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Old Aug 6, 2009, 7:26 AM   #41
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I will go check out your cam. From what I've read, it sounds interesting.
Btw, how does your FZ28 compare to the FZ38?
Thanks!
Panasonic stopped making the FZ28, replacing it with the FZ35 (known as the FZ38 in Europe). The FZ35 has a better video mode and image stabilization system.
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Old Aug 6, 2009, 10:50 AM   #42
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I' pretty sure you're a Leicaholic I can tell. - Well, I'll use any camera that takes a good picture that I can afford. I understand the size and weight issue. There are a lot of cameras out there that are large, massive and heavy. On the other hand there are a lot of very small and light cameras that feel "plastic" to me, that even though they are a reasonable size and weight, I would pass on (for me).

So if I can invest in a Pentax, or Panasonic dSLR camera (because Leica doesn't have one), what are my options here on earth? - Having to look into Pentax. I have not brought them up for a couple of reasons. Overall - right now they are doing some type of reorganizing where by it appears you will only be able to mail order the cameras over the web. If that is the case, how do you go out and pick one up and compare it to what ever else. Right now, you are trying to figure out the egronomics - size, weight, layout of the controls, menus, etc., what you like, what you do not, what works for you. Panasonics, are available - you have to go out and look for them or call around to see who carries them, but they are touchable. PS - Leica has a dSLR, http://www.engadget.com/2009/07/29/l...opening-26-16/ and No, I do not think I would get the camera, even if I could afford it (let alone the lens).

That was a good article. But do you think the writer would still have the same opine if he wrote the same subject today? That was like 7 years ago. Technology has been evolving. Maybe Zeiss and Pentax do (or did) have the upper hand in creating quality lenses but there must be some company now which has equalled or surpassed the quality of the lenses made by "the gods" before. - I linked to the article for a number of reasons. First, yes the lenses (and more about that later), but even more important for a second reason. The article gives a very brief overview of why you see Canon and Nikon are everywhere as opposed to Brand A or Z. Lenses - The article was written in 2002 and yes, some of the names would change and jockey around a bit, however in the end, I believe that the same conclusion would still apply. The Pentax and Ziess lenses are still available and sought after for the same reasons. There are folks that mount Pentax Limited lenses on their Canon bodies (with an adapter) to use as manual lenses, just for the glass quality. Optics is 98% pure science - with all the equations known and used by everyone. However there is the last 2% of black magic that is pure art. Some (very few) folks have a knack of putting a specific lens with what ever attributes and ground in a certain way that just makes everything work just so much better - and that can not be quantified. The article essentially concrentrated on prime lenses (a single focal length), as opposed to zoom lenses. I think that you may be more interested in the zooms as overall they are a bit more useful, especially for folks starting out.

Right now, I am so confused I dont even know what I want. This is really bad. Because of the info you've shared, I now have to look at the Pentax camera and maybe Panasonic too.. sigh - Right now, I would suggest going out to see if you can find a Panasonic G1 to play with for a bit and compare it to the Canon model that you are currently interested in. You really can not make a poor decision. They are both good cameras and will work very well. I would also look at the models that you are interested in a reverse manner. Do a search for camera make and problems. See what problems folks are having - keeping in mind that possibly a lot of the problems would be user induced. Look for both positive and negative reviews, along with the ratio - positive to negative posts. I like to use Amazon for that, in that only the folks really for or against will take the time to post. Obviously, you need to put your filter on. Its some what like shopping for a dishwasher.

Now with all of that being said, whatever camera you finally decide upon, and obtain, you will get it home and start taking - maybe the worse pictures you have ever taken in your life. Much poorer than from your P&S. Its the learning curve of a dSLR, so you just have to learn how to take good pictures, and setting up and using the camera - it takes a bit of time. dSLRs take much more manual intervention than a fully automatic point and shoot (hence the title). Now others, tend to be naturals and for some reason, are unable to take a bad image - go figure. But, be forewarned - hopefully you will fall into the latter group.

If your confused, do not worry about it, just sit back and do nothing for the time being..... Maybe take a community college course in photography and get some background.

Last edited by interested_observer; Aug 6, 2009 at 10:55 AM.
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Old Aug 6, 2009, 11:59 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by interested_observer View Post
I' pretty sure you're a Leicaholic I can tell. - Well, I'll use any camera that takes a good picture that I can afford. I understand the size and weight issue. There are a lot of cameras out there that are large, massive and heavy. On the other hand there are a lot of very small and light cameras that feel "plastic" to me, that even though they are a reasonable size and weight, I would pass on (for me).

