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Old Jul 19, 2006, 1:43 PM   #1
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I am looking in to buying a digital camera, but somehow it seems that these camera companies have us purchasing three or four just to get the job done. Do I like to take pictures outside? Get this camera. Do I want to take pictures in lower light rather than the day time? Buy this camera. The list goes on and on.
The fact is, I want a camera that will give me the opportunity to simply take that picture I want. I would like a camera that does not take "beginner" level picture, a camera worthy of art-studio quality, and is not noticably weak in any areas. Something that will take beautiful portraits, and gorgeous shots from dusk till dawn, and then fine with even going after the extreme low-light northern lights shot. For good meausure, a camera that can handle a great macro and telephoto lens.
If there is a camera, or list of cameras, that are all around strong in every category, please let me know which one, since I do not have the money to purchase three to four digital camers.
Is the Digital Rebel XT, or the D20, my best choice? I just don't know.

Thanks for taking the time to read my post,
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Old Jul 19, 2006, 2:12 PM   #2
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Any camera/lens combination will have limitations in some conditions.

You also have to take size, weight and cost into consideration, making choices as to what's more important in a given combination.

If you want a camera capable of taking photos in more conditions, that means brighter lenses (often, primes versus zooms, depending on the lighting and subject type, or zoom lenses with f/2.8 available throughout their focal range for conditions where light is bright enough for them).

If you want more convenience (fewer lenses and lens changes, more focal range from wide to long in a single lens, lighter weight and lower cost), then you limit the conditions you can use a camera in (smaller and lighter lenses with more focal range from wide to long are not going to be bright enough for many conditions).

Look at the DSLR models in the best cameras list if you are DSLR shopping.

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

If you don't have any lenses, I'd check out the entry DSLR models from Canon, Nikon, Pentax and Konica-Minolta.

Between the models you're looking at (Rebel XT, EOS-20D), the Rebel XT is missing some things like ISO 3200. You don't want to use it unless you have to. But, for very low light, it can be nice to have.

IMO, the best deal going on a DSLR right now is the Konica Minolta Maxxum 7D from Wal-Mart at $724 while supplies last. Then, you'd have anti-shake with every lens, too. This camera sold for $100 more than the Canon EOS-20D when it was first introduced. Note that I'm biased since I'm shooting with a Konica Minolta Maxxum 5D. ;-)

http://www.walmart.com/catalog/produ...uct_id=4898002

The new Sony Alpha 100 will start shipping this month (it's already shipping in some regions now), and it will also be able to use Minolta Autofocus lenses (and Sony lenses will work on Konica Minolta DSLR models). It will be $899 for the body only, or $999 for a kit with an 18-70mm lens.

Steve has a preview of it here:

http://www.steves-digicams.com/2006_.../alpha100.html

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Old Jul 19, 2006, 3:06 PM   #3
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"Do I like to take pictures outside? Get this camera. Do I want to take pictures in lower light rather than the day time? Buy this camera. The list goes on and on.
The fact is, I want a camera that will give me the opportunity to simply take that picture I want."


Buy ANY slr camera. Thats it, they all work and work well. When and IF you realize that your super-shutter-3200 camera dosent work well in ____ conditions (long telephoto, low light, something else?) thats when those discussions mean something to you. If you dont have a specific problem or need, then ignore them all. In fact, ignore any and all marketing data, always. You'll live longer, happier, and cheaper.

All DSLR cameras are very good and will meet your critera. If you had some specific area of interest or difficulty one may excell more than another, but "GENERALLY" you cannot pick out ANY camera as "better". Consider lenses, special requirements, ergonomics, and price in that order.
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Old Jul 19, 2006, 3:22 PM   #4
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I just want to add 3 points:

1. A DSLR is a SYSTEM not just a camera. Lenses play a part, flashes play a part and, independent of that, tripods, filters etc. play a part. So, buying a camera body is only one part of the equation. You have to have the right components in the other parts of the 'system' that are required or enhance your ability to achieve a desired result for a particular type of photography. For instance, if you are big into shooting small birds - you typically need a long telephoto lens - something 300mm or longer. But if you also really like macro, that's going to be a completely different lens. So, just a level set that even if you decide on a specific camera you still need the correct other pieces to achieve your results .

