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Old Dec 15, 2004, 4:52 PM   #1
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I'm trying to find a good digital camera that I can use for taking artistic and casual photos. I'm used to using a old Olympus OM1 SLR and would like a Digital that has similar control. I am NOT looking for a DigiSLR as they are too expensive right now for me (with lens)

Full manual control (focus ring), at least 4X optical zoom is important to me. What cameras should I look into? I would like to stick to Nikon or Canon but am open to other suggestions. I will also probably upgrade in a few years to a full on SLR so I'm not too concerned with the ability to upgrade lens and things like that.

thanks in advance.
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Old Dec 15, 2004, 5:03 PM   #2
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you could get a digital Rebel with the kit lens (really isn't that bad) for a bit more than 700..

then you wouldn't have to buy a dslr later...

i'm not sure there are any consumer digital cameras that have focus rings...most, if not all are full auto focus..

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Old Dec 15, 2004, 5:49 PM   #3
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photosbyvito wrote:
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you could get a digital Rebel with the kit lens (really isn't that bad) for a bit more than 700..

then you wouldn't have to buy a dslr later...

i'm not sure there are any consumer digital cameras that have focus rings...most, if not all are full auto focus..

vito
Panasonic FZ series (at least the 10 and 20, not sure about 15; 3 and 1 don't have it) do have manual focus ring.
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Old Dec 16, 2004, 6:18 AM   #4
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rizorith wrote:
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I'm trying to find a good digital camera that I can use for taking artistic and casual photos. I'm used to using a old Olympus OM1 SLR and would like a Digital that has similar control. I am NOT looking for a DigiSLR as they are too expensive right now for me (with lens).
Depending on what you mean by artistic and similar control, you may want to know that you won't have as much control over depth of field with a non-DSLR model. Because the sensors are much smaller than 35mm film, the lenses can be smaller, too.

For example, the Konica-Minolta DiMAGE A1 (a prosumer model with a manual focus ring), has a lens with an actual focal length of only 7.2-50.8mm (to give it a 35mm eqivalent focal length of 28-200mm).

Since depth of field is based on the actual (versus 35mm equivalent) focal length, you'll have dramatically greater depth of field for any given 35mm equivalent focal length, aperture and focus distance with a non-DSLR model.

See this depth of field calculator for info (you can plug in a camera model, the actual focal length, focus distance and aperture to see how this impacts depth of field).

http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html

So, if you're shooting larger subjects, where you want them to stand out from distracting backgrounds by using larger apertures to blur the backgrounds,this can be a problem using a non-DSLR model.

But, if you're shooting closeups, or scenes where you want greater depth of field, then a prosumer (non-DSLR) model can bebetter. It all depends on your perspective.

In addition, non-DSLR models don't handle higher ISO speeds very well. Images tend to becomenoisy (noise is similar to film grain) at much above ISO 100. Some models handle this better than others, but the size of the photosites for each pixel has a strong influence on noise characterics. This is because the smaller photosites for each pixel in the tiny sensors usedin non-DSLR models can't gather as much light, requiring more amplification of the signal for equivalent ISO sensitivity. So, if you plan on shooting in less than optimum lighting, I'd take this into consideration, too.

I'd also make sure to try out models you are considering in a store.Manual focus(one of your desired features) can leave a lotto be desired in a prosumer model (due to the viewfinder designs). Even with magnification (some models magnify the center portion of theElectronic Viewfinders to act as an aid when focusing), many users find this feature difficult touse.




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Old Dec 16, 2004, 8:16 AM   #5
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I agree with Vito... you can get a Canon Digital Rebel with lens for $700 if you look carefully on eBay. And then you won't have to buy another dSLR later (well, of course until you want to upgrade...).
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