So if I can invest in a Pentax, or Panasonic dSLR camera (because Leica doesn't have one), what are my options here on earth? - Having to look into Pentax. I have not brought them up for a couple of reasons. Overall - right now they are doing some type of reorganizing where by it appears you will only be able to mail order the cameras over the web. If that is the case, how do you go out and pick one up and compare it to what ever else. Right now, you are trying to figure out the egronomics - size, weight, layout of the controls, menus, etc., what you like, what you do not, what works for you. Panasonics, are available - you have to go out and look for them or call around to see who carries them, but they are touchable. PS - Leica has a dSLR, http://www.engadget.com/2009/07/29/l...opening-26-16/ and No, I do not think I would get the camera, even if I could afford it (let alone the lens).

My jaw dropped on this one. $27,000.00 ????


That was a good article. But do you think the writer would still have the same opine if he wrote the same subject today? That was like 7 years ago. Technology has been evolving. Maybe Zeiss and Pentax do (or did) have the upper hand in creating quality lenses but there must be some company now which has equalled or surpassed the quality of the lenses made by "the gods" before. - I linked to the article for a number of reasons. First, yes the lenses (and more about that later), but even more important for a second reason. The article gives a very brief overview of why you see Canon and Nikon are everywhere as opposed to Brand A or Z. Lenses - The article was written in 2002 and yes, some of the names would change and jockey around a bit, however in the end, I believe that the same conclusion would still apply. The Pentax and Ziess lenses are still available and sought after for the same reasons. There are folks that mount Pentax Limited lenses on their Canon bodies (with an adapter) to use as manual lenses, just for the glass quality. Optics is 98% pure science - with all the equations known and used by everyone. However there is the last 2% of black magic that is pure art. Some (very few) folks have a knack of putting a specific lens with what ever attributes and ground in a certain way that just makes everything work just so much better - and that can not be quantified. The article essentially concrentrated on prime lenses (a single focal length), as opposed to zoom lenses. I think that you may be more interested in the zooms as overall they are a bit more useful, especially for folks starting out.

Right now, I am so confused I dont even know what I want. This is really bad. Because of the info you've shared, I now have to look at the Pentax camera and maybe Panasonic too.. sigh - Right now, I would suggest going out to see if you can find a Panasonic G1 to play with for a bit and compare it to the Canon model that you are currently interested in.

Is it me or does anyone feel like this. Once you've held a Nikon D90, all the rest feel like toys especially the Panasonic G1.

You really can not make a poor decision. They are both good cameras and will work very well. I would also look at the models that you are interested in a reverse manner. Do a search for camera make and problems. See what problems folks are having - keeping in mind that possibly a lot of the problems would be user induced. Look for both positive and negative reviews, along with the ratio - positive to negative posts. I like to use Amazon for that, in that only the folks really for or against will take the time to post. Obviously, you need to put your filter on. Its some what like shopping for a dishwasher.

Now with all of that being said, whatever camera you finally decide upon, and obtain, you will get it home and start taking - maybe the worse pictures you have ever taken in your life. Much poorer than from your P&S. Its the learning curve of a dSLR, so you just have to learn how to take good pictures, and setting up and using the camera - it takes a bit of time. dSLRs take much more manual intervention than a fully automatic point and shoot (hence the title). Now others, tend to be naturals and for some reason, are unable to take a bad image - go figure. But, be forewarned - hopefully you will fall into the latter group.

If your confused, do not worry about it, just sit back and do nothing for the time being..... Maybe take a community college course in photography and get some background.
I cant sit back now. After all the cameras I've tested and knowing so many people in the camera stores, I cant stop now. I shall succeed.

Thanks I.O!

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Old Aug 7, 2009, 10:33 AM   #44
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It looks like your confusion is clearing a bit. So there are several questions, that you have asked at the start of the thread. First, you were looking for an entry level dSLR, is that still the case? A Nikon D90 is not exactly an entry level model. Next, is the size and weight issue. You can see, that in order to make a camera small and light, the materials used tend to slide to the light side. So you appear to be moving to the center, where you do not want something ultra light and small, but not massive and a brick. It appears that you are preferring something that has some substance to it.

So, have you started making a list yet of the brands, what you like and dislike about each one. Would you and could you carry the D90 around all day on a trip? The camera that gets used, is able to take great pictures, otherwise it just sits on the shelf gathering dust.

