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Old Feb 23, 2005, 2:49 PM   #1
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SLR - would prefer to keep the cost down to a reasonable level. Would be willing to look into a film SLR so long as I can delete pics, upload them to my computer, change ISO on the fly, and take at least 100 at max quality without changing the film. Otherwise I'd prefer a dSLR. A used one would be fine. I would like fairly clean images up to at least ISO 800 or 1600, with ability to go to 3200 or even 6400 (although I understand it might be a bit noisy up there). I would also prefer at least 4mp if possible - 6 would probably be about what I'd look for. 8 or more would be nice, but I don't want to spend a lot, AND I don't want it to be excessively noisy.
Also, what are some good lenses? I currently have the Canon S1 IS which is 3 megapixels

with a 380mm F/3.1 telephoto - what would I need on a dSLR to match or exceed that? I'd also like a fairly fast (F/2.0 or F/1.4 or something like that) portrait lens or two (between 50mm and 150mm), and maybe a couple zoom lenses that are fairly fast.
I don't have (and dont anticipate having for the next several months) thousands of $$$ to plunk down on a body and lenses, so the Rebel and D70 are out unless I get a super deal.
What can I get for $700, $1000, or $1600?


would like something that fits in my pocket (My S1 IS does fit in my pocket but I'd like something a little smaller so you aren't as likely to see (or I'm not as likely to feel) a bulge in my pocket.) - this would be something I have with me almost 24/7. I would like fairly clean images at ISO 400 (with ISO 800 if possible being selectable even if there's a little bit of noise), at least 3 or 4mp, a fast lens (no slower than F/2.0 at wide if possible), at least 105mm telephoto. Also I want as little shutter and powerup lag as possible. I really don't care what memory it takes, but CF would be VERY nice. What could I get for between $300 and $500?


what are some decent camcorders < $500 that work well in low light? (i.e. get decent color, low / no noise, and non-blurry or non-jerky video in as low of a light level as possible)? I'd also like to be able to have at least a 400mm or longer optical telephoto (in 35mm terms) and be able to go to at least a 30mm wide (or so). However I'm not sure what the typical focal length spec of a camcorder is. Also what is the typical maximum aperture of a camcorder? F/1.4 throughout the range?

Or, if something comes up and I need to get this stuff sooner than anticipated, barring the SLR, what could I get in a prosumer cam and a camcorder (both of decent quality) for under $400 to $500 combined?
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Old Feb 23, 2005, 4:32 PM   #2
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I think you overestimate the quality of things you can get for those prices, in general.

First, regarding your FILM SLR request -- a FILM SLR takes pictures on FILM. Except for very high end cameras that might also contain a small digital preview -- you can't "download" the pictures to your computer. You have to take the picture, have the film processed, and scan the picture into a digial image. You can't "delete" images -- once you capture the image onto the film negative, it's there. Likewise, you can't change ISO on the fly. ISO is a measurement of how fast the film is... it's dependent upon the film you load into the camera. (ISO on a chip is a digital equivalent, and it changes the sensativity on digital cameras.) I don't know if there's any film that's sold to consumers that would have 100 shots.

If you want a dSLR, and you're willing to buy used on eBay, you can probably get an OK package for $1000 or so. I think you could get a used Digital Rebel, the 18-55 "kit" lens, the Canon 50mm f/1.8, two slow zooms (like the canon 70-300 (non USM) lens), and accessories.

Frankly, lenses are expensive. Fast lenses are really expensive. My canon 70-200L f/2.8 retails for around $1600. Any medium or long telephoto zoom at fixed f/2.8 or f/4 is going to run at least $500+

I don't know the current consumer/prosumer (although, if you're going to get something that fits in your pocket, you're talking definitely "consumer" as opposed to "prosumer" models. Canon A series have lots of features, for example, but are not compact) market. The Canon S70 is compact, but doesn't fit your lens, noise, ISO requirements.

Frankly, I don't know if there will be too many f/2.0 cameras at your price point with low noise at ISO 400 (small image sensor = higher noise = very few consumer digital cameras demonstrate acceptable noise levels at ISO 400)

For example, here are steve's sample pics of the Sony P150 -- check out the ISO 400 pic -- lots of noise


here's the pic from the Canon A95... same class, ISO 400


here's a pic from the Canon S70... to me even noisier at ISO 400


And the P150, and the A95which are rated as one of the best 5-7 mp digicams, do not have ISO 800. Like many in that category. Others who know the consumer digicam market might find the best in your price range; I guess I'm saying: don't get your hopes up.

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