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New DSLR under $2K - size, durability, IQ - thoughts?

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
OK, gang, I see there are some dedicated shooters out there who, I am sure, will have opinions for a duffer like me.

First, I'm old, so I have in my closet at home two 35mm Minolta film bodies, complete with various lenses. They are really old, by today's camera standards (SR-T102), so I suspect the lenses will not mount on Sony bodies. Too bad. They're excellent Minolta glass built to excellent standards - no plastic, no cheap greased threads, etc. I've also used 6x6 cm square medium format and 4x5 inch view cameras on occasion.

Anyway, I'm not really much of a photographer, but I've had the pleasure of using some pretty nice equipment, so I'm not completely ignorant.

I'm looking at options for a new DSLR or DSLR-like (Micro 4/3) camera.

The DSLR is attractive because of IQ and the possibility of weather sealing, but weather sealed cameras and lenses are very expensive. Nonetheless, I find the Canon 7D attractive for quality of construction and excellent reviews. Outfitting it will be costly. I can get a very similar camera body without the weather sealing and magnesium frame in the Canon 550D (Rebel T2i) for less than half the price (body only). Both have decent HD video implementations, though not the best (see below). So, how big a deal is weather sealing and magnesium body? As an Old Schooler, I remember that in conflicts between my old Minolta and my ribs, the Minolta won and the bruises healed. A little snow didn't hurt the Minolta, either.

Pentax offers weather sealing for lower cost than Nikon or Canon, but I've been most impressed by the Canon reviews so far.

I've also considered ignoring the traditional names entirely in favor of smaller size, a very versatile 10:1 kit lens, and one of the best video implementations on a still camera. That points me to the Panasonic GH-1. It also gets very good reviews, but for different reasons than the Canons, and it has slightly lower IQ, although for any application short of 16x20 prints or double-page magazine spreads, the IQ is apparently just fine. It's fairly expensive, but I don't have to spend another $400-$500 on a 10:1 zoom that may not have IQ that's all that great anyway. It isn't weather sealed.

As several, including the honorable Bob Barnes, have pointed out, the best camera is one that you will actually carry and use. Since I'll probably have to make a choice without carrying any of them skiing for a day, I wanted to know if anyone had any experience with the Panasonic.

Opinions are all I'm expecting here. I reserve the right to consider the source!
post #2 of 27
A few random thoughts...

1. Weather sealing is nice, but expensive.  You'll probably not want to be out shooting in conditions that require it.  Photos in whiteouts look, well, white.

2. Buying something expendable on eBay may be a better choice.  Almost any name brand DSLR from the last few years will have adequate image quality.

3. Make sure you get something with minimal shutter lag.  For skiing, you'll want to take the picture exactly "now".

4. The 7D has great autofocus.  It's expensive.  I can't say how much better your pictures would be than, say, a Rebel XTi (400D) in actual conditions.  For sports, many people pre-focus and/or use manual focus.

5. Video from a DSLR may not work out for you as well as from a cheap camcorder.  For around $100 you can get a mini-DV (DVC) camcorder on eBay.  You can throw it in a ziplock and not worry too much about trashing it.  Video quality won't be HD, but it can be DVD-quality if you're a really good shooter.
post #3 of 27
I'd check out the Panasonic GF-1 instead of the GH-1, it's much more pocket-able, has the same sensor and spec but costs $740 (suggested) vs. $1300.

Sony is about to release an EVIL (electronic view finder/ interchangeable lens) camera that could be a really good choice for a former Minolta shooter. Are your lenses AF Alpha mount or M42 ??
post #4 of 27
I have a Sony A 700 kit.....my last slr kit was 2 Maxxum 9000's and I am able to use my Maxxum AF glass on the A 700 with great success. The thing I liked about the A 700 vs "Canikon" DSLR's (other than being able to recycle the fabulous glass I had already) is it just feels old school, it was a seamless move from film to digital.....I also previously shot and owned Minolta MD 11's and SRT's as well as Nikon F and F2's and still have a couple of spotmatics with many lenses, which also are adaptable to Sony with an M42 adapter.

I have Minolta 50 1.7, 28 2.8, 28-85, 35-105, 100-200, 24-105 and 75-300 all work flawlessly and perform brilliantly on the A700 and my daughter's A200.

As a Minolta Sony shooter I would recommend you hunt one down ASAP. Problem is the A 700 went out of production waiting a pricier replacement. I did not warm to the new A 500, A550 as much tho they are quite capable they did not feel "pro" to me.

