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Old 04-16-2008, 09:28   #1
havensal
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Help me pic a new digi cam, please.

After trying to get decent family photos this weekend with my A630, I want something better. I want something that takes good pictures indoors without the flash.

I have read that a larger CCD would have less noise at higher ISO settings. My camera has a 1.8". I have also read that the CMOS sensors have less noise.

I don't really want to plop down a grand or more for a top end DSLR, but I still want a versatile, quality unit, if that's possible. Like everyone else I want all of the bells and whistles but I don;t want to pay for them.

I like taking pictures. I have been experimenting with nature photography, macro, sports, just trying different things to improve my abilities.

Here are some of my preferences, some may be unrealistic for a lower priced unit, but I can still want them right?
-Good low light quality, low noise in higher ISO's
-Medium MP's, I don't see myself printing posters, probably 8x10 max
-Size not really a big issue though smaller the better, I know you sacrifice quality for small size.
-Good macro ability
-Good zoom or ability to add telephoto for nature shots Mine is 6X but I can add my 2X lens to it
-Fast continuous shooting, mine has 1.8f/s I would like better
-Ability to take video, not a show stopper, but still nice
-Take SD cards, I have a bunch, would save not having to by other cards.
-Good auto-focus and manual focus. Mine is not as good as I would like.
-standard AA batteries are handy as well as a flip out LCD

I will add more as I think of them.

The Canon S5 IS seams to be leading the race right now, but I am still looking hard.

I wish we had a shop around so I could manhandle a bunch of cameras and see actual pictures myself.
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Old 04-17-2008, 00:07   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by havensal View Post
My camera has a 1.8".
Nope. It has 1/1.8. Quite different. That's 7.2mm x 5.3mm.

Quote:
I have also read that the CMOS sensors have less noise.
Not necessarily. It has more to do with electronics. In general, larger sensors have less noise.

Today, the only cameras (with rare exceptions) that would have sensors larger than yours would be SLRs.

Quote:
-Good low light quality, low noise in higher ISO's
-Medium MP's, I don't see myself printing posters, probably 8x10 max
-Size not really a big issue though smaller the better, I know you sacrifice quality for small size.
Fits many SLRs.

Quote:
-Good macro ability
That would depend on a lens you buy. With SLRs you can buy a dedicated macro lens, but that costs quite a bit extra (and you indicated you do not want to do that).

Quote:
-Good zoom or ability to add telephoto for nature shots Mine is 6X but I can add my 2X lens to it
Usually the bigger the zoom the lesser the quality of the lens, particularly is the lens goes from very wide to telephoto.

Quote:
-Fast continuous shooting, mine has 1.8f/s I would like better
Should be no problem with most SLRs.

Quote:
-Ability to take video, not a show stopper, but still nice
That's a non-starter with SLRs.

Quote:
-Take SD cards, I have a bunch, would save not having to by other cards.
Camera by camera basis.

Quote:
-Good auto-focus and manual focus. Mine is not as good as I would like.
SLRs will beat your A630 hands down.

Quote:
-standard AA batteries are handy as well as a flip out LCD
Now you are seriously narrowing down the field. I don't even know if there is any SLR today that does both.

Quote:
The Canon S5 IS seams to be leading the race right now, but I am still looking hard.
S5 IS has a smaller sensor (1/2.5) than your camera, and is quite a bit noisier. Check this:

Through-the-Lens Club

The picture above has a 4/3 sensor missing, which is a little smaller than APS-C, and quite a bit larger than 2/3. Olympus and a few other SLR makers use that size.
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Old 04-17-2008, 06:51   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hwyhobo View Post
...
Thanks, I was just reading up on the sensor sizes here. I had no idea what the 1/1.8" actually stood for. Being an engineer I should have known that 1/1.8 is LARGER than 1/2.5.
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Old 04-17-2008, 14:49   #4
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Great Starter Kit Here!

For just a bit more than the S5 IS.

Stick with EF lenses (not EF-S) when you by new ones. Someday you'll want to get a better body!

It does take CF cards & no video.
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Old 04-17-2008, 15:06   #5
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Something else to consider with image noise.

Pixels are little cups that collect light.

A 10 meg 1/2,5 is a shot glass, won't collect much light. More noise. Cannot change lens or f/stop to help it.

A 10 meg APS-C is a juice glass. Will collect a more light for better low light but still a bit noisy. Can get a EF 50 f1.2L to reduce low light noise. Can change f/stop.

