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Dueck
02-09-2007, 03:48 PM
I'm going to be buying a camera particularly for taking reference photos. I won't be using it with the photograph as the end-product in mind, but since you're all familiar with cameras, I think this is the right place to ask.

I'm looking on dpreview.com, so what I really just want to know what to look for!

I want:
- DSLR-like or compact... I want to be able to carry it around casually, for opportune shots
- 7Mp+, but the clinch is that I want crisp detail. There may be things in the shot that I didn't notice at first, which turn out useful, and I'd love to have at least a decent idea for detail on those things
- image stabilisation, 'cause I'm terrible at this
- things to play with... auto settings are nice for convenience, but then I won't learn anything from using it. Should I go for aperture/shutter priority? Manual focus?
- don't know if I'll need a lens thread, but I'd like to leave the option open.

My budget is something around $700

edit: I'm thinking Canon PS A710 IS

Kallistos
02-09-2007, 06:17 PM
Have a look at the Canon Rebel (350D). It'll do everything you want. It's 6MP, but to be honest MP don't really mean anything. I can print photos from my camera up to A2 size with little pixilation. If you want image stabilization, that's a feature of the lens rather than the camera. It's expensive though. Alternatively you can get a 10 monopod that will do the job better.

It also has fully manual modes and manual focus as any good DSLR has.

All SLR lens' have a lens thread, so no problem on that one.

I would go for a DSLR, you can use it as a point and shoot when you first buy it, and then when you want to start actually using it as a camera it will expand with you. Def look at the Canon Rebel XT (I think) since it's a blindingly good camera.

I'm going to be buying a camera particularly for taking reference photos. I won't be using it with the photograph as the end-product in mind, but since you're all familiar with cameras, I think this is the right place to ask.

I'm looking on dpreview.com, so what I really just want to know what to look for!

I want:
- DSLR-like or compact... I want to be able to carry it around casually, for opportune shots
- 7Mp+, but the clinch is that I want crisp detail. There may be things in the shot that I didn't notice at first, which turn out useful, and I'd love to have at least a decent idea for detail on those things
- image stabilisation, 'cause I'm terrible at this
- things to play with... auto settings are nice for convenience, but then I won't learn anything from using it. Should I go for aperture/shutter priority? Manual focus?
- don't know if I'll need a lens thread, but I'd like to leave the option open.

My budget is something around $700

edit: I'm thinking Canon PS A710 IS

damar
02-09-2007, 07:47 PM
Also while you're shopping, check out the Nikon D50...it'll give you what you're looking for and money left over to put toward some glass.
It has Full Auto (point and shoot)
But also Aperture/Shutter/Manual/Program priority.
It does well in low light/high ISO
Has onboard flash, uses SD memory cards, can shoot in RAW, RAW+Jpg etc
and is not heavy.
Since the D80 hit the market, you can even picked up a gently used D50 for about $350 US Dollars
Nikons record shutter actuations so you can tell how much its been used (and actuations can't be altered by the user)
It is threaded for additional lenses
Here are some links to some of my D50 photos

Macro: Click Here (http://www.nikoncafe.com/vforums/showthread.php?t=82723)

Fireworks at night: Click Here (http://www.nikoncafe.com/vforums/showthread.php?t=79360)

Airshow: Click Here (http://www.nikoncafe.com/vforums/showthread.php?t=92062)

Cameras will not hold their value as much as a good lens will.
Spend the least amount you can in a camera to get some features you want and room to grow, and save your money for lenses.

Canon/Nikon..they are both good, but since you asked I thought I could show and tell you first hand that the D50 has great color and is affordable.

Te_Wheke
02-09-2007, 08:26 PM
Great advice kallistos

The Rebel XT would be a good choice even a Nikon D40, D50. You will need to look at some used DSLR equipment as you will struggle to get everything you want with your budget, unless you were to find a point & shoot that has what you think you need.

I suspect you will quickly become frustrated with P&S photography as the non ability to change lenses and lack of many manual features sucks. I've been down that road and spent quite allot of dosh on P&S cams I thought capable only to flog them off at a loss later.

If you could get a decent body XT, D50, D40, and cheap but useable lens so you can start shooting and learning your camera, then upgrade your glass later I suspect you would be much happier.

Image stabilisation is built into lenses and most VR, IS, APO, lenses will soak up your budget in one shot and more. I recently bought the Nikon 70-300mm VR lens and the vibration reduction works well but a decent tripod or monopd is still a necessity in low light. Also to speed of the lens is a major factor in low light, but faster glass = $$$, weight, bulk.