There is another camera make that is smaller, has a wonderful reputation, and a bit lighter. That is Olympus.

http://www.olympusamerica.com/cpg_se...igital_slr.asp

The Zuko lenses are excellent lenses. The Olympus is based on the 4:3 sensor also, not quite as small as the G1, has the traditional mirror box, etc. The one thing about the 4:3 sensor is its crop factor (which has not been brought up here yet). For the most part all the cameras you have looked at are APS sized sensor with crop factor of 1.5. The 4:3 sensor has a crop factor of 2.0 which favors the telephoto end of the lenses as opposed to the wide angle aspects. The crop factor is how the digital sensor's size compares to the traditional 35mm format, which translates into the Field of View of the lens. A 18mm lens on an APS sized sensor would have a field of view of a 18 * 1.5 = 27mm lens in 35mm, where by a 4:3 sensor would have 18 * 2 = 36 mm lens in 35mm. Thus, a 4:3 sensor makes lens engineering a bit more difficult on the wide angle end of things, and easier on the telephoto end. The Olympus brand does have a wonderful assortment of lenses.

http://www.olympusamerica.com/cpg_se...p?section=lens

Also, while you are there on their website, they have online photography lessons. Yes, it features their cameras, however they certainly apply to digital cameras in general.

http://www.olympusdigitalschool.com/...ons/index.html

As was said previously, you really can not make a poor selection, since all the digital cameras - especially the dSLRs do a wonderful job. Since the dSLR's require additional manual intervention, it's the user that messes things up, or creates an outstanding image.

Other than size, weight, and the feeling of substance in a camera, is there a set of menus or set of manual controls that appeal to you better in one camera make as opposed to another?

One additional item that I would like to toss out. It is somewhat of a long read, but I am NOT putting this here to push up Pentax or to push down Nikon. On the contrary, this time last year - a very experienced photographer, who does stunning wide angle, was thinking about moving from Pentax to Nikon on the D90. It is an interesting read from the perspective of selecting a camera brand based on various capabilities and functions - very similar to what you are going through. It is also a view of what one goes through if you decide to change from whatever to something else, given a healthy investment in lenses, etc. Also, in terms of sorting through all the material you have been acquiring, it shows how someone (yes with a lot more understanding and experience) sorts through all of this in terms of coming to a decision.

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/pe...nikon-d90.html

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Barnett View Post
BTW I would like to personally thank everyone for sharing their thoughts and opinions on this without it turning in to a flame war. For some reason camera brands seem to be such a personal thing that people tend to get real up tight when you talk about moving from one brand to another. It is almost like they feel that now they will too.

Whatever camera and camera brand you end up with I have a few pearls of wisdom for everyone...

1. The camera is important, but not more important than the person using it. If you don't think this is true just look at what can be done with a pinhole camera.

2. All cameras take pictures. All cameras today take very good pictures. We have not had a camera in the last 5 or 6 years that have taken really poor pictures. In the early days of digital yes. Today no.

3. Go with what works for you. You have to use it, you have to pay for it.

4. Whatever camera you get. Learn it and love it. Photography is fun, if your not having fun it isn't the camera, the lens, the camera brand or anything else but you. Maybe photography isn't for you. Take pictures and have fun.

5. Even if you never use any mode other than full automatic there are so many things you can learn about pre-seeing shots, creative angles, interesting subjects, etc. that you can still create incredible shots, learn and grow in skill and again have a really good time.

6. Most important of all. Have fun. Don't stress. Enjoy life, its too short to do otherwise.

Again, everyone thanks for the great conversation and view points.

Robert

Last edited by interested_observer; Aug 7, 2009 at 11:07 AM.
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Old Aug 7, 2009, 8:36 PM   #45
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Hey I.O!

Thanks for putting in your 2 cents. It's worth a million.

Yes, I was able to narrow it down to two but they're in different categories:

Nikon D90 with an 18-105mm lens

or a

Leica D-Lux 4.

Maybe people who have been following this thread and has been reading this might be wondering why a change of heart from dSLR to compact.

The D90, despite its weight, really impressed me with its results.

Per Robert Barnett, it's the photographer but the camera helps. I have been shooting with a Canon SD700 IS. It's not that big deal of a camera but my greatest shots have been featured in our company mag and my enlarged portraits are hanging at my friends' houses using that small cam. People say I'm able to capture beauty, expression and detail in my own style.

Having a D90 will certainly give me a lot of freedom in taking photos. I'm just not sure how far I will go lugging around that cam. I find it really heavy and that's just the body and lens.

Now the rest of the other cams are like toys to me (that's me..ok? Reader, please lower your eyebrows Thank you.

