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Old Oct 12, 2009, 12:19 PM   #471
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This is what is so confusing to me--you get ONE example in a particular condition, of whatever feature. On dpreview, I find I like the Nikon for some of their pictures and the Canon for others--but they are all so specific (close ups of a wine bottle label, or a coin, for example), as to make it useless for determining which real photographs I will prefer!
In the case above, I like the overall feel of the image WITHOUT gradation. I see that the gradation brought out detail in the shadows, but I don't think it improved the actual photo. Personal opinion, on this one example, obviously...
This is just my opinion. But I think you point out exactly why so much of in-camera affect processing is bad. It's fine in the point-and-shoot world. But presumably, when you move into a DSLR you're doing so because you want to explore PHOTOGRAPHY. The reality is - processing is a subjective thing. This is precisely why special affects and extra processing were left out of DSLRs. Your brain is more powerful than a camera can ever be. Processing gimmicks are a poor substitute or a sensor with actual increased dynamic range. And the processing can be better applied in the digital darkroom than it can in-camera. Now, the point-and-shoot crowd doesn't want to post process. And I don't mean that in a deragatory sense at all. So this type of processing makes a lot of sense in digicams. But any time you want to move past point-and-shoot and into photography you need to engage your brain. That way you can make the photo that YOU want, not be stuck with the photo an algorithm puts together for you. And as software gets more advanced, they have built-in features you can apply but the benefit is you can see the results on your monitor and lessen or change them or discard them altogether if you don't like them. For example, I have a DSLR with built-in noise reduction. Do I use it? No. Software on a computer that cost me $60 does an infinitely better job. And I can adjust the affect on a photo-by-photo basis. So, my point being - I wouldn't make DSLR purchases based on processing gimmicks. But that's just me.
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Old Oct 12, 2009, 1:00 PM   #472
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This is just my opinion. But I think you point out exactly why so much of in-camera affect processing is bad. It's fine in the point-and-shoot world. But presumably, when you move into a DSLR you're doing so because you want to explore PHOTOGRAPHY. The reality is - processing is a subjective thing. This is precisely why special affects and extra processing were left out of DSLRs. Your brain is more powerful than a camera can ever be. Processing gimmicks are a poor substitute or a sensor with actual increased dynamic range. And the processing can be better applied in the digital darkroom than it can in-camera. Now, the point-and-shoot crowd doesn't want to post process. And I don't mean that in a deragatory sense at all. So this type of processing makes a lot of sense in digicams. But any time you want to move past point-and-shoot and into photography you need to engage your brain. That way you can make the photo that YOU want, not be stuck with the photo an algorithm puts together for you. And as software gets more advanced, they have built-in features you can apply but the benefit is you can see the results on your monitor and lessen or change them or discard them altogether if you don't like them. For example, I have a DSLR with built-in noise reduction. Do I use it? No. Software on a computer that cost me $60 does an infinitely better job. And I can adjust the affect on a photo-by-photo basis. So, my point being - I wouldn't make DSLR purchases based on processing gimmicks. But that's just me.

good point, John G...I think I may need to buy the $60 program, then. Because what many reviewers prefer, or say are equivalent, I don't always agree with...
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Old Oct 12, 2009, 2:24 PM   #473
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Well, for openers, I think that we can all agree that the perfect camera has not yet arrived. A DSLR camera makes some well know and somewhat understood assumptions.

(1) The user is going to some pp (PP stands for Post Processing) of the recorded images.

(2) The user is going to make a real effort to learn more about photography. In the process his photos will become better.

So when you combine those two factors listed above with the original premise that the perfect camera encompassing all of your personally desired features, most probably does not yet exist, you must ready yourself to accept some inevitable compromises in the camera selection process.

For persons just coming into the DSLR area, usually because budget is a constraining factor, they tend to look at the lower priced and entry level DSLR cameras. So budget is one of the first things you have to think about.

JohnG has been a proponent spending more money to get a huge increase in camera features that you need. I also agree with that premise.

The consumer level DSLR market is one of the hottest portions of the DSLR market. Nikon and Canon have recently reduced the price on their entry level DSLR cameras, in anticipation of a less than booming Christmas market this year.

Pentax will be introducing the new KX model with a new imager and lots of features. Pentax wants to hold on to their $649 intro price, but if the Christmas market is as thin as expected, they will have to accept further discounting. So thing will change in the next three months and January may bring some real bargains.

Another issue we have to deal with in this discussion is the fact that there are folks out there who really want fully a fully automatic DSLR cameras that require no PP. Those folks might be better served by staying with high performance compact cameras such as the Sony WX-1 or the Canon S-90.

