Lets see I have two Olympus cameras. One is a Stylus 760 that is 7 megapixel and the other is a SP-500UZ that is 6 megapixel. I really like the SP-500UZ cause it has a fantastic zoom on it. I can hold it still better than the stylus. Then again I like the stylus cause it is the size of a cell phone and I can carry it in my jeans pocket. They both take great pictures and I use them all the time.
Oh boy, don't get me started... I love digital photography!
I have what I honestly think is the best "pro-sumer" grade camera out there. The Nikon D300. I've had thsi camera for about 6 months, and I love it. To give you an idea just how much I love it, I've taken over 25,000 photos with it.
This thing is just plain wonderful. It takes low light shots that have to be seen to be believed. I can shoot at ISO 1600 and you'd think it was ISO 400. Truly excellent for low light situations.
You'd better be serious about photography if you buy one of these, it's heavy, and there aren't any of those helpful modes like "night / sports / people / backlit". The only settings are Auto, Program, Aperature Priority, Shutter Priority and total Manual. In other words the options are "Program" or "You're in charge! Tell me what to do..."
But if you understand photography, you can have great fun with it, and do some amazing stuff. Of course if you have some serious cash to spend, buy the big brother, the D3, or the new D700, and you will get even better low light performance.
Here's a couple samples from the Wisconsin Maritime Museum. Hand held, available light only, no flash allowed.
Here's a sample I recently did for a friend. The second shot is a 1:1 sample from the first image. You're viewing it at 100%, as it came out of the camera. NO noise reduction of any kind has been applied, other than a light in camera noise reduction. No post processing of any kind except crop and save for the web. Sure, it's got some noise. Personally I think it looks a lot more like "film grain" than the traditional pixelated colors you see from many digital cameras. But get this... This shot is at ISO 2000! Yep, ISO 2,000...
PS - Don't forget, these are compressed for the web. The actual image looks even better. Prints from this image would look just fine.
Bob, you have too fancy of a camera for me lol
I do have a digital minolta slr that i use but want to get a little one to carry around in my purse so i'll have a camera on me when i want one.
my slr is too big to carry around all the time
a really good little no fuss cameria are the fuji finepix...they are priced very well and take wonderful pictures....I have two of the no frill ones...Phillip uses one when he is around...then last year Michael got me a SLR type that takes 8 or 9 megapixs...and it has a ton of bells and all...takes great pictures but I still have to read the book when I want to change things...then we also have a camcorder but I will be giving that to Jessie so she can keep the three boys on tape to send to us..but it also takes wonderful pictures...the one of Phillip with the snow hat from a few years ago was take with that camera.....this one
It's too fancy for most folks, being rather complicated and also too heavy to boot. It's really only worth the effort if your primary goal is photography. It certainly won't fit in your pocket, and it's heavy enough that packing it around can be a hassle. It's also big enough that you don't get any candid shots. When you pull this camera out, people notice it. In fact, the standing joke is that I work for the Chronicle (a paper from a local town) since when I shoot photos at an event I often get asked "Are you from the Chronicle?" I was even being asked that question one day while standing next to a photographer from the Chronicle. They were asking me if I was from the paper, but not her since she was using a smaller point and shoot... LOL!
So no, I certainly don't reccommend it for most folks. The Nikon D60 will do about 80% of what this one can do, and it's cheaper and lighter. That's that the DSLR I suggest for a typical enthusiast who wants a nice camera. This is overkill for most situations, but if you're looking to be a semi-pro, and / or shoot stuff like weddings and concerts with low light, the D300 rocks.
I have a Fuji Finepix S700 and an Olympus SP-500UZ. They both take great photos.
The Olympus is 6 megapixels with 10x opitical zoom.
The Fiji is 7.1 megapixels with 10x opitical zoom. They both take nice clear shots and nice macro shots. They aren't small but not heavy either. I keep the shoulder strap on mine and just toss it on my shoulder with my purse and go. I love to use both of them.
I have the Nikon D50. I bought an extra lens with it too. My daughter is a professional photographer and I bought the D50 so she could use it also. She is now talking about getting her own and she is looking at the Nikon D80. But I am sure she would use the D50 as a backup. When she does one of her shoots, she may have only one chance to get the shots. She does a fair number of weddings.
If she's a pro, I'd seriously consider one of these cameras.
