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Rachel Archer
06-14-2007, 11:32 PM
Dear all,

Hi, my name is Rachel, I'm 28 years old and live in Toronto, Canada. I have never before in my life to date purchased a camera of any kind (unless you count those ridiculous little throwaway thingies you can buy in any convenience store, and I haven't touched one of them in years either, lol).

I am posting here now because while I've never yet purchased a camera or digital camera, as an artist I have long wished to. Recently my ship came in and now I have the opportunity to make it happen! However, there's a zillion different cameras out there and as a total noob who doesn't even know what SLR stands for, it's hard to tell what to choose and whether a $200 will suit me, or if $1000 is more in line with my needs. So, first I'll answer the questions laid out in the Sticky at the top of this section of the forum, and then add from there.

Budget: Not an issue. My ship has come in. Mind you I see no reason to spend wastefully on features that I won't use.

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Size: I was hoping to find a camera that was handheld and smaller, you know, like all these silvery little digital ones that everyone and their brother seems to have nowadays, as opposed to some big clunky 'retro'-looking thing that everyone can see coming a mile off and is heavy. Having said that, I do NOT want a camera that's so small that it's difficult to manage, where simply shifting your hands to grip the thing better leads to the accidental pressing of ten different buttons, know what I mean?

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Features: Please bear in mind I know next to nothing about features, but will try my best to answer this one.

- UltraZoom sounds good to me (who wouldn't want to be able to get good zoom options?)

- Image Quality is of prime importance to me - if 10 means extremely important, then put me down as 11, lol!

- Manual controls: Not sure how to approach this. My initial guess would be yes, but then I'm not too sure how popular or neccessary they are.

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What I will use this camera for: Well I am a musician, and an artist. I will probably be taking a lot of arty shots with my new camera, high-detail too. I want to be able to capture with stunning clarity every mote of dust floating through the air when I photograph the late evening sunbeams shining through my window across my bed. I will want to be able to change focus too, from the thing closest to me to the thing further from me (does anyone know what I mean here, lol?)

Yes, I will probably be making some, repeat some, big prints. Mostly will be making large high-res JPEGs for computer use, and some smaller prints for CD booklet artwork.

Yes, I will no doubt be taking lots of indoor and/or low-light photos, too. I don't want to be limited in the kind of photos, or place I take them, or time of day/night when I take them.

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Special Stuff: I *definitely* want to be able to take Wide Angle pictures, but not be limited to it. Changing back and forth from taking widescreen photos to taking more 'square' photos should be simple and easy to do with my new camera, both the ability and the simplicity are important to me.

Image Stabilization? Yes please, I want that! Ability to turn it on and off easily would be good too, on the spot wherever I am (I guess I *do* want manual controls, do I?).

Weatherproof camera? Yes please! My new camera should laugh in the face of rain and/or snow. And withstand summer heat within reason too.

Rotating LCD? Yes please! This is a handy convenience from what I can gather and would definitely be appreciated by me.

----

Bottom line guys and gals? I want not the world's most expensive and world's best camera, not a Sony because it's a Sony, lol, but a good camera that will last me without breaking for at least 10 years. It won't get every-day usage by me, but won't collect dust either: mid-range usage is expected.

Now I've seen a couple of cameras so far that might meet my needs but I'm not sure on them. The Canon EOS-30D
[ http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/canon/eos_30d-review/ ] seems like a good camera, albeit definitely in the higher end price-wise. My big problem with this camera off the bat is that it's not compact, not small at all: it's a big clunky thing. If I could find a smaller compact digital camera with the same performance/quality as the Canon EOS-30D (that at the same time doesn't make the buttons it has super-tiny and easily pressed by accident) I think I would be all set to buy my camera!

I also took a look at the Panasonic DMC-FZ50 and again, it's big and clunky and apparently has some issues with noise reduction??? It has a compact sister-camera, the Panasonic DMC-FX50 but my question is, will the DMC-FX50 meet my needs as outlined in this post? I read reviews of it and the shorthand that people who are long-familiar with digital cameras use left me no wiser than before.

Well, hope I've shared enough detail, lol! Looking forward to your help, one and all, and you have my many many thanks in advance for helping me wade through the mess and start learning how to swim in the DC world. I may never really be a big picture person (my music is my life!) but hey, we all gotta start somewhere, right? Thanks in advance again.

Fondly,

Rachel :)

Honest Gaza
06-15-2007, 02:25 AM
Rachel,

You'll be opening a can of worms here.

Firstly, you need to determine if you want a DSLR or a Digital P&S.

I was in a similar boat last year when trying to choose between the Canon 400D and the Panasonic FZ-50.

They are two completely different types of camera.

The thread below may answer a lot of your questions.
(but warning....you'll have to weed through some of the crap :D)

http://www.dcresource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=22766

HG

coldrain
06-15-2007, 02:48 AM
Your post is a bit puzzeling to me.
You first outline small, compact metal cameras...
Then you go on talking about a Canon EOS 30D DSLR (very nice camera) and the "retro looking" big Panasonic FZ50?

The mentioned Panasonics have (panasonics always seem to have, too) quite noisy sensors. To counter that, Panasonic uses some processor that smudges the photos, so you dont see the noise so badly... but also getting rid of detail and colour. So... I would not look at Panasonics.

For small and compact... the Canon SD (IXUS in europe) series are good ultra compact metal cameras, that still are easy to operate.
An SD800 IS will give you a nice wide angle, has Image Stabilization (counters camera shake with longer exposure times) and good image quality, for instance.
A bit better in low light, but no IS and no wide angle, and a bit larger: the Fuji F31fd (read review of F30, it is almost the same camera).
Another camera that is metal, but not ultra compact, yet very good: Canon G7. Also offers IS.

In the FZ50 (big "compact digital" SLR style cameras) class, the best one is the Fuji S6000fd. Good image quality, goes to 28mm wide angle, is quite good in low light.

Then there are DSLRs... not exactly what you were decribing. The best compact DSLR: Canon XTi/EOS 400D. Great IQ, feature rich. With the right combination of lenses a winner, but again... you described a more compact, "stealth" camera.

The Canon EOS 30D is bigger, has a magnesium alloy body, and is also a very good DSLR. Again, with the right combination of lenses capable of very good stuff. Seems to be overkill to what you describe.

Nikon D80. Sits between the XTi and 30D in size. Performs quite like the XTi, so also a good camera.

So... if you want compact: Canon SD750, SD800 IS, Fuji F31fd, Canon G7, Canon A710 IS, A570 IS.

If you want creative control above compact (dust capture and such you were mentioning): DSLR.
Like the Nikon D80, Canon XTi/400D, Canon 30D, Pentax K10d.
If you choose for the DSLR road, we will have to then talk about lenses, and that will depend on the photo taking ideas you have at the moment.

Rachel Archer
06-15-2007, 02:52 AM
Dear Honest Gaza,

Firstly, thank you for replying to my thread! :) *hugs* Alright, I read the whole first page of that very long thread you recommended, and I think I've already gathered enough to follow up with this post.

From the sounds of it, the Panasonic FX50 sucks! But I have seen very good results from another photographer online who uses the non-compact clunkier FZ50 (possible I'm getting the X and the Z reversed here, the clunkier one did good from what I saw!), so I won't rule Panasonic out yet.

