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View Full Version : From Nikon FM (for 30 years!) to what?



Raven
07-10-2004, 02:26 PM
Wow! Glad to find this forum.

I am not a professional photographer. Just a graphic designer using a Nikon FM, Nikkor 50mm lens, for a long time with a Vivitar 75-205 telephoto. Still an excellent camera that has taken all my shots from personal holidays to ski trips to nature/tourism scenes for design work. Mostly in slides that used to be professionally scanned to CMYK files for my work. These days I can shoot prints and get a CD burned at WalMart cheap and then tuned up in Photoshop for half of my design needs.

I've been thinking about digital for years. Price, quality, reliability, etc have been factors holding me back. I look at some models that sound right in their promotional lit, but later I read stuff that I'm glad I didn't buy.

Today I've read some good stuff on this forum, and would like to post the question... which is the right one for my purposes? :-)
Here are some key factors.

- Must look and feel like a CAMERA, not a cigarette box!
- 4 megapixels or better so I can reproduce high quality reproductions up to 8x10.
- I live in Northern Canada and shoot a lot in winter. Cold temps - Minus 10 to minus 30 degree Celsius. So the electronics need to work. The zoom needs to work when cold.When I go from outside to inside, I put on the camera case to let my Nikon warm up gradually to stop the condensation forming on the metal.
- And I wear gloves. Which means the controls have be more than things you push with toothpicks, if you know what I mean.
- I can't have shutter lag. Not to take critical skiing or snowmobiling shots
- Colour has to be gorgeous. Of course.
- I need a comparable zoom feature to replace my Vivitar. (Having NOT to drag a telephoto around would be too cool!)
- I wear glasses so the viewfinder has to be clear and accurate.
- What about low light situations? What's to consider?
- Is the flash any good in a large hall/arena, or do I need a separate external flash?
- Is digital SLR the only way to go?
- Price from $700-$1000US?

If you could give me some guidelines and suggestions that would be perfecto!!
Or do I wait another year or two until something this good falls in my price range?

John_Reed
07-10-2004, 03:42 PM
Must look and feel like a CAMERA, not a cigarette box!
- 4 megapixels or better so I can reproduce high quality reproductions up to 8x10.
- I live in Northern Canada and shoot a lot in winter. Cold temps - Minus 10 to minus 30 degree Celsius. So the electronics need to work. The zoom needs to work when cold.When I go from outside to inside, I put on the camera case to let my Nikon warm up gradually to stop the condensation forming on the metal.
- And I wear gloves. Which means the controls have be more than things you push with toothpicks, if you know what I mean.
- I can't have shutter lag. Not to take critical skiing or snowmobiling shots
- Colour has to be gorgeous. Of course.
- I need a comparable zoom feature to replace my Vivitar. (Having NOT to drag a telephoto around would be too cool!)
- I wear glasses so the viewfinder has to be clear and accurate.
- What about low light situations? What's to consider?
- Is the flash any good in a large hall/arena, or do I need a separate external flash?
- Is digital SLR the only way to go?
- Price from $700-$1000US?

If you want a camera that looks and feels like a camera, the Panasonic DMC-FZ10 is a good place to look. 4MP, great color, wonderful f2.8 12X zoom with optical stabilization. My only concern would be about low-temperature operation, and I think the problem would come mainly from the Li-Ion battery they use. I know I was shooting some photos up at Whistler with my Panasonic last December, and the battery would appear to discharge quickly, only to revive inside at room temperature. You should be able to carry an auxiliary power pack (like a DPS-9000) for the camera, though, and just connect a wire to the camera. You won't get zero shutter lag, the only way you'll get that is with a dSLR camera such as Nikon D70. Much more expensive and bulky, and not as flexible, requiring a set of lenses to cover the wideangle - telephoto range. But once your exposure and focus are locked, you should see less than .1 second lag. Price is less than your target (~$500 on-line), which shouldn't disappoint either!

D70FAN
07-10-2004, 04:14 PM
I'm not sure if your current Nikon lenses will work on a D70, but it is the only way to move from film SLR to the digital world. Most of us had to wait for the price to reach some parity with all-in-one digitals, and that is now a reality.

If you already have a couple of AF-S, G, or D lenses then all you need is the D70 body. Coincidently, the D70, body only, costs $999.

Give it a go at your local camera store. For a little less, if your current crop of lenses won't work on the D70, you might also want to look at the Canon Digital Rebel.

Raven
07-11-2004, 09:24 AM
John,
When you say the D70 is more bulky, I suppose that's relative. I'm used to a Nikon FM. Compared to today's digitals, that's bulky!

I don't want to get into many new lenses. I use a std 50mm lens now and my telephoto. But it's always been a pain switching back and forth during a ski race, etc. I suppose that's one advantage of the digital types that have a great zoom range. Would you say the quality of the image is the same from low end to high end on a digital optical zoom in the 50mm to 200mm range?

It's the shutter lag on digitals that I'm wondering about. Even the Canon Rebel has one according to their specs. I'm not sure what 90ms means, but that could make the difference in getting a critical action shot.

Are there any good digitals non SLR that meet my requirements of
4 megapixels or better, no shutter lag, good in low light, zoom range from 50 to 200mm+, ?

George,
I am not sure if my Vivitar 75 to 205 mm lens would fit on one of these digital SLR. How do I find out? It is old, although it still gives sharp photos. It uses a mount now to adapt to my Nikon FM.

Thank you very much for your help.

Jake Conner
07-11-2004, 11:20 AM
90 ms means 90 milliseconds, or just under 1/10 of a second. Even the F5 has one, I think it's 35 ms.

Jake

Rhys
07-13-2004, 01:43 PM
It's the shutter lag on digitals that I'm wondering about. Even the Canon Rebel has one according to their specs. I'm not sure what 90ms means, but that could make the difference in getting a critical action shot.

Are there any good digitals non SLR that meet my requirements of
4 megapixels or better, no shutter lag, good in low light, zoom range from 50 to 200mm+, ?


I am looking at the following cameras. perhaps you could look at them also. They all have their pros and cons.

Canon S1
Nikon 5700
Panasonic FZ10

Of the above, the Panasonic has the most expensive manufacturer only rechargable battery.

The Nikon 5700's manufacturer only rechargable battery can be replaced in an emergency with a 2CR5 battery.

The Canon S1 is the only one that has AA batteries. It also has a 10x zoom, going from 35 to 350mm

Other cameras worth looking at: Fuju S7000, Fuji S5000, both of which take AA batteries and have 6x lenses (35 - 210). I'm tempted by the Fujis. The build quality seems very good indeed. The zoom range could do with some improvement though.

Jake Conner
07-13-2004, 01:45 PM
The S5000 has a 10x zoom...

Jake

Rhys
07-13-2004, 01:51 PM
The S5000 has a 10x zoom...

Jake
:eek: I think I should have written S602. I have been playing with so many cameras recently I will occasionally attribute the wrong name.

I played with 2 Fujis that had 6x zoom lenses and took both XD and CF as well as AA batteries.