I've got the point and shoot blues!!!

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Dec 1st, 2005, 02:40 PM
  #1
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I've got the point and shoot blues!!!

Hi everyone - As I learn the ins and outs of my 20D, I still struggle with the "need" for a second camera, as backup or whatever. I went out to Best Buy tonight to play with some of the recommended P&Ss, but they all look confusing and frankly somewhat cheaply made. Based on recent Dpreview reviews I've been looking at: the new A620, the S2 IS, and the S80, which they didn't have. The more I think about it the more I think I should just save the money, buy a nice lens, and deal with it. Everyone else seems to only take one camera, right? Either their FZ pick your number, or I believe Cary99 used an S2. I am anal about my expensive equipment, so I don't THINK anything will happen to the 20D...... a gentleman on the Dpreview forum suggested I buy a 300D and keep a lens on each. It is tempting but I just am having a hard time justifying the $$$$! So puh-leeze someone just tell me what to do!!!

Thank you so much for listening!!!!
cooncat2 is offline  
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Dec 1st, 2005, 03:05 PM
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Sharon,

How about the new Canon 5D???

(copy and paste)

http://www.nextag.com/serv/main/buye...anon_EOS_5D_12

I don't usually make such offers, but for you I will really knock myself out. Get the Canon 5d and I will be happy to take it on a test drive in Tanzania and have it back to you well before your May visit to Zambia!
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Dec 1st, 2005, 03:12 PM
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Cooncat2-
I can't tell you what P&S to buy but please do consider taking a second camera with you.
In February, I took my new Digital SLR and decided to forego bringing a second camera to cut down on bulk. On my previous trips to Africa, I always had a "back up" camera for that "just in case" scenario which never took place.
Well, wouldn't you know it, after working great in Rwanda and Uganda, my new SLR decided to crap out on me in the Mara in Kenya when I was in the middle of photographing a cheetah with a kill with a group of hyenas stealing it from her.
Every single curse word I ever knew or heard came flying out of my mouth. Not only did I miss a great photo op, but the camera never did work again for the rest of the trip because the problem, it seems, had to be fixed by the manufacturer.
Sure...I'll just run right down to the Masai Mara location of Nikon and get it fixed.

Don't let what happened to me happen to you. Take a "back up". Please!
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Dec 1st, 2005, 03:25 PM
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Rocco - WHICH part of my message didn't you understand? The part about not wanting to take another rig, or NOT wanting to spend more $$$$$??? ZOIKS! I have an even better offer. You buy the 5D, and I'll give you a fair deal on your 20D. Oh, like a couple hundred bucks or so. ;-)
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Dec 1st, 2005, 03:29 PM
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Thanks Divewop. You're probably right, and at this point, what's another $1,000 or so, right?! The thing I've just realized about the P&S cameras is that they take different batteries and different cards. So I'm looking at buying different chargers, or a lot of extra batteries.... It's really irritating. I'll probably end up with another DSLR, like the 300D, if I can find one. Anyone want to sell me theirs? If I undestand correctly, even the XT uses different batteries than the 20D. Can someone verify this for me?

Thanks again!
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Dec 1st, 2005, 03:35 PM
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Sharon,

Hehe...if I wasn't sweating out the final payments on this Tanzania trip, I would already have bought the Canon 5D!

I am a bit of a packrat when it comes to my camera stuff and I would probably let one of Canon 20d's sit there unused before I would sell it.
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Dec 1st, 2005, 03:47 PM
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Sharon,

"Everyone else seems to take only one camera, right?"

Not so.

Even the unflappable Roccco takes two. Africa can be hard on cameras, as you know. All cameras are vulnerable to failure. And once broken, you can't fix them on Safari. I see no reason to schlep two SLR bodies, however. A nice pocket camera will suffice. If it has enough megapixels, you can crop its images to give you the extra reach that is always lacking in a pocket camera. When I say "nice" I mean one that is really not a point and shoot in the classic sense. I mean a full-featured eight megapixel camera with image stabilization, a wideangle focal length of 28mm and a telephoto reach of 120mm. If need be, you can crop its image in half to equal the scale of distant subjects shot at 240mm, and still have four megapixels of resolution to play with. And yes, there is such a camera out there: the Panasonic LX-1 (or Leica D-Lux 2 -- same camera). Yes, its small sensor, crowded with eight million pixels, gets noisy at 400 ISO, but with Image stabiization you can shoot at shutter speeds slow enough to mostly use ISO 100. or ISO 200 in a pinch.

Check it out here: http://panasonic.co.jp/pavc/global/lumix/lx1/index.html The camera sells for $550 in the USA (at B&H). Here is a link for on-line purchase:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...goryNavigation

I use the Leica version. It costs $250 more but carries a longer warranty and is a bit different in design. You can see it at: http://www.leica-camera.com/digitale...2/index_e.html

I will be taking it to Zambia in four weeks as backup to my Panasonic Lumix FZ30. Both cameras use Leica Elmarit lenses. The LX-1 and D-Lux2 are exceedingly lightweight, made out of aluminum. And very small. The LCD composing screen is huge and brilliant. You will want to carry it with you everywhere. I am thrilled with its performance. A pocket camera, for sure. A point and shoot? No way.

Good luck,

Phil
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Dec 1st, 2005, 03:54 PM
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Sharon,

I struggled with the exact same decision and eventually I decided that the best thing to do would be to add another Canon 20d.