So this may be an excellent time to refocus this discussion to re-look at entry level DSLR cameras, and those DSLR cameras that for an investment of $100 to $200 offer more and are therefore worth considering.

So whether you are really interested in a Canon XS, XTi, or the new T-1 we will cover them. If you are interested in a Pentax KX, we will also be discussing that camera. For the Nikon folks, perhaps somebody will make the case why upgrading to the D-90 model rather than going with the D-5000 makes good sense.

We have already traversed the Sony A-200/A-230 discussions, perhaps somebody wants to make the case that the A-500 or the A-550 are worthy upgrades. If you can make some real compromises the A-200/A-230 does offer a lot of bang for the buck while offering high ISO capabilities that may or may not please everyone.

So thanks to JohnG and Javacleve for dropping by this thread. I hope you will be joining in on this thread. I, for one, believe that there is still a lot to be discussed on DSLR cameras.

Have a great day.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Oct 12, 2009, 2:27 PM   #474
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A couple of other items to clean-up. DRO stands for Dynamic Range Optimization. Also there does seem to be some light on the horizon regarding high performance compact cameras.

I saw so very impressive photos recently from the Canon S-90 and less so from the Sony WX-1 cameras.

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Old Oct 12, 2009, 2:34 PM   #475
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JohnG has been a proponent spending more money to get a huge increase in camera features that you need. I also agree with that premise.
Sarah, in the context of this thread, spending more money on a higher end camera isn't my point. My point is - camera manufacturers thow things into cameras that are, IMO, purely gimmicks. What I am saying in this thread is - use the right tool for the job. In many cases, that's your (the photographer) own brain and often inexpensive software.

For those expecting a fully automatic DSLR that does everything I would suggest as you have, Sarah, such a camera simply does not exist. And given that much of photography is ART, that means there are different ways to take a given shot. The artist, not the tool should make those decisions. That's the difference between point-and-shoot and photography. THe paintbrush doesn't paint by itself. The key is to find the right tool for the job. And I think because of creative trade-offs and different views on what part of image is worth protecting - in-camera processing fully determined by the camera is going to yield poor results. The camera can't read your mind.

BY the way - has this thread now converted from "What point and shoot should I buy" to "What entry level DSLR should I buy"? I think I'm getting confused
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Old Oct 12, 2009, 2:59 PM   #476
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Thanks for your post, JohnG-

Yes, I willingly admit that this thread is in the midst of an identity crisis. We have more interest and participation at the DSLR end of the camera spectrum. So, perhaps it is time to begin anew.

Thank you also for clarifying the issue you were/are making. I agree with you that at the entry level of the DSLR camera market it has become something of a features race. Olympus, Sony and Pentax are sort of in that kind of race right now. canon might be there too, but I am not really sure yet.

Some of those many features are surely far less than valuable. That is exactly what I would like to focus on in this continuing, or a new thread.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Oct 12, 2009, 11:00 PM   #477
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littlejohn, you didn't like the a230 ?

It is a GOOD camera...I wanted to try something a little higher up the scale, the a230 was the first DSLR I tried...it taught me a lot

I liked the sony lens 55-200 and I've posted a few shots here. Using Tullios suggestions even improved my shots.

As Sarah said it is good value for the $$$ and I may just end up with it yet, we'll see....
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Old Oct 12, 2009, 11:05 PM   #478
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http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/olympuse620/page17.asp

At the bottom of the page is an example of on or off...it show quite a difference in this case I thought? And it also says, its a matter of taste..LOL
I stated that sometimes having DRO or Gradation turned ON will produce a better image but if you really analyze the image, these systems do not reduce highlight clipping but they bring out the shadows (sometimes at the expense of clipping highlights).
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Old Oct 12, 2009, 11:10 PM   #479
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Have you considered the Panasonic G1 as an alternative? It's very small compared to most DSLRs, the kit lens is also very small due to the m4/3 type sensor.
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Old Oct 15, 2009, 9:32 AM   #480
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So, are there any P&S cameras that don't have a problem with shutter lag, or is a dSLR the only way to get around that? (I hope this question fits with the discussion of this thread!)
In all of our discussions about the SLRs, I realize I keep coming back to needing something that is quick & easy in addition to a "great" camera. If it is too big, I will have to keep it in a closet, and it's not readily accessible then (I am short, so that's a factor! LOL). I currently keep my P&S in my computer cabinet by my purse, and it gets used (and not left behind because it is in my face)....so I need something that will fit there
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