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  1. #1

    Default Digital Cameras - what do you like?

    I am considering upgrading my camera from a Canon G10. Right now, I am thinking about a Canon EOS D7 but was wondering if any camera bugs out there had some insight or suggestions. I've been looking at reviews, asking around and reading articles but I need to do some basic study/research to make the most of what I end up getting. I am less concerned about video.

  2. Default Re: Digital Cameras - what do you like?

    I was big-time into photography about, oh, fifteen years ago, and had (and still have) a wonderful old Minolta Maxxum SLR. I thought about getting back into digital photography a few years ago, and bought a Canon Powershot G5 (this was years before DSLR's came out, or were around $10K novelty items), and was moderately happy with it until I realized I wanted it to do things my old SLR did. For what it was designed to do, that G5 is a dandy camera with lots of DSLR-like features, and obviously it has long-since been supplanted and superseded in technology/features. In the last few years, my reading has led me to the Nikon DSLR's, and if the money fairy opted to drop $1K in my lap, I'd go pick up a Nikon D90 DSLR in a heartbeat. Its been around for two years, and the only consistent negative I've heard about it is that it does not maintain focus in video shooting. For me, that's a "so-what."

    Most everything I've read indicates the Nikon's have better quality optics than the Canon's, although the somewhat lower price-points sure seem to make the Canon offerings attractive. There's a huge Nikon-Canon fanboy flamewar out there in the photography world, and I'm not on either side of those wars. Just know that if I were to buy a DSLR right now, I'd spring for the D90. Nothing bad to say about Canon.

    I've dropped a few hints to the Mrs about a D90 for a Christmas/Birthday present, but so far, the hints haven't taken

    A former co-worker of mine who is probably what you'd call a semi-pro photographer had a prior-generation pro-class Nikon DSLR, and he was very, very happy with it. Think he dropped close to $2K on it...BLAST those free-spending single guys

    -SoonerDave

  3. #3

    Default Re: Digital Cameras - what do you like?

    Thanks, Dave. I will look a bit closer at that model.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Digital Cameras - what do you like?

    I've been a Canon user for a number of years after switching from Minolta, using a Canon EOS Rebel film first, into digital SLR with a first generation XT. My current primary DSLR and lens combo is a first version 5D with an EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM. (Cost me about $4K for the pair IIRC.)

    After much review of the current models, I just bought my son a 7D for Christmas, which I believe is a fine camera.
    (You posted D7, I'm not sure if that's a model or 7D is the same.)

    One thing to keep in mind is optics are every bit as important as the camera, if not more so. The kit lens that comes in a package with the pro-sumer cameras is a $100 lens to use on the front of a multi-hundred dollar camera. IMO you should consider opting for a body only and a better quality lens or at least be aware you can do much better with something else, depending on how far you intend to go with the output. I gave my son a Tamron AF 28-75MM F/2.8 XR Di LD Aspherical (IF) that I didn't use much as a starter lens for his camera, which is about $350 lens, has good reviews (though there are naysayers) and is less expensive than a Canon counterpart. But by all means get what you can afford and if you can afford it, get a lens that matches the brand of your camera and your needs.

    As far as the Nikon/Canon debate, my wife has a really nice Nikon point and shoot and while I haven't used their other products, I don't think it matters as much as choices you make within the offerings of each brand. I haven't hit the top of the line or used the full capability on my equipment within the Canon line to be splitting hairs on one brand over the other. They both make great equipment.

    Edit to add: The less expensive Canon T1i and T2i are probably great cameras too. I've seen a lot of great shots come out of the earlier and less capable XTi line. There are a number of features between those models that may not be important to you to spend the extra bucks.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Digital Cameras - what do you like?

    Thanks, DE. Someone told me something similar to what you did about getting the body, first, and adding on as opportunity permitted/specific lens are wanted. It helps in decision making to hear the same thing from people who handle good cameras. I have a good friend with a Rebel T1i and love her results but the EOS 7D shots I've looked at are at a higher level. I thought about going with a Rebel because it would be a jump up from what I'm used to for much less money. I know I'd be excited about the results. Still, in the past, I have rarely been happy with myself when I didn't get the quality I wanted - I tend to wish I'd bit the bullet/held out. What I know I need to do is hit the books and study up to make the most of what camera I get, including my current one. No point in spending money to buy something then treat it like a brick. I've been getting more serious about photography for the past four years and it seems like I am ready to make a jump.

