Mid or Prosumer Choices Canon A95 vs 300D ?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Magnusfarce, Oct 7, 2004.

  1. Magnusfarce

    Magnusfarce Guest

    I'm considering buying my first digital camera and have chosen the Canon A95
    as my starting point. After some years away from photography, I'm prepared
    to retire my trusty old Nikon FE. My intended uses are pretty typical,
    ranging from soccer games to an occasional (ok, very rare) shot that gets
    blown up and displayed.

    I also want to consider a prosumer level camera instead of the A95, and
    figure that if I buy more camera than I need at the moment, I'll most likely
    grow into it. At around $350 for the A95, I don't want to use that as just
    a temporary stepping stone to a more serious camera. I may find it better
    to plunge in with bigger dollars and skip that step altogether.

    After some study, I'm looking hard at the Canon EOS 300D SLR and the new
    Nikon 8800. My sense so far is that the Canon 300D is feature poor, but
    takes pictures as only an SLR can. The Nikon is solidly built and feature
    rich, but probably cannot compete with the 300D for imaging. I'm tempted to
    say that quality of image is everything to me, but I realize that the vast
    majority of shots I will take will be casual snapshot or e-mail quality. Do
    I want to give up usability for those once-a-year masterpieces?

    I'm caught in a catch-22 here because, not having owned a digital camera
    before, I don't have much sense regarding which features will be most
    important to me. However, I am assuming that any generally popular, well
    made, and well reviewed camera will work well for me.

    Can anyone comment on these choices, particularly with respect to moving
    from my old Nikon SLR to any of these digital models (image quality-wise)?
    Thanks in advance for any ideas.

    - Magnusfarce
     
    Magnusfarce, Oct 7, 2004
    #1
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  2. Magnusfarce

    Magnusfarce Guest

    Oops, something I forgot to add earlier. The 8800's predecessor, the 8700,
    can be had for about $450, and isn't terribly different from the 8800. Any
    thoughts?

    - Magnusfarce
     
    Magnusfarce, Oct 7, 2004
    #2
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  3. In article <>,
    "Magnusfarce" <> wrote:

    > I'm considering buying my first digital camera and have chosen the Canon A95
    > as my starting point. After some years away from photography, I'm prepared
    > to retire my trusty old Nikon FE. My intended uses are pretty typical,
    > ranging from soccer games to an occasional (ok, very rare) shot that gets
    > blown up and displayed.
    >
    > I also want to consider a prosumer level camera instead of the A95, and
    > figure that if I buy more camera than I need at the moment, I'll most likely
    > grow into it. At around $350 for the A95, I don't want to use that as just
    > a temporary stepping stone to a more serious camera. I may find it better
    > to plunge in with bigger dollars and skip that step altogether.
    >
    > After some study, I'm looking hard at the Canon EOS 300D SLR and the new
    > Nikon 8800. My sense so far is that the Canon 300D is feature poor, but
    > takes pictures as only an SLR can. The Nikon is solidly built and feature
    > rich, but probably cannot compete with the 300D for imaging. I'm tempted to
    > say that quality of image is everything to me, but I realize that the vast
    > majority of shots I will take will be casual snapshot or e-mail quality. Do
    > I want to give up usability for those once-a-year masterpieces?
    >
    > I'm caught in a catch-22 here because, not having owned a digital camera
    > before, I don't have much sense regarding which features will be most
    > important to me. However, I am assuming that any generally popular, well
    > made, and well reviewed camera will work well for me.
    >
    > Can anyone comment on these choices, particularly with respect to moving
    > from my old Nikon SLR to any of these digital models (image quality-wise)?
    > Thanks in advance for any ideas.
    >
    > - Magnusfarce


    A DSLR can do many things that no compact camera can. One thing is very
    fast response times. The other things usually involve buying expensive
    lenses. The Canon DSLRs also have the unusual ability to take long
    exposures.

    It depends on what you want your camera to do and how much you're
    willing to pay for it. It might even make sense to buy both a nice DSLR
    and a cheap pocket camera.
     
    Kevin McMurtrie, Oct 7, 2004
    #3
  4. Kevin McMurtrie wrote:
    > A DSLR can do many things that no compact camera can. One thing is

    very
    > fast response times. The other things usually involve buying

    expensive
    > lenses. The Canon DSLRs also have the unusual ability to take long
    > exposures.
    >
    > It depends on what you want your camera to do and how much you're
    > willing to pay for it. It might even make sense to buy both a nice

    DSLR
    > and a cheap pocket camera.


