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 Post subject: Specifics From A Newbie
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 7:22 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2007 6:45 am
Posts: 36
Location: Olympia, WA.
Off the bat, I love this forum so far, and congrats to all of those who have made it a nice community, especially you, Gordon, you big brain you! I've been through ALL of the video reviews and most of the written ones. I've searched the forums on cameras yet am still a little puzzled as to narrow my options down. My brain has officially exploded from the information I've looked through the past 5 weeks. In fact, I'm shifting through the pieces of skull on the floor as I'm typing this.

Specifics of what I want to do with a DSLR: Mostly macro shots, mostly in black and white, sharp pictures and detail--all of which I know can be manipulated with software, but having solid basics w/o software is a good option, no? Oui! I'll be looking through the software forum soon. lol Oh, and I won't be taking shots of sports or kids or pets. Nearly all will be taken outdoors either at night or near dusk. A camera where I can tweak adjustments with the focus and with depth would be tops. There's a Hassleblad I want, but I'd have to sell my body for a few years to afford that, and even then, I'd prob only get 10 bucks and a Coke for my efforts. A T-shirt saying, "Ninjas kidnapped my wife and kids, need $20 for karate lessons" at best.

For cleaning of the lenses: I'll have to learn sooner or later and I know the Olympus and Sony offer the dust reduction systems, but that's not always up to snuff 100% So, that's not a big problem. I'll clean as I go and learn to help others as well. I love mental tool boxes and right now, my toolbox is full of cobwebs--for DSLR's anyways.

The LCD is not a big option for me. The live view on the Olmypus E-510 is kind of a turn off as I like it simple and that option seems kinda pointless for what I wanna do. Not out of the question, but, you know. I need fast, steady and sturdy with a good frames per second and low noise levels. I can easily sacrifice comfortability if it means a better picture and quality overall. There's no suffereing without reward.

A lense with the IS is a bonus. I'd imagine the lense will cost half as much as the camera. Uuuuugh. OT at work and fewer iced coffees, here I come.

Fine art. I am leaning more towards that side of things, but without the cliche nudes or close-ups of chair arms or dirty and abandoned rooms where the light shines through the window revealing scars on the wall. I will hopefully carve out my own niche if everything goes right-- with much practice, patience and moolah/pounds.

What would I need for MP's for making large and clean prints on the as-yet-boughten printer? Say, at least 20x20? At least 10MP's methinks.

Conclusion: Bang for the buck, will the Nikon D40X with the right lense(s) be sufficient? And can it hold it's own against the D80? Will the E-510 be better for macro given the lense? The Sony, Pentax and Cannon are out, gone, see ya, so far by these eyes for what I want to spend--about 1,400 USD. Sorry for the long intro, but I thought I'd lay it out there and see who'll actually read this.

Your new friend in darkness/light, well played heavy metal and iced coffee,

Amokster. :P

ps. This guy is amazing and an inspiration. Check out his portfolio:
http://www.davidjohndrow.com/press.htm

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Sorry, mate, I believe I just ate your pudding cup.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 8:01 am 
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Posts: 9975
Location: Queenstown, New Zealand
Hi Amokster, welcome to the Cameralabs fourms - and nice intro!

I'll come right back-atcha with a question: you say you want good fps but won't be taking sports or action. Now I'm not questioning whether you need fast continuous shooting or not, but it can help narrow down your choice if you want more than 3fps.

For example, the most affordable 5fps camera now is probably the Canon 30D.

I'd also ask why 1400 USD rules out Canon, Pentax and Sony? Each sells DSLR bundles for way less than this, and infact some of their higher-end options are also possible - for example, Canon's latest EOS 40D can be bought with a lens for only a tad more: 1499 USD.

So here's some suggestions for 1400 bucks or thereabouts:

Canon EOS 40D plus 28-135mm IS - $1499

Canon EOS 30D plus 18-55mm - $1020

Nikon D80 with 18-135mm - $1149

Nikon D80 with 18-200mm VR - $1599

Nikon D40x with 18-55mm and 55-200mm VR - $900

There's also the Olympus twin lens kits for about $850 or a Pentax K10D kit from $750.

If you want the fastest and toughest of this list then I'd be looking at the two Canon's at the top, but Nikon really has hit a sweetspot with the D80 - a lot of camera at a great price...

Hmm, not sure I've really helped there...

Come back and tell us if you want more than 3fps and which lenses you'd want in your budget... (and in the future)

As far as Megapixels are concerned, all of the above have 10. If you want more, you'll need a bigger budget, but 10 can still make some nice big prints...

Forum moderators Thomas and Phil should hopefully chime-in with some advice about macro... but basically most of the manufacturers offer decent macro options...

Do check out our macro forum though as you'll see some examples using certain models...

Gordon


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 9:56 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2007 6:45 am
Posts: 36
Location: Olympia, WA.
Thanks a bunch for the reply! Ah, it's nice to be recognized. Now if only the people at the Kits Camera camera shop here would do the same. I'm not joking. Those people, both stores, won't even give me the time of day, and I have money to spend on a camera. It's as if I have a tattoo on my face that reads, "Please don't acknowledge my existence, even though I dress nice and have an appealing manner." Those dorks. Their loss, Amazon.com's gain.