Regarding your Minolta glass I believe it should be adaptable to Sony DSLR's with an adapter.

You should spend time with me on www.dyxum.com the bible of websites for the Sony/Minolta DSLR photographer.

Any questions PM me - I can assist you with your quest. The A 700 will blow you away.
post #5 of 27
My suggestion,,, buy a good camera that's being discounted because of a newer model that's replacing it as the biggest/badest, and put the money saved into good glass.  Here's an example;  nikon now has it's excellent D90 DSLR slashed to $850.  Canon did similar with the 40D. Camera's come and go, quickly go out of date, and get tweaked with "must have " new features.  A good lens will be in your bag for years.  
post #6 of 27
http://www.dyxum.com/dforum/m42_forum18.html

Above is sub forum on www.dyxum.com re manual adaptation of lenses to Sony DSLR's - everything you need to know about adapting your vintage Minolta manual glass to a shiny new A 700 should be found here with a bit of searching.

I am also about to begin the same quest and I am currently hunting down a quality chipped adapter to mount my pristine vintage Pentax glass on my A 700....

You need to jump in my friend, I am having a blast!!

Unfortunately I sold off all my Nikon and Minolta manual focus glass a few years ago....all could have been used with adapters.

Who knew?  Kinda like baseball cards and old Fender Strat's and Tele's no one knew such stuff would be gold.

I had forgotten about the Pentax glass, my mother pulled the Spotmatics and lenses out of closet at her house a few months ago and asked me if I still wanted it.....

Enjoy!
post #7 of 27
This is a no-brainer: Go with the Pentax.  It is sub-$1000 and weatherproof!  You can also shoot bracketing 3 different exposures at once, increasing the effective dynamic range when using Photoshop.  See: http://www.dpreview.com/previews/pentaxk7/  and go to www.photozone.de for lens information.

There is a "kit" lens that is actually weatherproof and OK (kit lenes are usually crappy).  You will want to upgrade for serious work, though.  There are a ton of prime PENTAX lenes out there you can pick up for cheap.  Again, check out photozone to find the good ones.
post #8 of 27
jhcooley:

Just my $0.02 . . .

In my view, the largest value in buying either a Nikon- or Canon-branded body, is not limited to just each manufacturer's huge offering of compatible supporting products (e.g., model-specific TTL flashes and accessories, wireless remotes, etc.). Their real value is in the vast inventory of both Nikon- and Canon-branded lenses in the used-market. In addition, there's also a large secondary-brand market of products for Nikon and Canon mounts (Tamron, Sigma, etc.)

As I've mentioned before, I believe more than half my Nikkor lens inventory is used. My Nikkor 70mm-200mm f/2.8 originally sold for about $700-$800. The current equivalent, non-VR, non-S model of this lens now sells for $1,100. I bought one used, in excellent condition, for just $400.

Also, recent-model Nikon and Canon bodies have really advanced the quality of their imagers and in-camera processing firmware. In particular, noise levels at higher ISOs have been significantly improved. That's not to say that others haven't; in fact, at this level of DSLR, they all make pretty great-looking pictures. But with Nikon or Canon, you have many more available supporting products made for your camera, by the people who made your camera, plus that huge inventory of gear in the used market.

Lastly, as a person who's had some experience in medium-format and view camera work, you'll appreciate the availability of specialty products that go beyond basic photography: tilt-shift lenses, mount adapters for filmmaking, telescope and micrography, etc. Also, if you ever really needed, say, a $10,000, Nikkor AF-S 600mm f/4.0 lens for a weekend, you'd find a nationwide rental industry stocking that lens, ready to answer the call.

Oh . . . one more thing. When buying a late-model, Nikon or Canon DSLR, you also benefit from a much greater number of third-party, model-specific books available, detailing the use and features of the exact camera body you own! I just searched Amazon for my current body, a Nikon D90, and about two-dozen titles came up, written specifically for the D90!

Oh, and another thing . . . since buying my Nikon D90 last year, I haven't been in the market for a new DSLR, so I'm not too familiar with current Nikon offerings (and not at all familiar with current Canon bodies). Again, since they're all pretty darned good at taking beautiful-looking pictures, it's mostly about how fast they can do it.

