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Unread 01-17-2006, 09:52 PM   #1
silverwolf
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Digital SLRs

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?
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Unread 01-18-2006, 12:21 AM   #2
KirkS
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silverwolf
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!
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Unread 01-18-2006, 02:04 AM   #3
staereo
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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
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Unread 01-20-2006, 12:40 PM   #4
Bandit64
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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.
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Unread 01-21-2006, 01:40 AM   #5
stefaniecat
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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.
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Unread 01-21-2006, 04:48 AM   #6
staereo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stefaniecat
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
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Unread 01-24-2006, 01:36 AM   #7
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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.
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Unread 02-18-2006, 02:20 AM   #8
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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/niko...bylens01.ht m

Canon-
http://www.fredmiranda.com/reviews/index.php?cat=45
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Unread 02-18-2006, 11:10 AM   #9
Super No 1
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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.
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Last edited by Super No 1 : 02-18-2006 at 11:12 AM.
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Unread 02-19-2006, 03:24 AM   #10
gmontem
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silverwolf
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.
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Unread 02-20-2006, 01:33 PM   #11
Christy McGrath
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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

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Unread 02-20-2006, 02:05 PM   #12
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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.
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Unread 02-20-2006, 02:10 PM   #13
Christy McGrath
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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*
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Unread 02-22-2006, 12:10 AM   #14
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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?
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Unread 02-22-2006, 04:19 AM   #15
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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
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