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View Full Version : I need a camera!!!


mommyto3
10-10-2007, 06:01 PM
I need a new camera so I am coming to the experts.......

We have a Kodak EasyShare DX7590, 5.0 mega pixels, 10X zoom. We've had this camera for about 3 years.

What we like...
1. Basically point and shoot
2. 10X zoom
3. Takes beautiful outdoor pictures
4. Takes great outdoor sports pictures (soccer, track)

What we don't like....
1. Takes terrible indoor sports pictures (basketball, volleyball)
2. Takes terrible indoor gym pictures unless you are very close to the subject.(school activities like, Christmas program, Spring Musical, Award programs)
3. Doesn't take great pictures in dark places ( in the line waiting for Space Mountain, Pirates, ect...although this could have been the fault of the photographer ;) )

We are looking for a camera that will take good INDOOR action photos and INDOOR school stuff where we are far away from the subject. And in low light situations. I also want to just be able to "take" the picture. Don't mind clicking the dial to different conditions (action, portrait, auto, ect.) But not into all the ISO, shutter speed, aperture, blah, blah, blah stuff....(the camera can have these features but I am CLUELESS about how to use them) We are willing to spend money but probably not more than $700 or $800.

Hoping this camera exists......:thumbsup2 . What would you recommend?

Master Mason
10-10-2007, 07:46 PM
We are looking for a camera that will take good INDOOR action photos and INDOOR school stuff where we are far away from the subject. And in low light situations. I also want to just be able to "take" the picture. Don't mind clicking the dial to different conditions (action, portrait, auto, ect.) But not into all the ISO, shutter speed, aperture, blah, blah, blah stuff....(the camera can have these features but I am CLUELESS about how to use them) We are willing to spend money but probably not more than $700 or $800.

Hoping this camera exists......:thumbsup2 . What would you recommend?


With your budget, I would recommend one of the entry level DSLR's, then you will have the equipment you need to take the pictures your looking for. But unless your willing to spend a little time learning 'But not into all the ISO, shutter speed, aperture, blah, blah, blah stuff" Then your just wasting your money and will never be able to get the shots your looking for. IMHO

Cameras to look at
Canon Rebel XT or XTi
Pentax K100D
Nikon D40 or D40x (this is their entry level, but personally I can't recomend it)
Olymus e-410 (I think this is the entry model)

If your not willing to learn,

Look at the Canon s3 or S5 and the Fuji sd6000 you'll save yourself a bunch of money, be closer to what your used to, but will still suffer on the pics your looking to take, just not as badly as you currently do.

ukcatfan
10-10-2007, 09:12 PM
One more comment on equipment. If you go with a DSLR, also look for a 50mm prime lens. They are a great way to get low light shots without breaking the bank. For Canon and Nikon it would be a 50mm f/1.8 and with Pentax it is a 50mm f/1.4. I do not believe that Oly makes an inexpensive one.

I have to second him though. If you are not willing to learn more, then you will never get the most out of it. The entry level models do have scene modes, but they are not perfect.

Kevin

WendyZ
10-11-2007, 10:06 AM
Can I ask why you wouldn't recommend the Nikons? I've been looking at the 40, that's why I ask.

Thanks...

LPZ_Stitch!
10-11-2007, 11:44 AM
Can I ask why you wouldn't recommend the Nikons? I've been looking at the 40, that's why I ask.

The usual reason is because there's no focus motor in the D40's body. Therefore, many popular (older?) lenses won't autofocus on the D40. IIRC, some popular prime lenses (excellent in low light) won't AF on the D40.

Also IIRC, all of the other entry-level DSLRs have focus motors, so (basically) any lens that fits the camera will AF....

Master Mason
10-11-2007, 12:54 PM
The usual reason is because there's no focus motor in the D40's body. Therefore, many popular (older?) lenses won't autofocus on the D40. IIRC, some popular prime lenses (excellent in low light) won't AF on the D40.

Also IIRC, all of the other entry-level DSLRs have focus motors, so (basically) any lens that fits the camera will AF....

this is exactly my resons, by all reports, the d40 and d40x are fine cameras, but Nikon had decided to not put a focus moter in those cameras. That is not a problem if you only buy the new lenses that have the moter in the lens, but if you want to use one of the older style lenses that don't have the focus moter, you will loose Auto Focus with those lenses.

IMO this is a fatal flaw, and is the reason I can not reccomend them. This will most likely become a non issue in time as Nikon revamps their lens line to have motors in all their lenses.

Also please note, I am not knocking the camera, just expressing a personal opnion.

Groucho
10-11-2007, 01:14 PM
I agree about the D40 - I would love to be able to recommend the D40 whole-heartedly, but I just can't thanks to the focus motor issue.

