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DLSR Camera investigations

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 
I'm in the market for a high quality DSLR though just beginning my investigations. With the economy slammed I'm hoping prices will come down sharply.

In the past I've used a regular SLR Camera (Canon FTb back in 1976) and got heavily into photography. When that one went swimming in the Yakima River a few times too many I had it repaired but it had small problems after that. After finally being hauled off by a black bear and left in the rainy PNW woods around Mt. St. Helens in late 1979 it never really recovered. It now resides in a sad little box of mixed up parts after a friend offered to fix it for me. It's a pile of scrap, but I can't bear to throw it away.

I picked up a refurbished Canon AE-1 SLR after that (it fit my old lenses) and used that for many years but am increasingly interested in DSLRs. None of my old lenses will fit a new camera nor will my flash unit and the other bits and pieces accumulated so I figure to need a lot of new gear starting with the camera.

---
I'm looking for somethings versatile and especially something durable. In the past I've taken every kind of shot imaginable from still landscape scenes to bullets-in-flight, from sitting critters in the deep woods (at night) to hydros racing full bore and from long-duration comet shots to attempts at stopping hummingbird wings with flash units. I'm looking for something with that kind of potential.

I especially need something that accepts fully *manual* settings along with any built-in automation. This includes the Auto-focus mechanism. I found that auto-focus can be a problem as it takes too long because the auto-focus mechanism needs to wiggle the focus around until it detects clarity. While tracking high-speed subjects the dang focuser 'wiggles' while panning and often ends up just out of focus the moment I shoot. Another problem is the weird ability of auto-focus lenses to focus beyond infinity! Now, I understand the need for a bit of extra 'wiggle room' past infinity to support auto-focusing but dang it, I want the ability to lock it right at infinity (manually) and leave it there!

Another concern is auto-off. I need the ability to lock out any automation that tries to save power by automatically turning the camera off. Its quite irritating to find after patiently waiting for the perfect shot that I can't trip the shutter instantly because the camera has shut down! I lost/missed many once-in-a-lifetime shots of a burning hydro in 2006 due to this "feature". Also, if the restart process makes a racket coming back on (self-testing or beeping) then any quiet sneaking-up I've done on a subject is lost. Any camera needs to be as sneaky as I am.

Finally there is our Wet and Freezing environment to consider. I'd like 'water proof' (to a couple of meters or some such) but can live with dependably 'water resistant'. Any humidity that gets into the camera may freeze at low temps and disrupt camera's operation or fog up the lens. And it's not like I wont get snow or rain on it.

Freezing temps can also be an issue if the battery is affected. I need something that can perform in continuous low temps without the battery failing in a short time. Anyone who has kept their camera in an inside pocket knows what happens when you pull it out at a ski area: The lens fogs up immediately (sometimes on the inside as well). For me, keeping a camera in my coat to preserve battery power isn't a preferred technique. It's also too slow to take it out of a pocket and I frequently have missed good shots.

A final concern is I'd prefer to have a manual f-Stop Preview. Something I can progressively engage to 'see' my range of focus. Previews that only have electronic on/off take three hands to explore a variety of settings (one for the button, one to change th f-Stop, one to hold the camera).

OK, that's my situation. Anyone have input on other concerns or ideas relevant to a camera likely to be used in wet and cold places? I'm not terribly concerned over f-Stop or Shutter Speed since most DSLRs have sufficient settings these days. I know there are automation features supposedly optimized for specific use and scenes but I usually reject their 'universal' setting choices in favor of my own. Manual everything is important to me.


Lemme know what DSLRs any of you are using in the cold & wet and how well they're performing. Your input is way more valuable than any spec sheet.

.ma
post #2 of 41
I was told the FD lenses will fit other Canon current models. Such as the Rebel TSI Obviously no autofocus since that is located in the lens and not the camera in a Canon. Pentax houses that in the camera body .
I owned a AEI and have an A1 with many lenses that I hope to use on a full size DSLR
post #3 of 41
Thread Starter 
I'm not aware of any current Canon models (DSLR) that still accept the old FD lenses directly. There is an adapter made for getting FD lenses onto the Digital EOS line but it's kinda quirky. I think my best bet is to go with a completely compatible system right up front.