A 10 meg EOS 1D sensor is a tumbler. Collects lots of light, great low light performance. Can change f/stop. With the EF 50 f1.2L almost no noise.

Hope this helps the sensor issue.
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Old 04-18-2008, 07:08   #6
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Thanks, DeadMansLife, for the info.

Well, I have been looking around and it looks like I will have to drop the big bucks to get what I want.

My preliminary findings are giving me a toss-up between the Canon XTi and the Nikon D60.


I haven't ruled out the XT or the D40 yet, but I am thinking the increase in MP may save me from having to buy a larger lens for longer shots. (crop down the 10MP from a 120mm vs. using a 200mm at 6MP) Am I way off base here?

I will keep looking. Feel free to through any suggestions you have.
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Old 04-18-2008, 10:49   #7
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toss-up between the Canon XTi and the Nikon D60
If you are considering XTi, consider also XSi (aka 450). It ships with the new and seriously improved kit lens.
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Old 04-18-2008, 11:52   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hwyhobo View Post
If you are considering XTi, consider also XSi (aka 450). It ships with the new and seriously improved kit lens.
WOW, I like it. I am not sure I really want to spend that much more.

I am thinking I may be able to get a new Rebel XTi Black with EF-S 18-55 mm II Lens for around $500. The cheapest I can find an XSi kit is around $900.
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Old 04-18-2008, 18:57   #9
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I found an XSi kit for $790 to my door.

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions.
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Old 04-18-2008, 19:31   #10
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One more thing we all forgot to mention.

This can turn into a very serious addiction every bit as bad as Glockaholism.

Fortunately help can be found HERE
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Old 04-18-2008, 19:45   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by havensal View Post
I found an XSi kit for $790 to my door.
Where? Did you check the vendor through resellerratings.com?
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Old 04-20-2008, 08:09   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hwyhobo View Post
Where? Did you check the vendor through resellerratings.com?
It's through Dell. I have friends in low places.



Another question, probably a stupid one.

I am looking at a Sigma 28-300 mm F3.5-6.3 DG Macro Zoom Lens. If I understand correctly, this is a tele lens that can do macro also. I realy don't need the macro, I need the tele.

Have any of you used this lens?
Good, bad, OK?
Are there better 300mm options in the same price range?
Would a Tamron 70-300 mm F/4.0-5.6 Macro Zoom Lens be a better entry level tele lens?

Am I dripping with newbness yet?
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Old 04-20-2008, 10:33   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by havensal View Post
I am looking at a Sigma 28-300 mm F3.5-6.3 DG Macro Zoom Lens. If I understand correctly, this is a tele lens that can do macro also. I realy don't need the macro, I need the tele.

Have any of you used this lens?
Good, bad, OK?
I haven't heard of it before. I would suspect it quite difficult to produce a good quality lens with a zoom range of 10x.

Quote:
Are there better 300mm options in the same price range?
I know that Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 USM IS has very good reputation. Here is a short excerpt from the Photozone conclusion:

Quote:
The performance of the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 USM IS came as a total surprise. Unlike its predecessor the lens is capable to produce a very high performance throughout the zoom range without the significant drop in quality at 300mm typical for most consumer grade lenses in this range. It seems as if the new UD element helps to lift the optical quality significantly. Distortions, CAs as well as vignetting are also very respectable. So in terms of optical quality the EF 70-300mm IS can be almost described as a hidden Canon L lens.
I just looked at the Sigma lens on Fred Miranda website. Users' reviews do not appear particularly complimentary.
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Old 04-21-2008, 08:56   #14
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I just got a quote for the XSi kit and a Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS lens...

$1056 to my door.

I am not sure that I can pass that up.

Now I just need to convince my wife I need it.
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Old 04-22-2008, 14:40   #15
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Well, it's ordered. Should be here by the weekend.

Hopefully I can get out and try it out, and post the results.
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Old 04-22-2008, 16:16   #16
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Quote:
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Hopefully I can get out and try it out, and post the results.
We're waiting...
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Old 05-02-2008, 17:46   #17
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Well, it finally showed up today.

I have been playing around a bit, but it's raining out so any real picks will have to wait till tomorrow.

My first impressions:

IQ is way superior to my p&s, big shock there.
IS is the bomb. May be able to toss the tripod. OK maybe not, but still works good.
The IS on the 18-55 is silent, but the 55-250 buzzes a bit.

I can't wait till I can post some picks and really learn to use this thing.
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