For me, the most important, "specification-type" product feature comparison I'm concerned with is: maximum flash synch speed. Depending on the model, it can vary from as low as 1/125th to as high as 1/500th. Sometimes you have to search for this spec, too. And, it's not even guaranteed that the most expensive model is necessarily the one with the highest synch speed. It's often buried deep in the either the one-sheet, or in the the user manual. But it's the one feature that most discriminates models in a product line for me. If you like shooting with strobes, and/or really like doing a lot of daylight exterior, fill-flash photography, this is a key feature worth researching. 

Good luck!
Edited by studio460 - 4/13/10 at 11:17pm
post #9 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick View Post

My suggestion . . . buy a good camera that's being discounted because of a newer model that's replacing it as the biggest/badest, and put the money saved into good glass.  Here's an example;  nikon now has it's excellent D90 DSLR slashed to $850 . . .  

 

I chose not to recommend a specific body, since everyone has their own preferences, but since Rick mentioned the D90, I thought I'd chime in. I bought a Nikon D90 last year to replace my aging Nikon D70, purchased in 2005. I thought I remembered reading that the D90 was really a D300 inside, but I can't find anything to confirm that (I think they are different). I do know that both the D300 and the D90 were vastly improved over their preceding models, especially in their handling of high-ISO noise. I bought the D90 for its ancillary filmmaking potential (which isn't great, since you still cannot manually set ISO or shutter speed in "live view" mode, and Nikon is refusing to update the firmware to do so). But, using it as a still camera, I love it! It's a damned fast multi-frame shooter with speedy, multi-zone focusing.

Just after buying the D90, of course, the D5000 came out. It's a lower-tier model, but I actually would've preferred the D5000, not because it costs less, but for its fold out, moveable viewscreen (good for filmmaking applications). Probably not the best choice for you, since that screen is definitely more fragile than the D90's. Whether or not the D90 is an improved D200 or a re-branded D300, I don't know, but I really love its colorimetry, speed, and overall build quality, and I'm guessing, it's at least a close runner-up to the image quality of a D300.

Okay, I just read up a bit on the Nikon D300. At a street price of $1,529 [bhphoto.com] that would be your camera, if you chose to go Nikon. It's weatherized. It's faster than the D90. It's in the right price range. Everything else, higher in Nikon's product line, appears to price out at between $2,500-$7,500. If deciding between a Nikon or Canon body, it'll basically come down to whose lens choices you'll prefer, Nikon's or Canon's.
Edited by studio460 - 4/13/10 at 11:38pm
post #10 of 27
7D
post #11 of 27
pdxammo:

Your economy with words is impressive! The 7D may be the better camera. I'm only biased because I already have thousands of dollars invested in Nikon glass!
post #12 of 27
I pretty much agree with what has been said so far.
The 7D is a great camera, and if you want it for sports, you'll struggle to find better without tripling your budget. It has excellent autofocus and very good low light capabilities (ISO 6400 without boosting), 8fps, true HD recording.
Now, if those are important features to you, then that is the camera to go for.
If not, drop down the spec levels to the 50D/40D/D90.
If you are going down the dSLR route, I'd say to stick with Canon or Nikon - there's a lot more accessories, lenses, books, etc out there for them, and plenty of good second hand stuff on the internet.
...but if you choose the 7D, you'll want to spend money on getting better quality lenses to get the most out of the camera. So, if you were to get a bundle, go for an L lens, such as the 24-105mm f4.0L.

Before you choose an SLR, make sure you've held it, you know what it feels like and how it fits in your hands. You may find that one is a lot more comfortable than another. Unless you win the lottery or get paid to shoot, once you go down the route of one brand of body, you'll be stuck with that brand for years.

I like the idea of the Panasonic, but have a few reservations - max ISO 1600, no sensor protection - when you change the lens the sensor is completely exposed to the elements, and I'm not a fan of EVIL - I want to see the actual image through the viewfinder (even in compact cameras, I want an optical v/f)

Compare here
post #13 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiteroom View Post

I'd check out the Panasonic GF-1 instead of the GH-1, it's much more pocket-able, has the same sensor and spec but costs $740 (suggested) vs. $1300.

Sony is about to release an EVIL (electronic view finder/ interchangeable lens) camera that could be a really good choice for a former Minolta shooter. Are your lenses AF Alpha mount or M42 ??
The GF-1 is nice, too, but it's  not exactly "pocket-able" with the 14-140 zoom mounted on it! Also, I often like an eye-level viewfinder, even if it's electronic.

