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Discussion Starter #1
With the big event on this forum for the year being Photography, what do you guys know about Digital SLR cameras.

I've kinda been lookin at the Canon Rebel XTi the last few months. I'm not ready to make the jump quite yet but I have not found anything else I like as well so far.

What information and experience have you guys got with Digial SLR's?
 

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I'll be in the market for a digital SLR soon. I'd also be interested in any comments.
 

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I'm no expert but the optical advantages of the SLR along with the ability to pop up the photos on the computer seem a great capability to me. Downside: all the ones I like are damn pricey.
My grandaughter has a digital slr and several lenses, Nikon ?? hell I forget the model but she does a lot of wedding photo shoots and kiddy portraits. The thing takes fabulous photos.
 

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The Rebel XT or XTi are excellent choices. I have a XT. It's hard to take a bad photo with the XT.
 

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I've had a Nikon D-50 for a few years now, and it is great. It was their budget/entry level model at the time. There is a D-40 now I think with even less frills, which brings me to the point of my reply. Many of the higher end models have a ton of features that the average guy will probably never take full advantage of. Even on my low end cameras, I've got features that I don't even undrstand much less use. Keep that in mind when shopping around.

The real beauty the the digital SLR is being able to use a variety of lenses for different applications. That's where I'd spend my money. I'd prefer a more basic camera body and a few more lenses rather than an expensive camera and fewer lenses.
 

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Canon is probably your best choice of all of them out there. Nikon is a close second. Several of my staff use the Canon 20D, 30D and one of the guys recently got the 40D. The one with the 30D shoots semi-professionally, so that attests to the prosumer capabilities. They all shoot in RAW with HUGE flippin memory cards....like 8 or 12gb LOL

These guys are on my tech team and love the tech stuff and know their stuff. In chatting with them they love the CMOS processor, compared to a CCD proc.

CMOS characterstics are pretty awesome. I have a SLR like Fuji with Super CCD and its pretty damn awesome. Off the chart shutter speed, fastest out there 1/10,000th!!

I love fast shutter speeds but of equal importance are the range of ISO setting ranges. I love the 80-100 ISO is awesome for stills on a tripod.

Sony is making some really nice CMOS cameras, the A100 and A700..wowza!! I love Sony cameras!

Be advised these types of cameras are NOT point and shoot. A good understanding of photography is essential AND PRACTICE to get to now your camera.

Please check out the following link. http://www.extremeinstability.com/
Mike does incredible stuff with his "lowly" Canon Rebel. He gives great information on his setups and how he sets his cameras up. The way he can take pictures is nothing short of amazing considering the light, and subjects.

Damon shot some incerdible images too with his Sony PnS....I am convinced that its familiarization with your equipment that makes the difference even if you have a point and shoot.

http://www.dpreview.com/ Great Site!

http://www.amphotoworld.com/default.aspx Great Buys! I have purchased several cameras from the company with good results

Hope some of this stuff has helped
Paul
 

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When you're ready to purchase, check out newegg.com for really great prices and excellent customer service.
Been orderine lots of electronics through this company for awhile, with nothing negative to report..
 

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I currently shoot a Nikon D80, and I have also used my dad's D200. For the money, the D80 is way more than I will ever need, but I wanted more than the D40 offered. I am using a 3rd party lense, and in the 18-200mm range is fine. I have also used my dad's 80-400mm Nikon lens with VR and when I have the money for a telephoto lens, it will be a Nikon lens that I buy just for the quality of the glass. I'm no expert with them, and I mainly went with Nikon because of the ability to swap lenses with my dad. The other thing to keep in mind is the multiplication factor of 1.5 on DSLR's, so a 400mm lens on a DSLR is an effective 600mm. Since I bought my D80, I almost never carry my little point and shoot camera around, and I will be bringing my D80 to Rufus next month with me if you would like to check it out Bruce.

Here are a couple taken with my D80 and 18-200mm 3rd party lens...



 

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I can't offer much regarding SLR cameras, but here is my two bits on outdoor photography. I'm no pro, but I've gotten some shots that I'm proud of.