What I do know is this: while budget is not an option, there's little more annoying in life than having to continually fiddle with add-ons, to say nothing of paying a hefty price for them again and again. While I have no problem with buying a DSLR camera with fancy professional lenses, I would never want to own more than 3 lenses tops (standard, widescreen, telephoto would be my guesses re: these), and taking one off and putting another on would need to be really simple, yknow? No rocket science please. :D I would also not enjoy at all paying exorbitantly for lenses i.e. along the lines of the one lens costing as much as (if not more than) the camera itself!

I have to be honest, I want altering settings before taking a picture to be a relatively simple, so that I can set, point and shoot so to speak. I understand that most of the digital cameras out there though that get the "point-and-shoot" label don't offer the option of more fancy settings alterations before you take your picture, so I am torn. I guess I'm saying I want a point-and-shoot digital camera, but not if it takes crappy pictures. Because money isn't an object here, a DSLR camera seems to make more sense, but again whether I go the point-and-shoot route OR the DSLR route I would want it to at least have the option available to me to be as close to point-and-shoot in my everyday picture-taking as is possible (with the ability to change settings a relatively simple and on-the-spot procedure).

And of course, everything I said in my first post, about wanting UltraZoom, simple switching from widescreen picture-taking ability to more 'square' pictures, Image Stabilization, Rotating LCD, Weatherproof, all remain.

In fact, the prime area of importance above all else is image resolution and quality, if 10 is extremely important then put me down for 11! :) I've been amazed by the quality at times in past of what I would say are point-and-shoot digital cameras though (bless me if I can remember a thing about the models/makes of them! lol) so I gather there *must* be a high-end point-and-shoot that will provide comparable results to some DSLR cameras. Right?

Anyway, thanks again Honest Gaza, I will continue to read the thread you offered to me and to the rest of you, please read the first post in THIS thread in full...and help me! :D My many many thanks in advance to all of you who do so.

Fondly,

Rachel :)

Honest Gaza
06-15-2007, 04:01 AM
Rachel, I'll try to compact that 20 page thread into 1 post :D.

As you can see by my signature, I have both of these camera types.

I am certainly not an expert in photography, but I can offer a summary based on my experiences with both of these specific cameras.

P&S (Point and Shoot)
These can be in the form of small compact cameras right up to ultra-zooms such as the Panasonic FZ-50 that you referred to. The Panasonic FZxx range has the ability to change manual settings such as Aperture (opening of the lens) and Shutter Speed (duration of time that the lens is open). Of course, you can also leave the camera in full automatic mode if you wish.

These "ultrazoom" P&S cameras give a zoom range equivalent to approx 400mm when compared to the DSLR type cameras.

Unfortunately, these cameras can suffer from "shutter lag". This is the delay in time from when you press the shutter, and the actual time that the shutter operates.

DSLR
Single Lens Reflex where you are looking through the actual lens of the camera. The 30D you referred to falls into this category. All of these cameras will allow manual settings of Aperture and Shutter Speed but again, you can choose to operate in full automatic mode.

The "zoom range" is obviously dependent on the lenses you attach to them.


Points to Note

As Coldrain said in his post, both of the cameras you have nominated are by no means "small and compact".

In reference to the Panasonic range, the FZ20 and FZ30 were highly regarded by owners of these models. There were some "perceived" issues with the FZ50 but this is debate best left to others.

If you go along the lines of DSLR you will have to accept that more $$$ are going to be required and yes, the lenses will often cost more than the body did.

A major difference (and there are many), is that if you wish to control Depth of Field (the ability to have the background out of focus while the foreground is sharp), then you will require a DSLR.

We are going to need more input from you so we can continue to help. :)

Rooz
06-15-2007, 06:10 AM
i have no idea why but man your post made me laugh my ass off in a good way. i dont think dslr is for you to be honest. get an s3 and be done with it, high quality, IS, more compact than a dslr, compostion of photos via LCD screen which also flips around, excellent range etc etc etc.

speaklightly
06-15-2007, 06:50 AM
Rachel-

Just like Rooz, I have enjoyed this thread, as well. And I think that the suggestion of the Canon S-3IS is right on target. However, the important thing is what are you going to photograph?

That may indeed point us in a different direction. So please tell us a bit more about what you want to photograph and the lighting conditions that you will most probably encounter when taking your photos.

Sarah Joyce

AlexMonro
06-15-2007, 01:26 PM
Rachel,

You've said twice now that you rate image quality at 11 in your requirements, and this is a good thing. You've also said that your ship has come in, and money isn't too much of a consideration. This definitely helps. But perhaps we need to look more closely at the implications of that 11 for image quality (and this is a very subjective matter anyway).

Some people have suggested the Canon S3IS. That's a good, versatile ultrazoom camera, which I would judge capable of producing image quality 8 or 9 pictures in many situtations. Other ultrazooms, such as the Fuji S6000, might do slightly better in some situations, but worse in others. But to me, image quality 11 implies that you want the best technically possible image in as many situations as possible.

You've said that you don't want to fiddle with add-ons. But if, for example, you're taking a landscape picture (my personal particular interest) you might want capture the subtle shading of the autumn leaves in the sunlight, as well as the 3-dimensional "thereness" of the fluffy white clouds above. A basic camera would be able to capture the trees, or the clouds, but might have trouble with both in the same picture.

However, if you use a graduated neutral density filter, you could reduce the range of light intensities in the scene to something the camera can handle, and if you use a polarising filter, you can enhance the fluffy clouds against the blue sky. This is just one example of how add-ons, which have to be fiddled with, can enhance a landscape picture. Other stlyles might have other add-ons - e.g. lighting for still lifes and portraits.

You say you're an artist, so you're probably used to the idea of visualising an image, or the form of a piece, before you start work. This applies to photography too, and part of the skill is in finding ways of capturing the image that we see in the way that we see it - the eye, as you probably know, is remarkably good at "adjusting" what is in front of it, so that we see what we think we should see. However, looking at a photograph later, without the context that we originally saw the scene in, it can look completely different. Not even the most expensive camera can adjust the scene automatically to produce a photograph as we see it.

Photography is a fascinating combination of art and science, and I'm sure you'll want to master at least the basics of the science involved to release the art. But it will take some time, developing your skills in a new medium. You won't be able to pick up your camera (any camera!) and immediatly capture the images that your mind sees.

OK, I hope that's opened your mind to taking a step back and thinking about the big picture (excuse the puns, but language seems to be littered with metaphors from photography!). As to your immediate question, what camera to buy, I have two thoughts:

1) It almost doesn't matter. Get a versatile point and shoot or ultrazoom, play with it, explore its possibilities, run up against its limitations. By the time you run up against limitations too often, you'll have a clearer idea of your specific needs and can come back here with specific questions as to how to address them, possibly, but not neccessarily, with another camera. Sometime you'll feel like banging your head on the wall, trying to get something to come out as YOU see it, but more trial and error, a question or two here, and suddenly - that's something new you've learned!