I'm sorry to have to say that my lenses are the old Rokkor MC X-mount lenses originally introduced in the 60's. I bought mine in the mid-70's. These lenses are not auto-focus. The only thing they do automatically (when mounted on an X-mount camera) is stop the lens down to the chosen f-stop when taking the picture, allowing focusing with the lens wide open. So, the short answer is, it's neither AF Alpha mount nor M42. X-mount adaptors exist, but they employ another piece of glass, and quality is questionable.
post #14 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hrstrat57 View Post

I have a Sony A 700 kit.....my last slr kit was 2 Maxxum 9000's and I am able to use my Maxxum AF glass on the A 700 with great success. The thing I liked about the A 700 vs "Canikon" DSLR's (other than being able to recycle the fabulous glass I had already) is it just feels old school, it was a seamless move from film to digital.....I also previously shot and owned Minolta MD 11's and SRT's as well as Nikon F and F2's and still have a couple of spotmatics with many lenses, which also are adaptable to Sony with an M42 adapter.

I have Minolta 50 1.7, 28 2.8, 28-85, 35-105, 100-200, 24-105 and 75-300 all work flawlessly and perform brilliantly on the A700 and my daughter's A200.

As a Minolta Sony shooter I would recommend you hunt one down ASAP. Problem is the A 700 went out of production waiting a pricier replacement. I did not warm to the new A 500, A550 as much tho they are quite capable they did not feel "pro" to me.

Regarding your Minolta glass I believe it should be adaptable to Sony DSLR's with an adapter.

You should spend time with me on www.dyxum.com the bible of websites for the Sony/Minolta DSLR photographer.

Any questions PM me - I can assist you with your quest. The A 700 will blow you away.


 


Nice website, but, as noted previously, I have old Rokkor bayonet X-mount lenses. Not AF. Not M42. Adaptors with lenses to allow focusing to infinity are on the market, but the buzz suggests IQ on many of these things is a problem.

I have nothing against Sony. I own an early long zoom (no longer "ultra") Sony DSC-H2. Despite its tiny sensor, it has full manual control and can at least occasionally produce decent images (see below). You wouldn't want to blow this up very large, though.

090815_Osprey.jpg
 

Now, if you want really old school, do a search on the Seagull d55 digital SLR from China. And yes, it apparently really does mount old Minolta manual focus lenses.

post #15 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wear The Fox Hat View Post

I pretty much agree with what has been said so far.
The 7D is a great camera, and if you want it for sports, you'll struggle to find better without tripling your budget. It has excellent autofocus and very good low light capabilities (ISO 6400 without boosting), 8fps, true HD recording.
Now, if those are important features to you, then that is the camera to go for.
If not, drop down the spec levels to the 50D/40D/D90.
If you are going down the dSLR route, I'd say to stick with Canon or Nikon - there's a lot more accessories, lenses, books, etc out there for them, and plenty of good second hand stuff on the internet.
...but if you choose the 7D, you'll want to spend money on getting better quality lenses to get the most out of the camera. So, if you were to get a bundle, go for an L lens, such as the 24-105mm f4.0L.

Before you choose an SLR, make sure you've held it, you know what it feels like and how it fits in your hands. You may find that one is a lot more comfortable than another. Unless you win the lottery or get paid to shoot, once you go down the route of one brand of body, you'll be stuck with that brand for years.

I like the idea of the Panasonic, but have a few reservations - max ISO 1600, no sensor protection - when you change the lens the sensor is completely exposed to the elements, and I'm not a fan of EVIL - I want to see the actual image through the viewfinder (even in compact cameras, I want an optical v/f)

Compare here
 
Another fan of DP Review!

I agree with everything you're saying. The Panasonic has issues, but it's more likely to go along for the ride because of its smaller size and lighter weight - although it's still big enough so that it might not matter that much.

I've grown accustomed to a digital viewfinder, and I like the amount of information available in it. I always know my ISO, whether I've set the camera to shoot multiple exposures or not, my current exposure compensation, etc. Still, I don't like the delay or the fact that it gets dim in a hurry if you're using it under marginal lighting conditions.

I do like the fact that the Panasonic has a fast, effective Live View (contrast detect) autofocus - but that's partly because Live View is the only mode it has. Anyway, it helps a lot with video. Many DSLRs out there don't autofocus at all in video mode, and many of the rest do it badly.

Still, the Panasonic strikes me as delicate. It's not weather sealed, and, as WTFH noted, the sensor is exposed when changing lenses.

