSLR S1 model) I'm using now, it was the in-store handheld experience that sealed my thoughts.

Nice advice here. Oh yeah, dpreview is awesome.

trabus
02-18-2006, 01:20 AM
I've had a Nikon D50 for about 8 months now (got one the day they came out ;) ), and I absolutely love it. Really it comes down to personal preference. Get something that feels right, and get a good lens. Go to a local camera shop and ask to try out a few DSLRs in your price range. Hold them, shoot a few pictures, and find out which one is the most comfortable.

You'll probably want a zoom for cosplay photography, but a good fast prime (like a 50mm 1.8) can also be nice because you can get the low light shots without having to spend $1000 for a fast zoom. Anyhow, do some research, think about what kind of shots you'll be taking (cosplay and non cosplay), then make your decision and be happy with it. :)

Research your lenses here:
Nikon-
http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/nikkor.htm#af
http://home.zonnet.nl/famwakker/nikonlinkslensesreviewnikonlensessortedbylens01.ht m

Canon-
http://www.fredmiranda.com/reviews/index.php?cat=45

Super No 1
02-18-2006, 10:10 AM
Another nice site with a lot of reviews is:
http://www.slrgear.com/reviews/index.php

Is includes reviews for other SLRs from Olympus and Pentax and well as lenses from Sigma, Tamron, Tokina. Minolta is included in there, but I wouldn't get a Minolta because they recently decided to quit making cameras so there won't be any new products coming from them anymore.

gmontem
02-19-2006, 02:24 AM
I still want the quality and options of manual SLRs. Can I still get that in a digital? I think the good ones are around $800 aren't they?
Yeah pretty much except you won't be able to do things like multiple exposures with digital SLRs without post processing.

Christy McGrath
02-20-2006, 12:33 PM
It may be worth hanging on a little longer with a 35mm SLR... You still have the manual controls and auto exposure, etc (I presume).

As far as most medium priced digital cameras are concerned, I've found that you can get reasonably cheap point-and-shoots for around 300 ($475) that have up to 8m pixels, but they don't have the features of a SLR. The pixel quality is excellent in daylight, but is lacking in lower light shots and you don't have the versatility of exchangeable lenses, overrides, etc...

If I had a limited budget, I would:

Stick with a good 35mm SLR + lenses and flash
Buy a reasonably cheap point-and-shoot digital fixed lens with min 6m pixels definition (as back up and trial)
Save up for a good digital SLR for when the prices come down - a year or so perhaps?

You could always trade-in the digital point-and-shoot when it comes to the crunch, though I do find them good as a back up camera and for quick shots

:)

skypirate
02-20-2006, 01:05 PM
It's never too soon to start saving money. Waiting a couple months for a bargain could cost you in other ways.

I've probably saved over $7,000 in film and processing over a two year period using digital cameras. That's about $291 a month.

Christy McGrath
02-20-2006, 01:10 PM
Very good point, Skypirate - digital saves money in the long run, though a recent UK consumer survey found that many cameras 'collapsed' after 3 - 4 years. I'm still happy going tandem - using both digital and 35mm SLRs (plus a digital point and shoot and a 35mm point and shoot - just in case!) Just call me Mr Overkill... *lol*

isami
02-21-2006, 11:10 PM
Great stuff here. I just recently bought a digital SLR for a digital photography class and I've been toying with doing some cosplay photography. I did some stuff for my cosplay group and they turned out really nice.

I'm still learning a bit about lenses, though, and I'm really looking into getting a zoom. I got a manual focus 55mm 1.8 with 1.8-22 appiature. It's great, but like mentioned before, not too good for crowded cosplay halls where I have to stand at least 10 feet away to get a full picture XD;;;

Any suggestions on that area?

staereo
02-22-2006, 03:19 AM
55mm is about an 85mm (88) if you have a cropping factor (magnification is a misnomer) of 1.6, which is aps-c size.

55mm is good for portraits in that you dont get a whole lot of feature distortion by the lens. The problem, as you said, is standing 10 feet back.

This is why many people move to full frame image sensors. As you go wider, lets say... 20mm, your cropping factor will be as if it were a 30mm(32), but now you will have a terrible wide angle effect of a 20mm still, causing distortion of features. eww.. lol.

Even a 30mm lens will give you a wide angle effect. I suggest a normal zoom lens, that will allow you to go wide where you need, and closer to portrait length where you can.

