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Old Aug 21, 2008, 4:12 PM   #1
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Hi-

I'm interested in which cameras have fast performance when considering wake-up, shutter, focusing speeds. I know the Olympus E-3 claims to be the fastest but which others(Nikon/Canon)notably, are also in the ball park or somewhat close in comparison?

Thanks-
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Old Aug 22, 2008, 1:44 AM   #2
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Do you mean DSLR times?

Pretty much all of them are now as close to instant as matters when it comes to shutter lag and wake up time. With the exception that some of the "self cleaning" sensor cameras insist on cleaning at startup and it takes a few seconds. Check individual models for details.

AF speed varies considerably, mostly with cost.

Tier 1:

Nikon D300, D700, D3 and Canon 1D series.

Tier 2:

Canon 40D, Canon XSi/450D, Pentax K20D, Sony A700 and Olympus E3 are all similar.

Tier 3:

All the others.

If you have specialized needs such as sports or bird photography then you need to dig in a bit more depth for the more subtle differences, but price is a prettty good indicator.

Olympus' claims about the E3 being the fastest were written by their marketing department, not by reviewers.


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Old Aug 22, 2008, 7:27 AM   #3
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I agree with Peripatetic. Especially about the self cleaning. I have the automatic self-clean turned off on my camera as I don't want to wait for that. Some allow you to turn it off, some (I believe) will interrupt it if you half-press the shutter and others force you to wait until it is complete.

But - as far as wake-up time and shutter lag you are not going to notice a huge difference. What IS going to be a factor is how long it takes your gear to achieve focus. That's going to be a factor of not only the camera, but the lens AND pure chance. The 'pure chance' part is - what distance the lens happens to be focused at when you start vs. where it needs to be to take the shot.

So that aspect asside, the ability of your camera/lens to focus quickly will be the critical path - not the start-up time. Different situations are more difficult than others. If you're taking landscape shots in bright conditions you'll get pretty much instantaneous results. Trying to take an existing light shot indoors with a 5.6 aperture lens and you may find the camera hunts for a couple seconds.

For example, If you read some reviews you'll see the E3 is very fast in good light but doesn't do as well as other cameras in low light.

In the end, there is no perfect camera though. There isn't a camera that is better in every measurable way than it's competition. Every camera has strengths and weaknesses. And, as hinted at - the camera is only PART of the solution. Use the Canon 1dsMkIII or Nikon D3 with a crappy lens and you'll get poor photos. Depending on the type of shot you might get worse photos than an entry level DSLR with good glass.
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Old Aug 22, 2008, 8:55 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies Peripatetic & JohnG-

I'm leaning toward the D300, speed seems to be fastest in comparison to E3 & 40D. I don't see (from the review), if the sensor cleaning can be turned off on the D300, anyone know?

I'm using an Oly c-730 10X. It always reverts to standby all too soon & you have to restart it for most pics-this is excruiciatingly slow, you wait/wait/wait for power-up just so you can see through the view finder. Here in is where I need to find a better camera.

Do these cameras shut down like this? with constant need to reactivate them?

I would also love a viewfinder you could see through and not need to have the camera powered up all the time, I find these questions hard to find in reviews.

Thanks for any information...

Robes
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Old Aug 22, 2008, 9:00 PM   #5
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Paired with the right lenses the D300 is arguably a professional level camera. You won't have a problem with start up or focus time. But you might have a problem affording groceries afterwards :G

Seriously, what do you intend to use the camera for? That's a big jump in camera from your current setup. The question is - do you really need the functionality of the D300? If money is no object, by all means go ahead - it's a fantastic camera. But depending on the typeos of photography you pursue, if you have a fixed budget money could better be spent on lenses and peripherals (flashes, tripods, etc.).

So what is it that you intend to shoot?
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Old Aug 22, 2008, 10:27 PM   #6
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Hi JohnG-

I'm mostly wildlife and landscapes, and wildflowers/insects using macro & super macro modes. I also have 1 or 2 yearly road racing events I'll attend, eg. Lemans, as well as ski racing in the winter months. I live in Western Montana in the Bitterroot Valley nestled in the center of the Rockies, it's to die for. I never so much as take the dogs for a run without my camera. Lots to shoot, I have a huge library of pics and still not enough great shots. I also build websites for myself and friends, yet nothing to showcase my pics, not yet.

