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Old Feb 25, 2006, 3:20 AM   #1
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I'm looking at purchasing the Sony CyberShot DSC-R1 does anyone have anything bad to say about this camera?

It will bea multi purpose camera I am not a professional with photos and don't know what lighting to use indoor or outdoor I don't know proper shutter speeds to use when. But want to learn, would this be a good camera to start with or does anyone have a better suggestion?

Thanks
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Old Feb 25, 2006, 7:29 AM   #2
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I think its a fine camera, and it does address one of the biggest issues with P&S digicams...noise at higher iso's. Because the camera uses an aps sized sensor like a DSLR, it will produce cleaner images at higher iso's. However, the camera is quite large, and expensive, and lacks a little on the zoom end...whatever camera you buy will have some tradeoffs.

I generally would not consider the R1 a beginner camera. It's size may make you less likely to carry it with you, and its shorter zoom may limit its flexibility (most consumers love the extra zoom reach, although all you have to do is get closer to your subject). Since your experience is limited, why not try one of the less expensive cams and learn the basics. The sony DSC-v3 can still be found, now under $450, and has great image quality, good automatic and manual controls and is slightly smaller. Or you could look at one of the superzooms, the Canon S2 or Sony H1, which are now under $400. I would hate for you to spend nearly $1000 on the R1 and it become an expensive paperweight. At most levels, the photographers skillis more important than the camera.
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Old Feb 25, 2006, 7:44 AM   #3
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The DSC-R1 will have higher noise levels compared to some of the DSLR models as ISO speeds are increased, since you've got a slightly smaller sensor with higher resolution compared to most of the entry level DSLR models.

But, it's probably the least expensive solution for getting a camera with it's focal range that has a larger sensor compared to the non-DSLR models around, especially considering it's higher resolution.

It's got a 35mm equivalent focal range of 24-120mm. You aren't going to duplicate that range in a single lens with a DSLR, and a zoom lens starting out wide enough to give you the same angle of view would be pricey for a DSLR model.

It's more limited on the long end, and the lens isn't very bright there (drops off to a maximum available aperture of around f/4.8 on it's long end, which means more than twice as much light gets through to the sensor on it's wide end, which has f/2.8 available).

So, it's not going to be an ideal camera for existing light without a flash compared to a DSLR model with interchangeable lenses and brighter lenses available. You'll most likely want to use a flash with it for best results indoors. It's not going to be an ideal camera for other low light activities like indoor sports, night sports, etc. either (again because of it's limited focal range and lens brightness, coupled with higher noise levels).

Also, with a DSLR using interchangeable lenses, your lenses become an investment. So, if you upgrade your body later, you should be able to use your existing lenses with it, within the same manufacturer. With a model with a permanently attached lens, your entire investment would need replacing when you want to upgrade.

It's a very nice camera from most accounts, and has some interesting features that aren't available in most DSLR models. It's also higher resolution than you'll find in any DSLR in it's price range.

So, there are pros and cons to any choice, depending on the conditions you plan on using one in.

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Old Feb 25, 2006, 12:13 PM   #4
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Sony H1 / Canon S2 / DSC-V3

You suggest these but what about lens options I don't see that any of these 3 have the option to interchange lenses.


What are some advantages to having lenses the change? Especially for a beginner.

What about these cameras are they any good?

Sony DSC-F707 or DSCF717
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Old Feb 25, 2006, 1:04 PM   #5
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DJMic wrote:
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Sony H1 / Canon S2 / DSC-V3

You suggest these but what about lens options I don't see that any of these 3 have the option to interchange lenses.
No one choice is perfect for all condtions. These are good cameras, for some users, in some conditons. But, these will have worse performance as ISO speeds are increased compared to a model with a larger sensor like the DSC-R1.

Any choice is a compromise (size, weight, focal range, lens brightness, errgonomics, price, etc.).

If you don't care about existing light photography without a flash, or using a camera in conditions you need higher ISO speeds for, a number of non-DSLR models can work just fine for you.

If you don't need an "ultra zoom" model (as in the Sony H1 and Canon S2 IS), then a smaller model can be a good choice, depending on your needs.

There are lots of camera choices, just like you'll see lots of vehicle choices. For example, what's better, a large 4 wheel drive truck with plenty of ground clearance for use off road, or a compact car that gets great gas mileage? One may be a better fit for some drivers, the other vehicle may be a better fit for others.

We have a page with models deemed to be a good value within their market niche here:

http://www.steves-digicams.com/best_cameras.html


Make sure to read the review conclusions (last page in each model's review before the sample images), carefully for any model you consider, too.

That's where you'll see information on how a model stacks up (within a given market niche), for things like autofocus speed and reliability, cycle times between photos, flash range, image quality indoors and outdoors, viewfinder usability, ergonomics, etc.

You can also see images from models reviewed at the end of each models review, often with some of the same subjects, so you can see how they compare in similar conditions.


Also, make sure to try out any camera you consider in a store. One size doesn't fit all, and each user will have preferences in a camera.

Quote:
What are some advantages to having lenses the change? Especially for a beginner.
There are advantages and disadvantages to a DSLR. You'll see some of them outlined in this recent thread:

Do I really need a DSLR


Quote:
What about these cameras are they any good?

Sony DSC-F707 or DSCF717
Yes, they are both excellent cameras. I'd go with a DSC-F717 if choosing between them (it can take Memory Stick Pro cards, which are availble in larger sizes, compared to the standard Memory Stick cards supported by the older DSC-F07).

If you search around on the used market, you may be able to find a DSC-F717 at a good price (it's discontinued now). It's got one of the brightest lenses you can find in a non-DSLR model, and it's 5MP CCD is not bad at all from a noise perspective compared to many newer non-DSLR models with smaller sensors.

It can't match a DSLR for high ISO speed performance (and falls behind in some other areas, too). But, you can't find a lens for a DSLR with it's focal range and brightness either, as it would be too large and heavy to be practical on a DSLR with a larger sensor to design one like it.

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Old Feb 25, 2006, 2:08 PM   #6
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Well from what I'm reading the Nikon D50 is by far the best bang for your buck if wanting a DSLR camera.

I just don't know if I want a Nikon brand.

Nice part is I already have a 1GB & 2GB SD card for my Pocket PC that will work with the camera.

But I also have a Sony DVD-203 camcorder so a Sony digital camera would be an option too for sharing memory sticks.

I've also used a Sony DHC-828 on a holiday to Mexico and had no problem with it's features and it was really easy to figure out and play with the settings.
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Old Feb 25, 2006, 3:10 PM   #7
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The DSC-V3 does have an adapter that lets you attach either a wide angle, closeup, or telephoto lens. They can all be found easily on Ebay.
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Old Feb 25, 2006, 3:11 PM   #8
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Is the DSC-V3 DSLR?
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Old Feb 25, 2006, 4:01 PM   #9
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DJMic wrote:
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Is the DSC-V3 DSLR?
No.

But, depending on the conditions you want to shoot in, and what you're trying to achieve, you may not need a DSLR (and a DSLR can have a higher learning curve, not to mention size, weight and cost).


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Old Feb 25, 2006, 4:31 PM   #10
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Thanks Jim what do you think of the Nikon D50 for a beginner?
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