Very rusty photographer needs advice

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Mike Forrest, Jun 27, 2005.

  1. Mike Forrest

    Mike Forrest Guest

    To any kind person out there.

    I could use some help in figuring out what camera to purchase.

    Background: I was very much involved in photography for years, mainly
    taking pictures involving activities with my kids. I used two
    Canon ftb manual bodies and a twin lens Rolli. I had a good working
    Bessler based darkroom and spent a good bit of time in there, really
    enjoying this more than taking pictures by itself. About 10 years
    ago, I put my equipment into storage and pretty much quit taking
    pictures. I find myself beginning to become interested again and am
    looking at a digital camera. I plan to look at some version of
    Photoshop and focus on still life and landscapes probably with
    emphasis on what I can do with the picture after I take it.

    I do not want to spend a lot of money at first until I see where I am
    going to go with this if anywhere.

    I am currently looking at two cameras, the Canon A95 and the Olympus
    C60 (both CU best buys.) I can land the Olympus for around 350 with
    512 memory and the Canon for around 300. The 6mp Olympus will probably
    be a little sharper but the Canon appears to be a better picture
    taker. I need manual control as this is how I think (generally did not
    use a meter). Both have this. I am leaning toward the Canon as it
    seems to be somewhat better designed. I suspect I will be doing a
    fair amount of cropping and enlarging. A major issue: I do not know
    how much weight to put on the extra mp of the Olympus.

    Any thoughts or advice would be very much appreciated. This is a new
    world for me and is quite a bit different from the cameras I was
    familiar with.

    These decisions are really tough when you basically do not know what
    you are doing.

    Yours,

    Mike Forrest
     
    Mike Forrest, Jun 27, 2005
    #1
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  2. Mike Forrest wrote:

    > <snip>
    > I do not want to spend a lot of money at first until I see where I am
    > going to go with this if anywhere.
    >
    > I am currently looking at two cameras, the Canon A95 and the Olympus
    > C60 (both CU best buys.) I can land the Olympus for around 350 with
    > 512 memory and the Canon for around 300. The 6mp Olympus will probably
    > be a little sharper but the Canon appears to be a better picture
    > taker. I need manual control as this is how I think (generally did not
    > use a meter). Both have this. I am leaning toward the Canon as it
    > seems to be somewhat better designed. I suspect I will be doing a
    > fair amount of cropping and enlarging. A major issue: I do not know
    > how much weight to put on the extra mp of the Olympus.



    Mike,

    You'll likely get a number of opinions on either of those cameras, but
    as most respondents will have one or the other, none (or very few) will
    be in a position to give a balanced opinion based on experience. So I'd
    suggest you read the "professional" reviews, starting with
    http://www.steves-digicams.com . Its very seldom that a camera will
    get a *bad* review, but you can read through the feature lists, and
    carefuly compare full-size images from each camera to form your own
    opinion. For my vote, I have the Canon A95, and have been very
    satisfied with it. (I previously had the canon 2.1 mp A40, and before
    that the 1.3mp A50, so I guess I'm "a canon guy" :)

    As regards your specific question: 5mp vs 6mp, I have 2 answers:
    - with megapixels, more is generally better. 3 mp is noticably better
    than 2, 4 better than 3, etc. But at a diminishing rate of return...
    - My A95 gives me images of 2582 x 1944 pixels. Extrapolating that to
    6mp would translate to around 2816 x 2112, so the increase in "dots" is
    around 10% in any dimension.
    A crisp 5mp image can give you an excellent 11x14inch print. 6Mp will
    give you 12 x 16 at about the same quality. So I would suggest that the
    difference is marginal, unless you plan to make a lot of larger prints.

    HTH.

    /S
     
    Scarlet Pimpernel, Jun 27, 2005
    #2
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  3. Mike Forrest

    ecm Guest

    Mike Forrest wrote:
    > To any kind person out there.
    >
    > I could use some help in figuring out what camera to purchase.
    >
    > Background: I was very much involved in photography for years, mainly
    > taking pictures involving activities with my kids. I used two
    > Canon ftb manual bodies and a twin lens Rolli. I had a good working
    > Bessler based darkroom and spent a good bit of time in there, really
    > enjoying this more than taking pictures by itself. About 10 years
    > ago, I put my equipment into storage and pretty much quit taking
    > pictures. I find myself beginning to become interested again and am
    > looking at a digital camera. I plan to look at some version of
    > Photoshop and focus on still life and landscapes probably with
    > emphasis on what I can do with the picture after I take it.
    >
    > I do not want to spend a lot of money at first until I see where I am
    > going to go with this if anywhere.


    Photoshop will add about $600 to your hobby - and although it's a great
    tool for the professional, it's definitely not worth it for the amateur
    - there are a lot of other tools available that'll do the job for
    nothing. Get GIMP for Windows (if you're Windows based, of course),
    RawShooter Essentials, Picasa 2.0, Autostitch, and Irfanview with the
    plugins pack - you'll have most of the functions of Photoshop. If you
    must, Photoshop Essentials 3.0 is supposed to be OK.