Alternatively:

2) Get the most flexible DSLR that feels comfortable in your hands, and "looks right" through the viewfinder. Explore its possibilities as for the ultrazoom, but be aware that it's likely to have a steeper learning curve. When you feel you have a need for it, get another lens, or a flash, or a tripod, or filters, or image editing program, or printer, or... (you did put the rest of your money in a savings account, right?:D)

Hope this is of some help, even if appears to be an incoherent ramble. Call it my Holistic Photography 101:D

John_Reed
06-15-2007, 01:38 PM
The "artist & musician" aura conjured up images of late-night jam sessions, smoky night clubs, spotlit performers, and you wanting to capture them and all their nuances? DSLR is the only total solution to that scene. Take the DSLR-oriented suggestions from above seriously.

speaklightly
06-15-2007, 01:47 PM
Yes, I am in agreement with both Alex and John, that a DSLR is most probably the answer to the OP's request. However, at the sametime I am concerned about the fact that the rather steep learning curve of a DSLR camera could induce a measurable sense of disappointment, frustration, and in turn abandonment of the DSLR.

Just a thought, as I really don't know the OP's photo background.

Sarah Joyce

John_Reed
06-15-2007, 01:56 PM
Yes, I am in agreement with both Alex and John, that a DSLR is most probably the answer to the OP's request. However, at the sametime I am concerned about the fact that the rather steep learning curve of a DSLR camera could induce a measurable sense of disappointment, frustration, and in turn abandonment of the DSLR.

Just a thought, as I really don't know the OP's photo background.

Sarah JoyceShould give you some clue about the OP's photo background. If her ship has already "come in" at the ripe old age of 28, she probably has a quick learning curve, but you're right, it could be frustrating. Do any of the lower-end DSLRs allow some kind of "Simple" mode?

speaklightly
06-15-2007, 02:37 PM
John-

Probably the easiest to use DSLR IMO is the Nikon D-40. It can be shot in full automatic. It has very simple menus. And the photo output is processed in camera to appear very much like the photos that come out of a digicam. IMO that would be the easiest transition.

Sarah Joyce

jb2twin
06-15-2007, 06:56 PM
Rachel,
Here is another thought....since your ship has come in, you can afford two cameras. And, since you have never really owned a camera, maybe getting a smaller slim one like you mentioned with both automatic and manual controls might make sense on a short term. Spend a month with that, and it will soon become clearer if you want a high end P&S, a D-40 or move on to a more sophisticated higher end DSLR, and what features mean the most to you.

Although I don't have the "ship" to back what I might really want, I stepped back and bought a less expensive slim camera that can be carried anywhere without issue (to replace my "semi disposable emergency camera). I can use it where I might be less inclined to take a more expensive or larger camera. And, while using it, I am refining my list of wants in that higher end camera. I have decided to hold off on the DSLR for me, and step next to the larger UltraZoom P&S first...and refine my skills and determine more about how and when I really will take pictures.

I am sure I will continue to use both cameras once I decide on my new higher end camera. I am also sure I will likely move on to a DSLR with time. Different cameras for different situations....like a fun day at the beach where the focus on shooting pictures is secondary vs. a trip to the beach for the purpose of shooting pictures.

Rachel Archer
06-15-2007, 07:01 PM
Alright!!

I am so very pleased to such a lively discussion happening here in this thread. First off, my many thanks and hugs to Coldrain, Rooz, AlexMonro, Sarah Joyce, and John Reed for posting and being so helpful too! :D

Now before the forum here had some kind of Database Error earlier this morning before I went to bed (I generally sleep till afternoon and stay up all night, hehe, "lazy" life of an artist), I did get a chance to read coldrain's post, and check out the in-depth review here at dcresource.com of the Canon Powershot SD800. I liked what I saw, except the following,and I quote from the site's review:

"The SD800 does have trouble with three photo quality issues, though: corner softness, purple fringing, and redeye."

I also gathered from the night shots that the pictures this thing takes are very noisy, not in a good way.

Which, while I'm on it, I need to ask this: I understand insofar as follows - a higher quality image will take up more space on the memory card than a lesser quality one, hence you can pack a zillion crummy pictures on your card or a relatively few great ones. I understand that much. What I don't really yet get is ISO - what the heck does ISO stand for, and is "ISO 100" mean a higher-quality image than "ISO 800" etc? One of those things you take for granted when you know it but it's alien to me at present, lol. Would appreciate knowing what's what re: that.

Lastly, the apparently very flimsy plastic door over the memory card on the Canon Powershot SD800 (which is otherwise a metal camera) isn't a big selling point and seems a foolish choice on Canon's part. Suffice to say, I'm not terrribly sold on the SD800 - at least not now, since I am assuming there will be a higher-end camera that's comparable but with less of the negatives.

Now, to answer your questions. :) Sarah, I'm not really sure yet what I am going to photograph: probably more nature/landscape/cityscape and non-peopled subjects so to speak, though what I really want is to be prepared in any eventuality. I'd want to be able to use this camera, as I mentioned earlier, to capture with stunning clarity each mote of dust floating along the sunbeams shining through my window across my bed in the evening as it's setting. I wouldn't want to be limited to just what I've said above. People are good to photograph too :). I can say I probably will not want or need to use 'movie mode' with my camera: I gather that a handheld digital camcorder is probably still the best way to go when it comes to filming movies. But then again, who knows? If these modern digital cameras turn out to be more versatile than I realized re: movies, I might be persuaded to make regular use of that feature too.

Alex, I really appreciated your at-length post, thank you hon *hugs* :). I have never been afraid of tutorials, manuals, and learning systematically until proficiency and experience are yours, but then again some things are made difficult seemingly for no other reason than to make it difficult, lol. I very much took what you had to say to heart: you're quite right, we'd all love to have a camera that can capture things exactly as we see them. Perhaps they should invent some ungodly hybrid thing where they yank somebody's eyeballs out, pop 'em in the front of the camera and wire it all up to work that way, lol! :eek: :p Anyway, I think you're right, I am probably leaning towards a DSLR...what I want to make sure of though, is if I get a DSLR, that it's one that has good teaching materials, that will let you go from noob to expert over time. More advanced add-ons down the road are also acceptable, though not ideal: I really find it galling, the idea of a lens costing more than the camera itself, especially when all you want to do is perhaps have a wider shot, lol!

John, your post (very cool by the way, man :cool: ) seems to agree with where I am leaning, and is bang on: DSLR seems to be more in line with what I am looking for in the way of one camera that I can use for years and years to come in a variety of situations and lighting scenarios. Yet I'm not quite ready to give up on the possibility of a high-end compact like the SD800, only pricier and subsequently with better performance, etc....

