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Old Aug 2, 2006, 10:54 AM   #21
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BenjaminXYZ wrote:
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Features like a white balance fine tuning functionis important because I usually find myself in confusing lighting situation and need to tweak the WB properly (When the preset fails). Also Auto WB just doesn't handleconfusing lightingsproperly and to match my WBpreference. Custom point and shoot WB is great, but sometimes it will be better to tweak that too to getbetter preferredresults.
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If you shoot in raw then there is no need to worry about white balance
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Next, I also need usable ISO 800 and ISO 1600 at least since I have recently begun to start shooting in low light situations containing actions and people. I know that most dSLRs have usable ISO 800 and ISO 1600. However, I will definitely need "Fully" usable ones in the sense that; they are still pleasant to look at and most importantly: good detail retention at all cost. (And my good really means good as in the Canons or certain Nikon dSLRs).
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I have a nikon d50 and even at ISO 1600 noise is not much of an issue... besides... noise isnt really an issue unless you have a crappy exposure
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Thirdly, I prefer a dSLR with lower pixel count. I don't need anything above 8 mega-pixels at max. In fact, my max is actually 7 mega-pixels where the rest will be redundant for me. The best is 6 mega-pixels or lower since I capture a lot of photos and space could be a factor in the long run. I also experiment a lot at lower resolutions and usually keep most of the nice experiment shots, so a camera with higher resolutions will only be more redundant. Sometimes I wish I could buy the Nikon D1Hwith 2.7 million sensor photo detectors on a23.7 x 15.5 mm APS-Csensor! (Making the camera have higher performance overall):shock:Look at how clean and noise free it's images look with fantastic per pixel sharpness at 30 second long exposures (Without noise reduction). When I zoomed in onto the D1H'simages, I could clearly see their superb qualities. This is to demonstrate how "Unimportant mega-pixels are to me". I prefer quality anytime.
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How large do you plan on printing these pictures?
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Finally, the camera must have a great build quality and robust design. I have bad experiences shooting on trips with my refine Sony N1 compact where it will get soiled easily and sensitive to contacts. Makes the camera awful IMO when I see dSLR owners shooting away with robustness and efficiency on tight situations. (Always ready for the shot). Controls must be at my fingertips and performance must be swift since I don't want to be waiting for the camera to respond in the mist of an action. (It has mostly been the case with my DSC-N1 compact).
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all DLSRs have great startup time and shutterlag... they are different amounts but so miniscule that you wont notice
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I know this thread have the D50 dSLR title, but it was a cooincidence that it started on my mind first and I personally started building up from there. This seems to be the effective way to make me decide since it brought other capable dSLRs into the comparisons as well. However, now that I had stated my main criterias above, it should be clear which direction I will be taking. I don't mind starting out with any lens as long as it provides me withsharp images and with minimal optical issues since I will be planning for a main lens by year end. (This starter lens will only be temporary and as far as I can see, a prime seems to be the best choice).
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but with a prime there is no flexibility... your wither not long enough or not wide enough... and as you said... your kind of a newbie... so you wont notice a big difference in glass wheter it be color rendition or contrast or sharpness... the kit lens (18-55 or the 18-70) would still be your best bet as said.
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I might be getting a Tamron AF 17-50mm f/2.8 SP XR Di II LD or similer lens by year end (If I pass my test)>>> http://www.photozone.de/8Reviews/len...0_28/index.htm

Thanks for your reading time and regards. (Hope you understand the situation I'm currently in and sorry for being such a difficult newbie).

Bye!

EDIT: I wonder what is the difference in WB color temperature and WB fine tuning? I always hear about Kelvin WB and etc...just curious to know how useful it actually is.
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Old Aug 2, 2006, 11:56 AM   #22
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I started using primes, and like it so much I sold all my zooms. My pictures got much better, and not because of the better glass. I dont understand zooms, I think they are a waste. Popular opinion these days seems to be that you HAVE to have a zoom, it bugs me. OTOH, you probably need two or three primes rather than just one, but there is no rule that says you need to start with everything or every focal length.

