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Old Nov 4, 2004, 10:15 AM   #1
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I have been reviewing various cameras for ages but am not getting anywhere! I mainly photograph landscapes, hence my real interest in Nikon 8400 with the wide angle lens. I am not at all bothered about indoor or action shots andI like to have enlargements of landscapes. I like the size and ease of use of prosumer compared to SLR, esp. with all of the various 'scene' selections. Whilst mainly a point & shoot, Iwant to learnabout photography & the 8400 seems to have more than enough manual controls. (I am not new to digital - I own a Sony P50). My problem is that all the reviews say SLR's are much better quality and thus dont go for a prosumer. Yet, at the same time, SLR reviews say they are not for beginners etc! I want good quality photos which can be enlarged. The nikon 8400 and Canon EOS 300D both say they will print to A3. Is there much difference in print quality when hung on my wall? Sorry for such a long post & thanks for any advice - Pete
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Old Nov 4, 2004, 1:26 PM   #2
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Pete,

Okay, this is not Steve answering your question.

Pete, your right to consider your lense choice first. If you're into lanscape, then definitely the quality wide angle lens (24mm, or wider if you buy the attachment) of the 8400 is a good consideration.

Whether the Digital Rebel is better for you is hard to say. The 8mp CCD on the Nikon mightshow a little more noise on an enlargement than the Rebel's 6MP unit. However, the extra 2MP gives you a little more room to crop an image and still have the same resolution as the Rebel.

Another advantage of the Rebel is the detachable lense. If you're interests ever do change (maybe you want to shoot the kids soccer or football game), you're a quick lens change away from being able to handle a new situation. A disadvantage of the detachable lens of the Rebel is the possibility of getting dust on the CCD, which could be problematic.

Personally, I picked up a Rebel and didn't like the ergonomics of it. However I've seen some great enlargements from them.

If you're considering stepping up to a D-SLR, why not consider the Nikon D70 or the Canon EOS D10?

I noticed that Steve has only completed a preliminary review of the 8400. Wait until his fullreview, and see what he has to say about the camera, the lens, thenoise level of the 8MP sensor, etc. While you wait, thestreet price of the 8400 can only come down a bit because the price is always at its highest when a camera is first announced.












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Old Nov 4, 2004, 7:59 PM   #3
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Why not both? I use a Nikon D100 for work, and though not prosumer level, I also use a Canon A75 for just playing around, or when I don't want/need to take my DSLR :|
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Old Nov 4, 2004, 8:23 PM   #4
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Pete:

Another thing to take into consideration (other than noise), is that the higher resolution sensors (in smaller physical sizes) seem to have a habit of suffering from higher than average purple fringing in some conditions.

Why is another question entirely (unless it has to do with the small size of the photosites for each pixel, with the microlenses acting as a contributing factor).

Of course, you can also get Chromatic Aberrations on a DSLR model (depending on the quality of the lens used). But, the 8MP models (so far), using a Sony 8MP 2/3" CCD,seem to have much more of a problem with this phenemonen compared to themodels they replaced (usinga Sony 5MP 2/3" CCD)..

So, if you're taking photos of high contrast areas (i.e., tree limbs against a bright sky), then this is something to take into consideration if you need large prints.

The other thing I'd take into consideration is Dynamic Range (ability of the sensor to capture both light and dark areas of a scene). Although I haven't seen anybody measuring this, to my eyes, the sensors using smaller photosites for each pixel seem to suffer from lack of dynamic range, compared to the DSLR models using much larger sensors.

I'd probably wait until the camera has some decent reviews (and lots of user photos) before making any judgement on image quality.

One other thing to consider is your ability to control Depth of Field via Aperture. With a non-DSLR model, it can be difficult to make a subject stand out from a background by using a larger aperture (because the actual focal length of the lens is too short; and depth of field is based on actual versus 35mm equivalent focal length.