Either that.... or figure out a method to give yourself that 10 feet. (Or, of course, move to a larger image sensor, which is an expensive option)

Bruce

AnimeParty
02-27-2006, 05:27 PM
I sware by NIKON.
Right now I've got a NIKON D70, but I know someone with a NIKON D1X and loves it.
I'm happy with my D70.

TomodachiFriend
02-27-2006, 09:46 PM
I'm often the only Minolta user in many groups and it seems to be the case again here. Pertaining to the original post, a great camera with manual control is the Konica-Minolta 7D. It might not fit your budget though, so you could wait for the new Panasonic DMC-L1.

That model looks great and is very tempting, but that means I'd have to buy more gear that won't work with Canon and Minolta.

Ryouko
02-28-2006, 12:32 AM
Oh hey, a fellow Minolta junkie. :) I've been using the 35mm Minolta SLRs for about 3 years, and I love them (I'm on my second, a Minolta XGM). I've been keenly interested in how well the Minolta brand fares in the digital area.

skypirate
02-28-2006, 06:49 AM
KM fans may not have a choice.

http://www.dpreview.com/news/0601/06011901konicaminoltaout.asp

Aer
02-28-2006, 08:21 AM
Got the Nikon D-70...it's a beast x_x My family loves it.

Elemental
02-28-2006, 10:47 AM
An option in the lower price range and size, especially for cosplayers with small hands, are the Pentax models. I believe they may be released as Samsung in the US, but don't quote me on that. They're lighter weight, and easier in the hand than most DSLRs, and their price point is fantastic. I especially like being able to shoot on rechargeable NiMh batteries and CRV3s instead of a rechargeable lithium, since it means if my battery dies in the middle of a shoot having a spare isn't going to cost me 100 bucks. And if you forget your battery at home, you're not doomed. XD

The new Sony and Canon camera shows are out this week in my area however. It will be interesting to see how their newest cameras have imporved, especially for weight.

The Lord XL
02-28-2006, 05:26 PM
Canon Fanboy to the rescue!

I love my Canon 20D. Not a better D-SLR out there... that sly Niko 70D can try to bring on the heat, but yall know that Niko got nothing on me. Kek kek kek

staereo
03-01-2006, 05:45 AM
I shoot with a 20d as well, although, cant compare d70 to 20d, because the 20d is on the next price point above the d70.

d70 is considered an entry level, prosumer dslr.

20d is considered a semipro/photojournalist dslr.

The price, at least when I purchased my 20d, was a giant gap between the two.

Bruce

Edit: http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/compare_post.asp?method=sidebyside&cameras=nikon_d70%2Ccanon_eos20d&show=all

yep, street price of 20d is still 300 above the d70. When I bought my 20d, I bought it with a kit lens and spent just under 2k. Love how the 5d drove down the price of my camera. Then again, had the 5d been released when I was shopping, I probably would have bought that.

Cynthia
03-08-2006, 11:26 PM
I've got a Canon EOS 750 w/ a 35-105mm lens & 28mm lens.

I found out that they're compatible with the Canon Digital Rebel XT, so when my tax return comes in, I'm going to drop the cash on that.

SolarTempest
03-20-2006, 09:49 AM
d70 is considered an entry level, prosumer dslr.
20d is considered a semipro/photojournalist dslr.
As a Nikon D70s shooter, I'd say I like it a lot better than the Canon 20D. I really want to try out the Nikon D200, which is said to have unbelievable control setup.
Either have their own advantages. The biggest ups that the 20D has over the D70s is that it's 8mp (vs 6mp) and 5fps (vs 3fps).

I shot a Canon 10D for a while (little brother to the 20D). I have used the 20D a decent amount and I also have played a fair bit with the Rebel XT. What I'm saying is that I have used the other cameras I'm comparing.

As a side note, it's cool to have compatible bodies with your friends so you can try each other's gear out!

Argueably, 8mp is not a great deal of resolution over 6mp. If you're at 3008x2000 or 3504x2336, it's not really such a big deal. At 8"x12" prints, almost anyone really can't tell the difference between the three (film/20D/D70s).

I think a key advantage is that the D70s have built in wireless capabilities (Nikon Creative Lighting System). That allows me to set up remote flashes which can be wirelessly trigged by my on-camera flash, which isn't possible with the Canon unless you spend extra cash to get slave triggers or a commander.

