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Advice on two new camera purchases, one handheld one DSLR
pumpjockey02 
8/9/08 1:02:00 PM
Guru

I am off overseas for two years and was looking to purchase one hand held camera, to fit in my pocket, and one DSLR for proper photo missions while traveling,I have read other posts and have never had a dslr camera before.
i have had an olympus tough 730sw which i loved.
I do surf a bit and go to the snow and this is why the tough was so good.
I was originally picking the new 10 megapixel olympus tough although the zoom is quiet limited, perhaps the olympus 8 megapixel with 5X zoom or sony with similar specs, possibly the fuji after reading other posts,
what is the difference between canon 3x zoom and olympus, sony 5X zoom fuji 10x zoom.
With the digital SLR i was thinking of the second bottom sony model as I am a total newbie and buying a good quality nikon or canon over there in my second year,
Any advice on either most helpful
pump.
Oh and something light in hand held would be good.

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Athiril 
8/9/08 1:44:12 PM
Titan

What is your budget?

Get the Fuji large zooms if you dont have the $ for huge mofo lenses for your dSLR for wild life etc (and dont want to carry that huge mofo weight around), they also have excellent image quality (for a point and shoot camera).

My friend bought the A200, it is very clean in low iso, but quite dirty at ISO 800 and above. It is also super light weight, has effective IS (steady shot function) - though turn steady shot off when on a tripod or resting the camera on something still, the kit lens is nothing to write home about, but it does the job (18-70mm f/3.5-5.6) and is quite sharp when stopped down (we were shooting tripod landscapes @ f/11).

Do you want body stabilisation or lens based stabilisation?
Body based stabilisation as the "anti-shake" stuff built into the camera body, thus can use age old film camera lenses with stabilisation.

Lens based stabilisation has it built into the lens, thus you need to buy a lens with IS or VR to use stabilisation, but this means you can shoot film on a film SLR with stabilisation.

I'm presuming you wont want to be shooting film.

The manufacters in digital SLRs that offer body stabilisation are:
Pentax (and Panasonic I guess)
Olympus
Sony

The manufacturers in digital SLRs that offer lens based stabilisation systems are:
Canon
Nikon
Sigma

Personally Id avoid the Sigma camera (at least for now) as I see no signs of life of a new model coming out any time soon (and it is rather old, and there's no signs of a new design from foveon.. so yeah).

You can still get Sigma lenses on all other camera systems, which is a great thing, as they make some of the most amazing lenses you can find.


Out of the body stabilisation camera makers, Sony is the only one that is definately going to offer a full frame (35mm) dSLR, Pentax might (they have the lenses to support one), and Olympus most certainly will not.

(Good) Sony lenses can be ridiculously expensive (more than usual), thankfully you can use old Minolta Rokkor lenses on these, and the old Minolta lenses will (should) also work on the upcoming full frame Sony, you can also use Sigma lenses (DG lenses will work on the upcoming full frame, DC wont).

Sony can also adapt M42 lenses (Nikon cannot. and what I mean by cannot serious optical compromises must be made by using an adapter with corrective optics for infinie focus), as can Penax, Olympus and Canon.


Let me know a budget for your dSLR including lens(es), the purpose you most want to use it for (ie: landscapes, city scapes, people/portraits, etc etc etc) and I'll be able to make a more informed recommendation.

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LordBug 
8/9/08 2:03:24 PM
Immortal

You'd be best off choosing a DSLR brand that you'd stick with. Buying a Sony, only to change to Canon/Nikon at a later date is a waste of money.

In my opinion, the best way to choose a DSLR right for you is to go into a store and handle them. Hold them, shoot with them, experiment with weight and how it feels in your grip.

Considering the image quality of most DSLRs (At least, the better names - Nikon, Canon, Pentax and Olympus) are basically on par, where only devout pixel peepers really notice (And care) any difference, it's best to choose the one that feels right for you. Second to the feel, the features which appeal to you are good to consider, though if you're not planning on anything highly specific, then budget is typically a good guide too :)~

As Ath has asked - What's your budget?

