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Old Dec 20, 2003, 12:29 PM   #1
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Default Need some help before i spend 1000

I am not a professional photograher. I am more of a beginning amaueter (a level past point & shoot but not totally fully familiar to full manual). I have a 3 meg camera but want to get a camera with more resolution so i can make bigger prints.

I shoot a lot of landscape (sometimes with people, sometimes not), some night sights, and some action shots.

I need a camera that does very well in daylight shots and pretty good for night-time shots.

I need a camera that does pretty well on default settings for daylight. (good color, good sharpness etc.) All images from digital cams need to be retouched in Photoshop so I know that you can't get a perfect picture right out of the box but I'm looking for a camera that can give me a pic that'll require less retouching.

I've read the reviews and seen the pictures but there are 3 camera's that I'm trying to decide over. Minolta A1, Canon digital rebel (the $999 kit one) and the soon to be released sony F828.

Each camera has it's own high points and I can't decide so I'm hoping that I can get some opinions from the owners and users:

Minolta A1 has image stablization, (good when I don't have a tripod handy) 1/15000 shutter speeds

Sony has 8 megapixel ccd + nightframing shot mode. (good for night shots and large prints).

The Canon digital rebel has very good image qaulity for a 6 megapixel and very low noise. BUt lenses are really expensive...

Which would be the best choice for me? My budget is $1000. I don't mind spending that much on if the camera will grow with me and I can grow with the camera. I guess the key is very good shots at default settings.

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Old Dec 21, 2003, 9:11 AM   #2
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I'm not familiar with the Sony and Minolta cameras you mentioned. The Canon Rebel however has a true bulb mode. You can open the shutter for as long as the camera has power. It has also best iso options. True iso 1600 may be quite grainy (also depends on scene light ).

The short shutter speed on the Minolta may not be so exciting as you think. Unless you have some specialistic purpose, most people only need shorter than 1/3000 shutter speed if they point the camera direct at the sun (ouch don't try that at home). Shorter, means camera needs more light or wider lens apperture. The Minolta f2.8 apperture may not be enough to use 1/6000 shutterspeed at a racetrack. Speedracing may require something like 1/3000 (correct me if I'm wrong).

The Sony nightshot framing may also not be so hot as you think. It is mostly an aid to compensate lack of viewfinder vision and absence of manual focus ring. I doubt if it works on sky photos. (correct me if I'm wrong)

Next for action shots you may also apreciate a camera with little shutterlag. Looking at http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/EDR/EDRA7.HTM
The top 3 is Rebel, followed by Sony F828 and last is Minolta.

In short; I think you have to decide between Canon or Sony. Looking at the Sony price tag, and your goal, I would advice the Rebel a camera because it comes close to a flexible proffessional camera you can grow into. Less noise, upgradable lens system.
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Old Dec 21, 2003, 11:03 AM   #3
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Posts: 544

Before you buy a new camera... have you tried increasing file size using Photoshop (or Elements) or Genuine Fractals?

I regularly print 13 X 19 inch photos using my Epson 1270 and Epson Heavyweight Matte paper. When properly matted and framed, my pictures look great. I shoot with an old Canon Powershot Pro 90 with a 2.6 MP sensor.

I rez up my files with Genuine Fractals to about ten megabytes.
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