Of course, for Landscapes, you're usually looking for more (versus less) Depth of Field, so this part could be considered an advantage for the CP 8400, since you wouldn't need to stop down the aperture as much for greater depth of field (but a big disadvantage if you're shooting portraits, where you'd want a shallow depth of field to help your subject stand out from the background).
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Old Nov 4, 2004, 9:24 PM   #5
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Jim you may be right about the dynamic range; though i do assume that you are talking jpegs. I was out shooting the other day with one of my friends and a p&s and me with my dSLR; All of the her pictures seemed to have less range to them. I didn't look to close at her settings so that may be the difference; but seems like my old s10 had the same problems.:?:
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Old Nov 4, 2004, 9:33 PM   #6
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hedwards wrote:
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Jim you may be right about the dynamic range; though i do assume that you are talking jpegs. I was out shooting the other day with one of my friends and a p&s and me with my dSLR; All of the her pictures seemed to have less range to them. I didn't look to close at her settings so that may be the difference; but seems like my old s10 had the same problems.:?
Some of it's probably just that manufacturer's tend to have the contrast bumped up more in the non-DSLR models' in camera processing. For models that let you dial it back some, I've seen an improvement.

But, I still think that the larger photosites should be much better in this area (even shooting in RAW with both camera types). I just haven't seen anybody trying to measure it in controlled conditions with digital cameras to see if this is actually the case (to my eyes, based on photos I've looked at, I suspect that the larger sensors are much better with Dynamic Range).
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Old Nov 5, 2004, 5:03 AM   #7
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Thank you all for your comments!

Cost is the reason why I'm only going to buy 1 camera. The bottom line is how easy and how good is it to use D70 / 300D as a novice on point & shoot modes? This is why I believe I may be betetr off with prosumer for now with all the 'scene' modes. AsI learn more, thenin a few years get an SLR's when they are definately as good as film and even simpler for someone like me to use. It seems to me that as a point & shoot, it is easier to get better pics with prosumer than with SLR??

Thanks again for your valuable input. Pete
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Old Nov 5, 2004, 7:11 AM   #8
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Quote:
It seems to me that as a point & shoot, it is easier to get better pics with prosumer than with SLR??
Assuming the cameras are well designed, then this is not true. The things that will get in your way are weight & size and controls. Many/Most P&S cameras sacrifice controls for size. For example, not having a focusing ring on the lens, but instead having up/down or in/out buttons. buttons are not nearly as easy to use as a true focusing ring that you turn. They will have smaller buttons and dials which, depending on your hand size, might be comfortable or might be too small.

To me, the big win for a P&S is size and cost. They are cheaper 'cause you don't have to buy the extra lenses. And many fit in pockets and bags that a DSLR won't go. So they are easier to bring around... All cameras (cheap/expensive/pro/amature) take as good pictures as each other when left at home (i.e. no pictures at all.)

DSLRs should have higher quality parts and lenses and more room ('cause they are larger) for a better interface design (ya, they could still do it badly... but they could use it to their advantage and do it well.)

And last, but not least. Is it you who takes the picture. A P&S in the hands of someone who knows what they are doing will usually produce just as good a picture as if they used a DSLR. It all depends on what you take pictures of. I take pictures of wild animals (birds) which are usually far away. A P&S would almost never produce as good a picture as I get with my DSLR... this is just a fact. But if I were just taking it to parties and taking everyday pictures of friends... the vast majority of the time I could take just as good a picture with either.

Eric
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Old Nov 5, 2004, 1:22 PM   #9
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It's like comparing your standard car with a high performance racing car...the racing car won't make you a better driver, unless you work at it; but you can also work at getting better with your ordinary car. Same goes for cameras.

The best photographers can take excellent pictures with the least expensive point & shoot cameras, while anyone can take a bad picture with the most expensive cameras (say $30,000 and up). Yes better tools can do a better job, but not if you don't know how to use them.
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Old Nov 5, 2004, 9:07 PM   #10
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Interesting discussion. For Landscapes, where you have more time to set up and choose your conditions, I think I would rather go for the DSLR. Unless of course the price difference is an issue. I agree that DSLR's would likely give the best quality pics, but I would seriously debate whether or not it would be that noticeable to the average person, compared to the same shot with a prosumer, in the hands of one who is knowlegeable enough to use it to it's best advantage. And while you hone your skills, as was already mentioned, prices of DSLR's will come down and quality closer to film will become a reality. Prosumers are by no means vastly inferior to DSLR's, in my opinion, and have a lot to offer without the hassle of changing lenses, worrying about dust on the CCD, and purchasing expensive lenses. Probably the very best way to satisfy your curiousity, would be to try two cameras side by side in the same shot, and compare for yourself. I was allowed to do this with a Canon 20D, and aPanasonic 20Z, and I tested them both against my 7i, brought my own flashcard to the store, and clicked away. Limited lighting, and all, I know but it did give me a real good idea about how they perform under identical conditions. Best regards,

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