Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digicam Help > What Camera Should I Buy?

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Jul 22, 2004, 11:58 AM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 4
Default

I need a lot of direction on the purchase of a new camera. Have a simple digital camera now, but need much more advanced unit

I am a custom home builder and pool and landscape contractor looking to purchase a camera to capture our work and then use it for promotional purposes (website, brocures etc.) As well as keep out of state/town clients up to speed on progress of projects.

My dilema is this. I am not afraid to spend some money on a great camera, but really want one that can acomplish all I need and not be so professional and complicated that we need to take a graduate photo course to use. I know that lense capability is very important. Zoom is not of great importance, but I will need to the abilty to get wide angle capability for interior shots, and also need to be able to take shots inside and outside of both still and moving (water features etc) shots. I do not want to have to make 10 changes to the camera in order to go from taking a picture of a bathroom and then walking outback to take a picture of the pool and landscape.

Is my best bet to go with a Canon digital rebel SLR interchagable lense camera and all of the hassle and price, or can I get away with something like the sony cybershot. and get most of what i need? And if I need the SLR, will I be into it 2-3K by the time i get all the lenses and accessories I need. I do not have any existing camera equipment or lenses. As well all of the technical mumbo jumbo is overwhelming. I want to be able to get great looking photos that look as professional as possible without hiring a professional photgrapher . If it was a one time gig I would, but we complete a number of projects each week and month, and like to have records and updates and want to able to keep our web sites up to date continously.

Someone who is in the know, Please advise.

Thanks in advance for your input.
mighty mouse is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Jul 22, 2004, 12:40 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 3,585
Default

I own the Canon Digital Rebel and love the camera. You need to know that the DR has a focal factor of 1.6. You need multiply the mm rating of the lens by 1.6. The kit lens is 18mm to 55mm (converted would be 28mm to 90mm) The kit lens would be a good lens to handle most of the photos that you described. The DR also provides the flexibility of interchangeable lens and manual controls. You can start with auto mode and let the camera make all the choices. It is not difficult to learn the manual features of the camera.

A fixed lens camera that I would recommend is the Olympus C8080w or the C5060w. They provide a wide end of 28mm. You also have maunal functions that you could master. You can read Steve's review of both cameras.
gibsonpd3620 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 22, 2004, 1:20 PM   #3
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

mighty mouse wrote:
Quote:
I need a lot of direction on the purchase of a new camera. Have a simple digital camera now, but need much more advanced unit
What camera model are you using now, and what specific problems are you having with it. I see you mentioned not wanting to change settings when going from indoors to outdoors, etc.; as well as your need for good wide angle capability for interiors.

Yes, a Digital Rebel can be a great choice. However, you may be able to find something in the non-DSLR category if budget is a big factor foryour purposes.

I'd give some detail on where your existing model "falls short" of your expectations. Users may be able to offer more than one alternative for you, as gibsonpd3620already has with the Olympus models he mentioned.





JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 22, 2004, 7:03 PM   #4
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 4
Default

my current camera is just a kodak dx3600. I am not so opposed to changing simple settings on the camera, I just want to keep it as simple, and cost effective as possible. I expect to have to make some setting changes to the camera for different conditions, but I am hoping I can get a camera that can do most of it with the push of a button.

I think I am afraid of the SLR set up only because it seems more complicated. I am pretty savy with computers, cameras, and electronics, I am more worried about some of the meatheads that work for me being able to work with it as well as any of us using and getting the results we want. I have found that interior shots seem to be the most challenging captureing the feel of a small space. All of the standard cameras I have used have what I call tunnel vision, and can only capture small sections of rooms. Assumably I need wide angle or fish-eye type lenses for this, can I get that with a all in one (if that is what you call it) camera, or do I need interchangable type set ups. I do not even know what SLR stands for.



thanks again for the input
mighty mouse is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 22, 2004, 7:50 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Mikefellh's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Toronto, ON, Canada
Posts: 1,707
Default

If you're not camera savvy, then you may want to stay away from SLRs; for Single Lens Reflex, means you see through the viewfinder right through to the lens using mirrors (usually) but these cameras are usually more complicated.