Just a dissenting opinion. (besides, he said he plans to buy a 17-50 zoom later)

BTW: I shoot raw and deal with white balance later. I'll set the camera to the nearest setting usually (tungsten, shade, daylight) just to have good habits in case I ever shoot jpg only. You'd have to work pretty hard to get it dialed in 'just right' in the field the way you can easily with raw.
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Old Aug 3, 2006, 5:04 AM   #23
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Hello Log, the Nikon D50 is a great camera and I am not putting it down at all. In fact, it has the best dynamic range and noise free image in here and this is no kidding at all. Initially I selected it for a very good reason. Just see what the Nikon D50 canproduce with a good glass>>> http://img2.dpreview.com/gallery/nikond50_samples/originals/dsc_0273-raw-nc.jpg

Then you all might say "Why don'tyou go for it since it is so good???"

Alright, it isn't so easy here since I will be developing my skills over time and the camera will be the determining prime factor;

For example, if I get a camera without WB fine tuning, I will never learn how to usethat featureand when Iuse a camera that has it later on, I could never beefficient at using it if I need to. (This could degrade my overall performance). I noticed that a lot of skills have to start early and to developed over time (As you experience it), you cannot just suddenly learn it in a moment and then say "Okayyy, I've learned it"...Ittakesmuch more than that to be proficient at it. (Experience). So what does this say? If I need to sharpen up my photographic skills and knowledge today,it better start out with a camera that offers me a complete set of features for me to learn them over time.

Imagine in future whenI go to college andthe course teach me about WB fine tuning; if I had never used it before (Because I didn't have the feature), I might be saying "Nahh, I've neverused that feature before and I don't think I even need it" I will probably be close mindedtothat featureand thusmay end uplearning less since I won't be bothering to improve my skills on it. (Since there isn't even one). This is toindicate that; I will probably not know how useful a featurecan beuntil I can have one to experiment with. So it seems ratherrisky for me to get a camera today with cut features if my main intention is not to get a camera for retirement or relax period, but rather to get one for education purpose and to start out as a photo student. Thus, I still got much to learn wherebout you knowledgable ones are already capable to be dependent on any dSLRs. You have probably pass through the whole sequence and can afford to loosen up. I can predict that in the future when I had passed everything, I will also probably not be taking features like white balance fine tuning or ISO increments etc...seriously, not something I can't find my way round with my experience. But for now with only a handful of experience, it will be better off for me to start properly with features that I will learn how to use (As I grow). I believe it will all pay off in the long run.

:-)

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but with a prime there is no flexibility... your wither not long enough or not wide enough... and as you said... your kind of a newbie... so you wont notice a big difference in glass wheter it be color rendition or contrast or sharpness... the kit lens (18-55 or the 18-70) would still be your best bet as said.
Don't worry, I will be getting a proper zoom by year end. Currently a prime will do just fine ona new dSLR. It might even be a beneficial experience for me duringthe prime lens period of composing images. (I might even call myself a portrait photographer during the time I have the prime mounted on).Something I might take for granted if I have a zoom with me.

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If you shoot in raw then there is no need to worry about white balance

I don't always PP my images and to be more honest; I haven't even started PP (Post processing) myimages yet and up to now, I still take the fullest advantage of the settings in my N1 digital camera. I don't plan to shoot RAW all the time with a dSLR becauseI will usually want to get everything correct out at the field and that is what I am currently learning to do. I will alsotry to depend as little on the PC as possible althoughI know I will still need to depend on it sometimes. (I will try to keep it at the minimal because I believe that my camera should be the primary image composer and its end results determiner), (Softwares are secondary to me). I will only shoot RAW for it's fullest quality potential on important occations.

BTW, I don't believe in using softwares to compensatefor the camera's shortcomings, the camera should be capable in the first place (For my case) e.g. depending on software for WB fine tuning orfor correcting noisy images etc...That's why for me, the camera should be having a less noisy image sensor and orWB fine tuning featurein the first place to depend less on the softwares. (There might be more examples).

All this are my 2 cents, thank you.



















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Old Aug 3, 2006, 5:19 AM   #24
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And I don't plan to shoot RAW all the time with a dSLR. I will usually want to get everything correct out at the field and that is what I am currently learning to do. I will try to depend as little on the PC as possible. I know I will need to depend on it, but I will try to keep it at the minimal. (I believe that my camera should be the primary image composer and its end results). (Softwares secondary).

