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Old Dec 9, 2007, 1:29 PM   #1
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:?
Current is Oly D510Zoom - old, used a lot. Learned dig on it.
Need new one that will have 'good' photo image for 'prints' on great printers.
Need something that will take photos 'up close' and 'distant, wide' (Monument Valley for instance).
Want good color.
Have grandchildren, the move fast, need something that is either able to capture that motion (and seem to sense that 'stabilizing' cams create noise due to how that works?).
Do some macro work... but mostly action stuff (sports with kids, etc..)
Does NOT have to be TINY (in fact I like to feel like I'm holding something).
Want a rechargable (I THINK, tired of replacing batts in the Oly), but?
Want to be able to take about 200 photos on MEDIA at high resolutions. WHAT is the BEST MEDIA for cams these days?
And want to be able to 'transfer' photos to computer, etc...
Wife is NOT technical so there has to be SOME SORT of AUTO settings for her.
Been looking at: (no particular order)
1.Olympus Evolt E510 10MP Digital SLR Camera with CCD Shift Image Stabilization and 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 and 40-150mm f/4.0-5.6 Zuiko Lenses
2.Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ8K 7.2MP Digital Camera with 12x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom
3.Canon PowerShot Pro Series S5 IS 8.0MP Digital Camera with 12x Optical
4.Nikon D40 6.1MP Digital SLR Camera Kit with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED II AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor Lens Image Stabilized Zoom

[/b]I do not know tons about photography. Can do okay if I read the manual, take some practice shots, so forth. Appreciate whatever help you folks can provide. Thanks greatly.

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Old Dec 9, 2007, 4:04 PM   #2
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Two of your choices are point and shoot cameras and two dSLR cameras. Probably the first thing you need to decide is which way you want to go - dSLR or P&S. Both have their advantages and disadvantages (all photography is a compromise).

If you decide you want to get a dSLR, you would need at least one additional lens(and possibly more than one, depending on whether you get the D40 or the Oly) to be able to get the zoom range of the two p&s cameras you are looking at, so that will add to your expense.

Noise has nothing to do with image stabilization. Noise has to do with using higher ISO settings, which makes the camera more sensitive to light so you can use a faster shutter speed - a good thing when you want to capture your fast moving children. This is where the dSLR cameras are better than p&s cameras (they have less noise than p&s cameras do when you start using ISO 400 and above).

Image stabilization helps to deal with camera shake caused by using slow shutter speeds. Camera shake is magnified when you use longer telephoto lenses, but can be a factor with wide angle night shots (if you do that type of thing). I once took a perfect picture that showed how useless image stabilization is for motion - I was taking pictures of the night lights in Las Vegas. The lights on the buildings were perfectly sharp, even though I was using a shutter speed that I normally can't hand-hold without camera shake. Just as I pushed the shutter, a taxi zoomed around the corner and was a complete blur across an otherwise fine photo.

To get the most out of a dSLR camera takes some basic photography knowledge, such as how aperture affects depth of field etc. since the effects are more apparent with dSLR cameras due to their bigger sensor size. It isn't all that complicated, but does take some effort to learn. I don't know how complete the Nikon and Oly's manuals are, but for the most part the manuals I'm familiar with are good about telling you how to do something, but somewhat sketchy about why you would want to do something (they aren't general photography books).
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Old Dec 10, 2007, 6:05 AM   #3
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Thanks... right. I did see that two were P&S, etc... believe that our D-510Z was/is a P&S.
Would you say that P&S is 'easier' to master regarding decent photos?
The Nikon that I was looking at did have two lenses as did the dSlr Oly. Thinking also of wife's using so wanted something simple.
I suppose I'm just going to have to "jump" into one of these four (or one of either two types selected).

Would you say these are GOOD or Very good cameras at their price range to select from? Thanks.
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Old Dec 10, 2007, 8:51 AM   #4
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All the cameras on your list are excellent cameras within their class and all are on Steve's Best Cameras list: http://www.steves-digicams.com/best_cameras.html

Both P$S cameras are classed as "super-zoom" and will be more compactthan the DSLRs but not by a lot. They will definitely be lighter to carry than a DSLR with a couple of lenses. On the other hand the DSLRs will have lower noise at high ISOs. In theory the better high ISO performance of the DSLRs should translate into better lowlight performance without flash but this is often not realized in practice since the "kit" lenses tend to be on the slow side.

Of the two DSLRs the Olympus has sensor shift image stabilization which results in every lens being image stabilized. The Nikon uses in the lens image stabilization lens so that mechanism, in essence is purchased each time you buy a stablized lens.

The Oly uses a 4:3 sensor which results in lighter, smaller lenses for the same aperture/coverage range than the APS-C sensor Nikon at the expense of a bit higher noise at high ISO. Both DSLR sensors are way larger than the 1/2.5 sensor on both P&S cameras. DSLRs don't shoot video if you had that in mind.

The P&S cameras are, by in large, just that - complete cameras. The DSLRs are the first part of a system so are just the start of your potential expenditures.