Quant2325 has suggested Pentax - in particular, the K-7. It's less expensive than other weather sealed cameras and has a strong suite of used legacy lenses available (although they may be somewhat less available in Canada). It also is slightly smaller than some of the "Canikons" that I'm interested in. I'm not thrilled with its reviews (weak high ISO and video), but it could be a cost-effective compromise. Besides, I'm also accustomed to film (really weak high ISO and no video at all).

As WTFH and studio460 have mentioned, the Biggus Dealus with Canon and Nikon is the huge variety of branded, third-party and used lenses, toys and accessories. The D300 and 7D would be workhorses for photos of skiers in motion, with an arguably better video implementation on the 7D. If I give up weather sealing and the 8fps burst, the new Canon 550D/Rebel T2i produces excellent images, good high ISO performance, and mounts all the same lenses as the 7D (indeed, the resolution of the thing isn't really demonstrated unless you've put a very good piece of glass on it). And, it's smaller and lighter, so I might prefer to carry it. I'd miss the burst rate and the lack of a control dial that allows me to twiddle settings with the camera up to my eye, though. I'll just have to find 'em and play with 'em, I suppose.
post #16 of 27
the rebelt2i is a pretty decent body too.   

-1  on 24-105 f4L if you ever spend that kind of money on a lens get the apperture you should that lens makes no sense, you trade IS for app and go nowhere. I know people that ask themselves what they were thinking buying it.
post #17 of 27
Quant2325 has suggested Pentax - in particular, the K-7. It's less expensive than other weather sealed cameras and has a strong suite of used legacy lenses available (although they may be somewhat less available in Canada). It also is slightly smaller than some of the "Canikons" that I'm interested in. I'm not thrilled with its reviews (weak high ISO and video), but it could be a cost-effective compromise. Besides, I'm also accustomed to film (really weak high ISO and no video at all).

JHCOOLEY,

The "weak" ISO is way above 1600 ISO, and with the built in anti-shake (in the camera and not the lens) you won't find yourself shooting much ( if anything) there. I've shot photos in low light with the Pentax and never went over 1600 ISO.  Shooting skiing?  You will usually be at ISO100 unless you want 1/5000 sec to stop the action of a DH.  Video?  Get a helmet cam.  I bought one that attaches to my goggle strap to video the kids.  Helmet cams  great!  It is cool that  DSLRs have  video, but I don't think you will use it much.

If  you are use to film (and a darkroom), you will want to shoot RAW and not JPEG and convert the data later.  RAW gives you much more to work with, and almost all of the editing you will usually do happens in the conversion to JPEG (or whatever you will print off of).  I use Phase One but most people use Lightroom.  Both are easy and do a great job.

Don't forget to get a pocket gray card.  When you do batch processing, it makes getting the color perfect easy for a set of photos.  Just click on your photo of the gray card and apply that setting to all the photos.  Perfect every time.  A cheap and effective tool nobody shooting serious photos should be without.
post #18 of 27
Thread Starter 
From what I've read, the much less expensive Pentax K-x actually produces better image quality than the K-7. Maybe a firmware upgrade is in the works...

Most of my postprocessing has been with PhotoSlop.

And I do have an old spiral-bound booklet that includes, among other things, a gray card. I even know where it is.
post #19 of 27
I am not aware of that.  Everything I've seen, including my own images, is that the K-7 is tops and at least equal to the comparable NIKON or Cannon.  The K10D, on the other hand, was not the sharpest shooting in JPEG, but it was as good as (or at least close to) the competition shooting in the RAW mode.  That was due to, I assume, PENTAX previously using a processor that replicated the film colors better.  But in RAW it didn't matter.  Anyhow, I love the PENTAX for the weatherproofing, internal anti-shake, exposure settings and sub-$1,000 price.  Most DSLR owners on EpicSki probably don't know about weatherproofing and wouldn't think of ever shooting in snow, rain, etc.  With young kids (I started very late) who like skiing, scouting, camping, etc. weatherproofing was a given.

Anyhow, there are a lot of great cameras to choose from.  As you know the new pocket cameras are amazing for shooting basic photos on the hill.   After an insturctor photographed my then 8-year old son skiing 9990 at The Canyons, I  began to always ski with one (he got a nice tip).  And the new DSLRs are so incredible that old film guys like you and me, who actually spent time in darkrooms, marvel at the mistake-free images we take (histograms certainly help with the initial exposure) and what can be accomplished on a laptop using Adobe software.