    > I am currently looking at two cameras, the Canon A95 and the Olympus
    > C60 (both CU best buys.) I can land the Olympus for around 350 with
    > 512 memory and the Canon for around 300. The 6mp Olympus will probably
    > be a little sharper but the Canon appears to be a better picture
    > taker. I need manual control as this is how I think (generally did not
    > use a meter). Both have this. I am leaning toward the Canon as it
    > seems to be somewhat better designed. I suspect I will be doing a
    > fair amount of cropping and enlarging. A major issue: I do not know
    > how much weight to put on the extra mp of the Olympus.


    The Canon is nice and has a good reputation. If you're going to spend
    that much on an Oly, at least consider the Olympus C-7070 for ~U.S.$400
    - bigger, but a MUCH better camera than either of the ones you
    mentioned, and it takes CF as well as xD cards. It'll last you for as
    long as you want - it's like the Rollei you used to own, a really nice
    piece of equipment, that'll do just about anything with a bit of skill.
    It has complete manual controls, as well as aperture and shutter
    priority auto-exposure. The picture quality is top-notch and it does
    take RAW files (like digital negatives - very important if you like to
    mess with digital processing) - the A95 and C-60 don't have this
    capacity. An external flash is all it really needs for accessories.

    > Any thoughts or advice would be very much appreciated. This is a new
    > world for me and is quite a bit different from the cameras I was
    > familiar with.
    >
    > These decisions are really tough when you basically do not know what
    > you are doing.


    I started into digital cameras by reading lots of reviews and tutorials
    at several sites - there's a ton of good info to be gleaned:
    www.dpreviews.com
    www.steves-digicams.com
    www.imaging-resource.com
    www.megapixel.net
    www.luminous-landscape.com
    and many others....

    > Yours,
    >
    > Mike Forrest


    Good Luck!
    ECM
     
    ecm, Jun 28, 2005
    #3
  4. Mike Forrest

    ecm Guest

    Dang! Sorry, that's supposed to be www.dpreview.com - not the other
    thing.

    If you're in the U.S., I just noticed that the C-7070 is available for
    as little as $360 at www.beachcamera.com and www.buydig.com - just shop
    around a bit for a CF card - the camera is priced rock-bottom to get
    you to "come in" and then they get you with overpriced accessories.
    Check at www.newegg.com for memory cards.

    ECM
     
    ecm, Jun 28, 2005
    #4
  5. Mike Forrest

    Ron Hunter Guest

    Mike Forrest wrote:
    > To any kind person out there.
    >
    > I could use some help in figuring out what camera to purchase.
    >
    > Background: I was very much involved in photography for years, mainly
    > taking pictures involving activities with my kids. I used two
    > Canon ftb manual bodies and a twin lens Rolli. I had a good working
    > Bessler based darkroom and spent a good bit of time in there, really
    > enjoying this more than taking pictures by itself. About 10 years
    > ago, I put my equipment into storage and pretty much quit taking
    > pictures. I find myself beginning to become interested again and am
    > looking at a digital camera. I plan to look at some version of
    > Photoshop and focus on still life and landscapes probably with
    > emphasis on what I can do with the picture after I take it.
    >
    > I do not want to spend a lot of money at first until I see where I am
    > going to go with this if anywhere.
    >
    > I am currently looking at two cameras, the Canon A95 and the Olympus
    > C60 (both CU best buys.) I can land the Olympus for around 350 with
    > 512 memory and the Canon for around 300. The 6mp Olympus will probably
    > be a little sharper but the Canon appears to be a better picture
    > taker. I need manual control as this is how I think (generally did not
    > use a meter). Both have this. I am leaning toward the Canon as it
    > seems to be somewhat better designed. I suspect I will be doing a
    > fair amount of cropping and enlarging. A major issue: I do not know
    > how much weight to put on the extra mp of the Olympus.
    >
    > Any thoughts or advice would be very much appreciated. This is a new
    > world for me and is quite a bit different from the cameras I was
    > familiar with.
    >
    > These decisions are really tough when you basically do not know what
    > you are doing.
    >
    > Yours,
    >
    > Mike Forrest
    >

    With your film background, I rather suspect you will not be happy with
    anthing less that a DSLR. In that area, I believe Canon has the edge.


    --
    Ron Hunter
     
    Ron Hunter, Jun 28, 2005
    #5
  6. Mike Forrest

    DHB Guest

    On Mon, 27 Jun 2005 16:59:39 -0500, Mike Forrest
    <> wrote:

    >To any kind person out there.
    >
    >I could use some help in figuring out what camera to purchase.
    >
    >Background: I was very much involved in photography for years, mainly
    >taking pictures involving activities with my kids. I used two
    >Canon ftb manual bodies and a twin lens Rolli. I had a good working
    >Bessler based darkroom and spent a good bit of time in there, really
    >enjoying this more than taking pictures by itself. About 10 years
    >ago, I put my equipment into storage and pretty much quit taking
    >pictures. I find myself beginning to become interested again and am
    >looking at a digital camera. I plan to look at some version of
    >Photoshop and focus on still life and landscapes probably with
    >emphasis on what I can do with the picture after I take it.
    >
    >I do not want to spend a lot of money at first until I see where I am
    >going to go with this if anywhere.