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pumpjockey02 
8/9/08 3:51:23 PM
Guru

Budget is like $1500 so 300 on the hand held, 1200-1500 on the DSLR
Thats why i was thinking the sony.
i want to get it soon so I can practise i use to have an old slr camera.

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I have just become an uncle, woot!! Now to start amasing a games collection for the little succer, I'll need to find a mastersystem with alex kidd for starters.

LordBug 
8/9/08 4:10:52 PM
Immortal

Which particular Sony are you looking at?

Also, consider the fact that you can get a D60/K200D/1000D/E-420 and even some of their bigger brothers for under $1k with a lense (Or two). Mind you, I've never like Sony as a company, and hence have a dislike towards whatever they have their hands in :P

Though if you're planning on getting into wetter/dustier conditions, it may be worth your while considering the Pentax. The K200D is impressive with it's weather sealing coupled with hellishly good price.

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Athiril 
8/9/08 4:48:02 PM
Titan

What do you want to shoot mainly?

Do you still have any old lenses from your SLR? What brand/mount type are they? They can be used if you have any :)

$565 for the Pentax K200D body from an online Australian shop, leaves a bit of $ for decent lens(es) depending on what you want to shoot.

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The Tick 
8/9/08 4:51:59 PM
Hero
Titan


For a companion compact, I like the idea of the Panasonic TZ11 or 15.

I can't seem to find a definitive review though. Dpreview have reviewed the TZ15 (but it's called the TZ-5 overseas)although I tend to find their compact camera reviews confusing. They bag the shit out of a camera then give it a highly recommended?

I any event, with a compact body (slighly larger than your Canon IXUS range), 10x optical zoom, wide angle and a HD recording mode for video they are hard to beat for a companion camera.

The price tag is a little higher than $300 although the TZ-11 can be bought for less. A slightly lower MP and I believe no HD on the video mode (really who wants to record video that high on a compact?).

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pumpjockey02 
8/9/08 5:55:12 PM
Guru

No od lenses, most of the action shots with the compact, and scenary, family shots and maybe some soccer action shots with the dslr, I was thinking the second bottom model the sony a350, I know canon nikon and olympus are all strong brands too.

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I have just become an uncle, woot!! Now to start amasing a games collection for the little succer, I'll need to find a mastersystem with alex kidd for starters.

Mademan 
8/9/08 6:19:09 PM
Master
Sony's main drawback is their lens system relies too heavilly on second hand Minolta stuff, rather than current generation lens designs. The only decent lenses they make have the word "Zeiss" attached, and in most cases cost over $2000. In comparison, Canon, Nikon, Pentax and Olympus all have a good set of current lenses covering the whole spectrum of photography, as well as extensive back catalogues. If you're going to buy an SLR and put all its advantages to waste with a crap lens, you may as well just buy a compact.

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Athiril 
8/9/08 6:27:18 PM
Titan

Scenery on the compact?

Id be doing that on a dSLR personally.

The Tamron SP 17-50mm f/2.8 would be a good choice, not too expensive, wide enough for family/group shots (and landscapes) long enough for nice potrait with out of focus background, amazingly sharp.

And the Tamron 55-200mm Di-II

Shopping Online:
http://www.digitalcamerawarehouse.com.au/category17_1.htm
17-50mm $539
55-200mm $167

$706 in lenses, leaves just enough to get a dSLR body and compact


(just keep in mind both these lenses are fro crop dSLRs only, so if you got a Sony or Canon or Nikon, these lenses wouldnt work on a Canon 5D, a Nikon D700 or D3, or the upcoming full frame Sony, but it doesn't sound like youre considering full frame anyway, these lenses are amazing).

Reviews:
http://www.photozone.de/canon-eos/289-tamron-af-17-50mm-f28-sp-xr-di-ii-ld-aspherical-if-canon-te
http://www.ephotozine.com/article/Tamron-55-200mm-f4-56-LD-Macro-Di-ll

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Quote by gummybear
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pumpjockey02 
9/9/08 8:30:17 AM
Guru

Okay thanks that rules out the sony, my parents are coming in from overseas and I will be able to buy the body duty free is there a saving? I think that I will go and try the nikon, canon and olympus bodies at a photograph shop your help has been fantastic guys, know a couple of questions, what is liveview, what is full frame and what is the best try pod to get, could i also get one cheaper duty free.
Thanks for all your help, looks like I will be purchasing one soon.
pump.
Next two weeks,
Also I found out the olympus tough range is half the price in the US, WTF???? 330 retail in the US and 550 over here for the top model and there made in JAPAN AND MALAYSIA WTF we are getting rorted.