  6. Default Re: Digital Cameras - what do you like?

    I've been a camera bug since I was a teenager (worked at Party Pics in high school) and learned on the 35mm FM2 with a Metz flash.

    I recently bought a Nikon D7000 on Amazon, but have owned Canon's, Olympus's, etc. and shot with everything from my cell phone to mini digitals to mid range to pro.

    Camera talk can get as messy as "who do you like better, Windows or Apple?" You have your Nikon fans and your Canon fans mostly and they tend to think anything else sucks.

    Personally, I can get as good or better photos from my cell phone if enough thought is put into it. If I'm shooting for someone else I tend to use my Nikon since the client is definitely going to check out your gear and they desperately want to feel like they are getting what they are paying for and for some reason they think the whole secret is in the gear.

    I know tons of people that get into photography and immediately go out and plop down a couple thousand dollars buying higher end gear and giving no thought to composition or even learning the basics of photography and how to use a cameras settings (let alone lighting, etc.).

    When people ask me about a still camera I ask them how they plan to use it. If its for vacations and family outings I suggest a compact or sub compact. Anything larger and they won't want to carry it or mess with it. I tell them to go with something that will fit into the pocket of cargo shorts.

    Right now I find myself shooting alot with my Canon SX30 IS. Perfect size and features for vacations and such. Shoots stills and HD video with a 24mm-840mm lens at 14.1 megapixels. I can go full auto or control virtually every aspect of the shot. It will take an external flash if needed and the screen swivels for added convenience. Best part is its only about $400 at Sam's. The down side is I don't like it for sporting events because it has a terrible burst mode. But the price and size make it great to carry around and if it gets broken or stolen, who cares.

    I shoot most of the properties for Apartment Guide and the shots of the Founder's Tower etc. were done with what I consider an excellent beginners kit (for the features and money) the Olympus E series (520 in this case). I don't use my Nikon's because they don't cover my equipment if it gets broken.

    You need a decent camera with good glass, but you don't need top of the line and the most important feature in photography you can't buy anyway - and that is an eye for composition.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Digital Cameras - what do you like?

    Thanks, BB.

    I do a lot of shooting outdoors and like to hike, which is one of the reasons I got a smaller camera in the first place. However, I have been hiking less in the past few years so that is not as much a requirement. I also just got a decent sling camera case and am surprised at what a difference that has been making on hauling stuff around. Duh. With my dogs, I need something that gets good shots on the move. My G10 does a pretty decent job of that, depending on the light. I would really like to take more shots of people but don't like to make them sit around being uncomfortable while my camera catches up to the light and the moment - something faster would work better. I also take a lot of photos indoors because of my quilting but indoor light during much of the day is frequently disappointing and I never seem all that happy with the flash. I find that my G10 works great for macros and with a polaroid lens, I can get some nice daytime shots. I use some of the scenes (I particularly like sunset) in the morning as I am an early riser. What I want in addition, however, is something that catches things better on the fly, works better in lower light and has a better telephoto lens. Not interested in video, particularly. I use my little Flip camera for that and it works fine for my needs.

  8. Default Re: Digital Cameras - what do you like?

    I really like the camera reviews at www.dpreview.com - they cover most cameras and give simple and detailed information.

    As an example, I'm no 'pro' but this is what I did in my backyard with just my cell phone. May not be others taste, but we like them. We've blown a couple of these up and had them printed on stretched canvas to hang on the walls.

    http://www.facebook.com/album.php?ai...1&l=67657dfca8

  9. #9

    Default Re: Digital Cameras - what do you like?

    I hear ya. I get as much fun out of shooting with my iphone as I do with a high end camera and I use it a lot more. For some, the best camera is the one you use. And there is a lot to be said for one you stick in your pocket. I lug my 5D and a bag full of glass a lot of places and it is a job to do that. There are reasons to have a high end camera though if a person is so inclined. I've been using adjustable cameras for 40 years, I'm on my seventh SLR, counting the two DSLRs.

