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Photography QnA: Digital Cameras

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Category: Best Photographic Equipment to Buy : Digital Cameras and Accessories : Digital Cameras

Interested in the consumer rating of digital cameras? How about some digital camera comparisons? Check out this Q&A for everything you wanted to know about digital cameras. Also, be sure to check out our cool digital camera calculators and digital camera comparison charts.

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Photography Question 
Alberto J. Quintero

member since: 2/24/2006
  1 .  LCD for Viewing with SLR?
I just bought my first digital SLR camera, the Canon EOS 20D. My question is: Why can't I use the viewfinder to shoot pictures? Wouldn't it be nice just to have the choice? Are all the SLR cameras the same? Is using the viewfinder not a professional thing? Or you don't get good pictures? I appreciate any comments ... thank you.

2/24/2006 11:01:27 AM

Bob Fately

member since: 4/11/2001
  ALberto, the reason you can't watch the live scene on the LCD like you can on a point-and-shoot camera has to do with how they are designed. The CCD chip in a point-and-shoot camera sits behind the lens, and thus can be turned on to send the signal to the LCD view screen. In fact, the chips used in P&S cameras were originally made for digital movie cameras - that's why there is a slight pause between the time you press the shutter button and the time the camera snaps the shot.
An SLR design is fundamentally different. When light enters the lens, it is reflected off a mirror and through a reflecting prism to get to the eyepiece you look through. What you are seeing is the exact stream of light that is coming through the lens (thus the name single lens reflex - the light coming through the lens is reflected up to your eye). In other words, the CCD chip doesn't "see" any light until you press the shutter button, at which time the mirror flips up and out of the way and the shutter opens, exposing the chip.
Since the chips used in DSLRs are specifically designed for still shooting, there is no perceptable delay between pressing the shutter and getting the shot.
So it's not that using the LCD is "not a professional thing" - it's a technically impossible thing. On the other hand, LCDs have crude resolution compared to mirrors, so the level of detail you can spot in the SLR viewfinder is far greater than any LCD could show you. To check depth of field, for example, is a waste of time on an LCD - you can't tell anyway.

2/24/2006 11:13:11 AM

Christopher J. Budny
BetterPhoto Member
chrisbudny.com

member since: 10/3/2005
  Just wanted to say, Bob, how much information I consistently get out of your answers. Thanks for posting!

2/24/2006 3:02:51 PM

Bob Fately

member since: 4/11/2001
  Thank you, Christopher - I'm all blushing here...
I'm just happy I can help spread some knowledge...

2/24/2006 3:13:52 PM

Alberto J. Quintero

member since: 2/24/2006
  Jezz BOB, thakns a lot, now I understand, I know is a dummy question but I'm just a beginner ant thank you for taking your time to answer. I really appreciate it.

2/26/2006 11:14:12 AM

anonymous A. 

member since: 9/19/2005
  Well, there is ONE option: the new Olympu E-330, has continuous live color previews via the LCD, enabling SLR shooters to use it as a viewfinder, just like a compact. It's a tilt-and-swivel 2.5-inch LCD with 92% coverage for autofocus shooting and a separate preview mode provides 100% coverage for manual focusing.

2/28/2006 5:51:17 AM

anonymous A. 

member since: 9/19/2005
  I just re-read that...I don't think I was too clear. I meant to point out that Olympus have solved the problem. This is a real SLR, but because it doesn't use a prism setup to get the image into the viewfinder, they have been able to put a CMOS sensor in the viewfinder light path (looks like they used a semi-reflecting mirror to do it). So far it's the only company to have managed this, and I don't expect that Canon, Nikon or any of the manufacturers whose cameras use a pentaprism viewfinder will be in a hurry to follow.
But if you want to use an LCD viewfinder on your Canon, Alberto, there is a gadget called a Zigview which lets you do that. It fits onto the viewfinder and you can use it for those macros and low down/high up viewpoints where holding the camera to your eye is really awkward.

2/28/2006 4:09:48 PM

Andrew Laverghetta
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 9/13/2004
  Just listing an advantage of using the normal, prism viewfinder as opposed to using the lcd screen on the back. It's usually easier to hold the camera still in lower lighting conditions if you are looking through the viewfinder on the camera. Even with the digital point and shoot cameras. I wouldn't suggest buying an SLR that would have real time LCD viewing just for that purpose. You get a lot better results looking through the normal, optical viewfinder (plus better stability by having the camera pushed against your head).

2/28/2006 10:29:29 PM

Janet H. Flint

member since: 2/13/2006
  I wondered the same thing,and so did my son the first time he picked up my dslr, it is a neat feature of the point and shot. It does help get a better aligned image, and for me I could hold it steadier by holding it out(believe it or not) So in my brain I got thinking that it had to do with paralax error(if that's the right word). You have a better chances of chopping peoples heads off with a point and shot then you do with a slr or at least thats what I understand.So there for I thought you just didn't need that feature.But I like everyone else answer

3/1/2006 12:04:21 AM

Andrew Laverghetta
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 9/13/2004
  In an SLR there is no paralax. There's only one lens. You're looking through the lens that you mount on the front. Go to http://science.howstuffworks.com/camera7.htm to see how an SLR camera works. Your view of what your going to take a picture of is much better on an SLR. It's like you're looking through a telescope at something instead of letting something else look at the subject, and then trying to discern quality of focus and depth of field through a small lcd screen.

As a recap, the SLR camera system shows you exactly what will be hitting the film or digital sensor. Also, I seriously doubt that you can hold a camera more steady while it's out in front of you as opposed to when you have it against your eye and brow. Flashes don't matter because they freeze the photo anyway, but try going in doors, turning off the flash, and hand holding out infront of your body with both hands, and then try with both hands with the camera, looking through the smaller viewfinder (which doesn't really do anything on the small digital point and shoots except for let you anchor the camera like this).

unelss of course, most of this last post is talking about the point and shoot viewfinders.

The thing with the dslr is that it operates like a film slr, not a digital point and shoot. It's mostly a 35mm camera with a digital chip attached.

3/1/2006 12:48:42 AM

Chet 

member since: 2/23/2005
  I found this really cool Web SLR
interactive virtual camera. Check it out, it will show you exactly how the SLR works inside.
http://www.webslr.com/index.html

3/1/2006 7:09:46 AM

Janet H. Flint

member since: 2/13/2006
  Andrew... I know there is no paralax error in slr's I have 3 of them.I know how they work. What I said was, at first I thought this was why dslr's don't have a veiwer because you don't need it. I also noticed that in dig. point and shots you were less likely to get paralax error using the screen WYSIWYG. And believe it or not, with my point and shot I am able to hold it steadier because I can lock my arms for a steadier shot and brace my feet better then I can holding it close to me. I tend to sway that way. When my arms are out straight I tend to stand like a statue and don't sway, Works for me and my son. I guess it is just the way we are. I can feel myself move when holding it close to my face and I don't feel that movement with out stretch arms it's a dicipline mind thing I suppose. I works, but then again maybe not everyone can do it. We do it indoors to with no flash. I found that you can also compose your shot better. everytime I hold it close to my face the resulting photo looks like a snap shot to much junk around. So maybe you don't agree but my shots are a lot better this way and don't look like a snap shot at all. They look more like I used an slr. I also notice that it act like a zoom without actually zooming, the camera is closer and not you.And you can avoid going in to digital zoom which is crappy.

3/1/2006 9:44:28 AM

anonymous A. 

member since: 9/19/2005
  Referring to every camera that isn't SLR as "P&S" gives the wrong impression of the style of photography and the capacity of the camera; and a lot of SLRs are P&S affairs!
I know we are getting a bit off the original question, but I wanted to support Janet. I have a few SLRs, film and digital, plus a couple of digital compacts, One is point-and-shoot, the other an advanced non-SLR. There are many times when using the LCD makes you steadier: apart from being able to get into a more stable posture as Janet described, you can place the camera on a solid surface or against a wall, tree, on the ground etc without having to press your face against it (not always desirable or even possible); you can use the strap stretched tight at arms length...lots of things. In every case, you can still compose the image accurately, because the LCD gives the same through-the-lens viewpoint as an SLR. You could describe digital as single lens non-reflex cameras (the "reflex" in SLR refers to the light being bent by reflecting off mirrors and through prisms to get to your eye). Good LCDs even let you judge depth of field, and the on-screen shooting information is not only easier to read, it can also be turned on and off at the press of a button. Even astronomy and microscopic work is done almost exclusively with non-optical viewfinders now!

3/1/2006 12:45:24 PM

Janet H. Flint

member since: 2/13/2006
  David R...Thanks for your comments. I thought for a minute maybe I was imagining things. But it is a useful little feature. And I missed it at first when I bought my dSLR and my son was looking for it too upon his inspection of my new camera.But I must confess it was my son who got me into that habit. He borrowed my Canon A20 not to long after I got it when his daughter was born and I never saw it for a while and he taught me the trick.He was getting better pic's out of it then I was. Because it also was slower to react he told me to use the focus lock to get the shot at the right moment.( aren't son's that borrow stuff wonderful). I have to agree with you about the P&S thing too. I use the discription in my not so camera smart circle( not that I'm the brightess flash in the world) so thry know what camera I used or am talking about. One other way is to say my little camera or my big camera.Then they know.It may seem like we get off track but I have noticed that you learn just the same or more.

3/1/2006 10:19:01 PM

  I'm learning more about my dslr every day. Thanks folks.

Have fun and keep shooting,
Mark

3/2/2006 12:25:43 AM

Respond | Ask Your Own Question
 
Photography Question 
Richard A. Curle

member since: 12/27/2005
  2 .  Digital Camera Suggestion Wanted
Hi. Great Web site and forums! I am an old 35mm SLR guy. I mostly shoot landscapes, primarily waterfalls. I enjoy manually manipulating the shot by varying the exposure time primarily. I use a 28mm-70mm and 70mm-200mm zoom.
I want to try digital and would like recommendations under $500 for this first purchase ... unless a DSLR would be sooooo much better for a little bit more.
Another question is on "zoom". With the type of shots mentioned, should I go for a 12x optical zoom as opposed to a 3x optical with 4x digital? Or is there little difference?
Thank you!

12/27/2005 8:51:56 AM

Kerry L. Walker

member since: 12/21/2004
  Richard, please understand that you are getting advice on a digital camera from a dedicated film guy so my knowledge is limited. If you have been shooting with a film SLR, I don't think you are going to be happy with a digital P&S camera. I would spend a little more and get a digital SLR, if digital is the way you want to go. If, however, you decide to go with a high-end digital P&S, stay away from the digital zoom. It doesn't really zoom like a zoom lens on an SLR does. It just crops the picture, and you won't like the results.