As for the FPS. I guess it's 2 things. 1.) Value for money, ie, 'bang for the buck' ( whoa, that would sound really innapropriate if this were an "adult" forum or hunters guide ) and 2.) on the off chance I'd ever need it. Maybe a family member just has to have a quality pic of the dog chasing the mailman. lol It's entirely possible. Or my niece doing a dance at school and since Uncle Amokster has the best camera, I'd have to take the shots and suffer greatly at a 1st grade dance recital. That's one of the Levels of Hell from Dante's Inferno if you ask me.

The reason I'm ruling out Pentax and Sony ( but less with Canon ) is for the features, or lack there of, and countless, countless reviews of both by comparison. The Fuji as well. The Olympus, Nikon and Canon seem to stack up well. Maybe I'm entirely too picky or maybe my first impressions with the reviews and seeing the cameras in person have something to do with it, but I just can't help it when I read a review where it states that there's not much of a difference in picture quality and gadgetry between an upgrade like say, the EOS 3D to the 4D.

For the price of 1,400 USD, that would include the macro as well. I've seen many online and will have to narrow it down. It's funny what some magazines say vs. what the internet forums and actual practitioners say about equipment. The debate rages on, but I trust an unbiased review over all else: the people on this forum seem to be tops and if I ever met them in a pub, even though I don't drink so I'm not sure why I'd be there in the first place, I'd buy everyone a round. The more I can keep costs down the better. I'll need software, filters, and other goodies to go along with the initial purchase. It'd be neat to have a camera I can grow into and evolve as a photographer. So far the D80 seems a good bet above the rest as well as the EOS 4D as you mentioned. There's something not quite right about the Xti though and I can't figure it out. Something deep inside says it just doesn't fit me. Even when I had it in my hand a week ago, I couldn't look it straight in the face, as if it were some kind of weird disfigured puppy I decided not to take home from the dog pound. If I had a split personality, I'd ask them, and if they had a different answer, I guess I'd just go crazy and take up Legos as a hobby instead of photography. Uuuuuuugh.

Conclusion: It looks like it'll be up between the Olympus E-510 kit--my first choice overall--and the Nikon D80 my first and a half choice.

Lenses: If the lense really does make that much of a difference, if not more, than my priorities are gonna have to change somewhat. Changing my mind is alot more diffcult than changing my clothes. I wish it were the other way around. Note: I just went through a ton photo samples from the 40D, 30D and D80 and some of the pics looked cheap while others looked top quality. Funny what lighting and a little touch up does, eh? So far the D80 is in the lead. but barely. I'm gonna scroll through every macro lense, and regular lense of great value I can find for that camera in this forum.

Cheers!

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Sorry, mate, I believe I just ate your pudding cup.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 7:24 pm 
Amokster wrote:
"Please don't acknowledge my existence, even though I dress nice and have an appealing manner." Those dorks. Their loss, Amazon.com's gain.

...... even though you dress nice AND want to give them lots of money :)


Amokster wrote:
It'd be neat to have a camera I can grow into and evolve as a photographer. So far the D80 seems a good bet above the rest as well as the EOS 4D as you mentioned.


That's one of the reasons I chose the D80. I thought it would grow with me. Unlike something like the d40/x where I would learn everything, get confidant, and then want a D80 with the better AF Points(Auto Focus Points), IQ(Image Quality) etc.

I haven't shot sports yet, but the FPS on the D80 seems sweet for a basic sports photographer.

Good luck on your purchase, and keep us informed :) And make sure you stay and post us pics!

-Ant


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 8:57 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2005 3:32 pm
Posts: 9975
Location: Queenstown, New Zealand
Well I've tested the Olympus 50mm macro and it's a nice lens - and the Nikkor 105mm Macro is also a very popular choice, so I think you're along the right lines thinking of a D80 or an E-510. Both will do the trick.

If the camera shops do ever acknowledge your presence (!) I'd strongly suggest picking up both in person if you haven't already. One will feel better to you, and that should probably be the one to go for...

PS - and if you do end up buying from Amazon, please do consider visiting their site by first clicking through our link on this page:

http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Affil ... ping.shtml

The price is the same to you, but they give us a small referral commission, and that's what helps pays for the site!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2007 12:12 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2007 6:45 am
Posts: 36
Location: Olympia, WA.
Thanks, antman and Gordon! Ant, my dress would be considered normal--nice jeans and sweater/pull over and my attitude is fairly pleasant. Heck, I even carry my wallet in my hand cause I hate having it in my pocket. I'll stand there looking at the cameras, shifting through this and that just to see if someone will ask if I need some help and I never get an answer. lol And here I thought those 'invisible pills' I bought from this weird looking guy wearing a cape on the corner of 4th and Washington St. were a bust... Guess I was wrong. I'll post the pics as soon as I get my crubby hands on that piece of machinery, pics that won't totally embarass me. I may even show my face here.

And of course I'll follow that link, my good man! Anything to help out the cause.

3rd of 4th Conclusion ( I lost count ): I love what the D80 has but I like the feeling and look of the E-510. I have a strange feeling I'll get the D80 and in less than a year from now, Olympus will come out with an "E-610" and it'll have better options than the D80 and cost a little less. It's times like these I'm glad I don't drink alcohol.

Thanks for all your patience and help!

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Sorry, mate, I believe I just ate your pudding cup.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2007 6:08 pm 
I feel your pain..... NO ! I FEEL YOUR PAIN !


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