You are going to have your lenses for your first 20d body already, and if anything goes wrong, you will feel pretty silly if all you have as a backup is a point and shoot digital camera. Also, from the tests that I have seen the Canon 350d (Digital Rebel) is inferior in low light conditions, while the Canon 20d performs very well up to at least ISO 800. Plus, it is much sturdier. In the end, it will cost about $500 more but I think you will have more peace of mind with a second 20d body than anything else.
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Dec 1st, 2005, 04:42 PM
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I would look for a used 10D. It uses the same batteries as the 20D and it's a great camera (6.1 MP) and cheaper.
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Dec 1st, 2005, 04:56 PM
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Shop around on ebay as well if you've got the time. I've gotten some pretty good deals on brand new camera equipment, from memory cards to lens, etc. Just make sure what you're bidding on has the warranties. You know, for those "just in case" times.

Mine was returned to the manufacturer and covered under warranty so I got a brand new body.
Always take two cameras. Even if one is a smaller P&S which I did take on my previous trips.
I've since gotten my stock up to two SLR bodies and both will going with me now.
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Dec 1st, 2005, 06:07 PM
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Sundowner...Great minds think alike - just went over to ebay so I'll see what I come up with.

Roccy - No budget for another 20D!!! I still need a lens!

Phil thanks for your input. Those cameras aren't rated very well on dpreview, but I'm sure you already know that!

Thanks all!
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Dec 1st, 2005, 06:17 PM
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take two cameras! just in case! i'd hate to see you have to return to Zambia just because you missed a few "National Geographic" moments!
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Dec 1st, 2005, 10:15 PM
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When we went in Sept 2005 we each (3 of us) had the S2. I bought a Canon S60 for a backup for any one of us because I knew what a disappointment it would be if any one of us "lost" an S2. It was easy to justify the cost $270 when compared to the $30,000 (total) the safaris cost us. Also, the S60 has a 28mm (35mm equivalent) wide angle lense. It is also relatively small and light. It will also take nice little movies which are fun. (Your 20D won't. I'm not a video person, it distracts me too much, but I do like that little 20 second movie scene with sound). I used the S60 for people type snapshoots, villages, airports, in the tiny little planes we flew in (pictures of the pilot cockpit, passengers, etc).
Having said how much we all liked the S2, I grew up with 35mm film SLRs. And I really miss the view finder of an SLR. I think digital SLRs have finally become reasonable in price and size and will get one in a year or so.
Merry Christmas - Tom
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Dec 2nd, 2005, 03:04 AM
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I recently bought myself a P&S camera though it's not really a camera I'd ever use for wildlife photography. The delay switching it on is not a big deal - I can switch it on in advance - but the delay when actually taking each picture is a big deal.

But I bought it to use for the other stuff when I don't want the big camera with me - for example dinner at a safari camp, worth having a camera incase the staff end up dancing or something, to take to parties with me and that kind of thing. It's more for snapshot photography.

However, because I'll sometimes only have this camera with me and see something I want to take a decent picture of I chose one that had as many of the features I'd look for in an SLR as possible.

I chose the Pentax 750z and I'm happy with it so far.
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Dec 2nd, 2005, 03:15 AM
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PS I agree that a 10D would be a perfectly good back up. A good friend of mine uses a 10D and produces great work with it. 3 megapixels less does give less leeway with cropping but you can still crop to a certain extent whilst retaining enough quality to enlage to 8x10 if not larger.
Fractal upsizing programmes such as Genuine Fractals can allow you to print even larger prints too.

If you go for secondhand you might want to look into how many shutter actuations the camera has gone through. Most of the consumer DSLRS are built to last for a certain number before possibly needing new shutter mechanisms.

BTW Rocco has a backup body because those of us advising him on the big photography thread at the time he was first looking into it suggested he ought to have one! Given his willingness to drop the $ on his equipment he opted for a second 20D as backup. For most of us, that's just too expensive a backup and I totally appreciate your reluctance.

Another cheaper option MIGHT be to pick up a second hand FILM Canon SLR body that fits your same lenses and take a few films along with you. Not as convenient as digital but if budget is tight, a lot lot cheaper.

Personally I'd go with a non SLR back up if money is tight. As Phil said, there are many SLR-like models that would work very well.

Don't forget dpreview.com to search for models based on features.
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Dec 2nd, 2005, 05:50 AM
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If you are using this just as a back up, and don't want to blow a 1000 dollars on a camera you do not plan on really using if your 20d works as it should, your talking about an emergancey camera. you want something that will give you good results IN CASE something goes wrong. I would go for one of "last years models" of the fz"S. with that tou will meet your goals. You can getthe fz 5 for $335 at butterfly photo (go to shooping.com and you can find all the sellers) this is a steal for the 5.3 megapixel. or you can save even more drop 1 megapixel and go for thr fz4 at $275. you will meet your goals wityh both of theses. good luck
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Dec 2nd, 2005, 05:59 AM
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Thanks again everyone. Kavey - or anyone else - what would you reckon is a fair price for a used 10D? They've got several on ebay at the moment that I'm watching.
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Dec 2nd, 2005, 06:42 AM
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I would think a 10D would go for around $600 +/- $50. The shutter life on a 10D is supposed to be around 30,000 and I've heard of photogs getting as many as 100k. (Mine passed 10,000 while I was in Bots.)

And even though you are calling this your "backup camera" you'll probably use it as much as your 20D (if you have 2 lenses).

The used 20D's are going for around $1000 +/- $50.

Good luck!
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Dec 2nd, 2005, 06:51 AM
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Thanks! Heck,I may just end up keeping the 10D and selling the 20D! ;-)
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Dec 2nd, 2005, 07:55 AM
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Another question: I can't use my 17-85mm EF-S lens on the 10D, can I? That would be a shame because I'd want to use the 20D for my long lens.
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