Mind you, I'd still go with the K100D over the D40 (image stabilization, top LCD, better kit lens, better 50mm available, DoF preview, cheaper, etc), but I know there are people who won't buy from anyone but the "big two" (or as I call them, "cameras that you can buy in an office supply store" :teeth: much like Sandisk is the "memory card you can buy in a gas station"), and I generally prefer the Nikons to the Canons.

mommyto3, the issues you mention are all about light, or not enough of it. Point-n-shoot cameras generally have weak flashes (due to being so small) so they don't do great with flash photos unless you're very close, and their tiny sensors can't capture much light so they do poorly in low-light situations without the flash. A DSLR has a sensor that is about 15x larger than your average PnS sensor, so is far more effective in low-light. And your average entry-level DSLR can be fairly simple to use, just leave it in Auto or P mode, the other thing to think about is changing ISO manually when it gets really dark.

You also have to keep expectations realistic. Indoor queues can be very dark and you'll need a DSLR and a "fast" lens to even think about getting a decent shot without flash. Here's a shot from the Space Mt queue at WDW that I did which is not particular great on a technical level:

http://www.totalsham.com/pics/gallery/3068-4/2007WDW-576.jpg

That's ISO 1600 and 1/6th of a second and probably F2.8 or maybe F4. To reliably get a shot there, you would need to use a fast prime lens (like a 50mm F1.4 or F1.8). Same for photos inside PotC, HM, etc. Even with such a setup, it's very difficult.

WendyZ
10-11-2007, 03:26 PM
Thanks answering on the D40 recommedation. I guess it won't apply to me, because I have to buy all my lenses as well. I have a Olympus PnS, so no lenses settng around my house. =)

YEKCIM
10-11-2007, 03:47 PM
Beach Camera has some factory refurb D50 bodies (http://www.beachcamera.com/shop/product.aspx?sku=NKD50RB) in stock for $399, shipped, at this moment. No idea how long they will last. The D50 does have the focus motor in-body so that older lenses, such as the recommended 50mm f/1.8 would autofocus with it. The 50mm will focus on a D40 or D40x, but will not AUTOfocus. If you do opt for a dSLR of some sort with a 50mm lens, keep in mind that that is a relatively short focal length, so you'd need to be pretty close to the action to use it.

You could get the refurb D50 body, 50mm f/1.8 lens (http://www.buydig.com/shop/product.aspx?omid=122&utm_id=17&ref=pricegrabber&utm_source=PriceGrabber&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=NK5018&sku=NK5018), and an 18-135mm (http://www.buydig.com/shop/product.aspx?omid=122&utm_id=17&ref=pricegrabber&utm_source=PriceGrabber&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=NK18135G&sku=NK18135G) "walkaround" lens for a little more than $800, online.

~YEKCIM

MarkBarbieri
10-11-2007, 05:33 PM
Also IIRC, all of the other entry-level DSLRs have focus motors, so (basically) any lens that fits the camera will AF....
None of the Canon DSLR's have a focus motor in the body - not the Rebels, the prosumer series, nor the 1 series. When Canon designed their AF system, they designed it around having the focus motors in the lens powered by electricity from the camera body. The other makers designed their bodies to have focus motors that mechanically drove the AF in the lens.

The other makers have steadily been reversing that decision by building newer lenses with the focus motor in the lens. The problem is that they are in a straddle position right now. They have a lot of older lenses that are focused by the body and newer lenses that have their own focus motors. Nikon decided with the D40 series to cut off legacy support by dropping the in-body focus motor. That saved cost, complexity, weight, and power consumption. It also meant that those bodies could not use older lenses.

I'm willing to wager that most entry level DSLR buyers use only the kit lens and perhaps an extra zoom or two. For D40 buyers, that isn't a problem because all of those lenses will work. The problem is for those D40 buyers that want to start using things like prime lenses. Those lenses won't autofocus with their camera. I would expect Nikon to eventually replace all of their lenses with AF-S lenses. Until that happens, I would steer anyone that wants to get serious about photography and plans to keep using an entry level body away from the D40.

If you'll be happy with zooms, it's a great body at a great price. If you'll upgrade to a better body before you buy prime lenses, it's still a good way to get started. If you want a DSLR and want the capabilities of a prime, it's the wrong choice.

I'm curious to see how long it will take Nikon to replace their non-AF-S lenses and how long it will take them to drop the focus motors from their other bodies. Doing so means dropping backwards compatibility, but failing to do so means dragging around an obsolete technology for legacy support reasons.

ukcatfan
10-11-2007, 11:10 PM
Thanks answering on the D40 recommedation. I guess it won't apply to me, because I have to buy all my lenses as well. I have a Olympus PnS, so no lenses settng around my house. =)

Don't be so sure. When people are saying older lenses, that does not mean old, used, out of production lenses. There are a few very popular still being produced lenses based on the old Nikon technology. The less than $100 50mm f/1.8 is the most common example of a very popular still new lens that will not AF on the 40 series. If you plan on doing much low light shooting, then stay away from the 40 series. The used D50 is a much better option IMO if you are set on Nikon. There are prime lenses available that will AF on the 40s, but the lenses cost much more than the 50mm f/1.8. Why not step up to the D80 and get the cheaper lens instead of the cheaper body and a much more costly lens that will get almost the same results?

Kevin

LPZ_Stitch!
10-12-2007, 07:42 AM
None of the Canon DSLR's have a focus motor in the body - not the Rebels, the prosumer series, nor the 1 series. When Canon designed their AF system, they designed it around having the focus motors in the lens powered by electricity from the camera body. The other makers designed their bodies to have focus motors that mechanically drove the AF in the lens.

