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Old Oct 12, 2004, 4:26 PM   #1
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Hello all,

I have been shooting with a Nikon 8008s for 10 years and have really enjoyed the camera and its pictures. I am now trying to move to the digital age. My objectives for purchasing a digital camera would be:

1. Be able to take these images to a photo development place and create high quality (as good as regular film) 4x6, 8x10, and 11x14 size prints. I have no plans for printing at home but want to make sure I can output very good prints.

2. I am not a big electronic guru so I want to make sure I can easily take these images from the camera to CD or other device to get printed. Also, I need my wife who is even less computer literate than I.

3. I want to make sure this technology I purchase will last quite a few years. I rather pay more and be happy for a long time than have to keep replacing the camera every few years. I would like long lasting quality.

I have several Nikon lenses so I havebeen looking at the D70 and other Nikon cameras but this is not an end all. I have looked at the Kodak professional line but they seem (in my humble opinion) not too mainstream so I am not sure about how much support I would get.

Any information or expereince would be very much appreciated.


Pete Robbins

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Old Oct 12, 2004, 9:20 PM   #2
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From what I have seen & heard, the Kodak cameras don't produce the quality of images that their costs would justify. Since you are looking at Nikon, I would look at the DH2 for a Pro camera & the D70. (The D70 is actually preferred by many former D100 users, newer, faster, etc).

You could also look at the Fuji S2 (or the soon to be newer S3). The Fujis are pro quality & built using Nikon frames and lens mounts. The S2 has a good reputation among Fashion Magazine Photographers for it's excellent color rendition & image quality.
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Old Oct 12, 2004, 10:41 PM   #3
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At the risk of alienating Kodak users, I'd agree with Kalypso on the newer Kodaks. The DCS 14N was somewhat problem ridden. The sensor was made by a company called Fill Factor, and the body was based on the Nikon N80/F80. It had much higher noise than it's competitors (or for that matter, compared to entry level DSLR models). Fill Factory redesigned the sensor for the newer DCS SLR/N. It is an improvement over the old one. However, I think it's resolution is an overkill, and you'd probably be better off with something like the D70.

If you were doing studio work, and really needed the 13.5 Megapixel Images for much larger prints, that's one thing. However, for a general purpose camera, you'd probably be more comfortable with a D70. It's 6 Megapixels is plenty for the print sizes you want.

Now, there is something you need to be aware of when shopping for a DSLR. Most of the Digital SLRmodels you'll look at will have a crop factor (a.k.a., Focal Length Multiplier).

What this means is that the sensor is smaller than 35mm film (in most models), so the entire image circle is not used by the sensor. As a result, your lenses will have a different 35mm equivalent focal length on these models.

With the Nikon models you look at, this "crop factor" will be 1.5x. So, you will need to multiply the actual focal length of your lenses by 1.5x to get the 35mm equivalent focal lengths. In other words, a 50mm lens would have a 35mm equivalent focal length of 75mm when used on models like the D70, D100, or D2H (50mm x 1.5 = 75mm).

Now, theKodak DCS Pro/N does have a full frame sensor. So, it's an exception to this rule (no focal length multiplier).

I don't know what kind of investment you've got in your lenses. If you like shooting wildlife, etc., you'll probably appreciate the longer 35mm equivalent focal lengths you'll have with a model like the D70. If you like the wide angle end more, then you may want to take the cost of an additional lens or two into consideration. Nikon also sells the D70 as a kit that incudes a Nikkor18-70mm AF-S DX f/3.5-4.5G IF-ED lens. The D70 body only sells for around $999, and the D70 body with this lens in a kit sells for around $1,299.

The Nikkor kit lens isa good quality lens with Nikon's "Silent Wave Motor". So, it's autofocus is pretty fast. This one would give you a 35mm equivalent focal range of 27-105mm (multiplying the focal length of the kit lens by 1.5x to get the 35mm equivalent focal length).

TheNikon D2H on your list is designed to be a Pro body. It's got weather sealing, and was targeting Sports and Photo Journalists.It's a 4 Megapixel Camera that is extremely fast (8 frames per second for up to 40 frames). For this type of photography, speed and durability are more desirable than resolution.There is no built in flash (but you can use an external flash with it).

I personally think that the D70 would probably give you the best "straight from the camera" images out of the models on your list. It sounds like you don't want to do much other than take themsomewhere and have them printed. This model is also far less expensive than the others. Heck, you could buy a spare body with change left over compared to the cost of a Kodak DCS SLR/N or NikonD2H. Unless you really need the higher speed of the D2H, or the higher resolution of the Kodak, I don't think you'd see any improvement in your images (and may even find that the images from the others aren't quite as good at the print sizes you want,unless you are willing to spend some time working on them in software).

As far as body durability, it's hard to say. I don't think that Nikon publishes the figures for the shutters anymore. But, the D2H is likely to have a shutter life that is good for around 150,000 actuations. Chances are, the D70 is only designed for around 30,000 (and I'm speculating on these). In any event, unless you are an extremely heavy user, any repair costs you'd likely run intowould likely be offset by the significant savings you'd have by going with the less expensive body.

As far as ease of getting prints,almost any major drug store an do prints for you now, directly from your memory cards (and the same thing goes for Wal-Mart, Sam's, many photo stores, etc.) Many will also take a CD. I'd probably spend an extra $20.00 and get a card reader, too. Basically, you just plug the memory card from your camera into the reader. Then, you copy the photos from it into a folder on your local hard disk. It looks just like a removable drive to your PC. Even without a card reader, the camera will do the same thing (you plug in a USB cable to it for copying your prints).

Then, I'd also suggest burning a CD, so you'll have another copy of the files.

You may also want to consider printing someyourself. The software that comes with many printers is quite simple to use. You can even get printers that work without a PC if you like (but using the PC is really easier).

One of the advantages of Digital is that you can use a PC for viewing and editing your images. Then, just print the ones you want (and have a Digital Copy for the rest).

You can also order prints from many online vendors, simply by uploading them. They'll print them and mail them back to you. Some also offer online album space for your images. It's really not difficult at all.

As Kalypso mentioned, Fuji also has a couple of models that are based on Nikon bodies (loosely based on the N80/F80 body, like the Kodaks). The upcoming S3 Pro looks interesting. It's got a brand new sensor designed to increase Dynamic Range. But, it's not shipping yet (to my knowledge).It's not as fast as a camera like the D70. However, Fuji models are known for their good color and low noise in their DSLR models.

BTW, if you decide toget rid of that old N8008s, I'd be glad to take it off your hands. I'vestill got a little older N4004s that doesn't have the better feature set of your N8008s (even though the N4004s uses the same Autofocus Sensor as the N8008s, it's missing some of the N8008s features, likecontinuous focus). Of course, I'm just teasing you (even though I wouldn't mind having an N8008s, I don't need it). It is a a decent camera. I can understand why you've enjoyed using it.
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Old Oct 13, 2004, 9:25 AM   #4
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Thanks for your input. I really appreciate the help.

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