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Old Nov 18, 2006, 2:02 PM   #11
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Here's my 2 cents.

If you were coming from film SLR, seems to me the logical transition would have beenDSLR, andthe same brand your film box was, so to use most of the lenses you already had.

And about the color, if you search this forum you will find examples of users that have both DSLR and FZ30or FZ50 ,where color and sharpness are comparable. The FZ30 and FZ50 bothhave an excelent sharp and bright lens, and as point and shoot go,these are excelent cameras.

And just like film SLR, sharpness, color and autofocus in a DSLR will depend on the lens and as youprobably know, a good glasswill cost youfrom 3 to5 times what you paid for your FZ10.

And yes, there are digital SLRs that perform just as well as many film SRLs, and lens that are built specially for digital use, but at a very high cost.

Some entry DSLRsystems might be of your liking, like Canon's digital rebel series, or Nikon's D50




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Old Nov 18, 2006, 2:07 PM   #12
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Dear Don,

Thanks for writing back and providing the link.

Vancote
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Old Nov 18, 2006, 2:13 PM   #13
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Dear Jotajota,

I really apprecaite your input. I think you are pointing me in the right direction. I especially like your suggestion about Canon as that was the wonderful film camera I used for 15 years previously.

Vancote
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Old Nov 18, 2006, 8:09 PM   #14
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VanCote wrote:
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Dear Squirl033,

Thanks so very much for your input and advice. I think you hit all the points right on the nose. I'm pretty well convinced that I do need to make a change. The question is whether I should spend the $3000 for a DSLR or go back to film. Are there top-end digital-SLRs that have optical viewfinders, the ability to handle dynamic range, instantaneous auto-focus/shutter release, and vivid colors comparable to film SLR's? If yes,can you suggest a model, and if not that will help me go back to what I know works best for me.

Thanks so much,

Vancote
are there DSLRs that compare to film SLRs? certainly. in fact, mosttop-end DSLRs will easily outperform film cameras, but you don'thave to buy a "top-end" camera to get the things you mention. all DSLRs have optical viewfinders, most handle dynamic range very well, and offer plenty of color saturation (of course, so do the FZ's). no autofocus camera offers "instantaneous" focus, as that depends mostly on the lens and the AF program the camera uses, but most DSLRs will focus in a matter of half a second or less. the better lenses will also allow you to override AF and focus manually at any time, which, depending on circumstances, can actually be a tad faster. shutter lag time is less than .1 second... the duration of a human eyeblink, and probably faster than you can press the button. most also offergood burstrates as well; my 30D will shoot at 5fps for 30 frames, which is more than enough to capture any fast-moving motion sequence. DSLRs also offer much lower noise. the Canons are well-known for producing very clean images even at ISO 800, and very good, usable photos up to ISO1600. try THAT with ANY compact digicam!

most manufacturers offer good DSLRs. which one? depends on how much you're willing to shell out, and which features are most important to you. i have a Canon 30D, and am very happy with it. it set me back about $1400 for the body, and two top-grade lenses cost another $1500. Canon also just released the Rebel XTi,which is about $500cheaper, andwith some small (but potentially important, depending on what you want) differences. they also make the EOS 5D, a full-frame, 12.8MP model, and the 1D series of professional bodies. Nikon offers the D50, D80, D200, on up to the D2X pro model. the entry models typically cost $700-$900 for the body; pro versions run $5000-$8000, without lenses. you can also choose from Pentax, Sony (formerly K-M), and Olympus. there's also Panasonic's new DSLR, which uses the 4/3 sensor system. take your pick. but do your homework. read reviews, read user comments, check the specs. decide what features you need, what's important to you, and make your choice accordingly.

one thing to remember, if you're going to buy a DSLR - DO NOT SCRIMP ON THE LENSES! spend the cash to get good glass. for the wildlife work you're interested in, plan to spend between $1000 and $1400 for a good telephoto zoom, or even more if you choose a prime. a good quality "walkabout" lens in the 24-105/135mm range will run you between $500 and $1200, and the top wide angle landscape lenses are about a grand a pop. if these prices seem steep, remember that a camera only records what it sees... if it can't see clearly because the lens isn't bright and sharp, then your photos won't be all they could be.


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Old Nov 18, 2006, 9:00 PM   #15
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While I have never looked thru the viewfinder of the Canon 5D ..its my guess its as close to a film viewfinder as one can be ........Next to that the Nikon D200 and D 80 would be next with the Canon 30D coming in closely behind....

The D50/ 70 or the Canon rebels while being optical are not what you are use to.