My best pictures are targets of opportunity, no camera in easy reach, NO picture. I carry cameras that are easily replaced, point and shoot. Which I did have to do this season, (a wet pheasant in the game bag with a camera will kill the camera:roll:, didn't know the game bag was a wrap-around).

The features that are important to me;
1. The higher the optical zoom the better, no replacing optics.
2. Quick "click" delay time. When on sport mode the picture needs to be taken when you hit the button, not a full second later. My small camera has a 0.1 second delay, which works good.

My cameras;
1. The always on me camera, Fujifilm FinePix A345. Just bought a used replacement on ebay for $40. Came with a large memory card, recharge batteries, charger, and more.
2. My "better" camera (Still cheap) has a 10x optical zoom. Great 'sport mode' and more features than I know about. VERY EASY TO USE. I don't carry this one hunting, but usually it is not far away. Kodak Easyshare Z740 (paid $299, much cheaper now).
 

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I just went thru the same process.
My wife and I are not sophisticated photographers but appreciate the advantages of an SLR over a point-shoot.
I did alot of research and talked to alot of people and most like the Canon Rebel XTi or the Nikon.
We bought the Nikon with the two lense set and got it online for $595, shipped.
We love it.
It does exactly what we want without being too complicated.
Glad we got the 55-200mm VR lense.
It rocks.
Don't get caught in the megapixel race, it's like NEEDING a magnum to hunt elk....when your 30-06 will do just fine.
Let me know if you want to know the online retailer we used.
Good luck.
 

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Guys, sorry I didn’t see this to jump on it sooner...

As some of you know I’m a professional commercial photographer by trade and own a few commercial studios. We’ve been working with digital photography since ‘96 and have been fortunate enough to be involved as test studios and consultants to the two leaders in hi-end digital backs. Leaf (http://www.leafamerica.com) and Phase One (http://www.phaseone.com)

With that said: All the technology used in consumer grade cameras are a direct trickle down from the professional grade equipment... Since these companies are the only ones with the scientists... So when looking for quality consumer cameras you have to look at the companies with “professional� grade DSLR lines. So that leaves Canon and Nikon. And then everyone else... All of the other companies have either purchased outdated technology from the “big boys� or have stolen from their own video lines (Sony, Panasonic etc...) and gone at it from bottom up rather than top down. Not really what you want when you’re looking at dropping $500 on a camera...

The major differences between Canon and Nikon are in chip type, image processors and user interface. See below for the differences between each.

Image Sensor (The Chip)

Canon - CMOS (complimentary metal-oxide semiconductor)
The CMOS sensor for is a great chip capable of delivering a large amount of information quickly (this translates to less “shutter delay�) however takes a LOT of tweaking to not loose quality.

Nikon â€" CCD (charge-coupled device)
The CCD Is a superior image capture chip in my opinion due to the fact that there is less data loss and more information per pixel point on a CCD than on a CMOS chip. However data transfer speeds suffer slightly with the CCD and most of the quality difference is lost until you reach a much larger format 16MP and above.

Conclusion: either one is fine... However the sports photographers swear by the Canon... Might tell you something about the speed.

Image Processors:

Canon - DIGIC II & III Image Processor
This is where given the limitations of the CMOS sensor in images quality Canon had to really crush Nikon when it came to how the information is read off the chip. Long story short they did. And they did is VERY well.

Nikon â€" Nikon advanced image-processing engine
Yup, is sounds lame because they really don’t have a lot here so they don’t talk about it much... The image processor in the Nikon does it’s job and has less work to do than with the cannon given that the information coming off the chip is better. However one of the things a great image processor can do is deliver information faster.

Conclusion: Sorry Nikon... Canon kicked you in the nuts here. However as explained above Nikon didn’t have to try as hard either...

***Foot Note: I have bench tested both of the files from the leading cameras from each and you are hard pressed once the images are pulled apart to tell the difference...

User Interface:

This comes down to personal preference... If you have always used a Canon or Nikon in a regular SLR you may already be more comfortable with one of these. The digital interface on the Canon definitely exceeds the Nikon... IMHO. The reality is that each person will need to go down and handle each camera go through the menus and see what feels more comfortable. It’s kind of like buying a new gun it has to fit YOU or you’re never going to like the results.