I would check out ebay and try to get a used body and lens combo possibly. Now that the new 10+ MP models are out people are getting rid of their old gear to upgrade so bargains are around. The image quality of the XT, D50 etc is top notch, the only issues may be image print size if you want to make 20x30 and larger.

The Sony a100 dslr has in body Image stabilisation, but it's closer to $$630 - $700 usd body only. They take the minolta lenses so you can get some used glass for it.

DPreview is a great site for everything about digital imaging. I go there to research DSLR choices as well and got the D80 in the end, also lenses other equipment as well.

Good Luck!

Hey damar great advice too, Just saw your post since writing this, I think I've parroted most of what you said.. well this confirms it then.. :D

I'm going to be buying a camera particularly for taking reference photos. I won't be using it with the photograph as the end-product in mind, but since you're all familiar with cameras, I think this is the right place to ask.

I'm looking on dpreview.com, so what I really just want to know what to look for!

I want:
- DSLR-like or compact... I want to be able to carry it around casually, for opportune shots
- 7Mp+, but the clinch is that I want crisp detail. There may be things in the shot that I didn't notice at first, which turn out useful, and I'd love to have at least a decent idea for detail on those things
- image stabilisation, 'cause I'm terrible at this
- things to play with... auto settings are nice for convenience, but then I won't learn anything from using it. Should I go for aperture/shutter priority? Manual focus?
- don't know if I'll need a lens thread, but I'd like to leave the option open.

My budget is something around $700

edit: I'm thinking Canon PS A710 IS

damar
02-09-2007, 09:50 PM
Hi T!
Good to see ya!
How's that 70-300mm VR working for you?
Hope you'll post some photos soon!

Dueck
02-10-2007, 06:40 AM
Hee, I settled for the Canon A710-IS :p Thanks for the input, though.

Just the thought of lugging around a massive box for opportune shots :( I can't just carry and bust out a tripod anywhere, either.

I'm happy :p

Te_Wheke
02-10-2007, 07:20 AM
Hi T!
Good to see ya!
How's that 70-300mm VR working for you?
Hope you'll post some photos soon!
Hiya damar

Good to see you too mate! The VR lens is working out great!
Haven't had the time to do any serious shooting with it yet, as in
shooting anything cool, which is why I haven't posted any pics yet.

I have been waiting for the surf conditions to be right so I could
head out to the local surf beach for a workout of the VR lens. Today
was looking okay for an afternoon trip but then heat thunder storms and flash flooding came through out of no where so I cancelled.

I'll post a couple play around photos in a new thread.

Dueck, Congrats on the new camera ! Post some pics when you can.

damar
02-10-2007, 10:42 AM
Good going Dueck! You got the most difficult part over with!
(decisions-decisions) and it's worse with the internet because there's just WAY too much information out there!
Congrats and we wish you the best. Be sure to stop in for a show and tell!

T: I just saw your lunars and florals...REAL NICE!
Its winter here; everything is browned out so the colors
in your garden shots were a welcome sight!

I found the 70-300mm was great for getting insect and butterfly close ups because I could focus & zoom from a distance that wouldn't scare them off.

I have the non-VR version of the 70-300mm and can't wait to take it some crowded places this summer for candid people snaps.

Hope your weather gives you some opportunity soon.
Surf shots would be fun!
(and challenging for me, since I am very good at getting the blinkies on my LCD screen!)

bocote
02-27-2007, 12:29 PM
Canon PS A710 IS is a solid camera. Its small and powerful. It won't do raw, but its price is hard to beat.

meriadoc
03-05-2007, 12:38 AM
The canon rebel is the 300D
the rebel XT is the 350D
the rebel XTi is the 400D

TMeeks
03-05-2007, 02:13 PM
Hee, I settled for the Canon A710-IS :p Thanks for the input, though.

Just the thought of lugging around a massive box for opportune shots :( I can't just carry and bust out a tripod anywhere, either.

I'm happy :p

It's a good choice. I have a variety of digital cameras and the ones that I LEAST use are the SLRs due to their size and weight. Each of the cameras that I own or have bought for family members were bought with a particular characteristic in mind.

For speed in capturing young, active children, my favorites are the Casio point and shoot cameras. For portable macro photography with stabilization my favorite is the Panasonic with 12x zoom. And, for shooting my daugher's artwork or those occasions where I REALLY want the best possible image I use either an Olympus or Canon SLR. None of these cameras really cross-over into the strengths of the others.

Based on the description you gave, I would expect the Canon that you chose to do an excellent job without breaking your back. :)