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Old Apr 15, 2007, 6:38 AM   #1
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Hello guys, I sincerely hope that you will be able to help me in this big commitment,

Please excuse me also since my English may not be as good as yours :-),

Below is the list of requirements,

1.) I am looking for a D-SLR type camera with the best picture quality I can afford,

2.) My budget is US$1000++,

3.) I want to shoot high quality pictures with plenty of details and smoothness,

4.) I don't want noisy pictures with lots of chroma noise,

5.) I want my picture to have smooth natural colors, not hot saturated colors,

6.) I want smooth bokeh,

Most importantly of all is point number 3.

I want to shoot foliage, fine arts, texts//numbers, urban//natural landscapes, and aerial view of cities etc etc in very high quality.

I want high degree of smoothness and details for everything I will be shooting.

I'll be very grateful for your help.

Antony
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Old Apr 17, 2007, 4:56 PM   #2
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I could recommend some cameras to you, but all I or anyone else could really do is pick out some favorites. Your list of requirements can pretty much be met by any DSLR out there.

A lot of us tend to argue about which DSLR is better, but the debates usually focus on features rather than image quality. In the $500-$2000 price range, there isn't much variance in image quality among DSLRs, not unless it comes to certain specific shooting conditions.

For example, if you're shooting in low light conditions, cameras with good high ISO performance (usually less megapixels) and cameras with stabilization have an advantage. Same for long telephoto shooting. For larger sized prints, higher megapixels have an advantage. For shooting action, a camera with fast autofocus, high speed burst and a large buffer would have an advantage. Good JPG processing will also tend to be an advantage there.

I'd recommend you do a bit of shopping on your own and come back when you've narrowed down your options a bit more. See if certain cameras are more comfortable to hold to you. Figure out if certain features are going to be more valuable to you.

Here's a list of questions to get you started;

Do you think you'll shoot mostly JPG, or do you intend to process RAW files in a program like Photoshop?

Do you expect to shoot a lot of action, or mostly single shots of scenery?

Do you think you would buy a lot of lenses, each for a specific shooting situation, or would you prefer to have one or two good zoom lenses to cover all uses?

Do you expect to do a lot of flash photography?

Would you prefer a compact camera, or a heavier one?

Do you expect to mostly shoot with or without a tripod?

Would you expect to mostly shoot in daylight, or in darker conditions?

Do you expect to shoot mostly wide angle, telephoto, or a mix of both?

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Old Apr 18, 2007, 12:00 AM   #3
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What Corpsy says I will agree with. All of the cheaper? DSLR cameras are very good. What you need to look for are lens that you can buy for a reasonable price new or used. A good kit lense will be nice for wide angles, a good low ight prime and a longer zoom will really get you started. I was able to get the prime and the constant F4 zoom for about $225 on Ebay. C. W.














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Old Apr 18, 2007, 12:39 AM   #4
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I think Corpsy coverd the issues pretty well. Suggest you read Steve's reviews as welll as others to compare picture quality.

Point number 3 is going to be where you have to make the biggest decision, as smoothness and detail are opposite ends of the resolution equation. Also, in order to get the best quality, you have to shoot RAW, and the software you use to convert, as well as you ability to use it, will make the most difference in quality. This will also cover 4.) and 5.)

Bokeh is mostly a function of your lens.

brian
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Old Apr 18, 2007, 3:23 AM   #5
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All recent sensors seem to offer good performance. I see only 2 "current" models which will struggle at high ISO, of which one the Olympus E-500, isn't really that current, and is being replaced in the next month or two. And it's sensor is actually more than 2 years old, as it used the same sensor as the earlier E-300. The other you might avoid is the Sony A-100, which apparently has the same sensor which performs well in the Nikon D80, but suffers from inferior processing in the Sony. But, if you rarely shoot above ISO 400, even these might be considered.

As has been suggested, some of what you want to accomplish will come from good postprocessing. You may wish to shoot in RAW for the best results, but many models also produce very nice jpegs out of camera, and most will have good in camera adjustments for saturation, contrast, sharpness to get the results you want. Even if shooting jpeg, you will want to do some postprocessing out of camera. Sharpening in particular, is best done seperately, as the last step.

Much of what you are talking about, however, comes from the lens. To get a good amount of detail, good contrast and clarity, you want good glass. Good quality lenses are available for every brand, but some have stronger offerings in some areas than others. So you may want to get a clearer idea of what your lens needs are before deciding on a system. For some, the camera to buy is the one that goes with the lens they really want.

It seems that most of the types of shooting you are talking about could be accomplished with a good standard zoom with some close focus capabilities. I imagine it might even be possible to do everything on that list with a good quality macro capable fixed focal length (prime) lens. I don't see anything listed that necessarily requires a long telephoto lens.