    Or you could buy inexpensive lenses for the dSLR like 18-55mm,
    50mm/1.7, 75-300mm. They won't very sharp or very fast but will
    definitely beat the ones on your A95 or most (I said most) prosumer
    cameras.

    Cheers,

    Siddhartha
     
    Siddhartha Jain, Oct 7, 2004
    #4
  5. "Magnusfarce" <> writes:

    > Oops, something I forgot to add earlier. The 8800's predecessor, the 8700,
    > can be had for about $450, and isn't terribly different from the 8800. Any
    > thoughts?


    I dunno, I count VR (vibration reduction) to be supremely important after
    having it in my Olympus C-2100UZ. Too bad the lens they have on the 8800 is so
    slow at telephoto (f/5.2) that it removes the 8800 from serious consideration
    as an upgrade path from my camera.

    --
    Michael Meissner
    email:
    http://www.the-meissners.org
     
    Michael Meissner, Oct 7, 2004
    #5
  6. Magnusfarce

    Mark Johnson Guest

    Are there any detailed comparisons from photographers? (Re: Mid or Prosumer)

    "Siddhartha Jain" <> wrote:

    >Or you could buy inexpensive lenses for the dSLR like 18-55mm,
    >50mm/1.7, 75-300mm. They won't very sharp or very fast but will
    >definitely beat the ones on your A95 or most (I said most) prosumer
    >cameras.


    Just as example, one of countless, does anybody actually have
    comparisons between say an Oly C8080 result and a Canon 20D? I don't
    mean terrible, spirit-crushing, boring and repulsive 'test shots'. I
    mean actual, composed, Photoshopped, cleaned, and finalized
    photographs - cover art, coffee book, hues and curves, pro
    composition, interesting subject, and so on. Not to keep making the
    point, but good photographs by people who understand photography, not
    merely camera equipment?

    I mention it only because I suspect there's nothing like that on the
    web, and even that the majority of actual, real photographs are still
    made with film. And I suspect the no less important family snaps of
    the kids and grandma are satisfactorily captured with cell phones, as
    far as it goes. Snaps and record shots are important, but not
    technically demanding, at all.

    Does anyone know of a site, that doesn't require one to download 10
    megabyte 2nd-rate digital record photos? Has anyone taken the time to
    isolate portions of film, in small 200K jpgs, say, from good photos,
    and compared with finalized zooms of similar photos from various
    cameras. Or would it take a photographer to do that? And has one done
    so, at least that he or she wants to make public?

    Figure one can ask. Maybe a photographer has.
     
    Mark Johnson, Oct 7, 2004
    #6
  7. Kevin McMurtrie wrote:

    > In article <>,
    > "Magnusfarce" <> wrote:
    >
    >
    >>I'm considering buying my first digital camera and have chosen the Canon A95
    >>as my starting point. After some years away from photography, I'm prepared
    >>to retire my trusty old Nikon FE. My intended uses are pretty typical,
    >>ranging from soccer games to an occasional (ok, very rare) shot that gets
    >>blown up and displayed.


    << Snipped bits out >>
    >>
    >>Can anyone comment on these choices, particularly with respect to moving
    >>from my old Nikon SLR to any of these digital models (image quality-wise)?
    >>Thanks in advance for any ideas.
    >>

    >
    > A DSLR can do many things that no compact camera can. One thing is very
    > fast response times. The other things usually involve buying expensive
    > lenses. The Canon DSLRs also have the unusual ability to take long
    > exposures.


    The kit lens with the 300 D is quite serviceable. $100, 18-55 mm.

    For almost any sports pic taking, a DSLR is far more satisfactory than a
    digicam. Shutter lag rears its ugly head in the digicams, and not
    viewing through the lens is annoying, but less of a problem. I have done
    sports with a digicam, and that is the hard way.....