Lenses are most important aspect of a DSLR:
That's all about the cameras. In the end really, the cameras aren't the deciding factor for you image quality anyway! The biggest factor in image quality is your lenses.

For quality glass, you'll be spending at least 1/2 the price of your camera body per lens. If you don't well... you're going to get mediocre performance regardless of what camera body you buy.

I'm still learning a bit about lenses, though, and I'm really looking into getting a zoom. I got a manual focus 55mm 1.8 with 1.8-22 appiature. It's great, but like mentioned before, not too good for crowded cosplay halls where I have to stand at least 10 feet away to get a full picture XD;;;
I definitely recommend a nice ~30-35mm prime lens. I've noticed that my 50mm is just a little narrower than I'd like when shooting pictures at Cons. Like Staereo mentioned, distortion with a 20mm is likely to be a problem. A zoom would be great, but anything F2.8 zoom will cost you a fortune!

In the end:
So really, it doesn't actually matter which camera body you buy. If you stick with Canon or Nikon, you'll have the best choices and versitality with lenses. Try them both! All the cameras in the $1500-$2000 (CAD) price range are pretty much the same and it comes down to how much you like the way the camera models are set up.

Edit: removed some redundant info that was already said.

TomodachiFriend
03-20-2006, 07:10 PM
KM fans may not have a choice.

http://www.dpreview.com/news/0601/06011901konicaminoltaout.asp


I know this is a late reply but I haven't checked this topic earlier. :)

Sony will come out with their own SLR's in the future and they'll have the Minolta mount and anti-shake technology. I'm only hoping it will handle like a Minolta or better.

hell-rider
03-24-2006, 10:36 AM
canon 20d best for continuous Shooting,

SolarTempest
03-24-2006, 04:40 PM
canon 20d best for continuous Shooting,
Unless you count the Nikon D200 - 8fps!

gmontem
03-24-2006, 08:39 PM
Unless you count the Nikon D200 - 8fps!
dpreview reports 5 fps for the D200. :confused:

The EOS-1D series shoot as fast as 8 fps and sport a buffer good for about 2 seconds when shooting in RAW before slowing down.

Joshuaaaaaa
04-03-2006, 09:19 PM
I'm also a Minolta user, although I'm still no film. While I agree in the long run one saves on processing and film, I'm not shooting enough right now to justify that. Plus, the $1,500 I'll have to lay out for a 7D plus memory cards and accessories isn't lying around waiting for me to spend. I'm not worried about KM not making cameras anymore, Sony has said they will support Minolta stuff, and there's too much Minolta glass out there for it to just disappear. OTOH, I may wait to see what Sony releases next in case its Maxxum compatible.

SolarTempest
04-04-2006, 06:49 AM
dpreview reports 5 fps for the D200. :confused:
Hmm, I'm confused too. Sounds like I was lied to!
I was playing around with a guy's D200 last week and that's what he told me... :fuming:

Jadenyuki
04-16-2006, 08:39 AM
I have an SLR Camera but it is not a digital. I have a Nikon F from 1965. But I am thinking about getting a digital slr to work with on Cosplays. Any didgital slrs would be taken in to consideration.

Ollie
04-16-2006, 10:36 AM
I have an SLR Camera but it is not a digital. I have a Nikon F from 1965. But I am thinking about getting a digital slr to work with on Cosplays. Any didgital slrs would be taken in to consideration.

If you have the money to burn, go for the Canon 1Ds. Of course, if you're not rich, Nikon's D200 is a great camera (if you can find one for sale) with a lot of advanced features. Canon's Digital Rebel XT is a great camera at a lower price point; not as advanced, but still a very capable camera. Of course, Nikon has the D50 at the same price point as the Rebel, and Canon has the 30D with compraible features to the D200. You should go with the one that appeals to you the most; you can't really go wrong with any of them.

Super No 1
04-16-2006, 10:55 AM
I have an SLR Camera but it is not a digital. I have a Nikon F from 1965. But I am thinking about getting a digital slr to work with on Cosplays. Any didgital slrs would be taken in to consideration.

Seriously, a lower-end DSLR will work just fine. I would actually go with that route. Get a low-end camera and spend the difference on good lenses, flash, and accessories. Upgrading the body when you're ready to move on shouldn't be too tough. Cosplay shooting doesn't require a lot of the features that higher-priced cameras have, such as higher fps continuous shooting. That's not an essential feature for cosplay photography, unless you're shooting a masquerade or some other stage show and for those, a lower-end camera still does a fine job.

