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Old Jan 2, 2007, 9:59 PM   #1
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I own a Canon EOS Elan II/50 and I'm wondering if it would be a good idea to convert to digital photography if all I can afford is a non-SLR digital camera.

And also, when it comes to digital cameras; why is there an LCD screen when digital cameras have eyeholes just like film cameras, and then why dont film cameras have LCDs. Im very used to using the eyehole/viewfinder and i wonder if i will Need to use the LCD for a digital camera, or can i just use the eyehole like i do with my film camera and it would be just the same.

Thnx!
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Old Jan 3, 2007, 12:57 AM   #2
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I've never worked with traditional film photography myself, but whether or not you'd be happy moving to a digital non-slr depends on what your needs are. On the low end of the price scale, a film camera will typically be capable of producing higher quality images than a digital, but the digital offers the advantage of being able to take as many photos as you want and getting immediate previews. If you're just taking photos indoors, you might like the Fuji F20 or F30. If you want a camera for nature hikes, an ultrazoom like the Canon IS or one of the Panasonic FZ cameras may suit you. Be a bit more specific about what you're looking for and you'll find more useful advice.

As for the viewfinder, DSLRs typically work with TTL (through the lens) viewfinders, but most non-SLR digital camera use the LCD. There are some with the TTL viewfinders out there though, so you might want to do a little research. An Olympus digicam I had some years back had one.

Each type of viewfinder has it's own advantages and disadvantages. Compared to the TTL viewfinder, an EVF (electronic viewfinder) is not as sharp, has a bit of a delay, and can be quite difficult to use in low light. However, it does provide a pretty good preview of how your shot will turn out before you take it. If the screen is accurate, it's very helpful for making sure white balance looks good.
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Old Jan 3, 2007, 5:39 AM   #3
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I am mainly interested in exactly what u said - Nature shots, aswell as the ability to take numerous expandible snaps of any small thing.

My only concern is about the quality of the shots. Will the quality of a 350$ non-SLR digital camera be on par with the quality of my old EOS SLR film camera?
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Old Jan 3, 2007, 7:26 AM   #4
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The two camera types (slr vs p&s) are different comparisons, even though you are still talking about film. But at the same time, there are nice p&s's out there that produce tremendously good shots. Given your training/exp in film slr, the p&s will be easy for you and you're likely to take very good pics no matter what the situation. That's what happened to me. Also, with digital, you can experiment a whole lot more as you don't have to print everything.

One of my P&S cams have LCD ONLY which has its own challenges. Still, it is something you simply get used to especially when you are framing and holding the camera properly/still.
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Old Jan 3, 2007, 7:56 AM   #5
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Ok, so P&S has a lot going for it, but what abt the quality?
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Old Jan 3, 2007, 9:11 AM   #6
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When you say nature shots - can you be more specific?

Also, what lenses were you using with your Elan?

'quality' is a very subjective term. There is no doubt a DSLR with a good quality lens will produce better quality photos over a wider gammut of shooting conditions. The question is: will a digicam provide the level of quality YOU require for the types of photos you take. But the key to that is having the right lenses for the given circumstance - so you could be talking about thousands of $$$ instead of $350 - depending on what you shoot.

So, what types of nature shots (landscape, wildlife, marcro, etc...) and what types of lenses were you used to using with the Elan? Depending on what lenses you were using they may still be compatible with Canon DSLRs as well.
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Old Jan 3, 2007, 12:06 PM   #7
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I went from a Minolta X570 35mm to a Nikon Coolpix 5700 three years ago when DSLRs were very expensive. Lens coverage wise it was equivalent or better than what I was used to with the Minolta, but that was it, I couldn't improve on the coverage because it was a fixed lens. Then the response time began to get to me because it wasn't fast enough nor could I get good results jacking up the ISO. I finally bought a Nikon D70s in August with several lenses and a Nikon flash and never looked back. The 5700 was cascaded to my wife!

If you're used to an SLR you may not be happy with a point & shoot due to their limitations. DSLR is heavier, bulkier and costs more but you gain more creative freedom similar to your film SLR.
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Old Jan 3, 2007, 1:07 PM   #8
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Track wrote:
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I own a Canon EOS Elan II/50 and I'm wondering if it would be a good idea to convert to digital photography if all I can afford is a non-SLR digital camera.

And also, when it comes to digital cameras; why is there an LCD screen when digital cameras have eyeholes just like film cameras, and then why dont film cameras have LCDs. Im very used to using the eyehole/viewfinder and i wonder if i will Need to use the LCD for a digital camera, or can i just use the eyehole like i do with my film camera and it would be just the same.

Thnx!
On a digital camera of the non SLR type the LCD gives you a preview of what the shot will look like. Some of the compact ones only have an LCD. Using the viewfinderinstead of the LCDhelps the photographer hold the camera steadier. Using the LCD does have an advantage for taking shots above and below eye level.

On most DSLRs the LCD is simply there for playback of previously recorded images and to display camera settings andaccess menu selections. I believe there are a couple ofDSLRs that also allow you to preview the shot but it is not normally a DSLR feature. The preview feature is not very valuable tomost DSLR shooters because the viewfinder is actually sharper in terms of verifying focus. Also if you are taking several consecutive shots the LCD does not respond fast enough to allow you to see that you are framing. Film cameras don't have LCDs because there is no way to makepreview what you are about to capture on film and you can't playback the images stored on a negative.
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Old Jan 3, 2007, 1:47 PM   #9
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I went from a film SLR (Pentax ME, 20 years old) to a Sony F717 (non-dSLR) more than 3 years agoand was very happy with the results. Its a 5 mp camera with a (what I thought) half-way decent EVF, once I got used to it I quite enjoyed shooting with it (forget manual focus, though). However, it developed problems a year ago, so I, now a confirmed fixed lens camera person, bought an FZ30 to replace it, and discovered that more mp do not make better pictures - I didn't get along with the FZ30 at all (there are others who love theirs). After looking at the options at the time and deciding what things I was willing to compromise and what I wasn't - I went back to my roots and got a dSLR - I wanted better image quality than I could get from the FZ30 and decided to compromise by lugging around extra lenses and weight.

So in answer to your question, yes, a person coming from a film camera CAN find happiness with a fixed lens digital camera. However, don't get caught up in the "more mp is better" - my 5 mp Sony appeared to me to have better quality images than the 8 mp FZ30. And be aware that you'll be compromising if you settle for one of the small sensor cameras (the exception is the R-1, which has a bigger sensor but less focal range for the lens). I now am very happy with a Pentax K100 (6 mp) using my 25 year old lenses.
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Old Jan 3, 2007, 2:14 PM   #10
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Track wrote:
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Ok, so P&S has a lot going for it, but what abt the quality?
Quality can mean a lot of things. On the Panasonic FZ30 for example, many considered it's image quality very high because of it's sharp lens and excellent color reproduction. Others considered it very low because noise was visible in some shadow areas, and very excessive at higher ISO levels. Personally, I considered it just good quality, but potentially excellent if you shoot properly and spend a bit of time in Photoshop with the images.

That can be another factor. Do you plan on processing and tweaking most of your photos afterwards, or do you want the camera to spit out really high quality JPGs? The best quality is usually derived by shooting in RAW and processing them through Photoshop. A few point and shoot cameras allow for this, though most that do don't make it very easy.

I suggest you do a little research on your own to find the cameras that interest you, then take a look at sample images on review sites like steves-digicams.com. Dcresource.com is another one that is very good for comparing image quality between cameras.
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