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Old Jun 6, 2007, 4:53 PM   #1
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I am looking for a portable camera to take horseback riding in Montana for an upcoming trip. I am hoping to get some scenery shots, and possibly wildlife. I would like to make some prints to frame and put on the walls at home (assuming I can get some decent shots).

Here are some speicif questions:

1. If I am looking for a good qualily 11"x14" print, how many megapixels would you consider a minimmum?

2. I am sold on image stabilization, but is it worth considering cameras without it?

3. I have never bought a DSLR nor used one before. Is it worth making the plunge for this trip? If so, what kind of lenses would you reccommend?

4. Specifically, I am concerned that if I go with a compact point and shoot, I will be missing out on image quality, but I also don't want to lug around a large expensive DSLR when I could get caught in the rain.

5. Any specific cameras you can suggest would be greatly appreciated.

-Dhaval

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Old Jun 6, 2007, 7:15 PM   #2
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What is your budget? What experience do you have with digital cameras?


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Old Jun 6, 2007, 9:30 PM   #3
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Price isn't too much of an object. I'm willing to spend if the return is worthwhile.

I have an Olympus C-720 that I got several years ago. I got it for an Alaska trip. 8x optical zoom and 3 mp. I got some decent shots out of that one. Since then, I have bought a Digital Elph for my wife (3.2mp).

I definitely want better resolution this time around.

-dhaval

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Old Jun 6, 2007, 11:12 PM   #4
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You might want to consider compact high-zoom cameras - something in the order of 10X-12X optical.

These are usually compact so not difficult to bring on your horseback rides. Flexible that you can quickly power up the unit and take a quick zoom or wide shot when you are suddenly faced with a wildlife shot you want to take - a leopard suddenly leaping out of the woods???

These cameras would be 6-8MP and capable of prints of the size you indicated.

Cameras like the Canon S3, the Kodak Z612 or Z712 are some samples with image stabilization - which should help if you are on top of a horse. These cameras also have fairly decent video capability.
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Old Jun 7, 2007, 7:32 AM   #5
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Thanks for your suggestions.

I looked into those. I think I am looking for something with a little more "oomph." I know 6mp is sufficinet for 8x11, but I thought you would need a little more resolution to get the prints up to 11x14. I also know that no amount of mp's are going to make up for poor optics/detector, etc., so I am not dismissing the 6mp DC's just wondering if I should get something a little bit higher.

I looked at the Canon S5, and I think that would be a great fit, but it won't becoming out until after my trip .

Are some of the entry-level DSLR's compact enough to easily take with you? As you can tell, I haven't dealt much with these more advanced features, but I woud be willing to learn. It might be nice to have a camera I can grow into.

-Dhaval

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Old Jun 7, 2007, 8:21 AM   #6
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Dhaval wrote:
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I am sold on image stabilization, but is it worth considering cameras without it?
Not if you want to take pictures while horseback riding.

Dhaval wrote:
Quote:
I looked into those. I think I am looking for something with a little more "oomph." I know 6mp is sufficinet for 8x11, but I thought you would need a little more resolution to get the prints up to 11x14. I also know that no amount of mp's are going to make up for poor optics/detector, etc., so I am not dismissing the 6mp DC's just wondering if I should get something a little bit higher.
Resolution and optics are both important if you want to make 11x14 prints. Six to eight megapixel digicamsshould be fine, unless you start cropping in post processing. And there are 4 companies that make the best lenses in the world: Canon, Nikon, Leica (on Panasonic digicams) and Zeiss (on Sony digicams). If you want the best optics, you might confine your choices to these.

Dhaval wrote:
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Are some of the entry-level DSLR's compact enough to easily take with you?
You can take a look at the Olympus line of dSLRs. They are the most compact dSLRs available, but I don't think they have image stabilization.
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Old Jun 7, 2007, 9:09 AM   #7
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The new Olympus E-410 and E-510 will have Image Stabilization, I believe.

Another combiation to consider might be the Nikon D40X (10mp) and the new Nikkor 55-200mmVR lens, as most of your photos will be landscapes or takenj at a distance. For complete lens coverage, expressed in 35mm terms, by adding the Nikkor 18-55mm kit lens as well, you will have coverage from 27mm to 300mm. That is a very nice range.

Sarah
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Old Jun 7, 2007, 9:24 AM   #8
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mtclimber wrote:
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Another combiation to consider might be the Nikon D40X (10mp) and the new Nikkor 55-200mmVR lens, as most of your photos will be landscapes or takenj at a distance. For complete lens coverage, expressed in 35mm terms, by adding the Nikkor 18-55mm kit lens as well, you will have coverage from 27mm to 300mm. That is a very nice range.
... but hardly compact.
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Old Jun 7, 2007, 9:29 AM   #9
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mtclimber wrote:
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The new Olympus E-410 and E-510 will have Image Stabilization, I believe.
I see that the E-510 has it, but I can't find it in the specs for the E-410.
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Old Jun 7, 2007, 10:37 AM   #10
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If you are taking daylight shots, the Panasonic FZ-8 might be a good choice. At least at ISO's of 200 and below, it's supposed to be excellent.

By the way, I think 6 megapixels is plenty for good 11 X 14 prints. Unless, you are cropping, that is.
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