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nw2
06-13-2007, 08:17 PM
P&S photographyer looking to get more serious esp for pictures during travel and am looking for more manual controls. A bunch of my friends have the XT/XTi series and I am leaning that way to share lenses. I'd really appreciate the help.

Here is a list of models that I am considering:
Prosumer: Canon S3 and Fuji S9000
dSLR: Canon Xt or Xti, NikonD40 or D40x
used DSLR: used Fuji S2pro for ~$600

Budget
<$1000

Size
Will tolerate weight, but if it's too heavy, I won't carry it so it defeats purpose

Features
Megapixels don't matter.

* What optical zoom will you need? Prefer zoom, but picture quality trumps all

* How important is “image quality” to you? (Rate using a scale of 1-10) -9

Do you care for manual controls? Y

General Usage

* What will you generally use the camera for? Travel shots

* Will you be making big prints of your photos or not? Typicall 4x6

Will you be shooting a lot of indoor photos or low light photos? some

Will you be shooting sports and/or action photos? rare

Miscellaneous

Are there particular brands you like or hate? no

Are there particular models you already have in mind? XTi, D40x, and Fuji S2Pro

Rooz
06-13-2007, 09:49 PM
i think your question needs to be more about whether you want a dslr or not rather than which dslr to buy. if you went the dslr road you'd be mad not to buy a canon given you can share lens' with your friends.

you have the budget to pick up an xti and lens but more to the point is why do you want a dslr ? you say weight/ size is a consideration, rarely print over 4x6 and rarely shoot in challenging conditions. so if i were you i'd be considering the advanced superzoom style p/s style cams like the s3 or fuji 6000. just my 2 cents.

coldrain
06-14-2007, 01:56 AM
I agree with Rooz here, upto a certain point.
The Canon S3 IS and Fuji S6000fd will be ok in a lot of situations.
Especially the S6000fd, it is less compact but its controls are easier to manually operate, and it offers more wide angle.

If you do want an XTi, it will offer potentially better image quality though, but good lenses will bring you over your stated budget.
For instance, a nice lens to have for traveling is the Sigma 18-50 f2.8 EX DC Macro. It gives you teh image quality, but with its price of ~430 USD, and then also getting a multicoated polarizer, and a 2nd (and maybe 3rd) battery, will put you over budget quite a bit already.
And then there is the issue of image storage. For traveling you will need some way to store your photos, have you thought about that?
Unless you trust a few 4GB cards to not mess up during your traveling (memory cards can damage their filse systems at times, making them unusable until you format them again... and you will need a recovery tool on your computer in case that happens).
This does not happen all that often, but how much would it suck for that to happen on your vacation?

On the other DSLRs, the D40 and D40X are not very feature rich. They miss a lot of things... only have a 3point AF, no exposure bracketing, no white balance or ISO button (no one knows why), no mirror lock up, no depth of field button, they do not come with a real RAW convertor, and they miss the otherwise standard Nikon internal AF motor, needed for most primes and 3rd party lenses.
I would no choose these over the XTi.

The S2 Pro?
Big, heavy, slow. Did I mention slow? You really do not want that ageing beast.

Turn
06-14-2007, 04:33 AM
with DSLR's if you want better lenses you gotta have money to burn :)

flippedgazelle
06-14-2007, 06:37 AM
with DSLR's if you want better lenses you gotta have money to burn :)

... which makes the proposition of sharing lenses all the more enticing.

Personally, I would (and did) pick the Fuji S6000fd over the S9000, unless you need to use an external flash. The S6000 has a newer sensor, and many feel it can produce superior images.

speaklightly
06-14-2007, 04:07 PM
I certainly do agree with flippedgazelle-

I own both the Fuji S-9000 and the Fuji S-6000. Without a doubt, the S-6000 is the better camera IMHO.

Now I own multiple DSLR cameras and lenses, so understand that this is not a statement that knocks DSLR cameras. I just enjoy the humor in it.

"A DSLR camera and its lens is a continuing investment program. An ultrazoom instead is a fixed investment program with a 30% overrun."

Sarah Joyce

fionndruinne
06-14-2007, 07:31 PM
If you decide on a Nikon, and as you say megapixels don't matter, then don't even think of the D40x over the D40. Given the lens compatibility issue the D40x is not a better value than the XTi at $750-ish, but the D40 image-quality-, ISO-performance- and build quality-wise is definitely a value at $540-ish.