2. Second important point - even if you have the right lens and camera - it's still not a magic solution. You still have to invest the energy to learn and practice exposure, depth-of-field etc. to achieve desired results. You can't take $10,000 in camera gear and expect to use it like a point and shoot. Getting good results out of an SLR takes a lot more work than using a P&S - that's great for those willing to learn as you can achieve fantastic results. But, it's bad for people that wan't a better point-and-shoot - i.e. I still just want to use the camera in full auto mode but just want it to do more than my current point and shoot.

3. This may be the only relevent point here :-)- think of a DSLR system like a car - like a car, every DSLR out there will do a majority of things very well. But each, system - like each car manufacturer has things it does better than other car makers. For instance, KM offers in-body IS vs Canon and Nikon which use in-lens IS (or VR in Nikon's case). Some manufacturers do better jobs of handling noise at high levels - Canon does this very well, Olympus does not. In a perfect lighting situation taking a picture of the same stationary object with eqaual-quality lenses you're not going to notice a big difference between the results of ANY of the DSLRs. What YOU have to do is ask yourself - what are the really demanding shooting conditions I'm most likely to run into. Again, let's say your into Birding. OKnow we know you'll need long telephoto lenses - which systems make good, long lenses at a reasonable price (or have good, reasonably priced 3rd party lenses available)? That can drive you towards certain systems. Now, what attributes in-camera are beneficial? Burst Rate could be very helpful, Servo or continuous focus ability is also helpful, spot metering could be helpful - these are all the 'niche' attributes that can drive you towards a specific system. Remember, all the DSLRs can do everything fairly well - but if you're going to be spending 50% of your time in one type of photography you want to look at the cameras/systems that excel in that area.

In my case, I really like sports shooting. So, KM, Nikon, Canon can all do sports shooting and get decent results. But at the time when I bought my last DSLR, the Canon 20d was the best non-pro camera out there for sports - at that time there were several cameras that were capable but this one was the best so I went with that specific model. If my sports shooting interests were more general I may have decided on a lesser priced Nikon D50. The D50, by the way, can still do a great job of sports shooting - it's just the 20D has some features that allow me to do an even better job. So, to summarize - while all the DSLRs can do a really decent job of everything if you already know you have a prediliction towards certain types of photography that may steer you towards a specific camera right off the bat.
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Old Jul 19, 2006, 3:24 PM   #5
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tmoreau,

Thanks for saying what I was thinking with a whole lot less words
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Old Jul 19, 2006, 5:38 PM   #6
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First off, I want to thank you all for your great replies, I am truly appreciative of that. As for what type of shooting I am in to, I do enjoy outdoor photography, but am looking to take up promotional shoots (for bands, actors and actresses and such). Once again, thanks. I will do my research with all your comments in mind.
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Old Jul 19, 2006, 10:37 PM   #7
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tmoreau wrote:
Quote:
"Do I like to take pictures outside? Get this camera. Do I want to take pictures in lower light rather than the day time? Buy this camera. The list goes on and on.
The fact is, I want a camera that will give me the opportunity to simply take that picture I want."


Buy ANY slr camera. Thats it, they all work and work well. When and IF you realize that your super-shutter-3200 camera dosent work well in ____ conditions (long telephoto, low light, something else?) thats when those discussions mean something to you. If you dont have a specific problem or need, then ignore them all. In fact, ignore any and all marketing data, always. You'll live longer, happier, and cheaper.

