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Cactusweasel
10-22-2004, 10:20 AM
Hi,

I'm in the market for an SLR, as I am getting quite into photography and need something superior to my 3mp casio qv-3000.

But i'm a bit confused what to go for. I will be shooting mainly landscapes, and occasionally my cat (who is always indoors so something that does well in low light is important). I've been looking at a few cameras but am a bit put off by some of there problems/limitations:

Canon 300d - slow start up time (3 secs thats the same as my casio!), somewhat limited manual controls, not to sure on the flash focus assist thing ive read about?

Nikon D70 - slightly put off by the moire problem, but more so by the "blooming" when pointing direct at the sun - i will be taking a lot of sunsets as we get quite spectacular ones where I live, so this is a bit of a concern.

Really i'm after something that will suit me well as my experience increases, this will be a pretty hefty purchase so I want to make sure I'm not buying something i'll have to replace in a year or so.

Also, with the canons, I hear that the kit lens isnt the best? If so, what lens would be a worthwhile investment? Something with the same wide angle ability as the kit lens (18mm), but with a half decent zoom, and that doesnt break the bank!

Any suggestions?

Many thanks,

D70FAN
10-22-2004, 08:27 PM
Hi,

I'm in the market for an SLR, as I am getting quite into photography and need something superior to my 3mp casio qv-3000.

But i'm a bit confused what to go for. I will be shooting mainly landscapes, and occasionally my cat (who is always indoors so something that does well in low light is important). I've been looking at a few cameras but am a bit put off by some of there problems/limitations:

Canon 300d - slow start up time (3 secs thats the same as my casio!), somewhat limited manual controls, not to sure on the flash focus assist thing ive read about?

Nikon D70 - slightly put off by the moire problem, but more so by the "blooming" when pointing direct at the sun - i will be taking a lot of sunsets as we get quite spectacular ones where I live, so this is a bit of a concern.

Really i'm after something that will suit me well as my experience increases, this will be a pretty hefty purchase so I want to make sure I'm not buying something i'll have to replace in a year or so.

Also, with the canons, I hear that the kit lens isnt the best? If so, what lens would be a worthwhile investment? Something with the same wide angle ability as the kit lens (18mm), but with a half decent zoom, and that doesnt break the bank!

Any suggestions?

Many thanks,

Since I'm not sure what you have been reading, it's hard to answer your questions. I've used all but the new 20D and all of the current crop of dSLR's would be vastly superior to what you have.

That said, I have a D70 and have had virtually no problem with moire, and have taken many sunsets without a blooming problem (???) whatever that may be.

Canons lenses are as good as any, but I use a Sigma 18-125 (about $270) as my day-to-day lens. Not the best, but it easily gets the job done. Tamron is introducing an 18 to 200 in the spring that looks interesting as well.

In addition you will want a good 50mm f1.4 or 1.8 for portrait/landscape, and a decent 70/80 to 200/300 just for fun.

My advice is to go to a camera store and try all of the dSLR's in person, see which one catches your fancy, buy it, and then learn how to use it.

Whether you chose the 300D, D70, 20D, *ist DS, 7D, or any of the pro dSLR's you will have to put some time to learning the camera and the lens(es). Once you do you will not care about the differences, and can just enjoy creating images.

Cactusweasel
10-25-2004, 03:18 AM
I've been reading too much it seems - theres rather a lot of rubbish out there on the net. I had a look at www.pbase.com at sample images from the D70 and not one could I see any problems with.

Its a toss up between the D70 and the Canon 20D at the moment, although I think ill hang on and see how good the new Minolta D7D is before committing to anything.

Thanks,

Rhys
10-25-2004, 05:18 AM
I've been reading too much it seems - theres rather a lot of rubbish out there on the net. I had a look at www.pbase.com at sample images from the D70 and not one could I see any problems with.

Its a toss up between the D70 and the Canon 20D at the moment, although I think ill hang on and see how good the new Minolta D7D is before committing to anything.

Thanks,

I agree. There IS a lot of nonsense out on the net. I read many negative reviews on the Canon S1 IS after I'd had mine. Reading the manual proved that the people writing the negative reviews (on other sites) seemed not to have understood the content of the camera manual. There were complaints that it was impossible to switch off the image review in the viewfinder. I switched it off easily - after reading the manual.

Cactusweasel
10-25-2004, 06:07 AM
There was a website i found last night, written by an obvious Nikon freak, totally slagging off the Canon 20d because of its slower flash sync than the Nikon D70, as well as few other things... then at the end the guy said he hasn't actually tried the Canon 20d yet and his review was simply based on its specifications!

D70FAN
10-25-2004, 06:08 AM
I've been reading too much it seems - theres rather a lot of rubbish out there on the net. I had a look at www.pbase.com at sample images from the D70 and not one could I see any problems with.

Its a toss up between the D70 and the Canon 20D at the moment, although I think ill hang on and see how good the new Minolta D7D is before committing to anything.

Thanks,

Maybe a good idea as the 7D does hold some promise with IS (or in their case AS) built-in.

Whichever you choose in the dSLR relm, should work fine, as they all have thier attributes, with very few flaws.

Terracotta
10-25-2004, 11:43 AM
I've been reading too much it seems - theres rather a lot of rubbish out there on the net. I had a look at www.pbase.com at sample images from the D70 and not one could I see any problems with.