One of the issues that seems ever-present is that auto-focus systems frequently depend on holding the shutter-release button "halfway down" to trigger the focusing mechanism. This is horrible when trying to handle a camera while skiing - and especially so in a wildly rocking boat. Either you don't trigger the focus in time or you accidentally release the shutter. The Sony I tried had a way to turn off auto-focus, but then the lens focus mechanism easily rotated with every little bump or wobble. My old lenses have a bit of resistance to changes in focus making them much more consistent. (I like this a lot)

I'm currently mulling over the benefits of lens-based focus electronics vs. body-based focus electronics. Any thoughts there?

.ma
post #4 of 41
Any of the modern DSLR's are probably going to give you most of what you're looking for - except for the water issue. I'm not aware that any of the regular DSLR's are particularly resistant to water.

Also, I'm not sure what you mean regarding f-stop previewing. It's digital, so just take a picture, view it on the screen, change a setting, and try again.

I have an original Nikon D70, which has been superceded a few times. However, it still does virtually anything I can want it to do, and is as reliable as the sun. AFAIK, the Canons are also quite reliable, and are comparable in terms of photographic quality.

I too use manual mode quite often. Otherwise, the camera can switch around your aperture or shutter speed resulting in photos that should be similar, but have noticeably different characteristics.

Go to Best Buy and play around with some of the different models. If you're familiar with photgraphic principles, you'll be able to figure out the controls without too much effort (though some are going to require reading the manual).

There's a lot of info on dpreview dot com.

Enjoy,

AM.
post #5 of 41
Thread Starter 
Attacking Mid,

By f-Stop Preview I mean the ability to press a level that forces the normally wide-open aperture to close down to the preset f-Stop while you're looking through the viewfinder. I like this feature because it lets me visually preview the actual depth-of-field I'll get. By pressing the lever progressively I can best judge exactly where to set it for a given shot, then set the f-Stop to that setting and adjust the speed to accommodate it.

It isn't always an option to take a shot, view it, then take another since often the subject has moved on. Also, I can't see much on those tiny little screens. I guess I'm also still stuck in the mindset of a film camera where you don't get to look at an actual shot until the film is developed.

You're right about reading the manuals! I got so lost with that Sony DSLR I had a tough time until a friend brought me an after-market manual to read in the boat. I knew what I wanted it to do but couldn't figure out how to make it do those things!

Nikon was my runner-up choice in the 70's. Came down to an issue of local lens availability and cost so the Canon won.

.ma
post #6 of 41
Sounds to me like you're looking for an Olympus E-3.

Aside from the manual f-Stop Preview issue, which may or may not suit you with the E-3, I think it seems to fit. Especially the weatherproof requirements at a much lower cost than most pro cameras.

I got the E-3 last year and I love it. I ski with it all week when I go on a trip to the west. It has never had a glitch.

Durable? Hell yeah.
post #7 of 41
Here's a few shots (downsized for the web) I took with the E-3 http://s89.photobucket.com/albums/k2...0March%202008/
post #8 of 41
Thread Starter 
Thanks Carvemeister! I liked the old Olympus SLRs particularly for their small size as I used to backpack a lot and a heavy camera plus heavy lenses made for quite a load. I'd forgotten about them but I think Olympus is back on my list, especially for that 'splash proof' body element.

Any feedback about the moisture resistance of the lenses on those? I know switching lenses will always get a bit of moist air in there but it helps when the last element is close to the back of the lens.

I just looked at a number of DSLR specs on CNET and realize I need to spend some time reading up on all those cited 'modes' of operation. Montage creation gets a lot easier with a 10 frames per second movie mode in a DSLR rather than a video camera...

I also just realized I need to look more into file-output types as I'm not sure what I'd prefer to work with at this point. Some external features might be kinda cool also - like remote control activation where I might set the camera up on the side of an isolated run, then set off a series of photos while I do something really stupid...