All DSLR cameras are very good and will meet your critera. If you had some specific area of interest or difficulty one may excell more than another, but "GENERALLY" you cannot pick out ANY camera as "better". Consider lenses, special requirements, ergonomics, and price in that order.
You left out one thing:

It is a well known fact that black DSLRs take better pictures than silver DSLRs. :G


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Old Jul 19, 2006, 10:57 PM   #8
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Phenixburn wrote:
Quote:
I am looking in to buying a digital camera, but somehow it seems that these camera companies have us purchasing three or four just to get the job done. Do I like to take pictures outside? Get this camera. Do I want to take pictures in lower light rather than the day time? Buy this camera. The list goes on and on.
The fact is, I want a camera that will give me the opportunity to simply take that picture I want. I would like a camera that does not take "beginner" level picture, a camera worthy of art-studio quality, and is not noticably weak in any areas. Something that will take beautiful portraits, and gorgeous shots from dusk till dawn, and then fine with even going after the extreme low-light northern lights shot. For good meausure, a camera that can handle a great macro and telephoto lens.
If there is a camera, or list of cameras, that are all around strong in every category, please let me know which one, since I do not have the money to purchase three to four digital camers.
Is the Digital Rebel XT, or the D20, my best choice? I just don't know.

Thanks for taking the time to read my post,
The only thing that I'd like to add is that if you buya DSLR with a quality lensand use it in full auto like a point and shoot, the pictures will usually come out better and in low light conditions will absolutely come out better because of less noise due to the larger sensor. So even if you were to never take advantage of the DSLRs capabilities, you still end up with generally nicer photos. I mention this because it might make sense for someone on the fence looking at a bridge camera to make the leap and faith and go DSLR, especially given the current deals out there for under 500 dollars. With the right zoom lense, they can use it like a point and shoot and the have the abilityto learn as theygo.

While I don't think you need three or four cameras to get the job done, there are times the DSLR or a larger Point & Shoot camera are not practical or cumbersome. It is nice to have a pocket camera that you can take almost anywhere. In fact, some of these are so convenient due to size and not having to use film while worrying about wasting shots due to the high cost of processing that you can take one with you everywhere.
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Old Jul 20, 2006, 3:16 AM   #9
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Some other things I have to add.
How important is the MP count? Is there a huge difference in quality from 6 MP to 8?, or from 8MP to 10?
I was told (by a salesperson) that getting serious about photography meant buying a brand new dgital camera every year, to keep up with the current industry standards in quality. I see this as a rediculous ploy, to get me to continue to spend money there, but is there any truth to this? Or can I hope to get a few years out of my new Digital SLR before giving it the axe?

thanks
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Old Jul 20, 2006, 7:07 AM   #10
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Phenixburn wrote:
Quote:
Some other things I have to add.
How important is the MP count? Is there a huge difference in quality from 6 MP to 8?, or from 8MP to 10?
I was told (by a salesperson) that getting serious about photography meant buying a brand new dgital camera every year, to keep up with the current industry standards in quality. I see this as a rediculous ploy, to get me to continue to spend money there, but is there any truth to this? Or can I hope to get a few years out of my new Digital SLR before giving it the axe?

thanks
First, the difference between 6 to 8 mp is not a huge deal or from 8 to 10 is not a huge deal. It's nicer, but it honestly should be near the bottom of the list in deciding what camera to buy - it just isn't that important for most people. An argument could be made that landscape shots benefit the most from more mp as there is more detail to capture. I still don't consiser it to be a decidiing factor.

As for buying a new camera every year - that's fairly absurd - especially with a DSLR. There are certainly people out there that have to have the latest toy - so they upgrade every time a new model is announced because they can't stand having an older version of something. Right now most DSLRs have a life cycle of 18-24 months before the manufacturer replaces them. There are some people here who have been using a Canon 10D for 3-4 years and love it - and they take great shots with it. The question you have to ask is whether or not a new camera has features that will dramatically improve your photographs.

Now, I will say that someone buying an entry level DSLR and who really dives into the hobby may very well decide after a year they want to move up the food chain to a mid level model - but I attribute that to learning curve - learning what you as a photographer want and need out of a camera. But the idea that you have to upgrade is absurd. It's about learning and growing and buying what you need not what you want. If someone gives you a Canon 1D Mk II and several L lenses it won't make you a great photographer. Developing a good eye, and learning how to master light and DOF etc. will do that. So, ignore the sales pitch!


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