12/27/2005 8:58:53 AM

Todd Bennett
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 11/8/2004
  Richard,
I just recently made the switch to D-SLR and love it. I have to agree with Kerry. Depending on the SLR camera you have, you may want to look at buying a D-SLR body that will accept your current lenses. I had a Nikon N75 and went to the Nikon D70S. All my lenses work with my D70s. You may want to look on Ebay. You can probably find a used D-SLR for a good price. I think the D70S body sells for around 800-900 bucks new.

12/27/2005 9:47:42 AM

Bob Fately

member since: 4/11/2001
  Richard, like Todd said, you may want to investigate getting a DSLR that can use the lenses you already have. However, be aware that if you've got Nikon gear, it doesn't necessarily mean that your older lenses will work on the DSLR. While the higher-end DSLRs will work with the old lenses, the entry level and mid-models either don't work at all or are quite limiting.

That said, a DSLR might be a better approach than a fixed lens type - but understand there are really two types of fixed lens digicams. The smaller point & shoots are made to be compact and easy to use - they usually don't give the user the ability to set aperture or shutter speed directly. Also, there is quite a big diffrence between all-optical and optical/digital "zoom"; the latter is really a marketing ploy - all the camera is doing is cropping out the outer portions of the image area so you only see the middle - and lose resolution detail along the way. Stay away from digital zoom.

The higher-end digital cameras; Nikon, Panasonic, Fuji, Kodak, Sony et al - with the 10 or 12x optical zooms and the additional size over the P&S' often do give the shooter a lot of options. Sure, they have an "all auto" mode, but they also have the traditional aperture preferred, shutter preferred, etc. So they shoujldn't be written off, particularly in your price range. I would recommend against the 8MP and go for the 5-6MP chips anyway - the higher MP (megapixel) count is another marketing ploy as much as anything else - aat those sizes "noise" (similar to grain) becomes an issue anyway, expecially in darker scenes.

Eventually you may want to move to a DSLR directly, where the chips used are a cut above those in the lower-priced models (the CCDs in DSLRs are made for still shooting, the P&S and fancier fixed lens units' CCDs were originally made for movie use - that's why there'a a noticeable lag between your pressing the button and the shutter firing). But get your feet wet first; by the time you're ready to "move up" the technology will have improved drastically anyway.
Heck, I have a Panasonic FZ20 that I'll sell you (6 months old) since I'm getting a full-blown DSLR anyway.

12/27/2005 11:08:40 AM

William Koplitz

member since: 2/28/2004
  I'm a film guy who made the switch about five years ago. Get a digital SLR and skip the point and shoot cameras. As for lenses, you will get the quality you pay for. Stay with Canon or Nikon. Digital SLRs solve many of the problems that film cameras "own".

12/28/2005 8:03:57 AM

Erica Butler
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 6/3/2005
  Hi Richard!
First of all, I don't really think that a digital point and shoot is going to be something you will really be happy with if you've already got a 35mm SLR. They are convenient at times, but nothing compares to an SLR. Most of them do not have the control over exposure times like your SLR does. You CAN get some that do in your price range, but you don't have the luxury of adding your own lenses.
As for zoom, if you are set on a P&S, buy one with the 12x OPTICAL and stay away from the digital. It lowers your resolution dramatically, and your pictures look awful... pixellated and stuff. If you have a camera with digital zoom, turn it off. You can do your own cropping later on your computer if you must.
To the person who said to skip the 8mp or higher models- you are right. 5 or 6 is usually more than anyone needs, anyway. Unless you are blowing up poster size pictures constantly... which I doubt.
I don't know if you like to do wide angle, but something else you might want to consider is the crop factor (on the DSLR's). You have to multiply the focal length of your lenses to get your actual 35mm focal length by 1.5 or 1.6. Which will change the focal length of your existing lenses as well. You might not want to just buy a body, but a kit lens as well because they are usually equivalent to a 28-80 or similar lens on a digital camera.
I'd suggest buying the DSLR if you are going to go digital, but that's up to you. I had a Nikon N65 and got a Nikon D70. I also have a Nikon 4300, and it doesn't even compare to either of my SLR's. I would urge you to go with the DSLR, but if you don't, then I would go with a point and shoot that has manual controls and an optical zoom.

12/28/2005 9:33:33 AM

Ted Meikle

member since: 11/21/2005
  A follow-up question, if I may:

In the film world, I understand that a SLR camera's advantage is that you are seeing the image through the actual lense, rather than a separate viewfinder, and thus are seeing a better representation of what will appear on your developed photo.

In the digital world, wouldn't the video image on the camera actually give you a better representation of what you ultimately will get than will the viewfinder? Both are showing what the lense is seeing, but the digital image is showing what will appear after the digital magic?

Thanks,

Ted

12/28/2005 10:56:20 AM

Bob Fately

member since: 4/11/2001
  Actually, Ted, the direct view via the mirror and prism of an SLR is extermely high resolution - after all, you're looking right at the subject. Compare this to the television-level resolution that currently exists on the displays used in digicams, and you will see that the digital version makes it quite difficult to do critical focus.

For example, if you concern yourself with depth of field and want to ensure that the bush in the background is blurred out while the child in the foreground is sharp, this is simple enough to see in an SLR. With the digital display, however, the nuances of focus are lost.

Remember, except for exotic mil-spec stuff, video screens are essentially about 75 line per inch in resolution. COmpare this to the infinite resolution of photons reflecting off mirrors and into your eye and you get a sense of the difference.

12/28/2005 11:02:12 AM

William Koplitz

member since: 2/28/2004
  Ted,
With a DSLR you compose through the viewfinder, just like your SLR, not on the video display. Once you photograph you can see what you just shot on the display and can use it as a confirmation, the images in the camera will be better in all respects, especially if you use the raw file format.

I'm constantly shooting 2/3's of a stop less than auto recommends because I like heavily saturated colors and I also lower the contrast on all photographs through the camera controls because if I loose the highlights they are ususally gone. Also, I no longer bracket.

You'll notice that the depth of field in digital is very small, much smaller than 35mm, more on the order of 4x5" and to maintain the same depth of field you are looking at 4-5 stops more in digital than film.

12/28/2005 12:19:29 PM

anonymous A. 

member since: 9/19/2005
  I bought my wife a digital nearly 2 years ago and was so impressed with it that I bought myself a Panasonic FZ10 a month or so later. I thought of it as a backup to my Canon EOS5. I took both to Africa shortly after, and found that I hd to make a real effort to get out the SLR! Shutter lag was not an issue, nor was the issue of focal length: the 12x zoom gave me the equivalent of a 35-420mm lens (yes, for wide angle I had to pull out the SLR). No-one (including me) has ever been able to pick which system was used for emlargements up to 16x24 inches. And despite the common cry, I did use digital zoom (giving me an apparent 1200+ focal length) and you STILL can't tell: the only reason to do it is to be able to see something that far off in the viwfinder...otherwise cropping after the event is the better way to go.
I came back from Africa with unused film; unheard of!! I still have some of it left; with the Lumix in the house I just stopped using film.
This year I bought a Canon 20D. There is no dought that it is the better camera; at nearly 3x the price it had better be. Now I use both about equally. Have a look at my gallery and see if you can tell the difference: you are welcome to print a couple for comparison if you want.

As previous writers have said, noise (especially at higher ISO raings is annoying at times, but macro shooting is sooo simple: no accessories and you can focus down to centimetres; I think William K. may have the DOF question backwards(apologies, William)~ the depth of field is actually greater with digital, and it is sometimes tricky to get that soft, out-of-focus background that looks so good in portraits (I read somewhere that DOF is affected in the same proportion as focal length; expect it to be 1.6x greater; that seems about right from my own experience).
I prefer using a "real" viewfinder, but I really miss being able to compose using the LCD screen when I am at ground level or shooting over my head or setting up a macro composition.
RAW is available in the best compact systems, but I wouldn't make it a buying point. I'd say try a few cameras; see what fits your hand and your eye. By all means keep shooting film with the equipment you know well, get a GOOD digital compact and go to DSLR later if you feel you want/need to.
Good luck.

12/28/2005 1:31:53 PM

Donald  E. Wooden

member since: 9/19/2005
  Richard,
I was going to get on here and share my wealth of information. However after reading all the ones above I see you are already being led the direction I would have led you. Basically your $500 figure is "out the door" but you are being led a trustworthy direction.

12/28/2005 1:34:50 PM

Brendan Knell
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 4/17/2005
  I don't know if the 500$ figure is totally out of the door. You may be able to find a Rebel for right about that. Or you may have to check into a few used cameras.

12/28/2005 3:45:10 PM

Ben N. Salmon
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 12/9/2005
  Richard,
You might look in to geting the Canon EOS D60 DSLR. It's in the $500 price range that you are looking at. If you look on Ebay you could find one for around $400, and it's got 6mp. I got a Canon EOS D30(that's the one under it) it's got 3mp but I have gotten very good results from it. And it only cost me $200. So just look around!
Good Luck!
-Ben

12/28/2005 6:55:35 PM

Simon  A. Stone

member since: 9/21/2005
  If you want a point and shoot I would deffinately recomend a canon powershot sd55o it has 7.1 megapixels, almost inumerable modes and settings,if you get it at ROYALCAMERA.com it is usually cheaper than ebay.it is kinda pricey about 400-500$ and is tiny enough to take with you anywhere.
if you want a DSLR then get one that is the same brand as the one you have,
it will be easier to learn and you might have accessories that fit it. another option is a DSLR without interchangeble lenses like a konica dimage, they have a lot of settings but I find the menu layout illogical but my brother loves them. I would suggest going to a electronics store and trying them out. but you know what you like and want so don't let the salespeople talk you into anything. that's all

12/29/2005 9:05:58 AM

Simon  A. Stone

member since: 9/21/2005
  If you want a point and shoot I would deffinately recomend a canon powershot sd55o it has 7.1 megapixels, almost inumerable modes and settings,if you get it at ROYALCAMERA.com it is usually cheaper than ebay.it is kinda pricey about 400-500$ and is tiny enough to take with you anywhere.
if you want a DSLR then get one that is the same brand as the one you have,
it will be easier to learn and you might have accessories that fit it. another option is a DSLR without interchangeble lenses like a konica dimage, they have a lot of settings but I find the menu layout illogical but my brother loves them. I would suggest going to a electronics store and trying them out. but you know what you like and want so don't let the salespeople talk you into anything. that's all

12/29/2005 9:05:59 AM

Brendan Knell
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 4/17/2005
  Simon, when you say "a DSLR without interchangeable lenses", what you're talking about is probably a Prosumer camera. They look like DSLRs but they're not. They also usually(at least mine does) don't have as big as sensors as DSLRs.