I use a super-zoom P&S that doesn't have a hot shoe to mount an external flash and I'm inclined to consider the hot shoe on the S5 as a potential advantage.

I don't intend to tell you what to buy. This is to help you organize your facts and identify your needs. All four are excellent cameras in their classes.
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Old Dec 10, 2007, 1:21 PM   #5
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Many thanks for the good guidance AC (used to know an AC Smith in Ct)... and I'm leaning towards a "P&S" simply for its "simplicity" and my wife's preferences. I have an old German made 35 with four lenses and I've packed it away... funny how things change.
Guess a Point and shoot will be the best idea and I'll go with one of these two. Probably the Canon! Thanks again... very much.
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Old Dec 10, 2007, 2:10 PM   #6
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Roamingdoc wrote:
Quote:
Many thanks for the good guidance AC (used to know an AC Smith in Ct)... and I'm leaning towards a "P&S" simply for its "simplicity" and my wife's preferences. I have an old German made 35 with four lenses and I've packed it away... funny how things change.
Guess a Point and shoot will be the best idea and I'll go with one of these two. Probably the Canon! Thanks again... very much.
I have 3 full frame SLRs, a full frame rangefinder, 3 half frame SLRs and two interchangeable lens twin-lens reflexes and many lenses for each system packed away. At this point I'm not interested inreturn tophotography as a business even a part-time basis (been there-done that-have the T Shirt). Recording my family, travels andoccasional passes at "art" (8x10 prints framed by myself), all of which my super-zoom P&S will do, is all my needs currently encompass.The S5 is an excellent super-zoom and should serve you well if your needs are similar.

I don't see aneed for a DSLRin my future for myphotographic needs. Of course Olympus could probably persuade me to undertake a long term (3-5 years) extended user test of a 510 if they found they desperately needed such a test. It would be under duress on my part of course.:-)
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Old Dec 10, 2007, 2:18 PM   #7
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A p&s makes lots of sense for many people. All photography is a compromise of some sort or other and there's no one-size-fits-all answer. I happily shot with a Sony F717 for a number of years until it died, then replaced it with a Panny FZ30. I hated that camera, sold it after a month and bought a dSLR. I now think nothing of carting a camera and a couple of lenses around all the time, my results are very satisfying to me (I'm absolutely no pro and never have been - not good enough). But I can understand why many would think of what I do every day as torture.

I notice that you sign on as "Los Angeles but not for long" - if you are still in L.A., there are all kinds of camera stores in the area that carry these cameras. Before you plunk down money for one, make sure you go handle them all and see which one feels best in your hands (and your wife's hands). The best camera in the world can't take great pictures if it's in your closet because you hate to carry it.
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Old Dec 10, 2007, 2:39 PM   #8
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Hi8 Mtngal - and well I Know your region. Lockwood valley and 'not' to mess it up. Took numerous pics there over the past 34 years. Lovely area. I "should" find a camera shop and may be able to... but honestly we both stay out of the 'rats nest' called the "City of Angeles" (first, it isnt' and second, way to congested). We'll try something in La Crescenta or closer. Many thanks. NEED to have it under the tree ;^)
How much snow you got up there?

Doc
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Old Dec 10, 2007, 3:16 PM   #9
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I would go along with the advice you have received. I have both an ultrazoom (Sony H5) and a DSLR (D40 with add on flash). The H5 is very versatile and fine for my outdoor use, whereas the D40 with add on flash and a smaller "zoom" of 7x with a 18 - 135mm lens is marvellous for indoor photography. Of course, the D40 is also great outdoors and gives good pictures without processing, but it is easier to get consistent exposures outside with the H5. The negatives of the H5 for me are AA batteries and lack of add on flash capability. The feel of the camera is very important - your wife may think that a DSLR like the D40 is too large? The combination of the S5 and add on flash would probably suit all your needs for outdoor and indoor shooting. (The advantage of an add-on flash is that light can be bounced off the ceiling to give more natural pictures without shadows). It still won't be as good as a DSLR indoors, but may be good enough.

By the way, the D40 18-55mm kit lens is not image stabilised, but doesn't need it anyway. IS is certainly useful with 12x zoom/long reach lenses, but I rarely get blurred pictures with the 18-135 mm lens (7x), which is also non IS.
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Old Dec 10, 2007, 10:24 PM   #10
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We had a couple of inches this weekend, some is still left (it's been staying around freezing during the days). I'm not all that far from Lockwood - have you been there since the Day Fire burned through the lower part and Grade Valley last year? It was interesting to see what burned and what didn't. Frazier Mountain areais a pretty good place to live if you have to live in SoCal.

The biggest camera store around is probably Samy's on Fairfax (I still haven't been there because I'm like you, I cringe when I think of venturing very far into LA). I work near Bel Air Camera in Westwoodand find they have just about anything I want to look at. I can't think of a camera store in La Cresenta, but it's been a few years since we lived in the Glendale/Tujunga area and that was before I discovered digital cameras.
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