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Old Oct 21, 2004, 10:09 PM   #1
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I have been looking into a camera for my art work and my students' work for documentation.

Why Slides?
Slides are still required by many organizations requesting portfolios and there is no convincing them to change formats for a job opening, residency, or grant application. I agree it is irritating, and I have taken over a thousand slides and had thousands of slide duplications made in the last 10 years. I am sick of $10.00 rolls of tungsten film and coming out with bad shots, and retaking 24 or 36 shots spending all that money to get 3 or 4 slides. Sometimes I end up spending $40 to get 4 useable slides, and then scanning them into 60 or 70MB files to adjust them slighly, then paying to have them made into slides (4 at $5.00), then paying to have 10 or 20 sets of dupes for them($50- $60). All told I sometimes spend $200 bucks and many hours to get 4 useable slides duped for a season of applications.
(Sorry for the rant, but a little back ground info might help you understand what I want.)

What I want:

I want a digital camera so I can look at the images and see if they exposed well saving me lots of time, money and irritation in the first step. I want to be able to work with them in photoshop and then have them made into slides, for duplication.

What do I need in terms of MP and ccd size to get images of high enough quality for large projection from a slide projector?

I do not want to spend $2000 to get a DSLR and lenses, and unfortunaly my old canon lenses are useless in digital land. (as far as I know)
I would love it if I could get a credit card sized point and shoot that would work, but I am not going to fool myself into thinking a canon elph is going to work.
I really am under a budget in the $350 range, and I hope you all will not laugh at me for that. ( I am a sculptor, not a photographer, I dont need the best in the world eqipment)

Here are my current possible cameras:

Nikon Coolpix 5700 Easily under $350 with 150 rebate right now. hotshoe available

Nikon 4500: still available, with lots of accesories that can be added, including a hot shoe adaptable flash gizmo for my SLR flash(!?) easily under $350 Liking its really flexible attachment capabilities allowing me to convert it into a studio camera while small enough to carry all the time (compared to my Canon A-1)

Nikon Coolpix 4800: ??? itty bitty no raw, no manual?

Olympus C-5050 A little over my range, but I would consider it if I needed to. I see it for $390ish

I am happy to go with a cheaper lower res. model but
I do not want a camera that takes noisy pictures without 5 million candle power lighting. Nothing worse than easliy broken because of chincy plastic parts (Canon A80 etc. That little tele/wide thingy will snap off in a second because it is wimpy plastic tab that sticks out in front.)

I would love on that uses AA batteries, have usefull manual range, and ability to attach extra lenses, and a failry cheap storage media to choose from. I think I need the ability to use RAW format or uncompressed TIFF for good editing ability.

Thanks for reading my post, please feel free to comment on my choices, and make suggestions for other cameras.
Graham
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Old Oct 22, 2004, 12:52 AM   #2
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ok, one thing...

i 'think' you should be able to use the canon lenses with a dSLR, but, the AF might not be compatible...so you'd have to manual focus...

of course, i'm really not sure of this, so don't go out and buy a dSLR because i said this

ok...two things...lol,

AAs aren't really that great, from wat i've heard, they are poor in cold conditions, and don't last as long as lithiums...(which usually come with the camera anyway, with a charger)

i have a Canon G2...which, in it's time was top of the line canon prosumer...but now is obselete...far obselete...lol, but anyway, it's a great camera, and does pretty well in low light (as long as you stay at ISO 50...and respect other quirks it has )

of course, they don't make the G2 anymore...actually...they discontinued it before i bought mine 2 years ago...so that's not much of a possibility, but maybe a G3, or G5...depending on which is in your price range...

i haven't used them, or even really looked at their specs...but if they did the same deal as the change from the G1 to G2, then they should be BETTER than the G2...making them pretty good for a consumer camera..

ok...i hope i'm not confusing you as much as i'm confusing myself...

hope this helps

(btw...wow...200 dollars for 4 usable slides! that stinks!)

well, there are a lot of knowledgeable people on this site that can help you better than i can...