    If your looking for a good quality "general purpose" digital
    camera with lot's of semi & full manual controls, the A95 is hard to
    beat. Yes I am Canon biased because I own a few of them including the
    A95 which has lived up to my expectations & then some.

    You got some very good advice already with regard to editing
    software & the minimal return for the 1MP between 5MP & 6MP. The
    beauty of the A95 is that should you find that you later want to dive
    into digital photography further & get a Digital SLR, you will likely
    want to keep the A95 for less demanding work or when you simply wish
    to travel light. The A95 has a 1.8" swivel LCD screen & a
    programmable "C" Custom mode which will recall just about every
    setting including "MF" Manual Focus if you choose to use it.

    You might wonder, why would I want to use MF on a non-DSLR?
    Well here is your answer:

    http://web.tampabay.rr.com/onlinesharing/A80/review/

    This is a review of the 4MP A80 but nearly all of it applies
    to it's bigger brother the A95. It refers to a way of using the "C"
    mode to set MF so the camera's lag time is greatly reduced because the
    largest reason for shutter lag time is focus lag time. Since P&S
    cameras tend to have very wide "DOF" Depth Of Field, you can use that
    to your advantage & turn your camera into either a hyper focal
    (everything from X distance to infinity will be in reasonably sharp
    focus) or do as I have done & set it to center DOF around where you
    expect to need to take a quick snapshot.

    If you have ever taken pictures of children @ play, you know
    how fast they can move & auto focus can't always keep up. This method
    can be adjusted to your needs & only used when needed by a simple
    rotation of the mode dial to your pre-programmed "C" settings.

    Also consider the added benefit of the swivel display that
    should allow you to frame a picture while holding the camera above
    your head, such as in a crowd or down low to get a low angle shot
    without having to bend down or kneel. Probably sounding like a
    salesmen by now, so I'll shut up.

    The advice you were given about using

    http://www.steves-digicams.com/hardware_reviews.html

    as mainly a very good graphical feature review of any camera
    you have an interest is a very good idea as well as being able to
    download full size images taken with each camera of interest but also
    of the same subjects so you can compare apples & apples. The picture
    of the whitish Mariana Cafe' is 1 of my favorites because it
    illustrates digital noise in the shadow areas of the main entrance.
    This is the digital equivalent to film grain.

    >I am currently looking at two cameras, the Canon A95 and the Olympus
    >C60 (both CU best buys.) I can land the Olympus for around 350 with
    >512 memory and the Canon for around 300. The 6mp Olympus will probably
    >be a little sharper but the Canon appears to be a better picture
    >taker. I need manual control as this is how I think (generally did not
    >use a meter). Both have this. I am leaning toward the Canon as it
    >seems to be somewhat better designed. I suspect I will be doing a
    >fair amount of cropping and enlarging. A major issue: I do not know
    >how much weight to put on the extra mp of the Olympus.


    If I recall correctly B&H still has the A95 for $260.00 USD if
    your interested in an on-line purchase.

    >Any thoughts or advice would be very much appreciated. This is a new
    >world for me and is quite a bit different from the cameras I was
    >familiar with.
    >
    >These decisions are really tough when you basically do not know what
    >you are doing.
    >
    >Yours,
    >
    >Mike Forrest


    Mike, if you checkout the review & informational sights given
    to you & select a digital camera what seems to best meet "your"
    expected "needs/wants", I suspect you will do just fine & be very
    pleased. Figure out what "your needs/wants" are most likely going
    to be & then get what seems to meet "your" needs best. The A95 works
    great for "me" & what I use it for, but something different may
    "better" meet "your needs/wants", if so, go for it! My DSLR has it's
    uses too but I don't always want to carry it around so that's where
    the A95 often fills the void. After you have your new camera, don't
    look back, just enjoy it & get the most out of it!

    Warning, digital photography can be addictive because after
    the initial equipment investment, it's basically free. With digital
    you basically print only the best & you have the option to make them
    better with a good editor if you wish.

    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, Jun 28, 2005
    #6
  7. Mike Forrest

    frederick Guest

    Ron Hunter wrote:

