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Chaliel Nov 18, 2004 5:18 AM

The problem with the bridge cameras is that they have no noise at iso 50-100, but over that there is noise.

The problem with the DSLR... you can't find a single vibration reductionlens that covers the range of 7-10x ... and keeps the whole unit at reasonable size

Like to have a Nikon D70 with the lens of the Nikon Coolpix 8800...

or the Nikon Coolpix 8800 with the big image sensor of the D70...

JohnG Nov 18, 2004 6:33 AM

I'd also like a camera that takes perfectly exposed pictures every timewhile still costing $100 USD:-)

Sorry to say there are trade-offs to everything. Want a large sensor and the quality glass? That means weight. Want a small, light camera? That means a small sensor. You can't have a large sensor with a small lense. So, time to decide which is more important to you.

Chaliel Nov 20, 2004 8:58 AM

The large sensor is more important, but I can't find a VR lens of good quality that is not to large...

Any Idee?

JimC Nov 20, 2004 9:13 AM

Chaliel wrote:

The large sensor is more important, but I can't find a VR lens of good quality that is not to large...

Well... I'd look at what you want to take photos of, and decide the best combination of camera body/lenses from there.

Chances are, the quality of the optics is what's adding the most size/weight. If you buy a slow lens (i.e., one that drops down to f/5.6 at full zoom), then it's going to be smaller and lighter. Yet, if you buy a bright lens (i.e., one that maintains f/2.8 throughout it's focal range), then it's going to be larger and heavier.

So, I'd figure out what you need to take photos of, and in what conditions first. For example, a lens that maintains f/2.8 brightness would probably be just as goodas a stabilized lensthat stopped down to f/5.6, since f/2.8 would allow shutter speeds 4 times as fast for the same lighting conditions and ISO speed.

Also, a stabilized lens will only help to reduce blur from camera shake, not from subject movement (you need a brighter lens and/or higher ISO speeds to increase shutter speeds to help with moving subjects, too). But, at longer focal lengths, blur from camera shake is probably the worse of the two (but both sources of blur need to be considered when selecting your tools).

There can also be a huge difference in optical quality between lenses, even when the specs are about the same. You'll need to evaluate each lens on a case by case basis for the conditions you'll be using it in (some are softat shorter or longer focal lengths, some are soft unless the aperture is stopped down considerably, etc.). Also, the greater the zoom range (wide to tele), the worse the optical quality in most cases. That's why a prime lens (non-zoom) is usually much better.

Now, Konica-Minolta has a solution that will allow it's anti-shake technology to work with any lens attached (it will have to be a Minolta AF mount lens though). It's their new Maxxum 7 Digital (Dynax 7 Digital outside of the U.S.).

Sigma, Tamron, Tokina and Minolta allhavelenses that will fit this model. But, you'll still want to match the lens to your shooting requirements, and brighter lenses are larger and heavier (with a wide variety of optical quality available).

For example, Tokina makes a 24-200mm lens that is available in a Minolta mount. After the 1.5x crop factor, this lens would give you a 35mm equivalent focal length of 36-300mm on the Maxxum/Dynax 7 Digital (with the integrated anti-shake in the body giving you around 2 extra stops for hand holding). But, it's not that bright (f/3.5 - 5.6), and optical quality isn't going to be as good as many lenses with less focal range, so I wouldn't consider it suitable forsome purposes.

No one camera/lens combinationis going to be perfect for all shooting conditions. You'll need to decide what areas you're willing to compromise on. For example, if you absolutely must have one lens with a decent focal range, you could use something like the lens above with a camera like the Maxxum/Dynax7 Digital, shooting at up to ISO 3200, and using noise reduction tools to help reduce the appearance of noise later when higher ISO speeds are needed. But, don't expect thequality you'd have fromhigher quality glass at all focal lengths and apertures.


Give users a better idea of what you want to take photos of, and I'm sure that they can offer suggestions. You're probably better off buying more than one lens if you want to go with a DSLR model.