Make sure what ever camera you get can shoot in RAW mode so if you want to make larger prints you have the option of hi resolution files to make prints from. Most all of the other features are really very similar...

My personal preference goes to Canon because the user interface is substantially easier to use than the Nikon for me.

If you are looking for a portable camera with great optics my favorite camera on the market today is the Canon G9. This camera is 12MP actually uses both the CCD and the DICIC III processor to giver exceptionally clean files (best of both worlds) Can shoot in full manual or in one of 3 automatic modes and has interchangeable lenses although in a little different way than most are use to (lens adapters). And it can shoot in RAW mode to boot. Also this camera has a “decent� price tag of $450. A LOT of camera for the money.

You can also purchase a waterproof case for the G9 for all us guys that hunt / fish in the rain or want to toss our camera in the waders or vest.

If any of you have specific questions on cameras feel free to PM me questions I’ll try to get back to you as fast as I can.
 

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There is a ton of good info in this post, I personally have a Nikon and really enjoy the camera, I still do not know how to use it to the full extent even after owning it for about 2 years, keep it coming
 
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I have had several high end canons, i have always liked canon, my mom just got the Nikon D40X it is most excellent for the price. there is a pentax out the is water resistant and ill be geting that here soon it has everything the descirning cracker-with-camera needs...
 

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Just went through it also for chirstmas with my wife. Ended up getting the Cannon XTi. She Loves it. It does everything that it says. I have a couple of close buddies that shoot photography, they say that it is a great start into the DSLR camera's. And unless you start shooting for money the camera should suit you fine. Look around the internet and you can get a good deal on one. Ours cost $800 and we got 3 lenses and alot extras. Good luck.
 

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JJ,
Why don't you set up a prairie dog and coyote outing on your side of the mountains and we'll bring our cameras and you can shoot different cameras while we shoot different guns?
Anybody get behind that?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Pleny of places to shoot, but no prarie dogs I have found yet, nor have I managed to locate any little grey diggers either. There are plenty of Coyotes, but they are freaking clever and not at all easy to come to a call. I can make them howl back almost any night, but getting them to come have a looksee at me is another issue.

It might be a better plan to meet in or near Yakima, I'm way over near Walla Walla, that way you west side guys don't have to travel another 2 hours further!
 

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JJHACK said:
Pleny of places to shoot, but no prarie dogs I have found yet, nor have I managed to locate any little grey diggers either. There are plenty of Coyotes, but they are freaking clever and not at all easy to come to a call. I can make them howl back almost any night, but getting them to come have a looksee at me is another issue.

It might be a better plan to meet in or near Yakima, I'm way over near Walla Walla, that way you west side guys don't have to travel another 2 hours further!
OK!
 

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cameralabs.com

dslrtips.com

dpreview.com

all these websites have all the information you need on dslr's.

i myself recently got a canon rebel xt for cheap. could have gotten the nikon d40 but ultimately chose the canon because all my previous p&s cameras were canon. the canon xt/xti and the nikon d40/d40x are excellent entry level dslr's without the premium price(the lens will though), you can go wrong with either.

the only "minor" complaint is that the kit lens 18-55mm, is really lacking in the sharpness department. but its nothing ps or a better lens can't fix.

here are some recent shots from the xt:



 

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Discussion Starter #20
Lots of very good information on this site, plenty of experienced folks and professionals too!

Well I decided on the Canon 30D It's a few bucks more, but I'm not a wedding photographer, I'm an outdoor kinda guy. The 30D is at another level of integrity and construction then the more consumer based Xti model.

It was a bit of a struggle to decide this but in the end, I settled on the more durable metal construction, and more powerful batteries of the 30D body. I still bought the kit lens, 18-55 and the 70-200f4 zoom.

Now maybe I can compete with some of you guys in the photography contests this year! I'm also very excited to learn this, so while I'm working in Africa this year I can get some great shots! Thanks for the feedback and keeping me on the right track!
 
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