12/29/2005 10:35:22 AM

Andrew Laverghetta
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 9/13/2004
  I think that you would enjoy using a DSLR but realize that you'll have to do a fair amount of your own editing to the digital file. I'm never really proud of an image from my 20D until I can tweak contrast and sharpen on the computer. That's just my feeling though. I know people always say about money and that it will be worth it to jump to a higher model. Obviously, that's not always possible.

My dad is looking for a digital camera to take to Europe. One of the cameras that I'm looking into for him is the Canon PowerShot S2 IS. I enjoyed playing with it at BestBuy but it's hard to know what would be the best for him. Anyway, I would look at similar cameras that have the "Priority" modes and ones that don't use digital zoom as a large part of their selling point.

If you go to B&H, you can find a few models to reasearch further by clicking Digital Photography (on the far left), and then Advanced Digital Cameras. Again, that's if you can't spend some extra money on a used camera like the Canon Digital Rebel, or something like Nikon's D50.

Hope this helps you out!

12/29/2005 5:43:19 PM

Koen Van den Beld
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 6/2/2005
  Get a D-SLR of the same brand as the film camera. You can most likely use your old lenses but remember that because of the size of the sensor the focal range appears longer. E.g. my Canon 20D has a crop size of 1.6 which effectively increases the focal length of your current lenses by a factor of 1.6 . Only the Canon 5D and 1DII cameras are full frame (35mm frame) but VERY expensive.

>You'll notice that the depth of field
>in digital is very small, much smaller
>than 35mm, more on the order of 4x5"
>and to maintain the same depth of
>field you are looking at 4-5 stops
>more in digital than film.

This is absolutely not true. It is exactly the opposite and depends on the size of the sensor. The smaller the sensor the bigger the DOF. Most D-SLRs has sensors smaller than 35mm film and therefore a bigger DOF. A P&S camera has a tiny sensor and thus a huge DOF. Means, not good for portraits etc.
A 4x5" camera has a huge film area and thus a shallow DOF.

The "DSLR without interchangeable lenses" are just P&S cameras in a SLR look-alike body. They perform like high-end P&S cameras but don't match an SLR. The optics don't come close to a good lens and they are as slow as a normal P&S camera.

Don't buy a 5 year old body if you're serious about photography. Spend a few hunderd more and you have a new, up-to-date body that you can use for years to come. Prices come down constantly. Canon 350D and 20D or Nikon D50 and D70S are bodies you can't go wrong with.

Koen.

1/4/2006 4:15:47 AM

William Koplitz

member since: 2/28/2004
  Depth of field is determined by the focal length of the lens and the size of the circle of confusion which is determined by the aperture of the lens. When you put a 50mm lens on a 1.5x camera, you now have a 75mm lens and less depth of field (the circle of confusion is larger - the smaller the circle, the larger the depth of field - a 4x5" camera has a very large circle of confusion).

In digital, in order to get to the same depth of field as a 24mm lens you need to use a 17mm lens. If you put a 24mm film camera against a 24mm digitial converted lens on a digital camera, you will find that the film camera has more depth of field at the same aperture, I don't know why, in my mind they should be equal but I have not seen this. Try it.

Even more annoying is that if you apply the f/16 rule you will see that the sensor in your camera is not really at the ISO the camera maker claims. My 200 ISO sensor is really about 50 ISO.

1/4/2006 6:04:07 AM

Bob Fately

member since: 4/11/2001
  Boy howdy there's a lot of confusion in here...

William, depth of field is a funtion of three things - the focal length of the lens, the APERTURE setting, and the size of the projected image (that is, the film or sensor dimensions).

1) As focal length increases, DOF decreases at a given f-stop. That is, a 100MM lens focused to 10 feet distance will have less DOF than a 50MM lens focused at 10 feet distance, if both are at, say, f4. Of course, from 10 feet away, the 100MM lens will make the image twice as large as the 50MM - that is, it's angle of view is less that the 50MM lens'.

2)A smaller aperture leads to more DOF. With a given lens, f8 has more DOF than f2.8.

3) The larger the sensor format, the more DOF a given focal length will provide. A 75MM lens on a 4x5" view camera at f8 has MORE DOF than a 75MM lens on a 35MM camera at f8. This is because the circle of confusion on a larger format is more forgiving.

Does everyone get that now?

1/4/2006 8:21:55 AM

William Koplitz

member since: 2/28/2004
  There certainly is a lot of confusion here. Lucky we have wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Depth_of_field

1/4/2006 9:27:12 AM

William Koplitz

member since: 2/28/2004
  For those who are really interested in the differences, I found this site, which is exactly what I'm talking about. Compare a 50mm lens at F/8 on a D70 with a 35mm film camera. Focus at around 10 feet. An on line depth of field calculator:

http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html

I don't know where he got his formulas.

1/4/2006 12:37:17 PM

anonymous A. 

member since: 9/19/2005
  It would seem both William and Koen are right! But to reconcile these apparent contradictory points of view, we need to consider the image size on the film or sensor. Depth of field IS smaller on the typical digital sensor (but not on a "full frame" setup like the EOSD1). But to get an image that fills the frame to the same degree on a digital, you have to move the camera further away, giving a greater dof for the image size, but not for the focal length, fstop combination.

1/4/2006 1:17:53 PM

Andrew Laverghetta
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 9/13/2004
  Well, this is a little off from what the original post was about but this isn't making sense. Just because you put a 50mm lens on a DSLR doesn't give it any more depth of field than if it were on a 35mm film camera. It's just cropping to the effect of either a 70mm or 80mm lens. It's just not using as much of the projected image which makes it look like an 80mm lens with the depth of field of a 50mm lens.

It would be just like taking a shot from a 50mm lens on 35mm film and cropping it and blowing it up to look like it was 80mm. The image is still the same, just cropped.

Unless you're talking about the point and shoot digitals, then I'm not sure about those.

1/4/2006 2:38:27 PM

Andrew Laverghetta
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 9/13/2004
  Well, this is a little off from what the original post was about but this isn't making sense. Just because you put a 50mm lens on a DSLR doesn't give it any more depth of field than if it were on a 35mm film camera. It's just cropping to the effect of either a 70mm or 80mm lens. It's just not using as much of the projected image which makes it look like an 80mm lens with the depth of field of a 50mm lens.

It would be just like taking a shot from a 50mm lens on 35mm film and cropping it and blowing it up to look like it was 80mm. The image is still the same, just cropped.

Unless you're talking about the point and shoot digitals, then I'm not sure about those.

1/4/2006 2:38:45 PM

Andrew Laverghetta
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 9/13/2004
  Well, this is a little off from what the original post was about but this isn't making sense. Just because you put a 50mm lens on a DSLR doesn't give it any more depth of field than if it were on a 35mm film camera. It's just cropping to the effect of either a 70mm or 80mm lens. It's just not using as much of the projected image which makes it look like an 80mm lens with the depth of field of a 50mm lens.

It would be just like taking a shot from a 50mm lens on 35mm film and cropping it and blowing it up to look like it was 80mm. The image is still the same, just cropped.

Unless you're talking about the point and shoot digitals, then I'm not sure about those.

1/4/2006 2:38:50 PM

Andrew Laverghetta
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 9/13/2004
  Well, this is a little off from what the original post was about but this isn't making sense. Just because you put a 50mm lens on a DSLR doesn't give it any more depth of field than if it were on a 35mm film camera. It's just cropping to the effect of either a 70mm or 80mm lens. It's just not using as much of the projected image which makes it look like an 80mm lens with the depth of field of a 50mm lens.

It would be just like taking a shot from a 50mm lens on 35mm film and cropping it and blowing it up to look like it was 80mm. The image is still the same, just cropped.

Unless you're talking about the point and shoot digitals, then I'm not sure about those.

1/4/2006 2:39:02 PM

Andrew Laverghetta
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 9/13/2004
  Well, this is a little off from what the original post was about but this isn't making sense. Just because you put a 50mm lens on a DSLR doesn't give it any more depth of field than if it were on a 35mm film camera. It's just cropping to the effect of either a 70mm or 80mm lens. It's just not using as much of the projected image which makes it look like an 80mm lens with the depth of field of a 50mm lens.

It would be just like taking a shot from a 50mm lens on 35mm film and cropping it and blowing it up to look like it was 80mm. The image is still the same, just cropped.

Unless you're talking about the point and shoot digitals, then I'm not sure about those.

1/4/2006 2:39:14 PM

Andrew Laverghetta
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 9/13/2004
  Well, this is a little off from what the original post was about but this isn't making sense. Just because you put a 50mm lens on a DSLR doesn't give it any more depth of field than if it were on a 35mm film camera. It's just cropping to the effect of either a 70mm or 80mm lens. It's just not using as much of the projected image which makes it look like an 80mm lens with the depth of field of a 50mm lens.

It would be just like taking a shot from a 50mm lens on 35mm film and cropping it and blowing it up to look like it was 80mm. The image is still the same, just cropped.

Unless you're talking about the point and shoot digitals, then I'm not sure about those.

1/4/2006 2:39:25 PM

Andrew Laverghetta
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 9/13/2004
  Well, this is a little off from what the original post was about but this isn't making sense. Just because you put a 50mm lens on a DSLR doesn't give it any more depth of field than if it were on a 35mm film camera. It's just cropping to the effect of either a 70mm or 80mm lens. It's just not using as much of the projected image which makes it look like an 80mm lens with the depth of field of a 50mm lens.

It would be just like taking a shot from a 50mm lens on 35mm film and cropping it and blowing it up to look like it was 80mm. The image is still the same, just cropped.

Unless you're talking about the point and shoot digitals, then I'm not sure about those.

1/4/2006 2:42:14 PM

Andrew Laverghetta
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 9/13/2004
  Well, this is a little off from what the original post was about but this isn't making sense. Just because you put a 50mm lens on a DSLR doesn't give it any more depth of field than if it were on a 35mm film camera. It's just cropping to the effect of either a 70mm or 80mm lens. It's just not using as much of the projected image which makes it look like an 80mm lens with the depth of field of a 50mm lens. I thought this was how it works. Maybe that's just making it more complicated.

