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Old Jun 7, 2005, 7:43 PM   #1
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Hi ppl,

I need some advise. I just sold my S45 and I want to buy a new digital cam. First I thought of the S70 butI want a cam with a better zoom which also offers the quality of the S45 (I was very satisfied with that cam). Now I am not sure what to buy. The S2 seems to b a nice offer but I didnt find a good review yet. Another option is the Pro1 but I haven;t found a review that was really positive about that cam. Another option is the EOS350D. I read great stories about it but it is also a cam which is big and expensive. The prices of the cams I just mentioned are very apart from eachother but that doesn't really matter to me. It just has to be worth it... but is it? Other camera suggestions are also welcome but untill this point my love goes to Canon :G

Things that are important to me:
  • Better zoom then 4x [/*]
  • very good image quality (of course) [/*]
  • good battery usuage [/*]
  • capable of shooting pics fast [/*]
  • capable of nice pics when there isn't a lot of light[/*]
Thanks

Jordi
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Old Jun 8, 2005, 1:58 AM   #2
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Jordipordie wrote:
Quote:
Things that are important to me:
[list][*]Better zoom then 4x [/*]
Panasonic FZ series seems great here, hard to beat that lens, but the Pro 1 is also good.

Quote:
[*]very good image quality (of course) [/*]
Here is where the DSLR is KING. DSLR gives you more control, has a larger sensor and better lenses. Pro 1 is good for a compact, so is the Panasonic's image.
Quote:
[*]good battery usuage [/*]
I think anything is should fit the bill here, just budget in at least one extra battery.
Quote:
[*]capable of shooting pics fast [/*]
Most are about the same here as well, but DSLR will give you faster results. Start up time would be important.
Quote:
[*]capable of nice pics when there isn't a lot of light[/*]
I think here is where the DSLR rules again. Put on a fast (50mm 1.4 or 1.8) and you can do very low light without flash.
Quote:
Jordi
The one caveat to the DSLR is that if you have never had an SLR and not aware of the basics of exposure and what not, it will take months before you get photos you like. If the expense of the DSLR camera scares you do not even want to think about the lenses and flash and tripod, and the list goes on. The typical DSLR owner will spend many times the money the kit cost, on lenses and other equipment. At least with a compact you only have a few things you can ad, good for the wallet, but limiting.
For me the image is the most important thing so there is really no choice but to go SLR, but I will always have a point and shoot to carry around. So if you cannot afford the SLR, get a good quality point and shoot. The Pro 1 has gotten some cool reviews but the owners seem to love them to no end. They will make some exceptional photos. The lens is really good. It has some "L" elements, but it is not really an "L" quality like you would get on a SLR. But that is to be expected, as the whole camera costs about what the least expensive "L" lens alone.
It sounds like you should look at a good quality point and shoot. I do not think you need to think that you need to find the camera that will be your only one for the rest of your life.
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Old Jun 8, 2005, 12:48 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply

The Panasonic looks very interesting. Too bad it aint a Canon :P This cam is put on my wishlist. The 350 is still on it. I knowI really have to study all the things this cam can do and I really don't mind spending a lot of time doing that. The part about all the extra's you have to (or will) buy for a 350 is what also crossed my mind. I think I will be getting very gready haha. The fact that this cam can make very nice night images is a big pro for me. I like makin pics of nightlife.

Is Panasonic a well known brand for digital camera's? I must say I hardly see them in The Netherlands...
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Old Jun 8, 2005, 1:04 PM   #4
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Jordipordie wrote:
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I like makin pics of nightlife.
For pics of nightlife, if you don't want to use a flash (orhave motion blur or objectionable noise), I'd get a DSLR with a bright lens (not a kit lens).

You can expect worse results from a noise perspective at higher ISO speeds with the models you are considering, than you got with your S45. It's 4MP 1/1.8" CCD was not too bad from a noise perspective as ISO speeds are increased, compared to most newer sensors in non-DLSR models.