If you want the ability to use wide angle and even fisheye, you'll want a camera where you can add a lens to it...there are lenses for many digitals (that can take lenses) like these lenses (click on the lens for specs and samples):
http://www.raynox.co.jp/english/dcr/egindex.htm

Not all digitals can accept lenses (they have to have a filter thread, or accept a filter tube adapter).

With add-on lenses though, you can't just view through an optical viewfinder (like on your Kodak DX3600)...you need to look through the LCD monitor, or get a camera with an electronic viewfinder which is a tiny LCD monitor the size of the viewfinder, so you're looking through the main lens.
Mikefellh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 22, 2004, 8:08 PM   #6
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

I'd be inclined to go with something like the C-5060 WZ that gibsonpd3620recommended, unless you are having any specific problems with images (other than needing a wider view).

It's lens starts out at a 27mm Equivalent Focal Length. This will give you a wider view, compared to the 35mm Equivalent Wide angle setting of your Kodak DX3600. The C-5060 WZ (for Wide Zoom) probablyhas the widest view of any consumer digital camera available today.

If you need an even wider view, you can also get a wide angle lens attachment from Olympus that will reduce it's effective focal length by .7x

So, your widest view would then become approximately 19mm.

Here is it's review (you'll see the optional lens accessories on the second page):

http://www.steves-digicams.com/2003_reviews/c5060.html


JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 24, 2004, 9:27 PM   #7
Junior Member
 
ltccarndt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 15
Default

If you want your houses to sell you want the pictures to make the inside look BIG. You will need a good quality wide angle lens and a good digital SLR camera. I recommend a Nikon D70 (buy it body only for $999 or less) Get either the Nikon 12-24mm zoom for about 1,000 bucks or the Sigma copy for about $500, either will suit your use. You can crank up the ISO (light gathering ability) on the Nikon to 800 or above and get great interior shots with no flash.

SLR stands for Single lens reflex (short for you actually look thru the same lens and get to see what the picture looks like as you take it--truely a good feature for interior work)

Bottom line: your houses will sell, the camera is a write off and you are happy. Anything less isn't worth it, right?



My Background: I've been taking pictures with Nikons since 1969 when I got my first F. Attached, if it works, are some D70 shapshots of a custom house I spent my vacation in. Located inRockport TX., my brother in law just finished building it.



email me at [email protected] if you want to see more of what the camera/lens can do



Good luck!:lol:
Attached Images
 
ltccarndt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 24, 2004, 11:36 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
cowboy43's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 923
Default

The nice thing about complicated cameras is you can allways shoot them on full auto, and still have all the options, that you will learn as you go along.. Good luck Dale
cowboy43 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 25, 2004, 9:00 AM   #9
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

One other thing that you can do with a Digital Camera, is create a Panorama of interiors. Basically, you are using software to stitch more than one photo together. So, if you stitch several photos together, you end up with a much wider view of a room.

With the Olympus models, you have a Panorama Assist mode, that allows you to take photos like this, using the last photo as a guide, to help you overlap the next one. Software is included with the camera to stitch the photos together. You must use Olympus Brand Xd Picturecards for this feature.

You can also do the same thing with a Digital SLR using software designed to produce Panoramas, only you don't have a Panoramaassist mode to help you align the images for taking the photos. For one thing, you cannot use the LCD for framing with a DSLR, so this feature could not be designed for a DSLR.

So, a tripod is really needed for best results -- making mental notes of where the edge of the last photo ended, insuring you have sufficient overlap to take the next one. You may also need to get software to perform this stitching function.

Panoramas seem to becoming popular on realty web sites, with some sites even allowing you to use your mouse, to see 360 degreeviews of rooms, by scrolling left and right on a large Panorama image.

As Dale pointed out, the DSLR models will allow you to take photos indoors without a flash. This is because their much larger sensors have lower noise. As a result, higher ISO performance is much better -- allowing ISO Speeds that are not even available on a non-DSLR model.

There are pros and cons to both approaches.



JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 31, 2004, 12:33 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 162
Default

Or you could get the $750 360 degree picture mirror thing steve reviewed. That'd work, especially since "budget" doesn't seem to be much of an issue here, and it'd get you decent results.
tacticalnuke is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 3:52 PM.