Now I have a question about cameras

Feb 20th, 2007, 06:32 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
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Marsh - You have several apparent choices, if you just want one lens for traveling with better low-light capability than yours. Meaning either IS or wider aperture or both; so you have either use a faster shutter speed, or you can get stable shots at the original lower speed.

- Canon 17-85/f4-5.6 IS. I bought this lens used and shot over 2,000 pictures on two recent trips to China and Italy. You can check my photos on Including lots of handheld no-flash shots in temples and churches. It's about $500 new; I bought mine for $385 on eBay and sold it for $410 with a polarizing filter 4 months later. It also has longer range than your kit lens.

- Tamron 17-50/f2.8. A very nice lens that's a little faster than your kit lens at the wide-angle end, and 2 stops at 50mm. Just over $400.

- Canon 17-55/f2.8 IS. This the main lens I use now. It has IS and have the constant 2.8 aperture. It's the ultimate low-light lens that's also extremely sharp. Only problem is that it costs about a grand.
rkkwan is offline  
Feb 20th, 2007, 06:38 PM
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Two other choices from Sigma:

18-50/f2.8. This is very similar to Tamron's 17-50. Also priced similarly, around $400.

17-70/f2.8-4.5. This is slightly faster than Canon's 17-85, but without IS. About $350.
rkkwan is offline  
Feb 21st, 2007, 05:23 AM
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Well AP6380, your last response:

"Wow... loads of info., thanks!!! I went into J&R World quickly today on lunch and took a look at the Nikon D40 and the Canon XTI. The D40 is about $600 and the Canon $700. Now, since I am such a novice, the specs on these camera do not say anything about optical zoom. Does this mean there is no zoom at all without purchasing extra lenses or is it just expressed differently????

I really prefer to stay in the $500 range.... we will see!"

simply reinforces my thought that you should go with the Canon S3 IS, or Sony H5.

If you've paid attention, you'd realize by now that you're NOT going to get a DSLR for the money you want to spend. Think $1500 or more likely $2000 to get a decent DSLR setup.

Another thing to consider is that the new cameras for spring will mostly be introduced early in March. When this happens, there will be new choices to consider and prices will aslo start to drop on cameras that have been superceded by a newer model.
peterboy is offline  
Feb 21st, 2007, 07:04 AM
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Hi Ap,

> since I am such a novice, the specs on these camera do not say anything about optical zoom. <

May I very gently and kindly suggest that you don't know enough about photography or cameras to warrant buying a DSLR?

I think that the XTi comes with an 18-55 mm lens. You have to buy your other lenses separately.

I suggest that you get the Canon S2, not the S3. You will save $100 or more, and have almost the same camera.

It has enough bells and whistles that you will be able to learn enough to know if you need an SLR and whether you want to pay the price.

ira is online now  
Feb 21st, 2007, 07:33 AM
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Okay, now we're talking about prices.

If you want to spend not more than $500 and are not going to spend much more in the future on lens and other accessories, then don't get a dSLR.

Here are the basic costs for Canon's system, which I'm more familiar with than Nikon's:

- XT body with 18-55 kit lens, about $570.
- 75-300 USM lens $185

That will give you a 35mm equivalent focal range of about 28-480mm with a small gap in the middle (no big deal). That will give one a lot to learn about.

But that 75-300 lens isn't the best qualify. If you decide to upgrade later on, you are not going to much money back. I'd suggest buying a used one on eBay.


But a decent midrange system, which you may want to upgrade into if you're quite interested in photography, will looking something like this:

- XTi body, $650
- 17-85 IS lens $500
- 70-300 IS lens $530
- 430EX flash $220

That's about $2,000 there. And then you may want to add the 10-22 ($650), the 50mm 1.8 ($70), upgrade the 17-85 to the 17-55 ($950), or upgrade the 70-300 to the 70-200L/f4 IS ($1,100), and so on. Just depends on what your interest in photography is.

The dSLR is a very versatile system. You're only limited by

- your skills
- your imagination
- thickness of your wallet

Nobody will tell you photography's cheap once you really get into it; but most things you buy won't go to waste. Many pros carry a XT/XTi around as a backup or 2nd camera, as they can still use all his/her lens and accessories on it.
rkkwan is offline  
Feb 21st, 2007, 08:06 AM
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Consider this: IF you do decide later that you want to get serious and buy into a much pricier system (and trust me, if you get $2,000 into it as rkkwan suggests, you will not be able to restrain yourself from going further), that initial $250 you spent on a point-and-shoot to learn on will not seem like wasted money at all.

