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Old Mar 31, 2004, 3:54 AM   #1
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Default which camera to buy? canon, nikon or olympus

Hi there! After reading the reviews for each camera, Im still undecided on which camera to buy! Im looking at the Canon Powershot Pro 1, the Nikon 8700, and the Olympus C-8080 Wide Zoom. Does anyone have any suggestions and why?
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Old Mar 31, 2004, 5:04 AM   #2
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Default Re: which camera to buy? canon, nikon or olympus

Originally Posted by koreandude79
Hi there! After reading the reviews for each camera, Im still undecided on which camera to buy! Im looking at the Canon Powershot Pro 1, the Nikon 8700, and the Olympus C-8080 Wide Zoom. Does anyone have any suggestions and why?
I'm in the same boat. I'm also looking slightly up-market at the Nikon D70, Canon EOS Digital Rebel, and Sigma SD10.

And the reason I haven't bought any of them yet is that none of them thrill me.

Among the 8MP models, the Canon Pro 1 is the most pleasing to my eye. Canon apparently sharpens their images a little less aggressively than most other manufacturers, which makes their images slightly softer looking but a *lot* less artifacty, if that's a word.

The D70 looks surprisingly poor -- see my post in that forum for details.

The SD10 takes *stunning* pictures in bright daylight at low ISO. Really, nothing else out there comes close. But it performs poorly in low light and higher ISOs, which makes it impractical for me as a general-purpose camera.

But, getting back to your original question:

Here's something I've found helpful in sorting through the reams and reams of information about the buckets and buckets of cameras out there: pick one of Steve's sample photos -- I like the red brick building -- and just look at that one picture on lots of different cameras. Make big prints of this picture from the cameras you like the most and compare them closely. A picture really is worth a thousand words.

There are several advantages to this technique.

First, you'll find that you get to know your chosen photo really well. For the red brick building, for example, I've learned that the blue street sign tends to reveal jaggies; the line of vertically oriented bricks under the top windows is a good measure of resolution and tends to expose moire patterns; the shaded area under the roof of the shed shows you what the noise spectrum looks like; and the foreground foliage shows the effects of antialiasing.

Second, you're comparing apples to apples. It's no use trying to compare different cameras with different pictures.

Third, it's objective. You're not looking a spec sheet sprinkled with a bunch of marketing lingo, you're looking at a picture. This is, after all, what you're buying the camera to do: to take pictures. There's no way to fake the image quality, though it does take a certain discipline to trust your eyes and look at the picture, not the nameplate.

Fourth, it's personal. Among cameras of comparable quality, different people will prefer different characteristics and tradeoffs. Since there's no universally "right" picture, reviews can only guide you to a certain point. Beyond that, it's a matter of taste.

Finally, it's tractable. I, for one, can't absorb the sheer quantity of information that sites like this provide. It's a fantastic resource, but it's also a *big* resource. Picking one or two photos and getting to know them well allows you to make a quick initial assessment of every new camera that appears here, and to narrow your research to the handful of cameras that you like well enough to investigate further.

Hope this helps,

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Old Mar 31, 2004, 12:58 PM   #3
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Before you decide on one of these new 8 MP cameras you really need to think about a couple of things:

1. Like most any digicam, they are going to be terribly noisy if you jack the ISO to 200 or 400, so you are left at ISO 50 or 100 to do most of your shooting. Is that something you can live with? At 8 megapixels on the same size sensor as the 4-5 megapixel cameras, the noise is even going to be worse.

2. Do you like electronic viewfinders? This is not through the lens viewing. Most viewfinders of this type I have tried had an ever so slight "lag time" that caused me to be unable to catch something at just the right moment.

At the same price you are going to pay for the convenience of an all-inclusive camera, a Digital Rebel kit with a better built-in flash and with the 18-55 AFS lens is also an all-inclusive kit that will provide WAY better image quality, is really superlight weight for what you're getting, probably lighter and the same size or smaller than some of the digicams you're looking at, and provides superior noise levels. My Digital Rebel at ISO 400 provides cleaner images than my G5 at ISO 100, and is super clean at ISO 800 and is still very useable at ISO 1600.

Think about it. The sensors in these cameras are the same size as the ones in the 5 megapixel digicams that everyone's been complaining about high noise levels and color fringing. Now they're adding another 3 million pixels and everyone thinks these are the thing to get today? Add to that the fact that they now cost as much as a DSLR you can buy with a lens and I just don't get it. The all in one compact arguement just doesn't do it today when you can buy much better imaging capability at the same price in a DSLR that's just as easy to use.

Yes, I own a G5. Bought it several months before the D-Rebel came out. It's a nice camera, but with it's own limitations. I still use it if it's a viable alternative when weight is an issue as I use the D-Rebel with two fairly heavy "L" series zooms, but if ultimate image quality is the issue, I'd take the D-Rebel and 18-55 EFS and the cheap ($200, if you need longer) 55-200 tele over any of the 8 MP Digicams out there today.
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