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Re: A newbie request help selecting digital camera

 
 
ASAAR
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      06-12-2009
On Fri, 12 Jun 2009 17:07:29 -0500, Kris Krieger wrote:

> I've been using a nice Minolta with Fuji ASA 100 film and a modest telephoto
> lens. I've occasionalyl gotten some very decent nature photos, but have had
> trouble getting the hnag of exposure times - and it costs more and more to
> develop "experiments".
>
> So I started think that it might be time for me to join the 21st century, and
> go digital.
>
> But to be honest, I'm totally bewildered by the myriad of choices, and the
> huge expense of the cameras that look like what I might want! I was trying
> to make my way through this site
> http://www.the-digital-picture.com/R...al-SLR-Camera-
> Reviews.aspx
> but then thought, WHy don't I see whether tehre is a digital photo newsgroup
> where I might be able to get some basic guidance.
>
> So here I am.
>
> WHat I want to do is get highly crisp true-color photos of natural subjects,
> such as backlit grass, dragonflies, and the like, such as I've (sometimes)
> been able to get using the above non-digital combination, BUT it'd be nice to
> see the pic in advance, as can be done with digital cameras, and it'd be nice
> to not have to pay so much for "experimental" film shots (esp since the shops
> develop *everythign*, even the complete junk, since that's how they make
> their money). I've been *hoping* to get a digital camera that would use my
> Minolta lens and my Nikkon 55mm lens.


For lens compatibility look to Nikon DSLRs for your 55mm Nikkor
and Sony DSLRs for your Minolta lenses. Some here that are more
familiar with Sony's products and may be able to say whether some
lenses are more compatible than others. For the Nikkor, if it's an
AutoFocus lens, you'll probably want to avoid the cheapest bodies
since they don't have the in-body motor that is needed to focus
screw-driven AF lenses. This means that you'd want to avoid the new
D5000 as well as the very small D40, D40x and D60. Some older DSLRs
that are still available as manufacturer refurbs are the D50, D70,
D80 and D200. Some stores may still have a few new D200s, otherwise
your choice would be between a new D90 or D300.

By the way, all of these cameras have sensors smaller than a 35mm
film frame (usually called DX sensors), so the images you'd get with
55mm Nikkor will appear magnified, more like what you'd get with an
82.5mm focal length lens on a film camera. Same for the Minolta
lenses. The multiplier for Nikkor lenses is 1.5, and 1.6 for
Canon's lenses. I don't know what the multiplier is for Sony DSLRs,
but it's sure to be in this vicinity. Sony's A900 and Nikon's D3,
D700 and D3x are exceptions, all having large sensors (called FX or
Full Frame) that are the same size as your film SLRs, so there won't
be any need for a focal length multiplier. Unfortunately, these
tend to be much more expensive DSLR bodies. They're good for wide
angle photography, such as landscapes, because a 20mm lens on an FX
DSLR is very wide, what you'd expect from a 20mm lens on a film SLR.
But it would be only slightly wide on a DX DSLR (30mm on Nikon, 32mm
on Canon). On the other hand, a 300mm lens that might be desirable
for some nature/wildlife photography would perform like a 450mm or
480mm lens on a DX DSLR, which is why most wildlife photographers
prefer using DX DSLRs.


> What I definitely do not want is an "automated" thing that takes away my
> control over the photo, focuses eveythign in the center (as opposed to where
> *I* want the focus to be), and other such interferences. So I've been leery
> of "power shot" types or other types that sound like they are merely for
> taking nice little snapshots (as opposed to decent-quality photographs).


That shouldn't be a problem with Nikon's DSLRs, even the cheapest.
It's probably also true for Sony's DSLRs, but I'm not the person to
ask about them.


> At the same time, I cannot pay hundreds upon hundreds of dollars...so price
> is a consideration
>
> Oh yeah, I also am not concerned about it being able to take video, tho' I
> wouldn't reject that ability, either


Reject it. DSLR videos can be ok if you use a tripod, but for
following moving subjects you'd be much better off with videos taken
with much cheaper P&S cameras.


> So, given all of that, could some kind soul perhaps direct this totally-
> confused newbie to a good starting place to look?


Here, for replies that others will provide, and DPReview's forums
might be a better place. See

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/

and check out these forums:
Beginners Questions
Nikon D90 - D40 / D5000
Nikon D300 - D100
Nikon SLR Lens Talk
Sony SLR Talk

as well as any others that may pique your interest. You don't
have to register unless you want to post questions or replies. DPR
also has very good full reviews of many DSLRs, and while they may
seem overwhelming to some readers at first (there may be more than
30 pages per camera), with time and osmosis they'll eventually
become very readable. Until then, don't miss the Conclusions page
that's near the end of each "full" review.

