Overwhelmed by info and choices, suggestions wanted/appreciated

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by t.mclean, Jan 17, 2004.

  1. t.mclean

    t.mclean Guest

    Hello, I am wanting to purchase a new digital camera to replace my old Kodak
    DC280 that has been knocked off the table and no longer works correctly.

    I cut my teeth on a Canon F1 many years ago when I was trained by the Army
    to be a "photojournalist" and public affairs specialist. After a few years
    of using Army supplied F1's and then the cheaper AE-1's they switched to, I
    purchased a Canon EOS 620 (which I still own, but haven't used in years). I
    used the 620 for at least a decade or more until I bought the DC280 when I
    decided to join the digital revolution.

    The reason for the history is that I have recently become very nostalgic
    about the years when I really pursued photography as a recreation/hobby and
    really enjoyed the pictures I was taking. Lately, I've grown very
    dissatisfied with the lack of creative/manual control and the snapshot-like
    quality that my point-n-click DC280 has given me over the years and now
    would like something that gives me -- at the very least -- the ability to
    control my aperture or shutter speed so I can once again blur out a busy
    background with a narrow depth of field or capture that fast moving subject
    with a higher shutter speed, etc.

    I've read so many posts here and scanned so many web sites, I've become a
    bit overwhelmed with the choices out there. I've looked at all of the DSLRs,
    but I can't afford even the modestly priced Digital Rebel at this time.

    Any suggestions for something that is between a simple point-n-click and a
    digital SLR?

    Price ~ $200 to 300
    MP > 2 megapixel but preferably in the 3-5 range

    This new camera is intended as an interim camera that I can use over the
    next year or so until I can save enough money to purchase a true digital
    SLR.

    Are there any older model digital SLR's that are maybe in the 3-4 mp range
    that I can look for on Ebay whose owners are now upgrading to top of the
    line new equipment? That may get my foot in the door with the manual control
    options I desire without resorting to a point-n-click option.

    Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!

    Tom
     
    t.mclean, Jan 17, 2004
    #1
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  2. There are probably several good choices, but you wouldn't go wrong with a
    Canon A70. It has the features you mention and takes fine pictures.

    Stretch the budget to $350 and you can get an A80, which gives you something
    you won't get in a DSLR: the tilting, rotating LCD. This makes it effortless
    to use creative angles that are hard to shoot from any other way. It's been
    a real eye-opener in just the short time I've had mine.

    -Mike
     
    Michael Geary, Jan 17, 2004
    #2
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  3. t.mclean

    TheUniball Guest

    Foveon
     
    TheUniball, Jan 17, 2004
    #3
  4. t.mclean

    Sue g Guest

    What helped me the most was actually going to a few stores and holding
    the cameras trying the buttons zooms etc. This helped me rule out a number of
    cameras that were very well - specified on paper but in
    actually fact would have been physically impossible or very uncomfortable for me
    to use (buttons in wrong place, too small etc,too heavy or just not "feeling
    right").

    I had underestimated how important to me the feel of the camera was.

    So my advice is to have a list of specs that you really want and then go to as
    many stores as possible and get the feel of as many cameras as possible with
    those spec.. This willeliminate a whole heap from your "possibles" list and help
    you decide.

    The more web sites you scan and newsgroups you visit the more confused you
    become...nothing beats getting out there and getting your hands on the
    equipment!!

    good luck with you search and let us know what you end up buying if
    possible.
    Sue G
     
    Sue g, Jan 17, 2004
    #4
  5. Wait a month. Then decide.
     
    George Preddy, Jan 17, 2004
    #5
  6. This is a great thing to do, but you really need to take a CF card and
    display images full sized awhen you get home. Tiny LCDs can't show the
    defects (even very significant ones).
     
    George Preddy, Jan 17, 2004
    #6
  7. t.mclean

    AArDvarK Guest

    no no no no no ... "Foveon" needs to grow up for a while.
     