But if you go for the SLR and you turn out to be not that keen, and it's too bulky and it sits in a drawer, then you HAVE wasted $540-plus.

I know a lot of professional photographers -- the kind whose gear comes in a dozen eight-foot-long cases -- who have point-and-shoots as their carry-arounds and love them for it.

If you get hooked on photography big time, you can also fool around with a film SLR first; good student examples of these can be picked up for almost nothing on Ebay these days. Nothing like a fully-manual all-mechanical beast to learn the basics of exposure and composition on. If you really get lost in this hobby it's impossible to just stick with one camera forever. My wife and I have about thirty of them!
fnarf999 is offline  
Feb 21st, 2007, 08:18 AM
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Fully manual SLRs are great. Unfortunately, they don't make a digital one. Shooting digital really makes learning easier and faster as you can see the results much sooner than film, and there's basically no cost in capturing more shots, bracket, whatever, as long as the memory card is large enough.

And there's so much one can do on the computer afterwards. Many things impossible or extremely hard and expensive to do in a darkroom.

Unfortunately, they don't make all-manual digital cameras, like the equivalent of a Pentax K1000. And almost all new lens that will work with digitals are AF.
rkkwan is offline  
Feb 21st, 2007, 08:44 AM
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I was going to say consider the Pansonic Lumix FZ7, but I see it has now been replaced by the FZ8. This is a cracking little camera which is excellent as a point and squirt but also lets you use it as a 'real' camera if you want to develop your photographic skills. The only drawbacks I found with it were that (like all cameras of this size and type) its wide-angle field of view is a bit restrictive for the type of work I often did and the viewfinder was a bit small to visually assess manual focus accurately.

If you decide to go the DSLR route recognise the extra size, weight and price involved. Then think seriously about the new Pentax K10D, or its cheaper clone the Samsung GX-10. These have anti-shake on the camera so it will work with any lens, sensor cleaning to remove dust and good weather sealing. They also give better backward capability with old mounts than some other brands.

wasleys is offline  
Feb 21st, 2007, 09:00 AM
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And to put it very simply, if you buy a camera with a 10 0r 12 OPTICAL zoom, be sure it has an image stabilizer (IS) built in otherwise you MAY produce a lot of the BLURRY distant shots I see posted PROUDLY on the internet (because they were there). Don't give any worry about the DIGITAL ZOOM, just the OPTICAL ZOOM. I was a professional photographer for over 50 years and got tired of carrying around my cameras with 3 or more lenses, now enjoy a GOOD point and shoot with a 10 or 12 Optical zoom and thoroughly enjoy the trip while on it and with the pictures on the computer when arriving home. . Enjoy your equipment but try to also enjoy the trip. Good luck. halfpint
halfpint is offline  
Feb 21st, 2007, 11:30 AM
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It looks like Sony will be announcing the replacements for the H5 on 2/27 but someone from Sony Canada has leaked images of the product packaging
of the H9

looks like the H5s will be going on clearance shortly.
peterboy is offline  
Feb 21st, 2007, 12:25 PM
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Well, I do all of my film "darkroom" work on the computer, after developing the roll. The point I was trying to make is, you can get into film SLRs for almost no money these days, as people are abandoning them in droves. You can even get into medium format, which is where the quality really starts in film) for cheap on Ebay nowadays, as all the wedding and news photographers are going digital as well.

That's what it boils down to. DSLRs are great, but it's a very expensive hobby. Everytime someone tries to tell me it isn't, they turn out to have a couple of thousand dollars of lenses in their bag.

For a user like the original poster, the answer is to start with something a bit simpler, and move into DSLR only if they get bitten by the bug.