Sarah, I am going to read the review for the Nikon D-40 right away after posting this and then return, ok? I have hopes that it will meet what I'm looking for! [EDIT: Alright, I just noticed that none of the Nikon D series cameras have Image Stabilization, which crosses them off the list for me. I understand IS doesn't work miracles, but it seems a useful enough feature to have that I wouldn't want a camera without it. Thanks all the same, Sarah *hugs* :)]

Now I've included an uploaded picture from another website, that was taken with a Panasonic DMC-LX1 (yes I know you warned me away from Panasonics, coldrain, and I will likely not purchase one *giggles*!). After reading the review here of the DMC-LX2 which indicated awful results with fine detail and image quality, I was surprised, since in this photo I really liked the soft light and the rain you can see in the window behind the kneeling photographer. NOTE: The uploaded picture contains some mild nudity, i.e. breasts. Don't download or open it unless you are not offended by such. Just attached it to show how much I liked that rain in the window and soft light.

http://www7.rapidupload.com/d.php?file=dl&filepath=30621

They use a lot of different cameras at AW though, which leads me to believe that it's not as easy as I might have hoped to choose one or possibly two to stick with over the long-term. Here's a second photo, this one taken with a Canon EOS-1D Mark II N (I assume this camera is a predecessor to the Canon EOS 30D? Mind you, AW is in Australia and I'm in Canada, perhaps they have different names there). This second photo has no nudity, and should be fine for all to view.

http://www7.rapidupload.com/d.php?file=dl&filepath=30622


So what have we learned? That while I'm probably going to go the DSLR route (the Canon EOS 30D is looking better by the minute), I still believe that there must be a compact digital camera out there, along the lines of the Canon Powershoot SD800, that is higher in price than the SD800 and subsequently is without some or all of the negative aspects of the SD800. I really want to explore this possibility, since I have no idea whether the Canon EOS 30D is a camera that given time and patience could be easy to learn and grow with, nor whether its add-ons are prohibitive cost-wise.

Thanks in advance and I look forward to the discussion continuing! *Hugs all round for you all once more* :D

Fondly,

Rachel :)

speaklightly
06-15-2007, 07:04 PM
I believe that JB's idea is excellent-

That is exactly what I do. I do shoot with a fine DSLR camera, but there are just times when it makes more sense to take a smaller point and shoot camera so that you can travel much lighter or when you want to blend into the crowd more and be less visible.

That also give you some time to sort out your photo directions and to determine more objectively exactly the features that are the most important to you personally.

Sarah Joyce

SpecialK
06-15-2007, 07:08 PM
Yes, I am in agreement with both Alex and John, that a DSLR is most probably the answer to the OP's request. However, at the sametime I am concerned about the fact that the rather steep learning curve of a DSLR camera could induce a measurable sense of disappointment, frustration, and in turn abandonment of the DSLR.



I'll inject my opinions on this post I guess:-)

A DSLR really has no steeper learning curve than a P & S, other than how to change lenses. It is only shutter speed, aperture and ISO when you boil it down.

A big advantage of a DSLR (beyond image quality) is the selection of interchangeable lens. If you want to go really wide, a P & S is fairly limiting. Yes, the ultra zooms do cover the telephoto base, but still require a conversion lens (ugh) to get wide (I think 24mm is the widest equivalent at the moment, though it only out to about 150mm as I recall...)

Further, the general consensus is that an ultra zoom in the DSLR world leaves a bit of image quality off at one end or another, and I imagine the results are similar in the P&S realm even with something like the S3 IS or the Zeiss lens that Panasonics have.

Additionally (and no offense) people speak of wanting IQ of 10 (or 11), when I'm not sure they would recognize it or not - sort of like people rating "build quality".

If you buy a Canon or Nikon DSLR then lenses will generally cost about as much as the body (depending on the body of course). Some of that is due the the image stabilization these brands put in the lens.

Pentax puts the stabilization in the body, so any lens attached to it will have stabilization. There are arguments as to which works best, but I don't care. This opens the possibility of using third-party lenses, many of which are excellent.

As far as "weather proof" I think you are limited to the Pentax 10D (about $800), which is at least "weather-sealed". Canon and Nikon may have "weather-something" choices further up their economic scale. However, a weather-proof body is pointless with lenses that are not weatherproof, so you will pay $750 plus for the new weather-sealed lenses from Pentax coming out "soon".

You can get waterproof cases for some P&S cameras for about $165 (and perhaps DSLRs too, for way more) if that was really a priority - but that is a dreaded add-on.

For "big prints" you are sort of headed toward 10MP DSLR land - no compacts would be a first choice here. Sports and/or low light? Again, leaning toward DSLRs...

For the original poster, I think there is no camera to fit your scenario, sorry. You must re-think what you really want.

If IQ really is the overwheling concern, and you want to take all those type of shots, then a DSLR is the really the only choice. You can try to limit your lenses to just three...

Welcome to photography :-)

SpecialK
06-15-2007, 07:16 PM
the in-depth review here at dcresource.com of the Canon Powershot SD800.......

what the heck does ISO stand for, and is "ISO 100" mean a higher-quality image than "ISO 800" etc?


Google works wonders :-)



Lastly, the apparently very flimsy plastic door over the memory card on the Canon Powershot SD800 (which is otherwise a metal camera) isn't a big selling point

I don't think Jeff likes ANY card door :-)

speaklightly
06-15-2007, 08:19 PM
Here is a list of the 10mp DSLR cameras with body mounted IS:

Sony A-100
Pentax K10
Olympus E-510
Samsung GX-10

Nikon, Canon and Sigma have IS technology incorporated into their lenses

All are excellent DSLR cameras

Sarah Joyce

Rachel Archer
06-15-2007, 08:24 PM
Boy is my face ever red, lol .... but I'll explain why in a moment. :D

Firstly, thank you very much once again to Sarah, and thanks to jb2twin and SpecialK for your posts, they are appreciated! *hugs* :)

My face is red because I mistakenly thought for some baffling reason that the Canon EOS-D30 was a newer camera - as it turns out, it's quite dated today, no IS either, and so I'm not interested in it. Same reason I've decided to invest in professional-level Pro Tools software and friendly-hardware for use in home recording, as opposed to the borrowed Tascam 4-track unit that I first laid eyes on at age 14: it used cassette tapes, lol! :p

Alright, I quite by accident have come across a camera that I believe will suit me (which I've only just now noticed is mentioned in SpecialK's signature): the Pentax K100D.

http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/pentax/k100d-review/

I was very impressed by this camera while reading the review, and of all the camera's I've looked at so far, this one has had more positive aspects and lesser negative ones than any other. I will want to try it out and see it before purchase of course, but this looks like it could be "the one". The only negative thing about this camera is that the lens it comes with isn't very good, according to the above review, a cheap one that sells for less than $100. Without chiding me to go to google again (lol, no worries, SpecialK, I've done the same to others a few times), and bearing in mind that I don't wish to go nuts with many lenses, lol, I would appreciate advice on picking out two or three lenses for the Pentax K100D.

Forgive my noobiness here, but I'm guessing that a standard one (albeit without the flaws of the cheap one the camera comes with), a wide-angle one, and a telephoto one would all be welcome. I don't know if changing focus from the object closest to you (softening the background) and vice-versa is a settings issue or more of a lens issue (yes I am that clueless about cameras, lol!); if a lens issue, let's throw that one into the mix. It's a lot of glass to buy but 4 lenses could be done if they each served a purpose.

I also understand from your last posts, SpecialK, that many third-party lenses work just fine on Pentax cameras like the K100D, so I guess the only question remaining is: how much do I want to spend on lenses??

Let's just say I wouldn't want to go over $3,000 Canadian (that's including taxes, 14 cents tax on the dollar here) for the camera and lenses combined. It's not that I couldn't afford to go over, but 3000 dollars already seems pretty exorbitant for a camera and a few lenses, pro or otherwise. So with this rough price in mind, please note that lenses that would add up to a lower price aren't off the table either, and advice re: them is welcome.