DSLRs are now so cool that my days of using a Mamiya C330 are long over, at least until someone comes up with a digital back for the one collecting dust in my closet.

BTW, I've been storing/sharing images online using SmugMug.  Do you know of anything better or easier?
post #20 of 27
Thread Starter 
DP Review used firmware 1.01; they're up to 1.03 now, so maybe it's already happened.

Having had to put my "old" long-zoom compact away because of weather, I'm interested in weather sealing. I've occasionally used it in semi-bad weather (if I have some shelter, or the snow is cold enough/dry enough to pull it out for a shot or two) and obtained some nice shots.

The compacts are versatile and, in some ways, remarkable. Someone who understands their limitations can do very well. And Panasonic makes these really interesting Micro 4/3 cameras.

Also, the camera can't do it all. I know someone with a Nikon D200 who routinely takes awful pictures.

Like you, I no longer use my film cameras, but I'm not sure what to do with them. In addition to the old Minoltas, I also have an Olympus XA, which was one of the smallest full-frame 35mm cameras ever made. It is about the size of today's point 'n' shoots, but it used a full 35mm frame (not half-frame like the Olympus Pen) and it had a superimposed image rangefinder for accurate focusing.

Anyway, I suppose I'll have to make up my list of things to check and find places where I can actually handle the cameras. I may whine about the high ISO "issues" of the K-7, but in reality, it's certainly plenty good enough. The 18-55 and 50-200 WR lenses look interesting, too. Anyway, it probably will require a trip to Spokane.

So many toys (cameras, skis, tools, cars, computers, gear), so little money!
post #21 of 27
quant, I use flickr for my images.

My choice of Canon dSLR gear was greatly influenced by professionals who I spoke to and who looked at the images I was taking with my compacts (at that time I was using a Pentax Optio). My 5D isn't weather sealed, but it's got rained on plenty of times. My compacts have been soaked and they aren't waterproof.
More importantly, my lenses are weatherproofed (they are worth more and provide better quality than the bodies)


There are three things you can change on a camera/lens - shutter, aperture and sensitivity. The greater range you have with each of those, the more options you will have when taking images.
So, f2.8-22 gives more options than f5.6-22.
30s-1/8000 gives more options than 15s-1/4000
and 100-6400 gives more options than 100-1600 (or with expansion, 50-25600 is better than 100-6400)

The extra range means, for example, that you don't need flash indoors, so you can just use it as fill-in outdoors.
post #22 of 27
Wear The Fox Hat,

Hey, I was doing 'D-logE-curves at RIT before most people on this site were born.  Your example is as silly as saying my amplifier is louder because my volume button goes to 11 and yours goes to 10.  Or my washing machine has 12 settings while another model has 10.  If you only use 3 settings the rest are wasted.  Nobody shoots higher than 1/8,000 sec. (the PENTAX limit) unless they are photographing bullets in mid-air, and nobody shoots at a 6400 ISO  unless they have to simply because of noise (granularity in the film world).   And I would gladly use a f/5.6 piece of glass if it were sharp as compared to an f/1.8 made in Russia (they had some notoriously cheap glass in the old days).  And, as instructor jhcooley knows, an in-camera anti-shake good for up to 4 stops doesn't suck.  Note: KODAK will come out with a chip soon that will revolutionize low light photography.

You can't go wrong with a lot of the current offerings from NIKON, CANNON, SONY, PENTAX (K-x or K-7), etc.  They are all good and the difference in photo quality will be mostly based upon the skill of the photographer and the glass.  I simply like the PENTAX offerings because they are geared as a semi-pro tool (someone who understands photography), weatherproof, a good value, have the anti-shake in the camera, among other things.  The fact that it has built-in distortion and chromatic aberration correction and a whole bunch of other stuff is as worthless to me as the extra settings on my washing machine since I shoot in RAW anyway. 



Originally Posted by Wear The Fox Hat View Post

quant, I use flickr for my images.