    > Mike Forrest wrote:
    >
    >> To any kind person out there.
    >>
    >> I could use some help in figuring out what camera to purchase.
    >>
    >> Background: I was very much involved in photography for years, mainly
    >> taking pictures involving activities with my kids. I used two Canon
    >> ftb manual bodies and a twin lens Rolli. I had a good working
    >> Bessler based darkroom and spent a good bit of time in there, really
    >> enjoying this more than taking pictures by itself. About 10 years
    >> ago, I put my equipment into storage and pretty much quit taking
    >> pictures. I find myself beginning to become interested again and am
    >> looking at a digital camera. I plan to look at some version of
    >> Photoshop and focus on still life and landscapes probably with
    >> emphasis on what I can do with the picture after I take it.
    >>
    >> I do not want to spend a lot of money at first until I see where I am
    >> going to go with this if anywhere.
    >> I am currently looking at two cameras, the Canon A95 and the Olympus
    >> C60 (both CU best buys.) I can land the Olympus for around 350 with
    >> 512 memory and the Canon for around 300. The 6mp Olympus will probably
    >> be a little sharper but the Canon appears to be a better picture
    >> taker. I need manual control as this is how I think (generally did not
    >> use a meter). Both have this. I am leaning toward the Canon as it
    >> seems to be somewhat better designed. I suspect I will be doing a
    >> fair amount of cropping and enlarging. A major issue: I do not know
    >> how much weight to put on the extra mp of the Olympus.
    >> Any thoughts or advice would be very much appreciated. This is a new
    >> world for me and is quite a bit different from the cameras I was
    >> familiar with.
    >> These decisions are really tough when you basically do not know what
    >> you are doing.
    >>
    >> Yours,
    >>
    >> Mike Forrest
    >>

    > With your film background, I rather suspect you will not be happy with
    > anthing less that a DSLR. In that area, I believe Canon has the edge.
    >
    >

    I suspect that you are correct in that manual control of camera where
    adjustments have to be made by accessing a menu system or pressing odd
    combinations of buttons, no direct manual focusing, no direct manual
    zoom etc, is bettered considerably by a DSLR. The limitations of a
    small sensor camera - with regard to using DOF and diffraction affected
    resolution loss are other factors.
    I'm not sure how Canon has an edge. Their product range starts at a
    significant price premium when you include a comparable lens, and there
    are now several other good choices available at around Canon's entry
    price - which is about 3 times higher than the OP indicated he was
    looking at spending.
     
    frederick, Jun 28, 2005
    #7
  8. frederick wrote:
    > Ron Hunter wrote:
    >
    >> Mike Forrest wrote:
    >>
    >>> To any kind person out there.
    >>>
    >>> I could use some help in figuring out what camera to purchase.
    >>>

    << Snipped bits out >>
    >>>

    >> With your film background, I rather suspect you will not be happy with
    >> anthing less that a DSLR. In that area, I believe Canon has the edge.
    >>
    >>

    > I suspect that you are correct in that manual control of camera where
    > adjustments have to be made by accessing a menu system or pressing odd
    > combinations of buttons, no direct manual focusing, no direct manual
    > zoom etc, is bettered considerably by a DSLR. The limitations of a
    > small sensor camera - with regard to using DOF and diffraction affected
    > resolution loss are other factors.
    > I'm not sure how Canon has an edge. Their product range starts at a
    > significant price premium when you include a comparable lens, and there
    > are now several other good choices available at around Canon's entry
    > price - which is about 3 times higher than the OP indicated he was
    > looking at spending.


    My take is also that with your background, you'd be better off getting a
    used or entry level dSLR.

    As to X vs. Y vs. Z, this has been hashed out ad naseum in this NG, so
    I won't go there. A bit of searching through the NG will reveal much.

    --
    John McWilliams
     
    John McWilliams, Jun 28, 2005
    #8
  9. John McWilliams wrote:
    []
    > My take is also that with your background, you'd be better off
    > getting a used or entry level dSLR.


    Alternative, now may be the time to break out of the mould, and leave
    behind the large and heavy cameras with their dust problems and even more
    expensive lenses.

    PhotoShop is very expensive for what it is - look at Paint Shop Pro as one
    alternative.

    Mike may like to look at the delightfully light Panasonic FZ5,
    particularly if he wants something towards the long end of the telephoto
    range (36 .. 432mm). You can take wider-angle pictures simply by taking
    multiple photos and stitching them together - software like the currently
    free AutoStitch can completely automate this task. The image
    stabilisation in the Leica lens of the FZ5 and similar cameras makes
    hand-holding at the 432mm focal length much more successful. Yes, you can
    get IS lenses for DSLRs, but at a high price.

    Good luck, Mike, whatever you choose.

    David
     
    David J Taylor, Jun 28, 2005
    #9
  10. Mike Forrest

    Rob Graham Guest

    I'm not going to recommend this camera or that but raise a point or two
    about manual controlability that certainly I'm going to look for with my
    next digital. All the analogue cameras I had (nearly 50 years worth) had
    easy setting of the shutter speed, aperture and focus, even the more recent
    automatic SLR's. Easy really means intuative.

    Last summer I bought a Canon A80 which had good reviews and also the
    availability of an underwater case for sub-aqua. This year I've been
    photographing flowers and find the sensors just cannot cope. This results in
    having to set all functions manually which requires significantly
    referencing to the user manual and consequential button pressing.

    The recommendation is that if you are going to work in manual mode then
    check out the camera first to ensure that the settings are easy, quick and
    won't be forgotten the next time you pick the camera up.