    Echoing what PQ is saying about being unhappy with quality I can tell that story about my XT and 5D. I bought the XT when it first came out with the kit lens and it was about $1K. I think it was 8 megapixels, though it might have been 6. Right off I was somewhat disappointed at the sharpness I could get out of it in general and especially when printing larger than 5 x7. I bought the Tamron lens I mentioned above a couple of months later, which helped a great deal.

    I started wearing glasses a few years before I bought the XT. It's more difficult to get right up inside the viewfinder to compose and such like I once could. I compensate with that by shooting wide and cropping up later. That's no problem with the XT and images posted on the web or printed 4 x 6, 5 x 7. In fact a lot of cameras will turn out great photos for both of those. But the direction I wanted to go was relatively large gallery quality prints, 13 x 19 or so. I could not get the sharpness and quality I wanted so I moved up to the 5D and top quality glass.

    The 5D has a larger and brighter viewfinder; has a full frame CCD and is about double the megapixel of the XT. I cannot really blame any limitations on my camera at this point, though there have been features in newer cameras I'd like to have. The 7D and 5D mark ii have better low light ability. The 7D will shoot video. Some of the newer models have "live preview" which would help with my composition and viewfinder issues. My glass is all top notch though and there's nothing really newer or better.

    I would totally recommend anyone who wants more creative control and more variables than when using a point and shoot to go to a DSLR. How many variables you actually want to deal with to be creative or to get a job done, what type of output you plan in the end, how much you want to learn, how much equipment you are willing to lug around, take care of and risk getting damaged or stolen; and how much you are willing to spend are all considerations towards purchasing one.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Digital Cameras - what do you like?

    Quote Originally Posted by BBatesokc View Post
    I really like the camera reviews at www.dpreview.com - they cover most cameras and give simple and detailed information.

    As an example, I'm no 'pro' but this is what I did in my backyard with just my cell phone. May not be others taste, but we like them. We've blown a couple of these up and had them printed on stretched canvas to hang on the walls.

    http://www.facebook.com/album.php?ai...1&l=67657dfca8
    Nice - I like the way you bring the colors in.

  11. Default Re: Digital Cameras - what do you like?

    I still have my early 90's Kodak DCS 420 - the first digital camera I ever bought and it was considered state of the art at less than 2MP, no screen and used a huge PC card that was only about 256MB. It cost more than many cars I've owned at $12,000. I kick myself for never selling it when it was actually worth something. I might get $100 or so on Ebay now (sigh).

  12. #12

    Default Re: Digital Cameras - what do you like?

    My son makes the best use of his iphone than anyone I know (he has a regular camera, too). He takes advantage of software that allows him to get it to look the way he wants. He lives in NYC and gets great candid shots on the subway and on the street. As for me, I have less luck. I like a better zoom and am more into sharp images than the use of neat filters. One of my girls does an excellent job with getting sharper images with her iphone - maybe she just has a good eye and a steady hand.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Digital Cameras - what do you like?

    I have had good experiences with the two Panasonic cameras that I have had, I got a Nikon D3000 at Christmas last year and find that it does great but I like carrying it around like I did my old Panasonic FZ7 that I gave my mother. It is much bigger and and with multiple lenses it just isn't as convenient. The FZ7 was a good balance of size and real zoom ability which made it easier to carry. I will probably get a decent compact camera to carry around or leave in the car/bike just for convenience and leave the Nikon for the higher end work I need. To me real zoom capability and larger lens diameter size make the biggest difference with compact cameras.

    A professional photographer that I know down here (who grew up in Edmond) has a full digital SLR setup but got a compact Panasonic camera to carry on his motorcycle trips after he tired of dealing with the DSLR equipment with limited storage space and other reasons. Some of the pics on his website and Facebook page were taken with the compact camera.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Digital Cameras - what do you like?

    If I were you, regardless of whatever move you make, I'd hang onto my G10. Even if you get heavily into photography, there will be times when you'll want to leave the bag, DSLR, and lenses at home. The G10 is perfect for those times when you are only carrying a camera "just in case".