Ahhh, thanks for the clarification. I knew that Canon lenses all had AF on all of the bodies, but I didn't know that they all had motors in the lenses.

Does that make Canon lenses (generally) more expensive than other companies lenses or is it a wash?

Someday, I'd like to get into a DSLR and Canon is my *first* choice, but I'd like to be able to do it without needing a 2nd mortgage! :)

Khokhonutt
10-12-2007, 08:46 AM
In my experience, you're going to have a tough time capturing indoor or low light shots, especially action shots in those environments, without learning at least some of the, "ISO, shutter speed, aperture, blah, blah, blah stuff." I bought my DSLR this summer with the specific goal to be able to capture my kids marching at football games and band contests. Before I had my DSLR, almost none of the night field shots were usable.

With the DSLR, I'm getting shots I could never get with the point and shoot, but that didn't come by using the auto settings and it didn't come with the kit lens. It took some learning on my part (something I still have a long, long way to go on). It also took the right lens. Actually I probably still don't have "the right lens". I have the best one I can afford at this point.

I guess my point is, in my opinion, I'm not sure a DSLR is the way to go unless you have some sort of commitment to learn a little about what you're doing with it. That's not to say a DSLR might not improve the shots you take. It's just awful big and a fair investment, if all it's going to be is a fancy point and shoot. If that's the route you're going to go, I'd just get a fancy point and shoot, with manual focus, decent zoom, etc.

I look at it this way, my wife has no time for the DSLR. She wants a decent, convienient camera that she can carry around easily and get quick family shots. She likes the pictures I've taken with the DSLR, but the size and potential complication doesn't appeal to her. For me the DSLR is a rewarding challenge and one more geeky thing I can try to figure out. For that reason, we maintain two cameras, my toy (DSLR) and hers (P&S).

I hope that helps.

YEKCIM
10-12-2007, 09:15 AM
Ditto what Khokhonutt said. Today's digital cameras are marvels of technology but have their limitations. IMO, anyone who wants to get good quality photographs (not just snapshots) MUST spend the time to learn how to use the camera. If one is not willing to make that investment of time and experimentation, one should not expect the same level of quality in the results that one sees here and elsewhere, produced by people who have learned their equipment. Having the right equipment is essential, but w/o an understanding of how to get the most out of it, as Khokhonutt said, you may as well just stay with a PnS and save your money.

~Y

Groucho
10-12-2007, 11:47 AM
Regarding needing to learn the settings... I think that if you leave your camera in "P" mode and set auto ISO to 200-800 (or 100-800 if your camera supports it), you'll be all set for most conditions, with only having to manually set ISO 1600 when it gets really dark.

Also, the entry-level DSLRs all have scene modes, just like point-n-shoots.

I'm curious to see how long it will take Nikon to replace their non-AF-S lenses and how long it will take them to drop the focus motors from their other bodies. Doing so means dropping backwards compatibility, but failing to do so means dragging around an obsolete technology for legacy support reasons.
I doubt we'll see them drop the focus motor from anything but the cheapest DSLR bodies any time soon. I would guess that the new D300 and D3 are certainly packing the motor in the body...

I don't know if I buy the "dragging around obsolete technology" line. The old-fashioned focus can still be pretty fast and doesn't affect photo quality in any way. Even if you accept that all the new lenses will include the focus motor in the lens, what's the hardship of having the focus motor in the body, also? I suspect the weight that it adds is very slight indeed.

So why get rid of it, except to shave a few pennies off the cost of producing the camera?

MarkBarbieri
10-12-2007, 12:55 PM
Does that make Canon lenses (generally) more expensive than other companies lenses or is it a wash?

It's rather hard to say what the effect is by looking at brand-to-brand comparisons (like what a given Nikon vs Canon prime costs). There are too many other variables. The best comparison case would be looking at third party lenses (like Sigma or Tamron) which are built for the different mounts. Years ago, they charged roughly a $10 premium for the Canon versions. I believe that they are all the same price now. I haven't the slightest idea whether it is significantly more expensive to make a lens with a focusing motor or one with a mechanical focusing linkage.

So why get rid of it, except to shave a few pennies off the cost of producing the camera?I'm not a camera engineer, so I can only guess. As you mentioned, there is cost and weight. I would also suspect that real estate inside a camera body is pretty valuable, so space would be consideration. There could be other concerns around electrical noise, heat dissipation, impact on weather sealing, or who knows what else. I'm sure that it's not a huge extra burden, but as time goes on, it's not a particularly strong selling point either.

While they are still making non AF-S lenses, it's a moot point for all but their most casual shooter level bodies. Assuming that they quit making non AF-S lenses in the not to distant future (and I'm betting that they never come out with a new lens that isn't eletronically focused), it's a question of how long they want to maintain that legacy support.

Are there other photographic analogies that can used for comparison? Are there features on any current cameras that are only applicable when using gear that is no longer made by the camera maker? What about hot shoes? Do those still support the old style flashes?