.ma
post #9 of 41
Sounds like you might be a Canon guy, but if you're considering Nikon, here are some resources to look at:
http://www.bythom.com/nikon.htm
http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/recommended-cameras.htm
[FWIW, a lot of people think Rockwell's a blowhard, but if you read carefully, then you'll be fine. I like Thom's reviews better, but find both informative.]

Also, many camera reviews for different mfrs here:
http://www.imaging-resource.com/

Many cameras now have the DOF preview you're seeking, and I think you're smart to consider the "system", where you might go with lenses, whether older (cheaper) glass will be compatible or whether you might just get a couple of zooms...

for reliable shops, decent prices, see:

www.bhphotovideo.com
www.adorama.com
www.keh.com
post #10 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelA View Post
Any feedback about the moisture resistance of the lenses on those? I know switching lenses will always get a bit of moist air in there but it helps when the last element is close to the back of the lens.

I just looked at a number of DSLR specs on CNET and realize I need to spend some time reading up on all those cited 'modes' of operation. Montage creation gets a lot easier with a 10 frames per second movie mode in a DSLR rather than a video camera...

I also just realized I need to look more into file-output types as I'm not sure what I'd prefer to work with at this point. Some external features might be kinda cool also - like remote control activation where I might set the camera up on the side of an isolated run, then set off a series of photos while I do something really stupid...

.ma
Oly has three lens categories. Standard, High Grade and Super High Grade. Except for the Standard, they're all dust and splash proof. I only use the High Grade. Never had any probem with moisture or dust in the lenses and they've been out in a lot of bad weather. The lenses are pricey but the newest ones focus very fast and the optics are among the best you'll find.

You're not going to find the wide selection of lenses that you will with Canon or Nikon but unless you're a pro that shouldn't matter much. There are enough choices for any serious hobbyist.

If you're a big wide angle guy, there are good reasons to lean toward Cannon and Nikon. If you shoot more on the telephoto side there are some reasons to lean toward Olympus. It has to do with the smaller "four thirds" sensor size used by Oly to keep camera and lens sizes a bit smaller.

If you shoot a lot at very high ISO you also might be better with C & N. But for daylight or average shooting conditions, the OLY is a very good choice and maybe a better choice because of the pro construction you get for the price.

I'm very happy with mine. You also mentioned 10 fps movie mode. Well, the OLY has no movie mode if that matters and you won't get 10 fps either unless you want to pay 4 Grand for another setup. I find the frame rate I get is more than adequate for almost any sporting venture.

Yes, you can get a remote IR shutter release too.

Time to head down to a good camera shop and pick a few up for starters.
post #11 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelA View Post
I'm not aware of any current Canon models (DSLR) that still accept the old FD lenses directly.


.ma
After checking into this I see you are correct and the salesman I talked to was not telling me the truth . He stated my FD lenses would fit directly onto the body with no mention of adapters or limited operation . No wonder i have so little respect for salespeople who look at sales as the goal and not the service of fulfilling the needs of the purchaser.

I guess I'll need to invest in a new collection of lenses. That sucks but is understandable.
post #12 of 41
Thread Starter 
Wow, so much to read up and review. Might not be ready to buy for a while. I tend to buy things that will last while filling all my needs. My Datsun is still my workhorse vehicle after buying it new in '82.

Carvemeister, I'd not noticed anything about ISO capabilities other than most have an adjustable range from 60-3200. Is the Oly group more limited? Yep, I like trying to get the tough shots in low light or very high speed in limited light (takes a high ASA/ISO).

I'll probably go down and fondle the cameras and lenses sometime next month after chunking their fundamentals. Right now I'm a fish out of water WRT the new gear. Kinda like my neighbor with the clothing Iron that just broke. She bought a new one, then discovered she didn't know how to operate all the new one's gadgetry. I mean, come on, it's a bloody clothes iron so why does it need an Internet connection just to start up!? ...