 
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tony cooper
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      06-15-2009
On Sun, 14 Jun 2009 19:12:26 -0500, Kris Krieger <(E-Mail Removed)>
wrote:

>I don't have anything that's "auto-focus"; I've never been, am still not,
>interested because I almost always have my primary focus someplace other than
>dead-center, and I'm not convinced that auto-focus would be able to handle
>that. So that at least keeps things a bit simpler


I still suggest that you are a bit confused on this issue. You will
not find a dslr to be different than a slr as far as focussing. The
dslrs are not restricted to center focussing in auto focus. You can
focus at any point in the frame. You also have the ability to change
from auto focus to manual focus and never use auto focus. (That's
with a dslr and not a point & shoot. Some point & shoots have a
manual setting, but not all of them.)

You will not be restricted by the camera no matter what brand of dslr
you purchase. There may be something different to get used to, but I
can't imagine an experienced photographer not adapting in a matter of
minutes. You may have to read, or at least skim, the manual though.

I spent years using a slr before changing to a dslr. The only thing I
had to get used to was not being stingy with my shots. I still take
fewer shots than many dslr users because there's something ingrained
in my mind about more shots costing more money.






--
Tony Cooper - Orlando, Florida
 
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ASAAR
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      06-15-2009
On Sun, 14 Jun 2009 19:12:26 -0500, Kris Krieger wrote:

> I don't have anything that's "auto-focus"; I've never been, am still not,
> interested because I almost always have my primary focus someplace other than
> dead-center, and I'm not convinced that auto-focus would be able to handle
> that. So that at least keeps things a bit simpler


Autofocus really can handle that concern, and that's pretty simple
compared with some of the added AF features that have evolved. Some
of today's P&S cameras also have multiple AF points. Nikon's entry
level DSLRs (D40, D60) only have three AF sensors, laid out in a
horizontal line and you can select the one that is used for some
shooting modes, but that's pretty limited. The older D50 has five AF
sensors, adding one above and one below the central AF point. The
D5000 isn't really an upgrade for the D60. It's positioned between
the D60 and the D90 which has 11 focus points as does the D5000.

The D300 and all of the Nikon's full frame DSLRs provide many
more. The D300 lets you use 11 or 51 autofocus points, 15 of the 51
being the more sensitive cross-type that are sensitive to both
horizontal and vertical patterns. In continuous servo mode where
you're shooting many consecutive shots of fast moving objects, such
as in nature or sports photography, the D300 will track the moving
objects as they move away from the selected AF sensor, transferring
control to adjacent AF sensors. For this you can choose to use 9,
21 or 51 focus points. Many DSLRs from other manufacturers also
have many AF focus points, but none of them are spread as widely
across the frame. Since the 51 point AF module is similar (or
identical), these 51 points aren't spread quite as widely across the
frame in the Full Frame D700, D3 or D3x as they are in the D300.

 
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ASAAR
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      06-15-2009
On Mon, 15 Jun 2009 13:40:29 -0500, Kris Krieger wrote:

> ALl I do know is that, with my film camera, and 100ASA (or is it ISO? I
> knwo the terms changed but now I can't recall what the newest one is)


It's ISO now, at least for digital cameras. As far as I know,
film always used ASA, but it's been so long since I bought film I
don't really know. I have an unopened box of Kodak's TMAX 400 and
all it shows on the box is "E.I. 400 / 27°". The expiration date on
that box is 12/1990. I think that the ASA and ISO numbers are
equivalent.

>> I spent years using a slr before changing to a dslr. The only thing I
>> had to get used to was not being stingy with my shots. I still take
>> fewer shots than many dslr users because there's something ingrained
>> in my mind about more shots costing more money.

>
> I also assume, tho', that most DSLR cameras use those removable mini-
> flash-drives...? That's another thing I'm looking at, making sure taht teh
> pics won't be lost because a abttery jiggled lose and wiped the RAM...


No problem there, Flash memory isn't volatile. You can take the
card out of the camera, put it in your wallet, take it out a month
later and the images will still be there. Unless at some time
during that month you sat down and heard a snap!

 
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John Navas
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      06-16-2009
On Sun, 14 Jun 2009 19:12:26 -0500, Kris Krieger <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote
in <Xns9C2AC362D404Cmeadowmuffin@216.168.3.70>:

>(THe people in Best Buy sure didn't know any of this!)


Well, duh. AFAIK the only qualification for salespeople at Best Buy is
a pulse, and I'm not even sure about that. I'd be even harder on their
Geek Squad except their screwups generate a fair amount of good
undo-the-damage business for me.

