advice on switching from 35 mm SLR to digital please

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Mark Panszky, Jun 22, 2004.

  1. Mark Panszky

    Mark Panszky Guest

    Hi All,

    I am an amateur (intermediate?) photographer considering trading in my
    35 mm SLR to a digital camera.

    I currently have a Minolta Maxxum 550si with a 28-200 mm Tamron lense
    and I am considering buying the Minolta Dimage A-2.

    I use my camera for taking mostly outdoor, landscape photographs (some
    nightshots) while travelling. I like the versatility of a 28-200 mm
    lense, I have 4x6 prints developped with the occasional 8x6 blowups. I
    can't really afford a DSLR but I've read some good reviews about the
    Dimage A-2.

    Some of my reasons for going digital are:
    - being able to take more pictures without the extra cost,
    - being able to delete images and have prints done from the frames I want
    - being able to take short video clips
    - better manage my pictures
    - limited "life" of printouts and negatives

    My question is whether a 4x6 or 8x10 print made with the A-2 would match
    the quality of a printout made with my SLR. Also I wonder what the
    quality of the video and sound is of the video clips taken with the A-2.
    (Is there perhaps a site where I could view some movieclips?

    Please also write to my e-mail address, I cannot always access the groups.


    Mark Panszky, Jun 22, 2004
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  2. Mark Panszky

    bagal Guest

    Hi Mark

    I cannot answer from a DSLR point of view but IMHO from a P&S compact point
    of view I summarise by one word Fantastic!

    There again, I prefer digital processing anyway and am not too frightened by

    Bear in mind that a 35mm SLR approach has film, camera, lenses, chemical
    processing, printing & software as does DSLR bit with digital processing as
    opposed to chemical & darkroom stuff Luckily enough the software seems to
    work on both 35mm & DSLR once the film based media have been scanned in to a
    computer :)

    das B
    bagal, Jun 22, 2004
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  3. Mark Panszky

    Jeff Durham Guest

    The price of the Minolta Dimage A-2 is $900+. I am not trying to steer you
    away from that camera, but you can get a real DSLR for about the same amount
    of money. I too was in the market for a new digital camera and decided to
    go with a Canon Digital Rebel 300D. The Rebel with the kit lens (18-55mm
    which really is a 28.8-88mm) is about $900. The retail price is $999, but
    you can find it from reputable online dealers such as
    for $900. Definitely check out reseller ratings before doing business with
    some of these companies. Many times, just do a google search on the company
    by searching newsgroups. You want to stay as far as a possible from those
    New York City based gray marketeers.

    I was seriously considering the Minolta Dimage A2, Canon Power Proshot 1,
    and Canon Powershot S1 IS. Since the first two were in the $900-$1000 price
    range and I found the Rebel for the same amount of money, it was an easy
    choice for me to go DSLR.

    Sounds like though you would want to purchase another lens to meet your
    needs. You can get a Canon lens like that for around $200. Another option
    would be to by the Rebel with the kit lens to save $100 and then buy the
    lens you want. The kit lens was not for sale anywhere. Because many people
    gave the kit lens a thumbs up, I decided that I would get the kit lens and
    buy my second lens which is a Canon 55-200mm USM. I am also considering a
    75-300 and then I think I wiill be set.

    Jeff Durham, Jun 22, 2004
  4. Mark Panszky

    DR Guest

    Did you ever consider the Nikon D70? Why/Why not?
    DR, Jun 22, 2004
  5. Mark Panszky

    Jeff Durham Guest

    I think the Nikon D70 would be a great choice. The primary difference came
    down to price. Without a lens, the D70 was about $200 more than the Rebel.
    I have always had great respect for Canon and the Rebel had exactly what I
    wanted. No question that it is a tough choice because Nikon makes great
    products as well.

    Jeff Durham, Jun 22, 2004
  6. Mark Panszky

    Jimmy G Guest

    I got the D-70 after trying the Rebel. It is MUCH sturdier (Albeit heavier,
    as well) and solid-feeling.

    The 18-70 lens is also much the same as compared to the Canon.

    After having a Canon A2E for several years, I'm pleased as punch to be back
    to Nikon. However, the digital Rebel DOES have plenty going for it & has
    similar image quality.
    Jimmy G, Jun 22, 2004
  7. Mark Panszky

    Douglas Guest

    The D70 kit lens is MUCH better than the Rebels lens.The lens alone is worth
    $250 more than the Rebel lens!It might be "much the same" range,but it is
    not the same quality!Also,the A2 can be found in the low $700s.If he does
    not like switching lenses,it might be a better fit for him.I have several
    dslrs,but not everyone needs or wants a dslr!The A2 is a very nice camera!
    Douglas, Jun 22, 2004
  8. Mark Panszky

    Phil Wheeler Guest

    I have the D Rebel (had 4 compatible lenses on hand). I'm very happy
    with the results using the 18-55 kit lens. I'm sure I would like the
    D70 as well or better. Eventually I will get a more capable Canon
    (e.g., whatever replaces the 10D) and the Rebel will be my wife's (I
    have enough lenses to outfit two cameras already).