The only compact that measured with the D90 is the Leica D-Lux 4.
I think its self-explanatory.

I wont even compare it to the Panasonic LX3. What an uncontrollable zoom!

What's your take on this?
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Old Aug 8, 2009, 10:54 AM   #46
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Well your selections are not really a surprise. In fact in my backpack, I have a similar arrangement. I have used a Pentax K100 (entry level) for about 4 years. About 4 months ago, I picked up a K20 (their top of the line body - at the time). Also, at the beginning of the year I bought an LX3, in that on any number of business trips, lugging the other camera/lens along is not possible.

So sensor size - the DLux4 is a 1/1.6 sensor, while the D90 is an APS-C sensor. Take a look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image_sensor_format and you can see the physical difference in size, however they each have relatively the same number of pixels - 10MP and 12MP. That directly translates into the size and how closely packed together the pixels are in each sensor. Closely packed sensors leak noise from one to their surrounding neighboring pixels (especially when close together - think condo living vs. living on a couple of acres in the country), while larger pixels are able to collect more light, while receiving far less noise from neighboring pixels. All of that translates into image quality, especially at higher ISO speeds (use to be called film speed - higher speeds allow for taking images in lower light conditions). There are situations that one will excel at while the other will have limitations (especially taking pictures at night without a flash). Really in the end, what matters is that they each are able to take excellent pictures.

So the next question is, is it the D90 or it is Nikon in general? What I mean by that is, Nikon has a D60 model that is lighter by 25% or 6oz, or the D5000 which is 20% lighter. Have you looked at other Nikon models, and how do they compare? - You did initially did say you were looking for an entry model. Another site has a pretty nice comparison table (engineers like tables - especially for trade studies)....

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/comp...mclx3&show=all

Another consideration is newer models. The D90 came out a year ago, while the D5000 just in April. I would maybe think that Nikon would replace the D90 with in 6 to 9 months. The newer model may be a bit lighter - who knows.

The DLux4 is similar to your Canon Elph, however it is not as small (a third larger and heavier) but still compact. The lens protrudes and does not pull back into the body, and with the built in flash, there is the potential of a nose shadow (the flash projects the lens shadow into the picture). If you do a lot of flash photography, you will probably want the external flash unit (fits on to the hot shoe on the top of the camera) also. The DLux4 has better resolution than your Elph, a larger sensor, but with an increase in resolution, the same pixel density. So here are some examples...
http://forums.steves-digicams.com/pa...t-imagery.html
http://forums.steves-digicams.com/pa...a-sunsets.html
http://forums.steves-digicams.com/pa...ego-night.html
The DLux4 has a full set of manual controls, however with the smaller physical size, their ergonomic functionality is a lot different from the D90.

So, if the D90 is too heavy, and its not going to get any lighter - will you consider another Nikon model? or go with the Leica? Be forewarned, that if you go with the Leica, in time you will probably gravitate back to wanting a dSLR. Over time, having both is not a bad situation as I found out - however you situation is probably much different.

Originally you expressed a desire for wide angle. The Leica does cover that to a large extent, however it is a single fixed lens. A dSLR essentially comes with the baggage of extra lenses - acquired over time.

Have you looked at and ruled out the Olympus line?
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Old Aug 8, 2009, 12:13 PM   #47
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Well your selections are not really a surprise. In fact in my backpack, I have a similar arrangement. I have used a Pentax K100 (entry level) for about 4 years. About 4 months ago, I picked up a K20 (their top of the line body - at the time). Also, at the beginning of the year I bought an LX3, in that on any number of business trips, lugging the other camera/lens along is not possible.

So sensor size - the DLux4 is a 1/1.6 sensor, while the D90 is an APS-C sensor. Take a look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image_sensor_format and you can see the physical difference in size, however they each have relatively the same number of pixels - 10MP and 12MP. That directly translates into the size and how closely packed together the pixels are in each sensor. Closely packed sensors leak noise from one to their surrounding neighboring pixels (especially when close together - think condo living vs. living on a couple of acres in the country), while larger pixels are able to collect more light, while receiving far less noise from neighboring pixels. All of that translates into image quality, especially at higher ISO speeds (use to be called film speed - higher speeds allow for taking images in lower light conditions). There are situations that one will excel at while the other will have limitations (especially taking pictures at night without a flash). Really in the end, what matters is that they each are able to take excellent pictures.

