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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2007 8:13 am 
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It has taken a long time to learn what the right question is. I’m still not certain I have it, but here goes.
I use a dslr style compact camera. My biggest complaint about my digital camera is the very long shutter lag. I was told I would have to go to a dslr to avoid that. I’m still willing to do that if I have to, but I’m trying hard not to have to. Besides issues of dust, of which I am very worried, I want my camera to be as automatic as possible but with full manual over ride for when I’m not being lazy.
My concern on the dust comes from the salesperson trying to sell me a maintenance program for a ton of bucks.
Someone suggested that I could preset the camera by pressing halfway down on the shutter, compose, and then press the rest of the way. This works fairly well, except that by the time I recompose, the image is now out of focus and I have to start over.
So the question becomes, do you know of any manufacturer who makes a good quality compact camera, zoom range 18-200 or thereabouts, that has continuous focusing and metering while the shutter is halfway compressed?
I kind of think that any camera that can do that will also have the other options I am looking for, which not only has active focusing, but also very good to excellent image quality, adjustable white balance, spot and segmented metering to start with.
Thanks,

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2007 8:17 pm 
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Hi David, short term I think you may find a solution or workaround which gives close to the result you're after, but long term, I think you may be coming up against the same issues. Even the quickest compact / superzoom in the world will pale beside a DSLR in responseivness because the manufacturers sadly don't see it as a priority.

So lets see if we can reassure you about your DSLR worries.

Automatic? All DSLRs have auto modes which generally do a fantastic job - some much more so than compacts, so no worries there.

Dust? Sure it's an issue, but you don't need a maintenance program. For years I've just used a blower and it's been fine. Some dust marks remain from time to time, but they take seconds to remove using Photoshop or other programs. Dust is annoying, but (for me anyway) it's far from a deal breaker.

Alternatively go for a DSLR which does an excellent job of hiding the dust such as one from Olympus.

Ultimately though I can't say buy the xx compact, because I know it will end up disappointing you. If you're not bothered by the weaknesses of a compact or can ignore them, then no problem. But you've said shutter lag and response is important to you, so it's a bit like someone looking for a compact with super low noise at high sensitivities - they're not going to find it.

Gordon


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2007 7:54 am 
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Thanks, Gordon.
I appreciate your candor. I guess I will have to take the next step and determine my priorities. Image quality, fast operation, and reliable auto settings are at the top of the list. The quality of the auto settings may be in how the built in focusing and light metering work.
Please feel free to comment or correct me on the following.
I am willing to go for a camera with 10 mega pixels. I probably don’t need that much, but I frequently find my best pictures are inside other pictures, and the 10 will allow me to crop and enlarge more then a lower pixel count. Is this correct?
I have pretty much narrowed my choices to the Nikon 40X, Nikon D80, and the Canon Rebel XTi.
Since all three are 10 mega pixels, won't the image quality of the cameras be comparable, with the differences being in the lens used?
In regards to the photo itself, does the sensor type matter?
As far as focus is concerned, while there may be differences in speed of focus, in reality, the differences will be so small that they will not matter. Is there a substantive difference in the accuracy of the focusing of the three? Will all three be able to focus on a subject and change as the subject moves?
All of these cameras have buttons galore. Is there a difference in how easy it is to change from spot to multi pattern metering or from continuous focus to regular focus? I do get overwhelmed with so many buttons to push.
My last concern is in the light metering. Do any of these cameras have a better system than the other? I would like one that can identify a back lighting situation or other complex light situation and coordinate with the flash for fill in.
I guess I’m asking for a lot from you folks, and I appreciate the help

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2007 9:08 am 
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Hi David,

If you intend to buy the camera for the holidays then this post is irrelevant. You mention the Rebel XTi as a possible. Now there is a rumour that the successor model (EOS 450D?) will be announced early year and there is a further rumour that it will include Live View, a movie mode and "face recognition" like a number of recent compacts. Source: Northlight Images.

I'm the first to admit that a rumour about a rumour isn't something you would want to bet the house on but if you are happy to wait a few months...

Bob.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2007 4:14 pm 
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Thanks, Bob, for the tip.
At this point, Canon is only a consideration in a mass of confusion.
I have no particular timeline for buying.
I admit to having a kind of "toy" mentality, in so far as I enjoy playing with the equipment, but I also get satisfaction in taking pictures that I, as well as others, say, "Wow, that's a great shot".
The idea of face technology seems handy, but only if it works. Does this feature conflict with other focus points? For instance, if you are shooting a landscape and there is a round rock in the foreground, will this trick the camera, focus on the rock, and lose depth of field?
I don't think I care much about movie mode.
What is Live View?
Maybe I'm jaded, but is Canon strongly denying this rumor?
My experience is that when someone goes to the bother of strongly denying, the more likely it is to be true.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2007 4:28 pm 
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Lots of questions there which I can only offer gut reactions to.

Face recognition seems to work on compacts (I don't have one) so no reason why it wouldn't work on a DSLR. You can always turn these things off if you don't like them.

Live View is having the picture you are about to take being continuously displayed on the rear LCD - - this is a compact camera's default mode but fairly new to DSLRs which generally are better used with the viewfinder. Live View can be useful but, again, it doesn't have to be used.

As far as I am aware Canon has a strict "No Comment" policy regarding rumours so no help there.

Bob.

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Olympus OM-D E-M1 + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8, Lumix 7-14mm f/4, Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH, M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8, M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8.
Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2007 4:31 pm 
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Hi David,

Gordon has tested all three models and is an unbiased presenter of the pro's and con's of those models plus comparisons on his verdict-pages. Make sure you've read them all!
Myself has only experience with Nikon D80 so I cannot comment on it in comparison to other makes (and if I would everybody knows that my fanboyism will color the results :wink: ).
But still I'll try to give you a direction for those three models: I think to have heard around the net that the D80 is best with regard to focussing and exposure, although not without flaws.
Now (ducking) let the flak start...

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