But I suspect you would want some flexibility. How much of a range of focal lengths do you need?

Some good quality standard zoom lenses with some close focus ability are (with closest focus magnification/magnification ratio):

Sigma 18-50 f2.8 EX Macro (.33x/1:3) $375
Canon 17-40 f4L (.29x/1:3.4) $680
Pentax 16-45 f4 (.26x/1:3.8 ) $430
Olympus 14-54 f2.8-3.5 (.26x/1:3.8 ) $390

You may also wish a good fixed focal length macro lens for some of the suggested subjects, or perhaps a wider angle lens (especially for landscapes and urban). How much previous photography experience do you have? Any experience with film SLR? With experience you will have a good idea of what kind of lenses you need.

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Old Apr 18, 2007, 6:36 AM   #6
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Thank you thank you guys! You'll all really a fantastic bunch of people!

In answer to all your question; I'll try to answer all of them one by one and slowly,

The quote guide should help me isolate the questions,

Here we go :-),

Quote:
Do you think you'll shoot mostly JPG, or do you intend to process RAW files in a program like Photoshop?
I intent to shoot in JPEG files.

Quote:
Do you expect to shoot a lot of action, or mostly single shots of scenery?
I expect to shoot mostly single shots of scenery, like those I have mentioned above.

Quote:
Do you think you would buy a lot of lenses, each for a specific shooting situation, or would you prefer to have one or two good zoom lenses to cover all uses?
I would prefer to have one or two good zoom lenses to cover all the uses.

Quote:
Do you expect to do a lot of flash photography?
No, I do not expect to be doing a lot of flash photography, but I will be doing some flash photography.

Quote:
Would you prefer a compact camera, or a heavier one?
The size or weight of the camera will not matter to me as long as I can carry it around. :-)

Quote:
Do you expect to mostly shoot with or without a tripod?
I expect to shoot without a tripod when the light is good enough especially outdoors in the daytime, or when the sun is bright enough to produce good light to where I am shooting indoors. I will use a tripod when the light is bad indoors and outdoors, and use the flash when I do not have a tripod with me.

Quote:
Would you expect to mostly shoot in daylight, or in darker conditions?
I expect to shoot mostly in daylight, but like the above, I will also be shooting in darker conditions.

Quote:
Do you expect to shoot mostly wide angle, telephoto, or a mix of both?
This is not an easy question for me to answer. :-)

Sometimes when I look at a scene, I wish I could zoom right in to a small portion of it and capture the area there.

Sometimes the scene doesn't look so great, but sometimes there is a tiny portion of the scene that looks great to my eyes, and I would wish I could just zoom in to that tiny area of the whole scene and just capture that tiny portion only.

I really hope you people understand me. :lol:

I will try to give an example,

Just imagine a late sunset, and I am now looking at the late sunset scene. I feel that the scene as a whole looks uninspiring gray and mundane to me, but when I look at a tiny patch of the scene in the far far distance when the sun is just slipping between the peaks of the far mountains, making a great composition with great sunset lightings effects only in that tiny far region of the scene, I wish I would be able to just zoom in onto that portion of the scene and capture that area of the scene in great quality.

I really struggled to explain it all, but I hope you people get it now. :-)

Now for the rest of the questions,

Quote:
But I suspect you would want some flexibility. How much of a range of focal lengths do you need?
I wish to have something that will fulfill my composition plans above. :-)

The rest of my shooting areas,
Quote:
I want to shoot foliage, fine arts, texts//numbers, urban//natural landscapes, and aerial view of cities etc etc in very high quality.
, aren't so important although I would still want to have the picture quality aspect.

Quote:
How much previous photography experience do you have?
Just consider me a novice with a dream to fulfill. :-)

Quote:
Any experience with film SLR?
Yes, I am shooting with the Nikon F100 film SLR camera, and I am doing so with B&W films. I only own one lens with the Nikon F100 currently, that being the Nikkor AF 50mm F/1.8D. (Currently don't have plans to get committed to the Nikon system yet..)

So far I am enjoying 35mm film photography.

Once again thank you people, I really enjoyed answering all of your questions.

Keep em coming! :-)
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Old Apr 18, 2007, 8:33 AM   #7
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kenbalbari wrote:
Quote:
All recent sensors seem to offer good performance. I see only 2 "current" models which will struggle at high ISO, of which one the Olympus E-500, isn't really that current, and is being replaced in the next month or two. And it's sensor is actually more than 2 years old, as it used the same sensor as the earlier E-300. The other you might avoid is the Sony A-100, which apparently has the same sensor which performs well in the Nikon D80, but suffers from inferior processing in the Sony. But, if you rarely shoot above ISO 400, even these might be considered.
Based on pictures I've seen the Sony Alpha does fine at ISO 800.
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Old Apr 18, 2007, 8:57 AM   #8
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A1_II wrote:
Quote:
Thank you thank you guys! You'll all really a fantastic bunch of people!

