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Old Sep 6, 2004, 2:38 PM   #1
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My first digicam was Canon Pro-90, I've enjoyed it, and it has taught me a lot, but it hasn't exactly beenmy dream camera.It's way too slow, and has a few other issues. With cost of entry level SLR's comming down to the range where a mear mortal who's life does not revolve around photography can concevably hope to afford one someday, I've become curious about them. I have absolutely no experience with digital SLR's. I had an old Canon AE-1, and later a Nikon F-2, both of wich Igreatly enjoyedfor many years. If I could find a digital equivelent of these camera's for under $1000, I think I could be quite happy. I would prefer it to use CF cards and UBS-2. Have been looking at Nikon D-70 and Canon's Rebel. My primary use will be as a general duty family camera. I like to take a lot of outdoor shots of landscapes and wildlife, frequently in fading light at dawn or sunset, snapshots at backyard BBQ's (sometimes after dark), and occasionally an action shot at a softball and soccer game. Usually prioritized in that order. Speed and ability to focus in low light are big issues for me. Would appreciate any advice.
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Old Sep 6, 2004, 2:54 PM   #2
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At the moment digital in any digital camera is naff in low light because of the noise they exhibit in the image due to the type of ccd (any type) some of the digital cameras come with focus aids like that of the red beam that's shot out with a little bar type code the camera can focus on, type of electronic range finder done by light.

So even with the ability to focus in less light you would still be unsatisfied with the results imo.

What you could do is save your money and wait till the technology improves and buy in the mean time a camera like that of the Fuji S7000 which has full manual control, check out the review here for more details about it. (its not SLR but pretty close, on the manual and programmed modes (even has a threaded cable relese socket and hot shoe)
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Old Sep 7, 2004, 8:17 AM   #3
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I note Spe3D's comments but disagree with most of it!.

Low light focus assist (whether by way of an infra red beam or a focus assist lamp) is irrelevant for low light landscape shots because they only assist focus on subjects within a limited range. The D70 defaults to focus at infinity if it cannot find a lock and so landscapes are not a problem. The Rebel is probably the same. There is always manual focus. This is exactly the same as with a film SLR.

The focus assist lamp on the D70 is very good, if you are in a situation where you can use it.

As for image quality at low light, i can assure you that the performance of the D70 is as good as a film SLR - if using ISO values of up to 1600 then there will obviously be visible noise. But 1600 ISO film is very grainy as well and so i don't think that this is a backward step. The advantage of a dSLR is that you have the option of using 1600 ISO for one shot and don't need to use a whole roll of fast film.

If you want to see the performance of the D70 in all situations, I suggest that you look in the D70 forum of dpreview.com (apologies to Steve for linking to another site, but the picson that forumare all from one camera and so it is relevant to the question - and the two sites complement each other anyway).

It is true that non SLR digicams are bad at low light. The 8mp prosumer cameras are barely usable at over 400 ISO - but this does not apply to the D70 or the Rebel.

It is true that technology is improving and next year the noise levels at 1600 ISO will probably be even less. But there will always be something better in the future and so the question you need to ask yourself is whether the time is right for you to switch to a digital SLR.

As for action shots, i used my D70 at a road cycling event at the weekend and the shutter response was instantaneous. I could not tell any difference between that and my film SLR.

I have just switched from a Nikon F90X to a D70 and am seriously impressed with the results. I did think about waiting longer but in a few months i am off on a trip to Australia and so i really wanted to make the switch now, giving myself time to get familiar with the camera. I seriously believe that the D70 will serve me for many many years before i feel the need to upgrade it for the latest model. I know that there will be something better next year, but having already got the D70 the improvement will be so marginal that it will be of no interest (and after all, it is not the camera that determines the beauty of the image).

Hope that helps.
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Old Sep 7, 2004, 11:16 AM   #4
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I quite like the F-90s pretty cool and got one heck of a lot of use (not least because of the bright focus finder) I use to use it along side the F4 (but mostly pulled out the F-90 as with a 35-70 2.8 IFED it was just the ticket – until the F5 came along ) then out with the F4 and F90. What a camera the F5 is.

Anyhow – I am glad you wrote F-90 and not some camera that Nikon made with the poly carbonate mounts (I got a lot of AI – AIED and AF lenses with metal mounts) the two together (metal against polycarbonate ain't too cool)

When the time comes I will for obvious reasons get a digital SLR (I wont get rid of the F5 however (too much stuff just cannot be done with digital of expectable quality – for me – just yet) I know I wont go for a poly carbonate mount though, all that changing of lenses (bound to ware thin)

Heat is another thing I forgot to mention with CCD (can affect it – normally shows as noise (not too dissimilar to the noise you can get in low light)

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