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Old Aug 5, 2012, 9:35 AM   #1
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Default Considering a used camera?

I have used a manual SLR for years with a Tameron 70-210mm F/3.8 lens. and had some good reults. I tend to use it on the speed options- semi auto.

I can no longer manage the weight and gear , but cannot afford a brand new digital camera -which might be comparable in results.
I thought I might find something around 10mps that would be suitable in an older model?

What I do like is the shallow depth of field that I can obtain on the manual, any chance of that in a digital ?. I take lots of pictures of plants and wild life.
plus a few of active children!

Any suggestions please? Just dont know what to look for in a digital,

Thank you
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Old Aug 5, 2012, 12:21 PM   #2
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For a shallow DoF, you need a large image sensor. Either that or something called "Background Defocus", which is a feature that is built into some cameras that don't have large image sensors (and some that do, btw.)

What's your budget?
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Old Aug 6, 2012, 5:31 AM   #3
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Alas, as little as possible. No more than 300 English pounds for a used model. Which I should have to seek out. So more than one suggestion would be helpful.
I have a point and shoot digital, which does take close ups, but the back ground is just as clear, which is OK for 'snaps' .
As I understand it, just getting a low f. number on the lens isnt enough, there are other considerations, which you have touched on.
Thank you
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Old Aug 6, 2012, 7:39 AM   #4
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As Tcav suggests- a large sensor (ideally APS-C size) will be necessary for effective DOF control.
Obvious candidates in the used markets are Sony's NEX-3 or 5 (though be aware this model doesn't have a viewfinder or built in flash) or maybe the slightly smaller sensor Olympus E-PL1 or E-PL2 (which does have a flash..!).
A fast lens (low "f" number) used wide open will assist in separating your subject from the background- but be aware,these can be expensive. However- even with a "standard" kit lens- a decent level of DOF control is available...
Here's an example of a humble kit lens's DOF (18-55 on a 10D Canon- APS-C sensor)....
You'll notice that the DOF is so shallow that even the front camera badge and the mode dial shows a difference in focus.... (taken at f/4 at 24mm).
All 3 camera's are about a foot apart...
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Old Aug 6, 2012, 7:50 AM   #5
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Note the difference when I switch the front cameras- shot now taken at f/2.8 with small 1/2.3" sensor...!!
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Old Aug 7, 2012, 6:05 AM   #6
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Thanks for those examples - exactly what I wanted to see! I now have to go away, and read up on APS-C sensors!
I have made a note of the camera/lens/sensors you have suggested, and will now be scouting my 'local' camera shops.

Thanks again for the advice, but it does show that one has to keep up with things, I was quite settled in my old routine on a manual. But despite some understnding of that, there is so much more to learn about the technicalities of digital.

regards
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Old Aug 7, 2012, 8:01 AM   #7
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it's a learning curve, but you'll love the results. my husband was attached to his canon SLRs and doing his own developing. i had to drag him, kicking and screaming, into the digital camera age. but once he got there, he never looked back! and that's great for me 'cause he gave me all his canon FD lenses for my micro four thirds cameras
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Old Aug 8, 2012, 5:49 AM   #8
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I started years ago with a twin lens reflex, and I dont think ever took better pictures- 2ins x 2ins - in those days a 120 film. Used to belong to a club and we developed our own black & white. But thats 45 yers ago. Now I need a more comfortable way, not so much weight and easy processing... but I still hanker for certain things, like fast shots and soft focus!
I shall just have to start again and learn it- like you said.
Thank you for your advice.
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Old Aug 13, 2012, 2:50 PM   #9
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SIMON41,

That's one of the nicest, fairest, comparisons between a P&S and a dslr I've ever seen.

That's about as simple, straightforward, obvious, and "honest" as it can get.

Excellent example, nice job.
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Old Aug 13, 2012, 4:19 PM   #10
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G'day Margaret

Agree with BB here > Simon's qwik demo is excellent & very much to the point

'however' - should you -not- be able to find a decent quality 2nd-hand SLR, you might like to consider one of Simon's favourites, the Canon or Panasonic superzoom with an optional close-up lens attached > gives wonderful results - we'll tell you more later if you need it

Regards, Phil
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