    John McWilliams
     
    John McWilliams, Oct 7, 2004
    #7
  8. Magnusfarce

    DHB Guest

    On Wed, 6 Oct 2004 16:04:50 -0700, "Magnusfarce"
    <> wrote:

    >I'm considering buying my first digital camera and have chosen the Canon A95
    >as my starting point. After some years away from photography, I'm prepared
    >to retire my trusty old Nikon FE. My intended uses are pretty typical,
    >ranging from soccer games to an occasional (ok, very rare) shot that gets
    >blown up and displayed.
    >
    >I also want to consider a prosumer level camera instead of the A95, and
    >figure that if I buy more camera than I need at the moment, I'll most likely
    >grow into it. At around $350 for the A95, I don't want to use that as just
    >a temporary stepping stone to a more serious camera. I may find it better
    >to plunge in with bigger dollars and skip that step altogether.
    >
    >After some study, I'm looking hard at the Canon EOS 300D SLR and the new
    >Nikon 8800. My sense so far is that the Canon 300D is feature poor, but
    >takes pictures as only an SLR can. The Nikon is solidly built and feature
    >rich, but probably cannot compete with the 300D for imaging. I'm tempted to
    >say that quality of image is everything to me, but I realize that the vast
    >majority of shots I will take will be casual snapshot or e-mail quality. Do
    >I want to give up usability for those once-a-year masterpieces?
    >
    >I'm caught in a catch-22 here because, not having owned a digital camera
    >before, I don't have much sense regarding which features will be most
    >important to me. However, I am assuming that any generally popular, well
    >made, and well reviewed camera will work well for me.
    >
    >Can anyone comment on these choices, particularly with respect to moving
    >from my old Nikon SLR to any of these digital models (image quality-wise)?
    >Thanks in advance for any ideas.
    >
    > - Magnusfarce
    >


    Magnusfarce,
    if you are seriously trying to decide between the
    Canon A95 & the Digital Rebel/300D, then I'll offer my advice for your
    consideration.

    1> Your comparing apples & oranges here P&S/DSLR.

    2> As you have stated your primary needs are "the vast
    majority of shots I will take will be casual snapshot or e-mail
    quality". Thus the A95 should do just fine to meet virtually all of
    your needs.

    3> The A95 has it's own merits that are not inexpensively or
    easily replaced with a DSLR. P&S Digicams like the A95 have much
    greater "Depth Of Field" (DOF) than a DSLR will have because of the
    difference in sensor & lens size. Thus is you want to capture casual
    pictures with wide DOF, the A95 will be much easier to do this with.

    4> The A95 will cost less than 1/2 as much & will not be made
    obsolete by the future purchase of a DSLR unless your willing to carry
    a DSLR around everywhere you might need/want to take a picture. Far
    easier to carry around the A95 for most events & only take the DSLR
    when you are in need of it's special abilities that the A95 can't
    easily match.

    5> No, I don't own an A95 but I do own a Canon A40-2MP,
    A60-2MP, A70-3.2MP, G2-4MP & the Digital Rebel/300D. Each of these
    cameras still gets used on a fairly regular basis, each with different
    purposes. The Canon A-series has been widely successful & popular
    because it seems to have a very good balance of size, price, features,
    & manual controls, if the owner wishes to use them. Additionally, the
    A-series takes 4 "AA" batteries & Compact Flash, both of which are
    readily available almost everywhere & still the least expensive,
    though other flash media is becoming more competitive.

    Ultimately the choice is yours to make. Compare the review
    sights & decide for yourself which best fits "your" needs but be
    warned of 1 thing: There are a lot of hidden costs in owning a DSLR,
    as I have found out the hard way. I purchased mine with the 18-55mm
    kit lens (well worth the extra $100) which may do just fine for you
    for most of your needs. The added hidden costs that I encountered
    were largely self-imposed, extra batteries, extra larger Compact Flash
    cards, nice camera case, extra lenses, protective lens filters
    (optional & controversial), lens hoods, portrait/vertical grip,
    quality tripod, wired remote shutter release & etc......

    Wherever I go I almost always have a digital camera with me.
    My DSLR only goes with me on selected photo-shoots where it's virtues
    are needed. On the other side of the coin, the A95 would make a
    reasonable backup to a DSLR without taking much room. As the saying
    does "a solid hit with a .22LR is better than a loud miss with a .44
    Magnum", in other words a smaller picture taken with an A95 is worth
    more than a miss with a DSLR, either because it was not set correctly,
    or could not be made ready quickly enough or most likely, because you
    did not have the DSLR with you when a photo opportunity presented
    itself.

    Just some things to consider.