  15. #15

    Default Re: Digital Cameras - what do you like?

    Quote Originally Posted by TaoMaas View Post
    If I were you, regardless of whatever move you make, I'd hang onto my G10. Even if you get heavily into photography, there will be times when you'll want to leave the bag, DSLR, and lenses at home. The G10 is perfect for those times when you are only carrying a camera "just in case".
    I agree - I love that thing so much that there is no way I would let 'er go. She is a good size to toss in my purse, backpack of just grab off the shelf around the house.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Digital Cameras - what do you like?

    Quote Originally Posted by BBatesokc View Post
    I still have my early 90's Kodak DCS 420 - the first digital camera I ever bought and it was considered state of the art at less than 2MP, no screen and used a huge PC card that was only about 256MB. It cost more than many cars I've owned at $12,000. I kick myself for never selling it when it was actually worth something. I might get $100 or so on Ebay now (sigh).
    Hold onto that, it'll be worth a good deal to someone down the road.

  17. Default Re: Digital Cameras - what do you like?

    Could one of you good folks who is more into the details of the various manufacturers relay some info on the schedule regarding the future production of the Nikon D90? Its been around for two years while I've been whining for one, and I understand the D7000 is its intended replacement. Only problem is its about $400 more.... Are they going to continue making the D90, and if so, for how much longer? Or has it already been discontinued?

    Many thanks,
    David

  18. #18

    Default Re: Digital Cameras - what do you like?

    you selling that G10?

  19. Default Re: Digital Cameras - what do you like?

    Quote Originally Posted by SoonerDave View Post
    Could one of you good folks who is more into the details of the various manufacturers relay some info on the schedule regarding the future production of the Nikon D90? Its been around for two years while I've been whining for one, and I understand the D7000 is its intended replacement. Only problem is its about $400 more.... Are they going to continue making the D90, and if so, for how much longer? Or has it already been discontinued?

    Many thanks,
    David
    I don't keep that close of an eye of camera lines, but I have great luck getting my questions answered at dpreview - either in their official reviews or in their forum...... http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/forum.asp?forum=1034

  20. #20

    Default Re: Digital Cameras - what do you like?

    I have an Olympus E-500. Its only 8 megapixels but still takes a clearer shot than my point n' shoot 10 megapixel Samsung. If you go with the E series, you have to consider the fact that the lenses are REALLY expensive! I still just own the two lenses that came with it when I bought it and I really don't need anything else as little as I use it. I would like a fisheye lense (and that baby goes for roughly $650) cause Photoshop can't really mimic the real thing. If I didn't buy the Olympus, I'd have a Nikon. They're really nice.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Digital Cameras - what do you like?

    Quote Originally Posted by EBAH View Post
    you selling that G10?
    No, we have an emotional relationship at this point.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Digital Cameras - what do you like?

    Quote Originally Posted by BBatesokc View Post
    I don't keep that close of an eye of camera lines, but I have great luck getting my questions answered at dpreview - either in their official reviews or in their forum...... http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/forum.asp?forum=1034
    Thanks.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Digital Cameras - what do you like?

    PQ I am not a fan of the point and shoot types. You have virtually NO creative control and are at the mercy of the flog that wrote the software that runs the camera. I so agree to read up on dpreview.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Digital Cameras - what do you like?

    After much angst and consideration, I broke down and ordered a Canon 60D, this morning. I will need to save up to get some good glass but also got the EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS and Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II to get started. I already have a decent lightweight tripod but need to get a flash. I want to get a remote shutter but need to think about the kind I want. I am generally behind the camera and want something that doesn't need me to be in front. I've been setting the timer to try to avoid shake and that has been okay. One of the best things I've done to study up is to actually start playing with the settings on my G10 to get a feel for what it means to not shoot on automatic. I have enough hobbies. I can't believe I am doing this. I will probably put the family in the poor house. <vbg>

  25. #25

    Default Re: Digital Cameras - what do you like?

    Bought me a Sony a320 DSLR today as well. Now for better OKCTalk pics! Can someone teach me more about filters and macro's? I got a bunch with the camera for free but don't know much about them.

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