    Rob

    "DHB" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > On Mon, 27 Jun 2005 16:59:39 -0500, Mike Forrest
    > <> wrote:
    >
    > >To any kind person out there.
    > >
    > >I could use some help in figuring out what camera to purchase.
    > >
    > >Background: I was very much involved in photography for years, mainly
    > >taking pictures involving activities with my kids. I used two
    > >Canon ftb manual bodies and a twin lens Rolli. I had a good working
    > >Bessler based darkroom and spent a good bit of time in there, really
    > >enjoying this more than taking pictures by itself. About 10 years
    > >ago, I put my equipment into storage and pretty much quit taking
    > >pictures. I find myself beginning to become interested again and am
    > >looking at a digital camera. I plan to look at some version of
    > >Photoshop and focus on still life and landscapes probably with
    > >emphasis on what I can do with the picture after I take it.
    > >
    > >I do not want to spend a lot of money at first until I see where I am
    > >going to go with this if anywhere.

    >
    > If your looking for a good quality "general purpose" digital
    > camera with lot's of semi & full manual controls, the A95 is hard to
    > beat. Yes I am Canon biased because I own a few of them including the
    > A95 which has lived up to my expectations & then some.
    >
    > You got some very good advice already with regard to editing
    > software & the minimal return for the 1MP between 5MP & 6MP. The
    > beauty of the A95 is that should you find that you later want to dive
    > into digital photography further & get a Digital SLR, you will likely
    > want to keep the A95 for less demanding work or when you simply wish
    > to travel light. The A95 has a 1.8" swivel LCD screen & a
    > programmable "C" Custom mode which will recall just about every
    > setting including "MF" Manual Focus if you choose to use it.
    >
    > You might wonder, why would I want to use MF on a non-DSLR?
    > Well here is your answer:
    >
    > http://web.tampabay.rr.com/onlinesharing/A80/review/
    >
    > This is a review of the 4MP A80 but nearly all of it applies
    > to it's bigger brother the A95. It refers to a way of using the "C"
    > mode to set MF so the camera's lag time is greatly reduced because the
    > largest reason for shutter lag time is focus lag time. Since P&S
    > cameras tend to have very wide "DOF" Depth Of Field, you can use that
    > to your advantage & turn your camera into either a hyper focal
    > (everything from X distance to infinity will be in reasonably sharp
    > focus) or do as I have done & set it to center DOF around where you
    > expect to need to take a quick snapshot.
    >
    > If you have ever taken pictures of children @ play, you know
    > how fast they can move & auto focus can't always keep up. This method
    > can be adjusted to your needs & only used when needed by a simple
    > rotation of the mode dial to your pre-programmed "C" settings.
    >
    > Also consider the added benefit of the swivel display that
    > should allow you to frame a picture while holding the camera above
    > your head, such as in a crowd or down low to get a low angle shot
    > without having to bend down or kneel. Probably sounding like a
    > salesmen by now, so I'll shut up.
    >
    > The advice you were given about using
    >
    > http://www.steves-digicams.com/hardware_reviews.html
    >
    > as mainly a very good graphical feature review of any camera
    > you have an interest is a very good idea as well as being able to
    > download full size images taken with each camera of interest but also
    > of the same subjects so you can compare apples & apples. The picture
    > of the whitish Mariana Cafe' is 1 of my favorites because it
    > illustrates digital noise in the shadow areas of the main entrance.
    > This is the digital equivalent to film grain.
    >
    > >I am currently looking at two cameras, the Canon A95 and the Olympus
    > >C60 (both CU best buys.) I can land the Olympus for around 350 with
    > >512 memory and the Canon for around 300. The 6mp Olympus will probably
    > >be a little sharper but the Canon appears to be a better picture
    > >taker. I need manual control as this is how I think (generally did not
    > >use a meter). Both have this. I am leaning toward the Canon as it
    > >seems to be somewhat better designed. I suspect I will be doing a
    > >fair amount of cropping and enlarging. A major issue: I do not know
    > >how much weight to put on the extra mp of the Olympus.

    >
    > If I recall correctly B&H still has the A95 for $260.00 USD if
    > your interested in an on-line purchase.
    >
    > >Any thoughts or advice would be very much appreciated. This is a new
    > >world for me and is quite a bit different from the cameras I was
    > >familiar with.
    > >
    > >These decisions are really tough when you basically do not know what
    > >you are doing.
    > >
    > >Yours,
    > >
    > >Mike Forrest

    >
    > Mike, if you checkout the review & informational sights given
    > to you & select a digital camera what seems to best meet "your"
    > expected "needs/wants", I suspect you will do just fine & be very
    > pleased. Figure out what "your needs/wants" are most likely going
    > to be & then get what seems to meet "your" needs best. The A95 works
    > great for "me" & what I use it for, but something different may
    > "better" meet "your needs/wants", if so, go for it! My DSLR has it's
    > uses too but I don't always want to carry it around so that's where
    > the A95 often fills the void. After you have your new camera, don't
    > look back, just enjoy it & get the most out of it!
    >
    > Warning, digital photography can be addictive because after
    > the initial equipment investment, it's basically free. With digital
    > you basically print only the best & you have the option to make them
    > better with a good editor if you wish.
    >
    > 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
     
    Rob Graham, Jun 28, 2005
    #10
  11. Mike Forrest

    Doug Robbins Guest

    You consider $600 "expensive" for the best image editing application ever
    made?