.ma
post #13 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelA View Post
Carvemeister, I'd not noticed anything about ISO capabilities other than most have an adjustable range from 60-3200. Is the Oly group more limited? Yep, I like trying to get the tough shots in low light or very high speed in limited light (takes a high ASA/ISO).
No, not more limited. Above 800 ISO OLY tends to be a little noisier and may need a little extra noise reduction processing at times. Not a huge deal for most people but for some it could be.
post #14 of 41
I have a Canon 5D and love it. It has recently been replaced with the 5D Mark II. Would definitely tick all your boxes (max ISO 25600), but may be a bit above your budget - it has HD Video recording as well.
Alternatively, the 50D would do the job admirably, and cost less. (max ISO 12800)

Take a look here
post #15 of 41
Thread Starter 
Wow! 21 mega-pixels and ISO 6400 standard (25600 appears to be an option?). I like the larger sensor size as well. Lots of nice features.

Didn't see anything about cold resistance but it did say "Water resistance: 10 mm rain in 3 minutes" (whatever that actually means). Any idea what the street price will be?

.ma
post #16 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelA View Post
Wow! 21 mega-pixels and ISO 6400 standard (25600 appears to be an option?). I like the larger sensor size as well. Lots of nice features.

Didn't see anything about cold resistance but it did say "Water resistance: 10 mm rain in 3 minutes" (whatever that actually means). Any idea what the street price will be?

.ma
ISO25600 is a custom setting you can activate in the menu. Water resistance means it'll handle rain ok - 10mm is quite a lot of rain! I wouldn't drop it into a puddle or anything, but snow should be ok.

Street price will be around $2500, body only, after a month or two. Current pricing is $2699 at BH Photo.
post #17 of 41
Michael, I'm currently undergoing the same process you are. I'm looking for a quality camera to use for the business. I'm finding nothing is truly weather sealed until you get up into the full frame category stuff like Fox has. In that group I really like the Nikon 3D http://www.amazon.com/Nikon-12-1MP-D...502394&s=photo but at $4200 I might need to quit my ski bum ways. I can buy one of the best crop sensor cameras for a quarter of that, and have $3000 left over for a bunch of good glass.

I'm currently looking at these two: the Canon 40D http://www.amazon.com/Canon-40D-10-1...5771315&sr=1-1 which is about $400 cheaper than the 50D they just came out with. The minor improvements in the 50D don't justify the price premium for me. And also the Nikon D90. http://www.amazon.com/Nikon-D90-12-3...5771472&sr=1-2 The Nikon is a great looking camera, I'd buy it before I would the D300,,, but as it only has a burst speed of 4.5 FPS, I'm leaning towards the Canon 40D. It sports 6.5 FPS. I'm looking to do montages, and think the extra 2 FPS would be helpful.

Enjoy the search, it's half the fun.
post #18 of 41
I own a Canon 40D. I can't say enough about it. First of all, always go Canon. I laugh when I look at ball parks like Fenway, Yankee Stadium, or even in the past winter olympics where right below the media area there is a huge Nikon ad sign, however when you look down the row they are all using Canon (picked out easily by their distinctive white lenses).

I've used the 40D in the cold and it has held up incredibly. The shutter drive when it is warm out is 6.5 frames per second at its fastest, this drops (expected) out in the cold to around 4.5-5 fps depending on the temperature. Make sure to get the "vertical grip" when you buy the camera..that way you can house two batteries in the camera instead of one which the cold kills within a day.

Picture quality is incredible. Also, the two MUST have lenses for any canon DSL are the Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L and the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L the f/4.0L. For those of you who don't know Canon puts "L" after all of their top of the line lenses. With these two lenses you'll be covered from wide to fairly zoomed in.

Now to choose between the 70-200 2.8 or the 4.0. There are advantages and disadvantages for both. Because you are shooting outside you will NOT need the 2.8 aperature (wider open, lets in more light)...the 4.0 will be plenty sufficient. The 4.0 is a lot lighter and slightly smaller. The 2.8 is heavier and bigger however, because it has a 2.8 aperture...if you want to have more zoon you can add a 1.5x extender to it. This automatically drops the aperture down a stop to 4.0 (hence why you need the 2.8 to use the extender). However then you have a 100-300mm lens.