Lastly this camera (K100D), while still relatively new is already a year old. Is there an upgraded fancier version of this out from Pentax yet?

Looking forward to the discussion continuing and thank you all in advance for posting and being so helpful! *Big hugs for you all* And if anyone recommends against this camera, be sure to tell me and why! Thanks :)

Fondly,

Rachel :)

P.S. Thanks for the welcome to photography, SpecialK,and LOL to "I don't think Jeff likes ANY card door :-)" *giggles* :D

Tom_N
06-15-2007, 08:29 PM
Which, while I'm on it, I need to ask this: I understand insofar as follows - a higher quality image will take up more space on the memory card than a lesser quality one, hence you can pack a zillion crummy pictures on your card or a relatively few great ones. I understand that much. What I don't really yet get is ISO - what the heck does ISO stand for, and is "ISO 100" mean a higher-quality image than "ISO 800" etc? One of those things you take for granted when you know it but it's alien to me at present, lol. Would appreciate knowing what's what re: that.


ISO is sensitivity to light.

To get a correct exposure, you need to have the right amount of total light (light over time) fall on the sensor (or film). There are several factors that go into this:

* The amount of light available (naturally, or through lights or flash)
* The amount of light the lens lets in (aperture)
* The amount of time the sensor is exposed to light (shutter speed)
* The sensitivity of the sensor or film to light (ISO)
* The effect you are trying to create (sometimes you may want to over-expose or under-expose some area; other times you want accurate metering)

With digital sensors, larger chip area per pixel and lower ISO tend to result in less noise. Smaller chip areas and high ISO tend to result in more noise. The algorithms used to try to hide noise can also make a difference -- but usually can't make up for big differences in area per pixel.

Tom_N
06-15-2007, 08:41 PM
My face is red because I mistakenly thought for some baffling reason that the Canon EOS-D30 was a newer camera - as it turns out, it's quite dated today, no IS either, and so I'm not interested in it. Same reason I've decided to invest in professional-level Pro Tools software and friendly-hardware for use in home recording, as opposed to the borrowed Tascam 4-track unit that I first laid eyes on at age 14: it used cassette tapes, lol! :p


There's the Canon D30 -- a really ancient "pro" camera -- and then there's the Canon EOS 30D. The EOS 30D is a slightly-updated version of the 20D, and while it hasn't been refreshed for a while, its specifications place it in a class with the Nikon D80 and D200. I.e., it has a good viewfinder, shoots 3 or 5 fps, locks focus very quickly, and has good high ISO performance.

Rachel Archer
06-15-2007, 09:21 PM
Alright, time already for another post! :D

Sarah, thank you for answering one of my questions before I even posted it in my last post! I have now set my sights on the Pentax K10D. I will certainly check out the reviews and specs for the Olympus E-510 and the Samsung GX-10, Sarah (didn't care for the Sony A100 since it doesn't support SDHC memory cards) though for the moment, the K10 looks the way to go :) , and very reasonably priced too.

http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/pentax/k10d-review/

I'm also gonna get the battery grip (known as the D-BG2) since who wouldn't want double the battery life? Which only leaves the same questions I asked in my last post before this one, re: lenses. I assume that there's no need to copy-and-paste and re-post that bit again? Just check my very last post on Page 2 of this thread where I asked about lenses, with my thanks. :) You're all such sweeties here, and very helpful! :D

Actually, there is one other question aside from lenses. Can anyone here recommend a particular brand and size of SDHC memory card? In my experience, brand-choice can make a big difference to positive long-term use with technology, thanks in advance. :)

Lastly (last but not the least by far), huge thanks to Tom N!! :D *big hugs* Your explanation of ISO was simple, to the point and very 'illuminating', pardon the pun, lol! Really appreciate that dear, thanks. And again for explaining the confusion I was experiencing over the Canon EOS-D30/30D - damn them anyway for making such a mixup so easy! Now I don't feel so stupid *giggles*.

Looking forward to your replies re: lenses for the Pentax K10D, and continued discussion here. See you soon!

Fondly,

Rachel :)

Rooz
06-15-2007, 11:06 PM
I have now set my sights on the Pentax K10D. I'm also gonna get the battery grip (known as the D-BG2) since who wouldn't want double the battery life?

you do realise it makes the camera both larger and heavier ? you've really got yourself a fairly large unit with the grip. not saying thats a bad thing, just so you are aware of it and don't get a nasty shock.

another review you may want to have a read of:
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/pentaxk10d/

RE lens':

general lens:
sigma 18-50mm f2.8 EX DC Macro
telephoto:
sigma 70-300 APO DG Macro
wide angle:
sigma 10-20mm or tokina 12-24mm or Pentax DA 12-24mm

there is also a pentax 50mm f1.4 fixed focal length lens which will be great in lower light and i believe pentax also makes a 35mm f2 ?

Rachel Archer
06-16-2007, 03:04 AM
RE lens':

general lens:
sigma 18-50mm f2.8 EX DC Macro
telephoto:
sigma 70-300 APO DG Macro
wide angle:
sigma 10-20mm or tokina 12-24mm or Pentax DA 12-24mm

there is also a pentax 50mm f1.4 fixed focal length lens which will be great in lower light and i believe pentax also makes a 35mm f2 ?

Dear Rooz,

Thank you for the heads-up re: the battery grip's additional size/weight, appreciated hon. Now, as to the lenses you've recommended ... here's my problem.

I haven't the first clue as to how to compare lenses, which is better vs. which is crummier. I went to Pentax's Canadian site, for example:

http://www.pentaxcanada.ca

and was lost, especially since there were no prices listed (higher vs lower prices are usually a good starting place for telling better from poorer items, lol). The lenses all looked very pretty but I had no way to tell them apart in any way that matters. The fact that Pentax raved about every single one didn't help either, lol. Some of them have to be better than others!

I've done a number of google searches, including googling a few of the lenses you recommended, only to find page after page of unhelpful/unusable results. Might you know of a beginner's primer somewhere as to lenses?

Or easier still, is it simply a matter of numbers? I.e. 18-50mm isn't as good as say 20-200mm?? I have no idea, and so am asking.

Prices for the ones you recommended, as well as a bit about how good they are, are they the best, worst, mid-range, etc, would be very appreciated hon. Thanks in advance (and thanks again for your posts already *hugs*)!

Fondly,

Rachel :)

AlexMonro
06-16-2007, 04:07 AM
(Rachel, I've just spent most of the last hour fighting auto logouts & database errors trying to post this, but I hope it might help answer some of the questions in your last post as well :) )

To expand on Tom's explaination of ISO (which is just the initials of the International Standards Organisation), the numbers quoted usually go up in multiples of two, so typically the ISO settings on a camera might be 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600 (though some cameras allow intermediate settings). Each doubling makes the camera twice as sensitive to light, and these doublings are often called "stops", by analogy to lens stops, which control the aperture (the size of the hole that lits light through the lens).