If taking existing light photos in clubs, etc., is a high priority, and you don't have the budget for a DSLR, you may also want to take a look at the new Fuji F10. It appears to be much better from a noise perspective as ISO speeds are increased compared to other non-DSLR cameras.


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Old Jun 8, 2005, 2:12 PM   #5
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I have never regretted switching to a DSLR. The 350 will perform very well at higher ISO settings which will improve the nightlife shots. As Jim has pointed out, you will need to buy a fast lens also. Ahh the rub, buying the DSLR is not the only expense that you will incur -- lens, filters, flash, etc. If you go with a DSLR, buy good lens to start with. There are several good lens that are made by Sigma and Tamron. Check the Canon Lens section under the DSLR forum.
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Old Jun 8, 2005, 2:14 PM   #6
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My S45 did a decent job making nighttime picz. The new one has to be better of course. Do you use a special lens for nighttime picz?



Whats the price I can expect for a decent lense? The main thing I will be doing is:
  • scenery picz (dark and day time)[/*]
  • experimented with maco and I like that very much (flowers, bugz etc)[/*]
  • basic stuff
[/*]
What kind of lenses do I need according to you? I want to make a balance of how many extra costs I will have.
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Old Jun 8, 2005, 4:13 PM   #7
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Ask in the Canon Lenses forum and you should get some responses from Canon owners. There are many many, lenses available, at a wide variety of price points.

You can spend a LOT of money on lenses (many times the cost of a body), or can spend a little money on lenses. Many users are happy with the kit lenses for most purposes.

But, for existing light shots without a flash of moving subjects, I'd suggest a brighter lens. Many users go with a prime (non-Zoom) lens for this purpose. You can get a 50mm f/1.8 for around $75.00 now. But, they may not be wide enough for some conditions (on a model like the Canon Rebel XT, which uses a 1.6x Crop Factor/Focal Length Multiplier), it would be equivalent to an 80mm lens on a 35mm camera (from an angle of view perspective). If I were going to buy a lens for "club hopping", I'd think about the new Sigma 30mm f/1.4 EX HSM (announced, but not yet shipping).

Many users try to get by with a zoom lens with an f/2.8 aperture throughout the focal range for existing light shooting without a flash. This means you'll need to use higher ISO speeds compared to an inexpensive prime with a larger available aperture (f/1.4, f/1.8 )to get shutter speeds as fast (or have slower shutter speeds for the same ISO speed). Tamron, Sigma, Tokinamake some less expensive f/2.8 zoom lenses in the 28-75mm range (or thereabouts),compared to Canon for this purpose.

For macros, many users want a Macro Lens. Most lenses can't focus close enough for good macros. So, you'll probablywant a lens that supports 1:1 Macro if you plan on taking lots of bug photos, etc. 1:1 Macro ability is only available in some primes.

Figure out what your budget is, then ask around in the Lenses Forums for suggestions within your budget for the shooting conditions you'll be using the camera in most if you decide to go with a DSLR.


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Old Jun 9, 2005, 9:17 AM   #8
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I am having a hard time over here :?

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"I think the the Panasonic will be a great cam for me but I can't get the 350 out of my mind! Do you think the FZ20 is a better cam then the FZ5? That might be another option to think about...
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Old Jun 9, 2005, 10:16 AM   #9
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Jordipordie wrote:
Quote:
I am having a hard time over here :?

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"I think the the Panasonic will be a great cam for me but I can't get the 350 out of my mind! Do you think the FZ20 is a better cam then the FZ5? That might be another option to think about...
Unfortunately, no one camera is perfect for all conditions. They are all a compromise in some respects.

For example, I don't personally like lugging a larger camera around with me. Most of my photos are taken with a little Konica KD-510z (that I take with me in a pocket everywhere I go).

But, it has severe limitations in low light. If you're using a tripod with a stationary subject, no problem (motion blur is not a problemsince you can leave the shutter openlonger for proper exposure, without the need to increase ISO speed which adds noise).

However, in lower light when you're trying to take a photo of a non-stationary subject without a flash, a non-DSLR model can be severely handicapped.