Its not that I am familiar with all the cameras butviewfinders areone thing that come up often on the Nikon forum. Especially since the D200/D80 as they have larger ones.
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Old Nov 18, 2006, 10:11 PM   #16
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Dear squirl033,

More wonderful advice - thanks! If you have the 30D that soundsawefully good to me. I've gone on the Canon Website and studied the range of camera specs and the 30D looks the best for my needs, and budget.For the zoom auto focus lense I'm thinking of the Telephoto EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS. ($ 1,660.) As you said, the site states that the lense responds in .5 seconds. It also has 3 stops for correction of camera shake, is highly resistant to dust and moisture, and they say it meets pro standards.

I'll go into a store and examine it first hand before I buy, but with the information you've given me I know what I'm looking for now and the questions to ask.

Best wishes,

Jude
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Old Nov 18, 2006, 10:17 PM   #17
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Dear Genece,

Thanks to everyone's kind input I think I'm interested in the Canon 30D body, but when I go into a shop to see the camera first hand I'll check out the 50D for its viewfinder. Thanks for mentioning it.

Best wishes,

Jude
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Old Nov 18, 2006, 10:52 PM   #18
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VanCote wrote:
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Dear squirl033,

More wonderful advice - thanks! If you have the 30D that soundsawefully good to me. I've gone on the Canon Website and studied the range of camera specs and the 30D looks the best for my needs, and budget.For the zoom auto focus lense I'm thinking of the Telephoto EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS. ($ 1,660.) As you said, the site states that the lense responds in .5 seconds. It also has 3 stops for correction of camera shake, is highly resistant to dust and moisture, and they say it meets pro standards.

I'll go into a store and examine it first hand before I buy, but with the information you've given me I know what I'm looking for now and the questions to ask.

Best wishes,

Jude
Jude,

the 70-200L is indeed a fine lens, and that f2.8 is wonderful to have. but for wildlife, i'm afraid you may find a 200 a bit too short. for large critters at short to medium range, it's fine (remember, on the 30D body, it's really a 112-320 lens), but if you'll be doing much with smaller animals or at longer distances (i.e. over about 50 yards), you may find the 200 isn't enough. unless you really need the f2.8 aperture for low-light work, you might want to consider a longer lens like the 100-400L, or the Sigma EX 80-400 (which i have, and am quite pleased with). both are considered professional quality lenses, and will run you between $1000 and $1400, with the Sigma being the cheaper of the two. it's not quite as fast to focus as the Canon (though i don't know of anyone who could tell you, in practical terms, how much difference there is), and it doesn't have the USM (not quite as silent, but if you're far enough away to need a 400, it won't matter), but it's optically just as sharp and clear. both are stabilized, and both are f4.5-5.6 lenses. not as fast as the 70-200L, but then, when you can shoot clean images up to ISO800 or more (that's where the 30D's 1/3 step increments in ISO settings comes in handy), some of the need for that fast aperture just kinda goes away...
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Old Nov 19, 2006, 8:12 AM   #19
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VanCote wrote:
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Dear Genece,

Thanks to everyone's kind input I think I'm interested in the Canon 30D body, but when I go into a shop to see the camera first hand I'll check out the 50D for its viewfinder. Thanks for mentioning it.

Best wishes,

Jude
It is the Canon 5D that should have a big viewfinder....but it is expensive....

Aside from that the 30D has a decent viewfinder and its a fine camera ...it was my choice in DSLRs but Canon did not have the lens I wanted for a general purpose lens so I went with Nikon.

If the 30D viewfinder is not good enough for you be sure to look at the D80/D200 and make sure there is a battery in the camera you are checking and the camera is turned on.

Good luck
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Old Nov 19, 2006, 12:19 PM   #20
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genece wrote:
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VanCote wrote:
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Dear Genece,

Thanks to everyone's kind input I think I'm interested in the Canon 30D body, but when I go into a shop to see the camera first hand I'll check out the 50D for its viewfinder. Thanks for mentioning it.

Best wishes,

Jude
It is the Canon 5D that should have a big viewfinder....but it is expensive....

Aside from that the 30D has a decent viewfinder and its a fine camera ...it was my choice in DSLRs but Canon did not have the lens I wanted for a general purpose lens so I went with Nikon.

If the 30D viewfinder is not good enough for you be sure to look at the D80/D200 and make sure there is a battery in the camera you are checking and the camera is turned on.

Good luck
you couldn't find the general purpose lens you wanted for the 30D? what were you looking for?
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