The issue of ISO and noise (coloured speccling or grainyness) in the image is complex. Basically, as Tom says, small sensors with a huge number of pixels tend to be worse - this is down to basic physics ( there aren't enough photons getting to each pixel). Some Fuji compacts, such as the F30, and ultrazooms, such as the S6000, seem to be slightly better - partly down to having only 6 megapixels, while the competition has 7, 8 or 10, and having slightly larger sensors. To some extent, it's possible to use the image processing in the camera to reduce the apperance of noise, but this tends to blur fine detail too, and in extremes (like some of the newer Panasonics at high ISO settings) can give the effect of the picture being painted with a 2" wide brush rather than petit point. DSLRs have sensors which are a lot larger than those of compacts, which makes noise less of a problem, and also makes it easier to control depth of field (focussing on your main subject while making a distracting background out of focus).

Lens aperture stops are a bit different. Because they refer to the diameter of the hole the light comes through, and the amount of light is actually dependent on the area of the hole, they go in a series of square roots of multiples of two, so typically f/1.0 (lets lots of light through, but very rare and expensive in practice), f/1.4, f/2.0, f2.8 (common for expensive "pro" lenses), f/4.0 (consumer lenses star around here), f/5.6 (telephoto lenses), f/8.0 (long telephoto lenses), f/11, f/16 (the minimum aperture (smallest hole) you can set on some lenses), f/22, f/32(the smallest aperture you're likely to find on any common lens). Each of these steps is also called a "stop". Note that lenses are often refered to in terms of their focal length length, e.g. 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6. This would be a typical DSLR standard zoom lens, often supplied in a kit with the camera body, and means it's a zoom lens which goes from a focal length of 18mm, giving a field of view of about 74 degrees, and a maximum aperture of f/3.5 at the wide angle end, to a focal length of 55mm, giving a field of view of around 28 degrees, and a maximum aperture of f/5.6 at the telephoto end. There is also a similar series of doublings in the shutter speed scale, which might typically go 1s, 1/2s, 1/4s, 1/8s, 1/15s, 1/30s, 1/60s, 1/125s, 1/250s, 1/500s, 1/1000s and these steps are also often known as "stops".

So you may hear people saying things like "The shot's a bit dark, try upping the ISO a stop, and while you're at it, use a stop faster shutter speed and open the aperture a stop, to freeze the motion and put the distracting background out of focus". Using the word "stop" for 3 different things can be confusing unless you know what's going on...:D

Some old timers who grew up with film may refer to ISO as "film speed", by analogy to shutter speed, and my also use the term "ASA" - the American Standards Association scale which basically uses the same numbers. European oldtimers may refer to DIN, the German standards organisation, which uses a different scale, going up in sequence rather than doubling.

You might find a few articles on the basics of photography and digital cameras useful, to get a bit more of the background feel for the subject, which might help you get a clearer idea of what you want:

Basics of digital cameras (http://www.megapixel.net/html/articles.php)

General basics of photography (http://tpub.com/content/photography/14209/index.htm)

Basics of lenses (http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/camera-lenses.htm)

Tamron's focal length illustration (http://www.tamron.de/Focal-Length-Comparison.238.0.html?&L=2)

And to actually answer your previous post, I think the Pentax K10D (or Samsung GX10 - they're vitually identical) would be a good choice. (It's top of my list for when I can afford it :D) It has image stabilisation in the body, and the weather sealing that you wanted. Note that only a few of the Pentax lenses have weather sealing at the moment. Also, while in-body IS is good in that you automatically have it for all lenses, the Canon / Nikon idea of having IS built in to specific lenses can be technically superior for longer telephotos, where it's more useful (and you get the viewfinder image stabilised as well :) ). The most important thing though is how it fits in your hands - does it feel right to you? Do the controls, buttons, knobs and switches fit your fingers? Does the viewfinder bring the scene clearly to your eye - if you wear glasses, can you adjust the viewfinder to see clearly through it without them, or can you see clearly while still wearing them?

As to memory card brands, I have used Sandisk, Kingston, Fuji and Olympus in various cameras, and have never had any trouble. I believe Lexar are highly regarded too. Just beware of some of the "bargains" on e-bay - there are a lot of fakes floating around.

And for lenses, I might question the Sigma 70-300 APO. It's a great budget lens, giving wonderful performance for the price, but you could possibly afford something a bit better, such as the Sigma 100-300mm f/4 EX DG will give better image quality (we're still looking for that 11 remember :) ) and the constant max aperture (same throughout the zoom range) f/4 will be useful when there's less light about.

(I see I've produced another mega-ramble, but I hope it still helps :) )

Rachel Archer
06-16-2007, 08:49 PM
Dear Alex,

Wow, my biggest thank-yous yet for your last post!!! :D *hugs* It was well-written, easy to understand, extremely helpful and really answered all my remaining questions about DSLR before I go off to buy at the store. Never be ashamed to ramble, it was the best ramble I've seen here yet! :p

Your explanation of lenses was so very helpful and really I can't thank you enough. :) As to the 'feel' of the camera in my hands, my only concern is that especially with the added battery grip, the Pentax K10D might be so heavy that it wouldn't neccessarily be practical for all-purpose use as my only camera, what with my hands perhaps not as steady as with a lighter camera. I'm not too worried since Jeff's review indicated the K10D was not too heavy, not too light, not too cluttered, kinda in the middle of the range so to speak (very proper for a Canadian, actually, people say we love all things medium, lol - though I always get an extra-large coffee at Tim Hortons, so go figure! :P)

Anyway (and you, dear Alex, I wish I could put a K10D in your hands today!), I'm nearing the end of my questions to put to you all in this thread, so I'll try and fit them all into this post.

Now this is probably going to show how ignorant I still am, lol, but regarding the built-in flash and/or externally attached add-on flash: are either of these terribly neccessary?? I assume that the built-in flash can be turned on or off rather easily before shooting, too? The reason I ask about this is the only experience I've ever really had with cameras is long ago with cheapo film-using ones, and usually the flash made for crummy photos. I do realize we're talking a whole different ball of wax with DSLR cameras, lol, so I guess a more apt question would be: When, where and how do you think that a flash is helpful to photography with a DSLR like the Pentax K10D (either built-in or external flashes)??

Second question: The Canon Powershot SD800 was so far my pick for a compact, although there were too many negatives for me to really go with it. Seeing as I'm getting the Pentax K10D as my DSLR, I would very much appreciate say 3 or 4 high-end recommendations for a compact, one that would be of use in situations where the K10D might not be as practical, know what I mean?

Thanks in advance! :D

Fondly,

Rachel :)

P.S. Again AlexMunro, stunned by your lovely post! You would make an excellent teacher! *hugs* P.P.S. By the way, I always Select and Copy the text of a post before hitting Submit, since I've lost too many hard-written posts by failing to do so, lol, when the internet then chooses that moment to fail :) - I totally understand about auto-logouts, and database errors seem frequent here too. Thanks for pushing through till it was done for me, Alex. :)

SpecialK
06-16-2007, 09:11 PM
regarding the built-in flash and/or externally attached add-on flash: are either of these terribly neccessary??
...

The Canon Powershot SD800 was so far my pick for a compact, although there were too many negatives for me to really go with it. Seeing as I'm getting the Pentax K10D as my DSLR, I would very much appreciate say 3 or 4 high-end recommendations for a compact, one that would be of use in situations where the K10D might not be as practical, know what I mean?