    AArDvarK, Jan 17, 2004
    #7
  8. t.mclean

    Ron Hunter Guest

    I agree with you, Sue. The feel, and the look, of a camera is very
    important to me. I have seen some with impressive specs that I
    scratched off my list after a couple of seconds holding them. If a
    camera doesn't feel good to you, you aren't going to enjoy using it, and
    probably won't get good results with it. I feel this aspect is little
    mentioned, or completely ignored, in reviews, and is highly individual
    in any case.
     
    Ron Hunter, Jan 17, 2004
    #8
  9. Hi Tom,

    I know it's over the budget you set but have you considered the
    Olympus E10? I was just looking on ebay and there are some in the 500$
    range
    with accessories.

    Speaking as a longtime Olympus user as well as being an E10 owner,
    I can say without question that it will meet your needs now and into
    the future as well.

    Check 'em out. Good luck.

    Bill Mcdonald in Joshua Tree
     
    Bill Mcdonald, Jan 17, 2004
    #9
  10. Just a quick comparision that includes an E10 shot...
    http://www.pbase.com/pennychallenge
     
    George Preddy, Jan 17, 2004
    #10
  11. t.mclean

    t.mclean Guest

    Thank you for the posts so far. I will take a look at the cameras mentioned.

    Sue, your point on how a camera feels is well taken, thank you!

    I am curious about one thing, however, in scanning the many posts on this
    newsgroup, there seems to be a LOT of people who seem to think they're back
    in 2nd grade out on the playground. I'm amazed that I find many people
    posting on a PHOTOGRAPHY forum that I assume is populated mostly by ADULTS
    in much the same manner I'd think I'd find on alt.kewl.dudez.ur.Mom.suxors
    by a bunch of 12 year olds.

    Anyway, just my opinion.

    Again, thank you to those that have offered sincere assistance.

    Tom
     
    t.mclean, Jan 17, 2004
    #11
  12. It is amazing to me too. In all the years I've participated in newsgroups,
    I've never needed to use a killfile. But this group has made it necessary. I
    just checked and I've added 250 names to my killfile from this group alone!
    (Probably a fair number of those are the same people posting under different
    names.)

    It's sad but true.

    -Mike
     
    Michael Geary, Jan 17, 2004
    #12
  13. t.mclean

    Neon John Guest

    As a 20 year veteran of the net..... ahem :)

    That's just Usenet. I do have to admit that his is one of the worst groups I
    monitor for lids. You can either let it get you bent out of shape or you can
    ignore it and go on your way. I recommend finding a good reader (I use Agent)
    with a good filtering/killfile mechanism and then systematically filter out
    the people who shat on this group. You will be amazed at the difference once
    you don't have to exercise your self-control on every other thread. An
    additional benefit is that the daily 800 or so posts turn into something like
    300.
     
    Neon John, Jan 18, 2004
    #13
  14. If you have $200 - 300 to spend for an interim camera, why not buy
    something like a Canon Rebel film camera. Minolta, Pentax and Nikon
    have other choices. You will have a much more sophisticated camera,
    albeit not digital, and could possibly match it with a same-brand
    digital later, using the same lens(es) and other attachments on both.
     
    Keith Fairfield, Jan 18, 2004
    #14
  15. Which you should ignore. george has a heavy bias for Sigma cameras and is
    incapable of objectivity. His "tests!" are always rigged in favour of Sigma.
     
    Manfred von Richthofen, Jan 19, 2004
    #15
  16. I have a heavy bias toward dramatically better image quality. I've been
    though too many Bayers.
     
    George Preddy, Jan 19, 2004
    #16
  17. No you don't. You have a heavy bias toward artificially sharp images. You
    care little about colour. You care nothing about alias artefacts.
     
    Manfred von Richthofen, Jan 20, 2004
    #17
  18. Call it what you will, I like high resolution low noise, better than film.
    Foveon is the only option.
     
    George Preddy, Jan 20, 2004
    #18
  19. What are you on? Sigma images are somtimes breathtaking at first glance. You
    seen realise after looking at them that they won't print well bigger than
    6*4 - theres just not enough pixels and the artefacts will become glaringly
    obvious.
     
    Braindead Preddy, Jan 21, 2004
    #19
  20. And Bayer images are awful at first, second, and rarely get a third.
     
    George Preddy, Jan 21, 2004
    #20
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