BTW, I don't believe in using software to compensatefor the camera's shortcomings. The camera should be capable in the first place (For my case) e.g. depending on software for WB fine tuning orfor correcting noisy images etc...That's why for me, the camera should be having a less noisy image sensor and orWB fine tuning featurein the first place to depend less on the softwares. (There might be more examples).

That's a lot like a film photographer saying:

"I will only ever use consumer-grade film and I will only ever use high-street labs. No "pro" film or darkroom for me. I plan on getting everything right out in the field."

You've really got the wrong end of the stick here. What do you think your camera is doing when it creates a JPG file? It's doing exactly what your PC will be doing - starting with a RAW capture and producing an output file; but it's being forced to do it in 0.2 seconds with a processor 1/100 as powerful.

Shouldn't need BW conversion? The camera is doing that anyway, with built-in "best guess" rules.

Shouldn't need WB setting? The camera is doing that anyway, with built-in "best guess" rules.

Shouldn't need Noise reduction? The camera is doing that anyway, with built-in "best guess" rules.

All you are doing by insisting it happens in-camera is taking creative control with and extremely powerful set of tools out of your hands and entrusting it to the camera to perform ina fraction of a second - if your camera can do 3fps then probably 90% of that time is required for writing to CF, so maybe the processing engine has to do its work in 1/20s - compared to a powerful PC processor having as much time as you're willing to let it.

By refusing to use the appropriate tools for digital image creation, of which the camera is only the first part you will be condemning yourself to far lower quality photographs.

If you're really set onyour approach I suggest you seriously consider using film.


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Old Aug 3, 2006, 6:01 AM   #25
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That's a lot like a film photographer saying:

"I will only ever use consumer-grade film and I will only ever use high-street labs. No "pro" film or darkroom for me. I plan on getting everything right out in the field."

You've really got the wrong end of the stick here. What do you think your camera is doing when it creates a JPG file? It's doing exactly what your PC will be doing - starting with a RAW capture and producing an output file; but it's being forced to do it in 0.2 seconds with a processor 1/100 as powerful.

Shouldn't need BW conversion? The camera is doing that anyway, with built-in "best guess" rules.

Shouldn't need WB setting? The camera is doing that anyway, with built-in "best guess" rules.

Shouldn't need Noise reduction? The camera is doing that anyway, with built-in "best guess" rules.

All you are doing by insisting it happens in-camera is taking creative control with and extremely powerful set of tools out of your hands and entrusting it to the camera to perform ina fraction of a second - if your camera can do 3fps then probably 90% of that time is required for writing to CF, so maybe the processing engine has to do its work in 1/20s - compared to a powerful PC processor having as much time as you're willing to let it.

By refusing to use the appropriate tools for digital image creation, of which the camera is only the first part you will be condemning yourself to far lower quality photographs.

If you're really set onyour approach I suggest you seriously consider using film.
Hi there, so what do you suggest me to do?

BTW, I have edited my message that is located in your quote. I will still shoot in RAW, but I won't be doing it very often since it takes up more space. And besides that, I don't planned to PPevery image. (One reason for capturing in RAW)

I heard that theRAW files needs the software to apply the settings, the files are generally neutral. (Thefilm negative equivalent)

But believe me, I will be mostly shooting in HQ JPEGs. After all, it will be a dSLR and results will be at the level. Most sites also compares the imagesat JPEG formats and cameras such as the EOS 350D has almost similar quality JPEGs as it's RAW equivalents.

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You've really got the wrong end of the stick here. What do you think your camera is doing when it creates a JPG file? It's doing exactly what your PC will be doing - starting with a RAW capture and producing an output file; but it's being forced to do it in 0.2 seconds with a processor 1/100 as powerful.

Shouldn't need BW conversion? The camera is doing that anyway, with built-in "best guess" rules.

Shouldn't need WB setting? The camera is doing that anyway, with built-in "best guess" rules.

Shouldn't need Noise reduction? The camera is doing that anyway, with built-in "best guess" rules.