1/4/2006 2:42:42 PM

Andrew Laverghetta
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 9/13/2004
  crap, I'm really sorry about that

1/4/2006 2:43:52 PM

Koen Van den Beld
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 6/2/2005
  I think we got very much of topic now but he, we are talking photography so how cares.

William when you do the comparison in the DOF calculator you have to compensate the actual focal length for the smaller sensor size of the D70 (=1.5)so to get comparable cases you must choose a focal lenght of 33mm for the D70 to have the same image size. Doing the calculations using 3 ft distance then result in:
35mm 50mm f/2.8 3ft -> 2.91ft and 3.09ft
D70 33mm f/2.8 3 ft -> 2.87ft and 3.14ft

This means the D70 because of its smaller sensor using the same aperture and effective focal length has a bigger DOF. Not smaller.

Also from the Wikipedia:
"As the equations above show, depth of field also related to the circle of confusion which is a figure of merit associated with each type of film format. Larger imaging devices (such as 8x10 inch photographic plates) have a larger circle of confusion, while smaller imaging devices such as point-and-shoot digital cameras have a smaller circle of confusion. All else being equal, depth of field is inversely proportional to the film format size.

In practical terms this means that smaller cameras have deeper depth of field than larger cameras. This can be an advantage or disadvantage, depending on the desired effect. A large format camera is better for photographs where the forground and background are blurred (cf. bokeh), while a small camera maximizes depth of field, so that objects behind or in front of the focus plane are still in good focus"

Koen.

1/5/2006 4:25:14 AM

William Koplitz

member since: 2/28/2004
  Thanks. This page is a good discussion.

http://www.dofmaster.com/dof_dslr.html

1/5/2006 7:04:00 AM

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Photography Question 
William Koplitz

member since: 2/28/2004
  3 .  Size of Digital Sensors
I'm wondering why the camera manufacturers didn't standardize the size of digital sensors to produce an 8x10" print or a 7.5x9.5" size. It looks like they took the same dimensions as 35mm film and went with that, which I think is short sighted. The film world tries to operate around the 8x10" print, not a 6.5 x 10" print. It seems that all they would have to do is add sensor to the narrow sides. I'm hoping there are people who have insight into digital sensor size.

5/26/2005 6:47:08 AM

Jon Close
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 5/18/2000
  8x10 is no more a standard than is 5x7, 6x7, 4x6, 11x14, or any other common print size. Most digital cameras, including the Olympus line of DSLRs, are formatted in 4:3 to match the dimensions of common computer monitors. That Canon/Nikon/Minolta/Pentax adopted the 2:3 format of 35mm film for their DSLRs is due to the overwhelming familiarity of users with that format, and because their existing SLR lens inventory is optimized for that format.

5/26/2005 7:40:56 AM

William Koplitz

member since: 2/28/2004
  If you work in 4x5" or 8x10" film, you will see that there is an 8x10" standard for those sizes, and if you've worked in 5x7", you will see that there is an 3.5 x 5" a 5x7", and an 11x14" size that speaks to that format. I guess by standard, I'm speaking of getting the most utility out of the paper trim sizes that are on the market.
Why would I want to buy 8x10" or 8.5x11" inch paper if I have to trim and throw parts of it away? Wouldn't it have been better to match the sensor to the paper rather than to an arbitrary size left over from old technology that never spoke to the standard photographic paper sizes for 35mm either, or to a monitor size which is changing and evolving? I just don't know.

5/26/2005 7:54:47 AM

Kerry L. Walker

member since: 12/21/2004
  Paper sizes have never been standardized to fit the film format (with the exception of 4x5 and 8x10 large-format film). Many years ago, when I was young (too many years ago), the film sizes were 6x6 (2-1/4 x 2/14) and 24x36 (35mm). You just learn to allow for the crop when you take the picture.

5/26/2005 8:54:07 AM

Andrew Laverghetta
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 9/13/2004
  Something that I noticed that I found odd had to do with a Kodak Easyshare camera that I bought on impulse early this year. It defaults at the 8x10 kind of ratio (is that 4:3?), and then you can choose to select the 3:2 as if it was 35mm. The thing that's interesting about that is that it's not really 3.2 MP anymore, right? Just figured I'd put that out there.

6/2/2005 11:13:14 PM

Shawn Wilson
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 4/25/2005
  Well, with your easyshare it still could be depending on how it uses the sensor. If it uses the whole sensor for one, and shrinks one dimension to make the other, then yes, it's losing resolution.

However, if they planned it right both formats could be a full 3.2 if neither uses the whole sensor, but one uses the full width and partial height, the other use full height and partial width.

One quick and dirty way to tell is to look at the image size... just multiply the two dimensions for the MP. My Rebel XT shoots at 3456 x 2304 which makes it 7.96 MP (marketed as 8MP, close enough).

I call it quick and dirty, because it could be misleading. While I don't know of any cameras that do it, it would certainly be possible for a camera to write a file that has been upsized. So unless I could prove that NO camera does that, then I'll consider the dimension test to be a rough one.

6/3/2005 2:05:39 AM

William Koplitz

member since: 2/28/2004
  Isn't it also kind of odd that the HD TV standards people selected the letterbox ratio (I believe it was originally a technicolor ratio). Why do the manufactures think we want that ratio? Is someone going to start manufacturing 7x10 paper?

6/3/2005 3:22:36 AM

Jon Close
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 5/18/2000
  HDTV aspect ratio is 16:9, which matches that of the most popular wide-screen motion picture format - Panavision. There is also a wider Panavision format of 2.35:1, and older/wider widescreen formats such as Cinerama and CinemaScope.

The H ("HDTV" or full frame) setting of APS film/cameras is 16:9 and printed as 4" x 7". The Panorama setting returns crops printed as 4" x 11".

6/3/2005 9:36:51 AM

Phillip Corcoran

member since: 12/10/2005
  I think the so called 'standardisation' of print sizes which some argue does not exist, came about as a result of the readily available 'off the shelf' frame sizes you can pick up in any photo shop -- and this certainly includes 4x6,6x8 and 8x10 inches, all of which are available ready-made for you to pop in a photo of that size. From that it's easy to see how those corresponding print sizes have been dubbed as 'standard', for want of a better word, and I for one understand it's meaning even if it's never been officially adopted.

1/27/2006 7:10:31 AM

William Koplitz

member since: 2/28/2004
  I guess what I was trying to say is that if you work in photographic sheet paper, there is 5x7", 8x10", 8.5x11", and 11x14" etc. The 35mm frame size in slr cameras isn't in any of these ratios. The paper manufacturers never made a paper to give you a full frame from a 35mm negative. And now with digital it continues. The Nikon D1x frame is 10.237 x 6.533 at 300 dpi. Why? I think that 35mm lens coverage is probably the right reason, but why do we have to continue this with digital? Sensors can come in many sizes. It seems that the new technology could improve these ratios. Why the powers that be decide on 16:9, what was the advantage? Did they test this on viewers or did they just decide that's what it was going to be or is there some kind of technological limitation that we don't know about?

1/27/2006 9:09:46 AM

David A. Bliss

member since: 5/24/2005
  Here is a link to an article which should explain why 35mm was originally chosen as a film standard.

http://fotogenetic.dearingfilm.com/golden_rectangle.html

Any lab should offer 8x12 (the 3:2 aspect ratio of 35mm film and most SLR sensors) as a standard print size. Mats with an 8x12 opening are harder to come by, but this isn't an issue if you cut your own mats. I don't worry much about the aspect ratio when I am shooting or cropping. I use what is best for the shot. Then, I add to the canvas in Photoshop to equal a standard lab print size. For example, if a picture ends up cropped to 7x11 (just as an example), I then increase the canvas size to 8x12 with a nuetral background color, and have the lab print it at 8x12. This keeps the picture at the aspect I want, keeps printing cost lower because it is a standard lab print, and gives me some extra area for attaching to the mat.

The problem you are running into is with home printing, I am guessing. You have your logic backwards. 35mm, or 3:2 aspect, has been around a long time. What you should be asking is why the companies who make photo printers are trying to force you into a "standard" size.

1/27/2006 10:10:45 AM

William Koplitz

member since: 2/28/2004
  No, not really, I asking, "Why we can't we move forward?"

1/27/2006 11:12:21 AM

Shawn Wilson
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 4/25/2005
  It seems as though you think 'moving forward' is acomplished by the photography world changing adapt to new the digital camera world toys. That logic seems flawed though.

Digital camera makers may have plenty of reasons for making sensors of different sizes, but none of those reasons are photography based. They are price, manufacturing, etc... reasons.

What needs to happen is for digital camera makers to mimic a 'real' camera by using a 35mm sensor size and to stay in line with how photography has long been arranged.

Unless there is some good reason to change aspect ratios or sensor size, then why change something that isn't broke? Why should frame makers, photo processors, and others all have to adjust to the newest whim of some cheap digital camera?

Honestly is like telling the US to remake all of it's roads if today's cars want a much larger wheel base. No. Car makers make cars to fit the road because that's what's out there and there isn't any good reason to change something that large. Digital camera makers should follow the same logic.

If frames are sold at 3:2 ratios, then the camera should take 3:2 pictures.

If there is some compelling reason to change that, then present the case and then move forward... but movement for the sake of movement is not forward. Changing just for the sake of change has no purpose. Only when some good or improvement is furthered is the change worthwhile.

This really is a moot point though, we're all consumers here... not manufacturers... so lets just move on shall we...?

To your original question though... the REASON digital camera makers choose the sizes they do comes down to cost, convienience, and maybe even to cater to those who have 8x10 photo printers at home. Maybe there are others, but those are the big ones I'm sure.

1/27/2006 11:25:17 AM

William Koplitz

member since: 2/28/2004
  Do you speak for all manufacturers or just the ones you buy from?

1/27/2006 12:13:55 PM

Shawn Wilson
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 4/25/2005
  White papers, press releases, new product articles... that's where you'll find their reasons for using certain sensors. Mostly what you'll find is that the manufacturer made no specific thought toward the aspect ratio. Until you get to SLR level cameras that is.

In the end though, it comes down to what YOU want and what YOU'RE willing to work with. If you require a 4:3 image sensor then find one and go with it. If you want a full frame 3:2 sensor, then find that and go with it.

Personally, I'm less concerned with the aspect ratio and more focused on image quality. I can fix the aspect ratio with cropping or resizing and realistically we're talking about loosing less than 1% of your image area in either case at worst.

Knowing your equipment and planning your shot will make sure you don't have to worry one bit about the aspect ratio of the sensor.

