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Help picking new camera
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James L
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Jan 14, 2007, 02:28 AM
 
Hey all,

It is time for a new camera. I have the opportunity to buy a used Nikon D70, with a basic 18-70 lens. It looks great, the price is awesome, etc. Moving up from an old 3.2 megapixel point and shoot to a nice SLR is very appealing.

Having said that, I like to do my comparison shopping. I am not attached to the idea of a point and shoot, or an SLR.... I simply want a camera that meets my criteria.

So, what am I looking for?:

1) In an all in one point and click, a decent optical zoom. In an SLR body, a decent range of lenses.

2) A quick start up time.

3) A continuous shooting mode.

4) Quick turn around time between shots (no 4 second delays as the camera writes to the card).

5) Decent manual controls.

6) At least 6 megapixels.

7) I do a lot of outdoor photography, and enjoy nighttime photography a lot.

Thanks in advance for any thoughts or experiences you guys can share.

Cheers,

James L
     
ink
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Jan 14, 2007, 02:33 AM
 
I've been drooling over the Canon Powershot G7 for the past month. I keep wanting to want a D70 or some other digital SLR, but then the sheer size deters me. The G7 isn't a "pocket camera" by any means, but it has a lot of the features of a traditional 35mm camera, with some of the point-and-shoot benefits as well (mpeg-2 video being a great one).
     
MaxPower2k3
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Jan 14, 2007, 02:43 AM
 
Well, every one of those criteria points to SLR.

1) Little point-and-shoots with long zooms are impossible to hold steady. Too small, too light. Expect a lot of blurry shots unless you're in bright light all the time. The best of these would be the Nikon S10 which has a 10x zoom and vibration reduction to help a bit. Gives you an extra couple of stops worth of usable light. With that D70, you could use just about any Nikon lens ever made.

2) D70 is on and ready to shoot by the time you can hold it up to look through the viewfinder. I think around half a second.

3) D70 has a fast buffer to store photos while shooting and writing to the card. I think it'll shoot 2.5 frames per second or so until the buffer fills up, and then 1.5 or so after that. Canons generally edge out the Nikons on continuous shooting speed, but both will be better than most point-and-shoots.

4) see above

5) Can't beat an SLR for manual controls, because it actually has real manual controls. Even the best point-and-shoots have to fake some controls because their physical counterparts just don't exist in those little cameras.

6) D70 covers that, but so will most point-and-shoots over $300 or so

7) SLRs are much better in low light because they have larger sensors and lenses that can collect more light, and pictures will have less noise (in all circumstances, but it's especially noticeable in low light)


There's no doubt that SLRs are more expensive than point-and-shoots. Even if you get a great deal on the body, any lens you buy for it will cost at least as much as a whole point-and-shoot camera. If you're serious about photography, though, an SLR gives you complete control over your photos, and many more options to work with so you can take the kind of pictures you want to. Point-and-shoots are getting better, but they're still not there yet.


(edit: I've had a D70 for a couple of years now and love it)

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mduell
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Jan 14, 2007, 03:34 AM
 
Canon A710 IS
     
butterfly0fdoom
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Jan 14, 2007, 03:56 AM
 
Well, given that you said "SLR body".... that pretty much cancels out anything that isn't in an SLR body, which means you don't want anything that isn't an SLR.

But a Canon A710 or a G7 would be pretty close to those requirements without being actual SLRs. You're limited to 3 add-on lens options, though.
     
Goldfinger
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Jan 14, 2007, 06:27 AM
 
I'd get the D70 if the price is right. You can get a D70S boxed new for €600 now maybe even less. Point and shoots just aren't worth it because of sensor noise, crappy optics most of the time and highly annoying slowness.

iMac 20" C2D 2.16 | Acer Aspire One | Flickr
     
Hawkeye_a
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Jan 14, 2007, 09:16 AM
 
I recently baught a camera, and i reasearched it a LOT. i wanted a compact camera with lot of manual control.

For the criteria you are looking for....
-Canon 710 IS
-Canon G7
-Leica D-Lux 3 (you probably wont find one until end-Jan to mid-feb since it's sold out pretty much everywhere)

i ended up with the Leica for several reason (that you havent mentioned.

In addition to your requirements, i wanted something that could........ shoot RAW, and is a 16X9 aspect ratio camera (sensor, screen, pictures) (4X3 and 3X2 is also possible at lower resolutions). And it came with a 2 year international warranty out of the box.

The camera most comparable is the Canon G7.

Despite what many reports state the D-Lux 3 performs similar to other small sensor cameras in its class in low light conditions. it's noise-reduction is rather "strong" (high ISOs) but can be overcome by shooting in RAW or turning it down to low .but the other features made up for that short coming to me anyway.