For one thing, most non-DSLR models have a maximum available ISO speed of ISO 400 (compared to ISO 1600, or even 3200on most DSLR models). But, many newer non-DSLR models have relatively objectionable noise levels at anything above about ISO 200. This means even slower shutter speeds if print sizes are not kept small enough to mask the noise, and slower shutter speeds can mean lots of motion blur (which is also more visible as viewing sizes increase).

I went to a Dance Recital Saturday night. I took around 200 photosat ISO 200 and ISO 400. I'd say that less than 10% of them were useable (too much motion blur because shutter speeds were too slow inside without a flash).

I took almost allof these photos at full wide angle, too (so that the aperture would be opened up to f/2.8 ) I'm sure I made an interesting sight (kneeling on the floorin front of the stage to get close enough for proper framing -- holding the camera up just high enough to clear the stage floor, so that I would not get in the way of the audience trying to see the recital and take their own photos. They let me get away with it, so I did get a few keepers. ;-)

I deliberately underexposed some of them, too (trying to get shutter speeds faster, since underexposure was the lesser of the two evils compared to motion blur, even though deliberately underexposing then correcting later increases noise -- just as if you had used even higher ISO speeds).

But, if I had used a DSLR with a bright prime (i.e., f/2.0 or brighter) shooting at ISO 800 or 1600, most of them would probably have been "keepers" (because shutter speeds would have been much faster to reduce motion blur from subject movement -- and the subjects were moving a lot)

In better light, the non-DSLR model would have been fine. Of course, I knew better. ;-) I almost brought a Nikon 35mm SLR (along with a 50mm f1/8 and a 85mm f/2.0 MF lens -- which happen to be the brightest lenses I've currently got).

Loaded with ISO 800 or 1600 speed Fuji Superia X-TRA, I would have gotten much better results. Of course, a DSLR would be even better (since the grain you get from film scans is often muchworse than the noise you see from DSLR models at similar ISO speeds).

I've been spending sometime taking photos of nightlife lately, too. I've got my eye on a few of the DSLR models for this purpose (even though that means dragging a larger camera and lenses around). At least some of the newer models are smaller and lighter.

I'll probably end up getting a fast prime for this purpose if I go this route. The new 30mm f/1.4 EX HSM lens that Sigma announced recently would be high on my list (since this lens would provide a 35mm equivalent focal length of approximately 45 - 48mm on the current entry level DSLR models, which would be about right for how I take pictures in clubs, etc.).

Then, I'm not making patrons go nuts by shooting with a flash all of the time (which I have to do now to prevent motion blur inmany environments).

Depending on the lighting, you can sometimes get a fair number of keepers indoors at ISO 400 (if you take the photos when the subjects are relatively still). But, noise is ugly at ISO 400 from compact camera models, and with hardly any subject movement at all indoors without a flash, you'll get blur. So, using a flash is often the only alternative with a non-DSLR camera if you want higher quality photos.

I've used DSLR models in the past, and I'm one of these people that hates dragging a larger camera around. So, I prefer a smaller camera, too.For occasional use (weddings, drives in the country, family gatherings,etc., fine). But, I like to have a camera with me everywhere, and it's just too much hassle (for me) to carry a larger camera around.

For special occasions, I pretty much stick to a 35mm SLR now. But, I'll probably get a new DSLR in the near future. Film is just too much of a hassle (and grain from scans can leave a lot to be desired if you want to digitize the images).

My suggestion would be to go down to a store and try out some of the camera models you're considering to get a better idea of how they compare. If you look at DSLR models, do the same thing with various lenses. It's hard to make a decision based on reviews and opinions alone.

Also, any opinion you see in the forums is likely to be biased, including mine. You'll need to decide which model fits you best, for the way you take photos.




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Old Jun 10, 2005, 10:38 AM   #10
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I think I am taking your advise and just go to a shop that has the camera's in store.

I got a extra practical question. Doest the 350D get dirty easely? Do I have to take with me a maintenance set? I make a far vacation every year and take tons of pictures. I am afraid when I go into a rainforrest or a nice beach... a DSLR will be to "sensitive".
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