In truth, I really don't see why it's even that big of a deal seeing as how we've lived with the standard sizes this long and they never have preserved aspect ratio (4x6, 5x7, 8x10 all have different aspects yet we use the same 35mm source to make those prints).

1/27/2006 12:30:01 PM

David A. Bliss

member since: 5/24/2005
  I see now that there is confusion between size and aspect ratio. Reading Williams response more carefully, he was wondering why the Nikon D1x frame is 10.237 x 6.533 at 300 dpi. That has everything to do with the size of the sensor, not the aspect ratio. The sensor on the Nikon D1x only captures enough pixels to create a 10.237 x 6.533 print, but it still has a 3:2 aspect ratio. To print an 8x12 picture, the original photo needs to be enlarged (tools for enlarging digital photographs is another discussion).

This is no different than a 35mm negative. The original photograph is captured on a piece of film that is 24mm x 36mm, so to get a 4x6 print, the original picture must be enlarged. This is an issue of size. Aspect ratio determines what size the print needs to be to keep any of the picture from being cropped.

The discussion as to why 8x10 and 16x20 seem to be "standard" print sizes has been discussed ad nasium long before the advent of digital photography, and is relevent to aspect ratio, not size.

For the most part, digital SLR cameras have maintained the 3:2 aspect ratio. A lot of P&S digicams have gone to a 4:3 ratio, and this seems to be because the size of a standard monitor or TV has a 4:3 ratio, so the pictures can be displayed on a monitor without any "filler" space. The largest print size that can be produced by any camera has to do with how many pixels it captures. The more pixels captured, generally, the larger the print can be without using enlarging software.

The funny part of all of this, is all of these aspect ratios still do not equate to an 8x10 print, which has an aspect ratio of 5:4, which means even using a 4:3 ratio camera, you still can't print an 8x10 without adjustments. Seems the photo industry just can't seem to get anything on the same page!

1/27/2006 4:24:28 PM

William Koplitz

member since: 2/28/2004
  David, thank you. That was exactly the point I wanted to make. It seems that these camera bodies have the space to create the 5:4 aspect ratio, my question was, why don't the camera manufacturers do this, it just seems to make sense to me.

1/27/2006 7:13:17 PM

David A. Bliss

member since: 5/24/2005
  William, I understand exactly what you are saying, and understand your point. But with all of that said, I prefer the 3:2 ratio, and generally try to fill the frame of my SLR when shooting. I like the way the thirds line up better, and after reading about how the 3:2 ratio was designed with the golden rectangle in mind, I understand more as to why I like it better. I started matting my own pictures, so I don't have to worry about custom matting, and like I said before, I enlarge the photoshop canvas to a "standard" print size. I don't print my own photos, I prefer to have it done at a lab. I do also have many pictures that I have cropped to 8x10 ratio, because that is the ratio for most magazines. There is one glaring exception. One of the most highly touted photo magazines in the world, National Geographic, has a 3:2 aspect ratio. Guess they realized the importance of being able to use the full frame of a 35mm camera without cropping.

Also, Shawn, you said you are losing less than 1% when cropping. To crop from 8x12 (the enlargement of 3:2 ratio) to 8x10 (what is being called standard) is a little over a 16% loss of viewable area. Personally, I would like to use that much extra space.

1/27/2006 9:06:33 PM

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Photography Question 
Valerie A. Niblack

member since: 3/30/2005
  4 .  What is an Optical Viewfinder?
This might be a dumb question, but what is the difference between a viewfinder and an optical viewfinder if any? If a camera does not have an optical viewfinder does that mean it has no viewfinder, only the lcd screen.

5/15/2005 4:58:27 PM

John A. Lind
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 9/27/2001
  Valerie,
Only in the new world of digital would there be a question like this ;-)
An "optical" viewfinder is the type found on all film cameras ... it uses optical train (glass or plastic lenses) to a "viewing" lens on the front of the camera. In an SLR, the "viewing" lens is also the picture-"taking" lens. In rangefinder and TLRs, they're two different lenses.

Nearly all digital cameras have an LCD panel on the back. Most have an "optical" viewfinder in addition to the LCD panel. Some have what appears to be a viewfinder, but instead of a pure optical train to a "viewing" lens on the front (in an SLR it's the "taking" lens) it's a small LCD panel with a lens or two in front of it so your eye can focus properly on it (because it's an inch or less from your eye).

5/15/2005 5:32:30 PM

John A. Lind
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 9/27/2001
  Valerie,
Only in the new world of digital would there be a question like this ;-)

An "optical" viewfinder is the type found on all film cameras . . . it uses optical train (glass or plastic lenses) to a "viewing" lens on the front of the camera. In a SLR, the "viewing" lens is also the "taking" lens. In rangefinder and TLR's they're two different lenses.

Nearly all digital cameras have an LCD panel on the back. Most have an "optical" viewfinder in addition to the LCD panel. Some have what appears to be a viewfinder, but instead of a pure optical train to a "viewing" lens on the front (in an SLR it's the "taking" lens) it's a small LCD panel with a lens or two in front of it so your eye can focus properly on it (because it's an inch or less from your eye).

-- John Lind

5/15/2005 5:32:59 PM

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Photography Question 
Peter K. Burian
BetterPhoto Member
PeterKBurian.com
Peter's Photo Courses:
2-Week Short Course: Boot Camp for New Digital SLR Owners
4-Week Short Course: Mastering the Canon EOS Digital Rebels
Mastering the Digital Camera and Photography
  5 .  New Nikon D70s: How It Compares to D70
I have begun testing Nikon's new D70s. Is it much better than the D70? Here are some specifics about the D70s AND info on upgrading your D70.

Only 5 grams heavier, the D70s features a larger 2” LCD monitor (vs. 1.8”) for better scrutiny of images, while newly designed menus and slightly different controls offer greater convenience.

Built-in flash coverage has been increased to support lenses as wide as 18mm and PictBridge technology has been added. The latter allows for direct printing from the camera with any PictBridge compliant photo printer.

A new socket has been added for a basic ($30, street price) Remote Cord (MC-DC1), but the D70s also accepts the other Nikon remote control accessories. Do note that the MS-D70 battery holder - for using CR2 lithium batteries instead of the new (higher capacity) EN-EL3a battery - is now an optional ($15) extra.

And finally, autofocus performance has been tweaked. The 5-area AF system continues to feature a cross-type sensor in the center, broad frame coverage, and reliable low light detection. The improvement was to the continuous AF system, for greater precision with fast, more consistent subject acquisition and improved focus tracking.

Note: There’s some good news for photographers who already own a Nikon D70. You can upgrade the camera with the superior autofocus, improved menu design and PictBridge compatibility, free of charge. Simply visit the Nikon Web site in late May and look for the new D70 Firmware. Download that data file to a computer and load it to your camera as per the instructions, a simple ten-minute process.

The Nikon digital Web site is: www.nikondigital.com

5/4/2005 5:31:16 AM

  The Nikon digital Web site is

www.nikondigital.com

Peter Burian

5/4/2005 5:44:08 AM

member 
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 7/18/2004
  Hello Peter-

i just wanted to say, you have just made a D70 owner VERY HAPPY TO HEAR THIS (in regards to the free upgrade for the otherwise poor autofocussing)!

~mai

5/10/2005 11:28:21 AM

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Photography Question 
Sarah 

member since: 12/28/2004
  6 .  My First Digital SLR: How to Start?
I just bought my first digital camera - and first SLR (Canon Digital Rebel). Wow, talk about information overload. Any suggestions how to get to know this camera?

5/1/2005 5:54:36 PM

  I've had the Digital Rebel about 9 months and am just getting to where I can quickly change settings/modes to what would be best for a given situation. Since digital is "free", shoot/upload/check pics. I started on "auto", shot a bunch, uploaded, read each photo's properties - i.e., what the camera chose for aperture/shutter speed/etc./learned from that/deleted pictures.
Then I moved to "program" and did the same thing ... then to "shutter priority", then to "aperture priority" ... blah blah blah. I also I read the small instruction manual numerous times.
It's like anything else - driving a car or frying an egg ... practice and repetition.
Hope this helps or even made sense.
Bob

5/1/2005 7:59:13 PM

Anthony Soares
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 4/3/2005
  Sarah,
LOL I know how you feel. I just made the move from point-and-shoot to SLR. Read your manual again. I have gone through mine several times now. I also picked up a Magic Lantern Guide (model specific). If you're like me and want more creative control, I highly recommend the book, Understanding Exposure by BP instructor Bryan Peterson. It's very informative, as well as easy to read and understand. Hope this helps ... Tony S

5/1/2005 8:07:40 PM

Cyndee Wanyonyi
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 4/7/2005
  There is a great site...www.photoworkshop.com. It has tutorials on how to use the Canon Rebel(s). It is a wonderful tool!

5/1/2005 9:45:13 PM

anonymous 
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 2/7/2005
  I just bought my first Digital too on the weekend on Ebay (it has to come from Canada). I got the Rebel XT or in Australia it is called the 350D!