NHL Nov 20, 2004 11:10 AM

I second JimC for the Maxxum/Dynax 7 Digital as well... :idea:

IMO this camera is pecfect for low-light handheld landscape shot (most wide angle IS/VR lens don't exist) and where this antishake system is the most effective (static objects)! ;)

Uncle Q Nov 21, 2004 10:23 AM

Like Chaliel, I've been pondering the trade-offs between the Coolpix 8800 and the D70. When I've seen this question addressed previously, posters have generally suggested that the D70 was the better choice without detailed justification.

Jim, your post, though, really puts some meat on the bones! Thanks for the tips on lens speed vs anti-shake re shutter speed reduction.

I'm thinking of replacing a Canon A80, BTW, a camera which I've owned for a year, and which I like so much that it is responsible for re-generating an interest in photopraphy. Number 1 problem with the A80: too many blurry shots when I close down the lens (and lengthen the shutter speed). So, I use a tripod when I can, but that's just not always possible. And that is why I started looking at anti-shake/IS/VR.

That search led me to the Coolpix 8800, which I can't hold in my little paws for the up-close test due to lack of availability ot the locas shops, but can only order sight-unseen, and for which Steve hasn't yet posted the all-important "conclusions" section of his review. (I can't say that without also saying a huge "Thank You" to Steve for ALL the fabulous info I have sucked out of this A+++ site).

Funny how one things leads to another and then to a left turn. I didn't realize that my search for anti-shake would lead me to DSLR land, but that seems to be the case despite protests from my wallet. Your comments, coupled with a few other posts, plus the in-store handholding experience of a D70, had pointed me in that direction.

You introduced a wildcard, though, with your mention of the Minolta Maxxum 7 Digital. And - to digress for a second - does anyone else think that the future IS anti-shake...and, further, doesn't it seem TOO logical that the anti-shake mechanism should be in the body, not the lens? I immediately went Googling but was quickly brick-walled with "shipping in fall 2004" comments. Searching the Pricegrabber-type sites left me without a hint on the expected body price as well. Do you have any further info on release date? price? Is it available, but missed by my search? I did find the Tokina lens you mentioned @ $319, about as expected. If the body is similar in price to the D70, my search might have just gotten a bit easier!

Thanks again, Jim, for your post.

Chaliel Nov 21, 2004 12:20 PM

Thank you JimC for your serious answer to the questions.

Well, I do want to use the Camera for portraits in and outside, and land- and villagescapes.

I do not need the wideangle part of the lens. 50 and up is perfect, but as you said the brightnes is important. f2,8 for the whole range means a large and heavy lens..., which is not very handy when travelling, which I do a lot...

TheKonica Minolta Dynax 7Dwith AF 28-75mm f2,8... but for the télé the AF 70 -200mm f2,8 Apo..., but that is a very big one...

The Sigma 24 -135mm f2,8 - 4,5? To do everything with... do not need the wideanglepart and would like to have a small bit more on the other end.

And then I go back again to the 8800 that does not take so much room in my backpack... How visible is all the noise at iso abouve 100???

hedwards Nov 21, 2004 2:11 PM

Portability is one thing with traveling, but durability is another. I have the excellent tamron 28-75di and it is built like a sherman tank. I tend to take a lot of my photos in the back country, and i have yet to put a ding in it.
just my 2cents.

NHL Nov 22, 2004 7:21 AM

Chaliel wrote:

And then I go back again to the 8800 that does not take so much room in my backpack... How visible is all the noise at iso abouve 100???
I don't know much about the 8800 noise at high ISO, but here's a DpReview picture from the Minolta 7D @ ISO-3200 shot handheld in a dimly lit church (1/6s with no flash):

Other thing to consider once you own a camera is how it operates or handle: Buzz, buzz push-buttons operation zoom and button/dial for manual focus vs familiar quick zoom and manual focusing rings ;)

... Also how fast can one shoot between shots, especially when a camera is in the RAW mode? :idea:
(eg. some camera would just lock you out for dozen of seconds)

Chaliel Nov 23, 2004 4:27 AM

Well, the Minolta Dynax7D seems to be a good choice...., but apart of the AF 28-75 f2,8 lens, which covers in terms of a non digital camera the range of say 42-112mm, is there a good alternative that covers the range 50-200mm ( non digital), with an f2,8-4, as small and light as possible...

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