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Old Mar 17, 2008, 6:00 AM   #1
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Hi, all!

I have an oldfilm SLR (handed down to me by someone), but am not up to using it yet. I have a basic P&S (canon A460), but want to buy one that will help me figure out the diferent variations and settings before I upgrade to using my SLR. I have looked at various models, like the Canon S5 IS and the Olympus SP550 UZ, to name a couple. What do you think about these cameras, and are there any other cameras in this price range that might be a better option?

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Old Mar 17, 2008, 6:40 AM   #2
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Lensman-

In the ultra zoom category the Pansonic FZ-18 seems to be the king of the hill, or top of the shop as the Brits say. Here in the USA Fuji currently is offering a $(US) 50.00 rebate on sales of their S-8000 cameras. You might check to see if that rebate is also available in India.

I tried out a friend's Sony H-3 over the weekend and I was impressed with the smal size of the camera and the image quality. The Canon SX-100 competes with the Sony H-3. I have attached a H-3 sample photo.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Mar 17, 2008, 9:35 AM   #3
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Looney Lensman wrote:
Quote:
I have an oldfilm SLR ...
Just out of curiousity, do you have two or more lenses for the SLR?

There are a number of entry level dSLRs that might be able to use the lens or lenses you already have. And going from a Canon A460 to an entry level dSLR might not be such a great leap if you already have some lenses to work with.
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Old Mar 17, 2008, 11:37 AM   #4
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Looney Lensman wrote:
Quote:
Hi, all!

I have an oldfilm SLR (handed down to me by someone), but am not up to using it yet. I have a basic P&S (canon A460), but want to buy one that will help me figure out the diferent variations and settings before I upgrade to using my SLR. I
Greetings in bangalore!

I'd like to aska question:

Once you've 'learned the ropes' is your intent to just usethe film slr or buy a digital slr?

Here's why it's an important question: 'learning the ropes' is easier to do with digital but it is just as easy with digital SLR as it is digital point and shoot. And some concepts, like depth-of-field are actually easier to learn with a DSLR than with digicam. So my point is: it is just as easy to learn photography with an entry level DSLR as it is a superzoom. That doesn't mean superzooms are bad - they are very good but they're not easier to use.

Now, here's the second point: what is it about the film SLR you like? A more interesting question is: do you really see yourself investing in a quality superzoom then abandoning it to go back to a film camera?

Based on this answer, I would propose one of two things:

If you really intend to go back to film then I would advise spending as little as possible on the next digital camera since that investment is essentially throw-away. You're better off long-term saving money you can invest in lenses for your film SLR. All you need is a camera with Aperture priority, shutter priority and manual exposure. You dont need top of the line superzooms.

If you like the idea of an SLR but like digital then it might be better investment to simply buy an entry level DSLR. As already stated they are just as easy to learn on as a digicam (they all have full auto modes as well as other pre-set modes and they all have AV, TV and M modes).

But I would agree - learning photography is more difficult and much more expensive with a film camera than with digital.
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Old Mar 19, 2008, 12:51 AM   #5
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Hi, everyone!... Thanks so much for your comments.

Just to reply to some of your questions/comments...
  • Actually, I am not specifically looking out for an ultra-zoom... wasjust thinking about the added fun factor. [/*]
  • Yes, I have a few lenses to go with the SLR, so I would like to get back to the film SLR once I am familiar with manipulating settings to get the effect I want. However, I would still like a digital camera with a fair amount of flexibilityand a good zoom range.[/*]
Thanks, again for your comments. More ideas/suggestions would be welcome.

Looney Lensman





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Old Mar 19, 2008, 9:32 AM   #6
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My response was intended as an advisory notice. Perhaps I didn't go into enough detail.

There are very few people still using film. After using your Canon A460 for a while, and then a more sophisticated camera, you may choose to stick with digital cameras as many often do. Since you were given a film SLR, the most valuable part of it probably is the lenses, not the body, because those lenses might work on a modern digital SLR. If we know what film SLR you have, we might be able to point you to an entry level dSLR that would meet all your goals and take advantage of the possibly valuable lenses you received with your possibly worthless film SLR. And even if you don't get a dSLR now, since different manufacturers refer to some of the same things with different terminology, we might point you to a P&S digicam from the same manufacturer as the dSLR you might eventually get. That way you won't have to learn a different set of terms whenyou change from one manufacturer to another.

Also, the best camera for you depends to a great extend on what kinds of photography you want to try (i.e.: landscape/cityscape, sports, wildlife, portraiture, macrophotography, astrophotography, etc.)
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Old Mar 21, 2008, 4:39 AM   #7
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I guess it all depends on whether you want to take a short term or long term view. If you want good pics without having to learn much then go for a superzoom.

But they are not the best tools to use to learn about photography. The best way of learning is to use an SLR, and ideally a digital SLR because you can get through those first 10,000 pictures very cheaply compared to film.

To understand the technical basics of photography you need to learn about the interaction between:
1. Shutter speed.
2. Aperture.
3. Film/Sensor sensitivity.
4. Lens focal length.

On a P&S camera you have very little opportunity to change 1,2 & 3 to any meaningful extent. I also happen to think that zooms are very nasty when you are learning about composition. In short a superzoom camera has nothing to recommend it as a tool for learning photography.


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Old Mar 21, 2008, 6:46 AM   #8
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In addition to what peripatetic said, there are other reasons why "learning the ropes" on a p&s then moving to SLR/DSLR is not a great idea. A p&s behaves much differently and handles differently than a DSLR/SLR. Typical p&S cameras have a limited aperature range (f2.8 to f8 at best) where slr can go from (f1.4 to f32 depending on the lens). DOF is much greater at all aperatures for p&s camera, so creative use of focus very often will not be available for a P&S. You have less control with most p&S camera, they are typically much slower, and are more limited in function. Even after learning on a P&S, a DSLR/SLR has many more options and features that you'll have to learn, so in essence your learning curve starts all over. If a DSLR/SLR is where you want to be, that's where I would start.
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Old Mar 21, 2008, 12:23 PM   #9
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I you have the money, then a DSLR is a good choice. There are very good entry level DSLR's for between $400 and $600 in the US.

You can learn the relationship between aperture, shutter speecl, focal length,ISO, noise, depth of field, etc. with DSLR, or a superzoom "bridge camera" or even something something as simple as one of Canon's A570's or A710's or A720's. The latter all have manual settings. It's true that the range of options isn't as wide as with a DSLR. It's also true that shutter lag is noticeably slower. But you can learn and transfer that knowledge to DSLR 's.

If I were going to get a superzoom, I would get a Panasonic FZ-18. The Canon S5 IS has less zoom, but has a hot shoe for an external flash. Neither of those cameras is as good in low light as a DSLR.




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