True

So the next question is, is it the D90 or it is Nikon in general? What I mean by that is, Nikon has a D60 model that is lighter by 25% or 6oz, or the D5000 which is 20% lighter. Have you looked at other Nikon models, and how do they compare? - You did initially did say you were looking for an entry model. Another site has a pretty nice comparison table (engineers like tables - especially for trade studies)....

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/comp...mclx3&show=all

Another consideration is newer models. The D90 came out a year ago, while the D5000 just in April. I would maybe think that Nikon would replace the D90 with in 6 to 9 months. The newer model may be a bit lighter - who knows.

I was also thinking of waiting for the D3000. Just to get the feel of it.

The DLux4 is similar to your Canon Elph, however it is not as small (a third larger and heavier) but still compact. The lens protrudes and does not pull back into the body, and with the built in flash, there is the potential of a nose shadow (the flash projects the lens shadow into the picture). If you do a lot of flash photography, you will probably want the external flash unit (fits on to the hot shoe on the top of the camera) also. The DLux4 has better resolution than your Elph, a larger sensor, but with an increase in resolution, the same pixel density. So here are some examples...
http://forums.steves-digicams.com/pa...t-imagery.html
http://forums.steves-digicams.com/pa...a-sunsets.html
http://forums.steves-digicams.com/pa...ego-night.html
The DLux4 has a full set of manual controls, however with the smaller physical size, their ergonomic functionality is a lot different from the D90.

So, if the D90 is too heavy, and its not going to get any lighter - will you consider another Nikon model? or go with the Leica? Be forewarned, that if you go with the Leica, in time you will probably gravitate back to wanting a dSLR. Over time, having both is not a bad situation as I found out - however you situation is probably much different.

I know I will be itching to have a dSLR soon that's why I'm scouting all the possibilities and also check if upgrading my Elph would be an option. See where I can be from there.

It's just that when you look at a particular camera, you wonder what will they offer next because there's always something new. I'm not sure if I can keep up with that.

I know photography can be really addictive.



Originally you expressed a desire for wide angle. The Leica does cover that to a large extent, however it is a single fixed lens. A dSLR essentially comes with the baggage of extra lenses - acquired over time.

Those extra lenses...hmmmm....

Have you looked at and ruled out the Olympus line?
I haven't really checked an olympus but I will on my next trip to the store. Thanks!
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Old Aug 8, 2009, 6:44 PM   #48
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So how much weight and bulk are you willing to actually carry? - this is the basic question from which everything else will be dependent upon. Do you want to put the camera in your pocket, in your purse, in a small backpack, in a large backpack, in a briefcase, or just carry it around? How much additional support gear, if any - do you want to carry? How often do you really expect to use any of the other gear (lenses, etc.)? Get a ziploc baggie, load it up with the amount of dirt you are willing to haul around, and then weigh it.

Do you actually want to carry any additional lenses around? - if not then you are looking at a superzoom/compact (i.e., something like the DLux4 as you touched on earlier) or a small dSLR with a walk around lens, something like a 18 - 200 or 250 (or choose your high end for the lens, with 18 or so as the low, to service your wide angle desires). It will be better than a lot of other cameras, however it will not be using the full potential of the dSLR - not that you really have to. If you are just going with a single walk around lens, then why the D90 and not something else XSI or XT1 that you were looking at before.

Again, what do you really want to take pictures of? A bit of everything? You initially indicated essentially general photography with a bias towards wide angle.
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Old Aug 9, 2009, 7:15 AM   #49
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Default Final decision made...

To I.O and the rest...

After endless trips to the store I have decided to get the following:

Canon XSi 18-55mm IS and 55-250mm IS kit for $864.00
and the Leica D-lux 4 for $699.00
Tripod, Bag, extra batteries, filters and a flash

Both will give me the photo shoots I want based on my mood.
If I dont feel like carrying so much stuff, I will go with the Leica.
For creative photography, I'll go with my XSi.

I chose XSi because it is lighter in weight and in the pocket. I previously mentioned owning a D90 but the weight was really a concern and of course the price is way too expensive than the Canon with two lenses. Having owned a Canon which gave me good results was factored as well.

I didn't go with the T1i because if I need good HD video, I can rely on my Leica.

If I get a chance, I will sell my ELPH.

Thanks everyone...
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Old Aug 9, 2009, 1:48 PM   #50
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Congratulations on your acquisitions! Have fun taking wonderful pictures. Shoot in RAW in order to reduce/control noise a bit better, through post processing software. Wide angle lenses cost as much as your camera and lenses combined, and have weight to them, so learn how to stitch pictures together, for the same effect and perspective.

... and most of all - enjoy!
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