have a nice day

Vito


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Old Oct 22, 2004, 8:54 AM   #3
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I looked at the G5, and it looks good, but I cant afford it, unless there is a refurb laying around out there.
The G3, seems to be almost as expensive as the G5.
I started wanting to spend $200.00, and realised that was unreasonable, so $350 is a consession, so going another 200 higher cant happen.
The AA battery thing is mainly because I am irritated with propriatery batteries. They are harder to get and cost too much. NiMh. seems to be the best way to go.
Thanks for the reply
g
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Old Oct 22, 2004, 9:19 AM   #4
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How to you intend to get slides from your images? From what I'm hearing, the quality isn't that good (but I've never tried it myself). One serviceI've seen mentionedis http://www.colorslide.com (but it looks like it could get "pricey" to go this route).
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Old Oct 23, 2004, 12:10 AM   #5
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I just go to a local place that charges, lets say, $5.00 or so per slide. As I only need one or two slides per sculpture, this is cheap compared to two rolls of film, and slide developing. Then I get dupes made from that slide(s) which I would have to do anyway.
It would be cheaper to take 36 perfect slides of the exact image and angle I need, and not even have to have dupes made, but I can't because I am not a good photographer.

Any ideas as to the camera I need, or how many MP I need?
Thanks









Sadly Midwest photo in Nebraska closed. They had the cheapest slide dupes.
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Old Oct 23, 2004, 9:37 AM   #6
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I would make sure you've got a local place that's capable of it, and take some test photos to them and make up your own mind.

You can download full size images from many review sites for this purpose, from a variety of cameras. Just go to the full size images (click on a small one to get a larger one), right click on it, and select "save picture as", giving it a filename on your local PC.

ThebetterDigital Film Recoders run a little over $20,000.00 plus the cost of the film back, which is why I'd be concerned that a local place may not have this capability (I suspect that demand for slides from digital is very low). The lower priced onesstart around $6,000.00 (plus the cost of the film back to record in the format desired):

Here is one of the better ones:

http://www.lasergraphics.com/pfr/pages/mk6dpm.htm

The resolution you need is dependent on print sizes you need. Each time you double the print size (for example, going from a 5x7" print to an 11x14" print), you need 4 times the resolution to maintain the same detail in pixels per inch (becausethe area is 4 times as much, and resolution is measured by multiplying width x height).

A lot would depend on how they wanted to use the slides. I have no experience in this area (slides from digital).

BTW, the prices you are quoting for cameras is too low. Also, the Nikon 4500 is discontinued, so the one you're looking at is likely Gray Market (not intended for sale in the U.S.) It sounds like you are looking at quotes from some of the Brooklyn based scam artists.

If a price looks too good to be true, it probably is. Remember, it's very competitive now. So, if one store has a price that's lower than everyone else, watch out!

ALWAYS check a vendor's reputation carefully using http://www.resellerratings.com (and don't go with a vendor that is not well established either).

You can see customer reviews at the bottom of this page forexamples of techniques vendors use:

http://www.resellerratings.com/seller1988.html

I would also recommend avoiding vendors with only a small number of customer reviews, because vendors have been known to "pad their own ratings", by posting "glowing reviews". A well established vendor will usuallyhave hundreds, if not thousands of good customer reviews.

The usual way the dealers that aren't reputable work, is to advertise something at a lower price than everyone else. Then, they call you to "confirm" your order.

Then, the sales pitch begins (you'll need a better battery, larger memory card, lens accessories, extended warranty, etc.). Of course, many consumers fall for it, since they only check the price of the camera -- not the accessories.

These items are usually sold at outrageous prices, but appear to be heavily discounted (unrealistic prices are shown for the "list prices" of the accessories.).

