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Old Jan 29, 2006, 11:11 AM   #1
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Hi!


I have only point and shoot experience with cameras my last camera was an Olympus C-720. It stayed on auto most of the time :-). I enjoy taking landscape, wildlife, micro shots. I would like to take quality pictures I can hang on wall. I am considering the Nikon CP 8800 or 8700 (I see little difference in the two other than price), the Panasonic DMC FZ30 (reviews seem to say larger print quality is not good) and have been also looking at SLRs mainly the Canon EOS D350 Rebel XT. Can anyone help??? Does slrs have an auto menu that works like auto zoom cameras? Or would I have to learn all about every setting to capture an excellent print quality on pictures 13 X 19 and larger???:?


Thanks for any help you can give....KP


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Old Jan 29, 2006, 11:49 AM   #2
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Any of the following consumer dSLR cameras have both an auto mode and even scene modes.

Pentax 1st DS

Olympus E-300 and E-500

Canon 350D/XT

Konica-Minolta 5D

I would stay away from the Nikon 8700/8800 cameras. They simple cannot give you the speed/ease of useof any of the dSLR cameras listed above, because they are both VERY slow both in focus times and shot to shot times.

Among the group listed, your lowest cost alternative would probably be the Olympus E-300 two lens kit. You can often find the E-300's for sale on ebay.The kit lenses included are of superior quality and are the 14-45mm and 40-150mm Olympus lenses. Because the E-300 and E-500 have a 2.0 additive factor, that means with the two lens kit you will be able to cover the 28 to 300mm range in 35mm terms.

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Old Jan 29, 2006, 12:07 PM   #3
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MT

Thank you so very much for your wisdom. I will look into The camera's you mention and on you input on auto mode will diffently go with a SLR.

KP
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Old Jan 29, 2006, 12:16 PM   #4
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Fundamental difference between standard digicams and DSLRs is that while later enables ultimate versatility you have to invest much more money to many different lenses to get equal versatility than what best non-SLR digicams give, for example they require own lens for macrophotography... naturally multiple lenses aren't light to carry. Then their design causes that you can't see live preview of exposure (unlike in all non-SLRs) so you'll have to rely more to automatic or then to experience to tell best exposure settings.
(also DSLRs lack videomode if you have need for that)

Areas where DSLRs shine is fast focusing (to even moving targets) and shooting long bursts (up tens of photos in just few seconds), low light (high sensitivity without noise)

Here's good comparison between features/handling of high end prosumer and DSLR
http://www.neocamera.com/feature_dslr.html



K. Pitre wrote:
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I enjoy taking landscape, wildlife, micro shots.
That means at least two lenses for SLR...
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Old Jan 29, 2006, 1:55 PM   #5
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Does anyone know if the Nikon 70 has auto modes to help a novice (strictly point & shot auto mode in past) like me???
KP
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Old Jan 29, 2006, 2:17 PM   #6
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K. Pitre wrote:
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Does anyone know if the Nikon 70 has auto modes to help a novice (strictly point & shot auto mode in past) like me???
KP
Yes, the D70 (and newer D70s) both have an Auto Mode:


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Old Jan 29, 2006, 3:12 PM   #7
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Thanks for your quick reply. I went to look at the Canon D350 Rebel XT. They had an A dep mode. Is thatits auto mode???? Does it have an auto mode??
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Old Jan 29, 2006, 3:14 PM   #8
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is cost not an issue for you?

obviously going the dSLR route is an altogether more expensive one initially - though some say cheaper in long run if you intend to get more serious with photography (but then your stuck with the 'brand' you initially chose).

Going straight to dSLR without any general photography knowledge may also be a painful experience, especially the lack of a preview on dSLRs, anyway your choice.

for the uses you mention (wildlife, landscape, macro)I would recommend at least going to camera shop and trying out some of the ultrazooms eg FZ5/30, Canon S2 IS, Sony H1, Kodak P850 - or maybe the popular KM A200, or even the Kodak P880...

all mentioned cameras get at least a recommended review on most camera sites, each has its positive and negatives...


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Old Jan 29, 2006, 3:21 PM   #9
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K. Pitre wrote:
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Thanks for your quick reply. I went to look at the Canon D350 Rebel XT. They had an A dep mode. Is thatits auto mode???? Does it have an auto mode??
No, the A-DEP mode is designed to maximum depth of field so that multiple points are in focus (uses a smaller aperture to get more depth of field as required for multiple focus points).

Yes, it has an Auto mode.

A suggestion:

Read the reviews for cameras you are considering. ;-)

You'll see a camera's modes discussed in them, complete with photos of the controls, as in our Canon Rebel XT Review

The Mode Dial is divided into the Basic Zone
  • Full Auto - "Point and Shoot" mode, camera makes all settings automatically including the flash. [/*]
  • Portrait - Sharp subject with blurred background [/*]
  • Landscape - Scenery, sunsets and open-sky photos [/*]
  • Close-up - Closeup shots of small things [/*]
  • Sports - Freeze fast-moving subjects with higher shutter speeds and uses Predictive AF focusing [/*]
  • Night Scene - Up to 2-second long shutter speed plus fill flash [/*]
  • Flash Off - Natural looking pictures without the flash [/*]
and the Creative Zone
  • Program AE - Camera selects the optimum shutter speed and aperture for the shooting conditions. [/*]
  • Tv - Shutter priority; you select shutter speed (1/4000 to 30 seconds), camera matches appropriate aperture [/*]
  • Av - Aperture priority; you select aperture, camera matches appropriate shutter speed [/*]
  • Manual - Manual selection of both shutter speed and aperture [/*]
  • A-DEP - Aperture is determined to maximize depth of field so that all objects in the 7 focus points are sharply focused. [/*]
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