The in-camera flash is only fair in most cases. If you use a lens such as the Pentax 16-45 or Sigma 18-50, the length will block some of the flash, and it is recommended to remove the lens hood. Blah.

An optimum flash is one that sits a bit higher on the hotshoe (or on a separate stand), is bounceable off the ceiling for more natural lighting, and perhaps swivel for the same reason. The Pentax AF360FGZ bounces, and the AF540FGZ swivels as well and gives another stop of power (for about $329). You are buying an expensive DSLR, you might as well get a good flash if you plan on using it fairly often.

For compacts, the Canons "A" series are good performers except for redeye. I had (stolen) an A95, replaced with A620 (faster processor) and am planning on selling that 3x zoom and upgrading to the S3IS for the additional FL for outdoor people shots. The rotating LCD is a big plus as you can shoot over crowds, at kid level, make truly candid people shots, and frame up a self portrait. Plus make movies up to 8 minutes on a 1 gig card.

Rachel Archer
06-17-2007, 02:01 AM
Dear SpecialK,

Thank you for your kind words of wisdom, dear *hugs*. Actually I've been looking over Jeff's review of the Canon Powershot SD800 IS again, and unless someone recommends a better choice of compact camera here, I will probably go with the SD800. I realize it won't be perfect, but then where it fails, I'll step in with my brand-new Pentax K10D DSLR camera! :D (That is, as soon as I buy it, lol :D )

The Canon A series compacts seemed a little too low-end to meet what I'm looking for though, SpecialK, especially considering them vs the SD800. I'm one of those people that likes to buy a decent piece of technology and then stick with it for minimum 5 years, if not longer.

For example, my old computer finally gave up the ghost a few weeks ago ... the monitor was from Christmas 1996, lol, the graphics card from '98, and I didn't even switch to XP until mid-2005! :p The damn power supply just suddenly burst into flame, which burn-damaged both it and the motherboard beyond repair before I could snuff the flames ... luckily the hard drives were saved but only just. And luckily I've since read up a lot on computer cleanliness and maintenance so that when I buy my brand-spankin'-new computer this week, I'll be able to take extra-good care of it and see it last a good long while. :) Just as well that the old one died, in the end! Makes way for the new. But I certainly milked the old comp for all it was worth and then some, lol. :p Note: To be fair, I would never have hung on to the old clunker had my ship come in sooner, so to speak. Very glad it's in! :D

My real concern actually, is that within a year or two the newer offerings from Canon etc, comparable to the SD800 will be so much better as to make the SD800 look like crap by then, lol. I feel less concerned about the Pentax K10D ... it appears to be much-coveted and one that should satisfy for a very very long time. :D

Anyway, thanks again, especially for the Pentax-specific flash info, much appreciated.

Fondly,

Rachel :)

P.S. Thanks again Alex, for the info on SHDC memory cards brands!! *hugs* :D I will be buying all of my camera(s) and associated equipment brand-new in-store, so no worries about being burned on eBay. :)

AlexMonro
06-17-2007, 09:26 AM
Rachel,

It's nice to know my efforts are appreciated - makes it all worthwhile :D

About flash - I don't tend to use it much, occasionally for "fill in" to brighten up foreground shadows in landscapes of bright sunny days, and the odd portrait for a friend. I only use the built in flash on my Fuji S9500 ultrazoom, which isn't too bad - from what I've gathered, the K10D's builtin flash is probably similar.

SpecialK's covered most of the basics, but maybe I can do my clarification thing :) - generally, flash pictures look better, the further the flash is from the lens. So little compacts tend to be fairly crappy, ultrazooms and DSLRs with a builtin popup are a bit better, and external flash on the hotshoe even better - especially if you can point it at the ceiling to use "bounce flash", which spreads the light around to illuminate the subject from a wide area (only works with low, white painted ceilings though :) )

Sometimes you can improve the look of a flash picture by adding a diffuser, to spread the light around and make it less harsh. This can either be a special plastic doofus that clips over the flashgun, or even something as simple as a piece of thin paper stuc over the flash window - I've sometimes used cigarette papers (my excuse for still smoking rollups! :) )

The best flash is studio set ups, with 2 or 3 high power flash guns mounted on stands, fitted with softboxes (big diffusers) or those umbrella type reflectors, to really spread the light around, and put it where you want it - as used for many fashion magazine cover shots, etc. A set up like that can cost as much as, or more than, a DSLR though!

So what's best for you? It depends, of course, on what sort of pictures you want to take - for a bit of fill in for landscapes, the builtin pop-up is probably fine. If you want to do studio still life type shots, then maybe a slave flash on a stand, and some reflectors (big sheets of white card) will give you a lot of lighting control. If you want to be out and about in dark places, old buildings maybe, then a flashgun on the hotshoe could be best for the job. For macro work (extreme close ups of flowers, insects etc.) you need a ring flash, which fits around the lens, and avoids shadows. I think I'd actually suggest that maybe you wait a while on the flash, see how you get on with the builtin, and maybe buy a decent flashgun when you find you need it.

As to a compact, the SD800 probably isn't a bad choice. It's small, so it's easy to have it with you all the time - you can't take the picture if you haven't got a camera! :D It has an optical viewfinder, so you don't have to hold it at arm's length - much steadier holding the camera to your eye, and the battery lasts longer with the LCD turned off, and it takes the same SD type memory cards as the K10D - always handy to be able to swap them around. Oh, and it has a 28mm wide angle end of the zoom range - for many subjects, such as landscapes and building interiors, the typical 35-38mm isn't really wide enough.

Just an aside, I got an Olympus SP-350 as my carry around compact - partly because it was cheap, as a reconditioned deal, but mainly because it has an optical viewfinder, and RAW mode. (Another aside, RAW, which does get discussed here, is a general term for a file format which stores more information than the common .jpg format for digital pictures. The advantage is that it gives you a lot more scope for "tweaking" pictures on the computer (lightening shadows, adjusting colour balance etc.), the downside is that you have to do the tweaking on every picture before you can print it, or even view it properly.)

However, I've found that it's slightly too big, so I don't always have it with me (you should've seen some of the pictures I didn't take! :) ), the colour balance seems a bit funny, and it doesn't work on the rechargeable NiMH AA batteries that I use in the S9500, so I'm not sure I made the right choice.

Finally, 'coz I see I've done another mega-ramble, I get a feeling that you might appreciate a blog (http://theonlinephotographer.com/the_online_photographer/blog_index.html) by an artist-photographer, Mike Johnston. Although you might find some articles a bit technical at first, there's a lot of "photography as art", and art in general (painting, music, literature etc.) stuff that you might find interesting - when you have time to break away from your camera buying research! :)

Alex

LeeSC
06-17-2007, 02:03 PM
I think the most important point to make is that there is no such thing as a "perfect" camera for all situations.Micro point and shoot are very portable, but typically lack good low light performance and you will usually spend a great deal of time PP out redeye.DSLRs offer great IQ and low light performance, but are expensive and more cumbersome to carry around. The type of camera really needs to be matched to the shooting circumstances to get the best results.