Go to a camera shop with professional sales people and try them out. See which one feels nice to you. A good camera shop will have some very helpful sales people who will give you good advice.

SolarTempest
04-16-2006, 12:12 PM
Seriously, a lower-end DSLR will work just fine. I would actually go with that route. Get a low-end camera and spend the difference on good lenses, flash, and accessories.
Totally agree with this. When I first got my DLSR, I completely underestimated how much more important lenses and accessories were.

Cikgu101
04-16-2006, 09:37 PM
I'm currently owning a Nikon D50 DSLR and a Nikon FE2 SLR and I find them most useful in capturing the moments of a Cosplay Event/Convention. :bigtu:

But if you want to cosplay...there are kinda bulky to be used in costume. :bigcry:
But being in a basic costume might just cut the cake like I'm planning a Al Capone Era Mafioso Photographer Costume to accomodate my Cameras

So I usually have a basic compact handy at times like these :skidude2:

Being both a Cosplayer and Photographer is kinda FUN and TOUGH at the Same time. But I really enjoy the Fruits of Both Worlds...CHEERS :toothy:

Eriol
04-17-2006, 09:51 AM
I finally jumped in with the Nikon D50. Even the low-end DSLR cameras cost a few hundred dollars, so take the time to learn the camera and learn photography techniques. I agree with Cikgu101 that these cameras are larger than point-and-shoot, so wearing a costume and using these cameras will be very cumbersome.

isami
05-01-2006, 01:10 PM
I also have the Nikon D50... I agree that it's wonderful for cosplay, IMO.

Anybody interested in prof digital phot obviously could invest in the upgraded bodies for features, but honestly, the D50 is perfect for starting out.

My advice: get a tripod. The difference those guys make when it comes to shooting... wow.

Rosieal
05-04-2006, 06:37 AM
I have a Canon 30D and I haven't taken cosplay photos with it yet, but I find that some 350D users take better photos than me. So yes... a lower end camera with good lenses (and good skills) will get you a long way.

WingedPower
05-15-2006, 07:11 PM
Hailing from the Minolta crowd: KM 7D (love the camera's manual controls).

Can get a 7D for around or under $1000 these days, so it's a good bargain. Get a few 1GB/2GB Sandisk UltraII's and you're good to go.

To the original poster regarding switching to digital from film:
- hand feel. 1 of 2 reasons I got the 7D. It feels solid and real in the hand.
- controls. 2 of 2 reasons I got the 7D. Controls are where I can see them, not buried in a menu.
- lenses. If you already have an investment in your lens on your film camera, consider getting a body that goes with it. Will save you on having to buy a new lens up front.
- dynamic range. Digital, while forgiving in post-processing, won't be as forgiving during the taking of the photograph itself. Many other photogs note that the dynamic range of digital is much like photographing with slide film. Ie, easy to blow out the highlights or the shadows.

Prices are coming down, so getting a good DSLR isn't as hard as it was a few years ago. The question comes down to: do you chase the latest and greatest or get a good low-cost starter camera? The answer is... decide on which maker's pros and cons in relation to your shooting.

I chose KM for the following reasons:
- hand/feel and manual controls.
- photographer-oriented design of the camera
- wireless flash control of flash units(I use 5600HS(D) and 3600HS(D) flash units with my camera)
- good battery life: 2 days of hard shooting on one battery/charge.

Starter lenses:
50mm f/1.7 (~$100), but you get a f/1.7 lens!! (with 1.5x you have an 75mm portrait lens!)
28-105mm - this is prolly the lens you will start out with on most cameras. Either this or something in the same zoom range.

Good lenses to add:
70-300mm : Can be had for around $150 or so for a normal F-stop range or in the $1600+ range for a f/2.8 range. Good for long range shooting or for pose shooting when you want the background to become buttery soft.

10-28mm: super-wide angle for group shots. Compensates for the 1.5x cropping factor of DSLRS.

Good 1st piece of EQ(non-lens):

flash head. Look, the pop-up flash is nice and all.. but you really want to invest in a fash head eventually. It will give you much better light coverage and will accept diffusers to soften the light. You will simply get much better indoor and outdoor shots.

Your needs may differ. :)