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I have just become an uncle, woot!! Now to start amasing a games collection for the little succer, I'll need to find a mastersystem with alex kidd for starters.

stadl 
9/9/08 9:03:16 AM
SuperHero
Titan


Liveview - using the LCD panel on the back of the SLR to compose the shot - as you do with most point and shoots these days.

Historically DSLRs could not do this as the mirror assembly that was necessary to divert the image as seen through the lens to the viewfinder prevented the sensor from being used (then when you press the shutter button, the mirror flips up out of the way). With a live view camera, the mirror is only partially reflective and so some goes through to the sensor and allows the rear screen to be used.

Not recommended for normal shooting (as holding the camera at arms length is not as stable as a well braced grip near your face), but good for tripod work, especially when the camera is down loa and you can't get your face low enough to look through the viewfinder - also a handy option in a crowd when you want to hold the ca,mera above you head - unstable, but better than a sot of the back of the head of the person in front of you.

Full frame - DSLRs have a range of sensor sizes - as do point and shoot cameras. For a given generation and resolution, larger sensors have lower noise and thus perform better in lower light. Leaving the larger Medium format cameras out of it, Full frame DSLRs (like the Canon 5D and 1D and Nikon D700 and D3) have a sensor roughlt the same size as 35mm film (35x24mm).

APS-C sized (24x16mm) sensors (Nikon call this DX and Canon relate it to their EF-S mount) are smaller. 4/3 system (18x13.5mm) sensors in cameras from Panasonic and Olympus and a bit smaller again and are a 4:3 aspect ratio.

SLR lenses have their focal lengths defined and people are by convention used to think of that focal length as a particular angle of view when attached to a 35mm film camera. eg a 50mm lens on a 35mm film body gives an angle of view of about 47 degrees.

But that lens on a camera with an APS-C sized sensor, and the sensor only covers the middle bit of the frame, giving a crop which only gives an angle of view of about 30 degrees.

This ends up as a type of fixed physical zoom (a rescalling if you consider the effect of printing the outpur at the same print size but there's no electronics or software involved, simply a fact of smaller capture area)

Now 30 degrees would usually be achieved on a 35mm camera using a 75mm lens, so the APS-C sensor which turned a 50mm lens into effectively a 75mm lens is said to have a 1.5x crop factor - ie, it acts like the focal length of the lens has been multiplied by 1.5 (well due to design differences between the sensors, Nikon and Sony sensors have a crop factor of 1.5 while Canon sensors have a crop factor of 1.6 but they are all lumped together as roughly APS-C)

4/3 sensor systems have a crop factor of 2.

Crop factor is good if you like long telephoto. The affordable lenses become longer. Not so good if you like wide angle photography because it's really hard/expensive to make lenses that go wider - eg a 18mm lens on full frame is about 94 degrees, but is only 70 degrees on APS-C - you need to buy a 12mm lens to get the same angle of view. And while you can buy a 12mm lens for full frame and get 111 degrees, I don't think anyone makes an 8mm wide lens for APS-C yet.

linkies:
http://www.dpreview.com/learn/?/Glossary/Camera_System/sensor_sizes_01.htm
http://www.tamroneurope.com/flc.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sensor_size
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angle_of_view


As for tripods - hard to say - the bigger and heavier the better in general, but then they suck to carry around. Reality says the best for your needs will probably be outside your budget, so you buy the best your budget allows. For DSLRs I'd forget any of the sub $100 cheapies - they are going to be too light and flimsy for 1kg+ of camera gear to be perched on top.

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battlefield_gir 
9/9/08 9:44:25 AM
Titan

cannon g9 or g7 for the hand held
pentax k20d for the slr

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