5/1/2005 10:35:16 PM

Rob Martin
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 3/17/2005
  Dear Sarah:
I'm a newbie at the world of digital SLR. Now going from a P&S camera to a D-SLR is quite a change. I'm gonna be honest with you, it took me at least 2 1/2 weeks to master the camera, not let the camera master me as it was doing. One was to learn was as Robert was describing, shooting in manual mode and then see the info on the picture and see what settings the camera picked for you. In a way is a good way to learn, but don't be dependent on it,. The camera is being the judge and not always will it pick the right settings for the picture. Now I have the successor to the Rebel, I have the Digital Rebel XT (350D), so bear with me as the menus or buttons might be differently located. First thing you need to understand is knowing how to set the right exposure, and the camera's metering system will help you do just that. It is also good to understand the ISO setting. The ISO if you know, determines how sensitive the camera is to light, so the brighter the enviroment is, the lower the ISO should be set, preferably between 100 and 200. The darker the enviroment is, the higher the ISO needs to be, ranges between 400-800 sometimes 1600. Now ISO's ranging higher than 400 will give the image some added grain or noise than it would on smaller ISO ranges. Once you set the right ISO setting, you can go ahead and compose your shot, hold the shutter button half way and on the viewfinder you will see the Exposure Index, which is a series of small vertical stripes forming like a ruler with usually -2 on the far left, -1 on the center left, the exposure index mark on the middle which looks more like an arrow head pointing down, followed by +1 on the center right and finally with a +2 on the far right. Now on the bottom you will see a slightly bigger vertical stripe underneath the Exposure Index. That stripe is called The Exposure Level Mark. Your objective here is to "align the Exposure Level Mark with the Exposure Index Mark (a.k.a The arrowhead on top center). Using the dial wheel on the camera. it should be on the top right corner, you can move it either left or right until the Exposure Level Mark is aligned with the Exposure Index Mark, that will set a correct exposure. Now Keep in mind that turning the dial wheel to set the exposure means you are changing the Shutter speed, so if you have a slow shutter speed, you might be prone to camera shake if you do not use a tripod, you can increase the shutter speed by increasing the ISO, that will give you more sensitivity to light allowing you set the exposure with a higher shutter speed. If you feel lost, just go into the manual and look it up, but the best way to learn is to get out there and shoot 100 pics a day, use different setting, practice changing the ISO and setting the shutter speed, but I hope the information I just gave you helps you out in getting to know how to use the camera better, if you have further questions just remember, all of us are eager to help. good luck
sincerely
Rafael

5/3/2005 10:54:11 AM

Patricia A. Cale
BetterPhoto Member
photosbyphotobug.com

member since: 3/25/2002
  Sarah: I have been shooting with the Digital Rebel for about 1 1/2 years now and love the camera. After shooting with an Elan II, the Digital Rebel was easy to use. I read the manual when I first got the camera, then took it out set to auto everything to see what it could do. I got some really goods shots with it and figured the metering system was excellent. Now, I usually have the camera set to Aperture Priority (AV) since I am more concerned about DOF than shutter speeds with what I shoot -- mostly nature shots. I have the ISO set to 100 when the camera is on a tripod, but set it to 200 if I'm handholding the camera. It gives me an extra stop. Recently, I added 2 new lenses to my gear, the 17-85mm IS digital lens that only fits on the Digital Rebels (old and new) and the 20D, and the 75-300mm IS lens. These two lenses give me the freedom to shoot anywhere holding the camera. There are times and places I can't use a tripod and the IS lenses are excellent for this type of shooting.

Don't let this camera intimidate you. Get out and shoot the way you normally would. If you're not sure about setting your own exposure settings, use the program modes. You'll get good images in the program modes in good lighting. The only way to really learn your camera is to use it. And read and re-read the manual!! I have read it many times and learn something new each time!

5/3/2005 12:09:17 PM

Susan Bohanon
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 9/8/2004
  I bought my Rebel a year and a half ago and I'm still figuring things out. Carry my manual with me everywhere I go. :)

5/3/2005 12:19:41 PM

Lisa Schurer

member since: 2/15/2005
  I took a 10wk course in beginning photography at the local community college for $100. That way you have an expert that you can actually question in person that can give you non-technical explanations for all those buttons and terms in the manual. You will learn all about your camera specifically and get hands on experience

5/3/2005 8:00:04 PM

  Sarah: You might also want to read one of the very detailed reviews of your camera.

They discuss every feature, every button, etc. and provide a good learning experience.

I recommend this one on a site in England:

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canoneos300d/

Cheers! Peter Burian

5/4/2005 5:39:42 AM

Christopher A. Vedros
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 3/14/2005
  Sarah, you went from information overload to advice overload! ;-)

Lots of people (myself included) have this camera, and we're usually eager to help others enjoy it as much as we do.

There's some good advice above, and I think the best tips are from Bob C. and Pat B. Read the manual, then start off shooting in full auto and the Basic modes. Pay attention to the aperture and shutter speed settings that the camera picked for each shooting situation. As you get more comfortable with the camera, you can work your way up to the Creative modes where you have more control over the settings.

If you ever decide you want to use the full manual mode (M), Rafael gives a good description above of how that mode works.

Good luck, and enjoy!

5/4/2005 7:37:04 AM

Kerry L. Walker

member since: 12/21/2004
  Well, you could always sell it and but a film camera. LOL

Advice from a film dinosaur.

5/4/2005 9:21:27 AM

Michael Kettler

member since: 1/19/2005
  Sara, I was just speaking to my grandmother on this very subject. I personally recomend you disregard the manual and find someone that has the camera and is familiar with its functions. It seems manuals are written for those that already have a great understanding of photography and all aspects. I have been shooting and selling for years and I still run across manuals that might as well be written in foreign language. You would be amazed at how many now own cameras like yours and would love to share there knowledge. Good luck!

M. Kettler

5/4/2005 4:41:34 PM

Christopher A. Vedros
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 3/14/2005
  Michael,
I have definitely seen my share of poorly-written manuals, manuals intended for experts, and manuals that have been loosely tranlated from foreign languages. The Digital Rebel manual isn't one of them, though. I think it's pretty well-written, and easy to follow.

We're here to help and answer any questions, but I still think the manual is a good place to start. IMHO

5/5/2005 7:02:11 AM

Respond | Ask Your Own Question
 
Photography Question 
Peter K. Burian
BetterPhoto Member
PeterKBurian.com
Peter's Photo Courses:
2-Week Short Course: Boot Camp for New Digital SLR Owners
4-Week Short Course: Mastering the Canon EOS Digital Rebels
Mastering the Digital Camera and Photography
  7 .  Switching to Digital: Sell Your 35mm SLR?
This morning, I received a letter from a photo hobbyist who has bought his first D-SLR, and wondered if he should sell his only 35mm camera, an EOS 3. Here is my response in case anyone else is also wondering about this. Any comments?

Thousands of photographers have asked themselves the same question when switching to digital. Most are keeping one 35mm SLR camera, usually the least expensive model that they own. I did that as well. Why? Reasons vary but might include the following:

1. If the D SLR camera needs service, it may be away for weeks. We need a camera to use in the meantime.

2. We still have lots of film in the freezer.

3. We cannot break 100 percent with our past as film shooters. This is not logical perhaps - but, like "comfort food," understandable.

4. Some spectacular new film may be invented in the future, and we might want to try it.

5. Someone might hire us to shoot something and insist on film.

6. We might occasionally need a second SLR as a backup camera.

7. When out in the wilderness for a long time without access to AC power, the 35mm SLR can use alkaline AA's. Those do not need re-charging.

8. The 35mm SLR is smaller and lighter (some models are, anyway); that's useful for the occasional rugged outing, cycling, skiing, etc.

9. Some first-time digital buyers are not sure if they will love digital photography and the entire digital imaging process. If not, they might want to revert to shooting film. (I received a letter exactly like this from a reader last Monday.)

10. Some photographers are convinced that overall image quality is better with certain films than digital image quality. One day, they might want to shoot something that requires film.

I don't know whether any of these points applies to you, but hopefully, they will give you some food for thought in making your own decision.

All the best,
Peter K. Burian, Contributor, Shutterbug magazine
and Digital Photography Instructor, www.betterphoto.com

4/29/2005 5:29:20 AM

Jon Close
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 5/18/2000
  11. (or 7a.) Cold-weather use. Digitals are generally rated to just 0°C/32°F. They are 100-percent battery dependent (even more so than electronic film SLRs), and the large LCD review screens slow/freeze at lower temps. A film camera, especially manual models, will still be perfectly functional at temperatures where a DSLR has given up the ghost.

4/29/2005 5:59:45 AM

Kerry L. Walker

member since: 12/21/2004
  What's a digital SLR?

4/29/2005 6:36:17 AM

Christopher A. Vedros
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 3/14/2005
  We haven't used our film Rebel since we bought our Digital Rebel. But I'm not planning on selling it, either.


Do people still buy those things??

Just kidding, Kerry.

4/29/2005 7:21:39 AM

Matthew Slyfield
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 4/5/2005
  12. There are qualitative differences between film and digital that will still exist even when digital has matched or even passed film on all quantitative measures. Therefore, there will be artistic reasons to choose film over digital for particular shots. For instance, I have yet to see anyone come close to duplicating the effect of a double exposure on film in a digital image. You can certainly layer one shot over another with digital images, but where I have seen it done, the effect is never quite the same as a true double exposure on film.

4/29/2005 7:24:03 AM

Kerry L. Walker

member since: 12/21/2004
  Heck, Chris, I'm still using manual focus (except for my Pentax 645N). I'm so far behind the times I haven't moved up to autofocus. Just to show you how old fashioned I am, my dream camera is a Leica M7 rangefinder. They don't call me a dinosaur for nothing. LOL

4/29/2005 7:31:46 AM

Matthew Slyfield
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 4/5/2005
  Kerry,

There are still some people out there using antique or reproduction 8x10 cameras. Your not a dinosaur yet, more of a wooly mamoth or saber tooth tiger. :-)

4/29/2005 7:49:15 AM

Kerry L. Walker

member since: 12/21/2004
  Hey, wooly mamoth sounds good, especially to a guy with a hole in his hair.

4/29/2005 7:51:46 AM

Roy Blinston
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 1/4/2005
  Digital "is" the future. One only has to look at the advances it has made in only a few short years. Every since "memory" prices have dropped digital has really kicked in. Personally I never touch my old SLR any more. It's a relic. One can only imagine what is going to happen in the next 5 years with "digital photogrpahy".
S. Mathews said he had never seen a good "double image" done digitally. Unfortunately photographers are photographers. They are not "graphic designers" who have the software and talent to do "anything" with an image using Photoshop. The control Photoshop "layers" offers far outreaches anything that can be done the old fashioned way... and Photoshop is getting smarter and better with every upgrade. Many photographers can't afford or do not wish to purchase the full Photoshop program - but if they are serious, they "should". All the other versions are trimmed down. Many features are missing. I have been using Photoshop since the year "dot". Nothing compares!!!

5/3/2005 2:26:45 PM

Kerry L. Walker

member since: 12/21/2004
  I take it you are a digital "graphic designer".

5/3/2005 3:09:15 PM

Kerry L. Walker

member since: 12/21/2004
  I am a pround member of the NPA (sister to the NRA). I will give up my film camera when they pry my cold, dead fingers from around it.

5/3/2005 3:40:51 PM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member
gregorylagrange.org

member since: 11/11/2003
  double exposure with photoshop, that's not too difficult. Cold weather depends on the battery and who you ask. Some have shot in Siberia without problem. As well as being out in the middle of nowhere. Lasted a three day trip in South America for someone who ended up using what he got for geographic traveler, or some off shoot of national geo.
I find the team choosing kinda comical.

5/3/2005 5:29:12 PM

Matthew Slyfield
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 4/5/2005
  Roy,

I never said I haven't seen good double images done digitally. What I did say is that I have never seen double images done digitally that had exactly the same look and feel as a true double exposure on film. When I say a true double exposure I mean that the negative was exposed twice in the camera with two different images before being processed.

