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Old Jul 5, 2007, 2:36 PM   #1
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Greetings;



I need help / recommendation (i.e., sanity check) to move up from my Canon A95 P&S digital camera. I made the move to digital photography 2.5 years ago with the Canon 5.0 MP A95. FYI, the move was from all manual Nikon film SLRs and Nikkor lenses, in case it may have any relevance to my next purchase. I love the little A95 camera, except where it falls drastically short in the following situations:



1- Kids' school functions inside auditoriums (flash photography is sometimes allowed).

2- Outdoor sports, e.g., soccer.

3- Indoor sports, e.g., basketball.

4- Kids' candid shots from distance.

5- Indoor group pictures



A95's short-comings have been, short telephoto, inadequate built-in flash, huge shutter lag. I have been mostly satisfied with the JPEG pictures, where we print 4x6s with occasional 8x10s. I have started learning and using Photoshop 7.0



DSLRs are outside my price range, otherwise I would love to buy a Nikon D40 and 18-200 VR lens.



I have narrowed down my move-up purchase to Panasonic DMC-FZ50. Please help me make sure that this camera will meet my needs as I listed above. Am I on the right track? My reasons for choosing this camera are:



* Fits in my price range of about 500 USD.

* Long telephoto lens.

* Hopefully much less shutter lag.

* Tilt-able LCD

* Ability to accept an external/stronger flash. Would an antique Vivitar 285 flash work with this camera?



TIA for all tips and pointers. I appreciate them all very much.

-Baloo
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Old Jul 13, 2007, 9:34 AM   #2
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Well, since I got no responses, I figured either ...

1) I matched my needs to the FZ-50 camera so brilliantly that it took the forum by the storm and everyone is speechless

or

2) I am somiserably off the mark that everyone figured I am hopeless

After Googling and reading for hours, it was obvious that I am not the first parent with similar needs. Most recommendations pointed towards a DSLR for my kind of needs.

So here is a question for all you DSLR experts out there.

Can I get a DSLR with a single zoom lens for $700 that meets the following requirements?

1) Smallbody (heavy isOK)

2) The fewer bells and whistles, the better. Auto this and that and menus drive me crazy. All I need is manual mode.

3) 35-200 zoom (35mm equivalent) with f2.8 throughout (probably the deal breaker.) non-camera brand is OK as long as optically it is acceptable; so is non auto focus or auto zoom, but with separate rings.

4) Large optical viewfinder

5) Very fast, that is in shutter-lag terms, but not in burst terms. I don't need burst. Single shot does it fine for me.

6) Hot shoe so I can use my manual Vivitar 285 flash

Please give me some recommendations



Thanks .... Baloo
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Old Jul 13, 2007, 9:51 AM   #3
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Do you still have all your Nikkor lenses? If you do, chances are they'll work on a Nikon dSLR. You mentioned that you had "manual Nikon film SLRs and Nikkor lenses". If the lenses are all manual, then they'll probably work on any Nikon dSLR body. If one or more of them are autofocus lenses, they'll probably work on any Nikon dSLR body except the D40 or D40x. And some retailers still have Nikon D50s and D70s that you can get and still stay within your budget.

I think it would be terrible to have all that good Nikkor glass go to waste.
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Old Jul 13, 2007, 10:47 AM   #4
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Quote:
If the lenses are all manual, then they'll probably work on any Nikon dSLR body.
Non-CPU MF Nikkor lenses won't meter on the entry level Nikon dSLR models.

So, you'd be shooting blind (you'd need to estimate the ISO speed/aperture/shutter speed needed or use an external light meter to measure it).

Also, if the lenses are not AI (Auto Indexing) you'll risk damaging the camera and/or lens trying to use them on some of the entry level Nikon dSLR models (although I believe this problem was solved with the new D40 and D40x).

Now, you can use a third party Nikkor F mount to Canon EF mount lens adapter on the entry level Canon dSLR models with older Nikkor MF lenses and have metering, just not with entry level Nikon dSLR models.

The least expensive current dSLR available from Nikon that would meter with non-CPU Manual Focus lenses is the D200.


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Old Jul 13, 2007, 11:09 AM   #5
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Is your Vivitar a 285 or a 285HV?

To answer your original question about it's suitability for use with the Panasonic DMC-FZ50, Panasonic rates their hotshoes for a maximum trigger voltage of 24 volts. Some camera manufacturers prefer that it not exceed 6 volts.

Some of the older Vivitars can have trigger voltages *much* higher than that. Heck, I just gave my brother-in-law an old Vivitar not long ago (because I'd be afraid of frying my cameras trying to use it). lol I'd measure it using a good, high impedence digital meter and see what you get.

http://www.botzilla.com/photo/strobeVolts.html

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Old Jul 13, 2007, 11:14 AM   #6
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Yes, I have a few AI-s lenses:
55 Micro f/2.8
35 f/2.0
50 f/1.4
135 f/2.8
also a very old Vivitar 28 f/2.8 (I think it is called non-AI) it doesn't work with the FM2, only with the F2 photomic and the Nikkormat. I don't remember all the exact specs at the moment (typing from work). Sadly, I sold the Vivitar Series one zoom I had many many years ago.

Also boxes full of things like bellows, slide copying attachment, extension tube sets, front attachment stuff, ring flash, filters, all sorts of stuff like that which I haven't looked at in many years. Another box full of manual flash stuff that worked with my 4 Vivitar 285 flashes. Thinks like brackets, remote triggers sensors, stuff that went on the hot shoe, etc

I am planning on finding these boxes this weekend to see what I have.

As to Nikon d40, my problem with it is the lens that comes with it as a kit. That lens does not meet my need, and I would have to buy another lens.

Another thing that turned me off about DSLRs in general was all the talk about dust on the sensor when changing lenses. I want only one lens so I don't have to switch lenses. I don't know how serious all this talk about sensor dust is. I had no issues with cleaning the mirrors on my manual cameras.

-Baloo
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Old Jul 13, 2007, 11:17 AM   #7
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I know two of the Vivitar 285s are HV. I have to find the other two.
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Old Jul 13, 2007, 11:18 AM   #8
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JimC wrote:
Quote:
Quote:
If the lenses are all manual, then they'll probably work on any Nikon dSLR body.


The least expensive current dSLR available from Nikon that would meter with non-CPU Manual Focus lenses is the D200.

D200 is out of the question. Big and expensive.
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Old Jul 13, 2007, 11:31 AM   #9
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Baloo wrote:
Quote:
Yes, I have a few AI-s lenses:
55 Micro f/2.8
35 f/2.0
50 f/1.4
135 f/2.8
That means you can safely mount them on the entry level Nikon dSLR models (like the D50, D70, D70s, D80) without risking damaging the camera and/or lens.

But, you still won't have metering.

These models don't have the metering coupling needed to work with them. You have to move into a higher end body (D200, D2Hs, D2x, etc.) to get metering with non-CPU Lenses (and the fast majority of non Autofocus lenses fall into that category, no CPU or electronic coupling for metering). IOW, I'd assume that only Autofocus lenses are going to give you metering with the entry level Nikon dSLR models.



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Old Jul 13, 2007, 11:53 AM   #10
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P.S.

You could use something like this adapter to mount your lenses on an entry level Canon dSLR model and get metering (they will still meter without seeing a lens, and don't care about any mechanical coupling).

You'd just need to stop down the aperture ring on the lens to the desired setting. If you used it in Av mode, the camera would even set the correct shutter speed for the amount of light it sees for you (or you could go manual exposure with it and have a functioning meter in the camera).

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...m=190130241009

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