I got to borrow a D70 with 50mm F1.4 D for the weekend and while most of the shots I took, well over 600 in total, where totally clean there were 2 shots (one of a telescope mirror & prism, another of an old glass window) where no mater what I did I couldn't 'dial out' really evil maze moire in very bright texturing, however 25min or so latter I pulled off the telescope shot without moire. If you can live with getting a shot that's funky once in a blue moon & the effectivly lossy compressed RAW mode :eek: (that said as long as you're not needing perfect 12bpp imaging it's not going to matter) you'll have a damn nice camera.

D70FAN
10-25-2004, 01:57 PM
I got to borrow a D70 with 50mm F1.4 D for the weekend and while most of the shots I took, well over 600 in total, where totally clean there were 2 shots (one of a telescope mirror & prism, another of an old glass window) where no mater what I did I couldn't 'dial out' really evil maze moire in very bright texturing, however 25min or so latter I pulled off the telescope shot without moire. If you can live with getting a shot that's funky once in a blue moon & the effectivly lossy compressed RAW mode :eek: (that said as long as you're not needing perfect 12bpp imaging it's not going to matter) you'll have a damn nice camera.

Yup. Moire can show up. However rarely. Luckily, it can be taken out using photoshop.

I don't even bother using RAW anymore, but not for quality reasons. I just find that if you learn how to use the camera there is rarely a technical problem requiring RAW postprocessing features. However, there are many composition errors on my part, that only cropping or deleting can help. Photoshop does a fine job on the Fine-JPEG images, from the D70, so again RAW offers no benefit for me.

Curiously, in all of the articles written on RAW, and NEF format in this case, I don't recall any actual/measurable lossiness being reported, and I have certainly not seen it in the RAW shots (or fine JPEG for that matter) from my D70.

The 13 x 19's (RAW or Fine-JPEG) I've have printed are absolutely flawless to my eye, and draw frequent (sometimes left-handed) compliments (like, wow did you take that?) from those receiving them. :)

Again, I choose not to use RAW because it's just a general pain with no visible advantage over properly taken/exposed Fine JPEG's. Although it does help keep the flash card guys in business, so there is an upside.

Terracotta
10-26-2004, 11:15 AM
Yup. Moire can show up. However rarely. Luckily, it can be taken out using photoshop.

Though photoshop can take out the moire, it cannot add the data that caused the maze moire in the first place, that's the killer for me.


I don't even bother using RAW anymore, but not for quality reasons. I just find that if you learn how to use the camera there is rarely a technical problem requiring RAW postprocessing features. However, there are many composition errors on my part, that only cropping or deleting can help. Photoshop does a fine job on the Fine-JPEG images, from the D70, so again RAW offers no benefit for me.

Note I said "that said as long as you're not needing perfect 12bpp imaging it's not going to matter", thus if you'd consider using a JPEG for the shot then you'll not need to worry about the RAW compression issue. But in rare types of use it does matter, for me light pollution in combination with the D70 compression (not to mention other post-processing) will blur or totally remove certain objects from an image taken with a 5 minute exposure on a telescope.

That all said, I am quite happy to say that the Nikon feels so much better in the hand & use than the 10D/300D. Bar the two issues mentioned above the choice is a no-brainer in favour of the Nikon...

Ant
10-26-2004, 11:25 AM
Moire?...what's that?

Been using a D70 for five months, taken over 3000 shots and I've never seen it. ;)

Cactusweasel
10-26-2004, 11:48 AM
Perhaps the moire problem varies from camera to camera? I've heard a couple of people now say they havent noticed anything, while on the other hand ive read lots of reviews that have found the moire problem.

The D70 is still a tempting buy, but I think ill hang on and see what this new minolta d7d can do :)

Rhys
10-26-2004, 11:51 AM
Perhaps the moire problem varies from camera to camera? I've heard a couple of people now say they havent noticed anything, while on the other hand ive read lots of reviews that have found the moire problem.

The D70 is still a tempting buy, but I think ill hang on and see what this new minolta d7d can do :)

I heard that the moire is more lens dependent than camera dependent. Didn't somebody here try a Sigma lens and a Nikon lens and find the Sigma gave horrible moire while the Nikon didn't?

Ant
10-26-2004, 11:54 AM
Maybe it varies with in-camera sharpening...which is adjustable, I don't know.

Some review sites can concentrate on the faults of a particular camera based on test charts, which may not have any relevance to real life photography.

Ant
10-26-2004, 11:56 AM
I heard that the moire is more lens dependent than camera dependent. Didn't somebody here try a Sigma lens and a Nikon lens and find the Sigma gave horrible moire while the Nikon didn't?

Good point. I hadn't considered that.

D70FAN
10-26-2004, 12:08 PM
I heard that the moire is more lens dependent than camera dependent. Didn't somebody here try a Sigma lens and a Nikon lens and find the Sigma gave horrible moire while the Nikon didn't?

I'm using both the Sigma 18-125 and the Nikkor 18-70 and they are about the same. That said I haven't seen much moire in any of the 4000 D70 shots so far. Actually it's a combination of many different things which cause moire I have now used 6 different lenses with the D70 and have not noticed an affect on the frequency that moire shows up.

18-70 DX Nikkor (nice lens but too short)
18-125 DC Sigma (as good as the Nikkor DX with extra length)
28-300 Tamron (not recommended)
50mm f1.8 D Nikkor (I love this lens)
80-400 VR Nikkor (wish I could afford this one).
24-120 VR Nikkor (I'm seriously thinking about this one)

Again, the occurance of moire is very (very) infrequent, and I have always been able to work around it.

Terracotta
10-27-2004, 10:38 AM
Just an interesting observation, but both shots that produced moire while I had the D70 had large amounts of refraction separated light in the moire area...