In answer to all your question; I'll try to answer all of them one by one and slowly,

The quote guide should help me isolate the questions,

Here we go :-),

Quote:
Do you think you'll shoot mostly JPG, or do you intend to process RAW files in a program like Photoshop?
I intent to shoot in JPEG files.

Quote:
Do you expect to shoot a lot of action, or mostly single shots of scenery?
I expect to shoot mostly single shots of scenery, like those I have mentioned above.

Quote:
Do you think you would buy a lot of lenses, each for a specific shooting situation, or would you prefer to have one or two good zoom lenses to cover all uses?
I would prefer to have one or two good zoom lenses to cover all the uses.

Quote:
Do you expect to do a lot of flash photography?
No, I do not expect to be doing a lot of flash photography, but I will be doing some flash photography.

Quote:
Would you prefer a compact camera, or a heavier one?
The size or weight of the camera will not matter to me as long as I can carry it around. :-)

Quote:
Do you expect to mostly shoot with or without a tripod?
I expect to shoot without a tripod when the light is good enough especially outdoors in the daytime, or when the sun is bright enough to produce good light to where I am shooting indoors. I will use a tripod when the light is bad indoors and outdoors, and use the flash when I do not have a tripod with me.

Quote:
Would you expect to mostly shoot in daylight, or in darker conditions?
I expect to shoot mostly in daylight, but like the above, I will also be shooting in darker conditions.

Quote:
Do you expect to shoot mostly wide angle, telephoto, or a mix of both?
This is not an easy question for me to answer. :-)

Sometimes when I look at a scene, I wish I could zoom right in to a small portion of it and capture the area there.

Sometimes the scene doesn't look so great, but sometimes there is a tiny portion of the scene that looks great to my eyes, and I would wish I could just zoom in to that tiny area of the whole scene and just capture that tiny portion only.

I really hope you people understand me. :lol:

I will try to give an example,

Just imagine a late sunset, and I am now looking at the late sunset scene. I feel that the scene as a whole looks uninspiring gray and mundane to me, but when I look at a tiny patch of the scene in the far far distance when the sun is just slipping between the peaks of the far mountains, making a great composition with great sunset lightings effects only in that tiny far region of the scene, I wish I would be able to just zoom in onto that portion of the scene and capture that area of the scene in great quality.

I really struggled to explain it all, but I hope you people get it now. :-)

Now for the rest of the questions,

Quote:
But I suspect you would want some flexibility. How much of a range of focal lengths do you need?
I wish to have something that will fulfill my composition plans above. :-)

The rest of my shooting areas,
Quote:
I want to shoot foliage, fine arts, texts//numbers, urban//natural landscapes, and aerial view of cities etc etc in very high quality.
, aren't so important although I would still want to have the picture quality aspect.

Quote:
How much previous photography experience do you have?
Just consider me a novice with a dream to fulfill. :-)

Quote:
Any experience with film SLR?
Yes, I am shooting with the Nikon F100 film SLR camera, and I am doing so with B&W films. I only own one lens with the Nikon F100 currently, that being the Nikkor AF 50mm F/1.8D. (Currently don't have plans to get committed to the Nikon system yet..)

So far I am enjoying 35mm film photography.

Once again thank you people, I really enjoyed answering all of your questions.

Keep em coming! :-)
OK...as I read...the last line...you own a Film Nikon D-100 body with only a normal lens, so I can recommend you to buy a D-80 body...use your Normal lens (Will be medium telephoto one 75mm)...nice Bokeh... after so you can stuck on a 18-200mm Nikon zoom lens with VR/2 Stabilizer...which maybe the "Bokeh"...issue will suffer! depends how important is to you...for much better "Bokeh" issue...you MUST buy an a expensive Nikon lens...mainly if NOT 100% prime ones!

Good Luck,

Alex 007:|
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Old Apr 18, 2007, 11:23 AM   #9
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For a DSLR _type_ camera *NOT an SLR* go with:

Fuji S9000, Lumix FZ-50, Canon S3 IS.
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Old Apr 18, 2007, 2:02 PM   #10
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After reading your responses, the Nikon D80 was the first camera I thought of as well. Since you say you'll mostly shoot in good light and use a tripod when necessary, stabilization is something you probably wouldn't get much use out of. Also, if you do shoot mostly JPG then you'll get better results with a Nikon or Canon (I'm not sure about Olympus, but Pentax is pretty weak on JPGs).

From what I've read Nikon lenses tend to be very good for the money, so that should also be a benefit if you only want to get a couple zoom lenses on a limited budget, but I'm not a Nikon user so I can't suggest any lenses.
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