Of course if you have a lot of money to spend...go for the 300mm 2.8, which you can extend out to 450mm if you need the length!
So the choice is yours and yours a lone, however I strongly recommend Canon products and Canon lenses. BHPhoto.com is a great place to buy all camera equipment it's where I get mine. Please let me know if I can answer any more questions you might have or if you need clarification on what I wrote.
post #19 of 41
Hi michael,

You are looking for a lot in a dSLR system. What you want will cost you a fair bit. To summarize, you want:
1) durability
2) weatherproofness
3) high ISO performance

This means you will be looking at the 'prosumer' or pro bodies (Nikon D3, D700, D300; Canon 5D, 5DMkII, 40D/50D; Pentax K20D). Consumer dSLR bodies like the Nikon D40/60/80/90, the Canon Xsi, and Pentax K200 probably are not built tough enough for what you want.

Weather sealing is also relative. Unless you buy a full-on underwater housing for your camera, no dSLR on the market (including the Olympus E-3) will survive immersion in water. "Weather sealing" is as good as you'll get, meaning heavy rain. Even so, many photographers will use some kind of camera/lens cover in truly bad conditions.

I am also not sure about continuous low temperature performance. Probably the best compromise might be lithium AA batteries which you can use in a vertical grip (add-on) for many of these cameras.

High ISO performance--what do you really need (versus want)? If you want to shoot at ISO 3200 and 6400 on a regular basis then you will really want to look at full frame sensors (Nikon D700 or D3, Canon 5D or 5DMkII) but these bodies start at ~$2500 for the 5D. On the other hand, if you venture to 3200 only occasionally then the Nikon D300 or Canon 40D/50D can do that at a substantially lower price.

Full manual settings is an option on any camera that I've listed above. DOF preview is all full electronic, no "lever" but I don't really see the point of that. In any case, the LCD screens on the newer cameras are really quite amazing and much, much better than what you may have seen on cameras from even 1-2 years ago.

AF systems have also greatly improved over the past few years, and for action sports there is no way that manual focusing will beat a good AF lens (Nikon AF-S or Canon USM) on a good body. High-end Nikon bodies have a separate AF-ON button that you can configure to turn AF on/off quickly, and you can program them so that the half shutter press does NOT engage the AF system. Not sure if this is true of Canon.

sounds like you need to actually get your hands on a recent dSLR body to get a better sense for what they can and cannot do. Forget all of the bull**** about "always go Canon" or "always go Nikon" or whatever. The control layouts are very different and the bodies feel very different from one another. Make sure that the controls are intuitive for what you want to do, and that all of the features that you want to access quickly can be accessed through buttons on the body, not through menus. Lens selection is also very important; similar between Nikon and Canon, definitely more limited for Pentax, Olympus, and Sony.

If you want a durable, high-ISO capable body be prepared to spend $2-3K on the body alone, and then another $2-4K on lenses. If you are willing to go to a crop sensor like the D300 or 40D then you'll save money. Consider buying used; right now used 40D bodies are going for as low as $700 and 300D bodies for $1350.

Rick, for action photography I would not go Nikon D90. If you want Nikon then D300 at least; the AF is MUCH better than the D90 and the frame rate as you pointed out is better. I do not have much direct experience with Canon but the 40D sounds very reasonable.
post #20 of 41
Thread Starter 
Thanks all!

As Rick points out, my doing of due-diligence and figuring out what I really want is a large part of the fun.

Andrew_Tai, great input. Key is having buttons on the surface that easily change settings I care about. I found it a nuisance to go through a menu system trying to change things on the Sony I tried.

I've never needed auto-focus for action shots in the past as I generally preset my lens and f-Stop such that it's not an issue for my intended shots. I do favor higher speed shots and many shots are taken in the deep woods where it can get pretty dark even on a sunny day so higher ISO will be good there. Still, In the past I never went beyond 1600 (and generally not beyond 400) so 3200 is probably fine.