What really got me worked-up about finding another camera was trying to take action shots, actually, just to get a shot before the dogs/pups would move. The camera just never came close to powering-up in time to catch a turtle crossing the road, ...really. I'm really frustrated with missing so many shots lately. There is also allot of the classic purple fringing and other artifacts which I'm guessing the newer models are much better at. I made my camera work for me but it always brings me back to thinking of my old Canon AE1, so simple to use and always better quality, yet I'm digital 100% and won't go back. I find my camera very difficult, frustrating and complicated to use. also need a a zoom comparable to a 300mm (35mm).

You mention lenses. I'm thinking if I go this route to get the Tokina 11-16(don't think it has stabilization?) & Nikon 18-200mm VR lenses. I think this would be comperable to what my 10x does now (except far more wide angle here with the 11-16 Tokina). If I went with the D300 would these lenses(I'm assuming) be fine for my self indulgent taste of nature and beast? I do need a lense that is comparable to a 300mm(35mm format), I believe the 18-200mm Nikon meets that? I'm saving 1/2 with the Tokina & it has good reviews.

So, as you mention who wouldn't love having all that camera. I know I'd love it, but do I need it- not sure. I am a perfectionist and run any half decent pics through Photoshop CS2(always a continual learning experience here but love PS), just to correct anything that needs it, if not artifacting. Yet if I don't need it I would be happy to look at other models than the 3 I've mentioned above. As you say the $ could build better from lesser models, if you know what to match with what. That I don't know, honestly I hate looking into cameras because of the huge learning curve to just be a tad bit knowledgable about them. Learning about whats best is very time consuming, but I'm a couple full days into it and am determined to ride it through. Could I do the above lenses with the Nikon D40X and still retain the speed?

So, what is your opinion? Do you think I can go down a tier as Peripatetic has outlined and find what I would need there?

Also, another very aggrevating experience I have is the inability to look through the viewfinder without the camera being powered-up, I hate that!! I never see that mentioned in reviews either.

As far as megapixels, I know I only need 4-5 but I don't see any of the better cameras(fast ones) that don't have far more than anyone needs, period. I'm not looking for megapixels but to increase performance in a camera I guess you have to take what they give you. I'd gladly take any of the nicer cameras with an option of 4 megapixes.

Thanks for your interest, I will enjoy hearing any opinions, suggestions you care to pass my way....

Robes-
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Old Aug 23, 2008, 2:35 AM   #7
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Sounds to me like you definitely need a DSLR, just need to choose between the Tier1&2 cameras I mentioned above.

Loving it is good enough, you don't have to need it.

Also you need to think about the whole package of camera and lenses that you want and compare features and price for the set.

While the D300 may be a slam dunk on the camera, when you add in the lenses available for your needs you may find that it ends up being twice the price of a Canon, Sony or Oympus setup which would more than meet your needs.

An 18-200 superzoom would be a very versatile solution, but with all superzooms you pay the price in image quality. If you have a budget in mind it would make lens selection easier.


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Old Aug 23, 2008, 3:42 AM   #8
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Hmmm...

Budget? Looks like I'm in the $2500 range as we speak. I feel I knocked it down with the Tokina 11-16 vs the Nikon.

I don't want to be paying way more for what I need but it's hard to get opions on set-ups that would serve my cause. For example, I would gladly spend more on lenses to be used on a lessor body if it could give me the fast speed I'm looking for.

I'm open for suggestions. give me an alternative from the market kits..

The way I see it, I have to be within the 3 afore-mentioned brands/models to be in the fast catagory to begin with, & thats supposidly a body- not lense issue. Then there is lense speed issues. For me, I have to draw a line as to how far I can intrerprt all the information, not being a pro photographer or image/digital wizard. For this reason I tend to stay with recomendations that the camera body suggests.

I guess I never heard about image clearity loss by using zoom lenses. I think I'm overloading....

I have to go to bed...

Robes
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Old Aug 24, 2008, 4:44 AM   #9
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Wait a couple of weeks for Photokina. A D90 is expected which I think will be a better bet and give you more to spend on lenses while giving you plenty of camera for your needs.

In the meantime you can start browsing for lenses, check out:

http://www.slrgear.com

and

http://www.photozone.de

They are both excellent review sites.
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Old Aug 24, 2008, 10:29 AM   #10
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Thanks for the links...
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