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Old Aug 2, 2005, 5:54 PM   #1
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I am trying to decide between these three digital cameras:

Canon Rebel XT
Nikon D70
Canon Powershot S2IS

Size and weight are not an issue. The camera will be used for everything for simple pictures of friends and stuff, to outdoor and wildlife photography.
If we get one of the SLRs we would also be buying a zoom lens to go with it.

If it matters our computer is an '01 Dell Dimension 2100 with an 18 GB hard drive, 128 MB of RAM, Windows ME, CD-RW drive.

We are planning on getting new computer though.

We will also be getting a new photo quality printer to go along with which ever camera we get, so if anyone has any suggestions that would be great too!

Also we've been told that maybe we should consider getting a high-end EVF digital camera. What do you guys think? If you agree, what are some good ones?

If you know of another digital camera (doesn't matter if it's an SLR) that you think would better suit our needs, please let me know!

I'd really appreciate any help anyone can offer!
Thanks!
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Old Aug 2, 2005, 6:37 PM   #2
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I'm guessing the S2IS will suit your needs. If you decide you want a DSLR later, I feel very comfortable in saying that the prices will have dropped enough to make it well worth you while to wait.
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Old Aug 2, 2005, 6:51 PM   #3
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You will get pictures with lower noise and more dynamic range with either of the DSLRs. If you really get into photography and buy multiple lenses and accessories you will have a better photographic system with the DSLR. You can focus better and make better decisions in the bright SLR viewfinders.

All that being said I would opt for the S2. To get from 36 to 427mm equivalent with f2.7 to f3.5 in stabilized lenses you would have to carry a bag of expensive lenses. I find stabilization as handy for wide angle available light photography as for telephoto work. Just shooting a bird on a tree in the shade pushes the limits of that bright a stabilized lens. Without f3.5 and stabilization you need a tripod for the shot.

If you go out with just one lens for the DSLR you are more limited. I carried a bag with 35mm SLR lenses for years and I'm not likely to do that again.

The S2 takes probably the best movies of any digital camera. You can use the optical zoom while filming and have stabilized movies with stereo sound. The only drawback there is you have to take short movies as they aren't MPEG4 and fill a card fast.

You generally require a little more work in an image editor to make images from small high density sensors look their best. You need more RAM any way you go with the cameras to take advantage of the digital darkroom.

If that printer is going to be a wide format photo printer and you intend printing 13 X 17 large prints for your wall, the 5Mp prosumer S2 won't give as good large prints as the DSLR.

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Old Aug 2, 2005, 7:06 PM   #4
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Slipe-

That is really a great answer.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Aug 2, 2005, 7:30 PM   #5
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So you think that the image stabilizer is that important? We had a Minolta SRT201 film camera ( I don't know if it was an SLR or not but it was really nice), and we never used a tripod and the images always turned out great. Is it different with a digital SLR?
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Old Aug 2, 2005, 8:21 PM   #6
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Lazarey-

IS is not as important as the basic digit camera.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Aug 2, 2005, 8:45 PM   #7
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slipe, I would also like to thank you for your reply.

I am looking at getting a new camera for upcoming safari in Africa. I also was considering Digital Rebel and S2 IS. I was planning on gettin rebel and 70-300 zoom until I saw S2. I have spent the last few days trying to make up my mind given the pros and cons of ease of use versus additional capabilities of Rebel.

I have some remaining questions. One of shortcomings to S2 IS (to me) is not having the 18mm end of the standard Rebel lense. I have been researching wide angle adaptors. It looks like the Raynox 6600 would be a good choice but I am concerned about any negatives of using third party vice Canon. Is the Raynox a good choice? Is it easy to take on and off quickly?

For primarily outdoor photography with a need for indoor at times, how should I outfit my camera? Should I get filters for both main lense and wide angle? UV or polarizing or both? Do I need two hoods or none? Looking at LensMate adapters since they are metal; is that the best way to go?

All help appreciated,

thanks,

Marc
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Old Aug 2, 2005, 11:08 PM   #8
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lazarey
Stabilization is good for at least 2 f-stops and many manufacturers and users are claiming 3 f-stops. On a sunny day if I meter on something in the shade it is usually around 1/100 second at f2.8 with my FZ. If I am deep in the woods even on a sunny day it is slower. 1/100 sec is a challenge without stabilization. Even getting f2.8 at 420mm eq is pricey on a DSLR without adding stabilization – especially with a decent zoom range. You can shoot in a lot more lighting conditions with stabilization. I'll never own another large camera without it, and wish someone besides "point and shoot with no viewfinder" Panasonic was making smaller ones. I like stabilization at all zoom ranges and notice Canon is making stabilized wide lenses for DSLR and SLR use.


mrlevin
I've been plugging along with just the 12X on my FZ10. There is probably more information on wide angle adapters on the Panasonic board than the Canon board at this time, but I would read through both. And ask questions there. Raynox has a good reputation but there are others you might explore.

They should make a sliding rectangular lens hood for 12X cameras so you could slide it out until you get a little vignetting and back off a little. But any lens hood is better than none. A lens hood designed for 36mm would likely vignette with a wide adapter. I would say you need both, although there isn't much hood on a wide lens. Any little bit helps. As limited as the lens hood for such a wide focal range is, I can see the difference if I leave the lens hood off on my FZ. Not sure about the wide angle – I used them back in 35mm days.

Many lenses used for DSLRs have a factor you have to consider for the lens being made for a 35mm film plane and the sensor in most DSLRs being APS size. Is the Rebel lens actually 18mm in use? If it is made to be also used on a 35mm camera I would think it might be the same as the S2.

I don't use a UV for protection. There are varying opinions on that. I feel the lens is pretty well protected by the lens hood and don't want any more layers of glass than I need.

Polarizers are the only way to remove reflections. I had a polarizer from my film days I used on my D7i and found I didn't use it that much. You can do better in an image editor for skies IMO. For one thing the polarization isn't consistent across the sky, and it looks odd sometimes with a wide angle. It is very easy to get the deep color and contrast with the clouds in an image editor and the color is consistent. And you aren't loosing 2 f-stops of light.

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