Another point to realize is that no matter how much you spend on your camera, don't expect great results until you put some time in. Image Quality has a great deal to do with the skill of the photographer. I am sure that there are people on this board that can take much better photos with a cheap P&S than I can with a $3K dSLR setup. Why? They are much more experienced and knowledgeable photographers than me. So, don't expect magazine quality shots when you take the camera out of the box.

Just some thoughts from a "green" photographer!
Lee

Rachel Archer
06-17-2007, 10:59 PM
Dear Alex,

Thank you so much again, darling! *hugs* I want you to know I will be saving offline copies of this thread and re-reading your extensive posts when I get down to properly absorbing and learning all the great info you've included on flashes, lenses, and much more! You really do have a gift for setting the knowledgeless noob at ease, I feel very comfortable and welcomed into the learning experience reading your posts, and what's more, at the end of the read I understand what you've imparted! *giggles* You would make an excellent tutorial author/teacher. :D

An especial thank you for the insight into RAW-format photos that you gave with "the downside is that you have to do the tweaking on every picture before you can print it, or even view it properly." I too like the marked improvement in colour and clarity that is seen in RAW vs JPEG, but it is good to know that it's not simply a matter of RAW photos taking up more space on the memory card. It's tips like this that are very useful! :)

To LeeSC, thank you dear for your kind post *hugs*. :) As I've said before, I live the relatively carefree "lazy" life of an artist, or at least work hard at doing so, lol, so I expect to take plenty of time with loads of practice shots, comparing the results, reading guides, learning through trial and error. It's an ongoing journey I look forward to starting soon! :D Thanks again.

Weirdly enough, I've had to search high and low to find a store in Toronto, the fifth-largest city in the whole of North America, that sells the Canon Powershot SD800 IS! Was able to find the Pentax K10D for sale a bit more quickly...and on a bit of an off-topic, I fear I shall go bonkers unless I can find a store somewhere in Toronto that sells the NEC 19" Multisync 90GX2 LED computer monitor!! :eek: :p It's not entirely off-topic, seeing as the 90GX2 apparently ranked super-high for graphic display/colours, etc. and seeing as it's a purchase I expect to live with for the next 5 years or so, and will be used to view my photos and such, well...I want it! :D It was listed as one of the Top 100 products of 2007 by pcworld.com and is in their top ten 19" monitors. But would you think you could find a store, any store whatsoever, in Toronto that sells one, let alone other NEC products? So far, no! Please wish me good luck all in finding this monitor, as I refuse to settle for a crummier different one.

Many thanks again - I could NOT have gotten this far without any of you! :D *hugs*

Fondly,

Rachel :)

SpecialK
06-18-2007, 06:18 AM
An especial thank you for the insight into RAW-format photos that you gave with "the downside is that you have to do the tweaking on every picture before you can print it, or even view it properly."


It can be done painlessly in a batch operation while you do something else.

AlexMonro
06-18-2007, 09:36 AM
It can be done painlessly in a batch operation while you do something else.

Yes, if you're taking a series of shots under similar conditions. Landscapes in England, which are my main interest, tend to have rapidly changing light, as clouds move across the sky, different shade under trees, etc., so I find I'm usually setting RAW conversion parameters for each shot.

I did think of batch conversion, but I thought the post was getting too sidetracked as it was, and I think it's fair to say that on average, RAW does take a bit more post processing work than jpeg - but the results are well worth it!:)

Rachel, good luck finding your monitor - it will certainly pay to have a quality display for your photography. Perhaps it might be easier to order it online from a specialist supplier? You might also want to get a colour calibration system.

pas49ras
06-18-2007, 10:53 AM
I fear I shall go bonkers unless I can find a store somewhere in Toronto that sells the NEC 19" Multisync 90GX2 LED computer monitor!! It's not entirely off-topic, seeing as the 90GX2 apparently ranked super-high for graphic display/colours, etc. and seeing as it's a purchase I expect to live with for the next 5 years or so, and will be used to view my photos and such

They sell it at amazon.com...they may ship to Toronto,if not I'll bring one up on my next visit to your lovely city;)

http://www.amazon.com/NEC-90GX2-BK-LCD-Monitor-Silver-Black/dp/B000LRSKAY

Rachel Archer
06-19-2007, 01:51 AM
Dear SpecialK, Alex, and Doug,

Thank you fellas *hugs*! Unfortunately I am unable to make online purchases (no credit card and not likely to get one or be able to anytime soon, lol ... my ship has come in now but until a short while ago I was poor! :D ) and so find myself in the situation of having plenty of $$ but basically I need to be able to purchase my new monitor in person, in a store. Which is why you can imagine my utter frustration at finding this damn thing! :mad: :p

It came out in February 2007 I believe, and as I said before is one of the top 100 products of 2007 at pcworld.com and the only 19" monitor that got a better ranking was one that was almost 2000 dollars. The NEC MultiSync 90GX2 is $349 U.S., and I've seen it going for $400 Canadian now...albeit only through online purchase *grrrr*!

Doug, you are sweet to make such an offer but that's far too generous dear ... tell ya what, if you can help me find one place anywhere in Toronto where I can go down there in person to buy the 90GX2 you will have my undying gratitude! :D

Talk to you fellas later, gonna go check out the two cameras I've settled on in person at the store later today :)

Fondly,

Rachel :)

AlexMonro
06-19-2007, 05:12 AM
Good luck Rachel, let us know how you get on.

Another suggestion about the monitor, maybe you could contact NEC and ask them who your local stockist is? (I've just done a search of the NEC global site, and it gives the sales number for monitors as 866-632-6673). They don't seem to have a Canada office though, everything says "US & Canada". )

Rachel Archer
06-20-2007, 02:18 AM
Dear Alex,

Thanks dear! I did indeed give them a call, yesterday and more than a week ago, have spent hours on the phone with them. Yesterday I began a thread on pcworld's forum about this monitor issue, and as you can see if you read its relatively brief content, I haven't had much luck locating my NEC monitor of choice through anyone, including NEC itself:

http://forums.pcworld.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=14511

Gonna go shopping and searching on foot today so wish me good luck once more! Thanks *big warm hugs* :D

Fondly,

Rachel :)

Rachel Archer
06-20-2007, 08:43 PM
Just a quick update from the bonny climes of the net cafe *giggles*:

I bought my new computer today, and to make a long story short (will be happy to elaborate if you wish though, lol) PC Village out of the blue said they could put a brand-new, non-refurbished NEC 90GX2 monitor in my hands by Friday evening, and for $269 Canadian no less!

All's well that ends well, gonna go buy the Canon SD800 IS tomorrow, will leave this thread then and start exploring other areas of the forum! Thank you to all of you without whom I could NOT have chosen on these two cameras (SD800, and the Pentax K10D). Will pick up my Pentax one after I get some music purchases out of the way (I am a musician after all, instruments come first - they're ladies y'know, and must be treated as such!) :)

Fondly,

Rachel :)

AlexMonro
06-21-2007, 02:20 AM
Glad you've found somewhere you can get your monitor.

Good luck with the cameras, and instruments. Looking forward to seeing your pictures. I'm sure you'll post when you have more questions, or feel free to send me a private message.