    Respectfully, DHB


    "To announce that there must be no criticism of the President,
    or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong,
    is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable
    to the American public."----Theodore Roosevelt, May 7, 1918
     
    DHB, Oct 7, 2004
    #8
  9. Magnusfarce

    Skip M Guest

    "Magnusfarce" <> wrote in message
    news:p...
    > I'm considering buying my first digital camera and have chosen the Canon
    > A95
    > as my starting point. After some years away from photography, I'm
    > prepared
    > to retire my trusty old Nikon FE. My intended uses are pretty typical,
    > ranging from soccer games to an occasional (ok, very rare) shot that gets
    > blown up and displayed.
    >
    > I also want to consider a prosumer level camera instead of the A95, and
    > figure that if I buy more camera than I need at the moment, I'll most
    > likely
    > grow into it. At around $350 for the A95, I don't want to use that as
    > just
    > a temporary stepping stone to a more serious camera. I may find it better
    > to plunge in with bigger dollars and skip that step altogether.
    >
    > After some study, I'm looking hard at the Canon EOS 300D SLR and the new
    > Nikon 8800. My sense so far is that the Canon 300D is feature poor, but
    > takes pictures as only an SLR can. The Nikon is solidly built and feature
    > rich, but probably cannot compete with the 300D for imaging. I'm tempted
    > to
    > say that quality of image is everything to me, but I realize that the vast
    > majority of shots I will take will be casual snapshot or e-mail quality.
    > Do
    > I want to give up usability for those once-a-year masterpieces?
    >
    > I'm caught in a catch-22 here because, not having owned a digital camera
    > before, I don't have much sense regarding which features will be most
    > important to me. However, I am assuming that any generally popular, well
    > made, and well reviewed camera will work well for me.
    >
    > Can anyone comment on these choices, particularly with respect to moving
    > from my old Nikon SLR to any of these digital models (image quality-wise)?
    > Thanks in advance for any ideas.
    >
    > - Magnusfarce
    >
    >

    Try the Nikon D70, it has more features than the 300D, doesn't cost a bunch
    more than it or the Nikon 8800, and will take your old Nikon lenses.
    The Canon 300D is not a prosumer camera, but instead, an entry level DSLR.
    The D70 fills the same niche for Nikon, but is, IMHO, a better choice,
    especially if you already have Nikon lenses. The Nikon D100 (soon to be
    replaced) and the Canon 20D are prosumer cameras.
    --
    Skip Middleton
    http://www.shadowcatcherimagery.com
     
    Skip M, Oct 7, 2004
    #9
  10. Re: Are there any detailed comparisons from photographers? (Re: Mid or Prosumer)

    In article <>,
    Mark Johnson <> wrote:

    > "Siddhartha Jain" <> wrote:
    >
    > >Or you could buy inexpensive lenses for the dSLR like 18-55mm,
    > >50mm/1.7, 75-300mm. They won't very sharp or very fast but will
    > >definitely beat the ones on your A95 or most (I said most) prosumer
    > >cameras.

    >
    > Just as example, one of countless, does anybody actually have
    > comparisons between say an Oly C8080 result and a Canon 20D? I don't
    > mean terrible, spirit-crushing, boring and repulsive 'test shots'. I
    > mean actual, composed, Photoshopped, cleaned, and finalized
    > photographs - cover art, coffee book, hues and curves, pro
    > composition, interesting subject, and so on. Not to keep making the
    > point, but good photographs by people who understand photography, not
    > merely camera equipment?
    >
    > I mention it only because I suspect there's nothing like that on the
    > web, and even that the majority of actual, real photographs are still
    > made with film. And I suspect the no less important family snaps of
    > the kids and grandma are satisfactorily captured with cell phones, as
    > far as it goes. Snaps and record shots are important, but not
    > technically demanding, at all.
    >
    > Does anyone know of a site, that doesn't require one to download 10
    > megabyte 2nd-rate digital record photos? Has anyone taken the time to
    > isolate portions of film, in small 200K jpgs, say, from good photos,
    > and compared with finalized zooms of similar photos from various
    > cameras. Or would it take a photographer to do that? And has one done
    > so, at least that he or she wants to make public?
    >
    > Figure one can ask. Maybe a photographer has.


    www.dprevew.com has crops and unedited sample photos for a variety of
    real-life conditions. They're not ultra-exciting but they show you what
    you want to know.

    The Canon 20D and Oly C8080 are both going to be perfect when it comes
    to color fidelity and contrast. The 20D has the advantage in low light,
    edge sharpness (with a good lens), responsiveness, and versatility.
     