I'd think that the drawbacks coldrain mentions are not going to affect you, not for a while at least (though that's yours to determine, and the lens issue can bite - although there are nice options for good prices, just not a lot of them). As for a dedicated button for ISO or white balance (who needs a dedicated white balance button? That's a little odd), there's a programmable button, which gives you some flexibility. I use it for ISO, and will wear it out one day.;) There's also a customizable shooting menu, so you can access things extremely quickly.

nw2
06-14-2007, 09:05 PM
Thanks for the advice. I think that I have narrowed it down to the xti, s3, or fuji s6000fd. My goal is to be able to take better pictures so that they better represent what I see when I travel around.

It sounds like the s6000fd would also be a good next step, but am turned off by the proprietary xD card. This leads me to lean toward the s3 b/c of the sd card. I'm weary of the weight of alkaline batteries for both options.

But from postings I read, people quickly outgrow the ultrazooms and end up buying the dSLR in a couple months. So then it makes me look at the xti again. Plus, I already have 2 spare batteries (from an old s60) and I am told the larger sensor and opp for growth are worth the extra couple of hundred bucks. I was planning on just getting the kit lens for now and upgrading if and when I get more serious.

In your opinion, is the xti + kit lens worth the price now (given my situation with extra batteries and friends with lenses) or go with the cheaper option and save up for a better dSLR when I'm ready?

Rooz
06-14-2007, 11:02 PM
there isn;t really a better dslr around unless you go for a higher price range. there are just alternatives at equal level.

the xti kit lens sucks so i wouldn;t recommend it and one thing you have to remember is that the range you get from the 6000 is a heck of alot more than you get from an xti.

speaklightly
06-15-2007, 07:01 AM
I happen to agree with Rooz-

You can cover a lot more situations, at a lesser expense with the Fuji S-6000 It might save purchasing several lenses for the Canon XTi. The XTi body alone costs twice as much as the S-6000.

Sarah Joyce

nw2
06-15-2007, 10:13 AM
From the postings, I'm going to go with an ultrazoom SKR-like.

Is the S3 comparable to the Fuji S6000? I already have SD cards and don't want to invest in XD cards if it's not necessary. Thx again.

flippedgazelle
06-15-2007, 10:20 AM
I wouldn't let the choice of storage media dissuade me from a camera I liked; why buy a less capable camera just because you prefer it's media format? I don't like xD, but for me, Fuji S6000fd + xD > any other superzoom + SD, despite the fact I own several SD cards.

Also, I would suggest that if you are "looking to get more serious" with photography, make sure the camera you get supports RAW format. All DSLRs do, but not all superzooms.

Sarah and I have had conversations about the whole superzoom vs DSLR issue, and a major point for superzooms is lens versatility, which Sarah has alluded to in the previous post. In my typical day of photography, there are situations where, in the span of perhaps 15 sec, I desire to go from wide (28mm) to full zoom (300mm). This is accomplished easily with my Fuji S6000fd, but not so easily with a DSLR where you may have to change lenses. I know there are lenses available for DSLRs that accommodate the same focal range but, from what I have read, some are very pricey and others are of dubious quality. I'm sure Sarah, fionndruinne, Rooz and others can address this better than I.

flippedgazelle
06-15-2007, 10:28 AM
From the postings, I'm going to go with an ultrazoom SKR-like.

Is the S3 comparable to the Fuji S6000? I already have SD cards and don't want to invest in XD cards if it's not necessary. Thx again.

Heh, I was posting just as you were...

The S3 is physically smaller than the S6000, which can be either good or bad depending on your perspective. Personally, I believe a person can accommodate any camera if he/she likes it enough.

This past week I just picked up a high-speed 1 gb xD card from Circuit City for $30. More expensive than SD, but that's the way the cookie crumbles, I guess.

Are the S3 and S6000 comparable? Yes and no. For one thing, the S3 has a far greater zoom range than the S6000 - 432mm (or something like that) to 300mm. The Fuji, however, is "wider" - 28mm vs 36mm (I think), so that makes it more versatile for "big" shots like scenery, skylines, etc.

The S3 has true optical image stabilization; the S6000 does not. The S3 has serious image degradation issues starting at ISO 200 to 400 (depending on light levels) whereas the S6000 is good to ISO 800, and ISO 1600 is usuable in a pinch.

Finally, the S6000 can shoot RAW, whereas the S3 cannot (although I though I've read about a firmware hack for this?)

Edit: I forgot, the S3 has a 2.0" LCD that swings out and rotates, which is a neat and sometimes useful feature, although it is somewhat low-res. The S6000 has a lovely, high-res 2.5" LCD, but it's fixed.

It would be a good idea to check out S3 and S6000 reviews at this site and dpreview.com...