D3 - Perfect for weddings, very fast, can shoot 9 frames per second, built in vertical grip and extended life battery, excellent low light camera. But very expensive too, about $4 to $5k. This is THE camera for weddings and events in low light. Totally awesome. (Unfortunately the price also falls in the "wow" category, and after spending $4k or more, you still have to buy a lens.... )
D700 - Almost a D3, but a lot less expensive, but still about $3k
D300 - Still fast and very good in low light, costs about $1500. Shoots 6 fps, 8 with battery pack, and is about 1 to 2 stops slower than the D300. For many folks, including me, this will do just about everything you want.
D90 - Good in low light, and reasonable price at about $900.
To be honest, if she's a pro, I would NOT buy the D80, since it's about $700 to $800 right now, and you get better low light performance with the D90. The new sensors are quite an improvement.
I've listed the cameras above in the order I'd put them for a pro wedding photographer. If she's shooting lots of weddings, and making a living at it, the D3 is the only way to go. It is the premier low light camera out there. Fantastic results at amazing ISOs. If she doesn't have the funds, check out the others.
Also tell her to look into the whole DX vs FX thing. I won't go into details here, but one is full frame and the other is digital sensor. They both have their advantages. If my primary goal was weddings, I'd go with FX, so that you'd have better wide angle lens options.
Be warned, serious digital photography work is not cheap!
I shot the Tall Ships event in Tacoma this summer, and there were a bunch of pro and semi-pro photographers in the group taking photos for the event sponsor. Every one of us was shooting the D300 except for two of the true pros (photography was their sole income) who were shooting D3's. That says a lot about the D300.
Of course most of the newspaper guys were shooting D3's, but the paper pays for the gear, so they can afford the best.
Here's another example of what you can do with a D300 or other digital camera that has good high ISO capabilities.
Using a combination of fill flash and available light, I took this shoot outdoors at night.
I have a Canon Powershot S3IS, 6.0 Mega Pixels. It's a heavy camera but ok. once you get used to it. I also have a Sony Cyber-shot, 8.1 mega pixels 10.0 optical zoom. It's much lighter and very easy to operate and is much cheaper than the Canon. I bought both of them from Futureshop. Both take great pics.
I have a canon 400s PowerShot then graduated to a SD500 PowerShot then graduated to a Canon PowerShot S3IS I love the last one for zoom and excellent macro.
I love the 400 because there was not a delay between the finger hitting the button to the actual shot being taken. http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canons3is/
You can get great shots with all of these cameras! All of them ended up on the front cover of a Photo magazine I use to buy!
I love them all I still use the 500 and the Canon PowerShot S3IS Hubby uses my 400.
And if bought any of these now you'd pay way less then we did!*LOL
the mantis is 500sd
the cone flower is the Canon PowerShot S3IS
I have some great distance shot too with the Canon PowerShot S3IS 48power zoom! I can be about 30 feet away and get the birds eye perfectly.
I use my son's old Sony Cybershot for digital. It's a 4.1. It takes some very good pictures, but my 20 year old Minolta that takes film (of all things!) still takes great shots and it has a macro/zoom.
I have a Sony Cyber-shot, 6.0 megapixels, 12xoptical zoom, I've even bought a couple extra lens for it. After a year I'm still trying to figure out how to use it. I also have a little Kodak easyshare CX7430 that is sooo simple, small and handy that I grab it first cause I can remember how to use it!
I love my big, heavy and complicated DSLR, since it can take pictures in conditions when other cameras can't. However, I'll be the first to admit it's not for everyone. If you don't like it because it's big, heavy and hard to use, then it's not going to be much use to you.
Buy a camera you're comfortable with. One you like, and one that fits your hands. One that you understand and feel comfortable with. For most folks, that will not be something big and fancy, which is just fine.
Ok What a great thread. As I mentioned in another thread Santa has asked me to buy my own DSLR because he is confused. I was a true Minolta user from my first camera I bought myself in the early 70's and it was over $300 then. I have not had time to really study up so I appreciate all the info and the links.
Must for me:
Low light to bright light
Seems simple enough. I made a living in the 70's with my Minolta and maybe I can begin supplementing my income again with the right one. I want to saty in the $1000. range and then build from there,so I have to find the best one at that price.
Welp the DSLR's are coming down in price but they are still a bit rich for my blood. I do still have my Nikon N80 which is a nice film SLR. For my digital I have the canon s3IS. I can't complain about either one. My photography was something that got put on the back burner when I went back to school. I'm almost done with that so I hope to develop my photography skills some more this summer Bob and I used to go on photo safaris around Oregon. It would be interesting to come back and see what each other saw
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