--
Best regards,
John
Panasonic DMC-FZ28 (and several others)
 
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Bob Larter
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Posts: n/a
 
      06-16-2009
LOL wrote:
> On Sun, 14 Jun 2009 18:18:57 -0700, Savageduck
> <savageduck@{REMOVESPAM}me.com> wrote:
>
>> On 2009-06-14 18:04:50 -0700, LOL <(E-Mail Removed)> said:
>>
>>> On Sun, 14 Jun 2009 19:12:26 -0500, Kris Krieger <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>>> <----------------->
>>>> Great info! THanks! I don't have a problem with info volume; I'm used to
>>>> that. Knowing where to look, tho' is 80% of the battle so to speak - I tried
>>>> Google but didn't know how to limit the search.
>>>>
>>>> So I'll save this (prob otehr posts, too) because it's a great place to get
>>>> started.
>>>>
>>>> Thanks again!
>>>>
>>>> - Kris
>>>>
>>> You do realize that you are taking advice from someone who has never even
>>> held a camera, don't you? All he does is read downloaded camera manuals and
>>> read websites about photography his whole sad life. Then he comes here and
>>> tries to pretend to know something about real cameras and real photography.
>>> He thinks he wins if he can fool others into believing that he's a some
>>> kind of "photographer", like some sad virtual-reality-game in his head.
>>> ASSAR is THE longest-lived resident pretend-photographer TROLL. Everyone
>>> who has subscribed to this group for less than month knows this.
>>>
>>> Enjoy your (ahem) "advice".
>>>
>>> Too too funny! LOL!

>> ...and Kris, if you hadn't noticed before, the above remark is from our
>> resident P&S troll who will try to hide his identity via constant
>> change, and has an agenda which is more destructive than helpful.
>> There are doubts in this Group of his ability to produce images as he
>> has yet to submit any sample of his work.
>> The best advice remains buy what works for you.

>
> OH LOOK! It's the useless piece of **** pretend-photographer DSLR-TROLL
> AGAIN! Don't believe anything he ever says!
>
> LOL
>
> You ****ingly childish idiot.


Nice job of proving his point, kook.

--
W
. | ,. w , "Some people are alive only because
\|/ \|/ it is illegal to kill them." Perna condita delenda est
---^----^---------------------------------------------------------------
 
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dj_nme
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Posts: n/a
 
      06-16-2009
Kris Krieger wrote:
> ASAAR <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in
> news:(E-Mail Removed):
>
>> On Fri, 12 Jun 2009 17:07:29 -0500, Kris Krieger wrote:
>>
>>> I've been using a nice Minolta with Fuji ASA 100 film and a modest
>>> telephoto lens. [etc - snipped]

>> For lens compatibility look to Nikon DSLRs for your 55mm Nikkor
>> and Sony DSLRs for your Minolta lenses. Some here that are more
>> familiar with Sony's products and may be able to say whether some
>> lenses are more compatible than others. For the Nikkor, if it's an
>> AutoFocus lens, you'll probably want to avoid the cheapest bodies
>> since they don't have the in-body motor that is needed to focus
>> screw-driven AF lenses. This means that you'd want to avoid the new
>> D5000 as well as the very small D40, D40x and D60. Some older DSLRs
>> that are still available as manufacturer refurbs are the D50, D70,
>> D80 and D200. Some stores may still have a few new D200s, otherwise
>> your choice would be between a new D90 or D300.

>
> Thanks! I saw a link here to the Luminous Lansdscapes website, and the info
> about the Sony "Alpha DSLR-A200" (if I got that right) - since I'd like to
> take pics outdoors, the Sony sounds like ti is worth looking into in detail.


If you are currently using Minolta manual focus SLR gear and hope to use
the lenses on the Sony Alpha DSLR cameras, you may be in for some
disappointment.

> I don't have anything that's "auto-focus"; I've never been, am still not,
> interested because I almost always have my primary focus someplace other than
> dead-center, and I'm not convinced that auto-focus would be able to handle
> that. So that at least keeps things a bit simpler

<snipped for brevity>

That may cause you a problem: not having any autofocus lenses.
Particularly if you're currently a Minolta film SLR camera user, as
their AF mount (called "Dynax" by Minolta, now "Alpha" by Sony) is
incompatible (different bayonet and longer mount to sensor distance)
with MC/MD manual focus lenses.

You might be better served to look for a DSLR camera which can take your
lenses, otherwise you'll have to purchase all-new AF lenses.

If you're a Minolta MD/MD or Olympus OM user, then you will have to
either start from scrath again with lenses or you could use an adapter
on a FourThirds DSLR or MicroFourThirds EVIL camera and put up with a 2x
crop factor (50mm lens would have the same angle of view as a 100mm
lens on a 35mm camera when used via adapter on FourThirds cameras).

It's ultimately your money to spend as you like, so the final decision
is really up to you.
 
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