I am not saying that double images done on film are better than double images done digitally. However, they have different caracteristics such that I do not think that any one could produce the same double image both in film and digitally. The two images would wind up having a slightly different look and feel.

If you think I am wrong, I am willing to be convinced. I challange you to try to produce identical double images on film and digital. Un-pack your old film camera and get a roll of film. Take any two images with the film cammera on one negative. Take the same two images with your digital cammera and put them together in PS. Post both images here for the community to judge. :-)

I wish I had a gauntlet image to post with this.

P.S.
For the record, I have been shooting digital for a little over a year.

5/3/2005 5:46:05 PM

Mario toni Belamaric

member since: 7/7/2004
  HA! You know what?! I am a proud owner of EOS 20D and EOS 10D DSLRs! However, I also have EOS 3 (35mm) and here is what happened! Last month I decided to develop the film which was in my EOS 3 for about 6 months (I`ve forgotten about it shooting with digital)! When I got my pictures from processing lab I was stunned!!!! The film was ILFORD 400 and it was like I saw a God! The qualitiy is faaaaar above digital (at least to me) and I found myself looking at these prints over and over again! I instantly reloaded my EOS 3 with VELVIA 50, shoot it out, had it developed and the colors.....maaaan!!!!! Now I`m shootin more again with 35mm and I tell you, guys, you can say what you want, but digital is still no match for the film! CIAO!

5/3/2005 11:14:47 PM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member
gregorylagrange.org

member since: 11/11/2003
  like you saw a god? How'd you end up forgetting you had the film?

5/3/2005 11:31:39 PM

Tyler B. Sutcliffe

member since: 2/29/2004
 
 
 
This is a side note, if you want to produce an "old school" double exposure with digital, here's the trick: Dim the background lights, set the shutter mode to bulb,and let a flash go off, re position your subject in the dark, then set off the flash again....double exposure, looks exactly like it was done with film...

5/4/2005 3:27:36 PM

J Birch

member since: 4/9/2005
  Peter, since I am trying to decide what to buy and am finding the more I find out about digital the more questions I have what do you use....it's always good to ask the experts what they're actually using for equiptment. Thanks J

5/4/2005 5:20:35 PM

Matthew Slyfield
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 4/5/2005
  Tyler,

Nice trick, but that would only work in a studio with a subject you can pose. An in camera double exposure on film can be done outside in broad daylight with two completely different scenes miles apart. It can also be done with a significant time lag between the two exposures. You could for instance expose a night scene over a daylight scene.

Even if your little trick could replicate the look and feel of a film (I am not certain that it could, but the theory seems sound) it can only be done under very narrow conditions where you have complete control of the lighting.

I still stand by my earlier statement. There are qualitative differences between digital and film that will always persist. These differences will result in effects that can be produced in one medium that can not be exactly duplicated in the other (this goes both ways). Double exposures were only an example.

5/4/2005 5:51:19 PM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member
gregorylagrange.org

member since: 11/11/2003
  Or you could take two pictures with a digital camera, and put them together and fade them like a film double exposure.

5/4/2005 6:08:17 PM

Matthew Slyfield
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 4/5/2005
  A number of people have claimed that they know how to duplicate an in camera double exposure on film with digital. I do not belive that you can completely duplicate the look and feel of a film double exposure with digital images.

While I am open to being convinced otherwise, there is only one way to convince me. I laid out a challenge to Roy, but anyone who thinks they can prove me wrong is welcome to take up the challenge.

5/4/2005 7:52:59 PM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member
gregorylagrange.org

member since: 11/11/2003
  I don't think anybody feels it's worth it.

5/4/2005 8:15:08 PM

GARY FESPERMAN

member since: 9/27/2003
  Good Day to All*****
I have been doing Photography for 30+ years. I was a Combat Photographer in the Marines,since 1987 I have been a contract Photographer for the Army. I have been working with Digital since 1993. I also Teach Photograph at AWC a local college in Yuma, AZ.
In the early years of Digital it was really bad. The cameras were not good, very low resolution, and other problems.
Worst yet were the printers, and prints.
Also we had to turn our work over to someone else to do the processing and printing - who did not really understand Digital or Photography. So this was the worst of all!
But things got better.
Since around the year 2000 things have been improving rapidly, kind of like computers. Cameras were getting better, printers were getting better, and the paper to make prints was also doing better, along with inks for inkjet printers. Also high end comerical printers were doing a lot better.
Yes their will always be some differences between film and Digital.
But Digital has already surpassed many films in the 200 speed and faster ISO's.
Slower film are still better in some ways and others not. I have been telling
my students since 2000 that film is going away, I love Kodachrome 25, but it has already gone, as well Agfa B & W 25 ISO, and Kodaks Royal Gold ISO 25.
I still have a few rolls in my Freezer, but doubt that I will ever use them.
I have been telling students around the year 2012 plus or minus 2 years. In 2004
Kodak published an article with their on estimates in about 8 years, give or take a little. So while Film has many advantages so does Digital. For the last few years We have been getting GREAT images from digital cameras, printers ect. And thry are improving.
Nikons D2X 12MP, and Cannons 16MP, along with Kodak, and Fuji. Have really put the quality of 35mm film in reach of Digital Images. I will be happy to see the first 20 MP camera. But 5 years out we may be looking at 100MP cameras in the 35mm format.
Their is so much more that the average photographer can do with Digital, and a good PRO can do even more!
I love some of the photographs I have taken in the past on Slides, and Films.
But I look forward to even better photograhy days. And if anyone is buying a camera today, and they can only have one - it should be DIGITAL.
Film is going just like 33 1/2 records, 8 track tapes, and even cassetts are going. Just look at the film stock in Walmart, Walgreens, and other film suppliers it is already down to about 25% of what it was 4 years ago.
So go Digital and be Happy.
Gary
Our local college stoped doing film the Fall semester of 2004, as have many other schools. Thanks to EPA, as well as the reduction of film supplies.

5/6/2005 10:08:40 AM

Kerry L. Walker

member since: 12/21/2004
  I think I'm gonna cry!

5/6/2005 12:26:50 PM

Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member
cammphoto.com

member since: 7/17/2003
  Of Gary's astute observations and projections, I think his reference to what Walmart and Walgreens is doing is a good indication of future trends in the consumer market. (Their brain teams seem to have a handle on what the "public" wants.)
Print film for "snapshooters" will get real hard to find in those stores in the very near future. And those funny little disposable 35mm cameras will disappear from the shelves as well.
Both will stick around for as long as it takes,...for those who haven't gotten their new P&S digital (or new cell-phone) yet.

5/7/2005 6:17:18 PM

Kerry L. Walker

member since: 12/21/2004
  I have used a disposable camera for years. It is around 25 years old but someday it will give up the ghost and I will have to dispose of it.

5/7/2005 6:20:11 PM

Respond | Ask Your Own Question
 
Photography Question 
LaChelle A. 

member since: 2/4/2005
  8 .  Digital Camera: How to Buy It?
What is a good digital camera for someone who is just now starting in digital? I have been taking portraits for 4 years now but have always been film. I am experienced for photography goes just have never done digital. I want a camera, something that I might be able to take some candids at weddings and maybe formals, but I don't want to spend $6000.00 on a camera. Does anyone have some suggestions?

3/16/2005 1:45:08 PM

  LaChelle: What is your budget? Are you looking for a compact camera with built-in lens or an SLR that accepts many optional lenses? Many readers can provide suggestions but we need to know specifics.
Cheers!
Peter Burian

3/19/2005 10:56:45 AM

LaChelle A. 

member since: 2/4/2005
  Well, I would like to get something around $2000.00. And I would rather get an SLR, but that's the thing: Would the compact cameras be better or does it even really matter? I have only worked with medium formats, know nothing about digital, and really haven't done a lot with 35mm.

3/21/2005 8:38:52 AM

  Hi LaChelle,
Good questions! An SLR allows you to change lenses, offers through-the-lens viewing, etc. But some new features at BetterPhoto are designed to demystify the digital-camera-buying process. Check them out:

Digital Camera Calculators
http://www.betterphoto.com/digital/camera-calculator.asp

Digital Camera Comparison Charts
http://www.betterphoto.com/digital/camera-comparison-charts/overview.asp

Hope this helps, LaChelle!

Regards,
Kerry

3/21/2005 1:25:06 PM

John Sandstedt
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 8/8/2001
  Although major photo magazines are often accused of NEVER FINDING AN ADVERTISERS PRODUCT THEY DON'T LIKE, check out the April issue of Popular Photography and Imaging.

It contains an in-depth assessment of nine digital SLRs under $2,500.

The Canon 20D was essentially rated No. 1; however, Pop Photo rated the Nikon D70 Camera of the Year [2004] in the January issue.

I think things still come down to how the camera feels in your hands. Find a local camera shop that will let you "try" the camera. And, by that I mean try it out of the store!

3/21/2005 1:36:52 PM


BetterPhoto Member
  a couple months ago I worked with a pro who used the d20 for a fashion shhot. works very well in low light
I have the mark2, but my back up will be the d20 for $1500

3/22/2005 2:16:10 AM

Gregg 

member since: 11/10/2004
  Call the guys at www.tallyns.com. They won't try to sell but will listen and give great advise. A fuji S2 goes for $1699 right now.

3/22/2005 5:56:30 PM

Michelle Ross
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 1/1/2004
  I just purchased the Konica Minolta Maxxum 7D. It is selling right now for $1599(body only) and it is 6 mp and you can change lenses with it, etc. I already had a Maxxum 5 35mm so I was able to utilize my lenses/flash, etc which is part of the reason I purchased it. I have been very pleased with it. Porters website has a $200 rebate for it until June 05 I believe. Other photo retailers may also have the same rebate available. It is very user friendly in my opinion. Most of the main online camera stores have it so you should be able to go to any of them and look at the technical info regarding it. If you have any more questions about it feel free to email me at rossm@carrollsweb.com

Good Luck!

3/22/2005 6:35:35 PM

Paul Marshall

member since: 11/11/2003
  Dear Lachelle;
One option that you might temporarily consider is to not go digital at all for awhile. I've been using 35mm and 120 film cameras for many years. According to Herbert Keppler of Popular Photography, a 35mm negative carefully taken can yield the equivalent of 24 megapixels! That's not bad, especially if you're going to make very big enlargements or extensively crop images. There are some very competant easy to use flatbed scanners out there such as the Canon 5200f or 8400f($200-$300)that will translate your images into digital if desired. The thing about digital is that it only gets better and cheaper the longer you wait.
Don't feel pressured!
Yours truly
Paul Marshall/Barrie Ont

3/24/2005 3:34:01 PM

Chris J. Browne

member since: 3/11/2005
  I think of digital like reversals. You've got to nail the exposure. I still like film. We scan 35mm at three resolutions at my lab:

Low 1565 x 1037
Medium 3130 x 2075 Around 18 MB file
High 5035 x 3339 Around 48MB file
and a 16.8 MegaPixel image!