Good luck !

edit>>if it's a DSLR you want, id recommend going in for a Canon 400D
     
powerbook867
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Jan 14, 2007, 01:00 PM
 
If the D70 price is right (how much is right just for curiosity sake? ) Then go for it.

If you are shooting at high ISO/low light, the sensor tech on the older Nikons is not as good as the older Canons but is still a very solid offering.

One thing to keep in mid is that you are buying into a system not just a SLR body. Check out lenses before pulling the trigger on the purchase and make sure that you are getting what you need.

FM Reviews - Main Index

You can get great prices on the 400D or the Nikon D40 where both systems are very comparable and closely priced. If the deal is for 2-300 bucks w/ lens, I'd grab that. If the deal is 5-600 w/ lens, look around online for something new...

Have fun!
Joe
     
mduell
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Jan 14, 2007, 01:32 PM
 
Originally Posted by butterfly0fdoom View Post
Well, given that you said "SLR body".... that pretty much cancels out anything that isn't in an SLR body, which means you don't want anything that isn't an SLR.
He also said "I am not attached to the idea of a point and shoot, or an SLR.... I simply want a camera that meets my criteria" and the A710 IS meets all his criteria.
     
dav
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Jan 14, 2007, 01:41 PM
 
you probably want to spend a bit of time at dpreview, lots of good information there.

i recently purchased a pentax k100d dslr, which was just over $500 w/kit lens (& $50 rebate). it does very well in low light offering a good picture at 3200 sensitivity. it also has shake reduction built into the camera body.
one post closer to five stars
     
powerbook867
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Jan 14, 2007, 01:43 PM
 
Mark, while I agree that the P & S will meet all his criteria, when he talks about doing night time work, I immediately think an SLR is a better option than a P & S...

Also, P&S's are not known for continuous shooting...although I don't know much about the A710.

Just my opinion...
Joe
     
James L  (op)
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Jan 14, 2007, 02:09 PM
 
Thanks all, I really appreciate the advice (keep it coming if there is anymore).

the D70 with lens I mentioned I can get used from a casual friend who is upgrading (pro-photographer) for $400. It seems like a pretty good deal, but money really isn't an issue with me... I just want to get the right camera. I should rephrase that a bit. I can afford any camera out there, but I am cheap by nature and always look for the best deal.

For the D70 users, I am very interested in nighttime photography (cityscapes, that type of thing). How does the D70 work for you in that regard. Are you happy with the pictures you have taken?

For users of some of the other recommended cameras, same question!

Thanks again all,

James L
     
mduell
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Jan 14, 2007, 02:24 PM
 
If the weather isn't too crummy tonight I'll head down to the beach and snap a few shots of Boston with my A710.
     
powerbook867
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Jan 14, 2007, 02:29 PM
 
Here is one of my more favorite shots of Kansas City downtown....



The resize doesn't do it justice...Here is a vote for the 30d!

I have been extremely impressed w/ my Canon gear. The 400d should get you even better image quality. The sensor is actually a bump up from my 30d...
Joe
     
MaxPower2k3
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Jan 14, 2007, 03:39 PM
 
Taken with my D70:




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Railroader
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Jan 14, 2007, 04:08 PM
 
I like my Canon XTi. It is a pretty small DSLR.

EXCELLENT low light capabilities.
     
Hawkeye_a
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Jan 14, 2007, 05:35 PM
 
Originally Posted by James L View Post
For the D70 users, I am very interested in nighttime photography (cityscapes, that type of thing). How does the D70 work for you in that regard. Are you happy with the pictures you have taken?
Stay away from P&S cameras. the sensors just arent big enough to record low-light detail. go with a DSLR. D70s are alright. if you want latest and greatest but at a relative low price...the 400D is great.

Cheers
     
screamingFit
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Jan 14, 2007, 06:43 PM
 
I bought a Canon 710IS a couple of months ago. Pretty nifty and extremely tiny camera with manual controls. Takes several seconds for the flash to recharge, though.

Wanting to take my photography further, I just bought a Nikon D40 a few weeks ago. It comes with a very good kit lens and I've added to that a 50mm/1.8 lens and an additional flash. I had my choices narrowed down to the D40, a Pentax 110 or 10 or a Canon. I tried all of them out and the only one I was happy with was the D40. It has superb noise reduction up to 3200ISO, is small and light and a very solid build, unlike what I found with the Canons. Though I mainly shoot RAW, the JPEGs out of this camera are some of the best around. The only downfalls I see with the D40 are it's 3 AF sensors (not a real big deal to me) and it's incompatiability with older lenses that use the "screw drive" focusing mechanism (it can only AF with AF-S type lenses).

The D70 is a pretty solid camera, though. I'd probably buy it myself for $400.
"I have a lot of nightmares and I poop too much." ~Beavis
     
   
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