All you are doing by insisting it happens in-camera is taking creative control with and extremely powerful set of tools out of your hands and entrusting it to the camera to perform ina fraction of a second - if your camera can do 3fps then probably 90% of that time is required for writing to CF, so maybe the processing engine has to do its work in 1/20s - compared to a powerful PC processor having as much time as you're willing to let it.
But so far I see the cameras let alone the dSLRs doing itfine? (Exceptional for the Pentax IST seriesthat does JPEGs badly according to reviews). However, Most of the dSLRs produce superb JPEGs straightout of the camera? Examples: the EOS 350D, Nikon D70s, EOS 20D, Alpha A100 etc. At this current stage, I will be depending more on the camera than photo shop or other softwares. (I think it will be hard for me to suddenly change my current photographic lifestyle today). It all has to happen over time and I can start shooting right away with a capable dSLR and then slowly go towards that direction. (But it must all start somewhere.)




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Old Aug 3, 2006, 6:20 AM   #26
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Nearly all DSLR images benefit from post work. DSLR's (even the entry level ones) tend to produce softer images which require sharpening. It seems strange that you're interested in having complete control of the camera in terms of features (ie white balance tuning), but will depend on the camera's engine on rendering most of the final image, as you're not interested in doing a lot of post work. Photoshop (or any other editor) is a powerful tool. By not using it, you're giving up alot of control. In fact by using it, you can do away with some equipment and features (wb tuning that you so desire, and many filters).

I can appreciate wanting to "get it right" in camera, but editing software is just a necessary part of serious digital photography. There isn't a pro out there who isn't using it on all of his/her images.

You're worried about being close minded in the future if you get a camera that's stripped down a bit or missing a feature or two, and that's understandable. But don't be close minded now, and listen to some of the advice you've been given.
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Old Aug 3, 2006, 6:42 AM   #27
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Nearly all DSLR images benefit from post work. DSLR's (even the entry level ones) tend to produce softer images which require sharpening. It seems strange that you're interested in having complete control of the camera in terms of features (ie white balance tuning), but will depend on the camera's engine on rendering most of the final image, as you're not interested in doing a lot of post work. Photoshop (or any other editor) is a powerful tool. By not using it, you're giving up alot of control. In fact by using it, you can do away with some equipment and features (wb tuning that you so desire, and many filters). 

I can appreciate wanting to "get it right" in camera, but editing software is just a necessary part of serious digital photography. There isn't a pro out there who isn't using it on all of his/her images.

You're worried about being close minded in the future if you get a camera that's stripped down a bit or missing a feature or two, and that's understandable. But don't be close minded now, and listen to some of the advice you've been given.
Thanks for your advice rjseeney, I really appreciate them. Further advice will be welcome.
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Old Aug 3, 2006, 9:27 AM   #28
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"I will be developing my skills over time and the camera will be the determining prime factor"

Absolutely, Positively, DEAD WRONG!

You want a basic camera. Manual exposure, Spot meter, and a lcd to review your histogram. Thats all.

Your really fooling yourself if you think you can learn anything about exposure using a matrix meter on program mode, shoving it around blindly with exposure compensation, setting continuous drive and predictive super-intelligence 96-point auto-focus. You need to do things for yourself if you have any hope of learning anything. It dosent take long to learn about focus, so then you can flip on autofocus and let the camera handle it. You know what its doing and how to spot when its been fooled. So on and so forth for all the fancy automation that comes in even the entry level DSLR's.

"because I will usually want to get everything correct out at the field and that is what I am
currently learning to do."

"BTW, I don't believe in using softwares to compensate for the camera's shortcomings"


Good luck. Glad you have the knowledge and expirience to advise us all on the right way to do things.

There are PLENTY of anecdotes of guys in corvettes and such having ther a** handed to them on a racetrack by someone in a slow 4-cylinder car. Why?

(Hint: they have no idea how to drive thier corvettes) The corvette is only a better tool if you know how to use it. But please, dont let us get in your way, you've obviously got it sorted out.

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Old Aug 3, 2006, 10:06 AM   #29
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Hi there, so what do you suggest me to do?
You need to learn about digital workflow.

Here's a starter workflow for you.

1. Set your camera in RAW mode.

2. Shoot. (say you do 250 photos in a day)

3. When you get home copy your photos onto your hard disk.

4. View the RAW files & select those you want to work on. (prob between 5-25 images)

5.Do RAWprocessing on those files: Convert, Sharpen, Crop, Clean, Noise, Levels, Colour, Sharpen, etc. Save.

6.Output - print or to web.

Now #5 is a big topic butautomation can be applied from almost total to almost none.

Sounds like a lot of work, and it can be, but it's only a small fraction of the equivalent you need to do with film.