    "David J Taylor"
    <-this-bit.nor-this-part.uk.invalid> wrote in
    message news:1U6we.57860$...
    > John McWilliams wrote:
    > []
    >> My take is also that with your background, you'd be better off
    >> getting a used or entry level dSLR.

    >
    > Alternative, now may be the time to break out of the mould, and leave
    > behind the large and heavy cameras with their dust problems and even more
    > expensive lenses.
    >
    > PhotoShop is very expensive for what it is - look at Paint Shop Pro as one
    > alternative.
    >
    > Mike may like to look at the delightfully light Panasonic FZ5,
    > particularly if he wants something towards the long end of the telephoto
    > range (36 .. 432mm). You can take wider-angle pictures simply by taking
    > multiple photos and stitching them together - software like the currently
    > free AutoStitch can completely automate this task. The image
    > stabilisation in the Leica lens of the FZ5 and similar cameras makes
    > hand-holding at the 432mm focal length much more successful. Yes, you can
    > get IS lenses for DSLRs, but at a high price.
    >
    > Good luck, Mike, whatever you choose.
    >
    > David
    >
     
    Doug Robbins, Jun 28, 2005
    #11
  12. Doug Robbins wrote:
    > You consider $600 "expensive" for the best image editing application
    > ever made?


    For someone who says: "I do not want to spend a lot of money at first
    until I see where I am going to go with this if anywhere." yes.

    For what I need, and for what I suspect for someone just starting into
    digital might need, much cheaper programs than PhotoShop will allow them
    to do the job just as well, perhaps more easily and more transparently,
    and may allow them another $500 to spend on getting a better camera or
    extra cards, lens etc. If they find that they enjoy digital photography
    and wish to spend the extra money, then they can do so.

    David
     
    David J Taylor, Jun 28, 2005
    #12
  13. David J Taylor wrote:
    > Doug Robbins wrote:
    >
    >>You consider $600 "expensive" for the best image editing application
    >>ever made?

    >
    >
    > For someone who says: "I do not want to spend a lot of money at first
    > until I see where I am going to go with this if anywhere." yes.
    >

    An alternative: Take a class in Photoshop and you can buy the whole
    Adobe Premium Suite for under $400.

    --
    John McWilliams
     
    John McWilliams, Jun 28, 2005
    #13
  14. Mike Forrest

    Mike Forrest Guest

    Thanks all for the well thought out and informative responses. I
    cannot tell you how much I appreciate it.

    I am beginning to settle on the Canon A95 but need to do some more
    research. In my past photography, I settled on pretty simple. The
    Canon ftb was an all manual match needle camera. I normally took out
    the battery and used my judgement (trusted this more than the meter.)
    I normally kept a 100 mm lens on and used this for 95% of my shooting
    (I had a 35 and a 20 occasionally used for specific applications). The
    twin lens rolli is what it is. I still own it and would not let it go
    for anything. I know I cannot match this simplicity with a digital but
    I would like eventially to find a camera that will give the the
    control that my old cameras gave me.

    My major problem is not having experience with digital camera and not
    having a basis to judge the different aspects and specifications. With
    my film cameras, I had gone through several different cameras before
    settling on a specific setup.

    For this reason I am probably going to stay with a cheaper camera and
    if I find myself doing a lot of work then will invest in a better one
    armed with the experience and a better knowledge of what I need. I
    have been given names a couple of other cameras (Panasonic FZ5 and
    Olympus C-7070) to look into and am in the process of researching
    them. For approxametly a hundred extra, who knows. My big concern
    about getting a better camera is that it may end up in a drawer and
    seldom used. I live in east Texas and I really do not find a lot that
    excites me..(big green trees, medium green trees and small green
    trees.) If I begin to find scenes that pique my interest then I can
    justify the better camera. Just taking shots is no longer of much
    interest to me, making really good pictures is.


    Thanks for the advice on the programs. I used photoshop just as an
    example. When I buy a camera I will began to research the programs. I
    do know that I will want to end up with detailed control of the
    lighting and the colors. Again I will probably start simple and when I
    am ready I will spend the money having a much better idea of what I
    need.

    Again thanks to all.

    Yours,

    Mike Forrest
     
    Mike Forrest, Jun 28, 2005
    #14
  15. Mike Forrest

    wilt Guest

    Mike,
    As a 40 year shooter of film, I had largely set photography aside
    for a few years, even though having 35mm SLR, MF SLR, and even a view
    camera and darkroom equipment. Although I had not indicated a desire
    for digital, my wife purchased a Canon G2 for Xmas, and I was suddenly
    in the new digital world. Having lived with it for about 3-4 years, I
    love the G2 for its fast lenses and shooting flexibility previously
    offered by my film cameras. She could not have chosen a better camera
    for me. At 4Mpixel, I can't say I yearned for more, as I actually would
    not use it at full resolution for many of the things I took! Sending a
    4Mpixel image on email to someone is not a way to keep friends if they
    don't have DSL. But in living with the camera, I found that my hatred
    of the shutter delay especially prevalent in point-and-shoots, was
    losing the precise timing found in my manual film cameras, for event or
    sports photos. So now a DSLR is in my life, after having played around
    with my son-in-law's DSLR and finding no appreciable shutter delay. I
    still love my G2 for snapshots where shutter delay is not an issue.
    Just some insight for your thinking.