BTW, I don't think you can even buy a 10x-12x long zoom point'n'shoot that doesn't have stabilization. The Panasonic is terrific; it's an update to my everyday digital, and I love it.
fnarf999 is offline  
Feb 21st, 2007, 01:18 PM
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I know you can buy a few 10 optical zoom that do not have IS and of course they are very reasonable in price and sound very appealing. I believe Kodak Easy Share Z710 is one of them.
halfpint is offline  
Feb 21st, 2007, 02:29 PM
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For information I see that the arrival of the Panasonic FZ8 means that a number of websites are offering the replaced FZ7 at very substantial reductions.
wasleys is offline  
Feb 21st, 2007, 04:58 PM
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I am on my way to Europe for a month at the end of May. I own a photography business and use 2 high end DSLR and more than 10 lenses. I have 7-8 batteries, more memory cards which are accelerated than I can keep track of, several kinds of carrying cases and who knows what else. I also have a point and shoot under water camera - guess what -- I am not taking any of them with me because I have discovered that when I am on a long trip, the last thing I want to worry about is heavy expensive equipment. I have been researching and working with the Canon S3 camera for several months and I am ready to place an order for one for this trip. I find it amazing that those who say that you should travel for a month with a 22 inch suitcase and avoid any unnecessary weight also tell you to lug around heavy camera equipment which adds significant weight. Hmmmm ! : )

Buy your camera ahead of time and go out and play with it. Some of the things I like the best is the 12x zoom, the fact that it uses batteries - self explanatory, and here is a great one for those who like to create DVD's when we get home - it is also video capable - not high end but sometimes there is just something that needs to be captured in motion.
It sounds like you have done your homework and I think you have made a good choice - you have also had some good suggestions here to double check.

Before you buy -made sure the camera is covered byt USA warranty - avoid the grey markets in cameras and don't believe that the store's warranty is all you need. You may pay a bit more but you still will be way under your 500 with enough room to buy lots of memory. You may want to see what kind of accelerated cards the camera will take - I have to do that yet - the acceleration lets the camera recover more quickly and also look for several of at least 1 gig - if you want a source for those - let me know - I would be glad to suggest a couple of good places who are reputable. good luck!
bcirish is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2007, 02:39 AM
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At this point I am leaning toward the Canon S3. It's a much more "grownup" camera than my Sony Cybershot, and budget-wise, works. My Ipod has bitten the dust- so I'm looking at needing a new MP3 soon too! I will NOT be doing Apple again...... Thanks again!

I guess I will see if i ever sign-up for photography classes then can get a much more complex camera.
AP6380 is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2007, 02:59 AM
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Hi AP, as can be seen from this thread, there are lots of different views and possibilities - all valid from different points of view. If you do go with the S3, I'm sure you won't be disapointed. I pre-ordered mine before it was released and picked it up the day before I went to Greece, last May. That holiday I ended up taking both my old and new camera "just in case" but found it easy to get decent results right from the start. Let us know how you get on.
Maria_H is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2007, 05:48 AM
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If you decide to get a SLR-like camera, I would recommend you to take a look at the Fuji S6000fd.

The main difference between it and Canon or Panasonic models is that its lens start at the 28mm (35mm equivalent), compared to 35 or 36 for the others. For travel photography, it makes a whole lot of difference. I will say that at least half of the shots I take when traveling are at focal length <35mm.

For me, I will not buy any new camera that doesn't have 28mm coverage.

The Fuji is under $400 now, but it uses the xD cards, which are more expensive than SD and CF ones.
rkkwan is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2007, 05:59 AM
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Oh, too bad that Fuji doesn't have image stabilization. Otherwise, it would be THE camera to get in this category.
rkkwan is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2007, 08:07 AM
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I wish this thread had existed when I was doing this search. It's revealing many choices I did not appreciate.

FWIW, the Canon SD800IS also has the 28mm equivalent lens, and there is an excellent image stabilization system. In fact, that was one of the top selling points for me. My earlier digital, which is a bit bigger, is an Olympus c-5060, and I have been more than happy with it.

The one feature I gave up with the SD800 -- and one which has served me well with the Olympus -- is the flip out viewing screen. I cannot tell you how handy it is to have the option to hold the camera low to the ground, and high over your head, and adjust the viewer so that you can see the image without breaking your back.

I offer that little thought just to stir up the discussion and send you off on another rabbit trail. Sorry. This chasing the perfect camera never ends.

JimF is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2007, 08:12 AM
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Good grief! I forgot a main point: the S3 does have the adjustable screen.

(Senior moment.)

JimF is offline  

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