Usually, this happens:

* They ship you a gray market camera (one not intended for sale in the U.S.). BTW, you won't get warranty service from most manufacturers if it is gray market (Nikon, Olympus, etc.). Nikon USA will not service a camera that's not intended for sale in the U.S., even if you are willing to pay them to service it. And if you believe the warranties offered by dealers that sell gray market cameras are worth the paper they are written on, try to find a dealer that can actually do the work that doesn't have to send them back to the manufacturer (and the manufacturers check the serial numbers to make sure the cameras aren't gray market).

and/or

* They are not really going to sell you the camera at the advertised price, unless you agree to buy lots of overpriced extras (poor quality memory cards, case, poor quality lens accessories, generic batteries that they claim are better, extended warranty, etc.).

Of course, by the time you buy the overpriced, poor quality add-on's, you could have gotten a better deal somewhere else -- from a reputable dealer. Another trick these guys play, is to claim the price is for the camera only (again, forcing you to buy the items that are included with the camera anyway, at drastically inflated prices). Otherwise (if you tell them you don't want the add-ons), most of the "scam artists" will refuse to sell it to you for the quoted price.

Or, your camera will suddenly go to backorder status, or even more common, they simply never ship it to you -- leading you along when you try to find out order status, until you finally cancel the order.

Sometimes,they'll ship a partial order (with high unauthorized shippingand insurance tacked on). Then, when you return it, and dispute it with your credit card company, they end up keeping the high shipping charges they added (because credit card companies will often not refund the shipping charges). Of course, they'll try to keep the restocking fees on the partial order shipped, too (since these are clearly stated on their web site).

You may also see a combination of the above techniques (gray market camera + trying to scam you with the extras).

These types of techniques are VERY Common.

I'd do yourself a favor -- stick with a reputable dealer -- one that will work with you if you have a problem.

Use the customer feedback in the price search engines to "spot" these dealers, and also use http://www.resellerratings.com

Here's an article you may want to read, too:

http://webpages.charter.net/bbiggers...ml/buying.html


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Old Oct 23, 2004, 9:44 AM   #7
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Thanks for the long reply.
I wouldnt go with the cheapest, I only buy from places that have good ratings, and I have read up on the grey market issues. I have been looking on froogle and the 4500 while old is still available from reputable stores. THe 5700 is getting higher , but is well under 400 right now with rebate.

These image will never be printed, as they are used for evaluating artist portfolios.
Schools use slide projectors still for determining who they will hire for teaching positions. They get 100 or more applications and hand out stacks of applications to several faculty. They MIGHT get projected after they hold up the slide sheet.
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Old Oct 23, 2004, 10:03 AM   #8
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I just looked through Froogle.com, and I don't see any Coolpix 4500's that appear to be legitimate, new, U.S. models that qualify for the rebate at prices that low.

I'm seeing refurbished models, vendors advertising things like "Our One Year Warranty" versus Nikon U.S. Warranty, cameras that are obviously gray market,vendors with questionable ratings (or located in Brooklyn with no ratings), and vendors advertising prices after rebates. The ones with no ratings in resellerratings.comwould probably cross reference to one of the Brooklyn based scam artists with a bit of research (these guys like to do business under multiple business names).

I don't think you're going to find a legitimate, newU.S. camera that qualifies for the rebate and Nikon warranty that low. The legit, new U.S. cameras have been sold out for quite a while now.
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Old Oct 23, 2004, 10:09 AM   #9
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OK. I wont argue with you about how I buy my equipment. I really need help with WHAT to buy. If I decide to buy it or not, that will be my problem.
The camera I need is my real issue, and I will leave it at that.
Thanks
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Old Oct 23, 2004, 10:39 AM   #10
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I'd read through the review conclusion sections here carefully for any model you consider.

The conditions you use one in will depend on how well it will work. Most take great photos in good light. In low light (i.e., indoors), there is a bigger difference.

For example, the CP 5700 is not the best camera for low light focus, and EVF usability comes into play also (this model does not have an optical viewfinder, and the EVF does not "gain up" in low light). The CP 4500 does have an optical viewfinder (but it's not through the lens, as you need a DSLR for that).

These Nikon models also do not have focus assist lamps. If the light (and/or contrast in your subject) is too low, with a model like the CP 4500, you could go with manual focus though.
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