My choice of Canon dSLR gear was greatly influenced by professionals who I spoke to and who looked at the images I was taking with my compacts (at that time I was using a Pentax Optio). My 5D isn't weather sealed, but it's got rained on plenty of times. My compacts have been soaked and they aren't waterproof.
More importantly, my lenses are weatherproofed (they are worth more and provide better quality than the bodies)


There are three things you can change on a camera/lens - shutter, aperture and sensitivity. The greater range you have with each of those, the more options you will have when taking images.
So, f2.8-22 gives more options than f5.6-22.
30s-1/8000 gives more options than 15s-1/4000
and 100-6400 gives more options than 100-1600 (or with expansion, 50-25600 is better than 100-6400)

The extra range means, for example, that you don't need flash indoors, so you can just use it as fill-in outdoors.
 
post #23 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by quant2325 View Post

Wear The Fox Hat,

Hey, I was doing 'D-logE-curves at RIT before most people on this site were born.  Your example is as silly as saying my amplifier is louder because my volume button goes to 11 and yours goes to 10.  Or my washing machine has 12 settings while another model has 10.  If you only use 3 settings the rest are wasted.  Nobody shoots higher than 1/8,000 sec. (the PENTAX limit) unless they are photographing bullets in mid-air, and nobody shoots at a 6400 ISO  unless they have to simply because of noise (granularity in the film world).   And I would gladly use a f/5.6 piece of glass if it were sharp as compared to an f/1.8 made in Russia (they had some notoriously cheap glass in the old days).  And, as instructor jhcooley knows, an in-camera anti-shake good for up to 4 stops doesn't suck.  Note: KODAK will come out with a chip soon that will revolutionize low light photography.

You can't go wrong with a lot of the current offerings from NIKON, CANNON, SONY, PENTAX (K-x or K-7), etc.  They are all good and the difference in photo quality will be mostly based upon the skill of the photographer and the glass.  I simply like the PENTAX offerings because they are geared as a semi-pro tool (someone who understands photography), weatherproof, a good value, have the anti-shake in the camera, among other things.  The fact that it has built-in distortion and chromatic aberration correction and a whole bunch of other stuff is as worthless to me as the extra settings on my washing machine since I shoot in RAW anyway. 


 


 

Nobody shoots at 6400ISO? don't know many PJ's do you?  I shoot that high for the majority of night or indoor sports I shoot. The pic I posted in trekchicks thread of the female snowboarder was shot at 12800.
    IS will do nothing to help you with a moving subject and only is a replacement for using a tripod. It has only been a benefit to me on my 400.
This is 4000 in a very well lit d1 stadium.
20100311-pendeltonvsilverton209.jpg
post #24 of 27
quant, the most important thing to me is being able to get the image.
Next is the image quality.
A good camera that can take shots at 6400 definitely produces better images at 1600 than one that maxes out at 1600, and then it can go further. It's not about the amp going to 11. It's about having a different amp that goes 2 stops past 10.
I don't use Zenith lenses on my bodies, I try to stick with Canon ones, and as fast as possible - again, two stops extra can be useful for low light (or to allow more speed), never mind the bokeh.
I prefer lens IS because it stabilises the image in the viewfinder as well as the sensor.
Oh, and I have a thing for sensor size - 126 and 110 negs could never be blown up to the same quality as 135, because you start off with a smaller image.

I'm sure the K7 compares well with the Canon 50D - certainly spec wise they appear similar and aimed at a similar market.
post #25 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by jhcooley View Post

. . . I no longer use my film cameras, but I'm not sure what to do with them. In addition to the old Minoltas, I also have an Olympus XA, which was one of the smallest full-frame 35mm cameras ever made. It is about the size of today's point 'n' shoots, but it used a full 35mm frame (not half-frame like the Olympus Pen) and it had a superimposed image rangefinder for accurate focusing.
 

That Olympus XA is cool! I still have all of my 35mm Nikon film bodies and actually want to pick up a used Nikon N90 someday. I also still have a TON of wicked-fast, manual Nikkor lenses. I still have a brick of 400TX I'm planning to shoot. I think someday, you may want to shoot some film or transparencies again. I know I will.
post #26 of 27
There was an NOS NIB Nikon F3 HP on ebay last night....$595.

If I hadn't sold all my Nikkor glass I would have pulled the trigger. The Ftn, 2 F2's with MD's and F went a couple of years ago too.

F 3 MD4 drives sell on ebay all the time for $50 or less.....

I have 50 rolls of film in the freezer

Of course I have 2 Spotmatics a Canon FTBql and several Canon lenses and 2 Maxxum 9000's unused so it would have been silly.
post #27 of 27
The Canon FTb, black, was my very first SLR! (A few years later, I switched over to Nikon. Still have an FM2 and FE2 somewhere.)
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