I looked around and there are some water-tight cameras but not in the DSLR form. There's even a pretty good waterproof video camera out now. Guess I'll have to live with 'splash proof' and add some proper sealant in key locations.

Dang... there are some really cool toys out there these days.

.ma
post #21 of 41
If you choose Canon, I'd second Salvuccim's comments:
24-70L f2.8 and 70-200L f2.8 will give you pretty much everything you need - but the 70-200 is HEAVY.
You can stick a 2x converter on it to go up to 400mm. At that length, you can get close to the moon...
post #22 of 41
Thread Starter 
Long lenses have their place but I found things like the Moon and other really distant subjects are best taken through a regular Telescope using a Camera Adapter. Such shots are also rarely taken and in my opinion a simple Zoom Telephoto (up to 300mm) is the most anyone will ever want to lug around for daily use.

Also, most people who seldom use cameras don't realize it but even the standard cheep pocket Monocular (8x or 10x) has more magnifying power than a 300mm lens (~6x for standard 35mm film, though more for the smaller sensors found in DSLRs).

.ma
post #23 of 41
To be honest I don't think any DSLR will satisfy all your points. I have over 1000 images published with my old Nikon F4, nothing today is built like it as far as durability. When I worked in Jackson I took many images in -40F weather, with the DSLR and all the electronics, not going to work very well. As far as waterproof, you drop any camera in the water, goodby camera.

For durability the top of the line Nikons or Canons are the best. On lenses I firmly believe that the all-FL zooms you are sacrificing sharpness(resolution) for the convienence.

Anything over 12mp is overkill. Once you buy a camera spend the extra money for top quality lenses. Much more important than the camera IMHO.

Personally, a Canon Rebel Xsi with a couple of good lenses is all you need to take great pictures.
post #24 of 41
JH, I disagree on the 12mp side of things.
You can say it about 2mp or 5 or 10 or whatever - just pick a number and say that is the overkill limit.

The quality and size of the sensor play a big part.

I agree with you on the lenses - that's where you should focus your money, rather than on the body.
post #25 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by JHrefugee View Post
Anything over 12mp is overkill.
Doesn't this depend on the size of the print, how much you want to crop the picture, and so on? For my own use, 12mp would be more than enough. For someone else? I have no idea - only they can make that call.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JHrefugee View Post
Once you buy a camera spend the extra money for top quality lenses. Much more important than the camera IMHO.
I agree completely. In a few years, there will be a newer, better camera. But you will still be using the same glass.[/quote]
post #26 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick View Post
I'm finding nothing is truly weather sealed until you get up into the full frame category stuff like Fox has... In that group I really like the Nikon 3D http://www.amazon.com/Nikon-12-1MP-D...502394&s=photo but at $4200 I might need to quit my ski bum ways.
I hate to say it but I think some of you guys are really off track. There is no doubt that if you have the cash then by all means go for a $3000+ body from Nikon or Canon. If I had the cash that's what I'd do. They have the widest selection of lens options out there and are beautiful and solid in every way.

However, unless I'm misreading this completely, I think anyone who isn't already heavily invested in good glass from those big two is making a big mistake in not looking at the Olympus E-3.

Oly lenses are a little more $ than the others but nobody can dispute that their optics are as good as any out there. And the E-3 with the 12-60 lens is one of the fastest focusing combos you can find, especially at that price. The E-3 is more than up to the task of anything a skier could want and its a smaller and lighter combo than the pro stuff from the big two.

The mid range stuff from C & N are great too but not in the same class as Oly for durability and weather sealing. If you're a fair weather shooter they're spectacular cameras but I'm much more comfortable cartwheeling down a couloir with an E-3 combo in my backpack anyday - no contest!

Drawbacks? Like I said, some high ISO stuff. Irrelevant for most outdoor work though, especially on the snow. If you do a lot of very wide angle shooting then a Full frame sensor camera is probably a better option. But for tele shooting and almost anything else, I'm delighted with my E-3 - and I was always a Canon guy, I just couldn't afford their "pro" line stuff. If you can though, and want to lug it all around - do it.