    --Wilt
     
    wilt, Jun 28, 2005
    #15
  16. Mike Forrest

    Mike Henley Guest

    DHB wrote:
    > On Mon, 27 Jun 2005 16:59:39 -0500, Mike Forrest
    > <> wrote:
    >
    > >To any kind person out there.
    > >
    > >I could use some help in figuring out what camera to purchase.

    >
    > If your looking for a good quality "general purpose" digital
    > camera with lot's of semi & full manual controls, the A95 is hard to
    > beat.


    I beg to disagree; it's easy to beat.

    > Yes I am Canon biased because I own a few of them including the
    > A95 which has lived up to my expectations & then some.
    >


    Bias shows.

    > You got some very good advice already with regard to editing
    > software & the minimal return for the 1MP between 5MP & 6MP. The
    > beauty of the A95 is that should you find that you later want to dive
    > into digital photography further & get a Digital SLR, you will likely
    > want to keep the A95 for less demanding work or when you simply wish
    > to travel light. The A95 has a 1.8" swivel LCD screen & a
    > programmable "C" Custom mode which will recall just about every
    > setting including "MF" Manual Focus if you choose to use it.
    >
    > You might wonder, why would I want to use MF on a non-DSLR?
    > Well here is your answer:
    >
    > http://web.tampabay.rr.com/onlinesharing/A80/review/
    >
    > This is a review of the 4MP A80 but nearly all of it applies
    > to it's bigger brother the A95. It refers to a way of using the "C"
    > mode to set MF so the camera's lag time is greatly reduced because the
    > largest reason for shutter lag time is focus lag time. Since P&S
    > cameras tend to have very wide "DOF" Depth Of Field, you can use that
    > to your advantage & turn your camera into either a hyper focal
    > (everything from X distance to infinity will be in reasonably sharp
    > focus) or do as I have done & set it to center DOF around where you
    > expect to need to take a quick snapshot.
    >
    > If you have ever taken pictures of children @ play, you know
    > how fast they can move & auto focus can't always keep up. This method
    > can be adjusted to your needs & only used when needed by a simple
    > rotation of the mode dial to your pre-programmed "C" settings.
    >
    > Also consider the added benefit of the swivel display that
    > should allow you to frame a picture while holding the camera above
    > your head, such as in a crowd or down low to get a low angle shot
    > without having to bend down or kneel. Probably sounding like a
    > salesmen by now, so I'll shut up.
    >
    > The advice you were given about using
    >
    > http://www.steves-digicams.com/hardware_reviews.html
    >
    > as mainly a very good graphical feature review of any camera
    > you have an interest is a very good idea as well as being able to
    > download full size images taken with each camera of interest but also
    > of the same subjects so you can compare apples & apples. The picture
    > of the whitish Mariana Cafe' is 1 of my favorites because it
    > illustrates digital noise in the shadow areas of the main entrance.
    > This is the digital equivalent to film grain.
    >
    > >I am currently looking at two cameras, the Canon A95 and the Olympus
    > >C60 (both CU best buys.) I can land the Olympus for around 350 with
    > >512 memory and the Canon for around 300. The 6mp Olympus will probably
    > >be a little sharper but the Canon appears to be a better picture
    > >taker. I need manual control as this is how I think (generally did not
    > >use a meter). Both have this. I am leaning toward the Canon as it
    > >seems to be somewhat better designed. I suspect I will be doing a
    > >fair amount of cropping and enlarging. A major issue: I do not know
    > >how much weight to put on the extra mp of the Olympus.

    >
    > If I recall correctly B&H still has the A95 for $260.00 USD if
    > your interested in an on-line purchase.
    >
    > >Any thoughts or advice would be very much appreciated. This is a new
    > >world for me and is quite a bit different from the cameras I was
    > >familiar with.
    > >
    > >These decisions are really tough when you basically do not know what
    > >you are doing.
    > >
    > >Yours,
    > >
    > >Mike Forrest

    >
    > Mike, if you checkout the review & informational sights given
    > to you & select a digital camera what seems to best meet "your"
    > expected "needs/wants", I suspect you will do just fine & be very
    > pleased. Figure out what "your needs/wants" are most likely going
    > to be & then get what seems to meet "your" needs best. The A95 works
    > great for "me" & what I use it for, but something different may
    > "better" meet "your needs/wants", if so, go for it! My DSLR has it's
    > uses too but I don't always want to carry it around so that's where
    > the A95 often fills the void. After you have your new camera, don't
    > look back, just enjoy it & get the most out of it!
    >
    > Warning, digital photography can be addictive because after
    > the initial equipment investment, it's basically free. With digital
    > you basically print only the best & you have the option to make them
    > better with a good editor if you wish.
    >
    > 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
     
