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Old Apr 24, 2014, 7:24 PM   #1
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Default Going from film SLR to DSLR -- Compare/Contrast?

Loved manual SLR with fast film for candid portraits, stopped years ago for a digital point and shoot (poor substitute!). As far as handling, what can I expect from a new DSLR? Can the Automatic setting capture as good as I got from the SLR Manual? Optical viewfinder is a must. Thanks for any thoughts.
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Old Apr 24, 2014, 8:18 PM   #2
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Loved manual SLR with fast film for candid portraits, stopped years ago for a digital point and shoot (poor substitute!). As far as handling, what can I expect from a new DSLR? Can the Automatic setting capture as good as I got from the SLR Manual? Optical viewfinder is a must. Thanks for any thoughts.
Why not rent one and find out first hand?
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Old Apr 24, 2014, 10:39 PM   #3
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Why ask what the Automatic setting can do, when you are used to using manual? Optical VFs on film SLRs were generally larger and brighter than what you will find on DSLRs, unless you opt for full-frame and fast lenses.
As soon as my budget permits, I am probably going with the Fuji XT-1, with an EVF which is (IMO, of course) better than optical types, and actually has knobs and dials to adjust settings.
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Old Apr 25, 2014, 7:19 AM   #4
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One of the things it took me a while to get used to was the ability to change the "film speed" in the middle of a "roll".

Another thing that never even occurred to me when shooting film was the "white balance"; I did all my shooting with Daylight film, and naturally accepted the yellow cast on shots I took under incandescent light and the green cast on shots taken under florescent lights. Those days are gone.

What you'll get with a dSLR will far surpass anything you got with film.

Plus, you won't have to stop after the every 24th shot, and you won't have to wait for and pay for developing.
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Old Apr 25, 2014, 2:18 PM   #5
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Thank you for a handful of things to think about. Sounds like most anything Costco offers will blow my socks off, and their return policy is outstanding. Want to look up EVF and Full Frame for more info. Any features I should stay away from? Never worked with filters or changed lenses. Like anything at Costco?

Thanks again!
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Old Apr 25, 2014, 3:05 PM   #6
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In general, the current crop of dSLRs that use Sony sensors provide marginally better image quality than the current crop of dSLRs from Canon. I'd pick from Nikon, Sony and Pentax as opposed to Canon.

... that is, unless you already have a collection of good Canon EF lenses.
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Old Apr 25, 2014, 4:26 PM   #7
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Can you use an EVF with a camera that only has an LCD screen for viewing? Optical viewfinders seem to be more scarce.

I have no Canon lenses. Thanks.
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Old Apr 25, 2014, 5:57 PM   #8
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G'day Ellen

Firstly - welcome to Steve's ... you'll find us a like-minded mob of enthusiasts

For my money - after 40+ years of film SLRs I am gobsmacked at the huge leap that all digital cameras have undergone since film camera days ~ it's a bit like horse 'n buggy to space shuttle

Today's dSLR cameras mostly have optical viewfinders, tho more & more are changing over to electronic viewfinders as these show you heaps more settings info and modify their behaviour in varying light conditions. I have been using EVF cameras for 10 yrs now and will never go back to optical viewfinders

Lenses wise - you have heaps of options. Depending upon your style of picture-taking, you can decide on several short-zooms [say the 'traditional 3x zoom of 18mm - 55mm followed by the 70-300mm] or you can go for a 'superzoom' of say, 18mm to 200mm and not bother about changing lenses for most of the time

For a starter, 'auto' operation is fine, but many of the menu options are removed from view. An alternate choice is "Program" semi-auto where if you are happy with the chosen speed-aperture combo, then shoot away, else you use the small rolly-wheel to swap speed-aperture up or down to suit your needs

Hope this helps a bit
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Old Apr 25, 2014, 6:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ellenhall View Post
Can you use an EVF with a camera that only has an LCD screen for viewing? Optical viewfinders seem to be more scarce.
I think it's time to standardize the terminology. The group of systems I presume you're considering falls into the category of "interchangeable lens sameras" These fall into two subcategories: Mirrorless, and Reflex.

Mirrorless cameras are smaller and lighter, though no less expensive. In fact, comparable lenses for mirrorless cameras tend to be more expensive and tend not to perform as well as equivalent products for reflex cameras (dSLRs.) dSLRs are bigger and heavier and tend to provide better image quality, and have a much greater selection of lenses and accessories than mirrorless systems. Many mirrorless systems are equipped with electronic eye-level viewfinders though some rely entirely on the LCD monitor on the rear of the body for image composition as well as control. dSLRs use optical eye-level viewfinders, with the single exception of Sony's reflex cameras which use electronic viewfinders. All these cameras have LCD monitors on the rear of the body for composition and control, but cameras with optical viewfinders must have their optical viewfinders disabled in order to use their LCD monitors for composition. Some of the LCD monitors can be tilted and/or swiveled away from the back of the camera body, to aid in composition when using the camera at odd angles.

As I've said, some mirrorless cameras have LCD monitors without eye-level viewfinders. Some of these have accessory viewfinders available, but not all.
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Old Apr 25, 2014, 9:54 PM   #10
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One of the most important issues is how well the camera suits you, both in how it fits your hands and your style, and in how it feels to use the controls and menus.
Having a place you can go to just pick up and compare the cameras is really nice.

brian
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