Cheap at the time of dev. I'm still on the fence since I don't like how the highlights wash out; on film there is a nice analog fall off (negative film that is). Grainless images would be nice though.

3/24/2005 5:22:19 PM

Respond | Ask Your Own Question
 
Photography Question 
Bob Moyer

member since: 2/3/2005
  9 .  Digital for Low Light and Action
After getting totally confused in reading a lot of reviews on digital cameras (i.e., Syeves, DP, DC, etc.). Can anyone suggest a digital camera? I have looked at the Nikon 8700 and 8800, the Olympus E-300, etc. I am looking for a camera that will allow me to shoot my grandchildren in activities (soccer). low light situations (birthday parties), and when I travel.
Thank you!

2/3/2005 9:55:45 AM

Andres  Llopart
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 1/13/2005
  Hi:
I see from the cameras that you mention that you have some money to spend in a good camera. For the purpose that you are looking for, I strongly recommend you choose a DSRL and not a fixed-lens camera. Why? Because DSRLs have superior photo capabilities and quality, especially in low-light situations in which you can use higher ISOs with no noise on the picture. They have almost no shutter lag, and the ability to exchange lenses gives you flexibility to use superb optics for any type of situation.

Know which brand to use? I see that you mentioned the Olympus E300. This is a good camera, but if your budget can afford it, check the Nikon D70 or Canon 10D - or, even better, the 20D. If budget is a limit, then the Canon Digital Rebel is your camera. No one can beat the price/quality for this DSRL. You can find it under $700 on the Internet. Use those extra dollars getting some nice lenses.

2/4/2005 7:18:51 AM

Respond | Ask Your Own Question
 
Photography Question 
Stacy 

member since: 1/8/2005
  10 .  Buying a New Digital Camera
I am looking to buy a digital camera, and I've been reading a lot of online reviews but they're just making my head hurt. I was hoping for a real live person to make some suggestions for me. I'm looking to spend between 200 and 300 dollars, and the most important things to me are image quality, having a good zoom, and compactness, probably in that order. Any recommendations would be VERY much appreciated! Thanks, Stacy

1/8/2005 10:21:36 PM

Buddy Purugganan

member since: 8/31/2002
  Stacy,
Here are good choices for your budget:
Minolta Dimage Z2 (4 MGPXLS 10X Optical Zoom )
Fuji FinePix S7000 ( 6.3 MGPXLS 6X Optical Zoom )
Nikon Coolpix 4300 ( 4 MGPXLS 3X Optical Zoom )
Olympus C-770 ( 4 MGPXLS 10X Optical Zoom ) -- Visit Broadway Photo (bwayphoto.com) or Email: info@bwayphoto.com

1/9/2005 2:16:37 AM

Buddy Purugganan

member since: 8/31/2002
  Stacy, There are good choices for your budget:
Minolta Dimage Z2 (4 MGPXLS 10X Optical Zoom )
Fuji FinePix S7000 ( 6.3 MGPXLS 6X Optical Zoom )
Nikon Coolpix 4300 ( 4 MGPXLS 3X Optical Zoom )
Olympus C-770 ( 4 MGPXLS 10X Optical Zoom ) ---Visit Broadway Photo (bwayphoto.com) or Email: info@bwayphoto.com

1/9/2005 2:16:37 AM

Clay Anderson

member since: 5/14/2004
  STACY -- WARNING!!

Do not go to Broadway Photo -- they, along with a lot of other Manhattan-based online photo shops, are a scam. Buddy probably works for them.

See this URL to find that Broadway Photo has a 0.05 out of 10 rating. No good at all:
http://www.resellerratings.com/seller1995.html

If you're shopping online, stick with the known, established shops like Adorama.com or BHPhotoVideo.com. (I would also recommend BuyDig.com, I purchased a Digital Rebel there, and had a very good experience.) If you try a lesser-known store, make sure to do *plenty* of research first.

And always keep in mind: if the price seems too good to be true, it is.

1/10/2005 8:40:09 AM

Mark O'Brien

member since: 2/11/2001
  For $200-$300 you will find some better cameras than what was available a year ago, but I think that puts you in the 3-4 MP range, possibly 5 MP. Canon, Olympus, Pentax and Fuji make some nice P&S digitals in that price range, and you might pick up a good bargain on a Kodak, too. However, I'd move up a bit to something like a FujiFinepix S7000, which has a nice zoom, great handling, and will do 6 MP images. That will run you close to $500. In my personal opinion, I don't think the lower end cameras from Nikon are as good as other manufacturers in terms of ruggedness. The Optio from pentax might be one of your best bets.

1/10/2005 10:19:57 AM

Brian 

member since: 6/27/2003
  try this site - I found it very helpful when my wife and I were looking to buy a digital camera - it even lets you compare the same picture taken with different cameras - it's www.imaging-resources.com
we ended up buying an Olympus 730 - very good camera that takes great pics it has a 10x optical and a 3x digital zoom

1/10/2005 12:08:27 PM

Mike 

member since: 10/31/2003
  I just bought 5 Nikon Coolpix cameras for my high school and university aged kids. The love them! I did a lot of research including going to many camera shops and asked alot of questions. Make sure you talk to someone with ditial knowledge and not just a sales person.Holding cameras in you hand and trying them makes a difference. zdnet.com or cnet.com does reviews on cameras.
Consider how you will use your camera because all makes of ditial cameras will meet your stated requirements. I wouldn't buy the same as I bought for my kids but the coolpixs met their needs. I found in my reasearch that Nikon and Olympus hold the top positions for quality.
Hope that helps

1/10/2005 3:43:22 PM

Agnes 

member since: 7/28/2004
  I would recommend the Panasonic DMC L-FZ20. It meets your requirements. However, it is around the US$500 mark but judging from the glowing reports about it, the extra expenditure is all worth it. Go to www.dpreview.com it will give you all the info you need regarding this camera plus images samples. You won't be disappointed. I have mind on order and can't wait to get my hands on one. Nationally it is out of stock in Australia and if one is able to secure one, they are very lucky.

1/10/2005 9:51:14 PM

Scott Pedersen

member since: 11/18/2001
  Check out pentaximaging. Or just go to the pentax website and look around. They have some great cameras. Compact and sharp lenes. They just come out with some new ones too, ranging from 3mp up to 7mp in consumer cams. You can also check them out in real time at Ritz camera.

1/11/2005 4:58:48 AM

Buddy Purugganan

member since: 8/31/2002
  This is in response to a certain Clay A.---I would like to make it CLEAR and set the record this statement: I DO NOT WORK FOR BROADWAY PHOTO ( www.bwayphoto.com ). I live here in Asia ( Philippines ) and have no connections with the Camera dealer at all. But if you BELIEVE my camera recommendations have the REASONABLE PRICES and have the budget price the reader would like to be informed...then I firmly recommend them to shop ELSEWHERE there in your country. Basically, I do shop at EBAY, if you want to be informed, and find the prices there ( whether digital or film , new or second-hand ) truly a HAVEN for any camera enthusiast. And there are sooooo many other shops so WHY MAKE A FUSS with such small GLITCH? Just make sure Clay YOU DIG THE FACTS BEFORE YOU ACCUSE ME----AND SEE HOW MANY READERS HAVE FOUND MY RECOMMENDATIONS QUITE EXCEPTIONAL! Clay...I suggest you donate to the TSUNAMI RELIEF and do your share as a citizen of the UNITED STATES.

1/12/2005 2:50:30 AM

Clay Anderson

member since: 5/14/2004
  (Stacy -- I'm sorry this interaction is happening on your post. I do hope the advice of others here has helped you find the information you're looking for.)

Buddy, you're right, I have no idea who you are, but I must ask: why are you adamant that Broadway Photo is a great place to buy, when review-after-review-after-review warns to stay far away?

If you're in Asia, as far as I know, you may be one of the suppliers of gray-market products to these NY shops. But based on your comments, I'm still having a hard time believing you are not in some way associated with Broadway. I've seen similar posts promoting these junk shops in other message boards.

And Buddy, your "tsunami" comment was tasteless, inaccurate, and irrelevant. For the record, I have given to the relief efforts--as have more than 50% of all Americans. But frankly, that's none of your business.

1/12/2005 8:34:34 AM

Buddy Purugganan

member since: 8/31/2002
  Clay, the last time I bought a gray market camera was there in your country. In fact, when I bought the camera, I was surprised to find out that it was made in Thailand ( a TSUNAMI -ravaged country! ). Sad but true, I could had bought a similar cam HERE in the Philippines that was a product of JAPAN ( even USA )---that's mainly WHY I meticulously select ANY camera product I buy! Clay, you better advise the camera magazine called SHUTTERBUG on their advert regarding Broadway Photo ( just pick up ANY of the mag's issue....)---its a CRIME what they do to the camera reader! I do want to THANK YOU for your TSUNAMI donation---despite your judgments towards me.
As a freelance photographer, I hope Stacy finds the camera she deserves...I avoid gray, refurbished, camera products and buy Japanese or AMERICAN only -though I give credit to German or Swiss cam gears...( Leica, Rollei,etc. )---Clay, hope you drop all the BULL and make 2005 a good year for photography.....

1/14/2005 10:48:36 PM

Beverly Joanne Hoover

member since: 11/22/2000
  Stacy,
My brother-in-law searched the I/N
for me for 2 mths.
I purchased an Olympus Stylus410
=all access.included $198.00.
My first digital camera.
It is however refurbished.
It is very small compared to my
Canon film camera.
My 8X10 prints are tack sharp.
So far, I am totally satisfied
with my new Christmas present.
Ck. out computergeeks.com,,
and overstock.com.
Hope info. is helpful.
Beverly J. Hoover

1/20/2005 8:32:57 AM

Kerry L. Walker

member since: 12/21/2004
  Clay, let's keep our comments appropriate. I see no problem in your comment about Broadway Photo. I have no experience with them (I buy from Adorama or B&H) as you back up your comment with data. However, let's not attack other posters personally. Disagree but don't attack.

1/20/2005 8:42:38 AM

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