Here are a couple of links to get you thinking, and google can find you a bunch of others..

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/te.../process.shtml

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tu...orkflow1.shtml



Software required:

1. A decent RAW converter. (Bibble light (free)will do or Photoshop Elements.)

2. A decent editing package. (Photoshop Elements will do, or I suppose GIMP if you have no money.)

3. A decent noise reduction program. (NeatImage has a free version.)
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Old Aug 3, 2006, 11:01 AM   #30
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I have decided to go for the Nikon D70s >>> More or less confirmed.

I havedone a comparison with the DSC-R1, EVOLT E-500, EOS 20D (EOS 350D equivalent), D50, and the D70s at this very site itself. I compared the RAW files of the brick wall like building (With the chimney)and decided thatboth the D50 and D70swins off the list.

I decided to go for the D70s because it is better for me for the long term. I will plan to get it with the Nikon 50 mm F1.8 prime lens for the time being and then get a capable zoom lens later on (Probably at the end of this year).



In conclusion, I couldn't find another camera out there now (Including the Alpha A100) that is as balanced as the D70s in all areas (Including fully usable ISO range). I remember reading here somewhere>>> "Try to get all the cameras you mentionedinto one camera" Obviously that sounds impossible. However, it is actually possible if you take all the goodness of the selected cameras and try to see if you couldfit them allinto one particular model>>> E.G. (Example below):

Taking from the EOS 350D the superior image quality.

Taking from the Nikon D50, D70sand EOS 350Dthe great ISO performance (Fully usable ISO range).

Taking from the EVOLT E-500 the fantastic range of features. (Just need tocome close to).

Taking from the AlphaA100 and EVOLT E-500the superb LCD monitor. (Just need to come close).

Taking from the Nikon D50 the 2nd best dynamic range (Finepix S3 Pro is first with S & R pixels). (Just need to come close only).

Taking from the Nikon D70s and D50 the comfortable design. (Important for long term). (Will be researched).

Taking from the Nikon D70s and the DSC- R1 the great build quality. (As good as possible).

Taking the superior TTL viewfinder from the GX-1S. (Need to come close only)

Taking from the DSC-R1 the superb lens. (Sounds ridiculous, but dSLRs permits changeable lenses ).

Finally, taking the high ISO "Film like grain" (colorless) noise characteristic of the D70s at higher ISO. (Important for high ISO shooting). (Idislike chroma noises and chroma blotches or chroma molted appearance; especially noises from the red channel).

The Nikon D70s seems to fit this demanding list in quite a satisfactory manner >>>

It's images quality is around the EOS 350D's range since it is better than the EOS 300D's. The EOS 300D already win the Nikon D50 at IQ. (The rest comes close). I dislike the fact that the Alpha A100 need to use 10 MP just to "Slightly tip the competition". (No MP buster here allowed )

The D70s also have fully usable ISO range (With increments to select between the "00" values).

Though it doesn't have the EVOLT E-500's feature set, it is the one that comes the closest to it with the Alpha A100 trailing right behind.

The LCD monitor of the D70s isn't bad although it doesn't win. (But acceptable and sufficient enough). At least it is levels better than the one on the EOS 350D.

Regarding dynamic range, it must be as good as the Nikon D50. I believe that the imatest test focus too highly on noise levels that the D50 got to the top above the rest of the dSLRs. Perhaps it uses NR to remove all the noises when the D70s choose to maintain them to preserve image detail???Seems very likely to me. (The D70s chooses the purer approach according to dpreview).

It definitely have themost comfortable design in here.

Similar to comfort, it also has the best build quality in here as far as I can observe.

Regarding the TTL viewfinder, it doesn't win here. However, at least it has grid lines that the others (except the R1's electronic one) missed. (At least not so ridiculously small as the one on the EVOLT E-500).

As for the superb lens of the R1...Well the Nikon D70s certainly have the chance(Potential) to add on an equivalent one in future. Primes are easily better in their respective focal lengths.

It is the clear winner in the high ISO noise characteristic department. It has the lowest measured chroma noise levelsof all; (Really low red and blue channel noises compared to the rest: Even when compared to the EOS 20D). Noises on the Nikon D70s' images at ISO 1600 are mono chromic.

Now I can rest in peace. :bye:






























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