    Kevin McMurtrie, Oct 8, 2004
    #10
  11. Magnusfarce

    Magnusfarce Guest

    Thanks, DHB, for a particularly well thought-out and informative set of
    comments. I'm going to wait on a DSLR for now, especially since the entry
    level (thousand dollar range) models are still in a state of flux. I'm
    going to go with a more moderately priced digital compact for now, and would
    be very interested in your thoughts on another post regarding the Canon A95
    versus the Nikon 8700.

    - Magnusfarce
     
    Magnusfarce, Oct 8, 2004
    #11
  12. Magnusfarce

    DHB Guest

    On Fri, 8 Oct 2004 00:33:12 -0700, "Magnusfarce"
    <> wrote:

    >Thanks, DHB, for a particularly well thought-out and informative set of
    >comments. I'm going to wait on a DSLR for now, especially since the entry
    >level (thousand dollar range) models are still in a state of flux. I'm
    >going to go with a more moderately priced digital compact for now, and would
    >be very interested in your thoughts on another post regarding the Canon A95
    >versus the Nikon 8700.
    >
    > - Magnusfarce
    >


    Magnusfarce,
    to be honest, it sounds like you still want the DSLR
    features without actually purchasing 1. My advice, buy the A95
    because it sounds like your now comparing apples & tangerines, instead
    of oranges. It's understandable that you would want to get the best
    camera you can but it still seems like your reaching for something
    further beyond your present photographic needs which just might push
    your future DSLR purchase further into the future.

    Look at these 2 links below & specifically look in the shadow
    areas of the white building "Mariana Cafe", look for noise
    (graininess) by the 1st floor's main entrance which is shaded. It's
    the 1st picture in the 1st link below, (building in the upper left
    corner);

    http://www.steves-digicams.com/2004_reviews/a95_samples.html

    http://www.steves-digicams.com/2004_revies/nikon8700_samples.html

    The A95 has less noise & @ about 1/2 the cost. Certainly, I
    am a bit Canon biased & I am sure that with a little bit of tweaking
    of the Nikon 8700 would do just fine. The real question here is; how
    much "SLR like" features do "you want/need" to retain to make you
    happy with your camera choice & how much are "you" willing to pay for
    that?

    If I did not own an A70 & a G2, I would probably buy the A95
    myself. But the G2 alone is a lot like a little lower resolution
    (4MP) version of the A95's (5MP) but the G2 has a hot shoe for
    mounting an external flash which I already own, the A95 does not have
    a hot shoe. So for me, it's not a big enough improvement unless I
    give away my A70 to a younger family member & use that excess to
    purchase the A95 to replace it. See, life can be a win-win if you
    just look @ it from the right perspective.

    A last comment about that is likely to apply to almost any
    camera you buy & has worked extremely well for me. If you want the
    camera to do almost everything for you, don't use full "AUTO" mode
    until you try "PROGRAM"/"P" mode 1st after making only a single change
    to the settings. That change is: "set the ISO" as low as the camera
    will allow & shoot in "PROGRAM"/"P" mode. Yes this will reduce the
    effective distance of the built-in flash some but it will give you
    much cleaner (lower noise) pictures. Also on most digicams, switching
    to "AUTO" overrides your programmed ISO speed & selects "auto ISO",
    which on most Canon's that is between ISO 50-140. If you need the
    extra flash distance just rotate to "AUTO" & when you don't, rotate
    back to "PROGRAM"/"P".

    You will likely be amazed at how much of a difference this
    makes, especially in the shadow areas of your pictures. Just remember
    to hold the camera steady as it will select slightly slower shutter
    speeds.

    Best wishes with what ever you buy, I hope it meets you needs
    for years to come, even after you have purchased your DSLR.

    Respectfully, DHB




    "To announce that there must be no criticism of the President,
    or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong,
    is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable
    to the American public."----Theodore Roosevelt, May 7, 1918
     
    DHB, Oct 9, 2004
    #12
  13. Magnusfarce

    Magnusfarce Guest

    Thanks again for the insightful reply. Your first statements ring true. By
    buying the 8700 (even for effectively the same price), I may be forstalling
    the mover into a true DSLR. I think, however, I can, in the meantime, play
    and practice with a lot of features in the 8700 and be better positioned to
    move the rest of the way up to a DSLR in a couple of years when there will
    be even more great choices between them. If I never get to that point, then
    the 8700 would suffice for a long time.

    I will spend some time studying your remaining comments and try to use them
    to gain a better understanding of the various aspects of the images you
    mentioned. Thanks again.

    - Magnusfarce
     
    Magnusfarce, Oct 9, 2004
    #13
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