If you don't like the OLY stuff for some reason, that's fine, but it shouldn't be discounted if it seems to fit the bill and if weather sealing and durability at a reasonable price are factors.

Here's what DP Reviews said about the E-3 body:
"Like the E-1 before it, the E-3 is incredibly solid (more so than the slightly cheap-feeling plastic cladding would initially suggest) and appears to be built to withstand some pretty heavy wear and tear. The environmental sealing (the camera and lens are splash and dust-proof) makes the E-3 uniquely capable in challenging conditions (there's no comparable SLR I'd feel safe using in a rain shower), which together with the tank-like construction gives you real confidence that it won't let you down no matter what you throw at it."
post #27 of 41
Thread Starter 
Oly isn't off my list by any means. I like the water-tight thing as well as the smaller size and weight, though I don't plan on cartwheeling down any couloirs with any camera.

High Pixel count does have one nice attribute: Print Zoom. Even if my lens is only a 200mm I effectively have a 400mm lens when I can easily blow the image up 2x simply because I have 21mp vs 10mp. Sure, there's some trade off but I often take shots where I'd like a lot of detail to zoom in on. I took some wide 'crowd shots' along the Log Boom during the SeaFair Hydro race this year. Scanning the detailed images later to locate some friends I found some great Topless Babes in one of the shots...

For me any camera I get will be used way beyond just skiing.

.ma
post #28 of 41
Also take a look at Pentax. The have environmental seals on all of their SLRs.

CJ
post #29 of 41
If you want versatility and the ability to expand and use your camera for things beyond skiing (or even just for skiing) I would pick canon or nikon. Simply because they have the most battle tested lenses out there. Sure Pentax, Olympus, and Sony make a great cameras, but their lens and Autofocus technology is well behind the curve.

Canon by far has the biggest lens selection followed closely by Nikon and then there is a big gap between those two and the rest. Also, repair wise you're going to spend less money repairing a Nikon or Canon then other less popular brands.
post #30 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Salvuccim View Post
...Sure Pentax, Olympus, and Sony make a great cameras, but their lens and Autofocus technology is "well behind the curve."
Not trying to start an argument here, but I'll have to say that's not true at all. The new SWD lenses from Oly are optically as good if not better than similar lenses from C&N and the SWD (Supersonic Wave Drive) focusing motor of the lens is as advanced and fast as any. If there is any performance lag it would be from the AF system in the camera, not the lens.

I'm not talking about Oly's $2,000+ pro lens lineup here, I'm talking about the still outstanding weather-sealed mid-range glass than most enthusiast mortals can just barely afford. If you're talking about buying a 400mm f2.0 super pro lens, then you shouldn't even be debating this in a ski forum to begin with.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Salvuccim View Post
...Canon by far has the biggest lens selection followed closely by Nikon and then there is a big gap between those two and the rest.
That's quite true. If you plan on buying many lenses or have special needs, then this is the way to go.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Salvuccim View Post
...so, repair wise you're going to spend less money repairing a Nikon or Canon then other less popular brands.
I'm not buying that either. I've taken Nikon camera gear directly to their repair facility in nearby Melville, LI, and I've taken Olympus gear to their even closer repair facility here in Hauppauge, L.I. The Oly service was faster than Nikon's, equally as professional, and no more expensive - well that's not exactly true, I lied. I had an E-1 I bought used, with no records, that I had bent some pins in when inserting a CF card. I dropped the camera off in person in the afternoon and (no lie) it was repaired, cleaned up, and at my door via Fed-ex the next day by noon! Under 24 hours! Outstanding! I was impressed as hell. They treat customers with their pro gear very well at Olympus.

And BTW, make no mistake. Canon and Nikon are great. Oly may be more "suitable" depending on your needs and your wallet. That's all. To think that the big two are superior in every respect is ridiculous. In the under $2,000 body category there are advantages and disadvanteges to all of these.
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