    Mike Henley, Jun 28, 2005
    #16
  17. Mike Forrest

    Mike Henley Guest

    ecm wrote:
    > Dang! Sorry, that's supposed to be www.dpreview.com - not the other
    > thing.
    >
    > If you're in the U.S., I just noticed that the C-7070 is available for
    > as little as $360 at www.beachcamera.com and www.buydig.com - just shop
    > around a bit for a CF card - the camera is priced rock-bottom to get
    > you to "come in" and then they get you with overpriced accessories.
    > Check at www.newegg.com for memory cards.
    >
    > ECM


    ECM gave you good suggestions here above in his posts and I second his.


    Until you know where you're going I would suggest you use the GIMP
    (it's available for all main platforms and there are plenty of
    tutorials online, just google or ask on usenet if you need any), and
    not buy photoshop just yet. In fact, almost anything you're likely to
    need to do with photoshop can be done just as well with the GIMP. Once
    you get used to it, it's a delightful piece of software.

    As for the camera, I'm not keen on the A95, having considered it a
    while ago, it and the Oly c-60, and decided against them. I went for
    the fuji f810 and would wholeheartedly recommend it for you as it has a
    similar size profile to both cameras but is vastly superior.
     
    Mike Henley, Jun 28, 2005
    #17
  18. Mike Henley wrote:
    []
    > Until you know where you're going I would suggest you use the GIMP
    > (it's available for all main platforms and there are plenty of
    > tutorials online, just google or ask on usenet if you need any), and
    > not buy photoshop just yet. In fact, almost anything you're likely to
    > need to do with photoshop can be done just as well with the GIMP. Once
    > you get used to it, it's a delightful piece of software.


    However, GIMP does have a steep learning curve, and for a beginner to
    digital photography there may be more suitable programs.
     
    David J Taylor, Jun 28, 2005
    #18
  19. Mike Forrest

    Mike Henley Guest

    David J Taylor wrote:
    > Mike Henley wrote:
    > []
    > > Until you know where you're going I would suggest you use the GIMP
    > > (it's available for all main platforms and there are plenty of
    > > tutorials online, just google or ask on usenet if you need any), and
    > > not buy photoshop just yet. In fact, almost anything you're likely to
    > > need to do with photoshop can be done just as well with the GIMP. Once
    > > you get used to it, it's a delightful piece of software.

    >
    > However, GIMP does have a steep learning curve, and for a beginner to
    > digital photography there may be more suitable programs.


    For a beginner I think Picasa would be more than enough.
     
    Mike Henley, Jun 28, 2005
    #19
  20. Mike Forrest

    Mike Henley Guest

    Mike Forrest wrote:
    > Thanks all for the well thought out and informative responses. I
    > cannot tell you how much I appreciate it.
    >
    > I am beginning to settle on the Canon A95 but need to do some more
    > research. In my past photography, I settled on pretty simple. The
    > Canon ftb was an all manual match needle camera. I normally took out
    > the battery and used my judgement (trusted this more than the meter.)
    > I normally kept a 100 mm lens on and used this for 95% of my shooting
    > (I had a 35 and a 20 occasionally used for specific applications). The
    > twin lens rolli is what it is. I still own it and would not let it go
    > for anything. I know I cannot match this simplicity with a digital but
    > I would like eventially to find a camera that will give the the
    > control that my old cameras gave me.
    >
    > My major problem is not having experience with digital camera and not
    > having a basis to judge the different aspects and specifications. With
    > my film cameras, I had gone through several different cameras before
    > settling on a specific setup.
    >
    > For this reason I am probably going to stay with a cheaper camera and
    > if I find myself doing a lot of work then will invest in a better one
    > armed with the experience and a better knowledge of what I need. I
    > have been given names a couple of other cameras (Panasonic FZ5 and
    > Olympus C-7070) to look into and am in the process of researching
    > them. For approxametly a hundred extra, who knows. My big concern
    > about getting a better camera is that it may end up in a drawer and
    > seldom used. I live in east Texas and I really do not find a lot that
    > excites me..(big green trees, medium green trees and small green
    > trees.)


    It may not excite you much but may still excite others. Put your
    pictures on some website and see; sometimes something that may seem
    quite mundane to you is far from it for others.

    > If I begin to find scenes that pique my interest then I can
    > justify the better camera. Just taking shots is no longer of much
    > interest to me, making really good pictures is.
    >
    >
    > Thanks for the advice on the programs. I used photoshop just as an
    > example. When I buy a camera I will began to research the programs. I
    > do know that I will want to end up with detailed control of the
    > lighting and the colors. Again I will probably start simple and when I
    > am ready I will spend the money having a much better idea of what I
    > need.
    >
    > Again thanks to all.
    >
    > Yours,
    >
    > Mike Forrest
     
    Mike Henley, Jun 28, 2005
    #20
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