    Phil Wheeler, Jun 22, 2004
  9. Mark Panszky

    Jimmy G Guest

    Unfortunately, I didn't have the right Canon lenses, or else I would have
    stayed Canon. Still, the Nikon hasn't disappointed me yet. Canon still
    leads the bunch with their 1Ds (?). At 11mp & all the bells & whistles, it
    looks like king of the mountain.. for $8k it BETTER!
    Jimmy G, Jun 23, 2004
  10. Mark Panszky

    Wayne Moses Guest

    That was my take on it as well. It also had a "plasticky" feeling. Based on
    touch it is definitely the lesser of the two cameras.

    Its photo quality is very good though, although I must admit I am a bit
    biased when I say that the Nikon has the edge. The dpreview of the D70 also
    seems to think so. :)


    Nikon D70
    18-70 Nikkor
    70-300 Nikkor
    Wayne Moses, Jun 23, 2004
  11. Mark Panszky

    Mark Panszky Guest

    Thanks for your input. Is there a decent 28-200mm (or 35-200mm) lense
    available for any of the DSLRs and if there is would I be better off
    purchasing the body only (without the kit lense)? I just can't see
    myself changing lenses.

    Also any idea what my Maxxum 550si with the Tamron 28-200mm lense would
    be worth on the market? (Is is worth trading in or should I sell it

    Mark Panszky, Jun 23, 2004
  12. Mark Panszky

    Dan Pidcock Guest

    The new Sigma 18-125mm gives equivalent to 28-200 on a DSLR with APS
    sized sensor. It should be available this month. Seems to be about

    I doubt you will get much for your SLR on trade in. I saw the
    buying-in price for a camera shop here and the prices were pitiful.
    You will probably get more on ebay. Maybe best to wait till the
    Minolta DSLR is available before selling your lens as you should get
    more for it then.

    Dan Pidcock, Jun 23, 2004
  13. Mark Panszky

    leo Guest

    Nobody would question whether a $300 lens is better than DR's $100 lens. If
    I'm correct, the D70 kit lens is DX, which is 66% of full 35mm frame and
    it's not practicularly fast. The objective of the Canon camp is clear. They
    are not commiting to any sub 35mm frame size so why spend too much money on
    one. They have plenty of good L class lens. Save the money and buy the full
    size lens for the future. ;-)
    leo, Jun 24, 2004
  14. Mark Panszky

    Mark Panszky Guest

    You will probably get more on ebay. Maybe best to wait till the
    I'm not sure I quite understand. Do you mean I could use my Tamron lense
    on a DSLR Minolta? Are SLR and DSLR lenses intechangable? Please advise
    and forgive my ignorance.

    Mark Panszky, Jun 24, 2004
  15. Mark Panszky

    Jeff Guest

    Tamron lenses can and are used on DSLR's just the same as the as on
    SLR's. As long as the mount is compatible.
    The only exception was the Olympus E-1, but that changed with the
    introduction of OM adaptors.

    Jeff, Jun 24, 2004
  16. Mark Panszky

    Mark Panszky Guest

    Thanks for the info. If that's the case, I'll wait untill the new Maxxum
    7 Digital comes out in the fall. Am I correct to assume that my Tamron
    28-200 mm will be compatible with it? (I currently use this lense with a
    Maxxum 550si)
    Mark Panszky, Jun 24, 2004
  17. Mark:

    Why switch at all? I use digital and film - they are not mutually
    exclusive. Horses for courses.

    Tom - Chicago
    Tom - Chicago, Jun 24, 2004
  18. Mark Panszky

    Mark Panszky Guest

    Good point. I just figured I could trade in my 35 mm and save some
    money. Also I take most of my photos while travelling and I just can't
    see myself carrying 2 cameras. However looking at some prices on E-bay,
    I just might end up keeping my SLR too.
    Mark Panszky, Jun 24, 2004
  19. Well, you can get Nikon F, Pentax screw mount, Yashica/Contax RTS,
    Leica R, and Pentax K adaptor for the E-1. So I would guess that the
    E-1 is quite flexible when it comes to using old lenses.
    J?n Ragnarsson, Jul 1, 2004
  20. Mark Panszky

    Dan Pidcock Guest

    The lens will have a physically compatible mount but as it's not genuine
    Minolta you would probably have to try it. e.g. there are
    some problems with Sigma Canon mount lenses on newer
    Canon camera bodies because Sigma don't have access to
    the mount specification - they have to reverse
    engineer and may get things not 100% correct.

    Minolta have said that pretty much any genuine Minolta AF lens
    will work with their new DSLR.

    However bear in mind the 1.6x crop factor that you
    will get with the lens. Because the digital sensor is
    smaller than film the imaging area is cropped. If you
    look at the same sized print through a 100mm lens on
    35mm film it will have the same field of view as a
    160mm lens on a DSLR. The depth of field will not be
    the same though. This makes your 28-200 roughly
    equivalent to 42-320, which is nice for telephoto
    shots but not very good for landscapes/indoor group
    shots. The Sigma 18-125 would be equivalent to

    The Minolta D7D will not be at the cheapest DSLR level
    - probably about $1500. It may be cheaper for you to
    get a Canon 300D + 18-125 than the D7D. The D7D should
    have better build quality and a more advanced
    feature set.

    If you decide to look at prosumers (e.g. Minolta A2)
    do consider the additional shutter lag that DSLRs do
    not have. Also the A2 has a slight viewfinder lag.
    It depends if you need to capture the moment if this
    is important to you.

    Dan Pidcock, Jul 2, 2004
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